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Old 08-09-2011, 01:34 PM   #1
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Knife for the wife

Hi all.

Totally new here. My wife is the cook in the family, and as such is the main user of the knives. Right now we have a random array of garbage, and her favorite knife is a little knife that looks like a 5.5" Santoku style knife. She is very small (4'11") with very small hands.

I have wanted to get her a real knife for quite awhile, and while we were at the State Fair, saw a Cutco dealer. She tried them out, and really like them. So we bought a Santoku style knife, a cheese knife, and some shears. Total was just under $200.

I normally research everything well before I buy things, but these were for her, and she liked them. Well, I got home, and fired up Google, and read many bad things about Cutco, but some good things as well. But most say I overpaid for the knives. Well, we had a 15 day return policy, so we are returning them. I then learned all about Wusthof, Shun, MAC, Global, Victorinox Forschner, and Kyocera. I was really interested in the Victorinox Forschner because of the price, but I wanted her to try some out.

Most said Sur La Table had a good selection, so we just went there tonight. We looked at 8" chef's knives (too big), 7" Santoku (too big), and 5.5" Santokus (just right). We (She) tried the Global, Shun, Myabi, and Wusthofs. She also tried a Kyocera and a ... forgot the name, but it was a bright color and very cheap (like $10)...Rikon something. She loved loved loved the Myabi Kaizen knife. It wasn't totally outrageous at $120, but still was more than the $30 Forschner. I know she won't like that one compared to the Kaizen.

I have looked at Kaizen info, and it is sparse. Seems like a Sur La Table only model (which I'm leery off). The Sur La Table rep there said they couldn't sharpen it in house since it was ... I think an 11 degree edge.

A couple questions. My wife and I aren't the best at doing the dishes right away, and it might be difficult for us to remember to clean it right away (just being honest). Is it worth getting this good of a knife for us? Is this that good of a knife to begin with? Is it bad that only Sur La Table sells this? I see they have a knife class and after the class you get to keep a Shun 6" knife. Seems like a great deal (seeing as my wife wanted to take the class anyway). Has anyone taken this? Do you think they would let us switch out knives? * I found out that our area doesn't have the Shun class, so it's less money, but you don't get the Shun at the end *

My friend says she has some Fiskar knives (which seem not to be sold stateside) and said she loves them because she has left food on them for 24 hours, and they are still sharp and rust free after 8 years. I was thinking ceramic might be the route for us, but unfortunately she liked the Miyabi, and said it was way sharper.

Sorry about the long post and so many questions.

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Old 08-09-2011, 01:43 PM   #2
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I would recommend you get a Shun or Forschner that she's comfortable with. A more expensive Japanese knife that you may not be able to get properly sharpened isn't the best bet.

Some folks are really into their knives and have Japanese knives all around and sharpen their own knives with stones or sharpening systems. I don't get the feeling that's you.

Start with one of the good inexpensive knives and move up later if it's not good enough for you.
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Old 08-09-2011, 01:49 PM   #3
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I'd go with the Forschner, it inexpensive and should fit the requirements. Get an Edgemaker Pro sharpener, about $30, and simple to use. The company sells online, and there have been some poor comments on this and other threads about other vendors selling the same sharpener online.
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Old 08-09-2011, 01:50 PM   #4
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That's why I think getting the a Forschner is good too. I think if I got both this:

Victorinox Forschner Fibrox 125th Anniversary Edition Hollow Edge Santoku Knife - Victorinox Forschner Fibrox 7-inch 125th Anniversary Edition Hollow Edge Santoku Knife | cutleryandmore.com

and this

Victorinox Forschner Fibrox Chef's Knife - Victorinox Forschner Fibrox 5-inch Chef's Knife | cutleryandmore.com in a 5"

it would help her. I wish there was a 5.5" Forschner Santoku. She really likes that size.
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Old 08-09-2011, 01:52 PM   #5
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Is there anywhere we can test out the Forschner?
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Old 08-09-2011, 01:57 PM   #6
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Most of my knives are Henckles, but one is a Japanese sushi knife I bought when living in Hawaii, and one is even one of those TV set knives that is great for bread and tomatoes, and I have a set of French paring knives. I have a nephew-in-law who sells Cutco, and much of my family own them and are happy with them. But, since you admitted to not doing most of the cooking, it is your wife's opinion that counts. I'm 5'9" and large, and believe me, what a 4'11" small woman wants to use every day may not be the same!
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Old 08-09-2011, 02:00 PM   #7
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What's crazy is Henckles owns Miyabi.

I didn't have anything really bad to say about the Cutco, except what I read online about MLM (which I am ok with) and that for what they are, the Forschners are a much better deal. The warranty however on the Cutco is out of this world!
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Old 08-09-2011, 02:06 PM   #8
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I love Victorinox knives, mine are still as sharp as the day I bought them but I do take good care of them.
I use Neoflam knives too, cheaper and sharpen easily.
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Old 08-09-2011, 02:08 PM   #9
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Is there anywhere we can test out the Forschner?
You might try a local restaurant supply store, a lot of professionals butchers and restaurants use them. I have not seen them in a retail setting to my knowledge. You might ask your butcher. I saw a Forschner being used in a sub shop a couple of weeks ago.

On line I have had good luck with Chefs Knives to Go and Cutlery and More. Both have been used in the last 6 months, and both have given me good service.
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Old 08-09-2011, 02:14 PM   #10
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I was going to see if the restaurant supply store has them as well. I know they sell Dexter-Russell.
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Old 08-09-2011, 02:17 PM   #11
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Dexter-Russell ain't too shabby but neither are Lamsonsharps if you know how to maintain their edge.
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Old 08-09-2011, 02:33 PM   #12
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I would want a knife that is very low maintenance.
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Old 08-09-2011, 02:37 PM   #13
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Good luck. Generally the trade off is higher stain resistance with higher chrome content vs harder steels which are more prone to staining and chipping
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Old 08-09-2011, 02:44 PM   #14
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I have a three knife Japanese ceramic set that I use daily. 3, 5, and 7 inch. They cut through everything beautifully, but the blades are not flexible, so care must be used if, say, deboning. I think I got them from Chefs Catalog. Can't remember the brand, I will try to find the box. I just rinse them off after use.
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Old 08-09-2011, 02:57 PM   #15
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Check Bokker Knives on line. They have everything from Damascus Steel Ken Onion knives, to cera-titan, to true ceramics. They have several different lines of kitchen knives. My eldest son is in love with his ceramic knife purchased from Bokker. I like my Chroma knives, but don't think they carry a santoku in the size you want. Japanese steel is good stuff, but expensive. German brands such as henkle and Whusthoff-Trident are good steel, but fairly heavy. I know you can find what you are looking for, if you check out places like Chef's catalog, or Sur-La-Table, online, or maybe even custom, high quality U.S. made knives.

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Old 08-09-2011, 03:20 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vfamily View Post
I would want a knife that is very low maintenance.
Once again, the Edgemaker Pro sharpener is about as simple as it gets, and the edge it puts on stainless knives is pretty good. I think they have a decent video on line.
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Old 08-09-2011, 03:44 PM   #17
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We use the Chef's Choice 110 sharpener. DH loves it, and is disappointed that I use my ceramic blades so much. It also puts on a nice edge.
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Old 08-09-2011, 04:30 PM   #18
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ATS-34, VG-10, SG-2 - my wife can dull most of them within a week or two. The SG-2 seems most resistant to her dulling skills.
Since many softer German type steels respond better to steeling, for many applications, I encourage her to use them as well as some high carbon blades..
The only knife I ‘hide’ from her is one made from S30V steel
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Old 08-09-2011, 04:35 PM   #19
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I was going to suggest Gunter Wilhelm knives but I don't want to confuse you even more so just let me say that, immediately after you use your knives, wash thoroughly by hand, dry and put them away. Never put them into the dishwasher. Water can get in around the rivets in the handle and destroy your knives from within.
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Old 08-09-2011, 05:53 PM   #20
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Once again, the Edgemaker Pro sharpener is about as simple as it gets, and the edge it puts on stainless knives is pretty good. I think they have a decent video on line.
Is this for any stainless knives? Doesn't matter if it's German or Japanese?
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