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Kitchen Knives - Need a new set: Update Purchased!
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Smokin Mike
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Joined: 02 Dec 2008
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Location: Winston-Salem, NC

PostPosted: Tue Aug 18 15 7:40 pm    Post subject: Kitchen Knives - Need a new set: Update Purchased! Reply with quote

I'm ready to ditch these made in China knives that I've been suffering with over the past several years. I'm looking for a knife set for the kitchen... something in a butcher block. The standard stuff; chef knife, carver, fillet, paring knife and so on and a sharpening steel would be nice also. I'm willing to spend $100 - $250 (maybe more if I have to) for a decent set. It doesn't have to be top of the line, just something functional, practical and long living.

I'm looking for recommendations on a knife manufacturer that you guys are satisfied with. I can shop for the set that fits my need if I can narrow down to a good manufacturer. The names I'm familiar with are Chicago Cutlery, Wusthof, and Henckles. What say you? Question
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Last edited by Smokin Mike on Sun Aug 23 15 12:54 am; edited 1 time in total
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DETTAM



Joined: 03 Jan 2014
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18 15 8:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I personally prefer Global. A set may run you about $350-$400, but they have a lifetime warranty and stay sharp a long time. I purchased mine one at a time over the years, but have been using the oldest for about 7 years with just minor sharpening. I am not a chef, but they do get used quite a lot.
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RodinBangkok
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18 15 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have two sets of Chicago Cutlery probably close to 40 years old now, they don't seem to hold an edge as well as some others but they are old so I can't speak for the new ones.
We use Friedr. Dick and I've also found the knives at Ikea hold an edge very well and are quite economical.

Friedr. Dick link:
http://www.dick.de/en/tools-for-chefs-and-butchers/products/knives-for-butchers

I've given up on foo foo knives, as we have a lot of different people using them, for personal use frankly I'd use one of the two above, on a budget Ikea would be my first choice.
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18 15 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While I do not have a set I love my Wusthof brisket slicer and if I were going to buy a set of quality knives it would be something like this.
http://www.amazon.com/Wusthof-Classic-8-Piece-Knife-Block/dp/B0009NMVX2
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ComradeQ
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18 15 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

k.a.m. wrote:
While I do not have a set I love my Wusthof brisket slicer and if I were going to buy a set of quality knives it would be something like this.
http://www.amazon.com/Wusthof-Classic-8-Piece-Knife-Block/dp/B0009NMVX2


k.a.m is spot on as usual! I love my Wusthof Classic set ... I got the 8 piece he linked to as well as a Santoku and Ham Slicer (http://www.wusthof.com/usa/Products/Global-Product-Detail-Page.jsp?/classic/slicing+carving+knives/10+inch+ham+slicer,+hollow+edge+4531/id-7496/) that I got separately. I could do without the Santoku, 90% of the time I use my 8" chef's knife, the rest usually paring knives. The slicer though, that thing is gold!!! Slices through everything cleanly and with ease (ham, salmon, roast beef) Personally that 8 piece would be my top choice and if you wanted a great slicer you could do as I did and get the ham slicer later.
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IXL



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18 15 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the world of knives, " special high-hardened steel" and "maintains super-sharp edge for a million years" translates to "much harder to sharpen and many customers will be unable to reestablish a sufficiently sharp edge after dulling."
A blade of just a medium hardness will usually be plenty sharp for all chores, for several uses, and can then be easily and quickly sharpened with a few strokes from good sharpening steel.
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19 15 12:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

IXL wrote:
In the world of knives, " special high-hardened steel" and "maintains super-sharp edge for a million years" translates to "much harder to sharpen and many customers will be unable to reestablish a sufficiently sharp edge after dulling."
A blade of just a medium hardness will usually be plenty sharp for all chores, for several uses, and can then be easily and quickly sharpened with a few strokes from good sharpening steel.

Using your knives for their intended purpose also helps maintain the proper edge. I have a Shun Kai Santuko that rarely sees any meat action and if so it is always boneless meat. It is used mostly for vegetables on a wood cutting board. I have game shears for poultry and an old drop point hunting knife for separating cooked chicken. My chef knives never see bones I have boning knives for this. The only knife I have commercially sharpened is my 14" brisket slicer. I sharpen all the rest on my stones.
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chasbates



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19 15 12:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The first thing you might do is check how the knife feels in your hand. If it does not fit they can be hard to like no matter the price. You might check out Dexter have their slicer very happy with it.
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ckone
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19 15 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

With over 20 years working in professional kitchens, I am still more than pleased with my Henckles.

For your price range and needs, any of the major brands like Henckle, and Wustoff should be fine with a few warnings.

Most manufacturers make several different lines of varied quality. Henkles has their "International" stuff and their Zwilling stuff to name a few. I would avoid their "fine edge" and "everedge" lines.


At home I have several of the International Classic knives and they work just fine. They take a good edge and hold it well. I tend to only sharpen them a couple of times a year. (water stone sharpen to be specific) I am not very vigilant at home about using my steel/hone.

Most of my work knives are Zwilling Four Star that I have had 20 years. They all hold a good edge and are easy to sharpen. My main knife is a Zwilling Pro 10" chef knife. Not to be confused with their Professional "S" series.

The Pro line is a hybrid eastern/ western design and is amazing. The balance is perfect and the weight is very comfortable, to me.

For a chef knive weight needs to be considered also. Some people prefer heavier knives, others lighter ones. I never cared for Globals because they always felt to light. That being said, the Professional "s" series from Henckles I find to be to heavy , now anyway.

I don't feel weight is a much of a factor on things like paring knives, and slicers though it should not be ignored.
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Rosco
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19 15 12:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Love my Chicago cutlery, had them longer than I can remember. Easy to sharpen, last forever. Wusthof is excellent, but my last name isn't M.D., so...actually, if you invest in a set of good knives, use and care for them properly, you'll be happy. Important to find ones that fit your hand and are comfortable to use. Fatigue and dullness cause more accidents than anything. I look for good construction, full tang handles, quality materials, and feel. Getting half way through a carcass and having to stop to resharpen can be annoying, but having to stop because some cheaply made knife snapped is much worse. Learn how to sharpen, of find someone who really knows how, keep them clean and cared for, and you'll be just fine. As a side note, go to your local meat shop, butcher shop if they still have one by you, and ask the folks there what they are using.
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Smokin Mike
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19 15 12:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow! What great responses. I appreciate the feedback guys. Ok, so it sounds like I need to hit a few stores and see how the knives feel in my hand before I plop down a couple or three hundred dollars. I'll get that done here shortly.

I did have some Chicago Cutlery knives BD (before divorce) Rolling Eyes and I remember them being pretty good.

Kevin, the 8 piece set that you mentioned is pretty much what I'm looking for. The shears is a bonus.

If the stores have Chicago, Henckles. Wustoff, etc. I'll do a side by side to see which appeals to me the most.

Mucho Gracias!!!
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MacEggs
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19 15 6:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a couple of small Rada knives. These were a gift.
I like them, and want to get a full set.

https://www.radacutlery.com

Anybody have experience with this brand? Made in the USA. Very Happy
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BUGSnBBQ
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19 15 6:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love my Wusthof 'Classic' set. Had them about 16-17 years and I'm very pleased with them. I got them at Costco and they weren't that expensive. I think the 6-piece set was under $200 and it came with a block that holds 15 knives. I've since added a few more, one at a time, when I've seen them on sale. As mentioned, the feel in your hand is very important. The greatest knife in the world is useless if you don't like how it handles. My favorite, general-use knife is a low-end, 8" chef, Henckels. It's lighter than the equivalent Wusthof and doesn't hold an edge as well, but it's very comfortable in my hand for a lot of veggie chopping, so I don't get fatigued as quickly.
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whall
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19 15 9:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike,

If you want to demo the knives and you have a Williams Sonoma nearby, you can go there and try out the knives. . . I think.

The closest to me will let you try them out. They have wusthof, shun, henckel, and others.

They are a little pricey there but you could see what you like.

You could always get them somewhere else if you can find them cheaper.
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jjjonz
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19 15 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does anyone know what Aaron Franklin use in his restaurant ? They have white handles and Aaron says they are a good knife for the money.
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gotwake
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19 15 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have Cutco knives, a slicer and boning knife. They have been awesome. I have a couple of good dexter knives and J.A. Henkles knives as well. They have all held up well.
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Pete Mazz
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19 15 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll throw in Victorinox knives. Great bang for the buck. Personally, I would just get a 7-8" chef's knife, 3-4" paring, 6" utility and a bread knife. I like the thicker steak knives like most restaurants put out and shears and steel if you don't already have them.
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Smokin Mike
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19 15 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MacEggs wrote:
I have a couple of small Rada knives. These were a gift.
I like them, and want to get a full set.

I have one of their tomato slicers and that thing is the bomb. I checked the site but it looks like they mostly carry specialty knives and utensils.

whall wrote:
If you want to demo the knives and you have a Williams Sonoma nearby, you can go there and try out the knives. . . I think.

We do have a WS at the mall. If I can muster up enough courage (I'm not a mall guy) I'll check them out. Thanks for the suggestion.

BUGSnBBQ wrote:
I love my Wusthof 'Classic' set

Thanks for the endorsement Bugs. Wusthof is in the top 3 of my checkout list

gotwake wrote:
I have Cutco knives, a slicer and boning knife. They have been awesome.

Thanks gotwake. I'm not familiar with those guys but I'll look them up.

Pete Mazz wrote:
I'll throw in Victorinox knives

Thanks Pete. After I posted up my inquiry I remembered that last year I had purchased a Victorinox slicer for briskets. That thing is so sharp it'll cut you just looking at it. I'll check them out as well.
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ckone
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19 15 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jjjonz wrote:
Does anyone know what Aaron Franklin use in his restaurant ? They have white handles and Aaron says they are a good knife for the money.


Probably Dexter

http://www.acemart.com/prod4534.html

They are basic knives for commercial settings. They are cheap and made for abuse but get the job done. The handles have good grip for slippery situations.


They have always felt clumsy to me. I find the handles to be to fat, and the geometry of the blades is oversized. (so they can be sharpened alot, which they will need) They make me think about the fat pencils kids use to use in kindergarten. More of a training device than a precision instrument.

Now if all I was doing is slicing up BBQ all day everyday with them, then sure.
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ckone
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19 15 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Someone mentioned learning how to sharpen. This site has some good instructional videos on the subject. Or at least as far as using water stones, which they happen to sell.

They also have some very drool worthy knives.

http://www.chefknivestogo.com/
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