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Old 10-12-2012, 08:53 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by RosieA View Post
I am planning on investing in a knife set for myself for Christmas but I dont know what to do! There are so many sets and price ranges to choose from!
Help! :)
If possible try before you buy. Handle them and try some cutting actions with them to see what feels comfortable in your hand. The fit of the handle is as important as the material of the blade. As mentioned above, don't buy a set. Most sets come with 6 or 8 steak knives to make it seem like you are getting more than you really are. You don't need to pay that sort of premium for serrated steak knives.

I'd recommend something like an 8" chef, a 3" paring, and a 5" or 6" utility or boning knife. Those will be enough to get you a good variety and will serve for 99% of anything that a home cook needs. None of these should be serrated. If you make bread, add a serrated bread slicing knife. Get a block that fits them all, and the block should hold the blade sideways so that you aren't rubbing the cutting edge every time you move the knife in or out of the block.

Also get a good sharpener. Others will probably chime in with some good recommendations. I'm lazy, so I use a Chef's Choice Edge Select 120 electric 3 stage sharpener. It's expensive, and most of the cooks here won't recommend it, but I like it and it's the only electric one that is recommended by Wusthof for their knives. There are lots of good options though, so do some investigation. A good sharpener is as important as a good knife. That good knife you're buying is only as good as it's edge, and the nature of knives is that if you use them they get dull. Keep your knifes sharp. There is something almost sensual about using a truly sharp knife. It always brings a smile to my face when I slice a ripe tomato fresh from the garden and I can cut perfect paper thin slices.
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Old 10-12-2012, 11:56 AM   #62
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excellent advice!
What brands should I be looking at?
I do like having a serrated knife--I like it for breads and tomatoes. I have a couple of those so I am not replacing them anyhow.
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Old 10-12-2012, 12:04 PM   #63
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I have a Henckels 'tomato knife' like this one. The blade is about 6" long. I've never used it for tomatoes. I slice bagels with it. If any knife is reasonably sharp, it'll slice a tomato with no issues.
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Old 10-12-2012, 05:13 PM   #64
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If any of my knives aren't sharp enough to easily slice a tomato, then they aren't sharp enough.

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Old 10-12-2012, 06:04 PM   #65
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my tomato knife is thinner than that. You can use it for other things obviously--
Rada Cutlery Tomato Slicer Knife,Aluminum Handle,Made in USA (Pack of 2 - R126/2): Amazon.com: Home & Kitchen

I like the serrated edges for slicing tomatoes. I use bread knives to cut tomatoes too. Otherwise, I end up smashing the tomato.
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Old 10-12-2012, 06:54 PM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RosieA View Post
my tomato knife is thinner than that. You can use it for other things obviously--
Rada Cutlery Tomato Slicer Knife,Aluminum Handle,Made in USA (Pack of 2 - R126/2): Amazon.com: Home & Kitchen

I like the serrated edges for slicing tomatoes. I use bread knives to cut tomatoes too. Otherwise, I end up smashing the tomato.
I sometimes use a serrated steak knife. Does the job for me. But my first consideration in making a purchase of anything is "Buy America" first. I don't even consider looking at European products. Or any other country. And NEVER "Made in China".

I have a serrated utility knife for small jobs. A 7" chefs knife, (small hands), a serrated bread knife and a serrated vegetable peeler. I can peel a tomato or peach with it. Will never own a regular peeler again. And I have turned several of my friends onto using it. Peeling potatoes are a breeze with it. With my serrated utility knife I can slice a tomato so thin your mother-in-law will never return to eat at your house again. I also use it to cut up soft veggies like spinach, broccoli, etc. I use my chef's knife for carving and slicing root veggies. Potatoes, beets, carrots and cabbage. None of my knives match. They are not a set. They were individually picked for certain jobs. They sit in a drawer and nobody sees them. Like my pans.
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Old 10-13-2012, 12:06 AM   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RosieA View Post
my tomato knife is thinner than that. You can use it for other things obviously--
Rada Cutlery Tomato Slicer Knife,Aluminum Handle,Made in USA (Pack of 2 - R126/2): Amazon.com: Home & Kitchen

I like the serrated edges for slicing tomatoes. I use bread knives to cut tomatoes too. Otherwise, I end up smashing the tomato.
If that's the case then the knife is dull. My sister used to tell me the same thing until I bought her a good chef's knife and showed her how to sharpen and hone it. If a knife is too dull to cut a tomato, then it's too dull for just about anything. If you've never used a truly sharp knife, then it's going to be a revelation for you.
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Old 10-15-2012, 08:00 PM   #68
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If you've never used a truly sharp knife, then it's going to be a revelation for you.
This.

Once I picked up some decent knives and learned how to keep them sharp, it's made a world of difference in cutting tomatoes. I use a straight blade to cut tomatoes all the time (and I'm dieting so I eat a LOT of salads). NEVER smashed one either with these knives.
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