Knife-Buying Guide Which Knife to Choose?

Which Knife to Buy:
Tips and Advice on What to Consider When Buying a Knife

Buying a knife can be a little overwhelming at times. Need some help understanding the difference between stamped and forged knives? Don’t know a straight edge from a wavy one? Or would you just like to know which knife works best for you? We’re here to help. Our experts answer some of the most common questions when it comes to knife buying.

The Difference Between Stamped and Forged Knives

Forged blades are knives which are made from a single piece of metal so there’s a seamless transition from blade to handle with a built-up section, called a bolster. Stamped knives are cut out from a sheet of steel and the handle of the knife is attached separately. Both stamped and forged knives have their own unique advantages, so it’s very much a matter of personal preference.

The forged blade of a Victorinox knife contains more carbon, which makes the steel harder and helps it stay sharper longer. Since it is forged from a single piece, it’s more difficult for your hand to slip from the handle onto the blade. In addition, forged knives tend to be heavier, giving a great weight and balance in the hand. And beautiful styling expresses its excellent quality. A good forged chef’s knife is prestigious, inspirational. It reflects the joy felt by people who love to cook with just the right tools.

Forged blades may stay sharper longer, but they are also more difficult to sharpen and must be sharpened with a diamond or ceramic honing tool. This is because the tool has to be harder than the blade it’s honing.

Our innovative stamped blade is lighter than a forged one. Which makes these kinds of knives easier to work with over long periods of time. They are easy on wrists and hands, so it’s no surprise that professional chefs really like them. And because the steel has a slightly lower level of hardness, they are simple to resharpen. When you consider years of daily work in a kitchen, these blades offer the best value for money.
  • Grand Maître Santoku Knife
  • Grand Maître Santoku Knife

Grand Maître Santoku Knife

black, 17 cm
  • Grand Maître Chef's Knife

Grand Maître Chef's Knife

black, 25 cm
  • Swiss Classic Carving Knife

Swiss Classic Carving Knife

black, 25 cm
  • Swiss Modern Santoku Knife

Swiss Modern Santoku Knife

Walnut wood, 17 cm

Which Handle Material to Choose

At Victorinox, we offer a choice of handles on our kitchen knives and utensils. Broadly speaking, the basic choice comes down to synthetic or wood. So what are the advantages and disadvantages of each option?

Knives with synthetic handles are dishwasher safe, making them easy to clean. They also tend to be lighter, so they’re easier to use over longer periods of time. We offer a variety of synthetic handles – from the joyful colors of the Swiss Modern collection made from Polypropylen Copolymere (PPC), to the Swiss Classic collection with its highly durable handles made of Thermoplastic Elastomers (TPE). Our Grand Maître collection now comes with Polyoxymethylen (POM) handles that feel extra-smooth.

Wood-handled knives should never go in the dishwasher; the heat and chemicals cause the wood to get too hot, dry out or even crack. But a wooden handle has a warm, natural grip that feels good in your hand, so it’s worth washing the knife manually and using a conventional cooking oil like linseed oil to keep it refreshed and looking like new. For fans of forged knives, we offer the superb Grand Maître knives with modified maple handles. The Wood Collection also has handles in modified maple for stamped knives. The Swiss Modern collection provides it all: walnut handles with both an ergonomic handle and an eye-catching modern design.

There is one caveat: as knife experts, we don’t really recommend putting your knives in the dishwasher, at least not the larger ones. See our tips on how to clean your knife for more information on this topic.

In the end, your choice of handle material boils down to what feels best in your hand.
  • Swiss Classic Carving Set, 2 pieces
  • Swiss Classic Carving Set, 2 pieces

Swiss Classic Carving Set, 2 pieces

black
  • Swiss Modern Carving Knife
  • Swiss Modern Carving Knife

Swiss Modern Carving Knife

black, 20 cm
  • Grand Maître Carving Knife
  • Grand Maître Carving Knife

Grand Maître Carving Knife

black, 22 cm
  • Wood Carving Knife

Wood Carving Knife

Modified Maple, 19 cm

Which Type of Handle to Choose

Simply put, there is no right or wrong answer here. Your choice should again be the one that’s the most comfortable for you to hold. So whether it’s the refined feel of the Grand Maître knives, the durable comfort of the Swiss Classic collection or the ergonomic design look and feel of Swiss Modern, we recommend you go to the nearest Victorinox store and try out each knife before making your decision. We always test a variety of curves and contours that fit all different kinds of hands. So big or small, fine or strong, there’s something for everyone.
  • Grand Maître Santoku Knife
  • Grand Maître Santoku Knife

Grand Maître Santoku Knife

black, 17 cm
  • Swiss Modern Santoku Knife
  • Swiss Modern Santoku Knife

Swiss Modern Santoku Knife

black, 17 cm
  • Swiss Classic Santoku Knife, fluted edge
  • Swiss Classic Santoku Knife, fluted edge
  • Swiss Classic Santoku Knife, fluted edge
  • Swiss Classic Santoku Knife, fluted edge
  • Swiss Classic Santoku Knife, fluted edge
  • Swiss Classic Santoku Knife, fluted edge

Swiss Classic Santoku Knife, fluted edge

black, 17 cm
  • Wood Santoku Knife

Wood Santoku Knife

Modified Maple, 17 cm
  • Swiss Modern Santoku Knife
  • Swiss Modern Santoku Knife

Swiss Modern Santoku Knife

olive-green, 17 cm
  • Wood Carving Knife

Wood Carving Knife

Modified Maple, 19 cm
  • Grand Maître Carving Knife
  • Grand Maître Carving Knife

Grand Maître Carving Knife

black, 22 cm

Straight Edge, Wavy Edge or Fluted Edge?

Confused as to why we offer two types of steak knives? The answer is simple: the straight edge is designed to cut smoothly and cleanly through the meat, without tearing or ripping. This is the blade preferred by meat connoisseurs and is ideal for perfectly tender meat. The wavy edge blades are ideal if you need to cut through meat that might be tougher. This particular edge also makes the knife a great all-rounder – it’s ideal for cutting pizza, pies or pastries, too.

You might also ask yourself the same question for our Santoku knives. Why offer the same knife with both a fluted edge and a straight edge? We prefer the fluted edge because the flutes let air between food and blade, making what you’re cutting less likely to stick to the blade. Which makes chopping smoother, faster and more efficient. And then there are some cooks who love the straighter Japanese shape of the Santoku blade, but find the flutes don’t make a difference for their own particular style of chopping or slicing.

If you are a heavy user of your knives and need to sharpen them a lot, the straight edge would be a better choice. If you sharpen so much that you get down to the flutes of the fluted edge blade, it will eventually interfere with your slicing edge. But this will probably only happen to professional chefs using the blade over a number of years.

Overall, we tend to recommend the fluted edge. We also have carving knives with a fluted edge because it makes the meat less likely to stick to the blade.
  • Grand Maître Santoku Knife
  • Grand Maître Santoku Knife

Grand Maître Santoku Knife

black, 17 cm
  • Swiss Classic Santoku Knife, fluted edge
  • Swiss Classic Santoku Knife, fluted edge
  • Swiss Classic Santoku Knife, fluted edge
  • Swiss Classic Santoku Knife, fluted edge
  • Swiss Classic Santoku Knife, fluted edge
  • Swiss Classic Santoku Knife, fluted edge

Swiss Classic Santoku Knife, fluted edge

black, 17 cm
  • Swiss Classic Santoku Knife

Swiss Classic Santoku Knife

black, 17 cm
  • Swiss Classic Carving Knife, fluted edge

Swiss Classic Carving Knife, fluted edge

black, 20 cm

Blade Length or Blade Width

We often offer the same blade in different lengths – so which should you choose? Our filleting knife comes in both 16 and 20cm versions. The rule of thumb is that the blade should be approximately 5cm bigger than the fish you are filleting. It’s a bit more complex for our carving knives, because we provide anything from 15 to 25cm blade-length. Smaller blades will give you versatility and agility, but if you’re going to be slicing larger items like watermelon or pumpkins, then the bigger the blade the better. Having the necessary length ensures less risk of slipping or getting stuck, and less risk of injury.

Our carving knives also come in two widths – normal or extra-wide. The extra-wide is ideal if you are carving large joints of meat like roast beef or turkey, because it lends the blade more precision and power for smoother slices.

Our pro tip: you should also match the blade length to that of your cutting board. If you use one that’s too small, it’s harder to cut through large fruit, vegetables, meat or even bread in one slice. That’s not only more work: you may also risk injuring yourself.
  • Swiss Classic Carving Knife, fluted edge

Swiss Classic Carving Knife, fluted edge

black, 20 cm
  • Swiss Modern Carving Knife
  • Swiss Modern Carving Knife

Swiss Modern Carving Knife

black, 20 cm
  • Swiss Modern Carving Knife
  • Swiss Modern Carving Knife

Swiss Modern Carving Knife

black, 22 cm