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Online Black Hills

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Chef's knife
« on: October 15, 2018, 04:41:30 PM »
looking to get a decent chef's knife (10" or so?) as I'm sick if the cheap ones I have that won't hold an edge. I know nothing about them so:
-what is the sweet spot for price? I'm willing to spend some $ but don't want to throw it away for no reason either

- recommendations

- general education, as in I don't even know what I'm looking for........ :-[
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Online viffergyrl

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Re: Chef's knife
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2018, 05:31:01 PM »
I've heard good things about the Victorinox Chef knife, but have not tried one. They seem to be a good value for the price. I have a Global Granton edge chef's knife (Japanese 18 stainless steel, no bolster) and a Henckels (German carbon steel with bolster) that I've had for so long, I don't think they make this particular model.

It's mostly about how the knife feels in your hand, I think. Both knives work for me depending on what I'm cutting. The Henckels is heavier so it's for the heavy duty use. The blade is glued(?) (not riveted) into the handle, but it has never come loose. The Granton edge is the scalloped edge that keeps food from sticking to the knife as you slice the food. I use this for slicing/cutting vegetables mostly. The Global is made from one piece of metal, which is kind of cool.

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and here is the link to the knife most like mine: https://www.zwillingonline.com/31161201.html

Henckels: https://www.zwillingonline.com/cutlery-j-a--henckels-international.html
Victorinox: https://www.victorinox.com/us/en/Products/Cutlery/Chef%27s-Knives/c/CUT_ChefKnives
Global: http://mastercutlery.co.jp/

I think coho will give you better information than I. R Doug recently took a knife skills class so I'm sure he'll weigh in as well. Oh and I have my knives professionally sharpened about twice a year. I'm sure Clay will weigh in on knives and sharpening as well.

Good luck!
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Offline sleazy rider

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Re: Chef's knife
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2018, 05:48:36 PM »
I use Wusthof classic knives in the kitchen here.  Easy to take and keep an edge, fit my hands well and readily available for a decent price from the local outlet store.


http://www.wusthof.com/
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Online R Doug

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Re: Chef's knife
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2018, 07:17:38 PM »
I made the mistake of going Wusthof Classics and then I acquired my first Japanese made chef knife.  Oh my.

Don't get me wrong, the Wusthof Classics is quality stuff.  They're heavy (more heavy than they need to be) and need sharpened way more frequently than a good Japanese blade. 
« Last Edit: October 16, 2018, 02:28:26 PM by R Doug »
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Online coho

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Re: Chef's knife
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2018, 08:17:49 PM »
I've had a ton of knives, from big names to esoteric - both euro and asian style. Global, Henckel, Wusthof, Mundial, Forschner/Victorinox, Shun, Sha Ra Ku Mono (looks like a slightly cooler Global, cost about the same), etc. etc.
Knives are like motorcycles in that it's a partly visceral choice rather than a strictly logical one and 'best' isn't actually a thing.

My go-to since the early '90s has been my Ryusen 7" gyuto (Japanese version of a euro-style chef's knife - literally "meat sword" or "beef sword"). It's the all one piece of metal kind with a fat dollop of molybdenum and vanadium and was all super special in the pre-internet-stuff-was-harder-to-get-back-then world and I couldn't afford it so I bought one.  :facepalm: It was the culinary equivalent of tacticool, ordered with a very expensive long distance phone call, in the middle of the night because that's when Japan is awake, hoping all the while that someone there spoke English. 8) I still use it and received a 10" one as a gift from my crew in the early 2000s [/humblebrag]. The 7" is the best tool I have ever owned and I use it every day, the 10" is an excellent knife and sees slightly less action because I'd had the short one for more than ten years by that time and it had become what normal felt like.
And you can't have one because they don't make it anymore.  :blbl:

That said, for home or professional use, unless you want a supercool showy-offy blade with a backstory it is very, very difficult to beat a MAC even by spending more money.  https://www.macknife.com/
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Offline CLAY

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Re: Chef's knife
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2018, 09:47:34 PM »
I've been in the market myself for a good Chef's knife for awhile- maybe this will finally get me to pull the trigger.  A fluted one would be great for the veggies- I have a couple of cheaper ones  that do the job, but they need sharpening more often and I need to be careful to only use it on nylon or similar surfaces. 

Now sharpening- I'm a fan.  I like my blades razor sharp.  I have used the rod-guided system for years, until this was recommended to me:
https://www.amazon.com/Work-Sharp-WSKTS-Sharpening-Repeatable/dp/B003IT5F14/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1539657424&sr=8-1&keywords=work+smart+knife+sharpener
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It's crazy.  The first electric sharpener I have ever used that gives an edge as good of better than the rod sharpening system.  I have been VERY impressed with it!
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Online 1KPerDay

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Re: Chef's knife
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2018, 11:17:48 PM »
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Online leeo45

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Re: Chef's knife
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2018, 11:42:36 PM »
The majority of my good kitchen knives are Shun Classic, all of which I have had and used for decades.    I have found that they retain a super sharp edge very well despite daily use.   Most of the blades are hollow-ground; i.e. have the scolloped faces mentioned earlier so that items have less tendency to stick to the face.   The handles of the Classic design are right-handed, but Shun makes other designs with similar blades which are 'ambidextrous'.   There are undoubtedly more esoteric and possibly better Japanese knives, but these have served me very well. 

I take some precautions with them; only using a specific knife for its intended purpose, always sharpening at an exact angle, only using them with a good cutting board, and always washing & drying by hand.  (automatic dishwashers will ruin good knives over time)   

Here is a selection I pulled out of the knife block, including the smaller traditional (European) chef knife ...

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Online Papa Lazarou

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Re: Chef's knife
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2018, 01:12:09 AM »
https://www.ferrabyknives.co.uk/

can't beat these. if you can afford them.
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Online Black Hills

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Re: Chef's knife
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2018, 08:20:19 AM »
Thanks for the info, and Papa that's a lot of KTM parts..... ???
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Re: Chef's knife
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2018, 10:03:32 AM »
velocirapture...

 :rolf:
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Offline Mr. Whippy

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Re: Chef's knife
« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2018, 10:14:11 AM »
I will say, the way one uses a knife can markedly affect how long it stays sharp:  The cutting surface, twisting of the blade, chopping vs slicing, using a knife in a way not intended for the blade (eg chopping vegetables with a boning knife, using a kitchen knife to open cardboard boxes etc).

Offline Bounce

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Re: Chef's knife
« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2018, 10:46:03 AM »
I made the mistake of going Wusthof Classics and then I acquired my first Japanese made chef knife.  Oh my.

Don't get me wrong, the Wustofs are good quality stuff.  They're heavy (more heavy than they need to be) and need sharpened way more frequently than a good Japanese blade.

German steel is better than the stamped stuff we usually see at most places. It doesn't compare to a Shun (classic in my case). Part of it's the steel used (only exported as finished knives (or is that blanks); not raw stock). The other reason is the angle of the edge is steeper in the Japanese grind than the German. Germans tend to lean more toward a wedge bevel.

I'm no wizard in the kitchen but even so I can tell how much faster the Shuns are to some of the German stuff I've used (good cutting boards even make a difference).

If you see someone cutting on a metal or ceramic surface (like a plate), whack them up side the head.

Offline maddjack

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Re: Chef's knife
« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2018, 11:57:22 AM »

Henckels fan here, have had for years and still love it. Also use other cutlery from them also for years.

https://www.zwillingonline.com/cutlery-j-a--henckels-international.html
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Online Black Hills

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Re: Chef's knife
« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2018, 12:37:36 PM »


If you see someone cutting on a metal or ceramic surface (like a plate), whack them up side the head.

my wife  >:(  the new one will have to be locked up or hidden.... ;)
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Online radon222

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Re: Chef's knife
« Reply #15 on: October 16, 2018, 12:46:14 PM »


my wife  >:(  the new one will have to be locked up or hidden.... ;)


Another case were just a little punctuation might help..    :o ;D

Online Black Hills

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Re: Chef's knife
« Reply #16 on: October 16, 2018, 02:23:04 PM »


my wife  >:(  the new one will have to be locked up or hidden.... ;)


Another case were just a little punctuation might help..    :o ;D

lol.. true!
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Online R Doug

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Re: Chef's knife
« Reply #17 on: October 16, 2018, 02:26:25 PM »


German steel is better than the stamped stuff we usually see at most places. It doesn't compare to a Shun (classic in my case). Part of it's the steel used (only exported as finished knives (or is that blanks); not raw stock). The other reason is the angle of the edge is steeper in the Japanese grind than the German. Germans tend to lean more toward a wedge bevel.

I'm no wizard in the kitchen but even so I can tell how much faster the Shuns are to some of the German stuff I've used (good cutting boards even make a difference).

If you see someone cutting on a metal or ceramic surface (like a plate), whack them up side the head.


The Wusthof Classics are forged steel while the Wusthof Gourmets are stamped.

There's no argument for me the Shun is a better knife to use.  I have one currently to go with all my Wusthof Classics.  If I had it to do all over, I'd go with Shun.
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Re: Chef's knife
« Reply #18 on: October 16, 2018, 02:34:00 PM »
French knives are excellent and not over priced-think brands like Sabatier.

English knives can be pretty good (well, Sheffield did invent stainless steel).

Japanese knives are fine too but sharpening them is very different to US and European knives.
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Re: Chef's knife
« Reply #19 on: October 16, 2018, 04:09:55 PM »
Go to your local restaurant supply house and find something that fits your hand. Then learn to sharpen it.  Most of these "high end" knives are just like expensive watches.  Just jewelry.

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Re: Chef's knife
« Reply #20 on: October 16, 2018, 05:31:19 PM »
Rachel Ray

the good ones with the rubbery orange handle. 

no?
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Re: Chef's knife
« Reply #21 on: October 16, 2018, 06:19:03 PM »
^^Ya.

But only if it's on sale  :)

Offline Bounce

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Re: Chef's knife
« Reply #22 on: October 16, 2018, 09:13:59 PM »
Henckels fan here, have had for years and still love it. Also use other cutlery from them also for years.

Yep. I have a set of 3 on top of the fridge. I saved them from the donation heap at Mom's place. I'd bought them once when visiting her (so I didn't have to suffer with her dull, stamped stainless options). There's a reason that I found them at Bed Bath & Beyond. While nicer than the ones Mom had her whole life, they gather dust behind my block of Shun Classics. You truly can tell the difference.

And, yes, I would send them to a pro who knows how to sharpen them right; even if it meant shipping back to Shun.

On a side note, I learned from my Daughter that Mom complained that her knives were too sharp after that visit. I went through her whole drawer and hand sharpened them all with a Lanski kit. A dull knife is a dangerous knife.

Online Black Hills

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Re: Chef's knife
« Reply #23 on: October 17, 2018, 08:19:28 AM »
I'd bought them once when visiting her (so I didn't have to suffer with her dull, stamped stainless options). There's a reason that I found them at Bed Bath & Beyond. While nicer than the ones Mom had her whole life, they gather dust behind my block of Shun Classics. You truly can tell the difference.



at what price point do you get something decent but not waste money on the "jewelry aspect"?   I'm thinking Shun is what I will go with, but?
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Offline Bounce

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Re: Chef's knife
« Reply #24 on: October 17, 2018, 10:52:53 AM »
Shun was my upper limit. I held my breath when buying them. I've not regretted it. The Henkels were an easy choice at BB&B but then they were for keeping at Mom's house and using when visiting, so the compromise was okay too. Like I said, once home with me, they're the knives I give to guests who want to help in the kitchen.

Online Black Hills

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Re: Chef's knife
« Reply #25 on: October 24, 2018, 08:13:26 AM »


Now sharpening- I'm a fan.  I like my blades razor sharp.  I have used the rod-guided system for years, until this was recommended to me:
https://www.amazon.com/Work-Sharp-WSKTS-Sharpening-Repeatable/dp/B003IT5F14/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1539657424&sr=8-1&keywords=work+smart+knife+sharpener
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It's crazy.  The first electric sharpener I have ever used that gives an edge as good of better than the rod sharpening system.  I have been VERY impressed with it!

So, I was at Runnings the other day picking up some barn supplies and there it was on the shelf. I picked it up and you are right, the thing is amazing!!  make sure you follow directions for the best results....
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Online R Doug

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Re: Chef's knife
« Reply #26 on: October 24, 2018, 09:07:45 AM »
Go to your local restaurant supply house and find something that fits your hand. Then learn to sharpen it.  Most of these "high end" knives are just like expensive watches.  Just jewelry.

This is excellent advice.  I picked up some nice stainless pans from a restaurant that went out of business (that happens quite a bit, you know?).

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Offline stc10

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Re: Chef's knife
« Reply #27 on: October 30, 2018, 06:23:03 PM »
My wife and  I bought  a few Cutco knives back in the early eighties before we were married. Expensive but as I came to find out some 30 years later, worth it. Our 9 inch French knife blade cracked, possibly because of something I may have done :rolleyes: about a year ago, so I packed all of them up because they will repair or replace for life and the others needed to be sharpened. (You can send them in for a free sharpening anytime.)
Lo and behold they sent me all new knives even though only one was damaged.
Again, expensive, but the last knife you will ever buy.
Kind of the Snap On of knives. Plus made in USA

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Re: Chef's knife
« Reply #28 on: October 31, 2018, 10:32:58 AM »
My wife and  I bought  a few Cutco knives back in the early eighties before we were married. Expensive but as I came to find out some 30 years later, worth it. Our 9 inch French knife blade cracked, possibly because of something I may have done :rolleyes: about a year ago, so I packed all of them up because they will repair or replace for life and the others needed to be sharpened. (You can send them in for a free sharpening anytime.)
Lo and behold they sent me all new knives even though only one was damaged.
Again, expensive, but the last knife you will ever buy.
Kind of the Snap On of knives. Plus made in USA

My sister sold Cutco in college, and they are damn good knives.  I should have asked for them when I got married instead of registering for Calphalons.  Those are good, but I got a couple of Cutcos a few years ago as a surprise present and there's no comparison.
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Offline Virginian

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Re: Chef's knife
« Reply #29 on: October 31, 2018, 11:12:17 AM »
Been using Cutco knives for 20 years and they are worth the money. They have stood the test of time.

PS: The Cutco potato peeler is amazing.
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Re: Chef's knife
« Reply #30 on: November 01, 2018, 05:19:31 PM »
Stamped blades suck balls and are painful to use. Regards, 1K
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Online Black Hills

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Re: Chef's knife
« Reply #31 on: November 01, 2018, 09:44:47 PM »
Haha after this:  https://youtu.be/e50gujs4l-I
I thought I’ll try the victorinox, mostly because I could get my hands on one at a local store, and  I’m only out $40.   So far so good.  If I end up not liking it I'll go with the Shun classic.  Thanks for all the help, I know way more about knives than I need to. My bride is rolling her eyes and : "what is wrong with you? you buys trucks and motorcycles on a whim and but hours of research into cutting up an onion?".
« Last Edit: November 02, 2018, 10:14:14 AM by Black Hills »
the above are merely the ramblings of a hamfisted fuckwit who has broken too many helmets.

Offline Bounce

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Re: Chef's knife
« Reply #32 on: November 02, 2018, 10:53:21 AM »
Haha after this:  https://youtu.be/e50gujs4l-I
I thought I’ll try the victorinox, mostly because I could get my hands on one at a local store, and  I’m only out $40.   So far so good.  If I end up not liking it I'll go with the Shun classic.  Thanks for all the help, I know way more about knives than I need to. My bride is rolling her eyes and : "what is wrong with you? you buys trucks and motorcycles on a whim and but hours of research into cutting up an onion?".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nmr1l5IV9Os

Online Black Hills

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Re: Chef's knife
« Reply #33 on: November 02, 2018, 11:04:58 AM »
Haha after this:  https://youtu.be/e50gujs4l-I
I thought I’ll try the victorinox, mostly because I could get my hands on one at a local store, and  I’m only out $40.   So far so good.  If I end up not liking it I'll go with the Shun classic.  Thanks for all the help, I know way more about knives than I need to. My bride is rolling her eyes and : "what is wrong with you? you buys trucks and motorcycles on a whim and but hours of research into cutting up an onion?".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nmr1l5IV9Os

yep, just like Alton Brown showed me!!
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Re: Chef's knife
« Reply #34 on: November 02, 2018, 05:06:37 PM »
Haha after this:  https://youtu.be/e50gujs4l-I
I thought I’ll try the victorinox, mostly because I could get my hands on one at a local store, and  I’m only out $40.   So far so good.  If I end up not liking it I'll go with the Shun classic.  Thanks for all the help, I know way more about knives than I need to. My bride is rolling her eyes and : "what is wrong with you? you buys trucks and motorcycles on a whim and but hours of research into cutting up an onion?".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nmr1l5IV9Os

yep, just like Alton Brown showed me!!

Alton Brown on knife use:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPZFVjrlTo8

Offline Bounce

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Re: Chef's knife
« Reply #35 on: November 03, 2018, 12:44:54 PM »
Anyone else chuffed that they are RELOADING some previous episodes and production has begun on a new series?

Offline chornbe

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Re: Chef's knife
« Reply #36 on: November 03, 2018, 12:53:07 PM »
this signature on hold pending review

Online Black Hills

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Re: Chef's knife
« Reply #37 on: November 03, 2018, 02:50:58 PM »
Anyone else chuffed that they are RELOADING some previous episodes and production has begun on a new series?

definitely! no if they could just get back to feasting on asphalt ;D
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Online jadziadax8

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Re: Chef's knife
« Reply #38 on: November 03, 2018, 07:20:26 PM »
Anyone else chuffed that they are RELOADING some previous episodes and production has begun on a new series?

Absolutely.  I have a nerd crush on Alton Brown.
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Re: Chef's knife
« Reply #39 on: November 05, 2018, 05:56:57 PM »
Anyone else chuffed that they are RELOADING some previous episodes and production has begun on a new series?

Absolutely.  I have a nerd crush on Alton Brown.

Me too.   :redface:
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Re: Chef's knife
« Reply #40 on: December 06, 2018, 09:00:38 AM »
Haha after this:  https://youtu.be/e50gujs4l-I
I thought I’ll try the victorinox, mostly because I could get my hands on one at a local store, and  I’m only out $40.   So far so good.  If I end up not liking it I'll go with the Shun classic.  Thanks for all the help, I know way more about knives than I need to. My bride is rolling her eyes and : "what is wrong with you? you buys trucks and motorcycles on a whim and but hours of research into cutting up an onion?".

SO, I decided a decent knife and cutting board would be a good Christmas gift for my girls (19 & 21, both in college and living in apartments) since they like to cook. Found the Shun classic on sale for $99 so ordered a couple. showed up with a $30 Shun credit so ordered one for myself. I must admit it is nicer than the Victorinox, now my search is definitely over. thanks again for all the advice.
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Offline Bounce

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Re: Chef's knife
« Reply #41 on: December 06, 2018, 10:01:03 AM »
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Re: Chef's knife
« Reply #42 on: December 06, 2018, 10:24:26 AM »
Haha after this:  https://youtu.be/e50gujs4l-I
I thought I’ll try the victorinox, mostly because I could get my hands on one at a local store, and  I’m only out $40.   So far so good.  If I end up not liking it I'll go with the Shun classic.  Thanks for all the help, I know way more about knives than I need to. My bride is rolling her eyes and : "what is wrong with you? you buys trucks and motorcycles on a whim and but hours of research into cutting up an onion?".

SO, I decided a decent knife and cutting board would be a good Christmas gift for my girls (19 & 21, both in college and living in apartments) since they like to cook. Found the Shun classic on sale for $99 so ordered a couple. showed up with a $30 Shun credit so ordered one for myself. I must admit it is nicer than the Victorinox, now my search is definitely over. thanks again for all the advice.

Give your wife the Victorinox.....
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Re: Chef's knife
« Reply #43 on: December 06, 2018, 09:42:14 PM »
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Re: Chef's knife
« Reply #44 on: March 02, 2019, 08:13:39 AM »
Confirmed, I like the Japanese steel better than the German.

It's more sharp, stays sharp longer, is more comfortable in use, and is quite the looker.  Both of these are the middle tier 8" Chef's knives from Shun and Whostoff.  Both of forged and cost around the same.


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Re: Chef's knife
« Reply #45 on: February 15, 2020, 08:44:11 AM »
I'm experimenting with the knives that we presently own and struggled to achieve the cuts I wanted to make. I'm seriously looking for a Japanese 'nice' chef's knife at the moment. Most likely one with scallops in the blade to help with food attaching or sticking to it during food prep. There's a lot of said Japanese chef's knives that use Japanese steel but are made in China. Wow, a person has to be really sharp and do their due diligence these days... 

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Re: Chef's knife
« Reply #46 on: February 15, 2020, 08:48:31 AM »
Lee,

 I'm looking hard at the Shun Classic and it is my understanding that they're beveled on one side only. You referenced "exact angle". May I ask your process on how you sharpen your beautiful set?

Eric
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Re: Chef's knife
« Reply #47 on: February 15, 2020, 09:40:55 AM »
I've had a set of Shun Classics for about 5 years (maybe more) and love to use them each and every time. They are so good that, for the first time, I could notice how different cutting board styles are "faster" or "slower".

USE a cutting board. NEVER cut on a ceramic or other hard surface.

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Re: Chef's knife
« Reply #48 on: February 23, 2020, 10:10:13 PM »
I'm hard on knives, and I've got a cabinet full of abused steel, most are used outdoors, but the same principles apply. All of the following assumes a quality maker and good heat treat.

The steel they are made of makes a huge difference. It's the first thing I look for in a knife. My current favorites are S30V and S35VN. They take an excellent edge and hold it a long time. VG10 and CPM154 are a close second. They all require diamond stones to sharpen.

Sandvik steels 12C27 and 14C28N can make a good knife. They are very fine grain steel and will both take a razors edge for a reasonable time.

AUS8 and AUS10 are good, well balanced between edge retention and durability, but really nothing special. Avoid AUS6.

ZDP189 is crazy hard. It can be brittle and will rust, but with proper care it will hold an edge forever.

D2 can make an excellent knife that will hold an edge, it's one problem is that it's not as stainless as most companies claim. Care for it like a carbon steel blade and it will serve you well.

Plain High Carbon steel is good, but it must have at least .8% carbon. Less than that makes a good steel for a hatchet or sword due to it's ductility, but it won't hold an edge when used in a knife. Old Hickory makes good high carbon knives. Expect rust.

X50CrMoV15 is German, but is only .5% carbon, making it too soft for a knife blade.

Anything 420 with any letters after it is garbage. It's usually easy to get a mediocre edge, good corrosion protection, but won't hold an edge if you look at it crosseyed.

8cr13mov is chinese steel. Avoid it at all costs, they have several steels that follow the same naming pattern with different numbers. They kind of copied the German naming convention.
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Re: Chef's knife
« Reply #49 on: February 23, 2020, 11:37:38 PM »
Lee,

 I'm looking hard at the Shun Classic and it is my understanding that they're beveled on one side only. You referenced "exact angle". May I ask your process on how you sharpen your beautiful set?

Eric

Sorry for the slow reply.   i just saw this.

Over the years I have tried a number of stones and sharpening systems with various levels of success.    I have found that it is difficult to hold a knife at a consistent and exact angle by hand for sharpening.  I can do a pretty good job by hand with a good water stone, however it doesn't always meet my expectations.   

For the past decade or so I have been using an Edge Pro system.    If you learn the technique, keep the stones flat, and have patience it does a great job.   It is not cheap, but good knives aren't cheap either.   You can set the exact angle for various types of knives and types of steel including the narrow angle appropriate for good Japanese blades.   

BTW, all of the Shun knives I have are beveled on both sides, with the exception of the wavy blade in the picture.    Interestingly, a couple of the carbon steel vegetable cleavers I got when I was working in a Chinese restaurant during my college years are wide, single bevel blades and they seem to work really well for their intended purpose.

Here is a link to the Edge Pro site.    They have a ton of instructional videos and the set even comes with an instructional DVD.   It may be more than you want to deal with, but at least it gives you an idea of what's out there.   

A lot of people with good knives send them off to either the original company or to a professional shop with large water stones.   I don't know if it is still true, but the better Shun knives used to have a lifetime sharpening service that was included with the knife purchase.   

https://www.edgeproinc.com