Not only the cutting edge of a chef’s knife, but the side is also visible in various variables. Most knives have a smooth side, but there also are kitchen knives with clefts available. Wüsthof even has a chef’s knife with holes in the blade. This not only looks nice, but also has a function. The air in the clefts and the holes act as an anti-stick coating between the knife and the food.
We were interested whether this only is a nice story, or that it actually works too. After quite a few cutting tests we reached the following conclusion: the story about clefts and holes in a blade is really true. With a smooth blade the food sticks a lot more to the blade than with a knife with clefts. The effect is even bigger with a knife with holes.
If you cut thicker slices the effect of the clefts and the holes is considerably greater. Extremely thin slices of potato stick to all knives alike. When the slices are a bit thicker, you immediately benefit from the anti-stick effect of the clefts and holes. The ridge (wiper) on the Wüsthof chef’s knife pushes the cut food away from the blade and heightens the effect of the holes. The difference is clearly visible on the video here.