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knives

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
New to the forum and looking for info on the best two knives to have...I saw this show on Oprah that a chef stated you only need two knives. Wondering what others think?
post #2 of 24
Welcome to Cheftalk!

It really depends on who you are, how and how much you use them.

As a professional, I mainly use my 10" chef knife and a paring knife. I do use other knives but not nearly as much.

However, for a home cook with limited experience, or someone who doesn't have knife skills, a 10" blade could be a dangerous thing. Not to mention that most home cutting boards are too small to accomodate that size.

Tell us a bit about yourself, and maybe we can assist you further. My guess is, you'd probably be ok with a paring knife, an 8" blade and a serrated knife for bread.
post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 

New to forum

I am not a professional. I am an average cook who has a drawer full of garbage knives. I am trying to purchase a few good knives and free myself from all the clutter. I appreciate any input. Thanks.
post #4 of 24
One of the two would be a 10 or 12" chefs knife. The second depends on what you are doing. Working in the butcher shop it would be an 8" boning knife. In Garde Manger it would be a paring knife, sandwhich, a 10" bread knife, etc..

One thing to consider- I would rather have 1 quality knife rather than a set of inferior. Henkles are the best. http://www.unichef.com/knives.htm
Michael
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Michael
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post #5 of 24
Welcome to Chef Talk Cafe, Jetsilla!

Knives are always a popular topic around here. I suggest you try using our search feature to find those earlier conversations. Also, we have an equipment forum where you could also post further questions about all kinds of cooking gear.

Regards,
Mezzaluna
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post #6 of 24
...I am not so sure. Kershaw's Shun line of knives are fantastic tools. Forscheners have served me extremely well over the years. Russel-Dexters are great, all-around quality knives. And lest we forget Global and Wusthoff. Just like any tool, it is what works best for you... a delicate balance between cost, utility, style and appeal.

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Invention, my dear friends, is ninety-three percent perspiration, six percent electricity, four percent evaporation, and two percent butterscotch ripple

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post #7 of 24
Thread Starter 

Knives

Thanks for the replies. I have realized that I do only use a couple of the knives I have. All of them are very low quality and need to be thrown out. I just need to find the best "bang for my buck" and purchase a few quality knives. I appreciate the input
post #8 of 24
Henckels and Wustof make decent knives (their top end lines), but there are better knives. Global and Kai Shun are great knives, if you want to go even higher end you could get Nenox, Glestain or Misono knives. http://www.japanese-knife.com is a great site for some very good japanese made knives. For cheaper knives, I like Victorinox and Icel (www.icel.pt) - they hold a decent edge, and are good if you're on a tight budget.

The 2 knives I use most at work are a 10-12 inch chef knife, and 3-4 inch paring/tourning knife. If you cut crusty bread, a serrated knife is a must (a cheap serrated knife is good enough for most).
post #9 of 24
I was in the exact same place a while back. I had supermarket knives. Before I went Wusthof nutz, I bought several Forschner knives. They are rolled/stamped rather than forged so they are much less expensive. They are excellent! For the cost of one Wusthof Chef's knife you can by an nice array of Forschner knives. I have since upgraded my chef's knife but the 10" Forschenr bread knife gets used so often that it never makes it back into my knife block.
"At weddings, my Aunts would poke me in the ribs and cackle "You're next!". They stopped when I started doing the same to them at funerals." D. Barry
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"At weddings, my Aunts would poke me in the ribs and cackle "You're next!". They stopped when I started doing the same to them at funerals." D. Barry
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post #10 of 24
I have been in the industry for 30 years. Early on I had a big case of all types of knives. As the years progressed, more and more knives started staying home. Now I am pretty much down to a chef's knife and a serrated bread knife. Cheap is fine for the latter, but definitely quality for the chef's knife, which is probably used 95% of the time or better. I don't recommend any particular brand, although I do have a personal favorite, because the choice of a knife should come down to what feels right in YOUR hand. I would go to a cutlery store and spend at least 15 minutes with the knife you think you want, in your hand. Take some zucchini with you and practise cutting. If the store won't let you, find another store. After 15 minutes straight of holding the knife, you will know if it is a good fit for you. I have had my 11 1/2" chef's knife for 20 years, it is an old friend and extension of my arm.
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #11 of 24
Jetsilla, for your wants and useage I would suggest looking at the Forschners.The 8" chefs knife,the 10" bread knife(serrated) and the paring knife would suffice you quite well and total cost with search can be under $50.00 for all of these knives.Use google or yahoo search and you will find a bunch of options.Keep cookin,Doug............
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The two most common things in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity !
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post #12 of 24
I bought Wusthof-Trident white handled knives. Like most knives, it is important to keep them sharp. I used to think the round rough surfaced "wand" was for keeping them sharp, then found out that is only to straighten the edge. The knives were sold to me with this odd little wooden type of deal which had ceramic cylindrical sharpening rods, that fit into the holes. One set is coarse, the other fine. They fit into the holes at 20degree angles. The idea is to hold the knife exactly vertical, and slice down on the edge. I think they recommend 20 times alternating one side to the next. Then you take out the coarse ceramic rods, and insert the fine ceramic ones in the other set of holes. It is time consuming, and I do it about 1-2 times per year. I lost the instructions, but there is also a fifth hole that I have no idea what it was to be used for!

For all those knives, I generally only use the 8 or 10" chef's knife, the serrated bread knife, the serrated tomato knife, the scissors, and sometimes the paring knife. Wife likes the littler knives, and of course, we use the steak knives.

doc
post #13 of 24

New knives to consider

Have you heard of Furi knives? They're fairly new to the US and you can find them at Sur La Table. Right now they're at a decent price because they're new to the country (they're Australian knives). Anyway, there's a lot of details about the knives that make them wonderful (check out their website: http://www.furitechnics.com.au/ ). I've had the chance to use all of the ones that they sell at SLT and as a home chef I really like them. They also have a knife sharpening system that is fantastic (it doesn't take off too much material, anyone can use it, it stores easily, is not electric, and it automatically gives you a 20 degree angle). Go to the store and ask them to explain the knives to you (too much to explain here) and I promise you'll be very interested. I think the best part about these knives are that you only need two of these (which ones are up to your personal tastes). Good luck finding the perfect knives for you.
post #14 of 24
Those Furi have that new age look like the globals do but they are definately not as hard.Furi says there steel hardness is RC 52 and for this soft of steel one would need to probably purchase all of the sharpeners.To give you an example a Forschner is RC 55/56,while a Wustoff is RC 56.5.Henkels depending on the line go from RC 55 to 57,Older hi carbon knives like Sabatier normaly run RC 57 and the Global line runs an RC 57 also.Now if you go to Japanese knives(and the new f Dick) you will get harder thinner blades with an RC of 60 to 62! 52 on the RC scale is not appropriate for kitchen knives IMHO.Keep cookin,Doug................
The two most common things in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity !
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The two most common things in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity !
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post #15 of 24

Choosing a knife.

The first part is easy: get a traditional chef's knife, and make it a good one.

Then next part is deciding which one, and it's trickier. All the top end knives from Solingen, Germany, are good. Nitpicking over which is better will not make much difference. Figuring out which one fits best in your hand and has a balance that you like will make all the difference in the world. So don't buy my favorite knife, or anyone else's here, or Jean George's favorite ... try out a bunch and figure out your own.

There are lots of other good ones. I haven't owned any Japanese knives. I have chef friends who love the Globals, though not as their main knife ... mostly for delicate things, like thinly slicing vegetables. Not so much for hacking up a chicken.

My fave, for whatever it's worth: an Eberhad Schaaf Goldhamster. Beautifully made, and massive, but so well balanced that it's nimble and quick. Only worth considering if you have big hands, because of the fat grip. I bought my mom a Messermeister because of its thin handle (great for small hands, though I like using it too).
post #16 of 24
Hello,
I’ve read lots of things about knives, and I’m sure that the best you can do to find your perfect knife is to try it. The knife is not only about performance and balance; above all you have to feel that the knife becomes a part of you. The aesthetic look is also important, not to show to others, but if you like it you’ll fill better with it. In my case, after an intensive search, I’ve decided to buy an ICEL Platina chef’s knife (I think it's from Portugal), it’s forged and well balanced, with a steel handle and looks very nice. I was surprised about the very good relation quality/price.
But, try as many you can.
Nice cooking’s.
post #17 of 24
Why are the Japanese knives so expensive?
post #18 of 24

Because they rock!

While in Japan I bought a set of knives from Sakai Takayuki, from Osaka. Being left handed ,they were specially ordered for me(additional cost, of course)and sharpened on one side. They are/were western style, stainless, and well made. Thin blades for precision cutting, butchering. And the method of sharpening and maintaining, waterstones,... extra work, but they are your tools, working with a REALLY sharp knife is good times, period. Crappy knives are a product of a sloppy cook.
post #19 of 24
"T.Haws wrote: Crappy knives are a product of a sloppy cook."

My bride of many years would likely see the connection here. :D

Some years ago, when cooking and food first became important to me, an inexpensive 10" Chicago Cutlery stamped blade was already in the block. Today, 28 years later, it's still in the block, still used (non-professionally), most every day.

And though I continue to drool over the look of the forged offerings, my old sheet metal friend still slices and dices.

Whether I replace it or not probably depends on which one of us wears out first. :rolleyes:
post #20 of 24
I would say 'Dull knives are the sign of a sloppy cook'. I have a cheap 20 dollar chef knife I bought from Ikea (just for home use), but with some good sharpening you can get it as sharp as a 200 dollar knife (although it dulls quicker). I know alot of very good cooks with very old, sometimes crappy knives but they are very well sharpened and still cut very well (not to mention provide good memories).
post #21 of 24

knives

i think the most important thing about buying a knives is to hold it and see if its comfortable if you can try it first, any good knives will average 50-100$. henckles whurstof global are all good brands.
post #22 of 24
Lots of good suggestions already, I cannot add much, except to say that I have both Wusthof and Henckels and personally, Henckels feels better balanced in my hands than the Wusthofs, but I certainly would be hard pressed to narrow down what I use to just two knives.

Maybe a good 8 in. Chefs and a 5 or 6 in. Utility?

I love my new Henckels Four Star 7 in. Santoku and it could well serve most of my purposes. If limited to just two knives, I would choose it and a Four Star 10 in. Hollow Ground Slicer. Throw in a 3 or 4 in. Paring knife, and I think you would have most of your bases covered.

Just my thoughts on the subject.

RFB
post #23 of 24
This one resuscitated a ten years old thread.
post #24 of 24

The 1 post wonders were having a party yesterday, I guess they had decided on a vintage theme.


Edited by Rick Alan - 12/30/14 at 4:58am
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