Author Topic: Knives  (Read 5790 times)

Offline gmac

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Re: Knives
« Reply #15 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!

Offline nicneufeld

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Re: Knives
« Reply #16 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.

Offline punatic

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Re: Knives
« Reply #17 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.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2011, 12:34:53 AM by punatic »
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Offline nicneufeld

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Re: Knives
« Reply #18 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!

Offline gordonstrong

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Re: Knives
« Reply #19 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...
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Offline MrNate

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Re: Knives
« Reply #20 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.
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Offline bluefoxicy

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Re: Knives
« Reply #21 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!

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« Last Edit: April 08, 2011, 04:32:56 PM by bluefoxicy »

Offline euge

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Re: Knives
« Reply #22 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.



+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.
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Offline gmac

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Re: Knives
« Reply #23 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.

Offline norseman

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Re: Knives
« Reply #24 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.  :)

Offline punatic

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Re: Knives
« Reply #25 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). 
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Re: Knives
« Reply #26 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.

Offline norseman

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Re: Knives
« Reply #27 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.  :)
« Last Edit: April 09, 2011, 02:08:54 PM by norseman »

Offline bluesman

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Re: Knives
« Reply #28 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.
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Offline narcout

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Re: Knives
« Reply #29 on: April 09, 2011, 04:47:12 PM »
They're mass-produced, but not crap like Ginnsu knives.

I like my Ginsu knives.
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