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Old 10-04-2012, 10:29 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by kitchengoddess8 View Post
That's great. Do you did that there are any advantages to using a chef's knife versus a santoku?
I have both kinds of knives. For the longest time I didn't use the santoku very much, because the traditional chef's knife is what I was used to. Then three or four years ago I had some guests over to the house for a cooking party. I gave everyone else the chef's knives to use and took the santoku for myself. It was a little awkward to use at first, but I finally found that if I rocked it more toward the tip, it worked fine that way. The shorter 7" blade also felt easier to control. It didn't take very long to get used to it.

However, the real revelation I found was when cutting onions. The flatter style blade actually worked better for making the horizontal cuts needed for cutting up an onion.

While I use both knives and can see arguments leaning either way, I now favor the santoku for doing prep work.

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Old 10-04-2012, 10:49 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kroll
I have both kinds of knives. For the longest time I didn't use the santoku very much, because the traditional chef's knife is what I was used to. Then three or four years ago I had some guests over to the house for a cooking party. I gave everyone else the chef's knives to use and took the santoku for myself. It was a little awkward to use at first, but I finally found that if I rocked it more toward the tip, it worked fine that way. The shorter 7" blade also felt easier to control. It didn't take very long to get used to it.

However, the real revelation I found was when cutting onions. The flatter style blade actually worked better for making the horizontal cuts needed for cutting up an onion.

While I use both knives and can see arguments leaning either way, I now favor the santoku for doing prep work.
Which santoku do you have?
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:51 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Andy M.

I use one regularly along with my 8" chefs knife. A longer blade may be easier to use on a large squash but the 6" will get the job done too.
It looks like Victorinox doesn't make a 6" chef's knife. Do you know of another reasonably priced manufacturer that makes a 6"? I'm not ready to splurge on a high end knife quite yet.
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:57 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by kitchengoddess8 View Post
It looks like Victorinox doesn't make a 6" chef's knife. Do you know of another reasonably priced manufacturer that makes a 6"? I'm not ready to splurge on a high end knife quite yet.
Victorinox knives have stamped blades which are lighter than forged blades like you would get with a Henckels.

So an 8" Vic would probably be lighter than a 6" Henckels. I strongly recommend going to a store that sells knives and handle both.
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:02 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Andy M.

Victorinox knives have stamped blades which are lighter than forged blades like you would get with a Henckels.

So an 8" Vic would probably be lighter than a 6" Henckels. I strongly recommend going to a store that sells knives and handle both.
I'll do that. Glad that Bed Bath is nearby and has a good return policy. The Vic 8" is only $44.
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:03 AM   #16
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Which santoku do you have?
I have this model made by Shun, but 7-inch - and no, I didn't pay that much. It was closer to half that price.

Amazon.com: Shun Classic 7 1/2 Inch Wide Santoku: Home & Kitchen
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:05 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Addie
Just go slow and don't try to do everything like you see on TV. Those folks have been cooking for eons.
Glad you said this! I've been wondering how the heck chefs on tv can chop so fast! I chop at a snail's pace.
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:43 AM   #18
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I have a santoku and a several chef's knives. Also a nakiri. Most of my prep is done with either the nakiri or a large (240) chef knife. For my purposes, the santoku is a compromise knife, and like most compromises, does nothing well, but most things average.

I also have a Forschner, now Victorinox, chef's. I don't use it much as I don't like the wide blade and the overly round blade.

If you are looking for a low medium priced knife. It might be worth a trip to a restaurant supply. The knives they sell are generally reasonably priced and of decent quality.

However, getting what feels good to you is most important.
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Old 10-04-2012, 04:51 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Andy M.

Consider a 6" chefs knife if the 8" was too big.
As luck would have it, I found a lower end Wusthof 6" chef's knife at TJ Maxx today for $19. It was the last one they had and made in Germany, not China!
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Old 10-04-2012, 05:50 PM   #20
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I say it's best to learn on a classic chef knife of the 8" variety. The extra length will come in handy a lot more than you'd think, and the pointy end can be helpful. It takes a small amount of getting used to a new knife length but once you get a good handle on how to properly wield it, there's a good chance you wouldn't want to go down in size--generally speaking. A santoku is great for vegetable prep but the classic chef style is perfectly reasonable at veg prep and better in every other category. The Santoku has the advantage in blade width, which can be helpful in transferring things from the cutting board.
A lot of people feel more comfortable learning with the Santoku because it has a rounded front vs. the classic chef, but I think that's a good way to learn bad safety habits.

I'm posting this having started my culinary hobby with a 7" Santoku, and nowadays I use an 8" chef much more often as I tend to end up cooking more at my buddy's house more than my own and he has a nice chef knife. After using the Santoku for years, using the classic chef shape was a true revelation. My next knife will be a 240mm Gyuto style.
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