If you love to cook, you should approach buying your chef knife with diligence. You are going to use your chef knife every day, so it’s vital to find a style that looks, and more importantly, feels exactly the way you want it to. You do not have to be a "Chopping Champion" to appreciate a good knife. The serious home cook knows that kitchen utensils can make or break meal prep time. Choosing a chef knife that will make dicing, slicing, and chopping a simple, precise and comfortable process is key.
Choosing the Size
An 20 cm cook's knife is the standard size and right size for most people. The 20 cm cook's knife has the best ratio of mass to usable cutting surface. If that feels too uncomfortable, too big or too heavy for your needs, try going down a size to a 16 cm cook's knife.
Choosing the Blade
Many home cooks and chefs choose a Japanese style knife for their daily slicing and dicing needs. This style of knife tends to be lighter than your traditional chef knife. The blade is thin and made with hard and sharp steel. Other chefs choose western style knives. Western style knives tend to be burlier and more durable. They have thicker and heavier blades which some chefs prefer.
Choosing the Steel
Knives can be made from different types of steel. Most knives can be divided into two categories: carbon steel and stainless steel. In general, carbon steel is sharper than stainless steel. Carbon steel will stay sharper for a longer period compared to stainless steel. With all of that in mind, carbon steel requires more, and regular maintenance compared to stainless steel. Carbon steel needs to be dried thoroughly and oiled after use, otherwise, it’ll discolour or rust, like a cast-iron pan. Choosing carbon steel knives is a commitment. This high level of maintenance is why many home cooks and chefs choose stainless steel knives.