Chef Knife size considerations?
I have a wonderful 8" Chefs knife that I absolutely adore and want to get another one so that my husband will quit using mine! (it's a Kramer, had it three years now. It's wonderful, but took this long to save up for another!).
I'm trying to decide what size to get and suddenly realized that I don't really know the advantages of the 8" over the 10" or the 6". Is it strictly personal preference? I ordered the 8" we have now, because it was the middle size and it has really served us well. It's quite long and I'm almost a bit scared of the 10" although Hubby probably wouldn't be.
I can't help but wonder if would be a good idea to have the smaller one though? Seems silly to get another 8".
What do you all think?
The big advantage of the smaller knife is just that: it's smaller. Smaller knives are easier to handle, and are good for things like fabricating chicken. A longer blade is useful for all sorts of things. It's got more blade behind the curved part at the front, so it's possible to cut up more stuff (dice four carrots at a time, instead of just two, etc) at the same time. Longer blade makes slicing easier and more accurate. A longer blade will stay sharp longer, simply because there's more edge. Heavier knife means it's easier to chop through tough stuff at the heel of the knife.
Before you spend whatever it is that Kramer gets for a knife these days, get a couple knives. Get a six inch petty, and a 10" chef's knife. You can get quite good ones from Forschner for about twenty bucks. Use them for a month or two, and then decide which you'd rather have in ultra-fancy.
I used the Wusthof 8" for almost a decade, and then after a knife skills class at ICE in NYC I was introduced to the 10". For me, the 10" is much more comfortable and productive. It's a workhorse, naturally, but the extra weight and the small amount of extra space before the main curvature allows for quickened chopping, imo. Furthermore, when needing to split squash, or other large items, the 10" spans the distance where the 8" sometimes falls short.
But I also agree with thew—it needs to be comfortable in your hand. I ended up purchasing the 10" for my sister and mother, both of which were a little put off by the size, but after spending some time with it they are now converts.