Whether you’re a neophyte in the kitchen or an experienced chef, you will probably appreciate the beauty of a decent kitchen knife. It is an essential tool no matter what cuisine you are preparing. There are different types of kitchen knives. Each kind is made suitable for a specific situation you will face on the kitchen floor.
If you have a broad collection of kitchen knives, then you may already have your corners covered. For example, when peeling fruits and vegetables, you use a paring knife or a chef knife. When dealing with meat products, a carving knife is your best friend. For everything else, a trusty utility knife can do good work on smaller food items.
However, no matter what kind of kitchen knife you have in your hand, how it feels in your palm entirely depends on its handle. Some handles have a textured surface for a strong and firm grip, while others are made of materials that are comfortable to the touch. This article will discuss the different knife handle materials and the benefits of a stainless steel handle. Read on and find out why kitchen knives stainless steel handles might be perfect for you!
What Is a Steel Handle Knife?
Before we talk about what a steel handle knife is, you have to be familiar with the different parts of a knife first. Knives have existed since time immemorial, and they have always followed a relatively simple and unchanged design. Aside from the blade and the handle, there are other parts as well.
- Point - It’s the most crucial part when it comes to piercing meat. This is the part where the knife’s edge and the spine converge.
- Tip - This is the part that first comes into contact when cutting or slicing food. A sharpened tip makes delicate and precise cuts easier.
- Edge - This is the largest stretch of the blade that starts from the tip and ends on the heel.
- Heel - The knife’s heel sits across the tip. It is located at the end of the cutting edge.
- Bolster - To connect the blade and the handle, the bolster serves as a bridge between the two primary parts of the knife. It also affects the weight distribution and balance of the knife.
- Tang - This is the dull and extended portion of the blade that goes into the handle. Usually, the handle is attached on both sides of the tang.
- Scales - Also known as the handle, the scales are affixed to the tang using screws or rivets. They are usually made of materials like wood which is softer to the touch.
- Rivets - The scales are attached to the tang using rivets. Unlike adhesive materials, you can remove the rivets if you want to replace or clean the scales thoroughly.
- Butt - The butt is the bottom of the knife.
After familiarizing yourself with the jargon that comes with kitchen knives, you can now better appreciate the beauty of a stainless steel knife handle. For this kind of knife, the scales are made of stainless steel instead of the usual wood and other synthetic materials. They feel hefty because they are heavier but also give you a better sense of control.
While they are usually on the cheaper end of the spectrum, it doesn’t mean that they lack quality and durability. In fact, stainless steel handles offer more extended longevity than their wooden counterparts.
To know more about the advantages of having kitchen knives stainless steel handles in your collection, proceed to the next section!
What Are the Advantages of a Stainless Steel Knife Handle?
A common material of choice, wood is often used as handles for kitchen knives. While they do feel better in your hand, the constant exposure to fluids causes them to rot and decay. This poses a serious health risk, especially since you are dealing with food meant for consumption. The only way to get rid of bacterial growth in its cracks is to replace the scales entirely.
With stainless steel handles, you no longer have to worry about mold and bacterial growth in its grooves and crevices. Due to its extremely smooth surface, you can easily clean it with water and dishwashing soap. It works great with dishwashers, too! You can chuck it inside your dishwasher, press the button, and let it do its magic!
If you spend most of your time in the kitchen trying out new recipes or just preparing your dinner, you need a knife that won’t let you down. While they seem easily replaceable because of how cheap they are compared to your kitchen appliances, replacing them every time they break hurts the environment and is not sustainable.
Did you know that decades before, they built consumer products to last for years? The kitchen knife is no exemption. Today, the cheap kitchen knives you can grab off the shelf have poor-quality wood handles which can crack and degrade after regular daily use and constant exposure to water. Meanwhile, stainless steel is impervious to corrosion, making it last for decades!
When choosing kitchen knives, you probably think of kitchen knives with wooden handles. No one can deny how beautiful wood grain is on any surface, even knife handles! But if you’re after a sleek and clean look, you can never go wrong with a stainless handle. Wood handles degrade over time, but stainless steel retains its shine and beauty for many years.
If the cold metallic appearance of kitchen knives stainless steel handles is not up to your taste, you can use a complementing wooden knife block. A wooden knife block adds warmth and coziness to the kitchen without sacrificing your highly durable and stylish stainless steel kitchen knives.
Kitchen utensils, knives included, are consistently exposed to water. After all, fruits and vegetables are made mostly of water. Since they are used regularly to prepare food, you need to run them through the water. Over time, this can cause materials like wood to deteriorate due to their poor water resistance.
Fortunately, stainless steel has an unbelievably high resistance to rust and corrosion. Unlike other metals, water and moisture won’t ever deal damage to your stainless steel handles. The secret behind this corrosion resistance is the chromium coating on the surface. Once this layer is scraped off, even by accident, the knife won’t be as resistant to oxidation as it was before.
What Is the Best Material for Kitchen Knives Handles?
Aside from stainless steel handles, there are other materials that can be used together with your trusty blade. If you are looking to replace the scales on your old and reliable kitchen knife, you can pick any of these options. The best material for your knife handle is entirely dependent on your own needs and preferences.
If you want a solid and hefty feel on your palms minus the weight that comes with metal materials, aluminum might be right for you. Aluminum handles are known for their durability, corrosion resistance, and lightweight and low-density construction. Different manufacturers design their aluminum handles with unique textures to allow you to grip them firmly.
Among the options listed down in this section, bone handles are the oldest knife handle material used up to this day. Its first use can be traced back to the earliest human civilizations. But what is it exactly made of? As the name suggests, they are made of literal bones—of animals, that is. They often feature eye-catching designs and are usually sold cheaply.
A widely sought material, carbon fiber has different applications in various industries. For example, cyclists aim to upgrade the body of their bicycles to carbon fiber. So what is it that makes carbon fiber extremely desirable for cyclists and knife enthusiasts alike? The answer is: carbon fiber is an unbelievably durable material that weighs like a feather. However, they are hugely expensive.
If carbon fiber is too expensive for you, G-10 can be a viable substitute! It shares similar characteristics with carbon fiber but without a steep price tag. G-10 is made of fiberglass layers marinated in resin and applied with extremely powerful pressure. The finished product is a lightweight material that can withstand dents and scratches.
Another example of an organic compound used for knife handles is phenol. Phenol is a kind of resin used in the fabrication of synthetic fibers. To produce phenolic material such as the Micarta, linen cloth is drenched in phenol, resulting in a lightweight and highly durable material. However, Micarta is made expensive by the texturing process necessary for grip.
Cut above the rest, titanium offers you the best corrosion resistance among other metal materials. It features many good things, including the unique warm feeling it has on your hands. As a knife handle material, this characteristic can be highly appreciated by those who spend hours wielding their kitchen knives. Sadly, titanium is not scratch-resistant, unlike stainless steel.
Wood is an extremely popular option for both casual knife users and aficionados. The unique wood grain present on different wood species adds warmth and beauty to a sharp knife. However, the material is not ideal in a kitchen setting because of water exposure. Over time, a wood handle becomes less stable and more porous.
Aside from your own skills, you need proper tools to reach your maximum potential in the kitchen. Many people neglect to consider a high-quality kitchen knife and settle for the cheapest and shiniest one they can grab from the supermarket. Even more, people forget to consider the knife handle in making their purchase.
The knife handle can be as important as the knife blade since it’s the part of the knife that you literally get your hands on. How it feels in your hand's matters and is even crucial in delicate situations. Remember: the best kitchen knife should feel comfortable in your hands and cut through meat and veggies with a flick of the hand.
Don’t waste your knife skills with poor-quality handle knives. Grab a steel handle knife today!