Dikristo derives from my Surname and my name ( I actually have two) with a little twist: Drakopoulos Christos.
Not Dichristo or Dkristo or Dikrsto or Dicristo !
Carbon Steel knives are well known amongst the frequent knife users, amateur and professionals. They are well known because of their extremely sharp edges and good edge retention. On the downside they rust easily. That means regular maintenance and as well some other downsides (ex metallic taste to the food)
Stainless steel knives are well known because of their corrosion resistance properties, but not for their sharp edge. This is far from true for the new stainless steels available on the market nowadays. In this category can be found steels that have extreme edge retention.
Ceramic knives are the “newest” to the knife market. They can be extremely hard and thus hold an exceptional edge but they are also very brittle and sensitive to braking/chipping. Usually cannot be sharpened by the user. A ceramic knife is not to be considered a choice if you are professional. The only good option for ceramics would be a ceramic peeler, which has great performance.
Damascus steel is made by forge welding two or more steels. The steels are stacked, heated and pressed in order to forge weld the steel and then manipulated (cut/press/drilled etc) in order to create a visually aesthetic pattern. Originally Damascus steel was originated from today’s India and Pakistan area and nowadays its “secret technique” is considered lost. The Damascus blades- most of the time- are not top performance kitchen knives because of the poor performance steels used to make the patterns. Of course there are exceptions.
Once more, there is no correct answer. It is all a matter of preference.
Japanese knives offer a wider variety, with knives for every kitchen task.
They are usually made from high carbon steels that achieve high hardness, have thinner profiles and lower sharpening angles and offer also asymmetric and single bevel grinds. They sharpen easier than the usual western type knife and they have a good edge retention, but they need more care (usually non stainless).
Western knives offer considerably less variety, of about 20 different profiles.
They are made from softer (54-60 Hrc) stainless steels, have double bevel grind, thicker profiles and higher sharpening angle. They require less care that Japanese knife types.
Under this category can fit two sub categories for the Chef’s Knife. German and French.
These two differentiate in the following:
- German profiles have more belly (greater arc) throughout the length of the edge
- French profiles are straighter and they have less belly
Choose your knife based on purpose of use, steel (Stainless or non – stainless), hardness, blade geometry, thickness of the blade, fit & finish, maintenance requirements and …gut feeling.
Knives are… complex tools! Their performance depends in many aspects things such the alloy steel used, heat treatment, the geometry of the blade, balance and the handle material. In fact, you can’t know how a knife will perform even if you know that it uses a great steel or has a great shape. The only way to find out is to actually use the knife. With that said, which is usually impossible, look for blade geometry (thickness behind the edge, tapering etc), steel and hardness, weight, blade finish and handle material in order to take the best decision possible.