How To Choose Kitchen Knives
Budget And Maintenance

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I'm skipping separate, specific budget section in this article. Instead I'll try to cover budget and pricing related aspects in each section as necessary. There are knives available for each budget out there. Due to my interests in high end knives, I don't have a equal input on low end cutlery first hand. However, medium range pieces are included since I've used and sharpened a lot of Henckels, Wusthofs and other brands. Plus bunch of no name knives that I had to sharpen for my friends. Overall, it still adds to experience and at least I know what to expect. Therefore, it doesn't make sense to break down the budget into several price ranges and go through the same topics again and again. Besides price ranges I'd have to cover vary anywhere from 50$ to 3000$ and even above that. Prices for the same class of the knife also vary on the large scale. So, it's easier if I indicate prices of whatever I know in corresponding sections.
    In general, since you are reading this article I assume you want something better than 5$ flea market knife. So, prices most of the time will be above 50$ for lower end blades and for the upper end the sky is the limit ;) However, there are real bargains in terms of price/performance even under 50$ threshold.
    P.S. All the prices are accurate as of early 2009.


 - There isn't a huge variety of choices here. Either you are willing to maintain your knife or you are not. If later is true then probably you should stop reading here, because all of the knives I will be discussing further in this article, require maintenance to some degree. Of course stainless knives require less care and non-stainless or otherwise often (and mistakenly) called carbon knives need more, but all that is relative too. How much and how often you need to attend to your knife depends on your use, frequency of it, materials cut with it and many other factors. Generally speaking, you're looking for a tool that you want to serve you well and serve you long enough to justify higher price you pay for it. So, maintenance and care is nothing specific to the knives. Good news is that it's pretty easy if you just follow the few basic rules that are simple common sense and for your convenience I've tried to put together in Kitchen Knife Care page.
    As you can see that's nothing complicated except for the sharpening part which can get complicated, there's no denying it :) On the other hand, you do want your knives to cut well, that is safer and much more enjoyable during the use. So, whether you sharpen them, which I strongly recommend or you have then sharpened, you need to keep them sharp. All knives eventually need sharpening, good ones hold the edge longer than cheap stuff, but it also depends how well you're maintaining your knives. Regular steeling and keeping out of harms way (glass cutting boards, dishwashers, rust, etc) will prolong sharp edge lifetime several times.
    In short, if you are planning on using and keeping your new knife then take care of it. Otherwise there's a lot of folks out there simply buy a new knife once the old one goes dull or breaks. Well, since you're reading this I assume you are willing to take minimal care of your sharp and pointy tools.

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Last updated - 05/19/19