Chef’s Knives With Sheath: Everything To Look For
By Bridget Reed
Feb 18, 2022
When it comes to being great in the kitchen, one of the recipes for success is finding the perfect chef’s knife with sheath.
Those in the culinary industry, including some of the world’s best chefs, agree that a great chef’s knife is like a dancing partner in the kitchen and is a tool that is essential for the kitchen.
This is because chef’s knives with sheath are able to provide you with a sturdy grip while you gracefully slice, chop and dice away while ensuring the design of the knife is protected. It will mean that those tedious kitchen tasks become effortless and your cuts will be done to precision and you will have the knife for a very long time.
For example, when you make a cooked turkey you will want to ensure you have the right go-to knife on hand to cut the perfect pieces for your dinner parties. But you will want that same knife to be able to slice through onions, garlic, tomatoes, and whatever else you need for a recipe you are making.
So, when it comes to finding the best chef’s knives, there are many things that you should keep in mind in your search. It may take a bit of time, but we have created the perfect guide to help you make this very important decision.
Talk to an Expert
The first step to finding the best chef’s knife with sheath is to talk to some of the experts who understand the wide selection of chef’s knives and the different two styles of chef’s knives that are available.
You can not just simply pick a knife and hope it works for you. Each chef’s knife is made for a different purpose, with different levels of experience and different cooking styles. Talking to experts who understand the variety of chef’s knives and their pros and cons can help you narrow down your search. Often, you can even test out some of the knives if you visit an in-person store.
To test out a chef’s knife and see if it is right for you, test out how it cuts on an array of items. For example, see how easy it is for you to mince parsley or an onion, slice a pumpkin, cut carrots, and dice up an onion.
Also make sure that if you purchase the knife and aren’t satisfied, the company you purchased from is willing to accept returns given it is still in new condition.
Qualities To Look For
There are some key qualities in a chef’s knife that you will want to look for when examining it and testing it as well. For example, how easy is it to grip? How well can you maneuver different cutting techniques? Do you feel comfortable using it?
In terms of the physical qualities of a knife, here is what to consider.
1. The Weight of the Knife
The perfect weight of a knife will be very much driven by individual preference and wrist strength. It all comes down to a knife that you can comfortably hold but still has enough weight to easily cut through the thickest of items. Some knives that are heavier have a “falling” feel to them when you cut. And others that are not as heavy have a “flowy” feel that allows you to vary up the knife’s technique more easily.
2. The Balance of the Knife
You will know if the sheath of a chef’s knife is good if it is well balanced when it is in your hand. You can test this out by trying out your grip on the handle. If it does not feel natural when you are holding it, it may not actually be the knife for you. If a chef’s knife is not balanced, you will have to try harder in the kitchen. The perfectly balanced knife will make cutting seem extremely effortless.
3. The Size of the Knife
Chef’s knives come in a range of different sizes. While the standard size of a chef’s knife is up to eight inches, some can go as long as 10 inches in the blade. But others come in a smaller six-inch size as well. The volume of the blade determines the agileness of the knife along with the versatility of what it can effectively and efficiently cut.
4. The Handle of the Knife
As we alluded to earlier with the balance of the knife, the handle should naturally fit your hand. And since all of our hands are different sizes, there is no one perfect chef’s knife. Instead, the perfect one will largely vary based on the handle and how well it fits in a specific person’s hand. Some handles are designed to mold to a unique grip whereas others have a more unnatural grip that can make cutting some items feel a bit awkward.
5. The Bolster of the Knife
The bolster, also known as the thick piece of metal where the blade and handle fuse together, is a key feature that helps enhance the strength of a knife. Some chef’s knives only have a partial bolster, whereas others like the Japanese-style knives have no bolster whatsoever. The bolster, if it is included, should be gradual and easy for you to spot. But it should not interfere with the comfort you have in holding your knife.
6. The Heel of the Knife
If you are looking at getting a Western-style knife, you will also want to take notice of the heel (if it is a Japanese-style knife there will be no heel). The heel is the thickest and widest part of the edge of the blade included to add extra force when slicing, dicing, and chopping. But the heel should be designed in a way that does not prevent the blade from having a continuous rocking motion.
7. The Spine of the Knife
Considered to be the top part of the chef knife’s blade, the spine will have a more squared shape to the edge. It should taper off at the tip of the knife so it is still easy to work with. If the spine is too thick and does not taper enough, the knife will actually be quite challenging to work with.
8. The Edge of the Knife
Another top factor to consider in the physical aspects of a chef’s knife is the edge of the knife. The best ones should be extremely sharp as soon as they come out of the box you received them in. You will know it is sharp because it can slice through in just one simple motion.
Don’t Forget the Sheath
But of all the important physical features to look for in a great chef’s knife, the most important in our opinion, and often the most overlooked by others, is the knife sheath.
The sheath of a knife is used to provide protection to your chef’s knife. And for good reason. Not only does it provide protection to your knife that likely you paid a high price for, but it also protects you and others in your family from an unfortunate and unintentional slice.
Especially if your chef’s knife does not come with a box set, you will want to ensure it comes with a quality sheath so that it can safely be stored in your kitchen drawer. And it is important to remember that sheaths are not universal. They are designed to fit one specific type of chef’s knife. So it is important that you buy a chef’s knife that comes with a sheath!
There are actually three different types of sheaths that come with chef’s knives.
1. A Blade Guard
The most common sheath for a chef’s knife is a blade guard. Similar to a case, it often has a rectangle shape that fits the edge of the knife and at least the majority of the blade. The guards can be selected based on the length of the chef’s knife and you will want to make sure it is not too short, otherwise, you may mistakenly get cut or the tip of the knife could become chipped.
2. A Sayas
For those that have Japanese-style chef’s knives, you will likely want to get a saya as your sheath. These are made of wood or bamboo and are secured by placing a wooden pin that makes sure the blade remains sturdy on the sheath. Most Japanese-style chef’s knives will come with their own unique saya. They enhance the aesthetic beauty of the knife and, while more expensive, provide an extra layer of security as well.
3. A Homemade Sheath
If your current chef’s knife does not have a sheath, you can also look to make one yourself. There are numerous DIY options that ensure your knife will remain protected and safe without having to spend a fortune and a bunch of time looking for one yourself.
There are a lot of special physical components to a chef’s knife. Each one deserves to be protected. And the best way to do that is by ensuring that your chef’s knife has the appropriate sheath to cover it up when not in use.
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