Every piece of commercial cutlery is constructed using one of two methods, forging or stamping.
Forging is a steel shaping method that has been used for hundreds of years. The process begins with a metal bar, also called a billet or blank. The bar is heated to near melting point and hammered into the desired shape. Modern forges use a hydraulic hammer press to pound the steel into a die or mold. Once shaped the knife goes through up to 40 additional steps to create the final product.
The following list highlights the main features of forged knives:
- More expensive than stamped knives
- Blade is thicker and heavier than stamped
- Has a bolster between the heel and handle
- Considered superior in both strength and balance
Stamped knives are created by passing a steel sheet under a hydraulic press. The press cuts the desired shape out of the metal, similar to how a cookie cutter cuts shapes in dough.
The following list highlights the main features of stamped knives:
- Do not have a bolster
- Less expensive than forged knives
- Blades are thinner and lighter than forged
- Full tang blades tend to be poorly balanced