Alton Brown is known for many things, like his quick wit, his love of science, the need to share good eats from his travels, and, most of all, his cooking knowledge. It's why we all love him. So when Alton Brown says you should never (ever) do this when buying knives, we of course listened to him.
Alton has 10 knife-buying tips on his website, and according to tip number four, there is one major thing he says is 100% off limits as far as new knife purchases are concerned: Never (ever!) buy a knife set.
It seems simple in theory, but it's easy to get wooed into a package deal when you're standing in front of the displays at your kitchen retailer. When you see that you can easily purchase a whole set of knives for the cost of just one or two, quantity over quality starts to come to mind. He wants to remind you that knives aren't all created equally and you'll get what you pay for!
The other major no-no on his list is disregarding the cutting board. Why is this important when it comes to knife purchases? Bad boards can make good knives hard to deal with. He says solid maple is the way to go. He also says that your boards should be heavy and that you should skip the bamboo and only bring out plastic when it comes to butchery.
This should be easy enough to remember, right? Go forth and be bolstered up in your knife knowledge this holiday shopping season and pity the poor folks who don't know any better.