Knives or Stamped Kitchen Knives
This article will aid you with the pivotal decision of
whether you want forged blades or stamped blades for your
kitchen knives. There's a lot of misinformation going around
when you're shopping for a new set of knives and it can be
really confusing when all you want to do is slice or dice in
style while preparing your food.
The myth all starts with the idea that forged blades are
inherently better than stamped blades. The idea behind this is
that forged blades steel molecules are aligned better and
therefore give them much better cutting properties. The fact is
this used to be true, but no longer is due to updated
manufacturing processes. In the old days the only way to make
steel was to forge it, now days knife manufacturers just go
down and buy the steel pre-made.
This is where the pivotal differences between kitchen knives
start to form. The forged blades are heated up again pounded
into the shape of a knife, and then ground and sharpened. The
stamped or machined blades are cut or ground into the shape of
a knife, and then heat treated twice to align the steel
structure. The first heat treatment starts at 1400-1900 degrees
Fahrenheit, leaving the steel brittle but very hard. The second
heat treatment hits the blades at 400-700 degrees reducing both
the brittleness and the hardness, but in turn making more
As you can see the manufacturing processes are just
different which leads to different knives. The forged blades
tend to be much softer than the stamped or machined blades,
because of the lack of high heat treatment. The benefits to
this are that it's much easier to sharpen at home, the knife
will have a weightier feel, and you'll have a bolster. The
drawbacks are that it won't be quite as sharp as a comparable
stamped blade, and it won't hold a comparable edge as long. The
Germans who are the primary manufacturers using the forged
method rectify this by sharpening to a 22 degree angle instead
of a 16 degree used by most stamped manufacturers.
The stamped or machined blade benefits and drawbacks are in
reverse of the forged. You'll have a much lighter knife with no
bolster, unless welded on, that's extremely sharp, and durable.
You may also have a harder time sharpening it at home.
In the end it all comes down to you the consumer, and which
knife fits you the best. If you're going to be slicing a lot of
heavy vegetables and meats you may find the German forged
Wusthof's to your preference.
On the other hand if you do a lot of Asian style cooking the
high end stamped Global knives or Shun
knives may fit you best.