There are numerous different commercial kitchen knife types and there are several ways to manufacture them. From modern machine methods to handcrafting, these knives are as unique as the individuals who use them. Cooking cutlery can range from chef-inspired forged carbon steel to a general foodservice stamped utility knife.

High-end cutlery, or forged knives, are made from high quality hardened carbon steel. These knives will not stain or rust. Carbon steel is designed for precision cuts and they will hold a sharpened edge for longer than general foodservice. Forged designs are not all the same, different elements are added to the steel to affect the hardness and quality of the blade. The harder the steel, the longerknives it will keep its edge. Prices will vary among forged models and will typically start at about a 10-30% higher price point than general foodservice knives.

General foodservice knives, or stamped knives, are made from large sheets of stainless steel. A machine stamps out the knife like a cookie cutter. This process is more efficient and less expensive than forging, resulting in a lower market price. Stamped models will also vary in the quality of metals. The cheaper the knife, the lower the metal quality. Lower quality models will be more prone to stain, rust and wear.

Stamped models are made of a softer metal than forged steel. They have the benefit of flexibility for tasks such as boning or filleting. Since the steel in these knives is not as hard, they will not hold an edge as long. We recommend sharpening steel to keep its edge between product preparations.

Forged models are an investment in cutlery, with proper care and maintenance they will last a lifetime. For the discerning chef or foodservice pro, high-end cutlery is a must for peak performance. If you are wanting multiple designs or knife stations, stamped models are the more affordable approach. If the job is basic prep with multiple users and limited care, usually a better grade stamped knife will perform satisfactorily.

Whether to choose forged knives or stamped knives is dependent on the intended use and personal preference. What is right for one person may not be right for another. With the wide variety of knives out there, choose a knife that is as unique as you!

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