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Old 07-31-2015, 10:58 AM   #1
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My first quality knife set

Hi all, I'm in the market for a quality knife set, I've inly owned cheap sets in the past. I'm considering a 17 piece Wusthof Classic Ikon set with a selling price of $860 or possibly a little less. Was wondering if this is a good set and a good price. In my brief research I've read that Wusthof prices tend to be high, but the price above isn't retail so I'm wondering if this is as cheap as it's going to get, or can I find a set from another brand that is just as good and possibly cheaper?

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Old 07-31-2015, 11:19 AM   #2
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Hi Yardley, welcome to DC.

You don't need a huge set of knives.

First of all, make a list of the knives you use most. There are probably only 2 or 3. That's what you should buy. Perhaps there are a couple of knives you use regularly but not as often and the first group. You could get those as well or keep them in mind for a future purchase.

Wusthof's top lines of knives are very good. You won't be disappointed. There are many other good brands you can choose from as well.

Search out a cutlery store and go handle some knives. The first test is that they are comfortable in your hand. Then make buying decisions.
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Old 07-31-2015, 11:27 AM   #3
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Andy's right. Most competent home cooks only need a few knives.

A paring knife. A chef's knife. A serrated bread knife. Maybe a couple of the first two. Make sure you get a steel, too.

Then add knives one by one as you develop a need -- like a boning knife or a cleaver.

A 17 knife set is knife overkill, IMO.

Wusthof makes good knives, particularly their higher end ones.

But knives are like shoes -- they need to really fit and feel good in your hand or you'll regret your purchase. Make sure to try before you buy a good knife.
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Old 07-31-2015, 11:48 AM   #4
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what they said - especially "try the handles" - everyone's hands are different sizes / finger length / etc. some people prefer a rounder vs a flatter/rectangular shape.

I suspect some of the 17 pcs are steak knives? skip those - get a set of fine serrated for steak knives. a smooth edge and china plates do not play well together.

and get a wooden cutting board along with a steel. and figure eventually about $100+/- for something like the EdgePro sharpening system.

my Wuesthof Classic pcs date from the mid-80's. the 8" chef and 7" santuko are my workhorse - DW uses the paring knives time to time - I rarely use them.

the bread knife - get a 10" - they call it a SuperSlicer - #4517 - hard to find; you'll probably gave to special order it.
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Old 07-31-2015, 12:27 PM   #5
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I'll side with the above posters.

Knife set's are all well and good but I think you'll find many will be rarely used.

I can't help you with brands because most of my favorites are no-name generic knives.

They fit my hands and preform the tasks asked of them.

Learn to sharpen them. That's more important to me then anything.

Better steel will hold an edge longer but as long as it's sharp and you know how to make it so then it's no big deal to show it a stone every so often.
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Old 07-31-2015, 01:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yardley View Post
Hi all, I'm in the market for a quality knife set, I've inly owned cheap sets in the past. I'm considering a 17 piece Wusthof Classic Ikon set with a selling price of $860 or possibly a little less. Was wondering if this is a good set and a good price. In my brief research I've read that Wusthof prices tend to be high, but the price above isn't retail so I'm wondering if this is as cheap as it's going to get, or can I find a set from another brand that is just as good and possibly cheaper?
Welcome to DC! I'm with the others. Instead of a set, get a couple that you know you use a lot, and take care of them - keep them honed with a good steel, sharpen them only when necessary, and hand wash and store in a good block. I like Wusthof - I have 3 of their Classic series, a 6" and 10" chef, and a 5" boning knife. My 2" paring and 3" utility knives are some older Chicago Cutlery that I got when my mother passed away, and they are nearly as good as the Wusthof when taken care of properly.
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Old 07-31-2015, 01:38 PM   #7
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Welcome to DC! What else is there to say about knives.
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Old 07-31-2015, 01:42 PM   #8
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I've had a couple of different knife blocks and I don't like them. A dozen years ago, I bought a magnetic knife bar which I installed on the wall at my primary prep area. I love it and highly recommend it.

This is not mine, just a random image to give you the idea.
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Old 07-31-2015, 02:12 PM   #9
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What they said About the knife block, though - I don't have space between my upper cabinets and backslash for a magnetic holder, so I bought a Henckels knife block that holds the knives on their sides rather than the edges. This prevents the block from dulling the sides.
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Old 07-31-2015, 03:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GotGarlic View Post
What they said About the knife block, though - I don't have space between my upper cabinets and backslash for a magnetic holder, so I bought a Henckels knife block that holds the knives on their sides rather than the edges. This prevents the block from dulling the sides.
That's what I have too and I like it. Stirling already had it when I moved in, so I didn't need something else. I don't think I would have the space for a magnetic holder either.
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Old 07-31-2015, 03:35 PM   #11
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Quote:
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What they said About the knife block, though - I don't have space between my upper cabinets and backslash for a magnetic holder, so I bought a Henckels knife block that holds the knives on their sides rather than the edges. This prevents the block from dulling the sides.
Mine isn't Henckels, but it holds them sideways too.
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Old 07-31-2015, 04:38 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GotGarlic View Post
What they said About the knife block, though - I don't have space between my upper cabinets and backslash for a magnetic holder, so I bought a Henckels knife block that holds the knives on their sides rather than the edges. This prevents the block from dulling the sides.
When I used a block, I used to put the knives in sharp edge up to prevent dulling the edge.
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Old 07-31-2015, 07:44 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
When I used a block, I used to put the knives in sharp edge up to prevent dulling the edge.
Good idea. That works, too.
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Old 07-31-2015, 07:57 PM   #14
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Quote:
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When I used a block, I used to put the knives in sharp edge up to prevent dulling the edge.
That's what I used to do when I had a wooden knife block.
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Old 07-31-2015, 08:05 PM   #15
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I have very small hands. When trying out knives, some feel like it is a sword instead of a knife. The handle was too long. And there were paring knives I held and it felt like the handle was so short, that I would be handling the blade.

You have received some excellent advice from everyone here. A matching set is nice to look at and show off to all your friends. But if you have a chance to see any of Julia Child shows, on the wall between the windows you will see a whole array of knives. I doubt any two match. They all have an individual job to perform.

I received a beautiful 12" Shun knife from Japan as a gift. It was so long in my hand that I had no control over it. A medical disaster waiting to happen. I gave it away to one of my children and bought myself a 7" Chicago Cutlery Chef's knife. A perfect fit for my hand and skill level.
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Old 07-31-2015, 08:06 PM   #16
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I agree about selecting your own knives rather than a set. Too many people are sucked into sets because the storage for the set just looks so inviting and convenient. I have a large knife block that sits next to my sink sideways because it works best for me that way. Whatever works for your kitchen, but don't just shove them in a drawer.
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Old 07-31-2015, 08:18 PM   #17
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I'm not sure why some knives cost so damn much. Not being a chef, paying $139 for one knife seems ridiculous to me. Knives like that must have special powers or they must stay sharper longer or something.

I have a few knives of semi good quality and modestly priced. I think I'm thru with trying to sharpen them myself. I've tried at least 5 different knife sharpeners, electric, hand held, diamond encrusted,etc.
I now take them to a guy who is at the supermarket on Mondays and he charges about $3 per knife. He uses a table mounted tall vertical belt sander like thingy. He puts the edge on, then changes the belt to a honing belt. He sure gets them sharp! I'm not going to even try and use my "EdgeMaker" honing sharpner to keep them sharp as it would probably dull those pro sharpened knives.
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Old 07-31-2015, 08:30 PM   #18
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I lucked out. Got a nice Chicago Cutlery set in a block as a wedding present a few milleniums ago, and another cheap set in another block as a Christmas present that included steak knives. I've inherited some cleavers, boning knife, and a few others as well. I did buy a couple cheap Santokus and a bread knife from Walmart.

I mostly use my chef's knife, paring knives, and bread knife. I do like to admire all the others. DH feels quite useful sharpening them on the Chef's Choice electric sharpener.
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Old 07-31-2015, 08:37 PM   #19
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A friend of mine decided it was worth learning to sharpen his knives. He brought them to a different outlet of the chain store that we use to have our knives sharpened. They were totally ruined. Luckily, when he complained to the company headquarters, they apologized and replaced his knives.
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Old 07-31-2015, 08:50 PM   #20
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Specialty knives I just picked up today for my sushi .....
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