There’s more to a great knife set than a logo. The way a knife holds an edge, how easily the edge can be maintained, the quality of the steel, the craftsmanship imbued by the manufacturer, the shape of the edge, the weight distribution; all are important factors in choosing the best kitchen knife set for you. PostKnife is the product of multiple generations of Northern Italian diaspora, that made it their life’s work to sharpen knives. Some of the Italian knife sharpeners focused on sharpening knives for home kitchens, while others were drawn to commercial food service. Methods have evolved, and the offerings have been refined, but the craft remains providing the best knives with the best service.
Craftsmanship In Every Knife
As with anything that requires skill to produce, the best kitchen knives are no different. At PostKnife we have partnered with knife manufacturers that have the expertise and employ the craftsmanship required to produce high quality kitchen knives. Once the knives arrive at the PostKnife facility, we put our craftsmanship into the process. The finish is really where we shine. There’s more than one way to sharpen a knife; we do it the way our family has been for 5 generations, and not because we’re enchanted about doing things the old way, but because it actually produces a better edge, and thus a sharper knife.
Edging knives (a.k.a. grinding knives) by hand on a stand-up grindstone is a skill that few possess. Having the mass of a 36” stone wheel at 60 grit allows for cutting a precise edge in a steel blade. Lacking experience an operator of a big wheel can also do a lot of damage. Grinding thousands of knives under the guidance of a master grinder is the way to become skilled at the craft. Through the PostKnife knife set subscriptions, that craftsmanship and level of quality is available to everyone in the USA.
Edge Shape & Maintenance
You know a finely shaped edge if it’s extremely sharp, performs well, and you can maintain it on a regular round honing steel. If your knife can shave the hair off of your arm but only lasts for a few hours of use, it’s probably because the shape was flawed from the start. Likewise, you can make a heavy cleaver shave with a fresh edge, but that shape won’t get you very far on dicing tomatoes. Both shaping a quality edge through the specific sharpening process, and making the right shape for each style of knife are both critical to a knife set that will perform on a professional stage.
No matter the quality of the steel and the craftsmanship that goes into shaping the edge, how the end user maintains that edge during use is just as important. With our edge the best way to maintain it is with a regular round honing steel. Being both fine and durable, so the edge can slice with precision, but also be realigned with ease, each PostKnife edge exhibits the traditional quality and craftsmanship that goes into producing it.
Higher quality steel has the ability to hold an edge for longer. The key word in the prior sentence is ‘ability’. When you’re talking about knives, the steel that the blade is composed of is comparable to the concrete mix of a house foundation. No matter how well the cement was mixed, there is a lot that goes into setting forms, constructing rebar, pouring the cement, and then finishing the concrete; all greatly influence the character of the finished foundation. A good steel blade is much the same. The factory may have stamped or forged a great blade, but downstream the heat treatment, shaping of the blade, shaping of the edge, and last but far from least, how that edge is cared for, can influence the longevity of that edge by more than 50 percent. The best knives are great steel, but the knives that perform the best are those that have the combination of great steel, care in use, and the best knife service.
PostKnife At-Home – Knife Set Subscriptions
Knife subscriptions are not a new concept. Great grandfather Giacomo and grandfather Pietro were offering knife subscriptions to their customers starting in the 1950’s (before that they only sharpened knives that were owned by the customers). They didn’t call it a knife subscription, rather they referred to it as a ‘knife service’. Today we use the terms ‘knife subscription’ and ‘knife service’ interchangeably.
With our years of experience sharpening knives, and generations providing knife rental services to high volume commercial kitchens, we developed a subscription for cooking in the home kitchen. The At-Home subscriptions share the same fundamentals as the commercial subscriptions, but they are dialed-in to provide the best kitchen knife sets for the specific needs of the home. The cooking knives selected for the At-Home knife sets are those that are used most in daily meal preparation: the chef’s knife, serrated, utility, and santoku. Their uses are described as follows:
8” Chef’s Knife - The chef's knife is used to do the most work in most kitchens. Chopping vegetables, mincing herbs, breaking down meat and more, the chef's knife is an all-purpose tool. Chef’s knives come in a range of sizes. The best chef’s knife size for most is the 8” blade; any bigger than that and many cooks find them to be a bit unwieldly. Longer chef’s knives are offered in the commercial knife service because the longer blade will allow for cutting larger items more effectively, so there is more of a demand for them in commercial operations. If there’s one knife that most chefs would agree is the most essential knife in the kitchen, it would be the chef’s knife. Having a great chef’s knife is key to having the best kitchen knife set available.
Serrated - The straight serrated knife (also referred to as a bread knife) is 9” long and has deep scallops. The serrated edge is designed to slice bread, saw through hard crust, and cut through sandwiches with ease and control. A sharp serrated knife is often the choice knife for cutting citrus and many other foods because citrus rind can be quite slippery, causing a straight edged knife to slide off and cause a bloody accident. It may come as a surprise that a serrated knife is included in the sharp knife subscription because it is commonly believed that serrated knives never need sharpening. Though a serrated knife will be able to saw through food for long after it goes dull, with sharpening and proper maintenance the performance of a serrated knife is greatly improved. The best set of kitchen knives will include a sharp serrated blade.
Utility Knife - Utility knives are designed to be a multi-function tool, able to take on a wide array of smaller jobs in the kitchen. Finer work like slicing fruits and vegetables, and other tasks like trimming closely around chicken bones are perfect jobs for a utility knife. The smaller size and broad functionality makes the utility knife more accessible to some cooks, but it is best to use the chef’s knife or santoku if the task at hand would be better accomplished with a larger blade. For the midnight snack and smaller everyday task, the utility knife is often times the best knife.
Santoku - The santoku, often referred to as a Japanese chef knife performs much of the same function as a standard western style chef's knife. The shape of a santoku is different than a chef’s knife, so the slicing motion can be different as well. Some chefs prefer the lighter weight, shorter length, and different shape of the santoku blade. A santoku is included in the 5-Piece At-Home sharp knife subscription much because it serves as a great alternative to the chef’s knife. It can be convenient to have more than one of the larger straight-edge style knives on hand incase you have help in the kitchen, or if you simply want to dedicate one knife to meat and another to vegetables.
PostKnife Commercial – Pre-Selected Knife Rental Sets
Knife service for restaurants and other commercial food service facilities, is an essential element to an efficient operation, and having the best knife set available is a must. When the edge of a knife is the primary tool, a professional knife exchange service is very difficult to beat both functionally and economically. The value of receiving professionally sharpened knives on a schedule is delivered in the form of happier staff, fewer injuries, and increased efficiency at every step of food preparation. The PostKnife Commercial knife subscriptions, are designed to provide a sufficient number of knives that will stay sharp over the subscription cycle. Most PostKnife subscribers will either choose one of the standard knife sets (8 Knives, 12 Knives, 20 Knives), or slightly customize a commercial knife set based on a pre-selected set. For example, many customers prefer to have paring knives rather than boning knives, and will simply customize their inventory by substituting the boning knives for paring knives.
The PostKnife commercial subscriptions are composed of chef’s knives, boning knives, and serrated knives. These three knife styles are the heavy lifters in most commercial kitchens, and have been essential to the best kitchen knife sets for generations. Freshly chopping vegetables is a primary prep job, and having plenty of sharp chef’s knives equates to faster, safer, and more enjoyable work. Sharp chef’s knives can actually be the difference between having the capacity to prepare fresh vegetables for dishes, or having to purchase expensive pre-prepared vegetables. Clients have been able to completely transform how they procure and prepare their dishes with the addition of our knife service subscriptions.
Each PostKnife knife set includes boning knives (often referred to as filet knives) for cutting smaller items and trimming meats. Though butcher shops and some other operations that have a specific use that requires a lot of boning knives, most kitchens only need 2-4 of them for their everyday use.
Serrated knives play a smaller but important role in the pre-selected knife sets. Nearly every kitchen, bar, and waiter station will benefit from having sharp serrated knives on hand. The finishing cut down the center of a sandwich, slicing bread for tables, and other finishing slices, are often the work of serrated knives. Therefore, a sharp serrated knife can have a big impact on presentation. However, most commercial kitchens use the majority of their knives in early stages of preparation, therefore serrated knives represent a smaller portion of our pre-selected knife sets.
If the pre-selected knife sets are not exactly what you need, you can customize to build the best kitchen knife set for your specific operation.
What Makes the Best Kitchen Knife Set?
When choosing the best knives for your kitchen, it’s worth keeping in mind that at the end of the day, the two most important factors will be how well they perform and how much you like the way they feel in your hand. Even the most expensive knife might not check one or either of those boxes for you. Alternatively, you may find that a relatively inexpensive knife holds an edge really well, and feels great in your hand, providing you with better control than any of the more expensive options. At PostKnife the way that we approach providing the best knives is by also providing the best knife service. By combining great knives, craftsmanship, and the highest quality service, we can say with confidence that with a PostKnife subscription, you’re getting a lot more than knives that look good; you’re getting a knife service that ensures your knives will match or outperform the biggest and most expensive blades on the market. You might find that the best kitchen knife set for you is exactly what’s offered in PostKnife subscription. If you don’t see exactly what you’re looking for, our customer service is second to none, and we’ll be happy to work with you to customize the knife set that is perfect for your kitchen.