The Durability Difference Between Stamped And Forged Kitchen Knives

Brands may matter to us when we're choosing knives, but this factor may not be as important as learning how your kitchen knives are made. When knives are crafted with steel, they are normally either forged or stamped. Knife experts generally prefer the former since the process typically creates a more durable piece.

Forged knives are traditionally made of a single piece of steel, which is first heated before it is hammered and shaped either by hand or with a machine. Knives made this way will have several qualities: the metal blade will include a portion that stretches into the handle, a section that is known as a tang. A forged knife will also have a bolster, a wider section between the blade handle that provides heft and helps balance the instrument. 

On the whole, forged knives are believed to be more stable and aren't liable to warp when they are used to cut tough ingredients like squashes. Even though it can take on a tough kitchen challenge, a forged knife can have high blade retention, which means it can manage to stay sharp for a longer period. Some of the best-known brands in this class include Shun, Wüsthof, and the Japanese brand Miyabi. Get your wallet ready, however. Several top-rated Japanese knives are made in nearly the same way samurai swords once were and can cost several hundred dollars.

Stamped knives have a place in professional kitchens

With all that is said in praise of forged knives, it's a wonder that there is still demand for stamped knives. Yet these types of knives still have a following. Stamped knives, made by cutting a sheet of metal before it is forged and shaped, leave chefs with an instrument that is relatively thinner and can provide a more precise cut. Because stamped knives don't have a bolster, they are typically easier to sharpen. Stamped knives are also lighter than forged knives, making them a pragmatic choice for chefs or cooks who need to do plenty of slicing, dicing, and chopping.

There was a time when forged knives were vastly superior to stamped knives. That is no longer the case, especially as some of the world's top knifemakers, including German brand Henckels (which Gordon Ramsay uses), make top-quality stamped knives. Remember also that not all forged knives are expertly made, just as not all not stamped knives are crafted on the cheap. 

In the end, a kitchen knife's durability and dependability hinge on several factors, including how the blade was made, the quality of the blade and handle, as well as the blade's material.