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Pleb bachelor looking to round out the tool kit...

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I guess the big reason I'm making this post is my ex took her Victorinox Chef, Slicer, and Paring knives with her, and I'm feeling crippled in the kitchen, now.

 

I picked up a Victorinox Chinese Cleaver a few months ago to experiment with as a chef's knife. I'm actually somewhat disappointed that, as there's no trace of it on the Victorinox website, it seems they don't make it anymore. It's been a joy for vegetable prep, and it's served well enough for minor herb and boneless protein work. However, it feels like I'm wielding a claymore when trying small detail work, and I'm a tad wary of using it on bone-in meats.

 

What should I be looking for? I'm thinking a Petty and some kind of dedicated protein knife. I'm leaning toward another Slicer, but I'm open to suggestions if that's there's a better way to go (I mostly rotate between game hen, chicken, pork shoulder, and the occasional cut of beef).

 

Edit: My budget right now is up to $150 per knife. I don't mind waiting and spending more than that if it's for something that can hold up to daily use with maintenance on a set of stones. Actually, I'd almost prefer it. I grew up with crummy department store knives that would just get replaced ever two or three years.


Edited by riprock - 10/14/14 at 10:54pm
post #2 of 8

Oh just to look at the surface of philosophies here:  Dicing onions, slicing carrots and such a chefs of course, but I use a 9" slicer for most everything that is soft and doesn't hurt overly for the length or width, which is most of what my prep consists of.  The slicer is also very good for cutting in hand, which I don't generally recommend for others but is what I very often prefer to do.  For stuff that can be hard on an edge I have an old 8" butcher knife.  A 6" petty works for most everything else.  A couple parers very thin at the edge are useful to have.  I don't have much use for a bread knife but some folks feel they're essential.

 

Put you dough into the slicer and/or chefs because you very possibly won't be happy with that CC once you experience a good edge.  Vics or no-name restaurant stuff sound as though they may do you for everything else.  But maybe you'd want a good petty also, I'm thinking about something with better edge retention there myself.  And I think you'd love a ceramic steel for touch ups.

 

Stainless or will carbon do also?  Does the handle/handle-type matter much?  You want a nice flat spot on the chefs or some belly, or either way?

 

 

Rick

post #3 of 8

This is just some comments about the Victorinox Chinese Cleaver.

 

The model number I am finding is 40090 (for the wood handled version).  It's mostly sold under the Forschner brand name and is listed (by Cutlery & More) as made in Portugal (very possibly by Icel).  Steel type is listed as high carbon, but the specific grade and type are not specified.

 

I wouldn't be surprised if distribution is being discontinued by Victorinox.

 

 

 

Galley Swiller

post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Alan View Post
 

Oh just to look at the surface of philosophies here:  Dicing onions, slicing carrots and such a chefs of course, but I use a 9" slicer for most everything that is soft and doesn't hurt overly for the length or width, which is most of what my prep consists of.  The slicer is also very good for cutting in hand, which I don't generally recommend for others but is what I very often prefer to do.  For stuff that can be hard on an edge I have an old 8" butcher knife.  A 6" petty works for most everything else.  A couple parers very thin at the edge are useful to have.  I don't have much use for a bread knife but some folks feel they're essential.

 

Put you dough into the slicer and/or chefs because you very possibly won't be happy with that CC once you experience a good edge.  Vics or no-name restaurant stuff sound as though they may do you for everything else.  But maybe you'd want a good petty also, I'm thinking about something with better edge retention there myself.  And I think you'd love a ceramic steel for touch ups.

 

Stainless or will carbon do also?  Does the handle/handle-type matter much?  You want a nice flat spot on the chefs or some belly, or either way?

 

 

Rick

 

 

I can see why a lot of people wouldn't need a bread knife. Before I got mine, I just used the chef's. I prefer to keep my tool count small, but because of that, I don't mind spending some coin if it means a better tool. I'm curious to make the jump to carbon, but I'm not sure my funding is there quite yet. I'd prefer a western handle, and I have no preference either way on belly. If it's a knife that lasts, I'll get used to it.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Galley Swiller View Post
 

This is just some comments about the Victorinox Chinese Cleaver.

 

The model number I am finding is 40090 (for the wood handled version).  It's mostly sold under the Forschner brand name and is listed (by Cutlery & More) as made in Portugal (very possibly by Icel).  Steel type is listed as high carbon, but the specific grade and type are not specified.

 

I wouldn't be surprised if distribution is being discontinued by Victorinox.

 

 

 

Galley Swiller

 

Yeah, mine is the 40090. I haven't been able to find what kind of steel it is. It takes an edge alright, but the weight almost makes that irrelevant.

post #5 of 8

Mac Superior SB-105 bread knife is an all around wonderful knife in the kitchen.  It ain't just for bread - I use it for slicing meats sometimes, melon, pineapple, sometimes squash, oh and bread. 

post #6 of 8

Carbon knives are not more expensive, but they do require more care.  A couple of knives recommended around here and well within your budget (<$100) are the Richmond Artisan and Fujiwara fkh and fkm lines, both have stainless and carbon versions.  The Fujiwara are better detailed and thinner at the edge I believe, the Richmonds have better steel.  It's probably not a bad idea to start with the thicker edge Richmonds and eventually send it out for thinning when you're no longer driving it into the board.

 

Other folks here have first hand experience with a lot of other knives moving up from here so I'll let them chime in.  Quick look here shows a Blue#2 Gyuto cheap though: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/closeouts.html  Lots of nice knives in your price range on this site also.

 

 

Rick

post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

Both the Fujiwara FKH and that Kohetsu Blue #2 look tempting. It isn't what I started the thread for, but going back to a more conventional chef's knife has crossed my mind. Does carbon steel behave much different on the stone? I'm using Arkansas stuff right now (a soft/hard combo and a surgical black).

post #8 of 8

You certainly can stick to the cleavers, there are decent ones in the $125-150 range, some of the cheap Chinese carbon ones aren't bad from what I hear.  Along with a 240 slicer you have a formidable duo.

 

As far as stones I have what I believe is a soft fine Ark that I use for finishing, I'd say it is equivalent to 12K waterstones in finish.  I can finish VG10 and ordinary carbon steels with this, but you have to be careful with knives 60 RC+.  Any imperfections at the edges of the stone will cause damage.  I rounded the edges of mine to take care of this, and I use very light pressure also, as you should anyways.  Mostly I use the Ark dry, never use oil, but I will wet it for the first passes I do on soft stainless knives to prevent clogging.

 

Waterstones are better for the harder steels, and better all around as they cut much faster. You should at least pick up something like a 1/6k combi or the 5 piece set sold by CKTG.

 

 

Rick

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