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Other Knives Needed? - Gyuto, Bread knife, ???

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

I've decided on purchasing the following:

  • 240mm Gyuto (looking to spend $150-$250)
  • SB-105 MAC Bread Knife


I think I need a 150mm Petty for fruit and vegetables. 

  • Any suggestions for a good 150mm petty? I'm looking for something $100 or less
  • Could a petty be used for breaking down a chicken?


I was also wondering what type of knife would be good for slicing roast beef, hams, etc.  Any suggestions on good knives in this category?  I'm flexible on price but this should not cost more than my Gyuto.


What other knives do I need?

Edited by Milton Yang - 9/14/10 at 12:38pm
post #2 of 15

$100 is a LOT for a petty, especially if you use it for things like cutting int ot plastic packages, cutting string, tape, and the sort of stuff a small knife frequently gets used for.  


The MAC Pro 6" Utility, $62 at Chef's Knives To Go,  is a very good knife. 


Gets sharp, stays sharp.  Good guarantee. 


The MAC Superior 5" Utility is nice as well. 


Forschners are great to abuse, they get real sharp, and even though they don't hold the edge particularly well, it goes back on so easly; and, they're cheap enough to use up.  Unfortunately, they don't really makes anything at 6" with the right profile.  But the 4-3/4" knife is nice and cheap.


I've got a few Forschner paring knives, but use longer knives more often than not.


My "go-to" petty is a 6" Nogent slicer.  It's fantastic. 


Takes a great edge, and the most comfortable handle ever for a small knife.  It is carbon and does require extra care. 


Because I'm lazy, I have another knife -- a 7" Forschner "wide fish fillet" I use when cutting more than a little bit of citrus, and also use it for a bunch of utility stuff -- cheese, pies, and a great deal of the heavy duty scut work already described.



It doesn't get used much for fish, though.


There are just so many knives which make good petties, you can't even put a representative sample into one post. 


As to breaking a chicken ... Heck YES!  I prefer it to a traditional desosseur boning knife for chicken and all but the most technical boning.  For one thing, it's a lot easier to keep sharp.



post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks BDL! Do you have some links you could send me for either the Nogent or Forschner?

post #4 of 15

Nogent are "made" (sort of) by Thiers-Issard Sabatier in France, and are sold only by The Best Things.  If you're serious about buying a Nogent Sabatier, start a thread or PM me and we'll get into some of the ins and outs.  All my dealings with The Best Things have gone well, but you want to nail down a few things in advance before ordering a Nogent.


Cutlery and More has a very good selection of Forschner Rosewood, which has a better handle than the more popular Fibrox.  Cutlery and More has also been very good to me.  Mad Cows is a very good source of Forschner as well, but they don't stock any of the particular three we're talking about.  I've never purchased from them myself, but they have a very good reputation and are a friend of Chef Talk.



post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 

So are you recommending these knives for things like carving hams, roast beef, etc as well?  I'm leaning toward the MAC Pro 6" Utility and 6" Nogent slicer.

post #6 of 15

For carving?  No.  A longer knife is better for carving, for portioning larger cuts, and for slicing anything which will benefit from one or very few long strokes, as opposed to "sawing" with a bunch of short strokes.  In an ideal world, you'd have a 12" slicer for carving and slicing, an 8" for trimming meat and working with small fish, and a 6" petty for tourne, boning and other small knife tasks.


I split the 8" duties between my 10" and 6" and don't have a 12".  That's fairly typical for a western cook.




The slicers are the second and fourth from the top.  The fourth (bottom) knife is a 6" Nogent.  The other two are chef's knives.  The two longest are K-Sabatier, the shorter are (Thiers-Issard) Nogent Sabatier; all are non-stainless carbon. 



post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 

So what recommendations do you have for the stainless slicers?

post #8 of 15



What sort of situation are you in as far as cutting? (Boy, that was a strangely-phrased question. I'll try again.) Are you a professional or student, or a home cook? How often do you need to do fine slicing of things like hams, smoked salmons, and so forth? How often (if at all) do you have to slice raw fish for sashimi? How particular are you (or is your chef) about the results of your slices? Where do you stand on technique in this?


These are serious questions, not an attempt to deflect or confuse. At one extreme of possible answers here, which I think is unlikely in this case, you would be in pretty desperate need of a high-end yanagiba running in the vicinity of $300+. At another extreme, you would have not the slightest reason to own a slicer at all except out of a desire for completeness or collecting. The question, then, is where in that spectrum you fall. From there, we can probably make some good suggestions about which knives would be good choices.

post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 

I'm a home cook.  I'll be completely honest that it's more to complete a set than anything.  I slice a roast beef, ham, etc maybe 8-10 times a year.  I rarely butcher fish.

post #10 of 15



How much are you planning to spend for your stainless slicer?



post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 

I was thinking $100-$150.

post #12 of 15

Gosh that's a lot for a knife you use so rarely.


Your concerns and thinking here are very different from my own, so I'm guessing here a bit. If you want to spend that much on a knife used perhaps once a month, I'm thinking you want something exciting, pretty, and fun. You want stainless because you don't want to have to spend a lot of time taking care of it, and you want it to stay shiny. You're not much into sharpening, I'm guessing, though I could well be wrong about that.


Okay, some more questions based on this.


1. Am I at all on the money here, describing what you're looking for? Corrections?


2. Do you have strong opinions about things like damascus or other special blade surfaces?


3. Do you have strong opinions about handle appearance or style? (Japanese vs. Western, wood vs. something else, etc.)


I'm seriously wondering if a Shun Classic might be the way to go here. We usually say --- and believe --- that Shun gives you a lot less bang for your buck than other Japanese knives, but what you do get with Shun is a very good knife, an attractive appearance, and good customer service (via William Sonoma, for example, or any of the many other authorized retailers). The knives come wickedly sharp out of the box, and with your usage pattern it's not going to need touching up for quite some time, at which point you can have someone do it: these knives are very common now, so there should not be a lot of difficulty finding someone to do the work. They're damascus-clad, which is pretty, and the handles are attractive to a lot of people. And while the price is not wonderful, it's right exactly in your range, and I cannot, off the top of my head, think of another knife in this price range that so accurately matches what I suspect is your personal range of desires and needs.


BDL, can you talk me out of this? Have I taken the wrong pills this morning or something?

post #13 of 15

Honestly, I'd mentally tabled this thread because I wanted to think about what stainless there was in the price range, and forgot all about it.  Typical. 


Chris, the answer to your question is:  "It depends."  If Milton is only going to use it for carving, then it doesn't much matter, and a Shun is not a horrible choice. 


However, a slicer's a very useful profile for trimming and portioning as well as carving.  I'd like to see him get more use out of it than his current expectations. 


Milt, if I can't talk you into a (non-stainless) carbon Misono Sweden or a carbon Sabatier, how about a Kagayaki VG-10 (through JCK only) or a MAC Pro without the dimples?



post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 

Those all sound like decent options (carbons included).  Just curious, why do you prefer a carbon slicer over a stainless one?

post #15 of 15



More knife for the money, easier to sharpen, gets sharper, stays sharper longer, doesn't see much citrus or onion, nearly incomparable feel of Sabatiers, great looks and serious sharpness of Misono Sweden.




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