The second most important tool in your life is your chef’s knife. There are all sorts of kitchen knives to choose from but, the chef’s knife is the most versatile. It can be from 6 to 12 inches long, with the 8 inch being the most common (and most recommended) size. Larger sizes chop more, which is great if you had a flock of women to cook for or are a professional chef, but that's probably not you. It’s a very personal and intimate act to select a knife that is right for you. How does it feel in your hand? Does it feel feel good? Can you afford it? It’s your most important tool so make sure you bond well.
It can be a daunting task searching for a knife because there are so many to choose from. However, we can help you decide since there are a few key factors to consider.
1) What’s your budget?
Remember you do get what you pay for. The quality will reflect the price.
2) Check to see it feels good in your hand.
That’s right. Hold it. Caress it. Is it comfortable in your hand? Pay close attention to the bolster (it’s where the handle meets the blade). Some are roundish and some have sharper edges and are squarish.
3) Is the knife balanced?
Grab the knife handle and blade in one hand with a claw grip. Does it fell balanced?
4) Check out the knife as a whole.
The blade may not be the determining factor in cost. Many manufactures have different lines using the same blades with different finishes for the blade and different materials for the handles (wood, rubber, steel etc). It’s very important you get a knife with a blade that extends all the way down the handle. The "knife" should be one whole piece (i.e the blade should not end at the handle).
5) Before you use it.
Before you use your knife you want to put an edge on it. Those long rods (called steels) that you see chefs “sharpening” their knives in movies and TV are not sharpening the knife at all. You need a sharpening stone for that. The steel creates an nice edge for the knife. It realigns it.
6) Wash your tool immediately after use.
Never put your knife in the dishwasher. It will blunt the blade and damage the handle. Wash it by hand immediately after use. Tip: place your knife against the inside wall of your sink and scrub it with a brush and a drop of liquid soap. By holding it against the wall in your sink you are being safe.