One of the tools that I believe you need is a french fry cutter. Yes, you can cut the potato into strips yourself, but if there is a tool for the job, why not use it? I use a vintage french fry cutter from Ekco, which you can still find on Ebay or places that sell used items like antique stores, Goodwill, or yard sales. Brand new french fry cutters can also be found online or in stores. I would recommend one that is made completely of metal (it will last a lot longer than one made of plastic) and restaurant quality (which is sturdier than basic models). This one from Amazon looks like a great choice.
The second tool I think you need for great homemade fries is a deep fryer. Again, this is not necessary in order to make fries, but I think the tool makes the job easier. Deep fryers make the job a little less messy and are equipped with internal thermometers to monitor and regulate the heat of your oil. I use one from Hamilton Beach and it works great. If you aren't interesting in purchasing a fryer, the oil can be heated on a pan on your stove top and the temperature of the oil can be monitored with a deep-fry thermometer.
So now on to making our fries!
Potatoes like russets or Idaho are perfect for fries. I like to find potatoes that are about the same size as my french fry cutter because I will get the longest fry possible.
Wash your potatoes and then peel the skin away with a vegetable peeler. I like to remove all the skin, but you can leave some on for more rustic French fries.
Set the potato inside the french fry cutter and press down on the handle.
As you cut the potatoes, add the slices to a bowl of ice cold water. The water is one of the keys to getting fries that are crispy and cooked throughout. It removes the starch in the potatoes, keeps the fries from sticking together, and eliminates the sugars that keep the potato from getting crispy. The bowl of fries in water should be put into the refrigerator for at least two hours to overnight. This will make them turn out crispier.
After the potatoes have soaked pour the water out and rinse the fries in clean water. Empty the potatoes onto a towel and pat them dry.
Then add the fries to the fryer basket.
You should preheat your fryer....your manual should tell you the exact temperature for your particular machine to cook French fries. The Hamilton Beach fryer has a green light that comes on when the oil has reached the right temperature. When the oil is heated, put the potatoes in the fryer and cook for about 15 minutes or until they are a golden brown color.
Empty the cooked fries into a bowl lined with paper towels to absorb the grease. Season with kosher salt while the fries are warm.