New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Mixing knifes

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Is it a bad idea to "mix" knifes for your set? Like owning different brands of knifes to make your primary set.

post #2 of 14

No. It's a very good idea. Assuming, of course, that you are selecting knives based on their characteristics.

 

For example, let's suppose you like your chef's knife to be the thing you use almost always, and you're willing to deal with carbon steel and lots of fiddling around getting it to just the level of screaming sharpness you adore. You might go for an expensive high-end Japanese knife here -- let's say (since I have one) a Masamoto KS 270mm gyuto.

 

But for a paring knife, you use it pretty brutally, to cut everything from boxes to who knows what. So you buy a 3-pack of Victorinox cheapies, keep an edge on them as long as they'll take it, then chuck 'em when they die.

 

Then sometimes you want to do something really horribly brutal, like shearing lengthwise through a lobster. You need a big heavy knife, and you want something that just g-----mn ain't frou-frou delicate. So you've got a 12" Forschner for that, and you keep the edge pretty fat.

 

Of course, when it's time to break down a fish, and let's say you're not up on using a Japanese deba -- very much its own skill -- you've got a French-style filleting knife, let's say a Sabatier of some kind.

 

Slicing bread, let's say you bake a lot, this is important to you, and you don't want to mess with your beautiful gyuto edge, so you've gone for the very best and bought a Mac Pro bread knife.

 

And for slicing raw fish, you've decided you don't do it too often, so you won't invest in super high-end, but you've saved up your pennies and bought a respectable Tojiro yanagiba.

 

See how it works? If you were a fan of really heavy big German knives for your chef's knife, you'd structure everything else differently. And if by some weird circumstance your primary go-to knife were a Chinese cleaver or an usuba, the whole thing would look really different.

 

Knife block sets have a small number of good excuses. I'm sure I can think of a few if you give me a few weeks.

post #3 of 14

First, I am not a huge fan of block sets--on the larger sets you end of getting knives that you will never use, though sets do well at Christmas for presents and during the housing boom builders would purchase mass numbers of sets to give away to new owners and Realtors were purchasing them to stage homes.  I am sure for the really casual cooks the sets work fine.

 

Most of the real cooks and butchers we deal with usually fall into two camps.  Those that are brand loyal and those that purchase based off of performance, feel, need, etc.  The brand loyal users have an attachment to certain manufacturers and will not change.  Some have used massive number of brands over the years and feel that they are using best brand for them.  They like the feel of the grips, have learned how to sharpen the steel used by a certain brand, and so on.  The second group purchases knives based primarily on what is needed for a certain job.  I have had customers that purchase a really good forged chef knife, then a couple of less expensive stamped blade boning knives from another manufacturer.  The manufacturer of the chef knife, really didn't make a stamped blade boning knife that was economical enough, so he went to a different brand.  

 

I am not going to say it is a bad idea to stick with one brand, because you may find a brand and model that is perfect for you and provides all the knives you need to perform your job, but other than just wanting to match, I see no advantage to trying to make all your knives match--except that when you use the same brand you do get familiar with the edge retention and sharpening properties of the knives.  One problem that we have encountered with brand loyal users, is that sometimes their brand of choice doesn't produce a certain style of knife that could make their lives a little easier.  We see this sometimes when a chef will need a knife that is primarily used by butchers, but the brand they use produces primarily chef style knives. 

 

One other area that we do see brand loyalty is in the commercial environment.  Larger food service establishments and food processing plants will purchase the same brands.  You can usually get discounts on purchasing larger numbers of the same brand, plus it is more efficient if the workers become familiar with the same brand--they become used to the feel, the handle and sharpening characteristics, so as the knives get changed out or they change stations they have a consistent feel and it doesn't slow them down. 

 

So in summary, try different brands and styles, and if you find a brand that produces knives that fit you, then stick with that brand. If you find several brands that you like, then use what you like--not what others say you should like.  Always be open to try new knives and experiment with various styles.

 

Thanks for your question.

 

D. Clay

post #4 of 14

Mixing knife it doen't matter, what is important is to keep it in safe place. Normally people just need knife in the kitchen that are sharp and can use for long period..When we buy new knife it not often we buy for one set. What we buy just in pieces number.. 

post #5 of 14

Personally, I prefer that my knives "match'... within reason. I have K-Sab Carbon... they don't make a filet knife, so I have a Sab Canadian filet knife... I have an very old carbon cleaver (no name stamped on that I can find, but very good steel). The carbon line doesn't have a bread knife, so I have a K Sab stainless bread knife. I like the brand, some may call it a loyalty... but if I need a knife and they don't make it, then I find a knife that suits me from another brand.

 

But, I do like opening my kit and having my knives match. Maybe it's just me.

 

(Although, I will admit that I prefer quality vintage stuff when I can find it.)

post #6 of 14

if you like one company and they make the perfect knives for you, then sure... match. make it look pretty. i just know first hand that within a brand, one knife in the set may excel over the rest and another may not be quite as good. blindly buying knives based on brand loyalty does not ensure that you have the best knives possible in your collection.

post #7 of 14

Gosh, I'm surprised, actually. Why would you want knives to look alike? Isn't that sort of dull (pun unintended, but left in having happened)? I like my knives to have personality. I like the fact that my yanagiba has this whole complicated story behind it, and my chef's knife was the first truly world-class piece of serious kitchen equipment I ever owned, and my petty knife was the first knife I ever bought by myself in Kyoto (using Japanese, which is tricky because I don't really speak Japanese), and then there's the knife I got at a flea market and have learned is great in some ways and terrible in others, and there's the one that I thought was something other than it is but turns out to be very good albeit I put this weird ding in the spine, and there's the truly horrible usuba I picked up for a song and have had go through an appalling mill of mis-grinding and re-grinding and fixing, and then soon is coming a new one that is the first I ever bought knowing precisely what I was getting in advance, and then there's the Chinese cleaver I bought on Barbara Tropp's recommendation that gave me so much pleasure back before I got serious about cutting and I still use for heavy brutality work, and....

 

Really? You want knives to be all part of a set because they look nice? To whom? Honestly, my favorite pots and pans also have stories that would bore the pants off anyone else but I find compelling because they're about me. Is that weird? (Suddenly I have this feeling that people are backing away slowly and not making eye contact....)

post #8 of 14

I have a 60 year old filet knife.

I have (judging by the history I can trace) at least a 45 year old cleaver.

My Hunting knife was handmade in 1965.

I ride a 37 year old motorcycle.

I own hardcover books from the 1930s.

I own cast iron pots and pans from the '50s.

 

I like stories and character as much as anyone

 

For my work knives, I simply like Carbon steel, I like French knives, and to me, K Sab rules that style of knife. It's the way it is. Your mileage may vary.

 

Plus... it makes it easy to see when someone else puts their greasy paws on one of my knives.

 

post #9 of 14

It's fair to say that it's not a bad thing either way. 

 

It's also fair to say that buying a "block knife set" in order to have a complete kit can be a trap in several ways.  Among them:  The chef's knives typically run too short; they often include profiles you really don't need ("boning," "tomato," e.g.);  they don't include profiles you should have, or at least try; nothing truly heavy duty, or everything too heavy duty; and so on.

 

I can certainly see the "point" in buying nothing but K-Sabatier (when practicable).  For one thing, there's nothing wrong with collecting.  That's specially true when the knives perform at the level of K-Sabs, and are as attractively priced.  I wouldn't limit it to K-Sab but am pretty confident about saying French carbon is sui generis.  But let's be candid, at some point it becomes a collection as much as a tool set.   

 

Getting back to the OP's point:  The question itself indicates a person who should be trying as many different knife types as possible.

 

BDL

 

PS.  C'mon Chris -- if you use a word knowing it puns, it's intentional.  Quit trying to weasel out of it by pretending Satan hit the Submit button.

 

post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by PrairieChef View Post

I have a 60 year old filet knife.

I have (judging by the history I can trace) at least a 45 year old cleaver.

My Hunting knife was handmade in 1965.

I ride a 37 year old motorcycle.

I own hardcover books from the 1930s.

I own cast iron pots and pans from the '50s.

 

I like stories and character as much as anyone

 

For my work knives, I simply like Carbon steel, I like French knives, and to me, K Sab rules that style of knife. It's the way it is. Your mileage may vary.

 

Plus... it makes it easy to see when someone else puts their greasy paws on one of my knives.

 


Chef,

Sorry, I honestly was just musing and not leveling criticism. I read your reply, and thought “what the heck,” and then read my post and realized it could be read wrong. I didn't mean that, and I explained myself badly. I was thinking about other things.

All I meant was, “why do you like matching knives?” I didn’t mean, “you idiot, you’re doing it wrong.” And I’m sorry I came off like that.

I just started sort of musing and noodling about my own knives, and thinking about the OP’s question — wanting him/her to buy knives to suit — and it came out wrong.

Anyway, my apologies.

post #11 of 14

Apologies have been delivered, as they should have been, but...


PS.  C'mon Chris -- if you use a word knowing it puns, it's intentional.  Quit trying to weasel out of it by pretending Satan hit the Submit button.

 


C'mon. The think about "dull" just happened, and god knows it's harmless enough. You want to skewer me for THAT?

 

 

P.S. PM me -- question for you, and I lost your email.

post #12 of 14
Quote:

Originally Posted by boar_d_laze View Post

 

Quit trying to weasel out of it by pretending Satan hit the Submit button.

 


Actually, that happens to me all the time.

"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
Reply
"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
Reply
post #13 of 14

"Chef,

Sorry, I honestly was just musing and not leveling criticism. I read your reply, and thought “what the heck,” and then read my post and realized it could be read wrong. I didn't mean that, and I explained myself badly. I was thinking about other things.

All I meant was, “why do you like matching knives?” I didn’t mean, “you idiot, you’re doing it wrong.” And I’m sorry I came off like that.

I just started sort of musing and noodling about my own knives, and thinking about the OP’s question — wanting him/her to buy knives to suit — and it came out wrong.

Anyway, my apologies."

 

Hah! Don't apologize... and I'm not your chef, so no need for the title. It's the internet, and I'm not gonna take anything personally.

post #14 of 14

Personally, I lke to mix n'match

 

I like dirt-cheap paring knives becasue I usualy loose one abut a month, and I lend them out frequently, in order to get jobs done.

 

I like plastic handled boning knives with that yucky grip texture that doesn't slip--even when wet or greasy, and bright colours so you can see a handle hiding underneath a pile of meat.

 

I like "classy looking" Chef's knives and meat slicing knives when I'm in front, showing off or sawing away at roast beef.

 

Meat forks gotta have a wood handle or some kind of melt-proof composite, I've melted one too many forks

 

I like "economical" Chef's knives for grunt work--these too, get loaned out, and I have taught a few people to sharpen on such knives, and some of them have deep scratches.....

 

I like plastic handled icing spatulas and various gadgets like apple corers, parisienne scoops etc. becasue these can handle the d/washer well, wood handled ones don't like the d/w.

 

Now, on the other hand if you're a TV personality and your sponsor equips you with matching knives and gadgets--and will replace them if lost of abused......well why not? 

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
Reply
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cooking Knife Reviews