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Mar 25, 2007 11:29 AM

Great Knives to last a lifetime

Given the opportuinity to register for some nice knives as a wedding gift, what would you pick? I'm interested in pieces, and would rather have a variety than a matched set.

My current favorite is an old thrift store Sabatier I sharpened up.

I'd also love to hear about good knife-related "accesories" - steels and honing rods and storage systems and the like.

And, I'm particularly curious about Caphalon's "Katana" line. Haven't tried one, but am a little infatuated with the look. Anyone have these and have an opinion?


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  1. I don't know about registering, but try looking at some of the Japanese steel - especially the western style ones which won't range too far from what you know. Take a look at the pages that have to do with sharpening Japanese style, with water and whetstones. If you think you might enjoy sharpening by hand, it's a good way to get into some really great knives (you don't want to be spending hundreds of dollars on a hand-made Japanese blade, only to have it ruined by your local scissors and skates guy with a 5-minute grind-o-mat machine). Here are a couple of good sites:

    1 Reply
    1. re: applehome

      Great sites, thanks. I already have a japanese veggie cleaver, and use a whetstone to sharpen most of my knives. Those sites seem to have some really nice blades on them, that should keep me busy for a while!

    2. I love love love my 20 year old Wusthoff Tridents - epic knives they are...

      A great gift for anyone who cooks is a set of crock sticks or if they are willing to learn a litle - a diamond rod. Great sharpeners both..

      4 Replies
      1. re: jbyoga

        Are the current Wusthof Trident's as well made? It seems like the high-end knife world has really expanded in the last few years, and now Henkels and Wustof and the others have so many different "lines". It's hard to tell which ones are good and which are not.

        By "crock sticks", are you referring to a "steel" or honing rod?

        A diamond rod might be a good idea, though I usually sharpen with a japanese whetstone.

        1. re: andytee

          I think the Classic line of Wusthoff is what I have and again - they will be passed onto my great grandkids someday - the crock sticks (might be a brand - google it) I am thinking of are ceramic and set up at the correct angle for novices to use with ease. I worked at a knife shop years ago and found both the Wusthoffs and the crock sticks to be top notch products.

          1. re: andytee

            Andy, what grit, size , shape and technique do you use? Most whetsones are small slabs, like 2" x 4".

            1. re: dijon

              Most professional grade sharpening stones are 3"x8" or larger.

        2. I bought my first 10" chef Forschner in 1978 and it is still the staple in my kitchen. Over the years I added more Forschners, Henk's, Cutco and Sabatier.

          It comes down to how it feels in your hand and the weight you are looking for. Forschners are very light and agile, Wustoffs you will find much heavier. It's all a personal preference plus the budget. You can buy several Forschners for the price of the Wust.

          1 Reply
          1. re: jfood

            I bought a Forschner chef's knife when I was ready to get my first good knife, because I wasn't used to the heavier knives. But now I have a Wusthof Grand Prix and I like it much better. The Forschner just doesn't seem to hold its edge well enough, though my husband still likes and uses it. I think he finds the thinner blade useful for cutting up chicken.

          2. Most people are familiar with the Shun Classic series. I have a 10" chef's knife and it is very nice but it rather expensive. But Shun also has a couple of lowered priced series, the Wasabi and the Komachi. I have had a Wasabi santoku knife and I find myslef reaching for it the most. It is very sharp, holds it edge well, resharpens easily, and it quite affordable. I got a Komachi paring knife that I like a lot too. It's very light, sharp, affordable, and comes in funky colors. More info here:


            1 Reply
            1. re: bbqme

              My dad recently recieved both a Wusthof Classic and a Shun Classic as presents. We tested them both out and we both agreed that the Wusthof is far superior. While the Shun is much prettier, it wasnt even close to the Wusthof's slicing and chopping capabilities.

            2. I've got mostly high-end Henckles and one Wusthoff and love them all. I've had two of my Henckles for 15 years and they're still great. I get them professionally sharpened periodically and use a steel in the interim and they've held up well and hold an edge very well.