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Hello. Some Question about knives - Page 2

post #31 of 79
If you don't like cladding you're going to have an issue with a lot more makers than Kershaw! Nearly all of the most popular makers all use saminigashi cladding for their best selling lines: Hattori's HD, Shun, Kasumi, Tanaka...even Hattori's top-of-the-line knife, the KD, is clad. I suspect they all do this for two reasons- people like the look and the steel they use to clad them with is much cheaper than the steel they use for the hagane. After all, even the knives that aren't "damascus" are often still clad (eg Tojiro DP, Himomoto AS, etc).
"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
"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
post #32 of 79
Other than a preference, I'm not even sure the difference relates to actual use. Oh, I've seen small sections of a knife "delaminate." It looks like tiny pieces of thin aluminum foil jut out from the edge of the blade. A careful buff removes them.

As for having the knife fly apart like exploding plywood, I've never even heard of that. Then again I'm not stupid enough to subject a laminate knife to continuous, firm and heated exposure to an over-aggressive mechanized sharpening wheel. I don't haul gravel in a Corvette, either.

As for performance, I once took a rather mundane clad santoku to a local Ginza chain restaurant and had the chef cook our dinner "in the round." He used the knife for the entire preparation, and it was sharper--and stayed sharper--than the knives provided by the chain. The edge required a light buff to bring it back from being dragged on a hot metal grill.

More to the point, I believe the more important issue is defining just what are the clad layers. As we have discussed, VG-10 is pretty good.
post #33 of 79
I don't care for san-mai/warikomi knives generally, it's true. By reporting my dislike, I'm not asking for agreement or implying that many others do or should share the opinion. In fact, I would bother mentioning it, but the few people I know who share it have outstanding knife technique. This obviously includes a few of the more obvious contributors at Fred's. IIRC, I was the first person to mention it and K.C. Ma jumped on it like white on rice.

There's a lot suminagashi coming in to the western market (is it popular in Japan?) and something like 99% is cladded. Some excellent knives among them. Will I, personally, like any of them? Probably not.

Yes. Quite a few people like the looks of them. A lot of people confuse them with "damascus," which is something else.

It's only indirectly about the cost of the steel. But the cost of manufacturing "honyaki" knives which won't fail during their manufacture or shortly afterwards is prohibitive; and, of course, it's completely impractical to make a two layer (ni-mai?) "kasumi" knife with a two-sided bevel.

I've had some experience with many of the knives mentioned -- both suminagashi and plain. And, actually owned a few Hiromoto AS. I gave the Hiromotos away, even though they're "better" in so many ways -- weight, agility, edge holding, to name a few -- than the knives I kept, because of their relatively "dead" feeling in the cut.

No matter what I think about most san-mai a lot of people like it. Which is fine. The biggest problem with a Shun suminagashi warikomi chef's knife is not so much that it's warikomi, but that the suminagashi is very fragile. Shuns scratch very easily and the pattern fades quickly. The biggest problem is the (chef's) knife's crummy profile.

Look, they're just knives, not nuclear submarines. Writing about them on a forum such as this is all about hooking someone up with a knife (s)he will enjoy using and is able to get and keep sharp. My block and bar are mostly filled with old/antique, French carbons which suit me just fine. I sharpen on Arkansas stones. However, I don't recommend carbon Sabatiers or Arks to many people. In other words, I try to consider the questioner's needs rather than validate my own decisions and desires; and consider invidual suitability to be more important than a knife which brings a set of wonderful objective attributes, but won't be maintained.

post #34 of 79

Ever talk to a chef who has just bounced his favorite gyuto off of a concrete floor? Tell him to 'wait' and he darn near has a coronary!

Next time you walk past a pristine Harley, ask the owner, "Is that a Gold Wing?"

If it's one thing I've learned since my hair went gray is that people have some really bizarre attachments to inanimate objects.:lol:
post #35 of 79
Yeah, it's not practical from a financial aspect to make honyaki knives out of ZDP or Cowry X.

You're one of the few guys I know of on the forums that feels that clad knives feel "dead"- KCMA is one of the others. That narrows a persons options a bit just because so many knives are clad. Obviously if you prefer carbon there's no problem, but if you require stainless there aren't as many (unless you count German ones, but they're way more dead feeling than any clad J-knife!).

But there are a few. The Hattori forum knives are solid VG-10, and I can think of a few other makers that go that route. I think the JCK original brand they sell is solid VG-1, IIRC.
"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
"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
post #36 of 79
Thread Starter 
Hey guys long time no talk.. realy sorry but been really busy and didn have time to pop on.

Well one thing we cook at our place is whole roast pork for groups so I will sure need a boning knife.

I been reading all the posts and 1 thing I noticed is that some dislike shuns and well you recomended other knives. Now I am really confused.

What do you think I should do?
Can you recommend me 3 brands(from 1-3 -- 1 being the best)

This week I will order them for sure cause I didnt have time last week heh and thank god cause I just found all these posts and I am getting confused.

Really sorry about this but as I stated earlier I can only buy them of the net so in a way its like you are buying them for me.

BTW which and what type of boning knife is best for a whole roast pork(size - flexi/notFlexi .. etc)

post #37 of 79
"What do you think I should do?"

Don't take absolute advice from any one regarding brand. Every one has their own favorite for their own reasons. That does not mean you will like the same product.
Get to a store where you can handle some knives in person or order more than one brand and return what you do not like. How a knife balances and feels in YOUR hand is more important than all of the internet pontification combined. In regards to cladding take a close look at how poorly Shun finishes their product by the edge. Some of the other brands may well be clad but I suspect most would never even know because they are finished much better. It's not that Shun is a "bad" product there is just a lot of other options that offer better value IMO.
Here's one good example (scroll to the bottom of the page). Solid VG-10 WA Gyuto $130.

KAGAYAKI VG-10 Japanese Knife,Japanese Kitchen Knife,Japanese Cutlery,Japanese Chef's Knives.Com

"Can you recommend me 3 brands(from 1-3 -- 1 being the best)"

Good luck with that. I've been using Wusthof knives for over 30 years in professional kitchens and if you listen to many on the internet you might think they are the red headed step child of all knives yet I see more of them than many other brands combined. If you are buying work knives remember that buying some knives can be an open invitation to theft. This may not be an issue where you are now but it might be at your next job. Consider that before you pursue "The Best".
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
post #38 of 79
I'm glad you wrote that. Not only from the standpoint of that particular alloy, but for its concept.

Right now we have Hattori knives that go for over $2K, and sold right over the 'net. If you ever go to Chef Morimoto's website you'll see that some of his kitchen knives go for over $3K.

And for informational reasons only (and I don't mean to sound snooty), most of the Strider and Graham pocketknives I carry are over 400 bucks.

My point is this. A chef or a serious home hobbyist is in the same boat I am in as a regular Mountain Dew chuggin' kind of guy. A fifty buck folder is a knife I carry when "I don't want to mangle the good stuff."

If cooking is a passion, and I believe this forum is aimed at very serious people, at least one knife in your roll should be of the 500 to 1,000 dollar quality.

Don't scoff at first. Many guys have a Leupold scope in this price range on their once-per-year deer rifles. I bought a rear wheel for my bike last winter that cost more than that.

And consider this. I keep the receipts for all of my sharpening tools and service costs for my business taxes. I would hope that if a professional chef bought a KD series Hattori he would happily include it for business purposes.

Please don't consider this a slap or a snide comment. But if we are devoted to a discussion with a professional slant then at some point we have to abandon the poor quality tools.
post #39 of 79
(This may be a digression, so if so we should start another thread....)

In principle, I suppose I agree with you, Chico, but in practice I don't.

I certainly agree that a serious cook, professional or otherwise, should use tools of a very high standard. I certainly agree that when you consider what one pays for pots and pans, auto equipment or its equivalent, computers, and so on like that, $500 or more for a truly excellent-quality tool is not at all unreasonable.


I do not believe for an instant that the overwhelming majority of high-quality food in America would be improved as food by superlative knives. There are not all that many professional or home cooks whose knife skills are really up to the grade of their knives. It's been mentioned many times that culinary students rarely learn anything much about sharpening. But it's also worth noting that not many culinary students learn a whole lot about knife skills. Most experienced professionals have learned largely by doing, and have little to gain by trying wildly new things.

For example, let's suppose I hand the average experienced professional a perfectly-sharpened honyaki yanagiba and say "go to it!" What's she going to do? She's probably never held a thing like that, doesn't know what sort of grip or technique goes with it, and frankly she probably doesn't cut a whole lot of raw fish anyway, which is all that knife is really designed for. What use is it to her? And when it turns out that if she misuses it even slightly, or in fact uses it correctly for even a few shifts, she has to sharpen it on finishing stones she doesn't own and doesn't know how to use, what's the point? Will the food she puts out be improved by this knife? No.

Okay, how about a deba? Nope. She probably learned to fillet fish with a French-style filleting knife, and so she won't have the faintest idea how this thick block of steel is supposed to work -- it's just a totally different skill. Who's going to teach her? Why should she bother to learn? In what set of circumstances will the roasted cod dish her guests love be improved significantly by her learning to use a deba?

Usuba? You gotta be kidding me. It'll be six months before she can use it as well as her favorite chef's knife, and in the meantime she'll chip and roll that edge about 100 times. Besides, since she can't use it for any meat, and keeps reaching for that chef's knife, why should she add to her headache?

So the ONLY knife worth considering here is a high-grade gyuto.

Suppose you hand your average experienced professional a perfectly-sharpened Tojiro, a Masamoto-KS, and a honyaki Hattori -- $150, $300, and roughly $750, respectively. At the end of a few long shifts, which one will have served him best? All of them, really. They're all wonderful knives. All will need sharpening, of course, and not steeling. Okay, so he's got to learn that skill, because he's sure as heck not going to pay you to do it every few days. And that means buying stones, too, which is not so cheap.

Now ask this same chef to consider whether he'd like to invest in one of these or go with something like a Wusthof. What's the answer?

I suspect it depends on the chef. The Wusthof requires less maintenance and fewer new skills, and there is no associated setup cost in stones and the like. He can just steel the thing and have you sharpen it every 6 months, and that's fine. The problem with the Wusthof (or similar) is that it's pretty fat-bladed and weighs a ton, making it difficult to do very delicate precision work. So the first question the chef has to answer is this:

Does my menu gain enough because of the potential for greater cutting precision to make up for the higher maintenance cost of the Tojiro?

I think in most Western kitchens, the answer is "No."

Now if by some chance the answer is yes, there's a second question:

Does my menu gain enough because of the difference between the Tojiro and the Hattori to justify the vast difference in price?

Again, probably "No."

The exception is the chef who requires a very high level of precision in every cut, likely because his menu is extremely high-end and involves a good deal of raw fish. For that chef, all the associated costs are trivial: he must have tools that will do what he needs them to do. But does he need super-expensive honyaki knives?

I discussed this with a very, very high-end kaiseki chef in Kyoto, actually. He buys honyaki yanagiba, always. But other than that he never buys honyaki: he buys the highest grades of kasumi. Why? Because he finds that a just-sharpened knife is not ideal for cutting sashimi: there is an inevitable hint of roughness and metal. Because a honyaki knife will hold its edge longer, he can use a honyaki yanagiba throughout a full shift and not need to resharpen, whereas if he used kasumi he'd have to resharpen somewhere along the line and then some slices wouldn't be perfect. But this problem does not obtain with an usuba or deba, so he doesn't need honyaki and won't shell out the extra cash for it. Why should he? He gets perfection without it.

In short, I think that the quality of the knife is an entirely practical decision if we're talking about what people should do. If you like pretty knives and such, that's a different matter, and that's where people get into suminagashi-cladding and funny handles and all that jazz. But as far as what any cook should buy, it's a question of how much you need to spend to achieve the ends you have in mind. And for almost everybody, professional or otherwise, that does not require super-expensive knives.
post #40 of 79
Thread Starter 
So Chris what Brand do you think I should go for?
post #41 of 79
Best European Style (Desosseur) Boning knives (in alphabetical order):

Dexter Russell -- What I'm going to say about Forschner. The professional butcher's other first choice.

Elephant Sabatier carbon.

Forschner Fibrox or Rosewood -- Easy knives to sharpen, if not particularly easy to keep sharp. Tremendous selection of styles and flexes. I personally prefer the Rosewood to the Fribrox (plastic), but Fibrox can be sanitized, is more popular with inspectors, has a surer grip with gloves, and most people find the grip more secure in general. Reasonably priced. The professional butcher's first choice.

Global, if you can deal with the handle -- some people find them slippery.

K Sabatier carbon.

MAC, with the plastic handle.

Shun, if you don't care about how long the "damascus" lasts -- because it will scratch and fade fairly quickly. However, none of my other objections apply to the Shun boning knife -- other than that I'm not a fan of the handle.

Second Tier: Top end boners from the "German" makers including Wusthof, Henkels, Lamson (American), Viking (not sure where they're made), F. Dick, Messermeister, etc. All of these are made from one of the same two alloys; they're all good knives, and there's not much to choose between excelpt handle feel.

Top end stainless Sabatiers -- Elephant, K-Sab, V-Sab, and a few others. Everything that's true of the high-end Germans is true of the high-end French, except that they use a third type of stainless and don't harden quite as much.

As to all of these, you'll get as much, if not more performance, from a Forschner or Dexter.

Best Japanese Profiled Knife for Boning out Roasts:

Masamoto CT (carbon) Honkotsu, and Misono Sweden (carbon) Honkotsu. Not much to choose between, really. Excellent knives if you can deal with the fat handles and the slightly unusual profiles.

Other Japanese boning profiles:

My advice is to avoid Honesuki and Garasukis if you were considering them. Their principle use is for hacking through small bones like chicken ribs -- they were not designed for "boning out." Not to say that you can't do the job with one -- after all, almost any knife task can be done farily well with almost any sharp knife. But they don't follow the curve of a bone as easily as the more slender styles because they're too wide to turn in the cut. Also, garasukis are ridiculously stiff and heavy for the task.

If you're into Japanese knives in a big way, consider any 6" petty. They'll do the same job as a desosseur, and you can get your favorite manufacturer or particular steel or whatever.

I use an Elephant Sabatier carbon. If I were buying today, I'd either buy one of the carbon Sabs, or a Masamoto or Misono honkotsu. I don't recommend carbon to many people, it's something you'll have to consider. The primary benefit is that it sharpens much easier. The drawback is that it requires a little extra care.

If I couldn't buy one of the carbons, my next choice would probably be Forschner.

The MAC might be the best knife of the bunch, except that it's a little hard to sharpen -- comparatively.

The Global's quite nice, but a lot of people have trouble with the handles. It has some sharpening issues as well. Outstanding balance, if that matters to you.

The Shun gets quite sharp and holds its edge well. I don't care for the D shape handle, but that's a matter of taste. It's also the only substantive criticism I have of this knife. Excellent piece of cutlery.

post #42 of 79
I agree. And I think the discussion is going to be tremendous fun.
post #43 of 79
Pardon me for jumping in to answer a question addressed to Chris, but ...

Are we talking about a western handled gyuto, or a Japanese handled gyuto?

Do you need a stiff knife, or can you live with a little flexibility?

Would you consider a highly asymmetric bevel (can't be steeled), or do you like using a steel for maintenance? (Even though an asymmetric bevel can be made slightly sharper, I'd choose one even enough to steel -- at least for my chef's knife. My feeling is that the extra bit of performance you get from a freshly sharpened asymmetric bevel isn't worth the inconvenience of having to constantly "touch up" on a waterstone, versus the relative convenience of steeling. But that's me.)

Are you a good sharpener yet? Do you have a complete set of waterstones? Are you willing to spend the time and money it takes to become a good sharpener? There's just no way around this for a good knife in a pro environment. Otherwise, you're throwing your money away. Any dull knife is a dull knife. It doesn't matter how much it costs, how exotic the alloy, how good the handle. Dull is dull.

post #44 of 79
Thread Starter 
Yep I am willing to spend money to learn etc.

So if you had to recommend 3 good brands which would you recommend

Your choice
post #45 of 79
"As to all of these, you'll get as much, if not more performance, from a Forschner or Dexter"

Exactly! This is where some one who has to ask for advice should be starting IMO.
The talk about $1,000 knives is interesting but not very likely to be of much help to the OP. I think we all need to remember there is a difference between a cook and a chef, what they can afford and how secure their tools will be. Until any one knows exactly what they want in a knife they probably should not be spending the big bucks thinking that it will be "better" than a good working knife.
boar_ d_ laize I don't know about all of the Viking knives but their bread knife is made by Guede.

"BTW which and what type of boning knife is best for a whole roast pork(size - flexi/notFlexi .. etc"

Like any thing your bound to get a variety of opinions but I use my stiff boning knife about 100X more than the flexible one. I've had both (Wusthof) in my box for many years. I do have some Globals and they are nice but more time consuming to sharpen. I like the handles better than Shun but neither are my favorite.
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
post #46 of 79
Perhaps in the discussion of a particular price, but I believe the overall idea is good.

For example, did you ever have to struggle with a nut and bolt that has been "rounded off"? It comes from an open end wrench, a poorly set adjustable, or a worn 12-point socket. In other words, average wrenches.

But hand an apprentice a six-point deep-well, or a box end and the problem usually solves itself.

Many newbies "saw" with cheap dull knives or examples that their head chef doesn't feel are worth the expense of sharpening. The entry level cook crushes tomatoes, cuts himself and struggles with his craft.

My opinion is to get him a better knife, teach him to steel, never let him push a knife until it is totally dull and instruct him on how to wash and maintain it.

That's pretty much what I meant. And a "better knife" is usually a few hundred bucks.
post #47 of 79
Thread Starter 
K guys I'm of to work again cya tonight or tomorow ... hehe do reply if you get the chance about my question asked earlier. And sorry but as you all noticed I aint that good when it comes to knives and sharpening but I will learn.

post #48 of 79
Assuming you want a regular western handle, and you want a stainless knife...

Top Three:

MAC Pro, Sakai Takayuki Grand Cheff, Hiromoto Gingami no. 3.

MAC Pro combines the best features of Japanese knives and western knives at a reasonable price. By Japanese standards it's extremely stiff, something most western cooks really like. It gets very sharp easily, much sharper than you could get any Wusthof. MAC knives have excellent handles, some of the very best in the business -- and as these go the MAC Pro is among their best. MAC doesn't publicize which steel goes into which knife, although they do say the Pro series uses a higher does of moly and vanadium than their lesser lines. Although an expert sharpener using really top flight stones, could get a better edge on knives made with more exotic steels. The knife his hardened to around HrC 59.

The knife is considerably lighter and handles much better than any mass-produced western manufactured knife. If you keep the factory bevel (symmetric 50/50 at a flat 15*) the knife can easily be maintained on a good rod hone (aka "steel).

The Grand Cheff is more Japanese feeling than the MAC. Slightly lighter and considerably more flexible, but not as flexible as a lot of other Japanese knives. The GC is made with Swedish "strip steel" (made for razor blades) and takes an unbelievably good edge. Better even than the MAC. It's only hardened to HrC 58 though. Like the MAC, if appropriately beveled, it can be maintained on a steel. Same steel and stone recommendations, btw.

Hiromoto G3. I like a lot of things about this knife. As with other Hirmotos, great prices considering the quality of the steel used. This is the most Japanese feeling of the three. It's a very agile knife, very lively, very communicative. It sharpens as well as any exotic stainless steel, and better than amost anything else. The knife is hardened to around HrC, which means you can use a steel if the knife is appropriately beveled -- but it's got to be an appropriate steel and has to be used well (no clanging!). However it's got a fairly slender handle. As I recall, you have large hands. I have big paws as well, and don't have hany problem at all with the Hiromoto. That said, I use a very soft pinch grip. You might find the handles problematic.

Not recommeded, but also very good:

Misono UX-10. It's an extremely good knife with possibly the best handle anywhere ever. But it's a bit on the whippy side and pretty hard to sharpen. It's also a bit pricey. If you have your heart set on it, don't let me talk you out of it -- you'll learn to sharpen.

Misono Moly is a nice knife -- just not as good as the MAC or Grand Cheff.

Masamoto VG. it's a lot of money for what it is, and also very whippy. BTW, I love Masamotos and if I were purchasing new western handled knives Masamoto carbons would be on the top of my list.

Togiharu. Togiharu's two top lines are essentially Masamoto clones. The stainless copies the VG, is less expensive, but not quite as nice in any way as the Masamoto.

Any carbon knives. I figure you don't want them. If you're at all interested in carbon, the list changes.


For people just starting out, but already committed to waterstone sharpening the Naniwa Super series (with bases) is an excellent choice. I'd go 400, 1000, 5000, and 8000. I'd also flatten on dry wall screen rather than buying a super-coarse flattening stone.

The Idahone fine (12") is an excellent and inexpensive rod hone (aka a ceramic steel). The MAC black is too. The best value steel (made from steel) is the Forschner fine.

Full disclosure:

Of my most frequently used kitchen knives, nearly all are vintage carbon, from one Sabatier or another. They're sharpened with Norton coarse and fine India stones, and Hall's soft and surgical black Arkansas stones. They're steeled on a HandAmerican Borosilicate Glass rod, and on a thirty year old, well-worn Henkels extra fine steel (no longer made).


You can get the MAC from a lot of sources. Check the net for best prices.

Sakai Takayuki is available through Seito Trading (online). You'll have to be specific about exactly which knive you want, since they don't show a wide selection on their website. You can see the entire line at the Sakai Takayuki website, ‚f‚’‚‚Ž‚„@‚b‚ˆ‚…‚†‚† You'll probably be choosing between the model 10013 and 10014.

You can find the Hirmoto G3 at Hiromoto Gingami No.3 Japanese Knife,Japanese Kitchen Knife,Japanese Cutlery,Japanese Chef's Knives.Com: 400px; HEIGHT: 182px

The best prices for a set of Naniwa Supers at Tools for Working Wood. Japanese Super-Stones by Naniwa at Tools for Working Wood

One more thing:

Japanese knives are manuractured in "Sun" rather than centimers or inches and the are sold on the international market in centimeters. The most common lengths are 210, 240 and 270cm. Roughly 8", 9-3/8" and 10-5/8". If you have a large enough station, the 10-5/8" will probably be most productive -- although it will take you a few weeks to learn to handle the extra length if you're used to an 8" knife.

Hope this helps,
post #49 of 79
"The entry level cook crushes tomatoes, cuts himself and struggles with his craft"

A more expensive knife will not change that. A sharper knife and better knife skills will. Most who are starting out and still learning to sharpen and perfecting their knife skills are better served with knives from brands like Mac, Wusthof, Forschner, F.Dick or others that are not overly expensive and can be found in many professional kitchens.
I would suggest the OP spend some time on some of the dedicated knife forums like this one;

In the Kitchen (Topic list) - Knifeforums.com - Intelligent Discussion for the Knife Enthusiast - Powered by FusionBB
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
post #50 of 79
Oh, I agree. But the sad reality is that a ten dollar knife is treated like a five dollar knife and a knife costing 100 bucks gets treated like gold.

And if an employee at any level--cook, sous-chef, chef--brings a good knife to work you can bet he watches over it.

I would like to add one thing here. Obviously I am not the spokesperson for my craft. (Heck, some in my craft don't even claim me). But every tinker and sharpener I know does pro bono work, be that for culinary students, subsistance hunters and charitable associations. Trust me, there are lots of folks who also share in the ideals that you and I believe in.
post #51 of 79
I agree. Unfortunately so does every one else. Almost every one gets a knife stolen or loses one at some point in a professional kitchen. I've had my office broke into and my entire box taken.
Just for the record I'm not advocating $10 knives here. I just don't believe a cook needs to spend hundreds per knife to start. I hope we would both agree there is a lot of room in the middle. Today we have access to hundreds of knives from numerous makers all around the world thanks to the internet. There are some very good values out there from lesser known makers and there has been a lot of very good suggestions in this thread for the OP.
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
post #52 of 79
Thread Starter 
If I buy wusthof which series is best? Classic?
post #53 of 79
The Classic is what you will typically see in professional kitchens. They have served me well over the years.
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
post #54 of 79
(First, I'm sorry you've had some knives stolen. That casts a real shadow on our craft. If I can help you in correcting that condition, please PM me.)

Yes, of course, there is a middle ground. It goes back to the idea of "good, better, best." I remember the first jackknife I carried that cost over one hundred bucks. Yikes, I checked my pocket every ten minutes!

Perhaps we should stress the relationship of craftsman/professional for this debate.

For example, if your heater is about to give out right before winter, your contractor would be remiss if he didn't show you the wear and/or damage. Also, when you get your vehicle's oil changed and they spot a paper-thin brake pad, they notify you.

Same for me. As discussed, I (sometimes) carry appropriate samples and loaners. If the head chef and I work together, we might join forces to run a happier and more efficient kitchen. After a bit, we form a partnership.

And never forget, if you just hone and run you do not make yourself valuable to those professionals. "Problem solvers" get asked to come back.

Why should that be any different for home hobbyists and apprentice kitchen personnel? Help them in the right direction, suggest better tools, and they'll never forget you.
post #55 of 79
All of their top of the line knives (you can tell by price) are made of the same steel, and are fundamentally similar. The Ikon and Le Cordon Bleu have slightly "Frenchified) different profiles, cut down bolsters (no finger guard on the choil) and are ground to a more acute bevel (which makes them act sharper).

Otherwise, the main difference between top Wusthof lines is the handle. Choose by whichever seems most comfortable to you. Personally, the the Classic/Le Cordon Bleu handle suits my soft, academically correct pinch grip and large hands better than the more "ergonomic" designs. But there's no best, it's just another "to each his own."

Wustofs (and other made with similar steel alloys) are very tough, in that they tend to bend more easily than they chip. But they do bend very easily at the edge -- which means that like other European knives they need a lot of steeling to maintain an edge. However, they also wear fairly quickly and require fairly frequent sharpening in order to remain sharp. On the positive side, you can sharpen with India and Arkansas stones which are less expensive and require less maintenance than comparable water stones.

If you absolutely, positively must have a Wusthof the best deal is unquestionably here: Wusthof Le Cordon Bleu - Wusthof Knives, Wusthof Le Cordon Bleu Knives, Wusthof Le Cordon Bleu Cutlery, Wusthof LCB Knives, Wusthof Grand Prix2, Wusthof Le Cordon Blue Knives, Wusthof Knives Le Cordon Bleu It's also one of the best knives Wusthof ever made.

For what it's worth, my advice, unless you absolutely, positively, etc., is to buy a decent quality Japanese knife. Don't get me wrong, Wusthof (and the better Geramns, Swiss, American, etc.) are good knives. Especially when it comes to "fit and finish." But the Japanese knives are just so much better from the blade steel standpoint. They sharpen as easily (providing you use appropriate tools), get much sharper, and stay sharper a lot longer.

Honestly, there's no comparison.

post #56 of 79
I'd say that's subject to interpretation. Lets remember we are trying to help some one with no or minimal knife sharpening skills. Generally speaking the harder the steel the harder the knife is to sharpen. Especially for a beginner. Then there's that caveat of "providing you use appropriate tools" which adds more to the cost and more time for sharpening when it is required that a typical line cook does not have. A Euro knife like Wusthof or the sabatier that you are fond of may need a few seconds on a steel more often but that's fast and easy. German steel is a lot less prone to chipping Vs the harder Japanese steel and that's not something that should just be over looked in a working knife. Nearly every professional kitchen will have an oil stone and a steel for the cooks. If you need a special steel or water stones you will be buying your own and carrying them with you to work in most cases if you expect to sharpen your knife during your shift. The notion that ALL Japanese knives universally stay sharper longer certainly has not been my experience. A lot of that rides on the skill of the user. If the average cook does the same task for the same amount of time with a German knife Vs a Japaneses knife of comparable value they will both need to be sharpened in a fairly close time frame.
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
post #57 of 79
I don't know about the average cook. However, the proposition that a thick X45CrMo or X50CrMoV15 blade, hardened to C Rockwell of 56 or below, and sharpened to 20* bevels, will end a shift as sharp as a thin VG-10, G3, AEB-L, etc., blade, hardened to HrC of 59 and above, sharpened to 15* is not in keeping with my experience -- not by a long shot.

If you tell me that the "average [restaurant] cook" starts and ends his shift with a dull knife because (s)he either doesn't care enough lacks the skills or tools (in point of fact, even those kitchens which have sharpening stations tend not to maintain them -- the stones are usually clogged with rancid cooking oil and years of swarf) to sharpen properly, then... Yes. Even the best knife is no better than a beater in that all dull knives are equal.

post #58 of 79
I don't think there's any thing factual if relevant about that. It doesn't take a lot of motivation to clean the station and change the oil.
The notion that all Japanese steels sharpen as "easily" as the Wusthof is certainly not the same as my experience.
As you say, not by a long shot.
There are Japanese knives made with High carbon and VG-10 etc just like knives from other countries.
The notion that they will some how be better or stay sharper longer just because they are Japanese is not an absolute. A Fallkniven K1 is pretty much identical in the steel department to most Japanese knives made with VG-10.
Don't get me wrong I use several Japanese knives but I think what you posted earlier or on another thread was far more accurate when you suggested that the harder steels can be sharper as long as the individual working on the knife has the skill to accomplish that.
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
post #59 of 79

Before going further, it should be said that we're in general agreement. We're starting to split some very fine hairs.

Maybe it will help to restate a few general opinions:

You aren't going to get more out of any blade than your sharpening skills and equipment put into it.

There's nothing intrinsically better about Japanese knives, but Japanese manufacturers often use better knife steel and profiles than European manufacturers. In the continuum which includes "better" knives, whether carbon or stainless, at most price points Japanese knives are better designed and made from better steels than their European and American counterparts. There are exceptions. For instance, I think K-Sabatier au carbone - Vintage is a very usable knife. To my mind, as good as a Misono Sweden overall.

The group of manufacturers whom I call "the Germans" include a few non German companies, Lamson (USA) and Forschner (Switzerland) by way of example. One thing they have in common is using one of two alloys for their better knives -- X45CrMo and X50CrMoV15. These steels are tough but not strong, and usually not hardened beyond 56 HrC. However, there are some exceptions especially with X50CrMo15 which may be taken up to 58 HrC. The top lines from Lamson, Wusthof, Messermeister, Forschner, Gude, F. Dick, etc., which make use of these alloys are wonderful knives. There are certainly valid reasons to buy them. But they're also heavy knives with soft blades. And with few exceptions they're German profiled: Powerful but clumsy.

I think Rockwell hardness is immensely overrated by most prospective buyers and collectors. But surface hardness has its uses. Among these is resistance to rolling and waving.

There are quite a few good, modern sharpeners using oil stones. Very few of us use oil. The trend is to use a water spritzer or sharpen dry (ala Jim Juranitch). For what it's worth, I usually sharpen dry on a coarse India, fine India, soft (Hall's) Arkansas, and surgical black (Hall's) Arkansas.

It's not enough to change the oil with oil stones. They get dirty, clog, and need to be scoured, cleaned with kerosene, and/or boiled and/or run through a hot dishwasher. And, they need to be cleaned frequently to remove the swarf and keep the stones open. It's very common for someone in a restaurant kitchen to use a food oil. Almost all of them not only clog the stone but become rancid.

Manmade waterstones (almost always made in Japan) are far more efficient than traditional western stones oil stones. Mine work well enough for my current knife collection, and don't need nearly as much maintenance (no flattening!) as waterstones. But the truth is, I continue to use mine mostly for sentimental reasons. Watersones would be much faster.

I've got a lot of knowledge, experience as well as a lot of opinions about sharpening on stones and sharpening generally. The same with steeling. You may or may not have referred to my frequent remarks about using quality sharpening tools and appropriate methods with quality knives. Inappropriate methods -- "diamond steels" for instance -- make great knives and okay knives equal. I very strongly believe that any knife purchase should begin with a suitable plan on how to keep the knife sharp.

post #60 of 79
BDL, I think we are in as close of agreement as two people with different experiences can be. I am not trying to split hairs but clarify what seemed rather sweeping generalisations with the intent of helping a new cook. For example Even though I use both Japanese and German knives I do not see my German knives as "clumsy" in any way. Clearly there are those who feel that way, many others do not. I see just them as different tools, not Better or worse.
I also agree that in General the Japanese use what many think of as "better" steel. However I find many of those are more difficult to sharpen and require a larger investment in sharpening equipment and time.
In roughly 30 years working in professional kitchens I have never seen cooking oil used in a sharpening station. It may happen but it's certainly not the norm.
Again we clearly have had very different experiences.
In either event I think that the real focus is a viable sharpening plan that can be implemented for a beginner. In this case that should take into account the norm in professional kitchens and be easy and cost effective for a new cook.
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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