Many people think ”forged” is better than “stamped” But is that really true?
The quick answer is: it depends. It’s a matter of both taste and knowing what you need your knife for. The person to help with this question in detail is our expert for all things cutlery, Petra Schnüriger, Product Manager for Household & Professional Knives. And she has a few other secrets to share with you about the innovative kitchen knives made at Victorinox.
So: forged or stamped?
The forged blade of a Victorinox knife contains more carbon, which makes the steel harder and helps it stay sharper longer. All models in this line are forged from a single piece, so there’s a seamless transition from blade to handle with a built-up section, called a bolster. This not only means it’s more difficult for your hand to slip from the handle onto the blade, it also makes its weight and balance very popular. And beautiful styling expresses its excellent quality. A good forged chef’s knife is prestigious, inspirational. It reflects the joy felt by people who love to cook with just the right tools.
Our innovative stamped blade is lighter than a forged one. Which makes these kinds of knives easier to work with over long periods of time. They are easy on wrists and hands, so it’s no surprise that professional chefs really like them. And because the steel has a slightly lower level of hardness, they are simple to resharpen. When you consider years of daily work in a kitchen, these blades offer the best value for money.
There are actually two processes involved in knife maintenance – sharpening and honing. What’s commonly referred to as sharpening is actually honing. Any blade becomes dull – which essentially means its fine edge has become bent through use – and needs to be honed regularly. Honing lines the edge of the knife back up, reestablishing the full effect of its razor’s edge. You can do this yourself at home with a honing steel. Optimally after every 30-40 cuts or even after every use, like the pros do it. Sharpening, on the other hand, is a process where bits of the blade are ground and shaved off to produce a new, sharp edge. This can be done using common knife-sharpening tools or an electric sharpener. And you don’t need to do it as frequently as honing — just a few times a year, depending on how much use the knife gets. But don’t forget to always use the honing steel after sharpening!
A stamped knife is made of steel with a slightly lower level of hardness, making it easier to hone yourself. The harder steel of a forged knife means you don’t have to sharpen it as often, but you’ll need a diamond honing steel – which means honing steel’s level of hardness is significantly higher than that of the blade itself, so that it can hone the blade perfectly.
It’s also good to know that a big knife is not more dangerous than a small one. It’s a dull knife that is more dangerous than a sharp one. Because you have to press harder, so you can’t be as precise, and your hand might easily slip.
Knives with plastic handles are dishwasher safe, which makes them easy to clean. Wood-handled knives should never go into the dishwasher; the heat and chemicals in the dishwasher cause the wood to get too hot, dry out or even crack. But a wooden handle offers a warm, natural grip that feels good in your hand, so it’s worth washing the knife manually and using a common cooking oil like linseed oil to keep it refreshed and looking like new.
The best grip is determined by your own hand. Victorinox makes handles of different kinds of shapes, and all are ergonomic. We always test a variety of curves and contours that fit all different kinds of hands. So big or small, fine or strong, there’s something for everyone.
But as knife experts, we don’t really recommend putting your knives in the dishwasher, at least not the larger ones. If not placed carefully, a large knife can damage the cutlery basket, which itself can cause corrosion. If this happens, the dishwasher’s system may have an indirect effect on the knife’s steel. We recommend quickly washing knives under running water and drying them immediately.
Matching blade size with produce and cutting boards
A big vegetable needs a big knife: the larger the thing is you want to cut, the larger the knife should be. That way there’s less risk of slipping or getting stuck, and less risk of injury. You should also match the blade length to that of the cutting board. If you use one that’s too small, it’s harder to cut through large fruit, vegetables, meat or even bread in one slice. That’s not only more work: you may also risk injuring yourself.
We could tell you a lot more. There are many other secrets within our factory. And we’re using them right now to develop just the right kitchen tools you need.