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Equipment & Gear: Chef's Knives Rated
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jkarle1106



Joined: 10 Jul 2007
Posts: 16
Location: DeBary, Florida, USA

PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2007 2:41 pm    Post subject: Knives Reply with quote

I have an old 60's K Bar type knife issued by the USMC. It's marked ""Camillus, NY."" on the blade base. You can imagine the use and abuse it's received during it's first four years. I use it infrequently now, but over the years I've used it for everything from butchering game to carving beef roasts, slicing bacon, and cutting up veggies. I haven't sharpened it since the 70's, and I can still shave hair off my arm with it. I'd sure like to know what type of steel it's made from. I wonder if this company makes chef's knives?
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 5:36 am    Post subject: Re: Shaving With an Ax Reply with quote

As somebody who regularly shaves with straight razors, I assure you that you'd never want to shave with an ax or a kitchen knife, no matter how sharp. Aside from the type of grind, there are other factors that will make the experience highly unpleasant.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2007 1:23 am    Post subject: What about the warranty?? Reply with quote

How many other manufactors guarantee there knives forever? Cutco will replace, sharpen and polish there products FOREVER. This test fails to point out that there are certain knives for certain jobs. You wouldnt use a steak knive to filet a fish, why would you use a chef knife to cut a tomato? You must feel Cutco's Double D edge slice through meats, tomatos and bread yourself to make any kind of comparison. I have owned and tried Wusthof, Global and Henckels knives. In my experience Cutco outperforms, outlasts, and most importantly has the best ("FOREVER") warranty then any other knife company.
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wildfirecutlery.com
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2007 2:14 am    Post subject: Carbon Steel Kitchen Knives Reply with quote

I hand make Carbon steel Kitchen knives . I have had this web site at www.wildfirecutlery.com and know that I make some fine kitchen knives . Any questions after reading my site , let me know . This is a great site , one that seems down to earth and straight forward . Michael Lishinsky
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jkarle1106



Joined: 10 Jul 2007
Posts: 16
Location: DeBary, Florida, USA

PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2007 1:38 pm    Post subject: Bread Knives Reply with quote

I'm looking for a good bread knife. I broke my favorite of 35 years, and it's no longer in production. I know this is sacrilege, but since it's only one knife price is not a consideration. Any suggestions?
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haveronjones



Joined: 25 Oct 2007
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2007 9:56 am    Post subject: MAC Knives in the UK Reply with quote

Quote:
Anyone here know where one can pick up a MAC knife in the UK?


I have been in touch with a very nice guy called Harold Arimoto at MAC in the States and he recommends the following companies:

Hansen's Kitchen Equip
306 Fulham Rd
London
020-7351-6933

Continental Chef Supplies
7-8 Burdon Dr
North West Industrial Estate
Peterlee, County Durham England
0191-518-8073

Tim
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mkg
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 7:37 am    Post subject: Chroma Type 301 Reply with quote

Stumbled into this article last night & it's been fun reading through the whole thing. I'm shopping for my own set of knives. So far, i've prepared food with my sister's henckles & my brother's wusthof. I did buy some cheap Kitchen Aids for my parents (mostly for me when I cook there) because they only have serrated ones & I just hate using those. My other brother just bought some Chroma Type 301 knives (literally just got them today). We're testing it out tomorrow, but I don't know if anybody has any experience with them. The handles looked weird at first, but it actually felt really comfortable when I held them.

My question is that if anybody has used them before, how do they compare to the Globals & MAC's (2 brands i'm considering). I haven't found a place near me that would let me test these brands. Thanks in advance!
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b-rad
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2007 10:13 pm    Post subject: Anyone have experience with the KenTai knife? Reply with quote

Ming Tsai has started using a knife on his "Simply Ming" show that looks like something I'd really like to try. I did some research, and discovered that it is called a KenTai 4-in-1 knife, and can be ordered over the internet at < http://www.kentaiknife.com >. Yeah, I know, it's a $20 stainless steel knife, but man, I think the design and shape might be just what I want in a knife (a wide/tall blade that is more curved than a santoku (typically not curved enough for me)... the "soft" point might take some getting used to, but would probably be fine).

Anyway, I'm wondering if anyone knows anything about this knife, particularly whether it will stay sharp and hold a good edge, and also whether it is strong/stiff or flimsy. I could just shell out $20 to find out, but thought I'd check here first. Thanks in advance!!
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jeffg



Joined: 08 Nov 2007
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 2:30 am    Post subject: Chef's Knives Tests Reply with quote

Very interesting article with a lot of interesting feedback.

I am glad that Mike stated his assumptions up front: "All of the knives were tested out-of-the-box because I made the assumption that most readers will not be hand sharpening their knives."

If it were not for that statement, I would have disregarded the test results as pap since they differ so much from my personal experience. I would never judge a knife by its cutting ability "right out of the box". I am a lifer (over-50) knife junkie who has ALWAYS sharpened all my own knives and those of many friends, too. 25 years ago I got my first set of Razor Edge sharpening guides and the coarse/fine stone set. Unless you sharpen and maintain your knives, you can never really know how good or bad they are. And ultimately "how good they are" depends on what you want to do with them. Nearly everyone who has ever handed me a dull, nicked, edge-abused blade has gotten back a tool that was ready to go to work and cut/slice stuff like they had never cut/sliced before. Sharpening isn't hard - you just have to appreciate the most important principles - keep a constant edge angle (that's where the sharpening guides are critical), progress from the coarsest stone necessary to get the bevel right with the minimum amount of work, then work to the finest stone needed to get the edge that works for you. It's really simple - just requires a little patience and practice, and not a very big investment in the hardware part (guides and stones). The rewards of effortless meat, fish or vegetable slicing, dicing, chopping, carving, filleting, etc more than offset the little bit of effort to get and maintain a really good edge.

For the record, with all my good to great BIG NAME cutlery, I think Cutco makes a really good product. Cutlery snobs may sneer at me and Cutco, but we should judge a product by its performance. Of course I bought it for all the wrong reasons (son of a friend working his way through college), but have been remarkably surprised by the quality and results I can get. Sure, you overpay when you buy Cutco, but the double-D edge is fantastic for some jobs, like making really thin slices of cooked or even raw meat. I learned the hard way how sharp this edge is the first time I was careless and got too close to the meat of my fingertip - live and learn. And I really love my conventionally edged Cutco Santoku - I keep it sharp as a razor, and its cuts effortlessly.

Bottom line - 95% of the kitchen knives most people own are inherently more capable than their owners can appreciate if they are not kept sharp. Even a "modestly" good knife, whether judged by objective test methods, online reviews, or hard practical use, can do what 95% of the users out there (including me) need it to do. When a properly sharpened knife of whatever brand starts to hold you back from efficiently doing what you need the knife to do, only then is it time to start looking for that 2% performance increase that will probably cost you $50 or $100 to get. If you have the dough and need to spend it on a vanity, go ahead - but you really ought to invest the time and a few bucks to learn how to produce a good edge in the first place, then maintain the edge.
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PaulR
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 5:04 pm    Post subject: Some thoughts on the higher end knives Reply with quote

This is an excellent review. I agree with some of the comments regarding the limitations of testing the factory edges. I understand that for practical reasons you had to do this. And for a test targeted at a typical home cook, this decision especially makes sense.

When you get into the higher end knives, the market includes more experienced cooks and knife users, who increasingly do their own sharpening and maintenance. For this group, a diferent set of criteria makes sense.

High end knife customers are not interested in out-of-the-box sharpness, but in edge geometry and in most of the following characteristics of the steel:

-Ability to take a very fine edge

-Ability to retain that edge for a long time (especially helpful to professional cooks, who with the best knives can beat on them 8 hours a day for a weak at a time without intermittent maintenance)

-Ease of sharpening. There is a big difference here. Many of the harder knife steels, especially stainless ones, can be a bitch to sharpen. Some are quite easy.

-Toughness. The drawback of some of the thin, hard blades is that they're fragile. Someone in an earlier comment advocated hacking through bone with a Global. This is a good way to completely trash the knife! A stouter, softer-steel European knife, or a specialized heavy duty Japanese one (Deba) is best for the rough stuff.

Finally, I disagree with the commenter who suggested ergonomics are unimportant. If you use a knife a lot, the way it feels in your hand might be at least as important as the edge quality.

It would be nice to see a followup test of some of these knives, based on long-term use, abuse, and sharpening. Such a test would of course be much more subjective, but I suspect it would reveal why knives like the Nenox cost what they do. It might also show that there's a place for the heavy German knives, even if they're not up to the sharpness standards of the Japanese. It would also be interesting to throw one or two carbon steel knives into the mix. There's a reason they have a devout following.
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Anon
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 3:01 am    Post subject: Serated Edge Reply with quote

First off I agree with what every other CUTCO user has said. Use the knives for the task they were made for. And CUTCO has what is called the DD edge. Not a serated edge. Which means instead of just what looks like peaks it goes up down then a little valley up down valley. All of which are sharp and provide 3 cutting edges. The points protect these three edges from dulling. As for sharpening like stated before the company guarantees their knives for life. They will sharpen and polish for only shipping costs. Or will send a rep out to sharpen them in your home. As for the handle that is just personal opinion. It was designed to fit any hand and to be safer.
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PaulR
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 4:20 am    Post subject: Cutco and other dead horses Reply with quote

What Cutco defenders seem to have in common is a complete lack of experience with real high end knives. Which explains their befuddlement at the beating Cutco gets from the people like me. It's sad, because the things cost as much as very good knives. In fact there are knives that cost half as much (like some of the Macs and Tojiros in this test) that will spank the Cutcos in every imaginable way.

And by the way, that "double d" edge is by every conventional definition a serrated edge. If an edge has teeth, ridges, grooves, or waves ... any irregularity big enough to see without a magnifying glass ... it's serrated. Some serrated edges work better than others (wavy edged knives like the Mac bread knife work great on crusty bread), but none is suitable for chopping, mincing, dicing, or any of the things that chef's knife gets used for most often. There are generally good at two things: bread crust, and keeping a dull edge semi-functional.

The good news about cutco is that you can get pretty good money for it on ebay. Why not unload it and get a real knife?
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been very amused reading some of the comments here. I guess we have the traditional Japanese knife makers crying over in Japan with the idiotic comments made here. Shun knifes are HAMMERED?? LOL!

About Shun by Kershaw:
Forged in the samurai sword-making center of Seki City, Japan, Shun features centuries-old craftsmanship updated for the modern Western kitchen.

I think you need to research a little better before you go about and post insane comments that are based upon pure speculation and lack of knowledge. Never ever disrespect the traditions nor values of the Japanese knife makers by posting such insane and profound comments. The only thing HAMMERED here is your head!
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Correction on the above post, HAMMERED when I meant STAMPED.

I have been very amused reading some of the comments here. I guess we have the traditional Japanese knife makers crying over in Japan with the idiotic comments made here. Shun knifes are Stamped?? LOL!

About Shun by Kershaw:
Forged in the samurai sword-making center of Seki City, Japan, Shun features centuries-old craftsmanship updated for the modern Western kitchen.

I think you need to research a little better before you go about and post insane comments that are based upon pure speculation and lack of knowledge. Never ever disrespect the traditions nor values of the Japanese knife makers by posting such insane and profound comments. The only thing Stamped here is your head!
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PaulR
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 8:20 pm    Post subject: stamp/forge Reply with quote

Well, in the end the forged/stamped distinction is fairly unimportant. There are good and bad knives made by both methods.

Shun strikes me as good knives, but also as a pretty poor value. The first time I used one, it was the best knife I'd ever used. Then I was introduced to better Japanese knives that in some cases cost half the price of Shun's top line.

Shun is a brand made by Kai, a very large Japanese company. The Shun line appears to be designed for Western home cooks who are transitioning to Japanese knives. They are very heavy for Japanese knives, and are ground at the relatively blunt bevel angles of 16 per side (sharper than most Euro knives, but less so than the more high end brands). The bevel angle can be changed by a skilled sharpener, but the chunky weight can't. I recently bought a Hiromoto guyto for just over half the price of a comparable Shun Elite knife. In terms of sharpness, sharpenability, and edge retention, the Hiromoto spanks the Shun. It is also designed with a better blade shape, in my oppinion ... as are the Tojiros, Macs, Misonos, Blazens, Hattoris, etc.
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