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Best Chefs Knife on a Budget

KKoterskiKKoterski Posts: 2
edited March 14 in EggHead Forum
Good afternoon gentlemen,

I am in the market for a new chefs knife. I am fairly experienced in the kitchen and using knives, looking to upgrade to something a little nicer considering I probably use a kitchen knife once a day, minimum. I currently own and use a couple of lower end Zwilling and Henckles.

Looking to spend around $140-$150, blade length of 8"-10", with some Damascus pattern ideally. I really hate bolsters that go all of the way to the cutting edge.

Leaning towards a Japanese style of knife considering I have had and used a European style knife for the past 10+ years. Looking for something a little more accurate, refined, sharp, and something that looks nice as well. I use both chopping and rocking cutting motions. Mostly cutting up onions, garlic, carrots, potatoes, herbs, greens, raw meat, cooked meat, etc. I rarely deal with bones and, as mentioned, have a couple of European style knifes to do any bone breaking. I know that Japanese knives have a typically straighter blade with less belly, so how hard would it be using a Japanese style to do some rocking cuts?

Currently looking at a Shun Classic considering it meets the Japanese style, some Damascus pattern, and fits the price. However, I have read some issues with the edge chipping easily. I was also learning about the differences in Japanese vs. European and I know the Japanese knifes are made of much harder, but more brittle, steel. A lot of users around here seem to prefer Shun so I would like to know everyone's experiences with upkeep and longevity of Shun.

Any other types or brands of knives you recommend?

EDIT: Also any recommendations for a decent Nakiri knife around $50-$60?


  • If you like the Shun classic go with it. 

    You wont regret it. I have two and love them. Do 90% with it alone. 

    "Brought to you by bourbon, bacon, and a series of questionable life decisions."

    South of Nashville, TN

  • MN-EggerMN-Egger Posts: 103
    You can look at many Japanese knives here (see link) and watch videos demonstrating the knife's features etc. I bought a Konosuke Gyuto from them. Good people.
    Near Twin Cities, MN
    Large BGE
  • Three of my four high end knives were purchased on the classifieds - some from local acclaimed chefs - and all of which were in new condition. If you haven’t tried carbon steel, do yourself a favour and consider them. Once you go aogami super blue you will not want anything else, though white and blue carbon are also fine. Have fun and enjoy the search!
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 24,615
    you can rock the gyutos just fine, they work better with a slight rock/forward slice motion.  this chipping notion with these knives is over rated, i have not chipped a kitchen knife in 20 years, dont put a knife in the sink. the chefknivesto go is a great source
  • YoungsterYoungster Posts: 11
    I use Kyocera ceramic knives for all things boneless.  Whenever I go on vacation, I ship them back to Kyocera to be sharpened which is a free service except for the cost of the outbound shipping.  For things with bones, I use Dexter Sani-Safe.  Not pretty but very practical, durable and a good value.
  • td66snrftd66snrf Posts: 1,519
    I really like my Wusthof nakiri but it's going to be about 100 bucks .
    XLBGE, LBGE, MBGE, SMALL, MINI, 2 Kubs, Fire Magic Gasser
  • alaskanassasinalaskanassasin Posts: 1,642
    Find a Williams and Sonoma outlet, ours has a good selection of knives.
    South of Columbus, Ohio.
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 6,183
    As mentioned above, chefknivestogo is a good source. Also, look at Japan Woodworker. Generally good prices, tho' usually not very fancy. You might also look at Warther Knives. Family owned, well respected, and now using some high end steel. Traditional profile blades, with a somewhat peculiar finish.

    Most gyutos and santukos have a belly, but not as much as a traditional German style. From what I've read, the Henckels-Zwilling cryodur tempered knives have remedied the chipping problems reported when they 1st started to make harder blades. If you prefer rocking cuts, you might want look more closely at those.

    To be fussy, there are almost no real Damascus blades made, except by really high end artisans. What is not usually called "damascus" used to be called pattern welded. It looks nice, and helps reduce stickyness. The real advantage is that it often provides a tougher cladding over a very hard, somewhat brittle, and very expensive core steel. At this time, I prefer a plainer cladding. Works as well, looks OK, and is usually a little less expensive.

  • LitLit Posts: 7,391
    For a little more you can get the shun premiere. Much nicer looking than the classic in my opinion. 
  • GaBGEGaBGE Posts: 509
    These are pretty hard to beat for the price. 

  • bgebrentbgebrent Posts: 19,135
    Haven’t read anything above.  Buy a Shun Premier 8” chefs knife on sale.  My favorite by a mile.
    Sandy Springs & Dawsonville Ga
  • stlcharcoalstlcharcoal Posts: 3,747
    I like the Kiritsuki's much better than the chef's knifes......check those out.  I never could get the rocking motion down right, so a very small portion of the blade is touching the board at any given time.  You'll rarely use the outer 1-2", but the kiritsuki is clipped, so you don't have that extra blade hanging out there doing nothing.  

    I'm a Shun dealer if you need anything.  Just send me an email if you're interested.  Can't publish the prices online, but I can beat that premier above by quite a're going to have to wait though because I don't keep those in stock.  I don't sell many chef's knifes anymore.  Most people want the Asian Cook's knife or the Kiritsuki's.

    On the Kyocera's they raised the price--it's now $12 to get them sharpened.  I've had to send them back every year or so.  You just need to steel the Shuns.....that's it.  The ceramics are really sharp, but they dull quickly and chip easily.  
  • MaskedMarvelMaskedMarvel Posts: 2,561
    I’m totally shun premier. The hand hammered finish of the knife releases food easily. Lifetime sharpening and minor repair. Check your local Craigslist. I got most of mine that way, or piece by piece on ridiculous sale....

    Large BGE and Medium BGE
    36" Blackstone - Greensboro!

  • GlennMGlennM Posts: 959
    I babe I have a few nice chefs knives but my shun premier is by far my favourite!
    In the bush just East of Cambridge,Ontario 
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