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About Chicago Cutlery

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I have a hand-me-down Chicago Cutlery butcher's knife in my bag of tricks that, from my dad's memory, was bought in the late 60's. I love this knife and want a second one to go in the knife roll.

Here's the question:

If I found a new one of the same design, would the balance be the same, or at least similar, and is the quality still there? It seems that most of their offerings are next to free compared to the rest of my knives and get mixed reviews so I figured I would ask fellow pros before beginning the search for its modern doppelganger.
Dammi un coltello affilato e vi mostrerò l'arte più belle del mondo.
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Dammi un coltello affilato e vi mostrerò l'arte più belle del mondo.
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post #2 of 8
New Chicago Cutlery knives are nothing at all like the old. Until the late sixties they only marketed to meat cutters. If you wanted a CC blade, you either were a butcher or got your knife from one.

Through the seventies and mid eighties they marketed American manufactured knives to consumers. Some were pretty good, some pretty bad. In the eighties the brand was sold to General Housewares and rapidly went downhill. Now the knives are poorly manufactured out of cheap materials by (mostly Asian) subcontractors. They make lovely gifts for people you dislike. Otherwise, avoid them like the plague.

Forschner Rosewood and Fibrox and Dexter's best line(s) have been the meat industry standards for decades. If you want carbon, Dexter may still be making butchers' profiles. They are still making carbon, "professional quality" knives in other profiles. Their website doesn't make the carbon/stainless distinction all that obvious -- you'll have to search for it.

BDL
What were we talking about?
 
http://www.cookfoodgood.com
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What were we talking about?
 
http://www.cookfoodgood.com
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post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
That's what I thought would be the answer. Sad really. That thing is the best knife I've ever had for breaking down a hog or a side of beef ribs. It holds an edge well. The balance is perfect. Best of all, The blade has the perfect heft for breaking tough joints on a pig.

Forschner it is, I suppose.
Dammi un coltello affilato e vi mostrerò l'arte più belle del mondo.
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Dammi un coltello affilato e vi mostrerò l'arte più belle del mondo.
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post #4 of 8
Chicago cutlery was my first real chefs knife. I picked it up from another cook in the late 70s and used it for several years and still have the bugger! As for there quality now BDL said it spot on! As a pro chef I have used many different brands and Forschner as well as Dexter work real well and will not kill the bank account.
In my opinion to much emphasis is placed on the brand of knife, quality of steel,
RC hardness yada yada where the actual skills in the sharpening end are quite lacking. I would look at thrift stores and garage sales for some good old CC and maybe you will get a good find.
Stay sharp, Doug............
The two most common things in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity !
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The two most common things in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity !
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post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Oddly enough, I mentioned it to my butcher and he said he may have one from when he first got started that's been oiled and packed away for about a decade. The best part...

He'll sell it to me if it's not rusted.:D
Dammi un coltello affilato e vi mostrerò l'arte più belle del mondo.
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Dammi un coltello affilato e vi mostrerò l'arte più belle del mondo.
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post #6 of 8
Have to love when you find what your looking for:D Enjoy the new / old knife.
The two most common things in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity !
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The two most common things in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity !
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post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
I just hope it's not wrecked from years in a box. Fingers firmly crossed.
Dammi un coltello affilato e vi mostrerò l'arte più belle del mondo.
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Dammi un coltello affilato e vi mostrerò l'arte più belle del mondo.
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post #8 of 8

I have some Chicago Cutlery, Made in USA, and they were actually, fairly decent. The current production is Made in China. I advise that you avoid them. World Kitchen acquired General Housewares. EKCO has also gone the way of Chicago Cutlery.
I worked in the Meat Dept. of a supermarket, and we used Forschner/Victorinox butcher knives, but I must disagree with everyone else. The Forschner butcher knives are made with a soft steel, and do not retain an edge. As a matter of fact, the Meat Dept. Mgr., always disposed of them after a few months' usage. He didn't even want me to bother sharpening them. Victorinox makes good Swiss Army Knives and multi-plier tools, but I advise against wasting money on their kitchen cutlery.
I prefer LamsonSharp cutlery, Made in USA. If you like Swiss cutlery, you could consider Wenger, was acquired by Victorinox, which manufactures the Swibo, Grand Maitre lines of kitchen cutlery. Dexter-Russell still manufactures the Traditional line, which is made of carbon steel. Some cooks prefer carbon steel instead of high-carbon stainless steel.
OntarioKnife's Old Hickory product line is Made in USA. I knew an Army Ranger, who was also a meat cutter, and he said that the Army used the Old Hickory knives. Ontario has the contract with the Army for the M-9 bayonet. laser.gif


Edited by TheUnknownCook - 12/16/10 at 2:03pm
Buttercup: You mock my pain!
Man in Black: Life is pain, Highness! Anyone who says differently is selling something. -- The Princess Bride
Miracle Max: Sonny, true love is the greatest thing, in the world-except for a nice MLT - mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich, where the mutton is nice and lean...
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Buttercup: You mock my pain!
Man in Black: Life is pain, Highness! Anyone who says differently is selling something. -- The Princess Bride
Miracle Max: Sonny, true love is the greatest thing, in the world-except for a nice MLT - mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich, where the mutton is nice and lean...
Reply
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