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Posted: 12/24/2003 2:16:19 PM EDT
I don't need an entire set.  I just need one or two good, all-purpose knives for cutting raw meat, veggies, etc. in the kitchen.  I want it sharp, I want it to hold an edge, and I want it to last.

Any ideas?
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 2:19:55 PM EDT
Henckels are really nice but very expensive, a 5" paring will cost you something like $20 each. I've personally recommend Trident knives. They are more reasonably priced than the Henckels, but they are not cheap either.
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 2:26:52 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/24/2003 2:29:02 PM EDT by DOW]
Henckels. Good knives, hold an edge, solidly built. Buy yourself a sharpening steel if you don't plan on buying a set. I know jack about knives but even I figured out how to use a steel so that my wife's knives are always SHARP. I bought the wife a $250 or so set of Henckels a year or so ago and she is a happy camper. I recommend them highly.

Edited because I can't spell the knives I'm talking about!
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 2:31:00 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 2:32:43 PM EDT
Agree with above posters. Henckels makes a fine knife. Beware after you use them you will never be able to go back to lesser knives.
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 2:40:12 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/24/2003 2:42:07 PM EDT by Ustulina]
I have a Henkel's chef knife, and it is a very good pattern, but I actually don't think that Henkel's steel is anything special.

I think (gasp) that one could get along quite well with Chinese-made Chicago Cutlery upper-end stuff.  I think you used to be able to get this at Target.  

Rather than expect your kitchen knives to never need sharpening, I think you would be best served by getting a decent chef knife AND and chef's choice manual diamond hone, which pretty much takes the guess work out of sharpening.  These run about $25 for the sharpener.  

My current general prep knife is a Fallkniven white whale/blue whale ($65-$90) and while it is perfectly good, I don't see it being that much better than the Henckels or something cheaper for my purposes.

I will probably try some Japanese laminated blue steel knives next.  

Avoid serations except on bread knives.  

Campybob-- that is an awesome website.  

Link Posted: 12/24/2003 2:44:14 PM EDT
I've got a set of Henckels and really like them. Wusthof is also nice.
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 2:44:25 PM EDT
You can not beat the cheap alum handled ones at flea markets.
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 3:01:12 PM EDT
Get decent forged knives and a good sharpener.  They will last you a lifetime.  I have a large set of Henckels knives and a Chef's Choice EdgeSelect 120 electric sharpener.  The edges are razor sharp and stay sharp for months.
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 3:07:50 PM EDT
A small chef pattern is a good all around kitchen knife.

As far as brands, I would recommend also

Global Knives.

Wustoff (I prefer it over Henkels)
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 3:09:06 PM EDT
I got into cooking as a hobby in the late 70s because I like good food. Just like in shooting, or any other pursuit, fine tools are good to have. A chef's size knife is a good place to start.

Henkels and Wusthoff are great knives, but I find their handles (the Henkels, anyway, i have not owned a wusthoff, but they appear similar) have corners on them that dig into your hands after a while. If you can find the Sabatier brand of knife, those are my favorites; they are like the Henkel in quality (if not better) but the handles have a more gentle shape that is easier on the hand.

A fine knife is a pleasure to use, don't skimp.
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 3:09:14 PM EDT
Hey Campybob, I have had a set of the Warthers for 30 years now. They arn't bad BUT they have cheap handles and the steel began to rust 15 years ago. The steel isn't as tough as I had hoped as several blades have cracked with normal use. My 33 year old set of Henckles just keeps on trucking. They are far superior to the Dover ,Ohio boys. I had hoped I never had to say this but it unfortunately all too true! But I would NOT miss a trip to their museum when I'm back in Ohio. Oh yeah, I'll see you at BULLETFEST this next year!
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 3:21:55 PM EDT
I keep my K-Bar Fighting Knife in my kitchen as my all purpose knife.
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 3:25:28 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/24/2003 3:29:01 PM EDT by rain]
If you want to buy American, and you like the German profile. (Less taper, deeper belly)
try Lamson Sharp.
Nothing wrong with any of the others mentioned, I just try to keep it home when I can.
Here's the site info.


A good basic set would be a 10" chef, a 4-6" chef, a slicer, and a paring knife.
They do have Japanese styles, and knives w/Kullen's (notches) if you prefer.
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 4:24:42 PM EDT
I like the Tridents the best (I have owned a set for 30+ years).  If you want American made, the Dexter/Russel's are really nice, too.   Fairly inexpensive and good quality.   Very sharp and will hold an edge.   They make great fillet knives, and the rest of their line is just as good.

Link Posted: 12/24/2003 5:12:00 PM EDT
Wusthof knives are the best around. They are as sharp as a scalpel. Their Chef's knife is $90 and worth it. Henkcels are second best, but their handles are a bit awkward for most, including me. Just make sure to have a good steel with the knife, and use it each time you use the knife. Get yourself a Tormek sharpener for sharping them, it will put a better than factory razor edge on the blade. Nothing I mentioned is cheap, but you get what you pay for. Once you use a REAL knife you will seriously wonder what the hell you ever did without it. Makes a BIG difference.
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 5:20:17 PM EDT
I use WMF, a german brand.  I like them because they are carbon steel, not stainless and you can get a real sharp edge on them.  They are a bit more maintenence as you must wash and dry them after use and probably sharpen a bit more than usual, but they are an absolute joy to cut with.

Link Posted: 12/24/2003 5:30:57 PM EDT
I saved up and bought Henckels a piece at a time. Best knives there are. I've got the four star models. Molded plastic handles. Really good knives. Try and catch them on sale after Christmas.
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 5:39:31 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/24/2003 5:40:36 PM EDT by leelaw]

Wusthof are awsome. Granted that what you are looking at is probably a $600 set of knives (including a 20% discount), but I love them.

Global are nice, and hold an edge for a long time, but they are Japanese steel and sharpening take a lot longer, plus I dont like the handles, they are more aesthetical than functional.

Henkles are good, but not as good as Wusthof. Wusthof have better handles (in my opinion) and are better balanced.

I use mine every day in my culinary program.
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 5:50:17 PM EDT
Ask this guy:


He uses a cleaver with any cutting job. I should've asked for a cleaver for X'mas! Damn! Too late now...
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 5:58:14 PM EDT
Ginsu is good and cheap for a set of knives.

For just an all around knife is a rapala fillet knife and they are fairly inexpensive at wallyworld.  They do hold an edge and for al by the heaviest cutting they do well.
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 6:12:41 PM EDT
<--------Another vote for Henckles
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 6:18:00 PM EDT
I think the one point that you guys havent mention is to stay away from the cheapo stamped products.  Have some good looking ones that are stamped but they will not hold and edge to save your life.  Most of the high end knives are forged and there definitely is a difference.  The German ones are very nice. I lost a paring knife from a set and it was $20 for a little 2 inch blade.  I have a set of Henckels that are hard to beat.  I also have a Chicago cutlery beater thats good for bones and such.  

Look online there are some cheap sources that are much cheaper then the retail stores.  Costco had a set of Henckels on sale this week.
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 6:33:01 PM EDT
I'm a knife nut and have especially studied Kitchen knives.  Messermiesters and Wusthof  are better than Henkels.  I personally like these MAC knives.  [url]http://www.knifemerchant.com/products.asp?manufacturerID=10[/url] for the design and the harder steel (57 to 59 RC) than the Henkels, Wushofs or Messermeisters.  I recommend the macUK-60 as a very useful single knife.  If you want to save money get Forschners from Smokey Mountain Knife Works [url]http://www.eknifeworks.com/[/url].  They are the best for the least and are recomended by many real chefs.  Get the Fibrox Handles 'cause they have great feel and are diswasher safe.  Also the best paring knives are Victorinox long handled parer (plastic handle) for only about $5 each.  These are the Chef's standards.  
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 6:34:24 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/24/2003 6:37:09 PM EDT by innocent_bystander]
I went with the Spydercos for my wife. Cheap and they hold a great edge. Forget that expensive fancy European stuff.

Link Posted: 12/24/2003 6:37:51 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/24/2003 6:38:58 PM EDT by Railman44]
Wustoff is probably one of the best.  No knife will hold an edge forever.  You'll need to buy a steel (from the same company) and learn how to sharpen your knife(s).  
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 6:49:31 PM EDT

[b]Wusthof[/b] , my wife loves her set

I've always wanted to try some of those Kyocera ceramic knives though
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 7:19:32 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/24/2003 7:27:59 PM EDT by luger355]
a [b]forschner[/b] is the only way to go.
Those blades are awsome and keep a very good edge.

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