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Favorite Knife Brands?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I know, a completely loaded question! I'm starting to build my collection and next up is a good quality honing steel. But I also plan to collect some new knifes(pairing, and another chefs) in the very-near future.

Because there is such a large community here I figured that it is a good place to get opinions! I know of brands such as Wustof, Tojiro, global, shun, and others. But if you had to pick you're favorite, what would it be?

I look forward to you're answers!

My collection right now includes:
Vintage 10" Sabatier 'Chef Au Ritz'
No name 10" Chefs
Hoffritz Samon Knife
Kuhn Rikon 4" Pairing Knife
No Name 10" Steel Hone
post #2 of 21

  I'm looking forward to some answers on this thread as I've been window shopping around for a while now. I'm the type that likes everything to be the same brand, series, edition (Thanks Paris Island); which I'd like to break when considering building a work roll. Still... knowing some more information on preferred brands and series would be nice if I can't break the OCD and buy a set, rather than (Possibly better) mix matched tools.  

post #3 of 21

My own personal reaction is to match the knife (knives) to the use(s).  A person who cooks only occasionally probably does not need much, while a line cook needs at least a significant chef's knife for his/her primary tool.  That's why knowing what a cook will be preparing and in what quantities is important.

 

I would also give just as much (or more) importance to having sharpening gear and sharpening skills as part of the "set". And that's not part of what people may see on your countertop or in your knife roll.  Also, knowing what type of cutting surface a cook is using should be a major contributing factor.

 

Also, what a user's budget is will determine what gets discussed.

 

Those are all considerations on why matching all of the knives by brand or line isn't usually the way many of us would recommend setting up a proper working set.

 

Masonrk, that "Chef au Ritz knife, if it's a chef's knife in good shape, would be the type of blade that can be a joy to use and a real workhorse.   I have a number of the "Chef au Ritz" blades and can attest to their quality.  I'm glad you not only listed your steel hone, but now want to replace it - my recommendation is to replace it with a 12 inch fine grit Idahone ceramic hone.  There are some here who don't see hones as good, but for an old-style carbon steel Sabatier like a Chef au Ritz (made by Veritable Knives), a good hone properly used will significantly increase the amount of time between sharpening sessions.

 

Read Boar D. Laze here about proper honing techniques:  http://www.cookfoodgood.com/?p=551

 

NewOrleansCook J, hopefully, you won't find yourself having to buy a set.  Getting it piece by piece as needed, with each item bought with an intent will work much better.

 

Galley Swiller

post #4 of 21

mac chef series for what i would consider budget.

 

itinomonn's v2 knives for higher end is quite nice and a nice value but have a reactive edge.

post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galley Swiller View Post

My own personal reaction is to match the knife (knives) to the use(s).  A person who cooks only occasionally probably does not need much, while a line cook needs at least a significant chef's knife for his/her primary tool.  That's why knowing what a cook will be preparing and in what quantities is important.

I would also give just as much (or more) importance to having sharpening gear and sharpening skills as part of the "set". And that's not part of what people may see on your countertop or in your knife roll.  Also, knowing what type of cutting surface a cook is using should be a major contributing factor.

Also, what a user's budget is will determine what gets discussed.

Those are all considerations on why matching all of the knives by brand or line isn't usually the way many of us would recommend setting up a proper working set.
 
Masonrk, that "Chef au Ritz knife, if it's a chef's knife in good shape, would be the type of blade that can be a joy to use and a real workhorse.   I have a number of the "Chef au Ritz" blades and can attest to their quality.  I'm glad you not only listed your steel hone, but now want to replace it - my recommendation is to replace it with a 12 inch fine grit Idahone ceramic hone.  There are some here who don't see hones as good, but for an old-style carbon steel Sabatier like a Chef au Ritz (made by Veritable Knives), a good hone properly used will significantly increase the amount of time between sharpening sessions.

Read Boar D. Laze here about proper honing techniques:  http://www.cookfoodgood.com/?p=551

NewOrleansCook J, hopefully, you won't find yourself having to buy a set.  Getting it piece by piece as needed, with each item bought with an intent will work much better.

Galley Swiller
Wow, lotta information in that one! As I am new to high carbon(and quality) knifes my sharpening skills are sub-par. I have a Wustof try stone that has a 240, 1000, and 3000 grit side, I've not gotten the edge that I want on it, I suppose I do need to practice more anyway! Plus, you need to dull it down too and you know what that means! Cooking time!

Also, out of curiosity, what is in you're knife roll?
post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atatax View Post
 

mac chef series for what i would consider budget.

 

itinomonn's v2 knives for higher end is quite nice and a nice value but have a reactive edge.


I've seen the itinomonn's, beautiful knifes! I am looking for high quality knifes so I can have a collection for home(and possible work(I have a thread in the professional chef area if you'd like to check it out)) use.

 

PS. What is a reactive edge?

post #7 of 21
The Itinomonn in question has a carbon steel core made from V2 steel, clad with a soft stainless steel. Reactive refers to that core steel you see exposed closer to the cutting edge. The reactivity is probably somewhat on par with what your Chef Au Ritz has, being a non-stainless knife. I haven't felt that the core steel on that knife is particularly reactive past what seems to be standard for those types of knives.
post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by foody518 View Post

The Itinomonn in question has a carbon steel core made from V2 steel, clad with a soft stainless steel. Reactive refers to that core steel you see exposed closer to the cutting edge. The reactivity is probably somewhat on par with what your Chef Au Ritz has, being a non-stainless knife. I haven't felt that the core steel on that knife is particularly reactive past what seems to be standard for those types of knives.


Ahhh, I see. Thank you for clearing that up!

 

Out of curiosity, in you're knife collection, which one is you're favorite?

post #9 of 21

I wanted to reply to this on a computer as to my phone :)

 

I've failed at getting myself to stop collecting knives, so I have a lot more than I need or would buy again. I'll list the knives I have that knowing what I know now through first hand experience/reading and learning about knives, I still would have purchased (good performance, great value, not project knives, not thick behind the edge)

 

Tanaka VG-10 nakiri - good cutter, light, fun to play with

Shibata Kotetsu bunka - I should have got the gyuto from this line...the bunka is great and fun but too short.

TI Nogent paring - just for the historical value, and I like the handle :)

Gesshin Uraku petty - does exactly what I need it to/bought it to do (be a smaller knife)

Tojiro DP gyuto - it's crazy to me that Tojiro and Cutco exist in the same universe with Cutco costing twice as much for a MUCH inferior knife. It's a good cutter at a great value. I take this with me sometimes when I am prepping food away from home because it's stainless and has an appropriately hygienic handle (I think, for the places that care about stuff like that and are leery of wooden handles). Holds up okay-ish on those really really hard poly boards (that have deep gouges in em, urgh)

Misono Sweden gyuto (the dragon knife!) - a looker for sure :) cuts fairly well, could be thinner I think. I haven't used and sharpened it enough to say more. Can't wait till I get some more patina on it though :) 

Moritaka AS gyuto - fun knife, rustic, the flatter blade profile was an interesting change. Edge retention is good. This was a gift but with the USD <-> Yen conversion rate where it was around the holidays last year I would have bought it myself

Ikazuchi AS gyuto - probably my thinnest gyuto. Great cutter, good handle, blade profile is just very useful feeling. Edge retention is good. Goes through dense veg like carrots with relative ease. The little flex it has is probably as much as I feel okay with in a gyuto (doesn't look like true lasers are in my near future)

Masakage Yuki gyuto - fun aesthetic, the wide bevel is not intimidating for future thinning/sharpening (this is starting to be a bigger consideration). Edge retention is pretty decent. There's virtually no flat spot on the blade, and I either still need to get used to the continuous curve of it, or I'm too short to hold this at the most useful angle (am short with a high counter and thick board, have the 270mm)

Itinomonn V2 gyuto - huge handle, makes me feel like a warrior holding it :D it is sooo delightfully thin behind the edge and really does its best to make cutting effortless. Much love for this knife

Suien VC cleaver - I gained a lot of love for this guy after needing to fine dice/mince vegetables for 3+ hours straight the other weekend. It gets very sharp and holds an edge well despite some harsh usage. The weight of the knife helps it keep cutting through foods even when the edge gets a bit worn

 

I liked that my Yuki and bunka came with what looks to be a waterstone sharpened edge bevel that could push cut tomatoes. It gave me something to aim for as a new sharpener and a better understanding what my bevels should generally look like.

 

Do-over - would not own any gyutos in the 8inch/210mm size. This coming from someone who was using a 6.5inch chefs knives a year ago. 240mm is a much more useful feeling length, and 270 feels fine too.

 

Edit - the Nogent


Edited by foody518 - 2/15/16 at 4:45pm
post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Masonrk View Post


Wow, lotta information in that one! As I am new to high carbon(and quality) knifes my sharpening skills are sub-par. I have a Wustof try stone that has a 240, 1000, and 3000 grit side, I've not gotten the edge that I want on it, I suppose I do need to practice more anyway! Plus, you need to dull it down too and you know what that means! Cooking time!

Also, out of curiosity, what is in you're knife roll?

By the way, if you are looking to at some point own Japanese knives, especially the harder steel ones, for sanity's sake you'll want to have some waterstones for sharpening. Oil stones seem to cut harder steels quite slowly, and when using oil as opposed to water as the lubricant or using it dry, even slower.

 

What is your current sharpening technique? Full sweeps? Sectioning? Are you using the sharpie/magic marker trick?

post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 

Wow. Just wow! You've got a great collection! I need to make some more money because I think that this hobby might become an obsession(Truly, I wouldn't mind)!

 

 

Do you sharpen with Waterstones as well? I am having trouble setting my bevels... I think I need more practice!

post #12 of 21
Properly sharpened the Misono Swedish Carbon should be a terrific performer.
post #13 of 21

@Benuser This I know :) but I got too many other things to play with shortly after getting that one. And I spent a while debating when I want work to keep it polished or let it patina. And then I read a bunch of worrisome stuff about asymmetry (I'm a lefty) which got me hesitant to use it. Got some very wise advice to freak out less and use the knives more and adjust if I was actually having steering issues though, which helped.

post #14 of 21

@Masonrk I held off on letting the obsession/collection truly kick off until after I started working. Man, money helps a lot. And I don't have much else I'm spending it on except for knife and stones geekery and food :bounce:

 

Yes to waterstones. As far as setting bevels goes, be really attentive during your whole sharpening process. Check your progress frequently. Use the sharpie trick. Get a burr on one whole side before switching to the other. And watch all of Jon's sharpening videos (Youtube - Japanese Knife Imports). If you're starting with knives that had some rough work done to them, it is certainly somewhat of a challenge for a new-ish sharpener to get clean looking bevels, but with enough time and trial and error you'll get much better :) 

post #15 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by foody518 View Post
 

@Masonrk I held off on letting the obsession/collection truly kick off until after I started working. Man, money helps a lot. And I don't have much else I'm spending it on except for knife and stones geekery and food :bounce:

 

Yes to waterstones. As far as setting bevels goes, be really attentive during your whole sharpening process. Check your progress frequently. Use the sharpie trick. Get a burr on one whole side before switching to the other. And watch all of Jon's sharpening videos (Youtube - Japanese Knife Imports). If you're starting with knives that had some rough work done to them, it is certainly somewhat of a challenge for a new-ish sharpener to get clean looking bevels, but with enough time and trial and error you'll get much better :) 


Good to know there is hope! :)

 

I'll make sure to check out youtube videos about it.

 

As for technique, I use a full sweep, heel to tip only. However I found out the 320 grit stone is pitted and I do not have a flattening stone...

post #16 of 21

Masonrk, as an at-home cook, I'm not disciplined enough to use or need a knife roll.  Instead, I have a number of storage boxes with knives upon knives.  I have double-stacked in one drawer two older style knife organizers.  I should get around to putting up a magnetic knife bar, but I don't yet see a space in my kitchen which would be appropriate.

 

My day-to-day chef's knife is a MAC BK-100, 10 inch Chef's series chef's knife.  I do have a MAC MBK-95 (the "Professional" series chef's knife) and a MAC SBK-95 (the MAC "Ultimate" series chef's knife), but it's the BK-100 which gets my attention these days.  I use a MAC SF-85 as a secondary chef's knife, though I think of it as a larger petty (210 mm length) which needs to be thinned behind the edge when I might get around to it.  Paring knives are whatever is first in the knife drawer (some cheap handled Zwilling Henckels and other riff-raff) and my bread/serrated knife is an ultra-cheap 10 inch fibrox handled Victorinox.

 

In my storage, I also have a number of other MAC knives, including a number of paring knives and pettys.  I don't have the MAC SB-105, which Boar D. Laze thought of as THE bread knife.  Mostly, I have them to try out and play with.  If there's one more MAC I might want to try, it would be the MAC SSL-130, which is MAC's ultra-thin, long (330 mm) ham and salmon slicer.  However, that's not being offered by Harold at MAC Knives USA, so it would have to be a special order.

 

I count myself lucky enough to have noticed when Hiromoto knives went out of production upon the retirement of Master Futoshi Nagao.  I have a 270mm Aogami Super gyuto, a 200 mm Aogami Super gyuto and a 275 mm SK-4 steel western deba  I also have a 240 mm CarboNext gyuto which has done nothing but get purchased and put on a shelf.

 

I have a number of antique knives, including Chef au Ritz carbon steel chef's knives in 200 mm, 225 mm and 250 mm lengthsd.  And there are other knives as well - too many for quick memory review and listing.

 

I think I have a compulsion.  Hey, I even have a Kiwi knife or two!

 

 

GS

post #17 of 21

@Galley Swiller There's an Ebay seller who makes fridge mounted (no screws, just fully magnetic) wooden mag bars for under 50 bucks! Fits 9 normal sized knives (not cleavers or chinese veg cleavers) a bit snugly. 

post #18 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galley Swiller View Post
 

Masonrk, as an at-home cook, I'm not disciplined enough to use or need a knife roll.  Instead, I have a number of storage boxes with knives upon knives.  I have double-stacked in one drawer two older style knife organizers.  I should get around to putting up a magnetic knife bar, but I don't yet see a space in my kitchen which would be appropriate.

 

My day-to-day chef's knife is a MAC BK-100, 10 inch Chef's series chef's knife.  I do have a MAC MBK-95 (the "Professional" series chef's knife) and a MAC SBK-95 (the MAC "Ultimate" series chef's knife), but it's the BK-100 which gets my attention these days.  I use a MAC SF-85 as a secondary chef's knife, though I think of it as a larger petty (210 mm length) which needs to be thinned behind the edge when I might get around to it.  Paring knives are whatever is first in the knife drawer (some cheap handled Zwilling Henckels and other riff-raff) and my bread/serrated knife is an ultra-cheap 10 inch fibrox handled Victorinox.

 

In my storage, I also have a number of other MAC knives, including a number of paring knives and pettys.  I don't have the MAC SB-105, which Boar D. Laze thought of as THE bread knife.  Mostly, I have them to try out and play with.  If there's one more MAC I might want to try, it would be the MAC SSL-130, which is MAC's ultra-thin, long (330 mm) ham and salmon slicer.  However, that's not being offered by Harold at MAC Knives USA, so it would have to be a special order.

 

I count myself lucky enough to have noticed when Hiromoto knives went out of production upon the retirement of Master Futoshi Nagao.  I have a 270mm Aogami Super gyuto, a 200 mm Aogami Super gyuto and a 275 mm SK-4 steel western deba  I also have a 240 mm CarboNext gyuto which has done nothing but get purchased and put on a shelf.

 

I have a number of antique knives, including Chef au Ritz carbon steel chef's knives in 200 mm, 225 mm and 250 mm lengthsd.  And there are other knives as well - too many for quick memory review and listing.

 

I think I have a compulsion.  Hey, I even have a Kiwi knife or two!

 

 

GS


Oh, Nice knifes! Reason why I said knife roll is because I own one, and I do not cook professionally(yet) for the sole purpose of keeping peoples hands off my good knifes! They can keep the Kitchen Aid chefs knifes with broken tips, just leave my blades alone for Christ sake! Only my hands us my knifes and I gladly and proudly say that! But when I live alone I will not have a roll either unless I am working!

 

I've herd a lot of people using Gyuto's, Japanese version of a chef's knife right? Any other differences or is that it?

 

PS. Compulsions are okay with me!

post #19 of 21

I have been fortunate to get wooden sayas or other decent blade sheaths for most of my knives which have been enough to scare away any visiting friends from exploring too much without my permission :D

 

Gyuto is effectively the a chef's knife, based off of the French as opposed to the German profile for chefs knives. Although with some makers like most of the Masakage knives and especially Moritaka, the blade does not have a notable flat spot towards the heel, but has something of a very flat curve (if that makes sense) throughout the whole blade compared than classic French (the Sabatier knives, likely your Chef Au Ritz). Tip may be lower than midpoint on some of those knives as well. Misono Swedish is a gyuto that is a lot closer to classic French chefs knife profile. I'd call the Tojiro DP as French-ish but with a dropped tip.

post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by foody518 View Post

The Itinomonn in question has a carbon steel core made from V2 steel, clad with a soft stainless steel. Reactive refers to that core steel you see exposed closer to the cutting edge. The reactivity is probably somewhat on par with what your Chef Au Ritz has, being a non-stainless knife. I haven't felt that the core steel on that knife is particularly reactive past what seems to be standard for those types of knives.

 

right, it is not too reactive. I just don't want someone with only experience with stainless to buy one with no idea how to take care of a good knife and just be like, woah!

post #21 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by foody518 View Post
 

@Galley Swiller There's an Ebay seller who makes fridge mounted (no screws, just fully magnetic) wooden mag bars for under 50 bucks! Fits 9 normal sized knives (not cleavers or chinese veg cleavers) a bit snugly. 

 

My problem with a fridge mounted rack is that my fridge front (and sides and top) are already cluttered.

 

Magnetic mounting is certainly workable.  Also, there's a non-magnetic long term solution by using 3M "Command" double-sided adhesive strips which are intended for mounting picture frames to walls (and very easily removed without residue or damage to the walls however much later you want to do it).  They work very well on fridge surfaces as well.

 

GS

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