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Jul 9, 2010 06:01 AM

replace Sabatier?


I want to buy my husband, who is a professional chef, a new chef's knife for his birthday. He's had the same Sabatier (don't know which model) for about 15 years. He doesn't care for Global because they feel too light and the handle doesn't feel substantial enough. He has large hands and likes to feel a bit of 'heft' in the knife. Any suggestions? I was thinking about Wusthof.

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  1. We have owned our Wusthof set for about 30 years. They are perfectly balanced, and still get razor sharp using a shapening steel--I have never had to have them professionally resharpened. If Wusthof has maintained its quality, you can't go wrong with their knives.

    1. If he likes a heavier knife, than Wusthof is a great choice. I would suggest him to try to handle the Ikon Classic or Ikon Blackwood knives.

      They are more expensive than the Wusthof Classic, but the Ikon does have better a handle and a reduced bolster (aka partial bolster) which makes knife sharpening much easier. Ikon knvies are avaliable in Williams Sonoma stores if he wants to handle them. I think they are also avaliable in Sur La Table, but I am not sure.

      Messermeister is also another brand of German knives which I heard decent thing about.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

        Thanks for the tip on the Wusthof Ikon. I want to make sure I get a knife with a good handle since that is the main problem he has with many of the Japanese knives. The handles seem to be too narrow/small. I appreciate the craftsmanship of the Japanese blades, but the handle size and weight are a problem for him - unless anyone out there knows of a Japanese brand with bigger handles.

        1. re: dotdarling

          RichardL has a good point. The German Chef's knife has a different knife profile than a French Chef's knife. Interestingly, Japanese gyuto has a more similar knife profile with the French Chef's. You should able to find a Gyuto with a longer handle, but you will not able to find one with the weight and heft of a German Chef's knife.


        I wouldn't even bother with a commercial knife like a Wusthof if I were you. Why not spend an extra $30 and get something completely unique, beautiful, and useful? Look at the link above. I'm by no means affiliated with this guy, but I do own 2 of his knives. This way you stick with carbon steel...

        1. He may also be attached to the French shape of blade rather than the German one. If you want to replace the Sabatier, has some old carbon steel ones that I like a lot. They also have them in stainless, which have the same blade shape but I don't think they take as keen an edge.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Richard L

            Thank you for the website link. I've been buying my Sabatier knives from PCD but they've cut back on their stock. Now, thanks to you, I have a new source.

            I bought my first Sabatier in France in the early 1960s and it's still going strong. I've added more knives over the years and needed a source for gifts. I've just ordered three for my eldest son.

            dotdarling, is it possible to ask your husband why he wants to replace his Sabatier? Knives are very personal, it's not like buying a shirt for someone. If he uses this daily, it could be difficult to replace with another shape. I know from work experience that a Sabatier chef's knife (mine is the 10") is a great tool. I'd look for it first in case of a fire! I cannot fathom wanting to replace these knives.

            1. re: Sherri

              "Knives are very personal, it's not like buying a shirt for someone."

              Absolutely again. Then again, it is always fun to have another knife to play around.

          2. Unless he has been in misery for the past 15 years I can't imagine wanting to part with the Sabatier. My Sabatier **** Elephants have been in our family since the mid seventies and I would stop talking to someone if they threw them out (not saying that is your intention). Maybe it's the extra dedication that they need along with their abilities that causes the bond between Sabatier fans and their knives. The handle materials that are currently offered are different than mine but all the shapes are identical. Edit: {with the exception of one paring knife.} I discovered this is actually a Sabatier **** Elephant Nogent and it is also identical to what is currently offered in the Nogent line..