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Old 01-02-2007, 09:11 PM   #1
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New knives, input on which to keep?

Hey guys and gals,

Did some post-holiday shopping today and decided to expand my
knife collection a bit. I currently have 7" (I think) Santoku that I got for my birthday and two old blocks of "Laser" knives. The blocks of knives are basically garbage, they aren't sharp and do more tearing than cutting. Bad news. The Santoku is nice, but I thought a nice addition of a chef's knife would be good for when my gf and I are both at work in the kitchen.

I hit my local store and they had a couple of knives on clearance that felt good in my hand, have a nice thin blade and looked sharp, so I picked up a chef's and a boning knife for $9 and $6 respectively. Then, while perusing the shelves I came across this briefcase full of knives without a tag on it. They guesstimated a price on it at $50 and the knives look and feel great. They're nice and heavy with a fairly thick blade. I couldn't resist, so I picked that up, too. The kit seems to have:

1 9" Chef's
1 9" Carving
1 7" Cleaver
1 7" Bread
1 7" (??Utility??)
1 6" Boning
1 4" Offset serrated (for purposes I'm unaware of)
1 3.5" Paring
12 Steak
1 Fork
1 Kitchen shears
1 Spring loaded shears (poultry maybe? - serrated on one blade and flat on the other)
1 Steel
1 Briefcase (nerdy)
___
25 pieces = $2/piece

The brand appears to be "Couteau du Chef" (labelled on the knives and the briefcase) and they're stainless steel (also labelled in French), but I can't find anything more about them anywhere.

This may seem a bit extreme considering I'm most often cooking for one or two, although sometimes 4 - 8.

Or I could get the clearance knives (limited selection - Charles Meniere brand) and get 1 Chef's, Boning, and Carving for a total of $24, I think.

The last time I tried to bone a chicken breast with my piece of junk "Laser" boning knife, I decided that those breasts would have to be on sale REAL cheap for it to be worth it, but I'd like to have a .

The "Laser" bread knives generally do the trick because...really...it's bread.

The chef, carving and cleaver sure are nice and heavy and the handles feel good. I could add a carving knife from the clearance rack where I found the other chef's knife, though too (also $9).

I'd have to buy a cleaver somewhere else, as they didn't have one, and I'd like one for separating poultry, but I wouldn't be rushing and don't find it to be necessary but would still be nice.

I have a decent Henckels paring knife (just a cheapy, but sharp) and a 7" or so "Forever Sharp" serrated knife with a forked tip that has worked well for carving before.

I would still want to get a good utility knife in the 6" range for general stuff. I don't think they had any on the clearance rack, although I'd have to double check.

I also want a steel as I don't have one now.

The only "problem" with the Couteau du Chef knives is the storage. They don't fit in the current block that I have because the blades are that much thicker and the briefcase isn't sightly and/or practical in the kitchen AND there are a lot more knives there than I'm used to. I guess I could just buy a block or a drawer organizer somewhere.

I'm not super concerned about warranty on these, considering the price. I just want something that feels good can be sharpened.


Long post, sorry about that...I dunno...any thoughts? Overkill on the briefcase set? Too good a deal to pass up? Here are some shots of my various knives and the Couteau du Chef set:

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Old 01-02-2007, 10:13 PM   #2
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If they feel nice and cut nice, keep em! Who cares about brand when they were cheap and work well.
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Old 01-02-2007, 10:56 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver
I also want a steel as I don't have one now.
What's that thing in the top part of the case to the left of the scissors? Isn't that a steel? It's hard to see so I'm not sure.
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Old 01-02-2007, 11:04 PM   #4
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Quote:
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What's that thing in the top part of the case to the left of the scissors? Isn't that a steel? It's hard to see so I'm not sure.
Yeah, the ones in the case come with a steel, I was just mentioning that as it would be something that would have to be purchased if I didn't keep that particular set, regardless.

Basically, the knives I REALLY want in addition to whatever I currently have:

9" Chef's = cost approx $9 on clearance
Boning = $6
Steel = $?
Bread
A *good* utility knife

If I get decent quality, regardless of brand, I'm probably close to what I paid for the big set, which includes so much more.

It seems like a no brainer, in some ways. And not much money at stake (I almost wrote "steak" for the pun, but elected not to ); however, the big set entails it's own inherent difficulties (storage, for one - may have to pick up a knife block at some stage that'll fit most of them).
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Old 01-02-2007, 11:05 PM   #5
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sounds like with all the description, you know what you want and don't want. And yea, isn't that a steel, still in plastic? If they hold an edge, and you are not looking to build a knife set tat will be with you for the next 30= years, looks like you are doin ok. And storing your knives in a block is a bad practice, imo. wood is nothing more then a substraight for some food borne illnesses. You can not sterilize those lil ol slits in the block, and anything that moist and dark is bound to cause mildew.

As for the case, just tell people you are Bond, James Bond.
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Old 01-02-2007, 11:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
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storing your knives in a block is a bad practice, imo. wood is nothing more then a substraight for some food borne illnesses. You can not sterilize those lil ol slits in the block, and anything that moist and dark is bound to cause mildew.
the logic makes sense, but that begs the question - what's your preferred method of storage, then?
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Old 01-02-2007, 11:19 PM   #7
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Keeping segregated in a lay flat compartment. So long as they are not banging around, dulling/nicking blades, they are good.
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Old 01-03-2007, 02:17 AM   #8
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ah, if only I had the room!
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Old 01-03-2007, 01:10 PM   #9
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well keep them in the Bond like case. Just don't go thru airport security with it.
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Old 01-03-2007, 01:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
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well keep them in the Bond like case. Just don't go thru airport security with it.
the bigger problem is really figuring out where to keep the case!

i guess it could go in the crawlspace with my luggage
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Old 01-03-2007, 01:34 PM   #11
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Quote:
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the bigger problem is really figuring out where to keep the case!

i guess it could go in the crawlspace with my luggage
and I'm not actually expecting anyone to answer that question for me
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Old 01-03-2007, 02:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver
the logic makes sense, but that begs the question - what's your preferred method of storage, then?
Another excellent way to store them is with a magnetic holder. Very hygienic and very safe.
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Old 01-03-2007, 02:36 PM   #13
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The steel that comes with cheap knife sets can actually do more damage than good.

The cheapest you will be able to get a quality steel will be in the $20-$25 range.

I don't want to be too harsh here but the knives that you showed look like the Maxam cutlery sold on eBay.

If I wanted a knife set in the $50.00 range I would get something like Chicago Cutlery or Mundial.

Amazon.com: Chicago Cutlery Steel 8-pc. Block Set: Home & Garden

Mundial Elegance 3-pc. Santoku Knife Set - Mundial Cutlery Sets
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Old 01-03-2007, 02:44 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TATTRAT
and anything that moist and dark is bound to cause mildew.
The slits in my block go all the way through so there is no "bottom" thus no way for the moisture to stay there and grow.
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Old 01-03-2007, 02:48 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GB
Another excellent way to store them is with a magnetic holder. Very hygienic and very safe.
I've been using a magnetic strip for years. It's the best solution for me. It frees up counter space and my knives are out in the open for selection and access.
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Old 01-03-2007, 02:52 PM   #16
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GB, I've just started looking at those. A viable option if it'll fit under the cabinets.

Ron, thanks for the tip. I'm leaning more and more towards returning the big set. I don't think they're good enough quality to warrant keeping. Bigger isn't always better. Inexpensive is nice, but too much for your money is a good clue as to what you're getting.
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Old 01-03-2007, 03:30 PM   #17
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We put our knife strips on the sides of our cabinets.

We have a window over the sink and have a cabinet on both sides of the window.

A 12" strip will hold the knives that come in an 8 pc set plus one or two more.

On one strip we keep a

8" chef's
8" utility
7" santoku
6" utility
5" serrated utility
3.5" parer
8" bread knife

On the other we keep

6 steak knives
2 birds beak parers
3" drop point parer
4" parer
3.5" parer

The strip with the smaller knives we rotate them one handle up, the next one down and so on. This way lets you put more knives on the same strip.
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Old 01-03-2007, 03:31 PM   #18
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Silver, I reach for my chef knife. It is very good quality and it is what I use most.

But some paring knives for four or five bucks every few years at the economy restaurant supply. They do pretty well, can be sharpened, and tossed without regret.

Have been given inexpensive knife sets and they don't work well, at least in muy opinion, and we cooked for years poorer than church mice.

For a while lived on one pot, a frying pan and a hibachi. And did really well. Amazing what one can do when one is limited.

We think about those times now and laugh, we learned a lot.

One decent chef knife, kept sharp, and a paring knife or two, will be a better investment than a whole set at eight bits a knife.

At least in my humble opinion.
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Old 01-03-2007, 03:42 PM   #19
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Was about to get the Henkel ones from Target but read the label 'MADE IN CHINA". There's no way I will buy them now. Aren't these suppose to be European?
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Old 01-04-2007, 07:31 PM   #20
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So I returned the case full of knives (I wasn't convinced of their quality and they really didn't seem to be particularly sharp). I instead kept the boning and chef's knife previously discussed/shown. I also used a few of the dollars from the return of the case and picked up this little knife for my gf:




She sure does think it's purdy! Plus 10% of the wholesale price goes to breast cancer research (although it's already been wholesaled [wholesold?] but we like to support the various breast cancer research initiatives). It's actually got some good weight to it and will make a nice little utility knife.
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