What kind of cutlery/knives are you using

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What kind of cutlery/knives are you using

Postposted on Thu Mar 16, 2006 12:17 pm

seriously, whats the dealio... why do ppl spend $500-$1000 on a set
of kitchen knives -vs- $100 set from kmart? besides the less-carbon,
more-carbon, and design --- do they really cut a tomato better then the
cheaper brand? i very much doubt it.

i've seen in a thread not too long ago tried to discuss this topic, but it fizzled out.

i see some ppl prefer chicago cutlery, and i'm thinking they dig it more for the name...

and williams-sonoma has some truly amazing
works of art they try to pass off as cutlery.... brands like:

Wüsthof, Shun, Henckels, Global, etc...

the shun knives rock, cuz they have kanji on them! woo woo! i bet they
would slice thru sashimi like butter... and take a gander on shun's
Shun Classic Multi Chef's Knife, 8 1/4" @ $199.99 for one knife! wow!

then there's this cheap knife set, but visually stimulating indeed!

what do u guys think? do ppl buy cutlery sets that expensive if you put
them on your wedding registry? or is that something we would have to
invest in ourselves?
Last edited by thegleek on Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postposted on Thu Mar 16, 2006 12:27 pm

If the Chicago Cutlery knives my wife and I got for Christmas are any indication, YES they cut tomatoes, meat, carrots...anything...way better than a relatively new set of knives we picked up at Wally World (due to my cheapness) and I'm hooked...I'll never buy no-name knives again.
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Postposted on Thu Mar 16, 2006 12:28 pm

Ok, I'm not going to give you a hard time about this. It's too easy.

Steel comes in different grades and sharpness.

Better quality steel and harder grades, will sharpen to a keener edge and hold that edge longer. Thus requiring fewer sharpenings.

I have a cheap set from target, and a set I got for my wedding made by Henckels.

I use the Henckels knifes almost exclusively now for preparing meat and such.

Oh and since I know you like sushi go ask one of the head chef to see his knife set and ask him how much he paid for it.

And be sitting down when you do.

Basic point is a good set of knifes will last a lifetime and require fewer sharpenings. If you cook alot, like I do, you will definately get your money out of them.
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Postposted on Thu Mar 16, 2006 12:30 pm

First off, there's a giant difference between stamped knives and forged/sintered/etc. ones. That's night and day. "Real" knives have a nice heft, good balance, good rigidity, etc. The difference between higher-end knives like the better Wüsthof, Henckels, Shun, etc. and cheaper forged knives is largely in the quality of the steel, maybe handle quality, etc. The pricier ones might take a sharper edge, or stay sharp longer, etc.

At the very least consider getting nice knives for the knives you use a lot. For example, probably get a decent quality forged chef knife in whatever size you favor. I know I use my chef knife far more than any other knife I have, and the difference between cheap and nice is pretty pronounced for something like a chef knife. A sharp, well-made, well-balanced, rigid blade with a bit of heft makes cooking a joy. Personally, I'd rather have a $100 Chef knife than a $100 knife set.

As with any product, as you get into the highest priced items value takes a ****. Go somewhere, get a feel for some knives, try them out, etc. See what fits/balances/suits you and what you feel comfortable buying/asking for. It's pretty straightforward to feel what knives are nicer than others, and for the stuff it's more difficult to tell (like how they hold an edge) it's tough to go wrong with any good brand, and reputation is probably valuable.

Considering your proposal a Japanese knife or set of knives might be meaningful to have.
Last edited by mattsteg on Thu Mar 16, 2006 12:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postposted on Thu Mar 16, 2006 12:31 pm

z-man, it's not sharpening; it's honing...the steel you use for "sharpening" a knife is actually straightening out the edge again, and it requires very little work. I watched an episode of Good Eats where he was talking to a knife manufacturer about this stuff. Food network is full of great things for people that love to cook. [/food nerd]
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Postposted on Thu Mar 16, 2006 12:36 pm

For me, its all about the length of your tang.

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Postposted on Thu Mar 16, 2006 12:43 pm

i like mattsteg's explanation so far... but when i went inside the williams-sonoma
store and they have all these knives on display and they'll open 'em up
too for you to touch and play with... yay! haha.. but i like the shun set
cuz of how they look (i love kanji stuff), but it seems that shun happens
to be the most costlier sets out of all of them, more expensive then all
the Wüsthof, Henckels, and Global.

the global knives are too modern, too spacey for my tastes. the henckel
set is too boring, didnt offer anything pleasing to my eye.... and the
Wüsthof are sexy! they have some evil red devilish fork on all there
products.. and wow. nice... i'd surely pick a set of Wüsthof over Shun if
cost becomes a factor...

so what ever happened to those infamous ginzu knives? are they junk?
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Postposted on Thu Mar 16, 2006 12:44 pm

pete_roth wrote:For me, its all about the length of your tang.
You a fan of this person?

Of course other, dirtier comments came to mind.
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Postposted on Thu Mar 16, 2006 1:26 pm

Back when I made real money... I bougt my wife a set of Wustof knives. Quite possibly the best gift ever. She cooks a lot (and is quite good at it, I might add), and she said those knives increased both her efficiency and enjoyment when preparing food.

I got the classic handles with full tangs. (BTW, that little red devil's pitchfork was just a sticker on my set; they eventually came off.) I think the set I got included a chef's knife, parer, boner (heh), bread knife, scissors, steel, and something else, don't remember what. All other knives in the kitchen were quickly relegated to the workshop to be used only for assorted dangerous jobs that should never involve a knife.

I highly recommend investing in quality knives if you prepare food at home at least once a week. And from my experience, Wustof Classics are exceptional.
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Postposted on Thu Mar 16, 2006 1:36 pm

Have you ever used a really good set of knives? The difference in feel is night and day.

I'll stick with my Wusthofs, thanks.
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Postposted on Thu Mar 16, 2006 1:36 pm

derFunkenstein wrote:z-man, it's not sharpening; it's honing...the steel you use for "sharpening" a knife is actually straightening out the edge again, and it requires very little work. I watched an episode of Good Eats where he was talking to a knife manufacturer about this stuff. Food network is full of great things for people that love to cook. [/food nerd]


No its not. Honing is straighting that edge out. However any steel edge will flatten at the point over time. There is a bevel there that has to be resharpened to remove flat spots. This requires removing material to recreate that bevel.

They are two different terms, both are valid. It all depends what you are doing. But even good knifes have to be resharpened on occation. Things like bones and cutting blocks will dull them over time.

When you understand how the edge of a steel cutting tool works you will understand the difference.

I have to resharpen my woodworking tools all the time, but on some of them I can hone the edge to keep in cutting in the interm.
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Postposted on Thu Mar 16, 2006 1:54 pm

This is true. Even the best knives in the world should be resharpened once a year or so (depending on how often you cut with them, of course). Honing them with the steel just helps keep the edge between sharpenings.
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Postposted on Thu Mar 16, 2006 2:11 pm

I used to be a butcher, and good knives are essential.
To filet a salmon or debone a bird with crap knives is not only difficult but dangerous.
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Postposted on Thu Mar 16, 2006 2:59 pm

awesome advice from everyone! woo woo.. i'm glad i made this post.

with my meek salary, it's hard to part with the cash for something simple
and yet so necessary as good knives.. i think frobozz has a set of those
walmart's $50 cutlery set.... but i think i cook a lot more often then they
do in their household...

here's something my fiance pointed out as well... she said that the better
the quality of knives, the less chances you will have to cut yourself...

and here i am contridicting what she said by stating if the knives are of
better quality and sharper, wouldnt you be missing some digits rather then
just a deep cut? lol... so who's more right?

i just cant decide to go with wusthof or the shun set... i love both designs,
but one is german based and the other is japan based... hmmm.....
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Postposted on Thu Mar 16, 2006 3:08 pm

thegleek wrote:
i just cant decide to go with wusthof or the shun set... i love both designs,
but one is german based and the other is japan based... hmmm.....


Go and play with both. The wusthof knives have a pretty good heft, and the weight is balanced toward the hand on most of them.
The shuns look sweet, but to me the weight felt awkward.
Of course I have ham hands, but what can ya do.
My friend the sushi chef is Japanese, has tiny hands with long fingers, and she loves the shun.

It's a personal thing. :D
Last edited by totoro on Thu Mar 16, 2006 3:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postposted on Thu Mar 16, 2006 3:08 pm

thegleek wrote:and here i am contridicting what she said by stating if the knives are of
better quality and sharper, wouldnt you be missing some digits rather then
just a deep cut? lol... so who's more right?


She is.

That's right I said she is. A quality sharp tool will cut the material easier and with less force.

Think about this, how many times have you had a dull knife or scissors and were leaning into the cut or pushing harder with your hands only to have the tool suddenly break free and into your hand or other body part. :o

If the tool is able to do it's job you are relaxed, not forcing it, and your hands are away from direct cutting area. It all comes down to greater control and that mean everything.
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Postposted on Thu Mar 16, 2006 3:10 pm

gleek - I've been using a WÜSTHOF set since before my marriage 5 years back, and I've never once regretted spending the coin that we did. While other kitchen gimmicks (Kitchenaids, Breadmakers, Rotisserie grills, etc) come and go a solid, weighted, lasting set of knives is what I'd consider a must have foundation for any Kitchen and they can last longer then you or I will be around.

Matt is right, weight, balance, quality steel are the makings of an incredibly fun, quality cooking and preparation experience.

I can't speak for the Shun set but if you go WÜSTHOF and get yourself a few bamboo cutting boards, you'll love it.
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Postposted on Thu Mar 16, 2006 3:36 pm

If you're on a budget, you can just buy one knife at a time. It's not necessarily more expensive than buying a complete set. For example, a 3-piece Shun set costs about the same as the individual knives (although you get a box with the set).

If you're getting married, you might consider putting individual knives on your registry too. That'll give guests a reasonable price range to choose from (e.g., from a $40 paring knife up to a $120 chef's knife).

The most expensive chef's knife I've found online so far is:

http://www.chefknivestogo.com/hakddachkn24.html

But you get free shipping!
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Postposted on Thu Mar 16, 2006 3:39 pm

dalamar70 wrote:The most expensive chef's knife I've found online so far is:

http://www.chefknivestogo.com/hakddachkn24.html

But you get free shipping!


holy crap! i'm so putting that hattori knife on my registry! woo woo! now
i hope someone out there will drop $1200 on me just for 1 knife! haha :P
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Postposted on Thu Mar 16, 2006 3:41 pm

I have to agree with the wife, as well.

Several months ago, I went over to my girlfriend's apartment to help make dinner. I had to use her knives. I was used to my Wusthofs and my what a difference! First, the grip was very inferior. But even worse, they flexed. This made it hard to maintain control when cutting something stiff. I was worried I was going to cut my finger off because I couldn't keep the knife exactly where I wanted it.

As a contrast, my Wusthofs, in addition to being extremely sharp are very stiff. This means that there is no fighting the cut. It just goes through with ease. But even if it's something hard, I can maintain control because I have a good grip and the knfe doesn't flex or try to change shape or direction.

It's long been acknowledged that a dull knife is far more dangerous than a sharp knife, because you have to work a lot more at making the cut.

Postscript: I bought my girlfriend her own set of Wusthofs and she threw away, without my prompting, all her old knives.
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Postposted on Thu Mar 16, 2006 3:44 pm

If you want a starter set on a budget, here's my recommendation:
http://www.metrokitchen.com/item/WU-9608/

If you want to save even a little more, just get the 8" Chef's Knife and the 3 1/2" Paring Knife.
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Postposted on Thu Mar 16, 2006 3:57 pm

u know what buub, i never and thought about that... the flexibility of a
knife... i always thought if it was bendy/flexy like those ginsu knifes are,
the better they were... so i guess the stiff ones are better eh?

i'll have to try out both the wusthoff's and shun's next time i go back to
that williams-sonoma store... but i also agree that we should not drop
a boatload of cash on a set of 22 knives, but rather start off with a set of
3 or 12 and obtain more as life goes on... :)
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Postposted on Thu Mar 16, 2006 4:36 pm

thegleek wrote:u know what buub, i never and thought about that... the flexibility of a
knife... i always thought if it was bendy/flexy like those ginsu knifes are,
the better they were... so i guess the stiff ones are better eh?

We are not talking about Chinese Kung-Fu movies here. Yeah, in those you need sharp and flexible to be more lethal, because it just kills everything in its flex path. :lol:
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Postposted on Thu Mar 16, 2006 4:45 pm

If this is for your registry, just spec a set and be done w/ it?

Save your money and see what you get from the wedding dude?

Your girl does all the cooking, right? Shouldn't she be making this decision?
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Postposted on Thu Mar 16, 2006 5:02 pm

I use everything from walmart knives up to fine knives.

Its very simple realy.

For anything you need control you need a finer knife.

Better knives tend to be made from stiffer steel and are thicker to boot. Thi si vital when using a cleaver or butcher knife.

Other knives you want to be good are boning knives.

HOWEVER you want your common use table knives to be cheap walmart brand... why? Because they are designed to cut and stay sharp without maintenance and can be tossed in the sink just fine.

You want cmmon use table knives to have a plastic handle. You want food prep knives to have a wooden or well textured plastic handle.

Its like with wrenches.. you want a craftsman so you can bash the hell out of something yet still use the wrench and you want a very fine wrench for delicate work.
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Postposted on Thu Mar 16, 2006 7:32 pm

That doesn't make any sense.

First, Craftsman is a fine wrench. Unless I misunderstand your meaning of the word "fine". Then, it still doesn't make sense in the context of the conversation.

Second, that's the entire point with cheap/good knives. The cheap crappy ones DON'T stay sharp. Or did you think because they are "designed" to go in the dish washer and sink that they stay sharper than the expensive ones "designed" to be treated well?

The "design" in these cases is simply that in the former case the knife doesn't stay sharp no matter what you do, so you might as well toss it around. Putting a knife in the dishwasher will mess up the blade regardless of whether it's cheap or well-made. It simply screws up a cheap knife faster, but since it was cheap, you probably didn't notice.

So in other words, a Wal-Mart blade is fine to throw in the dishwasher because it stays dull no matter how you treat it, so why bother babying it.

A high quality knife will stay sharper than a cheap knife whether you treat it well or treat it poorly. But a high quality knife will stay much sharper when hand-washed and not abused than will the same knife if thrown in the sink or dishwasher.
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Postposted on Thu Mar 16, 2006 7:39 pm

I have a set of Chicago Cutlery knives and they work well for my style of cooking . As long as you get any reputable brand they should work well . Handle material is really a personal prefrance . I like wood but I have a few friends that swear by plastic handles . If there is even a remote chance that the knives might get put in a dishwasher at some point you would be wise to stay away from wood handles .
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Postposted on Thu Mar 16, 2006 7:40 pm

thegleek wrote:i'll have to try out both the wusthoff's and shun's next time i go back to that williams-sonoma store.

If you decide on the Wusthoffs, don't buy them at Williams-Sonoma if you've got access to Costco. They sell the same set for much less coin.
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Postposted on Thu Mar 16, 2006 8:36 pm

Captain Ned wrote:
thegleek wrote:i'll have to try out both the wusthoff's and shun's next time i go back to that williams-sonoma store.

If you decide on the Wusthoffs, don't buy them at Williams-Sonoma if you've got access to Costco. They sell the same set for much less coin.
Out of curiousity, what price is the set going for at Costco? I assume it's in-store since I can't find it on their website.
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Postposted on Thu Mar 16, 2006 8:46 pm

I bought a set of JA Henckles , the best knives ever bought. I did try the elcheapo not even close , better to buy a good set that will last
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