New Carving Knife. Help!
I am looking at getting a new carving knife and was wondering if anyone had any suggestions.
I am currently looking at the following:
Wusthof Ikon Blackwood Hollow Edge
Zwilling Cronidur Slicing Knife
Global Heavyweight Carving
Does anyone have any insight into any of these knives or know of any others that you prefer more?
Carving knife is one of the lesser used knife, but very respected. Unlike most other kitchen knives, a carving knife is often used in front of guests Thus, it has more presentation value than other knives. Do you plan to carve in front of guests?
Wusthof Ikon Blackwood and Wusthof Ikon are made of the same steel and have the same handle shapes. The difference lies in the handle material. From a pure performance view, they are the same, but the Ikon Blackwood has a slightly prettier handle and slightly more expensive.
Zwilling Cronidur is made from similar (not same) level of steel as Wusthof.
Global knives are thinner than the other listed knife. This means it slices with less resistance but it also means it cannot handle very tough jobs.
One thing to really consider is the length of a carving knife. Your carving knife should be long enough for your objects.
I agree with Chem on the length of the blade,9"-11" at least.I have a 10' K Sabatier carbon slicer that use at work when I'm on site carving in front of clients.I think I paid $45.00.
If you're not too picky about looks,Victorinox makes a nice SS carver for around $45.00 as well(all prices are Canadian $$).
You should also check out Japanese style slicers(sujihiki) as an alternative.
Fujiwara,Kikuichi and Tojiro(just to name a few) make fine,reasonably priced,$75-$150 range sujihikis.
Are you intending to use it for all purpose slicing, or specifically for carving meats?
With all purpose slicing knives, I'm partial to Japanese double beveled slicers called sujihikis. They are thinner than Western slicers and usually set at a more acute edge angle - as such, they have an easier time with most vegetables. They have a heel, which makes them far more versatile and easy to use on a cutting board. The edge retention is usually better too. I even know some pro cooks with very good knife skills who use this type of knife as their main blade. Here are a bunch to look at.
In a dedicated carving knife, my tastes are a little different. Especially if the knife is to be used to carve poultry, I much prefer an upswept tip. It offers more control when cutting with the point near a bone or joint. Thinness doesn't matter as much with a dedicated carving knife (since meat doesn't really 'wedge'). A dedicated carving knife doesn't need a heel, and edge retention isn't a huge factor since the knife probably won't see regular and heavy usage. And I agree with Chem that looks and presentation are a definite factor. It does have to be able to get sharp, but in the price range you're looking at, that should be no problem.
Problem is none of the knives you listed have an upswept tip. Neither do the general purpose sujihikis I mentioned above. As such, my favorite kinds of carving knives are vintage ones, and knives made in the classical carving knife style. Here are a couple examples so you can see what I mean about the 'upswept tip':
I also feel these kind of knives have a charm that's well suited to a carving knife's sort of ceremonial function.
I also agree with Chem that in either case, a longish knife is a good thing, and I wouldn't pick a knife shorter than 8 inches.
All that said, the knives you listed are all decent knives and I suspect you'd be fairly happy with any of them. I think the Cronidur and the Wusthof ikon blackwood hollow edge are sort of overpriced, but again, you're paying in part for style with knives like that and style is very subjective.
I have about 10 (terrible really, but they're over 2 addresses, and it's 30 years of seeking "something better") and if I could only keep one, this would be it:
It doesn't look much, and the wavy serrations pull very slightly on really rare beef, but that's the only time that a plain edge would be better. Makes a nifty bread knife too. Cheap.