Ask any professional chef what the most important tool in his kitchen is and he will almost always tell you it is his set of kitchen knives. Below are 5 things you should have in mind when selecting a set of knives for your kitchen that will last you for years to come.

1. How do you find the best kitchen knives?

If you are at all serious about cooking gourmet food in your home or business, then there is no substitute for selecting the best kitchen knives you can get your hands on. This does not mean spending 5000 dollars for a set of 50 diamond studded autographed Samurai blades; it means doing your homework and investing in the highest quality blades that are currently available.

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2. How often do they need to be sharpened?

Knowing how to sharpen kitchen knives is a critical part of any professional chef’s maintenance plan, but many of the highest quality kitchen knives rarely – if ever, need to be sharpened at all.

3. What is the reputation of the company who is making the knives?

Many companies today are attempting to cash in on the need for quality kitchenware by using cheesy infomercials to sell cookie cutter knives with the cheapest and lowest quality ingredients.

  • Companies like Henckels have been mastering the art of metallurgy since the days of the Samurai. Don’t be fooled by imitators.

4. What are the knives made out of?

The quality of the knifes material accounts for about 40-50 percent of its effectiveness, the other 40-60 percent is craftsmanship, what’s left over is maintenance. The quality of the steel in knives is determined by a Rockwell Hardness Scale (HRC) rating.

  • Your standard imitation kitchen knives that you find in the discount bin at Wal-Mart are often below a 20 HRC rating, barely enough to cut a tomato.

  • The highest quality Japanese kitchen knives and German cooking knives, such as Henckels, have a hardness rating of 55 or more.

5. Do the knives display the specifications of their craftsmanship?

If your knife manufacturer is not displaying every quality of the knife they are selling then they surely have something to hide. True quality knife makers proudly display their HRC rating and carbon steel content on the knife itself. If you see a knife with this marking:

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X75CrMo15 HRC: 55 Then you’ve just found a very high quality knife.

  • The two numbers after the X indicate the percentage of Carbon in the steel (X55 means 0.55%, X77 means 0.77%, etc.).

  • The last two numbers signify the percentage of all the other elements combined.

  • Mo signifies Molybdenum, V means Vanadium, while Cr signifies the presence of Chromium; all very important materials for quality, sharpness and durability.

If you are looking for a quick and easy way to ensure you are getting the best quality kitchen knives for your money, then look no further than the Henckels knife set. Henckels has been in business since 1731 and is the world leader in knife manufacturing. Click here to learn more or here to have a look at our catalog.