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Old 02-09-2009, 01:40 AM   #11
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Maybe you did say Contemporary and I just forgot.

I'm not familiar with the line but people seem to like them on Amazon.

Chad
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Old 02-09-2009, 06:58 AM   #12
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After searching for the steel it also appears ScanPan uses X45 CrMo V15 for their knives. After a search I've seen jpaulg recommend ScanPan as medium range German knives (I'm assuming you mean the Classic line not their Damascus steel line?).

I read the Amazon reviews for several Contemporary Calphalon knives. The issues I have with those reviews is that it's hard to glimpse just how knowledgeable most of the reviewers are. Whereas here, with someone like Buzz or jpaulg, you can really tell they are knowledgeable (no, I'm not sucking up...just pointing out what I've observed after looking at many search threads.) Right now I'm down to the Norpro or the Calphalon. With so little to say about the Anolon I'm going to have to drop it from the list.
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Old 02-09-2009, 05:47 PM   #13
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The Scanpan Damastahl range uses VG10 steel, which is a premium steel, and I'm very impressed with their performance in the kitchen. The Classic range is just another mid-range knife in the German mould, nothing wrong with them just nothing to go 'wow' over. The blades and handles are very well designed and if you want a mid-range European designed knife there are much worse options on the market (Analon for one).

I've seen Scanpan knives on runout specials around here so there might be some good bargains on them in your neck of the woods. If Scanpan stop making knives the only fly in the ointment would be if you wanted to collect some more of the same.
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Old 02-10-2009, 05:39 PM   #14
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So I decided I wasn't going to get any of three from my first post. After doing some comparison shopping I realized that A. The $20 Calph wasn't really that good of a deal and the Norpro was just looking way too cheap. The Norpro had no contact address, no guarantee (although doesn't necessarily mean anything per se) and the blade did not list it as being forged. My guess now is that the Norpro are factory reject blades from somewhere, thrown into an "attractive" box with enough weight in it to confuse someone (like me) who doesn't know all that much about good knives from bad. IE "If it looks like a German blade is must be." And there's also another reason for my decision, I spent too much time looking around here at all the various threads. D**M YOU ALL TO...."

I think I'm going to save up for a Shun Classic (or comparable) or (I wish) Hiroo Itou 240mm Gyuto. If you're going to do it, do it right. After hearing about the Santuko vs Chef's knife design "debate" I realize I don't really care all that much anymore. Consider me de-foodnetworked!!!!
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Old 02-10-2009, 07:05 PM   #15
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I've got half a dozen Shun Classics; my guess is that you won't be disappointed.
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Old 02-10-2009, 09:16 PM   #16
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Shuns make very good knives, hard to go wrong with their Chef or Gyotu knives.

Just a little word to the wise, a lot of the people on knife forums are very pro-Japanese. Western manufacturers still make good knives with good qualities, its just that the Western manufacturers and Japanese manufacturers have different priorities which shows up in their blade design and materials used.
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Old 02-10-2009, 09:52 PM   #17
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Agreed. I wouldn't necessarily recommend a Japanese knife to everyone. They're less forgiving of poor handing, they require a different technique to sharpen and they're (generally) not as 'robust' as a German. A Wusthof hardened to 53-56 will have a more malleable edge than a Hattori with a hagane hardened to 65 rC. The harder knife will chip on things that would merely cause the softer knife to distort or 'bend.' If I'm going to split a lobster I'll generally use my Wusthof, not a Shun, Hattori, Kanetsune, or Tojiro.

Likewise, the ol' carbide ripper will keep a serviceable edge on a German knife, but running a Japanese thru it will tend to chip the blade very badly. The ripper (eg Accusharp) is really hard on a softer blade, too, but not as bad as it is on the really hard ones.

One thing though; the thinnes of a Japanese blade is nice. Even a dull thin blade will cut pretty well, there's just less friction.

All of that said the 'disadvantages' of Japanese-type knives is usually overstated. All but the most kitchen-skills-challenged people can use them very well.
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Old 02-10-2009, 10:39 PM   #18
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I might start out with a Tojiro DP to get a feel for Japanese steel.
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Old 02-11-2009, 04:11 AM   #19
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Good choice. I doubt you will be disappointed!
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Old 02-11-2009, 08:06 AM   #20
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I've go a German designed (F.A. Porsche) Japanese style 10-inch chefs knife by Chroma. The uniquely shaped metal handle blends into the blade with no bolster, or areas to trap food, and so is very easy to sanitize. I've been using this knife for 5 yars now, and have never had to sharpen it. I use it an a hard-rock maple cutting board, chopping, slicing, dicing, and have used it on every type of veggie from rutabeggas, to butternut squash. I slice tomatoes transparently thin with this knife and have used to cut rope, open cardboard boxes, cut through plastic containers, seperate bones, at the joint, and a host of other chores that your not supposed to do with your Good knife. I only run it accross my Chicago Cutlery steel that I purchased 30 years back. It's still razor sharp, lightweight, and a breeze to use. I'm very satsified with this $90 + knife.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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