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Old 10-05-2012, 12:23 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Mario
Like many of you, I use an 8" chef's knife for most of my cutting & chopping, especially with meats; because the blade is thinner, I do use my 6" santoku for slicing most veggies except for the more heavy-duty types (think butternut squash). For any of you who would like a good deal on knives, the Swiss Knife Shop has a 3-knife package of Victorinox - Forschner knives with the fibrox handle (8" chef's, 4.5" serrated & 3.25" paring - the "Brown Box Special") for $44, shipping included.
Has anyone tried this Victorinox chef's knife?
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Old 10-05-2012, 12:43 AM   #32
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For chefs that would be more that case. But for us amateurs, or chefwannabees, it fits between a chef's knife and the Santoku (or small cleaver which some like including my wife). So it really comes down to what feels comfortable and what is most useful for your style.

Next is to ask for a knife skills course from a local chef or cooking school as a gift for the holidays. Chefwannabees get closer to being chefs when their prep skills (aka knife skills) improve.
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Old 10-05-2012, 01:45 AM   #33
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I am certainly not the only voice here. But I agree the correct knife for you, is the one that makes your chopping, slicing, and dicing chores comfortable, and controllable. IMHO, there are but two considerations that you have to consider in purchasing a good knife, the quality of the steel, and the control the knife gives you.

Without going into a three page explanation of knives, good steel is paramount, as the steel quality determines the edge harness, how difficult it is to keep a sharp edge, stain resistance, and required maintenance. The shape determines what the knife can be used for.

The santoku is used for chopping, that is, making relatively straight up and down strokes through the food you are cutting. The problem I have with this is that the edge has to be extremely sharp for the tool to do its job. If the edge isn't razor sharp, more force is required to push the knife edge through the food. This can result in accidents, or inaccurate cuts. The knife just isn't very forgiving.

The chef's knife has a curve belly that lets you slide the knife slightly forward or backward as you push down. This is a more efficient stroke and cuts through hard and firm foods much more readily. Also, a slicing motion is required to cut relatively tough skinned foods such as tomatoes, who delicate inner structure would cause most santokus to squish, rather than cut through the fruit. Breads and meats also need to be sliced, rather than chopped.

If you need to chop foods, such as raw mushrooms for duxelles, or onions, celery, etc., either knife will do the job. In other works, a chef's knife will do everything a santoku knife will do. A santoku can't do everything a chef's knife will do.

I even use my 10-inch chef's knife for a paring knife, and to remove the stems fro the top of a tomato. But then again, I'm a little extreme. My grown children use chef's knives too, but in different sizes than mine. Sprout prefers an 8 incher, but loves her ten inch knife for things like cantaloup, watermelon, winter squashes, or to slice through a large chunk of meat. P.A.G. loves her nine 8 1/2 inch chef's knife. My son, the professional cook uses a ten inch knife for most of his work, but has an arsenal of specialty knives as well. He has a very long carving knife, and a bread knife too. The other son uses an eight inch ceramic chef's knife. In fact, three of them use the ceramic chef's knives and love them.

Another reason I like my ten incher is that the blade is wide enough from edge to spine, to keep my knuckles from banging against the cutting board while I'm working.

So, as you can see, the best knife for you is the highest quality knife you can afford, and fits your needs.

Seeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
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Old 10-05-2012, 10:20 AM   #34
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Thanks to the many respones to this thread. I have good quality Chef Knives, and a mid quality Santoku. I find I can cut much thinner slices with the Santoku - those litte hollow ridges seem to stick less to anything being thinly sliced.

I also like that the Santoku has a wider overall blade, which makes picking up the results of my patient work and positing it where I want it to wait for me. lol
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Old 10-05-2012, 10:20 AM   #35
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According to Cooks Illustrated, the Victorinox chef's knife is the standard knife in their test kitchen. They are not the best knives in the world, but they do a good job for a reasonable price. I have bought three sets: one for a daughter, one for a friend for her vacation place and the other for me. Often a few of us will rent a place and since I usually end up as the duty cook, I wanted a set of knives that I could bring along (most rentals have lousy knives) without having to worry about my "good" knives.
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Old 10-05-2012, 10:22 AM   #36
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Try this one... 7.25" and great MAC quality. I don't own MAC knives but in my research they always come up highly recommended.

Mac Utility Knife 7 1/4" - Chef Series on sale Free Shipping US48
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Old 10-05-2012, 11:56 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mario
According to Cooks Illustrated, the Victorinox chef's knife is the standard knife in their test kitchen. They are not the best knives in the world, but they do a good job for a reasonable price. I have bought three sets: one for a daughter, one for a friend for her vacation place and the other for me. Often a few of us will rent a place and since I usually end up as the duty cook, I wanted a set of knives that I could bring along (most rentals have lousy knives) without having to worry about my "good" knives.
Did you get the ones with the Fibrox handle?
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Old 10-05-2012, 12:04 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tzakiel
Try this one... 7.25" and great MAC quality. I don't own MAC knives but in my research they always come up highly recommended.

Mac Utility Knife 7 1/4" - Chef Series on sale Free Shipping US48
Thanks for this suggestion. I hadn't heard of these knives. At this point I'm trying out the Wusthof Silverpoint 6" chef's knife I found at TJ Maxx and will see if works for me. The handle is made of a synthetic material, which I'm not sure makes a difference in terms of performance for a beginner. The Victorinox knives with Fibrox handles got good reviews on America's Test Kitchen, so I'm guessing they would be a good choice if I don't like the Silverpoint.
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Old 10-05-2012, 01:16 PM   #39
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In the Victorinox 3-piece set, the chef's knife has a fibrox handle; the other two are polypropelene. While I wash all my knives by hand, the fibrox-handled knives are dishwasher safe. I do have Wusthof Silverpoint paring knife that I picked up many years ago and I would say it's much the same as the Victorinox paring knife, but it doesn't have the fibrox handle of the chef's knife. My "good" knives are Wusthof Classic which I really like; had I been able to find a set of Silverpoint similar to the Victorinox set, I probably would have gotten them.
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Old 10-05-2012, 01:30 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mario
In the Victorinox 3-piece set, the chef's knife has a fibrox handle; the other two are polypropelene. While I wash all my knives by hand, the fibrox-handled knives are dishwasher safe. I do have Wusthof Silverpoint paring knife that I picked up many years ago and I would say it's much the same as the Victorinox paring knife, but it doesn't have the fibrox handle of the chef's knife. My "good" knives are Wusthof Classic which I really like; had I been able to find a set of Silverpoint similar to the Victorinox set, I probably would have gotten them.
How does the fibrox handle compare to the polypropylene? Does it allow for a more secure grip?
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