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Slicing/carving knife

What's your favorite slicing/carving knife?

I spent all this time and effort in making a roast for a holiday dinner only to butcher it with a chef's knife. Afterwards, it felt like one of those commercials where they take away your man card.

Cook's Illustrated favorite slicing knife was Victorinox (formerly Victorinox Forschner) Fibrox 12-Inch Granton Edge Slicing Knife, and I'm looking for feedback from anybody who owns that model.

One of the things Cook's Illustrated liked was the graton edges in Victorinox slicing knife, but it seems like there's just as much conflicting information about whether or not graton edges were really effective or not.

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  1. Refer to my post to shezmu re. best knife. A really sharp #3 authentic wooden handled steel cleaver is the best knife for any type of carving/slicing. After all the chinese have been using them for thousands of years. Whenever I see a chef using a steel..not stainless steel chinese clever I know I'm looking at someone who knows their way around a kitchen.

     
    1 Reply
    1. I purchase knives and most other kitchen wares @a restaurant supply store.

      1. What does "... butcher it with a chef's knife" mean?
        Did it shred? Could you not control the thickness of the slices? Something else?
        The best slicer/carver (for both meats & breads) I've ever owned is my 210mm gyuto.
        But maybe describing any problems you were having would help in a new knife recommendation.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Eiron

          Not to mention if said knife was sharp

          1. re: Dave5440

            Good point.... maybe the problem is not the knife shape....but rather the edge.

        2. Granton edges make a *very slight* difference in how much food sticks to the blade and how much resistance you feel in cutting. The grind of a knife and edge geometry make a much bigger difference (though the Glestain is said by many experienced users to have grantons that actually make a real difference). So grantons aren't usually a big selling point, but they don't hurt anything either.

          The forschner is a fine choice for the money. Generally, for a slicer you want a long edge, and the forschner has that. It also has a fairly thin grind that makes it cut smoothly. And it sharpens reasonably well.

          On the other hand, I'm partial to Japanese slicing knives - they're called sujihikis. They typically use harder steel that has better edge retention, and they generally sharpen up extremely well. But the biggest advantage of them is that they have a heel, so you can also use the knife on a cutting board as more of an all-purpose blade. The downside is they are more expensive.

          All that said, my favorite chefs knives also function quite well as slicers. And whether you use a slicer or a chef knife for carving a roast, the single most important factor is that it's SHARP.

          18 Replies
          1. re: cowboyardee

            If Glestains are the only ones that have granton edges that make a real difference, then why don't other knife manufacturers copy those granton edges? Is it a copyright issue, or that it simply costs more money to manufacture a knife with that edge?

            With regards to gettting a Japanese slicer, I'm kind of reluctant because of the cost unless I can find a cheaper, good bang for the buck Japanese slicer. Since its not like I'm going to use the slicer as much as I would use a chef's knife, I don't necessairly want to spend that much money which is why the Forschner knife intrigued me.

            And, when I say I butchered the roast, I mean I couldn't get those long, thin, and even slices that you'd see in a Norman Rockwell painting. My slices were thick and uneven- like if a 5th grader got to slice a roast. I'm sure my technique was to blame as well, but I also think the knife let me down too.

            1. re: hobbess

              In that case, I say go for the Forschner Rosewood 12" granton slicer:
              http://www.cutleryandmore.com/victori...

              More affordable than a suji, but more "presentable" in front of your dinner guests than the Fibrox version (and, IMO, the Rosewood handles are nicer to use). Victorinox always gets positive reviews, so I don't think you'll run into any unexpected problems.

              1. re: Eiron

                Is the only difference between Fibrox vs. Rosewood are the handles?

                If you're going to change handles, don't you need to change the blade itself or wouldn't you mess up the balance of the knife?

                1. re: hobbess

                  balance is overrated in many cases. Yes, it is important, but not to this point......

                  The last time I read something like this is the Furi copper knife. The idea is that as you sharpen the knife the blade will get lighter and lighter. In order to balance the weight, Furi knives have a copper tail at the handle. This way you can sharpen the blade and the handle to keep it balance.

                  http://www.amazon.com/Furi-FX-8-Inch-...

                  Does it sound right to you?

              2. re: hobbess

                "why don't other knife manufacturers copy those granton edges?"

                I have seen other knife manufacturers with a very similar granton pattern as that of Glestain, but I don't remember the names. They are some generic low name brands.

                I think your knife is dull based on what you just wrote. A thinner blade knife help for making finer slices.

                1. re: hobbess

                  Good point about the useage, why invest a lot on a knife that you will occasionally use.

                  I had the Update International plastic handle version at $10+-, used it both profesionally and at home but gave it away as a present.

                  Next one I order will likely be this full tang, forged version at around $15. The value is hard to beat.

                  http://www.foodservicewarehouse.com/u...

                  1. re: bbqJohn

                    Btw, prepped, cooked, and ran the carving station today for about 2.5 boxes of ball tip roasts (about 35-40 or so). Anyways just used a plain old plastic handle slicer described in one of the posts above. No need for an expensive slicer unless you just want one. Personally I wouldn't go less than 12 inches. It can be done with a smaller one but the extra size is nice to have for large cuts.

                  2. re: hobbess

                    "If Glestains are the only ones that have granton edges that make a real difference, then why don't other knife manufacturers copy those granton edges?"

                    _______

                    Truth is I don't know for sure. It might well be more expensive to manufacture a knife that way, and it also might be a legal problem. Couldn't say.

                    In a sense, makers might not copy the design because they don't think it will help sell knives. Western knife makers, frankly, sell knives more on comfort than on actual performance. The Glestain design looks a little odd and may not test well with your average knife buyer. On top of that, that style of deep grantons can only effectively be put on one side of the blade (unless the knife is problematically thick), which means the knife generally has to be left- or right-handed. As for Eastern knives (specifically Japanese knives), there are methods of shaping the blade/edge geometry that work just as well for reducing resistance and sticking. I suspect these methods are a little less costly to produce, and they're probably considered more traditional and aesthetically pleasing by most knifemakers.

                    "With regards to gettting a Japanese slicer, I'm kind of reluctant because of the cost unless I can find a cheaper, good bang for the buck Japanese slicer."

                    _________

                    Nothing comes to mind in the same price range as the forschner. Really, there's nothing at all wrong with a forschner slicer - it looks like a good buy for your needs.

                    "And, when I say I butchered the roast, I mean I couldn't get those long, thin, and even slices... I'm sure my technique was to blame as well, but I also think the knife let me down too."

                    _________

                    Don't get me wrong when I say that my favorite chefs knives also make good slicers - my favorite chefs knives are long, thin, and don't have huge curves in their edge, but not all chefs knives fit that bill.

                    1. re: cowboyardee

                      cowboy,

                      I tried to find that knife which looks like Glestains, but I couldn't. Instead I find something interesting. What do you think of these knives? Look like Global?

                      http://www.ebay.com/itm/Xmas-Gift-New...

                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                        They do indeed. It seems Global has several companies mimicking their design. Years ago, I bought my mom a different set of Global knockoffs - they have been disappointing knives,

                        With these, at hrc 55, they won't have Global's edge retention. And of course we have no way of knowing what the grind on these knives is like.

                        1. re: cowboyardee

                          The seller's description is - uh - humorous...

                          1. re: Eiron

                            Do you mean the description of himself or the knife?

                            Do you mean statements like:

                            "We welcome all nice Customers!"

                            "we do enforce our rights to our own unique art products."

                            "images or text is strictly pro bited"

                            http://members.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI....

                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                              Some more choice quotes from the seller:

                              "The heel design makes the removal of kernel easily."

                              "This knife only for cooking, do not hunting, do not bend the blade when cutting."

                              "The Non-Stick Scallops Revolutionary design means "Shallow hollows on the sides of the blade help keep food non-sticking" it is easy to do cutting jobs."

                              1. re: cowboyardee

                                :D

                                "This knife only for cooking, do not hunting, do not bend the blade when cutting."

                                I caught that one, and I really felt it is almost like one of those lawyer/lawsuit thing like "Don't put the plastic bag over your head. It is not a toy"

                                Look:

                                http://www.flickr.com/photos/n3wjack/...

                                I mean seriously.... we are to the point of telling people (in picture) that they should not put a plastic bag over a baby's head.

                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                  I looked long and hard chem but I can't find the pic of a baby with a plastic bag on it's head in the "People of walmart" collection , I know I saw it , I just can't find it

                                  1. re: Dave5440

                                    In the photo I linked about, it is a symbolic picture of a plastic bag on a baby. Are you saying that you have seen a real picture of baby with a plastic bag?

                                    ....

                                    Ok... I just answered my own question by locating this:

                                    http://media.peopleofwalmart.com/wp-c...

                          2. re: cowboyardee

                            Yeah HRC 55 seems a bit soft especially for a 440C steel.... seems like such a waste. It is an inexpensive knife though for only $24.7.

                      2. re: hobbess

                        "If Glestains are the only ones that have granton edges that make a real difference, then why don't other knife manufacturers copy those granton edges? Is it a copyright issue, or that it simply costs more money to manufacture a knife with that edge?"

                        A convex edge will keep food from sticking. Simple as that

                    2. We love this knife. It's not fancy, and it's a professional grade so not pretty, but it is a great knife for carving. http://www.foodservicewarehouse.com/d...

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Terrie H.

                        We have one like that except it has a wooden handle. I think that's why it retails for about $20 extra.

                        http://www.foodservicewarehouse.com/d...

                        it works great on roasts, not to mention big watermelons.

                        1. re: John E.

                          That is Dexter-Russell top line (Connoisseur). The steel could be different two. Dexter-Russell does not like to advertise the steel they use, but it certainly uses 420 and X50CrMoV15. I am very sure the Sani-Safe series uses the 420, while the Connoisseur may use the X50. I remember seeing the Connoisseur knives had the X50 label, but I don't seem to find that anymore.

                          On the other hand, I still find the I-Cut and I-Cut Pro knives are labeled with X50:

                          http://www.dexter1818.com/RHImages/La...

                          It is priced at $30:

                          http://www.katom.com/135-31706.html

                          Not too bad for a forged X50 knife.

                        1. http://www.amazon.com/Victorinox-12-I.... I've been using a 12 inch Victorinex Granton edge slicer for years - works well and doesn't cost a fortune.

                          Luv it

                          1. Unless a roast is particularly large, any fairly thin and very sharp knife should make an excellent slicer. I would typically use my nakiri one of my santokus. I have a 10" cutco slicer that is actually quite good, if I need the extra length but I only bought that to help out a friend's son who was in college. If it wasn't for him and I wanted a "real slicer", I probably would have just gotten something from Victorinox or similar to save money for my real everyday use knives.

                            I'd probably defer to cowboy, eiron and chemical, in your shoes - if you really need a dedicated "pure slicer".