How I Choose My Knives

how to choose a knife

How is your first week daylight savings working for you? The first day was rough, but I’m super glad to have my evenings feel a little big longer because of all the extra light! I’m not an early riser at all so losing an hour in the morning never really bothers me. I’m really grateful that I work five blocks from home because I’m one of those people that has gotten my morning routine down to twenty minutes. This means I get to wake up around 8:05 every morning. I’ve told people that I’m not an early riser and I have yet to have a single person guess any time after 7:30. And even with that they said 7:30 as a joke as if I don’t still live in a college student’s schedule.

Getting married has been incredibly freeing for my sleep schedule. As a girlfriend, it’s pretty offensive to pass out on the couch, drooling on your boyfriend’s shirt, and then ask him to let himself out so you don’t wake up too much before you get up to bed. Have I done that? Yes. Have a done it a lot? Also yes. However, if I pass out on the couch and my husband wakes me up to head to bed, it almost sounds romantic.

I did a lot of research before choosing which knives I wanted to put on my wedding registry. Like, more time than I spent on my thesis project. After all that research, my aunt got me an entirely different chef’s knife than I placed on my registry which I’m super grateful for because I seriously love it. All of the knives that I have feel pretty similar to each other in certain ways so I took some time to think up what those similarities are to decide what I like in my knives!

Let me be clear, I always believe in being creative with whatever tools you have. If you already have a chef’s or paring knife that you love, rock it out and learn to use your tools with the best precision you have! However, if you’re looking for something to add to your registry or you haven’t yet chosen good knives for your kitchen (I kid you not, I grew up cutting cantaloupe with a steak knife, no judgement here) then check out this list for what you’ll want to look for in new knives!

Full disclosure, I am an affiliate for the items linked in this post, but only because I want you to have easy access to the products that I love.

These are the three knives I use most and what they’re called:

  1. Chef’s Knife – the big black knife, Wusthof Grand Prix II 8-inch
    Chef’s knives (sometimes called cook’s knives) are large, general-purpose kitchen knives usually 8 to 10 inches long with a blade curving upward and ending in a narrow point.
  2. Chef’s Knife – the light blue knife, Farberware 6-inch
    This is my back up knife for the days when I forgot to do the dishes. I’m including it to show that you don’t HAVE to choose knives based on price. 
  3. Paring Knife – the small green knife,  Zyliss Paring Knife
    Paring knives are short knives used for smaller kitchen projects. Think “pearing” knife, pears are small fruits, paring knives are small knives.


What I Love About My Knives

1. Handles That Are Shaped Like Hands

A lot of knife handles are basically straight. If you check out my knives’ handles you’ll notice that they’re curved to fit your hand better. I think this helps keep your hand comfortable and also helps you keep a better grip.

how I choose my knives

2. Handles that aren’t slippery.

My paring knife’s handle is actually grippy which helps me keep a good hold on it. I’ve literally never dropped it.

how to choose a knife

My black chef’s knife handle is described on the Wusthof website as “pebble textured” which is a really good description. It’s made of polypropylene. As a bit of a klutz I’m always happy to not have to deal with slick metal or other polyoxymethylene which are almost always more slippery.


3. Heels that aren’t sharp.

Again, I love anything that’s idiot proof. I’ve had a number of run-ins with the very back of the blade which is sometimes super sharp. I appreciate that all of my blades have SOMETHING preventing me from picking it up wrong and stabbing thumb.

how to choose a knife

4. 8-inch chef’s knives.

10-inch knives make me feel off balance and 6 inch knives make me feel like I can’t reach anything. 8-inch knives are JUUUST RIIIIGHT.

how to choose a knife

5. Smooth Blades

Japanese-style knives have bumpy ridges on the blade. I haven’t really figured out the idea behind them, but they always feel wrong when I use them. My favorite knives tend to be things that sound German like WUSTHOF. They have flat and smooth blades.

how to choose a knife

So there are my top five things that I look for when choosing a knife! Another thing I look for though is price.

6. Price

Unless you’re like, “money ain’t no thang,” you’re going to want to read this one.

My paring knife is actually under $10 on amazon and it’s been super sharp and useful. It’s a Zyliss stainless steel paring knife.

My Wusthof chef’s knife (the black one) frankly isn’t super cheap. It’s just under $100 on amazon, but it rocks my world and I use it 90% of the time when I’m cooking. It’s the Wusthof Grand Prix II 8-inch chef’s knife.

My Farberware knife is not nearly as sharp, but it gets the job done and it’s cheap. Unfortunately, my exact one isn’t for sale anymore unless you find it used. BUT the updated version is under $10 and is actually 8-inches which I love. It’s the Farberware Resin 8-inch chef’s knife. 

No matter what type of knife you have, I highly suggest getting a knife sharpener (tutorial coming soon!). This will help your knives be effective so much longer. As Sookie from Gilmore Girls always says, “Keep your knives sharp! If you let them get dull it’s too late.” I like using the Wusthof knife sharpener because, again, it’s idiot-proof and it’s only $20.

how to choose a knife

Again, I don’t like suggesting that you buy something unless you need it, but if you’re in the market for some new knives, these are the factors I would suggest you pay close attention to!

If you have any things that you really value in your knives or have any thoughts on why Japanese knives have bumpy edges, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

2 thoughts on “How I Choose My Knives

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