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OT - Knives, brand, style, etc?

Ozzie_IsaacOzzie_Isaac Posts: 11,667
edited February 2015 in Off Topic
I have been doing a lot more prep work lately for my egg cooks.  I recently purchased a sharpener and have sharpened everything I can get my hands on.  My wife actually complained that the knives were to sharp (!?).  Oh well, I love a sharp knife.

As with all things in life new tools (toys) are fun.  I have a 8" Chefs knife by Henckle that my wife had from her time in the restaurant industry.  I really like the knife a lot.  It is light, balances real well, and keeps a fantastic edge.  I tried looking for more of them but Henckle has a millions versions, grades, etc.  The seem to range from crap to great.  I have no idea what is or is not good.  I have drawers full of knives, but want to get a quality set for myself.  That way I can keep mine the way I like.

So what knives do you guys like?  What style blade?  Brand?  Edge Angle? etc?


If it is worth doing, it is worth overdoing.

XL, Medium, Minimax, Mini, Blackstone, WSM
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Comments

  • My mom bought a me a set of henckles for Christmas that I really like and the wife bought me a 10" Victorinox that I like as well. That said, I'm a newbie to good knives...
    Jason NW GA- home of carpet and Mexican restaurants
    LBGE, MM, BS (Blackstone and the other kind)
    One sorry Labrador

    My chili did not suck. My wings either. 
  • jls9595jls9595 Posts: 1,530
    edited February 2015
    I know little to nothing about knives but I did buy the Ken Onion Work sharp sharpener and have some very sharp cheap knives now. I guess the best one I have is a cutco my mother in-law gave us that she bought from a college kid. I'm curious to learn from folks who know stuff ;)
    In Manchester, TN
    Vol For Life!
  • Ozzie_IsaacOzzie_Isaac Posts: 11,667
    @jls9595 that is the sharpener I just got.  So far it has been great.
    If it is worth doing, it is worth overdoing.

    XL, Medium, Minimax, Mini, Blackstone, WSM
  • That's the one I plan to buy. 
    Jason NW GA- home of carpet and Mexican restaurants
    LBGE, MM, BS (Blackstone and the other kind)
    One sorry Labrador

    My chili did not suck. My wings either. 
  • ChubbsChubbs Posts: 6,928
    I have a few Globals that I have been very impressed with. I have the 5" santoku and a paring. Great weight and keeps a blade 
    Columbia, SC --- LBGE 2011 -- MINI BGE 2013
  • stv8rstv8r Posts: 933
    I purchased a set of Shun Alton's Angle knives a few years ago on woot.com  Great set of knives!!  I send them in for free sharpening at the factory about once a year.
  • My mom bought a me a set of henckles for Christmas that I really like...
    I have a full set of Henckles Twin Sig knives. It's my first set of "good" knives. They hold their edge well and do everything I need.
    LBGE | CyberQ | Adjustable Rig | SmokeWare Cap | Kick Ash Basket | Table Build | Tampa, FL
  • LKNEggLKNEgg Posts: 339
    I don't know about go knives,  but have the razor sharp edge system and it is very fast for sharpening all my knives.   Never used the ken onion sharpener,  may have to get one and try it! 
    Large BGE - 2014
    FB 200, KAB, AR - 2015
    Lake Norman area of NC
    The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten!
    Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing!
  • cook861cook861 Posts: 872
    i have a 10 inch Henckel at home and 10 inch Victorinox
     at work great and both hold there edge very well some people at work like to use my knive very well balnced for me and i like the wooded handle 
    Trenton ON 1 mbge for now
  • SGHSGH Posts: 28,086
    edited February 2015
    There are a lot of good knives out there. To me what is more important than the brand is having the appropriate style knife for the task at hand. A fillet knife works wonders for filleting fish but is useless for breaking down carcass or primals. At the other end of the spectrum a breaking knife is unbeatable for breaking down carcass and primals but is useless for filleting fish. That said, consider what are the knives going to be used for and buy accordingly. If your forte is reducing primals and subprimals I recommend adding a breaker to your collection. I prefer the breakers over the bull noses but I prefer to cut pushing instead of pulling. If you prefer pulling then you will be better served with a bull nose as it is front heavy.  If you do a lot of shoulder and joint work i recommend a flank/shoulder knife. These make shoulder separation a breeze. I will make a recommendation here. Victorinox has the best balanced and flexed shoulder/flank knife on the market. They are one of only a few who even still make flank knives. For general reduction, boning knives are very handy. I like 5"-6" curved semi stiff blades. They are excellent all around use. For small scale or home meat cutting, I recommend at least the following. A big breaker or bull nose depending on your cutting style. Again, a breaker if you cut pushing or a bull nose if you cut pulling. A couple of differnt size boning knives with curved and straight blades. With just these you can accomplish most raw meat cutting and separating tasks. However if you are really getting into heavy home butchery I recommend adding the fore mentioned flank/shoulder knife as well. It just makes life easy. With a breaker, a few boning knives and a flank knife in your arsenal, there is no raw meat cutting task that can't be accomplished with impunity. I myself use Victorinox. Are there higher end knives out there? Absolutely. Do they cut raw meat any better? No sir, they do not. Look around any slaughter house or meat packing facilty. 8 out of 10 will be using Victorinox knives followed by Dexter Russel. Again, consider what all you will be cutting and buy knives accordingly. As long as they are not super cheapos, brand is usually less important than the style. Please note that all of the above is in reference to knives for raw meat only. Not bread, vegetables or cooked meat. 

    Location- Just "this side" of Biloxi, Ms.

    Status- Standing by.

    The greatest barrier against all wisdom, the stronghold against knowledge itself, is the single thought, in ones mind, that they already have it all figured out. 

  • calikingcaliking Posts: 15,613
    jls9595 said:
    I know little to nothing about knives but I did buy the Ken Onion Work sharp sharpener and have some very sharp cheap knives now. I guess the best one I have is a cutco my mother in-law gave us that she bought from a college kid. I'm curious to learn from folks who know stuff ;)

    Cen-Tex had a great thread about that sharpener some time ago. Its around here somewhere.

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • bigalsworthbigalsworth Posts: 685
    edited February 2015
    I have Masamoto HC 270mm gyuto and a miyabi kaizen 6" chef knife.  Both are great knives, mostly used for vegetables but I will use my masamoto for meat prep as well. From the supermarket meat prep not from the pasture.
    Large BGE
    BBQ Guru DigiQ II

    Martensville, Saskatchewan Canada
  • Ozzie_IsaacOzzie_Isaac Posts: 11,667
    edited February 2015
    Thank you all for your advice and descriptions of your setups.  Looks like I have a lot of research to do.

    @SGH Thank you for the detailed writeup.  I am not prepared to respond because I am digesting all you wrote.

    @caliking Cen-Tex's thread was the final thing I read that pushed me off center.  I am very glad I got the sharpener.
    If it is worth doing, it is worth overdoing.

    XL, Medium, Minimax, Mini, Blackstone, WSM
  • Not sure if this was in SGHs reply cuz i nevet read it all, but one thing i should mention is the style of handle is important as well.  My Masamoto has a western style handle and my Miyabi has a Japanese style.  For myself I love the Japanese style, I just find it way more comfortable and future knives will likely have it.  Try the knife out before buying if possible.

    Japanese chef knife.com is a great website for many different high quality knives, I also got my whetstones from there
    Large BGE
    BBQ Guru DigiQ II

    Martensville, Saskatchewan Canada
  • jls9595jls9595 Posts: 1,530
    Cent-tex's thread is what caused me to buy it. Another of his threads caused me to buy a sous vide. He's real good at separating me from my money lol. I'm very pleased with all of my purchases though :)
    In Manchester, TN
    Vol For Life!
  • BigWaderBigWader Posts: 673

    I have a full set of Wusthoff Ikon with the black handle.  I like everything about them and were a good price for the set.  I mostly use the chefs knife and I find it well balanced with a thick enough hilt/bolster handle area to fit my hand.  My wife likes the santoku because it is smaller and easier to wield for her.  I have a global paring knife and prefer the shorter style of the Ikons.  I even like the boning knife when trimming meats.

    I recommend you go to a store that carries several brands so you can hold them.  There are so many designs that the name is less important than the feel, and in my opinion the quality of the knife steel is only secondary to a good fit for your hand/chopping style.

    That all said, I have on my wish list the Victorinox 10" breaking knife with Granton edge since I want to buy more primals and portion myself, and since this forum discussed it.

    Toronto, Canada

    Large BGE, Small BGE

     

  • hapsterhapster Posts: 7,503
    I will easily defer to

    @SGH in this area...

    when it comes to breaking down meat to edible chunks, he has no peers...

    now, if you were asking about camera stuff I might be able to help a little bit 
  • The most expensive knife isn't worth a crap if you don't know how to use it. Practice sharpening on some crap knifes. Make sure the knife feels good in your hand
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 6,239
    I spent a couple years buying better knives, and learning to sharpen them. So my first observation is be careful. The damage you do to your wallet can be extensive.

    Second, as you have already experienced, really sharp knives can be dangerous. My wife has learned not to mess w. my better knives, which are kept apart from the day to day beaters. One is less likely to slip using a sharp knife, but if you do, expect stitches.

    Many people will say that there are at least 2 knives a cook should have. A chef's knife, and a paring knife. Some people add in a utility knife. I have to admit those are the three that I use most of the time. But I do have a bread knife, a boning knife, a cleaver, etc. The three main knives are fairly good quality. I can get them sharp enough that when I cut onions, I do not cry. The edge, with a little stropping, only needs sharpening maybe once every 8 months.

    Admittedly, I've learned to treat the blades right. No tossing into a sink or drawer. No hacking at bones, no chopping on hard surfaces. I grew up using all stainless, and so my habits are still kind of sloppy as far as keeping the blades clean. As a result, the carbon steel knives I have get less use 'cause I tend to forget to wipe off stuff that will corrode or rust them.

    Consider your habitual use. Most restaurant grade knives will take a good edge, but it is expected that they will be sharpened frequently. I knew a butcher who would sharpen away his boning knives every few months. For my home use, I like a finer edge, but I don't have to worry about having a heavy production schedule, or that someone will walk off w. a knife that cost a couple hundred dollars.
  • I have a full set of Mercer knives. I purchased them a RD years ago. Great knives they hold an edge for a long time. They will not break the bank at all. I mainly use the 8" chefs knife, santuko and my paring knife. I have Henkels and some Wustof knives also, the Mercer knives are just as balanced as they are. Can't say enough about them. In fact I bought a set for my mother-in-law for Xmas, she loves them. 
    Mckinney, TX
    LBGE--AR with Rig extender 
    Mini Max
  • I've got some Henckles and Wustoff knives. I've had some of them 40 years. They just need an occasional sharpening and cleaned after use. But NEVER put them in the dishwasher. Even my wife has finally relented to not putting my good knives in the dishwasher. She believes if it's used in the kitchen, it needs to go in the dishwasher.
    HO HO HO
    LBGE in Lawrenceville, GA
  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 14,413
    What kind of prep are you talking about? I prefer Japanese steel and a really narrow angle so my main knife doesn't go anywhere near a bone or joint. I use a cleaver or thick-spined euro-style chef knife for that. There are just as many brands of knife as there are types. Also, what is your cutting style? I use a push-chop style that lends itself well to the angles Japanese steel,  since there are much shallower bellys in eastern geometry vs western. I also prefer the Wa handles because  of the way I hold my knife when prepping. 

    Honestly, there is a lot of great information here but it is probably the last place I'd look before making a decision beyond brand recommendations. A knife should be sharp and feel like an extension of your arm. That is the best and safest knife for you. A good place to check out is chefknivestogo.com or a local knife shop. That way you can pick up a knife and get a feel for it in your hand and practice cutting motions. The 50-100 dollar range has a lot of nice Chef knives. You don't need to spend $300, but you certainly can! A gyuto is the Japanese version of a chef's knife, FYI. 
  • MaskedMarvelMaskedMarvel Posts: 2,831
    edited February 2015
    Get a good sharpener, and steel the blade after EVERY USE.

     Use a chefs knife for cutting like a saw, use a Santoku for chopping, paring knife for detail work..other knives are gravy. If your style is one more tha. The other get that one first. 



    My brand, hands down, Is Shun Premier. Beautiful to look at, hand hammered to release food, tuschime and Damascus.  And guaranteed for life. Against everything. We have guys drop them and they break in half. They take them To Sur La Table and then exchange them for brand new knives. They didn't even get them from the store. Lifetime sharpening for free. NSF rated. They're the best for the buck, in my HO..

    and i I haven't heard anyone mention this yet, but get an end grain cutting board. That'll protect your knives' edges more than anything. They're cheap if you shop around. 


    Dont know if vanilla fixed ipad formatting or not. When this was written it was six separate paragraphs. Sorry if it compressed into one. Good luck! edit - fixed with new update! Yay!
    Large BGE and Medium BGE
    36" Blackstone - Greensboro!


  • BeggerBegger Posts: 549
    Here is MY end grain cutting board.  And it ISN'T cheap.    I started with about 8 feet of 5/4 Maple about 5" or so wide.   

    LOTS of labor later………...
  • jimithingjimithing Posts: 254
    Get a good sharpener, and steel the blade after EVERY USE.

     Use a chefs knife for cutting like a saw, use a Santoku for chopping, paring knife for detail work..other knives are gravy. If your style is one more tha. The other get that one first. 

    My brand, hands down, Is Shun Premier. Beautiful to look at, hand hammered to release food, tuschime and Damascus.  And guaranteed for life. Against everything. We have guys drop them and they break in half. They take them To Sur La Table and then exchange them for brand new knives. They didn't even get them from the store. Lifetime sharpening for free. NSF rated. They're the best for the buck, in my HO..
    My 8" Shun Premier is without a doubt the best knife I've ever bought.  It's the first time I took a knife out of a box and understood what people meant when they say scary sharp.  The edge on it is unbelievable.  The tradeoff for that sharpness is that it's more brittle than the traditional western knives like Henckels.  So they are more prone to chipping.  I wouldn't hack through bones with it like I would a Henckel.

    As a matter of fact I dropped my Shun a few months ago - hit the tile and chipped a piece of the blade.  I mailed it to Shun and they fixed it for the price of shipping.  They just reduced the blade height until the chip was out.  Unless you held a new one next to it you would never know it's a little shorter.  Still pisses me off that I dropped it.

    Anyways, my reason for choosing the Premier over the Shun classic is the hammered blade.  Some people don't care for the looks but it's actually functional - it helps the food not get stuck to the blade as you slice through it.  It doesn't allow a vacuum to be created like you get with normal blades.

    Also, Sur La Table doesn't sell Shun Premier.  Perhaps they used to but not anymore.  I bought mine through Williams Sonoma.

    To the OP - whatever you do don't buy a set.  Evaluate your knife needs and buy individual knives to match.  And definitely hold them before you buy,
    XL BGE
    Plano, TX
  • BeggerBegger Posts: 549
    jimithing said:
    Get a good sharpener, and steel the blade after EVERY USE.

     Use a chefs knife for cutting like a saw, use a Santoku for chopping, paring knife for detail work..other knives are gravy. If your style is one more tha. The other get that one first. 

    My brand, hands down, Is Shun Premier. Beautiful to look at, hand hammered to release food, tuschime and Damascus.  And guaranteed for life. Against everything. We have guys drop them and they break in half. They take them To Sur La Table and then exchange them for brand new knives. They didn't even get them from the store. Lifetime sharpening for free. NSF rated. They're the best for the buck, in my HO..
    My 8" Shun Premier is without a doubt the best knife I've ever bought.  It's the first time I took a knife out of a box and understood what people meant when they say scary sharp.  The edge on it is unbelievable.  The tradeoff for that sharpness is that it's more brittle than the traditional western knives like Henckels.  So they are more prone to chipping.  I wouldn't hack through bones with it like I would a Henckel.

    As a matter of fact I dropped my Shun a few months ago - hit the tile and chipped a piece of the blade.  I mailed it to Shun and they fixed it for the price of shipping.  They just reduced the blade height until the chip was out.  Unless you held a new one next to it you would never know it's a little shorter.  Still pisses me off that I dropped it.

    Anyways, my reason for choosing the Premier over the Shun classic is the hammered blade.  Some people don't care for the looks but it's actually functional - it helps the food not get stuck to the blade as you slice through it.  It doesn't allow a vacuum to be created like you get with normal blades.

    Also, Sur La Table doesn't sell Shun Premier.  Perhaps they used to but not anymore.  I bought mine through Williams Sonoma.

    To the OP - whatever you do don't buy a set.  Evaluate your knife needs and buy individual knives to match.  And definitely hold them before you buy,
    Steels vary in their mechanical properties.   it is frequently a tradeoff between 'springiness' = ductility, edge holding ability, corrosion resistance and difficulty to sharpen.  
    Your Japanese knife MAY be made of something like VG-10.   This steel is Very Good, but is somewhat brittle when taken to 60+RC (Rockwell 'c' scale hardness)
    http://www.chefknivestogo.com/vg10steel.html

    Other steels are compromises also.   

    If anyone cares, I'll go on, but I will have trouble with all the myths and misconceptions about knives.   

    The other major factor is the EDGE and the style of the edge put on the blade at time of manufacture.   A very narrow angle 'VEE' will produce a more fragile, but WAY sharp blade.  If you resharpen at the wrong angle, you'll damage the original intent.
    If you have a more open 'vee' it will be a more durable but perhaps somewhat less sharp edge.  

    In general, I'd recommend learning HOW TO sharpen manually.   The Spyderco ceramic set is tops but has a learning curve.  Likewise, you can get steels rod type to maintain a good edge while I have a 1200 grit CERAMINC rod and a 600 grit DIAMOND rod as well as a manmade stone (coarse and medium) for nick removal.  It happens!
  • tarheelmatttarheelmatt Posts: 9,857
    Get a good sharpener, and steel the blade after EVERY USE.

     Use a chefs knife for cutting like a saw, use a Santoku for chopping, paring knife for detail work..other knives are gravy. If your style is one more tha. The other get that one first. 



    My brand, hands down, Is Shun Premier. Beautiful to look at, hand hammered to release food, tuschime and Damascus.  And guaranteed for life. Against everything. We have guys drop them and they break in half. They take them To Sur La Table and then exchange them for brand new knives. They didn't even get them from the store. Lifetime sharpening for free. NSF rated. They're the best for the buck, in my HO..

    and i I haven't heard anyone mention this yet, but get an end grain cutting board. That'll protect your knives' edges more than anything. They're cheap if you shop around. 


    Dont know if vanilla fixed ipad formatting or not. When this was written it was six separate paragraphs. Sorry if it compressed into one. Good luck! edit - fixed with new update! Yay!
    @MaskedMarvel is this a great place to buy from? My favorite knife broke and I am now looking for a replacement. I need to hold the knife before I invest. 
    ------------------------------
    Thomasville, NC
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  • MaskedMarvelMaskedMarvel Posts: 2,831
    Get a good sharpener, and steel the blade after EVERY USE.

     Use a chefs knife for cutting like a saw, use a Santoku for chopping, paring knife for detail work..other knives are gravy. If your style is one more tha. The other get that one first. 



    My brand, hands down, Is Shun Premier. Beautiful to look at, hand hammered to release food, tuschime and Damascus.  And guaranteed for life. Against everything. We have guys drop them and they break in half. They take them To Sur La Table and then exchange them for brand new knives. They didn't even get them from the store. Lifetime sharpening for free. NSF rated. They're the best for the buck, in my HO..

    and i I haven't heard anyone mention this yet, but get an end grain cutting board. That'll protect your knives' edges more than anything. They're cheap if you shop around. 


    Dont know if vanilla fixed ipad formatting or not. When this was written it was six separate paragraphs. Sorry if it compressed into one. Good luck! edit - fixed with new update! Yay!
    @MaskedMarvel is this a great place to buy from? My favorite knife broke and I am now looking for a replacement. I need to hold the knife before I invest. 
    I look for deals online and order everything when it goes cheap, but sur la table has the classic line if you want to check out the shun D handles. Are you right handed?

    Alternatively, if you like, drop by the restaurant next time you're in greensboro  and I'll bring mine from home so you can see mine first hand. Just give me a heads up so I can pack them along. They usually live at mi casa amigo.



    i got almost every knife on sale from Amazon or cutleryandmore.com
    Large BGE and Medium BGE
    36" Blackstone - Greensboro!


  • MaskedMarvelMaskedMarvel Posts: 2,831
    I should mention shun has some uber Mack daddy knife that is just now coming out. Supposedly Damascus throughout instead of clad. Supposed to be baller.... 
    Large BGE and Medium BGE
    36" Blackstone - Greensboro!


  • ChubbsChubbs Posts: 6,928
    Shun classic santoku is on sale for $99 at cutleryandmore right now. Just an FYI
    Columbia, SC --- LBGE 2011 -- MINI BGE 2013
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