When you start thinking about buying a knife, you might not know the difference between a standard knife and a high-performance knife. However, there is a significant gap in quality between the two types of knives, and you benefit significantly from understanding the difference. Learn more about what people mean when they say high-performance kitchen knives and how you can tell the difference.
What do people mean when they say high-performance kitchen knives?
There is one fundamental difference between a standard knife and a high-performance kitchen knife – sharpness. The sharper your knife, the better it is at cutting through a range of ingredients in the kitchen. If you have a kitchen knife that struggles when cutting through tougher vegetables and fatty bits of meat, you’re likely not working with a high-performance kitchen knife.
What differentiates a high-performance kitchen knife from a standard knife?
Several different factors define the difference between your average kitchen knife and a high-performance kitchen knife, with some of these differences including:
Sharpness refers to the ease with which a knife cuts through ingredients in the kitchen. A good knife should simply press through the ingredient, with famous chef Gordon Ramsay stating that an ideal knife allows a chef to “let the knife do the work”. This means not needing to use a saw motion to get through ingredients in the kitchen, with a single movement doing the job.
Some ingredients and surfaces can have a serious effect on the look and performance of a knife, with chopping boards such as glass, granite and ceramic weakening or chipping the blade. High-performance knives are made from materials such as strong steel or even carbon fibre to retain the quality of the blade.
In any industry, having ergonomically designed products makes a difference. The same applies to knives. High-performance knives are designed to fit perfectly in the palm of a chef, making chopping for hours on end a much simpler part of the job. You can keep working on large batches of food without your palm starting to hurt or becoming uncomfortable thanks to a well-designed knife.
Looking after a high-performance knife
Initially buying a high-performance knife is a good start, but better knife care is a must for keeping your kitchen in top condition. Make sure that you sharpen your knife regularly to keep the edge as refined as possible, and wash your knife after every use. This keeps contaminants off the blade and ensures that the performance remains high for years after initially getting your knife.