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Knives: Moving up from Forschner

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I am looking for an eight (probably) or ten inch chef's knife to use in my GF's apartment.  Her knives are terrible, but she doesn't cook much any more, and doesn't need (or know how to use or properly care for) a good quality blade.  I was thining of getting a Forschner because of price and because it's more than acceptable for her needs, and will be a BIG improvement over the junk she's now using.  However, I was wondering what the next step up in quality might be.  What would you recommend as a somewhat better knife keeping in mind that GF doesn't need a high quality blade.  In fact, the main reason I want to get her a new knife or two is for my use - I cook at her house several times a week and would like to use something better than what's currently in her knife block.

 

Thanks!

Schmoozer
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post #2 of 8

R. H. Forschner Rosewood and Fibrox are so good for their price, it's very hard to do much better without spending significantly more money.  Between them, the Rosewood is more comfortable and better looking than the Fibrox.

 

If you have an interest on your own behalf, it might make more sense for you to resettle one of your old knives with her and buy yourself a new knife.  My dad's girlfriend did this with her old Henckels when we gave her a MAC Pro Chef's.  Sometimes a hand-me-down can be a better, more sensitive gift than the first step in an alien occupation -- and you get a new knife!  Talk to her about it.

 

Before breaking down the choices into individual lines, it would be helpful to know your price range,  whether you prefer a "German" or "French" (which is also Japanese) profile (link to a post describing the profiles in more detail), and how you plan to keep the knife sharp. 

 

Unless you're willing to live with the mediocre F&F you find in student level Japanese knives, it's going to cost you north of a $100 for a 10" knife which beats a Forschner by enough to make it worthwhile. 

 

Also, it's just a shame and a waste of money to buy an expensive knife you can't keep sharp.  Not all sharpening methods work equally well for all people -- we need something with which you'll be comfortable.  And, not all methods work equally well for all knives.  If you don't already have your (and her) sharpening figured out, we should start there.   

 

Like French vs German, 8" vs 10" comes down to personal taste.  But just as French rewards good skills better and German punishes bad skills less, so with 10" and 8".  Anyone can make a 10" handle as intuitively as an 8", but it does take practice which, in turn, takes a willingness to learn.  It's not something you can expect your lady to do unless she wants to.  And, even if you do most of the cooking over there, she should have a knife in her house that's comfortable for her.  

 

That said, my Linda, who doesn't have trained skills and doesn't want to hear any crap from me about it either, took to my 10" French carbon like a duck to water while becoming a sharpness junkie at the same time.  It took about 4 months until, "Honey, when are you going to sharpen 'my' knife?"

 

BDL


Edited by boar_d_laze - 10/6/10 at 8:10am
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post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by boar_d_laze View Post

If you have an interest on your own behalf, it might make more sense for you to resettle one of your old knives with her and buy yourself a new knife. [...] Talk to her about it.

 

Before breaking down the choices into individual lines, it would be helpful to know your price range,  whether you prefer a "German" or "French" (which is also Japanese) profile (link to a post describing the profiles in more detail), and how you plan to keep the knife sharp. 

 

Unless you're willing to live with the mediocre F&F you find in student level Japanese knives, it's going to cost you north of a $100 for a 10" knife which beats a Forschner by enough to make it worthwhile. 

 

Also, it's just a shame and a waste of money to buy an expensive knife you can't keep sharp.  Not all sharpening methods work equally well for all people -- we need something with which you'll be comfortable.  And, not all methods work equally well for all knives.  If you don't already have your (and her) sharpening figured out, we should start there.   

 

Like French vs German, 8" vs 10" comes down to personal taste.  But just as French rewards good skills better and German punishes bad skills less, so with 10" and 8".  Anyone can make a 10" handle as intuitively as an 8", but it does take practice which, in turn, takes a willingness to learn.  It's not something you can expect your lady to do unless she wants to.  And, even if you do most of the cooking over there, she should have a knife in her house that's comfortable for her.  

 

That said, my Linda, who doesn't have trained skills and doesn't want to hear any crap from me about it either, took to my 10" French carbon like a duck to water while becoming a sharpness junkie at the same time.  It took about 4 months until, "Honey, when are you going to sharpen 'my' knife?"

 

BDL


I thought about giving her one of my knives, but they are all bigger than she'd be comfortable using, and the Forschner knives are, for her, a little easier to use because they are lighter.  So, getting her a new knife is the way to go, although I do have a 10" Forschner that might move over to her place just to see how comfortable she is with the knife and the size.

 

My price range for this situation is south of $100.00.  I prefer the German shape, and she might as well since that's what she has now.  However, her interest in knives is minimal and her skills are, perhaps, even less.  It's possible that either shape would be just fine for her.  As for sharpening, I like to use a stone ... just more comfortable with one.  However, a good friend, who is into knives, has a well-regarded sharpener that does a great job, and he loves to sharpen knives.  He came by my place one day and sharpened every blade in the house <LOL>.

 

I suspect the 8-inch would be more comfortable for Toots.  She's certainly not too interested in learning new skills or learning all about knives.  She's rather work on her paintings and spend time with her other interests.  I just want her to be comfortable with a knife that cuts well and that I can acceptably enjoy.

 

Thanks for your comments.

 


 

Schmoozer
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post #4 of 8

Schmoozer,

 

Your welcome, but I hadn't made any suggestions yet.  Just when you thought you were safe, too.

 

Unless Toots feels compelled to put her knives in the dishwasher, an 8" Forschner Rosewood seems like a no-brainer. 

 

If you want to keep her and your German knives sharp enough to cut onions without making you cry, you'd do better with a two or three stone set than a single stone.  A Norton combi-India -- either an IB-8 (8x2x1) or IC-8 (8x2x3/4) -- plus an 8" Hall's Hard Arkansas is an adequate and economical way to go.  You'll find a hard Ark edge is both finer and lasts longer then what you get with the coarse-ish stone you're probably using now.  About $55 for both stones.  Don't go shorter than 8" or narrower than 2"

 

Also, "German steel" needs a lot of steeling.  Now might be a good time to upgrade to a fine, ceramic rod hone (aka "steel") if you don't already have a very good one in each kitchen.  Not only are they excellent, they're relatively inexpensive.  About $25 for a 10" or $30 for a 12" Idahone (for 10" knives and longer).

 

BDL

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post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by boar_d_laze View Post

Schmoozer,

 

Your welcome, but I hadn't made any suggestions yet.  Just when you thought you were safe, too.

 

Unless Toots feels compelled to put her knives in the dishwasher, an 8" Forschner Rosewood seems like a no-brainer. 

 

If you want to keep her and your German knives sharp enough to cut onions without making you cry, you'd do better with a two or three stone set than a single stone.  A Norton combi-India -- either an IB-8 (8x2x1) or IC-8 (8x2x3/4) -- plus an 8" Hall's Hard Arkansas is an adequate and economical way to go.  You'll find a hard Ark edge is both finer and lasts longer then what you get with the coarse-ish stone you're probably using now.  About $55 for both stones.  Don't go shorter than 8" or narrower than 2"

 

Also, "German steel" needs a lot of steeling.  Now might be a good time to upgrade to a fine, ceramic rod hone (aka "steel") if you don't already have a very good one in each kitchen.  Not only are they excellent, they're relatively inexpensive.  About $25 for a 10" or $30 for a 12" Idahone (for 10" knives and longer).

 

BDL


We don't have a dishwasher ... but Toots does feel compelled to put the knives in the sink and allow them to bang against other items, like forks, etc.  I am trying to get her to change her ways. 

 

We both need new steels.  Thanks for the suggestion.

 

I'll look into stones ...
 

Schmoozer
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Schmoozer
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post #6 of 8

I've noticed that when Cook's Illustrated does a knife review, they almost always recommend a Forschner as the best quality/value choice.

 

I've got a Rosewood boning knife and it takes a better edge than the stylish German knives I have.

 

Mike 

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post #7 of 8

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