Just like any other product, kitchen knives come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and qualities. Also like any other product, the idea of what a great kitchen knife is can often be driven by marketing power rather than reality.
Expensive Kitchen Knives
Some of the most popular kitchen knives are actually bottom-of-the-line steel with plenty of marketing dollars invested in making you believe it’s high-quality. As most of us have never had the pleasure of working with a truly sharp and perfectly balanced knife, it is easy to make someone believe that anything that will chop a tomato is a great knife. An ax or a piece of glass will cut a tomato, but they’re not something I would enjoy cooking with all day.
On the other end of the scale, we have expensive, handcrafted kitchen knives that are made by skilled craftsmen with small marketing budgets. These knives are often considered a “rip off” or “not worth the money” because of the high price tag. Many think the craftsman is getting rich charging that kind of money for a knife that could be made cheaper by the big name brands. It is actually quite the opposite.
Name Brand Knives
The big name brands make gobs of money charging intermediate prices for very average kitchen knives. They splurge on marketing to convince you they have a better product, but by definition, anything that is mass marketed has to be average. If it wasn’t average, there would be no masses to buy the product.
A real-world example would be Chevrolet vs. Ferrari. Chevy is an average car that is marketed to the masses; when was the last time you saw a Ferrari commercial? Ferrari appeals to a narrow market that appreciates one of the finest cars available. Who makes more money? Most likely, GM. Who has the higher price tag? Ferrari. We all know who performs better, but how do we know? Ferarri doesn’t run a bunch of commercials telling you how great their car is. We know because the car looks amazing and performs even better, and word gets around. When you want performance paired with great style, you think of Ferrari and Lamborghini. Handcrafted cars with attention to every detail, made by highly trained craftsmen who care about what they do.
When you want a great kitchen knife, consider the craftsmen who put a significant amount of and effort into creating a truly superior product. Additionally, you will get a unique commodity that you most likely can’t find from a big production knife company. A little bit of artistry, a unique and superior product – what’s not to like! Spend a bit more and get something that is truly worth your money! Support your local craftsman!
Can’t find what you are looking for on our site? Take a look at these other fine craftsmen.
For Japanese style knives, try Murray Carter
For Damascus knives, check out the knives by Bob Kramer