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Old 03-08-2019, 10:21 AM
 
Location: North Oakland
9,143 posts, read 8,486,080 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Threestep View Post
My monster block of Henckel (industry purchase) and their Santoku moved to my Japanese neighbor's when SO bought the first 10 inch Japanese Santoku. Again - buying a good knife - try the handle, see how it fits the hand and how you generally like each other. Just because it is brand X, expensive and on sale does not make it the perfect knife.
Brand? Pics? Thanks.
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Old 03-11-2019, 11:22 AM
 
2,846 posts, read 1,906,979 times
Reputation: 5482
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsprit View Post
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.
I used to have a couple of Sabatier paring knives, lost them along the way, and now I'm happy with Dexter. I buy them at a restaurant supply store, and they just feel RIGHT to me. Two Santoku of different sizes, a bread knife and a boning knife.

All my others, like paring knives, are what you'd probably call toys, but they suit me.
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Old 03-11-2019, 10:34 PM
 
Location: Enfield, CT
46 posts, read 14,654 times
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What is the deal with end grain cutting boards, why are they the only ones suggested for cutting? Are edge or flat grain ok?
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Old 03-11-2019, 11:25 PM
 
Location: The place where the road & the sky collide
21,422 posts, read 26,621,658 times
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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
One of my grandfathers was visiting my parents in the 70s. My mother was complaining that several knives were in need of sharpening. My grandfather offered to do it. Then he asked for a glass jar. He proceeded to draw the knives across the jar, then proclaimed them sharp. I could tell that my mother wasn't buying it. Later when she went to use one of the knives she ran to tell him what a wonderful job he had done. She asked him what the secret was. He said that sand is used to make glass.

I've always used glass jars to sharpen knives. Don't use glass cutting boards, but use glass jars to keep your knives sharp.
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Old 03-12-2019, 10:55 AM
 
12,645 posts, read 17,217,566 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjshaw130 View Post
What is the deal with end grain cutting boards, why are they the only ones suggested for cutting? Are edge or flat grain ok?
They may outlast you:>) Solid cutting surface, nothing warps, nothing slides, safe to use and easy to clean with soap/water/bleach. I sand mine down once in a blue moon and rub with mineral spirits. Two 15x15 inch ones from Tuesday Morning for under $20 each and one huge one which was set over a second kitchen island at another house but I just could not leave it behind.
Put them on a damp dish towel it you want to be 100% safe and have heavy duty cutting/chopping to do.
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Old 03-12-2019, 10:56 AM
 
12,645 posts, read 17,217,566 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southbound_295 View Post
One of my grandfathers was visiting my parents in the 70s. My mother was complaining that several knives were in need of sharpening. My grandfather offered to do it. Then he asked for a glass jar. He proceeded to draw the knives across the jar, then proclaimed them sharp. I could tell that my mother wasn't buying it. Later when she went to use one of the knives she ran to tell him what a wonderful job he had done. She asked him what the secret was. He said that sand is used to make glass.

I've always used glass jars to sharpen knives. Don't use glass cutting boards, but use glass jars to keep your knives sharp.
Try the rim on a real china plate:>)
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Old 03-12-2019, 11:02 AM
 
12,645 posts, read 17,217,566 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jay5835 View Post
Brand? Pics? Thanks.
I cannot even figure out how to post cat pictures.

SO got mine at Williams Sonoma after trying them out at the store. Strangely he uses a paring knife for almost everything while I chop garlic with a Santuko.
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Old 03-12-2019, 11:30 AM
 
11,117 posts, read 42,419,851 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jay5835 View Post

Can someone opine on whether a santoku can replace a chef's knife completely. I bought all my knives (Wusthof) before I ever heard of the santoku. A friend bought a santoku years later, after they were made popular by Rachael Ray, and I find its grip uncomfortable. That may just be the one knife, however, not all santoku knives. However, I believe the brand is Henckels.
I've tried santoku knives from Wusthof, Global, Shun, and a host of others (some cheap, some expensive$$$'s) in friend's kitchens as well as picked up several at knife stores. None of them felt comfortable in my hand and I didn't like using them when they were the only knife shape available in a kitchen.

Mrs Sun loves her USA made Cutco 5" santoku for vegetable and meat prep. I don't.

The bottom line is the knife that feels comfortable for you to use and fits your hand and kitchen needs is the one that you should use.

PS: "popular" by RRay is just a marketing gimmick for a TV personality. IF Damascus knives were where she picked a market niche, she'd have been touting those and getting folk to buy them. She's also had an impact on old Chambers stoves. For some folk, these are good cookers … for others, they don't do any better than many other stoves. I've had two houses with Chambers "C" stoves and they were pretty good … but I don't do a lot of baking and that's the real advantage of these stoves over more lightly built units. I've been very happy to use a Hotpoint gas range as my primary range for the last 20 years … and it works as well for me as my Chambers ranges did. I do a lot of cooking in friends' houses and 2nd homes/condo's, usually for at least 6 people (and up to around 20 sometimes), so I get to see and use a wide variety of utensils/knives/cookware/stoves … there's a lot of very good stuff in the marketplace today, good controllable stoves, even heating cookware, and some exceptional knives (and some very expensive custom forged stylish crap out there, too!). You'll know what you like if you're doing a lot of cooking. Use and support those items.

Last edited by sunsprit; 03-12-2019 at 11:54 AM..
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Old 03-12-2019, 11:46 AM
 
11,117 posts, read 42,419,851 times
Reputation: 14594
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nonchalance View Post
I used to have a couple of Sabatier paring knives, lost them along the way, and now I'm happy with Dexter. I buy them at a restaurant supply store, and they just feel RIGHT to me. Two Santoku of different sizes, a bread knife and a boning knife.

All my others, like paring knives, are what you'd probably call toys, but they suit me.
hey … you've really missed my point.

IF the knife fits your hand and you're happy to use it to get a task done, then it's a GOOD knife. Period.

Dexter and F. Dick are two of my first choices in commercial/utility knives … good shapes, good sanitary handles, good steel and easy to maintain. Their knives are designed and made for the pro trade, people who may use a knife all day long for many tasks. They may not be "fancy", but they're … IMO … pretty good knives, although like any others, some shapes/sizes/handles "fit" better than others.

There's a Chicago Cutlery high carbon steel 3" paring knife in my knife drawer that gets used a lot for detail boning and poultry prep. Best knife shape I've ever used for this purpose, it's a "go-to" knife for me. It is, however, a PIA to maintain due to it's rusting steel. Gotta' be real careful to clean with really hot water and dry it after use, sometimes smear it with a little olive oil before it gets put away. Probably the cheapest knife I've ever bought for serious kitchen and poultry prep use … and we have days where we'll process 50 chickens or ducks, so it has seen a lot of use over the last 40 years. Someday the riveted wood handle will work loose and I'll have to replace the knife ... and that handle won't pass a pro kitchen sanitary requirement. Folks laugh at me when I show up with that knife to do a processing but they don't laugh when they see how handy it is. Of course, most of those other folk have their favorite knives for the same purpose … one keeps pushing a Gerber paring knife to me … the steel is OK, but the knife shape doesn't work for me.

We recently visited a friend with a new house in Myrtle Beach, and she'd received a couple of knife block sets as housewarming gifts … Henk, Wust, and a "cheapie" from a department store down that way. None of those knives were comfortable for me to use. What did I find in her non-showcase knife drawer? an old F. Dick chef's knife and steel her husband had bought decades ago. Was I a happy camper? you betcha'. Cooking for a crowd of 9, I couldn't have been happier. We had everything from fresh local fish to wild harvested Goose and Duck (her neighbor is a bird hunter who shares his bounty with his neighbors). Jambalaya and a court of fish and shrimp rounded out some of our meals. And our friend was thrilled that I sharpened the F. Dick knife and restored it to functional use. The knife blocks remain on the kitchen counters for show only, unused.

Last edited by sunsprit; 03-12-2019 at 12:20 PM..
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Old 03-12-2019, 12:13 PM
 
12,645 posts, read 17,217,566 times
Reputation: 18498
Sunsprit - I totally agree with you that a knife has to fit the user.
This here is not about stoves.
We have used Damascus for hunting and skinning knives for a long time. SO forged the ones silly me gave mumsy. If he does not have time to make some for me I may have to get at it myself. There is nothing like a knife made for you with your way of using it and your hands in mind. They almost cut on their own. But that is not what OP is asking.
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