The Difference between Hand Forged Knives and Stamped Knives - HandCraft Damascus Art


While shopping for kitchen chef knives, have you ever come across the words ford or stamped knives? If yes, do you know the difference between the two? Well we have tried to give you a brief differentiation between the two knives in this blog. This will help you whenever you wish to opt between these two for your kitchen.

Manufacturing Difference

A forged knife is always made of a single steel bar. The bar is heated first and then crafted into shape. Some knife smiths employ highly trained craftsmen to make Hand Forged Knives and some use machines to make such knives. The alternative to hand forged knife is a stamped knife, in which the blade is "stamped" or cut out from a large sheet of steel. Later, the blade is honed and then processed under controlled heat to induce durability feature in it. Typically, a forged knife is always heavier than a stamped knife in terms of several ounces.

Features of Forged Knives

A simple way distinguish a forged knife is that if it gives a bolster look - a wider lip on the end of the blade where it meets the handle. Over and above anything, the bolster helps balance the blade by adding weight near the center of the knife. Many chefs are some obsessed with the feel of a bolster, because it gives them the comfort to hold the knife between thumb and forefinger.

Forged knives also usually have a full or partial tang. The tang is an extended part of the metal blade which reaches to the knife’s handle. If the handle of a knife has metal rivets, or if you can see the metal along the edge of the handle, that's a clear sign that the knife has a tang, which means the knife is of excellent quality and durability. It also helps with the balance of the knife. In the market, there are some stamped knives also which have tangs.

Features of Stamped Knives

If you are budget conscious, then stamped knives are relatively inexpensive. The stamped knives are also made from comparable steel as that of forged knives. If someone really wants a set of low cost knives for various purposes in the kitchen, then stamped knife is the perfect choice. But stamped knives are without bolster. The drawback is that the user might hurt him while working with it. That needs to be extra careful in terms of this knife.

It is comparatively difficult to sharp the stamped knives on white stone because stamped knives possess a lot of flexibility. In some cases, it could be possible, but happens only with a rather higher level of difficulty.

The Quality Question

The procedure to manufacture forged knife is comparatively more expensive and time- and labor-intensive than making a stamped knife. That is why a forged knife is costlier. It is often said that the procedure of forging a knife means that the knife would be of better-quality and more comfortable, easy to handle and efficient to use. Although some knife smiths have produced some high-quality stamped knives. Similarly, one can find cheap, poor-quality forged knives, because the material used in them may cause blurring in its lines. Further blurring the lines, today many knife smiths produce knives that are the end result of stamping and forging. A drawback in stamped knives is that, normally these knives can’t go through forging process which the forte of forged knives and which makes them stronger too. Due to non forging element, the stamped knives are more flexible, and they tend to keep an edge for a relatively smaller piece of time.

Which One Should I Buy?

It's always recommended to buy the best by choosing a knife based on how it feels in your hand and how comfortable and efficient it is when you're using it. While a forged knife is heavy and feels balanced in chef’s hand, a stamped knife is comparatively lighter and might feel easier to use for some people.

If blade retention i.e., how long a knife would stays sharp is important for the user then it is always a best idea to look at a knife's reputation for holding an edge. Conventionally, forged knives used to be harder and therefore had better blade retention than most stamped knives. Here, too, the lines are blurring, but in general, a forged knife is likely to hold somewhat higher edge and better quality than a similar stamped knife.

Looking at knives from well-known and well-regarded brands is also a good way to narrow down your decision. Only the name itself is not a good indicator of quality, though, as it's not uncommon for well-known brands to expand their product lines to include low-end offerings.


While shopping for kitchen chef knives, have you ever come across the words ford or stamped knives? If yes, do you know the difference between the two? Well we have tried to give you a brief differentiation between the two knives in this blog. This will help you whenever you wish to opt between these two for your kitchen.

Manufacturing Difference

A forged knife is always made of a single steel bar. The bar is heated first and then crafted into shape. Some knife smiths employ highly trained craftsmen to make Hand Forged Knives and some use machines to make such knives. The alternative to hand forged knife is a stamped knife, in which the blade is "stamped" or cut out from a large sheet of steel. Later, the blade is honed and then processed under controlled heat to induce durability feature in it. Typically, a forged knife is always heavier than a stamped knife in terms of several ounces.

Features of Forged Knives

A simple way distinguish a forged knife is that if it gives a bolster look - a wider lip on the end of the blade where it meets the handle. Over and above anything, the bolster helps balance the blade by adding weight near the center of the knife. Many chefs are some obsessed with the feel of a bolster, because it gives them the comfort to hold the knife between thumb and forefinger.

Forged knives also usually have a full or partial tang. The tang is an extended part of the metal blade which reaches to the knife’s handle. If the handle of a knife has metal rivets, or if you can see the metal along the edge of the handle, that's a clear sign that the knife has a tang, which means the knife is of excellent quality and durability. It also helps with the balance of the knife. In the market, there are some stamped knives also which have tangs.

Features of Stamped Knives

If you are budget conscious, then stamped knives are relatively inexpensive. The stamped knives are also made from comparable steel as that of forged knives. If someone really wants a set of low cost knives for various purposes in the kitchen, then stamped knife is the perfect choice. But stamped knives are without bolster. The drawback is that the user might hurt him while working with it. That needs to be extra careful in terms of this knife.

It is comparatively difficult to sharp the stamped knives on white stone because stamped knives possess a lot of flexibility. In some cases, it could be possible, but happens only with a rather higher level of difficulty.

The Quality Question

The procedure to manufacture forged knife is comparatively more expensive and time- and labor-intensive than making a stamped knife. That is why a forged knife is costlier. It is often said that the procedure of forging a knife means that the knife would be of better-quality and more comfortable, easy to handle and efficient to use. Although some knife smiths have produced some high-quality stamped knives. Similarly, one can find cheap, poor-quality forged knives, because the material used in them may cause blurring in its lines. Further blurring the lines, today many knife smiths produce knives that are the end result of stamping and forging. A drawback in stamped knives is that, normally these knives can’t go through forging process which the forte of forged knives and which makes them stronger too. Due to non forging element, the stamped knives are more flexible, and they tend to keep an edge for a relatively smaller piece of time.

Which One Should I Buy?

It's always recommended to buy the best by choosing a knife based on how it feels in your hand and how comfortable and efficient it is when you're using it. While a forged knife is heavy and feels balanced in chef’s hand, a stamped knife is comparatively lighter and might feel easier to use for some people.

If blade retention i.e., how long a knife would stays sharp is important for the user then it is always a best idea to look at a knife's reputation for holding an edge. Conventionally, forged knives used to be harder and therefore had better blade retention than most stamped knives. Here, too, the lines are blurring, but in general, a forged knife is likely to hold somewhat higher edge and better quality than a similar stamped knife.

Looking at knives from well-known and well-regarded brands is also a good way to narrow down your decision. Only the name itself is not a good indicator of quality, though, as it's not uncommon for well-known brands to expand their product lines to include low-end offerings.

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