Knives are perhaps the most essential tools in the kitchen. Just imagine your kitchen without knives and try to figure out how you’re going to prepare your favorite meals. Impossible, right? Knives are used for almost all key cooking functions, such as slicing meats, dicing vegetables, mincing herbs, filleting fish, chopping fruits, and other ingredients.
There are different types of knives. For every type, it serves a specific purpose. For instance, slicing vegetables needs a specific knife, while another is used for cutting meat. As there is a bread knife for slicing breads and pastries, so are there boning and fillet knives to cater to the intricate process of deboning and filleting fish.
Don’t you wish there’s one versatile knife that can do most of the cuts you need in the kitchen? This is where a good custom-made kitchen knife comes in handy. Custom kitchen knives are made as you like them—from their sharpness, function, handle, and materials used.
More than a kitchen tool, custom cooking knives are an investment. One made-to-order unit is priced much higher than your standard chef’s knife, but can do more wonders in your food preparation. The efficiency and versatility it brings make it well worth it.
There are different factors to consider in buying and making your best custom kitchen knives. So let’s take a closer look:
It’s imperative to know your purpose in using the knife. Try to observe your kitchen. Even if you have many knives, there are specific knives you frequently use because they make the task easier. Whether it’s the sharpness, shape, or the smooth way it glides through your ingredients, these knives reflect everything you need in a cutting tool. You can replace these frequently used knives with a custom one.
Another decision you have to make is the type of steel used for your custom-made chef knives—this can either be stainless or carbon steel.
If you prefer durability, carbon steel is better and stronger. However, with little chromium content, carbon steel is prone to rust and wear over time. Stainless steel knives, on the other hand, are of similar excellent quality, and don’t rust that easily.
Let’s not forget about the knife’s handle. The material used for the handle will dictate your comfort, and we all know that’s at the top of our priority list.
There are a lot of options for knife handle materials, which can either be synthetic or natural. Synthetic materials include Corian, G10, and micarta. Meanwhile, natural materials, often offering more durability, include bone, horn, and wood. Rosewoods, hard maple, walnut, and ironwoods are commonly used for their excellent quality.
Knives are also classified by their profile. A French profile knife is thinner and lighter, making it easier to use, and its blade curves toward the tip. With its features, chopping meat and vegetables is faster and easier.
The German profile knife has a thicker blade, and it’s heavier than the French profile. Its curve starts at the middle of the blade, being more effective in rocking motion. As a result, it is more suitable for mincing, slicing, dicing, and rocking meat or other ingredients.
If you are looking for a lighter knife, then the Japanese profile is the best for you. With its narrower blade and more rigid steel, Japanese profile knives are also suitable for chopping meat and vegetables.
Finding a custom kitchen knife is quite tricky since they are unique and made-to-order. You can’t just enter a kitchen supplies store and grab from one of the shelves. It takes a good amount of research to find yourself a reliable knifemaker. Here’s a list of some of the best ones in the industry:
- Michael Moses Lishinsky, Wildlife Cutlery ($76 to $205)
- Randy and Randy Jr. Haas, HHH Custom Knives ($245 to $1,000+)
- Luke Snyder and David Van Wyk, Bloodroot Blades ($175 to $700)
- Joe Calton, Calton Cutlery ($50 to $140+)
You can also visit local knife specialty stores and ask if they can have knives custom-made. Be sure to equip yourself with the basic knife elements to ensure you’re getting the best custom chef knife and a good bargain.
In choosing the best custom kitchen knives, always consider durability, purpose, and comfort. Let your kitchen needs do the talking as you want an all-new go-to chopping tool for most, if not all, of your cooking essentials. After considering all of these things, do even more research on local knife makers in your area if you want a more accessible knife hunting experience, or shoot for the renowned stars of custom knife making! Whatever your choice will be, a good custom knife is always a worthy investment.