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Old 03-05-2019, 05:13 PM
 
Location: Surfside Beach, SC
1,956 posts, read 2,536,005 times
Reputation: 3523

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I absolutely love having wonderful knives to cook with. I have tried so many different brands, all top of the line, but my all time favorite is New West Knife Works. Their knives are the best I have ever used and they are also beautiful works of art.

I don't recommend getting a set of knives and a knife block, but if that's what you really want, they do have them.

Here's a link:

Chef Knife Boutique - Kitchen Knives for the Artist Chef : New West KnifeWorks

And here's a link to a review:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidho.../#74bdd37513fb
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Old 03-05-2019, 06:51 PM
 
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
11,998 posts, read 14,527,092 times
Reputation: 11537
When I was very young, my late grandfather owned a set of Henckles knives, which were made in Germany. I used those until the ‘90’s in my parents house. (Probably still used today.) When I moved out on my own, the first thing I bought for my kitchen was a set of Zwilling Henckles knives (red insignia on the blade) in a block. That was in 1992 and they’re still being proudly used today. Henckles quality.
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Old 03-05-2019, 07:27 PM
 
11,089 posts, read 42,326,838 times
Reputation: 14580
what "works best" for another cook is entirely subjective as to expectations for a knife in feel, balance, handle shape, bolster (or not), your grip technique for various cutting chores, edge sharpness and retention, blade shape, what you're cutting, weight, etc.

So, no matter who makes the "best steel" or a "Damascus" or uses a different angle grind or finish is not important if the knife doesn't meet your hand size/shape, balance, or grip.

I'd suggest that you go to an indie knife store (rather than a "kitchen store") and pick up and try using several different styles of chef's knives to discover the differences for yourself.

While the big mass marketed upline knives satisfy a lot of users, they're by no means necessarily the "best" in your use.

From a practical standpoint, you'll likely use only a few knives in your daily use. A "chef's knife" in a size that you're comfortable with, a paring knife, and a slicer probably fit 95% of all your needs. A "block set" is generally a waste, and you may find that the chef's knife works for you but the parer doesn't in a given set … or similar differences.

While german steel is very good, it also doesn't take and hold an edge like the better quality Japanese blades do. Depending upon your test results, you may find that a combination of both of these in your knife drawer may be the ticket.

Or perhaps not at all … Mrs. Sun loves her American made Cutco knives … which I find unusable, uncomfortable, and made with a steel that requires a lot of honing to keep it sharp (which she won't do with them). So she sends them back to the factory for their "lifetime" restoration services every year or two.

Don't rule out other domestic knife lines (Chicago cutlery is popular among some folks), or French or Italian pro quality chef's knives. I have a magnificent Italian Moulin 12" chef's knife that is a superb knife on bigger roasts, very appropriate for a whole "baron of beef" off the b-b-que.

As well, you may find that a quality Chinese chef's cleaver is an excellent tool in your kitchen … I've got several that were gifts from friends traveling there and these knives take and hold a razor sharp edge better than many "name" brand german steel knives. They're a very high carbon content steel knife and prone to rusting, so maintaining them requires a bit different care than the "rustfrei" knives. Of course, it's a different technique to use these effectively for many chopping chores, but they work amazingly well once you learn to use the heft of the knife to do the chopping with a "lift and drop" motion rather than a slicing movement.

From a price/performance standpoint, take a look at a very popular (among commercial users) professional series of german knives … F. Dick brand. They make a superb chef's knife and paring knifes and dedicated chef's use other knives. As well, they make one of the best series of chef's honing steels which is easy to use and delivers a superb edge on properly maintained knives.

Several of the moderately priced Japanese made german style chef's knives are excellent … and you don't need to pay for Damascus steel. Give them a look (and personally, I don't like Global or similar knife shapes/handles … YMMV), too.

Whatever brand knives you buy, you will be well served to learn to use Japanese water stones to maintain and repair the edge as needed. A few grades in the mid-thousands up to 8000 grit will give a lifetime of service and are easy to use.

PS: I have several 50+ yr old Wusthof and Henckles brand knives … the steel and heat treatment is quite different than their modern production knives. You will not find the same characteristics and/or shapes/handles in their modern production. If you like their style and balance, it may be worthwhile to seek out flea market or other sources of these old knives for your kitchen.

PPS: don't rule out English made chef's knives. Sheffield steel is another world famous source of high quality knives, and the shapes/handles of their production may be just enough different from other knife brands to fit your hand and knife skill set a little differently than the "name" brand stuff in the kitchen stores.

Last edited by sunsprit; 03-05-2019 at 08:34 PM..
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Old 03-06-2019, 08:27 AM
 
Location: Enfield, CT
45 posts, read 13,804 times
Reputation: 29
Thanks for the info everyone. I am no high end chef, just enjoy cooking and making things on my own time. Not looking to spend more than 500$ and that is at my high mark. I like the block because of how it looks in the kitchen, not a huge fan of just throwing things in a drawer. I liked the idea that someone brought up about storing the knives upside down in the block, very smart thinking! So for under 500$ is there a set anyone recommends? Thanks again!
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Old 03-06-2019, 08:39 AM
 
Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
8,605 posts, read 7,880,635 times
Reputation: 18430
No chef I know, and I know a lot and I'm married to one, recommends buying expensive knives unless their name is on the box.

Go to a restaurant supply company and buy a couple of different sizes and a sharpener.

Do not keep them in a block. Hang them from a magnet.

https://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/sto...E&gclsrc=aw.ds
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Old 03-06-2019, 08:44 AM
 
12,558 posts, read 17,154,103 times
Reputation: 18239
Personally I am not a fan of blocks - take up counter space, get dirty, little storage flexibility. My knives are in a wooden drawer insert and have been on the wall with magnetic strips. But to each his/her own.
Do you need a standard assortment of knives? Have you looked at what you actually use versus what catches dust in a block?
Currently I use Shun, some hunting knives and a monster of a cheap mess hall knife given to me by a chef ages ago. My hands are big and what is in daily use are two santuko knives.
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Old 03-06-2019, 10:47 AM
 
Location: Enfield, CT
45 posts, read 13,804 times
Reputation: 29
I use the usual chefs knife, bread knife, paring knife, steak knives, and prep knives. I cut chicken, fish, steak, veggies, fruit, lemons/oranges, etc.
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Old 03-06-2019, 01:27 PM
 
402 posts, read 118,277 times
Reputation: 1215
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjshaw130 View Post
Hi guys,
I am moving out in a few months, I love to cook on my own and use knifes frequently. I am looking for a the best knife block set, not looking for something cheap or cheaply made, I am looking for quality! Shoot off your opinions. Thanks
You don't need a set at all, but several good quality knives plus a pair of kitchen shears. The two knives that you will use the most often are a paring knife and a chef's knife (buy the best quality that you can afford of these two) and an offset serrated knife (you can go lower-end with this one. Dexter is a fine brand to buy). If you feel as though you'll be "breaking down" whole birds or larger cuts of meat such as cutting a pork loin into chops, throw a good boning and a butcher knife into the mix.

Skip the block and either get a proper knife holder that goes into a drawer, a wall-mounted magnetic strip (I hate these, but other chefs swear by them), or just good quality plastic covers made for each knife.

The determining qualities of a good knife are a full tang, i.e., the blade goes all the way through the handle and one in which the blade is made of high-carbon stainless steel. (Full carbon blades are relatively hard to find for non-pros these day, but they hold a long-lasting and better edge than those made of high-carbon stainless steel. They do require a bit more TLC and they "react" with certain foods, which is why they fell out of favor in the home market).

Which brand you choose is largely dependent upon which ones fit best/comfortably in your hand. Some pros prefer the Japanese knives (Shun, etc.), others prefer the European brands (Henkels, Sabatier, etc.). The knives that I prefer to use are made by a small family business in Ohio (Warther) as they keep a good edge, have wooden handles (my preference for many kitchen tools) and fit my small hands well in a way that the mainline brands do not.
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Old 03-07-2019, 08:10 AM
 
Location: Enfield, CT
45 posts, read 13,804 times
Reputation: 29
Was hoping someone could include a link or two to what they think would be a good option for me based on what I listed.
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Old 03-07-2019, 08:27 AM
 
Location: Surfside Beach, SC
1,956 posts, read 2,536,005 times
Reputation: 3523
Quote:
Originally Posted by vrexy View Post
I absolutely love having wonderful knives to cook with. I have tried so many different brands, all top of the line, but my all time favorite is New West Knife Works. Their knives are the best I have ever used and they are also beautiful works of art.

I don't recommend getting a set of knives and a knife block, but if that's what you really want, they do have them.

Here's a link:

Chef Knife Boutique - Kitchen Knives for the Artist Chef : New West KnifeWorks

And here's a link to a review:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidho.../#74bdd37513fb
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjshaw130 View Post
Was hoping someone could include a link or two to what they think would be a good option for me based on what I listed.
I am one of several people who did post links for you.
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