Are you ready for a new set of knives? Let’s talk. So you’re ready for a fresh start and you have your eye on a block of new knives on sale at Macy’s or on Amazon. Stop right there!
Please take a moment to consider how you came to have your current knives.
- Did you buy a block of knives and if so, why are you thinking about making a change now?
- Were all the knives in your current block fully utilized or are some just gathering dust?
- Did they have trouble holding an edge, even with frequent steeling?
- Were they a gift and you had no choice?
- Have you accumulated dozens of mismatched, ragtag orphans?
- Did you buy that one knife because all the others were dull and any sharp knife would do?
- Did you inherit someone else’s knives?
- Are they left over from college?
Would you please consider a different approach? First, never base a purchasing decision on whether or not the new knife will fit into your old block. I would preface the rest of these remarks by saying that for the majority of us it would be hard to justify the marginal benefit in the performance of a knife over a $200 price point. That said, you can probably get by for the rest of your life with the same 3 well chosen knives but you are going to have to break open your piggy bank.
This time around let’s opt for quality and not quantity. Spend the time to shop exhaustively for the basics: a chef’s knife, paring knife and bread knife. Your choices may not even be of the same brand. If there are two cooks in the family you will probably end up with a different set for each of you. Do not consider price or manufacturer at first. Go around and literally pick up every knife you come across so you can start to figure out which one feels the best in your hand. Make a mental note. Once you zero in on a couple knives knife it will be time to evaluate them based on manufacturer and price. Now think about your choice with a long term perspective. Choose the best knife you can afford. If that means you only buy a chef’s knife for now so be it. Wait and save up again for the paring knife and then the bread knife. You are better off waiting and sharpening your existing paring knife a couple times than compromising and settling for less.