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Oct 28, 2009 11:51 PM

Mac Knives: Three versions... Should one be in my kitchen?

I have one French style Chef's knife; a ten inch Zanger. I like it mostly for its light weight and thin blade. Though not a Chef's knife, I also enjoy using my smaller Henckels slicer because of the same properties.
On investigation, I found that Mac offers the inexpensive BK line, the moderate priced MBK Professionals and the pricey SBK "Ultimate" line.
Cutlery and More says the SBK is harder than the MBK, while the MBK shares or has a very similar steel as the BK.
Looking at the MAC Ultimate series, I'm considering the 9" chef's knife (SBK-95) @$220. This is kind of pushing it for what's in my wallet. Are the SBKs that good?
Then I see the DA-BK-240 Damascus-Japanese style and start salivating over it. I know it has a bigger belly and is not a French style. Is its blade any thicker or stiffer than the SBK? I see it's hardness is Rockwell 58°-59° while the SBK is between 59 and 61. I do have a 7" Kershaw Shun Santuko that I like.

This is getting away from Macs, but should I be considering other 9-10" Chef's knives if I am looking at spending over $200? I just don't need or want any more heavy knives like my Henckels...
The only other one on my radar screen is the 10-in. "Kershaw Shun Classic" Chef's Knife.

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  1. If you're willing to spend that much on a chef's knife, there are a whole lot of choices out there. I'm presuming you want a Japanese-made one. The only MAC I have is the bread knife, and I've been pretty happy with it. Keep thinking I need to add one of their paring knives. I also have my eye on a Hiromoto AS gyuto with it's carbon-steel edge wrapped in stainless. And it's only around $150.

    I'd spend some time perusing the Korin and Japanesechefsknife sites.

    1. I have a Mac santoku superior series and I like it quite a bit and use it often. I know a lot of people like the mighty mac mth series, like this one

      1. I have an Ultimate series gyuto with a 10" blade that is indeed a wonderful knife that keeps an edge for a long time. It was my most used knife for several years. However, in that price range you do have lots of options. My current favorite knife is a 240 mm Hattori gyuto FH-7 from that currently sells for $255. The handle is slightly more rounded than the MAC knife making it a little more comfortable for my hand.

        1. I certainly have got off on a tangent and spent hours looking at more Japanese knives. I am only considering 240MM chef's knives.
          The Sakai Takayuki "Grand Chef is a nice looking knife that's $207. I balk because of the handle which would give me three distinctly different handles to adapt to.
          The Hiromoto AS is $150 and the handle would fit right in.
          The Masamoto VG-5024 is another fine looking knife @ $180.
          The Misono UX-10 is very interesting @ $210-215 though I thought I'd get a carbon core knife, at least. I have large hands so a larger handle is a plus. At 248 grams, it is heavier than most.
          The "Swedish Steel" version is a high carbon steel. I wonder if it has the same larger handle? It is odd that it says it only weights 175 grams... At $136 this looks like a great buy!
          These are my contenders at this point. I think I will forgo a Mac for now. Thoughts?

          1. I've been using a Mighty Mac 8 inch Chef knife with granton edge for a couple of years now and I really love it. Great feel in the hand, as i have small hands and it's just a really great knife. I recently got a Shun 7 inch Santoku for my birthday and am really liking that as well. The only thing I find with the Japanese knives is you have to be careful when cutting hard foods such as hard cheese, chicken bones, etc. and for that I use my Victorinox 8 inch chef or boning knife just to ensure I don't damage my favourite Japanese knives. I don't think you can go wrong with a Mighty Mac though and would thoroughly endorse it.
            Have owned both Henckels and Wusthof's over the years and will never purchase another - don't hold their edge well at all - the Japanese knives beat them hands down.

            2 Replies
            1. re: lominator

              I have the same Shun. I have a few tiny chips in the front belly area. I think it is from cutting chicken bones or banging into it with my real steel (which I don't use on it any more... I use a ceramic honing rod). I agree it stays sharper longer than anything else I have. The core stainless steel is quite hard. I've never regretted the $125 I paid for it and I like the handle, though some don't. Mine is a right-handed handle! Just a tad small in diameter for me

              1. re: Scargod

                yeah, you got it, the handle is too narrow the shun elite is better, carbon steel japanese knives are very sharp and good metal for food, sweden steel is high end steel too, i think it is better for wood working though , ok. ok later eh