What is a Sintered Knife?

Eric Tallberg
Eric Tallberg

When the conversation turns to a sintered knife, it will most often be in the context of a kitchen utensil. A sintered knife is a kitchen knife of middling cost and higher quality and is usually an example of what’s known as an Eastern-style knife.

Man with a drill
Man with a drill

Essentially, there are three different methods of knife manufacturing: blocking, forging, and sintering. A blocked knife describes a knife-blade that is cut from a roll or a sheet of steel at a consistent thickness. Forged knife-blades are hammered into shape from heated blanks of thin steel. A sintered knife is a result of the blade being fused to the tang or, in some processes, to the bolster.

In the typical kitchen knife, be it a sintered knife or any other, the blade, sometimes known as the shank, is the steel cutting edge. The tang is an extension of the blade that bears the handle, and the bolster is a metal band, located at the blade end of the handle, that reinforces the junction of blade and handle.

Kitchen knives are usually of two styles, Eastern and Western. Eastern-style knives are manufactured using a harder grade of steel than are Western-style knives. Knives of the Eastern style will hold an edge longer than will Western-style knives, but require considerably more time and effort to sharpen and are more difficult to maintain. Western-style knives, conversely, with their softer steel blades, don’t hold an edge as well, but are easier to sharpen and require less maintenance.

A kitchen knife, whether a sintered knife, blocked knife, or forged knife, is manufactured using one of a number of different kinds of steel. High-carbon steel is considered best for kitchen blades. High carbon stainless steel is not quite so good, edgewise, but resists staining. High-chromium surgical stainless steel, though not anywhere near as effective at holding an edge as the others, is the most stain resistant. Other materials may also be used to manufacture a kitchen knife, but a sintered knife, by reason of its production process, will always be a steel knife.

Basically, a kitchen knife is a piece of precision equipment. Therefore, it’s very often priced as such. A forged knife is generally the most expensive to manufacture, but not necessarily the best knife on the market. A sintered knife, though a bit less costly to manufacture, may be a far better cutting tool and will be priced accordingly. A blocked knife is very often a less expensive kitchen knife because it is ordinarily of inferior quality compared with a forged or a sintered knife.

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      Man with a drill