This article will help you make the crucial decision as to whether you want forged blades or stamped blades for your kitchen knives. There’s a lot of misinformation out there when you’re shopping for a new set of knives, and it can be really confusing when you just want to slice or dice in style while you prep your food.
The myth begins with the idea that forged blades are inherently better than stamped blades. The idea behind this is that the steel molecules of forged blades are more aligned and therefore give them much better cutting properties. The fact is that this used to be the case, but it is no longer due to updated manufacturing processes. The only way to make steel used to be by forging it, now knife makers just go down and buy the steel pre-made.
This is where the key differences between kitchen knives begin to form. The forged blades are heated, hammered back into knife shape, then ground and sharpened. The stamped or machined blades are cut or ground into the shape of a knife and then twice heat treated to straighten the steel structure. The initial heat treatment starts at 1400-1900 degrees Fahrenheit and leaves the steel brittle but very hard. The second heat treatment hits the blades at 400-700 degrees, which reduces both brittleness and hardness, but makes the blades more durable.
As you can see, the manufacturing processes are simply different, resulting in different knives. The forged blades tend to be much softer than the stamped or machined blades due to the lack of high heat treatment. The advantages of this are that it is much easier to sharpen at home, the knife feels heavier and you have a grip. The downsides are that it’s not quite as sharp as a comparable stamped blade, and a comparable edge won’t last as long. The Germans, who are the primary makers using the forged method, correct this by sharpening to an angle of 22 degrees instead of the 16 degrees used by most stamped makers.
The pros and cons of the stamped or machined blade are the opposite of the forged one. You have a much lighter knife with no bolster unless welded on that is extremely sharp and durable. You may also find it harder to sharpen at home.
In the end it all depends on you as a consumer and which knife suits you best. If you cut a lot of heavy vegetables and meat, you might prefer the Wüsthof knives, forged in Germany. On the other hand, if you do a lot of Asian-style cooking, the high-end stamped Global knives or Shun knives will suit you best.
Thanks to Rob Ruark | #Forged #kitchen #knives #stamped #kitchen #knives