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Article Published February 16, 2017

Reader Recommendation: A Good Knife

Any chef will tell you that a good knife is a sharp knife. One thing that differentiates the quality of a knife is how long it will hold a good edge under normal working conditions. An inexpensive blade made from inferior steel, one that is stamped vs. forged, will sharpen up, but they’ll lose the edge fairly quickly. A stainless steel blade with a high carbon content is the best combination to provide highly effective cutting with a resistance to corrosion or dulling. Now, once you have a sharp knife, you’ll want to keep it sharp. How do you do that? With the steel, that long, heavy metal rod that likely came in your first knife set and is now rattling around a drawer somewhere. The sharpening steel doesn’t actually sharpen the blade; it removes the microscopic burrs that are caused by everyday use that dull the blade. By honing your knives with the steel every time you use them, you’ll remove the burrs and keep your blades sharper, longer. As for my “trapped on a desert island” knives, it’s good to invest in a quality chef’s knife and a paring knife. Keep the blades in shape, and you’ll be able to do anything from hulling a strawberry to boning a chicken, from peeling potatoes to carving a turkey.—Laura, The Perfect Pear, Chester.