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Kitchen Knives

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by Manton, Sep 15, 2007.

  1. sygyzy

    sygyzy Senior member

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    Shun is the new Wusthof/Henckels. It's like the safe bet premium brand people buy when they are only semi serious about cooking, but don't really want to invest time in research. I only use Japanese blades so here are some other recommendations, most of which are nowhere near the price of Shun.
    • Watanabe
    • Hiromoto
    • Hattori
    • Misono
    • Moritaka
    [​IMG]
     


  2. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt The Liberator Dubiously Honored

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    Shun is the new Wusthof/Henckels. It's like the safe bet premium brand people buy when they are only semi serious about cooking, but don't really want to invest time in research. I only use Japanese blades so here are some other recommendations, most of which are nowhere near the price of Shun.
    • Watanabe
    • Hiromoto
    • Hattori
    • Misono
    • Moritaka

    You mean semi-serious about knife collecting, right? There is absolutely no reason to think that somebody could prepare better, or as you say more serious, food with your knives than with Shun or Wusthof. Maybe if you are cutting sushi, but that is the only time.
     


  3. edmorel

    edmorel Quality Seller!! Dubiously Honored

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    Are Shun good for spreading Nutella?
     


  4. DNW

    DNW Senior member

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    Are Shun good for spreading Nutella?

    Only if you want blood in your sandwich.
     


  5. Gradstudent78

    Gradstudent78 Senior member

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    You mean semi-serious about knife collecting, right?


    There is absolutely no reason to think that somebody could prepare better, or as you say more serious, food with your knives than with Shun or Wusthof. Maybe if you are cutting sushi, but that is the only time.


    Just to add to this, your ability to properly cook with one of these knives long term will probably benefit most from how well you keep them properly maintained (sharp). A dull knife wont be much use, not matter how much you paid for it, how premium of a brand it is, or how much research time went into selecting it.
     


  6. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    One of the things I like about Shun is how quickly and easily they hone. Two or three passes over the steel, and they are out-of-the-box sharp.
     


  7. TCN

    TCN Senior member

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    I have a friend who is somewhat of a celebrity chef in NYC (had two Michelin stars until he closed the door of his restaurant), and while he is very into all of the high-end Japanese knives (published a book on Japanese food as well), his restaurant used the rubber handled Wusthoffs (least fatiguing handles), and he recommended that my wife and I (moderate foodies) stick to our Wusthoff Classics until we find ourselves really elevating our game. Now if we just wanted to buy something fun, that was a different story . . .
     


  8. Dmax

    Dmax Senior member

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    The Shun knives are very good. They are not the very best knives money can buy but their higher end lines ("Classic", "Kaji/Elite" and "Pro") use high quality steel, offer good ergonomics and are finished to a high standard. The lower line (Shun Kershaw) uses much softer and inexpensive AUS-6A steel and I would not recommend it unless you are GQGeek and drop you knives [​IMG]

    The Classic line uses quality VG-10 steel. The Alton Brown line and the Ken Onion line are similar to the Classic line but use different handles which some people find more convenient to use. I own a Shun Classic petty/parer (4-inches) and I am happy with it.

    The Kaji (William Sonoma) and Elite (Sur La Table, other retailers) lines uses more exotic and expensive SG-2 steel which makes for a harder knife (RC64-66). It offers marginal improvements in sharpness, edge retention and fancier finish over the Classic series.

    There are also the Pro and the Pro 2 series which have the traditional Japanese knives profiles and are not well suited for preparing western cuisine.

    As has been said before in this forum, most cooks should start with only two knives: a parer (3 to 5 inches) and a chef's knife or Santoku (6-12 inches).
     


  9. GQgeek

    GQgeek Senior member

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    The Shun knives are very good. They are not the very best knives money can buy but their higher end lines ("Classic", "Kaji/Elite" and "Pro") use high quality steel, offer good ergonomics and are finished to a high standard. The lower line (Shun Kershaw) uses much softer and inexpensive AUS-6A steel and I would not recommend it unless you are GQGeek and drop you knives [​IMG]

    The Classic line uses quality VG-10 steel. The Alton Brown line and the Ken Onion line are similar to the Classic line but use different handles which some people find more convenient to use. I own a Shun Classic petty/parer (4-inches) and I am happy with it.

    The Kaji (William Sonoma) and Elite (Sur La Table, other retailers) lines uses more exotic and expensive SG-2 steel which makes for a harder knife (RC64-66). It offers marginal improvements in sharpness, edge retention and fancier finish over the Classic series.

    There are also the Pro and the Pro 2 series which have the traditional Japanese knives profiles and are not well suited for preparing western cuisine.

    As has been said before in this forum, most cooks should start with only two knives: a parer (3 to 5 inches) and a chef's knife or Santoku (6-12 inches).


    I don't drop them. My problem was that I would cook elaborate meals and I just didn't have enough counter space to work. I'd be shuffling things around because there wasn't enough space and they would get knocked off the counter. That hasn't happened since I added a 60" work table to my kitchen.

    Aside from the two knives (utility and paring) with a bit broken off the tip, I have a millimeter deep chip in the blade of my utility knife. I have no idea how it got there. The only thing I can think of is corrosion, but even that is hard for me to figure. It's not like I leave them soaking in water. [​IMG]

    What I really want are the kershaw steak knives. I sometimes eat steak with my paring knife and it's such a pleasure to eat with because it cuts through the steak like hot butter.
     


  10. skalogre

    skalogre Senior member

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    While Global are good knives, I'm very bored with mine. I'll definitely be considering Shun to take the soon to be open slots in my kitchen.

    I tried out Global's chef's knife and did not like the fact it was so light nor was I happy with the balance. I got a nice hefty Wusthof Classic instead, not regretted it for a second.
     


  11. sygyzy

    sygyzy Senior member

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    You mean semi-serious about knife collecting, right?


    There is absolutely no reason to think that somebody could prepare better, or as you say more serious, food with your knives than with Shun or Wusthof. Maybe if you are cutting sushi, but that is the only time.


    This is the timeless argument, right? "My Timex can tell time just as well as your Rolex." Why is there a market for Rolex's? Why do people pay $200 for raw Japanese denim with a $20 pair of Lee's work just as well as pants. It's surprising that, on this board of all places, you use that argument.
     


  12. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    I've tried a number of knife brands and so far, Shun have been the best by far. I haven't tried them all, so I can't say it's the best simply.

    The Cook's Illustrated people rave about Forschner (the lower priced line) and recommend it over more expensive knives in virtually all categories. I've tried them (at that price, why not?) and didn't even find them as good as Henckels. Which is surprising, since I have found the Cook's Illustrated equipment recommendations to be nearly 100% reliable.

    Still, even if I had found the blades just as good (and I did not), there is something to be said for how a knife feels in the hand, and other intangibles, and I probably would still prefer something else.
     


  13. pscolari

    pscolari Senior member

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    I've tried a number of knife brands and so far, Shun have been the best by far. I haven't tried them all, so I can't say it's the best simply.

    The Cook's Illustrated people rave about Forschner (the lower priced line) and recommend it over more expensive knives in virtually all categories. I've tried them (at that price, why not?) and didn't even find them as good as Henckels. Which is surprising, since I have found the Cook's Illustrated equipment recommendations to be nearly 100% reliable.

    Still, even if I had found the blades just as good (and I did not), there is something to be said for how a knife feels in the hand, and other intangibles, and I probably would still prefer something else.



    America's Test Kitchen just rated the Forschner Victorinox 3 in. parer the best in class. Not bad at $5 each. This was the episode where they cooked carbonnade.
     


  14. Gradstudent78

    Gradstudent78 Senior member

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    America's Test Kitchen just rated the Forschner Victorinox 3 in. parer the best in class. Not bad at $5 each. This was the episode where they cooked carbonnade.

    I use the Forshner knives and have enjoyed them. However I've never put money into a more expensive set.
     


  15. lawyerdad

    lawyerdad Senior member

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    Amazon.com also has knives below retail. The best prices for other general kitchen equipment that you'll ever find will be at your local restaurant supply stores.

    Just be sure you know what you're getting. Sometimes with Amazon -- and this is particularly true with kitchen knives -- it can be tough to tell which level of product you're getting from a company that sells multiple lines.

    For people in LA, Surfa's restaurant supply in Culver City has a good selection of knives and a knowledgeable, helpful staff.
     


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