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Nice and good Knife for a present, looking for suggestions.

870 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  loomchick
First of all, I am not a chef, but I want buy a nice present for one. A proper chef knife.
And I found this forum, where I think I could find the best advise possible :)
I know a knife is a very personal thing, but my friend never really had a fancy one, so I think I can try to buy a proper one.

This friend has been working as a chef in many different places cooking Italian cuisine for the last 20 years, not super restaurants, but places where single handedly had to manage almost everything while cooking fast enough to serve a lot of people on time.

Handle type: No idea. But I kinda like those made out of bone, but it is not a must. (woman with small hands, not sure if that matters, but just in case).
Steel type: No idea also, but steel for sure.
Budget: I've seen prices around $200/300, sounds good

Any advice or suggestion will be really really helpful, I know there will be tones of knifes, I am looking for a "good" one that looks nice (my criteria would be only aesthetics, sorry, don't know nothing about chef knives) and will last long.
Not asking for the "best" one, just a "good" one. I don't want to start a war here :)

thanks a lot.
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Your friend will most likely have a good idea of the kind of knife she likes. So I'd suggest giving her a gift certificate to a kitchen supply store or on line vendor. Or you could tell her you want a knife for yourself and see what she recommends/likes/wants.
The problem with knife buying for others is that if it doesn't feel right to the person using it, then the knife is useless. So buying a knife inescapably means handling it before buying.
There are plenty of threads on this forum that explain in great detail all about the various knives, the steel they are made from, sharpening, etc. so you can read those if you care to spend the time.
As a very brief overview, I'll say that there are German style, French style and Japanese style knives,
They are made out of carbon or stainless steel or combinations of the two. They come in six, eight or ten inch lengths. They can be hand forged or stamped. None of these types, styles or methods of production necessarily infer quality or price. So it gets messy and complicated very quickly which is why a gift certificate is a good choice.
Anyway, she will be able to get a very nice knife for 200-300 dollars. That's a very nice gift.
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You are a very kind and thoughtful friend . . . however, chefwriter is correct . . . and I agree with everything in the response post.

If your friend has been a chef for 20 years, she probably has a strong preference for the type of knife she likes and/or needs. Even though everyone needs an 8" chef's knife, she probably already has one. But, if she doesn't, there are a multitude of knives and each one has a different feel to it.

Give her a gift certificate or make a date to go knife shopping. Make sure to take some items to cut (e.g., carrots, a potato, even a piece of meat) and try them out. It could be fun and informative.
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