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Need to buy an inexpensive slicing knife.

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hello all.

I have this friend who never, ever cooks. However we often grill meats at his place, and one thing his kitchen is severly lacking is a knife that will actually slice the tri-tip or the chuck steak or whatever it is we're grilling that day (usually tri-tip).

I want to buy him a slicing knife, but I know he will throw it in the sink from across the room, leave it dirty and wet all night, and then put it in the drawer lose along with his 2 forks 3 spoons, old expired carl's junior coupons and whatnot.

Oh and honing/sharpening? Hahahahahaha... good one. :lol: Yeah, forget about that.

So basically I don't want to spend more than $20-$30.

If everybody starts laughing at that price point, fine, I'll just go to Target and buy any cheap slicing knife I can find. But if anyone has any idea on something halfway decent in this price range, and that will withstand the abuse and still slice through a tri-tip okay?

Thanks!
post #2 of 12
$20-$30? Ikea. No B.S.. It's a clunker, but will cut if provoked.

Anthing else in that price range will ultimately be some kind of a serrated edge--i.e a "hacksaw blade in a handle" type of dealy.
...."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 #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks foodpump - so this one? IKEA | Knives & chopping boards | Knives | SLITBAR | Meat slicer

What about Victorinox? Like that one: Victorinox 10" Roast Beef Slicer - Mad Cow Cutlery

Thanks!!
post #4 of 12
That Fibrox is okay for the price, but the problem is once it's dull it won't cut anything, either. If he's not gonna take care of it and can't be troubled to sharpen it, not matter what you get him it's not gonna work for very long.
"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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post #5 of 12

I concur, that Forschner/Victorinox knives do not retain an edge, inspite of their popularity with forum posters. I own a set of seldom-used, almost new, Forschner/Victorinox butcher knives. I prefer my LamsonSharp cutlery[Made in USA], but since you're shopping for inexpensive cutlery, you might consider: Ontario Old Hickory or Dexter-Russell Traditional slicers. Both brands are Made in USA.

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Edited by TheUnknownCook - 12/16/10 at 11:29am
post #6 of 12
The best suggestions I can offer, is to buy an electric knife -- they're very inexpensive and quite functional; or just bring your own knife with you when you guys cook together.

Much as I get a kick out of them, I'd suggest not buying an Old Hickory. In addition to the fact that newer Old Hickorys can be very difficult to sharpen, they're not stainless and rust.

Any other smooth edged knife is going to have the same problem as the Forschner, once it gets dull it will be dull and won't cut well. There's no magic to brand names, all knives get dull.

And fwiw, most "never need sharpening" serrated knives won't give you as smooth or as even a slice as an electric; and won't save you much cash either.

Good luck,
BDL
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks again guys.

I'm afraid the electric knife may not be the best option, as we're always going to be in the backyard, far away from an outlet... and I'd rather keep it simple.

I could bring my knife with me - but knowing myself, I know I'd leave it there at the end of the night.

I'm intringued at the serrated knife idea - those don't need sharpening? That could be just what the doctor ordered. I personally don't like those knives for the reason BDL gave - it kinda tears the meet rather than cleanly slicing through it. However this would be a HUGE improvement over the current situation and sounds like the perfect worry-free situation.

I wish I could just try one on a Tri-Tip right now to see what the results are. I'm totally ok with the slices looking a bit "rustic". As for him and the rest of our friends - nobody's going to notice the difference.

I'd love to hear anyone's thought on that, but I'm now seriously considering this knife:
Traditional Wood Handle Scalloped Slicer, 10" S46910PCP/CP | Dexter Russell - Wasserstrom Restaurant Supply
post #8 of 12
F.F.:
I own several Dexter-Russell Slicers, straight-edge, and serrated. The serrated-slicers tend to be dull, even after honing. Therefore, I switched brands to LamsonSharp, as their serrations were 1/8 in., instead of the standard 1/4 in. I cannot speak for their current production, as I bought my knives 10 years ago. For comparison, [Now, I advise against doing this, because it was foolhardy on my part, but I wanted to test my knives, to see which one was the sharpest.] I took a frozen sourdough loaf, and sliced it with my Dexter-Russell 10 in. serrated bread slicer, and it took 25-30 strokes to slice through the loaf. My LamsonSharp 10 in. serrated bread slicer took only 5 or 6 strokes to saw through the entire loaf! I had called Lamson & Goodnow, and told the technical representative about my [foolhardy] experiment. The man at Lamson & Goodnow told me to never try that again, because I could have injured myself! I promised him that I would never try such a foolhardy experiment ever again. I only mention it here as to illustrate the difference between brands and serration designs.
This LamsonSharp PRO 8 in. Utility Slicer is less expensive, less maintenance, and might be less cumbersome, than that other D-R knife that you're considering, if you haven't already bought it.
post #9 of 12
Serrated knives will eventually get dull, no matter what the brand, and if your friend likes to toss his knives in the s/s sink or in a drawer full of s/s kitchen gadgets that rattle and bang against each other, you're right back to square one.

Another cheap knife, albeit one that has some credibility is Lee Valley's "peasant knife". (Lee Valley Tools - Important Announcement) Cheap and butt ugly, but apparantly loves abuse and is easy to sharpen.

Yeah, yeah, I know, your friend will never sharpen his knives. Neither will any of my family either, and I know now when visiting family to bring along my sharpening kit, because I will be the one slicing the roast or what ever.
Do the same with your friend, and tell him that a sharpening is worth at least one beer.

Can't do that with family.....
...."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 #10 of 12
I gave several Christmas and Hanukkah presents of "2 knives sharpened" myself. I just finished the first pair (Wusthof Classic), they were so dull the "edges" were arched.

BDL
post #11 of 12
That's almost painful to hear.
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 #12 of 12
I would suggest a cozzini 12" chefs knife, they are between $10-$20 and they are tanks, I gave my mother one and she beats the he!! out of knifes and it is still sharp enough to tackle most jobs with ease. I am not sure where you can get them other than direct from a distributor
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