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Chef"s Knife: Help Me Get Started

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hi all. Home cook here looking for a chef's knife I can get sharp and keep sharp.


I have two chef's knives: a Global G-2 I bought 4 or 5 years ago and some cheap Henckels that I've had for about 30 years. God knows what the deal is with the Henckels, but I can't seem to sharpen it so that it keeps its edge for more that a day or two (I use DMT diamond stone, combo M/F). The Global seems to get a little sharper, but it also doesn't keep it's edge for long. Maybe it's my technique, but I have an old carbon steel knife of pre-WWII vintage that I can get sharp in just a minute or two on the stone, the edge is much better than either the Global or the Henckels, and it keeps its edge for quite a bit longer. That's the kind of edge I'm looking for. The problem with the carbon steel knife is that it's not a chef's knife; it's more a 6" utility knife.


So, I'm looking for ideas where to start shopping. Given my experience, I'd be inclined to go with carbon steel. I have no problem maintaining that properly and I assume that I can get a little more bang for me buck. But if modern types of carbon steel would do the trick, I'd be happy to consider those as well. Whatever it is, it has to be something I can learn how to sharpen properly without requiring a high level of sharpening expertise.


I cook normal stuff: meats, fish and vegetables. Not too much hacking of chicken bones or butternut squash. I cut on a basic maple Boos block. My budget is less than $200. It doesn't have to be pretty, it just needs to get the job done.


Your guidance would be appreciated.

post #2 of 9 With the 240mm you can go pretty and get the job done. Dragon knife!


A couple of pure carbons to start out with. Would you be interested in carbon clad carbons and stainless clad carbons as well?

post #3 of 9

"Those diamond stones are too coarse." - Goldilocks

post #4 of 9
Fine grained carbon steels should certainly be able to take advantage of a less aggressive abrasive.
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the suggestions. I'll certainly look into those possibilities. As for carbon clad carbons or stainless clad carbons, I have an open mind. I just want to get the job done: a knife as easy as possible to sharpen, a sharpening that will last, and a knife that be a pleasure to use. I was just mentioning carbon knives before as the only one that I have I find easy to sharpen, and keeping it maintained is not a problem.

post #6 of 9
The Misono Swedish Carbon Foodie mentioned is by far the easiest to sharpen.
post #7 of 9

That $200 and under price range has a decent number of options. You can afford to be a bit pickier/try to identify some preferences. Preferred length? Thin/moderate but not too thin? Are you open to Japanese 'wa' handles? Such as this type of handle. Stainless clad carbon the most robust thickest wa handle I've held yet. Stainless clad carbon

I've got a Moritaka 240mm AS gyuto that was ordered straight off the Moritaka hamono website that I like quite a bit. It was a more appealing price with where the USD to Yen rate was before Christmas, however. Carbon clad carbon

Japanese Knife Imports Ikazuchi is right up there at the top of your price range. It is a GOOD knife. On the thin side of knives, so it just slides right through raw sweet potatoes and the like. Stainless clad carbon

post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

My preferred length is 9" - 10". Not thin. I am certainly open to a Japanese wa handle. That said, for sentimental reasons, if there are European knives out there that fit the bill, I would be very interested in exploring those.

post #9 of 9
In which case, again, Herder 1922, 23cm chef's, C75 carbon steel, 60Rc, €130.
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