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Best lower-end knife? [Moved from Home Cooking]

My roommate moved out this weekend, taking with her most of the knives in the kitchen. I have a chinese cleaver and a butter knife or two...but that's it. So I'd like to get a set of knives for everyday use. Unfortunately I can't afford a really good set of nice German or Japanese knives, etc. (there are couches to buy!) but is there a decent lower-end set that anyone can recommend?

Thanks,
S

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  1. How about the Chinese-made Sabatier sets?

    1. Best entry level knives are branded Forschner and made by Vitorionix (Swiss Army). They are outstanding quality but lack the heaviness of the German entries. I still have a chef's knife from 1979 that I have sharpened a hundred times and even a professional chef who came to my house for a personal cooking lesson (DW idea for a bday present) thought they were of very good quality. America's Test Kitchen likes them as well if you are looking for confirmation from another reliable source.

      1. For good value, I also like Forschner. Also take a look at American made Chicago or Dexter. Go to a knife shop and get a feel of the knives. My advice is NOT to buy a set...for starter, an 8 inch chef (some like a 10 inch) and a paring knife. If you want to add, maybe a smaller sandwich or utility knife, bread knife if you are cutting lots of bread, a boning knife if you do a lot of cutting meat from bones, etc. I cook almost everyday and I can probably get by with just a chef knife and a paring knife plus a bread knife to cut bread. Also a sharpening steel is important.

        1 Reply
        1. re: PBSF

          I have about three of these, from boning knife to 12" and 10" chefs knives, and love them. Very reasonably priced. Do a great job.

        2. Go to a restaurant supply store. Very economical knives (though you may have to dry them 'cause they'll rust)

          1 Reply
          1. re: NYchowcook

            My chef's knife is from the restaurant supply store (Russell is the brand name). I've never had any rust problems, and I'm on knife #2. Seems to me to hold a pretty good edge.

            As cheesy as it sounds to use a $15.00 chef's knife--complete with white plastic handle--the things hold up infinitely better than the Henckels I got as a wedding gift. I sent one Henckels back because the handle split and eventually came apart, and the other knives from the same set are starting to grumble as well, and these are knives that NEVER see the inside of a dishwasher.

          2. I like the Henckels Classic knives, especially the paring and sandwich knives. Kohl's runs their Henckels knives for 40% off pretty often, which makes them a pretty good price.