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stroker
stroker UberDork
8/20/20 12:42 p.m.

Dunno why, but I'm wondering if anyone has a recommendation on a all-purpose kitchen knife that's a really good value.  For some reason mine won't keep an edge...

EastCoastMojo (Forum Supporter)
EastCoastMojo (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand Mod Squad
8/20/20 12:59 p.m.

I love my Henckel chef knife, but I regularly put a fresh edge on before use anyway. My favorite sharpener is the Istor:

https://smile.amazon.com/Istor-Sharpener-Standard/dp/B0009SRU9M/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=istor+sharpener&qid=1597946237&sr=8-1

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy MegaDork
8/20/20 1:09 p.m.

Knives won't keep an after without maintenance.  I have stones for when it needs, but there is a steel in the drawer right by the knife block.  If it won't cut a tomato skin with zero effort, it gets half a dozen swipes on the steel and off I go.

Duke
Duke MegaDork
8/20/20 1:11 p.m.

I've got a set of Wusthof knives similar to this.  Some of them are 30+ years old and all are still going strong.

Mine are not specifically called the "Classic" series as they were all just the regular Wusthof line when I bought them over the years.  I can't tell you if they have been cheapened up for the "Classic" issue, but that is the handle shape and construction that mine are.

I steel them pretty much every time I use them to true up the edge.  Stone them maybe every 6 months.  In fact they are overdue for a stoning now.

 

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
8/20/20 1:15 p.m.

Huge range of prices. More information would be useful: budget, use (street, autocross, etc.).

Sorry, couldn't help myself. Does help to know more.

Seriously, for single do-it all, I really would recommend my Henckels 31093-140. It's a 5.5 inch utility knife, german made, ice hardened blade.

Here's one on ebay, new open box, at about the price I paid for mine.

preach
preach GRM+ Memberand Reader
8/20/20 1:23 p.m.

I have a set of henkels that I travel with in a leather case. Prevents me from going insane with the flimsy imitation ginsu crap the hotel suites are stocked with.

At home I have a set of shuns:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0000Y7KFY/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

They are beautiful:

white_fly
white_fly HalfDork
8/20/20 2:05 p.m.

So, I happen to have dived far enough into the world of food slicing that I'm in the process of making several knives of my own. It is a fascinating world full of exotic materials and tremendous craftsmanship. There is as much to know as you have time to learn and as much to buy as you have money to spend. 

HOWEVER, if you just want a knife that is sharp and holds an edge at a good price, a Victorinox or Mercer chef knife will rock your world. I've used both Henckels and Wusthoff and, while some people love them, I just don't understand the appeal. They are blunt instruments compared to the two I mentioned, despite being considerably more expensive.

If you want to keep said knife sharp, there are three basic options. Professional sharpening, electric sharpeners and hand sharpening. Hand sharpening is a world to itself. If you want to learn it, it can be rewarding. The right professional sharpener can do a better job than you ever could by just looking at your knife and asking a few questions, but you could also end up with someone who is expensive or not very good. America's test kitchen on YouTube did a test of several sharpeners and I don't remember which one won, but it was pretty conclusive. 

If you rinse and dry your knife after every use and don't abuse it, the edge should last for months of daily use. You'll also wonder how you ever put up with the E36 M3 you're using now.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/20/20 2:38 p.m.

We use Japanese knives from small knife makers - a few Gihei HAP40s,  a few Shibata Kotsetsus. They are not cheap but they're wonderful. We also have some generic German blades that I use when there's a chance of damage.
 

But the big thing is that I sharpen them all on Japanese water stones and hone them with a ceramic rod. The German steel needs sharpening more often but they can all take a good edge when sharpened well. I use a fairly shallow angle when sharpening so they need refreshing more often but they cut like crazy. It's fun learning how to sharpen well and it's meditative to do, so focus on that. 

clutchsmoke
clutchsmoke UltraDork
8/20/20 3:12 p.m.

Victorinox 8in chefs knife with the fibrox handle. It's my daily driver. Many kitchens/cooks use these as the handle can get something on it and not become extremely slippery. We've recently picked up a few of the paring knives and they hold up great.

I also own some shun knives of a few sizes that I use for certain jobs.

Error404
Error404 Reader
8/20/20 3:13 p.m.

Personally, I prefer eastern style knives over western. I've only recently started really caring about the knife I use and part of the reason is because a euro style chef knife has never felt rewarding to use. I was gifted a japanese knife a while back and have used it nearly exclusively, I'll probably buy a couple more this year (chefknivestogo.com) What made a big difference for me was that western knives tend to steer a lot when chopping veggies and are generally just heavier than I would like. Eastern knives are thinner blades so they are lighter and steer noticeably less. They're often more reactive steel but that just means that I'm more cognizant of knife maintenance so I don't mind it. My next knife will probably be a Wa handled Nakiri or a Chinese cleaver. 

jwagner (Forum Supporter)
jwagner (Forum Supporter) Reader
8/20/20 3:21 p.m.

Clutchsmoke had my budget suggestion - the Victorinox.  I also have a Mac that I like a lot - really sharp, balanced, and holds an edge.

JFW75
JFW75 New Reader
8/20/20 7:56 p.m.

Rada cutlery. Chef's knife is $16, stays sharp forever, resharpens with a few quick passes of a good steel. Amazon or direct from them online. Awesome everyday restauraunt quality line chef knives.

TJL (Forum Supporter)
TJL (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
8/20/20 8:02 p.m.

I get a set of 4 ceramic knives and a peeler for like 10-14$ On ebay or amazon. Scary sharp and so cheap you dont have to care about them. 

bigdaddylee82
bigdaddylee82 UberDork
8/20/20 9:19 p.m.

I've got a mix of stuff.

I've got 8" & 6" hollow edge Henckels chef's knives that I use frequently.

I've got some Pampered Chef (gift, you couldn't pay me to go to a party) pearing knives, they're okay, but they're the only prep knives I'll stick in the dishwasher, so that should tell you how much I value them.

All of my steak knives are serrated stainless one-piece Henckels.

I've got family in SE Alaska, spending time up there I noticed most of the fishermen and the fish processors were using Dexter Russell knives.  I stopped in one of the outfitters and picked up some Dexter Russell knives, they're surprisingly affordable, and I figured if the pros are using them everyday, they must know something I don't.

Now my go-to, butcher knife, pearing knives, and fillet knives are all Dexter Russell.  They're nothing fancy, cheap-ish, and hold an edge.  I've got a serrated Dexter Russell utility knife that I grab frequently for all kinds of stuff.

https://www.dexter1818.com/

Vracer111
Vracer111 HalfDork
8/20/20 9:45 p.m.

A single does it all kitchen knife is kind of hard to get...and not something you'd really want. Slicing & prepping food needs at least a couple different knives to do well. Some kind of main slicing/chopping bladed knife that can handle the main large items to prep along with a smaller bladed knife more suited for smaller and detailed work is the backbone of culinary work. If you are going to own any kitchen knives, a 'chef' blade knife and smaller prep/utility' blade knife should be the minimum. A 7" to 8" 'chef' blade knife and a 3" to 5" 'prep/utility' bladed knife is what you would want to be looking at.

'Chef' knife can be different things/shapes... from western deeper bellied edge style (like on a Henckles) to eastern Kiritsuke shallower bellied edge style (which is my preference). And I have an in-between hybrid shape that is actually a 'Porsche' design... sexy knife that love how it handles and is one of my go tos for most anything - Chroma Type 301, a hammered/dimpled Hakata Bocho blade profile. It really depends on how you like to cut and what feels best to use to you. Western profile blade have more rock to them while the eastern profile are more for slicing motion.

Japanese knives will have the best edge hardness and thinner edge angle profile, require more care in use as they can chip if you are not careful. German/European blades are softer in edge hardness with a wider edge angle and can take more beating but dull much quicker. I've yet to really ever sharpen my Shun's after many years... they still cut cleanly, but I've switched over to the Yaxell Tsuchimon series for my mains because of a sale. I'm very gentle on the edge pressure and use good cutting boards though... you go slicing and chopping with no concern for the blade edge and you'll be dulling it quicker and risk chipping.

And there's also the ceramic blades... very nice crazy sharp blades that will retain their edge like nothing else - but you have to be EXTREMELY careful with chipping them. And NEVER let your hamfisted parent, spouse, or any body you wouldn't even trust with any crap knives EVER touch them... they will chip the blade. I had a perfectly good Kyocera ceramic utility santoku until my mom used it once... expensive knife ruined. Can't really sharpen them... have to have them sent out for sharpening. Not recommended for use in anything other than a utility/pairing profile blade, definitely don't want a 'chef' ceramic blade. A full sized santoku profile is probably a bit much too as well for ceramic... definitely won't be doing that again.

The wider blade edge angle of the German/European knives have a useful benefit though... really like them for slicing potatoes and other starchy foods, seem to release better than the shallower profile Japanese blade. And generally for the profile if you just want to rock out on autopilot they will go through stuff fast like that... I do like that about the one German blade I own (Zwilling J.A. Henckels Pro Chef 7")

A site I've found which is great for shopping cutlery is Cutlery and More...  https://www.cutleryandmore.com/ wait for their sales and you can get some GREAT deals on high quality knives if you are patient and keep track of their sales and discounts... Reason I picked up the Henckels Pro 7" Chef, it was basically 1/2 of the normal retail price... at that price point absolute no brainer.

And if you want hand-made Japanese cutlery, Chubo is a great site.... https://www.chuboknives.com/

Got my lower end 270mm carbon steel double bevel Yanagiba from there to try out that blade profile. I'll probably get a nicer quality single bevel one in the future, but in 300mm length.

Antihero (Forum Supporter)
Antihero (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
8/20/20 10:21 p.m.

I'll throw out Old Hickory knives for their cost to holy-berkeley-thats-sharp value.

 

Like.....$15 and the high carbon steel holds an atom splitting sharpness when honed

dxman92
dxman92 Dork
8/20/20 11:02 p.m.

I'll give a nod for Victorinox paring serrated knife. Great value and all around knife.

Aaron_King
Aaron_King PowerDork
8/21/20 2:05 p.m.

We have been getting these for Christmas from my father once in a while :  Warther Cutlery.  Having not had other "nice" knives they are very nice and well made.

Jesse Ransom
Jesse Ransom GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
8/21/20 2:09 p.m.

I really like this Lee Valley Peasant Chef's Knife, and reach for it most of the time.

Vracer111
Vracer111 HalfDork
9/2/20 8:32 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

We use Japanese knives from small knife makers - a few Gihei HAP40s,  a few Shibata Kotsetsus. They are not cheap but they're wonderful. We also have some generic German blades that I use when there's a chance of damage.
 

But the big thing is that I sharpen them all on Japanese water stones and hone them with a ceramic rod. The German steel needs sharpening more often but they can all take a good edge when sharpened well. I use a fairly shallow angle when sharpening so they need refreshing more often but they cut like crazy. It's fun learning how to sharpen well and it's meditative to do, so focus on that. 

I just found out about Kisuke Manaka-san (Manaka Hamono), really want to get one of his gyutous now... all forged by hand, even the alloy weldments are made in house. Really like his design/aesthetic style... 

https://knifewear.com/collections/manaka-hamono

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/2/20 9:01 p.m.

Yeah, really need a budget here.  I have a block of Chicago Cutlery that works fine.  It was under $70 and came with 13 knives of different configurations.  They are a medium-carbon stainless, so they hold an edge about as well as a 1970 Cadillac holds a corner, but fortunately I'm good at sharpening.  I needed something to get me through when I bought the house and it does everything I need, just not particularly well.  I tend to work so much that fine cooking at home doesn't happen frequently enough that I miss the Henckels I used to have.  Ex wife still has those and I'm a bit miffed.  Her idea of cooking is making Christmas cookies once a year and ordering Taco Bell the other 50 weeks.

You could easily spend $1000 on a single knife, or you could get a decent block full of knives for $100.

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa Dork
9/2/20 9:16 p.m.
Mndsm
Mndsm MegaDork
9/2/20 10:59 p.m.

I'm part of a couple knife groups on Reddit, and for the less expensive yet very fancy, dahlstrong comes up a lot. Myself- I'm trying desperately to not pull the trigger on a 270 gyuto and a traditional chinese cleaver. 

Brett_Murphy (Forum Patrón)
Brett_Murphy (Forum Patrón) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/3/20 8:25 a.m.

Go to your restaurant supply store and get some Dexter knives.

You can run them through a gravel tumbler, spend 10 seconds with a diamond hone and they'll cut tomatoes. The down side is that they don't look fancy or have any kind of snobby cachet. 

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
9/3/20 9:30 a.m.

Wife has Cutco from many moons ago. We've added to it as time allows. Whats nice is when something gets dull, we drop it off at the store and get it back in a week. WE;ve had a couple replaced for free. 

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