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New bread knife...OMG

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The 8" Henckels was just replaced by a 10" slightly curved Dexter, 24.95 at Ace. What an amazing difference!

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  1. <The 8" Henckels was just replaced by a 10" slightly curved Dexter, 24.95 at Ace>

    Let me get this straight. Your 8" Henckels has just been replaced by a 10" Dexter. Based on your title, I assumed that they are both bread knives. So, what is the amazing difference?

    The slightly curved knife gives you better knuckle clearance? The longer Dexter knife allows to you slice the bread in one stroke as opposed to two?

    Fill us in.

    21 Replies
    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

      Yep, Chem. the Henckels is a straight 8" bread knife and the Dexter is a 10" bread knife with a little curve to it. Clearly the extra to inches is a serious advantage, and the gentle curve adds some knuckle clearance. I expected those things. What I had not expected is that the Dexter cuts SO much more easily, cleanly, smoothly. The price was a nice bonus. Other than the cheesy white polypropylene handle, it feels like a hundred dollar better knife and the Henckels wasn't cheap when we got it five or is years ago. I had thought about a Mac. I am glad I saved the money.

      1. re: tim irvine

        <What I had not expected is that the Dexter cuts SO much more easily, cleanly, smoothly.>

        How much do you think this improvement is due to the fact that the Dexter cuts better because it is a new knife with a newer edge, whereas the Henckels is an older knife?

        <Other than the cheesy white polypropylene handle>

        I know.... it can look kind of silly. However, this handle is actually very good for heavy work because it is nonslip (less slippy). It is probably not that important for a small scale home cook kitchen.

        I am very happy to hear your excellent experience. Thanks for sharing your experience.

        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

          The Henckels didn't cut like this even when it was new. I am talking the difference between an old pitted ecko that has never seen a sharpener and my carbon knives right after they've been sharpened so you could shave with them.

          1. re: tim irvine

            :) Thanks. Dexter Russell holds a special place in my heart. I have three Dexter knives and a Dexter turner.

            Dexter Russell and Victorinox (Forshner) are two very popular brands for professional kitchens and butcher shops. For whatever reasons. Dexter's price can vary a lot. I have seen the same knife sold for $44 in one store and $27 for another (not talking on sale, but the regular prices for their respected stores).

            Restaurant supply stores (online or real stores) sell at noticeably lower prices.

            For example, Katom (online restaurant supply store) sells this Dexter Che's knife for $21, but Amazon sells it for $31:

            http://www.katom.com/135-29243.html

            http://www.amazon.com/Dexter-Russell-...

            Now, this Duo Glide is $26 from Katom vs $42 from Amazon.

            http://www.katom.com/135-40033.html

            http://www.amazon.com/Dexter-DuoGlide...

            If you ever interested in buying a few more Dexter Russell, try to drop by your local kitchen supply store. It may have better deals too.

            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

              "try to drop by your local kitchen supply store. It may have better deals too."

              Not where I live. They are almost twice as much as online at Katom.

              1. re: Sid Post

                Excellent point. I would say if a person is interested in buying several Dexter knives (or other merchandizes) then buying from an online supply store like Katom is an excellent choice. First, the price point is good, and the shipping fee becomes relatively smaller for a larger purchase. Second, the selection of knives is much larger than most brick and mortar kitchen supply stores.

                Shipping however can be slow.

              2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                I'm intrigued by that Duo Glide knife- I never indulged my impulse to buy a mezzaluna on the grounds that I'd use it only rarely, but the handle placement of the Duo Glide appears to be a good compromise, sort of a halfway point. A mezza-mezzaluna, if you will...

                Does it feel a bit odd in non-rocking applications, or was it fairly natural and an easy adjustment? I guess what I'm really asking is do you reach for it often in general use, or do you find it's pretty much a specialty item?

                At $26 I'm likely to treat myself to one anyway, but I'm wondering whether to expect it will find a home on my knife strip or sleep in the drawer between uses.

                1. re: eclecticsynergy

                  <do you reach for it often in general use,>

                  I actually do not have one. I was intrigued by the knife, but decided I don't need one. This series of knives actually has won several awards. Most noticeably, the "Ease of Use" by Arthritis Foundation.

                  It trades off speed for power. So you won't able to cut as fast but can use less force for cutting:

                  http://www.dexterduoglide.com/video/d...

                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    Thanks for the info, Ck. Haven't bought a new knife all year, and I'm very tempted to hop right over to the restaurant supply and grab one.

                    1. re: eclecticsynergy

                      Ah, turns out the DuoGlide is a bit outré for the local restaurant supply store. Katom looks to be a good resource, though; thanks for that link.

                  2. re: eclecticsynergy

                    I have a Duo Glide in the drawer. It is a unique blade that has a learning curve.

                    What it is amazing at is allowing you to still cut effectively with a compromised grip. I can wield it with thumb and 2 fingers or 4 fingers and no thumb. Cannot do that with any other blade.

                    Storage options suck though due to its unique shape.

                    Jim

                    1. re: knifesavers

                      <I can wield it with thumb and 2 fingers or 4 fingers and no thumb>

                      I can totally see this.

                2. re: tim irvine

                  There are many models of bread knife from Henckels, some no doubt better than others.

                3. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  Hey, Chem. I thought I'd let you know that even though it is no longer a new knife, I still love the Dexter bread knife.

                  1. re: tim irvine

                    Nice. I just looked up the old post:

                    "The 8" Henckels was just replaced by a 10" slightly curved Dexter, 24.95 at Ace. What an amazing difference!"

                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/869056

                    I am glad that the knife is still working out for you. I know yours has a slight curved blade which help the knuckle clearance. I have a Shun bread knife which is slightly curved too, and it does help the knuckle clearance too. Your is longer (10 inch).

                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                      Figured I'd jump in here while the thread has come back to life.

                      I, too, decided I didn't have any need for the Dexter DuoGlide knife myself- interesting though it looked. But I did get one for my Mom, who'd been having some difficulty due to Lyme disease and advancing age. She has been very happy indeed with it and says the only job it isn't well suited for is cutting very large carrots, because the center of force is so much higher than usual above the cutting surface.

                      Having handled it a bit myself now, I'd say that the knife deserves its good reviews. Its unusual design would take some getting used to for me. But it's really true that very little gripping force is required. A real boon for those who might find a traditional knife hard to use.

                      I have a couple of Dexters myself and like those, this one is well made and a good value. For this unique product, Dexter-Russell has my Mom's approval, and my thanks.

                      1. re: eclecticsynergy

                        Thanks for your excellent feedback.

                        <it isn't well suited for is cutting very large carrots, because the center of force is so much higher than usual above the cutting surface.>

                        You mean the knife cut the carrots with too much force and banging the cutting board?

                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                          Nope, what I meant was that the handle is quite high already, and the genius of the design is that one's hand is directly over the food, rather than out at the end of a handle. This gives very good downward pressure.

                          But when it comes to cutting something thick the force is being applied at a point so high that it's a bit unwieldy. To me it feels sort of like cutting with a dough knife. I think it feels wobbly for her in this situation since her hand isn't too strong.

                          I'll say again though that this is a good knife for those who have grip problems.

                          1. re: eclecticsynergy

                            <when it comes to cutting something thick the force is being applied at a point so high that it's a bit unwieldy>

                            Like wobbly, right?

                            <I think it feels wobbly>

                            :) Ha ha ha. We ended up using the same word. I suppose they can make it less wobbly by making the blade thicker, but then that will likely increase the cutting resistance.

                4. re: tim irvine

                  Those white handles are for restaurant use. They are NSF-certified and can go through the dishwasher.

                  1. re: GH1618

                    I doubt I will ever throw it in the DW...force of habit, but the handle is very comfortable.

              3. I couldn't agree more about DR knives. I bought this one a year ago.
                http://www.wasserstrom.com/restaurant...
                Best $13.75 I've ever spent on a knife. Even with the price increase it is a bargain. As good as any bread knife I've ever used, and a lot better than some costing lots more.

                1. Is it this?
                  http://www.foodservicewarehouse.com/d...

                  A ATK bestbuy is this style
                  http://www.foodservicewarehouse.com/v...

                  1. That curve is why it's specifically a bread knife. It makes cutting cleanly to the bottom of the loaf a cinch, even a wide round loaf, while a straight serrated blade has to be exactly parallel to the cutting surface at the finish - and your knuckles are likely to get in the way of that. I'm surprised that Chemicalkinetics doesn't get it.

                    17 Replies
                    1. re: John Francis

                      <I'm surprised that Chemicalkinetics doesn't get it.>

                      Ha ha :P

                      I thought I wrote "The slightly curved knife gives you better knuckle clearance? "

                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                        Which blade is more efficient, for cutting bread, the offset or the slightly curved blade?

                        1. re: Unkle Al

                          I vote for curved, hands down.

                          1. re: tim irvine

                            Hi, Tim:

                            Did you look at or consider this DR? http://www.katom.com/135-13583.html?u... I like the straighter edge with the little trail to the tip. You don't have to draw the blade all the way through the loaf or sandwich or rock it much.

                            Aloha,
                            Kaleo

                            1. re: kaleokahu

                              May be it is just me but Dexters SofGrip line blows the SaniSafe line for handle comfort. I hate the SaniSafe handles and especially the thin ones like on that bread knife. Check out the equivalent SofGrip below.

                              http://www.katom.com/135-24423.html

                              1. re: knifesavers

                                Hi, knifesavers:

                                You have a good point about the SaniSafe handle thinness--they are less than ideal. The SofGrip handles fill my hand better, but they're so bulbous front and back, that I find them a little annoying. I mean, this thing is not getting all slippery with blood on a kill floor...

                                Aloha,
                                Kaleo

                              2. re: kaleokahu

                                I did look at it. I liked the extra inch and the curved blade. The big cushy handle was lagniappe, albeit ugly.

                            2. re: Unkle Al

                              I lean toward curved blade. For a bread knife with the right curvature, you will able to use it almost like a straight edge knife and able to finish cutting the bread without your knuckle hitting the board.

                              Offset definitely will give you the knuckle clearance. The only minor issue is that an offset knife may not feel like an extension of your hand because it is offset. This is likely to be a very minor issue. Afterall, you don't need a bread knife to feel completely the extension of your knife, and it is definitely something you can adapt to.

                              So emotionally speaking, I like a curved bread knife. Logically speaking, I think both can work well.

                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                it appears the knives recommended above by kaleo and knifesavers are both offset and curved.

                                1. re: linus

                                  Everyone has his/her preference, which is why different knives are made. If everyone prefer curved bread knives, then you won't see all the offset bread knives. Vice versa.

                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                    i understand, but i was pointing out the knives mentioned above are both at the same time. one knife, offset, with a curved blade.

                                    1. re: linus

                                      It seemed to me that the nine inch offset knife, although it had some curve, was not quite right for the way I slice. I thought long and hard about it and just like that extra inch. Most of my loaves are free form, typically seven or eight inches across. If I worked in a sandwich shop, the nine inch offset would totally rock. I knew from my eight inch Henckels that nine inches would help but not be ideal.

                                      1. re: tim irvine

                                        I was thinking that some really large artisan loaves would cut better with that than a regular bread.

                                        Kind of like a bread version of a cimeter/breaking knife for meat.

                                        Jim

                                2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                  I, too, favor a curved blade. I have a Forschner/Victorinox knife that works like a charm on all sizes and shapes of loaves. I can't say enough good things about it.

                                  http://www.williams-sonoma.com/produc...

                                  1. re: cheesemaestro

                                    yeah, i went by W-S looking for that one and they said catalogue only. Probably a subject for another thread, but W-S drives me nuts. Sometimes they go back to being a cooking store and then they go back to being a Martha Stewart clone. My local W-S no longer offers copper cookware except for stockpots and a couscoussier. All of their knives are stainless. Most of their bakeware is nonstick. Your knife looks great.

                                    1. re: tim irvine

                                      I didn't get my knife at W-S, which usually charges top dollar for items you can get for less elsewhere. Amazon.com sells the same knife for $24.95. (W-S's price is $39.95.) I assume that you preferred to see and hold the knife you were going to buy, which was less of an issue for me when I bought the Forschner several years ago. In any case, your knife also looks great (I've seen it at a local restaurant supply store) and, I'm sure, will do an excellent job.

                                      1. re: cheesemaestro

                                        Both Dexter and Victorinox made good knives.

                          2. I would be interested in buying a Dexter 10" bread knife . Would it be available anywhere in Toronto / Mississauga ? Any suggestions would be appreciated . Thanks . D.Piggy

                            1. I got the 7" F.Dick Offset Bread Knife after reading Kitchen Confidential and that thing slices better than any regular kitchen knife I've ever used.. Amazing with bread, but really shines with tomatoes.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Bunson

                                Cool! I could see a book and movie board here to discuss things like Kitchen Confidential and Ramen Girl.