Smarter Living: Shopping Wise

knives

Photo: Andy Ciordia

Fine knives are a chef’s dearest possession and should be well cared for, since a dull blade is much more likely to slip and cut your hands. While stainless steel is cheap, it’s too hard to sharpen; carbon steel knives, meanwhile, require frequent sharpening and maintenance. Pick forged, high-carbon stainless steel knives for long-lasting blades you can sharpen yourself. Every kitchen needs these basics:

  • Paring knife, Messermeister paring knife, (4-inch, $35.95)
  • Offset serrated blade, Wüsthof classic offset bread knife ($74.95)
  • Cook’s knife French chef’s knife or a santoku, 8-inch Messermeister cook’s knife ($79.95); Wüsthof classic 7-inch hollow edge santoku knife ($94.95)
  • Kitchen shears, Cutco super shears come apart for cleaning, the company will repair or replace damaged shears, and provides a free sharpening service ($86)

For sharpening, use a simple stone with honing oil such as Hall’s Arkansas stones (10 inches, $38.95). If you are unfamiliar with sharpening technique, talk to your kitchenware store.

last revised 3/12/2012

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