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I need a chef's knife but don't have a lot to spend....

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

Hello and WOW  :eek:! The sheer amount of information here is amazing...

 

As such, I'm a bit lost  :confused:. I just need a good knife to start myself off. I get that nobody is really a fan of "sets" so I just want to know, with little to spend mind you, what do I need to look for in my search? Can anyone just give me the basics?

 

Thanks in advance!!  :thumb:

 

Susie

post #2 of 27

Start your research here:  http://www.cheftalk.com/products/category/chefs-knives

post #3 of 27

i just clicked that link out of curiosity and the first thing that popped up was a ryoba deba (double sided deba)... thats not even a chefs knife... its a fish knife.  Based on the majority of knives i see on there, you're probably better off asking a knife-geared forum like kitchenknifeforums.com or kitchenknifefora.com.  However, they have their downfalls too... they will likely recommend only or mostly japanese kitchen knives or custom makers.  Temper that info with a bit of what you have here, and you should have a pretty good view on where you stand and what likely makes sense.

post #4 of 27
How much are you trying to spend? Is this for your home?
post #5 of 27
Thread Starter 

Grande,

 

Yes. It is for my home. I'd like to spend less than $50. Not sure if that's possible.

post #6 of 27

forschner/victorinox always works in that range (under $50 for sure... closer to $30)

post #7 of 27
Thread Starter 

I actually just looked at this one....

 

http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/product/victorinox-swiss-army-classic-8-inch-granton-edge-chef-39-s-knife/1040113227?categoryId=12829

 

It has good reviews from what I saw around... Any thoughts?

post #8 of 27

Victorinox are inexpensive and good bang for the buck. I see them a lot and even if exceptionally dull they come back easily.

 

You will need a steel to maintain any Forschners and you cannot beat the clearance deal at Cutlery and More right now..

 

http://www.cutleryandmore.com/victorinox-forschner/honing-steel-wood-handle-p129587

 

Jim

post #9 of 27

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Edited by tweakz - 10/27/14 at 10:33am
post #10 of 27

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Edited by tweakz - 10/27/14 at 10:34am
post #11 of 27

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Edited by tweakz - 10/27/14 at 10:31am
post #12 of 27
Forget these kullens. They are not very effective, reduce considerably the blade's life span, make good thinning impossible and above all, are ugly.
post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by tweakz View Post
 

Wanted to comment before about the Granton edge on the Victorinox as it seems it wouldn't be very effective or at least worth $20+ more for it. Here's what I would consider a proper Granton edge: http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/MISONO2.html#Misono

There is only one proper Granton edge and that is the ones on a true Granton knife.

 

http://www.granton-knives.co.uk/granton_edge_knives.html

 

FWIW I agree with Benuser that for the most part they are a pointless waste. The only ones that are really effective are true Grantons and massive scallops like Glestain does.

 

The skinny ones like that Victorinox have just collect grunge. I pull lots of muck out of kullens and the thinner they are the worse it gets.

 

Jim

post #14 of 27

+1 Benuser. Unuseful and ugly.

Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
Reply
post #15 of 27

I'm surprised the knowledgeable guys here haven't mentioned it yet but ordinary steels just ruin your edge, an Idahone would be the way to go here.  But before that, how do you think you want to go in the way of sharpening?

 

If you are thinking of a pull-thru, a decent one will cost you about twice that of the knife.  A combination waterstone can be had for around $50.  Then a cheap India combination for as little as $10, though spending 20-30 on a decent India or Crystolon would be well worth it.

 

Rick

post #16 of 27

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Edited by tweakz - 10/27/14 at 10:32am
post #17 of 27
The honing rod costs steel by fatiguing it, but you only see it later, when stone sharpening again. Far more has to got removed after steeling. The fatigued steel won't take an edge.
Edited by Benuser - 6/7/14 at 6:42am
post #18 of 27

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Edited by tweakz - 10/27/14 at 10:32am
post #19 of 27
Better make a few edge trailing (stropping) strokes on a 2k.
post #20 of 27

It takes very little pressure to realign an edge.  The tiny contact surface of a grooved steel digs right in and tears up, turning your knife into a hacksaw, as well as excessively fatiguing the edge.  I recall reading about this over 30yr ago by an individual who did considerable research in the area, BDL mentioned his name in a post but I forget it now, so this is nothing new.  Yet a sweet mystery of life is that knife companies keep making and selling them and culinary schools keep encouraging their use.

 

A leather strop does the best job of realigning, but a fine ceramic hone is far better than a conventional steel.  And as the blade dulls a few extra strokes will also provide some fine-stone sharpening.

 

For steeling I use an Arkansas stone on which I've rounded one edge.  My knives are of relatively soft steel yet my go-to knife, a mere Ikon 9" slicer, only sees the waterstones maybe 3 times a year in ordinary home use, and is still nearly hair-whittling sharp at those times, such that many folks wouldn't even bother yet with sharpening.

 

Rick

post #21 of 27

While I don't disagree that using a fine stone or a strop is better you have to look at where honing rods come in. The place they rule is meat processing.

 

You cannot take a blood covered blade to a stone or strop. Meat cutters don't have time to clean sanitize and sharpen a blade, so they have fine steel and use it often.

 

Once cleaned the blade can go to a stone but during a shift there isn't time for that and a honing rod is perfect. It can be cleaned of gunk where other items contaminated with raw proteins would be ruined. A t least an oilstone you could boil and scrub but that is a project by itself.

 

Draw that scenario out into any kitchen prep a honing rod is a quick form of maintenance regardless of the situation. As Rick said it takes very little pressure and many folks overdo it.

 

They have their place but like any tool it can be used to fix or damage the intended target.

 

Jim

post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by KnifeSavers View Post
 

While I don't disagree that using a fine stone or a strop is better you have to look at where honing rods come in. The place they rule is meat processing.

 

You cannot take a blood covered blade to a stone or strop. Meat cutters don't have time to clean sanitize and sharpen a blade, so they have fine steel and use it often.

 

Jim

 

Yes, and this is why there is what at least one company calls a called a "packer's steel," a polished steel rod free of any grooves.  Some who find their knives need a little in the way of sharpening action during a shift will rough up the surface with fine sandpaper, typically 220-600 grit, creating much the same effect as a ceramic hone.  But the ceramic hone still works better.


Edited by Rick Alan - 6/10/14 at 12:53pm
post #23 of 27

This is a great deal for a sharpening stone on Amazon, I hear it is recommended by professionals who use knives like Dexters and Forscheners:

http://www.amazon.com/Winco-12-Inch-Grain-Sharpening-Medium/dp/B0016J5OFU/ref=pd_sim_sbs_k_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=0MM36QSAE75TP33JKSF8

 

It's a nice big 12" silicon carbide stone, much faster cutter than the typical fused aluminum oxide stones you see for the same money.  $11'n change, I never knew you could get them this cheap, free shipping if you can get your total up to $35 and Amazon carries several different ceramic steels, I believe the cheaper Kyocera has a smooth and course side, if this is the case it will be fine.

 

The SC stones don't compare to waterstones but really do work very nicely, I have a tiny 1x3" SC stone that touches up my machete in no time. The cheapest combination waterstone is going to run you about $50 in comparison.

 

I'd say this and the ceramic steel, which can also be used to add some refinement to the edge the SC stone leaves behind, is a very good low-low-bucks sharpening setup.

 

Rick


Edited by Rick Alan - 6/14/14 at 11:04am
post #24 of 27

I hope your search goes well!

 

Every once in a while on a visit to a restaurant supply store, I noticed that there were sales on big basic quality chef knives for as little as $5! These are the knives we tend to buy to supply the kitchen and we will not fret if a cook loses or walks away with it.  They tend to be heavy but they usually have a decent textured grip.  It's a commercial quality knife and is usually stainless steel.

 

I know that you may be tempted to spend a whack on a great knife, but, I recommend you consider a basic 'bulk' knife.

 

If you want to learn how to care for the great knife once you can afford it, you can use a bulk knife or a few bulk knives to build your skills.  At $5, you can learn how to manually sharpen,  or hone it properly and get your own cutting style down.  Then you can test the expensive knives when you are ready and find the right knife when you have the experience to choose. Also, a bulk knife is not attractive to thieving hands, should you share space with other cooks.

 

I have found that i love all the knives out there but only a few fit my hand and work with my hand (bare or gloved, dry or wet) at my preferred working pace.

 

Good Luck and have a great day!

post #25 of 27

I have culled down to  (7)  8" to 10" chef knives, and my absolute favorite for _me_, is my Wusthof "Le Cordon Bleu" granton edge chef's knife.  It is lighter weight, but enough heft to carry momentum, and nicely balanced for me, and light enough that I can prep veg. for 4 hours straight and not fatigue. I do notice a benefit from the granton edge, I have the exact same knife both with and without the scallops and I find "wet" fruit and veg. do not stick _as_much_ and I do not have to wipe/flick mellon, tomato, potato, etc. off the blade _as_much_ as I do with the non-granton blade.  It still happens especially with a marathon starchy potato prep session

The 8" Fibrox Chef's Knife is, as other have stated, a decent knife. I had one for a few days, I re-sold it because made my wrist hurt, but I'm old and have collected a few forearm and hand injuries along the way, the handle angle did not "work" for me.

My local restaurant depot type store has this "Lasting Cut" brand of knives that are very surprisingly acceptable.  I was asked to do a "knife safety and cutting skills" class for a group of folks at my church, so I picked up 4 each of the 8" chefs and 3.25" paring knives basically as a potentially "disposable" knife. Something that would be sharp out of the package, can be used for 2 hours, and along the way I could teach how to hone on a steel, and at the end of the class how to resharpen. Once they were done for the $3.34 for the paring knife and $11.47 for the 8" cooks knife, I could still afford to have my professional knife sharpening guy give them his "$5.00 loving special" to get them ready for the next group, or just throw them away.  If I get called to go help at an outdoor banquet or assist my friends who have a competitive BBQ team, these are the knives I take.

post #26 of 27
If you must be at the absolute bottom of the price arena then anything from the inexpensive commercial quality (read as cheap) wholesale brands to the Forschner already mentioned to many Mundial series are good options.

If you can add a few more $$$ you then open up your options to include some excellent quality entry level Japanese knives which over time may offer a higher overall value due to the superior steel, capabilities, and just how improved the experience and performance will be.

I went thru this a few years back myself, and include a link to my experience in my signature.

If your at all interested in making a big step up in everything for a small amount of money I would recommend it as required reading.

That ail said I fully understand budget restrictions and know even a $4 knife gets the job done even if it's not pretty etc

 

"love my country" but "fear my government"  Something is just wrong with this

 

 

 

Looking for info on entry level J-knives? Need help on finding the most bang for your buck? Hope you enjoy learning from the info here, I know I did!

http://www.cheftalk.com/t/63213/tojiro-dp-f-809-240mm-g...

Reply

 

"love my country" but "fear my government"  Something is just wrong with this

 

 

 

Looking for info on entry level J-knives? Need help on finding the most bang for your buck? Hope you enjoy learning from the info here, I know I did!

http://www.cheftalk.com/t/63213/tojiro-dp-f-809-240mm-g...

Reply
post #27 of 27
A cheap starter yet great knife is the tojiro do
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