Picking The Right Knife

Carving Knife Long

Welcome to Carving Knives 101. Our goal is to help you carve like you know what you're doing.

Are you one of those people who sit around the table in fear? Worried that when it comes time to carve the Turkey, you won't know what to do?

Worry no more.

We have been in the same boat. One time or another, we have all stood around the table wondering if we were going to embarrass ourselves.

This series is about helping you learn every aspect of carving a turkey. From picking the right carving knife to carving techniques, you will walk away feeling confident. If you have already chosen the right knife, look here for the next part of the series Carving Knives 101: Carve Like You Got A Pair - Part 2.

Let's get started.

Picking Carving Knives: The Blade

  1. Stainless Steel Knives are cheap but when they lose their edge, they cannot be sharpened.
  2. Carbon Steel Knives keep their edge for a long period, but they discolor over time
  3. High-Carbon Steel gives you the sharpen-ability of carbon steel without the discoloration. Most professional knives are made of this material.
  4. Ceramic Knives stay sharp the longest but can break easily.

These are the different blades that are available and it comes down to preference. You can find very good knives in these categories.

Carving Knife Metal

Picking Carving Knives: The Handle

  1. Wood - Wood handle are heavier and give you a stable feeling when cutting. They can be harder to clean when they get dirty.
  2. Rubber - Rubber is more durable but can chip and come apart.
  3. Plastic - Plastic is the lightest but breaks easily.
  4. Metal - Metal doesn't break and one piece knives are stronger they can be unforgiving. 

When choosing a handle, look for something that forms to your hand. It will make cutting a lot smoother.

Picking Carving Knives: The Bolster

The bolster is the ridge between the blade and the handle. It curves to form to the handle. When you are choosing your knife, make sure that the bolster is curved in a way that makes it easy for you to sharpen the knife.

Stainless Steel Carving Knife

Picking Carving Knives: The Tang

Tang's are the pieces of the knife that go into the handle. Some metal knives are one piece and they are pricey. But the only reason you would need a one piece knife is if you were going to be doing heavy-duty cutting like bones.

It is important to note that if the Tang is to small, the knife may have a better than normal chance that it can break. See that you have a nice Tang.

If you are ready to move onto the next part in the series, click here.

How Big Is Your Knife

Now is the moment we choose. When you are ready to buy a knife, here are some tips you will need to make your purchase.

  1. Pick a blade that is going to last. You also want to be able to sharpen it.
  2. The handle needs to be flexible. It should fit to the contour of your hand.
  3. Bolsters are not a big deal but need to be shaped so you can sharpen the knife.
  4. Don't waste too much time on the tang. Just make sure it doesn't move when you pick the knife.

Don't go crazy on your knife. It is not all about the size, it's about how you use it. Click here to move to next part in the series Carving Knives 101: Part 2.

Carving Knife ClassicLast Tip

Always make sure your knife is sharp. Use a good sharpener to make sure that your cutting is easy and fast. The sharper your knife is, the safe as well. Being safe is your number one goal.

I hope this helped and feel free to check out some of the guides in this post.

- Cheers