I'm a carbon steel guy and as a result have never been that interested in the current German knives. If you search "the bay" though, you run across older carbon steel Wustofs, Henckels, Dicks, etc. When did they stop making these? and how does the steel compare to Sabatiers?
Carbon knives, when did the Germans turn their backs on carbon?
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Actually Benuser, it's not so much that I was interested in German steel per se. I was interested in adding to my knife collection and noticed older carbon steel Henkels and Wusthofs show up on ebay from time to time. They seem to fall through the cracks price-wise because, I suspect, people aren't looking for carbon knives from these makers. I was wondering how long it has been since these things were common place and why people seem to have forgotten them.
Of the three knives you mentioned, I have a Herder paring knife. It's not bad, but nowhere near as useful as my Misono Swedish carbon parer. I don't know a lot about the stainless Sabatiers, though BDL says they're about equal to the German stainless (not a good thing in my opinion). On the other hand, I have several carbon Sabatiers in my collection, including K-Sabatier. I love them for the ergonomics and the edge they take. I wish they were thinner like my Misonos and I wish the steel were a bit harder, but all in all, they're good knives. They feel good in the hand. They do take a nice edge, even if they require frequent steeling and the price, even for new ones is pretty reasonable.