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Kitchen Knives: Preferences, Tips, General Care


mamster
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Thanks, Nick, but the purpose of my post was not because I was looking for knives. I, like Fat Guy, use only two knives, some kitchen shears, and that's it. I posted the Amazon link only if there were people out there who were looking for a set of decent knives, as the price is quite good.

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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time for a confession:

i've just bought an old old sabatier cheap on ebay. wooden handle (undamaged), carbon steel, 12" blade. slightly rusted, ever so slightly concave spot on edge, but otherwise in fine shape. i immediatly set out to put a good edge on it, and that's when the problems started: you see, the blade is a little bit bent about 1/3 down the blade so a stone takes off too much in some places and too little in other. to do a good job, i'll have to bend it back. how?

(i know, 12" is big. perhaps too big, but it feels all right in the hand. i actually thought it was 10" when i saw it on ebay...)

christianh@geol.ku.dk. just in case.

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  • 3 months later...
  • 2 months later...

My favorite knife in the world (right now) is the Global G-5. It is a 7" Asian style vegetable knife that fits my hand like a glove, and I have fairly large hands. Of course all Globals are sharp as razors due to the 15 degree angle of the edge compared to the 20-25 degree of German/French style knives. This particular knife is from Global's stamped line so it is considerably cheaper than it's forged counterparts and holds up to whatever you throw at it. I first saw it in Jean-George's "4 Star Chef" cookbook where he is seen using it throughout...hey, good enough for Jean-George, good enough for me!

I should mention that it is the only Global that I use and the rest of my knives are Wusthof Grand-Prix which are used by countless professionals and is a line that you simply cant go wrong with.

Mac is another brand worth checking out. I have the 8" chef's knife and it is quite impressive. Again this line is used by the likes of Thomas Keller and Charlie Trotter need I say more???

Good luck!

pjackso

"You like Thai?"

"Yea, you like shirt?" -Trent Steele & Max Power (From The Simpsons Episode No. 216)

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The handle does seem a bit short but I grip it high up on the bolster so it isn't a problem for me. And the shorter handle seems to give it better balance than some of the German knives.

pjackso

"You like Thai?"

"Yea, you like shirt?" -Trent Steele & Max Power (From The Simpsons Episode No. 216)

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Many Japanese blades are beveled only on one side as opposed to the typical "V "of a European knife. Almost all Japanese blades are razor thin and therefore sometimes less durable than a stout German blade, but they cut better. It's a personal preference issue.

I like Lamson Sharp myself (made in the USA). But I've got dozens of knives from all over, so it would be hard to pick a favorite.

Start with German and then work your way around the world :smile:

"An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup." - H. L. Mencken

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Just in terms of chef's knives, generally speaking, Japanese knives are ground to a shallower angle (already said) are lighter, and they have a few unique forms. German knives are what I think of as the "classic" shape, and have more of a curve from bolster to tip than a typical French chef's knife.

...
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My knife of choice at the moment is a 10" messermeister meridian chefs knife. The handle fits my hand perfectly, it's a good weight, the shape of the blade is excellent for chopping, and after spending a bit of time to give it a good edge it's extremely sharp. The rest of my knives are mostly henckels with a global tossed in for good measure.

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I really like my Chef's Choice 8" chef's knife, but I find I use a 6" chef's knife more (I have a pretty small cutting board and they are easier to manipulate). I have 2: a Wusthof and a Global. The Global is the most perfectly balanced knife I've ever used. the Global and the Chef's Choice both hold an edge much better than the Wusthof, and they also have no bolster, which is something I like, but you may not. That said, I like the Wusthof too. As far as national differences go, french chef's knives are different from the German ones as well, some people like them better, but it is pretty tough to find one that's been well made these days (many if not all of the Sabatiers are stamped).

Oh, I have an $8 Chefmate breadknife I got at Target, works great. I don't understand why people spend serious money on anything but a chef's knife. Except maybe a filet knife or a big slicer.

EDIT: the global I have is western-style, so the steel is VERY thick (so much that it is tough to sharpen in my lazy-man-style sharpener), ground on both sides. I think it's this one

Edited by badthings (log)
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I have a collection of Elephant brand sabatiers that I bought about 30 years ago. They are carbon steel, of course. High carbon stainless didn't exist back then to the best of my knowledge. I call them a collection rather than a set because I bought them over the course of several years, a knife at a time.

Jim

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My favorite knife now is the Global Oriental Chef's. Due to the thin blade, this knife is VERY sharp. The balance is awesome and cut's like a dream. I got it in Vancouver BC for about 30 dollars less than in the US to boot! My other fav is my good'ole Mundial 8" Chef's. Has soft steel and a chipped wooden handle but with regular steeling does just fine. The battle scars on it tells the stories of the various kitchens it's visited around the City but heck... we all have our little "security blankets"! (I think if anyone else saw this knife they would chuckle and send it to the scrap heap!)

"Live every moment as if your hair were on fire" Zen Proverb

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I have just a basic Wusthof Trident 10" chef's knife. Got it on clearance at a local BB&B knockoff just before it went under. Been using it for 2 years, and I've learned to be careful with the edge. It's a little delicate. I've had to, ahem, educate my wife about dropping it into a stainless steel sink full of water. And she learned about knives in the soap suds the hard way. Always hold the knife while you wash it. Don't plop it into the water, and don't bang it into the drying rack.

I've been curious about the Kyocera ceramic knives I've seen Ming Tsai use. They look interesting, but I wonder about their durability... And do you use a steel on them, or do they have to be pro sharpened often? And I wonder if they can be done in custom colors? And if that's the case, can they be decorated with logos? I've seen steel knives with etched logos, but a full color reproduction woud be tres rad. :smile:

Screw it. It's a Butterball.
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Yes there is, in fact, a national "character." German knives tend to have more of a curve to the blade, and they are often deeper; French are straighter and narrower. I too love the 10" Messermeister chef's knife, or I would if I still had it (it "disappeared" when I was working in a rental kitchen 6 months ago :angry: ). But I've still got the 8" -- almost as good. Great rocking action for chopping.

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I've been curious about the Kyocera ceramic knives I've seen Ming Tsai use. They look interesting, but I wonder about their durability... And do you use a steel on them, or do they have to be pro sharpened often?

I have a little kyocera "utility knife" -- think they call it a fruit knife, but the website doesn't seem to be working. It's kind of awesome -- only ground on one side, extremely sharp. You have to send it back to kyocera to be sharpened, but they suggest every 10 years I think. (Because the ceramic is so much harder than steel). The problem is that it is not flexible, which, one quickly discovers, is a very important quality in a knife. Ever use the side of a knife to crush garlic? That would shatter the blade. Even the classic mincing technique, with your off hand pressing down on the blade, is discouraged (I think). My conclusion is that even though it's cool, it's not as useful as you would thing

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:wink:

I'm trying to 'poll' people to find out which knives they think are the best.

German, american, asian.....

I'd like to not spend a fortune, but hey, if they are worth it, I would...

thanking you in advance

I personally like my custom made Steve Wheelers ! NOTHING compares to custom made!!!!!!!!!!!!

When there made for your hands.they truely fit like a glove. :biggrin:

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My very fave is my chef's knife from Bob Kramer's Bladesmiths. I absolutely love it and I recommend it highly but I think there is a relatively long wait list for them (at least there was when I received mine).

My cheese knife from Global is also very nice--does a great job with its specific task and I do have a ceramic knife by Kyocera but it's more of a novelty than anythying else. Yes, there are few solid uses for it but they are few and far between. Beyond that, as others have posted, it is not very durable at all.

I've gone through a lot of bread knives and the best of the lot IMO is the stamped Victorinox Forschner. It cuts through serious hearth breads better than any other bread knife I've owned.

The rest of my "collection" is Henckels 4-Star...solid and reliable, if not particularly exceptional.

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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I have a collection of Henkels (4 star and a 10" professional S), and I just bought a 10" Kershaw/Kai Shun chef's knife. I've been building the Henkels collection for years, so they're very comfortable, but I do like the new knife - see it here. It's got a D shaped handle in cross-section, so if you're a lefty, it won't work, but which works very well for my hands, which are kind of big.

The blade is beautiful - which has to count for something!

It's *very* sharp, and holds its edge far better than the Henkels. It's also put together better, in my opinion. The gaps between the handle and butt-cap and blade are non-existant. Very clean and beautifuly finished.

It's a little heavier than a global, but not as heavy as the Henkels.

I recommend them so far. Time is the test though, and they're new.

Oh, and I have one Boker ceramic paring knife, which I wouldn't buy again. I think the only thing I use it for is cutting limes and lemons if I'm making cocktails for a few hours and don't want the juice pitting a metal knife. Other than that, I don't have any use for it - and I've chipped it.

bob

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