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Old 01-29-2009, 02:21 PM   #1
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Global 8 inch or 10 inch Chef's Knife

Hi, I'm new to the forums and am excited to hear some of your expertise.

I am a 23 year old male who absolutely loves cooking.

I am looking to invest in a top quality chef's knife. From reading around I gather that Global seems to be the best option.

My only question is it better to go with an 8 inch or a 10 inch, what are the pros and cons of both.

Also, while the price of the Global knife does not necessarily bother me, I am curious as to what the added benefit of going with a Global chef's knife vs say a Forschner Fibrox for example which I understand is a good value for money.

Any help would be most appreciated.

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Old 01-29-2009, 02:51 PM   #2
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WELCOME!

Don't ever buy a knife -- especially a pricey one -- without trying it first. Global makes a great product but some people find them uncomfortable to hold.

There are loads of good knives out there. I'd suggest examining, holding and trying more than a few before you buy.

8 or 10 is purely a matter of individual preference. There's no right answer.

If you use our search feature you can look at dozens of threads discussing knives.
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Old 01-29-2009, 03:05 PM   #3
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How big is your best cutting board? Alton Brown has a good rule of thumb: Measure your favorite board diagonally and subtract four inches (I'd say subtract two, but I'm not Alton Brown). The difference is your knife's ideal overall length. If you don't have room on your counter top for a board with a 16-inch diagonal, you probably don't need more than an 8-inch knife.

Welcome aboard!
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Old 01-29-2009, 06:07 PM   #4
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Years ago when I started reading about Japanese knives I decided I wanted a Global- then I actually handled one. Can't say as I care for them now. The handles are slick and not all that comfortable, and they lack the "warmth" in the hand of a wood or micarta handle. I also am not crazy about the geometry. They're quality knives but I second the notion of at least handling one before you buy.

Size is a subjective thing. Most Japanese knives are sized metric; they go from 210mm (roughly 8 & 1/4 inches) to 240mm (just shy of 9 & 1/2 inches). Japanese knives that are made for the Western market, such as Shun and Global, generally size them by inches, normally stepping from 8 inches up to 10. Personally I like the feel of the 240mm a bit better than the slightly longer 10"-er but it's subjective. I've read about forumulas based on height to arrive at the optimal length but I don't find that useful. Go with what feels best for you. Many people will find an 8" more "nimble" and easy to use, and it can be wielded in less space than a 10". But the 10" size makes bulk prep faster, especially mincing large amounts of herbs, etc. An 8" is also a bit short for carving turkeys and stuff like that.

If I could only have one chef knife and it had to be either 8 inches or ten inches, I'd go with the ten. But that's just me.

FWIW, I'd suggest you try a Tojiro. I think they're better knives and they're a lot cheaper. Obviously you wouldn't be able to handle one before you buy but they're much more conventionally handled; they feel like your average German but they cut a lot better. For some reason Korin only seems to list the 10.5" right now but they usually have all the sizes. And there are some other vendors that also carry them, too.
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Old 01-29-2009, 07:48 PM   #5
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Some knives for the same price as the 10" Global or less that I'd rather have or at least would consider:


10" Shun Classic:




9.5" MAC Professional- Mighty Chef Knife




240mm Tojiro DP





Hiromoto Tenmi-Jyuraku Gingami No.3 Series 240mm Gyuto




Kumagoro Suminagashi, San Mai Damascus Chef Knife 240mm

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Old 01-29-2009, 09:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jehuisthere View Post
Also, while the price of the Global knife does not necessarily bother me, I am curious as to what the added benefit of going with a Global chef's knife vs say a Forschner Fibrox for example which I understand is a good value for money.

Any help would be most appreciated.
I missed this part until I reread it. While price is no guarantee of quality, you generally will get a better knife in the higher price range (subject of course to the law of diminishing returns). More expensive knives will generally deliver a higher level of fit and finish as well as better steel and heat treating. More expensive European knives from Messermeister, Henckels and Wusthof will generally be forged compared to the stamped knives of the Fibrox line.

When you choose a Japanese knife you'll not only get generally better steel (harder at any rate, and often much more wear resistant, too) but also better geometry. A Hattori, Shun or Yoshikane will wear an edge bevelled at about 15-16 degrees per side vs the 22.5 or so that Germans generally have. Japanese knives generally are laminated; a very hard core is bonded to a softer steel outer cladding. This allows the cutting edge to be very hard while the cladding helps protect if from rust and improves flexibility and durability. The hagane (core) will usually be made from V-Gold 10, SKD, SG2 or some other proprietary equivalent. Normally the cutting edge of the knife is hardened to around 60-64 Rockwell C on a Japanese knife vs 55-58 for most European blades. This, combined with finer carbides, will allow the knife to be sharpened to a more acute angle and maintain the edge longer (note: this is a whopper of a simplification!).

That said, forged knives aren't always superior. Most japanese knives, even some very expensive ones, are stamped. I'd agree that the Forshner Fibrox knives are a great deal, fantastic for the money. I still keep a couple in my work roll.

I'm a big fan of Japanese knives, and they make up the bulk of my collection. But that's just a preference; there are tradeoffs. The hard the steels have some advantages, but in general terms they're also a bit more "brittle" than a softer German. If I need to split a lobster I usually grab my Wusthof, not my Hattori. Of course, whacking coconuts and splitting chicken bones is really a job for a cleaver (or axe!) but a thicker, softer, and sturdier German will come thru the ordeal better than my Shuns. Lastly, sharpening Japanese knives is a bit more complicated, or at least requires a different approach.
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Old 01-30-2009, 09:57 AM   #7
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I've never used a 10" chef's knife, but I have an 8" Henckels and I love it. For home cooking I can't see the need for anything bigger.
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Old 01-30-2009, 06:38 PM   #8
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The 10" knife makes lighter work of big jobs. The 8" knife is smaller and easier to use. For a home chef the 8" knife is generally the better buy, but if you're over 6' tall the 10" might be a better fit.

In terms of blade geometry/steel you three main traditional styles, German, French and Japanese. With German blades compromises have been made for safety, ease of handling and blade maintenance. French and Japanese blades are optimised in different ways, with Japanese blades optimised for precision cuts.

Then you also have the fact that traditional designs are being globalised so that country of origin is counting for less and less. Some German examples
The Nesmuk Janus:


The Solicut Absolute ML Santoku


All of which have blade geometry and steel qualities that include a lot of 'Japanese' elements.
Of ourse there are makers like Robert Herder using pre stainless steel technology and producing very thin carbon steel blades.

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Old 01-30-2009, 07:29 PM   #9
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Apropos of nothing I'll never buy another knife with a full bolster (ie the old school Sabatier, Wusthof, etc).
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Old 01-31-2009, 10:29 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by jpaulg View Post


Thin is good. However, as Tweety would say, "I tawt I taw a finger guard." You couldn't give me one of those things.

Thanks for the push, Rob. I have a boat load of T-I Sabatiers, some WWII era, and I think I'm going to ebay them all this year. They just aren't fun anymore, even with 10* edges.
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