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Kitchen Knives

by Michael Chu
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The knives in your kitchen come in all sizes and shapes. Some are for dining, chopping, slicing, carving, and tearing. But which knives are made for what purpose and which are essential to have in your kitchen?

In this article, I'll look at some popular knives and discuss what each type of knife is designed for (and some unconventional uses for them).

Chinese Cleaver (Asian Cleaver)
The chef's knife is the one knife that is consistently rated as the single most essential in the kitchen. However, if I could only pick one knife to have in the kitchen, it would be a Chinese or Asian cleaver. This knife's sharp edge is thin enough and sharp enough to easily cut and mince food and at the same time strong enough to handle light cleaving jobs. The side of the blade can be used to smash garlic and ginger and the top edge san be used (with care) as a meat tenderizer. The broad blade is often used to move food from the cutting board to the stove. However, due to the overall shape and size of a Chinese Cleaver, there is not as much precision as a chef's knife. Since I have a full compliment of knives, my Chinese cleaver sits on the sidelines waiting for the day when I can only have one knife to use.

Chef's Knife
Amazon.com: JA Henckels Pro S 8 in. Chef's KnifeThe most versatile knife in the western kitchen is the chef's knife. It is used for cutting, slicing, chopping, and mincing. The curved blade allows rocking back and forth for fine chopping and mincing. Chef's knives come in blade lengths from 6 to 12 inches. The longer the knife, the more you can cut, but the more difficult it is to control. If you've got small hands (like I do), you may want to stick with the 6 to 8 in. variety. Tina uses a 6 in. while I find the 8 in. allows me to grip the knife just forward of the bolster with my forefinger and thumb without discomfort (the 6 in. is slimmer so the back of the knife digs into the side of my knuckle). If you've got one of these and a board scraper, you won't need or want to use an Asian cleaver.

Santoku
Amazon.com: Shun Classic 6-1/2 in. SantokuThis is the Japanese equivalent of a chef's knife and has been gaining in popularity in Western kitchens. It has a broad blade and a tip that is lower than a chef's tip. Typically made thinner than a chef's knife, it does not have as much structural strength or weight, but is great at all chef's knife functions except for cutting through bone. Many brands now carry santokus, but a few have made poor design decisions (edge is almost flat, tip too low, knife too thick, etc.). The Shun Classic Santoku shown here is probably the best santoku on the market right now. Unfortunately, for left handers, it's a right handed knife (the unique D crosssection handle fits right handers).

Paring Knife
Amazon.com: JA Henckels Pro S 4 in. Paring Knife The paring knife is great for working a blade in a small space. Paring apples, cutting fruits, butterflying shrimp, and seeding a jalapeno are just some of the tasks the paring knife is well suited for. The paring knife has a thin blade that makes it easy to manuever while cutting. The sharp tip is also useful for removing potato eyes and other such tasks. In general, a paring knife is simply a miniature chef's knife - designed with the same curves and angles but smaller. This makes switching between the chef's knife and the paring knife a natural action.

Carving Knife (Slicing Knife)
Amazon.com: JA Henckels Pro S 8 in. Carving KnifeA carving knife's special purpose is to carve poultry, roasts, and hams after they have been cooked.Amazon.com: JA Henckels Pro S 10 in. Granton Edge Slicer Carvers typically have points to reach into tight places, but roast beef carvers have blunt ends. Some have hollow recesses along their blades and are referred to as granton or hollow edged or scallops. These air pockets allow for thinner slicing because they prevent meat slices from adhering to the blade. Why use a slicer instead of a chef's knife? Thickness. A carving knife is much thinner, enabling the knife to slice through finely while a thicker knife will wedge and tear the cooked meat once it cuts in too deep.

Bread Knife
Amazon.com: JA Henckels Pro S 8 in. Bread KnifeA bread knife's job in life is to cut, you guessed it, bread. Many breads have a hard crust which keeps a slicer or chef's knife from digging in and gripping the bread when you start to cut. You can use the tip of the chef's knife to punch a hole where you want to cut and then slice, but what about soft breads? With soft breads, the chef's knife doesn't clip around on the crust, but while you cut into the bread, you compress it instead of slicing clean through. A bread knife solves both problems by providing large serrations that grip the crust and can saw through soft breads without squishing them. This knife is also useful for cutting dense cakes (yellow cakes, pound cakes), but use a fine serrated knife for light cakes (angel food cake).

Utility Knife
Amazon.com: JA Henckels Pro S 6 in. Utility KnifeThis knife is the in-between knife. If you've got a 4 in. paring and a 10 in. chef's, you might want a 6 in. utility knife for all those jobs in between. Sometimes it's also called a tomato knife (usually when it has medium serrations) or a sandwich knife. Since Tina uses a 6 in. chef's knife, I use that instead.

Boning Knife (Fillet Knife)
Amazon.com: Victorinox 6 in. Boning KnifeThis thin knife allows you to remove membranes from meat and meat from bones easily. Usually, it is made thin enough for the blade to be a little flexible. Typically, this will be the sharpest knife you own because it will also be the thinnest knife. Use this to cut anything soft that needs fine precision work, but don't cut semi-frozen meat with this blade (use a chef's knife for that). The Victorinox or RH Forschner brand boning knife with Fibrox handle is probably the best boning knife available and is 1/5 the cost of most high end knives. This model goes for $10 and the handle doesn't get slippery when coated with juice and membrane from the poultry you're working on.

Meat Cleaver
Amazon.com: JA Henckels 6 in. Meat CleaverThis knife is used to hack pieces of meat with bone apart. Usually imprecise due to the amount of force you need to use, the meat cleaver sections meat pretty well. I suggest using a seperate cutting board because you'll probably cut into the board a bit. In western cooking, there will be very little need for this knife because most of the time we trim the meat off the bones. When quartering a chicken, a boning knife is used and we avoid cutting through bone (unless we're doing it Asian style where having slivers of bone is part of the look and feel). Most of the time the butcher handles the bone cutting for us with their rotary and band saws (which produce much cleaner cuts than a meat cleaver).

Steak Knife (Dining Knife)
Amazon.com: JA Henckels Pro S 4-1/2 in. Steak Knife This is the knife your guests will use to tear cooked meat into bit sized chunks. It's usually best to have large pieces of cooked meat served whole to preserve the juices and have your guests cut them. A steak knife does not cut meat as much as it tears very finely.

What to look for in knives? Here's a short list of stuff people usually tell you what to look for:
  • Full tang - The tang is the part of the knife blade that is embedded in the handle. It is not necessary to buy a knife where the tang goes all the way to the back (full tang). Make sure it has at least 3/4 tang though, any less and the balance might feel weird (you don't feel like you're holding the knife; it feels like your holding a handle that's holding the knife...), constant use of over the years could result in loosening of the blade from the handle, or it might just fall out if you use too much force.

  • Forged - Stainless steel knifes are generally forged or stamped. Forged knives are typically more durable and are usually thicker (more structural support). I like my chef's knives to be forged and my bread knife to be stamped (because stamped is thin and cheap). You can get all forged, but it will cost more (a nice forged slicer will also be thin, but will be pricey compared to a stamped version). The forged ones are reputed to hold an edge longer as well. I'll take this opportunity to point out that some companies like J.A. Henckels have started to do a composite stamp/forge which they claim makes their knives better than plain forged. Basic metallurgy tells us that it's probably not true, but personally I like the feel of their knives and haven't had any complaints about durability or cutting ability.

  • Diamond edges - Some knives advertise "never need sharpening" due to a diamond coated edge (or something like that). I would recommend against these knives because they do eventually get dull and you can't sharpen them. Same with ceramic knives - you have to send them back to the factory for sharpening.

  • Serrated edges - Some knives are serrated. That's fine. Some chef's knives are serrated. That's not fine. Serrated knives cut by tearing. This is fine for some foods (breads and cakes) but not for food preparation. A sharp smooth edge works better than a serrated edge - just remember to use a slicing action instead of pushing down through the ingredient (chopping). Remember, we're cutting, not sawing.

So what's the final verdict? Here we go:
Buying 1 knife only
  • Either Chinese cleaver or Santoku

Buying 2 knives
  • Chef's knife (or Santoku; from now on, I'll just say Chef's knife but I mean either)
  • Paring knife

Buying 3 knives
  • Chef's knife
  • Paring knife
  • Carving knife (if you roast) OR bread knife (if you eat a lot of bread)

Buying 4 knives
  • Chef's knife
  • Paring knife
  • Boning knife (unless you don't prepare beef, pork, poultry, or fish)
  • Carving knife (if you roast) OR bread knife (if you eat a lot of bread)

How about buying a knife set? It depends. Most of the time knife sets come with one or two good knives and the rest are not so good (that's why they put it in a set). Often you're better off buying the knives individually and as you need them instead of all at one time.

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Written by Michael Chu
Published on June 29, 2004 at 11:48 AM
141 comments on Kitchen Knives:(Post a comment)

On August 10, 2005 at 04:41 PM, Scott (guest) said...
I imagine you would recommend steering clear of the Ron Popeil 6 Star Cutlery set. I am looking to get some good knives, and have been searching for negative or positive information on the Ronco knives. What are your thoughts on the set? Would I be better off buying individual knives like those you have links to on Amazon? Thanks in advance.


On August 10, 2005 at 04:43 PM, an anonymous reader said...
I recently got a ceramic knife shaped like the Japanese knife -- in fact it came from Japan. I _love_ it and highly recommend it. But it is more fragile than steel knives so I don't twist or bend it. Also, I use a boning knife for cutting up melons. I cut them in half then in conic sections and the boning knife with its flexibility is great for cutting the curve along the rind.


On August 10, 2005 at 04:43 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Bread knife... you completly missed it's other purpose. Try it on a tomato and see what happens.


On August 10, 2005 at 04:44 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Could you include sharpening tips? - TIA


On August 10, 2005 at 04:44 PM, an anonymous reader said...
I have both a Santoku and a Western chef's knife. Ever since I got the Santoku I haven't bothered using the other one (unless my wife grabbed the Santoku first). It's lighter and has a better curve for chopping vegetables. More efficient at mincing especially. I would unequivocally recommend a good Santoku (I have a Wusthof with dimples) over the chef's knife.


On August 10, 2005 at 04:45 PM, an anonymous reader said...
The best advise for selecting a brand of knives is to see how it feels in you hand. It doesn't matter if you get a $1000 set or a $100 set, if any of them feel uncomfortable it's really not worth it. I like the Wustoff Grand Prix knives. Expensive but they will last a lifetime. You can pick them up one at a time usually as most places put individual knives on sale from time to time.


On August 10, 2005 at 05:09 PM, Michael Chu said...
re: Ronco knives

Anyone want to send me a set to test? I haven't had any direct experience with Ronco knives. I've found that
in general Ronco products work (tried their rotisserie, etc.) but aren't the best solution for the job.

For knives, especially, I would recommend not to skimp. It is better to have a couple excellent knives
than to have six okay ones. First make sure the knives fit your hand - do you have big or small hands? Do you always hold it buy the handle or do you choke up the blade a bit?

I wouldn't worry about getting a set that looks symmetrical and identical, my set contains a variety of different handles and brands depending on the application.

Some recommendations:
Mundial is a good lower cost professional knife set. If you don't have the money for the higher quality knives, Mundial knives are a great option for durability and usability.

Forschner (Victorinox) is even lower in cost. The knives are stamped but serve extremely well under abuse and are low cost enough to replace in the future. This is a favorite in many food service industries.

Shun These are probably my favorite knives so far. The quality, sharpness, and look of the knives are amazing. Great if you are right handed - not so great for lefties. Their sets are pretty good, but you'll have to consider if you need every knife in the set or you are better off piecing your personal set together over time.

J.A. Henckels is the high end line of Heckels knives available. There is also a Henckels International line which for the cost conscious. Keep in mind the Henckels International line is not the same quality as the J.A. Henckels knives. (Note: These knifes are composed of multiple types of metals and not traditional forged. Some believe it weakens the knife, some say it makes the knives better. I can't tell the difference, but I will say that the Four Star handles fit my hand better than any other knife line so that is why my main knife is a Four Star 8-Inch Chef's Knife.

Wusthof is a line very close in quality to Henckels. Some say they are better, some say they are worse. In my opinion, I would rate both the same quality level. These knives are traditional forged from a single piece of steel (which is what sets them apart from Henckels). Take your pick (or buy Shun).


On August 10, 2005 at 05:10 PM, Michael Chu said...
re: Sharpening

I take my knives out to be sharpened by a professional. My knives don't need sharpening often enough that I get in enough practice to be happy with my results. I used to sharpen my Buck, Swiss Army, and Leatherman knives fairly often, but since I've become less outdoorsy, I've fallen out of the habit. Electric sharpeners will grind away steel indiscriminantly - sure it will be sharp, but not as sharp as if you got a pro to do it for you. Anyway home sharpeners don't come with the eyes or experience of a professional sharpener.

Honing is a different matter. Hone before every use or once a week if you don't use your knives very often. (If once a week is too often for you, then once a month or whenever you can get yourself to hone the knife.) Honing is a difficult subject to describe so I'll have to post a separate article on this topic with pictures.

Basically, you make a motion along the steel as if you are cutting a shaving off of it while moving the knife from bolster to tip. Repeat several times and do the same for the other side of the knife. Then start over with the first side and repeat less and less until you do one stroke on each side.


On August 10, 2005 at 05:11 PM, an anonymous reader said...
I use a sharpening stone set from Spyderco (outdoorsy-knife-mfr) where two stones are mounted at -20 deg and +20 deg from vertical on a plastic holding block. You hold your knife vertical and make a slicing and drawing motion as described above. This makes sharpening relatively simple, and you get good results. I will (once I get better knives) still have them professionally sharpened occassionally.

The Spyderco set is nice, in that each stone is triangular, so you can do serrated knives easily, as well as shears/scissors, pocket knives, etc. where you have a tighter space to work with.


On August 10, 2005 at 05:12 PM, an anonymous reader said...
A good quality set of kitchen knives is made by Cutco. I have found their knives to be of the best quality, and require little re-sharpening. The steak knives will easily cut through leather and rope, and the French Chef has a slightly concave bevel to prevent sliced food from sticking to it. Also, the scissors are quite cabable of cutting a penny. If cut in a thin spiral motion, makes an excellent corkscrew as a party trick.


On August 10, 2005 at 05:12 PM, Sharon (guest) said...
Your recipes and cooking information is so detailed and professional that I would buy a book if you ever decide to put everything together in that format. I have saved all of the recipes I read here and plan to try them all immediately. Thanks!


On August 10, 2005 at 05:13 PM, an anonymous reader said...
I haven't tried the Wustoff line but I love my Cutco chef's knife. Very well made and the blade has remained quite sharp over the last 5 years. Cutco has a nice line and good sales.


On August 10, 2005 at 05:13 PM, an anonymous reader said...
I have found Chicago Cutlery knives to be very good steel.
The prices really vary. Best I've found is Walmart.


On August 10, 2005 at 05:15 PM, The (guest) said...
I use a 4" belt sander to shape great knives out of cheap knives. I've seen some comprehensive sharpening sites and have a great Japanese stone but now the sander is the only tool I use. Tip: you may have to special order a 300-400 grit belt for finishing/honing.


On August 10, 2005 at 05:15 PM, Brother 9 (guest) said...
I just wanted to add something, being the kind of guy who took years and years of college and graduate school logic, and who grew up in the restaurants of my father and grandfather (both chefs). I'm not an engineer by trade but I sure think like one.

PLEASE people, PLEASE do not under any circumstances scrape things off the cutting board with your knife blade. Use the back of the knife. Depending on how often you do something like this you can get another couple of months between sharpenings if you just take care of the blade.

It's the small things that pit and destroy your knife. The edge is why you have the knife, do everything you can to protect it.


On August 10, 2005 at 05:16 PM, Michael Chu said...
re: scraping off your board

I recommend investing a couple of dollars in a metal board scraper (or bench scraper or bash & chomp or dough cutter or dough blade). Excellent for scraping stuff up off the board and it doesn't have a sharp edge threatening to hurt you as you carry food to the pot or bowl. Also bashes garlic, cuts pastry dough and a acts as a ruler.


On August 10, 2005 at 05:18 PM, Screwtape (guest) said...
I am very impressed with your site and look forward to trying some of your recipes. I wish I had found it prior to buying my knife set at Dillards. It is ok, but I suspect that I could have done much better. Next time I guess.


On August 10, 2005 at 05:19 PM, cynicalb_repost (guest) said...
I have used stamped knives forever, but have started going to forged, and will never go back. If you want worry-free knives, stainless steel by any of the major brands are the way to go. But if you don't mind doing a little extra work, and want to have absolutely the best knives that you can, I have two recommendations - learn how to sharpen your knives with sharpening stones and a steel, and buy forged carbon steel knives. You can get carbon steel knives literally razor sharp with little effort, the downside being that they will stain and require more care. I would recommend Sabatier 4 Star Elephant from France. I have recently purchased some, both new and vintage, and am completely satisfied. If you keep your eyes open, and know what you are looking for, you can pick them up at estate sales or resale shops or Ebay at relatively fair prices.


On August 10, 2005 at 05:20 PM, an anonymous reader said...
One word: Cutco
They really are the best cutlery in the world.
Chicago Cutlery: Made in China, if you have any look and see
Henkel's: Only second best
Cutco produts are hand made in the United States. This means they may cost a little more, but you get what you pay for. They're made of surgical grade steel. They have full tang handles. The Double D edge means they'l never need sharpening.
The handles are not only ergonomic (so well designed to fit the hand that even handicapped people who can't normally use a knife can use these), but they are beautiful as well. The Cutco Homemaker set is on display in the National Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
On top of that they have the forever garuntee. Not "lifetime" or "lifetime of the owner." Forever; as long as the company still exists. Even if the knives are damaged from missuse (ie; opening paint cans) the company will replace the knife at no cost. One woman's house burned down with her homemaker set inside, and the company replaced the entire set.
I'm not just saying this to sell them. I used to, but I absolutely hated the job. But, I still love the knives and regularly use mine. I was well educated during my training and these really are the best knives in the world.


On August 10, 2005 at 05:20 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Re: Sharpening

Personally, I use a two sided ceramic sharpener (Spyderco's Double Stuff) and a steel hone. But, I find sharpening relaxing, and doing it that way takes at least a half hour.

For the best quick edge, on straight or serrated, Spyderco makes a set of oval crock sticks - Model Galley V. They are 12"long, enough to sharpen just about any knife, and easy: just pull down, one stroke on one side, one oh the other. About a dozen strokes and it's wicked sharp.
If you can find a set, well worth the purchase.

-Rich


On August 10, 2005 at 05:21 PM, cynicalb_repost (guest) said...
Regarding which knives you need - I recommend NOT buying sets. You'll end up with a lot of stuff that you never use. Better to pay for quality knives, and fewer of them, than to get a set of 12-16 knives and you only use 3-4 all the time. I would recommend a 3 1/2" paring knife, a 6" utility (sometimes called sandwich) or boning knife, an 8" and 12" chef's knife, and a 12" steel. With these four you will be able to tackle virtually any chopping or slicing task. If you stick with high quality forged knives, like Wusthof Classic, Sabatier 4 Star, Lamson, Henckels 4 Star, etc. brand new you'll spend less than $200, and if you can find them used or on discount, probably around $100 - $150. As you become more proficient and want to spend more money, I would go for a 10" slicing knife, a fillet knife, the boning knife if you didn't get it earlier, and a cleaver.


On August 10, 2005 at 05:21 PM, Megpie (guest) said...
I have 2 types of knives currently, henckels international, and Messermeister. The henckels set with a Christmas gift from my mother. The knives are absolutely wonderful, but a little small for my taste. I need at least an 8 inch chef's knife to be happy. The Messermeister is the set supplied by my school (I'm in culinary school). For graduation, I'm trying to talk my mom in to getting me a set of shun. These knives are beautiful, have a great feel, and work well.

As far as sharpening goes, I prefer to get mine done professionally. They know what they're doing, and if you sharpen too often you won't have much of a knife left after a while. Hone your knives every day you use them.


On August 10, 2005 at 05:22 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Good advice, though nobody has mentioned Global. They are really nice solid stainless japanese knives.

http://www.chefsresource.com/globknivcomv.html


On August 10, 2005 at 05:23 PM, an anonymous reader said...
I would recommend the knives from Japan Woodworker (www.japanwoodworker.com). I bought one of the Tosagata Santoku knives and it is one of the sharpest things I've ever used. At $27.15 for a 6" santoku, it's quite a steal. It isn't the greatest finish, but then again I like the handmade feel that it has, including the unfinished handle. I'd take it any day over my Henckels or Wusthof.

As a side note, any woodworkers out there would be wise to check out their selection of woodworking tools as well. Japanese chisels are oh so sharp.


On August 10, 2005 at 05:23 PM, an anonymous reader said...
For knife sharpening try this website.

http://www.ameritech.net/users/knives/Juranitch1977Feb.htm


On August 10, 2005 at 05:24 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Excellent article, just what i needed. we're vegetarians, and i don't need all the functionality of the chef's knife. so the santoku is what i'm going to get, based on the recommendations at the bottom of the article! thanks again!


On August 10, 2005 at 05:24 PM, R J Keefe_repost (guest) said...
Congratulations on the "Bloggie"!

Regarding bread knives, I find that they're also great for sawing at some frozen items, such as the block of mirepoix that I keep in the freezer.


On August 10, 2005 at 05:25 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Re: cutco comments, nice to see they're still up to their same old brainwashing tricks. cut those pennies salesmen!


On August 10, 2005 at 05:26 PM, an anonymous reader said...
For beautiful, yet "inexpensive" Japanese knives that will out perform your Germans (Henckles, Wustoff, etc.) check out:

Hattori HD Series:
www.japanesechefsknife.com

Shun:
premiumknives.com

for the best of the best, read these high quality kitchen knife forums:
ubbthreads cutlery

knifeforums.com


On August 10, 2005 at 05:29 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Well, it seems you've got a couple Cutco sales people reading here.

You know, guys, I was thinking of making some rope and leather soup, garnished with penny bits - maybe I should buy some of these knives...

Seriously though - Cutco is more marketing than substance. I don't know a single serious cook (and I know many professional chefs) who use these things, and don't know any serious knife people who don't throw up a little when the subject comes up.

Don't drink the Kool Aid.

Shun and Global are great knives from Japan that keep a good edge and sharpen up well. Henkels and Wusthof are good, but expensive and heavy. Go into a professional kitchen and you'll see lots of Forschner and Victorinox knives - they're real workhorses.

In short - learn how to use a knive correctly (there are lots of online resources), learn how to sharpen it (again - online) or find a professional sharpener, and buy quality stuff.

KnifeForums.com has lots of information about knives and sharpening - kitchen knives included. EGullet is a fantastic cooking resource with lots of information on knives, keeping them sharp and how to use them for common tasks in the kitchen.

One addition to the knives mentioned would be an offset handle serrated knife - they're great for stuff like pineapple or tomatoes.

Have fun!


On August 10, 2005 at 05:29 PM, an anonymous reader said...
when it came time to get a "life time" knife, i did 6 mounths of readding and testing. i have had cutco knifes in the past and they are a ok starter set but way over priced for what you get. i went with a 8" chef full forged/no stain from Calphalon. this is a awsome knife that i will pass down to my son someday. it has a substantual feel and is very well balanced. they are pricy but well worth the cost. if you have kids make sure you keep them in a "knife safe" by lamsonsharp.
ths thing can take a finger or two off in a secound so be careful.

as for sharpinging.. i use a steel and have it sharpened by a pro every 6 mounths. do not skip this step if you want the knife to last. i would also recomend going to a good butcher and have him show you how to use a steel corectly! my parents owned a butcher shop whan i was a child and thats where i learned


On August 10, 2005 at 05:30 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Calphalon is anything but pricy. At $30-40 for a chef's knife they are VERY CHEAP. You do get what you pay for: soft german steel. I hope your son grows up to have better taste in knives. During "6 mounths of readding and testing" what made Calphalon stand out over the rest?


On August 10, 2005 at 05:31 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Just to relay some recommendations that some high profile chefs have put out there...

Anthony Bourdain, in Kitchen Confidential, swears by Global. From what I can tell from friends who have them, they're excellent. However, my problem is that the all-metal handle can become slippery and cause problems. Some people love their modern look. I hate it.

Bobby Flay, on his webpage, recommends either Kershaw or Viking. He uses the former, but says that their extreme ("scary") sharpness can be extremely dangerous for home cooks who have never, say read Pepin's Complete Techniques or the CIA's knife skills book.

Alton Brown recommends Kershaw, but his opinion can't really be trusted since he's paid to be their spokesman.


On August 10, 2005 at 05:31 PM, an anonymous reader said...
I realize that this comment comes a year late...but I'm not sure that the contributors to this post really have a clear picture of what quality knives are.
Cutco...?
Chicago Cutlery...?

For the home consumer there are three brands to know.
Global.
Wusthof.
Henckels.

Its really that simple.

I personnaly prefer the Global knives...light, winners of many a competition on "sharpness" and look so much cooler than the competition.
But not to cast the other two in a bad light. They're both brands with a strong history and who offer high level knives.


On August 10, 2005 at 05:33 PM, Bud (guest) said...
Had to chime in...first, I'm not a Cutco salesman and second, I've attended several high level cooking classes. I got a Cutco set as a wedding present in 1960 and it refuses to go away. I own a 1930's vintage Henckels 10" chef's from my father and own several Wusthof knives. I've seen no mention of F.Dick knives (I own 2) which are pro kitchen workhorses and hold an edge well. My favorite knife, however, is a Joyce Chan Japanese chef's knife which I use all the time. finally, no one mentioned that Henckel's International is NOT the same company, a former family member.


On August 10, 2005 at 05:35 PM, an anonymous reader said...
"For the home consumer there are three brands to know.
Global.
Wusthof.
Henckels."

Are you kidding me? First of all you forgot Shun in your list of decent, yet inferior knives. The VG10 Steel in the Shun and Global is superior to the German Wusthof & Henckles, but even still Shun and Global are at the bottom of the food chain as far as quality knives go. We can do better, I'll show you:

These are SOME of the brands that the Home Consumer should know:

Tojiro
Hattori
Nenox
Masamoto
Suisin
Dojo
Misono
Ryusen
Masahiro
Glestain
MAC
Hiromoto
Ittosai Kotetsu
Watanabe
Takeda
Carter

Where to research:
http://www.knifeforums.com/ubbthreads/postlist.php?Cat=&Board=Kitchen
http://216.91.137.210/ubbthreads/postlist.php/Cat/0/Board/cutlery/

(If you are wondering about Cutco, well it is a standing JOKE on these forums. Take a look)

Where to buy:
http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/
http://www.korin.com/
http://www.epicureanedge.com/

http://watanabeblade.com/english/
http://shop.niimi.okayama.jp/kajiya/en/top_e.html


On August 10, 2005 at 05:35 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Any feedback or comments on the new Furi Rachel Ray knives. They look beautiful.The handle is the tang.Coppertail. Fairly expensive. What do you guys think?


On August 10, 2005 at 05:35 PM, an anonymous reader said...
"I see she has switched from using Global knives to the Furi knives a real step down even more than Racheal Ray's going from the Wusthof santuko to the Furi."

Take a look:
Knife Forums Thread

Seems like everyone thinks they are a joke. Especially if they are really a step down from Globals and Wusthofs which are still only mediocre knives.

One TV show that actually uses good knives is Iron Chef. The Nenox S series prominently show up there. Check em out:
http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/NenoxS1.html


On August 10, 2005 at 05:36 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Anyone know anything about Benchmade's set of cutlery knifes (Prestigedges)? I carry one of their pocket knifes and consider it the best knife I have ever owned. The only question I have about them is the balance, how they feel in the hand. The blade steel is the same in my pocket knife so I have no question about it.


On August 10, 2005 at 05:38 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Regarding Benchmade kitchen knives, see this thread:
Benchmade Kitchen Knives

If you have any questions I would ask them there and people who know knives will be glad to help you research.

Quote from thread linked above:
"They are nice knives that are very expensive. They are visual art and carry the benchmade name which seems to fit their business goal. People who know nothing about kitchen knives can buy these and get a good using kitchen knife that has huge visual appeal with the benchmade name.

The same quality and performance can be found elsewhere cheaper."


On August 10, 2005 at 05:38 PM, an anonymous reader said...
I was a pro chef for years in Europe, and all I can say about knives, it a bit like fish n birds, some like the other some not.

I suggest that you go to decent knife store and test them out personally. As some one already said on here. Make sure you don't have sharp edges on the back (i.e. Global) that are uncomfortable on your palm and fingers.

Get a decent grip? Remember how those oils and fish moistures make things slippery. I like wooden handles just for this reason.

My personal favorites, I have tested quite a few over the years so these are the once I still use:

Victorinox - Built like an ol' 240 Volvo. Basic, good metal and sturdy. Yes it's the same company that makes the legendary Swiss Army knife. =)

Mac - My pick for situations that need sharpness, precision and agility. Pricey but worth every penny. Hand crafted parts, top notch finish. Just the best I ever handled this far.

Neither brand has style points worth a empty calm shell. Then again I am way to practical to think about that for my tools, for me it's the end result that counts. =)


On August 30, 2005 at 01:53 PM, an anonymous reader said...
I have been working in a professional kitchen for a number of years and recently (2-3years) I have learned that the Global knives are the absolute best. They have get the sharpest and are easy to maintain. The blade is thinner than typical German made knives, and the edge is a steeper angle making it much much shaper. also, the absolute best prices on the web (or anywhere) is www.knifemerchant.com. He has the best prices, and if you call him he will talk to you about exactly what you need. rock it out.


On September 01, 2005 at 06:53 AM, jagstyle said...
Anonymous wrote:
I have been working in a professional kitchen for a number of years and recently (2-3years) I have learned that the Global knives are the absolute best. They have get the sharpest and are easy to maintain. The blade is thinner than typical German made knives, and the edge is a steeper angle making it much much shaper. also, the absolute best prices on the web (or anywhere) is www.knifemerchant.com. He has the best prices, and if you call him he will talk to you about exactly what you need. rock it out.


Globals are excellent knives but not the absolute best. Please do not be so ignorant. Just a few stainless knives that I find superior:

http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/HDSeries.html
http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/KDSeries.html
http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/NenoxS1.html
http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/UX10Series.html
http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/PowderedHighSpeedToolSteelSeries.html

the list goes on...

knifemerchant is a great website but as you can see I prefer japanesechefsknife.com for their selection, service and prices!

The absolute best knife that I own:
http://img293.imageshack.us/img293/9310/yangi78me.jpg
[330mm Blue Steel Yanagiba handmade by Shinichi Watanabe]


On September 14, 2005 at 08:14 AM, an anonymous reader said...
chinese cleavers are a lot better than french chef's knives. its thicker and has more cutting power. I can't cut through anything with a chef's knife. chinese cleaver always gets the job done.

also, the sharp corner of the chinese cleaver nearest to you is very useful and powerful. It can do things like splitting up a coconut. chinese cleave rulez


On September 14, 2005 at 10:39 PM, Toolman (guest) said...
Subject: Tramontina Cutlery
I haven't seen anyone mention Tramontina for cutlery. They are made in Brazil like the Mundial only better. I've used them for years and they hold an edge and take one just as easy. Not easy to find but some professional sites to carry them. They also make the Sam's Club forged set 13 pc w/block only $100 w/lifetime sharpening when you send them in.


On September 17, 2005 at 07:36 AM, jagstyle said...
Anonymous wrote:
chinese cleavers are a lot better than french chef's knives. its thicker and has more cutting power. I can't cut through anything with a chef's knife. chinese cleaver always gets the job done.

also, the sharp corner of the chinese cleaver nearest to you is very useful and powerful. It can do things like splitting up a coconut. chinese cleave rulez


What kind of chinese cleaver do you use?

A lot of chinese cleavers are actually thinner than your average chef's knife. When you start talking about splitting cocunuts I am beginning to think that you are using one that is meant for bones, rather than the light vegetable and meat cleaver that is the replacement for a chef's knife.

Take a look at some real Chinese Cleavers:
http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/ChineseCleaver.html

I'm currently eyeing the Suien Chinese Cleaver for $128...sweet knife and good price....


On September 17, 2005 at 07:43 AM, jagstyle said...
Subject: Re: Tramontina Cutlery
Toolman wrote:
I haven't seen anyone mention Tramontina for cutlery. They are made in Brazil like the Mundial only better. I've used them for years and they hold an edge and take one just as easy. Not easy to find but some professional sites to carry them. They also make the Sam's Club forged set 13 pc w/block only $100 w/lifetime sharpening when you send them in.


I googled these and noticed a full bolster on some lines...no thanks...can't sharpen as well at the heel and shortens the life of the blade...I'd avoid cheap knives like these at all costs...

How do you sharpen them? By what criteria do you deem them to hold an edge and take one easily?


On September 21, 2005 at 10:57 PM, an anonymous reader said...
I just found this forum, and its great.

I have been pondering a better knife for a while. I've used a Henckels 4-star chef's knife for many many years and been quite happy with it. I manged to snap 10mm off the tip of it a few weeks ago (misusing it of course on only partially thawed beef, sigh...my bad) and I'm thinking of upgrading. I like the Misono (for a chef's knife) the best so far. Anyone have one? Used one? Know anything about them? (440 series since I can get sharper with high-carbon but my occasional laziness will result in rust). Hattori looks out of control, especially pricewise, and their damascus-clad blade looks like more of a marketing gimmick than really useful.

I haven't found any sources for the 'blue paper steel' knives and some good performers for very good slicers (both for sushi and other general slicing tasks, such as Peking Duck or similar).

I picked up a chinese cleaver of no name in chinatown right after I damaged my Henckels, and I'm very happy with it so far. Only $25, the store owner claimed that 'all the restaurant chefs here in chinatown use this one, it is the best you can get' (at least that's what my friend who was translating the mandarin for me said). I dunno, I haven't had it long enough to really judge the edge staying power, but it is a very surprisingly good knife for such an incredibly cheap price.

BTW, I am in no particular hurry to get the chef's knife since the cleaver definitely rules. It is as good or better than the 10" chef's knife for every task except those that require the full length, and have the smashing and scooping abilities as a plus. Maybe I should just get the slicer and be done with it...


On September 22, 2005 at 02:11 AM, jagstyle said...
Anonymous wrote:
I just found this forum, and its great.


Have you been to these yet?
http://www.knifeforums.com/forums/showforum.php?fid/26/
http://216.91.137.210/ubbthreads/postlist.php/Cat/0/Board/cutlery

I promise you that you won't find a better place to research and talk about kitchen cutlery than the two forums listed above. If you like this forum then the "In the Kitchen" section of knifeforums.com will blow you away. It's an outstanding community of highly experienced knifenuts!

Quote:
I have been pondering a better knife for a while. I've used a Henckels 4-star chef's knife for many many years and been quite happy with it. I manged to snap 10mm off the tip of it a few weeks ago (misusing it of course on only partially thawed beef, sigh...my bad) and I'm thinking of upgrading. I like the Misono (for a chef's knife) the best so far. Anyone have one? Used one? Know anything about them? (440 series since I can get sharper with high-carbon but my occasional laziness will result in rust). Hattori looks out of control, especially pricewise, and their damascus-clad blade looks like more of a marketing gimmick than really useful.


Have you considered the Misono UX10 series? It is a favorite among knifenuts. Better performance than the 440 series...
http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/UX10Series.html

Regarding the Hattori HD, the Damascus clad blade is solely for aesthetics. I wouldn’t consider it a marketing gimmick as it does look very pretty. Prices aren’t crazy unless you are looking at the KD line which is a whole different ballpark. I don’t know many people who have spent a grand on a chef’s knife…

Quote:
I haven't found any sources for the 'blue paper steel' knives and some good performers for very good slicers (both for sushi and other general slicing tasks, such as Peking Duck or similar).


http://watanabeblade.com/english/
http://www.dento.gr.jp/takedahamono/e-kajiya/e_index.html
Murray Carter - see forums listed above to find out about this American maker as I don't have a website

Quote:
I picked up a chinese cleaver of no name in chinatown right after I damaged my Henckels, and I'm very happy with it so far. Only $25, the store owner claimed that 'all the restaurant chefs here in chinatown use this one, it is the best you can get' (at least that's what my friend who was translating the mandarin for me said). I dunno, I haven't had it long enough to really judge the edge staying power, but it is a very surprisingly good knife for such an incredibly cheap price.


Is it a CCK (Chan Chi Kee)? If so, the store owner was right. They are the best cleavers for anywhere near their price range. I picked one up in Chinatown for $32. It is the KF1301 240mm Small Slicer (100mm width). The one to get is the KF1101 240mm Kitchen Slicer (125mm width) but I couldn't find it...
Obviously, better cleavers can be had for much more ($130+).
http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/ChineseCleaver.html

Here is a great thread about CCK cleavers:
http://www.knifeforums.com/forums/showtopic.php?tid/693545/post/693545/

The CCK product line:
http://www.chanchikee.com/ChineseKnives.html


On October 07, 2005 at 05:46 PM, Karl (guest) said...
Subject: Serrated knives?
Just to correct a tiny little error in the original essay.

Serrated knives are not necessarily bad in a chef's knife (though I don't like them, for reasons I will state later.)

And serrated knifes do indeed tear, as you say, but they also pierce, slice and saw, depending on the pattern.

Why are some knives serrated?

1) Serration makes the edge longer. The edge is no longer a nearly straight line, but wiggly. And like the coastline of Nova Scotia, a wiggly line is much longer than a straight line with the same endpoints. If wear is evenly distributed (which is a bad assumption, as we will see) then there is more edge to receive that wear, and the edge stays sharper longer. Hence, the "blades that last forever" claims (and those "diamond" blades you mention are not coated with diamond, they are simply serrated in a pattern that they call "diamond-sharpened" or they use diamonds to create the edge.)

2) Serration creates tiny teeth or, depending on the serration pattern, bumps that project out further on the edge, and valleys that recede back into the blade. The points of the teeth become wear points that receive the brunt of the wear, allowing the sides of the teeth and the valleys to remain sharp. Those areas of the blade remain sharp for a considerable time, since they are protected by the points.

3) The points of the teeth, even though they receive lots of wear, can still remain relatively sharp for a long time, simply because they are the points. In engineering terms, they have a small local radius (the definition of sharpness) and it would take a lot of wear to make that radius so large that they cannot function. As an analogy, imagine the point of a pin. How dull would that point have to become before it would stop functioning as a pin? Lots.

4) Depending on the shape of the teeth and the slicing action used, the sides of the teeth may be presented to the material in a skewed manner, the way a craftsman may turn a hand plane slightly left or right to make planing easier. The reason he or she does that is that by doing so, the bevel on the edge presented to the wood becomes effectively longer, making the blade edge effectively thinner and sharper. So cutting becomes easier.

5) Again, depending on the tooth pattern, some serrated knives also saw, i.e., make a cut by actually removing some of the material. The teeth cut off tiny bits of the material and carry them away. You can see the principle used in woodsaws. Most serrated knives are not designed to function this way, but some do. I have used knifes that left a fine powder of whatever I was cutting, like sawdust, on the cutting board.

So here is the sum total of a serrated blade's action. As you push the blade down, the points of the teeth penetrate the material, much as a spear point penetrates a water buffalo. (As you may know, a spear point does not have to be razor sharp in order to penetrate and do lots of damage.) The valleys and sides of the teeth then slice as you push the blade down and sideways, sometimes at a skewed angle. The teeth may cut off tiny bits of the material and carry them off as you move the blade back and forth. The overall result is better and faster cutting.

Most knifemakers have concluded, rightly, that serration does indeed make a superior cutting action. One thing it does is allow a knife made with cheap, thin, soft stainless steel to cut relatively effectively. Serrated knives also deal better with hard, fibrous materials that are particularly difficult to cut.

The only problem with serration is that it makes the knife harder to sharpen, especially as the knife wears enough to change the blade profile. There is no way you can sharpen a serrated knife down to a sliver, the way you can a non-serrated knife. For that reason, plus simple resistance to change and adherence to tradition, people still stick to fine-edged (as they are called) knives.

However, when you sharpen a kitchen knife with a regular 1000 grit stone, you leave tiny scratches in the edge that actually function as microscopic serrations. For that reason they usually recommend you sharpen a kitchen knife only with a steel or medium stone, not with 6000 or 10000 grit stone or polishing paste or microdiamond dust, as you might with woodworking tools.

Once, as an experiment, I sharpened my kitchen knife, a Calphalon, to the same edge I use in my woodworking tools. I use a method called "Scary Sharp," easily available on the Web, that uses automotive sandpaper glued to plate glass. It produces a blade so sharp that when you run the blade over your arm without even touching the skin, the blade pops hairs off, cut off in mid-trunk, as it were. The edge becomes more than mirror-bright. It appears white, at all angles.

And sure enough, it wasn't all that great. Particularly with vegetables, it didn't cut as well as my "duller" chef's knife. And with the relatively soft steel used in kitchen knives, and the salty and acid materials they are used on, the knife didn't stay sharp for long. So I spent several hours for nothing, other than learning something.

Karl


On October 08, 2005 at 05:17 PM, jagstyle said...
Subject: Re: Serrated knives?
Karl wrote:
Serrated knives are not necessarily bad in a chef's knife


How do you mince herbs with a serrated knife?

Karl wrote:
However, when you sharpen a kitchen knife with a regular 1000 grit stone, you leave tiny scratches in the edge that actually function as microscopic serrations. For that reason they usually recommend you sharpen a kitchen knife only with a steel or medium stone, not with 6000 or 10000 grit stone or polishing paste or microdiamond dust, as you might with woodworking tools.


For me, an 8000 grit edge works the best for everything I come across except hard-crusted bread. That’s when I pull out the Jap saw...

Their recommendation is for cheapo soft steel knives (Calphalon) that can't hold an acute polished edge and therefore fall back on a more jagged edge to provide more sawing and tearing action. Hardly ideal for a chef's knife...think of quickly chopping vegetables. The motion is primarily vertical and therefore serrations are hardly ideal. Same applies for mincing as mentioned earlier.

Karl wrote:

Once, as an experiment, I sharpened my kitchen knife, a Calphalon, to the same edge I use in my woodworking tools. I use a method called "Scary Sharp," easily available on the Web, that uses automotive sandpaper glued to plate glass. It produces a blade so sharp that when you run the blade over your arm without even touching the skin, the blade pops hairs off, cut off in mid-trunk, as it were. The edge becomes more than mirror-bright. It appears white, at all angles.


really? free standing hairs popping off mid trunk...I don't think so...Even straight razors (blade much thinner than knife or woodworking tool) fail to achieve what you have described. There is not enough resistance and the hairs simply get pushed aside and pass under the blade. Maybe your hair is super stiff or perhaps your story is just highly embellished. Also, an edge appearing white is just a mirror polish reflecting light. More than mirror-bright??? Does that mean that the steel is emanating its own light?

Karl wrote:
And sure enough, it wasn't all that great. Particularly with vegetables, it didn't cut as well as my "duller" chef's knife. And with the relatively soft steel used in kitchen knives, and the salty and acid materials they are used on, the knife didn't stay sharp for long. So I spent several hours for nothing, other than learning something.


I wouldn't expect a Calphalon to stay sharp for long. In what manner are you cutting these vegetables? Sounds like an inefficient sawing motion...how else would this "duller" edge appear to cut better than the "sharp" one?


On October 17, 2005 at 12:48 PM, Tab said...
Subject: Knives
For all the stuff that I own, I really only use four knives...
1) A cheap bread knife for when I have to slice bread
2) A Henckel chef's knife
3) A Henckel paring knife
4) Cheap little 1 1/2 " paring knives (3 for $2).

I have drawers of other knives that were gifts, but these are all I use. I have well-intentioned gifts like "forever knives" and serrated knives and "good cook" knives and whatever. I used to be a big serrated knife user but now I don't go near the things except for slicing bread (they're not too shabby on tomatoes either, but a well-sharpened chef's knife will do as well or better).

And since I rarely slice bread (trying to be low-carb), it's really just the two Henckel's and the cheap paring knives (they're great for cheese or slicing the core top of a tomato or whatever, I must have 8 of them in the drawer).


On October 18, 2005 at 04:46 PM, Joe S (guest) said...
Subject: Ronco Cooking Scissor
The scissors lasted three days- they broke- on the handle

No easy way to get refund or replacement

The rest of the Ronco set was fine- Really sharp (too sharp says my wife)


On October 23, 2005 at 05:20 AM, CookingWithMe (guest) said...
Subject: if you want to see some real cutting power
these guys think they can cook. but they do find a nice place for a power saw and a drill. these boys at 1920 fairfax are a little crazy. This is some horrible video.

1920fairfax for cooking on a budget with a drill. go to their cooking show and watch these morons use some real cutting power


On October 29, 2005 at 11:50 AM, joe the stormtrooper (guest) said...
Subject: frozen meatloaf
oh boy, any one know a good way to cut frozen meatloaf in half without thawing it first?

http://www.1920fairfax.com


On November 06, 2005 at 02:40 AM, fwfoess (guest) said...
Subject: frozen meatloaf and Japanese knives
I use my (usually woodcutting) bandsaw to cut frozen stuff like meatloaf. A hacksaw should also work.
On Japanese knives: The easiest and quickest way to ruin a Japanese knife is to use a steel or a kitchen knife sharpener. They are MUCH harder than the usual European style knife for which a sharpening steel is meant. This hardness allows a keener and longer lasting edge but it also makes the edge (and the knife in general) quite fragile. Please, please use only an oilstone or a Japanese waterstone to sharpen a Japanese knife.


On November 06, 2005 at 06:53 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: Let's Cut Through It All
As someone who professionally uses knives everyday in the workplace I hope I can give a bit of help to all of the emotional confusion that seems to be occuring on this subject.
1.) Quality - There's no way around it. You want to feel safe with the knife you are using and a good Hand-Forged knife in your hand will cut, slice and chop without cracking, chipping, etc. In my opinion, as one who has sold them for many years and now uses them on a professional basis, Wustof Classic and Messermeister are the best. These are followed by Shun. Wustof are one of the absolute last knives in the world who own a 2-story forge in Solingen, Germany that forges their knives. This produces a superior quality steel. They are then hand-forged and finished. Having sold them and used them I have never had a problem with them nor have seen one returned. I cannot say that for the Four Star Henckels, which used to be of the same quality but has succumbed to economic pressures and now produces an inferior product. I have seen Henckels returned with stress fractures due to substandard forging proceedures that are in place today. They also have come back chipped, tips broken off, etc. Messermeister is an off-shoot of Wustof started by employees that formerly worked for them. There are fine differences between the knives themselves, but the balance is the same. Shun is a high quality knife with a similar balanced weight and 16 layers or steel. I use the Santoku and enjoy the formed grip in my hand. They do have the same grip for lefthanders, but this generally has to be special ordered. I have seen Shun returned for chipping along the knife edge. I love mine and have not experienced this and I never know what someone actually does with their knife once it leaves the store. In conclusion, your knives are an investment. Use what feels comfortable in your hand for safety and convenience of use.
2.) Types of knives for everyday use depends upon your expertise in the kitchen. I usually recommend the following:
- Chef's Knife. The size, again, depends on what feels good in your hand. I use a 6" most of the time and alternate to an 8" for larger jobs. Sometimes a 10" for even larger purposes. I like the Chef's knife for it's multi-use capabilities, i.e. chopping, rocking, slicing, etc.
- Santoku. A fairly new knife in the American kitchen. These I find are best for slicing, especially those with the hollow-ground edge (dimples). This edge serves two purposes. It creates an extremely fine edge to the knife and also cuts down on the drag by creating an air pocket between the food and the cutting surface of the knife blade. They work well for slicing onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, etc. They work for chopping also, but I still prefer to use my Chef's knife since I tend to "rock" the belly of the knife on my cutting board. The Santoku, generally, does not have as curved of a belly as the Chef's.
-Paring Knife. Small jobs, such as paring and peeling.
-Bread Knife.
-Boning Knife. For obvious reasons. This knife is more flexible and can bend and scrape in order to remove the sinew and meat from the bone.
I would like to conclude by requesting that you please do not put your good knives in the dishwasher. It takes just a second to hand wash them. The drying cycle, over time, makes the steel brittle and leads to chipping. Please purchase a knife or drawer block for storage. Don't use your knives for purposes that they were not intended for. If you are happy with other brands that you have purchased and used then that is fine. There is something for everyone. That's why we drive everything from Kia's to Bentley's. Just remember the old saying, "You get what you pay for". Oh and one more thing in regards to sharpening your knives. Put them back into alignment by honing them on a steel. Over time with use your knives need to be "straightened out". If you were to look at the edge of your knife under a microscope you would see that it is slightly bent from use. By honing the knife on a steel, you will notice that it will feel sharper. This is easy to perform and just requires practice. Hold your knife at a 20 degree angle or press the edge of the knife to the steel with the tip of your finger to find the degree. Follow the edge of the knife from end to tip at this angle. What you do to one side, do to the other. I usually don't recommend the electirc sharpening machines as most people don't know when to stop and I have seen an 8" Chef's Knife turned into a Boning knife with too much use. Knives should be professionally sharpened once a year by someone who knows what they are doing and the cost is minimal at around $1.00 - $3.00 per knife.


On November 06, 2005 at 10:02 PM, jagstyle said...
Subject: Re: Let's Cut Through It All
Anonymous wrote:
As someone who professionally uses knives everyday in the workplace I hope I can give a bit of help to all of the emotional confusion that seems to be occuring on this subject.

emotional confusion? where?

It is surprising how little most professional chefs know about cutlery. The exceptions that I know post on knifeforums.com and Foodie Forums.

One of my favorite knifenuts on Foodie Forums recently stated:
"I learned a long time ago that, for the most part, using what a chef uses may not be the right answer or even a good answer. Most chefs know very little about cutlery other than how to use it. The chefs that post here, of course, are exceptions to that statement. It's great to see and I wish there were even more exceptions."

Anonymous wrote:
Wustof Classic and Messermeister are the best. These are followed by Shun.

The best? So you've used Hattori, Masamoto, Mashahiro, Misono, Ryusen, Glestain, MAC, Ichimonji Mitsuhide, Ittosai, Hiromoto, Nenox, Suisin, Tojiro, Watanabe, Takeda, Haslinger, and Carter knives and determined that those two reigned supreme? I feel that every manufacturer I've mentioned offers a chef's knife that is superior to Wusthof's and Messermister's current offerings. Messermister Meridian and San Moritz lines are great because they did away with that horrendous full bolster but Wusthof Classic has quickly become outdated. Light, thin blades made from powdered super steels in a sandwich construction with soft stainless is where cutlery is headed. The Germans have already begun following the Japanese's innovation in this respect. Take Henckels brand new Twin Cermax M66 line for example.

Anonymous wrote:
Santoku. A fairly new knife in the American kitchen. These I find are best for slicing, especially those with the hollow-ground edge (dimples). This edge serves two purposes. It creates an extremely fine edge to the knife and also cuts down on the drag by creating an air pocket between the food and the cutting surface of the knife blade. They work well for slicing onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, etc. They work for chopping also, but I still prefer to use my Chef's knife since I tend to "rock" the belly of the knife on my cutting board. The Santoku, generally, does not have as curved of a belly as the Chef's.


I have yet to find a Santoku useful. It does not do any tasks better than a gyuto (cow sword, Japanese chef's knife) and it fails to do the slicing tasks where the longer chef's knife is required. In my book Santokus are a salad knife reserved for those who watch Rachael Ray and are best to remain ignorant about high end cutlery. The kullens on your average Santoku are mostly a marketing gimmick. In my experience they have no noticeable effect, look horrible and may shorten the life of the blade. Try a blind test, just watch your fingers...

The only knives that I've heard of where the dimples actually make a detectable difference as far as drag is concerned are Glestains:
http://img369.imageshack.us/img369/888/img940uu.jpg

Anonymous wrote:
I usually don't recommend the electirc sharpening machines as most people don't know when to stop and I have seen an 8" Chef's Knife turned into a Boning knife with too much use.

Amen. I usually don't recommend your average "professional sharpener" either. See next comment section...

Anonymous wrote:
Knives should be professionally sharpened once a year by someone who knows what they are doing and the cost is minimal at around $1.00 - $3.00 per knife.

Why not learn how to hand sharpen yourself? Your knives will love you for it. Most "professional" sharpeners use high speed grinding wheels that remove too much metal and generate too much heat. The only professional sharpener I would trust my knives with is Dave at D&R Sharpening Solutions: http://drsharpening.com/index.html

Do your knives look like this when they come back from the pro?
http://img108.imageshack.us/img108/828/p1010036resize8bh.jpg
http://img108.imageshack.us/img108/4851/p1010046resize8gp.jpg

http://img108.imageshack.us/img108/2015/p1010107resize8ho.jpg

http://img108.imageshack.us/img108/9844/p1010023resized7zr.jpg

http://img108.imageshack.us/img108/2195/p10101418cg.jpg

http://img108.imageshack.us/img108/8170/p1010087resized4qh.jpg

didn't think so...


On November 17, 2005 at 08:58 AM, Sam (guest) said...
Subject: Let's all whip our's out and see whose is longer.
This forum is worse than sports talk radio. I LIKE WUSTOF! You're ignorant, Obviously it's Shun! THose are both mediocre, I have a $1200 Masamoto Honyaki Gyokuseikou Kyoumen Sushi knife which I like to rub obsessively on a damp stone for hours a day until I can see myself sitting alone in the blade edge.
I thought the anonymous comments from the guy who worked as a professional chef were quite insightful and showed a level of character and respect for the opinions of others that is rare these days. Yet in the next post he was berated for assuming he had something to offer because he worked with kitchen cutlery every day. How colossally arrogant! Next thing I know, my auto mechanic will be suggesting I do something to maintain my car. I don't think I'll listen, however, because he isn't the engineer who designed it. In fact, he probably never designed any car.
I hope my point is getting through; sarcasm tends to be a tricky thing with text. The reason forums like this are even slightly useful is because people like to try to help other people with advice. Let's ease up a bit shall we? The world does not begin and end with Cowry X.


On November 17, 2005 at 11:52 PM, jagstyle said...
Subject: Re: Let's all whip our's out and see whose is longer.
Sam wrote:
This forum is worse than sports talk radio. I LIKE WUSTOF! You're ignorant, Obviously it's Shun! THose are both mediocre, I have a $1200 Masamoto Honyaki Gyokuseikou Kyoumen Sushi knife which I like to rub obsessively on a damp stone for hours a day until I can see myself sitting alone in the blade edge.


I agree. I am tired of hearing people declaring certain lines as the best. I misspoke in my previous post when I used the words "superior to". I meant to say that they work better for me. My bad, I got carried away...

What is the purpose of the italicized "alone" in your comment? Is it a joke or is it meant to belittle the knifenut who spends many hours polishing their sushi knife by saying no one would want to be around them?

Sam wrote:
I thought the anonymous commentfrom the guy who worked as a professional chef were quite insightful and showed a level of character and respect for the opinions of others that is rare these days. Yet in the next post he was berated for assuming he had something to offer because he worked with kitchen cutlery every day. How colossally arrogant!


Frankly, I found it typical of "I'm a chef" comments that heavily weigh being a professional yet really don't offer much more experience than the average home cook or department store salesperson.

Anonymous came in claiming that he might be able to help our emotional confusion because he a chef. I have a few issues with that statement.
1) I do not think that there is any emotional confusion on the subject that needs help.
2) If there was confusion that needed help, using knives everyday in the workplace would not be sufficient criteria to make me think one has the experience to help. It takes a passion for using good knives that drives one to seek out the best. Being a chef only lets me know that the person is most likely sufficiently skilled with a knife.

What is wrong with pointing out that when someone says they are a chef I don't assume that they are a knife expert? I don't think anonymous was scolded angrily at length. I simply told him that I find most chefs to know very little about knives so it will take a lot more than being a professional to earn my respect. If that is colossally arrogant than that is truly what I am.

I did assume that anonymous is a chef so perhaps I am wrong there. I am also assuming that anonymous is a he

Sam wrote:
Next thing I know, my auto mechanic will be suggesting I do something to maintain my car. I don't think I'll listen, however, because he isn't the engineer who designed it. In fact, he probably never designed any car.


In order to listen to your mechanic he has to have met some sort of criteria that allowed you to pass him off as someone with valuable advice to offer about maintaining your car. Same thing with with a chef and advice about knives. It all depends where we set our standards as to how helpful the advice will be.

Sam wrote:
I hope my point is getting through; sarcasm tends to be a tricky thing with text. The reason forums like this are even slightly useful is because people like to try to help other people with advice. Let's ease up a bit shall we? The world does not begin and end with Cowry X


I will do my best not to come off as a knife elitist jerk off in the future. Looking back at this post, I'm not sure if its actually possible...

I would also like to see this forum become a better resource.

Sam, those are some big words you are touting...Cowry X, Masamoto Honyaki...any chance I know you from another forum and/or you actually have some of these to play with?


On November 18, 2005 at 07:26 AM, Sam (guest) said...
Subject: It was a joke
I apologize for the somewhat coarse tone of my previous post. It was quite late in the evening when I wrote it, and I tend to become more irritable as a result. The italics for "alone" was a joke about spending too much time talking to your knives and not enough time doing anything else. I didn't mean it to be too terribly offensive, but I tend to forget that when I write to online forums, I am talking to people who not only can't see me, but don't know me and can't hear me. I tend to be a wise-ass in person, but I smile a lot and people know I am joking. Writing like I speak can get a person in trouble though. Also, while I have only recently become interested in kitchen cutlery and am currently without anything respectable in my kitchen. (Christmas should remedy this. I'm getting JCK.com's Master Home Chef set as a starter.) I have had a long love of pocket knives and edged tools of other sorts and the joke about seeing your lonesome reflection in the knife certainly applies to me.

On to your recent comments on my comments on your comments on some other guy's comments.

"In order to listen to your mechanic he has to have met some sort of criteria that allowed you to pass him off as someone with valuable advice to offer about maintaining your car. Same thing with with a chef and advice about knives. It all depends where we set our standards as to how helpful the advice will be."

This is the central dilemma surrounding advice forums such as this one: who's giving the advice? Personally, I find these forums the most useful when they provide insite into the reasons behind "why" so-and-so thinks their favorite brand of knife or bike frame or car tire is the best. That was why I liked what the professional knife-user had to say. I don't agree with everything he said, but he made some good points.

Japanese knives are amazing. The metallurgy and craftsmanship are simply incomparable and I am greatly looking forward to owning some myself, but they are a bit more finicky and require more care. By definition, this is a disadvantage in a tool. A sturdy forged stainless german knife will still cut a garlic clove, (which seems to be the only thing people use their knives for on this forum) and it won't complain too much if you don't wipe it off right away afterward. The question becomes: How much do I value a really, really sharp knife?

I like sharp knives. It appeals to my sense of propriety and rightness, that a knife should be as sharp as it can be. Going to greater lengths to maintain a japanese kitchen knife would not be a hardship for me; Heck, I'd sharpen my current kitchen knives to whatever they could stand if they weren't abyssmal stamped, serrated Farberware (wedding gift from off the registry) Seriously, a stamped, serrated 8" chef's knife? It's awful! However, I also have an old stamped ekco chef's knife with a partial tang that I absolutely love. It has a wonderful wooden handle which fits my hand, it's very light, and it curves to one side slightly for some reason. It is also a lousy knife in relative terms, but it works just fine for carving a roast or slicing a melon, so it is an effective tool. Plus it was free. So, in terms of food prep per dollar that knife is the clear winner in my kitchen.

My point is there are those people who use knives as tools and nothing more. They want something cut and that's it. For them the best knife is the one that does the job and can then be forgotten. It is transparent in it's extension of their designs. These people would be happiest with the most worry free knife they can find, even at the expense of cutting performance. They are the reason Henckels, Wustof, and Messermeister have been successful for as long as they have.
Then there are people like you and me and many of the other's who read and contribute to this forum. We look at these knives as more than just tools. The knives become an end in themselves, a testament to mankind's technical prowess. They are talismans, symbols of perfection, and using one fills one with joy because of the rare ease and accuracy with which they perform. Sharpening a knife is almost a religious experience, penance paid which makes the use of the knife that much sweeter. These are the people who buy the japanese knives.

It's like anything else, from Harley's to fishing rods to carburetor's, some people look at what something does and some people look at what it is. What is important is to realize that both views are necessary, and valid.

I haven't joined or even contributed to any other knife forums; I am familiar with Cowry X powdered steel and the Masamoto Honyaki Gyokuseikou Kyoumen simply through my own research prior to buying a knife or two of my own. I'm in my senior year of mechanical engineering and I like to know everything I possibly can about whatever I buy when I make purchases. I also like the name of this forum. Beyond that, material properties and metallurgy are interesting to me, hence the career choice. Sorry I got so long winded, normally somebody would have told me to shut up by now.


On November 18, 2005 at 08:41 AM, jagstyle said...
Sam, great post! I also apologize for the tone of my previous posts. I like your joke and would welcome more jokes and sarcasm in the future. I won't be on the defensive so you don't have to worry about how they will be received by me in text form. I do spend as much time as possible rubbing knives on damp stones. Unfortunately that is usually only once a week and my fingers give out in a few hours as I can't seem to keep them from rubbing on the stone. Anyways, no worries about a lengthy post...please keep the insightfulness flowing...the forum needs it

I hope you enjoy the Master Home Chet set. Be sure to let us know how well they function for you.


On November 18, 2005 at 10:06 PM, SofaKingCool (guest) said...
Subject: knifesafe
:D

I had to laugh when I read this

...well worth the cost. if you have kids make sure you keep them in a "knife safe" by lamsonsharp.
ths thing can take a finger or two off in a secound so be careful....


Hmm... doesn't sound very safe, or like a good place to keep a kid, but if you say so...


On December 06, 2005 at 07:56 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: Re: Sharpening
Sharpening is an art form that can be learned, just like cooking well can be learned.

Might I suggest going to Razor Edge Systems for the proper equipment and technique.

Razor Edge has been serving the meat packing industry for some time.


On December 13, 2005 at 12:21 AM, Ronin said...
Subject: Don't!
an anonymous reader wrote:
Any feedback or comments on the new Furi Rachel Ray knives. They look beautiful.The handle is the tang.Coppertail. Fairly expensive. What do you guys think?


Stay away from these knives. I made the mistake of purchasing the two knife set. They are inferior knives in my opinion. There is not a kitchen knife I own that does not do a better job of cutting carrots in particular. There was a bamboo case with the two knives that was poorly made.

I also do not recommend doing business with Chef's Resource.

If these are the same knives that Rachel Ray actually uses I would be very surprised indeed.


On December 19, 2005 at 10:16 PM, an anonymous reader said...
About those Rachel Ray knives...I looked at the other forum that was mentioned and, sadly, I'm actually an engineer, so I didn't find the comments there all that definitive/helpful. I could have been more persistant, I'll admit, but I actually came here because I was looking for more objectivity and hard data and I think this forum offers that better than the others. So I'm hoping to get a little more of that: what's wrong with the Furi knives? I saw where someone here said they were junk, can you offer specifics? My wife wants one and if I get her something else...well, I'm going to want to back it up... Thanks!


On December 23, 2005 at 02:11 PM, albino (guest) said...
@ jagstyle

WOW !!

i felt in love with youre deba, what is it?

i´m in search of real knifes like that,

i do use for sashimi a kansui (in europe sold as kobayashi) yanagiba 300mm,
i sharpen my self see here:
http://www.pixum.de/members/tsunamifoto/?act=a_view&album=1984916&i_p...17c

thanks for answer :-)


On January 11, 2006 at 08:02 AM, Claude (guest) said...
Subject: Wannabe Knife
Hi , I have been reading and getting ready to make the jump to Japenese knife I have ordered this knife as a start, it is a Santoku by a small firm in Japan http://www.fine-tools.com/G309253.htm
I have read what Jag posted about Wanabe knife and I will later order this Gyuto from him http://watanabeblade.com/english/pro/ebonyknife.jpg
This ling shows a Takohiki (Sushi blade) but the Gyuto should look like it.
Here is the back side of the knife http://watanabeblade.com/english/pro/gyu300.jpg
I was just wondering what you guys thought and also between single or double bevel what is the diference and also by size of grip.
Any suggestions or thoughts that could help are welcome.
Many thanks


On February 19, 2006 at 06:21 PM, unclehampy (guest) said...
Subject: sharpening
Hi, i love reading all of these posts. I have been working in kitchens for years. About 14, and remember my fist knife well. I still have it. A german 9 inch chef knife the brand isn't important so i won't mention it. It is completely unusable now, from incorect sharpening. The knife mabe unusable excet for a spear point, but i learned alot about what i liked and didn't like in a knife. My advise to anyone considering buying a good knife for the first or second time is, buy a set of Water Stones First. I happen to have a ridiculous number of them, (i just like to buy them) but you really only need a few. If you buy a knife and it is sharp, keep it sharp with a 1200 grit or so and polish with something higher, i use a 5000 to finish. You really don't need to go any higher unless you are sushi chef cutting fish all day. {coarse stones are usefull to get out chips, but use them sparingly, you can take off alot of metal} You will also need to keep them flat (coarse stones are good for this too) this can be done with sand paper or a specialty flattening stone, its easy if you do it often. I have found Wood working sites, to be very usefull for stone and sharpening info.

Personaly, I hate knives with blosters, they are hard to sharpen for me. If I had it to do all over again I would have started with an inexpensive forchner chef knife; learned good sharpening skills, then move on. For me in a busy kitchen, I love my Mac mightly 10.5 it seems to hold a good edge. I also have a few others including a Global, foschner, Misono, and a few Masimoto's. They are all great for what they are, the key is finding what you like and need. Just remember the most expensive knife in the world is useless, unless you can keep it sharp.


On February 19, 2006 at 08:08 PM, grantmasterflash said...
$10 Farberware forged knife. I modify the handle for comfort and sharpen it up nice. It works as great as any expensive knife. I have two, one for meat and one for non-meats.


On February 21, 2006 at 03:40 PM, Family Chow Hall (guest) said...
Subject: knives
This is really good advice. Instead of searching for a particular brand, now I know specifically which qualities I want a good knife to have. Thanks!


On March 13, 2006 at 01:42 PM, Jimmy Tenacious (guest) said...
I think we all have extended ourselves too far in this forum. Let me ask all of you… did you come to this page wanting to find out just about cooking/knives/sharpening/etc…etc? Why have we all become those people from Vogue forum? Why can’t we all just help out each other with each others’ questions?


On March 13, 2006 at 05:48 PM, Taamar said...
A chef giving advice on knives is not quite the same as a mechanic giving advice on cars.... a knife is our primary tool (as opposed to the subject of our study), and almost any chef will tell you that a knife is like underwear... it's a personal choice that everyone feels differently about. I spend 7 hours a day with my knife in my hand... I think I have fairly good insight into what makes THAT knife work for ME, and also into what might make a knife work (or not work) for someone else. I also know what I want to be able to do with my knife, but most people will never want to lathe-turn a 1 inch chunk of carrot into two feet of ribbon.

Things to think about when considering knives:

Hardness of steel: softer steel takes a sharper edge but won't hold it. Harder steel isn't quite as sharp but holds its edge. Find your balance, but remember that you will lose part of your knife every time you have to sharpen.

Handle shape: Ignore how 'pretty' it looks, it needs to feel good in your hands. This is a good place for the underwear comparison. Find what works for you.

Blade shape: Santokus are very trendy right now, and some people love them. Others love the old-style chef knife. The chef knife lends itself to rocking cuts, the santoku is better for choping cuts. What's your style? How much curvature do you want in your cutting edge?

Edge style: There are some wonderful single-edge Japanese blades out there. the blade is super sharp, but a bit brittle... are you willing to baby a knife for the ability to cut raw potato so thin it looks like glass? Hollow-ground blades are sharper than regular, but hard to keep up.

Maintanance: there really and truly are knives you can run through the dishwasher. And there are knived you need to rub with oil after every use. Watered steel (like the Shuns) need to be wiped dry after they are washed. Carbon steel will rust. How much work are you willing to put into keeping your knife 'happy'?

Style: Seriously, there are plenty of people who want the 'look'. You want people to say 'wow' about your knife. This should be a tie-breaker, but don't discount how much you'll learn to love a knife that makes people think you're a bad-ass in the kitchen.


On March 13, 2006 at 08:19 PM, jagstyle said...
Taamar wrote:
Hardness of steel: softer steel takes a sharper edge but won't hold it. Harder steel isn't quite as sharp but holds its edge. Find your balance, but remember that you will lose part of your knife every time you have to sharpen.


What properties allow softer steel to take a sharper edge? Are we talking about the same steel with different heat treatments or steels that are generally treated to a lower hardness vs steels that are generally treated to higher hardness?


On April 14, 2006 at 06:39 PM, TheMadRonin (guest) said...
Subject: Shun knives and lefties
Michael -

I have to disagree with your statement that the d-shaped handle on Shun's knives are not suitable for lefties. I have several Shun knives in my collection and I can use them without any problems despite the fact that I am left handed. In fact I find the d-shape to fit my hand quite nicely. I enjoy them so much that I prefer my Shuns over most of the other knives I use.

Regards,

TMR


On April 19, 2006 at 07:07 PM, AlanSellers (guest) said...
Subject: Chef Knives
Hey everyone,

Found this forum really interesting as I am a chef of 4 years and have been slowly putting together a knife set to last a lifetime (hopefully) and have tried a lot of different brands.

At the moment I have mainly Wusthof, Kershaw Shun, Giesser and a few Sabatier Deglon and Perrier.
The Shuns are thinner blades and I like the Santoku for basic veg prep and light meat work, I find the hollow edge version stays sharper and reacts better to gentle steeling (although the difference is fairly marginal), I like the weight but then I have always favoured slightly lighter blades.

My Wusthofs are from the 'Silverpoint' line and are thinner blades than the forged line and I find these are good solid knives that perform well, although I have only a boning, fillet and palette knife from this line so I can't speak to how they would stand up to the regular daily use of a Chefs knife, edge retention is what you'd expect from fairly priced Wusthofs.

My Sabatiers are good and react well to steeling, they've taken all the abuse I've given them and kept coming back for more, but they are not the most beautiful things to look at and are quite heavy compared to shuns, the blades are quite thick so not the best for veg prep.

Geisser are knives from Germany on the same level as Victorinox, and about the same price as well, the chef knives from this range have deeper blades and I like this about them, edge retention is very good and they sharpen very easily, I find they out perform the Victorinox knives I have used and so they have become my preference.

As far as sharpening goes, I use a steel maufactured by F.Dick, called a Dickoron Titan, see it here:

http://www.cutleryandmore.com/details.asp?SKU=4154

This steel gets a good edge on all my knives and is made by a respected company, for a long time I found Steel sharpening very frustrating as some resources advised methods that didn't seem to work for me and I ended up thinking I was doing it wrong, If you have a similar experience try and be patient, don't go and buy lots of different steels like I did, It won't help. Steeling is not an exact science and not something that can always be taught, too an extent it's about how your knives react with your steel, what kind of edge you have ground on your knives and how you use your steel, be patient, it comes over time, but if you have your knives proffesionally sharpenend ask them what angle they sharpened at and that will help you use your steel effectively, if you steel at a different angle you will have wasted your money and blunted your knife.

I also use an electric sharpener too restore my knife edge every few months, I did extensive research to make sure I bought a machine that would sharpen safely and effectively without hurting my knives through losing too much metal or heating the blade, this website is very extensive and you will see that they know thier stuff, the machine I bought does as good a job as a proffesional sharpener, but it is extremely expensive. Have a look and decide for yourself.

http://www.catra.org/products/sharpening/CATRASHARP.htm

I hope some of this helps somebody out there, enjoy good knives and good food.


On April 22, 2006 at 10:06 AM, AlanSellers (guest) said...
Subject: Hattori KD Gyuto - Cowry X steel
Hey again everyone,

I am looking at buying one of Hattoris custom made damascus chef knives from the Epicurian Edge, does anybody have one or any experience using one?, they are very expensive and I was wondering whether or not there are any problems with them, what is the edge retention like? are they balanced well?, is it true there are 160 layers of steel on these knives?

any advice will be appreciated.


On April 22, 2006 at 06:14 PM, jagstyle said...
Subject: Re: Hattori KD Gyuto - Cowry X steel
AlanSellers wrote:
Hey again everyone,

I am looking at buying one of Hattoris custom made damascus chef knives from the Epicurian Edge, does anybody have one or any experience using one?, they are very expensive and I was wondering whether or not there are any problems with them, what is the edge retention like? are they balanced well?, is it true there are 160 layers of steel on these knives?

any advice will be appreciated.


They are generally regarded as the best western style knife one can purchase. Very few people actually own them so it may just be the $1000 price tag that makes everyone think they are the best. I suggest that you go to one of these forums and ask the same questions as there are actually a couple of people who own them and can relate their experiences:

http://www.knifeforums.com/forums/showforum.php?fid/26/
http://www.foodieforums.com/vbulletin/forumdisplay.php?f=6

This page has some information on how they are made:
http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/KDSeries.html

When knifeforums.com was asked to design a line of knives, we had the one member with a Hattori KD trace his knife and make minor adjustments:
http://www.knifeforums.com/forums/showtopic.php?tid/750818/

Trace of Hattori KD to show balance point (balanced for pinch grip used by professional chefs):
http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y113/blwchef/Sketches002.jpg


On May 11, 2006 at 09:15 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: Sharpening Stones
Like just about everyone out there, I've tried many knives. I try to stick to some of the good common names (Global, Wustof and Shun) and try to avoid some of the brands that used to have a good name but are now making different level knives (Henkel comes to mind). I understand not everyone can afford a great knife but I just don't like it when companies try to pass off their new cheap stuff under the same name.

When it comes to actually using knives, sharpness makes all the difference (regardless of brand). I hate to see some guy bragging up his expensive knives only to see that his knives are dull as a spoon. A sharp junk knive will outperform a good but dull knive any time. No doubt a sharp good knife is even better and will stay sharp much longer.

I just keep a few stones handy and use them when my knife starts to feel dull.
Bench Stones:
http://www.sharpeningsupplies.com/Bench-Stones-C1.aspx


On May 25, 2006 at 04:09 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: Shun knives and the left hand
I am left handed and I agree with TheMadRonin that the knifes are comfortable. I really have no comparison (since my right feels unconfortable no mater what shape the handle is), but I like having the raised portion of the handle against my fingertips rather than in my palm. It feels far more comfortable than a knife without the ridge, and I actually enjoy holding it.


On June 01, 2006 at 07:11 AM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: cutco comments
I have been a professional chef for >10 years and i have never seen a single chef who uses cutco knives. The reason for that is they are not quality.
Henkel, Wustoff and Victoria knox are pretty much the most popular standard western knives.


On July 21, 2006 at 05:17 AM, Guest (guest) said...
Subject: ..
what abt Mundial Knives? They any good?


On October 18, 2006 at 02:46 PM, Anna Guest (guest) said...
Subject: need advice Knives
I'm about to get my first "for life knives", well, i'm asking for them at least, and plan to purchase the ones i don't get. can i get some opinions? am i missing something? are these good (especially the bread knife, i like the different shape, but is it effective)?

wusthof Super Slicer
http://www.wusthof.com/database/products/4532000.jpg

wusthof Grand Prix II Santoku Oriental cook´s knife 17cm (for slicing fine things)
http://www.wusthof.com/database/products/4174000.jpg

wusthof Utility knife 10 cm (to be used as paring knife)
http://www.wusthof.com/database/products/4066012.jpg

wusthof Cook´s knife 20cm
http://www.wusthof.com/database/products/4582020.jpg

thanks for your comments


On October 19, 2006 at 12:43 AM, GaryProtein said...
Subject: Re: need advice Knives
Anna Guest wrote:
I'm about to get my first "for life knives", well, i'm asking for them at least, and plan to purchase the ones i don't get. can i get some opinions? am i missing something? are these good (especially the bread knife, i like the different shape, but is it effective)?

wusthof Super Slicer
http://www.wusthof.com/database/products/4532000.jpg

wusthof Grand Prix II Santoku Oriental cook´s knife 17cm (for slicing fine things)
http://www.wusthof.com/database/products/4174000.jpg

wusthof Utility knife 10 cm (to be used as paring knife)
http://www.wusthof.com/database/products/4066012.jpg

wusthof Cook´s knife 20cm
http://www.wusthof.com/database/products/4582020.jpg

thanks for your comments


You asked for comments, so here goes:

1) DO NOT, DO NOT, DO NOT get the Wusthof super slicer. They are essentially unsharpenable unless you have the same equipment at home that is used to manufacture it and the price is high. Get a 10 inch (26 cm) Granton edge (hollow ground edge) slicer instead if you intend to slice meats. Use a steel or stone (your preference) to sharpen and maintain, and you've got it made. Also since you want to use the super slicer as a bread knife, get a bread knife if that is what your use will be. A bread knife has concave scallops with points between the scallops to penetrate the crust. The convex scallops on the super slicer are more for meat that doesn't have a crust like bread. The concave scallops on a bread knife are NOT good for cutting large cuts or slices of meat. Any good sharp knife can be used for cutting bread if you don't have a dedicated bread knife. Also, a concave scallop you can sharpen at hone with a round ceramic stone, scallop by scallop if you are patient. The convex scallops cannot be sharpened by reasonable means.

2) I am not particularly enamoured by the Santokus, but if you like the 17 cm model, that's fine. I would use a 20 cm cook's knife for that purpose.

3) A 10 cm utility knife is too small to cut sandwiches or a salami. If you want to use it for paring, it might be a little too big, but it is in the ballpark. Get a 6" (16 cm) utility knife and 3" (8-9 cm) parer. The short paring knife isn't expensive, so just get it as an extra knife.

4) The 20 cm cook's knife is fine, although if you have a 17 cm Santoku, I would opt for a 26 cm cook's knife instead.

I like the Wusthof knives and own many of them. Some get used much more than others. I could go on, but in the final analysis, you must decide what is best for you.


On November 18, 2006 at 04:20 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: Kiwi!
A non-mention is the ridiculously cheap Kiwi knives from taiwan.

I mostly love them because they are cheap, but they are also light, have a nice thin blade, and sharpen up fast, staying fairly sharp, unless you really are just pounding away on your knife all day long. I pay 5 bucks or less for them at my local Asian market, and I don't have to worry about them getting stolen at work. If it gets to dull, or someone borrows it and screws it up, gets dropped, etc... I don't cry about it, and it perform fairly decent.

All my nice knives are at home though, and you just have to pick which ones fit you and the tasks you use. I like my wusthof santoku, I don't do a lot of jobs at home that require my chef's knife. I have a 12" chefs knife i picked up for those large tasks though, and it has its times it is nice. I agree with the pick of victronix for cheap little parers you are going to lose or beat up.

And please learn to sharpen your own knives, most "professionals" will chew up quite a bit of your blade. Hone it every time you use it too.

Oh, and cutco is damned good at that brainwashing. My dad sold knives for them in the 60's and for year he thought his were good. Then I brought home my knives and he was forced to repent and chunk his in the trash. :P


On November 25, 2006 at 01:55 AM, Dean (guest) said...
Subject: Asian cleaver
I completely agree an Asian cleaver is the best single knife to have. I purchased mine from an antique store. It was $65, my wife thought I was crazy. This $65 purchase very soon replaced my Top quality $600 German steel knife set. My expensive set simply sits in the kitchen looking pretty and waiting to be dusted
.
Not only is the versatility of this cleaver second to none. I think of all the many hands that used it before I. I am 6ft 5inches with very large hands. This knife although fits my hand perfectly, it certainly was not owned previously, or was not designed for someone my size. Most Asian cooks I have seen are no where near my size. I strongly would recommend If you only can have one knife, make it an Asian cleaver!

The one pictured is the same design style as mine, it must be good, I know the design has worked for over a century, as mine is older than that.


On December 14, 2006 at 11:57 PM, guest (guest) said...
Subject: shun for lefties
I just wanted you left handed chefs to know that shun knives do come in a left handed grip, when you buy it ask for a left handed one. If you order it from a site they shuld have left or right handed grips as an option. This is a great knife !


On December 26, 2006 at 06:11 PM, tias (guest) said...
Subject: the perfect gift
I gave my husband a Hanzo Hattori KD-34 for christmas.Iv'e got it ingraved on the blade even thou i was afraid it would ruin the look.But it didn't. Mr KOKI IWAHARA at JapaneseChefsKnife.Com was truly and angel this christmas and i highly recommend their service.


On December 28, 2006 at 04:54 AM, rads (guest) said...
Subject: whetstone grit
Just a word on whetstones. Grits are different for different Materials. Ceramic vs. diamond vs. natural vs. aluminum oxide. A 600 grit aluminum oxide stone is comparable to 2000 grit ceramic stone. If you are a novice or if you regularly pay to have your knives sharpened, check out the edge pro apex. It basically sets the angle for you and is pretty dummy proof. If you don’t know what you are doing with a whetstone you will kill you blade. The Apex is pricey but not as pricey as having your knives professionally sharpened all the time.

http://www.accuratesharp.com/edge-pro.htm


On December 28, 2006 at 05:12 AM, jagstyle said...
Subject: Re: whetstone grit
rads wrote:
Just a word on whetstones. Grits are different for different Materials. Ceramic vs. diamond vs. natural vs. aluminum oxide. A 600 grit aluminum oxide stone is comparable to 2000 grit ceramic stone. If you are a novice or if you regularly pay to have your knives sharpened, check out the edge pro apex. It basically sets the angle for you and is pretty dummy proof. If you don’t know what you are doing with a whetstone you will kill you blade. The Apex is pricey but not as pricey as having your knives professionally sharpened all the time.

http://www.accuratesharp.com/edge-pro.htm


Grit is grit. It refers to a certain particle size. The material of the abrasive particle is irrelevant. The difference occurs when abrasive manufactures use different systems of measure:

sharpening stone grit sizes/comparisons


On December 28, 2006 at 02:06 PM, GaryProtein said...
Subject: Re: whetstone grit
jagstyle wrote:
Grit is grit. It refers to a certain particle size. The material of the abrasive particle is irrelevant.


Grit is grit, and while the particle size may be the same, a diamond stone will have more cutting power than an aluminum oxide stone, which will have more cutting power than an Arkansas stone. A harder stone will cut faster because the abrasive crystals (on a macro/microscopic scale) will not break during use, and a stone with an optimal space between grit particles for the grindings to fall and not clog the stone's cutting surface as metal filings fall off the knife will also cut faster. A softer stone, regardless of grit, will lose its manufactured shape faster than a harder stone. If your blade angle is set to exactly what you want and it is almost razor sharp, and you just want to give it a mirror finish, then a soft stone could be fine. For coarser sharpening, a harder stone like diamond, zirconium oxide or aluminum oxide (in decreasing order) would be more beneficial, and it would not necessarily need to be a coarse grit size because the diamond would not wear out and the shape of the stone would remain essentially unchanged during extended use.

There are several variables in what makes an effective sharpening stone and your goal in each sharpening step also factors into what makes an effective sharpening stone.


On December 28, 2006 at 06:40 PM, rads (guest) said...
Thanks for the explanation. What I meant was that a 1000 grit Japanese whetstone is not necessarily finer than a 600 grit DMT diamond stone. What I didn’t know was why so thanks for the information.

Also I saw in one of your posts a list of knives you felt superior to Shun. I was considering a Shun and was wondering why these were better. The only ones that I would consider is the misono ux10 or the Powdered High Speed Tool Steel Series because they looks like kitchen tools and not a museum pieces. It is close enough in price to Shun.

IMHO this is what makes a good knife (for cooking)

1. Sharp enough to slice a ripe tomato using only the weight of the knife. I realize that some of the knives are sharp enough to perform circumcisions on house flies in mid flight, but this is not necessary for kitchen work.
2. The ability to be honed regularly.
3. The ability to be re-sharpened when needed.
4. Solid construction. A handle that will not break.
5. Good balance.

I prefer a knife with some heft. This is one reason that I don’t like the Global or Mac. I want a forged knife. Global does make a forged knife but it is only available in Japan. If you have ever seen this knife I would like an opinion on it (my brother might be going to Japan in a few months.
Quote:
Grit is grit. It refers to a certain particle size. The material of the abrasive particle is irrelevant. The difference occurs when abrasive manufactures use different systems of measure:


On January 22, 2007 at 04:07 AM, an anonymous reader said...
you guys have it all wrong. ginsu is the best knife out there. it can even cut marble.


On January 22, 2007 at 11:14 PM, SirSpice said...
Anonymous wrote:
you guys have it all wrong. ginsu is the best knife out there. it can even cut marble.


my lightsaber owns ginsu knives


On February 08, 2007 at 03:35 AM, an anonymous reader said...
Interested in some good knives:

I've been doing some research on this forum and have found it to be very
helpful. Interested in opionions on the Henckels Twin Cermax 66 and what is the difference between those and the Twin Cermax, besides price.

The 8" Twin Cermax 66 Chef's knife, I haven't found for any less than $189.95. I like the looks of these, but are they that much better than some knives costing less?

Thanks for any info you can gve me.

Bill


On February 08, 2007 at 08:34 PM, jagstyle said...
The M66 line features an exotic powdered steel @ 66 Rockwell

http://www.cutleryandmore.com/details.asp?SKU=9688

http://www.foodieforums.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?p=14728

http://img133.imageshack.us/img133/114/9688mc5.jpg


On February 11, 2007 at 06:36 AM, David (guest) said...
Subject: Choice of knives and sharpening methods
Back in the early 70s when I bought my first set of sabatier knives, the stainless knives were unsharpenable garbage, so I got plain carbon steel. They are still in daily use, but I no longer recommend carbon--it can't be put in the dishwasher, can't be left wet, and looks like hell.

In those days German chefs' knives had more of a knuckle toward the tip, so they were more easily rocked. French knives had a more even curve to the edge, so they were better for slicing motions. I do have a 10" F. Dick of that vintage, and it still has the knuckle, though you only see it by comparison with the sabatier.

Now I get knives based on the feel in my hand. Thus, I never got used to my Chinese cleaver, and eventually relegated it to the cellar (of course, this meant I used the big F.Dick chefs' knife to bash garlic and popped one of the rivets in the handle, so I got a western cleaver, which is used for little else.

I have two utility knives--a Mac and a no-name with a wooden handle. I like the feel of the no-name better! (But the Mac takes and holds an edge better). I found the Mac in a thrift shop, dead dull but otherwise apparently unused. It took about an hour to sharpen on the diamond hones, and is now about as good as any I've ever seen.

I find I don't use paring knives to any substantial extent, so I haven't replaced the old sabatiers. My wife, however, uses paring knives where I would use an 8" chef's knife or a 7" santuko. I've been looking at paring knives (not too hard), but so far haven't found any that are more comfortable than the old sabatiers. I do have a set of paring knives with color coded handles, but find I don't need them. Between every use of the knives and cutting board I wash them with hot water, a brush, and either germicidal soap or cleanser with bleach.)

Yes, I did buy a 7" santuko a year ago because it was cheap. Unfortunately, farberware doesn't hold an edge well, though I can sharpen it pretty well with a diamond steel followed by a regular fine steel. I have a 10" santuko from J.C.Penny, but haven't found any use for it.

In addition to my forstener boning knife and an old chicago cuttlery carbon steel, I find that I use a cheap stainless knife a lot: it's just the thing for cutting cheesecakes, where I have to dip in hot water between cuts! I also have a cheap paring knife from a thrift shop that I filed down to 1/4 inch (6 mm) wide--it's just right for loosening cakes from pans, but not much else.

For real sharpening, I got a 4-sided diamond stone (harborfreight.com) in a plastic stand. It has 200 through 600 grits, and then I use the steels. This can reshape an edge to any angle. I habitually sharpen to something closer to 15 degrees than 20. This means that the blade gets dull a bit more quickly. (For strength, carpenters tools are sharpened to the regular sharpness, and then a "back bevel" is put on the very edge, making it stronger and less likely to turn.)

I still have my old carburundum and washita stones, but no longer use them, now that diamond stones have gotten cheap.

For bread and tomatoes I use knives with wavy serations (not microserrations). I also have a long slicer with those serrations, which I use mostly for leveling cakes. Again, I selected the bread knife by its feel, I have a couple of slicers--a long sabatier, and an even longer gerber and a forshner I got at a restaurant supply house. (And a very thin no-name blade that I use for salmon. It's a molybdenum-vanadium steel, so it will take an edge, if I use the diamond hone.)

The point is that you can put a decent edge on any blade, if you have technique--and if you can learn to slice quickly and evenly, you can develop the technique: it's just a matter of hand-eye coordination and making repeatable motions. But the usability of the knife depends on the balance, the fit of the handle, and how slippery it gets. Thus, wood would still be best, except it's hard to keep clean, since it's damaged by water.

Remember, knife safety is all about control. If the knife isn't dead dull, then it's a matter of feel. That's why I use the no-name utility knife more than the Mac, even though the Mac will hold its edge much better (the other reason is that it has a sharp point, which is sometimes useful. The Mac's offset handle is good, but I can compensate by moving my cutting board to the edge of the counter.)

I have several dough knives. The one I use most is all stainless with a rounded handle. However, I have an old maple one, and a new nylon one and a couple of plastic dough scrapers. I use those when scraping pastry dough off the granite counter, or when cleaning bowls, but not for general use on one of my several poly cutting boards (the old wooden boards are down the basement--I now knead bread dough on commericial weight poly, held in place by one of those rubber mesh shelf linings put under it. (the shelf lining can be loosely rolled and put in the dishwasher, even on sanitizer cycle, and it survives.)


On February 24, 2007 at 10:41 AM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: Japanese Blades
Quote:

Carter
Dojo
Glestain
Haslinger
Hattori
Hiromoto
Ichimonji Mitsuhide
Ittosai
Ittosai Kotetsu
MAC
Masahiro
Masamoto
Mashahiro
Misono
Nenox
Ryusen
Suisin
Takeda
Tojiro
Watanabe



I am looking for the best quality Japanese blade. $100 above, but not $1000 above like the Hatori KD which I think you would be paying extra for aesthetic reasons.

Which brands should I avoid and which brand should I aim for?


On February 24, 2007 at 11:06 AM, victorpo (guest) said...
Subject: Japanese Blades
What about Kasumi blades? There's not one mention about it here.


On February 24, 2007 at 06:48 PM, jagstyle said...
Subject: Re: Japanese Blades
Anonymous wrote:
Quote:

Carter
Dojo
Glestain
Haslinger
Hattori
Hiromoto
Ichimonji Mitsuhide
Ittosai
Ittosai Kotetsu
MAC
Masahiro
Masamoto
Mashahiro
Misono
Nenox
Ryusen
Suisin
Takeda
Tojiro
Watanabe



I am looking for the best quality Japanese blade. $100 above, but not $1000 above like the Hatori KD which I think you would be paying extra for aesthetic reasons.


Ryusen Blazen over anything else from any maker on that list (expect the outrageous Hattori KD of course).

http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/RYUSEN.html

http://www.epicureanedge.com/shopdisplayproducts.asp?id=224&cat=Blazen


On February 25, 2007 at 02:17 AM, DanB said...
Subject: Paring knives
David,

If you're looking for a great paring knife, I've never used anything better than the Global GS-7. It feels different than the chef's knife, so even people who don't like the big Global's might like this. I find it immensely comfortable and sharp as all hell--like Global's typically.


On April 05, 2007 at 09:08 PM, an anonymous reader said...
i agree with the cutco lovers; it's still the best set of knives in my books! plus, they can resharpen the single bladed knives for you, and if there's a problem with the double bladed/serrated-like knives, they can replace them for you, free of charge (in canada anyway). i tried working for the company but i couldn't do the whole selling knives thing to friends or people i knew. i use them myself though, and plan on getting the garlic press too.


On April 06, 2007 at 04:04 AM, an anonymous reader said...
I have a pair of Cutco knives: the paring knife and the vegetable knife, the latter of which sort of resembles a cleaver in that it has no point.

I kind of like the paring knife. It's a little longer blade than most paring knives, which works for me, and the handle is comfortable. However, essentially the same handle on the larger vegetable knife doesn't feel secure. Also, as the blade is essentially flat but for a small curvature just at the end, it's basically useless for mincing, which is one of the chief elements of vegetable prep.

Finally, re: Cutco: their knives are easier to sharpen and take a wicked edge relative to my Henckels knives, but they don't hold the edge well at all.

My next knife purchase will probably be a Gyuto. I'm smitten with the Tojiro HD-8 240mm with the Damascus steel. Soooo pretty.


On June 12, 2007 at 06:00 AM, New Tojiro Owner (guest) said...
Subject: Tojiro
I have recently purchased a tojiro Gyuto, boning knife, and paring knife. Unbelievable sharpness right out of the box, Rockwell hardness of 61, and lighter than most western brands. The gyotu cuts tomatoes as easily as a serrated bread knife. It also carves roasts easily. If you rock your blade, you will love these Japanese knives. If you are a chopper, a heavier western knife might suit you better.

Anyone use the Wustof Le Cordon Bleu knives? I like the fact that they do not have a full bolster. Any thoughts?


On June 12, 2007 at 07:26 PM, SirSpice said...
I have used a Wusthof chef's knife and paring knife once. I didn't like either of them. The handles felt cheap and both were relatively dull.

My goto knives are the Global G2 8", Tojiro DP 300mm gyuto, TFS cleaver, and Hattori 150mm parer. My hobby is sharpening them so they're all extremely sharp. I use the G2 for most stuff, the Tojiro for slicing bread and meat, the TFS for misc jobs (crushing garlic, tenderizing beef, cutting and scraping dough), and the Hattori parer for fine cuts.


On June 13, 2007 at 09:30 AM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: cutco is the BEST!!!
Geez... I love my cutco. :)


On August 01, 2007 at 02:07 AM, Aussie_Pete said...
Subject: Ryusen Blazen vs. Hiromoto Tenmi-Jyuraku Aogami Super
I've read a lot on this forum and others, and researched quite a lot of different brands/manufacturers/materials/prices, and I've shortlisted Ryusen's Blazen and Hiromoto's Tenmi-Jyuraku Aogami Super for my next two everyday knives (a Petty 150mm and a Gyoto 240mm).

Anyone got opinions on/comments about/experience with either of these that could help me make the final decision?

Thanks!

PS. I've had a blue steel 240mm Deba from Watanabe for a few years now. Awesome knife! Scary sharp, holds an edge forever. Initially found it hard to get used to the concave back, tho.


On October 26, 2007 at 05:30 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: Cutco isn't quality, are you sure?
<I have been a professional chef for >10 years and i have never seen a single chef who uses cutco knives. The reason for that is they are not quality.
Henkel, Wustoff and Victoria knox are pretty much the most popular standard western knives.>

I've avoided posting on these formums for a long time based on the reaction given by both Cutco lovers and haters but I've got to handle this comment.
Very few pro. chefs use Cutco for a couple reasons. Many chefs receive discounts or are even paid to use popular brands, Cutco does not. Also Cutco is marketed towards in-home use and spends zero dollars or time trying to attract pro Chefs while

P.S.
It's spelled Henckels(and Wusthof) and the steel and the tempering process used on Henckels knives is almost identical to that Cutco's so the statement that Cutco lacks quality would probably be a little strong( I can give details on both companies manufacturing procedures if anyone is interested)


On December 04, 2007 at 09:05 PM, Jason B. (guest) said...
Subject: Restaurant Knifes
Cutco isn't that bad for certain applications but you won't see pro Chef's using them, some of you guys are right.

Not all Japanese Knifes are an easy solution on a large level, like average restaurant chains that need to supply large networks with 100's or 1000's of locations.

I ran across a http://ablekitchen.com Retaurant Supplies company recently that has a decent selection of restaurant application knifes as well as high end, not to mention I can find the rest of the supplies I need to stock up on at the same time.


On December 12, 2007 at 06:02 PM, new to knives (guest) said...
Subject: Recommendations for a Chef knife
My wife would to get a chef's knife (used primarily for chopping veggies) for Christmas, but I am not sure what to get. I have read this forum, but even looking at some of the major brands that have been listed here multiple times, there are quite a few knives to choose from. (In reviewing Wusthof knives, they have 9 different lines of knives.) To assist in the recommendations, I prefer to keep my purchase to around US$100. What would y'all recommend?

Thank you for your input! :)

Merry Christmas,

JT


On December 12, 2007 at 08:18 PM, Dilbert said...
JT -

the biggest issue is not brand name - it's how the knife fits your hand.

all the new & different & improved & <insert more marketing hype here> handle "designs" may not suit the user. I recently saw a new 'designer' line from Porsche. well, believe me those knives would sure stay sharp in my kitchen - simply because I can't imagine trying to get my hand around that degree of uncomfortable looking fashion . . . nor do I even try on shoes with little pointy toes.

in that price range, look for a forged blade, tang that goes completely through (lengthwise) the handle. 8" is a good length for a 'starter'

past that, since it's a gift I'd look for a store that will allow for an exchange if it feels unmanageable her her hand - or lessen the surprise and take her along to heft / feel / grasp / smooze the knife for her own opinion.

obviously it would be a bit on the less than reasonable side to expect to exchange a knife after a month's use . . . so "testing" is advisable.


On April 13, 2008 at 08:59 PM, archangelptx (guest) said...
Subject: Cutco
If anyone wants Cutco, I'm a representative working to help pay for school, so I wouldn't mind you giving me an e-mail if you want to order and help me out =P. It's archangelptx@gmail.com, and I give great deals! =)


On April 24, 2008 at 12:30 AM, guest (guest) said...
Subject: knives
"the biggest issue is not brand name - it's how the knife fits your hand. "

I think the biggest issue really is the skill of the person using the knife.


just thinking about this, and realized that you are talking about the wrong stuff. I think skills are far more important than the knives themselves. A good skill base is more important than the knife itself, although the knife better be sharp.

this is my personal workhorse. I've re-shaped the edge to be a single bevel. Less than a minute on a stone every morning and its sharper than factory edges.

Korin

If your concerned with looks don't even bother. It will stain. Its made from high carbon steel, this stuff has been used in blades before stainless was even a thought, and I can't find a reason use anything different. I can personally recomend suisin because its been in my hands for many hours a day for 2 years. Its one of the heavier knives out there with the thickest spine I've seen with a few exceptions. I prefer heavy knives though. Its the best $100 i have ever spent.

I owned a shun and within a week it was put into retirement because of the edge chipping. I have no idea why but it scared the hell out of me thinking of metal chips in someones food. I straightened the edge out and put it in the retired knife box.


On May 29, 2008 at 03:10 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: I bought my Knives from Salamander
Another great article! I bought my kitchen Knives from Salamander Cookshop. I wasn't sure what quality or type of knives to get so I rang them up. They very helpful and I ended up spending a lot less than I expected. I am not sure if they are the cheapest but I have used them before for various kitchen products and they have a great customer service.

I have added a link to their knife section:
http://www.salamandercookshop.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=3


On June 01, 2008 at 03:57 AM, Knife-Lover's Friend (guest) said...
Subject: Cooking Knife Reference or Resource?
Good Day all!
I have a dear friend that has pulled together an amazing collection of cooking knives, japanese, italian, german, american, etc., from paring to Chef, as well as some amazing specialty knives with carved blades.
I would love to find a reference or resource (other than this amazing site) to give him for his birthday - something that tells the purpose, specialty, and history of different blades. Does that exist?


On June 05, 2008 at 04:25 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: Chefs knife
Messermeister is my knife of choice


On December 01, 2008 at 08:26 AM, k1w1 cooker said...
Subject: geisser knives
I have aquired a set of geisser knives for my training as a chef, i started about 4 months ago and these kives seem to be doing a good job but i have not used many different brands. I'm considering buying a mid range set soon or saving and buying a top set when i graduate (in about 18 months). Any feed back? i have heard from other chefs that sabituer is a very good brand ay feed back on this?


On December 30, 2008 at 02:04 AM, Guest (guest) said...
Subject: Ceramic Knife the best!
I was never able to afford Kyocera's prices and I always found their knives to be too thin, flimsy and awkward designs so I came up with a much better quality, design, price and is Eco Green too http://www.BestCeramicKnife.com mine are much better, thicker, comes in a nice box and is only $25, $45, $55!


On January 05, 2009 at 03:24 PM, Bob Gammon (guest) said...
Subject: Chicago cutlery
Why not just buy Consumers recommended Chicago cutlery knives and then use a Chefchoice electric sharpner (also highly praised) and hone and sharpen when necessary?? Bob


On March 06, 2009 at 01:35 AM, an anonymous reader said...
people, there is a difference between a boning knife and fillet knife. the one he describes is a fillet knife. a boning knife is short with curved blade and is similar in thickness to a chefs knife. also u dont need to spend alot of money on ceramic or fancy knives, my chef bought a dexter chefs knife for 20 dollars 20 years ago, he still uses it and i've used it and it is still very sharp, all u need to know is how to properly maintain your knife. but comfort is also important, and price may need to be sacrificed.


On September 08, 2009 at 11:55 PM, sscutchen (guest) said...
Subject: Ken Onion Shun
I wanted to put in a word for the Ken Onion-designed Shun knives. When I decided to buy a Santoku I made sure to try each one I considered in the store to check the fit to my hand and the balance. The Ken Onion handle design just melted into my hand. I know it looks odd. But seriously, no other knife came close. And the blade is Shun quality and beautiful. I've had the knife for 2 years now, and I am still inspired every time I pick it up. I don't mean to imply that this should be everyone's knife, but really do try one for yourself if you are in the market for a new blade. At Amazon


On September 23, 2009 at 09:44 AM, an anonymous reader said...
Quote:
wanted to put in a word for the Ken Onion-designed Shun knives. When I decided to buy a Santoku I made sure to try each one I considered in the store to check the fit to my hand and the balance. The Ken Onion handle design just melted into my hand. I know it looks odd. But seriously, no other knife came close. And the blade is Shun quality and beautiful. I've had the knife for 2 years now, and I am still inspired every time I pick it up. I don't mean to imply that this should be everyone's knife, but really do try one for yourself if you are in the market for a new blade


I actually tried one of the Shun knives too. I agree, the knife did feel pretty damned good in my hand but I dunno, there was just something about it that didn't feel right with me. I think I'm so used to using my beloved Global Knives anything else seems wrong!

As far as where to buy blades, UK users should check this site: Alliance Online Catering Equipment - their prices are hard to beat.


On November 09, 2009 at 07:10 PM, Karen (guest) said...
Subject: Left-handed Shun knives
You've referenced several times that Shun only makes the "D" shaped knives for right-handers, so the left-handed folks are out of luck. This is not the case at all! Shun does make left-handed knives and are available online at most places where Shun knives are sold. Just FYI for any lefties that might be interested :)


On November 26, 2009 at 01:35 PM, an anonymous reader said...
What type of cutlery would you suggest to cut homemade pizzas with (hard, crispy, thin based)?


On November 26, 2009 at 05:47 PM, Michael Chu said...
Anonymous wrote:
What type of cutlery would you suggest to cut homemade pizzas with (hard, crispy, thin based)?

If it's thin and crispy, I just use my chef's knife. For thicker pizzas I use a pizza wheel.


On December 15, 2009 at 08:08 AM, C. Evans (guest) said...
Subject: Decent Knives
Was looking for a set of knives for the inlaws that aren't too expensive when i found this site and was intrigued on peoples views of different knives i've been a chef for 16 years now and have used many types of chefs knives and have found the best to be either shun or global knives, quite expensive but well worth it


Features of Global kitchen knives

The two most innovative features of Global knives are their edge and the way they are balanced. The most important feature of any knife is its edge, and the Global edge is truly its signature. The majority of the Global knives are sharpened or ground on both sides of the blade, just like Western style knives. However, their edges are ground steeply to a point and to an acute angle. This is in contrast to Western or European knives that use a bevelled edge - the straight edge results in a dramatically sharper knife which stays sharper longer. The edge on a Global knife is so large and prominent that it is easily seen with the naked eye and extends a quarter of an inch or more up from the tip of the knife.

To balance their knives, Global uses a hollow handle which is then filled with just the right amount of sand to create the correct balance. Global uses this method rather than using a full tang and a bolster to balance their knives for two reasons. First, it is far more precise than using a tang and a bolster. Second, Asian knives typically do not have bolsters, since they only serve as a hindrance to cutting and sharpening.

Other unique features of Global knives are their smooth contours and seamless, all stainless steel construction which eliminates food and dirt traps offering the ultimate in safety and hygiene.


How they are made

Global knives are made from the finest high carbon stainless steel available for producing professional quality kitchen knives. Yoshikin uses its own proprietary stainless steel called CROMOVA 18 Stainless Steel and this material has been designed exclusively for Global knives. This steel is hard enough for Global knives to hold the steep, acute cutting edge and keep their edge for a long time...but soft enough so that it is not too difficult to sharpen them. The CRO in CROMOVA 18 stands for chromium and the 18 is the percentage of chromium in the steel. This high percentage of chromium contributes to Global's excellent stain resistance. Care should be taken to keep your Global knives stain and rust free. To learn how to care for your Global knives, please click on the Care Guide button above. The MO and VA in CROMOVA 18 stand for molybdenum and vanadium and these are two metallic elements that give a knife good edge retention.

It is often asked why Global knives stay sharp so long without sharpening. The combination of the elements molybdenum and vanadium is one reason, but also refer back to the diagrams above of the straight edge vs. the beveled edge. Now take a piece of paper and gradually push it up your screen, slowly covering the tips of the two edge types, simulating the knives getting dull after use. Even as the Global straight edge gets dull it is still much thinner, and, therefore, much sharper than the knife with the beveled edge.

I now use these knives permanently Do you get calouses on your hands from using a knife too much, not any more with these no cheap plastic handles and i cant say anything more about these knives they are just pefect


On January 03, 2010 at 05:35 AM, kman (guest) said...
Subject: serrated or bread knives
I didn't read all the posts so this may have been addressed already
if so sorry for wasting your time.

Bread knives with their larger serrations are ideal for tasks other than their name implies.
My 9" bread knife finds as much use with soft items like tomatoes,loaf cakes, and fresh mozzarella cheese as it does with breads.

so...definitely more useful as a top five than the boning knife
top five most useful in majority of kitchens
chef/santoku
paring
bread
slicer
boning

dont forget the honing steel and correct cutting boards.


On January 07, 2010 at 08:47 PM, Connie B. (guest) said...
Subject: Carbon steel kitchen knife
I got a gift for xmas from a guy in Ashland, Oregon who made my a set of carbon steel kitchen knives ( ah, my husband is a gem for this gift ! ) . I was so blown away that I felt to share this , even if no one ever reads this.
Not only do they look good ( my handles have Myrtle wood ) but carbon steel is a real eye opener. I can actually sharpen them here !! Actually the maker, Michael Lishinsky, says they never need sharpening- only a proper light honing. He sent us complete instructions on how to care for the surface and the edge. All I needed to do for a sharpening when it felt dull, was re-hone the edge and it was ready to go . Took 15 seconds .
For the first time ever I feel competent to take care of my knives. The surface has taken on a dark patina, and I simply wipe them off after I use them. I got a 9 inch, a 1.5 x 7 and a 1 x 4. Highly recommended to any and all. His site is wildfirecutlery.com


On February 08, 2010 at 02:25 PM, sharpknives said...
In my home i usually used the Steak Knife (Dining Knife) because this is very much useful in cooking.


On February 18, 2010 at 06:42 PM, Jackie (guest) said...
Subject: choking up on my knife
Hello, I seem to choke up on my knife handle and it winds up being painful on my index finger due to that being on the top side of the blade. Is there a knife out there that is made for people like me?


On February 18, 2010 at 07:06 PM, Dilbert said...
sometimes manufacturers leave 'sharp' edges on the spine -

I've used emery cloth to round over the edges on my chef's knives - only the fist 2-3 inches from the handle - helps make the choke grip 'less painful'


On February 18, 2010 at 07:20 PM, jackie (guest) said...
Thank you I will give that a try.


On November 14, 2010 at 10:44 AM, Marky T (guest) said...
Subject: Personal Choice
Globals are great performers, but they do have a delicate edge, and they are quite expensive too.

But they're not as fragile as true Japanese kitchen knives, on the other hand those cut a lot better compared to Globals and western knives and stay sharper much longer. So its personal preference. ( and budget )


On December 27, 2010 at 07:52 PM, HomeUser (guest) said...
Subject: Kiwi knives
I'm happy someone mentioned Kiwi knives! I bought a vegetable knife for $3.99 in chinese store. The wooden handle looks and feels cheap, but the blade is awesome! Cuts through any vegetable like butter.
It sharpens up and retains edge pretty well too. I am so happy with the purchase!


On January 06, 2011 at 02:27 PM, collbarretz said...
What do you use in sharpening your vegetable knife?


On February 20, 2011 at 08:35 AM, an anonymous reader said...
Does anyone out there have experience with Rada knives? I am considering them, but would love to hear some feedback on the pros and cons if anyone can weigh in on those


On July 18, 2012 at 02:06 AM, Guest Chef & Bladesmi (guest) said...
Subject: Selecting and sharpening
As a Professional Chef and a Hobbist Bladesmith I have some basic points to make:
Aesthetics are for interior decorators. In the professional world the standard is to use the proper tool for the job. If you only want something that gets the job done occasionally, keep your spending to the minimum to acheive that functionality. Bear in mind that World Renown Master Chefs have been using practical knives for Centuries; knives made of far less quality of materials than what we have available today. Even the most basic stamped 8 inch throw away stainless steel Chef knife is of better and more consistant than what was commonly available in the Middle Ages. And the best of the period, those beautiful japanese iron wrapped, steel edged katana blades... they were comprable in cost to todays new off the lot corvette and up.
So unless you are prepping vegatables or butchering meats for 6 plus hours a day, every day, I can only reccommend that you find a knife that is the most comfortable to use for its inteded purpose while spending the least amount of money possible. If it looks cool but feels horrible than you are a danger to yourself (and possibly others) while you are using it. If it looks like crap, but it holds an edge, is really comfortable and you would not mind using it for 15 hours of cutting small diced carrots for mirepoix - than you probably should be buying that 8 dollar stamped knife at the smart and final store. I did. And I still do.

Sharpening - Stainless steel will never hold as fine an edge as high carbon steel. This is because stainless is a much softer kind of steel. the alloy that makes it stainless also makes it softer and hardening it only makes it brittle. High carbon steel truly is a different animal. And yes, you absolutely can sharpen it to a razor edge. It will need to be attended to very carefully to maintain its surface from etching from acids and rusting from water and moisture. But, well maintained blades will quickly show themselves to be far superior.
Wash your knife immediately after use with warm water and mild soap. Rinse Well and Dry Thoroughly! I keep my blades with a exceptionally light coating of cutting block oil, and they do not rust. I also run them gently over the steel about 12 times before use, each time I start a new task. The result is that I usually only need to sharpen my carbon steel every three months of very heavy use.
I personally have a considerable selection of knives that I have accumulated over the years. I've had many duds and a few winners. I have also learned a lot more about metalurgy and knife construction than I had ever planned. One thing I tell you is that without exception, all knives become dull. It is basic physics called friction. Its the same reason why getting a nasty abrasion from a fall on a hard gravel path does really bad and painful things to your skin.
Yes, some edges are more durable than others, but this is due to the quality of the materials and the amount and care of use by the weilder. A sharpening steel will keep the burr in good shape but only for so long. eventually all knives will reach a point in thier use when they will need to be reground. You can do this with the right tools and the right instruction. but a professional will have his reputation on the line when he accepts your knives to sharpen... you will like the results. your knives may even be better then when you first acquired them.

p.s. using an uncooled power tool to sharpen a blade can easily alter the temper of the metal and decrease the edge holding capacity of your blade.


On December 12, 2012 at 02:32 PM, TVC (guest) said...
Subject: Thanks for the info
This is great, I have not long moved into my first house and now need to buy all my kitchen bits, so this article has been a great help for me because I didn't realise there where so many types of knives to buy for different tasks!
Thanks Nath


On December 12, 2012 at 06:27 PM, motorhed said...
Subject: Blades are nice, but Edges are more important
Once you get settled in your new house, you need to find a cutler to edge your knives for you. You can hone them yourself, but don't bother trying to sharpen them; 99% of us will just mess the blade up. Check the local paper or Craigslist for one. A good guy can set different edges based on need. I use a more aggressive edge on one boning knife than another, so I can do particularly fine work with it, but if I a boning a leg-o-baaah, then I use the one with a less aggressive edge that can take a beating. He can also scratch a blade so that it can grab what it is cutting, so slicing tomatoes is a breeze. Stay away from the guy at the meat counter; likely his knives are the food service ones, and he just grinds them.

And don't forget good ol' Carbon Steel blades. Some of the best out there are carbon steel again, and they can get sharper than any of the stainless types. You can pick up old stamped ones at flea markets to try them out; surface rust is fine, and they clean up with a little steel wool. I got a 10" chef that way, decided that I like it, and picked up a SWEET F. Dick blade for a song (compared to Wusthof or Shun).


On January 16, 2013 at 06:38 PM, an anonymous reader said...
I am kind of on a crossroad, not sure what to do. Out of all the information that I've looked for and found Wusthof and Shun seem to be a choice of many. I got to actually feel the some of the Wusthof Selection in my hand and they were simply amazing. They had great balance and when I grabbed the cleaver, o my, not sure if I would be brave enough to use it, I'd probably use a finger or two...I liked what I seen..

Then the shun, well I'm liking what I see from them too. The blades are just freaking awesome and very good looking, I love the grainy look, really are a set of nice looking knives, plus from what I read, they retain the sharpness better than most, which is good.

Long story short I'm up in arms on which set to invest in. I found some good prices on both shun and wusthof at: (spam link removed) But I'm not sure what to go with...My tipping point is toward Wusthof because the price points are little bit lower than shun and I actually got to feel them in my hand so I know what to expect, but Shun looks intriguing.... So my question is what would you suggest the wusthof or anty up for the shun... I'm currently looking at the shun Classic Essentials Set 7pc and the Wusthof Classic Ikon Set 9pc ... obviously there is a two piece difference but looking for some good feedback here... If I'm going to invest this much into a set, I want to make sure I make the right choice...


On January 16, 2013 at 07:29 PM, Dilbert said...
you could always ask Todd.

he'll tell you a knife has to be comfortable and feel right in your hand.

there are many other touted differences between the old clunker style German knives and the Japanese style knives.

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