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The Best Stainless Steel Knife Set resist rust and holds an edge. There are many different manufacturer available from German to Japanese. While they all have their pros and benefits, its not exactly one size fit all. Japanese knives are generally harder and thinner, much more suited for soft food like vegetables. European knives are thicker and more durable, they are best for general kitchen duty. This article will compare and contrast the difference between these knives.
Best Stainless Steel Knife Set List
Here is a list of stainless steel knife set listed by price.
A great entry level knife. They hold an edge well and are generally very affordable. They are great for a workhorse knife. You can use and abuse it without worrying about it too much. If it gets destroyed, you can replace it for not too much money. However, they do feel kinda cheap and flimsy. Handles are a little big also. Good if you have larger hands.
Wusthof is one of the best well known german knife manufacturer around. The knives are forged in germany and is a favorite for home cooks and professional alike. You can actually see it used in some of gordon ramsay shows. The only issue is that they use a full bolster design. You cant sharpen the whole length of the blade. Overtime, it can develop a little nub.
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You can think of them as Wusthof Rival. They do have a little difference between wusthof chef knife. The main thing is the half bolster design. It makes it easier to sharpen. The blade profile is a little different as well. They are good if you intend to rock chop. To see the difference, you can visit my Wusthof vs Henckels article.
A perfect example of a Japanese Gyuto. It is a blend between a Japanese chef knife and a western one. You can both rock and tap chop. The blade profile is thinner and its grinned to a steeper edge. This makes it a lot sharper and more suitable for delicate task. However, I would not use this as a general kitchen knife. Cutting things that are too hard can chip the blade. Not only that, these knives have a higher carbon content. They can rust if you are not careful.
What to Look for in a Knife
There are a couple of thing to look for in a knife. The main thing to focus on is the handle and the blade. These will affect how comfortable it is and how well it holds an edge. In Japanese knives for example, the blade tend to have a flatter profile. These are better for tap chopping. Although some more modern design have a mixture between a belly and a flat edge. In german knives, they have an exagerated belly designed for tap chopping.
Handles tend to be similar in the more mass produced knife. Although you should find one that suits your cutting style. For example, german knives tend to be blade heavy. While Japanese knives have a neutral balance point. They tend to feel more like an extension of your arm.
Best Stainless Steel Knife Set Hardness
The rockwell hardness is a measure of how hard a knife is. Most knives fall between 50-60 hrc. On the lower end of the scale, the knives are more ductile and resistant to chipping. However, they tend to dull faster. To get around that, they make the blade angle at around 20.
For blades around 60 hrc. The blade will hold on to the edge better but they are harder to sharpen and they can chip. As for the angle, you can sharpen it to a lower angle of around 12-15 or even lower. They develop a sharper edge letting you glide through things a lot easier. However, these are not good as a general workhorse knife. you can destroy it really quickly. If you want a general kitchen knife, a knife that is less hard is better, it just wont be as sharp.
Most of the knives today are advertised as high carbon because they hold an edge better. They are mixed with stainless steel to make it easier to use. They wont rust and stain like a pure carbon steel knife. Some of these knives try to get the both world by making the core a higher carbon variety. While the exterior will most be stainless steel. This way the center will stay sharp and the exterior wont rust.
One thing to note, almost all manufacturer recommend that you hand wash and dry the knife. While they are resistant to rusting, they are not impervious. Leave it damp or soaking in water, dont be surprised to find rust on it. Just remember to wash and dry after use.
Best Stainless Steel Knife Set Thoughts
There are a few different type of different knife configuration. One of the best knives are the victorinox they have excellent edge retention but they feel flimsy and cheap. Wusthof and Heneckel are some of the best german knives available. They have an excellent edge and fit and finish. They are the next step up from your entry level knife. Knives from the Mac Pro are some of the best japanese knives around. If you want one with a mixture of a Japanese and European profile, they are the way to go.
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