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Need help picking out the right chef knife for me.

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hello everyone,


I recently started a thread to learn more about where and what kinds of chef knives to purchase, however, I've realized that browsing around is doing me no good. I know very little for what I should be looking for, and I'm hoping by explaining my wants and needs, someone will be able to suggest a proper chef knife for me.


My knife skills aren't anything to brag about, but I hope to develop my skills with a new set of equipment. The things I'm looking for in a chef knife is something durable, long-lasting, beautiful, somewhat low maintenance, holds an edge and costs under $300. I know this all seems like what everyone wants, and probably too good to be true, but any and all suggestions would be great.


I'll be using this knife for all sorts of things ranging from cutting vegetables to meat, and I'd also like to have the option of cutting through thicker things like bones and frozen meat (though this won't be very often). I understand that I may need two separate knives for cutting veggies and bones, so please feel free to recommend both! I have no idea if soft steel/hard steel is better for either task, so a little lesson on steel grade and their benefits would be great too.


I plan on researching all the different ways of taking care of my knives, such as what kinds of wooden cutting boards to buy, honing steels, water sharpening stones (which I will practice several times on my old knives first), knife storage/blocks, and microfiber cloths. If I'm forgetting anything please let me know!


I'd prefer to have a knife that's partially carbon and stainless steel, as I don't want to deal too much with oiling. 


There are many questions I have such as what steels are the best for me and what the weight/thickness of the knife offers compared to other sizes, and I'm sure there are many questions that I don't know to ask yet. 


However, I'd just like some help to get me going on the right path. In my first post I was given great recommendations and sources, but I'm hoping with a little more information on me I'll be able to get more recommendations for myself.


I will do my best to try out any knives recommended, as I know it all depends on the user and what's most comfortable for them in the end. 


Apologies for such a long first post, but all tips and suggestions are welcome!

post #2 of 14

 Get a different knife to chop bones.  Right here $25. http://www.ebay.com/itm/THAI-KITCHEN-KNIFE-CLEAVER-HIGH-CARBON-STEEL-WOOD-HANDLE-CHOPPER-CHEF-COOKING-10-/131811572669?hash=item1eb094fbbd:g:Me0AAOSwfZhXNAC7


 Real thick, indestructible machete steel, easy to sharpen.  Sharpen it at a fat angle like 30 degrees each side. Heck I even micro bevel mine at 45 on one side.  This is my lobster, turkey bones, squash, pork bone beater knife

post #3 of 14
On the thinner side, full stainless though don't leave it sitting in juices and water and gunk (treat it well). Get a heftier thicker knife for the abuse tasks, have this one for enjoyable cutting of everything else. PM steel well hardened, good edge holding properties.
And the recs from the previous thread as well.
Personally, I went out and got blingy knives, had them come in and saw them in person, realized how easily the finishes can scratch, and then had a slight mental crisis about whether I was okay with scuffing them up or whether I could appropriately refinish the suminagashi pattern with my available tools (sandpaper, micromesh, etc.). The next couple things I got and actually used were of a much simpler aesthetic or at least more easily restorable. Some things to keep in mind about preferences and potential tradeoffs
post #4 of 14
Look int traditional chef knives, like the German Henckels, etc. no shorter than 8 inch. Thet will satisfy all your requirements pus you'll have money to buy a pairing knife and a bread knife.
post #5 of 14
Originally Posted by BrianShaw View Post

Look int traditional chef knives, like the German Henckels, etc. no shorter than 8 inch. Thet will satisfy all your requirements pus you'll have money to buy a pairing knife and a bread knife.

Good call Brian. I use Victornox my thirty five year old ones have rosewood handles.

post #6 of 14

K, I would seriously have you disabuse yourself of any notion suggesting that one knife is going to handle all tasks you describe and also provide a significantly elevated cutting experience.


As far as the German stainless goes, you'd be better off and likely reduce your outlay by getting 3 cheap knives at an Asian market.  One to reserve for fine slicing so as to keep its keeness, one you would sharpen more obtuse for dicing/chopping and slitting root vegies and such, and an ax such as Millions described for your bones, coconuts, etc.


And before anyone consider German stainless, this is the kind of deal you can find on ebay.




Same [unexceptional] steel but I would take these over anything Krupp stainless coming out of Germany. 3 nicely done knives for less than the price of one 10" Vic with a horrid plastic handle.

Edited by Rick Alan - 8/15/16 at 7:07pm
post #7 of 14
(edit). Nevermind.
Edited by BrianShaw - 8/15/16 at 7:48pm
post #8 of 14
Heres another option, with a B-I-N price that's exceptionally attractive. I've been quite satisfied with this German steel as a all-round general-purpose knife:


Edit: dang, in the 2 minutes it took to post the link it sold. Sorry.
post #9 of 14
Gosh, is it just me, or are these modern Sabatier brands chef knife profiles trending to having higher and higher tips?
post #10 of 14

Yes I did notice that also, but it's more just the visual effect of one of the shots.  The other shots look traditional Sabatier profile. Not moving in the direction of German profiles just yet.

Edited by Rick Alan - 8/16/16 at 6:27am
post #11 of 14

Don't know where you disappeared to K but thinking about it I feel those Sabatiers are something you should grab for now, you have another 20 hours.  For $30 you'll have  10" chefs with a classic profile and grind that is thin at the edge and tip where you need it, and which you can do your heavier cutting with, along with a equally good utility and boning knife, all in like new condition from what I see.  For short money they'll always be useful and let you have some fun while you consider your Japanese knife some more.

post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 

Sorry for the delayed response everyone, and thank you all for your suggestions. I have the Sabatier knives saved and will be making my bid close to the end of the sale! 


Just out of curiosity, what other brands make great quality knives?  The only knife brands I've heard of are global, mac, henckels, wusthof, miyabi and shun. Including other brands, how would you rank them form lowest to highest in quality and just as an overall all around knife? I'm only focusing on the chef knives, and I'm sure each brand has multiple levels/grades of knives, so lets limit it to any and all under $300. Let me know why you think so, as I'm very curious to learn more about what else is out there.



post #13 of 14
I'd very likely take a comparable priced Gesshin/JKI offering to most any offerings from the brands listed above. And to mention a specific one, the 240mm Ikazuchi- light, cuts amazingly, has a very useful and nimble feeling knife profile, is ground very thin with no shoulders, good edge retention, very good fit and finish, comfy handle, and fairly easy to maintain (stainless clad, carbon core, no fingerguard to have to grind down on over time).
post #14 of 14

The Sabs went for just $33, did you get 'em K?


I'll second the Ikazuchi.  It's in stock, AS steel is practically semi-stainless, gets real sharp and holds an edge better than anything but the powdered steels, it's a laser and a great value.

Edited by Rick Alan - 8/17/16 at 7:14pm
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