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Old 01-16-2008, 11:46 AM   #11
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If you ever get interested in baking some serious 3 lb+ round loaves of bread you'll wish you had a bread knife that's 12 or more inches long.
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Old 01-17-2008, 01:23 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by justplainbill View Post
If you ever get interested in baking some serious 3 lb+ round loaves of bread you'll wish you had a bread knife that's 12 or more inches long.

I was gonna mention that an 8" bread knife is too short for my uses, but I didn't want to criticize his choices too much!
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Old 01-17-2008, 02:50 AM   #13
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That's the problem sometimes. Folks will think they'll be satisfied with eight inches, but they end up wanting more, more more!
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Old 01-17-2008, 08:43 AM   #14
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IMO you really don't need a carving knife. A chef's knife carves excellently. Unless you are going to do a LOT of roasts.

The three essential knives, IMO, are an 8 inch chef's knife, a paring knife and a serrated bread knife. There isn't much you can't do with those three alone.
I agree 100%. The only reason I have a carving set is for presentation at a large gathering.
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Old 01-17-2008, 12:57 PM   #15
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My recommendation would be Gunter Wilhelm Knives

I would recommend Gunter Wilhelm knives. They have a triple tang in the handle, good weight, nice balance, hold the edges really well, and have a life time warranty. They have a decent web site as well. you can google them.
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Old 01-17-2008, 12:58 PM   #16
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A carving fork is handy for serving, but I can take or leave the carving knife. Yeah, it's handy at times but a French knife works well, too. And while I can see why a home cook might want to stick with knives of the same brand, basically for a nice looking block, I would probably mix and match brands if I was shopping for "entry level" stuff (ie under $350 for the whole set).

Not that I was asked, but let me "volunteer" some opinions! Wusthof makes solid, good quality stuff but I think unexceptional. I'd definately stay away from knives with a full bolster- in this day and age there's no reason to stick with those ol' dinosaurs! They're difficult to sharpen, heavy, and no matter how carefully you hone 'em they're eventually gonna have a hollow just ahead of the bolster. Even the most respected sharpening professionals will tell you that.

For my money, I'd go with Forschner Fibrox for the cheapest stuff and Japanese knives for the rest. While I do like Messermeisters, I feel German knives overall aren't the best value. One of the main reasons I now think that is my experience with Tojiro knives. When the cheapest Japanese laminates were $100 or more it was a tough call recommending them over all the German knives, but in their price range I don't know of anything as good as Tojiro. The downside is I'm not sure where you can buy them, except for importer Korin.

Building a budget-ish block, I'd probably start with a 240 mm Tojiro Gyuto (Japanese version of a Chef knife), a Tojiro Santoku, a Fibrox 12" granton-edged slicer, a Fibrox 10.25" bread knife (a Mac would be great but it's about $60, a Kershaw Kai Pure Komachi bread knife is superb but a bit shorter), then a tourne & paring knife of whatever brand; the tourne I use the most is a Messermeister stamped on that cost me $3. A 6" utility knife can be handy, and there are good ones from $20 up to several hundred bucks. For about $75 you can get a wonderful serrated utility/tomato knife from Shun. To be completely honest, you could even buy all Fibrox and have very high quality knives but it wouldn't be very "sexy."

That said, while I have a block at home, most of my knife use is at work. My knives reside in a roll, so matching them by looks isn't an issue.
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Old 01-17-2008, 03:48 PM   #17
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I use a Cuisinart electric carving knife, but I bought it at an after-the-holidays sale for less than half price, and they had run out of the matching electric carving forks.
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