I'm going to start buying higher end knives for my kitchen. But the Internet isn't as helpful on this topic as I expected it to be. Surely there must be several PHers with serious knife knowledge, experience, advice, opinions, etc, regarding types, brands, and so on...
In a question: Which knives should I buy?
Hey Eric: in a word, the best knife is the sharp knife that you like best in your hand. It's like trying on a pair of pants - they might look good online, but you will only know if you like them and suit you well if you go try them on.
If you're in any moderately sized city, go to a local cooking store (Williams-Sonoma, Sur La Table) even a Macys, and ask to feel the knives in your hand. Don't buy a whole block of knives - you don't need that. A basic 8 or 10 inch chef's knife is perfect.
Me? I like Shun knives, and how they feel in my hand. Husband like Wustof. I cannot STAND Global knives, as they feel so lightweight and like I might break them. We also have some Henckels and other knives that we use for "traveling."
If you can get to any of those stores to actually try chopping something, definitely do! Williams-Sonoma often has cutting boards and veggies set out for you try chopping.
If you don't have any experience with knives, you might look into a basic knife skills class too.
Hit me up at Paleo Comfort Foods if you have more questions.
Hey Eric! This was recently asked so I thought to recycle my answer and share it with you as I think it fits perfectly! Here you go and have fun:
Oo, such fun! I love shopping for new steel! You actually don't need much.. it's one of those "less is more" kind of deals. A chef knife. A paring knife. I totally admit that my tomato knife was the best purchase ever and I can slice through soft fruit beautifully.
I'm very advanced in the kitchen and use daily the three knives that I listed - an 8" chef, my 3.5" paring and ye auld serrated tomato knife, and a boning knife that comes out on occasion. I'm not going to give you the brand that I have as every knife is different and brand doesn't matter. You need to go in and hold the knives, if you are in a good shoppe they will have cutting boards and veg/fruit for you to test. For me, the most important factors for my chef knife were and are: it must be forged, the weight, did the knife "rock" the way I wanted when chopping/mincing, can I easily butcher a chicken, and was the bolster comfortable when resting my fingers against it. It HAS to feel good in your hand. This is something you will be using every day so don't look at price tags - there are excellent light knives, stay away from ceramic please they're fragile and can shatter, that are in the $40 range. Wonderful forged in the $100. Of course you can go up in price but I promise, price and brand does not always mean awesome.
Go have fun and play, choose what you think is best for you - just don't cut yourself :)
Oh! And a steel is nice if you want to sharpen your own, I take mine in and have them done by friends.
you can find german or japanese forged steel in the $50 range. As important as knives are, sharpening and cutting boards are just as important.
good eats knife episode covers lots on knife selection, care, and handling.
I love my kyocera knives. They're made of ceramic so they don't dull and you never have to sharpen them. They cut very well. Actually one day we couldn't open a box with scissors or a regular knife, but the kyocera did a good job of opening it. They're great knives.
The only thing to be careful of is that they will break if you accidentally smash one like my mom did. The tip fell off, but it still works well. I also have two others.
Alright - I have been a knife snob for years. My story:
I got into cooking when I was in college by watching the Food Network. I wanted to be a chef. I bought a Henckel 8 inch Chef's knife from eBay for a good price while still in school. It was good. It served me for well for a few years, and I still have it.
Then, after working for a few years, I felt I needed a whole knife set, so I bought a Henckel knife set - like 7 other knives. I thought they were awesome.
However, as I started to cook more and more and get better at it and watch programs like "Cook's illustrated", I realized that the expensive knives I bought were not as awesome as I thought. They were tough to keep sharp, and chopping with them were not that easy.
I bought the $30 chef's knife that Cook Illustrated recommended - The Victorinox 8 inch Chef's knife. It was awesome. It was thin, and it kept an edge. I never was able to slice and dice as well as I could with that one. And - it was much, much cheaper than my expensive knives.
So, I would recommend against a set. Get the Victorinox chef's knife and their $5 paring knife. They are cheaply priced, but great quality.
Here's a question I'm actually qualified to answer! First and foremost you need a good chef's knife. You can carve a turkey with it, you can mince garlic with it, you can ward off a burglar with it. Go to Sur Le Table, or the place the chefs in your area shop (look online for restaurant supply), or failing that Macy's, and find a good 8 inch chef knife that fits your hand.
Second get yourself a good paring knife, and possibly a a smaller chef's knife for times when you don;t need the big gun or it has beef liver all over it and you want to slice some artichokes.
I like Global knives. They take a blade well, they fit my hand, they are light enough for repetitive tasks but can crank through chicken bones all day long and can get the silver skin off a tenderloin if you know what you doing. Skimp on the paring knife, the steak knives, the butter knives and the cutting boards, but make sure you invest in a great chef's knife. Call me a skeptic but you won't find a good one for less than $80.
We bought all the top brand names like Henkel and stuff like that and were not pleased with any of them so we returned them all (like 4 sets that we tried all within a 3 week period). Then, at the Del Mar Fair, we got sucked into the "Miracle Blade" knife presentation. It used to be called Ginsu but they changed the name. They need no sharpening, and they all cut very well. Plus that main 'bread' knife is insane. You can literally cut through solid iron with it and it doesn't ruin the blade. Good grief. Listen to me. I sound like a sales commercial for these guys. But... like ANY quality knife set, you cannot wash them in the dishwasher because of the steam. They will rust, which I still don't understand. What's the point of them being "stainless steel". You have to hand wash and hand dry each one. I've never understood that.
It's on the site for $39?? wtf?
The guy at the fair said we were getting a super special sale at $59. The only thing different is that we got 8 steak knives instead of 4, but we didn't get silverware either. Now I feel like I got ripped off.
Anyway, we've had ours for over 2 years now and we LOVE the whole set!
I actually just answered a question like that...and it all depends on what your budget is.
If you're willing to pay the money, nothing is quite like a Shun. They're expensive, but I threw out all of my other knives after using them. I have an offset bread knife (because serrated knives are cool), a 10'' chef knife, and a paring knife.
If you want to spend a bit less money, grab a Victorinox Forschner Chef knife and a small serrated paring knife as well. The whole kit'll cost you less than $50 and a do a good job. My brother didn't want to drop the cash on the Shun, so that's what he has and he loves them.
No need for a fancy expensive knife. All you need is a Chinese cleaver/chef's knife. Looks like a cleaver but its incredibly versatile and can be easily sharpened. Can get it at a local Asian grocer for less than $20!
i love my 20 year old Henckel 5 star 10 inch chef's knife. i also have a 4 star 6 inch and a couple of 3 stars in the lesser used styles. i think the 5 star cost as much as the other three combined, but worth every penny.
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