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How to choose my first chef knife

par Jeremie Plane

The first chef knife that you will own stays in your mind forever: it could be a present by someone or by yourself.

Obviously, I’m talking about a beautiful knife, sharpness and robustness. A real chef knife! That’s why it is important to choose the right knife, the one that will suit your daily life.

Then, how to choose my first chef knife ? 


But then, how to choose your first Japanese knife.


1- Think before you choose

First of all, make enquiries about the knife you’re about to buy. If you find kitchen chef knife for around 20 euros, the probability of the bad quality is high. It will not meet your expectations. 

Plan your budget before buying, based on your expectations and toward how it will be used. 

Is better to buy one or two good quality kitchen knives that you will use daily instead of a full cheap set. You will not use everything all the time.

2- Choose function over aesthetics:


Obviously, a beautiful knife is always attractive and can convince you easier. Do not stop yourself on the aesthetic aspect of the knife. Stay focused on the ergonomy, on the sharp and the function that the knife offers to you.

This is a tool, your kitchen best friend, it must be performant. 

Prioritize the function instead of aesthetic, even if it is more plaisant having a beautiful AND a good quality knife. 

3- Consider more than a knife:


A quality knife, you have to take care of it. Do not think to buy a good knife and keep it during a long time without sharpening it ever. It is important to provide into your budget, a part dedicated to Whetstone Knife Sharpening Set or Honing Steel Knife Sharpener. Believe me, you will need it more than you think !


Gyuto chef's knife:

Gyuto means « beef knife » in english. It is a medium sized knife with multiple uses. It will allow you to cut vegetables or meat, coarsely or very precisely thanks to the tip of its blade.

Moreover, the size of the blade is generally between 18 and 21 centimeters for the medium size, and between 24 and 27 centimeters for a larger blade.

It is a simple knife to handle when it is not too big, so it easily becomes everyone's ally, fulfilling many tasks in the kitchen.

The Gyuto Kotai chef's knife has a blade measuring 20 centimeters, the perfect size to have a good edge and a good balance between the handle and the blade. It has the edge of a Japanese knife and the robustness of a German knife. In addition to that, the small air bubbles due to the hammered pattern of the blade prevent the food from sticking to the knife, and thus avoid streaks during cutting.

The Santoku:

The Santoku is the all-purpose kitchen knife. In fact, "Santoku" means "three virtues" because of its versatile blade, capable of cutting vegetables, meat and even fish. It has the ability to mince, slice, and even chop food.

Regarding its blade, it can measure between 10 and 20 centimeters. It is therefore a light and easy to handle knife.

The Kotai Santoku, with its 18 centimeter blade, is light and robust, and allows you to perform all kinds of tasks in the kitchen. Just like its cousin the Gyuto, it has small hollow cavities, creating air bubbles and preventing food from sticking to the blade.

I will also quickly tell you about the Bunka Santoku, whose tip has a less round finish than the normal Santoku. It is also a bit smaller, its blade measures 17 centimeters. It is a versatile knife, being a symbol of expertise and status. This is also why in gourmet restaurants, only the chef is authorized to use it.

The Petty:

The Petty is a smaller knife than the other two knives I already introduced above.

The blade of these knives is usually between 10 and 15 centimeters.

It is also known as the universal knife. Halfway between the paring knife and the chef's knife, it can mince, cut and chop foods such as meat, vegetables or herbs. The only downside is that it can only process small parts, due to its fairly short blade length.

It is ideal for fast and precise cuts.

Kotai's Blade Bunka Petty measures 13.5 centimeters. This is a perfect length for accuracy. I do not need to introduce you to the small cells present on the blade. Your food does not stick to the blade.