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Old 01-15-2008, 11:55 AM   #1
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Need Help Selecting Knives

I am very new to knives, but have done a little research. I had decided on getting a few key knives instead of a block set as most of them I would never use. I have also decided on Henckel. I wanted to get a boning, chefs, carving, santuko, and parer knife. None of the sets offered this combination so thats How i decided to buy them separetly. These knives would be somewhere in the range of $300. so i had my mind made up and then i found a set made exclusively for williams sonoma that had these knives for $350.
This set includes:
  • <LI class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; tab-stops: list .5in">8" Chef's Knife <LI class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; tab-stops: list .5in">8" Bread Knife <LI class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; tab-stops: list .5in">8" Carving Knife <LI class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; tab-stops: list .5in">7" Santoku - Hollow Edge <LI class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; tab-stops: list .5in">6" Utility / Sandwich Knife <LI class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; tab-stops: list .5in">5 1/2" Boning Knife <LI class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; tab-stops: list .5in">5" Serrated / Utility Knife <LI class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; tab-stops: list .5in">3" Serrated Paring Knife <LI class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; tab-stops: list .5in">3" Paring Knife <LI class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; tab-stops: list .5in">Kitchen Shears <LI class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; tab-stops: list .5in">9" Sharpening Steel
  • Beechwood Storage Block with 18 slots
Someone please talk me out of this set.

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Old 01-15-2008, 12:18 PM   #2
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don't buy this set

Was that convincing?

send us a pic of it sitting on your counter!
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Old 01-15-2008, 04:36 PM   #3
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I think you can do much better for your $350.00 at the Gunter Wilhelm site.

I had a block set of Henckles for about 3 years, but when I got my Gunter Wilhelms, I gave the Henckles to a close, personal lady friend who has never really been able to afford a good set of knives. Now, we're BOTH happy campers!
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Old 01-15-2008, 05:50 PM   #4
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Nice looking knives, Caine!

Lee
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Old 01-15-2008, 09:40 PM   #5
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I think somebody here, on this site has the set of them.
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Old 01-16-2008, 10:25 AM   #6
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lot of sarcasm. thanks alot. LOL
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Old 01-16-2008, 10:49 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmgzzz View Post
I am very new to knives, but have done a little research. I had decided on getting a few key knives instead of a block set as most of them I would never use. I have also decided on Henckel. I wanted to get a boning, chefs, carving, santuko, and parer knife. None of the sets offered this combination so thats How i decided to buy them separetly. These knives would be somewhere in the range of $300. so i had my mind made up and then i found a set made exclusively for williams sonoma that had these knives for $350.
This set includes:
  • <LI class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; tab-stops: list .5in">8" Chef's Knife <LI class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; tab-stops: list .5in">8" Bread Knife <LI class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; tab-stops: list .5in">8" Carving Knife <LI class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; tab-stops: list .5in">7" Santoku - Hollow Edge <LI class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; tab-stops: list .5in">6" Utility / Sandwich Knife <LI class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; tab-stops: list .5in">5 1/2" Boning Knife <LI class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; tab-stops: list .5in">5" Serrated / Utility Knife <LI class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; tab-stops: list .5in">3" Serrated Paring Knife <LI class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; tab-stops: list .5in">3" Paring Knife <LI class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; tab-stops: list .5in">Kitchen Shears <LI class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; tab-stops: list .5in">9" Sharpening Steel
  • Beechwood Storage Block with 18 slots
Someone please talk me out of this set.
Why not start out by just buying a 6" boning, 3" paring, and 10" chef's knife from a variety of makers (eg LamsonSharp, Dexter Russell, Wusthof)? That should cost you about $200. Based on your experience with these three knives you could decide wheher you want to buy more of the same make.
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Old 01-16-2008, 11:04 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmgzzz View Post
I am very new to knives, but have done a little research. I had decided on getting a few key knives instead of a block set as most of them I would never use. I have also decided on Henckel. I wanted to get a boning, chefs, carving, santuko, and parer knife. None of the sets offered this combination so thats How i decided to buy them separetly. These knives would be somewhere in the range of $300. so i had my mind made up and then i found a set made exclusively for williams sonoma that had these knives for $350.
This set includes:
  • <LI class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; tab-stops: list .5in">8" Chef's Knife <LI class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; tab-stops: list .5in">8" Bread Knife <LI class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; tab-stops: list .5in">8" Carving Knife <LI class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; tab-stops: list .5in">7" Santoku - Hollow Edge <LI class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; tab-stops: list .5in">6" Utility / Sandwich Knife <LI class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; tab-stops: list .5in">5 1/2" Boning Knife <LI class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; tab-stops: list .5in">5" Serrated / Utility Knife <LI class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; tab-stops: list .5in">3" Serrated Paring Knife <LI class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; tab-stops: list .5in">3" Paring Knife <LI class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; tab-stops: list .5in">Kitchen Shears <LI class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; tab-stops: list .5in">9" Sharpening Steel
  • Beechwood Storage Block with 18 slots
Someone please talk me out of this set.
Not a bad selection. I'd ditch the steel, though- it'll do more harm than good. A ceramic steel is more effective and better for your knives. The DMT CS2 is a very good, fine grit steel that'll probably cheaper than the Wusthof one you're looking at. The look will be a bit different, though...I'm not sure how important matching appearance is to you.

You're going to be using them, so obviously pick knives you tend to use. But if you have a 5" serrated utility knife I'm not sure what you'll do with a 3" serrated paring knife. I'd probably replace that one with a tourne (bird's beak peeling knife) since I use one a lot peeling potatoes and veggies.

An 8" carving knife is a bit small for things like large turkeys and roasts but will probably be suffice. I have a 12" granton-edge, round-ended slicer that I really like. I have a few 8" carvers but they basically never leave the block.

Wusthof makes some pretty good knives, and I've used quite a few over the years. When it comes to German knives I'll admit that I prefer Messermeister to Wusthof or Henckles, although I have knives by all three. That said, mostly I use Japanese blades nowadays. Overall they're sharper and lighter, they cut better and stay sharp longer. You may well want to at least investigate the cheaper Japanese brands like Mac and a favorite of mine, Tojiro. My Tojiro's were as sharp as my Shuns out of the box and cost about 1/2 as much. I think they're very beautiful, too.

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Old 01-16-2008, 11:07 AM   #9
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I actually prefer a steel from the manufacturer of my knives.
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Old 01-16-2008, 11:35 AM   #10
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IMO you really don't need a carving knife. A chef's knife carves excellently. Unless you are going to do a LOT of roasts.

The three essential knives, IMO, are an 8 inch chef's knife, a paring knife and a serrated bread knife. There isn't much you can't do with those three alone.
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Old 01-16-2008, 11:46 AM   #11
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If you ever get interested in baking some serious 3 lb+ round loaves of bread you'll wish you had a bread knife that's 12 or more inches long.
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Old 01-17-2008, 01:23 AM   #12
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If you ever get interested in baking some serious 3 lb+ round loaves of bread you'll wish you had a bread knife that's 12 or more inches long.

I was gonna mention that an 8" bread knife is too short for my uses, but I didn't want to criticize his choices too much!
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Old 01-17-2008, 02:50 AM   #13
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That's the problem sometimes. Folks will think they'll be satisfied with eight inches, but they end up wanting more, more more!
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Old 01-17-2008, 08:43 AM   #14
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IMO you really don't need a carving knife. A chef's knife carves excellently. Unless you are going to do a LOT of roasts.

The three essential knives, IMO, are an 8 inch chef's knife, a paring knife and a serrated bread knife. There isn't much you can't do with those three alone.
I agree 100%. The only reason I have a carving set is for presentation at a large gathering.
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Old 01-17-2008, 12:57 PM   #15
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My recommendation would be Gunter Wilhelm Knives

I would recommend Gunter Wilhelm knives. They have a triple tang in the handle, good weight, nice balance, hold the edges really well, and have a life time warranty. They have a decent web site as well. you can google them.
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Old 01-17-2008, 12:58 PM   #16
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A carving fork is handy for serving, but I can take or leave the carving knife. Yeah, it's handy at times but a French knife works well, too. And while I can see why a home cook might want to stick with knives of the same brand, basically for a nice looking block, I would probably mix and match brands if I was shopping for "entry level" stuff (ie under $350 for the whole set).

Not that I was asked, but let me "volunteer" some opinions! Wusthof makes solid, good quality stuff but I think unexceptional. I'd definately stay away from knives with a full bolster- in this day and age there's no reason to stick with those ol' dinosaurs! They're difficult to sharpen, heavy, and no matter how carefully you hone 'em they're eventually gonna have a hollow just ahead of the bolster. Even the most respected sharpening professionals will tell you that.

For my money, I'd go with Forschner Fibrox for the cheapest stuff and Japanese knives for the rest. While I do like Messermeisters, I feel German knives overall aren't the best value. One of the main reasons I now think that is my experience with Tojiro knives. When the cheapest Japanese laminates were $100 or more it was a tough call recommending them over all the German knives, but in their price range I don't know of anything as good as Tojiro. The downside is I'm not sure where you can buy them, except for importer Korin.

Building a budget-ish block, I'd probably start with a 240 mm Tojiro Gyuto (Japanese version of a Chef knife), a Tojiro Santoku, a Fibrox 12" granton-edged slicer, a Fibrox 10.25" bread knife (a Mac would be great but it's about $60, a Kershaw Kai Pure Komachi bread knife is superb but a bit shorter), then a tourne & paring knife of whatever brand; the tourne I use the most is a Messermeister stamped on that cost me $3. A 6" utility knife can be handy, and there are good ones from $20 up to several hundred bucks. For about $75 you can get a wonderful serrated utility/tomato knife from Shun. To be completely honest, you could even buy all Fibrox and have very high quality knives but it wouldn't be very "sexy."

That said, while I have a block at home, most of my knife use is at work. My knives reside in a roll, so matching them by looks isn't an issue.
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Old 01-17-2008, 03:48 PM   #17
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I use a Cuisinart electric carving knife, but I bought it at an after-the-holidays sale for less than half price, and they had run out of the matching electric carving forks.
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