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President's Choice Knives


Anna N
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I know there are already existing threads on knives but these are unique to Ontario and I wondered if anyone has seen them and cares to offer an opinion on their worth.

They look sturdy and PC compares them to Henckel's but not being much of a knife expert I would like others' opinions.

I am sure they don't compare with Kershaws and Shuns but they are certainly more in line with the average budget of a home cook!

Anybody?

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

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Anna, someone I know recently bought these and swears by them. I haven't seen them yet myself, but I trust her opinion.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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Anna, someone I know recently bought these and swears by them.  I haven't seen them yet myself, but I trust her opinion.

Thanks, Marlene. I have been impressed with some PC non-food items and utterly disappointed in others. I avoid anything with moving parts!

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Anna, someone I know recently bought these and swears by them.  I haven't seen them yet myself, but I trust her opinion.

Thanks, Marlene. I have been impressed with some PC non-food items and utterly disappointed in others. I avoid anything with moving parts!

Lee Valley has brought in some Portuguese knives, and they have been quite good for the price.

Try one of the PC's on something severe, like several cabbage heads for kraut, then see if it responds well to a steel and/or stone. If not they will take it back.

I took back the PC burr grinder, no questions asked, and got a KA.

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For the price, they are superb. I bought the entire set upon testing the Santoku (and truly testing it -- celeriac). Quality product. In fact, a lot of PC products these days are superb within their price range.

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I had a look at them in Fortinos today. Unfortunately they wouldn't let me take them out of the package to handle, but they look like a very nice knife. Weight is good, balance seems good (again, in the package). I'll go back sometime when it's quieter and there are other staff on and get them to take them out of the package.

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I had a look at them in Fortinos today.  Unfortunately they wouldn't let me take them out of the package to handle, but they look like a very nice knife.  Weight is good, balance seems good (again, in the package).  I'll go back sometime when it's quieter and there are other staff on and get them to take them out of the package.

In a large store that is basically self serve, I don't see a problem in removing a product from shrink wrap to examine it. If I reject it, the vendor can send it back to the distributor with no loss.

I definitely do not have a problem opening seafood trays before deciding to purchase. If they had enough knowledgeable staff around, it would be a different matter...

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I had a look at them in Fortinos today.  Unfortunately they wouldn't let me take them out of the package to handle, but they look like a very nice knife.  Weight is good, balance seems good (again, in the package).  I'll go back sometime when it's quieter and there are other staff on and get them to take them out of the package.

In a large store that is basically self serve, I don't see a problem in removing a product from shrink wrap to examine it. If I reject it, the vendor can send it back to the distributor with no loss.

I definitely do not have a problem opening seafood trays before deciding to purchase. If they had enough knowledgeable staff around, it would be a different matter...

Unfortunately these are packaged such that you would need a pair of tin snips or equivalent to get them out of the package! I think it's to prevent shoplifting or perhaps to stop crazed shoppers from taking a pound of flesh from the butcher rather than the meat case. :biggrin:

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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You can get excellent Japanese cutlery in $35-$50 price range...

Why would anyone care for "white label" knives?..

While the purchase price of Japanese knives may fall within the $35-$50 range - I am assuming US$ - by the time you add on shipping, exchange, import/brokerage duties, and taxes, the price does not look quite so attractive. The most expensive knife in the PC range is $25+14% in taxes, no shipping or customs duties and they can be returned locally if they prove unsatisfactory. I think we need to recognize that there are many home cooks who would be well-served by a knife that is not too expensive, doesn't require a good knowledge of honing and sharpening skills and can stand up to the rigours of a home kitchen even if they would fall short in a professional setting.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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While the purchase price of Japanese knives may fall within the $35-$50 range - I am assuming US$ - by the time you add on shipping, exchange, import/brokerage duties, and taxes, the price does not look quite so attractive.  The most expensive knife in the PC range is $25+14% in taxes, no shipping or customs duties and they can be returned locally if they prove unsatisfactory.  I think we need to recognize that there are many home cooks who would be well-served by a knife that is not too expensive, doesn't require a good knowledge of honing and sharpening skills and can stand up to the rigours of a home kitchen even if they would fall short in a professional setting.

Well, I didn't recognize the price ranges are different that much. I absolutely agree that in our life there's always some room for simple knives.

Regardless, for those who think the Japanese knives worth the premium (and they definitely do), shipping is $7 from Japan. When I ordered mine I wasn't charged any taxes - I lived in Ottawa, ON at that time. And when I happened to damage the blade, I was offered free repair/resharpening, I paid only one way shipping to Japan.

You do the math.

Edited by doronin (log)
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Thanks for your input. It's not the math that concerns me, it's the arbitrary manner in which Canada Customs decides to impose penalties and I am still smarting from my last very expensive experience.

I would love to own good Japanese knives but I know my limitations as far as keeping them in great condition so until I learn to do that, I would prefer something much more run-of-the-mill. I've read all the course work, studied videos, etc. etc., practiced on an old knife and I still don't get it. So, just as I will never, ever dance with the Canadian Ballet Company, I adjust to my limitations in the knife-care department. :smile:

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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I could have sworn these knives were in a flyer for Superstore here, but I can't for the life of me find it. Maybe I saw them on a commercial? Anyhow, I was also wondering about them. Seems like it's worth a shot and if they are available here I'll pick one up to see if I like it.

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Thanks for your input.  It's not the math that concerns me, it's the arbitrary manner in which Canada Customs decides to impose penalties and I am still smarting from my last very expensive experience. 

I would love to own good Japanese knives but I know my limitations as far as keeping them in great condition so until I learn to do that, I would prefer something much more run-of-the-mill.  I've read all the course work, studied videos, etc. etc., practiced on an old knife and I still don't get it.  So, just as I will never, ever dance with the Canadian Ballet Company, I adjust to my limitations in the knife-care department.  :smile:

That's why I have an electric knife sharpener. I don't get it either. :hmmm:President's Choice knives

Edited by Marlene (log)

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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I would love to own good Japanese knives but I know my limitations as far as keeping them in great condition so until I learn to do that, I would prefer something much more run-of-the-mill.  I've read all the course work, studied videos, etc. etc., practiced on an old knife and I still don't get it.  So, just as I will never, ever dance with the Canadian Ballet Company, I adjust to my limitations in the knife-care department.   :smile:

Sorry to disappoint you :)

Japanese stainless steel knives I've got required frm me much *less* maintenance then all Henckels and Sabatier I tried. They just stay sharp much much longer. And cut better. They do require being careful - blade is thin, and chip easier then of European style knives.

Electric sharpener will most probably ruin any good knife.

But there are enough manual sharpening systems that do the job perfectly, with learning curve about 20 minutes, in $30 - $150 range. They just help you to hold the right angle against the wet stone - and that's all you need to resharpen knives even ten times more expensive then we're talking about.

The only problem with Japanese knives - once you tried them, there's no way back, unless you deliberately prefer German style cutlery.

Good example here

Edited by doronin (log)
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I could have sworn these knives were in a flyer for Superstore here, but I can't for the life of me find it.  Maybe I saw them on a commercial? Anyhow, I was also wondering about them.  Seems like it's worth a shot and if they are available here I'll pick one up to see if I like it.

You are right. The Loblaws group includes Fortino's, Loblaws, No Frills, Ziggy's, Real Canadian Superstore, and some others. They all promote Weston's baked products, such as Dempster, Entenmann, Weston's etc.

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Saw the same ad...looks too contrived though.

I'll stick with my Global's

And I will stick with my Thomas Keller Signature Series MACs. This isn't a pissing match. No one was claiming they were Global-quality knives. For a budget knife, they're very good. For a $200 knife, obviously the criteria becomes a little more involved. But thanks for letting us know you've got some fancy Global knives.

Edit: typos.

Edited by Bueno (log)
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While the purchase price of Japanese knives may fall within the $35-$50 range - I am assuming US$ - by the time you add on shipping, exchange, import/brokerage duties, and taxes, the price does not look quite so attractive.  The most expensive knife in the PC range is $25+14% in taxes.

You might want to check out your closest Winners as they occasionally have Kai (known as Kershaw Shun here in North America) knives for around $25. These are not their top of the line knives, as you might imagine. However, I have found that Japanese knives at this price point perform far better than anything else in the same price range such as Henkels.

Also, I should note that Japanese knives at this price point are typically short or medium length santoku or gyuto blades, so this might not be what you're looking for if you want a long chef's knife.

Warning: Winners also had some Japanese-made "Seki" knives but I wouldn't recommend them. The blades are serviceable for the price ($12~, I think), but some of the handles fall apart.

Edited by sanrensho (log)
Baker of "impaired" cakes...
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I have tried many different brands of knives over the years and can say that I prefer the Japanese ones over the Europeans. I like their handles and weight better. I have a Henkel's 4 star 9" chef knife and 4" paring that constantly need care, whereas I have a few low end and high end japanese items that I have rarely had to touch at all.

That being said, for the home cook, IKEA or President's Choice knives are a good buy. They are forged, have a good return policy, and should hold up. I have a couple of IKEA 365+ full tang knives that I think perform better than my Henkel or Furi. Global are gorgeous, I do own one, but the blades are thin and must be taken care of and the handles can be slippery.

I like the granton edge on the PC Santoku too, reminds me of Wusthof's that Rachel Ray made famous recently.

If you have the money, buy MAC, KAI, (A plethora of high end Japanese lines via import), but if you were going to buy Henkel's or Wusthoff-Trident anyway, check out the PC line.

On a side note: The PC line of silicone bakeware is terrible. They are too flexible and should be avoided at all costs. Stick to silpat and the other name brands.

Mark

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I have tried many different brands of knives over the years and can say that I prefer the Japanese ones over the Europeans.  I like their handles and weight better.  I have a Henkel's 4 star 9" chef knife and 4" paring that constantly need care, whereas I have a few low end and high end japanese items that I have rarely had to touch at all. 

That being said, for the home cook, IKEA or President's Choice knives are a good buy.  They are forged, have a good return policy, and should hold up.  I have a couple of IKEA 365+ full tang knives that I think perform better than my Henkel or Furi.  Global are gorgeous, I do own one, but the blades are thin and must be taken care of and the handles can be slippery.

I like the granton edge on the PC Santoku too, reminds me of Wusthof's that Rachel Ray made famous recently.

If you have the money, buy MAC, KAI, (A plethora of high end Japanese lines via import), but if you were going to buy Henkel's or Wusthoff-Trident anyway, check out the PC line.

On a side note: The PC line of silicone bakeware is terrible.  They are too flexible and should be avoided at all costs. Stick to silpat and the other name brands.

Mark

Many thanks for the kind of response I had hoped would happen! I am sure that one day I will handle a Japanese knife and perhaps I will fall in love but for now, for many reasons, the PC knives are the ones I was curious about.

I have now been given the Santoku and purchased the small paring knife and am very pleased with both. They meet my needs, are sturdy enough to take the abuse I am likely to give them and they feel "right" in my hands.

Thanks to all for your input. :wub:

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Saw the same ad...looks too contrived though.

I'll stick with my Global's

And I will stick with my Thomas Keller Signature Series MACs. This isn't a pissing match. No one was claiming they were Global-quality knives. For a budget knife, they're very good. For a $200 knife, obviously the criteria becomes a little more involved. But thanks for letting us know you've got some fancy Global knives.

Edit: typos.

wow wow wow...no need to get all snippy! FYI - If you order Global knives online, you can get a mid sized knife for about $70-80...pairing knives for $30ish...

I never argued whether they are good or not, I simply said that the Ad looked contrived, and obviously these chefs were paid quite well to say what they did. That does not mean that these knives may not be decent quality, but if you are going to invest in a good knife that will hold its edge, spend a bit more money, you will be happier in the long run.

Oh and I agree with Librarian, I have used various Henckle series and Wustoff and I much prefer the Japanese blades.

edited to add - you can also get an excellent kyocera ceramic pairing knife for $25-30 online.

Edited by sadistick (log)
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PLEASE - I am grateful for all the input to my simple question and I don't want to see any disagreements or pissing matches. :shock:

We all have our own budgets, kitchens, cooking styles, likes and dislikes. Different tools fit different needs. I would never put down the Japanese, German or French knives or any others except perhaps the ones that can slice cans in half or saw through an oak tree. :biggrin: In different hands and for different styles they all meet a need even perhaps those very ones that are flogged on informercials. Let's all kiss and make up and enjoy our knives whatever they may be.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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