Hello! I signed up solely to ask some of you experienced and knowledgeable cooks about your recommendations for knives used in general home cooking. (I have absolutely no knowledge in cooking or cutlery, so please bear with me. I'll try and give as much useful information as I can)
My boyfriend said he was looking for new knives, and I wanted to get him a few nice ones for the holidays. I was thinking of knives suited to general, common tasks so as to get the most use out of them. I've tried researching the subject, and from what I can tell a chef's knife and a paring knife would be ideal (correct me if I'm wrong).
I'd prefer to spend roughly $50 on the chef's knife (or whatever type for a larger, often-used knife) and it seems a good paring knife would be around $30. If you'd like to suggest a cheaper but still quality knife, by all means please go ahead! I'm open to any and all suggestions.
The knives would be used only in the home. Cooking is more of a hobby than a career pursuit. I've noticed that a lot of the cutting he does is on vegetables such as carrots, onions, celery, etc., but he also has a mandolin slicer that he uses for many of these.
I know the way I knife feels to the user is important, so it's unfortunate I can't test this aspect for myself. If it helps any when it comes to handle size/weight, his hands are a little bigger than mine (mine are small, about 6.5 inches from the tip of my middle finger to the base of my hand, so I'd guess his would be about 7 inches). A nice feature to have would be nice grip that doesn't slip when wet.
I read that high-carbon stainless steel is a good material, as well as white #2 or blue #2 carbon steel (at least in Japanese cutlery). I know the care for carbon steel is important to prevent rust. I believe that with proper knowledge (which he may or may not already have) he'd take the necessary steps to keep the knives in good shape. It'd be nice if it didn't require too advanced techniques for sharpening, though, as I'm unsure of whether he'd have the means or know-how of doing so.
When I asked him what kind of kitchen brands were good, he said he liked Pampered Chef. After reading not the best reviews of their chef's knife, however, I thought I'd ask about other brands. One reviewer suggested rh Forschner Fibrox instead, which has great reviews on amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Victorinox-Swiss-8-Inch-Fibrox-Straight/dp/B008M5U1C2/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1386042300&sr=8-5&keywords=rh+forschner+fibrox
However, I'd love to hear more suggestions or feedback. Please feel free to correct me or ask for clarification. In a nutshell, I'm looking for quality knives suited for general, home cooking that are roughly around $50. I'll appreciate any advice you have to offer. Thank you very much for your time and feedback!