The basics: Traditional forged knives are created by placing hot steel into a die, or mold, then hammered to form a blade, tempered and sharpened. This process is now referred to as “hot drop” forging, and is not commonly used by most forged knife manufacturers. Modern manufacturing of forged knives still cuts and forms a knife from a single piece of steel, but the raw materials are often pre-cut into blank slabs instead of needing to be formed from scratch. But all forged knives have a bolster, the bit of metal between the blade and metal sandwiched in the handle (or the tang), that helps balance the weight of the knife.
By nature, forged knives are much heavier than stamped as they use more metal. The traditional perspective is that this is part of what makes forged far superior to stamped. That argument has been upset by the popularity of high-end, lightweight Japanese knives, so what is the argument to purchase the more expensive forged knife over stamped? When purchasing, take a good look at what type of steel is being used. Many high-end knife companies will use the same steel in their stamped knives as they do in the forged—just less of it. That bodes well for the level of corrosion-resistant properties that your knife has, but it may affect how well the knife is balanced. The balance provided by a good bolster and the full tang of a forged knife makes for a more ergonomic experience when chopping and slicing. Some companies make up for the imbalance by adding a bit of metal on the end of the handle on their stamped knives. But the thinness of a stamped blade still effects how long it keeps its edge as well as durability and strength.
Some opt to purchase only forged knives, but the lighter weight (not to mention lower price) of stamped knives can be a preferable solution for reducing hand fatigue when chopping, slicing and dicing. We do recommend investing in a set of forged knives as your basic, heavy-duty base: chef’s knife, utility knife, and a paring knife.
Best Forged Knife Brands:
The Wusthof Ikon line features an ergonomic, black resin handle and an updated design to combine style with function in these hefty, forged German knives. Shop Wusthof Classic Ikon Knives >
Fully forged with a full-tang and FRIODUR ice hardened Stainless steel blades, it stands to reason that the Twin Pro S series is the most popular of all the Zwilling J.A. Henckels lines. Shop Zwilling J.A. Henckels Twin Pro S Knives >