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The task of picking a bakers knife may seem difficult on the surface, especially when you don’t know where to start. But once you recognise your requirements and clearly define what you need from your new knife, knowing how to pick a chef or bakery knife becomes far less complicated. As experts in Commercial Bakery Equipment and Utensils, we’re here to pass on our knowledge to you!
To begin, there are three key factors you should consider before making a purchase:
Choosing the right professional baker’s knife involves considering various factors to ensure that your new knife suits your specific needs. Read on to explore these key considerations.
The first thing you should consider when determining how to choose a bakers knife is your budget. There are many variations of knives out there that will be time-consuming to sift through. But if you know your budget and decide just how high you’re willing to go, choosing a bakery knife becomes far less taxing. Your budget will eliminate the possibility of purchase for certain types and brands of knives, as well as materials you may have considered.
You could buy a ceramic, titanium or stainless steel chef knife with an endless budget. It’s important to determine your budget and find a knife that fits your needs while offering good value for money. High-quality knives can be an investment, but they are essential tools for a professional baker. For a combination of quality, easy maintenance, and affordability, we believe that stainless steel is your best option. Here are some reasons why stainless steel is a great choice for bakery knives:
Stainless steel is highly resistant to corrosion and rust, making these knives long-lasting. Their resistance to wear and tear, moisture, acid, and heat makes them safe for use in food preparation.
Stainless steel is a highly durable material, capable of withstanding everyday kitchen or commercial bakery use without easily chipping or breaking.
Stainless steel knives are relatively low-maintenance. They are easy to clean and can be washed without worrying about corrosion. However, it’s important to note regular cleaning and proper drying contributes to the longevity of the knife.
Compared to some other knife materials, stainless steel is generally more affordable. This makes it a practical choice for beginners and professional bakers alike, who want a reliable and cost-effective kitchen knife.
Something to note about stainless steel knives in comparison to other types of chef knives is that inexpensive options will require more sharpening than their costly counterparts. So you should consider browsing knife sharpeners in order to keep up with maintenance and minimise dulling.
When deciding how to choose your knife, you should consider what you will use it for. Professional knives have differently shaped blades to achieve better results in certain types of cuts. For example, a knife with a narrow blade will be more suited to slicing, and those with a wider blade will be better for chopping. Some knives include curved blades to make them more effective when quickly cutting soft foods. Looking specifically at commercial bakeries, if you frequently work with pastry or dough, a straight-edged blade is more versatile. If you focus on bread with tough crusts, a serrated edge is crucial for slicing bread without crushing it. Often bakers purchase a complete set of knives in order to cover all the bases.
Understanding what you will use your bakers knife for can also help you decide on the weight you require. If you quickly cut brittle ingredients more often, a light chef knife will be more effective than a heavy one. Alternatively, if you need to cut through thick, hard ingredients including bones, a heavy knife will help you to do so. Similarly, blade length is a factor that comes into play to suit certain baking tasks. Longer blades are better for slicing through larger loaves or cakes, while shorter blades may be more agile for intricate tasks. Considering the purpose of the knife will help you to effectively decide how to pick a chef knife.
Different types of commercial kitchen knives are made for different uses in mind. Below is a brief description of what each bakers knife can be used for. To learn more about the different types of professional knives read our recent blog post. Below is a brief summary of each.
A dough knife is useful for dividing large portions of dough into smaller pieces. This is handy when working with all types of dough including bread, pizza, or pastry dough. Its flat, broad blade also allows for easy lifting and turning of dough.
Professional bread knives are designed to feature a long blade with serrated edges. They easily carve through soft or crusty bread without sacrificing its integrity. The sawing motion cuts through crusts without compressing the soft interior.
The chef’s knife is perhaps the most versatile, multipurpose knife to have in your kitchen. Featuring an extremely sharp blade, it is perfect for a variety of kitchen tasks including chopping, slicing, and dicing. If you would like more information, read our blog on the different parts of a chef knife.
Slicing knives are another general purpose knife, perfect for slicing cooked meats, vegetables, and fruit. The long, narrow blade creates thin, even slices every time. This makes slicing knives great for cutting cakes, too.
Straight blade utility knives are smaller than chef’s knives but not as small as paring knives. They are a great mid-sized knife for slicing, chopping, and peeling small fruit and vegetables. A serrated utility knife works really well for slicing sandwiches too.
Palette knives are an essential tool for bakers and cake decorators. They are a precision tool used for the creation of beautifully decorated cakes, pastries, and desserts. Both flat and palette styles palette knives are perfect for:
Pastry knives are designed to cut through delicate pastries, fluffy sponges, and hard pastry crusts without squashing them in order to maintain their structural integrity.
A baker’s blade, bread lame, or French blade is a utility knife used to create the decorative markings on baguette dough before baking. It is the perfect tool for creating clean, decorative slashes on bread doughs.
Before moving on, it’s worth mentioning chopping boards which are essential when using any of these knives. Commercial kitchens and bakeries use different colours for chopping different ingredients. Read more about colour coded chopping boards.
A great method of how to pick a chef knife is to thoroughly research the maintenance requirements of the knife you’d like to buy. The maintenance of your knife will largely depend on the material your knife is made from and although hot soapy water may be sufficient for stainless steel, the same can’t necessarily be said for other types of knives. For example, carbon-based steel knives should never be soaked in water, cleaned with soap of any kind, or left to air dry, as rust can quickly cause your knife to deteriorate and rust.
Furthermore, you should consider how often your knife will need sharpening and have a steady supply of sharpeners on hand to keep your blades sharp and safe. Although it may seem counterintuitive, a dull knife is more dangerous than a sharp one, as blunt bakers knives increase the likelihood of slipping and hurting yourself.
A great way to test whether your knife needs sharpening is by cutting a sheet of paper and evaluating the ease of the cut. If you experience difficulty, it’s time to bring out the knife sharpeners. Sharpen your knife until you can cut through the sheet of paper cleanly and effortlessly.
As well as offering our own brand of professional bakers knives, designed with professional bakeries in mind, we also stock some of the best professional chef knife brands. Different brands bring different levels of quality and price points, which can be helpful when deciding how to pick a chef’s knife. Particular brands will provide you with cost-efficiency while others focus on the highest quality materials. But these may come with a price point that isn’t worth it to you.
Read reviews, ask for recommendations, and choose a knife from a brand with a good reputation. Investing time into determining what fellow chefs and bakers think of particular brands and how well the products they bought worked for them is especially helpful if you can’t see the knife before purchase.
One such brand with a reputation for both quality and affordability is Victorinox. Professional knives are Victorinox’s specialty; providing ergonomic designs and hardwearing materials that make easy work of food preparation. From everyday dining tools to bread and baking knives, Victorinox chef knives have the tools required by professionals. Manufactured with non-slip handle material for wet or greasy conditions, plus featuring a wear-resistant, stainless-steel blade, Victorinox chef knives are made to last despite heavy use in a professional bakery.
Our collection includes: dough knives which are ideal for dough scoring; slicing knives which are perfect for bread and meats; utility knives for general purpose; palette knives for cakes, as well as double-handle cheese knives and peelers. Shop top-quality Victorinox chef knives at great prices.
Here at Creeds Direct, we have a variety of bakers knives suitable for all your commercial baking needs. Whether you need a dough knife for dividing batches, or you’re looking for the renowned Victorinox chef knife, we have everything you could need. We offer tracked next-day delivery on orders placed before 1pm because we know you need to keep your kitchen running as normal. Plus, we provide a satisfaction guarantee across our impressive product line. If you need help or specialist advice on how to pick a bakers knife from our team of bakery professionals, please don’t hesitate to contact us.