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Chefs Knife

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
When my wife an I were first married we received a block set of knives. They were a pretty cheap brand but served their purpose. Now that I am starting to become more of a student of cooking I'd like to upgrade some of the knives.

I'd like to start with the chefs knife. The knife in the set is 8" but I think I'de prefer to go with a 6" chefs. I've read all of the cutlery posts and just seem thouroughly confused. So many choices out there. From what I can gather from some of the posts Forschners seem to be decent and reasonably priced. Is this a good choice for a beginner? Or is there a better "starter" knife out there?

Also, keeping knives sharp is new to me. I've read about Lansky's sharpeners. Should I also invest in one of these?

Thanks in advance for any advice.
post #2 of 17
======= no doubt you have read lots and lots and that is good.
now to wade thru the material.

forschners are super knives to begin with, esp. the "fibrox" handle
models. read a couple of other threads and you will find a lot of info
about the "balance, heft, and safety" of a "forged" blade with a full
bolster etc etc etc but the three most important factors you should
consider is sharpness of the edge, straightness of the blade, and
comfort of the handle.

i have looked at THOUSANDS of knives (no kidding!!) and own over
150 of them myself, and i have found that the "stamped" blades tend
to be straighter than forged blades. i have found lots of higher
end solingen blades that were bent, bowed, twisted, and otherwise
"unstraight". try and cut a straight line with a crooked blade and
you find you can't. the best culinary dishes (in my opinion) are
wonderful examples of outstanding blade work. (check out how beautiful
sushi and sashimi dishes are plated see what i mean!!)

in test after test the forschner fibrox knives have been rated close to,
or superior to, the higher priced german stuff and at a much lower price.
you can pick up four or five forshners for the price of one wusthof,
which will lend to your versitility as a chef.

the laskey system is fine for learning and using, but eventually you
may want to graduate to japanese waterstones.
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Great info. I'm definitely leaning towards the Forschner fibrox. I agree with you about getting a few Forschners for the price of 1 German knife. Maybe I'll add a bread knife to my collection too.

Is there any advantage of an 8" over a 6" or is it just personal choice?

As far as the Japanese waterstone is there any place to read up on a knife sharpening tutorial? I'd much rather go with the best option but I'm a bit leery of destroying a good knife when I attempt to sharpen it.
post #4 of 17
A 6" is simply too small for some tasks I think.

Cutting watermelon for example. Or many beef roasts.

I consider 6" for general utility blades but for chopping and big tasks, 8-10 is the best size I think.

10 is more than some people like. Go to a store and hold some in different lengths and see what you like. Maybe take some onions and a board to give some test chops if they'll let you.

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Anybody ever shop online at Cutlery And More? They have the 8" Forschners chef knife for $21.50. Sounds like a good deal.
post #6 of 17
Cutlery and More is good, I have bought some stuff from them. No complaints at all. A couple of years ago there was a company called Pacific Cutlery Direct that had the lowest prices by far, but I googled it, and couldnt find anything??

I just bought a 6" Kyocera Ceramic chef knife and now that I have had a chance to use it for a bit, I am really sad I didnt get an 8" instead. I would say that 8" chefs knives are the best all around tool.

I second getting Forshner knives, they are a good deal. I would get the 8" chef previously mentioned, one of these and one of these, and that should get you started. Oh yeah and get a good diamond steel too.
post #7 of 17
For some sharpening information check out the following:
*Buy this book.
*This site is packed with great information and is worth some time to poke around. Buy this book as well.
*Check out the "In the Kitchen" & "Keeping Sharp" forums and be sure to do a search for sharpening. You'll get more info here than you could ever want on this subject.
*See "Fred's Cutlery Forum"
Do a search on sharpening.

--Dave M.--
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hey Clay thanks for the advice. I'm definitely going for the 8" chefs and 10" bread.

Those are some great links Dave. I'm definitely going to do some reading over the weekend and I'll probably invest n one of those books. Good stuff.
post #9 of 17
Don't. A steel should not be abrasive at all. That's sharpening. You'll be better off with a true steel which realigns the dings so the edge works well without removing steel (sharpening). This increases edge life and knife life, the true purpose of steeling.

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
post #10 of 17
===== now for my 2 cents ...
diamond steels are OK for really dull knives cuz yes they are abrasive,
but i like a ceramic "steel" over a regular "steel" steel and a fine grit
model (like 2000 grit) won't take a lot off your knife. only a couple
of swipes are needed so you don't have to go overboard.
post #11 of 17
===== also, when you "chop" by keeping the tip of the knife on the board
and using it like a paper cutter, the longer blade is definitely easier to use.
post #12 of 17
===== i like the 8" chef's, and the boner, but i might prefer the
10.25" "super knife" (slightly curved serrated knife) to the 10" straight
serrated slicer. just a little more knuckle clearance when slicing.
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
Whats the thinking on electric sharpeners such as the Chef's Choice line of sharpeners?
post #14 of 17
Jusst learn to use a stone.

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.



Brot und Wein
(1 photos)

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.



Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
post #15 of 17

chef's knife

i feel they are the easy way out, and definitely keeps you from living up
to your potential.

such sharpeners tend to take more metal off the blade than necessary,
and the fixed angle doesn't do you any favors unless you really don't

even with "western" knives that are sharpened equally on both sides,
they will work better if sharpened "assymetrically", that is, more on
side than the other. if a knife is sharpened equally on both sides it
is sometimes called a "50/50". a right handed person tends to cut
"pushing out" or "away" from the body. by sharpening the edge to
something like "70/30" you can make your knife cut very straight
slices in meat and other things.

you can't make "70/30" or "80/20" edges with an electric sharpener.
they have one fixed angle and that's that.
post #16 of 17
I use my diamond steel a lot, and that is when I am using my knife alot. IMHO they are best used every 15 minutes of actual cutting time, which keeps the edge pretty good. I do it this way, and the knives stay pretty sharp for quite a while. Maybe with forschners, and a novice, a regular steel would be better, but I mostly use global, and wustof.

Electric sharpeners suck, I have seen so many people completely trash a good knife with those things. Dont get one!
post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
Ok, I guess I'll learn to use the stone or steel. I've taken a few recreational classes in the Institute of Culinary Education. I know they have some knife skills classes. Maybe I'll take one of those next.
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