Once you've prepped a couple of artichokes, you'll pick up speed.
You will need a serrated (aka bread) knife, kitchen shears, and a steamer basket. Steamer baskets are typically sold in grocery stores for less than $5.
Cut off the top one-third of the artichoke using a serrated knife in a sawing motion. (A chef’s knife tends to drag through the tough leaves, loosening them from the stem.) Clip off the prickly leaf tips with kitchen shears.