by Colum Byron July 13, 2021 4 min read
Not sure where to start? When you first start looking in to kitchen knives it feels like diving in to the ocean. There's a lot of conflicting advice out there and it can feel overwhelming and hard to narrow down.
I'm glad you're here and reading this as a way to help in your decision making. Firstly, my knives can be bought individually, in my sets listed, or you can create your own set based on what is best for you. A lot of my customers start with one knife as a way of dipping their toe in the water. They can get a feel for the product and see how much they use it before committing to the cost of another knife or two (or five!). I'll stress at this point, that there is no pressure to keep your knife if you are unhappy with it. If your knife is undamaged, I am happy to accept it back, and give you a 100% refund once I receive it. This goes for any knife I've made - you can return a custom designed knife as well. Now, I hope I've put your mind at ease and taken some of the pressure out of your decision making process.
Onto choosing the knife that is right for you. Take a moment when you're next chopping up food and figure out if you are a 'Rocker' or a 'Chopper'. A Rocker is someone who likes to keep the tip of the blade against the board and use a rocking back and forth motion to cut. A Chopper is someone who lifts the knife up and down off of the chopping board in a flat motion to cut food.
Here are the knives that fit in to these two categories:
Rockers - 6", 8", 10" Chef's and K-Tip Knives.
Choppers - Santoku & Nakiri knives
These knives can all be considered your 'everyday' knives. These will do the heavy hitting for you in the kitchen, and can be used on pretty much any type of food for optimal results.
The other knives in the range, namely the Brisket, Bread, Utility, Paring & Boning all have their own unique functions, irrespective of if you are a Rocker or a Chopper.
In my family I'm a Rocker and my wife is a Chopper so I favour the Chef's knife, while she favours the Santoku. Spend some time to figure out your preference as well as any others who may be cooking, and see which category you fall in to.
If you can only choose 1 knife, my main recommendation is the 8" Chef. It's the best all rounder in my collection and will work for everyone.
Now, on to the functions of the other knives in the collection.
The Brisket knife is a particular favourite of mine. It's an absolute dream to use if you like doing roasts, BBQ or other big chunks of meat. It slices through them like butter, and the knife doesn't feel overwhelming to use. I wouldn't recommend this blade as an every day blade. You wouldn't have the same level of control over it when cutting a carrot as you would from a standard chef's knife, which would create a safety issue in the kitchen.
The Bread knife speaks for itself and is just currently undergoing a redesign to make it the blade & handle positions more ergonomically friendly for your hand.
The Utility knife I like as your everyday go-to. It's also great for those with smaller hands or for those who just prefer the control a smaller knife gives them. You can use it for basically the same things as a Chef's knife, it will just be harder to use through bigger items of food. I use it mainly for cutting fruit for breakfast, or for small things like tomatoes or cucumber.
The Paring knife is a versatile little blade to have around the house. I use it to slice strawberries or other small foods in to my hands. It's also a great little box cutter if you can't find your stanley knife.
As opposed to a filleting knife, the Boning knife blade isn't flexible. It's designed to get into those joints of meat, curve it around the bone, and cut out a joint in no time.
So those are the individual knives. If you're looking for a basic knife set to start your collection off, I would recommend going with the 3 knife set I offer. It includes an 8" Chef, a Nakiri & a Utility Knife. So you can get one knife for a Chopper, one knife for a Rocker and one everyday functional blade that everyone can use. It's a great 'starter' kit and would fill pretty much all chopping needs you would have.
After that, the knife sets become about how much cooking you do and what blades are the most convenient to have on hand to make cooking the easiest process for you. When I'm having a party or cooking in bulk I find that I can use most of my knives in one day. Having the full set on hand is very convenient for me, and it saves a lot of time in the kitchen when I don't need to keep washing the same blade for hygiene, and I have the right tools on hand for any job I need to do. It's down to the individual and what works best for your lifestyle.
If you ever have any questions feel free to send me a message, I'm always happy to talk blades and functionality.
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