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No matter what kind of fruit, vegetable, or type of food you have to cut, chances are there is a knife for it. If you like cooking and you enjoy surprising your loved one with beautiful dishes, having the right tools is a must. A channel knife is a versatile tool that could never be missed from a kitchen. It is mostly appreciated by bartenders, but chefs also take advantage of its uses.
A good channel knife will bring in elegant flairs and garnishes. It is indispensable when it comes to garnishing a cocktail or a fancy dish. But then, choosing the best channel knife is a bit difficult if you have never used one. Moreover, you need to know precisely what to use it for – this way, you are more likely to choose the right type. Now, what else should you know about these knives and what are the best-rated options out there?
What is a Channel Knife?
A channel knife is a simple and cheap tool. From many points of view, it might be similar to a vegetable peeler. It is similar to a small knife, so its purpose is pretty obvious – delicate cuts and intricate details for your cocktails and dishes.
It has a handle and a metallic blade. The blade has a V-shaped tip, yet some manufacturers also bring in a round U tip. It extends downwards from the small surrounding frame. If you look at this knife from above, it looks like a rectangle blade with a V. The inside of the tip could be hollow, but this is not a general rule.
The V-shaped tip tends to extend downwards with just under a quarter of an inch – it depends on the size of the knife. Edges are quite sharp and designed to cut through all kinds of foods – after all if you need delicate cuts, you need exquisite sharpness.
Now, what do you use a channel knife for? Generally speaking, you will cut strips of citrus rind for various garnishes. You can use it for lemons, limes, oranges, and so on. Channel knives vary in size – thick, thin, narrow, wide, and so on.
Other than that, channels knives can be used for other decorative tasks too, such as cutting strips in carrots or cucumbers. You can carve melons, pumpkins, and so on. No matter what you need it for, it will probably be a decorative application.
Now that you know more about these knives, what are the top-rated channel knives in commerce?
2020’s 5 Best Channel Knives
Victorinox Channel Knife
Versatile applications – The best channel knife from Victorinox is specifically developed to cut the aromatic zest of oranges and lemons without touching the bitter part. However, the knife is extremely versatile and can be used for other fruits and vegetables as well – it is all about decorative elements and intricate work. It is easy to use with or without experience.
Sturdy blade – The blade is extremely sturdy. It is small compared to the handle, meaning you have full control over the knife. It is also made of stainless steel. It will never rust or corrode. It is super sharp and can provide quick results with no effort at all. The subtle V-shaped tip grabs the peel and sends it through a hole at the back for a simple and straightforward operation.
Durable handle – The handle is just as important. The whole knife measures four inches and the handle has most of it. The knife is well stable and will allow you to push as deep as you want. It is made of nylon. It also has a slightly textured surface, so it is less likely to slip out of your hands – even if they are wet or sweaty. The nonslip handle is just as important for delicate details.
Care and maintenance – Stainless steel is known for not requiring too much maintenance, so there is not much to do to look after this knife. Simply wash it after each use. Make sure you do it manually – just some tap water and a mild soap will do. Throwing it in a dishwasher may dull the blade. Other than that, it does not require any care at all.
- Suitable for more operations that require intricate details
- Blade retains sharpness fairly well
- Well balanced due to the large handle
- Easy to use with no experience at all
- Easy to look after
- Can go too deep into fruits, which may alter the taste of your drinks or dishes
Triangle Channel Knife
Multiple options – Made in Solingen, Germany, Triangle’s best channel knife is built to deliver. You can use it for ribbons of citrus peel and not only – it is suitable for other fruits and vegetables too. You can beautifully carve rind or simply add some decorations to your salads and drinks. Other than that, while the U-shaped tip is the better selling version of this knife, you can also get it with a V-shaped tip.
German quality blade – The blade is based on stainless steel. It is razor-sharp, so be careful when you unpack it. It has a tempered cutting edge for durability. It can go quite deep into fruits and vegetables – make sure you do not alter the taste of your drinks and dishes though. Other than that, the material can resist corrosion and rust, which is great for overall maintenance.
Easy to maneuver – The handle is responsible for great maneuverability. The whole knife measures 6.25 inches and the handle is around five inches long. Most of the balance is on it, so you have full control over your cuts. The handle is ergonomic and lightweight. It is suitable for ambidextrous uses. It also gives you a good grip without the risks to slip and it features a lanyard hole.
Sizing and maintenance – Apart from the length standards, you may want to know that the blade measures 1.4 inches in width. It is quite big and allows for more versatile operations. In terms of maintenance, the knife should be dishwasher safe according to the manufacturer. You should still wash it manually to preserve the edge sharpness for a longer period of time.
- Comfortable and easy to hold
- Suitable for ambidextrous uses
- Excellent edge retention
- Easy to look after
- Available with both U and V-shaped tips
- Could pick up a bit of pith, which may affect the taste of your dishes or drinks
Mercer Culinary Channel Knife
Sizing and versatility – Featuring Mercer Culinary’s renowned limited lifetime warranty, the channel knife comes with a versatile application and lots of uses. You can have it for its classic purpose – slicing decorative items for your drinks and salads, but you can also use it for detailed work on your dishes. It measures 5.75 inches in length and it weighs a bit more than other units in this range – 1.5 ounces.
Superior blade – The blade is well curved, so cutting through stuff is fairly simple. It is relatively short – around an inch. The tip is V-shaped. Other than that, it is made of professional-grade stainless steel. It will resist corrosion and rust. It is super sharp and has good edge retention. Besides, the curved tip ensures the knife will cut through foods even if it gets a little dull.
Secure operation – There are not too many risks associated with this knife. The operation is safe and secure, even if you have never used one before. Simply put, you have a molded handle made of polypropylene. It is slip-resistant as well due to its rough texture. It is ergonomic and quite large, so it should be alright for those with large palms. In terms of durability, there is nothing to be concerned about.
Maintenance – Polypropylene does not require any maintenance. Stainless steel is the same. You practically use the knife, then clean it with water and mild soap. It is highly recommended to clean it manually. Putting it in the dishwasher will dull the blade faster than normally. As for sharpening it, you can use a classic sharpener or a sharpening stone for each side of the blade.
- Slightly larger than other knives in this range
- Durable blade and good edge retention
- Cuts through all kinds of foods with ease
- Simple to look after
- Ergonomic nonslip handle
- May cut too deeply if you put too much pressure on it
Triangle Channel Knife And Zester
Multipurpose tool – Triangle has specialized in professional knives. Apart from its own channel knife, it has also come up with a mix between channel knives and zesters. This unit is a two in one product that will work wonders on citrus peels and other fruits and vegetables. It is a multifunction tool with various uses. Just like other knives from Triangle, this one is made in Solingen, Germany.
Durable blade – The blade will not disappoint. It is forged from high-quality stainless steel. It is rust and corrosion-resistant and it retains its edge for ages. The blade is about 1.3 inches in length and 0.75 inches in width. It has a quick learning curve, especially if you have never used such knives. Other than that, it is short enough to ensure good balance and full control.
Comfortable to use – While many knives may feel uncomfortable, you can forget about such issues with this one. The handle is pretty lightweight – in fact, the whole knife weighs 1.27 ounces only. It is suitable for both left and right-handed people. It is ergonomic and it feels a bit rough, meaning you will have no issues with the grip. It is less likely to slip out of your hand. It is around five inches in length.
Care and maintenance – There is not much to be worried about in terms of care and maintenance. Stainless steel will never face any rust issues. While it is said to be dishwasher safe, you should still wash it manually to prevent dullness. Moreover, make sure there is no food remains in the blade holes, as it hardens and makes further operations less efficient.
- Two in one tool – channel knife and zester
- Durable stainless steel blade
- Rough and nonslip handle
- Comfortable to use
- Great value for money
- Takes a few days to get used to how it works
1Easylife Zester Grater with Channel Knife
Great value for money – 1Easylife’s best channel knife is basically a mix of two different tools. It is advertised to be a zester grater, but it also has a channel knife on the side. In other words, you can come up with decorative peels and other intricate designs for your drinks and dishes – ideal for more fruits and vegetables. Given the double purpose, the knife comes with excellent value for money.
Efficient operation – There is no experience needed and the operation is quite intuitive. You can use the zester to peel and the channel knife to create decorative and intricate details. Simply run the zester on the citrus fruit to get rid of the peel. As for the channel knife, push it through to come up with nice decorations for your cocktails or salads. It takes seconds.
Durable materials – The blade is what makes the difference. Whether you count the zester or the channel knife, you will face no issues whatsoever. The blade is based on stainless steel, which is both rust and corrosion-resistant. Each part is quite sharp and will not require sharpening. The channel knife is U shaped and does not require too much pressure.
Comfortable handle – The handle is just as important in a channel knife because it can make or break a deal. It is relatively large and will not give you any hand cramps. There is a hanging loop at the other end and it is metallic. Despite not being textured, it is less likely to slip out of your hand. The blade is so sharp that the pressure required is minimum.
- Innovative and double purpose design
- Great value for money
- Easy to use – no learning curve
- Comfortable handle
- Can be cleaned in a dishwasher
- Food remains may be stuck in the zester, so it requires proper cleaning to prevent food from hardening
Frequently Asked Questions
Which shape should I get the tip?
Channel knife tips come in two shapes. Some of them are U shaped, while others are V-shaped. The V shape is classic and more common. While the U shape is relatively new, it seems to be more popular among buyers.
At the end of the day, it makes no difference in terms of efficiency. While the V shape will penetrate foods better, a sharp U shape can be just as efficient. The bottom line, choosing the right shape is a matter of personal preferences only.
Can channel knives be sharpened?
Channel knives can be sharpened like other knives too. The only problem is that they have tiny blades and the sides of the tip are relatively short. Therefore, the job will be a bit more tedious. In terms of movements, you have to sharpen such knives just like you would sharpen a kitchen knife. Simply stick to a short angle and come up with an even number of strokes on each side.
Should I wash a channel knife in a dishwasher?
Some manufacturers claim their knives are dishwasher safe. But just like any other knife, a channel knife could get dull faster. Washing it manually will put less stress on the blade, so edge retention will be better. Simply put, you can wash channel knives in a dishwasher, but it is not really recommended.
Deciding on the best channel knife is often a matter of personal preference. Decide on the tip shape you want, as well as the overall functionality – some channel knives are part of multipurpose knives. Go with a reputable brand and a well-rated product and you will be in safe hands.