How to Buy a Cooking Knife in Ottawa

How to Buy a Cooking Knife in Ottawa

Disclaimer: We’re an online retailer for Gude knives, a fantastic western style knife company out of Germany. But that being said, we try to present an unbiased single source for knife buying below.

Buying a knife can be overwhelming, and many people find themselves overwhelmed with all of the different options available. Type, length, stainless steel or carbon, Japanese or western are just a few examples of the different decisions that need to be made before you finally choose a knife. Then, once you’ve made all these decisions, how to go about actually buying a knife.

Here we’ll give a brief guide to choosing what knives to buy!

Decisions, Decisions

Picking a Type

One of the first decisions you’ll need to make is about what kind of knife you want. Here, you’ll want to consider what you’ll be cutting with the knife you buy.  A chef knife or santoku both make excellent general purpose knives that you’ll find the most use for in the kitchen, cutting veggies or cutting meat down prior to cooking. But they can’t cover all use cases, for example you won’t want to use a chef knife to slice your sourdough bread. There’s a ton of different knife types, so the table below isn’t comprehensive, but it does cover a few examples.

Knife Type


Chef knife

All purpose cutting, slicing and dicing. Not specialized but can cover most of the

Bread knife

The name gives it away. Used for cutting bread, and the knife that Gude is most famous for.

Paring knife

A small knife used for peeling and slicing fruits and veggies.

Choosing a Style

A divisive  question in the knife community, which is superior, Western or Japanese style knives.  Western styles include both French and German among others, but German style knives are the most prevalent. Historically, some of the best knife manufacturers in the western world are in Solingen, Germany also called the “City of Blades”. The primary differences between Japanese and Western knives is the edge and hardness of the blades. Western style edges are sharpened on both sides whereas Japanese blades are sharpened on one side. Japanese knives are also generally a little harder than German knives, being Rc 60ish to German knives being about 58 Rc. This generally leads to better edge retention in Japanese knives, but also makes them more prone to chipping and breaking as well as making them more challenging to sharpen.

Steel Type

There are many types of knife materials you can consider, but here we’re just going to talk about steel blades. The main two blade materials are stainless steel, of which there are many alloys, and carbon steel.  Stainless steel knives are known for their resilience, but are slightly less hard than carbon steel knives, which means one will need to hone and sharpen stainless steel knives more frequently. It is also generally accepted that carbon steel knives are easier to sharpen than stainless steel knives. But these gains do not come without drawbacks. Carbon steel knives require better care, to ensure the knife doesn’t rust or get stained and they are also more fragile than stainless steel knives. Gude’s stainless steel knives are made from a single piece special Chromium-Vanadium-Molybdenum cutlery alloy, widely considered to be among the best alloys in the knife industry. Gude also makes carbon steel knives, which are not listed on our site, but if you’d like one, reach out to us! Our information can be found here.

Picking your knife in Ottawa

The fact is, you’re going to want to try a knife before you buy it. We suggest going to a local kitchen specialty shop, since they are likely to have knives you can try, and they offer better service and often carry brands and styles you won’t find in big box stores.

Gude Knives

Gude produces some of the highest quality and most gorgeous knives around. Manufactured in Solingen, otherwise known as the City of Blades”, they are some of the only hand crafted German cooking knives still being produced. With several knives winning the prestigious “Red Dot Award” including their Alpha Barrel Oak Series, and their fresh take on the chef knife called “The Knife” it’s no wonder that these knives are so highly sought after. If you’ve decided to buy a Gude knife, you may be wondering, “Where and how can I buy one?”.

Gude knives aren’t found in Ottawa but thankfully we offer them online. Visit our store to buy knives from the Alpha Barrel Oak Series. We have a 30 day return policy on undamaged knives, so if a knife is not to your liking, you can send it back. If your interested in something we don’t show in our shop contact us, and we’ll try to get you the knives you want.