"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > Cookware and Accessories > Knives
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 12-06-2009, 05:56 PM   #11
Assistant Cook
 
Jazzgirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: North Texas
Posts: 10
I agree with you justplainbill. Over the last year and a half I have purchased some really good knives individually. I do find I like my Santoku knives the best but the Chef's knives and utility knives and paring knives get used a lot too. I am very satisfied and sharpen my own knives.
__________________

__________________
Jazzgirl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2009, 05:58 PM   #12
Executive Chef
 
Selkie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 3,796
Quote:
Originally Posted by justplainbill View Post
I think it's false economy to fritter away $20 at a time hoping to find cutlery that will perform as well as and last as long as higher grade knives.
There's no "false economy" about it. I'm keeping people employed during the course of that 10 year period, making additional knives.

There's no "fritter" about it. I'm buying a knife that, for all intents and purposes, is as useful in performance as your expensive one at 1/10 the cost. The difference being I renew mine because the steel admittedly isn't as high a quality as yours, and would hardly be worth the cost of having a professional sharpen it. But I don't throw my knives away after two years, I recycle them.

And there is no "hoping to find cutlery that will perform as well..." about it. I don't pull just any old knife off the shelf. I too have done research and get the best value I can find.

What I'm saying is that there is a viable alternative to purchasing expensive knives that not everyone needs but would like.
__________________

__________________
"Food is our common ground, a universal experience." - James Beard
Selkie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2009, 09:19 PM   #13
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Selkie View Post
After 10 years (and replacing my knife every two years) I will have a $100 total investment in a knife that is never more than 2 years old and probably never needs a professional sharpening.
Each to their own I guess. I'm not interested in replacing my knives every two years. I don't like buying quantity that I don't need to, e.g. why buy 25 chef's knives over 50 years if I can buy one good one today and keep it maintained for my lifetime? I understand you have your reasons for doing so but for me my preference is quality and longevity.


Thoughts on brands such as Shun, Global, and any other fairly common japanese brands?
__________________
hihowareyou is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2009, 09:22 PM   #14
Assistant Cook
 
Jazzgirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: North Texas
Posts: 10
Me either hi. I have no intention of replacing every 2-3 years. I like to get a good set of knives and roll with them. Like you say....to each their own. :-)
__________________
You can never have too much garlic or too much salt.
Jazzgirl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2009, 01:04 PM   #15
Cook
 
tzakiel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 99
My advice is to get an 8" or 9" chef's knife and a smaller 3-4" utility knife. A quality bread knife is another nice thing to have for squishy things like bread and tomatoes. You will need a steel (ceramic for Global, carbon steel for german knives) to keep the edges in good shape after every use or two.

That's it. Those 3 knives will do everything you need to do.

If you plan to buy a lot of large bone-in pieces of meat and cut them, a heavy cleaver is also going to be useful.

From my own experience, Global is a great brand to get. Whatever you choose, make sure it's high quality and you know how to take care of it. Knives should last many years and you do get what you pay for.
__________________
tzakiel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2009, 03:04 AM   #16
Head Chef
 
Rob Babcock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 1,281
You'll find no more enthusiastic booster of Japanese knives than me, but they're not for everyone. All else being equal they'll take a much keener edge, cut better and retain that sharpness longer than their European counterparts. That said, they can be more delicate and require a different maintenance routine that some will not feel comfortable with. And taking them for "professional" re-sharpening can be dicey unless the sharpener is knowledgeable about the differences between them and, say, a Wusthof.

Can you get by with sharpening once or twice a year? That depends upon a lot of things, including (but not limited to) the following:

1) How much will the knife be used? The more you use it the faster it will get dull.
2) Will the knife be treated properly, ie no glass cutting boards, no dishwasher, etc.
3) What will you be cutting? Bones and frozen foods will dull a blade quickly.
4) What's your standard for "sharp"? If you're content with a mediocre edge that's serviceable, you won't need frequent sharpening. If you're addicted to that FOtS (Fresh Off the Stone) edge, be aware that screaming edge is fleeting.

If you're not trained (ie no professional cooking experience) and use a "hammer grip" on your knife then look for something that's comfortable to hold. A pro will generally use a pinch grip making the scales a little less important.

There aren't a lot of hard-and-fast rules. I would suggest you avoid Cutco knives like the Swine Flu. They're overpriced and underperforming, certainly not worth the price.

If you want a conventional German knife you can't go wrong with Messermeister. Wusthof is also good. J.A. Henkels makes great knives so long as you avoid the International series and stick with their higher end offerings. IMOHO Germans offer no performance advantages but are easier to maintain. Any competent pro sharpener can put a good edge on them with a belt grinder or with stones. There are also some very good sharpening systems you can use at home on those kinds of knives that require practically no skill at all. I've mentioned this elsewhere but the Edgemaker Pro system will keep your edges sharper-than-new for under $30, shipping included.

Japanese knives are getting more popular thanks to inroads made by companies like Shun and Global, along with the explosion in popularity of food television programs on TV. Japanese knives offer exponentially better performance than most European knives but this comes with a price. J-knives are often more expensive and require different maintenance techniques. Certainly Shun is pretty good but there's a lot better. Almost all my working knives are Japanese, but as much as I love them I'd suggest that if you're not prepared to have them professionally maintained at pretty regular intervals you may be better served with something else.

If you go the Euro knife route, I suggest buying a good ceramic "steel" (or hone), such as an Idahone, along with a set of Edgemaker Pros. That combo can keep a good quality knife sharp enough to shave hair and de-laminate paper with a minimum of effort. Use an end-grain wooden or soft plastic cutting board and it's all good.
__________________
If we're not supposed to eat animals, then how come they're made out of meat?
Rob Babcock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2009, 09:31 AM   #17
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 5
Thanks for your input Rob Babcock there is some good food for thought there.

You say that Shun is good but there are better Japanese brands. What are some examples? I'd like to try and find some stockiest and have a play with different makes.
__________________
hihowareyou is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2009, 06:09 PM   #18
Head Chef
 
Rob Babcock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 1,281
Some really good J-knife brands: Akifusa, Blazen/Ryusen, Kikuichi, Ichimonji, Hattori, Carter (he's an American but trained in Japan), Tanaka, Takeda, Kanetsune, Hiromoto, Mac, Tojiro, Moritaka, Misono, Nenohi & Yoshikane. There are many more I'm forgetting. There's nothing wrong with Shun, they make good knives, but their Chef's Knives have too much belly (or curvature) to suit me.

The lowest price Shun models are the Classic line; they're clad VG-10. That's a very good steel but entry level by J-knife standards. The Shun Elite line is clad SG-2, a step up in hardness and edge retention. Other makers use a wide array of steels, each with their own advantages and drawbacks.

Japanese knives (I'm speaking here of Western styles like the Gyuto & Santoku) are thinner as a rule than European knives. They're also sharpened to steeper angles than most European blades. Shuns are sharpened to 16 degrees per side or 32 degrees inclusive. 15 degrees per side is about the average for J-knives and many of us will take our own knives edges down even farther. Euro-style knives are generally sharpened to about 22.5 degrees per side or 45 degrees inclusive. So if you're taking your knives to be professionally sharpened, be sure the tinker you're using knows the difference. I sharpened a couple Shuns for coworkers, and the previous owner had used a Tri-stone on them & sharpened 'em to about 45 degrees...they were like axe heads! It took a lot of grinding on a coarse waterstone to bring the edge angle back down to a reasonable level.
__________________
If we're not supposed to eat animals, then how come they're made out of meat?
Rob Babcock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2009, 06:24 PM   #19
Executive Chef
 
justplainbill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Eastern Long Island, New York
Posts: 4,206
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Babcock View Post
Some really good J-knife brands: Akifusa, Blazen/Ryusen, Kikuichi, Ichimonji, Hattori, Carter (he's an American but trained in Japan), Tanaka, Takeda, Kanetsune, Hiromoto, Mac, Tojiro, Moritaka, Misono, Nenohi & Yoshikane. There are many more I'm forgetting. There's nothing wrong with Shun, they make good knives, but their Chef's Knives have too much belly (or curvature) to suit me.

The lowest price Shun models are the Classic line; they're clad VG-10. That's a very good steel but entry level by J-knife standards. The Shun Elite line is clad SG-2, a step up in hardness and edge retention. Other makers use a wide array of steels, each with their own advantages and drawbacks.

Japanese knives (I'm speaking here of Western styles like the Gyuto & Santoku) are thinner as a rule than European knives. They're also sharpened to steeper angles than most European blades. Shuns are sharpened to 16 degrees per side or 32 degrees inclusive. 15 degrees per side is about the average for J-knives and many of us will take our own knives edges down even farther. Euro-style knives are generally sharpened to about 22.5 degrees per side or 45 degrees inclusive. So if you're taking your knives to be professionally sharpened, be sure the tinker you're using knows the difference. I sharpened a couple Shuns for coworkers, and the previous owner had used a Tri-stone on them & sharpened 'em to about 45 degrees...they were like axe heads! It took a lot of grinding on a coarse waterstone to bring the edge angle back down to a reasonable level.
Thinner is often good but for some uses a thicker spine (5 mm / .2 ") is more useful.
__________________
justplainbill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2009, 10:31 PM   #20
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 16
I have one word. CUTCO

I use them. Buy them for house warming gifts all of the time and am still using them for years now. I only have 3 steak knives but they are truly the best cutlery I have ever come across. Only problem they are really expensive.

BUT worth it in my book. They are weirdly hard to buy. I get them from some guy that came to my house now over 4 years ago still.
__________________

__________________
Bobby Pierson from Philadelphia, PA.

Smart Tips and Tricks for Everyone
SmartTips is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Discuss Cooking on Facebook

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:14 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.