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quality bang-for-buck knife set for home use

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hey all,

 

Happy to have come across this forum - the advice seems of very high quality and people are very helpful so I'd love to burrow your expertise once more.

 

At the moment I am using a generic set so even a quality entry level set will be a big step up however I am interested in a sharp, long lasting quality set - value is really what I am after. I don't have a fixed price range and will gladly listen to any advice seeing that people here are not quick to throw money away and appreciate value.

 

I am currently after a decent quality, bang-for-buck knife set but as part of my cooking I regularly work with fish so a nice, long filleting knife is something I will most definitely need. Seeing that many knife sets do not come with a filleting knife I am looking for some recommendations as far as either certain quality knife sets that cater for people working with fish or perhaps a decent knife set and an additional of a separate quality filleting knife.

 

 

Either way I am after some product names and/or general strategy recommendations as to how best to approach this.

 

Your advice is tremendously appreciated in advance,

 

Jason.


Edited by jas0n1 - 4/28/14 at 6:33am
post #2 of 17
Sets offer a great number of knives you never use but pay for, a much too short chef's knife and a mediocre steeling rod.
All you really need are a chef's knife of a decent size (>9"), a peeler, a bread knife perhaps and a filet knife in your case.
Flexible filet knives are a Western development. Japanese have other technique and blades for it.
If you're fine with carbon steel you may consider this K-Sabatier:
http://www.sabatier-k.com/couteaux-de-cuisine_15_vintage---au-carbone_filet-de-sole-15-cm__carbfso15pol.html
The chef's knives in that same series are amongst the best you may get.
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 

Really appreciate your reply and I am in full agreement - I am a little unsure however without purchasing a set with a block etc, how do I take good care and maintain these individual knives? seems as money come without their own sheath.

 

Also the recommendation is much appreciated and is taken into account.

 

Cheers.

post #4 of 17

German knives and cheap Chinese knives are often offered in discounted sets from big retailers, but if you want to move up in quality from that, you're better off buying the knives individually, and such knives generally don't come in sets anyway. Most people find they do well with just a handful of knives. Most important is the general kitchen knife- usually a chef's knife (the Japanese borrowed this style knife from the west, made it with harder steel, and call it a "gyuto"), but this could be a Chinese or Chinese-style slicer-cleaver or santoku. Then, a shorter knife or two (a petty is around 150mm long, paring knives a bit shorter than that for in-hand use), maybe a slicer (for meat), a bread knife, maybe something for heavy duty use, and then whatever special-use knives you might need... in your case, a fillet knife. The core set is "big knife, little knife, and something to keep them sharp" with that last item being at least as important as anything else.

 

Fujiwara makes some nice knives. I have one of their petty knives in stainless, the FKM, but I've heard good things about their gyuto, too.

http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/FKMSeries.html

 

Bang for buck might be to get the Fujiwara FKM gyuto and 150mm petty, and then the fillet knife, bread knife and paring knife from your local kitchen supply house, but without more specific info from you (carbon or stainless? interested in Japanese handles? budget? how much time are you willing to spend to learn to sharpen, if any? etc.) that's just a pretty generic recommendation...

post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 

Sure. Really all I am after is a general purpose knife, a knife that will make vegetable chopping a breeze and a filleting knife - if these tasks can be reliably achieved over a long period of time on a budget of up to $250 it will make me very happy. 

 

As far as the kind of steel and the rest of the technicalities I am really not fussy here - I am after the best tools for the job within a $250 budget (hopefully) that will be easy to maintain and sharpen  with cheap sharpening stone (or any other options as long as it fits in budget) which I am happy to do each and every time I am about to use the knife.

 

 

 

Jason.

post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by jas0n1 View Post
 

Sure. Really all I am after is a general purpose knife, a knife that will make vegetable chopping a breeze and a filleting knife - if these tasks can be reliably achieved over a long period of time on a budget of up to $250 it will make me very happy. 

 

As far as the kind of steel and the rest of the technicalities I am really not fussy here - I am after the best tools for the job within a $250 budget (hopefully) that will be easy to maintain and sharpen  with cheap sharpening stone (or any other options as long as it fits in budget) which I am happy to do each and every time I am about to use the knife.

 

 

 

Jason.

If you're willing to try out Japanese style knives, I'd suggest a mioroshi deba.

post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fritz MacKrieg View Post
 

If you're willing to try out Japanese style knives, I'd suggest a mioroshi deba.

I would actually suggest highly AGAINST a mioroshi deba. Debas in general are purpose made knives, intended to break down whole fish. A mioroshi deba is one whose purpose is to combine a deba and yanagiba. You will find that Debas of any sort will have a much thicker spine, which is NOT what you are looking for when cutting harder taller veg.

 

For a japanese knife, Instead, look for a Gyuto. These are the most comparable knives to the western chef knife.

 

Mowgs

post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by MowgFace View Post
 

I would actually suggest highly AGAINST a mioroshi deba. Debas in general are purpose made knives, intended to break down whole fish. A mioroshi deba is one whose purpose is to combine a deba and yanagiba. You will find that Debas of any sort will have a much thicker spine, which is NOT what you are looking for when cutting harder taller veg.

 

For a japanese knife, Instead, look for a Gyuto. These are the most comparable knives to the western chef knife.

 

Mowgs

The OP wanted a filleting knife and debas are made for this. I was not addressing a concern for a multitasker. Vis: " I regularly work with fish so a nice, long filleting knife is something I will most definitely need. "

post #9 of 17

I am with  @Benuser in this one. If you are not choosing for japanese knives from the begining, I believe a K Sabatier is an excellent option for you.

However, if you are looking for Japanese, Fujiwara FKM (as @DenverVeggieNut said) is really good option. It is comfortable, with good performance and low price.

 

What you should have in mind is tha you only need:

1 Chef's knife (24mm, bout for homecook 21mm orks okay), called Gyuto for Japanese knives.

1 paring knife

 

For more specialized tasks (Remember these are not mandatory as the two knives above cover over 80% the demands you’ll have):

Filleting knive (as you requested). If you don´t need much blade flexibility a slicer (or Sujihiki) is an option.

Boning knife

Bread knife (for homecook, keep you generic bread knife, it will work)

 

You will also need a sharpening stone. Just buy a combo (1k/6k) from king, imanish or any other. Or even a good handheld sharpener.

 

I just tried to play simple with you. 

post #10 of 17

I'm really enjoys victorianox knifes I use them for work I have my knife full off all types of them.  All well priced

post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 

So just to simplify:

 

If I look at the following site as recommended:

 

http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/FKMSeries.html

 

Can I go for the gyuto as a chef's/general purpose knife (inc. veg cutting) and the deba for the filleting? If so could you possibly recommend some sizes that most people are typically comfortable with?

 

 

Thank you everyone!

 

Jason.

post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by jas0n1 View Post

 

So just to simplify:


 

If I look at the following site as recommended:


 

http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/FKMSeries.html


 

Can I go for the gyuto as a chef's/general purpose knife (inc. veg cutting) and the deba for the filleting? If so could you possibly recommend some sizes that most people are typically comfortable with?


 


 

Thank you everyone!


 

Jason.


Jason- Yep, that would likely be a good way to go. I can't speak to the deba for filleting fish, but the gyuto is a good all-purpose knife. Popular lengths are 240mm and 210mm.

 

And then for sharpening, you could get either a King combination waterstone for $45.50:

http://www.amazon.com/King-Combination-Waterstone-1000-6000/dp/B0037MCLLO/ref=sr_1_6

or a medium-grit 1200 stone for $28

http://www.amazon.com/King-Deluxe-Medium-Grain-Sharpening/dp/B0016VE6D4/ref=sr_1_10

 

With a little practice, waterstones are a great way to sharpen kitchen knifes. For most people, the edge they get on a new knife is as sharp as it is ever going to be, but when you get decent at sharpening, that's just a starting point and it gets sharper from there. And you don't have to rely on somene else or some gizmo for your sharpening.

 

Here's a good series of videos on one way to go about it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKeSRDMRpY0&list=PLEBF55079F53216AB

 

The one thing is that waterstones wear away a bit as  you use them. You're always exposing new sharpening surface (that's a good thing) but it does mean that they tend to dish a bit over time and be not quite so flat. So, you need some way of flattening a waterstone. The cheap way is to get dryway screen from your local hardware store. Post #9 here explains:

http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php/3830-Sharpening-Start?highlight=king+combination

 

Looks like with the gyuto, deba (if appropriate) and a combo stone and drywall screen, you're still under your $250 budget, and you'll have a quite nice knife and a good way to sharpen it yourself.

Hope this helps!

post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DenverVeggieNut View Post
 


Jason- Yep, that would likely be a good way to go. I can't speak to the deba for filleting fish, but the gyuto is a good all-purpose knife. Popular lengths are 240mm and 210mm.

 

And then for sharpening, you could get either a King combination waterstone for $45.50:

http://www.amazon.com/King-Combination-Waterstone-1000-6000/dp/B0037MCLLO/ref=sr_1_6

or a medium-grit 1200 stone for $28

http://www.amazon.com/King-Deluxe-Medium-Grain-Sharpening/dp/B0016VE6D4/ref=sr_1_10

 

With a little practice, waterstones are a great way to sharpen kitchen knifes. For most people, the edge they get on a new knife is as sharp as it is ever going to be, but when you get decent at sharpening, that's just a starting point and it gets sharper from there. And you don't have to rely on somene else or some gizmo for your sharpening.

 

Here's a good series of videos on one way to go about it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKeSRDMRpY0&list=PLEBF55079F53216AB

 

The one thing is that waterstones wear away a bit as  you use them. You're always exposing new sharpening surface (that's a good thing) but it does mean that they tend to dish a bit over time and be not quite so flat. So, you need some way of flattening a waterstone. The cheap way is to get dryway screen from your local hardware store. Post #9 here explains:

http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php/3830-Sharpening-Start?highlight=king+combination

 

Looks like with the gyuto, deba (if appropriate) and a combo stone and drywall screen, you're still under your $250 budget, and you'll have a quite nice knife and a good way to sharpen it yourself.

Hope this helps!

Excellent - thank you so much for that great advice.

 

Really quickly regarding vegetable cutting - will the gyuto do the trick or should I look into an additiona, separate knife?

 

Cheers!

 

Jason.

post #14 of 17

Jason,

The Gyuto is indeed an all purpose knife. It is actually the most important in the set.

I am not an expert on Debas, but what I do know is that they are not an filleting specialized knives. They are intended to breakdown fishes but as they are heavy duty knives (you can check that by their spine width, comparing to a gyuto, for instance), delicate precision tasks are not their strength. Another thing is that the Debas are traditional single bevel knives; the western Debas (as the FKM) are just a thick gyuto. Filleting knives are usually thinner with some flexibility.

 

Here some numbers for you to compare:

Filleting: measures from Richmond Artiflex Fillet

  • weight: 4.8oz
  • total blade length to the heel (including the curve): 225mm
  • total length: 350mm
  • spine thickness at base: 1.85mm
  • blade depth at base: 15.93mm

 

 

 

Deba: measures of a Tojiro Shirogami 180mm

  • Weight: 10.8 ounces
  • Blade Length: 190 mm (7.375")
  • Overall Length: 330 mm (13")
  • Thickness at Heel: 7.1 mm
  • Blade Height: 56.5 mm

 

 

Western Deba (double Bevel):Tojiro DP 215mm

  • Weight: 11.4oz
  • Blade length: 215mm
  • Overall length: 340mm
  • Spine thickness at heel: 3.7mm

 

 

Gyuto/Chef’s knife: From Fujiwara FKM 240mm

  • Weight: 7.6 ounces
  • Blade Length: 240 mm (9.5")
  • Overall Length: 370 mm (14.5")
  • Thickness at Heel: 2.2 mm

 

 

 

 I actually use a 150mm Misono Swedish petty for that task, but I don’t do that intensively. For slicing, on the other hand, I use a 270mm Konosuke HH Sujihiki.

 

Are you concerned on building your set of the same brand/model? If you don´t you could get an more specialized filleting knife, even an western model.

post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by jas0n1 View Post

 

Excellent - thank you so much for that great advice.


 

Really quickly regarding vegetable cutting - will the gyuto do the trick or should I look into an additiona, separate knife?


 

Cheers!


 

Jason.


A gyuto is all you need for veggies.

post #16 of 17

I'll second the opinion on Victorinox.

 

These are inexpensive knives, but not cheap. 

 

The quality is there, which is why I feel they are "Best bang for the buck". 

 

They are workhorses, and I have several which I use on a daily basis for well over 20 years now.

 

I have bought them and given them to my close relatives--they get abused horribly, tossed down garbauretors, used as bottle openers, and every time I get invited over for dinner I bring my sharpening stuff over and put a new edge on them.  

 

Best bang for the buck in my opinion..... 

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post #17 of 17
I do like the Victorinox a lot, but not their chef's knife's profile. High tip, fat belly. Have a Fujiwara FKH -- carbon -- or FKM instead, or a carbon K-Sabatier.
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