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Chef's Knife recommendation

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Sorry, im reposting this thread here because it was in the wrong forum -

Hi there, I'm 24 and have no training so I am a complete amateur in the kitchen, but a keen home cook and always improving. I like to think that i enjoy cooking too much to want to be a chef - I worked in a restaurant briefly and it was horrible stressful work. i like to enjoy myself with some music, a glass of wine, and no deadline. Anyway, I have reached the stage where my generic kitchen knives aren't doing it for me, and I'm ready to invest in something decent. At first I was looking at maybe getting a 7 piece block set of shun knives or something similar, but I couldn't justify spending $600, especially when 3 of those knives I would rarely use if ever.

Now I am thinking of investing in just a decent Chefs knife, and building up from there. After looking at several different high end knives in person, I would like to go Japanese, but would like something durable enough to use on some more heavy duty tasks - as much of an all rounder as possible. I would like to find something that looks and feels special every time I use it - that I will look forward to using every time I cook, and that will last me many long years. I am delicate in the kitchen, so i don't mind something that needs extra maintenance/cleaning. my budget is $150-350, and i am thinking of the Kasumi 88024, 10" or the shun premier chefs knife. As I have mentioned, I am not very experienced so you may need to explain things to me like an idiot, but if anyone has any suggestions for other knives that I should look at then i would be most appreciative.

 

In exchange for your help, I will share on this website the recipe for my own fantastic invention - the handheld Sheppard's pie, or as I like to call it, the "Sheppard's pie-scream cone".... i need a better name. suggestions for a better name are also welcome..... But it tastes amazing, and look how happy it makes people...

.*

post #2 of 5

hi,

3 ideas for you

1.  go to a store that has lots of knives from lots of makers that are not locked away and handle them all.  find the best feel and all that other fuzzy stuff that makes knife A better than knife b.

2.  take a look at this site, he is not selling anything, just has some good info and reviews on kitchen knives   http://zknives.com/knives/kitchen/ktknv/indexall.shtml

3.  once you find that magic someknife, write down maker, model# ... and go on line to find the best price.

I like cleavers for any kitchen job too big for a paring knife.  I have a vegetable cleaver and an old hickory for stuff with bones, frozen foods, kindling for the fire.....

scott

post #3 of 5

Just to help with the suggestions, what exactly do you mean that your generic knives "aren't doing it for you"? not visually sexy enough (are looks important)? won't go through butter (as in dull)? makes you feel like you are using a hammer (too heavy/tiring)? A Victorinox Forschner 8" Chef is *decent* for the price ($25).

 

Do you have a sharpening system already? Knives are only good when sharp. Even the best knives need sharpening. So you'll need to budget for that too. Does that change your budget allocated to knives?

- Do you want to learn how to sharpen (free hand on stones or on a jig like EdgePro)? Or do you rather have something else sharpen for you (a pull-through minosharp3 or a electric Chef Choice sharpener)? Or have a friend that does a good job making razor sharp edges? Would you be happy with *adequate* edges?

- Also depending on the knives you finally decide on, you might want to consider getting a honing steel to maintain the edge on your knife between sharpening sessions.

 

All-rounders are nice, but sometimes having specialists are nice too. You might want to consider getting a good japanese gyuto for most jobs, and get a cheap knife you can abuse (butcher knife from Old Hickory ~$10 or a breaking/cimeter from Victorinox) for heavier stuff, and a cheap paring knife. I bake quite a bit, so I also like having my bread knife around (Mac Superior 10.5" for ~$90 though you can settle for Victorinox 10" bread ~$30). And then build your collection of 50 knives over the next few years. :p

 

here's one guy's experience to getting into Japanese made knives http://www.cheftalk.com/t/63213/tojiro-dp-f-809-240mm-gyuto-a-good-budget-entry-level-intro-to-japanese-knives

and I like this one if you do a lot of meat: http://www.cheftalk.com/t/59981/butcher-knives-how-to-choose-how-to-use

and this might be a good read too: http://www.cheftalk.com/t/46780/new-culinary-student-looking-for-a-set-of-knives-to-last-a-life-time

and because you mentioned kasumi (and I'm enjoying the cut and paste): http://www.cheftalk.com/t/51264/culinary-student-looking-for-upgrades

 

and because I used to watch Yan Can Cook when I was young, how about a Chinese style vegetable cleaver? :p

 

and some other stuff:

http://www.cookfoodgood.com/?p=190

post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

thanks for the responses :)
 

there is a nice little chef supply store near me, but they have a very small line of knives and unfortunately none of the ones i have been considering. this did help me to appreciate the difference between german and japanese knives though.

 

when i say my knives arnt doing it for me i just mean that they generally feel cheap and have never cut very well... they are uncomfortable to handle and are just quite frustrating to use, I will be needing to get a water stone for sharpening and have sharpened knives before, though i was planning on figuring out what stone to get after i make a decision on the knife.

to elaborate on what i am looking for i would say that looks may well play a part in my decision - i dont mind spending an extra $20 on a knife that looks "sexier", but my priority is definitely practicality in terms of quality, strength, and sharpness. weight is not an issue, at least in terms of fatigue - as i am only cooking from home, and being used to western knives i think i would be more comfortable with a blade that is at least somewhat substantial. i typically chop mostly vegetables and soft meats - i have recently moved from nashville to the east coast and so i am excited to have access to good fish again, which did play a part in my decision to go with a japanese knife. ultimately i would like to also get a solid german chefs knife, a pairing knife, a cleaver and a good bread knife, but for now im just looking for a go to.

 

thanks for the links - they were a big help and i have a lot to think about :)

post #5 of 5

Here's another one:

http://www.cheftalk.com/t/67565/ready-for-an-upgrade

 

and just to be sure, since you say your current knives are uncomfortable to handle...are you using a proper grip?

see: http://www.cookfoodgood.com/?p=389

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