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Best knives to use??

post #1 of 71
Thread Starter 
I have recently purchased a set of Global knives which I find are incredible. There are by far the best knives I have ever owned. I did as much research as I could prior to purchasing the knives, but could not find opinions directly from chefs on what knives they use. Can anyone give me an opinion on my recent purchase?
post #2 of 71

Tony Bourdain

In Kitchen Confidential, he raves about how practical they are compared to German knives. You should check it out. He recommends that the reader buys Global because of the cost and the quality.
Curiosity is a virtue. Certainty is nearly always a dangerous vice.
- Tony Bourdain
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Curiosity is a virtue. Certainty is nearly always a dangerous vice.
- Tony Bourdain
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post #3 of 71
I have talked to a number of culinary students from three different schools and all the culinary schools for some reason offer global knives for purchase for the students. I have been told that global is a good, solid brand of knife. The only negative comment was that they are very heavy knives and a day of prep work has left people with some very stiff forearms. I just responded "You can't be a wuss all your life". Seroiusly though I have a global 10" chef's and I have nothing but good to say about it. To me it's not heavy but I am also 6'5" tall and weigh 258Lbs. so what is a few more ounces?
"Ye can lead a man up to the university, but ye can't make him think."

Finley Peter Dunne
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"Ye can lead a man up to the university, but ye can't make him think."

Finley Peter Dunne
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post #4 of 71
Globals are heavy? i would hate to see them pick up a f dick or henkels knife the weight of the knife might drag them to the floor if they pick it up.

I think global knives are great knives but i hate the handles on them. A person i worked with had a global knife and i just couldnt get a feel for it, it felt awkward. i asked for a global knife for christmas a couple year ago and im glad i didnt get it, i hate the way they feel it my hands.
post #5 of 71
Globals work fine but remember that they are something of a cross between true traditional Japanese and Western knives. They are heavier and thicker than most Japanese with softer steel to boot. They claim that sharpening directly to a point instead of using a microbevel keeps them sharper longer. Yes and no. This results in edge rolling which must be straightened out with a SMOOTH steel, not one of those grooved things that come with block sets and belong in garbage cans. If nothing else, they are a step up from anything forged in Solingen.

Buzz
Buzz - with a Short Pilot Story

One day, long, long ago there was this Pilot who, surprisingly...........
was not full of crap....
But it was a long time ago.... And it was just one day. The End
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Buzz - with a Short Pilot Story

One day, long, long ago there was this Pilot who, surprisingly...........
was not full of crap....
But it was a long time ago.... And it was just one day. The End
Reply
post #6 of 71
Good thread here.... Also, try searching this site for more conversations on this topic. Knives are a favorite topic here at Chef Talk.
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post #7 of 71

global knives-heavy?

global knives are some of the lightest knives of quality ...
at least their basic models. the forged line is heavier, but
no more so than german stuff. if you think globals are heavy,
try using a calphalon "contemporary" knife or a chan chee kee
chinese clever!

oh! and a quick tip about using any "bolsterless" knife ...
they hurt less if you use them on the pull stroke instead
of the push stroke! notice that few japanese knives have
bolsters, they all cut better on a pull stroke. and you won't
get a callus on your middle finger if you use a pinch grip.
post #8 of 71
How's that? I have a house full of Japanese knives and they cut just as well with a push stroke as with a pull stroke. Same edge, same medium.
Buzz - with a Short Pilot Story

One day, long, long ago there was this Pilot who, surprisingly...........
was not full of crap....
But it was a long time ago.... And it was just one day. The End
Reply
Buzz - with a Short Pilot Story

One day, long, long ago there was this Pilot who, surprisingly...........
was not full of crap....
But it was a long time ago.... And it was just one day. The End
Reply
post #9 of 71
I personally hate global knifes. I heard all the ranting and raving and how great they are but they hurt my hand and didnt feel right. They were too light and jsut uncomfortable.

I was looking around for a new better set of knives to use. I was going to get the global but the feel was off.

I kept on looking at the calphalon Katana series and even though they are tops or whatever. It felt right. It has a full blade (I use the back edge of the blade where alot of them like the wustoff and others have the full bolster.

The knife is heavy but I liek a heavier knife. I feel like I have more control and better balance with it.

I do believe that not everyone will like the same type of knife. Everyone has there own style, grip and prefernce in many aspects of a knife.
post #10 of 71
A few of my buddys use global knives, they keep trying to get me to switch over but I cant part from my Wusthof knives.
post #11 of 71
i never liked them until i tried them.
i thought i wouldn't like the handle.
they're much lighter than what i'm used to. kind of a pleasant change.
pretty affordable, too.
just got one for christmas myself. i think it was a solid purchase.
post #12 of 71

cutting on pull stroke

hey buzz!!

there is a great tradition with japanese blades that they are designed to
to work on the pull stroke. consider japanese saws ... the blades are much thinner than european saws and work on the pull stroke. the cuts are fantastically accurate. the same is with many japanese blades .. the metals are thinner, harder, and sharper, and the pull stroke provides a much more accurate cut than a push stroke. (consider the beautiful and accurate
bladework that is necessary for their sushi dishes .... some of the most beautiful platings in the world!)

knives without bolsters (even forschners and boker arbolito) have a thin back edge of the blade that presses against your middle finger (assuming the pinch grip) that causes irritation, which leads to calluses. knives with bolsters have a fat, wide back edge that distributes the pressure over a larger area, thus not causing the aforementioned irritation.

traditional japanese knives (yanagi, deba, usuba, nikiri, gyuto, takobiki,
kamagata, and moroshi) do not have bolsters, so the pull stroke keeps
the dreaded "knife user's calluses" from forming on the middle finger.. also, when i was taught how to cut/slice sashimi, my sushi-master insisted that all fish be cut with the pull stroke. if you look very very carefully, there is a difference in the appearance of the finished product between a piece of fish cut with a pull and a push stroke.

ALSO!! of particular importance to global owners ... if your hands get greasy and you perform the push stroke and you encounter any resistance, your hand may slip forward and you WILL get a nasty sliced hand! (happened to two different people i know) using the pull stroke will prevent this from happening.

by-the-way: what kind of japanese knives do you own? i also have a house
full of japanese knives that i LOVE!! i don't know how it happened, but one knife lead to another and another then ... a houseful of japanese knives.
post #13 of 71
I would suspect the saw bends on a push stroke so this makes sense. My knives, however, do not. I have never noticed a difference in appearance between pull and push cutting.

I'm a home cook who neither cuts himself nor gets callouses. I take my time and enjoy what I'm doing.

Perhaps your knives aren't sharp enough. ??? I take mine (that do not touch bone) to a maximum of 10 degrees per side and finish the polishing process with .3 micron honing film on glass. How about you?

Moritaka, Shun Elite, Watanabe, Tojiro, KAI Wasabi, Hiromoto, Tomotsuga, Yoshikane. They constitute much more than my simple needs for home cooking. That probably explains why I also have some 50 year old Thiers-Issard Sabatiers, Ray Rantanen custom boning knives in L6 carbon, several F. J. Richtig ("Believe It Or Not" fame) kitchen knives, and a Murray Carter high grade 6 sun Nakiri on order. It's a sickness and I am a willing participant. :smoking:

Buzz
Buzz - with a Short Pilot Story

One day, long, long ago there was this Pilot who, surprisingly...........
was not full of crap....
But it was a long time ago.... And it was just one day. The End
Reply
Buzz - with a Short Pilot Story

One day, long, long ago there was this Pilot who, surprisingly...........
was not full of crap....
But it was a long time ago.... And it was just one day. The End
Reply
post #14 of 71

pull strokes

buzz:

your suspicions about the saw blade are correct, but the point is that the pull
stroke is also more accurate than the push stroke (as is explained to me by sashimi chef after sashimi chef). i also didn't notice any difference between the push and pull stroke until a sashimi chef was able to pick out ... time and time again ... the pieces of fish i cut with the push stroke and the ones i cut with the pull stroke. maybe this is kind of like when i cannot tell the difference between an up stroke and a down stroke on a violin (tone deaf).
it may not mean a difference to you, but to some people (true sushi/sashimi devotees) there is a difference. some would say the finished piece of fish tastes different between the two strokes. if they can tell, it makes a difference.

you are a home cook who can take his time cutting, but for someone in a working kitchen, (and thus the title of this website ... CHEFtalk) things go googoo when the chef hands you five chickens and says he wants them boneless in fifteen minute!! take a slippery global knife, coat it with chicken fat, add a little deadline, and a push stroke is a guarantee that there is gonna be blood! and sharp or not, working at speed, there is always the
possibility of the point or edge "sticking". the pull stroke is much safer.

and by the way: i don't know about the .3 micron honing film on glass ...
sounds interesting! myself, i finish up my important knives on a 20,000
grit waterstone. it is so much fun looking at the edge of the knife and seeing your reflection!
post #15 of 71
I don't make sashimi so I guess I'm okay pushing or pulling ham and conch.

"CHEFtalk"??? Oh, so I'm not supposed to be here? That's my read on your statement. Please do explain. Perhaps I'll change from home cook to home chef.

My last stone is a 10k Naniwa. After that it's .5 micron CrO on paper on glass, .3 micron honing film on glass, and I sometimes follow that with scrubbed horse leather, very very lightly. The .5 is 60,000 grit. The .3 is, well, downright shiney :smoking:
Buzz - with a Short Pilot Story

One day, long, long ago there was this Pilot who, surprisingly...........
was not full of crap....
But it was a long time ago.... And it was just one day. The End
Reply
Buzz - with a Short Pilot Story

One day, long, long ago there was this Pilot who, surprisingly...........
was not full of crap....
But it was a long time ago.... And it was just one day. The End
Reply
post #16 of 71
I think you misread the intent of Crimson's comment.
It was to differentiate between the cooking deadlines of the two types of cook, home and professional.
I think that comment when taken into consideration with the rest of the post shows that there was no slight intended.
You are welcome here.
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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post #17 of 71
Not sure which Globals you are talking about. I have a set of Globals that are the lightest I have ever owned. In fact, I actually prefer a heavier knife for some uses.

While I still prefer Shun for the absolute best edge, IMHO Globals are an excellent knife and a very good value.

But, as with many things, you should try before you buy.
post #18 of 71
I trust you're correct but I would like Crimson to say it because his intent was not clear.

I know I'm welcome here, and I think I can add a bit of information about knives. They are a hobby of mine and I know quite a bit about the steels from which they are made, blade geometry, and sharpening.
Buzz - with a Short Pilot Story

One day, long, long ago there was this Pilot who, surprisingly...........
was not full of crap....
But it was a long time ago.... And it was just one day. The End
Reply
Buzz - with a Short Pilot Story

One day, long, long ago there was this Pilot who, surprisingly...........
was not full of crap....
But it was a long time ago.... And it was just one day. The End
Reply
post #19 of 71

Please read posts fully before you rhetort

I was only passing on what I have been told by some of my friends who are chefs. I my self have had a global 10" chef since I was 15 and I personaly do not find it heavy. I did not ask what line of Globals that they are using but maybe as previously mentioned that they could be the forged line.
"Ye can lead a man up to the university, but ye can't make him think."

Finley Peter Dunne
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"Ye can lead a man up to the university, but ye can't make him think."

Finley Peter Dunne
Reply
post #20 of 71

no ill intent, buzz!!

hey buzz!!

please do not take offense at my reference to the website as CHEFtalk.
look around the website and there is quite a bit of controversy as to who is a chef, and who is merely a cook.

personally, i feel if one has a reasonable ability to be able to cook something and make it look good and taste good (as opposed to reasonably edible) and has a passion for cooking and strives to improve oneself, that is chef enough for me.

others are very adamant about one having to be able to tell the nutritional content of the food cooked, the knowledge of when different fruits and vegetables are in season, the ability to run a restaurant, able to recognise different cuts of meat by their code names, hire and fire people, etc. etc. as minimum qualifications to be considered a chef. they are even very upset that anyone who doesn't measure up and calls oneself a chef is a liar and a cheat.
they have their opinions, and maybe they have a point about having some standard of professionalism. just as carpenters like to think they have a greater skill than a sawdust maker, i suppose people who have reached a certain level of professionalism don't want their titles diluted by people of lesser ability.

that said, just jim is correct in his observation. in a professional kitchen, (unlike a home kitchen), sometimes you have to do things differently than when you are cooking at home. speed and safety are paramount. i have seen too many people cooking on the line who have sliced themselves silly because of a multitude of reasons. one of them is cutting on the push stroke. i am merely offering advice that would keep one safe while being able to cut in the cleanest and most accurate slices.

and since this website is called "CHEFtalk", i was aiming my comments to a wider reading audience of chefs and aspiring chefs instead of trying to pick on you personally. that is not my intention. as a fellow knife enthusiast, i love knives, love handling knives, love using knives, and although i list myself as a private chef, i do most of my work as a prep chef ... a knife for hire. one of my biggest thrills is looking over my knives and picking out the special knife (or knives) i will be using for tonight's preparation. this can be a daunting task as i own over 200 knives, and they all want to be used ... crying out to be used, but some of them are too beautiful to use!

and personally, sometimes i wish this website was COOKINGtalk so that no one would be putting on airs. just happy people who love to cook and eat and are willing to share themselves.

OH!! and i would love to read more on whatever you want to say about knives!!
post #21 of 71
Thanks Crimson. It was obviously my misunderstanding.
Buzz - with a Short Pilot Story

One day, long, long ago there was this Pilot who, surprisingly...........
was not full of crap....
But it was a long time ago.... And it was just one day. The End
Reply
Buzz - with a Short Pilot Story

One day, long, long ago there was this Pilot who, surprisingly...........
was not full of crap....
But it was a long time ago.... And it was just one day. The End
Reply
post #22 of 71
From a hobby woodworker's point of view, sharpening is subject that is as wide as all the oceans put together with virtually everyone having their own methods and materials and reasons for doing so.

But getting back to the subject of knives, for me, there is no "best knife", just as there is no "absolute best wine". It all comes down to two very important things:

1) Personal preference. I like what I like, and you like what you like.

2) Knife skills. When you look at Formula 1 racing cars they're virtually the same: Same engine, same tires--except for the stickers plastered all over them. Yet in every race there is a winner and a loser. It's not the car that wins the race, it's the driver. The person handling the knife--whatever knife they choose--ultimately has control over the finished product. It's not the knife that makes the perfect cut, it's the user.
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #23 of 71
that is a good argument EXCEPT!!
except they are all formula one racers!
the argument breaks down because you mentioned they are all formula 1
racers. now ... if you said all cars, (not just formula 1 racers) then that is a different matter!
certainly someone could say "hey all cars are the same ... they all have four wheels, an engine, and a gas tank, so it is the skill of the driver, not the car they use!"
certainly, the SAME chef, cutting the SAME product, but using a 8" glestain
chef's knife and an 8" chicago cutlery insigna chef's knife is going to get vastly different results (at least, to someone who cares about how nicely something is cut ... sashimi, for instance) i think most of the posts re:knives are concerning how to separate the formula 1 racers from the ford tauruses. not that ford tauruses are bad (they sure sell a lot of them), but
it is sure a lot easier to win a formula 1 race with a formula 1 car than with a ford taurus.

i once read a comment on one of the bicycling websites:
two bicycles at the start of the race, one is a modern 15 lb. wonder, the other is a forty pound single speeder. which is faster? neither, because it
is strong legs that win a race."

yeah, but strong legs will go faster with the 15 lb. bike!
post #24 of 71
I'm in Crimson's camp. Performance is everything. Mark my words; within a decade every non-Japanese knife maker will be making Japanese geometry knives and they will have comparable steel.

As to your Formula 1 example, you aren't a fan, are you? Bernie Ecclestone and the FIA would gag. Although there are several racing series using spec engines and chassis, believe me, F1 is NOT in this group. Are you aware of McLaren's punishment issued last year by the FIA for stealing Ferrari design secrets? :smoking:
Buzz - with a Short Pilot Story

One day, long, long ago there was this Pilot who, surprisingly...........
was not full of crap....
But it was a long time ago.... And it was just one day. The End
Reply
Buzz - with a Short Pilot Story

One day, long, long ago there was this Pilot who, surprisingly...........
was not full of crap....
But it was a long time ago.... And it was just one day. The End
Reply
post #25 of 71
Bad example I guess.

Back to woodworkers, they have this "thing" called "tool porn" and it's a pretty good description, everyone gets caught up in the beauty and design and material of the tool, but in the end it's just a hunk of metal that gets the job done.

A knife is a tool. Period. If it's sharp it cuts well, and if the handler is competant you get wonderfull consistant work.

Japanese design and exotic steel blends? Yawn.... Japanese design is good, but no better or worse than Western design. Again, it is all personal preference. However Japanese designs sell well because it is pushed by the manufacturers. You've got our 8" and 10" Chef's knives? Oh.. But you don't have our new Sanktou knife, now do you?

The whole thing with exotic steels is to get a sharp edge that stays sharp, but there's always a trade off: If the steel is super hard it is also super difficult to sharpen and usually fairly brittle, and sooner or later you will have to sharpen it. Again personal preference, you can give less exotic knife regular maintainence, and enjoy the process achieveing a zen-like harmony getting the edge; or you can do maintainence once a year and spend alot of time and fancy diamond pastes to sharpen it or take your chances and get it done professionaly. It's all your choice, your time, your money, but I really want to make a very firm statement in saying that there is no perfect knife, no perfect design, no perfect steel formula.

Look, I've seen just about everything in commercial kitchens, and I've seen commercial meat packing plants and the lengths they go to for sharp knives, I've even seen the equipment and sharpening techniques used for machinery needed to slice wood for plywood and veneers, and that technology makes all the culinary knife technology look far behind the times .
I've seen fist fights and feuds over knives, guys spending more than they can afford for fancy knives and find that their locker was broken into a few days later, guys diving into the dumpster, rooting through bags of putrified garbage trying to find their prized knife that MIGHT have been thrown out with the aspergus peels. Arguements over oil stones vs water stones, sharpening methods, steel formulas, knife handling skills.

In the end, it's all what ever it takes to float your boat.
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #26 of 71
Actually, yes it was. You tried to make yourself sound like an expert and got caught. Is the rest of your stuff equally ill-informed? You lost some integrity.

Now *that* is a truly ill-informed statement.

It's "santoku". Also, they are a fad. Wusthof makes a beautiful model with a granton blade. :roll: You think they're a joke. On this point I agree. Ugly fatties, those santokus.... If you want a wide blade that scopes up the veggies get something that REALLY works well, get a Chuckabocho, or have an extra wide Nakiri custom made by any of a thousand Japanese Hamonos.

If you can't sharpen hard steels it's your problem. If a DMT Diasharp XXC must be used to set a bevel then so be it. You do what ya gotta do. Many "exotics" as you call them are indeed relatively brittle. Hitachi AS blue super steel among them. They will chip if you do something uncool like twisting the blade when it's against the cutting board. So don't do that! I don't, and my knives aren't chipping. To quote you, "knife handling skills". How about a tool steel like SKD-11? It gets insanely sharp, keeps its edge forever, and doesn't chip. How 'bout that?

In reading your statements I find that you are part correct in my opinion, but mostly not. You sound an awful lot like the German using masses who have no experience with high performance knives and won't even acknowledge that such great blade technology exists.

Any RayRay Furi knives in your block? :smoking:
Buzz - with a Short Pilot Story

One day, long, long ago there was this Pilot who, surprisingly...........
was not full of crap....
But it was a long time ago.... And it was just one day. The End
Reply
Buzz - with a Short Pilot Story

One day, long, long ago there was this Pilot who, surprisingly...........
was not full of crap....
But it was a long time ago.... And it was just one day. The End
Reply
post #27 of 71
Well now opinions are just that, so let's just keep them opinions and not elevate to anything more.

If you read through my post, I make it clear, and clear again that knives are tools and there is a highly personal preference, and this extends to sharpening as well. Now it is true that I have invested somewhat in decent stones, investing time in getting consistant bevels, getting mirror polishes with nothing more than leather belting and LV honing paste. If you want to invest in cast iron polishing surfaces, diamond pastes, mono crystaline diamond stones, 50X inspection lenses, and the like, then go for it. But if we can both achieve a scary-sharp edge and keep it consistantly with our own methods, materials and techniques then we both win, and neither of us has a "definite' superior way", that is to say there is no "best way".

As a Chef I get asked time and time again, "what's the BEST..(insert here ingredient, wine, knife, chocolate, etc.) And I always tell them that there is no absolute best. I have my favorites, and I'll be glad to share them with you, but that there is no absolute best. Best is very subjective and dependant on a multitude of conditions and factors.

I'm not a knife fanatic, I'm just a cook who uses knives daily to support myself, my business, and my family--for the last 30 odd years. My preferred way of thinking is that they are tools, not status symbols or bragging subject matter. "Stuff" happens in kitchens, knives get dropped, get banged around, eejits borrow them and abuse them without my knowledge, they "grow legs" and dissapear. I've got enough to do as it is without investing more time and money than I have to with knives.
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #28 of 71
foodpump, this is a forum and forums are designed for debate. Although I hold nothing against you personally, I have opinions and the freedom to express them, so I do. I also post facts. Honest to God verifiable proven facts.

You said "there is no absolute best". That might be true, but when it comes to knives, and that is what this discussion is about, there are better blades than others for specific purposes. Period. That is what the Japanese *thing* is all about. They design blades for very specific purposes, and they've been doing it since the 13th century.

You didn't address a single item in my previous post. What am I supposed to think? I feel like I'm having a political discussion with a Democrat. Don't go there! :cool:

You think of your knives as tools. I think of mine as works of art. You associate your knives with the drudgery of work. I associate mine with more pleasurable endeavors. You are a knife user. I am an aficionado. Obviously we disagree on many things. So? :smoking:
Buzz - with a Short Pilot Story

One day, long, long ago there was this Pilot who, surprisingly...........
was not full of crap....
But it was a long time ago.... And it was just one day. The End
Reply
Buzz - with a Short Pilot Story

One day, long, long ago there was this Pilot who, surprisingly...........
was not full of crap....
But it was a long time ago.... And it was just one day. The End
Reply
post #29 of 71
Well, what do you want me to address? That you agree with me on most of the issues? Re-read your posts, re-read mine.

Yeah, the Japanese have been designing specilaized knives since the 13 century. But then, so have all the other nations too.... Europeans have specialized knives for bread, for smoked salmon, for boning out meats, for skinning, for zesting, for Demidoff, etc. etc. The Japanese developed knives for their cuisine. So? Now what?

Drudgery of work? No. If work is drudgery then it's work. I work for the joy of creating, of making people happy.

Enjoy your works of art.
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #30 of 71

Good a place as any

What do you think of the Wusthof Ikon line?

looking for something personal/professional use.
I have a mish mosh of work horse knives, but no diva's.
bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!


Professor Pastry Artswww.collin.edu
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bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!


Professor Pastry Artswww.collin.edu
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