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Aug 14, 2007 08:28 AM

what knife is best for you

as a culinary arts instructor i am often ask what knife is best for answer is the knife that feels good in your hand.there are two types of knives. stamped & forged.the stamped blade is lighter in weight and cost a lot less and there are many good stamped blades on the market.i like the messermeister four seasons and the park plaza.i also like the forschner with the black fibrox handle.if money is not a problem by all means check out the mac brand of japanese knives.(these are my personal choice) forged knives are a lot heaverer and cost a lot more but the benefit is they will for the most part last a life time.awesome brands of forged knives are shun,wusthof classic & san moritz & mederian from messermeister.your thoughts on the subject are appreciated.

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  1. I have 3 old Gerber blades, a large chef's knife, a smaller one and a ham slicer (a gift). Also on hand is a huge Wusthof chef's knife I call the Excalibur I don't use it very often but when I haul it out everyone knows I mean business.
    But the one I use every day and therefore gets the most use is a $10.00 Cuisinart Santoku I bought at a TJMaxx 3 years ago. I use several different knives when prepping a meal and each has it's own unique function in my hand.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Gio

      boy you bring back memories when you said gerber.many years ago i found 2 gerber balance plus knives at a yard sale for $5,00 and i still use them from time to time. the santoku you mentioned is called a chinese chefs knife and is becoming the most popular style of knife sold today.i have a mac forged santoku granton edge and i love mentioned the large wusthof chefs knife and that brings up the point that so many people buy the wrong size chef knife. the size of the knife is based on a persons height.the taller the person the longer the knife.when slicing the shoulder should not be moving as this will tire you out.chefs knives come in sizes from 4" to 12" long.

      1. re: big john

        Thanks big john. Boy, are you ever right about the 12" Wusthof! That was a gift too, While I am enamored of it, I'm also intimidated. I do manage to use it every now and again just so the person who gifted me with it doesn't get upset. That's a lot of $$ to spend for one knife.

        1. re: big john

          I too have some Gerber made when Pete Gerber still owned the company. I trerasure them. My go to knife for most chopping and slicing is my 10" Henkels chef's kinfe. I also have 2 sizes of Santoku knives from Henkels. Another fave is my Dexter cleaver. Oh I have a Gerber tomato knife I will never part with. It is a 6" and the grip is non-slip. It cuts beautifully through soft foods without smashing them. I will be slicing a bunch of heirloom tomatoes for a Slow Foods demo this Sat. AM at our local Farmer's Market. That knife will be going with me.

          1. re: big john

            My favorite knife happens to be a Gerber Balance Plus 10" Chefs knife. I bought it along with the matching 7 " boning knife 20 years ago and they are still going strong. I use my F. Dick Multicut each and every time if I use my knives and they are razor sharp.

        2. My beautiful 8 inch Misono chef's knife!

          1 Reply
          1. re: femmenikita

            congrats you have one of the best japanese knives made.have you checked out the new mvh line from masahiro????

          2. I reach for my Dexter Chinese cleavers more often than any other.
            I held the "Chromo" series of knives designed by Porsche. I liked them well enough, but I think I'll stick with my Dexters.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Westy

              a little advise on the dexter russell cleavers.they have t different is a high carbon cleaver and it will rust and stain if not dried as soon as you use it.the best is the dexter russell green river works cleaver (it says thet on the blade) it is a great blade that stays sharp a long tome and is easy to sharpen.keep in mind it is a vegetable cleaver and not to be used on bones.god i love the chowhound site

            2. I completely agree with the sentiment that you should use what is comfortable. Whenever I am in the market for a new blade, I request the ability to hold it, even 'test' it by running it in a chopping or slicing motion on a cutting board.

              Personally, I have a pinch grip and I choke up on the blade quite a bit. If the knife I am using does not have a rounded spine the area between the first and second knuckle (from the palm) on my index finger starts to get raw. I simply can't do much volume with that kind of irritation - so definitely TEST the knives first.

              Currently, my favorite is the Shun Ken Onion Santoku. It's wicked sharp and seems to be built with us pinch-grippers in mind.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Plat du jour

                i think the shun ken onion is the best thing since white bread.i love the concave area at the makes it so easy to choke up on the blade.i have taken my older blades to a machine shop and had the top of the blade at the bolster rounded so i don't blister my index finger

              2. Global's are the best fit for my small hands. I feel clumsy holding anything else.

                2 Replies
                1. re: aperitif

                  great also has to great left handed knives the G-7L oriental deba and the G-11L yanagi sashimi

                  1. re: aperitif

                    A Global 7" vegetable knife is my go-to slicer, dicer and chopper and it fits my large hands well too (pinch-gripped on the blade). Best $90 I ever spent.