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Old 02-23-2002, 01:19 AM   #1
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Good kitchen knives, which ones?

Kitchen Devil knifes are always recommended to me, but before I go out and buy some, I would love to hear your views and opinions on your own knifes. At the moment I've just got some no-brand knives from my local department store. Is it worth getting some better quality knives?

Ruth.

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Old 02-23-2002, 06:05 AM   #2
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Knives

I'm glad I read your note. I don't have a good set of knives. Thanks for the tip!
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Old 02-23-2002, 06:16 AM   #3
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Hi ruthie,

I have such a variety of knives and found that as long as I keep them sharpened I'm happy. I have some Henkles down to who knows what they are. But, they are sharp so I love them all. I go to a local hardware store occasionally and they will sharpen them and then I will keep them sharp. I go about once every 2 years for the "good" sharpening!! It's quite inexpensive too.

I've never heard of the knives you are talking about though. If they are affordable for you a good set is always nice to have. Then it's just up to you to maintain them. A hone, or equivalent, and then a steel is what you will need.
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Old 02-23-2002, 03:06 PM   #4
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Hi Ruthie,

I got a set of Henkel knives for christmas. Just love them. I checked out several brands before I picked these out. I liked the weight distribution in the handle of these and the way they fit my hand. Seem to be good quality.
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Old 02-27-2002, 10:06 AM   #5
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Kitchen Knives

Yes if you are serious about cooking then good knives are essential. I do have a kichen devil knife in the house but i don`t like it, it is too light for me, i prefer a heavier knife. I have a range of Sabatier knifes that i am happy with. Take your time in choosing your knives visit several cookshops rather than your loacl supermarket, try the knives for comfort of grip, weight etc. I also have a turning knife from a Swiss company called Victorinox they are expensive but worth it, i have had it for 10 years & it is still sharp as a razor.
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Old 02-27-2002, 10:31 AM   #6
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Knives

My niece got a job selling knives and of course the whole family bought a set to help her out. They are the Cutco Knives they work great but for the money I'm not sure if it was worth it. I've had them for about two years now and they are still cutting (off fingers if your not careful) really good without any sharpening. If it weren't for the niece I'd probably still have cheap knives that i found work just as good. My advice see how they feel in your hands thats the all tell cause if they don't feel comfortable you won't want to use them or worse hurt yourself good luck
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Old 03-03-2002, 03:03 PM   #7
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Best of Knives

As is above - it has to feel good AND be a knife that you can sharpen easily.
The best advise that I was given, and it came from my first Chef, is that an inexpensive knife won't get legs.
Chef Nancy has good knives, and she has some quite expensive knives; but more importantly, she has her knives.
While in cooking school, I saw a few aspiring Chefs have their knives lost. - STOLEN, actually. I had taken Chef Nancy's advise and replaced my expoensive knives with quality knives which I could sharpen easily. I made jokes about my $20.00 knife too. At the completion of our programme, two students going on to study in Europe asked me to get them knives similar to mine. Knives without legs! That knife is in my home kitchen to-day.
At work we use the same type of knives and they are replaced on a bi-weekly basis to ensure a sharp knife is readily available. The edges are often chipped by the workers and require grinding, as opposed to sharpening.
Being comfortable with your knife is important, being able to maintain your edge is vital!
Try them out; a knife seller without a board and some vegetables for you to try your knife is probably hoping you will not find out something.
Boning and filet knives, too, deserve to be tried before they are purchased.
A final thought . . . avoid a knife with other than a smooth edge, unless it's your bread knife!
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David
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Old 03-06-2002, 10:49 AM   #8
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You can pay more but there is no need: Henkel, Chicago Steel and the German brand with the trident for a trade mark are absolutly great; and they cost the earth, but I love them.

I feel a 10 inch French chefs knife is the most useful tool I have in my kitchen. An 8 inch chefs knife is a little to small for general work.

In addition to a chefs knife I like to have a utility knife with about a 5 inch blade and a paring knife with about a 3 inch blade.

You may in addition want a long, slim bladed carving knife and if you are extreamly fornaute and can find one in a garage sale, thrift store or antique shop, a wavey, (not serrirated) edged bread knife.

I have no room in my kitchen for a serrirated knife. I hate and abominate them. For my money all they do is rip and shread food. I also do not like an electric knife. Useless gadget. Doesn't make clean cuts, just chews stuff up.

People are always asking me at my classes, "How long will a good knife stay sharp?" A good knife, used properly needs to be sharpened with a steel with every use.

You need a stone and a steel, sharpen with the steel before each use and use the stone about once a month.

The shape of a knife is very importand. I feel the shape of the French chefs knives is vital for most mincing, chopping and slicing choors. Watch one of the good TV chefs, (not the cook entertainers) like Jocque Pepan (sp) to see the proppe way to use a knife.

Now, if you have children who use your equipment or roommates, forget everything I have said above and get your self the cheepest knives that are the right shape for your uses that you can find. Very few people are willing to properly respect and care for good knives. Using a good knife to open things or to dig mayonaise or peanut butter out of a jar is a desaster. Slamming them into the dish washer or the dish drying rack is a disaster.

Do not store your knives in a drawer. Use a wooden block and put them into the block with the sharp edge up.

Your cutting surface is also important. Do not cut on stainless steel, tile or grannet because you will ruin your knives. Do not cut on marbel because you will ruin your marble. Use wooden or plastic cutting boards and get new ones as soon as the center has gotten a bit concave from constant cutting. Unless the surface of your cutting surface is absolutly smooth and level, your knife doesn't make perfect contact with the board and the result is things that aren't cut all the way through, causing you to have to go back and cut again.

I have a plastic board for meat, poultry and fish, a wooden one for vegies, garlic and onions and another wooden one for nuts, raisons, dried fruits etc.

Gee, I'm sorry. I guess I have now told you more about knives than you ever wanted to know.

One more thing; When buying a good knife never buy one with a solid plastic handle. Always make sure that the handle, no matter what material it is made of is rivited to the tange of the knife and that you can see that the tangue goes all the way down through the center of the handle to the very end. If the handle is solid and you can't see the tangue, that means that the tangue only goes an inch or two into the handle and that with much use or force it is going to break off.

I hope all this helps you. a good knife propperly used is a thing of joy. Respect it.


kids - room mates
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Old 04-29-2002, 08:06 PM   #9
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While I don't all together agree w/ geraldine; the post has it together. Spend some time finding out who makes the best of what you are after, read some catalogswww.cutlary.com or www.chefcatalog.com is a start, try if you can before purchase, and DO NOT be hung up on a brand.

Yes, some brands manufacture consistantlly excellant products but that is not to say that a "lesser" brand won't make something better in a type. For instance, Last months COOKING ILLUSTRATED reported on FORCHNER's [sp?] fillet knife as the best in thier tests. It costs $18, not 50 or 100 as some of the ' high priced show knifes do.

In short, lots of companies make SOME great products, DON"T be hung up on a brand.

Lastly , what do you need? I think that I mostly cook for my house of at most 5 or 6 so I need: bread knife 10", Chefs knife 8", Chef utility 6" [although today I read a review of a 6" GLOBAL that I may add to replace my Mestimier[sp], Fillet/boning knife [see above], A few paring knifes of various sizes and shapes { I hate to add because of the cost, my fav is still the Henckel 4"}, A good Slicing knife [I still use a 30 yr old German manufacrured carbon steal one I have had for a bit}, and lastly I am about to buy one of those 7" Japanese veggie chef/clever which I think are called SANTOKO Knifes.

If you buy of the quality suggested by geraldine, I think you need not worry about the rivet issue as all listed are much better than the tang breakage problem [if they should any of them would replace them on the spot, the aren't about to let their rep be sullied]

To finish ... read read read try. And, oh yes, learn how to sharpen often and well, then use your steal [ I like GERBER's]
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Old 04-30-2002, 01:25 AM   #10
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A real important factor in any knife is....how does the handle fit your hand.....and is the weight right for you? If the handle is uncomfortable, and the weight is too heavy ( especially if you have arthritis, etc ) you're throwing $$$ away, because you won't use it! I have a very expensive professional che's knife I "inherited" from my ex, but I never use it......the handle is "Man-size" and too big...and the knife itself is just too darned heavy. I end up using my Farberware everytime.
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Old 04-30-2002, 09:42 AM   #11
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best knives

Geraldine gave us a truly all-embracing discussion on knives and their uses. I agree with what she said. I have a full set of French Sabatier knives, bought in Paris in 1984 and still as new. I sharpen them regularly and they are well-balanced in the hand and the weights seem to suit each task.
However, I also have a few ordinary kitchen knives, also bought in Paris, and for far less - at a shop that supplies the catering business. Two of them have wooden handles with blades completely anchored inthe handles. They are NOT stainless steel - and it is surpirsing how sharp they can be made and how slowly they dull. The one is steel, probably carbon steel,not stainless, but it does not rust. The second is the best. A smallish chef's knife with a sharply pointed blade that sharpens like a dream and hardly dulls. BUT is does rust, and I have to buff it and oil it after every use.
Another tip: when choosing a knife for chopping and mincing vegetables, see that the blade is slimmer at the point where it is fitted into the handle. This makes it easier for fine chopping with the point of the knife bedded in the chopping board and with rotating hand movements.
My kitchen motto: keep your knives well sharpened.
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Old 04-30-2002, 03:13 PM   #12
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Geraldine: please don't get mad at me, but, a steel does not sharpen a knife.
And: A knife in home use would likely need sharpening at about a 6 to 8 month interval UNLESS the knife is being abused.
Yes, steel your knife when you pick it up, when you pick it up, when you pick it up, EVERY TIME. Three strokes are sufficient.
Reading the posts, the repeating theme is: A knife that you will use. If it doesn't feel good, don't buy it. If the merchant has nothing for you to cut, bring some celery.
While in School, my Chef suggested a knife that will not get legs. I had 4 - 5 students per year ask me to obtain, for them, a knife without legs - a lower cost knife. This is mentionned above, and is important if you take your expertise anywhere.
If your cutting board is not wood or cutting-board plastic, you are probably doing damage to your knife.
Learning to sharpen a knife is paramount within the skills required.
Buy a stone.
Lubricate your stone with water FROM THE START - Water is readily available and will not go rancid.
If you do not know how to sharpen your knife, ASK. Someone will share this with you.
If your steel has lost its magnatism, it is not working!
Pack you knife in your checked baggage, and identify it as such when you check in.
Finally,
David
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Old 05-10-2002, 07:19 AM   #13
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Better than putting it in your checked backage which will be gone through by people with sticky fingers send it UPS, FED EX or USPS from the airport, you will have it much sooner and have no worries about thieve or over zealous backage handler's these days.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Finally
Geraldine:
Pack you knife in your checked baggage, and identify it as such when you check in.
Finally,
David
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Old 03-15-2003, 11:08 AM   #14
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I have a set of Chicago Cutlery Pro, that I bought at Wal-Mart. They are very good knives, same construction as Wustoff. It is sold as a set and you get an 8inch Chefs knife that when removed from the accompanying wood block sounds reminisent of a sword clearing a sheath and I can attest to the sharpness as while cutting and onion with the chefs knife I managed to almost severe my index finger and middle finger when the wet onion slipped. The set also comes with a 7 inch slicer a 4 inch parer, a 5 inch utility slicer, a steel, and also a curved fruit knife. All of these will shave the hair off my arm and I think I paid about $72.00 for the set. Making it well worth looking for. I love mine but I use a santoku and chinese cleaver for daily slicing and then pull out fancy stuff when I entertain... hahha just me... hope that helps
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Old 03-17-2003, 10:11 PM   #15
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Ouch on cutting your fingers!!! Yep, that's how I also measure the quality of a knife!! :oops:

Thanks for your input Lex.
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Old 03-21-2003, 12:25 PM   #16
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USA

I was searching for a good set of knives made in the USA. I came across a few manufacturers.
Cutco
Dexter Russell
Carvel Hall
Walco
Lamson & Goodnow

Does anyone know of any others??
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Old 04-24-2003, 01:47 PM   #17
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Couple of quick tips: Don't read the ads. Pick up the knife & see how it feels. Ask to try it out. If your hand gets tired quickly don't buy it. Try a bunch of different knives before buying. I noticed everyone on here paraising steels & shaperening stones. The best & easiest edge I've ever gotten is from a ceramic sharpening set from Spyderco. I've had it since the mid-70s & sharpened everything from my chief's knife to diving knives to my everyday carry knife, a Syderco Marine.
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Old 05-03-2003, 09:32 PM   #18
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Finally: I just bought a steel put out by Victorinox and it is a diamond cut steel made for sharpening and it sells for about 3 times the price of a normail steel. Its covered with diamond dust and sharpens well. I personally use Victorinox at work and at home as I find they are reasonably priced and if they do get lifted its not the end of the world as the average knife runs for about 35 - 40$ canadian.
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Old 05-03-2003, 09:37 PM   #19
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I forgot to mention Victorianox is made by the "Swiss Army knife and watch company" :D
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Old 05-12-2003, 06:31 AM   #20
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Knives

My personal preferrence for home and work are the JA Henckels Professional-S series, mainly because I like the way the handles fit in my hand. Wustof Trident makes a similar handle (they are the ones with the silver dots on them) but Henckles was the first set I got when I started Culinary school so I guess there's a certain sentimental attachment to them. For the average cook, you don't need an extensive set of knives. But everyone should have:

a 10" Chef Knife (I hate the 8" ones)
a Bread Knife
a Boning Knife
a 3.5" or 4" Paring Knife
a Carving Knife
a Steel
a Sharpening Stone

In the end, it's all about keeping your knives sharp, and how comfortable you are using them. Just remember, the steel only smooths and hones the edge, but the stone is what really sharpens your blade.
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