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Should I get rid of knives with German steel?

7375 Views 8 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Alex88
Hi all, new to the forums here, just been reading a bit about German steel, the apparent superiority of Japanese cutlery, &c. Have been working in a restaurant using super-dull house knives, and am moving into a more up-scale place and am interested in furthering my career cooking, so I thought it good to buy a few knives. I bought 3 Zwilling Henckels knives, an 8.5" chef's knife, a 6" utility knife, and a paring knife. It's sounding like I may have made a too hasty choice in purchasing. I figure I'll be using these on my station for the next year or so as I learn more in the kitchen, but is taking a water stone class (or simply practicing at home), and buying Japanese made knives really the best move here? I obviously want to use the best tools possible. Will continue to read and do my best to research on my own, but would be grateful for any direction and advice to make a more informed knife choice that will perform and last me the rest of my career. Also bought a Zwilling Henckels steel honing rod that I've been running my blades along at roughly 12-15 degree strokes, is this correct practice? Or are the knives in fact beveled at an angle closer to 20? I read somewhere that it doesn't particularly matter what exact angle the bevel is when honing, but am skeptical. Thanks for your advice, sorry for noobyness. :oops:
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4 good affordable choices for work horse Japanese knives, outperform any Germans of comparable price:
Mac Pro or Chef series

For fine cutting, the Geshin stainless series. Thin behind the edge, good steel, not soft but not too hard.

You don't want to use ribbed steels on any of these, ceramic steel is a good expedient, but stropping on a fine stone is better.

Your Henkles will still come in handy, they are tough if not much else, and they work a lot better once they've been thinned.

Some European makers are using nitrogen-rich steels that exhibit good toughness and decent edge retention. F. Dick makes some relatively expensive knives, around $500, but I wouldn't say they rival Japanese knives in that range, I wouldn't say they rival or equal a $300 Geshin Kagero, PM steel which has crazy edge retention, and not only gets crazy sharp but holds its initial sharp really well also.

Sharpening next to consider.
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Alex88 you need to take into account the prices of both the Zwillings and Wusthof are outrageous when you consider what the same money will by you in a Japanese. And knives like the Geshin Stainless (a little cheaper even) are suitable for beginners, as are the much cheaper Tojiro DP and Fujiwara FKM. F+F on the Germans here is outstanding of course, FWIW.
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