Skip to main content

The pots and pans thread seems to be begging for a knife thread, so I'll give it a go.

Henkels is good, but Wusthof Trident is, in my opinion, just a little bit better. The knives are a little more delicate and elegant in how they taper off.

I've also got a few Global knives which are super sharp and relatively inexpensive. The main drawback is that their spines have sharp edges that become too painful after many hour of use. I have one that actually cut me. The top of the knive, that is, not the part that's supposed to be sharp. I was carving a goose when I realized it wasn't that rare, and all that blood was coming from somewhere else.

I also have a fondness for old carbon steel knives - the kind that rust if you don't treat them right. The metal is softer, so they sharpen up to a razor's edge in a flash. But they can discolor certain foods and are not always the best made.

I guess I should point out that I am a chef professionally, and might care a little bit more about my knives than others. Us chefs tend to build up elaborate knife collections that make other people raise an eyebrow.

Anybody have any interesting pieces?
Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

As much as it pains me to agree with everything a poster has written...mj: I agree with everything you have posted.

Henkel=Good
Wusthof=Better

Wouldn't turn either down, but my Wusthof Grand Prix 10 inch Chef knife is my favorite. (It is also big enough and heavy enough to intimidate guests in my kitchen, so they don't use it! [Smile] )

Any experience with the Kyocera ceramics? I've toyed with the idea, but they are too expensive to buy on a whim. They'd have to be highly recommended for me to jump in.
I have a set of the Wusthof Grand Prix and like them much better than my cheaper Henkels set (though the Henkels certainly aren't bad). I picked up the black Kyocera 6" chef's knife on ebay about a year ago for I think $155 new. It's without a doubt the sharpest knife I've ever used though I can't say I'd recommend it. The blades chip very easily which makes it only suitable for cutting soft vegetables and the like. If it needs sharpening to get the chips out you need to send it off to Japan. I wasn't expecting much out of the knife, and bought it mainly for novelty value.

I really like the Globals but I'm not a professional chef and therefore haven't used them for any length of time. I thought about those instead of my Wusthofs but in the end felt I got a better deal with the ones I bought.
On ceramics - I bought a ceramic paring knife just to see what all the fuss was about, and didn't really get it. Sure, it's sharp, but it's not "metal" sharp. It's not razor sharp. On a really sharp metal blade you know you can cut yourself (if you were so inclined, I guess) just my pushing your finger into the blade. On the ceramic I got the feeling that you would have to move your finger back in forth a little - almost as if its sharpness was due to micro-serrations. That, coupled with the fragility of the things and their limited size, left me nonplussed.
If you are good to your butcher they will usually sharpen knives for a small fee. or take them to your local cutlery store and they can ship them out for a higher price. My butcher does a great job and usually doesn't charge because he knows I use them to only cut the meat he sells me. Talk to the sushi chef at the restaurant you went to, they might sharpen knives on the side.
To keep my knife's edge, I run it/them over a sharpening steel once or twice at least once a week, or every time you use them if it's just once in a while.

Then, if it gets really dull, I take them to my dad. He'll sharpen them on his whet stone until you could split a hair lengthwise.

Every good cutlery/knife shop will sharpen your knives for you for a small fee. There's a good knife shop in almost every shopping mall these days.
Board-O: "Real" sushi knives are hand-crafted
here in Japan very carefully in the tradition of sword-making, and are "layered down". They cost
a heck of a lot. Most chefs here in Japan use
anything from Solingen, but tradional Japanese
chefs ( called "itamae"---literally, "in front of the board" ) insist upon the best made here. I
could get you names, but the availability outside of Japan is probably zilch. My mother still uses some from over a hundred years ago-----needs very
little honing, as I find out every time I try to chop vegetables and end up adding blood to them.
Board-o,

Top sushi knives are usually, if not always, sharpened on a water stone machine. This is a natural stone, similar to Wa****a, that has been cut in the shape of a large flat donut. This stone spins at a relatively slow speed (a few hundred rpm) and has a thin pipe that trickles a small stream of water onto the stone's flat surface while it spins.

You can find water stone machines at high-end woodworking stores/websites; they are the sharpener of choice for woodplane blades.

(Hmmm, the bad words editor changed the spelling of the stone, which is spelled "double-you, ay, ess, aitch, eye, tee, ay")

[ 07-16-2002, 12:22 PM: Message edited by: CrisisMode ]
it's interesting to meet people, they have made
the same experience like i did!

mjbleck, i'm using the "wusthof" (we called
dreizack) since 1983!! never replaced one knife!

i'm also an "fanatic", [Roll Eyes]
searching the better [Wink] !

i had the same experiences with ceramic knifes
and it's like you sayed, they are not raser-sharp!
one of my best knifes is a damast-steel kitchen-
knife from japan (but not the hand-made stuff!!)

check out this link:
web page
and
web page

GMTinJapan,
did you meen this type of knifes?
we could get (order) them here but i don't have
the "CHANGE" [Roll Eyes] [Wink] [Frown]
I have Henckels and I'm happy with them, but have to look into the Wustof next time.

GMT, when you mentioned the sushi knives, it reminded me how the samarai swords are made. My favorite uncle polishes antique swords as a hobby and I've watched the tedious multistep process. Lot of pressure to polish a 6 figure sword. The grains on the blades are so beautiful.
Has anyone ever seen a Champagne bottle opened with a sword? I was in a caviar/Champagne shop in London a few years ago and saw several swords. The people there told me that in Russia some people crack the neck of the bottle with them to open the bottle. I saw the same thing in a Chicago store a few months ago. I asked the owner if any knife would work and he said any big sharp knife would work, but then another lady that worked there said here friend tried to do it with a butcher knife and champagne and glass went everywhere. I'm very intersered in this.
Best steak and carving knives are from Randall.
Handmade in Florida, extremely expensive and the sharpest damned knives I have ever owned.

I use various Randalls for hunting and skinning and I own a couple of their bowies.

Unfortunately a good Randall is several hundred dollars and the knives you order today will not be shipped until 2005.

I know, hunting is not politically correct but I have to have something to pair with my Rhones. [Big Grin]
Shanenw1

How to saber a bottle of champagne - Remove wire cage from cork. Hold bottle in a napkin for your protection should things go horribly wrong, with the bottle seam facing up. Then, using a heavy knife (if it's a good knife you can use the back of the blade), run the blade along the seam into the lip at the neck of the bottle. Do this with conviction, and pop, there goes the cork (with the neck of the bottle still attached). Be careful with the top of the bottle - it is extremely sharp, and if you play with it too much you might end up pouring rose.

Essentially all you are doing is cracking the neck of the bottle, and the pressure does the rest. It's not a chop or a decapitation or anything.

BTW, you can also saber still wine. Saber the bottle once, and then with a towel remove the broken off ring of the bottle. The cork will still be in the bottle. Then with a pair of pliars or a nutcracker or something, take out the cork.

Please post your ER stories on another thread [Big Grin]
Shane, if you want to saber a Champagne, make sure it's ICE cold - very, very cold.
Travel the saber up the seam of the bottle, and when you reach the lip, crack that saber against it using a bit of extra force.
I learned how to in one session - I now have a certificate from Venoge.

On knives;
My dad's a butcher, swears by Wusthof knives.

Cheers,
Mishy
As a professional chef who has used them all:
Hands down Globals are the best.

They are completely sanitary due to their one piece design

They will last longer (in terms of shape fidelity) because they don't have the hilt that the Henkel's and the Wustofs have. The hilt prevents the entire plane of the knife from being sharpend causing the knife to wear unnaturally over time.

They are easier to sharpen and stay sharp longer.

High carbon knives are terrific too as long as you don't cut vegetables with them (causes the knife to rust and the vegetables to turn brown).

A big reason why japanese sushi knives get so sharp is not just the metal but the design. Sushi knives only have one plane to sharpen. That is the knife has a flat back side and a long sloping front side so you only sharpen the one side. This design makes a lot of sense because when you sharpen regular knives you are constantly working against your edge when you flip the knife over to sharpen the other side.

cheers!

gk
Three cheers to the forum historian for revising old classic threads.

On the topic of knives: Does anyone have experience with Laguiole steak knives from France? They seem to be a big deal (Martha Stewart sells knock offs) with a unique style. I got a set as a wedding gift and have been very disappointed. For one thing, one of the blades just broke while I was using it to cut a slice a bread. Ok, I know, it's for steak so it was my fault. But a loaf of bread on the table? In general, the non-serrated blade seems inappropriate for a steak knife.
Cbmac-

The problem with Laguiole is that there is no trademark on either the name or the bumblebee, so there are many companies producing knives with that name on it. They range in quality from fantastic to utter crap. I'm sorry to say it sounds like you got some of the latter. It's not the buyer's fault either, it's easy to get duped. I've wanted a set of good ones for a while now but I'm reluctant because of the above.

********
Lighten up, Francis.
I have both Henkel (Pro S) and Wustoff (classic) and also find Wustoff to be slightly better. Wustoff is my father's (a chef)"weapon of choice."

I am very impressed with the quality of my Laguiole "natural horn" opener. I have however, recently seen imposters available at Le Crueset. They looked decent, but not quite as good. Those from the Wine Enthusiast are the real deal.

For what it is worth, My favorite tactical (don't ask)knife is Benchmade (aka Balisong). It can cut through a tin can and still handle your most delicate vegetables. Now how much would you pay?-lol

And to settle this once and for all, VICTORONOX is the best Swiss Army Knife.
hi guy's,

i'm happy,

just finished my self made kitchen-folding-knife Big Grin


a few things to better imgine how it looks like

- folding with 2 blades
- the blades have the tipical vegetal-knife-shape
- one is serrade
- 1) that one is made of 4034 true ice hardened, stainfree
- 2) the other is a c75 steel, true ice hardened, absolutly not stainfree (high carbon steel)
- both are very thin blades 1)- 1.7mm / 2)- 1.4mm
- both are looked with linerlooks
- the "handle" has new silver cheek's
and wood at the center "desert iron wood"

Cool Cool Cool Cool Cool Cool Cool Cool Cool Cool Cool Cool Cool Cool Cool
My knife bag is a collection of Wusthof Trident's and Messmermeister Elite's.

Do not like Global. They don't handle too well to my liking. Same goes w/ Henckel.

Wusthof's are a bit too heavy, but I've gotten used to them over the years. My pairing is the Messermeister... which is awesome.

Mac knives are the knives I want. I've tried out a few and I love how they handle.

I am also in the market for a top quality left handed sashimi knife. I've yet to come across one that's left handed... grrr. Smile

==================
AIM: Drunken Mariachi
"...the hilt that the Henkel's and the Wustofs have. The hilt prevents the entire plane of the knife from being sharpend causing the knife to wear unnaturally over time."

When this happens, take them to the place that chefs take their knives (ask around for the name of it) and have the tang filed. This place (probably a small unlikely place geared towards hunters) is probably the best place to have your knives professionally sharpened, too.

As for Laguiole, I bought some expensive ($275/6)rosewood handled steak knives several years ago. They are works of art and are the most efficient, elegant, balanced steak knives I have ever used. They have yet to need sharpening and slice thru meat like butter.

[This message was edited by txtaster on Mar 13, 2004 at 05:04 PM.]
Last edited {1}
I went and dug out my receipt for the Laguiole steak knives I purchased. I bought them online from Corkscrew.com and I can't recommend them highly enough. I remember they even sent me a follow up email to make sure I received them and that I was satisfied. I just checked their website and they still have them, they are the Forge de Laguiole Steak Knives, Rosewood Handles and are $335 now.

Also, if you love beautiful and efficient corkscrews, the Forge de Laguiole corkscrews are to die for. Ours has opened hundreds, if not thousands (it's used professionally Wink) of bottles and the worm is still as good as new. It just gets better and better the more it is used. I just wish they made a left handed model. The edge of the knife to cut the foil is upsidedown, but lefties learn to adapt.
I use Zwilling J.A. Henckels. Not the most expensive, but I love these knives! I tend to pull them a couple of times over a sharepning steel each time before usage and then ask my father to sharpen them every once in a while. (An elaborate opereation - his greatest hobby is renovating old furniture, so he's a fan of most things sharp.)

Incidentally the best knife I've ever used in a kitchen belongs to him. It is a curved handmade knife of unknown origin (likely Finnish) that looks pretty much like a scimitar and is the size of a small short sword. Sharp like no other knife I've tried and heavy.
I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned Kershaw's Shun knives - the ones that are quasi-Damascus steel. They are beautiful, well-balanced, easy to maintain and not so expensive for an 'exotic knife".

The chef and sous-chef at our restaurant use them and I've given them a spin. After doing so, I sent my venerable Henckel 8 in. chef's knife (which I liked a lot) to a knife-poor friend of mine as a gift and am planning to buy a 10 in. Shun. It costs around $100 - 130 but is well worth the money. I *really* love the Damascus steel patterns...

Now if I can only get the money :chuckle:.

Here's a link to a closeup shot of one:

http://sasquatchvalley.iwarp.com/shun.htm

Note that I'm not endorsing this site.
Last edited {1}
I see that this thread goes back awhile. I was interested since it has been revived and read the whole. I was interested to see that the majority of chefs that post seem to have Wüsthof knives, which means that I made a good choice ... in 1982.

In that time I have re-sharpened them twice.

I shudder when I read of the suggestions of how to sharpen such beautiful implements.

Steels DO NOT sharpen knives. They simply remove the minute burr that occurs with use.

Water wheels (as one member posted), are excellent but very coarse. Looked at under a 30 or 60 power microscope you will see a serrated edge. Of course, for general work this even aids cutting. (tomatoes and capsicum skins are quite resistant to cutting).

Time was that my grand-dad had five stones, from 80 grit waterstone, through 250, 400 Arkansas to a white Arkansas "soap-stone" which was reputedly 800 grit. I used these for years for knives and plane blades (with another set for chisel-blades).

Then someone sold me diamond "stones". As the traditional stones needed replacing I did so with these. All still 8" x 2" but now I can cut chips out of a blade in half the time and the "fine" option is 1200 grit. Extra superb!!!

I also got a little fanatical and have honed down to 2000 grit using 2000 paper glued to an 8 x 2 hard-rubber block. Looked at with the 60 power and edge now has a mirror surface.

What did I learn using the m'scope? DON'T use oil on your oil stone. It creates a slurry and the larger chips of stone and steel cause a ghastly mess with you edge. Just dry-hone, brushing the stone frequently with a dry stiff bristled brush.

Secondly, when using a steel .. ONE pass, very, very gently down each edge; not the repeated whip-whap that you see butchers do.

Thirdly, your every day pocket knife should have a "blunter" edge (cut the second edge at 25 to 30 deg) as the finer edge won't wear well for this sort of use.

I've shaved a beard with an axe ... for charity ... so just about any implement can get to this sharpness with patience.
quote:
Originally posted by dwIII:
I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned Kershaw's Shun knives - the ones that are quasi-Damascus steel. They are beautiful, well-balanced, easy to maintain and not so expensive for an 'exotic knife".

The chef and sous-chef at our restaurant use them and I've given them a spin. After doing so, I sent my venerable Henckel 8 in. chef's knife (which I liked a lot) to a knife-poor friend of mine as a gift and am planning to buy a 10 in. Shun. It costs around $100 - 130 but is well worth the money. I *really* love the Damascus steel patterns...

Now if I can only get the money :chuckle:.

Here's a link to a closeup shot of one:

http://sasquatchvalley.iwarp.com/shun.htm

Note that I'm not endorsing this site.


I actually meant to add that one downside to these knives is the fact that the handle is cylindrical and not contoured. It *is* a tapering cylinder to be sure, but some people might find the handle off-putting, espcially if they are used to contoured handles. They take a little bit of getting used to (I didn't like it at first but later ended up preferring it). Those with large hands might also find the handle too skimpy, alhough our sous chef has very large hands and he loves the handle. I can't emphasize how much our chef and sous chef praise these knives. They put them through a lot of hard use and they say that these knives seem easier to sharpen, keep their edge a little longer and are easy to maintain day in and day out.
I wanted to also praise Messermeister as a good cheaper alternative to the more expensive brands.

Since I gave away my Henckel chef's knife, I've been using my Santoku Henckel quite a bit and recently one of the cooks in the back offered a spare Messermeister Santoku to me for a very cheap price. I bought it because it had a different thickness than the Henckel. It has a fairly thin profile and it's more flexible than the thicker Henckel. I find that I like using it for softer raw materials and for more intricate cuts. For instance, the Henckel works better for hard things like carrots, while the Messermeister is far better for onions.

I think that the cook told me that the knife cost him about $30 (whereas the Henckel cost me about $50 IIRC). If I were only going to have one, I'd get the Henckel though. The MM is too thin to do a really good job with carrots and the Henckel does a pretty good job with softer things as well. The MM is cheap enough to buy as an adjunct though.

I probably don't even need a 'Western style" chef's knife at this point, but I'm still going ahead with my Shun purchase eventually. What a beautiful knife!

One other thing, I have a Henckel cleaver and I love it. It was pretty cheap on sale as well (think I paid $40 for it).
KB

No,no pics.

From my G-dad, I learnt to be fanatical about cutting edges. I have only re-cut (that is an entirely new primary and then secondary face) on my Wüsthof knives twice in 20 odd years. Mind you, I use timber cutting boards for hygiene as well as knife-edge reasons (the placky ones blunt knives and harbour bacteria).

If you can get up to the local Grammar School and look at the edges under a stereo 'scope (you don't need anything more than 30X really), say taking a sandstone cut(primary edge) then the various graded edges.

My pocket knife (it is so much a part of me it is always being confiscated when I get on planes ... I just forget...), needs the slightly steeper angle of the second face-edge (say 25 deg cf 18 to 20 deg of the knives), as the extra fine edge just burrs too quickly in vineyard use.
quote:
I actually meant to add that one downside to these knives is the fact that the handle is cylindrical and not contoured. It *is* a tapering cylinder to be sure, but some people might find the handle off-putting, espcially if they are used to contoured handles. They take a little bit of getting used to (I didn't like it at first but later ended up preferring it). Those with large hands might also find the handle too skimpy, alhough our sous chef has very large hands and he loves the handle. I can't emphasize how much our chef and sous chef praise these knives. They put them through a lot of hard use and they say that these knives seem easier to sharpen, keep their edge a little longer and are easy to maintain day in and day out.


I'm a Shun devotee as well. It didn't take me long to get used to the handle, but the backside of the blade is cornered off sharply, which eats away at your fingers with extended use. I found that taking a steel to the corners, as well as behind the bolster of the blade, really helps. I've tried a bunch of knives, and nothing holds an edge as well.

www.winespectator.com

[This message was edited by Nick Fauchald on Apr 05, 2004 at 10:29 AM.]
Last edited {1}
i followed this topic for month now and it's really
interesting how many diffrend oppinions they have.


i'm very interessted in knife and as a chef with
21 years experience and worked togheter with chefs
who had diffrend knifes.
have seen diffrend knife-oners who took care of the knife and others did not.
chefs using knifes just dosn't cut, "you could ride on without cutting youre b..! Wink"

what i wanted to say is that a really big part
of the "how well dos this knife cut" comes from
who/how someone takes care of it!

certainly are differences between cheapest stuff and expensiv knifes!

highend knifes also need an extrem high expens to take accurate care.

one of them are windmühlenmesser
quote:
Originally posted by mjbleck:
The pots and pans thread seems to be begging for a knife thread, so I'll give it a go.<br /><br />Henkels is good, but Wusthof Trident is, in my opinion, just a little bit better. The knives are a little more delicate and elegant in how they taper off.<br /><br />I've also got a few Global knives which are super sharp and relatively inexpensive. The main drawback is that their spines have sharp edges that become too painful after many hour of use. I have one that actually cut me. The top of the knive, that is, not the part that's supposed to be sharp. I was carving a goose when I realized it wasn't that rare, and all that blood was coming from somewhere else. <br /><br />I also have a fondness for old carbon steel knives - the kind that rust if you don't treat them right. The metal is softer, so they sharpen up to a razor's edge in a flash. But they can discolor certain foods and are not always the best made.<br /><br />I guess I should point out that I am a chef professionally, and might care a little bit more about my knives than others. Us chefs tend to build up elaborate knife collections that make other people raise an eyebrow.<br /><br />Anybody have any interesting pieces?


Globals "cut" you?? I use Globals 12-16 a day every day. Never a "cut." I've used almost every knife by every company and Globals, in my opinoin, are the best.
R.H. Forschner from Sulingen Germany, have been using theses same knives for 20 + years. Never let me down yet. Heavy, comfortable and beautiful rosewood handles. Use an 8" chef knife, a slicer, a utility knife and a couple to pare with. All I have ever needed. Got a wavy bread slicer from them later, that one is from Switzerland. These are all for home use. In the restaurant we used to use 10" chef knifes. These knifes are so sharp you could cut yourself looking at them Big Grin


For filleting fish and boning chicken I use my good old J Marttini from Finland.

ks
Not certain, but I am pretty sure that we have the Henkels 5star's. I do know that the style of the "Santokumesser" is pretty darn good. I do need to get it sharpened. The place that we bought them from sharpens knives for a buck each on a big stone. It's a pretty good deal and a damn good knife!

"I break my back for a fifth of gin, and then I weep and wail about the shape that I'm in"
I buy/collect my knives individually and so have amassed a varied collection. My favorites are:

chef
10" wusthof classic
12" Chicago Cutlery - carbon (this is an old knife from my father, I've never seen any really good knives by this company for sale. I wonder if the original went out of business and sold the brand)

slicing/carving
10" Sabtier lion carbon (another knife from my father)
8" Henkell - I'd stopped using Henkels till I came across this knife. I can't remember the model, but it's wonderfully balanced and sharpens well.

I've always wanted a real Japanese 'sushi' knife. I once saw some for sale in a Japanese import store in Vancouver. They were over 500 dollars and I didn't have the money at the time.

When I feel the urge to exercise, I lay down till the feeling passes.
Last edited {1}
I use a hand made 9" chef's knife that I picked up last time I was in Paris. I don't know how it's done but it keeps an incredibly sharp edge.

I have Zwilling Henckels santoku knife that gets a lot of use as well as a Wusthoff utility knife.

For most of my other knives, which I don't use as often as the main ones, I use Furi knives. They're Australian made knives, about the same quality as Mundial. They have a vegetable cleaver which is one of favourite knives, but I don't use it regularly. I don't see the point in shelling out big bikkies for knives that don't get a lot of use.

I just got myself a Zwilling Kenkels boning knife, which I'm keen to try out.

------------------------------
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools. -Herbert Spencer
Sudden reappearances by old threads and old posters are always fun.

I recently picked a set of three Tojiro Senkou knives. They are fabulous beasts and the sharpest edge that I've ever used. Even chopping onions becomes fun with them. I decided on them over some Globals and I'm glad that I did, I didn't like the balance on the Globals but these were excellent.

Anybody else use them?
quote:
Originally posted by Seaquam:
quote:
Originally posted by KillerB:

Sudden reappearances by old threads and old posters are always fun.



Boy, I'll say!Smile

Welcome home, KB. Where have you been? Whom did you meet? What did you see?


I was looking after the Port Forum then a few things went wrong in other areas of life and even that took a backseat. I'm currently trying to stitch it all back together.
I have a set of Henckels Professional Series knives that I thought would serve me well for years, but then I picked up a Kitchen Aid made-in-China Santoku knife on sale for ten bucks. After a little work with the stone and honing steel, this is now my favourite knife! It has much better balance and weight for my hand than those others that cost 15 times more.
Classic. Had the pearl and lost those in the last marrige...figured it was time for a change. Big Grin


quote:
Originally posted by gigabit:
quote:
Originally posted by vinosnob:
Got a new set of Cutco knives a couple weeks ago for my B-day....love them! Now I won't have to get anymore knives for my or my kids lives and they are VERY sharp!

Which set did you get? Classic or pearl?
quote:
Originally posted by vinosnob:
Classic. Had the pearl and lost those in the last marrige...figured it was time for a change. Big Grin


quote:
Originally posted by gigabit:
quote:
Originally posted by vinosnob:
Got a new set of Cutco knives a couple weeks ago for my B-day....love them! Now I won't have to get anymore knives for my or my kids lives and they are VERY sharp!

Which set did you get? Classic or pearl?

Cool, I've had mine for 14 years. I'm just about to send them in for their second sharpening.

Buy the cheese knife if you don't already own it. It's great!
quote:
Originally posted by kswinelover:
My blade of choice would be. NENOX
these blades are razor sharp, and they are used by the iron chefs from Japan : )


The sharpness of a knife is determined more by your skill with a whetstone than the origin of the knife.

I'm just not a fan of Japanese knives. They're too light for my liking.

For general purpose work I keep on coming back to Sabatier style (French) knives. I use German steel for boning and filleting work.

The only Japanese style knife that I like is the Nakiri. Nakiris chop better than Santokus and French style Chef's knives slice and cut better than Santokus.
COOL.

Bieng that this is a really kinda old thread, I hope that the experiences since have improved. In the beginning there was some talk about ceramic knives. It wasn't all that good. I hope that has changed. I was looking into one of these:

http://www.cutleryandmore.com/details.asp?SKU=16302

Chicago Cutlery doesn't make anything ceramic, so I'm safe from that fire-storm. I kinda like the tie-in w/ the breast cancer donation too. TIA for some opinions.
I have used my Henckels Professional S Series for almost 15 years. I simply liked the feel in my hand better than the Wustofs when DnVsMom and I were registering for our wedding. I added a Santoku and was pretty happy until a year or so ago when I bought a Shun Santoku. It is now my favorite knife.

I am now on the lookout for a paring knife as the other day I noticed that the handle was cracked on mine.
quote:
Originally posted by mneeley490:
That looks like a good pretty deal from what I've seen. I recently bought a Kyocera paring knife and it's been quite a stand out. It removed the silverskin from a tenderloin in nothing flat. I'm actually a little bit afraid of slipping with it and taking off a fingertip.


How do you sharpen ceramic?
quote:
Originally posted by Vt2It:
quote:
Originally posted by snipes:
How do you sharpen ceramic?


I don't have one but have to assume that a diamond stone would do the trick.

The information that came with the knife said that the ceramic edge can go 10 times longer than steel without sharpening. When the time comes, you have to send it in to the companyfor resharpening for a $10 fee. I haven't heavily invested in them yet, but I don't think I'd trust myself with a diamond stone on them.
Re: Sharpening Ceramic Knives


from: Ceramicknife.org

SHARPENING ADVICE
YES it is much more difficult to sharpen ceramic blades due both to the extreme hardness AND the tendency of creating micro-chips on the edge. BUT it is not impossible to both repair small damage or chipping and also to polish and refine the edge to a very high level of sharpness.
The ideal tool of course is a powered diamond wheel with a minimum of 1,000 grit diamond. Even finer grits can be used to truly polish the edge. However, no one I know, except myself, is willing to purchase this kind of equipment.
quote:
Originally posted by snipes:
quote:
Originally posted by mneeley490:
That looks like a good pretty deal from what I've seen. I recently bought a Kyocera paring knife and it's been quite a stand out. It removed the silverskin from a tenderloin in nothing flat. I'm actually a little bit afraid of slipping with it and taking off a fingertip.


How do you sharpen ceramic?


http://www.amazon.com/Lansky-D...System/dp/B000B8L6LS

But....be careful.
I am just slightly obsessed with kitchen knives, years ago I started out with some bad Chicago Cutlery knives, quickly moved on to Wusthoffs which I liked a lot until I bought a Shun, which opened my eyes to the amazing quality, sharpness and variety of Japanese kitchen cutlery. So today I own way too many from this list of mostly custom Japanese makers and a few customs from this side of the pond as well:

Aritsugu, Asai Damascus, Glestain, Haslinger, Hattori FH,Hattori HD, Hattori KD, MAC, Masamoto, Misono, Mizuno Tanrenjyo, Moritaka, Murray Carter, Nenohi, Nenox, Ryusen Blazen, Shigefusa Suminagashi, Shun Pro, Sugimoto, Suisin,Takeda,Yoshikane.

I still own a few of my original German Wusthoffs, good knives but honestly I only use them one somebody else needs a knife in my kitchen.
quote:
Originally posted by Landshark:
So today I own way too many from this list of mostly custom Japanese makers and a few customs from this side of the pond as well:

Aritsugu, Asai Damascus, Glestain, Haslinger, Hattori FH,Hattori HD, Hattori KD, MAC, Masamoto, Misono, Mizuno Tanrenjyo, Moritaka, Murray Carter, Nenohi, Nenox, Ryusen Blazen, Shigefusa Suminagashi, Shun Pro, Sugimoto, Suisin,Takeda,Yoshikane.

Wow, nice list! Which one made your Katana?
quote:
Originally posted by Landshark:
No Katanas, just:

Aji, Boning, Bread, Chef, Chuka Bocho, Cleaver, Deba, Fuguhiki, Funayuki , Garasuki, Gyuto, Honesuki, Mioroshi, Nakiri, Paring, Petty, Salmon Slicer, Santoku, Slicer, Sole Fillet, Sujihiki, Usuba, Wa-Gyuto, Wa-Kiritsuke, Western Deba ,Yanagiba

The Block

WOW! I always have a sincere appreciation for the passionately obsessed.
quote:
Originally posted by Vinaigre:
Anyone use or have any F.DICK Knives ?
(I'm serious: WEBSITE ).
One of my friend who is a chef was saying good things about them.
He really liked the Santoku with Teflon coating (See the WACS series).
Any feedback?


I have an F. Dick 10 inch "Premier" stainless. It's typically German in style, forged, with a bolster, and curved both top and bottom as it nears the tip, but I suspect it's heavier than a similar size Henkel or Wusthoff. I don't use it that often, but when there's a job that calls for that size and weight I'm glad I've got it.

My informal impression is that the steel is a bit harder than Henckel or Wusthoff stainless. That makes it a bit harder to sharpen, but I think it holds an edge a bit longer.

It's certainly a well-respected brand.

Cheers,

DK
I'm too lazy to take my good knives to get them sharpened as often as I should. I spent $25 at Costco and got a set of 4 ceramic knives which I really enjoy. So far they've stayed very sharp and I figure when they get dull or chip they go in the trash, the $25 basically makes them disposable and actually is only slightly more expensive than getting my good knives sharpened. If I figure in transit time to the knife store for sharpening then ceramic knives are really a good deal. I miss the weight of the steel, but I'm getting used to the lighter weights and the sharpness is remarkable.
quote:
Originally posted by DoktaP:
Just bought an Edge Pro. Cannot wait to learn how to use it properly and pull out my Japanese carbon and stainless knives. Looks like a nice weekend afternoon project.


I'd be interested to know how you like it. Seems relatively inexpensive if it works well. The one thing that I don't quite get is the method, using a Sharpie, to find the angle. Fortunately, our Shun knives I know are 16 degrees.
quote:
Originally posted by haggis:
quote:
Originally posted by DoktaP:
Just bought an Edge Pro. Cannot wait to learn how to use it properly and pull out my Japanese carbon and stainless knives. Looks like a nice weekend afternoon project.


I'd be interested to know how you like it. Seems relatively inexpensive if it works well. The one thing that I don't quite get is the method, using a Sharpie, to find the angle. Fortunately, our Shun knives I know are 16 degrees.


Haggis - I've been using it for at least a year now. The sharpie "trick" is simply to find the current angle on the knife if the goal is to keep that same angle rather than setting a different one. You put your highest grit stone in the EP, paint a small section of the bevel with marker and then run your stone over it. If it all comes off you're at the right angle, if some is left over you move it up or down a few degrees depending on what part didn't come off. The thought process is you then make note of that angle and use it the next time.

I typically sharpen all my Japanese knives at 15º and my softer german steel at 18º. I really like the system, but it can be a rabbit hole just like any other fairly expensive hobby. I've already spent the same amount in upgraded stones and related contraptions as I did on the system...and then there are the knives...
quote:
Originally posted by snipes:
quote:
Originally posted by haggis:
quote:
Originally posted by DoktaP:
Just bought an Edge Pro. Cannot wait to learn how to use it properly and pull out my Japanese carbon and stainless knives. Looks like a nice weekend afternoon project.


I'd be interested to know how you like it. Seems relatively inexpensive if it works well. The one thing that I don't quite get is the method, using a Sharpie, to find the angle. Fortunately, our Shun knives I know are 16 degrees.


Haggis - I've been using it for at least a year now. The sharpie "trick" is simply to find the current angle on the knife if the goal is to keep that same angle rather than setting a different one. You put your highest grit stone in the EP, paint a small section of the bevel with marker and then run your stone over it. If it all comes off you're at the right angle, if some is left over you move it up or down a few degrees depending on what part didn't come off. The thought process is you then make note of that angle and use it the next time.

I typically sharpen all my Japanese knives at 15º and my softer german steel at 18º. I really like the system, but it can be a rabbit hole just like any other fairly expensive hobby. I've already spent the same amount in upgraded stones and related contraptions as I did on the system...and then there are the knives...


Which Japanese knives do you own?
In my advancing years I'm trying to be much less opinionated myself and trying to allow people to have opinions different from mine without me explaining how wrong they could be. I'm really working on being less of a prick.

I've never cared much for Shun knives. OK. BFD. That doesn't mean there is anything wrong with them or that they are not quality products. This store in the western suburbs of Chicago has a sale going on now. I've recommended them before for their prices and customer service. NO, I don't work there.

Cutlery and More "SHUN" Sale
quote:
Originally posted by Danyull:
quote:
Originally posted by snipes:
quote:
Originally posted by haggis:
quote:
Originally posted by DoktaP:
Just bought an Edge Pro. Cannot wait to learn how to use it properly and pull out my Japanese carbon and stainless knives. Looks like a nice weekend afternoon project.


I'd be interested to know how you like it. Seems relatively inexpensive if it works well. The one thing that I don't quite get is the method, using a Sharpie, to find the angle. Fortunately, our Shun knives I know are 16 degrees.


Haggis - I've been using it for at least a year now. The sharpie "trick" is simply to find the current angle on the knife if the goal is to keep that same angle rather than setting a different one. You put your highest grit stone in the EP, paint a small section of the bevel with marker and then run your stone over it. If it all comes off you're at the right angle, if some is left over you move it up or down a few degrees depending on what part didn't come off. The thought process is you then make note of that angle and use it the next time.

I typically sharpen all my Japanese knives at 15º and my softer german steel at 18º. I really like the system, but it can be a rabbit hole just like any other fairly expensive hobby. I've already spent the same amount in upgraded stones and related contraptions as I did on the system...and then there are the knives...


Which Japanese knives do you own?


Daynull: we have a Global set as well as some new Shun Kaji.
quote:
Originally posted by snipes:
quote:
Originally posted by Danyull:

Which Japanese knives do you own?


The makers that see regular rotation of various degrees are Konosuke Fujiyama, Moritaka, Hiromoto and just picked up a Kohetsu. All blue or super blue steel. Gyutos and pettys mostly. Are you into Japanese knives Danyull?


Yup although I don't have too many as I can never decide on exactly what I want.

I have a 27cm white-steel Masamoto yanagiba.
30cm Konosuke #1 blue steel Damascus clad yanagiba with kengata tip. This one was custom forged for me and took about a year.
18cm Aritsugu white steel nakiri
18cm Aritsugu white steel deba

So far just carbon steel, although I've been interested in some of the newer forged high carbon stainless knives from Konosuke, Hiromoto and Masamoto.
quote:
Originally posted by snipes:
quote:
Originally posted by Danyull:

Which Japanese knives do you own?


The makers that see regular rotation of various degrees are Konosuke Fujiyama, Moritaka, Hiromoto and just picked up a Kohetsu. All blue or super blue steel. Gyutos and pettys mostly. Are you into Japanese knives Danyull?


Who makes gyutos in blue steel? Seems like a waste. Simply the wrong match-up of blade shape, material and technique. Not challenging whether it's true, I'm just curious as to understanding why they would.

I visited the Aritsugu store in Kyoto last year and I thought it was pretty amazing that he's a 17th generation blade maker and is still incredibly passionate about blades. I drooled over his counter for about an hour but unfortunately couldn't afford most of what's in his store. Cash only and the average blade price for what I was looking for was in the four digits.

I'd love to order a honyaki kiritsuke someday but I feel like I would dishonor the tradition of the knive. Plus it's incredibly difficult to use. I'd just mount it in a nice case or something. Big Grin
quote:
Originally posted by Danyull:
quote:
Originally posted by snipes:
quote:
Originally posted by Danyull:

Which Japanese knives do you own?


The makers that see regular rotation of various degrees are Konosuke Fujiyama, Moritaka, Hiromoto and just picked up a Kohetsu. All blue or super blue steel. Gyutos and pettys mostly. Are you into Japanese knives Danyull?


Who makes gyutos in blue steel? Seems like a waste. Simply the wrong match-up of blade shape, material and technique. Not challenging whether it's true, I'm just curious as to understanding why they would.

Quite a few makers do actually. I can't say I've ever heard that sentiment, not challenging whether some people believe it, but can't say I've ever heard it expressed. Why do you feel this way and what steel type do you feel would be more appropriate for a western market where many use that type knife and geometry for the majority of their tasks?

What japanese knives do you own?



I visited the Aritsugu store in Kyoto last year and I thought it was pretty amazing that he's a 17th generation blade maker and is still incredibly passionate about blades. I drooled over his counter for about an hour but unfortunately couldn't afford most of what's in his store. Cash only and the average blade price for what I was looking for was in the four digits.

I'd love to order a honyaki kiritsuke someday but I feel like I would dishonor the tradition of the knive. Plus it's incredibly difficult to use. I'd just mount it in a nice case or something. Big Grin


I imagine I'd break the tip off of a kiritsuke within the first year, but can we agree that this blade shape and function is similar to a gyuto? Plenty of kiritsuke knives in blue steel as well.
quote:
Originally posted by snipes:
quote:
Originally posted by Danyull:
quote:
Originally posted by snipes:
quote:
Originally posted by Danyull:

Which Japanese knives do you own?


The makers that see regular rotation of various degrees are Konosuke Fujiyama, Moritaka, Hiromoto and just picked up a Kohetsu. All blue or super blue steel. Gyutos and pettys mostly. Are you into Japanese knives Danyull?


Who makes gyutos in blue steel? Seems like a waste. Simply the wrong match-up of blade shape, material and technique. Not challenging whether it's true, I'm just curious as to understanding why they would.

Quite a few makers do actually. I can't say I've ever heard that sentiment, not challenging whether some people believe it, but can't say I've ever heard it expressed. Why do you feel this way and what steel type do you feel would be more appropriate for a western market where many use that type knife and geometry for the majority of their tasks?

What japanese knives do you own?



I visited the Aritsugu store in Kyoto last year and I thought it was pretty amazing that he's a 17th generation blade maker and is still incredibly passionate about blades. I drooled over his counter for about an hour but unfortunately couldn't afford most of what's in his store. Cash only and the average blade price for what I was looking for was in the four digits.

I'd love to order a honyaki kiritsuke someday but I feel like I would dishonor the tradition of the knive. Plus it's incredibly difficult to use. I'd just mount it in a nice case or something. Big Grin


I imagine I'd break the tip off of a kiritsuke within the first year, but can we agree that this blade shape and function is similar to a gyuto? Plenty of kiritsuke knives in blue steel as well.


Great comments snipes! Love the discussion.

The various Japanese carbon steels that are typically used are engineered to be very hard as to produce a very sharp and roll-resistant edge. However they're not very flexible or wear-resistant actually due to the high-carbon content. A Western style knife made from stainless steel is much more durable overall while not being able to take quite the edge. So you can do things like pound garlic with the side, cut through cartilage and bone in a chicken, cut citrus, coarse chop lots of root vegetables, etc. You could seriously damage a Japanese-style knife doing these very common things.

Well anyway, that's why I personally would not buy a carbon-steel gyuto. I use my Henckels or my dexter cleaver for that stuff and it works perfectly.

The blade shapes in Japanese cooking are designed also for a straight push-cut or a long drawing-style slice. If you look at very traditionally made knives likes the kiritsuke, nakiri, traditionally shaped santoku, the blades have a 0 degree arc on the blade so they're completely straight and parallel with the cutting board. One cannot and should not use rocking cutting motions like what a Western style chef's knife is designed for. Also most Japanese-knives are single-beveled. One side will be ground to anywhere from 12-18 degrees and the other side will be as close to 0 as possible to make more of a chisel point. Western knives are ground double-bevel anywhere from 15-30 degrees on both sides to form a wedge. This actually makes cutting tall and firm vegetables like a turnip or parsnip straight actually pretty hard as your knife will naturally drift away from the direction of the bevel if you're not used to it.

A good example of some of the stuff that I talked about is if you look at Shun's line-up of knives. They're designed for Western cooking but with Japanese aesthetics. Their santoku, nakiri, and kiritsuke all have an edge radius and are designed for people who will inevitably roll-cut with them rather than exclusively push-cut. They are also double-ground, which would never be done by a traditional maker but make it far easier to maintain and use.

So as a disclaimer, I think Shun knives for the personal kitchen are fantastic. They have great fit and finish, use quality steel, and will surpass the performance of most non-artisan Western knife manufacturers.

But related to my comment about the kiritsuke, it's really not meant for the average chef. Buying the Shun version is really just buying a stylized gyuto. It is indeed beautiful, I've handled the Shun version a few times, but it's the freeware version of the real thing. Also, the kiritsuke was the tradition and the right of only the head chef of a Japanese restaurant. The average kaiseki chef owns about 27-32 different knives but only the head chef was allowed to use one in the kitchen as it was a symbol of mastery over all the other knives. As an analogy to what this means, if you're impressed with the knife skills of sushi chefs, they're typically regarded as the LEAST skilled among Japanese chefs in regards to knifework because they only use 3 types of knives.

Anyway, most people don't care about all this kind of stuff, and that's fine. I just happen to care and it doesn't really matter to me if someone subscribes to it or not but hope that was helpful. Big Grin
I can see we will have to continue this conversation over glass of wine one day. I hear what you say about the traditional Western aka German knives being more durable, but personally I break down a chicken a few times a year and I will get out one of those to separate the breast bones, but otherwise I enjoy the screaming sharp edge fine japanese steel offers. There is something about brushing up against the knife edge and see where it opened up your skin, strangely leading to a smile.
Wear resistance is another reason why I prefer Aogami Super steel, though as a home cook ultimate wear resistance isn't a huge issue. Some of the new stainless / semi-stainless steels coming out now sure are interesting. I believe one of our members here is lucky enough to own one of Devin Thomas's knives (presumably AEB-L).
quote:
Originally posted by snipes:
I can see we will have to continue this conversation over glass of wine one day. I hear what you say about the traditional Western aka German knives being more durable, but personally I break down a chicken a few times a year and I will get out one of those to separate the breast bones, but otherwise I enjoy the screaming sharp edge fine japanese steel offers. There is something about brushing up against the knife edge and see where it opened up your skin, strangely leading to a smile.
Wear resistance is another reason why I prefer Aogami Super steel, though as a home cook ultimate wear resistance isn't a huge issue. Some of the new stainless / semi-stainless steels coming out now sure are interesting. I believe one of our members here is lucky enough to own one of Devin Thomas's knives (presumably AEB-L).


Excellent! I may actually be in Atlanta in a few weeks so would love to meet up. I have some sales calls at Georgia Tech, Emory and the CDC.

I love talking knives almost as much as wine hahaha. They're very personal things so it's interesting to hear about what people like and don't like.
quote:
Originally posted by Danyull:
quote:
Originally posted by snipes:
quote:
Excellent! I may actually be in Atlanta in a few weeks so would love to meet up.


Great. Just PM me once you have firm plans.Smile I'm in and out February, but hopefully it works out.




Hey this isn't B/S forums. Big Grin

What's your email?


removed at gmail
Last edited by snipes
quote:
Originally posted by snipes:
I can see we will have to continue this conversation over glass of wine one day. I hear what you say about the traditional Western aka German knives being more durable, but personally I break down a chicken a few times a year and I will get out one of those to separate the breast bones, but otherwise I enjoy the screaming sharp edge fine japanese steel offers. There is something about brushing up against the knife edge and see where it opened up your skin, strangely leading to a smile.
Wear resistance is another reason why I prefer Aogami Super steel, though as a home cook ultimate wear resistance isn't a huge issue. Some of the new stainless / semi-stainless steels coming out now sure are interesting. I believe one of our members here is lucky enough to own one of Devin Thomas's knives (presumably AEB-L).

I think that there are probably a few people on both WS and KKF sites who own Devon Thomas knives as well as other customs like Del Ealy and others. Personally, I love my AEB-L as well as my carbon steels, but the custom handles are what blow me away and add to the overall appeal. One member here,who rarely posts, is my knife guru and has over 40 beautiful knives in his possession. Talk about blade envy!
quote:
Originally posted by DoktaP:
quote:
Originally posted by snipes:
I can see we will have to continue this conversation over glass of wine one day. I hear what you say about the traditional Western aka German knives being more durable, but personally I break down a chicken a few times a year and I will get out one of those to separate the breast bones, but otherwise I enjoy the screaming sharp edge fine japanese steel offers. There is something about brushing up against the knife edge and see where it opened up your skin, strangely leading to a smile.
Wear resistance is another reason why I prefer Aogami Super steel, though as a home cook ultimate wear resistance isn't a huge issue. Some of the new stainless / semi-stainless steels coming out now sure are interesting. I believe one of our members here is lucky enough to own one of Devin Thomas's knives (presumably AEB-L).

I think that there are probably a few people on both WS and KKF sites who own Devon Thomas knives as well as other customs like Del Ealy and others. Personally, I love my AEB-L as well as my carbon steels, but the custom handles are what blow me away and add to the overall appeal. One member here,who rarely posts, is my knife guru and has over 40 beautiful knives in his possession. Talk about blade envy!


It's amazing what these bladesmiths can make out of metal these days. The various white and blue steel blanks were originally from railroad ties. 52100 steel is made from ball bearings. 5160 steel is used for those truck leaf springs.

AEB-L gets a very nice edge and is quite durable. A great steel for knives.

I've been thinking about getting a high-speed powdered steel knife but haven't pulled the trigger yet. I'm not a fan of non-forged knives so, we'll see... Roll Eyes
quote:
Originally posted by Maverick:
OK. Here is a really nice line of knives in "white #2 steel".

Tojiro ITK Shirogami Series

If you want "blue steel", just type it into the search box. You should get 150+ matches.


Any experience with Tojiro? I have seen them but never tried them. Would be curious as to how they compare to the old guard, Masamoto, Suisin, Aritsugu vs the contenders Konosuke, Hattori, Hiromoto.
My favourite knives are my Takeda's. Take a beautiful edge and maintain it longer than most. Great weight and balance. My go to knife is my Banno Bunka Bocho. I think I just like saying it out loud 3 times! I think I have a list of my knives under my profile at KKF. I may have added a couple more since I updated it last.
quote:
Originally posted by DoktaP:
My favourite knives are my Takeda's. Take a beautiful edge and maintain it longer than most. Great weight and balance. My go to knife is my Banno Bunka Bocho. I think I just like saying it out loud 3 times! I think I have a list of my knives under my profile at KKF. I may have added a couple more since I updated it last.


Dok - I just can't get into that site. I've registered quite a while ago and browse the site, but don't believe I've ever posted. It reminds me quite a bit of eBob with DM playing the role of Squires.

Takeda should be on everyone's must own list from what I hear. I came close a few times.
I've only used other guy's knives. If I was gonna buy knives tomorrow, these would be it. Now realize that I don't really look at this like any of you (my perception of this conversation). I see these as tools for a job. As long as the knife is sharp and used properly, the food doesn't taste different if the knife costs $600 or $60. Comparatively, the handles are kinda cheap and they're not "pretty". I'm not saying that really nice handles are unimportant, but as an example, my $10 corkscrew pulls just as well as a $300 Laguiole. These were very very sharp, nice and thin, lightweight and as affordable as anything I've ever seen. They are not at all "single bevel"; that is a quality for specific purpose knives, not all Japanese knives. Aside from the nakiris, none of the regular Japanese knives that I've used were flat belly. The longer knives, those for fish and sushi yes, but not any gyutos or santokus. "Gyuto" is no special word; all it says is "chef's knife". "52100 steel" has become popular lately. I've heard nothing bad about it. "AEB-L" is another standard premium steel.
quote:
Originally posted by Danyull: Any experience with Tojiro? ... Would be curious as to how they compare to the old guard ...

Please realize that I'm only stating my somewhat experienced opinion for it's conversational value only. My two(2) main go-to knives are Chicago Cutlery; a chef's knife from 1974 (old gaurd) and a santoku from about five(5) years ago (new world, read: sold-out). They're both very sharp, do their jobs, are replaceable for <$15/ea. and nobody in the kitchen is gonna swipe either of them.
quote:
Originally posted by DoktaP:
I think that there are probably a few people on both WS and KKF sites who own Devon Thomas knives as well as other customs like Del Ealy and others.

I'm a real fan of Del Ealy as well as Pierre Rodrigue (and he's a Canuck). I don't get on KKF's site often but there are some excellent custom makers there.
At the end of the day however, the knife has to feel good to you.

It's like sitting in a car. If you're 5'3" you think you have a lot of leg room. If you're 6'5", you think you're cramped.

We all hold knives differently and we have differently shaped and sized hands. That matters FAR more than some angle, which most people can't distinguish anyway.

So personally, I hate most Japanese knives. That's after investing a lot of money in them too! I hate the feel of them and the fact that they don't have any bolster and the fact that they're made for people with what I consider relatively small hands.

Problem with some of the German knives is that they have that bolster all the way down and that interferes with sharpening.

Messermeister however, has managed to combine some of the good features of Japanese and German thinking, and there are several other companies doing the same. Note the bolster here:
http://www.messermeister.com/

They also have a chef's knife that's wider than most so you don't slam your knuckles while you're cutting, which is an issue if you have big hands.

Wusthof also has a "Japanese" influenced line that's not bad.

Then there's the belly of the knife. Some chef's knives are relatively straight - that seems to be the French way, and some are really curved so you can rock the blade. I prefer the latter.

The angle of the blade edge is completely irrelevant to me - how well the edge holds is more important and I think that has more to do with the steel than anything else.
I love the looks and quality of all of these knives and I know I could certainly fall down the rabbit hole with all of it but I have to ask a simple and honest question, What do you use them all for?

I cook a fair amount (and when I have time a lot more). I'm fairly adept in the kitchen, have had some proper training, know the difference between a julienne and a batonnet etc. I've got a bunch of knives and outside of the one-off knives like my bread knife or carver I use a 10inch chef's knife maybe 20% of the time, a 6inch utility knife 30% of the time and a nearly disposable plastic handled henkels 3.5inch utility knife 50% of the time. If my chefs knife was something closer to 8inches I could use that and the flexible small utility knife for 95% of what I do.
The only thing I use my Japanese knives for is making Japanese food and even then, it's really just relegated to sashimi and if I'm feeling ambitious, nigiri sushi, and that's pretty much the only thing I slice with my yanagibas.

Chinese, Korean and Southeast Asian, I just use my Dexter cleaver.

Everything else is my Henckels set.

To be honest for home cooking, most Japanese blades except for gyutos and pettys are just too specialized. Nobody wants to sharpen and maintain 15+ carbon steel or high carbon stainless knives except for the most obsessed. I use my yanagibas and deba maybe 2-4 times a month. But for junkies like me, I like being a part of the tradition, history and artistry that goes into the forging of each knife and at the end of the day, the emotional satisfaction is probably greater than the utility.

With the exception of cutting fish. I've never seen a Western knife cut as smoothly, precisely, and efficiently as a takobiki or yanagiba. Even Japanese-forged knives like the Nenox S2 line but in a Western shape. The stiff spine, long length, hardened edge (62-67 RC), thin profile, and steep chisel angle makes cutting anything from soft and delicate fish like fluke to very meaty and high connective tissue fish like monkfish a breeze.

So this is anecdotal, but I did a blind taste test with 3 friends and cut 6 pieces of very fresh tuna for each. 3 pieces with my yanagiba, 3 pieces with my Henckels Pro S slicer.

Two of my friends were perfect on determining with pieces were cut by which knife and one mixed up to 2 pieces. They said that the one cut with the Henckels tasted fishier. The way I heard it explained to me was that the sharper the knife, the less it'll crush and pulverize cell walls as it slices through and the fluids and cell lysate is what contributes to the fishy flavors once it is exposed to air and starts oxidizing.

At a macro level, this is definitely true cutting fish with a dull serrated knife vs a very sharp knife. Anyways, just an anecdotal experience.
quote:
Originally posted by g-man:
most importnatly i think it needs proper heft, some of the fancy knives i've seen just arent heavy enuf


A lot of the bigger Japanese-style knives are not sold in the US commonly because you actually need to know how to use one. I hefted a sobakiri that weighed 3 kilos.

24cm debas are a chunky 1.5 kilos. They're good for popping off tuna heads from the spine.
quote:
Originally posted by Danyull:

Two of my friends were perfect on determining with pieces were cut by which knife and one mixed up to 2 pieces. They said that the one cut with the Henckels tasted fishier. The way I heard it explained to me was that the sharper the knife, the less it'll crush and pulverize cell walls as it slices through and the fluids and cell lysate is what contributes to the fishy flavors once it is exposed to air and starts oxidizing.


Something similar is also true of onions and herbs. Slicing, rather than crushing, will produce cleaner, more defined flavors. The profile, sharpness and angle of the blade all affect how it passes through food - sharpness most of all. As does the stroke you use whilst cutting or chopping. A relatively easy and inexpensive experiment you can try this on is guacamole.
Well, you know at this point, I've tried a lot of knives, bought some (very) expensive Japanese stuff... 9 times out of 10, I grab the ever-so-boring Wusthof Classic 8" chef's knife. (Had I known a few years ago...) The only other knife I love is the very similar feeling Messermeister Meridian Elite 8" chef's knife, but I like the weighting and blade shape on the Wusthof even more and despite the bolster issue GregT brings up, I find the blades on the Wusthofs more durable and that they hold their edge longer. My 8" Shun Ken Onion (discontinued) has a great handle for certain jobs, but the Shun blades I have found to be brittle. I've tried to love real Gyutos, I just cannot get around their weighting.
I keep thinking of this thread whenever I pull out my ceramic knives. They remain razor sharp. There is no knife I've ever used that is easier to cut with. They're as sharp as surgical diamond knives (trust me on that one), although probably not as durable. The nice thing is that when they die I'll get another set for $25. While the weight of steel feels better the sharpness of these knives is not to be underestimated. No doubt there's less cachet than a good steel knife, but I'm very impressed going on 3 months with them.
I'm looking to replace my knives lost in the divorce ASAP, possibly even today. Been playing around with knives locally at both Williams Sonoma and Sur La Table just so I can get my hands in them, and see how they feel compared to the Global Classic set that I had once upon a time. So far, based on use, I have narrowed them down to:

Miyabi Artisan
Shun Fuji
Global Sai

Unfortunately, a lot of the knives discussed are hard to find locally. Boo! Regardless, looking forward to having some good knives again. A chef friend has loaned me a great set of knives, but they just aren't of the caliber of what I am used to using. We'll see what I end up getting, but need to do it soon. One of the last things left to replace in my kitchen.....along with the Kitchen Aid mixer! Cheers! -mJ
quote:
Originally posted by mark jahnke:
I'm looking to replace my knives lost in the divorce ASAP, possibly even today. Been playing around with knives locally at both Williams Sonoma and Sur La Table just so I can get my hands in them, and see how they feel compared to the Global Classic set that I had once upon a time. So far, based on use, I have narrowed them down to:

Miyabi Artisan
Shun Fuji
Global Sai

Unfortunately, a lot of the knives discussed are hard to find locally. Boo! Regardless, looking forward to having some good knives again. A chef friend has loaned me a great set of knives, but they just aren't of the caliber of what I am used to using. We'll see what I end up getting, but need to do it soon. One of the last things left to replace in my kitchen.....along with the Kitchen Aid mixer! Cheers! -mJ


Hey good drinking with you yesterday! If you're interested, I have a sorta direct line to a couple of the smiths in Sakai. I can either order you a custom knife or you can pick from some stock. Let me know, I'll hook you up.

It'll be far better and maybe even cheaper than the brands that you mentioned.
Glad to hear you are enjoying it. I love mine and of course the output.

I bought my parents a Takamura R2 petty in April and my dad is bringing it with them this weekend for a touch up, as he said it's just now getting to be a little dull.