Is it time to update your kitchen knife collection? 

Robert Welch explain more...

Many of us have gathered a knife collection over many years, which is stored in a drawer amongst all of our other kitchen utensils, some used daily and some never used since the day of purchase! In this knife guide we hope to provide a clear and uncomplicated guide to help you distinguish between the good and the bad and help you choose the right knives for you, providing tips and advice to ensure you can enjoy your knives now and for many years to come. 

Five reasons why your kitchen knives just might not be cutting it:

When looked after with due care and attention a good set of kitchen knives will last you a lifetime.

Paul deBretton Gordon, Design Director at Robert Welch has some top tips to keep your knives sharp.

  1. Always use knives on a smooth surface such as a wood or acrylic chopping board. Hard surfaces such as glass, marble or granite can ultimately damage blade edges. Avoid dragging the blade across the board to clear away what you just chopped; this does your sharp edge no favours.

  2. Most modern kitchen knives will be dishwasher safe, however, if knives are washed by hand and dried individually using warm soapy water, they will stay sharper for longer as this minimises damage to the blade.

  3. When it comes to sharpening it is really up to the individual; traditional steels are ideal for honing blade edges to optimum sharpness but require knowledge and skill to do so. We have developed a hand-held sharpener, which uses an angled ceramic wheel for easy honing. What’s most important is that kitchen knives should be honed and sharpened regularly to maintain the cutting edge. The only exceptions are knives with a serrated blade, which should be sharpened by a professional. Using blunt knives makes chopping harder and increases the risk of injuries.

  4. There are different types of blades, which have been specially developed for specific uses. A boning knife has a sharp point and narrow blade that is perfect for removing the bones of meat, poultry and fish rather than for everyday chopping. It’s important to have the right knife for each task. Preparation is much easier and safer if the right tools are used for the right job.

  5. Keeping knives stored securely helps prevent damage to blade edges and minimises the likelihood of accidents. Blocks with magnetised slots hold the heel of the knife firm and keep the edge from being in contact with the block.

Choosing a selection of knives for your kitchen can be daunting with the array of choice available being extensive. Here’s an overview of knife types matched to tasks in the kitchen.

You are after an all-purpose knife. A traditional Cook’s/Chef’s knife has a curved blade which is great for chopping and dicing. A Cook’s knife is a great everyday knife for the competent home cook or professional chef.

You want to slice, dice and chop delicate food. Perhaps you are after a more professional finish or you want to try and hone your skills. Try a Santoku, Asian style wide bladed knife. 

You want a knife that serves a specific purpose, great for tomatoes, citrus fruits and sausages. A serrated utility knife would be a useful addition to any knife collection.

Peeling & slicing 
You want to peel, prep, trim and slice your fruit and vegetables. A kitchen or paring knife is great for the small preparatory tasks.

You want to accurately slice bread, French sticks, cakes, meat and fish. A bread knife and slicing knife are staple knives in a collection.

You love to prepare your own meat and fish. Boning and utility knives have a specific purpose and their flexibility increases precision.

You want to carve your meat, poultry and fish. A long curved knife blade ensures fine delicate slices in a single stroke.  

Where to start…our top tips:

  1. People have their favourite knives dependent on what kind of food they cook the most. Think about which kind of knife you always find yourself picking up to use.
  2. Choose a knife that is comfortable for you and that you can control.

  3. Do you have existing knives that you want to complement or an entire new set? Why not try our 2 piece or 4 piece starter sets? Or our 2 piece carving set

  4. Are you giving as a gift? What does the recipient like to cook the most and do they have an existing knife collection? Perhaps send a speciality knife to add to their collection, or a Santoku or flexible filleting knife.

  5. Do you need storage? Are the knives to be on display in the kitchen or carefully stored in the drawer?  Whichever knives you choose, consideration needs to be made into safe storage solutions, knife blocks will ensure the longevity of your knives along with a drawer unit or functional magnetic wall rack. 

We hope you enjoy using your Robert Welch knives in the kitchen.

Please share your photos with us along with your culinary creations with #myrobertwelch.