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Great versatile kitchen knife for mom? (xmas present)

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I'm looking to get a knife or a set/couple for my mom as a Christmas present. She's not a professional chef or anything, but the current collection of knives we have are not too great. I think a versatile knife would be best since there aren't really any specific dishes she (or we) make regularly.


Basically I want something very well made, super sharp, and Japanese. Japanese mainly because I think they look cool and know there are some real quality knives that come from there.


I have absolutely no clue about kitchen knives. But, ideally this knife would be used for normal things like preparing chicken, steak, pork, other meat, and maybe cutting fruit or vegatables etc... I would say the price range is below $200. I tried searching google first but there are just SO many websites with all sorts of different information and I always find it easier to come to a forum where I know people will know what they are talking about. :)



post #2 of 4

quick question, what are you doing for sharpening?


otherwise, if your mom bakes frequently, I might suggest taking a look at the Mac Superior Bread Knife instead (or include it in the set)...the bakers in my family love it.

post #3 of 4
get a tojiro or mac bread knife and an artifex. she'll be very happy with that.
post #4 of 4

To expand a little on what Wubu wrote... 


Knives are all about sharpening.  No matter how good a knife you buy Mom it will dull within a few months, and will need sharpening, because any dull knife -- no matter how wonderful it was when it was sharp -- is a dull knife; and all dull knives are equal. 


So, figuring out which knife is partly a matter of matching it with however Mom will sharpen.


I think your best bet for a "versatile" knife is a 9-1/2" entry-level, high-end gyuto; either the Artfex 240mm, or the Fujiwara FKM.  The choice between the two is really one between aesthetics and style.  The Artifex is nicely made from a better alloy than the Fujiwara, but it's a simple knife without a bolster.  The Fujiwara has better cosmetics, and looks a little dressier.  Both knives are stainless, have good (French) profiles, fairly good F&F, and each is priced around $90. 


Properly sharpened, each knife is almost certainly far better than anything she's ever used before.  However, they are both relatively thin, light knives (which is partly why they cut so well) and shouldn't be used to split chickens or for other forms of knife abuse. 


Throw in an adequate sharpener like the Chef's Choice Model 316 Electric Sharpener, or the MinoSharp Plus3 (each around $80) and you're just under $200.  However, both of those sharpeners sharpen knives at 15*, which is appropriate for the Artifex and Fujiwara, but probably not the rest of Mom's knives... So, you and/or Mom might want to think about another sharpening option. 


Oh, and by the way, the MAC Superior bread knife (SB105) the other guys mentioned is as good as bread/cake knives get.  ~$90.  



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