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Old 01-07-2012, 07:58 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessFiona60 View Post
If you have problems controlling the knives and they don't feel right in your hand, then yes, buy knives that fit your hand. It is much safer and you will get fewer cuts and slices on your own person.

The knife lovers here are giving you permission to check out the knives! And do check the Kitchen Supply store, they have quality products at good prices.
I'd call one "knife lover" on here a "knife addict." His sharpening kit gives him reason to stand in the kitchen and stroke the blades.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nutmegger1957 View Post
ah, we get to the heart of the matter............what is "cheap" in the Kitchen knife world? (THIS ought to open a can of worms.........lol).

-Nutmegger1957
There is no way I'm wandering into that briar patch.

As Andy suggested, I would use what you have after getting them sharpened. We do have several nice knives, but the only one that I felt that I needed was my chef's knife. When I found one that fit my hand and I felt that the balance was right, I bought it. I paid over a hundred for it more than 20 years ago. It is still perfect for me. I would be surprised if you felt that you needed a set that is yours exclusively.

As for price, buy what feels right for you.
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Old 01-08-2012, 07:33 AM   #22
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Describe the knives, eh? Geez, I don't know if I can do justice to that request, but I'll give it a whirl............

I bought a set of knives for my wife years ago (perhaps 25 years or so) that came in a wood block holder. I'm sure (since we have always been modestly lower middle class by earlier standards circa 1980's or so), that they were relatively inexpensive then, and yet they have held up well. Black "wooden" handles, riveted thru the blades; about 8 "steak knifes" in the set, a round buffing bar, (if that's what you call it); a pearing knife, a chef's knife, and a pair of meat/bone scissors (one of the best "scissors" I think I've ever come across, in terms of durability).

Not much "special" about the set, other than the fact that they have held up well over the years.

I'm thinking that I may only want to gift myself my own "Chef's Knife" as a reward, when I have really "mastered" cooking. How do I gauge that? Good question! I suppose I would let my wife "gauge" it for me in the end, since she is such a "master" at the craft of meal preparation and creation. I think I would say that it should be that I had prepared, from scratch, a full meal. Appetizers, entre (sp?) and desert. All timed out correctly, food cooked correctly and tastefully.

Perhaps a "graduation" into the world of being able to call myself a "cook" will be a Thanksgiving meal. Sound like a plan?

What gauge would YOU set, before rewarding me my first "Chef's Knife" as a graduation certificate??????

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Old 01-08-2012, 08:51 AM   #23
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8" steak knives ? Guess you're referring to their overall length. Normally knives are described by referencing their blade length and steak knives usually have about a 4" blade length and a medium sized cook's knife has an 8" blade. First thing you might want to do is to establish your preference for handle size. E.G. even though I wear a men's size 9 glove, for heavy cutting, I like a knife with a fat handle. You might want to shop at some garage sales and buy a knife that suites your fancy on which you can practice sharpening to your satisfaction. The below referenced knife has a substantial handle but too substantial a price. If you get lucky at a yard / garage sale maybe you can find stuff like this at a more reasonable price. A set of good sharpening stones can set you back as much a a high grade knife.
MAC Damascus 6" Utility Knife on sale Free Shipping US48
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Old 01-08-2012, 11:44 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by justplainbill View Post
8" steak knives ? Guess you're referring to their overall length. Normally knives are described by referencing their blade length and steak knives usually have about a 4" blade length and a medium sized cook's knife has an 8" blade. First thing you might want to do is to establish your preference for handle size. E.G. even though I wear a men's size 9 glove, for heavy cutting, I like a knife with a fat handle. You might want to shop at some garage sales and buy a knife that suites your fancy on which you can practice sharpening to your satisfaction. The below referenced knife has a substantial handle but too substantial a price. If you get lucky at a yard / garage sale maybe you can find stuff like this at a more reasonable price. A set of good sharpening stones can set you back as much a a high grade knife.
MAC Damascus 6" Utility Knife on sale Free Shipping US48
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Old 01-08-2012, 11:50 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Nutmegger1957 View Post
What gauge would YOU set, before rewarding me my first "Chef's Knife" as a graduation certificate??????

-Nutmegger1957
I see it differently. You can't work without good tools, and why learn on a lesser tool? I might be doing them an injustice, but I presume until shown otherwise that a set of knives that come in a wooden block are probably overly heavy and perhaps not the best knife steel. It is a joy to use a good and well sharpened knife, to be able to make cuts effortlessly and without harming the thing you're cutting.

Take a look at some illustrations or videos of how to properly hold a knife and make a trip to a good supply to feel some out. A good one doesn't have to be all that expensive. The chef's knife is the most versatile, and I use it for nearly everything but bread. Perhaps get a good chef's knife and then see if you develop some specialty in something where another style knife would be nice, and make that the reward.
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Old 01-08-2012, 06:58 PM   #26
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Believe it or not, early on in our marriage we bought a set of Ginzu knives. Stupid as it sounds, they stood us in good stead for easily a decade, and when I cooked at others' houses, I wished for my own knives. They, all but one, have been replaced many moons ago with higher quality ... all except the bread knife, which does a better job than the more expensive one that some Goodwill or Salvation Army or Amvets got somewhere along the line. It also still can slice a tomato thinner than most. My favorite knife is still my sushi knife, bought at a Navy exchange in Hawaii. It keeps its edge better than the much more expensive chef's knife I have (don't think it's ever been sharpened). It's unattractive, because it isn't stainless steel, and I do treat it for rust periodically and baby it by drying it, and it is discolored. But if I need a really sharp one, that knife is my "go-to". I keep a lot of inexpensive paring knives around because I do tend to do "gramma" type cutting. When they get dull, they just go in the Goodwill bag or even trash and I buy another half dozen from Chef's or Williams-Sonoma (every 3 or 4 years).

I still maintain, unless you're stepping on your wife's toes, use what you have until you know what you want.
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Old 01-08-2012, 11:49 PM   #27
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Getting a real knife block set was one of the most transformative experiences in my cooking. (I'm talking about having a set of knives, not the block to store them in, which is mostly a luxury.) Several years ago I purchased a Henckels knife block set and I filled it out with several other Henckels pieces until I had all the common knives, spent a bit more than $250. Until then I had made do with miscellaneous no name knives collected from this and there. Since I got my Henckels I've discovered that there is a knife for every purpose and a purpose for every knife. You can make do with the wrong knife (they all cut) but every job is easier with the right knife, and you can do it better if you use the knife designed for the job.

I don't understand the OP needing different knives than his SO. I'm not a good person to ask questions about social stuff or psychological issues. The way I see it a knife is a knife no matter who is doing the cooking, so I have no answer that directly addresses the OP's question.

But I do know that any chef, whether an amateur like me or a professional, will be hampered if they don't have the right knives. If you're not sure you have the right knives then you don't have the right knives. I wish I had realized this years before.
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Old 01-09-2012, 12:17 AM   #28
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Greg, this is one thing that after almost 30 years of marriage, I've finally convinced my husband. When I was first in the Air Force, I was a wimpy girl in a man's world. Literally didn't know which direction to turn a screwdriver (not kidding). One of the first things they taught me was the right tool for the right job. Don't try to make do with the wrong one, or you'll hurt yourself, the job will be shoddy. Of course, we can't all afford top of the line every time, and we all have our different styles. I've had to start from scratch many times in my life, and for me a decent chef's knife and a paring knife, and I can pretty much turn out what I need. For another person, it might be something else. Sharpness above all. We happened to get a cheap set of knives as a freebie when we bought something else, and I know of a man who has a good reputation for sharpening anything, so all of our good knives (Henkels, I think) are going to visit him in the spring while we use the cheapos.
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Old 01-09-2012, 12:21 AM   #29
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There is a sense of helplessness and worthlessness that comes with disease and/or age. You begin to feel like a child in your own home. I have a blind friend who will not give up her books, even though she knows she'll never read them again. THAT is the psychological thing some of us are talking about.
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Old 01-09-2012, 12:30 AM   #30
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Claire, I couldn't agree with you more. I'm sorry it took you 30 years to convince DH to get good knives. It took me probably that long to realize it myself because I had nobody to convince me so.

I'm not convinced knives need professional sharpening, particularly good knives. I have one of those "rod things" (there's probably a correct word) which I use every several times I use each knife, and the improvement is easily noticeable. There is no question in my mind that a sharp knife does a much better job than a dull knife, and that the knife can get noticeably dulled after only a few uses.

One person explained it to me that the rod just straightens out the edge. I'm sure some knife enthusiast will come along and explain this better than I can. Anyway even if knives need professional sharpening I'm pretty sure it is only rarely that they need it.

I have at least a full dozen knives (including a cleaver) and every single one of them has its own best use. I'm pretty sure you could do with only 3-4 knives if you had to. I hope most chef enthusiasts don't have to though. It's a real pleasure working with the right tool for the right job.
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