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Mar 11, 2014 09:24 AM

Best brands for Chef's kinves

I am by no means a chef. Can you tell me which brands are considered best quality for beginners?

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  1. For beginner for cost effective, then probably something along the line of Victorinox stamped knife, Dexter Russell, and maybe Mercer. These are relatively inexpensive (<$45 per Chef's knife) and effective. They are restaurant workhorse knives.

    They are the kind of knives which you won't cry if you scratch it, dent it, or break it. Thus, they are good for beginners.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

      thanks Chem. I am mostly concerned with quality. One that will retain sharpness.

      1. re: PetLor70

        Hi PetLor70,

        Chemicalkinetics makes some good suggestions for beginner knives. If you are looking specifically at edge retention, then it would be helpful to give us a price range. A Tojiro DP in the 210mm size can be had for under $70 and would offer improved edge retention.

        Also important would be how you sharpen and how often.

          1. re: PetLor70

            I agree with Cynic. For $100, a Tojiro DP Chef's knife is excellent. As long as you don't abuse our knife too much, its edge retention is better than those of Wusthof or Henckels. I have one such knife.

            Here are a couple of link:



            Fujiwara FKM knives are also pretty good.


            Fujiwara FKM used to be cheaper, but now they are about the same price. Between the two, I slightly prefer Tojiro DP considering now their prices are the same.

    2. How you sharpen can help determine which knives are most appropriate for you. Sharpening is often more important than which knives you have, so be careful not to leave it out of the equation.

      1. I have to agree with Chem and Cowboy. It really all depends on your personal investment as to sharpening. That is key.

        We can talk about chef's knives for days. There are great beginners knives, there's a lot of junk in the middle, and then there is the rarified air of the higher end of chef's knives.

        You asked about "brands are considered best quality for beginners"...and I will take your word literally from there.

        Go to Amazon, and take a look at the Victorinox fibrox handled chef's knives...

        Well made, low priced and a size for your every desire. Lots of bang for your buck.
        I love great chef's knives. The Victorinox is what I buy for my wife.

        3 Replies
        1. re: wabi

          I have a few old carbon steel Sabatiers that I got for a song years ago that I love. My most recent purchase was a 10 inch Victorinox fibrox with a yellow handle. It comes in black, ,red,yellow,green, blue, and white. I love it! Well worth it, I might get another in blue! or green!Check out this merchant!

          1. re: Raffles

            Thanks so much. That is very helpful.

            1. re: Raffles

              Smile. found both my carbon steel Sabatiers at estate/yard sales. They are my workhorses. i paid maybe $5 for one and $3 for the small one. Sellers didn't like them cause they weren't pretty and shiny. Even when I asked if they were sure they wanted to let them go so cheap. Hard to figure but their loss. they go where i go to cook.

          2. Call restaurant supply places near you, ask if they sell retail - most do these days. Go, look at their basic knives for line cooks, try them out in your hand, buy 2-3 that feel balanced and comfortable and work for what you do most. Don't spend big @ yet. Get the stuff you need to sharpen and touch-up between major sharpening and learn how, Youtube and Chow have video. Develop _really_ good knife skills. Most beginners spend huge $$ on knives and still can't chop, slice, trim, bone-out or dice for beans, no matter how expensive their knife. When you are ready for a better knife you'll upgrade. Most line cooks go through lots of knives at work and have a few that are theirs and special. get good w/basic knives first.
            good luck.

            3 Replies
            1. re: kariin

              < Develop _really_ good knife skills. Most beginners spend huge $$ on knives and still can't chop, slice, trim, bone-out or dice for beans>

              I think both you and cowboyardee (and a few others) have hit on the main point. While I do believe there are some bad knives and good knives and some really great knives, most of us are limited by our knife skill, not our knives. This is a very important point. All knives require good knife skill. If you knife skill is poor, then no knife can help. All knife require sharpening (eventually, and no knife can help you if you cannot sharpening.

              I think it is important to get a reasonable knife (just like a reasonable pan or pot). Above that, then you have to ask if you have the skill to make take advantage of the difference. Most of us can benefit up to the restaurant work horse knives -- like Dexter and Victorinox. Above that, some people can take advantage of the higher quality of knives, and some don't. It is the hard truth, and I don't mean to offend anyone.

              For me, it is like the cell phone. It really makes no difference if someone gives me an iPhone 4 vs an iPhone 5.

              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                How the knife feels in the hand matters, It's a tool and you have to make it work with you. When you have developed knife skills, any knife in your hand will do the job. Don't become like weekend hacker tennis players or golfers who believe that a different racket or club set will improve their games.