Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

best cheap knife set?


Recommended Posts

under $75

doesn't want to buy piece by piece

wants steak knives

Amazon cheaper brand name sets or overstock.com selections?

This is not for me but for my girlfriend's mother? It is hell right now cooking at her house. I have never been in such a sub-par cutting implement environment.

Any suggestions from your benelovences? Please help before I commit harikari with spork.

sincerely

-mjr_itg

�As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy, and to make plans.� - Ernest Hemingway, in �A Moveable Feast�

Brooklyn, NY, USA

Link to post
Share on other sites

How many pieces does she want? Also, when you say you want a "set" for <$75, does this have to include a knife block?

If you're talking, say, chef's knife, paring knife, bread knife and 6-8 steak knives for under 75 bucks, I think it will be diofficult to find anything that doesn't suck. Your best bet is probably to go on to overstock.com and buy one of their <$75 sets. The only "brand" I see there right now is Chicago Cutlery, which makes some okay stuff -- but anything they offer for a cock bottom price on overstock won't really be reflective of their overall quality.

--

Link to post
Share on other sites

Suck to you and me is unfortunately perhaps acceptable to someone else.

There are knives and knife blocks available in this price range that no doubt suck but this person is not going to spend any additional money.

Given the selection on Amazon is there nothing barely acceptable, perhaps the Faberware "classic" cheap ass line?

Yes, I figure she needs a chef's, bread, utility and steak knives.

-MJR

ps I feel like I am asking Paul Prudhomme directions to Burger King.

Edited by mjr_inthegardens (log)

�As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy, and to make plans.� - Ernest Hemingway, in �A Moveable Feast�

Brooklyn, NY, USA

Link to post
Share on other sites
Suck to you and me is unfortunately perhaps acceptable to someone else.

:laugh: Good point, my friend. If I were you, I'd probably pick one of the decent-looking sets on overstock. It'll undoubtedly be an improvement over what you describe as the current state of affairs. Or, you could put together your own set of knives from Ikea.

--

Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually there is a cheap set that is pretty decent for someone who isn't interested in quality and wants sharp knives and probably won't treat them as they should be treated, i.e. keep them out of the dishwasher, etc., etc., etc.

Check in your local mall, which whould have a shop that has the "As seen on TV" stores.

They have a set of knives, some with odd shapes but they work, Knives

One of my friends got a set for their motorhome before they left on a 6-week trip.

They returned a couple of weeks ago and she said the knives worked like a charm, she lost one somewhere along the way - probably tossed out with the trash - but who cares, they are so cheap.

She has many very fine knives in her kitchen, like me is a "collector" of such, but did not want to take any along and have them lost or ruined.

She said she bought a second set for the house so when their children come to visit she can lock up her good knives and let them use the cheap ones.....

A good idea!

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

You might be able to find ONE decent chef's knife for < $75, but even that might be stretching it. Then again, all you really need is a chefs' knife and a paring knife if you are roughing it. I only use one knife and a parer anyways.

You can get a JA Henckels 10 inch chef knife on Amazon for $90, which is pretty much a top of the line brand.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detai...T/egulletcom-20

The 8 Inch is $80, and Amazon has free shipping.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detai...S/egulletcom-20

You can also get a Wusthof Classic Chef's Knife with Parer for $92:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detai...G/egulletcom-20

The Wusthof Grand Prix, which has the same blade as the Classic but has a strong plastic composite handle, is $65:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detai...5/egulletcom-20

We have both a Wusthof and the JA Henckels chefs knives at home and they have been serving us very well.

On the lower end, I have also heard good things about Victorinox -- those are the guys who make Swiss Army Knives. They have a 8 inch chefs knife for $30.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/store...Q/egulletcom-20

The 10 inch Victorinox/Forschner with rosewood handle is about the same price:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detai...K/egulletcom-20

Their paring knife is $10:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detai...2/egulletcom-20

For steak knives I would go with the "Gaucho" brand made by Adcraft used by chain steak restaurants, you can usually find a restaurant quality set of 12 for like $15-$20 at restaurant supply stores. They also have the wider stainless steel steak knives for cutting into thick steaks as well that are 4 to a pack for like $20. Thats what we use at home and are very happy with them. Amazon has a pack of 12 of the regular ones for $18.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detai...6/egulletcom-20

FoodServiceDirect.com also carries the Adcraft Gaucho, they have a bit more selection:

http://www.foodservicedirect.com/index.cfm...teak_Knives.htm

Edited by Jason Perlow (log)

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

Link to post
Share on other sites

target has some knives that are amazingly good for the $$. i know there is a thread on them here somewhere, but don't have time to search it right now. their knives are chefmate, i think.

"Laughter is brightest where food is best."

www.chezcherie.com

Author of The I Love Trader Joe's Cookbook ,The I Love Trader Joe's Party Cookbook and The I Love Trader Joe's Around the World Cookbook

Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw a range of Henckels knives at Target, the chefs knife goes for $30 or $40. Mind you, it's not the top of the line Henckels, made in Spain instead of Germany, but it's more than acceptable.

Have you tried TJ Maxx/Marshall's/Home Goods? If you're lucky, you could find some real bargains.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I saw a range of Henckels knives at Target, the chefs knife goes for $30 or $40.  Mind you, it's not the top of the line Henckels, made in Spain instead of Germany, but it's more than acceptable.

Have you tried TJ Maxx/Marshall's/Home Goods?  If you're lucky, you could find some real bargains.

I've heard very bad things about the Spanish-made Henckels, they are nowhere near up to the German ones in quality. I'd go for the Victorinox/Forschner instead at that price range.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

Link to post
Share on other sites
I've heard very bad things about the Spanish-made  Henckels, they are nowhere near up to the German ones in quality. I'd go for the Victorinox/Forschner instead at that price range.

Being much cheaper, I wouldn't expect them to be as good as the German ones. What bad things have you heard?

Link to post
Share on other sites
Being much cheaper, I wouldn't expect them to be as good as the German ones.  What bad things have you heard?

I've heard that they dull very easily and the handles are not nearly as well constructed.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't vouch for these products personally, but these knives on QVC might fit the bill.

Cook's Essentials 5 pc. Forged Cutlery Set (K1065) $48.54

Stainless 6 pc. Steak Knife Set (K1311) $17.68

plus shipping

the knives are full tang, triple riveted, made from high-carbon German steel, made in Taiwan.

"Tis no man. Tis a remorseless eating machine."

-Captain McAllister of The Frying Dutchmen, on Homer Simpson

Link to post
Share on other sites
This is not for me but for my girlfriend's mother? It is hell right now cooking at her house. I have never been in such a sub-par cutting implement environment.

Bring your own knives. Stick them in your belt. Every time you go over. Tell her it's for your own protection (mean against dangerously dull knives slipping off tomato skins, but glare menacingly as you say it). Kill two birds with one (blade).

Link to post
Share on other sites

At the risk of being pelted by overripe tomatoes, I thought I would tell you about the set of "Precision" knives by Sabatier we bought from Amazon.com for $50. At that price, we couldn't pass them up. They are made in China, not France, and are not the quality of the French knives. However, they are pretty good, hold an edge pretty well. The set contained 6 knives (Chef, boning, paring, bread, and 2 utility knives), 6 steak knives, one sharpener and one pair of scissors all in a wood block.

I think we later saw this same set for sale even cheaper. This is a good deal; the knives are perfectly useful in a home kitchen; no, a professional would probably choose a higher-quality, but I take your friend isn't a pro. Get her this--you'll be a hero--and these are knives you will be able to use at her place. Go for it.

Rosebud

Link to post
Share on other sites

I watched a television show recently that did a comparison with knives and said Ikea's brand was pretty good as far as non-professional knives go. I can't rember the name of the program however, but Ikea has an online catalogue you could look at. (www.ikea.com)

-- Jason

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd suggest going to a restaurant supply store on the Bowery and picking up some cheap Forschner or Dexter-Russell knives. They won't be quite as nice as expensive knives, but they're a pretty good value for the money, and likely better than whatever your mom has now.

"I think it's a matter of principle that one should always try to avoid eating one's friends."--Doctor Dolittle

blog: The Institute for Impure Science

Link to post
Share on other sites
I'd suggest going to a restaurant supply store on the Bowery and picking up some cheap Forschner or Dexter-Russell knives. They won't be quite as nice as expensive knives, but they're a pretty good value for the money, and likely better than whatever your mom has now.

I'd vote for the Dexter-Russell too. They're cheap and OK. I've had one for 10 years and really sliced my finger open one day so its capable of holding a sharp edge. Although I don't use it much any more, I hang onto it for guests.

Dexter-Russell knives

Bode

Link to post
Share on other sites
On the lower end, I have also heard good things about Victorinox -- those are the guys who make Swiss Army Knives. They have a 8 inch chefs knife for $30.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/store...Q/egulletcom-20

The 10 inch Victorinox/Forschner with rosewood handle is about the same price:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detai...K/egulletcom-20

Their paring knife is $10:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detai...2/egulletcom-20

Cooks illustrated did a test for chef's knifes a while ago (sorry don't remember the issue, if you ask I'll look it up). Included in the test were the usual suspects global, wustdorf, Henikels etc. The winner was the Victorinox I believe for $30. Cooks isn't the last word on gear (they're kinda like consumer reports, kills the joy of shopping for the latest and greates because they usually hate it) but I've usually been happy for their reccomendations.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Buy one of these and carry it as needed. I keep one in the motor-home.

http://www.sharpknives.com/messermeister_entry_level_set.htm

Edited by winesonoma (log)

Bruce Frigard

Quality control Taster, Château D'Eau Winery

"Free time is the engine of ingenuity, creativity and innovation"

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am surprised that no one has yet to mention Chicago Cutlery as a good economical choice. I believe that Chicago Cutlery was one of the first to make economical, entry-level, quality knives. Have they cheapened in quality over the years or are they still good buys? I remember my mother telling me how much she loved her Chicago Cutlery set back in her first kitchen. I remember, as a kid, using some of those same knives and they were still sharp and did the job of cutting up dinner. Over at amazon you can get a 10 piece block set for $59 and reviewers seem to like the knives as well.

My family has a beach house and they love to cook but did not want to lug their quality knives back and forth between houses or buy more higher-end knives so they bought Martha Stewart Everyday knives at Kmart. Yes shudder to think buy anything from Martha Stewart (or so is the popular opinion here on egullet it seems, I have never had a problem with her show BTW) but the 8 inch german steel, full tang knife, had some heft and was sharp enough to do the job. Over at Kmart you can get a Martha Stewart 11 piece set for $50.

**edited to add the following**

My question is why do you need to buy the knives in a set? In the long run you will be getting far better quality, and most likely cheeper, by buying a few high quality knives to fit your cutting needs piecemeal and be gone with that garnish-swivel-knife that its only purpose is to turn apples into birds that comes in those ubiquitous As-seen-on-tv boxed sets. Of the countless knives that I have around my house and knife bag I truly only use 4 knives for all my prep needs. My 10 in chef knife, My Santoku Japanese vegetable knife for quick chopping, a paring knife and a japanese petty (utility knife). The rest I really do not need and I am a professional cook. If you want to get picky, add a flexible slicer and boning knife but the question you really need to ask is what do you want to cut? If I could choose one knife that would be my chef knife and really I do not "need" any other.

By the way dose anyone out there know anything about Daniel Boulud's DBK line of kitchen knives? Are they a good cheeper alternative to the top standbys (ie Henckels, Wusthof, etc).

Hobbes

Edited by Hobbes (log)
Link to post
Share on other sites
... I'd go for the Victorinox/Forschner instead at that price range.

Over at another board for knife collectors, OK.... knife obsessed people, these keep getting high marks for inexpensive knives. Easy to keep the edge up and care for especially the fibrox handled ones. I use these in my home kitchen and have no gripes. The wife has RA and needs a larger than normal handle.

They do dull faster than harder steel blades but are quick and easy to sharpen.

Here is one discussion of them.

Dwight

If at first you succeed, try not to act surprised.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Only really good cooks and chefs know that knives don't have to come in sets. Since this is a mother with really awful knives (I have one of those too :hmmm: ) she's going to think she's getting a better deal with a WHOLE set! INCLUDING steak knives. :blink: I like the set of Chicago cutlery with the bakelite handles I bought when I was a novice and didn't know how to buy good knives. They keep a good edge and stay sharp even with abuse. The bakelite does better in the dishwasher, too...and we all know that people like to throw knives in the dishwasher. :shock: I saw a decent set of Chicago Cutlery at Target, and I think it included steak knives. Although, I have bought sets of steak knives at TJ Maxx. They were Henkels International, but like I said, I was young and naive... Some kind chef in Northville, MI told me the difference in Henkels. Hopefully he reads Egullet. Thank You! :laugh: I have had the faux henkels for almost 5 years and they're still super sharp...and we all know if MIL cooks the steak, you need a sharp knife. :raz:

it just makes me want to sit down and eat a bag of sugar chased down by a bag of flour.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...