Choosing a Good Knife by Rhancha Connell
Many people think that you just need one good knife in the kitchen. I know that’s how I grew up. Unfortunately, my parents always kept buying “one good knife” that lasted maybe a few months. We had a drawer full of junk knives that didn’t work. They were dull or they were broken. Not good when you are trying to make a meal. When I left for university, I found a summer job and it was with Vector Marketing – they sold CUTCO knives. After sitting through the interview process I found out what it meant to have a really good knife!
The best knives are made of high-carbon stainless steel, which is a very hard metal that keeps its edge for a long time and won’t discolour or rust like ordinary carbon steel. Also, a knife that is forged from a single piece of steel that runs the entire length of the knife is important. The section of steel inside the handle is called the tang, and if it goes all the way to the end of the handle, it’s called a “full tang.”In addition to providing strength, full-tang construction offers better balance, making a knife easier to use.
You also want to make sure the knife has a comfortable handle and fits your hand. It shouldn’t feel slippery or cause you to have to grip excessively hard. Many knife handles have traditionally been made of wood, but wooden handles present certain problems. For one, because wood is porous, knife handles made of wood can harbour bacteria that cause food-related illness. Many local health departments prohibit the use of wooden-handled knives in commercial foodservice. Wooden handles also don’t do well in the dishwasher. Knives with plastic or rubber handles are the best option here.
Many knives also have rivets, which are the raised, cylindrical studs that keep the handle securely attached to the tang portion of the knife. If the knife has rivets, make sure that their tops are smooth and that they don’t protrude from the handle at all.
One single knife in the kitchen isn’t enough. You wouldn’t use a paring knife to cut bread and you wouldn’t use a bread knife to cut up fruit. You need the right tool for the right job. In our next blog post, we will be talking about knives and their different uses, so stay tuned.
Good knives aren’t cheap. Spend the money; it’s an investment. You use your knives everyday in your kitchen so you should have the best. I bought my CUTCO knives over 23 years ago and still have them today. I have never bought another knife and I never will! There are lots of great quality knives out there so do some research and find the best ones for you and your family. You’re worth it!
Rhancha Connell is the National Sales Director for Cooking With Cutco. A graduate of York University with an Honours B.A. in Political Science and a Minor in Law. She is the Chair of the Direct Selling Education Foundation Board of Canada and was awarded the DSEF Distinguished Service Award in June 2011, and most recently the DSEF’s highest honour, the Circle of Distinction Award. She enjoys volunteering for Junior Achievement of Canada. Her proudest accomplishment is being a mother to 2 amazing kids, Evan & Julia!