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Help...Chef's knife bit the dust...

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Terri C Nov 20, 2007 06:20 AM

So, my hubby pointed out while doing the dishes, that my Chef's knife had a big chip out of it. It wasn't an expensive one, Faberware I think. I'm ready to invest in a good one. I use it mainly for chopping veggies,

What brand do you recommend, and what model?? Also, where do you buy online? Where I live there is no place close that sells them so I will have to buy online.

TIA, everyone.

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  1. r
    ricepad RE: Terri C Nov 20, 2007 06:36 AM

    A few months ago, Cooks' Illustrated tested chef's knives, and once again, the Forschner (Victorinox) Fibrox took the honors. It's not fancy, and can be had online for less than $30 (try Amazon or your favorite kitchen supply site).

    1 Reply
    1. re: ricepad
      Lemon Curry RE: ricepad Nov 20, 2007 10:06 PM

      This is a great knife, and inexpensive at that.

    2. greglor RE: Terri C Nov 20, 2007 07:23 AM

      This is really a preference issue, IMO. Go to a store that will get the knives out for you, pick them up and see how they feel in your hand.

      I like good, heavy knives. My faves are the Henckels Pro-S. They're heavy, solid and hold a sharp edge for a long time (the one I've had for 10 years is about due to be sharpened for the first time). My wife hates my Henckels knives. Too heavy. She prefers one of the upper line Wusthof (so we have one of those as a chef's knife for her). A *lot* of chowhounders prefer some of the less expensive brands you find in restaurant supply stores. Go try those and hold them. A good knife will be as expensive as you want it to be, but really, hold it before you buy it, and decide what you like (better yet, find a few friends with different knives, and go cook with them for an evening).

      1 Reply
      1. re: greglor
        greglor RE: greglor Nov 20, 2007 11:26 AM

        Just as an afterthought...

        Keep in mind that buying a brand name doesn't necessarily mean anything. Each brand has multiple lines, and henckels (for example) has lines that are worth very little (and cost very little) and lines that are very good.

        My mom was quite excited to have purchased a Henckels knife for $15, but it was a piece of garbage. Make sure you hold any knives you want to buy.

      2. bworp RE: Terri C Nov 20, 2007 07:24 AM

        We have a mix of knives at home, with the majority being Henckels, which have held up great over the last 10 years, they do require occasional sharpening. We also use wusthof paring knife which is probably the most used tool in the kitchen. With that being said - I had the opportunity to try out a Kramer Chef knife at a friends house and it was incredible - I usually don't get excited about knives (which is probably a good thing), but each Kramer is hand crafted and you can tell a difference.

        Kramer was also featured here, with a link to his site:
        http://www.3luxe.com/best_ofs/Kitchen...

        good luck and enjoy.

        1 Reply
        1. re: bworp
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          Leper RE: bworp Nov 22, 2007 06:28 PM

          Bworp, I am fortunate enough to live in the Pacific Northwest--the home of Bob Kramer. His creations are works of art that have to be experienced to be believed. No commercial cutlery can approach his knives.

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          LabRat RE: Terri C Nov 20, 2007 07:52 AM

          I've purchased several knives from Northwestern Cutlery's website ( www.nwcutlery.com ) including my favorite, a MAC ultimate series 9" chef's knife (SBK-95). That thing holds an edgle like no other knife I have ever owned!

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            chuckl RE: Terri C Nov 20, 2007 08:25 AM

            you really do have to hold them, and preferably chop an onion with them to get a feel for what will work for you. You probably want to stay away from the 10 inchers, as they're a bit unwieldy. Go for an 8 inch if it feels good in your hand. If not, a 6 might work. Although I like Forschner and Macs, I prefer a little more heft when I chop, so I generally reach for a shun, sabatier, henckels or wusthof. Also invest in a ceramic honing rod, about $10, to maintain the edge. Again, this is one of those personal preference issues. If there's a good knife store in your area, check them out. The education alone will be worth the trip

            1. Sarah RE: Terri C Nov 20, 2007 09:17 AM

              Just got a BBB flyer -- 2 Henckels santoku knives (7" and 5" IIRC) for $19.95...

              2 Replies
              1. re: Sarah
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                chuckl RE: Sarah Nov 21, 2007 07:29 AM

                Be aware that not all Henckels are made alike. Count the little men on the blade. The fewer men, the lower the line.

                1. re: chuckl
                  Sarah RE: chuckl Nov 21, 2007 08:48 AM

                  Good to know, thanks!

              2. k
                Kelli2006 RE: Terri C Nov 20, 2007 09:39 AM

                Your chefs knife can be saved if you really like it, as I cant imagine a knick that is too big to be ground out.

                I have a few Forschners, and a few forged Germans, but my favorite knife is a French shaped 6" carbon blade made by Thiers-Issard for Sabatier.

                Bed Bath and Beyond has a great selection of knives, but I have a strong aversion to buying Chinese made products if I can purchase a product from a corporation that pays reasonable wages and it made in the US or Europe. IMVHO.

                I love my santuko knife, but it will never replace a forged chefs knife for versatility.

                Knife Merchant is a great website for quality cutlery.

                1. t
                  ThreeGigs RE: Terri C Nov 20, 2007 12:18 PM

                  As long as you're shopping for a new knife, you may want to consider something other than a chef's knife. Check out santoku knives as an alternative, or perhaps a nikiri (chinese cleaver).

                  Ditto on the 'gotta hold a bunch before you buy one' advice. Check with friends and relatives if there are no stores nearby to test.

                  I'm preferential to Wusthof's Gran Prix II line, the handles are a bit more comfortable than their Classic series (for me), and Kershaw's Shun line, which has a nifty D-shaped handle of a non-slip wood (and as a bonus, they have a handle for lefties).

                  For your first good knife though, I'd recommend against an asian knife because the way most of them are sharpened is incompatible with most knife sharpeners.

                  1. m
                    mpalmer6c RE: Terri C Nov 20, 2007 01:08 PM

                    Here's a source where I've bought Forschner knives. Good prices.:

                    http://www.restaurantsource.com/prodL...

                    1. w
                      Westy RE: Terri C Nov 21, 2007 05:35 AM

                      I use a big Dexter knife (the type you see used in restaurants). Bought it a few years back and it has served me well. Easy to clean, too. Their forged Connoisseur line looks really nice, and, having held one, I think it is comparable to any of the German knives in balance. Even better, roughly half the price.

                      1. e
                        EclecticEater RE: Terri C Nov 22, 2007 01:44 AM

                        I recently bought a Ken Onion Shun and a Global one-piece, both santuko, and have been extremely happy with their sharpness over my old German and Forschner knives. Forschner is the cheapest and very good, but these are so sharp I tend to use them all the time. Look at them, at least,

                        1. b
                          bebevonbernstein RE: Terri C Nov 22, 2007 09:20 AM

                          I have the requisite 8", 10" (which, while big for me, is actually working very well today when I have big batches of stuff to cut up for purees) and pairing knives from Wusthof Classic. They aren't all that expensive, and they are excellent. I have to say, what's made all the difference to me is that I had them professionally sharpened, and bought a sharpening rod (is that what you call that thing?), so I sharpen them all the time, which really makes them much more enjoyable to work with, too. Good knives make cooking so much more fun . . .

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: bebevonbernstein
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                            chuckl RE: bebevonbernstein Nov 23, 2007 07:16 PM

                            I agree with the professional sharpening, around once a year or so should do it. I couldn't believe how sharp my knives could get. I believe they are called honing rods, and I think their purpose is to maintain the edge of the knife. They don't really take off any steel. I've heard the best to use are ceramic, but I'd be curious about others' experience with rods too. With good tools, food prep is a pleasure.

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