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Old 02-05-2012, 09:25 AM   #1
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Alternative to Wusthof Classic Chef's knife?

I bought this knife and would like to return it and find a less expensive but decent quality alternative. I'm not a chef and want something for home use. I find it a bit large and uncomfortable for my hands.

Looking forward to hearing some suggestions.

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Old 02-05-2012, 12:57 PM   #2
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What size knife do you have? Get the next size down.
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Old 02-05-2012, 01:11 PM   #3
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I have the 8" chef's. Do you know of a brand of knives that performs well but isn't so expensive?
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Old 02-05-2012, 01:44 PM   #4
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I have a Henckels, which is about the same price as the Wusthof, but it feels better in my hands (I have fairly small hands). Here's a very inexpensive knife I have saved on my Amazon wish list if I every want to get a 2nd chef's knife:

Amazon.com: OXO Good Grips Professional 8-Inch Chef Knife: Kitchen & Dining
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Old 02-05-2012, 01:54 PM   #5
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Thank you for suggesting the OXO chef's knife. I love their products and the price is right - way cheaper than the Wusthof!


Quote:
Originally Posted by merstar
I have a Henckels, which is about the same price as the Wusthof, but it feels better in my hands (I have fairly small hands). Here's a very inexpensive knife I have saved on my Amazon wish list if I every want to get a 2nd chef's knife:

Amazon.com: OXO Good Grips Professional 8-Inch Chef Knife: Kitchen & Dining
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Old 02-05-2012, 02:41 PM   #6
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Any knife will perform well, KG, providing you keep it sharp. One of the differences between quality knives and others is their ability to take, and hold, an edge.

So, the real secret is choosing knives that are comfortable in your hand.

I'm surprised you don't find the Wusthoff Classic comfortable. I suspect it's one of two things: either the handle design, or the amount of rocker in the blade. I don't think it's weight, cuz many knives---like the Henkel---are much heavier in the same sizes.

If it's the former, check out the Classic Ikon instead, which differs primarily in the handle design. It curves gently, and lacks the lump at the end that the Classic's have.

If you're not happy because there is too much rocker, then you need a chef's knife with a French model blade, rather than German. They have less curve to the blade.

If any amount of rocker is uncomfortable for you (many home cooks do feel that way), then you might consider a Santuko instead. They have flat edges, with no rocker. The downside to Santukos is that they are awkward if you use a pinch-grip and claw cutting style.
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Old 02-05-2012, 02:54 PM   #7
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As far as brand of knife, I recommend Victorinox, which you can get at a restaurant supply store for around $26. It's used in many commercial kitchens.
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Old 02-05-2012, 03:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HistoricFoodie View Post
I'm surprised you don't find the Wusthoff Classic comfortable. I suspect it's one of two things: either the handle design, or the amount of rocker in the blade. I don't think it's weight, cuz many knives---like the Henkel---are much heavier in the same sizes.
I found it to be just the opposite - The Wusthof felt heavier than the Henckels. I also preferred the handle on the Henckels for my size hand.
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Old 02-05-2012, 03:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danbuter
As far as brand of knife, I recommend Victorinox, which you can get at a restaurant supply store for around $26. It's used in many commercial kitchens.
Thank you for telling me about these. Looked them up on Amazon and they got excellent reviews.

Maybe I need to switch to a 6" knife since the 8" seems cumbersome. Can most kitchen tasks be done with a 6"?
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Old 02-05-2012, 03:49 PM   #10
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I have always used a 6" chef's. I'm short and counters are too high, an 8" is just balanced wrong for me. I can use an 8", it just takes me longer.
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Old 02-05-2012, 03:56 PM   #11
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Which is why I stress, Merstar, that the most important part of knife choice is comfort level.

I have an 8" Henkels Twin Cuisine that comes in at 11.25 ounces. My wife, who has small hands, can't use it. So I bought her a Wusthoff Classic Ikon, also 8." It tips the scales at 6 ounces, and she loves it.

Day in and day out I use a 10" Henkels Zwilling Professional. So that Classic Ikon feels like a toy to me.

But they all get the job done.

I agree with Danbuter that home cooks often over-choose their cutlery. Victorinox makes great working tools that are very affordible. They'd be ideal for home cooks if they were more readily available. And if the home cook who bought them learns how to sharpen them.

I don't let strangers touch my knives. So, for our cooking demos and workshops, I went looking for inexpensive knives I could have for that purpose. At Bed Bath Beyod I found an 8" Farber chef's knife for ten bucks each. Bought two, which I've used for a year, now, and can't believe how well they hold an edge. All I've done is steel them.
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Old 02-05-2012, 03:58 PM   #12
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Can most kitchen tasks be done with a 6"?

Not most, KG. All!

Unless you get into breaking down your own primal cuts, I can't think of a single job I can do with my 10" chef's knife that you couldn't do with a 6" one.
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Old 02-05-2012, 04:00 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HistoricFoodie
Which is why I stress, Merstar, that the most important part of knife choice is comfort level.

At Bed Bath Beyod I found an 8" Farber chef's knife for ten bucks each. Bought two, which I've used for a year, now, and can't believe how well they hold an edge. All I've done is steel them.
That's awesome. I have been happy with Farber products and am looking to exchange my very pricey Wusthof for a bunch of other kitchen and household items I need. This could be exactly what I'm looking for.
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Old 02-05-2012, 04:02 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HistoricFoodie
Can most kitchen tasks be done with a 6"?

Not most, KG. All!

Unless you get into breaking down your own primal cuts, I can't think of a single job I can do with my 10" chef's knife that you couldn't do with a 6" one.
That's terrific news. I thought I was doing something wrong because I haven't been able to manage very well with my 8" knife!
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Old 02-05-2012, 04:09 PM   #15
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You might be doing something wrong, KG. But more than likely the length and balance is just cumbersome in your hand.

When you go back to the store, actually handle a knife the way you would at home. Ask them for a cutting board, and, pretending there's food on it, cut, and slice, and chop the way you do. If you're not happy with it that way you certainly won't be happy with it at home.
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Old 02-05-2012, 08:34 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HistoricFoodie

When you go back to the store, actually handle a knife the way you would at home. Ask them for a cutting board, and, pretending there's food on it, cut, and slice, and chop the way you do. If you're not happy with it that way you certainly won't be happy with it at home.
I will definitely buy my knives in the store rather than online. I can see how helpful it is to try them out before buying. I may also need to educate myself on knife skills. I'm hoping I can find some good YouTube videos on that.
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Old 02-05-2012, 08:50 PM   #17
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Most of your brick and mortar stores allow a full refund within 30 days if not satisfied, Bed Bath & Beyond as an example. Buy a knife, take it home and use it, return it for a refund if not satisfied.

Most of my knives are Henkels. I'm fully satisfied with them. However I wanted a small santoku (4") which my Henckels line didn't have so I bought a 4" Cuisinart santoku, which not only did I like it quite a lot but it was very inexpensive too, much less expensive than the Henckels fleet prices.

So I recommend Henckels but I'll suggest if you want to save money try a Cuisinart blade. Again, buy from a place where you can get a full refund within 30 days.
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Old 02-05-2012, 09:31 PM   #18
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Thanks Greg! I have two Cuisinart knives and am very happy with them. I'll go to Bed Bath and look at their whole selection.
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Old 02-05-2012, 09:55 PM   #19
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Have a look at J.A. Henckels International too. I think I advised you of this too in a different but related topic. To be honest I'm glad the bulk of my knives are Henckels. The Cuisinart is nice but not nearly nice as my Henckels. My Henckels line didn't have a 4" santoku or I would have bought it, but I'm pleased with the Cuisinart santoku, although it's shape and heft are a little odd to me. For a bigger santoku I'd advise you to look at Henckels. But then I think that's where this topic started out IIRC, that Wusthof and Henckels are similar price (expensive) although Henckels has various priced lines and I don't know which was referred to as similar price to Wusthof. I never looked at Wusthof. I liked my Henckels as soon as I bought them and I never looked back.
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