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What Are the Best Knives? #2

Posted by lythonde (My Page) on
Wed, Jan 14, 04 at 22:10

Anyone, anyone? The original thread was 2 years old...are we really going to let it die a peaceful death now? Hey, maybe the cutco people will come back for a new thread! ;)


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

lythonde, I'm glad you asked! After getting my new knives a couple of weeks ago, I've had a chance to use them. I bought the Kershaw Shun Santoku knife, and I'm so impressed with it I bought the paring and the bread knife. The D shaped handle fits the curve of your fingers and the palm of your hand, and makes using it so comfortable I never even realized my knives didn't fit my hand before! The weight is wonderfully balanced and the Damascus style blade looks like wood grain and is so beautiful, I'm getting a magnetic knife block to display them well, in addition to making them easy to use. Hand forged and made by the people who make Samuri swords, they are very strong. Here's a link to a sale price. I bought mine through E-Bay and a better purchase I've never made!

Here is a link that might be useful: Kershaw Shun Classic


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

Okee-dokee, I'm in, let's play!

I have several different pieces of decent cutlery. Some good, some not so good, one great. My latest splurge was a Sabatier Provence 8" Chefs. All snobbery and bragging rights aside, it's easily the best of the bunch. Good heft, good balance, and it takes and holds a razor's edge. The carbon steel is soft enough to home sharpen, yet tough enough to not need steeling or sharpening with each use. Plus, no kidding, the price wasn't bad at all. I found it for $59.00, which is about $30 less than a comparable Wusthof. But I do want a Wusthof, maybe next time.

OTHOH, my Henckels chefs are harder to sharpen, need steeling all the time, and quite frankly, don't have the feel of the Sabatier. I also have a couple of Chicago Cutlery chefs. For the price, they are really neat knives. But the upside is the cause of the downside. They are soft enough to sharpen without too much trouble, but so soft that they need constant sharpening, not just steeling, but actual sharpening.

And don't let me forget my one Mundial knife, which I've praised elsewhere. This baby is a 10" chef and pretty darned homely, what with that big old white plastic handle and all. But while it ain't winning any beauty contests, it takes an edge and holds it. And on top of that, it was cheap, like maybe twenty bucks, it could've been less.

If anyone wants to kick sharpeners around, I have a few thoughts, which I'll keep until next time. Given the interest in the original thread, there will be a next time.

Cheers!


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

I was wondering if anyone has tried the Calphalon knives and what they think of them?

Thanks,
Pat


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

Claire: DH just saw that santoku advertised in the Williams Sonama catalog and I have NEVER seen him struck by any cooking gadgets or tools like he was by that knive. He just stared at the pic, and finally said, "that is the most beautiful knife I have ever seen." It was amazing...like how some guys get looking at really beautiful cars...and here he was getting that admiration for a knife! Wow, was I proud. I think now he is looked for an excuse to buy it for me, and your review may be all the excuse I need to let him! :) So, just to clarify, it *is* worth the rather hefty price?

Sween--I like your method...I think "right tool for the right job" is the way to go with knives. Those Mundials, especially, are never going to be adopted by the "gourmet home chef" because...well, like you said, they aren't pretty, but they've been kicked around in pro kitchens and taken some tough abuse for a long time. My only problem with the Mundials is the heft...a bit light for the proportionate size of the knife with something like a chef's or a cleaver, but I think this can actually be an advantage with boning and filleting knives. Does your sabatier have the wood handle? I've seen them and I know some people swear by them, but those wood handles worry me as a long-term maintence issue...have you had any problems? Wusthof, which does make up the bulk of my collection, is a great knife, but, like your Henkles, they do take some maintence time to sharpen them every six months or so, and I have to use an honest-to-god three-sided wetstone to get 'em sharp.

Pat: sorry, can't help, but I can say I've never heard of Calphalon used in a pro-kitchen. Good luck!


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

I have had a set of Cutco knives for over 20 years now and still love them. They keep a good sharp cutting edge, but the best part is the guarantee. You can send them back to Cutco for free sharpening (I think you only have to pay shipping) and if a knife is ever damaged, they'll repair it. I dropped my small paring knife on a ceramic tile floor once too often and the tip broke, they repaired it for a $5 shipping charge. They're a little pricey, but well worth it.


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

Careful, dolphindr, I took that stance with my Cutco knives and was soundly denounced to the cental committee... :-)

I've used the living hades out of my Cutco knives over the years, including for heavy butchering, and have always been very happy with them.

Interestingly, though, this Christmas I was ordering some items for my Parents, and I needed something to make it to Amazon.com's supersaver free shipping level, and one of the things that Amazon "suggested" was a set of Sabatier precision knives, with block, for believe it or not, $9.99, so I decided what the heck, for that price I can always pitch them and not feel bad about it!

They're made in China, they have plastic handles, they're full-tang carbon steel. The block is kind of rough, and the "steel" is a freaking joke.

But you know, this isn't a bad set of knives for the price. I pulled the Lanskey out to put a better edge on them, and they're actually holding the edge fairly well.

I've used the boning knife pretty hard over the past couple of weeks, and while it's not the best boning knife I've ever used, it's not bad.

The carving knife has really nice balance and the bread knife works well. The paring knife isn't really to my liking, but it works well cutting the eyes out of potatos. The chef's knife I'm not thrilled with. When I need to do that kind of work, I pull the Cutco Chef's knife out.


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

To Pat512:
Regarding the Calphalon knives...I recently picked up the Calphalon Contemporary 6-pc Knife Set with block for $99.99 plus a 10% discount on top of that, and because I used my gift certificate, the set cost me nadda! To be honest, I have never owned a knife set before, only mismatched poor quality knives, so this set is a BIG improvement over what I've used in the past!!

Anyway, I am not a professional cook, nor do I do any major cooking at this time in my life, so these knives are serving me well so far...I've only had them for a few weeks, so I cannot comment on how well they are going to hold up in the long run. They are full-tang, which is a great feature. They feel very comfortable in my hands, and that's important. They look very attractive on the countertop in the block...I like the style. They are made in China, however.

I think that if you are not a major cook, then these Calphalon Contemporary knives may serve you well and are reasonably priced, but don't mark my word on the fact that they may serve you well because I've only owned them for 3 weeks. I, of course, know that these are not the best knives in the world...I've seen Chef's knives that cost more than this 6-piece set, for example, and they are of much higher quality. I've never owned one of these expensive knives, so I cannot compare it to my Calphalon.

So you have to determine for yourself what your needs are as a cook, how much cooking you do, as well as what you can afford. Buying the high-end knives is an investment for many people.

I hope this info helped.


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

kframe: I saw that special for the $9.99 Sabatiers too and I have to say, my heart fell a little bit. All the old "high-end" knife makers have come out with less expensive lines since the big boom in gourmet cooking as a hobby, and while there isn't anything inherently wrong with that, when I saw that set I remember thinking that Sabatier was clearly forgetting their pedagree.

If I'm remembering correctly from the first knife thread, you do a fair bit of hunting and use your knives for everything from breaking down a carcass to chopping up veggies, yeah? I thought your other posts on the cutco issue were quite interesting. My only issue with cutco is this sneaking suspicion that the sales people have some kinda field of dreams mojo going... similar to, "if you build it, they will come," but "If you say 'knive,' they will promote." I say this because the original thread included a very few posts from people with names like "CutcoRocks" that did not inspire a whole lotta confidence and got the "caveat emptor" hair on the back of my neck twitching. But so far everyone on this thread seems to be an actual satisfied customer.


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

OK: Knife sharpers. Henckels makes a simple one that you run the blade through. I don't know how much it costs, couldn't have been too much, given the store that I saw it in. Any good? The place that I take my knives for sharpening uses and recommends the one with the two rods set an angle in the base. About $70. Hard for me to invest that much, when I don't even own the knives that I'd like. (And I only pay $4 for sharpening.) Also, steels. I've learned here that the steel must be up to the level of the knife, so to speak. I suspect that the one I have isn't. What kind/how much for a steel for say, Henckels 4-star? Thanks in advance for any info. Steve


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

Lythonde, yes, my new Sabatier does have rosewood handles over the full tang, but I really don't see that as a problem at all. I've had wood handled knives that go back twenty years and have never been trouble. Plus, Sabatier does have a respectable warranty. And you are also 100% correct about the weight to mass ratio with Mundial. They are indeed light. Good call on that...

Sharpening is another issue altogether. It's important that anyone considering a forged carbon-steel knife realize that IT WILL NEED sharpening on a regular basis.

Now, before I pass any judgement on CUTCO, let me ask a question here; is CUTCO multi-level-marketing? If it is MLM, those selling it will know right away and can answer this question. MLM means many mouths to feed, which explains why this stuff is, IMO, way overpriced. Any takers on the MLM thing?


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

Lythond,

I don't hunt as much as I'd like to anymore, as I'm living in a metropolitan area and it's a pain in the butt to get out to where Bambi is, but I still help friends and family butcher every year if I don't have something else on my plate. We should be butchering in February this year, and when we do, the Cutcos make the trip with me again.

I had thought that I was going to be able to get some time off to hunt in Pennsylvania, after Thanksgiving, but that didn't materialize because of my job.

As for Cutco's marketing, I know they're direct sales, but again, as mine were a gift, I don't know that much about their marketing.

I have no doubt that some of the people selling Cutco knives have tried to "pad" their prospects by posting to boards and the like. That's no different than any other product you come across these days. I was participating in a car forum some years ago on another service where a guy was just RAVING about a particular car, and the high-level of service he had gotten from a particular dealership. Someone finally ran it down and figured out he was the owner of the dealership. :-)

I'm going to maintain the stance that I took in the first thread.

I've used my Cutco knives for 20 years, and used them very heavily.

Are they the absolute best knives out there? No.

Do they claim to be? Yes. As I said before, what company wouldn't sell a product that they didn't advertise as being the best?

Are they good knives? I've got the handle time with them in a vast variety of situations to say that yes, they are very good knives, and have served me very well.

Don't like my opinion on Cutco knives based on my 20 years of using them? TS.


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

Yesterday I took a free knife-skills class at a local store, and here is what I reported on the Cooking Forum. Note that the instructor does all other classes at the store, there was no effort to sell anything.

Reporting in-----
7 'students' and the chef/instructor, Cordon Bleu-trained, which he said was more fun than informative. We used his knives, an assortment, and passed various knives around to try. He talked freely about products that were not carried at the store, and talked about internet sources, altho I noticed that he did not mention the fact that the local restaurant supply store carries some of the items. (Duh...) He didn't push anything except to note that the store will send out knives for sharpening. Nice to not have anything sold whatsoever. Whew.

There are two large ss tables pushed together, two people on each side with the instuctor and 7 students. In talking about knives, he talked about a great number of topics, like his favorite thin untilty knife that he likes for potatoes, and passed that around for everyone to try, and why it does what it does.

There was a lovely display of items that we worked on.... onions, carrots (where we practiced large/medium/small dice and classic cuts like Julienne, Batonnet, Brunoise, using a small ruler to learn some of those sizes), bell peppers, celery, potatoes, oranges. Neat stuff.

He talked knife technique, sharpening, even peelers.

He wasn't at all slick, and the jokes were lame, but he was comfortable talking to a small group and answering questions, offering a couple of recipes along the lines of "just throw in assorted things like.....".

He recommends having your knives done professionally once a year, and using a steel often. He has his own sharpening tools, but also noted that you can (with practice) get used to actually sharpening blades with a diamond-steel. He does not recommend sharpeners. Don't bother, save your money. And those double steel "X" things can cause more damage.

As for that eternal question of what professional chefs use, he was honest. He had a beautiful assortment of brands and styles, and could say that one (a thin blade) was best for potatoes, etc----he'd use a different knife for just about every different task.

But he also said that most local commercial kitchens that he knows of will provide F. Dick stamped knives, cost about $35. They work well, and there is no great investment in knives for the staff in general.


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

Fairgold,

Nice rundown on the class.

One of these days I'll take a knife skills class as it pertains to cooking, and nother "other activities." :-)

I sharpen all of my knives when they need it using a Lanskey sharpening set. Does a GREAT job. Gatco is another good option that may well be better as the stones are wider so you don't take so long.

I have the 3 stone set, and I've never used the coarse stone on any of my knives. My cleaver when I first got it, yes.

I got a nice light-duty cleaver, made probably sometime in the early 1900s in Chicago, from a junk box at a flea market. I had to wire brush and polish it on a wheel to get the rust off (the blade's pretty badly pitted in places) and then spent the better part of 3 hours hand grinding the nicks out of the blade.

In the end, though, it's turned out to be a great utility cleaver.


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

I have an edgepro sharpener and I really like it. I tried to learn with a regular block stone like my dad uses but I am not steady enough. when I started to invest in really good knives I bought this to take some of the pressure off of myself. It keeps steady for me.

the guy selling them was very helpful the first time I used it and had a question. All of my other questions were answered by the included video (Popcorn anyone?), which I always run while I sharpen, just in case. I have only used it 4 times.

sunny

Here is a link that might be useful: edgepro


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

Many of the speciality kitchen shops will sharpen for a nominal fee.


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

I've got the Norton Oilstone, three sides, course, medium and polishing stones. Like Kframe I rarely use the course side. If I ever let my own knives get to the point that they need it, I deserve to have them taken away. My father used some POS "diamond-edged" roller sharpening system on his Henkles, and absolutely destroyed the edge. It was like the knive equivelent of severe split ends. When I sharpened his knives recently I had to take every one of them back down to almost blunt with the course stone, then work an edge back up. Anyway, wetstones or oilstones are fantastic, but you do have to know how to use them, and it's kind of an investment unless you know you like the idea of sharpening your own knives for the rest of your life...which I do. :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Norton Multi Oil-Stone


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

Oh, yes, you are so right, Lythonde! The chef who gave our class did a demo on the Norton (or same system). Anyway, one older fellow in our group was very familiar with that system, and they got into an interesting discussion about 15 degree angles on the right side/17 on the left vs someone else's 16/19, and muscle memory and how only one person in the household should be in charge of sharpening for the sake of consistency. It was MOST interesting!@


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

For those in the DC meto looking for a knive class-

http://www.lacademie.com/

aturday, April 3

Basic Knife Skills
Gaithersburg

Participation
2:00 5:00 pm

Brian Patterson
$50 per class

Sharpen your cutlery and your knife skills! This hands-on class will cover how to sharpen and care for your knives, as well as proper use. In-class exercises will include chopping onions and other fruits & vegetables and deboning a chicken. This is LAcademies most popular class, so make your reservations now. Knives are provided for use during class.


Tuesdays, March 16 30

Essential Knife Skills Series
Bethesda

Participation
7:00 -10:00 pm

Brian Patterson
$165

LAcademies most popular class, Basic Knife Skills, has been expanded into this three-part hands-on series. In this class, you will learn proper knife handling skills and then apply and refine the techniques in the classroom. Master the skills of chopping vegetables, fruits, and herbs, as well as deboning chicken, filleting fish, and working with larger cuts of meats such as beef tenderloin and leg of lamb. Simple to complex knife cuts, from dicing to julienne to brunoise to tourne, will also be covered. Knives are provided for use during class. After the first class, students may bring in personal knives to sharpen them on a steel and stone.


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

lythonde, I had to move out of my house over the weekend because of noxious fumes, so I missed your post. I just wanted to say YES, the knife IS worth the hefty price. I took it to a friend's house on Friday, chopped some chicken for salad and had him try it. He has the Wusthof and loved my knife for it's weight and the comfort of the handle. He described it as very "handsome". We both noticed the Kershaw knife has a very nice collar that his was lacking, which made it more comfortable to use. You can bet your DH will love using it as much as looking at it! I even bought a "set" off e-bay, of a Santuko with paring knife, so DH and I would both have a knife to use. Guess what's going in my next yard sale? I added the utility knife recently, for a better price than you would get from WS. If you get this, let me know what you think of it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Kershaw Shun Santuko


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

Beat,
I registered for the class in Bethesda. They are a great little school.

Good luck!


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

homepro01?

Which one- basic or essential? I have taken the basic, but would love to take the essential. It is a great place- very happy with my past classes.


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

I am taking the essential class. Very happy with my previous classes there too.

Good luck!


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

Pretty amazing how many products POS makes, I have a house full of them myself.

You're welcome to take this with a huge grain of salt, and if you care not to believe, okay. But...

Several years ago I bought one of those POS roller/diamond sharpeners, the typical hand-held model. It worked, sort of, kind of, now and again. I tossed it in a drawer. Right after that, I bought a wetstone bench grinder. It must've been pure beginner's luck, but it worked very well at first, then whatever skill I had seemed to slip away. After reading more than I cared to about knife sharpening, one thing emerged; grinders require skills. You need to master angles, pressure, "wiping' techniques, etc., or you'll get miserable results. Being totally impatient with acquiring those skills, I moved along. I then considered buying a "sharpening system," but reviews of the ones I found were less than stellar. Rather than dump $150-200+ on something that didn't work, I put the idea on hold. Steeling my knives kept them at least acceptable.

A few months ago, I came across the "new and improved" POS roller/diamond job at a major discount. It normally costs $25-35, it was now $7.95. Being a sucker for a deep discount, and never being able to learn a lesson, I bought it. I read, and re-read, the instructions, then followed them to the letter. Sonofagun, it worked. And it worked pretty darned well at that.

This isn't an endorsement of this sharpener, nor am I urging anyone to buy it, especially at full retail price. But the fact remains, at least for me, it works. You need to stick to the directions, you need to resist any temptation to apply downward pressure, and you'll likely need to make more passes with your knives than you'd think. In the final analysis, though, this inexpensive and rather flimsy thing is putting extraordinary edges on all my knives, including my new Sabatier. It's even managed to revive a couple of off-brand chefs I've had for years.

My only regret is that I didn't buy two or three of them at $7.95. I went back a week later, and they were back up to the usual price.


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

OK, I'll play the dummy this hand... what is a POS sharpener? I think of POS as one of two things (or both in some cases) Point of Sale and Piece of S***.

So, Sween, what sharpener do you have?

Fairegold (It's late and I'm tired and not everything makes sense....)


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

Um, yeah, I'll bite too....cause in my original post, POS was most certainly not a brand name! :)


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

Geez, is my wit and sarcasm failing that bad. Of course it's not a brand name.

That aside, I am a bit surprised how widely the term is used.


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

I was just hoping that there was something wonderful out there made by the Positraction Optimist Supply co. You know, POS Co. No????


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

Sween: To put it bluntly, would you please share with us the brand name of the sharpener that you so highly praised, and the store where you purchased it? Thanks, Steve


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

Sorry about not mentioning the brand. It's the newest/latest incarnation of the Chef's Choice 460 manual sharpener. QVC used to push these things, which is where I got the first one that worked only marginally. The one I now have came from a local retailer, but you can find these things everywhere. Regardless of where you buy it, I'm sure it comes with a guarantee. If you don't like it, take it back. I used mine last night on a few knives and can tell you that it works. Is it perfect? Heck, no, but if you find it on sale, it is cheap. This thing also sharpens serrated knives.

One reason I hadn't mentioned the brand so far was that I really didn't feel like wrestling with someone who's sure to want to scold me about this sharpener not working. Besides, it totally lacks snob appeal, which is very important to some folks. Please overlook the cynicism, but I've been around the GW Forums long enough to know what I say is true. Cheers!


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Link To Pic...

Here's a link to the 460. If you're interested, this is the one I have.

Here is a link that might be useful: Chef's Choice 460


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

Thank you! Looks like it's worth a try. Steve


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

Sween: thanks for the info on the Sabatier, and on the POS sharpener. ;) I'm glad it's working for ya. Now, I hope I won't justify your concern over GW snobbery, but I have to tell you, the Chefs Choice was the POS brand I referred to that ate my dad's steel! It's actually reassuring to hear that they've gotten better. I know that brand is pretty popular, and I like to think of these improvements to the sharpener in terms of how many countless innocent knives will be saved....

;)


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

Well, ya know, Lyth, I was near certain that it was the one, since you mentioned the roller and diamonds. The brand itself sells, so we'd have to imagine that some folks use it with success. And you're welcome, Steve...

Now, about GW snobbery - nahhh, maybe another time. But it is nice to know others know what I mean.


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

There was even a thread (in Kitchens, I'm pretty sure) called "Are You A Kitchen Snob?" or something like that. And yeah, I did admit to being a kitchen snob. But I've seen similar discussions on Money Saving, and I'm sure those wacky appliance guys have mulled the topic over too. Anywhere you get people who are so passionate about their interests, it's probably almost inevitable that some snobbishness will come out. For me, personally, I keep just try to keep that desire to have "the best" (which of course is different stuff to different people) confined to the kitchen... specifically, to my kitchen, and try not to be a jerk about it if other people don't hold the same values as me.


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

How about I post just to kick this thing back up top. I really hate to see it fizzle. What happened to all the Cutco boosters? And I never did get an answer about Cutco being MLM...


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

Has anyone used the Global knives?


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

NWesterner,
I own Global knives, what would you like to know?
Homepro01


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

Homepro,

How do you compare them with others you have used, and how long between sharpenings do you go? I have very small and now some arthritic hands and the large handled heavy knives seemed too much, so was using small knives for everything. I found the Global and bought some and have enjoyed them weight and handle wise. Am wondering if these are some of the better ones for my needs or if there are any others in the same weight/handle size that may work better. Are the Wusthof Culinar mentioned larger & heavier? I couldn't tell by looking at them online and have not seen them in person.


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

I love my Globals. I find them to be a light knife that do that job of heavier knifes with great easy. I have the small sharpening tool and I sharpen maybe once a week depending on how much I cook. I did not like the Wusthof because your hands slide along the metal. You may also want to look at other Japanese knifes like Bunmei and Kais Shun. Asian knives tend to have smaller handles and are usually lighter (except for cleavers).

Which Global pieces do you have?

Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: Kai Shun


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

Thanks Homepro,

When I bought them I was 300 miles from home and the closest shop that carried a good sample. Since I had been using smaller knives and didn't have a large work area, and didn't really know that much about knives I just did a quick pick and choose--probably not the most intelligent way of buying LOL! I have the smaller GS-7, a GS-3, a GS-5, and a larger G-5. I have no idea what the names vs. #'s are with them! They work well for my needs and can even use the G-5 to carve altho a better, sharper pointed knife would probably do better. I don't have the Global sharpening tools but have used a wet-stone. But have noticed the two without the pointed tip seem to have a rough spot on the end. Am I doing something wrong? I have purposely stayed away from the kitchen store when visiting in that area knowing I would be very vulnerable to buying more! Their knife holder was just too huge for my space so bought some of the knife safe plastic snap cases they had there to keep them in. Which knives do you find work best for you? I think I use the GS-5 the most usually with vegetables and it works great. BTW, when they give knife dimensions are they measuring from handle end to tip or just the blade part? Never really could figure that out (I'm a very slow learner,lol).


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

"I don't have the Global sharpening tools but have used a wet-stone. But have noticed the two without the pointed tip seem to have a rough spot on the end. Am I doing something wrong?"

Yes. Please stop doing this immediately. Global knives have a 5% bevel that other knives do not. Global sells a clip on tool to allow you to sharpen the knives using a stone.

I own:
GS-5 - 5.5" Vegetable Knife

GS-10 - 5-1/2" Cheese Knife

G-7 - 7" Deba Knife

GS-7 - Global 4" Spear Paring Knife

Shinkansen Black and Grey Sharpener

G-12 - Global 6-1/2" Meat Cleaver

Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: Global 2 Piece Set of Sharpening Guides


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

From looking at your list of knives, think I picked some good ones. In fact, the cleaver is one that I have wanted and debated about. Also feel really dumb and sheepish----I just remembered I did buy a set of the guides and then forgot I had them---hope I can correct my error. Thanks so much again. One quick question---do you use the cleaver a lot, is it worth having? Thanks again


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

The cleaver is a debate I have been having with my self. I regularly purchase a whole chicken and cut it myself so I use it at least once a week. If you don't purchase poultry or beef that have the bone in them, then it is not worth it.

Good luck!


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

If you can hold off every May Crate & Barrel has a 20% sale on all Wusthof cutlery.


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

I just today bought an F. Dick 8" chef's knife at the restaurant supply store, for the grand price of $22. It feels nice in the hand, and seems ok, but I'll have more to report after dinner tomorrow. At that price it is well worth trying out.

I have to dump the old old Chicago Cutlery block that we got as a wedding present 26++ years ago, and 1/2 the knives are gone. I'm putting the knives into a drawer, so I also bought a number of plastic sheaths so I won't slice off a finger.


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

"Cutco boosters..."

Well, I wouldn't exactly considered myself to be a "booster," but I'm here.

You, however, may think I'm a rah-rah booster because I have had the temerity to say that I've gotten 20 years of good, hard service out of my Cutco knives and like them a lot... :-D

"And I never did get an answer about Cutco being MLM..."

MLM? What the heck is MLM?


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

MLM = multi-level marketing


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

Amway pioneered the MLM thing decades ago. And I still think Cutco is MLM, which explains why no "lovers of Cutco" have weighed in this time around. Let me ask here, can you buy Cutco in any retail outlet? If the answer is no, well, that sounds like MLM to me. Said it before, and will do so again; MLM doesn't mean a product is bad, only that with so many mouths to feed, that product will be way overpriced.

Now, about cleavers. If you have an Oriental grocer nearby, you might want to check there. I have two cleavers, both came from Chinese markets, and neither of them cost more than $15. The better of the two was $5, no kidding. There we open boxes sitting there on the floor with dozens of these things all lined up with plastic blade guards. It's carbon steel, so it takes a razor shop edge. It'll get rusty and stain if you're not careful, but it's a terrific piece of kitchen gear. Full tang, with a simple wooden handle.


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

Just wanted to check in and say how much easier my life has been in the kitchen since I got my new cutlery. I've had them now since around the first of the year, and am chopping and slicing things like never before. I always thought mincing garlic was too much trouble; no longer. It's also become a case of "getting to use my knives" instead of "having to chop all that stuff"! What a huge difference good tools make.

Here is a link that might be useful: Kershaw Shun Santuko


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

So many replies and only one correct answer. I agree with Homepro. Global Knives, what could be better?


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

Ahem, Claire! What a difference good tools make indeed! I noticed that Alton Brown has started endorsing Kershaw's. They are pretty things, aren't they? Good to know the honeymoon hasn't ended and you still love them as much as you did when you first got them. I appreciate all your info on them here. DH still hasn't suprised me with the Kershaw we saw in the WS catalog, but you never know...larger miricles have happened. Will definitely let you know if one shows up at my doorstep. :)


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

Love it!

I'm not going to fess up to what I use, though. I'd blow any credibility and you'd confiscate my cookware.

Linda


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

I held a couple of the Kershaw knives today at the Chef's catalog ware house sale. They certainly are beautiful and they felt nice in my hand though I am glad to say that my culinars feel even more comfy to me.

I also saw these in the catalog while I was waiting to get in (see link). Very interesting look. I wonder how they feel.

Sunny

Here is a link that might be useful: Porsche knives


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

I think I'll hold out for either the Bentley knives or the Ferrarri ones...

OK, sorry about that. Anyway, the chef who presented the knife skills class passed around one of those (Porsche) and he thought it was beautiful, but he still has his other favorites for functionality.

I have to admit that some of these knives are incredibly beautiful. But no one understands my admiration for these like you people do. It's nice to read that there are other people as taken with knives as I am.


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

Well, thanks to this thread, I decided to try the Kershaw Santoku when I was at a W-S store recently. I liked how it felt in my hand, so I bought one eBay (considerably cheaper than W-S, but still not cheap). I got it a couple of days ago, and you are all right - it is a GREAT knife. I've mostly used it for chopping vegetables and fruit and herbs - it's very sharp and easy to hold and I find I can use it either with one hand or two. Today I abused it to cut a winter squash in pieces before baking it - you know the kind, round and green with a really hard skin? With my cleaver I usually have to lift the cleaver, bang it down on the squash and then with squash firmly attached to cleaver bang the whole thing on the cutting board to get it cut up. The Kershaw just cut right through the skin!

Because I had saved so much on it, I also got the 6" all purpose knife and now that I've found out how well these two cut, I've ordered the 3" paring knife (did I say thank you for helping me spend all that money I don't have?? :-)). And I guess I'm eventually going to have to spring for a second knife block, since my old one is now completely full!


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

This post caused me to look at the knives my son gave me for Christmas about 10 years ago. They are Kershaw. I rarely use them, because my husband has a set of Wilkenson knives that he likes and when we got married they went on the counter in their block.

I got out the Kershaws and started using them. Wow! They are great. So much sharper than the Wilkensons and cut much better. These are the Kershaw Blade Trader. They come in a zippered pouch and there are six blades and a handle. All the blades can be secured to the handle. These are wrapped in a plastic pouch with slots for each. I am going to go out and by a Shun by Kershaw, now. The only problem with the Blade Trader is that you have to change blades or put it together when you want to use it. You can't just grab it and start cutting. They need to be put away properly and so it is a little hassle, but I guess it is worth it.

Does anyone else have the Blade Traders?


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

Congratulations on your purchase, Jan! After I used my Santuko for One Day, I immediately added the others. I love the 6-inch utility knife and find I use it a lot for slicing (meat for stir-fry); and of course the paring knife is great.

I'm not familiar with the Blade Traders, Twinkledome. I'd have trouble wanting to change the blades every time I needed a different knife, but how nice that you get to find out what these are like without having to make a blind purchase. You'll love your Shun knife, but the Blade Traders sound like they'd be great for traveling with (camping or cooking with a friend.)

DH came to the table this morning with a band-aid wrapped around his finger. When I asked what happened, he said, "I cut myself with our new knives." Ouch!


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

Thanks, Claire, I do love them, and I definitely agree that as soon as I started using the Santuko I wanted more. I hope the two I have plus the paring knife will be enough. I have to claim that I'm "one up" on you, though - I already told my DH to stay away from my new super-sharp knives!


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

Jan, I've already warned mine three times those knives are sharp! (Sometimes you have to find out for yourself.)

The other one you are going to want is the bread knife, which cuts like a dream. French bread just doesn't seem so crusty any more...


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

Well, I was sort of vaguely wondering about the bread knife :-), but I have one that works okay and we don't eat a lot of bread. Then again, if I end up with another knife block I'll have to fill up the empty slots, won't I? I'll put it on my "wish list" for after we move. (DH keeps saying it's silly to get stuff that's just going to have to be packed; I keep making plans for my new kitchen and wanting something or other).


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

I have a W-S gift certificate from Christmas that I haven't used yet but I'm waiting for my new kitchen to be done then I'd like to select a good chef's knife or Santoku knife.

Now, I have a great little Cutco paring knife (and pizza cutter) and a set of Henkles Eversharp knives.

As far as Cutco goes, it was sold to me through a MLM rep who misrepresented herself to get into my house! She said she was referred to me by a neighbor who said because of my background in marketing that I may be interested in helping her because she was a student doing a marketing survey. Yes, she was a student. No, she wasn't doing a survey but was selling me knives when my infant twins were taking a rare nap at the same time! She acted like she was a good friend of the family of my neighbor's.

The reason why I bought the paring knife after all that was because it FIT in my hand perfectly AND it was the exact knife handle I had grown up with. I called my mother and asked her about Cutco. She said about 40 years ago her brother-in-law sold Cutco knives so she bought a set of them all those years ago and had them all our growing up lives! They were known to be the BEST at the time.

I love my little paring knife and my husband loves his pizza cutter. The paring knife handle came loose but all I had to do was send it back with a letter and I received a new knife in the mail very quickly.

As for MLM, I did not give the salesperson any names of anyone I knew. However, I started getting Cutco's catalog in the mail and I can order them through the mail at any time without having a salesperson involved. So far, I haven't ordered any other knives. I'd like to test drive some others before I decide what knives will work for my small hands best.

Not a booster, just a paring knife user!

Karen


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

Okay, checked out that Porche knife and, though I've never held one, I think I'd cut my fingertip off on that knive...the shape kinda scared me, and I don't scare easy 'bout that kind of thing.

Fairegold: yeah knife geeks!


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

Just discovered the forum and think it's great. I wanted to briefly add to the knife discussion.

I am a firm believer that you should use the knife that you think feels the best in your hand. I personally have more Henkels than I can count, a few over 25 years old. But that said, my opinion is simply the knife I like best.

I agree with the opinion that you should use the right knife for the job. (That's the excuse I gave my ex for buying all those knives over the years.) Still, I tend to use my 12" Chef's knife for most tasks, simply because I am comfortable with it.

As far as sharpening goes...there is no doubt they can be a pain in the butt. I steel my knife before (and somtimes during) each task and have them sharpened professionally twice a year.

Thanks to everyone here...this looks like a great site.


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

Anybody try Daniel Boulud knives--made by Sabatier?


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

Depends how you use knives. Cheap replaceable knives are best for us.

One person in our family tends to be fussy with tools, the rest of the family cut on ceramic or glass surfaces and cleans them eventually. So we have a 10" Sabatier for Mr. Fussy from the year zero and the rest are SS. Only one serrated because those serrations tend to deflect the cut, invariably into your hand. Serrated reserved for bread.

Any tools out there to hold food for cutting?


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

Do not know if this will be useful to any one or not, but I sharpen knives as a hobby for my friends and neighbors. The system I use takes less than one minute to get a razor edge, and does not remove excess material.

It is a product called Razor Sharp. It is two paper wheels that you install on a bench grinder. One of the wheels has a carbarondan powder on it that is used to hone a edge. The other wheel is just paper.

On the abrasive wheel you run bees wax on it to lubricate then hone the blade until a wire bur is developed on the edge. Then on the paper wheel you apply some jewlers rudge and polish the wire bur off. Razor sharp in less than a minute.

Cost is about $26.


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

Just wanted to let everyone know that I went to Bed Bath & Beyond to check out the Wustof and Henckels knives yesterday. They told me that they will accept the 20% coupon off of Henckels even though the coupon says it is excluded. Wustof is not excluded. They also told me that if we buy the knives from them, they will replace them at any time for no charge even if the problem is our fault. I am not sure if all the stores are the same but this was at the Rochester Hills, Michigan store.


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

Very fond of the 10" Chef's knife from Masahiro. Sharp. Attractive. Well balanced. My favorite knife. Masahiro Chef's Knife [scroll down to MH13713]

On the other hand, Fairegold was waiting for the Ferrari of knives. Try these from Masamoto:

Masamoto Knives [click on Masamoto; then click on first item therunder, Honyaki Gyokusei Kyomen] Ah, no, I don't have any.


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

"Masamoto Knives"

Ooooh, aaaaahhhhh! Those are elegant knives! Seeing the whole lot of them on the page together made my heart quicken. Same thing happens with the Kershaw knives. :)

Sunny

(pant, pant)


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

I received my Kershaw Kai Santoku Shun a few weeks ago and it is absolutely wonderful. The salesmen at the knife store ooh'd and aah'd when it came into the store after they ordered it for me.

I have other Kershaw knives in what they call the Blade Trader and they cut beautifully. This knife has 16 layers of steel and the way it is honed the blade looks like moire fabric. Stunningly beautiful and cuts like a dream. I can take this 6 1/2" blade and slice garlic cloves in half or thirds horizontally, then vertically and chop that garlic clove into tiny little pieces with this great big knife.


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

I went a little crazy with the clearance at Sur La Table and called some other stores to get other Culinar knives mailed to me. I now have duplicates of some of the knives so I guess I will sell them on ebay because mailing them back or driving to Dallas is too much trouble. I now have a set with almost every Culinar knife I wanted to collect over a period of YEARS, and them some. I never particularly wanted the tomato knife but it came in a box set that I broke up and I kind of like it. I would like, someday, to get the santoku (santuko I forget) but I don't really need it, and maybe the flexible fillet knife. Wheeeeee! It is no nice to have good, sharp knives that no one else here "touches" (read-ruins). sunny


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

Claire - if you see this and to anyone who can tell me, would you recommend getting the Shun with the hollow blade or not?

Hubby and I recently checked out the knives in person and OMG thanks so much for the recommendation on the Kershaw knives. I was all set to buy Wusthof Grand Prix II but there was NO comparison, truly. We both tried out Wusthof first and held several in our hands and then tried the Shuns. We told each other to wait and make sure we had our choices before telling the other one. It was immediate for us both the moment we placed a Shun in our hand. The balance of the knife was so wonderful and the handle seemed to fall into place perfectly into our hands. Plus they are drop-dead gorgeous knives.

So, now we are wondering if we should buy hollow blade or not. We're going to buy a 7" Santoku, and 8" chefs, 6" utility, both classic and birds beak paring knives (never used a birds beak but hubby liked it), and the kitchen shears which look wonderful. I think that would be a good assortment to begin with and I guess as we work in the kitchen we can decide what other knives we should purchase such as a bread slicer.

I thought for sure we'd want the hollow on the Santoku and perhaps try the chefs without but now I'm just not sure if we should get both with or without the hollow blade. Hubby thinks it may be a good idea if they really work to keep things from sticking not to pass up the option for hollow but on the other hand we've never used one so just do not know.

I doubt we could go wrong either way but they are quite an investment and we have not had a kitchen for such a long time I almost forget how to use knives. :o) We really want to make the right decision so can any of you offer some advice?


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Blade length

Plus I also am not sure about the blade length. The Santoku we saw had a 6.5" blade but I thought the 7" may be nicer. Not sure so help would be appreciated!

I may be splitting hairs on that and I know this is all very personal. I tend to like a smaller knife so I'm sure I'll use the 6" utility a ton but hubby likes a bit longer blade. Trying to please us both. :o)


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

Chelly, You will absolutely LOVE these knives. (But then it sounds like you already know that!) I have the hollow ground Santuko, and got the regular Santuko with another knife, and quite literally can't tell there is any difference. The hollow ground is supposed to keep things from sticking which it may, but not enough to actually notice. I still have to clean the knife blade with my finger to get all the pieces off (when slicing/dicing small), so don't think it's worth any extra dollars. Also the hollow ground makes it more difficult to sharpen, so I would say go for the classic blade. You will eventually want the bread knife I think; I'm finding invaluable especially for splitting cake layers. Glad to hear you both liked these so much. Be sure to report back when you get a chance!


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

Thank you, Claire! I'm so glad to get this great information and if you think the hollow is not necessary then you have saved me some bucks. :o)

I agree that the bread knife is a good idea, in fact, wonder if it is good for slicing tomatoes? I notice they do have a tomato knife but I don't want a whole bunch of special knives at this point.

One other question I would have is whether it may be a good idea to pop for the 8 or 9 inch slicing knife. What do you use when you roast a turkey or for slicing any roasted meats?


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

Thanks for all your input. Just got a good price for the Shun Santoku on ebay. Can't wait. Debating about adding more even before I get the knife.


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

I saved my old carving knife from the other knives I replaced. Since it's not something I do very often, I decided to see if I really needed it. I find I grab the 6 inch utility knife most often when I need to cut any kind of meat, and think it's usually long enough for any of my daily needs. (My old carving knife is still sharp since I used it the least...)

The steak knives were something I considered at one time, but I recently found a beautiful old vintage set from the 1920's at an estate sale which are still sharp.

The tomato knife would probably be invaluable if you eat a lot of tomatoes. It's smaller and a little easier to manage for me (small hands) than the bread knife, for small items like tomatoes. (The bread knife works fine, however...) I already have one from the old knife set, and consider that particular knife a valuable tool. (You know my birthday is coming up soon...might be something to add!)


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

Claire, are you checking ebay. There are some pretty good prices there. I am just watching for now.


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

I have found really good prices on several sites that compare with Ebay when you include Ebay shipping and the other sites "no shipping costs". Another great deal right now if you spend $120 on Amazon in kitchen and housewares you get $20 off and that is through the end of September. Another good deal is on Cutlery and More you can get a free Shun bamboo cutting board for spending $250 and I think that cutting board sells for $59. But I have found the best prices overall at Chef's Catalog for the pieces I'm buying.

I have to buy several knives so was thinking of spreading it out to take advantage of the deal. Also, I would have never considered buying a set but there is one set that has 7 pieces that I was planning to buy anyway and it comes with a knife block and it saves literally over a hundred dollars to buy that way. I just do not know yet if we will want to use a knife block as we are leaning towards an inside-drawer block.

Claire, I do think you are right and I would be better off with the bread knife than the slicing knife to begin with and see if I need it. Can always purchase later. :o)

I want to buy the laguiole steak knives with the ivory handles. I think they're so beautiful. If anyone knows about their quality please let me know.


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

Jean, I got most of my Shun knives from Ebay, one at a time. I like some of the angled knives Alton Brown is offering on his website. I have an old MAC knife (also Japanese) with this angle which I really loved. Like Chelly, I also found some other good deals on websites with free shipping. This was an investment I made a little at a time, since it was easier than plunking all my money down at once!

Has anyone bought anything from these people?

Here is a link that might be useful: Factorydirect2you.com for Shun knives


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

Claire, thanks for the advice. I have not really considered the angled knives. It's hard when you cannot try them. I do love the tomato knife tho. Have not heard of Factory Direct but if paying by credit card, it should not be an issue. Got my Santoku for less than 80.00 with shipping so I am happy about that. Still looking at the other knives.


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

I received some of my Shun knives and have to report - they are TO DIE FOR! OMG! I used 2 of them last night; the 6" utility (going to be fabulous), and 8" chefs knife (incredible).

They cut through meat like it was BUTTAH. I chopped some veggies and it was astonishing to me. I've been using a set of Chicago Cutlery my mother bought for me a very long time ago and those knives are so dull I could hack at my arm and none of those knives would have drawn blood. :o) So using a well-made and super sharp knife was a treat I underestimated.

Not only are these the most truly beautiful knives I've seen they are so comfortable and fit your hand so well plus the balance is wonderful. I'm a true fan and so grateful to all your posts, Claire, as I would have hated to miss out on these beauties. I receive my Santoku and bread knives today so can't wait!


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

I haven't read all the posts, but the best knives are those that stay sharp. So that means having a great sharpener that's easy to use.


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

Check it out; drive yourself crazy: Kitchen Knife Forum


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

I have quite a few Gerber knives that I bought about ten years ago. I like them a lot, but Gerber now apparently only makes knives for hunting, etc.

I kind of wrecked the paring knife, and my ex took some of the knives when we broke up, so I've been in the market for a couple of new ones.

Thanks to the advice here, I added a couple of Shun knives -- the angled utility knife and the paring knife. I used the utility knife yesterday, cutting up a piece of beef chuck for stew. It was incredible -- very smooth, just great.
I have small hands, and the angle is perfect for me. Now I want an 8 inch chef's knife...

Sue


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

Wusthoff vs. Henckels. Years ago, while working as a Pro, I had a W 10" chef's knife stolen from my car. In a regretted moment of cheapness, I replaced the beloved knife with a H Four star. The H delivered twenty years of good service, but I never felt the kinship of the W. I finally got another W a month ago and feel I can now compare the two. First of all, neither brand is as good as it was. I found the newest incarnation of the W Classic a let down, but managed to purchase an older display model. The older model has much sharper corners on the bolster, providing a surer grip. The new model, with its softer edges, feels more feminine. Comparing the W to the old H also shows some dramatic differences. The balance point on the W is just ahead of the bolster, whereas the H balances nearly an inch into the blade. This makes the W more suitable for smaller hands like mine, assuming one properly grips the bolster between the index and middle fingers. W and H use different alloys for their blades, with the H being the harder stainless. This cuts both ways(excuse the pun) as the blade holds its edge longer, but is very difficult to sharpen. I also feel that the H blade could withstand the abuse of a commercial kitchen longer than the W. I'm sure there are other differences that elude me, but I hope this helps any wondering on the distinctions between the two major brands...Jackie


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

We just purchased our first Sabatier knife (should have checked this forum first!) and have been disappointed in its rustiness, or whatever that is that it has on it all the time. It's a 6 inch paring knife, was very expensive, is very sharp, but it looks awful. Using an abrasive scrunge pad has not improved it.

Any tips on caring for this knife? The info on the Kershaw knives say that it doesn't rust. I'd say that's a plus.


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

Melisande,
Sounds like you got a carbon steel blade rather than high carbon stainless. Try some silver polish, it will remove the stains. To avoid rust you have to keep the blade dry, except of course when you're actually using it, so don't leave it laying around wet. Hope this helps.

deanb


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

Melisande, Assuming the Sabatier is carbon steel, anything with citric acid will turn the blade black. The only solution is to immediately rinse off the offending acid and dry the blade. Knives of this steel were commonly found in restaurants as late as 1980 due to their ease of sharpening, but the carefree nature of stainless eventually won out. There is nothing wrong with your Sabatier that a little TLC won't cure...Jackie


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

You'll still see non-stainless high-carbon knives in commercial kitchens, butcher shops, bakeries. And with good cause, they take a razor's edge with relative ease. I have this cheapo cleaver(it might've cost a whopping five or six bucks)that I could shave with after it's steeled. It also rusts if you breath on it, which is a trade off I don't mind at all.


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

Thanks guys. It IS staying very sharp, and I guess I'm getting used to the appearance. (I'll try silver polish, too).


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

As an alternative to silver polish, you can make a paste with Comet cleanser and rub it over the stains with a wine cork.


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

I've used all the Europeans but switched to Global and Kasumi three years ago. Much better quality. Worth the extra cost.


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

I've just had my Global knives stolen & while I loved them, was wondering if folks have other throughts....I HAVE to get knives quickly (like today!) because of Thanksgiving - my other knives are good, but they aren't the Global!


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

Liz,
Your page says you live in Ashland, Oregon. I did a quick google searh and found that Allyson's of Ashland carries Global knives.
Dean


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

Thank you! I was in Allyson's exactly at the time you posted....I couldn't decide so I bought a Global #4 (Oriental cook knife), Global GS-9 (serrated paring) and a 2-knife Wusthof set of 8" Santuko & flat-edge paring. That should get me through Thanksgiving!


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

In following all of these messages, I see that many of you have discovered what I discovered several years ago. Japanese knives are far superior to European knives.

I started serious cooking 30 years ago (wow!). My first knives were Sabatier, which were the best at the time. But the carbon steel blades were quick to rust, and would begin to dull as soon as you began thinking about using them.

I then went to Henkles, and liked the "stainless" quality of the steel, and how much longer the edge remained sharp. Then, being at the age to want the best toys, I became interested in, and bought a set of Wusthofs. I think there was very little difference in the steel in the Henkles, but the shapes of the knives seemed more functional, especially the Chef and utility. Both, however, were more difficult to sharpen than the Sabatiers, due to the extra hardness of the steel. But, alas, a divorce cost me my Wusthofs.

In starting over the knife collection again, this time I went to Messermeister. Now these are the best of the European knives, in my opinion. The steel is suppurb, the balance and shape are almost perfect, and most importantly, they are much sharper. They are ground to a 15 degree edge, as opposed to a 22 degree edge on Hendles and Wusthof.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the forum. I saw Rachel Ray using a Wusthof Santoku on the Food Network, and became interested in it. So I decided that I wanted one. I found that Messermeister, as well as Wusthof and Henkles, include this shape in their lineup. But I said, you know, before I spend $70 on a German version of a Japanese knife, why not look for the real thing, a Japanese Santoku.

This was one of the most rewarding hobby related investigations I have ever done. As I researched Japanese knives, I began to see the extreme difference in knife philosophy between the European style knives and Japanese knives. I discovered the knife makers that have been mentioned on this board, Kai Shun, Global, Kasumi, etc. I settled on Kai Shun, and have yet to find a better knife in a stainless steel version. I gave my Messermeisters to my daughter, and stocked up on Shuns. I have a sheepsfoot parer, a 6" utility, a 6 1/2" Santoku, an 8" Deba, a 10" Chef, and a 9" bread knife. (I also have a 6" stiff boning knife from Granton Knife Co. in Sheffield Eng., which is a butcher shop staple. It has a large poly pro handle that will not allow your hand to slip when wet, and allows great force to be applied as you do when boning, etc. Everyone should have one of these; they not only take a real sharp edge, they are very cheap - $25).

Now for the punch line. I was talking to the owner of my favorite Sushi restaurant regarding my surprise at the incredible quality advantage of Japanes knives over European knives. And I told him about my Shuns, and the others I had looked at. But he said, ah ha!, have you ever tried a Masamoto? I said a what? and he told me about the old samauri sword makers started making knives after the end of the swords for warriors era. I checked them out, and was amazed with what I learned regarding knife craftsmanship. This was a totally different philosophy of knife science than Europe.

Traditional Japanese knives (Masamoto, Aritsugu, Suisin, etc.) are entirely hand made, hand forged, and strangely shaped. The most famous is the yanagi style, which means willow leaf, and that is how it is shaped. This is your basic sushi style knife. So I ended up forking out the $750 to get a Masamoto Hassouchi Hongasum Gyotoseiko. This was a yanagi style, made with a beautiful blue steel interior with a damascus soft iron outer. (You will have to pay about $350 for an entry level hand made yanagi) Jay (my sushi chef friend) also taught me how to sharpen with a Japanese water stone. (you need several grits; I have a 300, and a 1000/3000 combination. The 300 is for edge restoration, the 1000 is the basic sharpening grit, and the 3000 is the polishing grit. I also finish them off with an F.Dick oval fine cut steel. Never use a regular cut steel on a Japanes knife.)

What makes Japanese knives so special is the edge philosopy. They do not have a "V" edge, like European knives; Japanese knives have a chissel type edge. This provides two advantages. First, you don't have to worry about maintaining a constant angle in the wrist when sharpening. You simply lay the flat edge of the chissel on the stone, and work the knife lightly. No sharpening error. You finish the flat side of the blade the same way, holding it flat against the stone. When you finish you have one very sharp knife. Second, the chisel edge, as opposed to a "V" edge of European knives, allows you to make much thinner and more accurate cuts. For instance, when making a dish that requires garlic, I no longer smash and chop the garlic. I slice ~ .5mm slices of the garlic cloves, and fry them in oil until perfectly golden brown. I remove them from the seasoned oil, and save them until the dish is finished, and return them to the dish for a great garlic accent. No burned garlic; just perfectly browned garlic. You just can't slice garlic this thin, or this accuraately with a European knife. The precise slicing ability of the yanagi style knife is why this is the style used by sushi/shashimi chefs around the world.

Once I began getting used to the feel and balance of the Masamoto yanagi style, I bought another style, a Kamagata Usuba. This a a vegetale knife, that looks like a narrow cleaver, but with a Japanese style edge. The standard Usuba has a rectangular shape. The Kamagata Usuba has a sheeps foot end, that results in an incredigly sharp tip. The shape and balance makes this style a great multi tasker.

Now I would estimate that 98% of my knife work is done with the Masamoto yanagi, the Masamoto Kamagata Usuba, and the $25 Granton boning knife. While I still love my Shuns, there is must more Zen in the real samauri blade than in the new high tech steel (VG-10) of the Shuns. For instance, each Masamoto is persoally signed by the craftsman that made it.

For what it is worth, I have not used my 10" Shun Chef or 6" utility for almost two years now. I do use the bread knife on bread, the 8 1/4" Deba when filleting fish, and the 3 1/2" sheepsfoot parer with I need a little knife. If you get your karma right with traditional Japanes knives, you will want to use them whenever possible. For instance, nothing slices BBQ brisket better than my yanagi.

Once you get to Masamoto traditional knives, I think that you have reached the top of the mountain. Not only are they wonderful kitchen tools, but when you pick up a yanagi style from a kmife maker such as Masamoto, you can feel the soul of a real samauri warrior. Those of you who have chosen Shun or Global or Kasumi (which I believe is the same knife as a Shun, with a different handle) are just below the top of the mountain. Thouse of you still using European knives, however, have a long way to go to experience truly great knife craftsmanship. In the case of knives, "made in Japan" means the very best in the world.


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

Regarding Cutco,

I am a sales rep for cutco and you may think that my comment is biased but it really is not.

1) Cutco is not MLM. Reps do not go house to house and get everyone they see to buy and start selling the knives. What we are simply supposed to do is show the product and ask if they would like to buy it. Once the customer decides to either buy the product or not to buy the product we ask if they know anyone who would be willing to take a look at the knives as well. I know some reps would take advantage, be pushy ,lie and cheat and im not really fond of those reps because it gives me a bad name.

The reason why they only sell the knives that way is to eliminate the store so as not to increase costs and give more of the profit to the sales reps. If this was a bad way to market the knives then they would not have been in business for over 50 years and our annual sales would not be over 250 millions dollars.

As far as the quality of the knife and why i think it is good, I dont know many other companys that have a forever warranty where in 20 years if it breaks you can call the local office and they will send someone to your house and help you pack up your product to send back or touch them with a sharpening block and not charge you for it.
-all the other benefits i wont go into but if you want they can be easily found on the cutco homepage. www.cutco.com

I can think of many people that i have been refered to that already had cutco that buy more because they like it or buy it because their friends or relatives say it is good. Im not saying cutco is the greatest and best knife out there but they are really good and i dont believe they should be frowned upon just because they are not sold in stores.


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

Wow, what a divergence of styles/price ranges/philosophies.

Like all the great enjoyable things in life, that last 10% of performance is where the premium price kicks in.

Chicago Cutlery is simple and needs sharpening frequently, but IMHO it's a pretty good deal for the $. I've had wusthoff, trident, henckels, sabatiers, and yes, they are certainly better. How much is it worth to you?? Chicago cutlery knives are like Almaden Golden Chablis--yup, it ain't Montrachet but doesn't pretend to be, and it's perfectly acceptable to serve to people whom you aren't trying to impress.

I promise I'm not name dropping now, but one brand I can't find any more is Trente Deux. I bought a 10" chef knife in 1975 in Galeries Lafayette as a souvenir from Paris. Well balanced and holds an edge nicely.

Re: sharpening: readers might find this knife web site helpful. It has more than any sane person needs to know about sharpening knives.

Here is a link that might be useful: sharpening web site


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

I love my Henckels Four Star knives and I am wondering how those of you who own them, take care of sharpening them. Here's a link to a thread about sharpening knives.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sharpening Knives


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

Anyone here have any experience with DiGangi Design knives. We bought a set at a craft show mainly because they look great and are as much decoration. Have revently started using them and they seem to work well, but I am too much of a knife novice to know if they are "good".
Just wondering any anyone has them and if you use them. any advice on handling, cleaning, maintaining that may be unusual or specific to these is appreciated.

Here is a link that might be useful: DiGangi Design knives


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RE: 'top of the mountain'

Masamoto's are very good knives, but are still semi mass produced.
The idea that each is made the traditional "samurai" way, with the craftsman pouring his soul into his work, and then is sold, in volume, online, for $750 may be a little far fetched... But hey live the dream


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

A confessed knife fan here. Learned a lot on Knifeforums. I hinted around for one of these for a time, but DH never picked up on it. I really do love beautiful knives. I have some Wustoffs, Henckels, Globals, old Sabatiers. I use stones to sharpen, but I have never tried sharpening the Globals at home. I like my Global chef's knife, but I am a bit afraid of the metal becoming slippery, so I am very careful to dry my hands when I use it. I like my old, ugly Sabatiers because I get them razor sharp, but I sharpen and hone them so frequently that it is getting old. I tried the angled Shun and found the taper of the handle weird, but I like the D-shaped Shuns. I think I would recommend those to someone who wanted a couple of great knives, but didn't want to commit to regular Japanese knives.

Here is a link that might be useful: Kramer


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

I love my japanese knives, but you still find myself using my Wusthof's. They are easy to maintain and you do not have to be as careful with the thin japanese edge. The Original Grand Prix can be found at Cutlery And More at really low prices. They seem to still have a large selection left, too. I picked up an extra 8" Chef's Knife for $69...usually it's around $90! They also have Shun & Global knives too.

Here is a link that might be useful: Wusthof Knives at Cutlery And More


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

I was just in WS the other day looking at cookware and just wanted to take a quick look at their knives and was stunned by the beauty of the Kershaw Shun Santuko knife (Onion Series). It is beautiful just to look at. I would be afraid to use it in case it would destroy the beauty of the knife. I asked the salesperson if I could see it and I have to admit, it was very, very sharp. Having cut my finger in the past with one of my sharp knives, I hesitated. 2 questions: are there any good websites or other sources that would provide useful info on how to use your knives properly so I don't run in to the same problem and are these knives worth it since they are quite expensive. Also, how do you sharpen one of these and do you have to do it as often as you would other knives ie Chicago, Henkels etc?


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

Gerber Knives ROCK! Major selection. High Quality. Fair Prices.

Here is a link that might be useful: Gerber Knives


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

I have several different good pieces of Chef knives from Global knives, I have arthritic hands and this is the best brand that works best for me even their Steak Knife Sets. I have tried Cutco and Henckels & Wusthof

I use to use other brands but they got too heavy for my hands and was uncomfortable to use and they remain sharp for a long time.

Here is a link that might be useful: chef knife central


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RE: What Are the Best Knives? #2

Welcome to Gardenweb, Chefknives. There are specific rules about advertising on this or any of the forums, and you will be billed for advertising.


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