HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >


Chef knife for home for novice

I'm looking for a decent knife for chopping and slicing onions, bell peppers, carrots, celery, garlic, ginger, etc. I have been using a 10 inch carving knife for this for about 30 years and after learning a little bit, I want to buy a decent knife for the job and learn how to use it. I'm 5 foot seven inches and 170 pounds if that helps. Would a 10 inch or 8 inch knife be more appropriate? After reading many of the discussions on knifes on this site, I'm now upgraded to a level of maybe novice:) I like the look of rosewood triple riveted handles, and would like the handle to not be too thick for crushing garlic and ginger on thinner 1/4" to 3/8" cutting boards. Price point may be around $50, which probably doesn't fall into the category of a good knife. I sharpen often (every other time of use on average) and enjoy a thinner blade as it seems to slice thru with less effort. I use inexpensive stones for sharpening and after reading, I really like the water stones as my stones require mineral oil or other light oil, and a fine water stone recommendation (and grit level) for frequent use would be really appreciated also. From my reading discussions and searching on the internet I'm thinking of the Forschner by Victorinox Rosewood 10" Chef's Knife from Bed Bad and Beyond which is about $40 after the 20% coupon. I do like the Japanese angle instead of the double and probably steeper angle of others since I sharpen often and think it may be easier to sharpen and slice with less effort, but I'm a novice so I may be wrong and most Japanese knifes are way out of my price range and out of my league and experience. For some humor and send a few goose bumps, my dad sharpens his fillet knife on his bench grinder - funny or what? I probably fall into the 90% category of a home cook and zero percent as a professional cook, but cooking good food instead of the processed pre-packaged stuff at the store makes home cooking extremely worth while for me. I also don't use a steel stick as I don't trust myself on the angle. Let me know if you need any more information, but your help would be greatly appreciated!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I'm still looking and reading and found this one: Tojiro DP 210mm Gyuto (F-808) at:
    and it's over budget at $79.95, but has VG-10 stainless steel center with the Japanese blade contour and I like the triple riveted handle. Since I'm really buying a kitchen knife for home use that I'm hoping to use for 80 percent of my chopping, slicing, dicing, etc. does it make sense to change my price range up to $80 for a fairly decent knife?

    2 Replies
    1. re: NewChow3

      <does it make sense to change my price range up to $80 for a fairly decent knife?>

      Tojiro DP is nice. I was going to also recommend Fujiwara FKM because it used to be at a lower price point, but that does not appear to be the case any more. I think $80 does appear a bit high for many people. Personally, I think it is a very good buy given the quality.

      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

        I really like the Toijiro DP and the steel used for the middle clad seems to be extremely good, but I agree that at twice the price it may have to wait as I'm spending money on raised bed's for my garden now.

    2. Granted, l am biased but l use a 8,10, and 12 inch chef's knife from Dexter for decades and still love them the most of my multi-hundred knives. If you are buying something to last a long time a bit more or less expensive should really not matter, these are not expensive.
      They are no longer available new but are easy to find used, as on eBay, l would get the 10' first and l doubt you would need any other unless for a person your size you have very, very little hands. The appropriate ebay search would be Dexter 48910, if you want larger blade use Dexter 49812. These knives have rosewood handles, full tangs, top of blade is @ 3/16 inch. l have been using them for presents for a long time. They will last generations.
      Possible negatives are they are soft carbon steel so they need sharpening often, any sharpener works great on them, also as wood handles and carbon steel, no dishwasher and fast hand drying after washing.

      10 Replies
      1. re: Delucacheesemonger

        Thanks Delucacheesemonger! I'll check those out. 12 inch for me would be too long but 8-10 seems pretty good. I only hand wash all knifes, so no worries on that, and sharpen often so these may be what I'm looking for. I also live in Colorado, so rust on carbon steel shouldn't be an issue. The big thing is just getting a chef knife for the dicing, slicing, and chopping as I've never had one and I found it's about the first type of knife one should have.

          1. re: Delucacheesemonger

            SHHHHHHH!!!!!!!! Don't let out the secret. ;)

            While I agree with you the condition they are often in is horrid. I have a 48912 that is still in work that had massive issues and a 48910 that was so rusted it may lose 2" off the tip due to deep pitting.

            A rosewood Victorinox is a better route not a better knife but respectable stainless and no 30+ years of neglect that you may find on an old carbon steel knife.

            FWIW one of my favorites in the block is an old Dexter 45A10H.


            1. re: knifesavers

              My use of the 45A10H has been sparse as the amount of steel is less as the top is quite thin, thus less weight, thus more work for me and less for the knife.

              1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                There is a 10" Dexter that is totally rusted and lookes like it was burried for many years on EBay for $39.95. I think that they may be great knifes, but also probably now have a vintage collectors value added on.

                1. re: NewChow3

                  There are two currently being bid on for @ 20 each, they generally go for 30-40. Got one for Cowboyardee for that range.
                  Hang in their and SNIPE them.

                  1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                    They are on my watch list but have 3-4 days to go. Is the Dexter Traditional 63689-10-PCP 10" Stain Free Cooks Knife with Wood Handle any good? There are several on ebay that are new.

              2. re: knifesavers

                I think the trick is to find one in good condition at a reasonabee price (under $40?). I'm 51 now and my knifes I bought 40 years ago ALL look great. I am a bit ashamed that I may have a dozen pocket/camping/hunting knifes and don't have a chef's knife. I was totally ignorant on their value for getting stuff cut up and I cook about 95% of what I eat. Thanks for your input!

            2. Personally, I would drop by my nearest restaurant supply store and pick up something like the 8" Forschner NSF line. It, or things very similar, are likely what was used to prepare your most recent excellent meal in a restaurant. They are decently balanced, hold an edge well, and made for commercial duty. Once you have used it for a while, you may want to try something else. I still use mine after 25 years, about half the time, among a collection of Wusthof, various Japanese knives, and a couple of old French knives.

              1 Reply
              1. re: akachochin

                Thanks akachochin! So I didn't know what the NSF was, but now I do. It seems to be about $5 less than the rosewood Forschner:

                I looked up the Dexter on Ebay and it goes for around $30 or more for a used one. I'm using a 40 year old carving knife now and have still have my first knife I bought in 2nd grade, so to me the knife will last more than a lifetime and it's something I will use pretty much every day. So the Forschner seems to be a better deal as the price is only about $10 more from what I can tell. So you would prefer an 8" over a 10" chef knife if you only had one knife? I also saw a new Wushtof 10" classic for about $77 on EBay.. It seems that to go above the Forschner is about double the price. For $5 more, I do like the rosewood better than the NSF, unless there is a difference in quality. I've been up all night looking at this stuff and it seems that a primary knife is way more complicated than I thought:

              2. Victorinox Forschner Fibrox are great knives for a very reasonable price. What size is best for you can only be determined by you. I really prefer shorter chef's knives and use my 5" and 6" Fibrox the most, although the 7 1/2" and my 8 and 10" Wusthofs come out for the larger vegetables such as cutting butternut squash and such items. If you learn how to sharpen your knives, you can get a lot of good use from a basic knife that will not break your budget.

                This is the opinion of a very dedicated home cook who makes most things from scratch, doesn't use a microwave, etc. I also have not sprung for an Asian knife so I may not know what I am missing, but the truth is, I am so happy with my Wusthof and Victorinox knives that I have not been compelled to try other stuff.

                2 Replies
                1. re: laraffinee

                  Thanks laraffinee. I don't want to go smaller than 8" for the chef knife, but if it's heavy enough the 8" may do fine. I did read that many chefs/cooks like a 240mm knife but I don't really know why. I realize the knife question is a bit of a can of worms as the topic is pretty broad, but I haven't seen many posts on this site for lower end or mid range knifes for the home and it's something I plan on using more than my coffee machine or TV. My friend also got rid of his microwave as he and his wife say it's healthier without it.

                  1. re: NewChow3

                    I never got a microwave because I can't stand how it affects the texture of food. There are all kinds of reports on the health effects of microwave cooking and I really don't know what is really true in that regard, but I do trust my taste buds and for me they nix microwaved food.

                2. No BRAND recommendations. A knife that is SHARP (and can be honed/sharpened) is key! I don't have any HIGH end knives, but they're all sharp... LESS chance of an accident than with a dull knife. Even found 3 Wolfgang Puck knives at a yard sale ($1 a piece) that have sharpened up nicely... thinking seller didn't know what to do with them once edge was gone?? I'm not an expert on sharpening, but have an electric sharpener that my dad bought that works well.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: kseiverd

                    I really agree on the sharpening. I do it often, probably because I don't have high end knifes and love it when they slice thru stuff just like a razor. From what I've heard it's even a good idea to sharpen really good knifes often since if you wait too long, the steel is so hard that they can become rather difficult to sharpen. I know someone that was really happy when he found a Wustof at Goodwill for $5. I didn't know what a Wustof was then, but I sure do now:)

                    1. re: NewChow3

                      Ditto. All my favorite knives are old, stamped, high carbon steel institutional knives that were handed down in the family. My 12" chef's knife belonged to an uncle who was a chief steward on United Fruit Company ships, making Banana/Passenger runs from Central America to NOLA back in the '30s. I do my own sharpening on a fine India oil stone and Japanese water stones. Have to go, will add mores later.

                  2. <Would a 10 inch or 8 inch knife be more appropriate?>

                    I don't think there is a definite answer. 8 inch is more popular for home use, while many chefs use 10 inch. Since you have been using a 10 inch carving knife, you may a sense if 10 inch feels too long for you.

                    < I sharpen often (every other time of use on average)>

                    Sharpening every other time seems a bit too much for home cooks. Not wrong, just a bit too often.

                    < a fine water stone recommendation>

                    Look for a 1000 to 1200 grit water stone. These look good:



                    < Let me know if you need any more information>

                    For your price range and for the rosewood handle, then the Victorinox is a good choice for you:


                    Dexter also has rosewood handle Chef's knife:


                    For a good Japanese VG-10, I recommend the Tojiro DP knife, but it is about $80:


                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                      Hey Chemicalkinetics thanks for the feedback and the links!

                      The 8" Victorinox is under $35 including shipping and tax!
                      For sharpening, I only spend a minute on it and use the knife for an hour or so. It's probably due to cheap knifes, but I notice a difference on the edge after cutting for just an hour or so and don't mind spending a minute to put the edge back on..

                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                        But Chem, that Dexter is nowhere near the same steel as the older ones.

                        Off topic q for you Chem. Been looking at a 330 mm takeda yanigabi that has two bevels as l am left handed and can be a pita to find left handed for similar cost. l know this knife is far lighter and thinner than most of knives l am used to, much lighter than my Masamoto l bought at tsukiji, one in and one out of market. What are your thoughts?

                        1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                          < Dexter is nowhere near the same steel as the older ones.>

                          Thanks for the information. I didn't know. Do you know the biggest difference? Edge retention or ability to take on a fine edge? Or everything?

                          <Been looking at a 330 mm takeda yanigabi that has two bevels >

                          A double bevel, right? Based on the photos, it looks to be a thin knife, I wonder if it is really more like a sujihiki than a yanagiba. Beside double vs single side bevel, a yanagiba is much thicker than a sujihiki.

                          Based on what I heard (probably same as what you heard) is that double and single bevel sujihiki and yanagiba are suitable for sushi making for most home cooks. In fact, most home cooks prefer sujihiki. However, I know that professional sushi chefs swear that a single bevel yanagiba produces more precision cuts, like la2tokyo. Any particular reason for a Takeda instead of another brand? Just curious. Nothing against Takeda, but Takeda knives have the black kurouchi rustic finish, whereas many think of yanaiba knives as shiny polished.


                          "Takeda 275mm 'Yanagiba' in Aogami Super Steel. They list it as a Yanagi but its actually more a Sujihiki. "


                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                            'Thanks for the information. I didn't know. Do you know the biggest difference? Edge retention or ability to take on a fine edge? Or everything?'

                            l had been told by a Russell rep the old ones had a far softer steel, thus easier but more sharpening. Yet mine show almost no steel loss after decades and, you may remember, l use a Chef's Choice for sharpening.except for Japanese pieces.

                            Thanks for the Takeda read, only reason interested have a yanagiba now and is wonderful,so saw a 330 mm from Takeda and thought would be a nice addition, will check again. Thought the rustic finish looked neat.

                      2. Since you're just getting started into both a new knife AND sharpening, I'm going to recommend your original proposal of a Forschner Rosewood knife over a VG-10 J-knife.

                        I have three Forschner Rosewood knives (7" santoku, 3-1/4" paring, & their smaller (9"?) bread knife), along with three VG-10 J-knives (Kanetsune 210mm gyuto, Shun 6" utility, & Shun 4" paring) & a carbon steel Chinese 'fruit knife' (Foshan '3 Rams' #2). So here's my take:

                        The Forschner stainless is MUCH easier to sharpen than the much harder VG-10. The thin blades make them a joy to use. The wood handles feel great & add a nice 'natural' touch to the use of the knives. (Just so you know, number of rivets means nothing as far as quality goes! Many very high-end J-knives have zero rivets, while many low-end 'mass market' knives sport three.) For the price, I think Forschner Rosewood knives are one of the best buys for someone in your shoes.

                        I, too, live in Colorado (about an hour north of Denver), & I can definitely tell you that my carbon steel knife will rust here if I don't immediately dry it after washing. Even leaving it in the dish drainer for a minute while I hand-wash a frying pan will leave rust spots!

                        I agree with Chem, that a 1000-1200 grit waterstone should be all you need to get started. The advantage of the Forschner knives is that I've also had excellent luck using the 'medium grit' Spyderco ceramic stone on them. I use this stone with water, just like a waterstone, only I don't have to soak it (just use it as a 'splash-&-go' style stone). The advantages of the Spyderco are that I don't have to soak it, worry about it wearing out, or do any maintenance on it to keep it flat. The disadvantages are that it's not quite as big as a typical waterstone & it's a touch slower to sharpen on.

                        I can easily get my Forschner santoku as sharp as my Kanetsune gyuto, & you'd probably only need to re-sharpen yours once a month. (I sharpen mine about once every six months to keep it sharp enough to shave arm hair; Chem's got OCKSD, so he sharpens his knives about once every 12 hours.)

                        9 Replies
                        1. re: Eiron

                          Thanks Eiron.
                          For the rivets and rosewood, I just like the looks better. For the rust, I was thinking of storage but am surprised the carbon knifes rust that fast, so I'll take your word on that one.

                          I currently just use an 8" hard Arkansas stone with mineral oil for sharpening. Is that comparable to a 1000 to 1200 grit wet stone? I'm not worried about getting them sharper than slicing paper and don't want to spend big bucks on supper high end stones either, but I'll check out the ceramic one as I forgot about the 10 minute soak time on the water stones. It sounds like the Forschner is the ticket, and thanks for your feedback!


                          1. re: NewChow3

                            The only Arkansas stone I have is a 'surgical black'. It puts a polished edge comparable to my Spyderco 'fine grit' ceramic, but takes about three times as long to get there!! I'd imagine that your Arkansas stone is also slower than the 'medium grit' ceramic, but I can't say how the grits compare.

                            You can get an excellent starter waterstone for around $25. This is the 1000 grit Suehiro/Splex that I started out with & still use:

                            The Spyderco ceramics are about twice that much, but are 'lifetime' stones.

                            1. re: Eiron

                              Thanks for the link Eiron. I didn't know if there were significant quality differences and saw several water stones in the $50 to $80 range and that is more than I want to spend. The $25 one looks good for what I may need though.

                            2. re: NewChow3

                              You never mentioned what knives you have currently?

                              If sticking with western steels you don't "need" any finer stone than that hard Arkansas.

                              Ad an India IB-8 for coarser stages, if needed, and you are golden.


                              I used a hard Arkansas for years as my final stage. Sounds as if you have also and know that rock. You actually can use them dry or with soapy water instead of oil.

                              Granted waterstones are faster and go far finer but have their own "care and feeding" so they are higher maintenance than an Arkansas stone and the "mud" they produce is messier than anything from an oilstone.


                              1. re: knifesavers

                                Thanks Jim,

                                You may find this a bit humorous but I don't think I have one decent kitchen knife. I have used a cheap non-serrated steak knife for slicing some things as it is really thin and awesome on soft tomatoes, and I have two 40-50 year old 8" carving knives (one full tang) both have rosewood handles that are in excellent condition, and three 3" pairing knives (chicago cutlery, walnut, full tang). For hunting knifes I have my first knife I bought in 2nd grade (5" full tang knife with a nice leather sheath (my most prized knife), Buck 105 camping/hunting knife, Wyoming knife (hunting), and about 10 pocket knifes ((3)Gerber, (3)Buck, (3)Victorinox), and (1) no name). My guess is that they would all fall into Western (softer steel or worse?). Your probably laughing now, but I'm just being honest.

                                I've probably learned ten times more in the last few days than I have my entire life on knifes. I get your point on what you are saying and I just thought the water sounded great since I use honing oil now. I still love my stones as the hard one I use often takes up minimal space and I just clean it with soap and water and enjoy using it more than one can imagine as having a sharp knife is huge for me. I like using the oil on a real stone as it helps to keep it clean, and less clogged, but I still spend the 10 seconds to clean it a bit with soap and lots of water after every use. I was thinking of just using one of my Arkansas stones to keep the water stone flat. I'm done looking into my first chef knife, but I still need to look into the water stones and ceramics a bit. They also have water stones that you don't have to soak for 10 minutes. It's going to take me a few more days looking into all the gritty details (pun intended).


                                1. re: NewChow3

                                  " I was thinking of just using one of my Arkansas stones to keep the water stone flat."

                                  That would be assuming your Arkansas is dead flat. After years of use it won't be unless you lap it every few years.

                                  Drywall screen on a glass cutting board is the cheap way to flatten a waterstone but a diamond plate is faster and easier.

                                  I use waterstones for japaneseknife imports because many of them can just sit in water and not suffer. The 1K/6K combo is amazing.


                                  1. re: knifesavers

                                    Thanks - I'll have to get some drywall screen as that sounds like a pretty good idea. That 1K/6K stone is out of my price range now, but maybe later?

                                2. re: knifesavers

                                  OOPS! - I forgot to mention I have three 8 inch stones, one extra course, one course, one fine. I used to have three others but they were stolen and one of them was an extra hard extra fine type. I have mostly (95%?) been using the hard/fine stone as I sharpen often and have cheap (softer) knifes. I don't know, but my guess is that the fine/hard stone could be more coarse than 1200 grit. I'll try to find out.

                              2. re: Eiron

                                <Just so you know, number of rivets means nothing as far as quality goes!>

                                That is an excellent point. The rivets do look nice, but they are no longer the sign of quality -- as they once were. Kind of like forged vs stamped knives. It is true that forged knives were better than stamped knives 50 years ago, but not true anymore.

                                <live in Colorado (about an hour north of Denver), & I can definitely tell you that my carbon steel knife will rust>

                                Why? Colorado is not very humid, is it?

                                <The advantages of the Spyderco are that I don't have to soak it, worry about it wearing out>


                                <Chem's got OCKSD, so he sharpens his knives about once every 12 hours.)>

                                I was able to beat my addiction about 3-4 years ago. I have not had to sharpen my knives any more than once every month now -- probably more like once every two months now.

                              3. Another option to consider is one of the CCK slicers. They look like cleavers but the blades are thinner and smaller. I have a couple of friends who use them as their primary prep knives, and they swear by them. About $40, leaves a few extra $$ to spend on stones. It's carbon steel, but seems to be low-maintenance for carbon.

                                I have the 1000/5000 grit King combo stone. It's an OK stone, but if you have more budget, then a friend swears by his combination of Bester 800 + Naniwa Super Stone 3000. Under $100 at chefs knives to go.

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: seattle_lee

                                  Thanks Seattle,

                                  I read a review of a CCK slicer from Chem, but I do want a chef knife before investing in a big slicer like that. I'll check out those stones, but $100 is a lot to me for two stones. I have a Chef's Choice 110 but hardly use it as I like the stones more for a finished edge.
                                  I'm pretty much thinking of buying the Forschner as it's only a little more than the Dexter and brand new. I may go into a local store and hold the 8" and 10" to figure out what size to get.

                                  1. re: NewChow3

                                    < I'll check out those stones, but $100 is a lot to me for two stones.>

                                    Yeah, I was in your shoes back then. It seemed ridiculously expensive to spend $100 on stones, when the knife costs <$40. I think a good place to start is a ~1000 grit waterstone. From there you can decide to buy more or stay put. You can always get a moderate or low-moderate quality ~1000 grit stone for about $20. I actually bought a waterstone from H-Mart (Korean supermarket) for $6-7 dollar. It works, but it isn't very good. This cheap King stone is probably a good testing piece. $13 Free shipping:


                                    I think a Forschner/Victorinox is a very good choice. It is highly rated by many people. The wood handle one is a bit nicer, but also a bit more expensive ($30 vs $35).

                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                      I'm sure that $100 is not out of line for a couple of good stones as I have probably already spent around $150 to $200 on sharpening stuff over the years. I bought the Chef's Choice 110 because of the magnets and constant angle but I found myself using the Arkansas stones as I probably use too flat of an angle (10-12 degrees?) and it's probably why they dull fairly quickly (and crappy cheap knifes). I think the Chefs Choice uses about 20 degrees. I may sell it and put the money towards a decent water stone. I bought a set of 3 small stones in grade school because we didn't have anything that would work on small pocket knifes or sharp enough for a fillet knife. I was so proud that I sharpened all my moms knifes and she cut herself pretty good and I got in trouble for making her knifes too sharp (she would cut stuff like carrots and celery in her hand without a board cutting towards her thumb).

                                      Thanks Chem and everyone else for your expert advise and I found out I accidentally lied on the initial post (sorry).
                                      I went and measured the longer knifes I have been using and they are only 8" and I was pretty sure they were 10", but I was wrong. I'm buying the 8 inch Forschner (rosewood) as it seems to be long enough and later I can always get a 6 inch and/or a 10 inch. I'm planning on buying the King one mentioned and/or a $25 water stone and later buy a $50 dollar water stone. I'm really very excited to start using a decent chef's knife and think it will save me lots of time and add some safety too! I've been lucky in that I've never cut myself good, but I've accidentally trimmed thru my finger nails a bit too often.

                                      Thank you for everyone's help and all of the links! Very MUCH appreciated!!! Hopefully this will help other noobies like me too:)


                                      1. re: NewChow3

                                        Cheers. Let us know how everything turns out.

                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                          Thanks Chem,

                                          I've been reading/learning now about how to use a knife, like food prep knife skills. Since I didn't have a decent knife, I sure the heck didn't really know how to attempt decent knife cutting skills for food prep, and when I make some stuff I may cut up a dozen onions all with the wrong knife, wrong skills, etc. I hope you understand why I'm pretty excited about my first chef knife and I'm extremely grateful for everyone's help! I'm looking forward to using the knife, knowledge, (and food) the rest of my life.

                                2. I really like the Bakers and Chefs 7" santoku they sell at Sams Club. They are surprisingly nice knives for the price (2 pack is about $12). Also, Kiwi brand knives from Thailand are nice and very inexpensive

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: oppland

                                    I would like to get a santoku sometime and need a utility type knife too. Since I pretty much have squat for kitchen knives now, I was thinking I could get a couple lower end knifes and later upgrade them. I did want to get a half way decent chef knife since I'm planning on using it about 5x more than the others.

                                  2. A remarkable find on EBAY for a good Chef's knife.


                                    I have that one as part of a recent set of the " Pura " line from Rösle. can attest that In Germany, that knife is 75 Euros. It can be seen at the top of the table in the photo.
                                    And it is used as much as our Global knives, so much so that heresy not withstanding, I leave it in our Global Knife block.

                                    I believe that currently on your Amazon.com it retails for $ 89.95 USD, so the price stated on the EBAY bid is very good.

                                    Note that these do not go in a dishwasher: Hand wash only.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: SWISSAIRE

                                      Thanks Swiss, but I couldn't find specs and they seem not to make a lot of different chef's knifes. I'm sticking with the Victornox.

                                    2. Great advice here - I think you are VERY smart to be looking for just ONE knife to start out with.

                                      In addition to what everybody else said, I'd say spend the money on the blade, not the handle. You can definitely get a great blade for $50, and it doesn't really matter if it's attached to a boring plain handle.

                                      I am about your height and do almost everything with a small carbon steel women's santoku (gift, not sure of maker) and sharpen it with a water stone from the Japanese market (under $20, #1000 grit). Carbon steel is tricky to keep dry, and maybe it's Stockholm Syndrome, but I think I've bonded with my knife even more because of how much I have to baby it. I am a huge partisan for carbon steel, especially for someone's first real knife, for this reason and also that fact that it gets REALLY sharp even if your sharpening technique is pretty mediocre like mine.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Sarah Perry

                                        Thanks Sarah,
                                        What brand of Japanese water stone do you have? The price point seems good. How long have you used it? does it hold up well and put an easy paper slicing edge on your knife?
                                        I like the looks of the santoko and have read that some people use them as their primary knife.
                                        My guess is that most professional kitchens use the fibrox or other synthetic handles more than wood since they may hold up better and have the NSF certification, but I do like the traditional wood more. I also like that the chefs knife has a nice flat constant and thin angle along the width of the knife, as it just seems to slice with less effort. I may later get the Dexter 48910 as a larger and heavier knife, but most of them aren't in the best condition and I know I would end up spending at least day trying to get the knife looking new. The Dexter also looks a bit thicker. I wasn't able to find out the specifications for the Forchner knife on the Victorinox web site, but did find it probably has a Rockwell hardness of about 53 to 56.