Cookery and Culinary Arts/Cutlery choice


Hi,  I am trying to figure out whether to buy forged knives, or stamped knives,which seem more affordable.  is there really a big difference ?  I have small, hands, and am not a chef, but am looking at some brand names to help with cooking, but cannot decide between forged and stamped knives.  Thank you.


The tradeoff between a stamped and a forged knife will be the balance between price and quality.

Stamped knives are stamped or cut from one solid sheet of metal, generally by an automated machine.  This makes it easy to mass produce knives, which makes them cheap.

Forged knives are made with a solid piece of metal which is heated, beaten and bent to form it into shape.  This gives the knife maker the ability to balance the knife, or adjust it's weight or flexibility (though metal type has more of an impact on the later).

Generally speaking, a forged knife will be made of superior steel, and will get sharper and hold an edge longer.  Many stamped knives are made of (relatively) soft steel, which is easier to sharpen, but doesn't hold an edge as well.  

A forged knife will, usually, have better balance, better metallurgical qualities, and better craftsmanship.  A stamped knife will be much cheaper and easy to sharpen or replace.  A forged knife can be 10x or more expensive than a similar stamped knife.

Both knives can be used effectively in the professional kitchen, though most chef's prefer the finesse of forged knives.

My recommendation to you, assuming you are an amateur in the kitchen but looking to improve, would be to seek out a moderately priced set of stamped knives including:

7" or 8" Chef's knife
Paring Knife
Boning Knife
Thin, Long Bladed Slicing Knife
Serated Bread Knife

I would also recommend that you look into purchasing an 8" - 10" forged Chef's knife.  Some brands that I like are Whustof, Henckel, and Gerber, but there are lot's of good knives out there.  Having two different chef knives is nice, as one (stamped) can be used for rough tasks such as cutting hard shelled squash or splitting chickens, while the other (forged) can be held back for delicate work such as chopping herbs or precisely cutting vegetables.

With two to compare side by side, you should be able to see first hand the differences between the two styles of knife.  Then you can decide which other knives in your set are worth the investment to upgrade to forged.

Hope this helps!

Cookery and Culinary Arts

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Adam W Price


I can answer general and specific questions related to all manner of food preparation, food cookery, and peripheral disciplines such as applied food science, nutrition, or sanitation. I am knowledgeable in meat, poultry and seafood fabrication, recipe development, world cuisines including 'fusion' styles, and all of the primary cooking methods (grilling, steaming, etc.). I can assist you with developing or redesigning recipes, planning for events (from a caterers point of view), troubleshooting recipes, identifying and working with unfamiliar ingredients or cooking methods, or (most importantly in my opinion) figuring out exactly why things happen the way they do. If we understand the science and reasoning behind our craft, then we can start learning how to cook instead of learning to recreate recipes. Other sides of the craft that I am experienced in include: sugar work (though limited experience with chocolate, sad to say), ice creams/sorbets, baking and pastry, wines (specifically when paired with foods), and others. If for some reason I cannot answer a question, I will do my best to point you toward a source that can.


I have nearly two decades of experience as a professional in the field, and I enjoy experimenting with new ideas on my own time. I have worked in restaurants ranging from quick service to fine dining, bakeries, butcher shops and institutions. I have done event planning and execution for large and small scale catered events. I have managed several kitchens and developed menus ranging from simple buffets to elaborate multi-course meals. I have an extensive library of recipe books as well as books on cooking techniques, food science, food safety, and nutrition.

I graduated with high honors from the Culinary Institute of America (Hyde Park). I am ServSafe certified for food safety and sanitation, and I take this very seriously.

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