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Feb 3, 2013 11:05 AM

Sexy, Dishwasher Safe, Reasonably Priced Knives

I'm looking to pick my girlfriend up a couple knives for her birthday. She doesn't have anything decent as far as knives go so it will probably just be two Chef's knives (so we can cook together).

Looks are semi-important. Something that doesn't just look plain would be great. Because of this I started looking at Shun stuff (I think it looks amazing).

Next requirement is that it's dishwasher safe. Convenience is big and I'm pretty sure that whatever I tell her they'll end up doing a couple cycles through the dishwasher. Apparently that's not ideal for any knife but it's a reality and it's unlikely to change. I can't much info on whether shun stuff (especially the Premier series) is dishwasher safe or not.

Last requirement is that it's not outrageously priced. Shun stuff is pushing my limit (about $200/knife). I'm in Canada so things are a little more expensive and I'm getting my prices off

So anyone have recommendations that meet all my needs?

Thanks in advance,

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  1. Here's a "sexy" knife from a Canadian supplier:

    I don't know how good it is as a knife, however.

    5 Replies
    1. re: GH1618

      Should have specified. Quality is important too. something around the same quality as Messermeister, Henckels, Wusthof kind of thing

      1. re: Albino_BlacMan

        Do you want the knives to be more on the Japanese side or German side? For German knives, I like Wusthof Ikon. $120 for a 8" inch knife.

        1. re: Albino_BlacMan

          In that case, this one seems a little better, and also sharp (in two senses):

          1. re: GH1618

            I am not too familiar with Yaxell knives but those do look sexy and with the micarta handle they should hold up better than wood handles for those infrequent "accidental" trips through the dishwasher. (Hate the sin, love the sinner.)

            Paul has a great reputation in Canada. You could email him to ask questions.

            Depending on your gf's taste in cooking show hosts she may find these reallly sexxxy:

      2. <Apparently that's not ideal for any knife but it's a reality and it's unlikely to change.>

        I think you are right. Putting knives in a dishwasher is not good for any knives because there is a tendency to dull the knife edge as they move around, but some worse than the others. For example, carbon steel knives and knives with wood handle will suffer more.

        I think you are kind of caught in a tough spot. Knives which are most dishwasher safe tend to be the worst looking ones. Dexter Russell and Victorinox/Forscher offer knives which are as dishwasher safe as they can be, but they don't look great.

        Shun Classic knives are technically dishwasher safe, but it pains me to tell you to put them in dishwasher. :(

        The following is my opinions of Shun knives. I think they are good quality, but I also think they are slightly overpriced for its quality. You can get similar knife for a bit less. Shun does offer free knife sharpening (for now) which is a good thing for many people.

        Shun 7" Asian Chef knife is actually inexpensive, with a straighter edge profile. Try them in Williams Sonoma and Sur La Table if they still have it.

        There are many great knives online, but you won't able to see them in person, and they are next to impossible to return. For your case, the other knives are the Henckels Miyabi lines. The Miyabi Kaizen line is similar to Shun Classic or Premier. The Miyabi Arisan SG-2, which is usually a more expensive line, is having a sale for its 8" Chef's knife. It is a SG-2 powder steel knife for $140:

        1. "it will probably just be two Chef's knives (so we can cook together)."

          Are you sure about this bit?

          3 Replies
          1. re: Robin Joy

            :) Which part are you worry about?

            "it will probably just be two Chef's knives"


            "so we can cook together"

            1. re: Chemicalkinetics


              If I slice something just a little off angle then I could be in real trouble with the management. My late MIL maintained that the best way to a man's heart was directly through the rib cage.

            2. re: Robin Joy

              Good point. Too many cooks spoil the soup.

            3. You're probably not going to like this sage advise, but if she can't follow sinple directions, like, knives don't go in the dish washer, you should seriiously reconsider status. My daughter had to train her husband, and I thought that was a serious task, but even he was trainable to that extent. Now I still haven't trained my wife of over 40 years, the knives need to be dried as soon as they are rinsed, but she doesn't use the same knives I use for the most part. My daughter-in-law doesn't touch my son's knives. If you opt to keep the girl friend, then don't waste good money on knives that are going to be ruined in the dishwasher.

              You definately don't want a knife with a wooden handle, as that will be shot in no time. The problem is that any good knife that goes in the dishwasher will come out duller than it went in. Hard Japan steel is going to be the most prone to more serious damage as the blade could even chip. The softer German steel will also dull, but is less likely to chip when banged around in the dishwasher. If you must, get a basic knife that's going to be easy to sharpen and has a plastic handle, like the Henckel Four Star. Good solid German knife that isn't an arm and a leg and if it ends up in the dishwasher, well it's not the end of the world.

              3 Replies
              1. re: mikie

                "If you opt to keep the girl friend, then don't waste good money on knives that are going to be ruined in the dishwasher."

                Save yourself the grief. Also like the 4 Star suggestion.

                1. re: mikie

                  <The problem is that any good knife that goes in the dishwasher will come out duller than it went in.>

                  In theory, knives do not have to get dull going into a dishwasher. It is just that the precaution to do so is more than washing the knives by hand. If one is to put the knives in carefully, and hold them in place (so they don't bang left and right and up and down), make sure no dishes are around to hit the knives, then it is fine. However, as you can see, the works to execute all these are more than the work to wipe the knives with a cloth.

                  I can maybe understand why a large establishment wit 25+ kitchen knives may want to consider using a dishwasher, but for 2-3 Chef's knives... I just don't get it.

                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    Assume that with some newer dishwashers you can secure the knife so it doesn't bang around and and dent and chip the edge, you still have the issue with dishwasher detergent being harsh on the edge. Good pots and pans don't go in the dishwisher and it's not because you can't protect the edge.

                    To OP, if your girlfriend has a sweater that says dry clean only, does she throw it in the washing machine? If not she's trainable, just train her with a less vaunerable knife.

                2. People actually put knives in the dishwasher? So what do you use to chop with while it's sitting in there? It takes seconds to clean a knife, I just don't get it.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: rasputina

                    Me nether. Seconds is not an exaggeration. Like maybe 10 sec to wash and dry. I don't get it

                    I may wash and dry my knife several times during a single meal preparation

                    I use my kitchen knife several times a day but only run the dishwasher maybe every other day. Even if I ran it every day the knife would be out of circulation after one use if left in the dishwasher.

                    1. re: rasputina

                      Mine go in the dishie all the time. I just do all my salad/ veg prep first and any raw meat work gets done afterwards. If the DW is not run prior to the next meal prep then I just use another one. For this very reason I've got four Forschner chef's knives with a total cost of less than many single Japanese items. Not so easy if you like $200 knives though.