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Old 06-03-2006, 01:22 AM   #1
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Knives for gifts!

If money was no object which brand of knives would you recommend for: paring knife, chef's knife, and santaku? I have a #52 flambe cake( birthday) coming up in a few weeks and I love to cook. I've also been too frugal in the knife department(cheap is a far better description and ashamedly have for the past 30 years used the worst knives in the world except for one Henkels-------it's quite a cut above the rest no question.) My family wants to get me what I want-------and I want top of the line knives to ease me into my old age. Ha! As there are so many great cooks out there I leave my final decisions to your expertise and advice. So any tips will be much appreciated and thanks for checking out this posting.

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Old 06-03-2006, 02:52 AM   #2
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Ergonomically speaking, a lot of people I know love the Henckles Twin series because of the way the handle is shaped. The Twin Select is the highest grade of that series, and Twin Cuisine is in the middle, and the Twin Signature is the low end of the series. The Twin Select and Cuisine are the ones to get because the knives are forged. The Twin Signature is stamped which is why it is about 1/3 the price of the other two.
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Old 06-03-2006, 11:47 PM   #3
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Henckels makes a series that you won't find in the glass case called Classic International or something like that. The knives end up in the individual plastic cases and are sold for 50% less than their "S" Series cousins. This is because they are manufactured in Spain rather than in Henckels homeland of Germany, allowing them to sell it for less and save you the mark up.

At least, thats what I was told by a reliable source. I bought the Santoku and it works like a charm for half the price of the German variety. Might think of giving a few of those knives as gifts rather than just one expensive one. *shrug*
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Old 06-04-2006, 12:35 AM   #4
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I have recently purchased a set of the Calphelon Katana series(cause they looked cool to me, and felt great) and have been VERY PLEASED! I use henckels and wustofs in the pro kitchen and I would venture to say that these katana series knives are on par, if not superiour, to these brands...considering price point. Beautifully crafted, well balanced, and awesome edge retention. I LOVE EM!

Here is a link for anyone interested
http://www.calphalon.com/
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Old 07-28-2006, 03:09 AM   #5
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Hi, 1st post. I would not recommend Henckels as they are no longer forged---the bolster and tang are now welded on (yes, even the high-end ones) but their marketing tries to hide this. For the Chef's and paring knife, I would recommend Messermeister's Meridian elite series (they are forged, bolsters don't extend to the edge to aid sharpening, edges are 15 degrees opposed to the usual 20 degrees.) ---Here's a link listing them together at less than 1/2 their usual price http://www.cameronscookware.com/Meridian%20Elite%208%20Inches%20Chef's%20Knife%20w ith%20Free%20Parer.aspx


As far as which Santoku, that's a tough one, How much do you want to spend?? Mac makes a good one for less than $100, but there are MANY makers of high-end santokus (hattori, misono, kasumi, etc) The one think I would say is that you buy a Japanese Santoku---German knives as a rule are made thick--this is not a good thing for a santoku (although you want this in your chef's knife.)
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Old 07-28-2006, 03:56 AM   #6
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remember to give the giftor a penny if they give you a knife as a gift, if you value your friendship.
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Old 07-28-2006, 08:20 AM   #7
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Don't get a whole set. Choose the ones you want. I LOVE my santoku. Have lots of others of various brands.
Look on Amazon.
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Old 07-28-2006, 11:55 AM   #8
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Thanks for all the advice---I really do appreciate the sites recommended as well--I've been in and out due to my mother-in-law's hospitalizations since my first posting so it's great to come back to advice given over a month later. Such a wonderful forum!!!
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Old 07-28-2006, 12:01 PM   #9
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One of the most important things to do for buying knives is to go to a store and hold them. See if the handles suit your hand.
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Old 07-28-2006, 03:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckytom
remember to give the giftor a penny if they give you a knife as a gift, if you value your friendship.
We always do a variation of that too, Bucky. We ask the person for a penny, because you should never gift a knife. Bad luck would follow. So they buy it from you for a penny. You could put a penny in the gift box too, and that would be the gift - the knife would just go along with it.

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Old 07-28-2006, 04:24 PM   #11
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I love the blade of my Croma 10" Chef's knife. It is top notch. But I have found over the years coouple of years that I've been almost exclusively using it, that when a lot of chopping has to be done, the top edge, or heel of the blade can irritate my hand, just at the base of my forefinger. And yet, it still glides through any and every task. The handle shape gives exceptional control as well. Finally, it's a great looking knife. But I wish the handle didn't merge so quickly into the blade. If the intersection between the blade and handle were a bit wider, the knife would be unbeatable.

But then again, there are many great knives that use superior steel. Just avoid hollow-ground blades and blades that are so hard that they can't be sharpened. Hardness helps the knives stay sharp, but can make resharpening a real pain.

the Croma is a good compromize. It holds its edge a long time, and yet doesn't take me too much effort to sharpen it when needed (once per year, and steel it with every use).

I also like the looks of some knives availble through a company called Bokker. They have a large selection, including ceramic and titanium sintered blades. Interesting stuff, but haven't had the chance to actually try them.

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Old 07-28-2006, 06:17 PM   #12
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Okay--that answers the question why a penny was placed inside a set of steak knives that we received for our wedding---still have the shiny 1975 coin which is the year we married. Man, the things you learn on this site!! Thanks B&B!!
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