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Apr 14, 2012 05:42 PM

Knife manufacturers US vs Canada

Why is it that to this day you can't buy "knife sets" (not that specialty shops recommend buying sets) with a block that includes slots for steak knives in Canada?? They are commonly sold this way in the US. I prefer to have the majority of my knives in one spot.

What you need to do in Canada is buy the block and knives separately if you want slots for steak knives in a block. Unfortunately, this way, Canadian consumers are forced to pay more to buy the knives separately. No choice.

While it's usually better to buy only the knives you intend to use...lots of companies now are selling sets that only include the "essentials" (e.g. 1 chef's knife, 1 utility, 1 bread knife and a honing tool...and possibly a pair of scissors). "Starter sets". Like Shun.

It's been like this for years.

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  1. Purchasing knife blocks is a nuisance even in the US. I think one of the best deals if you must have a block is to find a block you like with junky knives in it that is inexpensive. Then either recycle the knives or give them to Goodwill.

    8 Replies
    1. re: SanityRemoved

      Slightly off topic. What about Kapoosh? This way you can stick whatever knives you like (most of whatever knives).

      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

        I was thinking of something like that due to the wide variety of steak knife sizes. I'd probably be silly and keep it on the dining table loaded with steak knives. "Pass the steak knives please". :)

        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

          I tried one of those, they scratch softer knives(SS), a sharp knife cuts the fibres off(then they all fall out when you pull the knive out) and an 8" knive won't go all the way in(odd because the depth at the back is 14 inches), leaves about 2" exposed which is deadly if you aren't carefull when pulling one out in front of it, and finally I have a wood one that split in half from trying to push the knives in , and I could only get one chefs knife one santoku and a bread knife it the back row, and 4 paring knives in the front.

          1. re: Dave5440

            Yes, I heard that problem. In fact, it is probably worse for a serrated knife because it is much easier for a serrated knife to "catch" a fiber.

            I wonder if the bamboo rod version is better. First, it is much more difficult to cut through a bamboo rod. Second, it is easier to replace an individual bamboo rod. The problem is that the bamboo rod ones cannot tightly hold the knives.



            Still the Kapoosh thing may work out for many people whose knives are not remotely as sharp as yours. Let's face it. In your worst days, your knives probably can still slice a paper -- as poorly as it may be. Most people's knives probably cannot slice paper, let's alone a Kapoosh rod. By the way, those rods are called "Freedom rods". Funny? :)

            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

              You could be right ,but I let the cutcos slide till they won't cut at all(till she complains and i'm stilll catching flack for the WTF comment when she cut on a plate) and even dull they won't go in the block, even one at a time they are too thick to push the fibre apart. The bamboo sounds intresting, I'm picturing pretty large dia. rods but I think they would still scratch the softer metals, BTW the kapoosh marked my myiabi, not scratched but the plastic embeded in the scratch pattern on it, it took alot of work on the strop to get rid of it, but it's getting polished nicely

              1. re: Dave5440

                <but I let the cutcos slide till they won't cut at all(till she complains and i'm stilll catching flack for the WTF comment when she cut on a plate)>

                Is the "she" your wife or your cutco knife? :) At first, I thought you were referring the Cutco knife as a she, but then I realize that it may make more sense if it is a human.

                By the way, were you the one who lose many knives when traveling on a plane? Was that finally resolved with the airline?

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  Yes the she is my wife(give a cutco that kind of respect,,WTF), and one and only time I raised my voice due to utter shock(like seeing a spider) when she dragged my knife across a plate cutting a sandwich.(which slightly dulled the knive but did leave a nice mark on her plate) And yes it was resolved, I ended up getting them back but it took a while and I wasn't willing to give them any kudos for their abysmal responce

                  1. re: Dave5440

                    <give a cutco that kind of respect,,WTF>

                    Ha ha ha.

                    <I ended up getting them back >

                    Oh, so it wasn't really stolen or lost for good. They just misplaced your stuffs somewhere. What the heck?

                    P.S.: Originally when I said "resolved", I was thinking about some kind of money payment.

      2. <Canadian consumers are forced to pay more to buy the knives separately>

        Canadians pay more for a lot of things.

        7 Replies
        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

          Chem, You appear wise on all things knife related. Have you an opinion on the Sabatier knives on this site? The carbon steel blanks are old per the site. The original poster mentioned Canada and brought this to mind. Thanks.

          1. re: dcrb

            You flatter me. No, actually I have not had the pleasure of owning a Sabatier knife. I was/am seriously thinking about getting the Yatagan Carving Knife:


            But every time I get discouraged when I see that full bolster. I just don't like full bolster. :) Well, I should get one anyway.

            Meanwhile, people like cowboyardee and others have good experience with these knives.

            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

              Thanks. I can appreciate the not liking the bolster. But I wonder if that design was thought to be more comfortable for the middle finger if the thumb and forefinger were grasping the blade. Just a thought.

              1. re: dcrb

                Maybe. Before you jump onto the Sabatier, beware that Sabatier is not really brandname. Originally, several knife manufacturers in Thiers, France claim to be part of the Sabatier. Now, any French companies and even some not in France claim to make Sabatier.

                The four stars elephant brand you see your cited website is considered to be one of the good one.

                You probably knew this, but I thought it is better to err on the side of caution and mention this to you. Have fun.

            2. re: dcrb

              These appear to be a new addition to thebestthings site, I don't recall them listed on previous visits but I could be wrong.

              I own four of the French pattern carbon steel line:

              and one of the Nogent carbon steel:

              I'm very happy with them all and plan on buying more. All were purchased in the early 70's although the Nogent was forged prior to World War II. The big difference between the Nogent and the Canadian Massif is that the Nogent has a tang inserted into a wood handle and the Canadian Massif's steel runs the entire length of the knife. The Canadian Massif's approximate forging time of 1910 may be earlier than the Nogent.

              As the shaping of the knives is more recent, you would be hard pressed to date the knives by looking at them. I can't tell any age difference by looking at any of mine. The location of the Elephant **** logo and handle materials may be a way to date them but I'm not aware of any such listing. Tim Irvine has some Thiers-Issard Sabatiers also.

              1. re: SanityRemoved

                <Tim Irvine has some Thiers-Issard Sabatiers also>

                Agree. Tim is a good person to talk to.

                1. re: SanityRemoved

                  I thank you for sharing your knowledge. I have toyed with the idea of getting a couple of carbon steel knives and keep coming to the Sabatier line. A few years ago, Cutlery and more offered a set of their knives for a ridiculously low price. And I waited too long. These prices seem fair. And if there is any truth that older steel is better steel (and I am not buying into it 100%) then these might be a bargain. Might just get a couple for fathers day. Again, Thanks.