Before we know what balance point suits you the best, we need to point out your preferred gripping style, and based on that. We can determine your balance point.
The Pinch Grip
You have the pinch grip at the blade, bolster or handle area. The point where you pinch the knife determines the balance point for this gripping style.
The Thump grip is when you place your thumb on top of the handle. Your pointing finger determines the balance point of this gripping style.
The Fingertip grip
With the fingertip grip, it is your thumb and middle finger that determine the balance point.
What balance point do you want?
The balance point is more critical for cooks at a restaurant since they do the same task for an hour or two with the same knife compared to home cooks that use them for a few minutes.
Knife styles and the best balance point
There is no such thing as the best balance point. There are multiple knife styles, and the best balance point is different for each person and knife style. Therefore I will tell you what balance point I’m looking for and why I want the balance point to be there for me.
Gyuto, Santoku and the Bunka
My preferred balance point on a Gyuto is at the middle with a pinch grip since it suits my cutting style the best. I use the forward and down motion the most and sometimes use the tip to slice towards me. The knife will not work against me with the forward and down motion, and I’m in control.
When I use the tip to slice, I pull the knife towards me. Therefore I often switch my gripping style to a fingertip grip to get a front-heavy knife to assist me with that task.
With the Santoku and Bunka, I prefer the same balance point.
When it comes to the Nakiri, I prefer a front-heavy balance point, but I don’t mind a middle balanced Nakiri. I don’t pull the knife towards me when I use a Nakiri; therefore, I prefer a front-heavy balance point over a middle balanced one. I’m not too fond of a back heavy Nakiri because it will fight against my cutting motion.
Knife profile and handle
On some occasions, the balance point is pre-defined. The reason for this is that the knife handle is changed for a specific gripping style. Any other gripping point will be less comfortable since you are fighting against the handle design. So keep that in mind when you buy a knife with a unique handle shape.
If you have any questions or need help, leave them in the comment section below, and I will try to help you as much as I can. I would love to know your preferred balance point and what knife style you are using, so don’t hesitate to answer it in the comment section below.
Kives used in the video and article:
🛒S H O P:
Japanese made knives
(Japanese artisan knives, recommended to order one from your local Japanese knife import store because of the return policy and warranty).
N O T E S:
The knife used in the video and article is for reference only. There was no particular reason for showing them in the video. At the same time, there are knives that I personally like, but there were also knives that I still need to test and review.
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