What makes a knife a good knife?

Men has worked iron and steel for centuries. And still - every few months, a new supersteel comes out that surpasses all and everything ever made yet. Or old masters are forging magic blades during the full moon with the help of 12 virgins ...

For me, the worth of a knife consists out of 3 categories (approximately a third each):

  1. The application - the best knife is only second class, if it was made for a completely different job. If you would use for example a hunting knife for cooking, the material would not be cut cleanly and your work would take longer.
  2. The user - if the knife is abused or the user doesn't know how do do the job right, then even the magic blade from above will fail. If you have ever watched a professional chef cutting onions, you know what I mean.
  3. The quality of the knife itself.

Only now, at the knife quality, the various properties can be discussed. Properties that interact with each other and sometimes, they contradict:

  • The right material for the application
  • The right heat treatment
  • The corrosion resistence
  • The sharpness
  • Edge holding
  • Geometry
  • ...
  • And finally for me very important: Fitting to the user. Basically the individual adjustment to the owner - the soul of the knife.

There are many books about these topics (except the last one). A few of them are very recommended - have a look at the literature button.

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