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Critique of Knives and Knife Companies

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

What type of knives do you use and why? Are you a professional cook or an at  home cook? Where did you get your knives and if possible how much did you pay for them?

  I am a professional cook and have been using Henckels Pro "S" series for years but now I want to change and I am thinking Wusthof Classic Series since they are both German knives and are almost the same shape. What is this craze about the Eastern knives from Japan. The only only I have tried is the Shun line and was very impressed. The Eastern knives have a 16 degree angle and the Western knives like Henckel and Wusthof have a 20- 22 degree blade angle.

 

 What are ya'll's thoughts on the different brand of knives and how long they lasted you, where from, and how much and WOULD YOU BUY THE SAME KNIVES AGAIN??!!!!!!

 

 

post #2 of 12
Someone's been feeding you a lot of bad information.

Almost all major brand Japanese knives are sharpened to 15*. Shun uses a 16* factory edge, presumably so you'll either send your knives to them to have them sharpened or buy one of their machines. 15* or 16* doesn't make much difference, and its easy to convert a Shun to a more normal 15*.

There's a lot of similarity between the Henckels and Wusthof knives you've mentioned. The major difference is in the handles.

Wusthof changed it's edge a few years ago. All of their knives are now sharpened to what they call a "laser 'V'" which is a straight sided "V" edge with 50/50 profile and 18* edge bevels. I'm not sure what Henckels is doing with its most recent, German efforts.

Wusthofs are excellent knives, if that's the kind of knife you want. But Wusthof is hardly unique. Many other major German, Swiss, and US makers make similar knives of similar quality and sell them for similar prices.

Most skilled cutters have moved from German made western style knives to Japanese made.

There are considerable differences between typical Japanese and western made western style knives. The differences include profile (shape) and alloy. Most Japanese made chef's knives are profiled with a fairly flat, French profile, as opposed to the German profile which has more rocker, more belly and a higher tip. In terms of profile, Shuns are more German than Japanese.

While Japanese made knives tend to be less durable and less well suited for heavy duty work (splitting chicken backs, for instance) they are usually made from with better edge taking and holding properties, are considerably lighter, and more agile -- hence their attraction to good cutters who feel that if they need something heavy duty, they can reach for something besides their "go-to gyuto."

At the end of the day the choice between the German and Japanese types of chef's knives is a matter of taste. It's probably a good idea to understand what makes them different before deciding which you'd prefer.

Although Shuns are still quite popular with American professional chefs they've lost quite a bit of their cachet with people who really know knives. While it's not fair to say that Shun makes a lot of bad knives, but compared to any chef's knife in any of Shun's various lines, you can always find significantly more for the same money somewhere else.

There are some good, reasonably priced knife sharpening services. I suggest looking at the Chef's Knives to Go website, and contacting some of the sharpeners listed there. Also, as things go, the Shun service is reasonably priced and does a fairly good job (but a two week turnaround!). However, any service will quickly cost you more than good sharpening equipment and will deprive you of your knives during the time it takes for them to make their round-trip journey. Considering how quickly knives dull in a professional kitchen, it's a better idea for a pro to learn to be a competent sharpener than to use a service or a machine.

FWIW, a great many services -- including SLT -- use regular, consumer grade, Chef's Choice electric sharpeners. I'm a good sharpener, and use and own all kinds of sharpening tools. I've used CC electrics off and on for years (don't have one now), and consider them to be a good choice for people who can't or won't learn to sharpen, want a high degree of convenience, and are willing to sacrifice some ultimate edge quality for that convenience and CC's ease of use.

I should also say that CKtG and I are entering a commercial relationship, but it has nothing to do with CKtG's stable of professional sharpeners.

Hope this helps,
BDL
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post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

you say, "Wusthofs are excellent knives, if that's the kind of knife you want. But Wusthof is hardly unique.What makes up a great knife for professional chefs? Many other major German, Swiss, and US makers make similar knives of similar quality and sell them for similar prices...."What are theses companies and what are the models of knives? I am a chef and need great cutlery for the restaurant and private parties with GREAT SHARP EDGES THAT CAN BE MAINTAINED, SO WHICH BRANDS SHOULD,SO I NEED THE BEST CUTLERY JAPANESE(EASTERN  STYLE OR WESTERN STYLE)      "Although Shuns are still quite popular with American professional chefs they've lost quite a bit of their cachet with people who really know knives. While it's not fair to say that Shun makes a lot of bad knives, but compared to any chef's knife in any of Shun's various lines, you can always find significantly more for the same money somewhere else."

I love Shun knives, so what models would you feel comfortable endorsing. I love the Shun Premier and Shun Classic. I also love Henckels Pro "S" series and Wusthof Classic, full tine and 3 rivets in each handle.

  What knive brands and specifically what knives do you feel comfortable endorsing, standing behind. WHAT BRAND OF KNIVES DO YOU USE?

 

Give my some KNIFE BRANDS that are professional and very sharp, keep a good edge and are durable!!!!!

 

what are some great asian(japanese)knives brands and some great western knife brands.

Should i go with just one kind of knife set or should I mix the Eastern and Western knives.

Why do you thing Shun is losing their cachet with ppl who know knives.

what would you buy, as I am looking for a 6in and 8in Chef knife, 5in and 7in santoku w/ hollowed edge,6in Utility knife, 3in and 4in paring knives,5.5in boning knife,8in and 10in carving knife,10in slicer with hollowed edge, 8in serrated bread knife, 7in fillet knife, meat cleaver and thats it as for what i need. now please give me some tips on brands either Western or Eastern. at the begining of the email you said "somones been feeding me some bad info, so please correct that bad info so i dont waste $$$.

 

thanks

jeff t

 

 

 

PS: Please leave me some info that will help me make informed purchases.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #4 of 12

No matter what you get all knives dull with use and all suffer damage from abuse.

 

What is your sharpening plan? Be it once a week, every 2 weeks, every month etc. you will need to sharpen your blades down the line no matter the make or cost.

 

If you find some that feel comfortable for you and you like them, great. Now worry about maintaining your favorites. Doesn't matter what anyone else's favorites are because they are not you.

 

Much can be talked about on edge retention of A vs B but if you like A better than B then roll with it.

 

Because I prefer their feel I mainly use Wusthof, F Dick, old Chicago Cutlery, and old carbon steel wood handled Dexter knives. You may hate them but they work for me.

 

Name some of yours and your take of their durability, comfort, and edge retention under your usage and then comparisons can be drawn.

 

Re-read everything BDL said again.

 

FWIW I think Wusthof sharpens easier than Henckels across the board.

 

Jim

post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 

PLEASE PLEASE LEAVE ME SOME IDEAS OF GREAT CUTLERY(KNIVES) WEATHER ITS EASTERN(JAPANESE) OR WESTERN LIKE HENCKELS OR WUSTHOF. AS CHEFS, THERE ARE ALWAYS SOME KNIVES THAT ARE TOO EXPENSIVE TO PURCHASE, BUT IF YOU COULD HAVE THESE KNIVES WHAT WOULD THEY BE. EX: LIKE I WANT THE Henckels Miyabi 600 MC - Morimoto - 8" Chefs Knife -FOR $310, BUT CANT AFFORD IT.

GIVE ME IDEAS ON SOME OF THE BEST CUTLERY YOU HAVE OR HAVE HEARD OF AND TELL ME ABOUT IT,WHERE I CAN BUY IT, AND WHY YOU THINK ITS WORTH THE $$$.

THANKS

JEFF T

post #6 of 12

For me: http://www.macknife.com/kitchen/index.php, they start sharp and are fairly easy to keep sharp, thin, agile, and do what I need done.

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 

COULD YOU PLEASE GIVE ME BETTER IDEAS ON BRANDS AND MODELS THAT ARE OF BETTER QUALITY. I DONT CARE OF THEY ARE EASTERN(JAPANESE)KNIVES OR WESTERN KNIVES LIKE HENCKEL OR WUSTHOF. For INSTANCE, I WOULD REALLY LOVE A HENCKELS MIYABI 600 MC-MORIMOTO-8IN CHEF KNIFE ,BUT IT COST $310, NOW I AM NOT SCARED TO SPEND THAT KIND OF MONEY BUT ARE THESE THE TYPE OF KNIVES YOU ARE REFFERING TO. HELP ME OUT CORRECT SOME OF THE MISTAKES I WAS GIVEN EARLIER AND SUGGEST BETTER KNIFE(CUTLERY) IDEAS. FOR INSTANCE, I LIKE SHUN CLASSIC AND SHUN PREMIER,. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE KNIVES TO YOU AND CAN YOU SUGGEST SOMETHING ELSE. I ALSO HAPPEN TO LIKE HENCKELS PRO "S" SERIES AND THE WUSTHOF CLASSIC SERIES BECAUSE THEY ARE ALMOST THE SAME KNIFE. WHAT DONT YOU LIKE ABOUT THESE KNIVES?

post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 

why do you feel these are the best. most are stamped and not forged. this worries me because stamped = cheap to me.

post #9 of 12

Jeff, it sounds like you're looking for an easy answer. The reality is that most people won't have used every brand of knife regularly in order to give you what you're asking. Some of the experts here may be able to offer you an all-encompassing answer, but you'll also probably have very good luck by discussing it with some of the retailers who offer many brands (perhaps Mark at CKtG could fill you in more explicitly on the exact differences between the ranges that you're asking about). 

 

If you want one all-in answer, try the Saber Knives professional set from Costco...it's under $300, has virtually every knife you could ever want (size-wise) made from German steel (in China). All of your rivets and bolsters and tangs are included along with a very nice bag. The reality is, though, that different brands will offer different knives to meet your needs.

 

The advice that you've received thus far has given you some information on why, for example, Shuns may be more expensive than knives of comparable quality. Many (literally dozens) of brands offer good quality for similar or lower prices. Perhaps you can review some of the recent threads discussing the various brands and help the experts here to narrow your discussion a bit. Or, again, you may contact any of the excellent retailers to help you narrow it down as they see all (or most) of the knives.

 

Personally, I'm very comfortable with the decisions that I've recently made to purchase knives by Hattori (both the HD and FH series), Kagayaki (VG series - a JCK original product), and the Tojiro DP series. I'm also considering adding another knife by Moritaka.  My opinion is worth very little; however, as those knives are the only ones from which I can give a frame of reference as they are the ones that I have. I have no tried 45 different knives so my opinion is biased and self-indulgent as I want to feel validated in what I have purchased. 

 

I also tried the Saber knives and thought they were very good - I just wanted something different, at the end of the day.

 

Good luck in your search. 

post #10 of 12
There are lots of 'which knife' threads to read on this forum, as Deputy pointed out. I'd also recommend searching for Chad Ward's site's info explaining about such things as forged vs stamped and the various outdated mythologies about that. He also has really good sharpening info. Sharpening is everything almost. You can buy his book An Edge In the Kitchen, but his website has all of the immediate concerns about those issues answered for free.
Edited by Wagstaff - 2/7/12 at 7:15am
post #11 of 12
With respect, you're asking for a lot of information and aren't giving enough in return to make answers tailored to your needs as easy as they might otherwise be

Reading between the lines, you're looking for a full knife roll and want to do it on a minimal budget.

My generic recommendation is to buy a minimal and well chosen group of Forschner Fibrox or Rosewood (only difference is the handle) for everything (or darn near) but the chef's knife.

I can't tell you which particular lengths or profiles because I don't know what you do. But for now, your wish list is filled with redundancies and displays an affection for the very short which I don't understand. Me not understanding isn't the same as disagreeing, your choices could work very well for you. But it sounds like you're looking for the sort of selection and sizes people give as wedding presents as opposed to what you'd find in a pro's roll.

I also don't understand why you're bringing up the particular brands and lines you've mentioned so far. Maybe "don't understand" isn't right. They don't make sense as choices because they're so different and they aren't giving me insight into what you really want.

Learn to sharpen. That's the most important part of knife ownership. There's no such thing as buying a "sharp" knife, not in reality. Whatever you buy will get dull with use, and pretty quickly at that on a pro's workload. That means that for all the years you own the knife, sharpness will depend on your ability to sharpen and maintain -- not how the knife came out of the box.

My generic recommendations for "entry-level chef's knife" are the Fujiwara FKM, and Tojiro DP. But I think a Richmond Artifex might be an even better choice than either from the impression you give. It's made from a good alloy, hardened appropriately; isn't too thick; has a good profile; but it's not a good looker or "high-end" in any way.

My generic recommendation for "first good chef's knife" is the MAC Pro. I also like the Masamoto VG a lot, but yen/dollar rates made the Masa pricey. Well, more pricey might be accurate. But at any rate, it's probably considerably more than you're willing to spend.

Considering what you're trying to do, you're going to have to make some decisions about sharpening based on your knife choices, and vice versa. If you're trying to keep the prices down as low as possible, you're going to end up with a lot of stuff you'll outgrow fairly quickly -- which may mean adding a separate sharpening kit to take care of newer and better knives. If you can spend more, upgrading can not only be put off longer, but the entire situation is more flexible. Just how it is; and with all tools, not just knives.

I'll be happy to help to whatever extent I can, if you try not to know so much. But that doesn't mean that I'm going to give you prices and three websites for any knife you might want. You're going to have to play the home game and do some of your own research. Also, I can't make your decisions for you. You're going to have to do that yourself. The idea is to restrict your choices to only those things which will work well in your kitchen and budget; then buy for whatever qualities appeal to you.

Just curious, wotthehell are you planning to do with a 6" chef's?

BDL
Edited by boar_d_laze - 2/6/12 at 10:53pm
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post #12 of 12
"You are asking g for a lot of information, and not giving enough in return"

That was my original thoughts when reading this thread.

Also much of the information the OP is requesting is readily available in various previous threads so I would suggest finding a little time to read through some of the previous recommendations and see what others with similar desires as you have found they liked, and then post some more direct quesitions.

I am certain you will get the help you need to find what is BEST for you once you get past trying to figure out what is BEST as the later is totally personal opinion and the prior is purely your opinion and that is all that matters.

Also depending on where you live there may be local quality sources for sharpening and you will not have to send anything out or worry about inflated prices from middleman etc, but like posted earlier you really should consider learning to do it yourself as it is much more economical and really not as difficult as it may appear.

That all said maybe it would be helpful to advise what it is about your current knives you want to change or do not like, and also what you are looking for in your new knives.

The more info the better

Also where are you located?

Oh and why do so few of us list our location? All of us can't have our photo in the post office smile.gif

 

"love my country" but "fear my government"  Something is just wrong with this

 

 

 

Looking for info on entry level J-knives? Need help on finding the most bang for your buck? Hope you enjoy learning from the info here, I know I did!

http://www.cheftalk.com/t/63213/tojiro-dp-f-809-240mm-g...

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"love my country" but "fear my government"  Something is just wrong with this

 

 

 

Looking for info on entry level J-knives? Need help on finding the most bang for your buck? Hope you enjoy learning from the info here, I know I did!

http://www.cheftalk.com/t/63213/tojiro-dp-f-809-240mm-g...

Reply
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