Of the 4 basic knives that any well-stocked kitchen should have, a Chef's knife, also called a Cook's knife, is the most essential. The workhouse of kitchen cutlery, it is the go-to tool for more 90% of your daily kitchen tasks, rather than excelling at any one in particular. An 8- to 10-inch blade is recommended, because the longer edge makes the knife more versatile and efficient. It can be used for mincing, slicing, and chopping vegetables, slicing meat, and breaking down large cuts of meat. Chef's knives are made with either blades that are either forged or stamped. A hand forged blade is made in a multi-step process by skilled manual labor. A blank of steel is heated to a high temperature, and beaten to shape the steel. After forging, the blade is ground and sharpened. Forged knives are usually also full-tang, meaning the metal in the knife runs from the tip of the knife point to the far end of the handle. Commercially made forged knives are struck in a power hammer to produce features such as the bolster. A stamped blade is cut to shape directly from cold rolled steel, heat-treated for strength and temper, then ground, sharpened, and polished.