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Brands that represent quality above all else

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by voxsartoria, Nov 12, 2008.

  1. HORNS

    HORNS Well-Known Member

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    I'd also have to say Tabasco Sauce - peppers + vinegar + salt (the aging that they do) = sublime.

    I'm sure there are mustards out there that are on another plane compared to others, but I'm not that familiar with them. To me, Tabasco is a treasure.
     
  2. Manton

    Manton Well-Known Member

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    My Shuns are as good as I could possibly want. I even feel sort of guilty about them, like a crappy surfer with a really nice board. All the really good chefs I know use meh knives. They would laugh at me an my Shuns. Me and some $1,000 samurai knife, forget it.
     
  3. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt Well-Known Member

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    My Shuns are as good as I could possibly want. I even feel sort of guilty about them, like a crappy surfer with a really nice board. All the really good chefs I know use meh knives. They would laugh at me an my Shuns. Me and some $1,000 samurai knife, forget it.
    I agree. I cannot understand why anybody would find a need for the world's highest quality knife. At some level, you are no longer paying for the knife-ness of the object, and have started paying for something else altogether.
     
  4. voxsartoria

    voxsartoria Well-Known Member

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    I just use the Au Carbone line from Sabbatier. The shapes are nice, and what they lack in ultimate sharpness and persistence of edge, they gain in ease of steeling.

    I can see the fascination with more refined knives, though.


    - B
     
  5. gomestar

    gomestar Well-Known Member

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    I use a set of Wusthof Classics. I love them.
     
  6. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt Well-Known Member

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    I just use the Au Carbone line from Sabbatier. The shapes are nice, and what they lack in ultimate sharpness and persistence of edge, they gain in ease of steeling.

    I can see the fascination with more refined knives, though.


    - B

    I have the same. Still the best knives in my mind.
     
  7. voxsartoria

    voxsartoria Well-Known Member

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    Anyone here have Longmire cufflinks?

    - B
     
  8. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt Well-Known Member

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    Anyone here have Longmire cufflinks?

    - B

    One pair. Nice. Seaman Schepps is nice too, and goes on without compromise.
     
  9. shoefan

    shoefan Well-Known Member

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    The older Carbone knives are very highly regarded; I believe there are also some newer ones which are made from NOS forged blanks. Moreover, the Au Carbone knives are a relative bargain.

    One issue with these knives is that, due to their metallurgy, they cannot be sharpened to as fine an edge as can other types of steel, plus their edge will tend to degrade faster. Yes, they certainly can be sharpened easily, which is a big help, but the blade geometry and metallurgy means they will not attain the levels to which some aspire, nor will they hold an edge for nearly as long as the Japanese knives.

    Some chefs do use Japanese knives, and a trend of increasing use has certainly been notable over the last few years. However, in general chefs have to cut for hours each day and have associates who may (mis)use the knives and not know how to sharpen properly, so the 'best' knife for a chef may not be the same as for a devoted home cook.

    All I can say is: find a really sharp knife and use it, then you be the judge as to what knife you would like to use. I cook alot, and I have a variety of German and French knives. Plus, my sharpening skills are pretty good (but still improving), since to make shoes one needs really sharp knives. The few Japanese knives I so far have used completely demolish the European ones.

    Yes there are knives which are noteworthy for their beauty as well as their performance -- for example the Hattori KD line ($$$$). However, what I am suggesting is that, for the same price as Shun -- still definitely not cheap -- one can do better than Shun. Unlike, say, a beveled waist on a bespoke shoe, which many of us seem to appreciated despite the absence of functional benefit, these knives can be appreciated for their superior performance.
     
  10. voxsartoria

    voxsartoria Well-Known Member

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    Yes there are knives which are noteworthy for their beauty as well as their performance -- for example the Hattori KD line ($$$$). However, what I am suggesting is that, for the same price as Shun -- still definitely not cheap -- one can do better than Shun. Unlike, say, a beveled waist on a bespoke shoe, which many of us seem to appreciated despite the absence of functional benefit, these knives can be appreciated for their superior performance.

    Okay, if I stray into this territory, what do I get rather than a Shun? Let's say a 10" chef.


    - B
     
  11. edmorel

    edmorel Well-Known Member

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    Okay, if I stray into this territory, what do I get rather than a Shun? Let's say a 10" chef.


    - B


    Wow, you like your chefs large!
     
  12. Tidybeard

    Tidybeard Well-Known Member

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    Quality of football? Liverpool? [​IMG]

    It's a universal truth[​IMG]
     
  13. Tidybeard

    Tidybeard Well-Known Member

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    I'd like to add one more - Turner mountain bikes. Fantastically well made, solid, no-frills bikes backed up by a guy who believes in his product and puts quality service first. I have an RFX (my third Turner) and the experience has been excellent. Even the Turner board at MTBR.com is quality!
     
  14. gomestar

    gomestar Well-Known Member

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    On the mountain bike thing, I have a Santa Cruz that is just fantastic throughout. Still, I bought it like 4 years ago and I'm not sure how quality is these days. A lot of a bike depends on the components, most producers just make the frames.
     
  15. Dmax

    Dmax Well-Known Member

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    I disagree that some consumer goods mentioned in this thread necessarily belong here if we would define "Brands that represent quality above all else" as someone who makes the best product they possibly can and charge appropriately for it.
    If a company makes several different product lines with the sole purpose to hit a particular price point this places them outside this definition, IMHO. If a company makes changes to their product line-up for the sole purpose of cutting costs this would indicate to me that "Quality above all else" is no longer the main objective of the management and is likely to decline.

    Apple - to me they represent design above all else, innovation second. The quality is just good enough not to interfere with the other two.

    Shun - the Classic line is just one of the product lines manufactured by the parent company KAI to a particular price point. The Classic line knives are very good and the customer service is excellent but KAI makes similar knives using superior steel (Elite line) and as well as some lower end lines.

    All Clad - Excellent product and customer service, though still falls outside of the definition. Several lines are made to different price points. The copper core line uses too thin layer of copper to make a difference, yet has a cut-out to show it off. Aluminium is used instead of copper as much as possible in "sandwich" layers, I don't see why except to cut raw material costs (Copper is significantly more expensive then aluminium).

    Mauviel - Comes close to the definition though some vintage Mauviel pieces had 3.5mm layer of copper on the outside while modern top-of-line Cuprinox only has 2.5mm layer of copper. Newer lines, like Cuprinox Style and most pieces sold at Williams-Sonoma appear to have only 2mm layer of copper.
     
  16. LapelQueen

    LapelQueen Active Member

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    Toto and Leica are liked.
     
  17. RJmanbearpig

    RJmanbearpig Well-Known Member

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    Anyone here have Longmire cufflinks?

    One pair. Nice. Seaman Schepps is nice too, and goes on without compromise.
    I prefer Seaman Schepps to Seaman & Spearn.
     
  18. shoefan

    shoefan Well-Known Member

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    Okay, if I stray into this territory, what do I get rather than a Shun? Let's say a 10" chef.


    - B


    Well, there are alot of options. I suggest you may want to visit these two forums:
    http://www.knifeforums.com/forums/showforum.php?fid/26/

    http://www.foodieforums.com/vbulleti...isplay.php?f=6

    The other thing that can become a bit of a challenge is figuring out what sharpening stones to use -- the Japanese generally use water stones. As with many things, the folks on these forums take things to extremes. For functionality, probably a few stones going up to say 4000 grit is sufficient.

    The Japanese equivalent to a chefs knife is a Gyuto/Gyutou. Japanese knives can come with a western style handle or a traditional 'Wa' handle. I recently bought a Masahiro virgin carbon from here: http://www.knifemerchant.com/product...cturerID=11#44

    Other great sites to peruse include:
    http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/
    http://www.japanwoodworker.com/dept.asp?dept_id=13159
    http://www.korin.com/
    http://www.sushi-knifes.com/Merchant...tegory_Code=JK
    http://www.epicureanedge.com/
    http://www.watanabeblade.com/english/index.htm

    Note that carbon blades will take a superior edge but need to be cared for more carefully than a stainless blade. Also, many of these blades are sharpened asymmetrically, meaning more from one side of the blade than the other.

    You can also go 'custom.' Some of the leading Japanese makers will custom make a knife to your desired specifications. In the USA, there is Bob Kramer (http://www.kramerknives.com/kramer_k...euro_line.htm), who just started taking orders again (at $100/blade inch, $200 for 'damascus pattern'!) and Murray Carter (http://www.cartercutlery.com/).


    For the absolute sharpest edge, you can send your knives to this fellow, who sharpens them with traditional water stones and can, apparently, put an incredible edge on these knives:
    http://www.japaneseknifesharpening.com/

    Finally, you can get your knives' handles replaced with custom handles (for aesthetic rather than performance reasons).
     
  19. Manton

    Manton Well-Known Member

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    ^^^ Not trying to be a jerk here, but this did not answer Vox's question.
     
  20. Manton

    Manton Well-Known Member

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    Wow, you like your chefs large!

    I used an 8" for a long time, then bought a 10". It's much better. Once you go ... you know the rest.
     

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