Everything You Need to Know About Hand Forged Knives
Sep 06,2023 | Fzkaly
If you've ever browsed product info for kitchen knives, you’ll notice knifemakers used terms like "forged", "hand-forged" and "stamped" in their detailed info. What's the meaning of these terms? What's the difference between them? Which is better? Maybe you feel a little confused, don't worry, we're here to make it clear for you and help you make decisions about which to buy. Okay, Let's begin with the meaning of these terms.
What are a forged knife and a hand-forged knife?
Forged knives are the general term for modern forged knives and hand-forged knives.
Forged knives are made up of a single rod of steel, going through the heat-treated process and then hammered/pounded to a knife shape.
In the past, most forging knives were made by trained craftsmen. Nowadays, in some specific knifemaking factories especially in Japan, They still continue to forge knives entirely by hand. However, several manufacturers blend skilled craftsmanship and advanced machinery, For the important process of hot-drop forging, skilled knifemakers will pound the red hot metal into the knife shape, swing by swing. The other process can use machinery to finish the job efficiently.
Whether by traditional methods or by modern forging, forging knife is durable knives.
After knowing the meaning of forged knives, you have to know the other term "stamped knives".
What is a stamped knife?
On the other side, the blade for a stamped knife is obtained by cutting a large sheet of steel. After cutting, it is honed as well as heat-treated to ensure higher durability.
Stamped knives are cut out from a large flat sheet of metal rather than a single bar of steel. This easy process makes mass-produced kitchen knives possible and more economical. So, producing affordable kitchen knives can choose this method.
Next, let's move to the advantages and disadvantages of them.
What are the advantages of forging?
The forging process is extensive, labor-intensive, and needs a mix of experienced craftsmen and technology. During the forged process, pounding and hammering the steel rearranges the molecules, allowing the steel harder and stronger. As a result, make the blade hold its edge for longer. Here are some benefits of a forged kitchen knife.
Hand-forging knives have gone through an extensive hammering process, which increases their strength and makes the blade stronger.
Balanced weight distribution
Forged knife usually features a full tang design which makes the kitchen knife well-balanced for easy use.
Great hand feeling
As we mentioned above, a forging knife is crafted out of a bar of steel, ensuring a better feel in hand.
Retain its edge longer
Hand-forged knife blades are less flexible, plus they have a higher carbon content, As a result, forging knives can keep long-lasting edge retention.
Suitable for a precise cut
Hand-forged knife blades are less flexible, thus they perform better when making precise cuts because they don’t deform easily. So, it is easy to cut a pumpkin.
Visually appealing appearance
The hand forging a knife is an art form. During the forged process, the blade can show a different pattern like ripples, wavy, textures, or indentations. These can make the knife stand out in a mass of products.
What are the disadvantages of forging?
As we know from the definition of forged knife and stamped knife, forged knives require more extra labor, as a result, it comes with a higher price.
Let's see the benefits and downsides of stamped knives
What are the advantages of stamped knives?
With mass-produced knives, the steel is usually more flexible, thus, stamped kitchen knives are usually thinner, lighter, and more flexible. Here are some benefits of a stamped knife.
Suitable for paper-thin cut
The stamped knife blade is thinner, allowing thin slicing
Easy to resharpen
It is easy to resharpen stamped knives with knife sharpeners
With a simplified, machine-led manufacturing process, stamped knives are easy to get at a relatively lower cost. So, it usually comes with an affordable price.
What are the disadvantages of stamped knives?
The thinner and more flexible blade may perform less well in precise work, especially when cutting through hard surfaces, it may bend or slip.
Most people think stamped knives can't hold their edges long like forged knives. Actually, it depends more on the steel used and how the kitchen knife is maintained. For quality kitchen knife brands, minor differences in durability in long-term use are negligible.
What's the difference between stamped knives and forging knives?
After we know the pros and cons of both, the difference between them becomes clearer.
Generally, a forging knife has a thicker blade, heavier weight holds its edge longer, and offers better durability. What's more, the complicated forged process makes it more expensive due to it is time- and labor-intensive than making a stamped knife.
By the way, with the development of knife-making technology, the difference between high-quality stamped and forged knives has become smaller and smaller, and the line has become blurred.
When you read this, I believe you have a clear understanding of forging knives and stamping knives. Next, let's look at some frequently asked questions about hand-forged knives.
Are forged knives worth it?
Yes, A forged knife is worth of investment. Generally, forged knives are usually made from higher-quality steel(like Damascus steel), offering better strength, balance, durability, and edge retention than most stamped knives. At the same time, you have to pay more price on it for its quality and longevity. If you want to get a heavier Western-style chef's knife for everything, it is worth spending a bit more money for a great forged blade.
Why is a forged blade stronger?
As we know, the forged knife is stronger and more durable. That's because the forged process makes the grain flow of the steel alter to conform to the shape of the part in the die.
Are hand-forged knives better?
In some cases, we would agree that hand-forged knives are better than other knives. But, with the development of knife-making technology, modern forged knives, and high-quality stamped knives also can finish kitchen tasks very well.
Do forged knives rust?
To be honest, if a knife rusts depends on what steel is used and how the knife is treated. It is not very relevant to the manufacturing process like forged.
How can you tell if a knife is forged?
A forged blade is thicker and harder than a stamped blade, Also, the spine of a forged blade is thicker too, and the handle tapers towards the endpoint. However, the stamped blade is the same throughout. Another simple way to identify if a knife is forged is to find the bolster, forged knives have bolsters.
Which is better forged or cast?
In a word, a forged knife is better than a cast one.
Looking for Hand-forged knives?
To acquire hammered knives and hand-forged knives for your kitchen, visit the Fzkaly knives website. We stock singular, hand-forged knives for chefs.