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post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone was looking for some insight on knives I want something better than my current ginsu setup lol! I cannot afford really high end knives i was looking at shun and global but they are out of my league money wise. Ive seen several mention the forchner knives. Can you all elaborate on which model i see they have rosewood,fibrox etc. I am a home cook and enjoy cooking and entertaining friends and want a decent quality knife set that is sharp holds an edge and is durable. I will (depending on price) start with a Chef knife and a paring knife, I want to add the boning knife and bread knife and slicing knife as well. I'll let you all steer me now thanks gang!
post #2 of 23
I have some fibrox forschner and really like them. They are the cheapest handle material and very durable. Well worth the money and they perform well. Before you commit to them, you should go to a store and hold, even use them if possible to see if they really fit you. Not every handle works for every body.

They hold an edge as well as the Henkels and Wusthofs and other common quality kitchen ware. They are easy to sharpen in my opinion, but I'm a pretty good sharpener. I think their design makes them easier to sharpen than a knife with a dropped bolster.

There are knives that can outperform a Forschner but they cost more (much more) and tend to be more difficult for the home cook to sharpen.

Edit: I have an 8",10" chefs, 10" bread knife and 2 paring knives in Fibrox Forschner. I'm not thrilled with the paring knife. They work well, but I prefer a stiffer blade. You might like the flexibility of the paring blade.
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #3 of 23
For about double the price of a Forsner look at the Tojiro DP line at Korin - Fine Japanese Tableware and Chef Knives - twice the price, ten times the knife. SS to boot.
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
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post #4 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info i bookmarked the page with the Korin knives. I talked to my Mom today and she gave me a couple of knives from a company called mundial i'm sure they are not the best but they are a huge step up from my Ginsu knives lol i will be ordering some knives soon maybe next week i'll order a chef knife.
post #5 of 23
Get the Tojiro. I prefer 240mm but maybe this is a better choice for you.
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
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post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
Yes that is what i was looking at it look like a great knife does it hold an edge well for you? I bought a wood cutting board today after reading some of the threads on what surfaces are better for your knives i got rid of my granite cutting board. Oh does that knife have a full Tang?
post #7 of 23
Granite cutting board, arrrrgggggg, that hurts. They will kill an edge in one swipe. Go with any end grain wood or Sani-Tuff ruber board. Your knives will thank you.

Yes, the Tojiro DP's are full tang and the handle has a really good feel to it. The steel is Swedish, and by the coy Korin description I am guessing it to be Sandvik 13C26 or something close to it. This is a steel you cannot ignore, is easy to sharpen to whatever edge you desire, and long lasting.
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 #8 of 23
Thread Starter 
Buzzard thanks a lot yes i never really gave the granite board thought! i can't believe i ignored it thankfully i don't really care about the Ginsu crap knives as a matter of fact i am in the kitchen now and just sliced and diced some veggies with the Mundial knives my mother just gave me and wow what a difference they make and i'm sure they are not as nice as her new set! she bought Wushtoff (hope i spelled that right). I will be ordering a Chef knife next week from that website you gave me i'll add it to what i have she gave me a 6" chef knife,a paring knife,serrated utility knife,and a 7" santoku knife so i will add a larger Chef knife to what i have now i have to research cookware! I have a restaurant supply right around the corner they had a some stainlees stock pots but their frying pans were mostly aluminum blue handle pans they are definitely sturdy but not sure about aluminum i'm not educated enough yet on these things so i need more research on the matter before deciding looks are not as important to me i don't need the pretty glass lids etc. but i want them to work well.
post #9 of 23

Well, you asked

Let’s see if we can’t add enough depth to help with your decision.

Forschner is one of the Swiss cutlery manufacturers making Swiss Army knives. They also make kitchen knives in several different layers. Among them, as you know are “Fibrox” and “Rosewood.” In most respects these are the same knives. Their handles are made of different materials, and the Fibrox line has a few more blade types; but otherwise the knives use the same stainless steel stampings, are finished on the same assembly line, and may be considered identical. Both lines not only include all the basic shapes but a number of specialty knives for the meat industry, garde manger, etc. The knives are intended for budget conscious home users and food professionals.

The Fibrox line especially has been extensively reviewed, almost always very favorably. The knives are reasonably light, well finished, and come with a very keen edge from the factory. The few reviewers who go beyond the factory edge and sharpen themselves note that these blades are very easy to sharpen. Of course, the same is true for the Rosewoods. Plastic handled knives like the Fibrox came about to meet evolving cleanliness standards for industrial and institutional use. In other words, they are built to survive a hot dishwasher. The Fibrox handle provides a good, comfortable, and sure grip in damp conditions typical of meat processing, and with the sort of ill-fitting gloves typical of institutional food preparers.

In my opinion, the Rosewood is a more comfortable handle, and under normal conditions is actually more sure. The rosewood used is of high quality, and very attractive. With minimal care including being kept from long soaks and an occasional oiling, the handles will last forever. The Rosewood knives are only a few dollars more than their Fibrox siblings.

These knives are stamped, not forged. In the old way of thinking, that was always a bad thing. However, our thinking has changed and the change is partly because of the Forschners. The knives are light enough that even without bolsters they are fairly well balanced – at least up to the long knives. The knives are thin enough that their geometry allows them to take a very good edge. The Forschner stainless steel blades, for whatever reason, sharpen very easily.

Remember “whatever reasons?” One of those is the steel is soft. This means the edge waves and bends easily, but can be steeled back to proper geometry easily. On the other hand, the edges dull relatively quickly, and the knives need frequent sharpening. Another weakness is the “blade forward” balance of the longer knives.

Forschners dominate the mead industry in the United States, Canada and throughout most of Europe. A lot of good butchers not only use them, but sell them. They are a great choice for butchers – and in their specialty shapes for food professionals and serious home cooks. Their 8" chef’s knife is highly reviewed by nearly everyone who’s looked at it. Indeed it was a review in Cook’s Illustrated several years ago that made Forschner such a serious player with pros. Forschner “fit and finish” is excellent at any price – beyond amazing when you consider how inexpensive they are. However, in my opinion the poor balance in the big blades and quick dulling makes them not so good for a 10" chef’s knife – which is the best length for most serious cooks.

Furthermore, the Forschner chefs are built to the German profile, rather than the French. This means the belly is deeper and more rounded. German geometry makes a knife better at “rock chopping” foods that require a lot of heel lift – coining big carrots for instance – and adds a little bit of power. German knives are more popular than French in the U.S., but the popularity is due to other market forces. The shapes came along for the ride. French geometry is more agile and lends a great deal of versatility. Japanese chef knives, called “gyuto,” are built to the French pattern. Most cooks who have had a chance to use both geometries prefer the French to the German.

At the end of the day, a Forschner chef’s is a good choice but one you’ll outgrow as soon as you can afford better.

Decent quality, low priced Japanese knives are a big step up in performance from the Forschners. They balance better, and hold an edge much longer. The French pattern geometry is generally more agile, and the knives tend to be lighter making them more agile and less fatiguing still. There are several manufacturers worth looking at for affordable lines. The two biggest are probably Tojiro and MAC.

The Tojiro DP is a warikomi knife. This means it’s got a thin core of hard metal, surrounded by softer metal – “forge welded,” i.e., sintered to the core. Warikomi construction protects the core and makes it somewhat easier to sharpen. Getting more specific, the Tojiro DP core is stamped stainless, the 240mm and 270mm (9-1/2" and 10-1/2") gyutos are well balanced, agile and can be made very sharp indeed. On the down side, the handles are not well finished, they’re a little too angular to be really comfortable for most uses. The cores are hard enough that the knives sharpen slowly on American style whet stones. The cores are somewhat brittle and are susceptible to small chips and dings. These can be repaired pretty easily by anyone with a coarse stone, but it still takes time and is something of a nuisance. If you’re interested in a long relationship with good Japanese knives, a Tojiro DP is a good entry level. Like the Forschner, it’s a knife you’ll outgrow as soon as you can afford to, but it’s virtues are so strong you’ll stay with Japanese knives.

In my opinion, the MAC Chef series 10" chef’s (BK-100) is a better choice than either the Tojiro DP or a Forschner. It’s a very plain, no BS stamped knife. It’s hard enough to hold an edge, but takes one pretty easily on the India stones one sees in most professional kitchens. They are very light, agile and well balanced – even without a bolster. The handles are comfortable. This is the knife I most often recommend to people who are interested in performance only, and find the reasonable price a happy bonus.

At the end of the day, a knife is just an edge attached to a handle. All knives get dull eventually. All knives need sharpening. Not all sharpening methods are right for all knives. A simple combination India stone and/or a “V” type ceramic like a Spyderco SharpMaker are fine for a Forschner. They will not put the kind of edge on a good knife that makes a good knife good. If a good knife is the kind of knife you want, you’ll have to purchase a good rod-guided system like an Edge Pro Apex, a good set of water stones, or a sand-paper based system. And of course, you’ll need a steel – not for sharpening but to make the edge last longer and work better.

If you take away anything from this very long message, take this: Don’t think of buying a knife until you know how you’re going to sharpen it.

Hope this helps,
BDL

PS Full disclosure: I have a lot of knives. Most are vintage carbon steel Elephant, Nogent or K Sabatier. Many more are Forschner Rosewoods, which are mostly specialty shapes and don’t see frequent use. There are two Henckels (including my bread knife), and a few others of various parentage. I sharpen all of them on a Norton combination India, a Hall’s soft Arkansas, and a Hall’s surgical black Arkansas without lubrication; plus a HandAmerica borosilicate steel and a Henckels fine steel for maintenance.
post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 
Wow! thanks for the info i will take this all into consideration when i make my purchase thanks for spending ime to write all that i appreciate it.
post #11 of 23
I agree with your entire post except for the Tojiro DP statements. The Swedish steel does not chip easily in my experience. The handles I have observed have (almost) no F&F problems.

"Entry level" - price only. The geometry is pure Japanese and at present prices has few peers. Several Japanese manufacturers are using Swedish steel because it will take a fine edge, is easy to sharpen, holds the edge well, and is stainless. No problems by me.
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 #12 of 23
I'm not the only one who has made those observations. I know the DP uses a Swedish core, but not all Swedish steels are created equal. Just "Swedish" doesn't mean that much alone. I've never seen the specific steel specified, but if I had to guess, I'd put my money on N690. Lots o' cobalt, which is rare in Swedish steel. Grinds easily, not that easy to sharpen, does ding.

I don't own a Tojiro DP, but have repaired two gyutos and a western deba for other people by grinding out chips on a coarse crystolon stone and re-profiling the blades. I based the "ding," "handle" and "tough to sharpen on western stones" judgments on those knives. I may have been too harsh in terms of F&F. In fact, the Tojiros I handled were better finished than many, more expensive, more boutique Japanese brands. Still, I found the handles too angular. And, as I said, I've heard a lot of b!tch!ng about Torjio scales not fitting right, etc. But, as I also said, I don't own one. Perhaps their quality got better over the years, or perhaps my friends were just unlucky.

BDL
post #13 of 23
Point well taken. I've queried Korin as to which exact steel and have not received an adequote answer so the truth is up for grabs.

Personally, I like the angular handles. I have other same sized handles but are more rounded and they feel smallish in my meduim sized hands.

Merely a matter of personal preference, no?
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 23
Point well taken. Now where have I heard that before?

BDL
post #15 of 23
Lots of the swedish ore is laced with vanadium. This is normally a valuable additive to making a steel alloy. So inexpensive swedish steels such as 12c27 have good hardness but are still stampable and finely grained to take a highly refined edge. And hold it well too. Nothing wrong with Swedish steels.

Phil
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #16 of 23
Everyone likes Swedish steel.

The one Phil mentioned, Sandvik's 12c27, is a very good knife steel. In fact, along with VG-10, it's one of the few steels formulated especially for knives. One of its characteristics is that it takes a GREAT edge -- which you'd expect from a steel used primarily for razor blades. It's also used in a bunch of up-end knives from European makers like Laguiole, and semi-customs like P.J. Tomes.

However, disagreeing slightly with Phil, the steel doesn't hold the edge especially well, -- especially for a steel that's usually hardened to the 57-59 range. Again, typical of razor blade steels. That's the biggest rap against it. It's a lot like 440 series stainless -- perhaps most like 440A -- but better and purer. That having been said, 12c27 is NOT the steel in Tojiro DP knives. The information Tojiro gives is "Swedish" without specifying maker or type. But they do say the steel contains cobalt, which 12c27 does not. FWIW, cobalt adds toughness.

Another candidate besides the N690 I already mentioned is ASP-23 from Erasteel Kloster Aktiebolag. In fact, ASP-23 might be a more likely candidate because it's essentially the same as a very expensive Japanese boutique steel -- ATS-55. That goes with the "high value" theme of the DPs.

BDL
post #17 of 23
My point with the 12c27 is that it doesn't list Vanadium in it either.

But it's there. 12c27 outperforms its spec because of unlisted "impurities". Other swedish steels benefit similarly.
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #18 of 23
A. That's a silly argument. First, the Sandvic deposit itself is highly valued precisely because there are so few impurities. Most detailed discussions of 12c27 speculate that its superiority over 440A is attributable to this purity. Second, steel makers list their formulae accurately for the benefit of downstream manufacturers who use the steel for their own products -- such as knife makers. Third, the actual composition is easily discoverable through (relatively) simple and inexpensive chemical analyses like mass spectroscopy and NMR. That is, there's no reason the actual composition for a steel that's been around as long as 12c27 wouldn't be well known and widely published. Fourth, I spent a lot of time researching 12c27 and can find nothing anywhere to support the contention that it contains vanadium in any amount -- even trace.

B. The whole discussion is getting silly and drifting far from the original question which had to do with (a) Forschner, and (b) choosing a good knife for an advanced beginner. Now it's getting dangerously close to a **ck measuring contest.

Three guys are whizzing off a bridge. First guy says, "Water sure is cold."

Second guy says, "Deep, too."

Third guy says, "Not that deep."

Too deep for me,
BDL
post #19 of 23
Steel Guide -- A. G. Russell Knives

Notice the 12c27 lists NO VANADIUM. Yet it has it. (Source that tells me it has it is Mike Stewart of Bark River Knives) Yes, the ore is very pure, particularly very low silica.

Just for reference, Victorinox uses 1.4116 steel
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #20 of 23
Let's just settle the entire matter and switch to 13C26 (Udeholm AEB-L). It gets at least as sharp as 12C27 and can be hardened to HRc 63. Nice huh?
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 #21 of 23
Thread Starter 
all this vanadium,cobalt stuff is too technical for me!:eek::D My next post will be on cookware for the advanced beginner home cook i'm sure that will get everybody going lol thanks for the info Buzzard and all who shared their thoughts.
post #22 of 23
Yes, that's a better steel. I just used 12c as an example of swedish steel and why it can be better than the specs alone state.

I'm currently carrying a pocketknife in S30V and titanium. It gets plenty sharp. And holds it.
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #23 of 23
I haven't had much problems with my Tojos chipping the edges myself. And they seem to hold an edge pretty well. They also are some of the sharper knives I've ever found "out of the box"- about as sharp as any Hattori or Shun I've had.
"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
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"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
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