If you get into serious food prepping, you will eventually find out that it is very important what knives you use and how you maintain them. But, you also have to be practical… your choice of knives will in part depend on the level of discipline you can exercise in your kitchen. And for your best knives, you want to respect the cook, for knives become personal, and only one cook should be responsible for them. Using somebody else’s knife is as bad as using somebody else’s fountain pen.
I decided to put together some of my favorite videos about knife quality and knife maintenance. This first video is very instructive about picking a sensible knife, versus picking a super duper chef knife.
And here is a sharpening video with master knife designer Bob Kramer. The payoff of sharp knives is so simple… your food processing will be that much easier, less tearing with onions, etc. etc.
Finally, here are two very good videos about Shun knives, which are a top of the line Japanese knife, made of mostly VG10, and now VG-Max or SG2 steels. First there is a video that will explain why it is important that you be on top of the maintenance of your top quality knives and don’t have two cooks sharing knives.
So now you understand exactly why great knives are so sensitive, and then the next question is what to do for maintenance. Here is another video from Shun.
This set of videos covers basic common sense about knives and knife maintenance. The conclusion is that for a communal kitchen you want to have a set of simple, decent quality stainless steel knives, and the typical German or French style chef knife with a 20 degree edge is sturdy. It requires regular upkeep, but it is not that sensitive. If you want to have high-end knives, keep them separately, and make it clear whose knives they are. There is a reason professional chefs all have their own knife roll and do not share their knives with others.
For more on knife sharpening, my favorite destination remains Ricky Tran, aka. Burrfection on YouTube, here he is on restoring a rusted knife:
Last, but not least, if you want to really get serious, there is a marvellous series on knife sharpening from the Korin knife store in NYC.
You can find my own collection of favorite knives and other kitchen gear are on my kit site of Plant-Based Kitchen Gear.