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Old 04-08-2006, 02:01 PM   #1
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I need help choosing a knife set! Suggestions please.

I am looking for a good knife set that won't break the bank! I am 20 years old and in college so I don't have a ton of money to spend on knives (all though I would like to!). I am relatively new to knives, as I have always used the cheapo $20 13pc set my parents bought from Big Lots. I'd like to invest in a good set, as i get EXTREMELY frusterated with the knives I currently use; they don't cut, keep a blade, and you end up shreading and butchering anything you try to cut! Any help with what to choose or websites that have knives is appreciated!

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Old 04-08-2006, 02:24 PM   #2
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My first suggestion would be to re-think if you really want to buy a set of knives as opposed to buying a couple of knives individually. Usually sets come with a bunch of knives some of which you really don't need and won't use. Often times you can do much better buy getting one, two, or maybe three knives individually.

A chefs or French knife can do 90% or more of what you need a knife for. You really could do just fine in a kitchen with only a chefs knife.

A paring knife is good to have for small or delicate work. You can do the same thing with a chefs knife, but it takes a little more skill and practice.

A bread knife, which is a serrated blade, would be my third choice. This is great for cutting bread (obviously), but is also good for things like tomatoes where the skin is tough, but the inside is soft. Again you can use a chefs knife for things like that as well, it just takes a little more patience and attention.

What kind of budget are you working with? There are great knives in all price ranges. You do not need to spend a fortune to get a knife that will last a lifetime and that you will be happy with.
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Old 04-08-2006, 02:52 PM   #3
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GB gives good advice. One or two knives of good quality are a better investment than a larger set of cheapo knives (remember those Big Lots knives).

Leave money in your budget for a steel to keep knife edges at their best.

Go to a kitchen store and handle some different knives and buy one that feels good in your hand. Good balance and a comfortable fit are key to your enjoying, and therefore using, any knife. Also, every knife you buy doesn't have to be from the same line or maker.
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Old 04-08-2006, 04:33 PM   #4
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If you are set on buying a set...Kitchenaid makes a decent set that they sell at Macy's. Has the santoku, the chef's, couple utility blades, honing rod, etc. etc. etc. Rubber handles for grip (some ppl really dig that)

The main difference between them and a set of truly "nice" knives is that they aren't forged, so they need more frequent sharpening...but they're a good set all around.

Something else you might want to consider doing is checking the culinary academy at a local college--they've often got discounted sets for sale. For example, the one near where I live sells a decent set of Messermeisters, a garnishing set, and a knife safe for about 200 dollars.
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Old 04-09-2006, 10:01 AM   #5
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I am working with roughtly a $100-$150 budget. I saw a Wusthof 13 pc set for under 150 I was considering....
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Old 04-09-2006, 10:13 AM   #6
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Am just a home cook but am definitely with the idea of just buying a chef knife and paring knife. I know one can do witout the latter but I find them very convenient.

Have been given tons of knives over the years, but all we really use are the two.

Learn how to keep them sharp.

Your budget should handle the pair.

Welcome to DC, hope we see more of you.
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Old 04-09-2006, 10:14 AM   #7
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Many of the major manufacturers of top quality knives, such as Henckels and Wusthof, to name two, have knife lines of different quality. In other words, cheapo knives and quality knives.

Henckels, for example, has quality lines represented by their 'twins' logo - two stick figures standing side by side. Their lower quality line is represented by a single stick figure.

When you go to a store and compare knives, they will all be sharp and shiny. The keys are how they fit in your hand, how they feel in action, The quality of the steel and the manufacturing process. These things will determine how much you will use the knife and how long it will last.
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Old 04-09-2006, 10:55 AM   #8
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Sugestion: Take the $150 budget and buy the following three knives:
8" chefs knife: Forschner Victorinox Fibrox Chef’s Knife $25.33 is the top rated knife by Cooks Illustrated
Comments: One tester summed it up: “Premium-quality knife at a bargain price.” Knives costing four times as much would be hard pressed to match its performance. The blade is curved and sharp; the handle comfortable. Overall, “sturdy” and “well balanced.”

6" Utility knife: The Forschner should go you about $18.00

And a paring knife, agin the Forschner will go about $18.00

Though these are not expensive forged knives, they are very good stamped knives that have done very well on tests by professional chefs.

With the money left over, get some good cookware

www.pcd.com carry's the forschner line
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Old 04-09-2006, 11:09 AM   #9
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For $150 you can get a very good chefs and paring knife. That is the way i would go personally. As SpiceUmUp mentioned, Victornon is a quality name that is not expensive. But also as Andy mentioned, the most important thing in picking a knife is to hold it in your hand and make sure it fits. It is just like buying shoes. You need to hold it to know if it will work for you.

I would not bother with the 6" utility knife as your chefs knife will do anything that the utility knife can do, however if you do go for a brand as inexpensive as Victorinox then for the money it wouldn't hurt to get it either.

Go to a kitchen store and ask to hold a bunch of knives. You will be able to tell right away which is good for you and which is not.
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Old 04-09-2006, 11:17 AM   #10
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I would modify Spiceumup's recommendation and replace the 6" utility with an 8" to 10" bread knife and a steel.
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