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Equipment & Gear: Chef's Knives Rated
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1635
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 10:01 pm    Post subject: Re: A woman's perspective Reply with quote

A Kitchen Enthusiast wrote:
It is DEFINITELY an individual thing to choose a knife, because as a left-handed woman, I find some knives waaaay too heavy, or difficult to grip (Shun's handle is made for right-handed people).


It should be worth noting that Shun Classic knives are available in left-handed models as well:
Chef's Resource's Left Handed Shun Catalog
Cutlery & More: Shun 8-in. Chef's for Left Handers

Not all stores carry them.
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McDee



Joined: 17 Sep 2005
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2005 1:38 am    Post subject: Re: A woman's perspective Reply with quote

A Kitchen Enthusiast wrote:
It is DEFINITELY an individual thing to choose a knife, because as a left-handed woman, I find some knives waaaay too heavy, or difficult to grip (Shun's handle is made for right-handed people).


I agree with the individuality issue you mention. I recently picked up a left-handed Shun and love it. Wink
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drb



Joined: 11 Dec 2005
Posts: 1
Location: Philadelphia

PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2005 10:30 pm    Post subject: food service knives Reply with quote

Interesting article.

I've found that food service knives are the best balance between cost and function- the steel is decent and you can get a chef's knife for $40. I've used my Dexter-Russell set for ~5 years now- even though periodically someone has thrown them in the dishwasher or left them in a pan of water overnight. They're a bit hard to find- I go to a resturant supply store.

http://www.dexter-russell.com/Search_details.asp?id=639&group_name=sofgrip.asp

R/
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Guest






PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2005 7:38 pm    Post subject: Knife Sharpening Reply with quote

Sharpening knives is an art that can be learned, just as cooking can be learned.

Go to Razor Edge for tools and techniques to learn how to sharpen your knives yourself the correct and safe way.

The guys on here can make an ax sharp enough to shave with. You can make your knives sharp enough to be safe and efficient.
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DanO
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2005 12:11 am    Post subject: Chef's Choice Reply with quote

I have used many chefs knives over the years and like the Chef's Choice 6" chefs knife the best. It is very heavy, and takes and keeps an edge very nicely when sharpened with the Chef's Choice sharpener. Just my 2 cents...
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NUKIE
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2005 2:51 am    Post subject: Knives, some sharp, some not Reply with quote

Regarding sharpening--I have the sharpening system that is a MUST for all engineers: its from Razor Edge, Box 150, Ely Minnesota, 55731. The originator (presumed owner) barn-stormed with an act of shaving with a double-bitted ax after sharpening with this system. In its simplest form, a hardened jig is clamped (with SET SCREWS!) to the back of the blade at very prescribed locations--this requires a good deal of patience and an engineer's scale (measuring down to 1/64th of an inch) to get right. The clamped jig and blade ride on the stones of your choice--mine are Japanese water in progressing grits from 120 to 8,000. The process is time-consuming, and painstaking--it can take a full football half to sharpen a single knife. I have worked for over three hours on my prize 8" Henckels Zwilling (twins)--reminds me of a commercial--to restore the edge. However, once restored it will last for a year with minor, infrequent steelings. Note Henchels welds a softer metal bolster (hosel) (spelling) to the main blade, so you often get a divot at the back of the blade--this could require serious grinder work to get the blade to hit the sharpening stone correctly. All for now! RAB
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guest
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2005 3:05 pm    Post subject: Knives prices Reply with quote

Sad
Why doesn't anyone here say it as it is? These knives are too bloody expensive!!! How many people would buy a knife that's more than $100?
or even $60? I think $50 is a good limit.
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Guest






PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2005 4:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Knives prices Reply with quote

guest wrote:
Sad
Why doesn't anyone here say it as it is? These knives are too bloody expensive!!! How many people would buy a knife that's more than $100?
or even $60? I think $50 is a good limit.

Isn't that why Michael recommended the Forschner as the best value for performance at $29?
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jagstyle



Joined: 08 Aug 2005
Posts: 45
Location: CA

PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2005 8:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Knives prices Reply with quote

guest wrote:
How many people would buy a knife that's more than $100?


lol

all the crazy knifenuts here: http://www.knifeforums.com/forums/showforum.php?fid/26/ where $100 for a good knife is considered a bargain and $50 is a steal...

A beautiful knife with a "super steel" core doesn't come cheap...

"SANETU" Cowry X Santoku 165mm http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/SPECIALS.html

"Cowry X is the tough powdered metal alloy specially developed by Daido Steel Company for high performance cutting tools. It contains high carbon (3%) and high Chromium (20%) with 1% Molybdenum and 0.3% Vanadium, and can be heat treated to HRC63 to 67 without brittleness." - JCK

If you think the western style chef's knives reviewed on this site are expensive you probably won't believe these prices:
http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/KDSeries.html

Traditional honyaki knives are even worse... Shock
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phiboy
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2005 1:22 am    Post subject: Spyderco knives? Reply with quote

Have any of you ever used a Spyderco kitchen knife? I've had a really good experience with their folders, and I was wondering if that expertise carried into the kitchen.
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Kai
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2005 7:00 pm    Post subject: Knife Tests Reply with quote

Thanks for the great review! Methodical, complete, transparent. As a software engineer who spends as much time in the home kitchen as at the office keyboard, I appreciate this kind of thing...

However, my only beef (har har) is that only the tests did not include meat, poultry, and fish. In my view, cutting those materials is every bit as important as carrots, scallions, tomatoes, and potatoes. It would have been nice to create a battery of tests whose respective purposes were indexed according to what attributes of the knife are being tested.

Nevertheless, very nicely done!

Peace & Happy Cooking,
Kai
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1635
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2005 9:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Knife Tests Reply with quote

Kai wrote:
However, my only beef (har har) is that only the tests did not include meat, poultry, and fish. In my view, cutting those materials is every bit as important as carrots, scallions, tomatoes, and potatoes.

I'm too cheap to be cutting meats... plus I'd have to test the meats in fresh and frozen states...
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amcalister
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2005 8:49 pm    Post subject: knife test Reply with quote

As someone who just received a MAC TH-80 for Christmas and is considering trading up to an MTH-80, this test and its subsequent discourse were a gas to read. A few thoughts...

Re sharpening. I buy lots of knives, and I've yet to see a company advertise that they ship dull for safety. Therefore, I say let the products as shipped speak for themselves, for three reasons:

1. Consumers shouldn't have to guess if they're getting a product that's ready to use or not. The product should be ready to use, even if that warrants warning stickers.

2. Depending on what "professional" sharpens them and how, you introduce variables of blade geometry and temper tampering into the tests, with what were virgin tools.

3. Sharpening is personal for the consumer, too. A geek like me who knows how to sharpen does it religiously and well. A person who wants a knife to function when they use it, and otherwise stay out of the way, needs to know which knives will bear up under rough treatment. My knives rock, but their factory edges are distant memories, and I consider the sharpening I've done to them over the years to be customization.

As for knives being too expensive, I always point my non-knifehead friends to the Forschner. A real giant killer, that. But for an enthusiast, "too expensive" is like telling a cowboy his Stetson or Resistol is too expensive. How much is too much to pay for a tool that might outlive you, and serve you superbly in the meantime? For something you only have to buy once, in a disposable world?

Subjective handle comfort comments would be great. It's personal, but it can give you an idea of what knife will fatigue large or small hands in particular.

In any case, nice test, and thanks for including knife weights. I've made my trade-up decision. Smile
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beaver cleaver
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2006 9:10 am    Post subject: michael's knife test Reply with quote

mike ... thank you so much for your willingness to go thru the trouble to test some rather interesting knives.
i own most of the knives tested, and will concur with most of your conclusions. what i find interesting is that the global, the macs, the forschner and the shun are all stamped blades! so much for all the
"experts" and their "expert opinions" that the best knives have to be forged.
modern stamping techniques can produce some very nice knives!
(OK, the cutco is also stamped, but how they command the price they
demand for that junky blade is beyond my imagination.) what others may not know is that the stamped knives tend to be very straight blades. i hang around one of the bay area's biggest knife shops (the perfect edge cutlery in san mateo) and i have examined hundreds of knives (they are very nice to me as i have bought lots of knives from them) and the stamped knives are very very straight compared to the forged knives. the forged knives often have something "unstraight" about them ... they are curved, dog legged, bent, twisted, and even wavy edged ... problems if you need to make long straight cuts, not a problem if all you do is chop and mince, but something to be aware of nonetheless.
in fact, many of my friends, who have bragged about their knives, were surprised when i mentioned many knives being unstraight. sure enough, they sighted down their forged knives and found me to be correct. i would then show them my knives and they are very noticeably straight.
it is very difficult to make long straight cuts with a crooked blade.
the other thing i will conjecture is that even if all the knives were to be sharpened by the same knife sharpener, the thinner the blade, the sharper the knife. (this is why straight edged razors, which are reeeally razor sharp, are always very thin bladed. i cannot understand, knowing physics, how a thick blade can ever approach the sharpness of a thin blade.) so even if the test were to be remade with all the knives sharpened, the results would probably be the same. german blade fans tend to be very loyal to their knives, but i have shown many of them my japanese blades and many have admitted that they have never actually USED a japanese blade and were surprised how much sharper they were compared to the german blades, even after bragging how their knives were "hair splitting sharp". misono, kikuichi, suisin, hirotomo, masamoto, and masahiro all make western styled chef knives that would easily rival and exceed the sharpness of german steel, and at an under $100 price.
actually, my latest buy, a $20 tarhong #1 carbon steel ping knife (chinese veggie cleaver) is proving to be a VERY sharp, VERY easy to handle cook's knife. after cleaning up the edge with just a few swipes of a 2000 grit waterstone, i was able to chop ten pounds of onions without shedding a single tear!! forget those "tips" about how to cut an onion without crying (partially freeze it, slice it under water, breathe thru your mouth and not your nose, breathe thru you nose and not your mouth, etc.) ... if your knife is truly sharp, you can cut/slice/chop an onion and you will not cry.
sorry for the long post, but ... just my thoughts.
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A Food Year



Joined: 18 Jan 2006
Posts: 6
Location: Grande Prairie, Alberta

PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 8:08 am    Post subject: Round 2 Reply with quote

If you ever decide to do a knife comparison review again, can you compare some Rada knives with the selection? My girlfriend and I have been buying them as gifts as they are decent quality and exceptionally well priced, but I've often wondered how they really stack up against suitable competition.
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