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Thread: recommended kitchen knives?

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    Senior Member broger's Avatar
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    Default recommended kitchen knives?

    Hello all,

    I am looking to get some very nice knives to use in the kitchen, as it is one of my havens, and was hoping some of the fine folk around here could recommend some.

    1. I am open to suggestions concerning production knives AND custom makers, so long as someone has experience with the production knives and can vouch for them. Would also prefer a custom maker that someone can back. By custom, I don't mean it needs to be personalized or engraved. I simply mean hand-made by a single person/small group of people. Equivalent to a Maestro Livi or Tim Zowada.

    2. Knives can be either Western or Japanese. I would prefer Japanese but realize blade cost and shipping may prevent that.

    3. Looking more for Chef's Knive/Santoku rather than Sashimi or boning knives (although for the right price, I'd probably buy a good filleter(I'm sure that's not a word)). I also want a Paring knife. Japanese paring knives, with the square tip, look very pleasing.

    4. I really want good quality steak knives. I understand this will most likely come from the production side, as I have never known a custom knife maker to make steak knives.

    5. I would prefer a website, brochure, or whatever, that allows me to see the cost of the blades, or at least what they've sold their previous work for.

    Any and all suggestions are appreciated, as are links/website names.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by broger; 04-17-2013 at 05:42 PM.

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    Senior Member Str8Shooter's Avatar
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    Henckels for razors and knives has never disapointed me.
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    Senior Member mjsorkin's Avatar
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    Chefknivestogo.com
    Great site, selection, service

    I got my takeda gyuto there. Very happy with it.

    Michael
    “there is the danger that the ignorant man may easily underdose himself and by exposing his microbes to nonlethal quantities of the drug make them resistant.”---Fleming

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    I used Nakayamas for my house mainaman's Avatar
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    If you want a good knife, stay away from anything that is not Japanese made, or custom.
    Classic makers Shigefusa, Yoshikane, Konosuke, Suisin, then custom makers Devin Thomas, Pierre Rodrigue, Rather , if you are filthy rich and can wait a few years try Bob Kramer. There are all kinds of geometry and grinds involved.
    Go check out Kitchen Knife Forums , you will soon have another AD on your hands.
    Lemur likes this.
    Stefan

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    Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    My kitchen is filled with Japanese carbon steel and French copper, I will never look back!
    Japanese handmade knives don't have to be that expensive, lots of hype around certain brands raise the prices.
    Euclid440 likes this.
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    Senior Member broger's Avatar
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    mainaman,

    I really do agree that Japanese knives are much better. I will try my hardest to acquire some of that yummy hand forged Japanese steel. I looked at some works from Yoshikane and almost want to sell everything I have to fill my kitchen with those pieces of straight edged wonder.

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    Senior Member broger's Avatar
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    Lemur,

    Would you be so kind as to tell me where you obtained some of your Japanese knives, since you seem to be pleased with them?

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    Senior Member sheajohnw's Avatar
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    The usual recommendation for a minimum set of kitchen knives is a 10 inch, more or less, chef's knife (or Japanese gyuto), a petty around 6 inches, and a parer around 3 inches. It is often said that the gyuto can do everything that the santoku will do, and more. Many of the knives that come in commercial knife sets are infrequently used.

    The chef's knife or gyuto is the kitchen work horse or go to knife. One might add a serrated bread knife, but a really sharp gyuto or slicer works well for breads as long as they are not very soft such as when just taken from the oven.

    Japanese knives similar to western style knives are usually excellant for western cooking. However, I would avoid Japanese knives designed for the Japanese kitchen as a general substitute for western knives for western kitchen use.

    The usuba is a very specialized knife. The yanagi is optimized for sliceing boneless fish and sushi, it has an edge that is very thin and too brittle for cutting against bone. The yanagi is prone to chipping when used outside its intended role, but is excellant for cutting London Broil and other boneless meats into thin slices. The deba is very thick and heavy and is intended for breaking down whole fish.

    I have and enjoy Japanese style knives, but use them only for Japanese cooking, or for western kitchen roles that are a reasonable match to the knife's intended use in Japanese cooking. They make an interesting addition to the three basic knives. There is a lot of discussion about Japanese knives for western kitchen use on kitchen knife sites.

    As with straight razors, a really sharp basic kitchen knife of good steel and heat treat trumps a dull best quality knife. Kitchen knives need to be touched up between uses and honed from time to time to maintain their effectiveness.

    HTH

    http://korin.com/site/home.html

    http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/
    http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/ST....html#STSeries

    http://yhst-27988581933240.stores.yahoo.net/

    http://www.chefknivestogo.com/
    Last edited by sheajohnw; 04-17-2013 at 06:56 PM.
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    Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by broger View Post
    Lemur,

    Would you be so kind as to tell me where you obtained some of your Japanese knives, since you seem to be pleased with them?
    I'm not a rich man but have been lucky to get some good knives, some from friends, auctions, sales and good internet shops.
    Carbon steel does need some tlc but they will pay you back in performance.
    I'm Swedish, born and by choice, so I go mostly for European shops like;
    japan-messer-shop - Kochmesser und Schleifsteine im japan-messer-shop.de
    cleancut.se | Kockknivar Global Sabatier Satake Tamahagane Shun med flera!
    Slipstenar.se
    Japanese Natural Stones Toishi

    But you can probably find better deals in the US, usually better deals than if you buy them on site in Japan.

    Edit; +1 on the Gyuto and to begin with, stay clear from Usuba and any any single edges.
    I happen to be a keen fan of Nakiris tho, love them.
    Last edited by Lemur; 04-17-2013 at 06:36 PM.
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    Senior Member blabbermouth OCDshaver's Avatar
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    I've answered this question a thousand times for many people. My first suggestion is to analyze what you actually do in the kitchen. What are your cooking habits? Do you find yourself breaking down chickens, ducks, animal parts? If not, you probably don't need heavy gauge blades that can cut through bone one minute and slice through a tomato the next. The next question you need to answer honestly is, is this set of knives really for show or is it for functional use? Do you want a pretty knife block at your station that matches the stainless appliances or are you really leaning on this equipment to get you around the kitchen? My in-laws needed new knives at Christmas. I know how they cook and what they use their knives for, I got them three ceramic knives. Why? because there is nothign as useless as a dull knife. Will they ever have them professionally sharpened? No. So why bother getting them fine steel if its going to be dull in a month? Do they hack through bone? Never. An onion is as challenging as it gets. Also, what knives do you need? Your style of cooking may determine what you need. I cook mostly French and French-style food. I don't want short, flat edges. I want a longer blade that rocks on the cutting board. I want a sharp point not a muted one. I want a blade no less than 10". This mostly points me to a classic German or French style knife. I chose Wustof many years ago and this main knife has yet to let me down. On the other hand, if you want to make really, really fine and precise cuts, you may want a Japanese knife. Do you fillet fish and meat? You'll want a flexible boning knife. If not, skip it. But don't get sucked into a set unless its for show. Most of the time you're buying knives that underperform or are useless for most tasks (you always end up with one of those useless utility knives). Your best bet may be a mish mosh of different selections for different purposes.
    32t, Hirlau, pfries and 3 others like this.

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