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If you could only have 1 knife

ConundrumConundrum Posts: 65
edited 10:14AM in EggHead Forum
If you were going to buy only one knife, and lets play like money is no object, what would it be? And, what what brand?

Looking for ideas for a bday present for a chef in the family.

Thanks in advance.


  • Richard FlRichard Fl Posts: 8,248
    I really think the answer is in. what do you want to do with it. I have Henckles, Japanese sushi, Chinese cleavers, Forschners butcher/chefs and several others. When I win the lottery I will consider the Ken Onion due to the way it fits in the hand with the thumb guard.

    But for one knife a 7 inch Santuko is very flexible.
  • DryFlyDryFly Posts: 351
    Vegetable knife by Global.
  • Like the above post, it all depends on what you want to do with the knife. When buying gifts, I try to buy people things they wouldn't buy for themselves, so maybe a specialty knife of some sort is in order. Just for a regular knife, maybe a 6" or 8" Henckel Chef's knife (I have the 6" and wish I had the 8") (talking about knives... :P )

    For me, I like to catch and cook fish, so a really nice fillet knife 12"-14" long would be greatly appreciated. (err, my birthday is Sept. 8th)

    Just figure out what specialty knife this person would use and buy it for them...
  • bullbull Posts: 64
    Not to stomp on anybodys toes here butt.......

    I assume the chef already has the proper knives.
    Paul Kirk told us that the best knife is the one that fits each individuals hand.
    I guess I would give cash, let the chef pick whats most comfy to their hand.
  • ChubbyChubby Posts: 2,956
    Wellyou know as well as I it;s hard to do everything with 1 knife...but, (if you're gonna make me)..

    I'd pick a Shun..Ken Onion 8" Chef's Knife...(provided it fit his/her hand well)

    I spent most of my money on good bourbon, and bad women...the rest, I just wasted!!
  • Smokin TigerSmokin Tiger Posts: 352
    Either one of those would be fine with me. :woohoo: I would love to own either one.

    Hattori KD 270mm


    Bob Kramer 10" Chef


    Quite a waiting list for either one as I understand it.
  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,172
    I'm very fond of my Shun knives, but if I had unlimited funds to use for a knife I would probably look at Hiro Shiki Damascus Series or Hattori KD Series.

    If you want to go north of $700 you could always go with the Mr. Itou Custom Stag Handle.


    Or the Hattori KD-32

  • Swiss Army ;-)
  • JLOCKHART29JLOCKHART29 Posts: 5,897
    Spending $100 bucks on a knife may be over kill but even my wife knows the differance between my Hattori and "the other" knifes. VG 10 steel will sharpen to the point it will blow your mind as will a lot of Japanese steels. To really get these steels to there potential you need special stones and time. Sure a whet rock or sharpening steel will get it to cut but will not bring out what its capable of. Day in and out I use my Hattori. Its so thin and sharp like using a lazer. Snaged it off Ebay for about 90 bucks.
  • AZRPAZRP Posts: 10,116
    For me an 8" chef's knife if I could only have one. -RP
  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
    Only 1 knife... 11" Santoku or a nice boning knife.

    I am not sure what brand but it wouldn't be Wusthof or Henkel got both and neither hold an edge well. But that's me.

  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
    Hells bells, I don't know if I dare read any more posts.

    Thought Chubby's $200 knife was a bit expensive but I thought well...

    As I pick myself up off the floor, trying to find the defibrillator.

    North of $700 - how far North?

  • Little ChefLittle Chef Posts: 4,725
    No time to read the rest of the thread right now...but my 100% "Go to" my Shun Classic 8" Chefs knife. (I have the hollow ground, but not an absolute necessity. It's $10 more.) The handle is beautifully finished wood, not ever slippery, and a wonderful shape for confortable handling. The blade itself is a narrow width, allowing for much more accurate precision cuts with little resistance. Holds it edge exceptionally well, even with foodservice high volumes. Couldn't be more please with it!! Just my two cents. ;) (and at a cost of $129....a TOTAL bargain!!)
  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,172
    How far north depends on your handle material choice.

    They cruise up well over $1000
  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
    Are they so expensive because of the person making the knife?

  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,172
    demand, material, craftsmanship, name recognition, etc.
  • Smokin TigerSmokin Tiger Posts: 352
    I have a 8" Shun Classic and just picked up this 240mm Kanetsune Gyuto at the Blade show in Atlanta. It has quickly become my "go to" knife. I found it very easy to adapt to the larger size.


    Most Chefs on Knife Forums seem to prefer the Japanese knives. Tons of information here:

    I also saw these at the Blade show. A new Kramer designed Kershaw Shun with a Japanese styled handle. These are supposed to be available this fall at Williams Sonoma. About $340 each but pretty cool!


    Great source of Japanese knives here:
  • Seattle ToddSeattle Todd Posts: 227
    Wondered if anyone else knew about Bob Kramer. :)

    Since he lives in WA state I've known about him for years from local foodies. He used to sharpen knives, even if you sent them in by mail.

    He's unfortunately stopped making custom knives due to the demand no matter the price point.

    But you can get the Kramer/Shun knives now. They've been available for a few months exclusive to Sur la Table here in Seattle.
  • Jersey DougJersey Doug Posts: 460
    If I could have only one knife, and cost was no object, I would have the same knife I use 95% of the time now: a Dexter Russell Chinese chef's knife.


    They cost about $35 in restaurant supply houses. It feels good in my hand. The balance is perfect with the finger down the side of the blade grip a chef friend showed me 40 years ago. And it takes an amazing edge. What's not to like?
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    real damascus or damascus veneer?

    anyway, it's a great question, "which knife"

    kind of a two-parter. "which knife would you want as art", or "which knife would you want to use in an everyday sense". i bet for a lot of folks it might very well be the same knife. little chef and bobby-Q and the true trained chefs can appreciate the minute differences i'm sure. me? it's more like practicality commingled with wishful thinking.

    i'm happy with my fairly cheap westerns style german knives. nice and rounded, and i've learned how to roll it and slice fairly well. not a sushi chef (or even sous chef) by any means. but i would LOVE a true Damascus blade. most you see are actually veneer, and not really Damascus. they just LOOK like a Damascus.

    it's like books. dunno if you saw my upper shelves when you were here. but for a guy that likes to read and collect rare books, it is not possible to buy "a" copy of your favorite book. you buy the first edition in the dust jacket. and you never open it. and you threaten your family never to open it. then you need the reading copy, which ideally is close to the first edition, but is something you don't worry about hurting by actually READING the damn thing. then you have all the other editions, which are variations of pretty much the same thing, but you appreciate them each for their tiny differences.

    so... me? i'd USE a cheap german knife that is really balanced and rolls well and which i can sharpen myself without fear of ruining it. and if i ruin it, i'll just get another. but i'd LOVE the handmade waiting-list damascus version. i'd use it, but woe betide the poor bast^rd that took it out of the block and tried to use it.

    that sorta thing.

    i can't comprehend the concept of "one" knife (or book, or collector car, or whatever your passion is).

    you need the daily driver. the one you park in the driveway, and then you always have one in the heated garage that the kids are told NEVER TO TOUCH OR EVEN LOOK AT and which you take out on sunday or have judged at Hershey


    damn. my old man really screwed me up when it comes to collecting things. all sorts of rules.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • does it come with it's own chef
  • Smokin TigerSmokin Tiger Posts: 352
    I have not heard that Bob Kramer stopped making knives. I did hear that he closed his waiting list (over 3 years wait time) I "heard" on another forum that his carbon steel knives were $100 per inch and his Damascus (real damascus) knives were $200 per inch. He must be doing something right.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    chr!stmas... you can spend 3000 on a knife.

    here's the thing though. i don't care what it is.

    if you buy the best in the market, you will rarely lose money.

    i collect rare leather book bindings. i went to a show, and they had a leaf of the gutenberg bible bound by the binder that i collect. it was 30 THOUSAND dollars. yeah right. no thanks.

    instead, i bought a hundred dollar binding by the guy. and (happily) put it on my shelf. wife was ripped that i spent a hundred bucks on a book. fast forward ten years later, and the hundred dollar binding i bought retails now for about, well, a hundred dollars. the 30-thousand dollar binding, which i woulda been an irresponsible IDIOT to buy, now sells for about 120k..
    i learned my lesson...
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • lowercasebilllowercasebill Posts: 5,218
    maybe this one ... i actually picked it up! $7000
  • DarnocDarnoc Posts: 2,661
    I must be from the old school but I love my cleavers.They pound,mince,chop,slice and when I start swinging both of them at once look out!

  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,172
    yes please.

    Do you need my address for shipping?
  • Smokin TigerSmokin Tiger Posts: 352

    You realize that you will need at minimum a 300mm Deba and about $10K worth of natural waterstones to go with that Mizuno don't you..... :laugh: :laugh:
  • lowercasebilllowercasebill Posts: 5,218
    i saw this knife in person at unconundrums east coast gathering salty just left it on the table .. black handle and saya it was beautiful.
  • lowercasebilllowercasebill Posts: 5,218
    i have a dexter clever from llbean .. easy to sharpen easy to use .. love to watch martin yan and his clever /
  • hornhonkhornhonk Posts: 3,841
    My Ken Onion 8" Chefs' Knife IMG]http://i658.photobucket
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