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Manufacturing Technical Tips

Back to Culinary Education

THE QUALITY OF STEEL

Quality knives require a very specific grade of steel to insure proper forging, tempering and hardening.

CCI Superior Culinary Master knives are made of the finest quality, high carbon stainless to ensure the durability, strength and longevity of the blade, as well as resistance to rust and corrosion.

THE FORGING PROCESS

The way in which the knife is forged and tempered is as important as the quality of the steel used. Forging is the process of heating the steel to a red-hot stage then drop forged with a powerful blow to form the forged blank.

STRIP STEEL vs. FULLY FORGED?

Strip steel manufacturing is one of the most common methods of making knives. This simple and less costly method produces a knife that is punched from steel that is ordered and supplied to specifications.

Strip steel knives in many instances are produced in ultra modern cutlery plants today using the latest in CNC grinding machines and robotics and require less human intervention in there production. By producing knives in this manner, there is more quality consistency and a substantial cost savings that can be passed on to the consumer.

Hardening and tempering can be more consistent with today’s modern methods. Therefore, Forged knives today once considered the best are more a personal preference in style.

MAKING A STAMPED OR FORGED KNIFE, THE PROCESS

THE STAMPED KNIFE

The blade or blank as it is known is cut from a sheet or strip steel of high carbon stainless steel.

Rivet holes are punched into the tang or handle area of the knife.

The blank is heated to red hot, and then hardened, tempered by re-heating and various other means such as ice tempering. Specialized techniques, like Ice tempering, creates a hardened blade that will help sustain its sharpness for prolonged periods and give the desired effect for easy re-sharpening.

Blades are then put into grinding machines to give them the correct V type shape.

Ground blades are then cleaned and dried ready for Trademarks and Logos.

Handles are produced and assembled onto the blades.

Then the final handle finishing and blade edges are placed onto the knives

The final steps are quality inspection and packaging.


THE FORGED KNIFE

The primary stage blank is cut from strip steel of high carbon stainless steel.

The blank is heated to a red-hot stage and drop forged, usually the 6-10 ton hammer will strike the steel about three times.

A tool dye used for trimming excess hammered steel from the forged product creating the initial forged blank.

Holes are drilled into the tang for the rivets.

The forged blank is re-heated to red hot, and then hardened, tempered by re-heating and various other means such as ice tempering. Specialized techniques, like Ice tempering, creates a hardened blade that will help sustain its sharpness for prolonged periods and give the desired effect for easy re-sharpening.

Blades are ground individually to refine the taper and produce the final form of the quillon/guard and bolster.

The handle is attached and riveted with special compression rivets and the blade is ground to its final shape.

Ground blades are then cleaned and dried ready for Trademarks and Logos.

Final steps include sharpening, honing, cleaning and finally packaged.

*** Click here to download a zip file on "Forging a Knife" ***

HOLLOW GROUND AND/OR TAPER GROUND?

Usually a knife that is hollow ground is not produced with a V ground type blade. These knives are usually produced with cheaper steel and with the intention of maximizing how long a knife will last due to numerous re-sharpening. A high quality knife most likely will not be produced in this manner. The disadvantage of a hollow ground knife is that it will eventually become impossible to sharpen manually and will require professional machining The blade shape also promotes more difficulty in cutting through a large piece of meat.

Taper ground edges or V grind is long lasting, easier to re-sharpen and enables basic sharpening tools to be used allowing you to bring the knife back to its original high quality sharpness.

SAFETY & HYGIENE

Be sure to purchase knives that meet International food safety Guidelines and Regulations with regard to hygienic and safety standards. Knives that are ergonomically designed (see CCI’s Ergonomic Plus Series) allow for comfort and safety. There are various handle textures available and finishes provide the utmost resistance to food bacteria, stains, rust and safe handling when in a professional environment.

THE RIGHT KNIFE FOR YOU!

CCI has a large selection and we will be pleased to help provide you with the right knife for a specific purpose. This will ensure a safe kitchen environment, precise cutting with the least effort and efficient cutting.

Please visit our web pages to view our selection or call 1-800-698-8277 for customer support.

 

Culinary Glossary

What is a bolster?

It's the raised thick part between the blade and the handle, which usually distinguishes the knife as fully forged.

The bolster acts as a guard providing safety balance, sturdiness, and comfort.

Beware of companies that manufacture knives with an imitation bolster as these knives are invariably cheaper in quality compared against a “one piece fully forged” knife.

Read more glossary terms in our Education Section.

 
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