If you have ever attended the county fair, you may have sat through the kitchen knife demonstration. More likely than not, the chef told you that cheap knives end up costing more than expensive knives in the long run.

Cheaper knives can be less convenient and often require more sharpening, but more expensive knives require additional care.

The next time you are in the market for replacing or buying new kitchen knives, remember to look for these items:

Blade construction

High-quality steel is crucial for strength, toughness, hardness, resistance to corrosion, ability to resist wear and tear, and the ability to be sharpened. Cheap knives cannot withstand the honing and sharpening by a professional because the edge is shaped more like a rectangle than a triangle.

Handle construction

Look for a handle made of titanium instead of aluminum, rubber, plastic, or wood. Aluminum handles can warp or bend over time. Rubber handles can melt if left too close to a hot pot left on the kitchen counter. Plastic handles can change color from exposure to acidic foods like lemons or vinegar. Wood handles can disintegrate and come apart from the blade.

Construction of all the other parts

Knives can have bearings, pivots, fittings, and bushings. Most people only pay attention to the blade and handle construction when shopping for a knife. Inspect how the blade is attached to the handle and what material is used to combine these two important parts of your kitchen knife.

Keep in mind that all knives are razor-sharp when they are brand new. And all blades can be sharpened; the difference is that some blades may dull more quickly than others.

Sharpness is mostly determined by how effectively a blade has been sharpened on a whetstone. The metal used to construct the blade, the angle of the bevel, and how the blade has been used all have a role in a knife’s ability to keep a sharp edge (or abused).

In the end, regardless matter which is more expensive, we will always prefer a sharp knife over a dull knife. While more expensive blades may stay sharper for longer and feel more balanced in your hand, the most important aspect of having a sharp knife is sharpening it when necessary.

To demonstrate our point, we bought a cheap old knife and sharpened it. We were amazed by how effectively it held an edge versus some of our most costly knives—at least until it lost its edge.

After you have used your kitchen knives for several months and your knives fail the arm hair test, call OC Mobile Knife Sharpening to sharpen your knives while you can stay home.