And the vote is in: the best knife set set is?.....

schnitzelNovember 13, 2005

Want to ask DH for a new knive for christmas. Was watching QVC and they mentioned that their set that they were selling had titanium and that is the best for cutlery...YOur opinions are greatly appreciated....

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Schnitzel, you need to define what you like in a knife. Light weight? Solid (hefty)? Balanced? Stainless? Hard edge? (stays sharp longer but tough to sharpen)

Most people I know who really like knives prefer a high carbon blade to stainless (but they will rust if you don't take good care of them) and they tend to like ones that have a full tang (the metal in the handle that is an extension of the blade). Chicago Cutlery used to make a nice set of carbon steel knives. These days, they seem to have moved on the stainless.

If you want stainless almost any of the mainstream knives should serve you fine (Henkels, Wustaf etc). I wouldn't go go HSN or QVC for decent knives (but that's just me). Hit a cooking store at an outlet mall and you should do fine.

I've also read some nice things about some of the Japanese knives like Masamoto but I am not spending $500 on one knife!

Anyway, once you decide what you like in a knife it will be easier to recommend something.

Also, you may find you like a couple individual knives rather than a "set". Personally I tend to use a 4" paring knife, an 8 inch sankotu and a serrated bread knife 99% of the time.


Here is a link that might be useful: Chicago Cutlery

    Bookmark   November 13, 2005 at 5:14PM
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Before your DH goes out and buys a set. I suggest you go to a good kit shop that carries a selection of the good, forged knives. Then you handle the various knives and see what feels best in your hand. Also a search on this site for knives will give you lots of info. When you decide, enjoy!

    Bookmark   November 13, 2005 at 6:03PM
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That's a great point eandhl! Feel is SO important in a knife. I tend to gloss it and I shouldn't. Being a data kind of guy, it's way too easy for me to get all wrapped up in materials, processing, grinds and such.

The BEST thing you can do is find a store that is set up to let you do some cutting with each brand. At the very least, handle each one and try to imagine what it would feel like in actual use.

Also forged is a great point I meant to include (but failed to!). Some vendors (Cutco comes to mind) have done an amazing job with stamped knives. Be that as it may, forged will always win out in the end. You just don't have the control of the steel with stamping you have with forging (there I go again!)

    Bookmark   November 13, 2005 at 7:40PM
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I also find that I use a santoku, a paring knife, and a bread knife 95% of the time. Add a 10" slicing knife, and I'm up to pretty close to 100% of the time.

There's no reason to think that a set will give you the right knives for what you want. My favorite knife is a 7-1/2" (approx) Shun santoku. It's made from absolutely fantastic laminated Damascus steel that will hold an 18 degree sharpening angle. And it's very beautiful, the handle just feels right in my hand, and the shape of the blade seems to put it in just the right place for whatever I'm doing. It's an amazing knife.

My second most favorite knife is a Classe paring knife, about 4" long. It's just a beautifully-made knife. The handle is laminated, dyed wood that is an absolute work of art. The blade is polished to a much higher standard than my German knives (Henkels and Wustof). The steel comes from one of the German Solingen mills, so it's good steel, but not in the same league as the Shun.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2005 at 12:53AM
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Solarpowered - Is your Shun the one with the kind of tapered cylindrical handle???


    Bookmark   November 14, 2005 at 8:17AM
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I think it's probably what you're thinking of. It's not really a cylinder--it projects out a bit on the right-hand side, which helps it to better fit your hand. But, indeed, it's much more like a cylinder than the typical handle you get on, say, German knives, which doesn't even remotely resemble a cylinder.

It's their DM-0718 knife.

I find that this shape works a lot better on this kind of knife than the traditional, European design.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2005 at 10:17AM
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Yes, that is the series I was thinking of. Very nice!

    Bookmark   November 14, 2005 at 4:03PM
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