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Opinion needed on Knives

Posted by gorilla_x (My Page) on
Thu, Aug 2, 07 at 21:10

Okay, I am looking for a chef or santoku knife as an upgrade to my Faberware Pro forged chef knife.

I know all about the Forschner tested by ATK, and I can get one delivered for $23. Cannot find one locally though to try out.

I tried the following Wusthof knives:
- classic 8" chef
- classic 7" santoku
- cordon bleu 7" santoku
- gourmet 8" chef
- gourmet 7" santoku.

I tried otheers too, but I like the look and feel of the Wusthofs the best. Ebay has the best prices on the classic line, but am worried that I may get a "used" knife advertised as "new."

ATK "highly recommended" the Forschner, and "recommened" the gourmet in their 8" chef knife test. I can get the cordon bleu 7" santoku for $63 on amazon, but cannot find reviews of it Only difference between the cordon bleu and the classic: thinner blade, no bolster.

I can get the classic 8" chef or classic 7" santoku on ebay for $60 delivered.

What what you buy if you were me?

-G


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Opinion needed on Knives

I happen to like Wusthof, so am a little biased.

However, the best choice is the one that is most comfortable in your hand. Personally, I would never purchase a knife that I hadn't handled, and handled exactly the way I would use it in my kitchen.

I know nothing about ebay, so can't say if your fears are justified or not. Why would you even suspect such a thing? Have there been cases?

And, frankly, I don't put a lot of faith in any of ATK's tests, except as a very rough guideline.


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RE: Opinion needed on Knives

...the best choice is the one that is most comfortable in your hand...

I agree 1000% with what gardenlad says. I have to handle and use a knife before I buy. I am also a Wustof owner and love the way they feel. If you can't try out a knife before you buy, I'd skip it. And I don't buy on Ebay (bad experience).


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RE: Opinion needed on Knives

I don't know what I would buy if I were you, but if I were me I would and did buy the Shun santuko with the granton edge. It's a really great knife. Very sharp (they use laminated steel with a RC60 core for the cutting edge, so they can use a 16 degree grinding angle rather than the 20 degree angle of the German knives), and the handle has a really good feel. Not to mention that it's a really beautiful knife.

Surprisingly, Willaim Sonoma has pretty decent prices on Shun knives when they are on sale. I got mine there for about $120.


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RE: Opinion needed on Knives

You really need to choose the knife that feels the best in your hand. I highly recommend Wusthof and I would not buy any knife of this quality on ebay.

JMO
Teresa


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RE: Opinion needed on Knives

Thanks for the feedback. All the knives I've tried (listed in my post) are comfortable enough such that I would enjoy using them... did not really love one over another.

Oh well, guess I just have to make a decision!

-G


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RE: Opinion needed on Knives

Gorilla,

What do you like and not like about your Farberware Pro knife? It seems you'd want to look for a knife that replicates it in the ways you like and doesn't replicate it in the ways you don't. In addition to the way it feels in your hand, you might also want to think about the shape of the blade and how it might affect the way you use the knife. (I've used Chinese chef's knifes for over 40 years and don't feel comfortable with other blade shapes.)

--Doug


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RE: Opinion needed on Knives

Doug,

We bought the Faberware Pro block set a few years ago. Saw "Forged" on the package and figured they *must* be good... their forged :)

Well, the chef's knife is okay in terms of comfort. It's dull and was never really sharp out of the box... Does not hold it's sharpness too long. And it has slight rust spots on it (hand washed and dried... apparently I did not dry it quickly or good enough).

All in all, looking for a sharp knife that needs less sharpening than my current knife without breaking the bank. All the knived I demoed are in my price range.

-G


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RE: Opinion needed on Knives

Gorilla,

If you are accustomed to working with a chef's knife you might find a santoku a little on the light side. It is less of a general purpose tool than a chef's knife. Any of the knives you listed should be an improvement on what you are using now. I'd pick one that feels good and looks good to you and not look back.

Spending a lot on a knife isn't necessary if you have confidence in your own judgement. I used a $200 Shun Chinese chef's knife at a catering job and while it's beautiful looking it didn't feel any better (to me) or work any better (for me) than my $40 Russell-Dexter Chinese chef's knife.

--Doug


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RE: Opinion needed on Knives

Check restraunt supply stores.
Linda C

Here is a link that might be useful: restraunt supply


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RE: Opinion needed on Knives

Personally, I don't pay attention to money when knife shopping. Don't get me wrong, I'm not looking to overspend just because something happens to be the "in" thing---such as the Shun knives Doug refers to.

The fact is, there are a whole lot of high quality, affordible knives out there. And let's keep in mind that "quality" as it refers to a professional's needs, and quality as it applies to a home cook, aren't necessarily the same thing. A professional chef is likely to use his knives more in a week than most of us do in a lifetime.

All of which is why I look for a well-made knife that, first and foremost, does the job it's supposed to, and which is comfortable for me to use. If that turns out to be a $300 knife, so be it. But it could just as likely be one that costs thirty bucks.


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RE: Opinion needed on Knives

Japanese knives are indeed the new "in" thing. They are, in general, lighter and harder than their German counterparts. I have a Shun 8" chef's knife and I love it. It came razor sharp out of the box and it has been easy to maintain the edge. Most of my knifes are Messermeister, Wusthof, and Sabatier. Of these I like the Messermeisters the best. They also all came razor sharp out of the box with a 15 degree bevel angle and have an abbreviated bolster.


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RE: Opinion needed on Knives

Something that can drive a lot of American cooks crazy is that real Japanese knives have a chisel edge. That is, the bevel is only on one side, and they come right- and left-handed.

Of late there are a number of them being produced with a double bevel, primarily for the export (read "American") marketplace.


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RE: Opinion needed on Knives

Not to beat a dead horse, but I forgot to mention the main reason why I want to replace my forged faberware pro chef knife: it has a bow (curve) on the blade about 1.5" away from the bolster... so when place the cutting edge on the cutting board, that portion of the blade does not come into contact with the board. There is close to 2" of blade that does not contact the board.

As far as I can tell, it's alaways been that way. I have a hand sharpener, and always sharpened the blade from bolster to tip.

In a way, is that a good reason to consider a smaller bolster knife? I figure it'll make it easier to sharpen the entire blade. Dunno, just asking.

-G


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RE: Opinion needed on Knives

The main selling point of an abbreviated bolster is that it makes it easier to sharpen the entire length of the blade.


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RE: Opinion needed on Knives

If someone can explain to me if they can... if a full bolster knife is resharpened many times over the years, won't the bolster hit the cutting board before the heel of the blade? And won't there be a "bow" as I described having with my currect knife (see a few posts up)? Or is this something not to be concerned with?

-G


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RE: Opinion needed on Knives

gorilla_x, I am not sure if I am following you but if you are talking about a slight curve to the blade of your chef knife and you said "it has always been that way"? Some chef knives are meant to rock while cutting. Starting at the end/tip and coming down to chop. (sort of having one part of the knife never leaving the cutting surface) It takes practice vs a complete straight edge that you would go straight down. I am sorry I can't explain this better.


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RE: Opinion needed on Knives

eandhl,

The problem I am describing with my current knife seems like a design flaw. If I rest the blade on the cutting board (the bolster is resting on the board too), the portion of the blade (close to 2" worth of blade) just in front of the bolster is not touching the board. So if I was chopping basil for example, the basil under that area would be either partially chopped, or not chopped at all.

Then I began to wonder what the effect would be 5 years from now if my new (yet to be purchased) full bolster knife was sharpened many times... if he guy sharpening my knife (or me) cannot wear down the bolster each time the knife is sharpened, won't the bolster hit the board before the blade would hit the board?

Maybe it's a non-issue. There are plenty of folks here with full bolster knives that have had them sharpened over the years. Do you folks have any problems?

-G


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RE: Opinion needed on Knives

Gorilla,

The first decent knives I got years ago were Sabatier with a full bolster. What you describe is exactly what happened to the chef's knife after sharpening the knife several times over a few years. I think this is the rule rather than the exception. The full bolster is the culprit.

Dean


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RE: Opinion needed on Knives

A commercial sharpening service will grind down the bolster as needed so the entire cutting edge can be sharpened and the blade's original shape retained. All of the knives belonging to the caterer I work for have the bolster cut back about 1/8" from the edge of the blade.


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RE: Opinion needed on Knives

>>If someone can explain to me if they can... if a full bolster knife is resharpened many times over the years, won't the bolster hit the cutting board before the heel of the blade? And won't there be a "bow" as I described having with my currect knife (see a few posts up)? <<

This is what happened to me after years of using my Wusthof Classic 10" chef's knife. I've since switched to a Lamson Sharp and miss a little bit of the weight of the Wusthof, but sharpening is much easier - and it's great to have an knife edge that is dependably level again (e.g., curving upwards only at the tip).

velodoug's lucky he has a service that grinds down the bolster on his pro knives. I've used several different sharpening services over a 30 miles geographic area in the SF Bay Area, and NONE of them have done such a thing or suggested it. I might have kept the Wusthof if I'd been able to find someone who did that.


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RE: Opinion needed on Knives

Thanks for all the feedback. I will get a bolster-less knife like the Cordon Bleu line... certainly felt comfortable.

-G


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RE: Opinion needed on Knives

If you decide on the Le Cordon Bleu, be sure to check out Cutlery And More for some good prices. You may also consider adding a knife from the Grand Prix line. They still have the original one and the prices are phenomenal. If you haven't checked out MAC yet, you may want to. They are a great quality japanese knife that isn't as nearly expensive as Shun. The damascus on the Shun Knives isn't totally necessary, and MAC has the same kind of "japanese edge" and steel.

Here is a link that might be useful: Wusthof Knives


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RE: Opinion needed on Knives

I had a knife-fest last summer after going to a Cutco presentation (and doing enough research to know that if I ever bought Cutco, it would just be for the scissors). Then I began to research knives, what fun! I imagined all sorts of glamorous knives in my kitchen! Then, common sense stepped in. For the finale, I went through my drawers of knives and had a cutting party. Turns out I had some Globals, some beautiful full-tanged stuff from Amway (mom's), assorteds of all sorts, including some old beat-up looking knives that turned out to be Forschners with rosewood handles. So I put them to the test. Cutting boards and dismembered vegetables and pieces of bread littered the counters as if a veggiecidal maniac was on the loose.

Guess what? The old Forschners won my cutting test, hands down. They went through veggies as though they were butter! My MIL and I were laughing as we tried the different knives, and whenever we used the Forschner I would say "Do it again!" over and over. They was SO fun to cut with! Then I sharpened them all and tried again. Those old Forschners were STILL the best, by a landslide, even though they weren't the prettiest, by far. I got rid of lots of knives, got a proper holder for the remaining knives, and I now use the Forschners almost every day.

Check your knife drawers, everyone, you may have a hidden treasure!


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RE: Opinion needed on Knives

I know I am late to the game but if you are still looking try Forschner Victorinox Fibrox line. These are some of the finest knives out there for about 1/2 to 1/3 of what others charge.


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RE: Opinion needed on Knives

I have the Forschner Fibrox 10" Chef's Knife, paring knife and bread knife and they are incredible! Inexpensive, too - I'm getting a few for Christmas gifts for "the kids", who are making do with crappy knives. I bought mine online and they were incredibly reasonable.


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RE: Opinion needed on Knives

I have an old damascus steel chefs knife that is 17 inches long and holds a wonderful edge and cuts/chops great. The only drawback is that it is carbon steel so it reacts to acid and will rust so it must be hand washed and dried immediately after use. I would never get rid of it for that reason however. You can see the layers of steel through the corroded portions of the blade - gives it a beautiful appearance at least in my opinion. Jim


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RE: Opinion needed on Knives

I LOVE Wusthof knives. I was told Forschner knives tarnish when you cut an onion. That just isn't quality to me...
OH....I also LOVE Ebay!!!! Go for it!!!!


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RE: Opinion needed on Knives

Nicole,

The Forschner Victorinox is stainless and hasn't tanished. I also have Global. A carbon steel might, but that doesn't mean it isn't a quality knife, only that it needs to be cleaned and dried right after use.


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RE: Opinion needed on Knives

I have one Forschner, purchased 25 years ago on the recommendation of a friend's brother, who is a famous chef/restaurant owner. I hate it. These knives are great workhorses for commercial kitchens, but there are many other brands that are far superior for home use. I never use it. As others have said, try out any knife in your hand, even actually cutting if the opportunity is available. I find many knives much more enjoyable, including the aforementioned Wusthof.


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RE: Opinion needed on Knives

CindyB VA -- What was your bad experience on Ebay? Was it buying knives? Has anybody bought Wusthof knives on Ebay and had a good experience? If so, who was the seller?


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RE: Opinion needed on Knives

Just a follow-up... went with a stampled Forschner 8" chef's knife with the fibrox handle (rave reviews by CI). Nice knife, and less than $20.

-Gorilla


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RE: Opinion needed on Knives

"Just a follow-up... went with a stampled Forschner 8" chef's knife with the fibrox handle (rave reviews by CI). Nice knife, and less than $20.
-Gorilla"
Good choice. Welcome to the club!


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