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


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.

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
web page

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]

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.

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.


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.

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.

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