It is because high quality knives obtain and keep an extremely sharp edge, one capable of slicing off a good part of a finger in a split second, that knife skills are a critical part of a cook's training. If you are going to spend a lot of time preparing food, acquiring superior knife skills for gourmet cooking is the single most important thing you need to do.
Buy the best quality knife that you can afford.
Make sure there are no gaps at the joint where the blade and handle meet.
Sizes range from 6- to 12-inch blades, but an 8-inch blade is standard.
The blade should curve toward the tip to allow a rocking motion.
A hefty bolster (the metal part between the blade and the handle) will help balance the knife and give you more control.
The tang (metal extending into the handle) should extend to the butt of the knife handle.
There is no rule on how heavy the knife should be. Some people like a weighty knife while others like a lighter one. It’s important to hold the knife before you buy to make sure it feels right for you.