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The carbon count. The most important thing you’ll want to look for in a knife is that it’s high in carbon steel. Carbon adds strength to the stainless steel and helps to make the blade sharper. Plus, stainless steel won’t rust!

Stainless steel knives are a great alternative to carbonated steel because they are resistant to rust and strong enough to maintain a sharp edge. Plus, they are much less expensive than the carbonated stainless steel varieties.

Also, you’ll want to look at the handles. Knives will either have a composite or wood handle. Many cook choose knives with plastic or composite handles because they are easier to maintain and are dishwasher safe. Wooden-handle knives, on the other hand, require a bit more maintenance, and need to be hand washed.

Know Your Knife

Knife diagram

Point – the piercing part of the blade where it comes to an end.

Tip – the front part of the blade that does most of the cutting and separating. The point is included on the tip. It works great for cutting small or delicate foods.

Edge – the business end of the blade or the sharpened side.

Spine – the end of the blade, opposite the edge.

Heel – the opposite end of the tip where the blade comes into a square shape.

Bolster – the band of steel that helps to bond the blade to the handle.

Tang – the part of the knife that extends into the handle to give it balance.

Scales – a part of the handle that creates a grip.

Butt – the end of the handle.