2 questions: Which steak knives?

BellsmomDecember 22, 2012

The time has come to replace my decades old cheap set of serrated steak knives.

(This is a little ironic, since thanks to you guys, I usually sous vide roasts to rare, slice into steaks, then sear quickly, and we really don't NEED steak knives as much as we used to!)

As background, I have two Henckel's Pro S chef's knives, Shun 4.5'' Kaji paring and 6'' utility knives, and a Victorinox slicing knife. A few other odds and ends of old knives, including the paring knife my son made in shop class 40 years ago.

I looked at Wusthof Classic and Classic Ikon steak knives and Shun steak knives. Prices are all over the place on ebay and Amazon. I am leaning toward the Classic Ikon.

I have two questions:

I. Is it possible or probable that some of the knives listed on eBay as Wusthof Classic are knockoffs?

2. Which of these --or some other? --would you recommend?

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dcarch7

To answer your questions:

1. Yes, watch out for fakes.

2. For steak knives, it is not that important to have very good metal. I think you should select base on style.

dcarch

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 6:59PM
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Bellsmom

Thanks, dcarch.
I hadn't thought that through. Yes, steak knives don't get heavy use.
Can you suggest knives I may not have looked at?
I hate to waste money. What might be pleasing to the eye and hand that I haven't considered?

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 7:07PM
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foodonastump

I think more likely than knock-offs is that they're not being clear on the line of knives. Some high end brands have bargain lines - commonly found at Home Goods and such, that can fool you into thinking you're getting more of a bargain than you really are. I totally agree with dcarch's second point though. You don't need high-end cutlery to cut a half decent steak. At that price point it's more about aesthetics and what feels good in your hand. I happen to have a set of Wusthof Classic steak knives which I love but don't "need" for any food I serve. They look great though and do double as pretty good paring knives in a pinch!

Chicago Cutlery is a popular brand at a nice price point perhaps worth checking out.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 7:44PM
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Nunyabiz1

Here is a set of Shun Kershaw steak knives for $100 for 6.

Here is a link that might be useful: Steak Knives

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 8:18PM
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colleenoz

To be honest, I've never really understood the concept of steak knives. If a steak is so tough I need a special knife to cut it, I'm fairly sure I don't want to eat it.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 9:38AM
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sushipup1

I have lovely Gerber Miming knives, but for everyday we use the colorful L'econome wood handled knives. Just don't put them in the dishwasher.

Here is a link that might be useful: L'econome knives from Sur La Table

    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 10:31AM
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compumom

Good question and good answers. Here's my 2 cents...
We have Messermeister steak knives and having had a few sets in 30+ years, I think I can add something here.
I hated my Gerber knives. They would not keep an edge, either prep or steak variety.

We were gifted with an entire set of Messermeister knives and they're excellent. That said, we've also had a set of Hoffritz (which was a local cutlery store) for probably 20 years that have held up well too.
Both sets feel good in your hand and have a decent blade.

Here's a link to two different types of Messermeister. The Wusthoff are pricier, but I don't think they're necessarily better made. Good quality and better marketing. Many chefs use Messermeister. I know that our local Chef's supply store, SURFAS, used to carry them, they probably still do.

Here is a link that might be useful: Messermeister Steak Knives

    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 2:05PM
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Bellsmom

Thanks, everyone. Lots to think about. I'll keep gathering info and then go off after Christmas to a good cutlery store to actually hold the ones I do not already know. Then it comes time to decide where to buy:

foodonastump--Nice to hear you like the Wusthof classics. That's on my list. It just LOOKS and feels good. I'll look at Chicago cutlery, too. I just gave a nice Chicago set found at the Goodwill to a young friend--not steak knives, but kitchen knives. They looked pretty darn nice.

colleenoz--I agree about not ''needing'' steak knives. Really, we don't, especially with the sous vide. But somehow I always like to put them on the table when we have ribs or steaks, even if a table knife would do--usually.

Nunyabiz--thanks for the link to the Shun knives. I enjoyed the whole restaurant supply site. Have you bought from them?

Sushipup--I wasn't familiar with Miming knives. Looked them up, then read about the origin of the name. Delightful. Lots of them for sale on eBay. I am not sure of the differences between them--hollow or solid handles both are made, apparently, and at least two sizes. Not sure if they are still made. Sur La Table's price on the le'econome knives is certainly interesting! And they are pretty.

Compumom--the Messermeister knives are also new to me. Interesting. I would want to hold them before buying, I think.

I really like wood handles, but the good black handles are so very practical. Ah, decisions, decisions.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 3:19PM
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rosesinny

Here's a second vote for Messermeister. I believe they're also from Solingen in Germany. They do 2 things that make me prefer their chef knife above all others.

First, the heel doesn't have a bolster all the way down to the blade. That means you can sharpen them many times w/out having the bolster problem that Henkels and others do.

Second, they make the knife a little higher than the others do so you don't smash your knuckles when you cut. For women I guess it doesn't matter, but if you're a man and you have big hands, the "standard" chef knife from Wusthof or wherever is kind of low.

The other thing that Messermeister does is sharpen the blade on a 15 degree angle like the Japanese knives, rather than a 20 degree like the Germans.

IMHO, the difference in angle is mostly marketing as a good knife is a good knife, regardless of the angle, but some people claim they can tell the dif. I'm skeptical.

Don't know if the same applies to their steak knives tho.

And don't sneeze at Chicago Cutlery. They have differing lines like everybody, but I have a 40 year old knife that's one of the best knives I own. And it has the longest handle of any, which is yet another thing I like about it.

And if you want something beautiful, there's this site. Take a look at their Fusionwood knives. I have no commercial interest in this company but I like their products a lot.

Here is a link that might be useful: New West Knife Works

    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 5:02PM
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dixiedog_2007

I agree that a good cooked steak doesn't need much of a sharp knife. That said, years ago I bought some steak knives at Morton's Steak House and they have been great. I don't think I have ever sharpened them. Nice wood handles and look nice for a great steak dinner served to company.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 5:17PM
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Bellsmom

Rosesinny--Thank you for the link to fusionwood. At least in the pics, the wood's layering evokes plywood. Obviously the knives are high end products, and from the side, very beautiful.
A question that I know displays my ignorance: with a knives like this, how would I sharpen them? Wouldn't I dull the serrations when/if I sharpened the front and back of the knife?
You must realize that question comes from someone who is using 2-decades-old cheap serrated knives that have never been sharpened. Ugly things, but they still cut steak OK. Sorta.

Dixiedog--I looked at Morton's website and am not able to tell what kind of knife they might have sold. Do you know who made your knives?

    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 5:46PM
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sushipup1

You do not want to buy serrated steak knives at all! So be careful if you buy online and can't actually see the knife. None of the good knives we have been mentioning is serrated.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 7:23PM
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Bellsmom

Thanks, Sushipup.
I could not imagine a high quality knife with serrations. However, the fusionwood steak knives have large serrations--I counted five ''scoops'' --between the smooth tip and rear. Not really what I would call serrations. I am not considering them, but they are different and new to me. I personally don't care for the laminated handles, but some might.
The site is worth a look.

Here is a link that might be useful: Here is the fusionwood website (I think)

    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 8:01PM
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sushipup1

That's a Granton edge which is not a serration.

Here's a little information.

Here is a link that might be useful: Granton edge definition

    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 8:09PM
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Bellsmom

Thanks, Sushipup.
I think on the Fusionwood steak knives the edge not a granton edge. Here's a pic. Am I wrong? I am so new to thinking about knives. Lots to learn. I appreciate the guidance.

I can see that the ''scoops'' would protect the blade from china, as they say, but I cannot see how they could be sharpened. Perhaps the assumption is they just won't need it? These are NOT inexpensive knives, so I am puzzled. As I say, not considering them, but interested in something I know so little about.

This post was edited by Bellsmom on Mon, Dec 24, 12 at 9:46

    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 8:33PM
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rosesinny

Bellsmom - you sharpen each scallop individually. I didn't buy them for that reason, but I still may end up with some because I think they're beautiful. The handles are similar to plywood - they're laminated slices of wood. Except that these are colorful and removing a layer reveals a different color underneath. Granddad was a fine woodworker so I'm always attracted to things that are finely crafted like these.

Westinghouse developed a technology a few years ago that uses linen, which is what the Japanese micarta handles are. Here's a pic.

Here is a link that might be useful: Micarta handle

    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 9:49PM
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annie1992

I have a set of Chicago Cutler, metal handles and blades. I don't know what the cost was because they were a gift. I've had them in excess of 15 years and they've been perfectly functional and serviceable, although I wish they were just a bit heavier. The blades are a nice length, I've had some that were too short. I've been happy with them.

Wusthof comes in different price ranges, I did buy Dave a set of 4 at Kohl's for less than $30.00. They're OK, although I don't like the way they feel and they seem "cheap", or at least cheaply made.

Annie

    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 12:34AM
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Bellsmom

Rosesinny--I think the idea of having to sharpen the Fusionwood blades one scallop at a time would nix them for me--even though the inner part of those scallops might not dull in my lifetime! It might also be hard to sharpen the point and handle ends of the blades which are straight but short. They are striking knives, though. (No pun intended!)
Thank you for the link to the micarta handled knives. Some of the micarta handles are pretty attractive, though in steak knives, I think real wood is what I want. But that may change.

Annie--
Recently I had to replace the paring knife I must have thrown out in the garbage. At our local Williams Sonoma and cutlery store I handled both Wusthof and Henckels in a wide range of prices and styles. And quality. Just the name didn't indicate as much as I expected. I finally chose a Shun Kaji which I love using.

Incidentally, careful reading of the eBay listings shows that at least some of the cheaper listings for Wusthof knives which look like such a good deal are for seconds. Some of the handles clearly show splits and rough spots. I'm still looking for WHERE to buy once I decide WHAT to buy. Any suggestions?

Thanks everyone for all the helpful info.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 10:59AM
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plllog

Re the need for steak knives, it depends on how sharp your table knives are. My casual flatware knives have a little sharp serrated edge and will cut bread and tomatoes (and fingers). Absolutely no need for steak knives. I also have my mother's old Oneida, which I use outdoors. There is a little look of serration, but they were never very sharp--more on the level of cutting a strawberry in the jam--and steak knives are called for for barbecue even with top quality, tender meat.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2014 at 6:05PM
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bragu_DSM 5

My set of cutco steak knives, which I used for demonstrations 30 years ago, are as sharp as the day I demo-ed with them. just saying â¦

No, I don't sell cutco any more. But I do have a complete set of their knives. We had to buy them to use in the demos. sucked as a college kid.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2014 at 7:02PM
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plllog

::sheepishly:: too tired to note the year...

    Bookmark   December 21, 2014 at 5:51AM
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