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Other than Brewing => The Pub => Topic started by: bluefoxicy on April 07, 2011, 06:12:54 PM

Title: Knives
Post by: bluefoxicy on April 07, 2011, 06:12:54 PM
Well I'm trying to save money on food, someone mentioned less meat (...) but I don't know how to cook well anyway so... maybe, I guess, I should start making salad or something.  And fajitas.  In general cutting up lots of vegetables, since it's less catastrophic (and expensive) than chopping up lots of meat and doing lots of butchery.

I have no knife skills.

So I guess I should learn some, and practice on cheap stuff like vegetables.  Need some knives though.

(http://www.kitchenknivesdirect.co.uk/acatalog/tdm1702.jpg) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003B66YK0)

(http://cdn.metrokitchen.com/images/uploads/ke-tdm0750.jpg) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0039ZR3EO/)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51tqzFNU4YL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_.jpg) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1584796677/)

I intend to keep the knife wrapped in a towel for now, but buy the block (it's expensive and I don't want to run-away spend) soon, as well as a ProTeak 16x12 2 inch thick Teakwood (end grain, because plank isn't available) cutting board (which I'll plane 1/8 inch off every time it gets too damaged).

VG-10 molybdenum-vanadium stainless high carbon steel core with high-quality stainless steel plating (not up to the blade edge, which is exposed VG-10), hand-forged and hammered; blade length varies slightly by about 1/4 inch.  The blade is extremely hard and will hold an edge for a LONG time, but sharpening it is difficult (Shun sharpens them for the cost of shipping, and also sells sharpening kits that look strangely like a wooden plank and my straight razor hones...).  Because of the molybdenum, the steel lattice matrix is extremely stable and iron will not migrate out to oxidize, so the stuff doesn't rust; the stainless coating is for body bulk (the entire core to the spine is VG-10 for structure) without the expense of even more high-end hand-forged molybdenum-vanadium.

I am not Martin Yan, I do not need the Chinese Chef's Knife:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/315CWA8FEEL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

But do note the block:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/5129WEYP6GL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Title: Re: Knives
Post by: denny on April 07, 2011, 06:18:04 PM
America's test Kitchen and Cook's Illustrated chose the Forschner/Victorinox Fibrox 8" chef's knife as their best buy and use it in their kitchens.  I have one and it's an incredible knife.  Razor sharp and takes an edge easily.  In addition, it's under $30.  You don't need to spend a fortune to get a great knife.
Title: Re: Knives
Post by: Bret on April 07, 2011, 06:19:40 PM
Check out this thread:
http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=2973.0
Title: Re: Knives
Post by: weithman5 on April 07, 2011, 06:21:12 PM
That reminds me: we get our kid from Solingen germany this sunday.  usually get some new knife when they come. 
Title: Re: Knives
Post by: tumarkin on April 07, 2011, 06:30:14 PM
I've got a set of shun knives, with the block. got 'em on woot at a killer price about a year ago. love 'em. great tools.... but as Denny said, you can get good knives without spending a fortune. I never would have gotten them except for a deal like woot.
Title: Re: Knives
Post by: punatic on April 07, 2011, 07:02:23 PM
That reminds me: we get our kid from Solingen germany this sunday.  usually get some new knife when they come.  

I bought a Puma pocket knife when I was in Solingen 30 years ago.  Best stainless going comes from there IMHO.  That knife is still in my pocket.  I feel incomplete if I leave home without it.  (I get the shakes when I have to put it in my checked baggage).

I bought my wife a set of Wusthof kitchen knives (ala cart - not a preassembled set) our first Christmas together in 1997.  An artist needs the right tools.  An excellent investment if you can afford it.  They last a lifetime (or two).

Lots of good online tutorials on how to use cooking knives.  Save your money for buying knives, not buying classes.
Title: Re: Knives
Post by: bluefoxicy on April 07, 2011, 07:05:54 PM
America's test Kitchen and Cook's Illustrated chose the Forschner/Victorinox Fibrox 8" chef's knife as their best buy and use it in their kitchens.  I have one and it's an incredible knife.  Razor sharp and takes an edge easily.  In addition, it's under $30.  You don't need to spend a fortune to get a great knife.

Victrinox is the swiss army knife company.

That said, they do make some fine things; but you can't compare these kinds of things.  I would recommend a Victrinox to one of my friends (who actually really likes to cook, a lot):  he is poor, he can maintain and sharpen his own blades (this is a skill he is quite familiar with), and Victrinox knives are excellent value.  They are not the crappiest, cheapest garbage you can get for the price; they are actually well-made, although they are not forged steel, not VG-10 molybdenum-vanadium, not hand-made hand-hammered etc etc etc.  They're mass-produced, but not crap like Ginnsu knives.

It's in a different class, though.  This is a one-time buy, and one of the bigger influences is the actual shape of the santoku; the rest is icing.  I won't buy a (more expensive, probably better made/engineered) Shun Fusion for that reason.  A friend has those, they are excellent knives, but I'm disinterested.  He got the $1000 set for $500ish on Woot.

For reference, this is the current Santoku I use:

(http://demandware.edgesuite.net/aabh_prd/on/demandware.static/Sites-Appliance-Site/Sites-CompactAppliance/default/v1302104564717/products/viewlarger/04855_vl1.jpg)

I dislike the overall shape (notice the blade is flatly parallel with the handle).  It is also a rather crappy knife, and the blade is both not-sharp and flimsy like paper or foil.  Even straight razors with a razor edge do not feel flimsy; the edge is very much delicate, but it has bite and it has stiffness to it.

You can compare these to Wusthof knives, forged steel in the higher lines, which you can get for around $100.  You can compare the Victrinox to a Wusthof around the $30-$50 range, stamped steel, also excellent quality.  Again, not arguing against the Victrinox as a knife:  I know a lot of hard-core cooks that buy those, and a lot in those circles with $150-$300 Wusthof and Shun and Henckles knives that give a nod to the quality of those knives.  You will get shouted down for trying to compare the chef's knife in a $40 Ginnsu set to a $100 Wusthof, and edged towards some Victrinox or such for a bargain-price chef's knife under $50.

I just want a very nice knife.  But more importantly, I want the skills to use the damn thing, hence the book.  My expectation is of a one-time purchase:  I buy this thing one time and maybe in 20 years I need a new one.  This is also why I have a $100 Hangiri (http://store.zensuke.com/497071.html), and that's just a small piece of wood (if I lost/destroyed it somehow, I would buy again!  Fantastic difference in the quality of my rice).  The tools are, otherwise, rather meaningless, amounting to only aesthetics and fitness for purpose.
Title: Re: Knives
Post by: bluesman on April 07, 2011, 07:15:52 PM
The one thing that I've learned about knives over the years is that good knife sharpening skills are paramount to the quality and performance of any kitchen knife. The best stainless in the world will wear with use and require sharpening over time and poor sharpening skills will only lead to poor performance from the knife.

http://www.knifedealsplus.com/sharpeners.html
Title: Re: Knives
Post by: Joe Sr. on April 07, 2011, 07:19:59 PM
I love my Wusthofs.  Though Denny is correct that you can get knives of comparable balance and performance for less.  Cooks Illustrated is an awesome resource for the kitchen.

While one does not need the most expensive tool to cook well, IMO one cannot cook well with bad knives. Flimsy, dull, dangerous.  For this reason, I bought the MIL a set of Wusthofs.  I should go over and throw out her old knives to be sure no one will ever use them again.
Title: Re: Knives
Post by: bluefoxicy on April 07, 2011, 07:49:10 PM

While one does not need the most expensive tool to cook well, IMO one cannot cook well with bad knives.

People tell me a good carpenter never blames his tools.  I tell them a good hammer is a good hammer; if the head keeps falling off or the handle is cracked in half and acts like a shock absorber, an excellent carpenter will not be able to hammer a nail in very well with it.

I may recommend those victorinox knives to my parents, actually... they habitually go for $10 knife sets, and have never had good knives.  I like my high-end stuff, of course, but I know how it works.  Then again, I don't think they have the intelligence to maintain them:  these are people that will go, "What, sharpening steel on the blade once a week?  That's totally unnecessary.  These knives suck and they're totally dull btw."  Then they'll buy a V sharpener and destroy the blade on the knife (I am not skilled at knife sharpening, but I know how to properly sharpen things; I need practice, maybe I'll buy a Victorinox one day to practice...).

Seriously, that's my parents.  Dad doesn't change anything in a car until the car dies; filters, transmission fluid, plugs, you know when it's bad because the car stops running (although trans fluid NEVER gets changed, it's just not necessary).  They buy the cheapest crap because it's "just as good."  I'm heavily into learning to use and maintain things properly and I aim for middle price points, because I want something extremely nice and I don't have a million dollar a year salary to be buying all these luxury things every other day.

A good carpenter doesn't use a screwdriver as a prybar.  It's a good screwdriver, and once the shaft is no longer straight it's not a good screwdriver anymore!  Besides, a prybar works better.
Title: Re: Knives
Post by: Bret on April 07, 2011, 07:52:29 PM
The difference between cheap and value.
Title: Re: Knives
Post by: Joe Sr. on April 07, 2011, 08:06:49 PM
People tell me a good carpenter never blames his tools.

Because a good carpenter has the right tools, of course.

Seriously, her knives were bending and the blade was slipping when I tried to dice an onion.

There's frugal and then there's dangerous.

A cut from a dull blade is a nasty thing.
Title: Re: Knives
Post by: gmac on April 07, 2011, 08:43:45 PM
I'm a bit of a knife enthusiast because I love to cook (if I could go back in time I'd go to chef shool instead of into agriculture).  I say pick whatever style works best for you but mid-grade is probably best for most people.  Really cheap is really cheap for a reason.  MAC makes some excellent knives and I've been meaning to get some.  I do 98% of my cooking with a $30 santuko or a $130 Henkel.  I prefer the $30 knife.

Rather than a block, I'd suggest looking into a magnetic strip.  They keep the knives sharp, accessible and best of all you can see the whole knife and you're not grabbing the bread knife when you really want the chef's knife (not the end of the world and if you can keep them all straight good for you).  Just twist the knife away from the magnet so that the spine of the knife leaves last and you're golden.

I'd also suggest a Laskey sharpener.  It uses a guide to hold the angle properly and has 3 grades of stone for sharpening.  I can do my 8" chef's knife in about 5 minutes.  Remember, a steel does not sharpen a knife, it merely re-aligns the edge so that it cuts properly (unless you do it wrong and then it just makes things worse).  I love my Laskey kit and use it for pocket knives, cooking knives, fishing knives and everything I can.  But, be careful!  I can make the blade razor sharp in no time and I've sharpened knives for at least 3 guys that have used them wrong and cut themselves, one pretty badly.  

Lastly, buy a bag of potatoes and go nuts.  Practice is what everyone needs
Title: Re: Knives
Post by: bluefoxicy on April 07, 2011, 08:54:38 PM
Rather than a block, I'd suggest looking into a magnetic strip.  They keep the knives sharp, accessible and best of all you can see the whole knife and you're not grabbing the bread knife when you really want the chef's knife.

VG-10 is stainless super-hard molybdenum-vanadium; but still, I prefer blocks as they act as a desiccant and draw moisture away.  The Shun block holds knives horizontally to not rest pressure anywhere on the blade edge, but yeah, I know.  You will inevitably shift the knife and bump it against the wood/bamboo/etc.  Blocks are also more compact.

Quote from: gmac
I'd also suggest a Laskey sharpener.  It uses a guide to hold the angle properly and has 3 grades of stone for sharpening.

I need a 16 degree angle (total cutting edge angle is 32 degrees).  The angles on most Western knives are different, much thicker bevel, I want to say 30 degrees (60 degree total cutting angle) but I really don't remember...  Straight razors of course have about a 12.5 degree bevel IIRC.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41hGsP4eQzL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

This is of course ridiculous.  Here you're expected to hold the knife parallel to the table and glide it evenly in motion at a 16 degree angle... rather than having a protractor guide that sets the initial 16 degree angle and you glide the knife horizontally.  More spatial visualization is needed to pull this off.
Title: Re: Knives
Post by: denny on April 07, 2011, 09:01:34 PM

Victrinox is the swiss army knife company.

Well, duh...yes, I know that.

It's not like I haven't used much more expensive knives with fancy features.  But this is the knife that I prefer over all of those.  If you've tried it and made your opinion, great.  If you haven't, don't be over impressed by a lot of crap that doesn't mean jack to how the knife performs.  I was so impressed by the Forschner chef's knife that I went back to buy their 3 1/2 paring knife, also recommended by Cook's.  When I told the guy at the knife shop I wanted the Forschner, he said "Yeah, you and every chef in town.  I sell the more expensive knives because people ask for them, but Forschner is what I use.  So do all the pros."  That was good enough for me.  Whether it's good enough for you is up to you.
Title: Re: Knives
Post by: gmac on April 07, 2011, 09:06:54 PM
The Laskey has a 15 degree setting.  You're gonna get closer to 16 with that than you ever will by hand.  15 will give you a crazy sharp edge.  I do mine on 20 because I use mine for more than just straight slicing and I find 20 more durable although I know I'm giving up slightly on sharpness.  

Whatever you end up with will work great I am sure.  

I would suggest buying a cheap cleaver for hacking stuff apart.  It'll save every other knife in your block.  Mine cost $15 and you could take down a cedar with it but man can I take a chicken apart!
Title: Re: Knives
Post by: nicneufeld on April 07, 2011, 09:19:18 PM
If you want a good knife that will be a pleasure to use in the kitchen for cooking, buy a Forschner, or two.  I have several and they are great tools.

If, in addition, you either: 1. really need to spend a lot of money for whatever reason, 2. have a hangup about having the ultrapremium of whatever you buy (or at least, whatever somebody's marketing material tells you is ultrapremium), 3. want to impress your friends with your mad knife skillz and give them a long dissertation on why this knife is so much better than (etc.), then a quick way to decide would be to go to an online knife store, go to the chef's knife category, and click "Sort by: Price High to Low".  :D

I'm into my hobbies as much as the next cat, but it is really just cooking.  Buy something that works to cut up onions...if you want something to wax eloquent about, look into military antique collecting.  Of course 100 year old bayonets aren't the greatest for getting that thin, clean dice, anymore.
Title: Re: Knives
Post by: punatic on April 08, 2011, 12:31:38 AM
I take the same attitude towards shooting pool and using my kitchen knives - I chalk my cue tip before each shot and I use the steel on my knife before each cutting session.  That way you always start from the same place, tool-wise.


I'm into my hobbies as much as the next cat, but it is really just cooking.  Buy something that works to cut up onions...if you want something to wax eloquent about, look into military antique collecting.


"It's really just cooking..."  OK.  If you see it that way then inexpensive tools will probably do.
Title: Re: Knives
Post by: nicneufeld on April 08, 2011, 12:46:15 PM
Well, there's a huge difference between cheap/low quality and inexpensive.  Inexpensive just means "not expensive" and there's nothing that necessitates that a good knife must be highly expensive.  Cheap or poor quality knives are impossible to work with effectively, I grant that entirely, and if I'm cooking elsewhere, my knives come with because too many kitchens are stocked with dull knives.

If the name on the blade is important, or the aesthetics are important, or some sort of romantic historical nature is important (say, it was The Julia's knife or something!), those are valid things to consider, but they are all going to be upcharges from the basic cost of a good, practical, effective kitchen knife.  I'd rather have a Forschner slicing a good steak than a Hand-Forged Limited Edition Damascus chef's knife slicing potatoes!  :D  But such is only opinion and taste!
Title: Re: Knives
Post by: gordonstrong on April 08, 2011, 01:05:17 PM
Your knife should be something that fits comfortably in your hand, that is of the appropriate size and weight for you to use for the duration of your common tasks, and be able to take and hold an edge during your session.  Everything else is pretty much up to you.  It's a personal decision, so you should definitely "test drive" your knife before making a final choice.  People used to rave about Global knives, but I thought they were slippery in my hand, which I thought was dangerous.  Some other ones have an odd weight or balance.  Some have a different curvature of the blade so don't actually work the way you want.  People have different size hands and grip their knives in different ways, so make sure it works for you regardless of what reviews say.  Unless you just want to look at it instead of use it, of course...
Title: Re: Knives
Post by: MrNate on April 08, 2011, 02:28:02 PM
It's funny, because I recently unearthed some old Japanese kitchen knives I had from my pre-marital days. These are from the 70s-80s, back when "Japanese" meant "junk" for the most part. The case they came in makes every effort to appear old-world European. The chef's knife doesn't have the best balance, but I am consistently amazed by the quality of the steel. High-carbon stainless, takes and holds an edge easily as well as the Wustofs we had.

And the cleaver is a real beauty. I never learned how to de-joint chicken wings properly, so half of mine end up with the joint cut completely off. And it's a clean cut, and I don't whack at them either. I try to slice through the cartilage, but if I miss it just slips right through the bone.
Title: Re: Knives
Post by: bluefoxicy on April 08, 2011, 04:30:57 PM
I would suggest buying a cheap cleaver for hacking stuff apart.  It'll save every other knife in your block.  Mine cost $15 and you could take down a cedar with it but man can I take a chicken apart!


The joint is here!  You cut through the joint it cut easily!  Yan know how to cut a chicken!

First you pray with accent...
Title: Re: Knives
Post by: euge on April 08, 2011, 06:07:53 PM
I use this type of stone to sharpen my knives by hand. IMO one still needs a finer grit "Arkansas" type stone to really finish honing a blade, but even so I can shave the hairs off my arm with just a few firm passes on each side. No angle guides. It's all by feel and experience.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41eC4CGczRL.jpg)

+1 punatic- if one has knives then a good "steel" to complete the sharpening efforts is a must. Often, a blade doesn't need sharpening- just a few strokes on the steel and the edge is back.

Eventually, I'll get some real fancy knives as a present to myself. I like the Damascus folded steel look- so that'll be a criteria in the purchase. Bought all my current knives singly and have less than $125 invested in total.
Title: Re: Knives
Post by: gmac on April 08, 2011, 10:17:21 PM
I've always wanted to buy a Japanese wet stone but I've never had the $$$ available.  After all this, I want to go buy more knives.
Title: Re: Knives
Post by: norseman on April 09, 2011, 12:43:37 AM
In total agreement with the folks saying "there's a difference between cheap & inexpensive" and "get what feels good to you".

My bride uses nothing but Wüsthof.  But she also made that decision whilst weathering a three year apprenticeship to get her culinary degree.  When chef shoves apprentice at 500 lbs of onions and says, "CHOP!", one best have a strong knife with outstanding balance that allows one to cut and cut and cut without tiring.  Most kitchen tasks that folks like you and I would face don't punish to that extent - so something that costs as much as your car and has precision balance may be nice but in all likelihood probably isn't necessary...  ;)

Get something decent that you can sharpen more than twice without going paper thin and feels good in your hand and you're golden.  :)
Title: Re: Knives
Post by: punatic on April 09, 2011, 02:28:01 AM
I must have gotten a great deal on the Wusthof knives I bought.  They were orders of magnitude less expensive than my car.

I learned early on that buying quality tools is more economical than buying cheap ones.  Buy them once, take good care of them, and they will give you a lifetime of service.  Nothing beats having a job to do, and having the exact tool that you need to do that job at hand.

Penny wise - pound foolish (and all like that). 
Title: Re: Knives
Post by: ccarlson on April 09, 2011, 02:57:07 AM
I have a Wusthof knife like the  one posted below. Sorry, but I hate to repost quotes just to make a point. Anyway, it's a great knife and responds well to a steel, but it doesn't hold an edge for very long. I probably wouldn't buy another one.
Title: Re: Knives
Post by: norseman on April 09, 2011, 02:06:36 PM
I must have gotten a great deal on the Wusthof knives I bought.  They were orders of magnitude less expensive than my car.

I was attempting to be facetious and obviously failed.  :p

The point I was trying to make was to let the OP know that if he's interesting in getting a knife - to cook for himself and save money - going out and dropping a wad of cash on a "name brand", professional-grade knife isn't necessary at all.  I totally agree that there's "pennywise and pound foolish" - that cheap tools will last for the job and good tools last a lifetime - but I also believe you rapidly hit a point of diminishing returns when you buy professional equipment for home use.  I like my snazzy knives a great deal - but for someone wanting to start cooking at home and save some cash, I'd be doing him a disservice by steering him towards top-of-the line, world-class steel.

The chap would do well with anything that fits his hand and feels comfortable.  Chicago Cutlery, for example - a brand most professionals dismiss - makes some wonderful knifes (no, not the ones in plastic clamshells at Wally World - go to a shop that sells kitchen gear) that would easily give a lifetime of service.  If you wear one of those bad boys out by cutting up food, you're doing something wrong.  ;)

If you want to save some wumpum, hie thee to the closest restaurant supply shop.  Let them know what you're after.  You can get a really nice setup that will make cooking a joy.  And still save a few bucks in the process.  :)
Title: Re: Knives
Post by: bluesman on April 09, 2011, 03:06:55 PM

The chap would do well with anything that fits his hand and feels comfortable.  Chicago Cutlery, for example - a brand most professionals dismiss - makes some wonderful knifes (no, not the ones in plastic clamshells at Wally World - go to a shop that sells kitchen gear) that would easily give a lifetime of service.  If you wear one of those bad boys out by cutting up food, you're doing something wrong.  ;)


+1

I have a set of CC knives. They have given me years of success in my kitchen and as long as you practice good cutting and maintenance skills you'll easily get many, many years of good use from them.
Title: Re: Knives
Post by: narcout on April 09, 2011, 04:47:12 PM
They're mass-produced, but not crap like Ginnsu knives.

I like my Ginsu knives.
Title: Re: Knives
Post by: SwashBuckling Drunk on April 10, 2011, 04:04:59 AM
+1 on the Ginsu

Ya'll sure are a buncha fancy boys  ;D
Title: Re: Knives
Post by: punatic on April 10, 2011, 04:17:57 AM
+1 on the Ginsu

Ya'll sure are a buncha fancy boys  ;D

You best been smilin' when you wrote that.   :)
Title: Re: Knives
Post by: nicneufeld on April 10, 2011, 01:17:57 PM
+1 on the Ginsu

Ya'll sure are a buncha fancy boys  ;D

LOL, SBD dropping by for a dive bombing! 

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b6/Dauntless_bomb_drop.jpg)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_SBD_Dauntless
Title: Re: Knives
Post by: 1vertical on April 10, 2011, 04:16:12 PM
I use this type of stone to sharpen my knives by hand. IMO one still needs a finer grit "Arkansas" type stone to really finish honing a blade, but even so I can shave the hairs off my arm with just a few firm passes on each side. No angle guides. It's all by feel and experience.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41eC4CGczRL.jpg)

+1 punatic- if one has knives then a good "steel" to complete the sharpening efforts is a must. Often, a blade doesn't need sharpening- just a few strokes on the steel and the edge is back.

Eventually, I'll get some real fancy knives as a present to myself. I like the Damascus folded steel look- so that'll be a criteria in the purchase. Bought all my current knives singly and have less than $125 invested in total.
Euge, that is weird that you would put that pic up as I just last week took a tour of
the facility in Hot Springs Arkansas where those are manufactured. I met the Boss
and even got a nice sample of the material that these come from. Of interest and
off topic is that this material is also a flint knapper’s joy to work with not the coarse
grit stone, but the stuff that resembles porcelain.

Title: Re: Knives
Post by: SwashBuckling Drunk on April 10, 2011, 07:37:42 PM
Yeah, I'm smiling.  We just use whatever cheap ass knives we have layin around.  They actually do cut stuff.
Title: Re: Knives
Post by: bluefoxicy on April 11, 2011, 01:17:31 PM
I've always wanted to buy a Japanese wet stone but I've never had the $$$ available.  After all this, I want to go buy more knives.

Naniwa stones aren't THAT expensive.  Look on the straight razor sites and on eBay.  The highest grits cost like $80 or $100, and lower grit costs $30ish.

http://www.straightrazordesigns.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=37

it's $90 for a 3000/8000 grit combo stone.  :)

Of course these are synthetic.  If you're talking about JNAT, yeah you're gonna be shelling some cash out; mayhaps a Coticule instead, though I would probably go for a JNAT (only because I don't have the skill to take full advantage of a Coticule).

I learned early on that buying quality tools is more economical than buying cheap ones.

I didn't.  My parents are full in the Wal-Mart scam, buy the cheapest crap they can (if it looks the same, it's the same thing), except for my mom's Keureg coffee machine (so-so coffee, expensive machine; I recommended a $40 Bordin french press and a $20 grinder instead of this $200 monster) and the endless amounts of organic Whole Foods fruit she juices in $60 machines that break every 3 months (I recommend a $200 juice machine, and what do they do?  Spend $200/year on machines that keep breaking).

I've turned into the rich boy of the family, and they complain I get paid like a pauper but try to live like a king.  So far I have a $450 bicycle (mom just got another $60 Wal-Mart bike; I need to buy chain lube), $150 pair of Bellville Boots, $100 pair of New Balance shoes, hell I spent $50 on a cast iron tea pot....  The bike I can sell for $200-ish in a few years if I want a new one, and I'll keep it well maintained (might be able to get $350; I got it on clearance, it's $600 normally and $850 MSRP).  The boots will probably last forever, and the shoes... every pair of shoes my parents ever bought me had the soles falling off by now, but they were canvas etc and I've been going with leather lately (and polishing the damn things at least once a month).

I spend a lot of money to avoid the stupid revolving door syndrome.  Sometimes I spend a little more to satisfy a desire for a little luxury (my boots aren't exactly baseline, either; they're Belleville 770).  When I started buying expensive toys, I suddenly stopped living paycheck to paycheck.

going out and dropping a wad of cash on a "name brand", professional-grade knife isn't necessary at all.  I totally agree that there's "pennywise and pound foolish" - that cheap tools will last for the job and good tools last a lifetime - but I also believe you rapidly hit a point of diminishing returns when you buy professional equipment for home use. 

Of course :)  I do like my Japanese (and Swedish!) steel, though.
Title: Re: Knives
Post by: weithman5 on April 12, 2011, 04:12:52 AM
i was going to start a new thread but for some reason, i can't. so anyway our 7th year hosting a teenager from solingen germany, no knives this year but I did get this really cool beer stein.  unsure if i should use it.
http://www.steincenter.com/stein/pc/viewPrd.asp?idproduct=881&idcategory=45
Title: Re: Knives
Post by: bluefoxicy on April 13, 2011, 09:05:56 PM
So, I got the knife.

Holy crap I made fajitas, and it's so damn sharp!  That thing passed through a bell pepper like it didn't exist, and it slices meat in one go.  The bevel is 16 degrees, double grind (I wanted a single grind i.e. chisel grind, flat on one side and 16 degrees on the other), while a western chef's knife is 30 degrees, double grind.  My straight razors are 13.5 degrees, double grind; razor sharp, literally.

Going very, very slowly with this, and practicing.  It's one of those things.
Title: Re: Knives
Post by: Bret on April 13, 2011, 10:26:04 PM
Be careful.