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#1 Tue 29 Dec 09 1:37pm

Chris85

Member
Member since Tue 29 Dec 09

Need a few decent knives

My enjoyment of cooking has increased substantially over the last few months and I find myself constantly frustrated with the usless knives I have at the minute. The "best" knife I have squashes tomatoes before cutting through them.

I don't want to spent a fortune, but I would really appreciate some advice on what knives to buy - even just a good chefs knife would be enough for now.

My budget is up to 50 for a set...not sure what a reasonable figure to spend on a single chefs knife is.

I'm a bit of a rookie but don't want to buy rubbish. I am keen on asian cooking if that helps...so chopping stuff like shallots and ginger along with chicken etc.

There is a set on Amazon that seems ok - I can't post links just yet but if you look for "Brand new set of japanese style chefs knives" for 39.99 that's the ones I mean.

There may well be too many there...and there does seem to be quite alot for 39.99 so I have concerns about the quality...

Look forward to your replies smile

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#2 Tue 29 Dec 09 3:38pm

nanstertoo

Forum champ
Occupation Retired nurse-midwife
From High Point, North Carolina
Member since Tue 17 Jun 08

Re: Need a few decent knives

Start with the two or three most important ones, a six inch chefs knife and an 8 inch chefs knife, maybe a utility/paring knife.  Buy the best knife you can afford and keep it sharp.  I have a 10 inch carbon steel chefs knife that I have had for over 30 years, and nothing takes an edge like that one, but it does require some special care so it doesn't rust.  Try to shop at a store so you can feel the knife in your hand since the handle styles will suit different size/shapes of hands, and you can feel the balance of the knives, then you can feel better about buying online.  But stay away from "sets" at that price point.  I worked for Williams-Sonoma for several years, and this was how we were taught to advise those shopping for knives.

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#3 Tue 29 Dec 09 5:11pm

gastronige

Member
Member since Tue 29 Dec 09

Re: Need a few decent knives

Good advice from nansternoo! But you also need to think about how you're going to keep those gorgeous new knives sharp, so factor into your budget a whetstone and a butcher's steel. You can use the steel for a quick touch up of the fine edge, usually every 2-3 times you do some chopping. Get a dual-sided whetstone (one fine/one coarse) which you will need to use to re-profile your knives whenever they get a bit more dull and will not take an edge from the steel. Follow the instructions that come with the stone or get some tips off the internet. You should only need to use the coarse side of the stone if you damage the edge of a knife by hitting a bone or other hard object. Good luck and practice those knife skills!

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#4 Tue 29 Dec 09 10:53pm

The White Rabbit

Forum super champ
From Sydney, Australia
Member since Tue 22 Jun 04

Re: Need a few decent knives

I've got victorinox and they've been going for close to a decade...need some sharpening at the moment but are otherwise great. The chef's knive is the victorinox fibrox which I believe is still being made.

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#5 Tue 29 Dec 09 11:23pm

Ashen

Forum champ
Occupation Why is the Rum always gone???!
From out to lunch
Member since Sat 07 Jan 06

Re: Need a few decent knives

nanstertoo wrote:

Start with the two or three most important ones, a six inch chefs knife and an 8 inch chefs knife, maybe a utility/paring knife.  Buy the best knife you can afford and keep it sharp.  I have a 10 inch carbon steel chefs knife that I have had for over 30 years, and nothing takes an edge like that one, but it does require some special care so it doesn't rust.  Try to shop at a store so you can feel the knife in your hand since the handle styles will suit different size/shapes of hands, and you can feel the balance of the knives, then you can feel better about buying online.  But stay away from "sets" at that price point.  I worked for Williams-Sonoma for several years, and this was how we were taught to advise those shopping for knives.

Do you season your carbon steel kife Nan?   I have seen some info on doing this but am worried about  tempering of the metal being affected. I am on the fence as to whether I will buy a carbon steel Nakiri  because of the care issues. If I could season it  safely though , I may pull the trigger and buy .


The Universe is alive and self aware. 
Need proof?
Look in a mirror.
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#6 Thu 31 Dec 09 8:03pm

nodrog58

Member
From England West Yorkshire
Member since Thu 17 Dec 09

Re: Need a few decent knives

anybody know of shops in the Bradford west yorkshire area where I can go and look at some good quality knives?

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#7 Wed 13 Jan 10 6:17pm

nodrog58

Member
From England West Yorkshire
Member since Thu 17 Dec 09

Re: Need a few decent knives

gastronige wrote:

Good advice from nansternoo! But you also need to think about how you're going to keep those gorgeous new knives sharp, so factor into your budget a whetstone and a butcher's steel. You can use the steel for a quick touch up of the fine edge, usually every 2-3 times you do some chopping. Get a dual-sided whetstone (one fine/one coarse) which you will need to use to re-profile your knives whenever they get a bit more dull and will not take an edge from the steel. Follow the instructions that come with the stone or get some tips off the internet. You should only need to use the coarse side of the stone if you damage the edge of a knife by hitting a bone or other hard object. Good luck and practice those knife skills!

What's the difference between a whetstone and an oil stone with regards to sharpening knives?

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#8 Wed 13 Jan 10 6:56pm

mr spice

Forum champ
Occupation Working dad...
From Germany
Member since Sat 05 Sep 09

Re: Need a few decent knives

nodrog58 wrote:

What's the difference between a whetstone and an oil stone with regards to sharpening knives?

They are the same...but I've only ever used one to sharpen chisels.
I've got one really good knife. It's about 6" and amazingly sharp.
I use it for practically everything except carving meat and slicing bread.
I think the two most important knives (to me) are probably a good general purpose and a good carving knife. That's where I'd put my money.
50 pounds won't get you a whole lot of knife so think what you want to use it for any buy the best you can. Don't bother with a set.
I also use a few really cheap knives I bought at an Asian store. Originally to take on holiday. I thought I'd use them and leave or forget them. They have lasted really well and I still use them.
Don't clean a good knife in the dishwasher, always clean by hand.
Always protect the blade in a sheath or block.

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#9 Thu 14 Jan 10 7:06pm

mr spice

Forum champ
Occupation Working dad...
From Germany
Member since Sat 05 Sep 09

Re: Need a few decent knives

Only of interest to those in Europe but I was in Tchibo tonight and they've got some lovely Conran kitchen equipment (knives, etc)
A lot of the stuff is already sold out on the website (tchibo.eu) but most of it was still in my local store.

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#10 Thu 14 Jan 10 7:12pm

DebDiMaggio

Forum champ
Occupation Newbie Mamma
From Italy-UK-Spain
Member since Mon 16 Jun 08

Re: Need a few decent knives

I got a brand called Arcos http://www.arcos.es/en/consejos/index.php

they're good in price and I have forged knives, they "should" never need sharpening. They're really good.

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