Forged versus Stamped
A forged knife blade is strong, consequently it has no flexibility making the blade easier to sharpen, and it will hold its edge longer. If you want flexibility, go with a stamped knife.
Forging methods: Hot-Drop and Modern
Hot-drop forging metals dates as far back as 4000BC, and probably earlier, when blacksmiths would pull a sword from a blazing furnace fire and beat it into shape with a hammer. This method of shaping hot steel strengthened by essentially aligning the molecules of the metal. This was not a forging method of choice, but instead the only known method at that time in history until the invention of the Bessemer steel making process in 1856, which was a major breakthrough for the forging industry.
Today Modern forging is the major method used in producing knife blades. This process begins with a metal blank of metal which is heated and hammered by machines to strengthen the steel (This hammering rearranges the metal’s molecules essentially making it more dense therefore stronger.) after which the blade is hammered into shape. This method is similarly used during the hot-drop forging process
Both types of forging processes enables manufacturers to create a bolster at the end of the blade. (A bolster is the mound of metal between the handle and the blade. It protects your hand and gives you a safe place to rest your fingers while cutting.) There are some forged knives that do not have bolsters to include most Japanese knives.
For some the only one drawback to a forged knife is price. Forged knives aren’t cheap but they’re definitely worth the investment. If taken care of properly, they’ll outlive you.
A stamped knife blade is made from a large continuous sheet of stainless-steel. A machine stamps out the shape of a knife, similar to a cookie cutter, and is then sharpened and polished, after which the handle is then added. Sounds quick and easy, and it is in comparison to the forged process.
Stamped knife blades are inexpensive in comparison to forged knives. And for those who don’t mind the constant maintenance, a stamped knife is the way to go. By constant maintenance I mean that because the blade is thin it doesn’t hold it’s edge as long a forged knife blade. Plus a stamped knife blade requires that it be sharpened more often which can be difficult on a whetstone because the blade is too flexible by design.