Forged vs Stamped Knives: Which Is Better?

forged vs stamped knives

Shopping for knives can be overwhelming, especially if you hear terms that are not familiar to your ears like forged and stamped.

Curious to know which is the better choice between forged vs stamped knives?

If you need a dependable knife in your kitchen, choosing between these two is among the many problems you’d have to face.

It is a hard question to answer by merely looking at photos, too, as each type has different features unique to them alone.

The difference in the way these two knives are made results in their diverse traits and characteristics.

Let us first try to know everything about each knife type to understand better how they function and what makes them unique.

What Is a Forged Knife?

A forged knife is the finished product when one piece of steel is heated and hammered out to its intended shape.

The whole process of forging helps in making the steel more durable and heavier, allowing it to hold an edge better and longer.

Forged knives are fitted with bolsters placed between the knife’s handle and its blade to keep your hand safe while using the knife.

Seeing bolsters on a knife is a clear indication that this kitchen companion is forged and balanced.

Forging the knife makes the steel harder, which allows for an easier sharpening or honing process due to its lack of flexibility.

It is also heavier and thicker, as it usually comes with a full tang construction that can add to its weight and balance.

You can feel the weight and firmness of the knife as you hold it in your hand, plus its sturdiness as you cut firm ingredients.

Because of this, there is no need to use extra force when making heavy-duty cuts on large and thick ingredients.

Mincing food is made more comfortable because of the knife’s weight and thickness, too. You can easily move it back and forth on top of the cutting board.

Producing precise cuts, especially on hard objects, is effortless because the thick blade will not bend or break.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Longer edge retention
  • Easy to sharpen
  • Bolstered
  • Dependable

Cons

  • Lacks flexibility
  • Can be expensive

What Is a Stamped Knife?

Stamped knives come from one big sheet of metal where the blades are shaped and cut before adding the handles.

Once the handle is attached, the blade of the knife is hardened and processed to have an edge. It is then cleaned and smoothened to give it luster.

These are made with the same kind of material used for forged knives. However, the blade is thinner and more flexible.

The thin blade of a stamped knife is ideal for slicing, as it can cut through things smoothly and efficiently.

Because it did not go through the forging process, it cannot hold an edge for a long time. You should find them at a more budget-friendly price than forged knives.

You will not find bolsters in most stamped knives, which may post some danger as it is easier to cut your fingers without it.

Compared to forged knives, stamped knives are more flexible. As such, they are more difficult to sharpen on a whetstone.

You will not encounter the same issue with an electric sharpener, though.

Unfortunately, most low-quality stamped knives are prone to break from the joining spot of the blade and handle, as they only have a half or a third of a tang.

You will also find quality-made stamped knives made of premium materials and with a full tang manufactured by top name brands.

Several chefs and cooks agree that tiredness and exhaustion are lessened when using this knife type even for long periods due to its lightness.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Flexible
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Short edge retention
  • No bolster
  • Hard to sharpen
forged vs stamped knives

Forged vs Stamped Knives

Let us now sum up everything that we have learned about these two types of knives for a much clearer understanding of their distinctions.

When it comes to the manufacturing processes that each type goes through, forged knives tend to be more intense and expensive.

When forging knives, thoroughly heating the steel before pounding it into shape by an experienced artisan takes time and effort.

That heating and pounding process is what makes forged knives durable, thick, heavy, and can last a long time.

On the other hand, stamped knives are shaped and cut out from a sheet of steel before it is honed and treated with heat to harden the blade.

The blades are polished next, and the handle is added to complete the construction.

Traditionally, forged knives are fitted with bolster to keep it well-balanced. It is added near the center of the knife where the blade connects to the handle.

Bolsters also give chefs and cooks alike something to grip as they hold the knife while cutting and slicing.

Forged knives have extended blades reaching up to the handle, giving it a full tang. This also proves its quality and durability.

In the past, many chefs and cooks favored forged knives, as they are believed to have better quality compared to stamped blades.

However, in recent years, a lot of changes have been made to the way knives are manufactured by various companies.

Today, you will find bolstered stamped knives with a full tang and made from high-quality materials that make them sturdy.

There are also poorly-made forged knives sold in the market at a lower price range than the usual amount.

Wrapping Up

Nowadays, choosing between forged vs stamped knives should depend on how comfortable it feels on your hand and how effective it is in doing its function.

Personal preference and your budget are something to consider when choosing between these two knives.

Forged knives used to have better edge retention than stamped blades. However, due to modern innovations and new materials, this feature is now changing.

Currently, the best way to choose between these two knives is to select a product among well-known brands. Doing this ensures that quality and durability are prioritized.

Hence, if you need an everyday home knife, a branded stamped knife is advisable for casual home cooks.

You can also check some of the best kitchen knives we have reviewed for you to have an idea of what you need to look for in a good-quality knife.