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Once you have used a really good knife in the (outdoor) kitchen, you never want to have another tool in your hand again for cutting, cradling or chopping. Nowadays, the ambitious chef can choose from an unmanageable range of cooking knives. On online platforms or in department stores, knives are sold individually or in sets, e.g. as an entire block. But what should you look for when buying in order to make the right choice for your very own knife?

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Which Cooking Knives are the best ?

Cooking knives are among the most important and versatile knives in the rustic kitchen and are indispensable for preparing dishes with meat, fish and vegetables. They are versatile for everyday tasks in the kitchen, outdoors or at home.

Cooking knives should, therefore, meet the highest quality standards, as it is not only star chefs who want to work with sharp, high-quality knives to easily and quickly shape the ingredients into the required form.

Solingen the town of knives is a good place to start as it has been the place where knife, sword and scissor smiths have perfected their craft since the 13th century. Due to its favourable location, hardeners, grinders, blacksmiths and swordmakers settled here from the 13th century onwards, finding ideal conditions thanks to water power from the Wupper and other streams. The power of the water could drive the grindstones. Wood was cut in the forests to smelt ore and the Rhine guaranteed a trade route. Thanks to a clever division of labour, knives of consistent quality and fast production were able to outdo the competition – at that time, it was the knife manufacturers in Sheffield, England. These tried to enhance the value of their products by titling the German knives "Made in Germany" as soon as they were imported into Great Britain. Today, this designation rightly has become a sign of quality.

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Tradition and natural awareness at the highest level – Knives made in Germany

Cooking knives from Solingen differ from other products in that they have a much longer cutting ability than knives from other manufacturers. This is due to the even and rapid cooling in the oil bath after the knife has been heated in the oven. This keeps the knives sharp for a longer time and they need to be sharpened less often. Unlike other knife manufacturers, Petromax knives are oil-hardened by hand.

Another special feature is the correct grinding, because only this makes a knife a Solingen knife. The grinding of Solingen knives is done by hand. A well-sharpened blade also reduces the risk of injury, because you have to use less force.

The Petromax Cooking Knives are made in Solingen and benefit from the centuries of experience of the knife smiths. They come in three versions: Petromax All-purpose knives, Chef's knives and Cleaver Knife.

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You can see the difference in quality pretty quickly with the Petromax All-Purpose Knife in direct comparison to a knife of lesser quality: it does not break or bend and is made from one piece. Fruit and vegetables are cut instead of bruised, tendons can be cleanly separated from meat. The rustic walnut handle provides a good grip.

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High-quality Cooking Knives from Petromax for the passionate campfire chef

The type of cooking knife is related to what is to be cooked in the outdoor kitchen. Petromax knives are suitable for all kinds of preparation work in the campfire kitchen and at home:

  • With the All-purpose Knife , vegetables are processed very easily without having to use a lot of force. The handy format with a blade length of 14 cm makes it a very good companion for every outdoor adventurer.

  • The Chef's Knife is ideal for common tasks such as cutting herbs or filleting meat. With a steel thickness of 3 mm and a blade length of 17 cm, it will quickly become a favourite tool that can always be used. Even cleaning is very easy: just rinse with water.

  • The Petromax Cleaver Knife not only cuts large pieces of meat, but also separates fine-walled spring onions or herbs in the whole bunch thanks to its high cutting ability. The knife cuts meat and bones without much effort, as it lies very well in the hand due to its own weight. Thanks to the grinding angle of 20°, the knives can easily be resharpened by hand.

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The knives from Petromax are characterised by a special hardness according to Rockwell. This is a unit of measurement for the hardness of technical materials. An ordinary kitchen knife blade starts at 52 HRC. The Petromax knives have a hardness of 56 HRC, which makes them particularly able to cut and easy to sharpen.

The Petromax knives, All-Purpose Knife, Chef's Knife and Cleaver Knife, are ideal for outdoor cooking because they are robust, extremely sharp and of high quality. Each knife is absolutely unique due to the individual oxide layer. This is how Petromax guarantees that every adventurer has his or her own personal knife, and that is something that defines the Cooking Knives of the traditional German brand: High quality and a memorability.

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Which knives are part of the basic equipment?

There are numerous types of knives on the market, but which of them does the ambitious (outdoor) chef really need?

It depends on what is to be done in the kitchen. Knives are divided into two types: according to their shape and function. There is a knife for every function in the kitchen, e.g.

  • Steak-,
  • Fish filleting-,
  • Carving,
  • Bread-,
  • Confectioner-,
  • Salmon,
  • Vegetable-,
  • Blackboard-,
  • Cheese-,
  • Sausage-,
  • Butter knife.

These are distinguished by different cuts, e.g.

  • straight,
  • extra wide,
  • Kullen-,
  • Serrated edge.

They also differ in blade thickness, because a vegetable knife should have a narrower blade than a cleaver. The latter is used to cut meat and bones, which needs a resisting blade.

To save on luggage and keep the adventure simple, you only need a few types of knives that can easily cover numerous steps in the cooking process.

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The right knife for every chef

  • A good All-Purpose Knife belongs in every rustic kitchen. The Petromax All-Purpose Knife 14 cm is handy and ideal for cutting fruit, vegetables and herbs.
  • The Petromax Chef’s Knife with a blade length of 17 cm and a thickness of 3 mm is suitable for cutting fruit, vegetables, meat and herbs. All kinds of work can be done with it.
  • The Petromax Cleaver Knife is very suitable when weight is important thanks to a 17 cm blade length and a thickness of 4 mm steel. This and the heavy, firm blade are needed to chop bones, raw fish or meat. The weight makes it easy to work off bones, such as a leg slice, without using a lot of force.
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How much does a good cooking knife cost?

A cooking knife is available in different price ranges from cheap to high-priced. Depending on the type of manufacture, the blade, the size, the material and many other factors, knives for cooking in the outdoor kitchen and at home range from the low double digits and can cost up to several hundred euros and beyond.

The high-quality Cooking Knives from Petromax, handmade in Solingen, city of blades and with an individual oxide layer. The special combination of stainless steel and hand-ground blade enables cutting, weighing and chopping in the highest quality. Dragon fans in particular will not want to do without the knives' distinctive design with embossed Petromax lettering in the blade and lasered dragon logo in the handle.

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What material should the blade of the Cooking Knife be made of?

Petromax loves the material from which cast iron and knife blades are made: Steel. This contains less than 2.06 % carbon. Up to this carbon content, the metallic material can still be forged – after that it is too brittle and is called cast iron.

Cast iron is an extremely durable material that stores and transfers heat efficiently and allows for gentle cooking. If you are interested in our cast iron pots, you will find all the information you need on our page: Dutch Oven | Fire Pots by Petromax | Robust & Durable

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Steel with low carbon content
Steel with high carbon content

The steel with the low carbon content consists of both metallic elements, such as manganese and chromium, and non-metallic ones, such as the carbon and silicon just described. Depending on how these components are composed, you get different types of properties for the cooking knife blades. Chromium, for example, makes the blade rust-resistant, molybdenum ensures low wear of the material and nickel increases strength and heat resistance. If carbon (up to 2.06%) and iron are now mixed together, we speak of low-alloy steel, which can be hardened well, up to 65 HRC. Unfortunately, it may rust quickly.

In high-alloy steel, the chromium content is between 10.5 and 15%, which ensures that the steel is rust-free. To achieve better corrosion resistance, nickel, vanadium, molybdenum, manganese and niobium are added. Thanks to its good properties, stainless steel is highly recommended, as is the case with Petromax Cooking Knives. These have a hardness of 56 HRC, do not rust and are extremely sharp as they are oil-hardened and ground by hand. Due to a grinding angle of 20 °, they are also easy to resharpen. Made in Solingen, the city of blades, they are the ideal companions for versatile outdoor cooking.

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The Petromax Knives are made of 4.116 knife steel, which is suitable for hunting and cooking knives that are often used in a humid environment. This type of steel has an HRC of 56. It is stainless steel for knives with a sharp edge that is easy to clean and stays sharp for a long time.

This steel is composed of:

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Advantages for your Petromax Cooking Knife

CCarbonHardness, rust resistance, corrosion resistance
SiSiliconStrength and hardness
MnManganeseLoad capacity, strength, hardness, wear resistance
CrChromeRust resistance, heat resistance (use at high temperatures)
MoMolybdenumGood cut, hardness
VaVanadiumGood cut, hardness, wear resistance
PPhosphorusHardness, corrosion resistance
SSulphurIncreases machinability (in knife production)
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How long should the blade of a cooking knife be?

The quality of the blade of a cooking knife depends on the food that is to be processed with it.

The long blade of a bread knife, provided with a serrated edge with pointed teeth, is necessary as its length is approximately the same as that of the bread. A knife with a smooth edge will also cut a slice of bread, but the serrated edge makes the cut easy, clean and even. Such a knife is therefore able to safely cut through the rather soft crumb.

The finer or more precise the cut, the shorter the blade. A very short blade is needed for a touring knife, which is used for decorating and garnishing, or for a filleting knife.

If, however, a lot of force has to be applied, e.g. to cut bones and meat, a heavy, firm blade is suitable, as found on the Petromax Cleaver Knife. The 17 cm long blade, which has a steel thickness of 4 mm, supports the guidance of the cut with its weight. The ingredients are cut without much effort.

The Petromax Chef's Knife is also suitable for the many tasks in the adventure kitchen, because with a blade length of 17 cm and a steel thickness of 3 mm, it results in a comfortable weight in the hand, which is supported by the handle made of walnut wood.

The Petromax All-Purpose Knife has a shorter blade of 14 cm and a lower steel thickness of 2 mm. This is particularly good for cutting vegetables and fruit, as smaller, more precise cuts are needed here.

The blade length is thus always optimally matched to the respective function of the knife and the area of application.

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What is the paper test with cooking knives?

The paper test is used to check the sharpness of the knife. You take a normal sheet of paper, e.g. printing paper or a page from an old magazine, and pull the knife across it. If the paper is destroyed and cut into shapeless pieces, the knife is due for sharpening. If the knife cuts the paper without effort and you get very fine strips, then it is very sharp.

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What hardness should a cooking knife have?

The hardness of a knife determines its usability and quality. Kitchen knives usually have a medium hardness of 52 HCR or more. The abbreviation HRC is the unit of measurement for the hardness of materials and stands for "Rockwell hardness, scale C". The higher the value, the harder the knife.

The Petromax Cooking Knives have a hardness of 56 HRC and are, therefore, high-quality knives with a sharp blade that are particularly robust and durable due to their manufacturing process in Solingen.

The hardness results from the interplay of steel, additives and forging skills. Chromium ensures the steel's resistance to rust, while molybdenum and vanadium ensure a good cut. Thus, the knives are robust and extra sharp.

For this purpose, the blanks are shaped in the forge at temperatures above 1000°C and made even by the weight of the drop hammer. If the knife is made from one piece of steel from the tip to the pommel – as is the case with the Petromax All-Purpose Knife , Chef's Knife and Cleaver Knife – the knives are stable but remain elastic.

After another passage in the furnace and a cooling period of several days, the structure of the steel softens and it can be stamped so that the layering of the knife becomes visible. The subsequent processing and cooling through an oil bath ensures that the rust resistance, cutting ability and edge retention gradually increase. This keeps the knives sharp longer and they need to be sharpened less often.

The knives from Petromax are characterised by the fact that they are oil-hardened and sharpened by hand in the final steps. The grinding angle of 20° makes them easy to be resharpend. With an individual oxide layer, they are clearly different from other knives, because each knife is unique.

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What should the handle of the cooking knife be like?

An ergonomic handle ensures fatigue-free work. It is a matter of taste whether the handle is made of plastic, wood or horn: This is where the individuality of its owner becomes apparent. It is therefore particularly important that it lies comfortably in hand and is made of a material that suits you.

The walnut tree is a very common tree species in our latitudes, which is particularly popular with people in autumn due to its fallen nuts. The wood is characterised by a remarkably beautiful and individual grain. Walnut wood is rightly called noble wood and is used for high-quality objects. The different colour variations make the wood special, so it is often used for musical instruments, chess pieces, decoration and clock cases. Such an expensive wood naturally finds its imitators, which is why it is important to make sure that the wood is genuine walnut.

The handle of the Petromax All-Purpose knife, Chef's Knife and Cleaver Knife is made of high-quality real wood, walnut, which combines perfectly with the robustness of outdoor cooking.

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How do I care for a cooking knife properly?

The care of cooking knives is very simple: They are simply rinsed with water. If they are particularly dirty, they can be cleaned with a little dishwashing liquid. Afterwards, they should be allowed to dry thoroughly. Of course, knives with wooden handles, such as the Petromax knives, do not belong in the dishwasher. If you want to do something good for the handle of your wooden knife from time to time, care for it with natural linseed oil.

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