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It (doesn't) last forever

I bought my husband, then boyfriend, a Henkel's chef's knife for $100+ in 2001 for his birthday. His birthday is on Friday, and Henkel has bit the dust after 12 years of almost daily use, inconsistent honing, amateur and professional sharpening. That knife doesn't owe me a dime. Question is, how long do your knives last you? I think I read somewhere that some professional kitchens rent their knives because they're so hard on them. Made me feel better about mine not "lasting forever."

Also, thinking about getting this one for him for Friday. What say you?
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000...

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  1. How did it bite the dust?

    The handle disintegrated on an old Sabatier that I inherited from my grandfather. My MIL has nearly ruined my paring knife a few times, though I've rehabbed it successfully so far. I've given away quite a few knives that I didn't use very often. And I've had a few sharpening stones expire on me. But the knives I use most often don't seem any worse for wear now than they did several years ago when they were new. If a knife is only lasting 12 years for you, you might have a problem to address, depending on the circumstances of its demise.

    Professionals definitely go through knives faster than the average home cook. I would generally expect over 10 years of use from a chefs knife in a professional setting, though that can depend heavily on how the knife is sharpened and the kind of treatment it's subject to.

    As far as the Wusthof Icon - it's a good replacement for someone who's used to a henckels (4 star line?). It tends to look nice, feels very similar to the Henckels, sharpens reasonably well, and I like that it doesn't have a full length bolster.
    The Messermeister Meridian Elite has almost the exact same specs at a lower price point. For consideration:
    http://www.amazon.com/Messermeister-M...

    1 Reply
    1. re: cowboyardee

      the tip broke, and where the knife meets the handle (hilt?) is a little wonky.....

      it's never seen the inside of a dishwasher.

    2. The wooden handle of a paring knife split, after years of use and frequent washing. It was part of a knife set given to me and obviously wasn't made to last. My knives with non-wooden handles are showing no signs of age, and most of the wooden-handled ones too.

      1. 12 years @ $100 equals a great deal, less than a dollar a month. Buy another one just like it.

        3 Replies
        1. re: genoO

          Feeling pretty good about my Henckels, then; got it for $50. in late winter 1983, so that's less than 14 cents a month. And going down all the time, as it shows no signs that I'll ever need to get another.

          1. re: ellabee

            Most of my knives are 15-20 yrs old. Only one I got rid of was one that I allowed some idiot "professional" to sharpen for me. Never again - he totally ruined the shape of the blade. It ended up looking like a thick fillet knife.

            We have a knife that's about 75 years old - was my grandmother's on the farm. It's pretty funny - i think you'd have to be on a ship at sea to make a decent cut with it: the edge is completely wavey from her sharpening the middle only.

            _______/--------------------\___________ <kinda like that!

            1. re: ellabee

              Most of my knives are 15-20 yrs old. Only one I got rid of was one that I allowed some idiot "professional" to sharpen for me. Never again - he totally ruined the shape of the blade. It ended up looking like a thick boning knife.

              We have a knife that's about 75 years old - was my grandmother's on the farm. It's pretty funny - i think you'd have to be on a ship at sea to make a decent cut with it: the edge is completely wavey from her sharpening the middle only.

              _______/--------------------\___________ <kinda like that!

          2. You might want to try taking your knife to a store to see if they will return it to Henkel. I had a Henkel for five years that developed tiny hairline cracks on the handle. It didn't affect its performance, but I thought it was odd, so I took it to a speciality knife store (it was a wedding gift, so I don't know where it was purchased and didn't have the receipt) and they sent it back to Henkel for me. I got a new knife back two weeks later. I was amazed at how easy the process was.

            The replacement is now doing the same thing, so I think it may be a design flaw and I've decided not to worry about it, but I thought I would mention my experience in case you think your knife might warrant replacing.

            PS. Like Cowboyardee, I love the Wusthof Icon!

            1 Reply
            1. re: playingwithfood

              Cracks around rivets with plastic handles are a common knife issue I see and most German makes replace them easily if that happens.

              Hypothetically could be from the rapid temp changes in the dishwasher.

              I point these out to folks and give them a choice of letting them send it for warranty now or sharpen it and next time it needs sharpening send it in.

              I prefer the fully encased handles like the Wusthof Grand Prix because of it

            2. Post a pic and lets see if it is beyond hope.

              I have stuff going on 20 years and have sharpened stuff that was even more.

              Jim

              1 Reply
              1. re: knifesavers

                will do. it's been relegated to the "cape" for summer use. I will be down there this weekend, and i will take a photo.