HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >

Discussion

What kind of kitchen knives do you use?

The foodiest person I know insisted that I learn to use Japanese knives for all my chopping purposes. Does the same go for all of you guys? Am I in the minority here with a Henkels set from Macy's? And do you think it really matters?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. I own a Henckels Four Star set and a Global set. In my case, I prefer the feel of Henckels. My wife automatically grabs the Global knives. I think what matters most is that the knives fit your hand and that you learn proper sharpening skills and keep them sharp with a whetstone. If it fits your hand, I think Global (Japanese steel) has better steel so it will hold an edge longer. That's important for a professional chef where time spent sharpening knives is money lost but less important to a hack like me who cooks for small numbers of people.

    1. I have mainly Henkels 4 Star but have Sabatier, lesser Henkels, some Dexter, some Gerber from when they were good and Pete Gerber still owned and ran the company. A few Chicago Cutlery pieces. In 35 years I have bought what I needed at the time. I have never bought a set but weighed the merit of each knife on its own. So, I have a real mixture. Each knife chosen specifically for the job I planned for it to do and how it felt in my hand.

      1. I am an old-timer, mostly Sabatier carbon steel for chef and boning knives and also Wusthof Professional with the old wooden handles. Some Forschner specialty knives. If I were to start my collection now and I could afford them, I would definitely explore Japanese knives. They are beautifully made.

        1. My almost-everything knife is a Global 7-inch vegetable knife. Holds an edge forever, fits well in small and large hands (I have large hands and grip the blade) and is light enough that there are no fatigue issues if chopping a lot. This knife alone has vastly improved my knife skills.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Divamac

            Me too! Love how lightweight it is and those little dimples make for a very secure grip! I think it feels like an extension of my hand.

          2. I use Henckel's Professional "S". Have tried the feel of others; don't like them - either too heavy or they don't "fit" right. The Prof. "S" balance the best in my hand.

            1. I have Henckels Pro S as well. Fit my hand best, and they do a fine job of cutting. I only have a few of them - the ones I need, not a whole fancy set.

              1. I switch back and forth between Henckel's and Global depending on the task. I had luck finding the ones I liked by takng a cooking class at a school with a big selection on knives. I got to try them all out and figure out which ones I liked the best.

                Some of Chicago's top chefs swear by MAC - a Japanese line, but I've never seen them at any of the usual retail stores. I'm sure they'd been interesting to test out if you could find some.

                2 Replies
                1. re: wak

                  Wak- I'm not sure if you're still checking this thread, but most of the MAC lines are available at Northwestern Cutlery 810 W. Lake St, Chicago

                  As for me, I'm with what GeoffD said (and I'm sure you've found on other similar posts)- your comfort trumps other's favorites, but just to add- Most of my kitchen knoves are Wusthof, I like the Grand Prix, but have few strays I've picked up on sale. My professional knives are mostly Forschner (for butchering), I have a Sabatier chef's knife, a MAC teflon coated chef's knife, and a few other specialty knives. I personally find the Henckel's handles uncomfortable- just me- and I favor the weight of German knives over the Japanese.

                  1. re: lunchbox

                    Thanks Lunchbox. I think I've driven by it. I'll check it out.

                2. I love Henckels, but my go to knife is a 10' Cutco chefs knife. I have had it about 12 years and use it almost daily. I sent it to Cutco last year for shapening and it is like a razor.

                  1. Shun Classic

                    Love em...Globals were too light for my liking.

                    1. My knife of choice is a 9" Wusthof Trident Culinair Cooks Knife. Handles all tasks well in my opinion, and I love the sleek steel handle/look. Heavy/tough enough to bone a chicken, precise enough to cut veggies for a salad.

                      I also have a couple of Henkels in my drawer, paring knives, etc.. & a Henkels 6" chefs knife. I like the heavy feel of the German knives.

                      1. Did you all take classes to learn how to use your knives? And how to sharpen them? I'm afraid I'm not using and caring for mine properly.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: amandine

                          Amandine, I found this web-page from my favorite knife merchant,
                          http://www.cutlery.com/t11t20.shtml
                          I am trying to locate a 30 minute videotape or DVD that was produced by the CIA for home cooks. It shows the basic knife skills that all cooks should have, and how to care for and sharpen your knives.
                          This is 1 area that I wish the Food Network would focus on. cooking shows with models are nice but a show about basic kitchen skills would be more productive. I know many people who want to learn how to cook, but they find the techniques to be overwhelming.

                          1. re: amandine

                            I took a class @ sur la table....VERY VERY VERY VERY useful. very.

                            1. re: amandine

                              The sales person at Sur la Table where I bought my Global gave me a quick lesson - essentially holding he blade instead of the handle alone - vastly improved my cutting technique.

                              1. re: amandine

                                I worked in a restaurant when I was young and the chef taught me how to use knives.

                                1. re: amandine

                                  Do not put in the dishwasher. And unless you want an emergency room visit do not put in the sink. My daughter did this and she barely touched the knife and she bled like a banshee. Luckily we were able to stop it. I prefer to get my knives (Henckel's) professionally sharpened at a restaurant supply store that make their own knives as well as sell other brands. It costs about $5 knife and if you spend $50 in their store the knife sharpening is free. My favourite knife for chopping vegetables and herbs is the Santoku. I have a Henckel bread knife but I go to my Cutco bread knife. I've heard their other knives are not very good but for some reason the bread knife is great and I must agree.

                                2. Answers in backwards order - #2 - does it matter?

                                  Yes. In the sense that there is a noticeable difference between the best Japanese steel (western or Japanese style), and the run-of-the-mill German Solingen steel blades. There is a difference with the lesser western style Japanese blades as well (Kershaw Shun-Classic, Global), but not as readily noticeable.

                                  The sharpest blades glide through meat and vegetables with so little effort, it's almost scary. The best steel not only can be made sharpest, but holds its sharpness longer AND can be brought back to it's sharpest point quickly (with a honing steel).

                                  I have used a couple of $2,000 knives - I personally could not sense any significant benefit over the $300 ones, but this was not a long term test. But the specialness of owning a steel that is hand-forged and hand-finished by a master craftsman is something else again.

                                  But whether we're talking $2,000 or $300 - I think that the level of knife you get into is really something you do because you want to, not because you have to or because it's going to make a significant difference in your cooking.

                                  Getting back to the level of the Shun-Classic or Global vs. a Henckels, that's really entirely a matter of preference more than anything else. They are all "western style", regardless of where they are made. Hold the knife in your hands, move it as if you would chop, and if it feels like something you will really enjoy working with, who cares what brand it is, or what country it came from.

                                  The Shun-Pro series, on the other hand, is Kershaw's Japanese style blades, a little more expensive than the ubiquitous Classic series. The material is about the same, but the lines are forged differently, and the resulting blade is somewhat higher grade - something akin to the Hattori's and Suisen's.

                                  I have a mixture - as I can afford it, I am replacing my German steel with Japanese.

                                  My first Japanese knife is a Kansui Dojo paring knife which uses a blue steel edge with a stainless cladding. The high-carbon blue steel core stays sharp for a long time, and the stainless cladding is finished roughly so that it will not stick to what you're cutting - it's one of the best paring knives I've ever used, and with the longer than normal handle, it is extremely comfortable.

                                  I have an Al Mar (American knife designer, Japanese steel & manufacture) petty knife that also uses a different steel for the core and the damascus cladding - but it goes the other way - it uses VG10 in the core, which is stainless, extremely hard, and tends to be brittle, but then uses a more standard white steel for the cladding to protect the edge.

                                  I have a Hattori KD about the same size as the Al Mar (around 6"), which is also a great petty/utility knife. It's the prettiest damascus and definitely the most expensive.

                                  These things are works of art. I also collect folding knives, and have some hand-made, very expensive examples of great steel. So the kitchen knives are kind of an extension of the overall great steel "hobby". I sharpen all my knives by hand, and really enjoy getting and using a great edge.

                                  But having said all that, I still use my German steel knives a lot for day to day cooking. These are either ones that I inherited or bought earlier on. I have two Forschner/Victorinox - an 8" chef's, and a boning knife, which was a special gift from a butcher. I love that these are stamped knives - light, yet extremely sturdy. I have other Henckel's and WT that I tend to use less often. I still have one Chicago Cutlery (yay, US steel) carving knife I bought when we first got married (32 years ago!). All the cheap Ecko stuff we had since then has been tossed, but this one CC unit can still be brought to a great edge, and cuts that bottom round roast as thin as the cutting machine at the deli counter.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: applehome

                                    wow, you all are chowhound rockstars. this young grasshopper has much to learn... :)

                                    1. re: applehome

                                      didja catch the shun elite sale on sellout.woot yesterday? ;-)

                                    2. My 8" chefs knife is made my Hoffritz. I previously bought a Henkels 8" knife but when I got it home I noticed that it had a slight curve to the blade. I took it back to the store and they were out of Henckles knives and the owner said he would give me This Hoffritz for a equal trade, or a Wusthof 8" knife for $10.00 more. I love the balance of this and it keep s edge better than any Wusthof I have ever used.
                                      I have a Forshnerr 6" chefs forged knife, and 6 of their stamped paring knives, plus their garnish knives. I don't know the brand of my slicer, carving knives and bread knives.

                                      My next purchase will be a Wusthof Santuko. I prefer Global's Santuko blade, but I find their handles uncomfortable and slippery in use.

                                      1. All Wusthof. Have been planning to pick up some Japanese steel, but have yet to do so.

                                        1. My most used knife is a 10" Sabatier carbon steel chef's knife; also a 3" paring knife and 10" slicer from the same manufacturer. I have had these for years and despite the tendency to stain I love the ease with which they take an edge. I am thinking of trying a newer knife with high quality steel, and so am bookmarking this thread... thanks.

                                          1. I'm over-simplifying, but it matters mostly if you know how to hand-sharpen a knife -- a dull $2,000 knife is guess what? -- a dull knife.

                                            I mostly use custom made Murray Carters, Hitachi white steel clad with stainless laminates. Murray is not Japanese but he was trained in Japan and his entire knife-making career (~18 years?) was in Japan until last year, so I consider him a Japanese knife-maker. These days it takes about a year for delivery, and they can get expensive depending on specs.

                                            1. As a professional chef I switched from Wustof to western style Japanese knives (Shun, MAC) within in the past few years. I like the thin blade style of the Japanese manufacturers and they're easy to sharpen as compared the Wustof's.
                                              There is a great DVD titled "The Chef's Edge" from Korin Japanese Trading Corp which describes traditional hand sharpening techniques for Japanese Western-style knives using wet stones.

                                              1. Murray Carter has some of the best knives out there. I had an oppertunity to buy some from him direct (he was in NYC at the time) but didn't have the funds at the time.

                                                I have a mix of knives mostly Global as I like the lighter style of knife.

                                                I have a custom (handmade) 8" chef's by Thomas Haslinger a Canadian knifemaker who used to be a Chef in Europe. I use this more than anything else. Also have a 4" custom parer by Kurt Meerdink a knifemaker here in NY upstate in Barryville.

                                                there is a big difference in the feel of a handmade knife, no doubt about it.

                                                1. I do 90% of my vegetable prep with a Wusthof Santoko, for meats I currently use a Calphalon Santoko with a heavier blade. Not entirely happy with the Calphalon though, I am convinced that the blade is micro serrated and I am not keen on that.

                                                  1. My Asian mother uses a $10 meat cleaver for tough jobs, and a few years ago gave up her 8" Henkels twin chef knife to me (yay!) in favor of a smaller Henkels Santoku knife as she cooks smaller and less things these days.

                                                    My Japanese chow-buddy has a Japanese non-stainless steel long thin knife from his chef-father. It needs to be hand-sharpened all the time, and must be wiped dry immediately after each use or it rusts right away. It's really sharp but I don't know where it came from.

                                                    I am far less skilled than either, but make a lot of use of my newer 8" classic Wusthof chef, and have not quite broken in my new 10" Wusthof chef mostly because it doesn't fit into the knife block, so it still lives in it's original cardboard wrapper. Duh. Should have checked before I bought it.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: vicki_vale

                                                      I bought a Kiwi brand cleaver at an Asian grocery store in Arlington, TX and use it almost exclusively. It cost $6.99 plus tax. It is stainless steel with a razor sharp edge that hold up great even when cutting through bones. It has a hardwood handle. I cut vegetables and meat with it. the only reason I ever use any of my other knives if for peeling or boning meat. I think this is a very common brand as I have seen it in several Asian stores.

                                                    2. I mostly own Wusthof classic, bought my first one about 15 years ago - a 6" chef's knife. Have lots of different sizes now.
                                                      Recently have become enamored of French-style carbon knives. My current favorite knife is a Sabatier 8" carbon yatagan style blade. This knife has unbelievable balance, and like all good carbon blades, takes a razor edge with almost no effort.

                                                      ...will probably replace a few of my German stainless with French carbon.

                                                      1. Am I crazy for loving my pearl-handled Cutco knives? Sure, they got into my house because I pitied a student or two in the neigborhood or did a favor for my daughter's sorority sister. But from that first spatula spreader (so versatile for cutting and lifting quiche or onion torte slices) on through the bread knife, I enjoy the look and feel of these, as well as their performance. I do have some Wusthoff knives, but they scare me.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: DonataGuerra

                                                          Probably not as crazy as I am for liking my "Rada" knives from a fundraiser at my mom's church. They do the job as long as I keep them sharp.

                                                          But my sister was wanting some new knives so I went and bought her a Henckels santoku knife. We'll see what she thinks of it. (At 35 years old she's just now learning to cook.)

                                                        2. Henckels is an excellent brand, but their cheaper sets are going to be no better than any other mass produced high carbon stainless set with block you might buy. I would buy a couple of their pieces from one of their higher end lines. I have a heavy Henckels chef knife, and a santoku, and I love it. Also, you want a set of high quality non-serated (so you can sharpen them) steak knives. For the steak knives and for a bread knife which is also essential, try Chicago cuttlery (still made in the USA!) - they were top rated in comparison tests by America's Test Kitchen.
                                                          P.S.
                                                          Henckels makes fabulous inexpensive, compared to All-Clad, heavy clad cookware too.

                                                          1. Here's a general complaint site about Cutco - it covers the "sales force" issues (many kids are outright ripped off) and the quality issues.

                                                            http://cutcocomplaints.blogspot.com/

                                                            Cutco uses a cheaper grade of steel (440A vs. 440C) than most top grade cutlery. They also stamp vs. forge. I'm a fan of Forschner/Victorinox stamped knives, but they are the exception - most stamped knives are cheaper than forged - they are thinner and lighter, and the stamping vs. forging process leaves the steel less dense. The F/V knives are stamped thickly enough, so that they really hold their shape well. The ultimate proof is the F/V knives are all over commercial kitchens - I doubt that you will find many Cutcos in commercial kitchens.

                                                            Why are you afraid of the Wusthoffs? Are they too heavy? Too sharp? The biggest fear I have is of dull knives. Whenever you have to push harder than you should, you're just asking for something nasty to happen. Knife technique is about control - and losing control is what leads to accidents.

                                                            I wouldn't throw away my cutco knives en masse. But I would consider buying and learning to use one knife at a time to replace them over time. If your Wusthoffs are the right ones, start with them. By right ones, I mean the most used - like a good chef's knife or santoku for general slicing and dicing, and a good pairing knife for peeling and other hand work.

                                                            Most importantly, steel your knives to keep them ultra-sharp, and make sure that you take them regularly to a reliable sharpener. You will find that sharp knives are the absolute easiest and safest things to work with. And you will find that quality translates to the ability to keep the really sharp edge over time, with a minimum of maintenance - something that Cutco won't perform as well as good German or Japanese steel.

                                                            4 Replies
                                                            1. re: applehome

                                                              I will give Cutco credit for making an amazing pair of kitchen scissors though. We bought a pair from my daugher's friend who was a sales rep and they are a serious workhorse. You can cut pennies with them (as the sales person does) without any damage. They will cut through almost anything in my experience and they come apart for cleaning. A great product.

                                                                1. re: chuckl

                                                                  Surely, you also don't cook things with bones harder to cut than pennies.
                                                                  :)

                                                                  1. re: WayTooSerious

                                                                    Cutting pennies is easy, bones are much harder

                                                            2. I use this really cool and little known Wusthof knife from the Gourmet series, the 10" Confectioner's knife. It has "reverse" serrations, so the cutting edges are rounded if you can picture that. It has a wider blade that a bread knife, but not quite as thick as a traditional chef knife. It is a stamped knife, too, so it is very economical. I tell you, you can use this knife successfully for 99% of your cutting needs. A $3 paring knife is all you need apart from it. Another great feature is that it is only sharpened on one side. So, when you want to sharpen it, you only have to drag a steel or sharpening stone along the unsharpened side and it perks right up again.

                                                              Anybody else use this one?

                                                              1. After much trial and error, starting off with Henckel, trying out the Wusthof Trident Classic and Global, I've been using Wusthof Trident Classic professionally for the past 8 years or so. My workhorse is a 10-inch chef's knife, used less frequently is a paring knife and a bread knife. I also have a boning knife.

                                                                Get yourself a regular sharpening steel for everyday use and a diamond steel for occasional use. I find that I rarely have to have my knives professionally sharpened if I keep up the honing.

                                                                1. Re knife skills: I own the CIA series of DVD's on knife skills. It's done well, but it's extremely tedious to watch.

                                                                  For an inexpensive, instructional knife skills/culinary techniques/cooking book filled with step-by-step full colour photos, pick up MARAN ILLUSTRATED COOKING BASICS (Thomson Course Technology, 2006).

                                                                  See inside the book at www.maran.com/cooking.htm

                                                                  1. For a vast majority of my chopping needs I use a simple Japanese style vegetable knife, I believe it's called a Tokyo-style Nakiri Bocho (wikipedia link for a fancy "real" one: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nakiri_b... ) They sharpen easily with a few swipes on a steel and pretty cheap at most asian grocery stores. Mine was about $7 at my local 99 Ranch Market (California Chinese market). Does a pretty good job chopping all sorts of stuff even though it's relatively cheap steel and has wood slab handles. Used these knives a majority of the time while I was working as a sous-chef, mind I'm not formally trained. I love the straight edge since I wasn't trained to use a rocking motion while chopping. I would recommend practicing chopping scallions/green onions, you know you're good when the bits aren't attached to each other anymore. My other knife is a no name 8" chef's knife I do everything else with. Hope this helps!
                                                                    Cheers!

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: wanderlustre

                                                                      For all my chopping food prep, I have 2 Chinese chef knives. They look like butcher knives, but lighter and smaller. I've always been fond of them but ever since I had them professionally sharpened recently, it's a love affair all over again. It's easier to pick up chopped food with a bigger blade.

                                                                      When I'm in other people's kitchens, it takes a few minutes to remember the right rocking motion with the other type of chef knife.

                                                                      1. re: vsoy

                                                                        I have a standard Chinese cleaver, and a slimmer veggie knife. Both from Dexter. Absolutely perfect.

                                                                    2. Come on, guys and gals, knives are a personal thing. They're tools. If you like the heft, the sharpness, of one, then it works for you. I know people who are darned good cooks who bought Forester knives for $25 for a ten inch chefs knife and use them exclusively; and I know people who have spent $200 for a knife. You have to find the kind that works for you; keep it sharp with a steel and a good professional knife sharpener (a person or shop) or a way to keep it sharp such as my $2 wonder as chosen by Cooks Illustrated; and a good steel. Find what works for you, a good chefs knife, a good paring knife; if you cut meat a good boning knife; a knife for tomatoes and for bread, serrated; maybe a separate one for mincing. Start with the cheap ones like that Forester, I recommend, and see how you like it, then graduate to something more expensive if you need it.

                                                                      1. Use what you like, can keep sharp, and can use fast and for longish periods of time. I like the lighter sabatiers more than the Germans. Most people don't seem to know how to best use their Japanese knives and don't know how to keep them sharp.

                                                                        1. very true about the lack of sharpening skill. but in this day of disposable everything knife sharpeners (who used to roam neighborhoods, sharpening Mom's knives, scissors etc.) are a thing of the past.

                                                                          As for the Japanese knives they use a different method of sharpening (especially the chisel grind sushi style knives) and traditionally use water stones as opposed to the western way which is predominatly oil stones

                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                          1. re: jth

                                                                            D & R Sharpening out of Philadelphia will do mail order sharpening. Dave is a real knife fanatic, and does a superior job. You can find instructions at http://drsharpening.com/6.html

                                                                            1. re: UnConundrum

                                                                              just don't send kaji fusions to him (seriously, their steel is insanely awesome, miracle steel. diamonds to sharpen though).

                                                                              1. re: Chowrin

                                                                                Are you saying that Dave Martell cannot sharpen a powder steel knife?

                                                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                  Of course he can. And diamonds are not necessary to sharpen a shun kaji, though they are an option. Regular waterstones work fine, but take a while due to the hardness and abrasion-resistance of the steel.

                                                                                  (I realize that you may fully know this already Chem. Others might not though)

                                                                                  1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                    :) Yeah, it was a bit of a tongue-and-cheek statement.

                                                                          2. The blade I find in my hand most often if the shun-pro nakiri.
                                                                            But I am getting loks of use from the Shun Classic short santuko from William Sonoma. My wife prefers the Kyocera ceramic blades - lighter.

                                                                            1. I recommend Trident/Wusthoff - I love their knives - the thing is you'll need to learn to sharpen them (true with any knife) for those new to sharpening, a set of 'crock sticks' (ask at the knive store) can be a real help.

                                                                              I own a santoku Japanese knife and a Kyocera ceramic knife too but my all time favorite is my 8 inch Trident. LOVE IT!

                                                                              of note though - I sharpen my Trident in the Japanese style (one sided edge...)

                                                                              Jason - Asheville NC

                                                                              1. Most of my knives are really cheap and they suck. That said, I got a steal on a Calphalon Contemporary Santoku knife. It's a great knife, and I use it for all of my chopping needs.

                                                                                I do covet the Wusthof knives in general, though. In my experience (from cooking at friend's houses), they are the best. I think I'm going to splurge on the chef's knife soon, maybe for Christmas.

                                                                                1. I have an 8 or 9inch Wusthof classic chef's knife, a smaller Global 5 inch knife, and a new Kyocera ceramic 7 inch chef's knife.

                                                                                  I LOVE my new ceramic knife for any vegetble or raw meat task. So sharp. The Wusthof is great for more heavy duty tasks, and the smaller Global takes care of everything in between.

                                                                                  1. Although I have a lot of other knives, I prefer the vintage Sabatier carbon knives I have purchased over the last 10 years.

                                                                                    The Sabatiers are the only knives I use in the kitchen now.

                                                                                    1. I think what matters is that you're using the best tool for you. I admit I'm a little bit of a knife nut, but I use a Misono UX-10 for the majority of things. But also Wusthof and Korin brand paring knives, Forschner bread and boning knives. A couple cleavers for assorted tasks, and the list is growing...

                                                                                      I would say my Japanese blades are generally much nicer than my german knives. Just my opinion.

                                                                                      1. Quick question. I have Forschner knives with the wood handles, and I'm wondering if I should treat the handles with some mineral oil to kep the wood in good shape.

                                                                                        Thanks!

                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: annimal

                                                                                          i have a forschner chef's knife i bought in 1978 and have never oiled the handle. DW has placed in in dishwasher a few times and even still the handle is in very good shape.

                                                                                          OTOH I own a paring knife for ten years and DW places this one all the time in the dishwasher and the handle shows more wear than the bigger brother.

                                                                                          I think if you keep them out of the DW they should be fine, butthe mineral oil won;t hurt it.

                                                                                          1. re: jfood

                                                                                            abbreviation confusion...should we be keeping our knives out of the dishwasher or the darling wife??

                                                                                            <g>

                                                                                        2. This thread and many of the replies remind me of pool players and the makers of high end pool cues and the way they market them. The same can be said for golf clubs. Anyway, ever see a guy come in with a very expensive cue, make a big show of opening the case, assembling the cue, roughing the tip and chalking it. Then he gets totally owned by a guy using a house cue.

                                                                                          As for the knives, I never spent much money on knives but my wife bouhgt a set of Cutco knives before we were married. She has had them now for over 12 years. They are still extremely sharp and cut through anything like a hot knife through butter. The scissors can cut a penny and are still as sharp as new afterwards.

                                                                                          I just watched a sales video for Shuns. In it the guy gives a list of things that you you shouldn't place things on to be cut when using your Shuns. Amazingly the "inferior" Cutco knives have no problmes like this. In fact, the cutting board I use the most because of the large size is a glass cutting board. Taboo to the Shun and yet it hasn't affected the Cutco knives. Another thing about the Cutco knives are the fact that we haven't had to sharpen them at all. Not one time.

                                                                                          I could care less which knives you use or intend to use. I figure most of the high end knives are pretty good so at that point, it's more a matter of personal preference. Just remember that the marketers will tell you anything to get you to buy their knives. Keep in mind the old saying about fighter pilots, it's 10% machine and 90% pilot. In otherwords, a lesser quality knife won't make you a bed chef and a top quality knife won't make you a better chef. It's just a tool. Find the one that you like and forget what other people say. If they are happy with theirs, more power to them, it doesn't however mean you will be equally as thrilled with them.

                                                                                          Good luck in your individual quests for the perfect knife.

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: Rhush2112

                                                                                            We also have not had to have our Cutco knives sharpened, and my mother has had her set of Cutco knives since the 1960's. We do maintain the edges with steel and the CUTCO sharpener, however; but never have we sent them away to be sharpened.

                                                                                          2. I have a set of Cutco Pearl handle knives. I have been using them for about 9 years now and I absolutely love them. I was skeptical at first when a saleman from my Church first offered to show them to me, he knew I had a catering company and I figured I was just a mark! So he gave them to me to try out for a few days, and I never gave them back! I bought a set of 6 knives, and my vegetable chopper is my alltime favorite! of all my knives. I have a couple Henckels, a few Vintage Chicago Cutlery from my grand father, and a few other odd n ends. My paring knife and boning khife from Cutco and my Hunting knife from them have cleaned more Deer and fish than you could ever imagine, and I have yet to have to sharpen them! They are better than any other sportsman knives on the market in my opinion, and i do agree with most posters, that it is personal choice. These knives just fit my hands.

                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: Saintdeer

                                                                                              Are your Cutco knives serrated?

                                                                                              1. re: chuckl

                                                                                                Not all Cutco knives are serrated, however they use inferior steel and are stamped which for the price is ridiculous.

                                                                                                1. re: rockfish42

                                                                                                  the reason I ask is that I can't imagine a non-serrated knife cutting through much of anything after 10 years of heavy use. If the cutco lovers love their knives, more power to them, but it's not particularly useful to champion one knife over another unless you can actually do a reasonable comparison. Comparing the beloved cutco with old Henckels and Chicagos isn't much of a comparison. Compare it with a shun or misono, or an f. dick. or messermeister meridian before you tell us it's the most wonderful thing on earth. While a good knife doesn't make a person a better cook, it does make a big difference in the hands of someone who knows how to use it. So if you don't know any better, I guess cutco knives are great.

                                                                                            2. I wonder if you guys focus on your knife skills as much as the brand you own?

                                                                                              9 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: swiss_chef

                                                                                                Knives, like anything else you use to cook with, are tools. Only by using them regularly do you get more proficient. I use several every day. I wouldn't say I'm the most skillful cutter in the world, but I'm getting better. How about you, swiss chef? How do you improve your skills?

                                                                                                1. re: chuckl

                                                                                                  Practice like everyone else. For me, good knife skills is the primary reason to own nice knives. I have been working on my techniques for 25 years and still don't know it all or have it all mastered.

                                                                                                  Here are some videos I found that might be interesting to watch:
                                                                                                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POi7LQ...
                                                                                                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eptlZE...
                                                                                                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MaX0cc...
                                                                                                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KpqEu-...

                                                                                                  To answer the original question, I have about 70 or 80 knives some antique some not, about half are carbon Sabatier and Nogents and the rest are Wüsthof and Kuhn-Rikon etc.

                                                                                                  1. re: swiss_chef

                                                                                                    Here is a picture I took 4 or 5 years ago so it is about half of what I have now.

                                                                                                     
                                                                                                      1. re: qwerty78

                                                                                                        The antique French Nogent carbon steel in the top left side of the picture. Very light, easy to get sharp and I like the nostalgic aspect of working with antique knives. You can probably find some on eBay.

                                                                                                    1. re: swiss_chef

                                                                                                      thanks, Swiss chef, I always enjoy picking up new techniques. I think I might have a burgeoning knife fetish, but nothing like yours.

                                                                                                      1. re: chuckl

                                                                                                        It is interesting to collect old knives and it rarely gets out of hand because they are pretty hard to find. My other fetish is antique French copper pots but they take up lots of room and my wife complains about them a lot, so of the two hobbies, I suggest the knives ;)

                                                                                                  2. re: swiss_chef

                                                                                                    Both are important. It's hard to have great knife skills with a crappy knife. I don't own super high end knives but do have nice Japanese knives that are kept sharp and I use them daily with attention to improving my skills.

                                                                                                    1. re: swiss_chef

                                                                                                      SwissChef--

                                                                                                      I can tell you I do, I have cutco's,furi's,global(I HATE the handle) and a miyabi , and sad to admit it I will practice with carrots and onions and toss out what I have chopped up just too get better, Out of all of my knives, I prefer the plain handle on the miyabi, I think the reason the handle shape on Japanese knives hasn't changed much for 100's of years is it will work for any sized hand and all styles of grip(as in pinch) , this is JUST my opinion, i'm not a chef, never worked in the industry

                                                                                                    2. I own a Global 10 inch and 8 inch and a set of Henckels Four Star. I love all of them but I worship my set of MAC knives I've owned for over 25 years. They are from Japan and I'm convinced, after continual wear and tear, the Japanese are masters at knife making. My meat cleaver cuts like a razor and I'm constantly amazed at how well the wooden handles have held their original integrity.

                                                                                                      1. I use a little bit of everything. I really like my Japanese knives (Global and Shun) but they're ground to a different edge (16˚ as opposed to 22˚ I think) and so you have to really keep them honed because it's hard to find someone to sharpen them correctly.

                                                                                                        1. I grew up with nothing but the family steak knives bought at Walmart, so when I got my own miracle Blade set for a birthday gift when I was in high school, I've used them since. I probably don't know any better, but I haven't had any complaints, I only use a few of them, and now the price is probably around $20. If you aren't a pro, and don't have a lot of experience cooking, it might be something to look into. I learned on them. I'm planning on getting higher quality knives soon though, as I want to upgrade. They haven't dulled too much since I've had them though, but I might not be able to tell as well as someone with more experience.

                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                          1. re: palsh

                                                                                                            Yeah - take that - all you Cutco owners. People are really happy with how these Miracle Blades stay sharp forever - just like the salesman said.

                                                                                                          2. I personally use a Global-PRO GP-14, Global GS-5 and a GS-38. I've tried Henckels, and I'm sorry to say its got nothing on Globals. If u want precision cuts and slices, best go with Global. The PROs are not meant to be honed on a steel, they are best finished on a wet stone to maintain there edge. using a steel actually creates small nicks on the knives. Global sells ceramic and diamond sharpeners but the wet stone is the way to go.

                                                                                                             
                                                                                                             
                                                                                                             
                                                                                                            1. I know this thread is ancient, but I have to throw in my two cents. We can sit here and talk ergonomics, and stamped versus forged, and mall bought or mail order, and we'd all probably be right, but the way I look at it is it will take a army of hundreds to pry away my custom (2 years to get) Bob Kramer 10" chefs knife. Well, that and my 13" Mauviel Pro skillet. I'm considering being buried with both of them.

                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: Aaronathome

                                                                                                                Oooh - you get it before his prices went through the roof? Very jealous.

                                                                                                                Pictures please, if you have em.

                                                                                                                Kramer's kitchen knives are getting quite a reputation over at knifeforums.

                                                                                                                1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                  Hey cowboyardee, sure no prob. I'll gladly take some pics and post them when I get back home. (Am in NC right now at Mum's for turkey day!) Haven't followed his prices recently, but I paid $700 for mine in 05. What are they going for now?

                                                                                                                  1. re: Aaronathome

                                                                                                                    I know that some of em were definitely going for $1,600. I thought I read someone on knife forums talking about custom Kramers for a good deal more than that. It's tough to say his current asking price since he isn't taking orders at all right now and doesn't have any prices listed that I could find

                                                                                                                    Not that I could afford him even if he was taking orders. Looking forward to those pics.

                                                                                                              2. I'm still relatively new to the "high end knife" scene, but man what a difference they make. I started off with some Cheap-o JC-Penny Santoku knife, but then started putting a collection together.

                                                                                                                8-in Global Chef's knife, Global Pairing knife, Forschner-Victorinox Boning knife (I don't do much of it, so it doesn't get much use), F.Dick Offset serrated knife (Completing the "Bourdain Special"). Just replaced that JC-Penny knife with a Shun as well :-D

                                                                                                                1. Love, love my Globals.... Use my old Henckles to slice through chickens and ribs...

                                                                                                                  1. My personal preference is to use a Chinese Chef's knife, my daily chopper is serial my tried and true 25 year old Lamson Sharp. I've bought all sorts of other ones from Japan Woodworker and even the one with Kullens, and I still find my first knife the most comfortable. So it is true what they say, don't go ONLY for quality, or price, or reputation, but for personal comfort and preference. You could have the most expensive and best made knife, but if it doesn't feel right in your hand you won't want to use it.

                                                                                                                    And just as an aside... I just bought a CCK dim sum knife, which is super thin and light weight. Does anyone know if this is a carbon steel or Stainless steel knife. It didn't come very sharp so I had to sharpen it. But now that I think of it perhaps it is the knife that they use to make the dumpling skins? Well any additional info would be great. It was a steal as it was only $20.00. And on top of that I got to add to my knife collection, another Chinese knife, hahahahahahahah!

                                                                                                                    13 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: Jvsgabriel

                                                                                                                      I want a CCK dim sum knife. I want :)

                                                                                                                      I make dim sum, so I really want it. :) My normal Chinese knives do not work quiet right for Dim Sum.

                                                                                                                      It is especially useful for Har Gow (shrimp dumpling), just like you suggested about the skin. Dim Sum knife is not meant to be sharp. It is really meant cut dough and skin for Dim Sum, like pastry. Where did you get your Dim Sum knife?

                                                                                                                      What additional information do you want again? You mean how to make skin with it? Lay it flat against the dough, pound on it on the side and do a slide and drag at the same time.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                        Hi Chemicalkinetics,

                                                                                                                        Thanks so much for the info...the thought of it not being so sharp hit me only "after" i bought the knife. It was the last one at the store and it looked quite thin and delicate. I found out about it when I got back home and discovered that it was a dim sum knife on the cck website. Yes I have seen many a dim sum chef press and smash those very delicate har gow skins. Do you have the recipe for the skins? Like all things asian, it looks easy, until you try it and of course not so easy.

                                                                                                                        I got the knife at my local chef/restaurant supply store, here in San Diego, CA. It is called "Chef City" and they specialize in Asian cookware and stuff. It is really a fun and cool place to just go inside and peruse. I do think that most of the dim sum shops in San Diego get their stuff here. As for my other question, so do you know if this knife is carbon or regular stainless steel? I did eventually sharpen the knife and it actually holds a nice edge, which is perfectly straight, no curve at all. It reminds me of the knife that is used in the opening to the Ang Lee movie, "Eat, Drink, Man, Woman".

                                                                                                                        Perhaps you can help me with another post I had a while back. Are you familiar with the Japanese brand "SS" or esuesu if you pronounce it in Japanese? They make really cool pots/pans, and other cooking equipment. I recently got a french style blue carbon steel pan made by them, and I wanted a slightly larger one. I bought the 26 cm one, but i think I really need a 30 or 32 cm on instead. I have tried many places, and it seems that no body carries it. I bought it at Chef city but the distributor for it has gone out of business, and they cannot locate another supplier who carries it. Perhaps you have some information about it. The other post is listed as "looking for SS carbon steel pans". or something like that.

                                                                                                                        Thanks for the information on the knife. If they have anymore I will let you know. I guess they can order it for you. thanks again.

                                                                                                                        Joel

                                                                                                                        1. re: Jvsgabriel

                                                                                                                          Hi Joel,

                                                                                                                          Yes, and no. I have a recipe for Har Gow (shrimp dumplings) skin, but it is not good, so really I don't have one. I am trying to fine tune it. There are those premixed Har Gow flour packages sold in Asian supermarkets by I have never tried them. Har Gow (shrimp dumplings) is considered a difficult dim sum to master because of that skin, not the fillings.

                                                                                                                          You know. I really don't know if the Dim Sum knife is carbon steel or stainless steel. I always thought it is stainless steel in my head, but I guess I don't have evidences for that. Actually you will find out very soon because CCK carbon steel knife discolors very readily.

                                                                                                                          To answer your hidden question, I would consider getting a CCK carbon steel slicer (桑刀) if you can do hand sharpening. A slicer (桑刀) is not a Chinese vegetable knife (菜刀). When most people say Chinese cleavers, they are really refering to Chinese vegetable knives. Since you have been to the CCK website, you know there are about 10-15 classess of Chinese knives depending how you count them. Lamson Sharp, Dexter Russell, Wusthof, Henckels..... all sell Chinese vegetable knives, not Chinese slicers, not anything else. To me if you are going to get 7 or 8 Chinese knives, you might as well get 7 or 8 different kind of Chinese knives, and not the same Chinese vegetable knives. If you can get hold of CCK carbon steel slicers in person, great. If not, Chefknivestogo carries them in two sizes. Here:

                                                                                                                          http://www.chefknivestogo.com/cckclea...

                                                                                                                          http://www.chefknivestogo.com/smsl1.html

                                                                                                                          If you want a professional version, there are the 片刀. These are huge knives

                                                                                                                          http://www.chefknivestogo.com/cckclea...

                                                                                                                          I won't not advise you to buy the CCK carbon steel knives unless you know how to sharpen these knives by hands. When I bought these knives and use it out of the box. They are good, but nothing exceptional. Once they are sharpen by hand at a low angle, well, that is another story. These CCK carbon steel knives are easy to sharpen, can take on a low angle edge, decent edge holding ability. It took me about a week to two to fully adjust to it but it is better than my Dexter-Russell Chinese vegetable knife -- for most kitchen works.

                                                                                                                          Frankly, many Chinese do not know Chinese knvies very well. You ask them which Chinese knives do what, they have no idea...

                                                                                                                          I am actually not familiar with the Japanese brand SS. My apology.

                                                                                                                          I haven't watched AngLee's Eat Drink Man Woman. I have seen some of his earlier movies before he made it really big. Movies like "Pushing Hand" and "The Wedding Banquet"

                                                                                                                          http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000487/

                                                                                                                      2. re: Jvsgabriel

                                                                                                                        I'm with you on the Chinese cleaver. I had a Dexter for like 30 years, now it's either lost or at least buried so deeply in boxed up stuff that I may never find it again.

                                                                                                                        I keep waffling about whether I'm replacing it with another Dexter just like it (only maybe with one of the versions with the ergono-mized rubberized handles) or a CCK knife that I'm almost positive my son won't want to take care of.

                                                                                                                        Hmmm hmmm hmmmm . . . .

                                                                                                                        1. re: ZenSojourner

                                                                                                                          Hi ZenSojourner,

                                                                                                                          What a dilemma to have, the choice of getting a new one or just another knife. Well if you ask me, I would get both. I have about 7 or 8 Chinese knives just laying about. And for most the of the time I will use the LS one I mentioned. But sometimes I want to change and use one of the other ones. But in the end I usually go back to my favorite one. It is pretty old, that I think I will have to replace the rose wood handle soon. A bit chipped on the butt, I used it as a pestle and I hit the board a bit too hard. Completely missed the black bean I was aiming for.

                                                                                                                          Joel

                                                                                                                          1. re: Jvsgabriel

                                                                                                                            AH! SACRILEGE! BLASPHEMY! Using your Chinese cleaver as a hammer!

                                                                                                                            *clutches heart* Elizabeth! I'm comin', Elizabeth!

                                                                                                                            Unfortunately I cannot afford both knives. Being able to afford one is in some question, as it happens. I did like my Dexter.

                                                                                                                            1. re: ZenSojourner

                                                                                                                              hi Zen,
                                                                                                                              no i didn't use my knife as a hammer, i used it as a pestle. you know to just lightly pummel some fermented black beans for some steamed fish. I tried to hit the butt of the knife straight down onto the beans, but instead hit it off center, and chipped off a bit of the handle. it is over 20 years old and still has the original wooden handle.

                                                                                                                              but i agree you can do just about everything you need in the kitchen with this type of knife. i call it a chinese food processor just like Martin Yan. I do think his new knife is made in Korea, well at least the one he used about 7 years ago. didn't like it all that much, as it had too much of a curve to it.

                                                                                                                              If you have some time, watch www.youtube.com and put in Chef Shirley Cheng as a search, and watch her debone a chicken in less than 20 seconds or so. and she even shows you how to break and debone the legs. It's awesome. I wish I had a bunch of chickens to do this too.

                                                                                                                              Joel

                                                                                                                              1. re: Jvsgabriel

                                                                                                                                I was kidding, Joel! ;D

                                                                                                                                And Martin Yan does the same trick with the chicken. When he was younger, it was 15 seconds to skin, joint, and debone the entire bird. But nowadays he's up to 18 seconds.

                                                                                                                                I thought there was something funny looking about that knife he's using now - must be the curve you mentioned.

                                                                                                                                Hmmm, maybe it's the new knife that slows him down!

                                                                                                                                1. re: ZenSojourner

                                                                                                                                  Hi Zen,
                                                                                                                                  Sorry really hard to read into the subtleties of jokes with text. i thought i had to defend myself from being marked as a knife abuser. I do so agree with whomever said that the chinese knife was made to be used as the all purpose knive in the kitchen. and that japanese knives are put on an altar as they are to be revered and worshiped. must be the difference between a civil service society and military one?

                                                                                                                                  just as an aside, i don't like Martin's new Facedo. I think they pulled his face back too tightly. just kidding. love him and his somewhat new series on PBS, I grew up watching him on t.v. and was just fascinated with chinese food and the ease at which he wielded that huge knife.

                                                                                                                                  Joel

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Jvsgabriel

                                                                                                                                    LOL! I like that comparison between the Chinese and Japanese knives!

                                                                                                                                    Martin Yan had plastic surgery??? And here I thought he was just aging far, far better than I am, LOL!

                                                                                                                                    1. re: ZenSojourner

                                                                                                                                      yeah me too. then one day he was all puffy faced and looked much younger than he should have. and you know that chinese people will color their hair till they die right? lucky, most of them will never go bald, and so they will always have some hair to dye.

                                                                                                                                      chinese knives are just all purpose knives in my book. recently i bought the book called japanese knives. and i was completely amazed at the different types of knives used in the japanese kitchen. there was a knife for just about every job. i mean don't get me wrong, i would love to get each and every knife in that book. but wow, i would spend a fortune. I am still going to be using my one knife for most jobs.

                                                                                                                                      joel

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Jvsgabriel

                                                                                                                                        I figure more knives is just introducing new and different ways to cut myself, LOL!

                                                                                                                                        LOL! on the hair dye. Lots of people are that way. I'm going straight to white so I'm not bothered by it, but I might feel differently if I were actually going gray. But I'd dye it "my own" color - I once (ONCE) experimented with dying my hair, and although all I did was lighten it, it unnerved me SO MUCH to look at myself in the mirror every morning, I went back and made them turn me back!

                                                                                                                        2. re: Jvsgabriel

                                                                                                                          Oh goody, someone else who lives with their Lamson Chinese Chefs knife. I admired it in a friend's kitchen and he gave one to me as a gift. No better gift, ever! With a paring knife and a serrated knife, it completes my knife needs. Does EVERYTHING. And it's what, about $40 right now?

                                                                                                                        3. I use three knives 90% of the time:

                                                                                                                          - 20-year-old Henckel's Four-Star 8-inch chef's knife
                                                                                                                          http://www.amazon.com/Henckels-8-Inch...
                                                                                                                          I've heard the new ones are not as good as the older ones like mine. I don't know if that is true or not. In any case, I love this knife. It feels good in my hand and works fine for me. I sharpen it about twice a year and hone regularly.

                                                                                                                          - Kuhn Rikon Nonstick Paring Knife
                                                                                                                          http://www.amazon.com/Kuhn-Rikon-Nons...
                                                                                                                          My old paring knife bit the dust and I bought this one without much thought on the recommendation of a local store. I'm not sure I really like the non-stick aspect of it or that it's really necessary. It came with a case but I never use that. I just stick it in the knife block without the case.

                                                                                                                          -No-name Serrated Utility Knife SIMILAR to this one:
                                                                                                                          http://www.amazon.com/Kershaw-9900-Ut...
                                                                                                                          I got this about 25 years ago at a flea market in Maine. It's served me very well even after I dropped it handle first into the garbage disposal. The handle is polypropylene.

                                                                                                                          I also have a no-name bread knife that I hardly ever use and have considered getting a boning knife.

                                                                                                                          I know people have strong opinions on knives and I'm not necessarily endorsing these. These are what I use.

                                                                                                                          1. You know, after working in kitchens for 7+ years, I have found that R.H. Forschner makes a great series of "fibrox"- and rosewood handle knives for everyday use. They are relatively inexpensive (due to their stamped construction), but strong and durable. For more high class (and high priced) forged knives, I like the Japanese knives because of their handling, balance, and edge retention. But I also like German knives for their solid and confidence-inspiring weight and construction, although they do invite fatigue after grueling chopping marathons. The most pain I can remember occurred in my wrist and forearm after catering a 1500 person event, during which I prepared no less than a gazillion mushrooms with a 10" Wusthof chef's knife. That said, for the home cook, fatigue is not a major concern. So, go for what feels right in your hand and for your knife-work style. If at all possible, try out as many knives as you can. Global knives are pretty common high-end knives in the industry, but many kitchens get by (and do quite well) with what's available at your local restaurant supply: Forschner, Dexter Russel, even Next Day Gourmet and the like. The really important investment here is in a good sharpening/whet- stone and honing steel.

                                                                                                                            But also make sure to find the knife that is right for your needs (and there is no single "all-purpose" knife). Point in case: I had never reached for a santoku knife until 2 years ago when I took on a position as an exclusive vegetable preparation cook in the French restaurant of a large hotel. But from that point on, I've decided that there is no better knife for vegetable preparation (and herb handling) than a good granton edge Santoku in the 7" range. And in this case (a rare one), more expensive specialty Japanese knives (MAC, Shun, and especially Global, for my tastes) are a definite plus. On the opposite side, one should never pay more than 4 bucks for a paring knife, and the best ones for this range are available at your local restaurant supply.

                                                                                                                            I know I've only covered basic recommendations (ones that, by the way, most people could surmise after only a short internet quest) and only the more obvious brands, but professional knife choice is not a science and, though there are some guidelines, the decision is eventually mostly subjective and based on feel.

                                                                                                                            If anyone has any further questions about my comment or requested points of clarification, please don't hesitate to post a reply to this comment and I'll answer asap.

                                                                                                                            1. Henckels...still prefer the heft.

                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                              1. re: Linda L

                                                                                                                                Masahiro.... Light and sharper than Global or Shun.But tricky to sharpen.Asymetrical angle on blade.Dexter is a good knife if your gonna beat it up high carbon blade.Forschner(Victorinox) also good but doesnt seem to hold edge as good as Dexter also the Dexter sharpens easier.

                                                                                                                              2. German blades are designed differently than Japanese. Japanese can't take half the abuse that German blades can. I fear for my knives if I get them anywhere near bone, for example. Then again, I have free sharpening service, for life!

                                                                                                                                1. I started with a global it was meh ok

                                                                                                                                  Then I started culinary school they gave me mac knife set like these cept handles are black http://macknife.com/kitchen/index.php...

                                                                                                                                  I'm Loving them but I wanna collect the Katsumi knives cause their Blue !!!! :O

                                                                                                                                  1. I am a burgeoning knife junky. It all started 7 years ago when my grandmother got me a 8" Henkels for Christmas. I initially was blown away with the difference a good knife made in my food prep. I found myself enjoying cooking more, in part to due with the new found love for a sharp knife.

                                                                                                                                    As my culinary curiousities grew so did my desire for the "perfect knife" I still enjoyed my henkel knife and actually purchased a couple of other henkels, however I couldnt help but notice that many of the food networks TV personalities were using a different brand of knife called MAC (I am Canadian and MAC Canada has done a great job of ensuring that many of the chefs use their products... unfortunately they have not done as good of a job keeping the limited stores that sell them stocked up, but I digress). Curiousity about these knives led me to finally give in and purchase the MAC Superior Santoku... wow was I impressed. The knife was so much lighter, and sharper than what i had used in the past. I truly was amazed at the difference.

                                                                                                                                    Unfortunately this was still not enough for me, and I soon found myself wondering what the MAC professional line was like. I got the Pro Santoku for a Christmas gift a few years ago (I had asked for the Chef knife but got this instead) and loved the knife. It was better balanced and felt like it had more "heft" than the Superior Santoku, but was much lighter, sharper and agile than the Henkels. I ended up getting more knives in this line and loved all of them.

                                                                                                                                    Unfortunately soon after getting more MACs I discovered online cooking forums and learned that there are even more varieties of Japanese knives than I first knew about and that there was a hole world of steel that I never knew existed. I was intrigued to say the least, but the price points were sufficiently high enough that I could remain satisfied with my very good and very sharp MACs... at least for a while.

                                                                                                                                    I quickly realized that in order to be completely satisfied with my knives I needed to learn how to sharpen them properly so I bought some water stones, read up on how to use them, watched some Youtube videos and dove in. This definitely made a difference in my appreciation of the knives I already owned. But I still had questions about these other Japanese brands so off to the culinary stores to test some more.

                                                                                                                                    First I tried the more common Japanese brands, starting with a $60 global (half off) nakiri and than a Shun Premier slicer (free, well free for me as I used a gift certificate). I chose the Shun premier line, partially due to the beautiful hammered look and partially because as a lefty impulse shopper it was a line that was ambidextrous and available in my area. After some time playing with these knives I learned that I still prefered my MACs to them both (could be just a familiarity factor, who knows) lines and that all three lines are superior to my original Henkels (IMO). I didnt mind the handle of the Global, and actually like it more than the Shun. My major problems with the shun is more to due with the blade geometry of the slicer than anything else

                                                                                                                                    Finally (sorry for the long post) Last Saturday I had an opportunity to head south to Seattle and visit the Epicurean Edge store... wow I was in knife heaven. I went in thinking that I would get a single beveled knife, but ended up walking away with a Ryusen 240mm VG10 gyuto. I have had a couple of opportunities to play with my new toy since returning home and wow I love this knife so far. I have yet to take it to my stones and still am very impressed with the blade. It really is the little things that impress me the most about it like the smoothness of the spine and of course the balance is great, it cuts beautifully, and looks beautiful too. Great knife so far.

                                                                                                                                    So that is my knife journey so far. I realize I have spent a lot of $$ in the last 7 years on knives, but I love them and I dont have other expensive vices so in the end I am doing just fine. Besides my family loves that I cook all the time and they get to reap the benefits of some really great hand me down knives when I get my new toys.

                                                                                                                                    This is my knife journey so far. I am sure there will be more to add in the future

                                                                                                                                    Johnny

                                                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: pony boy

                                                                                                                                      That is a seriously great post, pony boy!

                                                                                                                                      I don't have the fetish about knives like you do :::grin::: but I was recently given several Shun Classic knives (Santoku, paring, and bird's beak paring) that I love using in addition to my Professional "S" from Henckel.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                        "bird's eye paring"

                                                                                                                                        I prefer bird's BEAK paring knife. :P

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                          Oh geez. Of course. It's been fixed. (VERY late lunch for me and I was obviously faint with hunger and couldn't see what I was writing! LOL)

                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                            'couldn't see what I was writing'

                                                                                                                                            Not true. I heard bird eyes are better than ours. :P

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                              Yeah, but they can have very beady little eyes.

                                                                                                                                              And mine aren't beady. They're blue. ;-)

                                                                                                                                      2. re: pony boy

                                                                                                                                        Great story Pony. I hope to hear more about your experience with the Ryusen VG-10 gyuto. Afterall, it is also a VG-10 like Shun Classic and Tojiro, but not all VG-10 knives are the same, so it will be interesting to know your experience.