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Old 03-16-2009, 03:57 PM   #1
Assistant Cook
Join Date: Mar 2009
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Ken onion chef's knives

My finance has decided to buy me a nice chef's knife for her engagement present to me. But it has to be one that fits her hand as well as mine. We went to the local kitchen store, and they had many of the popular brands from global to shun's.

We both liked the Ken onion chef's knives quite a lot. They are pricey, but seemed just have an effortless rock to them. I personally couldn't tell much of a difference between the elite and the classic knives, aside from the 100 dollar difference. She claimed she could feel a bit more comfort out of the elite.

Both knives can be found on the sur la table web site. I would link it but I am now allowed until I have 15 posts.

Has anyone run into these knives at all? Is the elite really worth an extra 100 bucks? If we do decide to buy them I'm pretty sure we will pick one up on ebay at half the price. Just unsure at this point if it's worth the extra dough.

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Old 03-16-2009, 10:32 PM   #2
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Join Date: Feb 2009
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I believe the difference is going to be the steel. Is it worth $100 more? I let more knowledgeable people speak to that. VG10 (the classic line) is still oodels ahead of the German (Wusthof, Henkels, etc.) with regard to being able to hold an edge and take a sharper edge. It's very good steel, very good, and the Classic line is an excellent line. Be aware too that Japanese blades (Shun, K. Onion, Global) take more knowledge for proper care. This isn't a bad thing. Learning how to properly sharpen and care for Japanese steels will only help your knowledge of cutlery grow. Also, look for an end grain (make sure it's end grain) wood cutting board, although plasti-whatever boards don't dull knives either. You have already done one of the most important steps in selecting cutlery: making sure you like the feel of the knife in YOUR hand (and your fiance's).
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Old 03-17-2009, 12:50 AM   #3
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The most obvious difference between the Shun Classic and Elite lines is the steel; the cutting core of the former is V-Gold 10 and the latter uses SG-2. VG-10 is a very good stainless, pretty durable and wear resistant yet reasonably easy to resharpen. SG-2 is a more exotic powdered steel and is hardened to about 64-65 Rockwell C (vs 60 for the Classic). The Elite will hold an edge longer but this may not be a real issue for the home cook. Both are beautiful and functional knives. I think the extra money is worth it to me but it won't be to everyone.

Overall I'm not fond of the Ken Onions. I agree they feel good in the hand and are ergonomic but the way the bolster/handle runs at any angel compared to the blade makes it difficult to sharpen them without scratching the heck out of everything. Not a good design feature on a knife that's going to be used a lot.
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