Author Topic: Knife Sets  (Read 771 times)

Guizmo

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Knife Sets
« on: December 16, 2017, 04:49:44 PM »
Hi all,

We're looking for a knife set that we can sharpen and keep for a long time. Any recommendations? I'm thinking in the $200-$300 range. I've seen Cutco recommended but wow, seems pricey!

LDoon

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Re: Knife Sets
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2017, 05:47:23 PM »
A full knife set rarely gets fully used.  I have a 21-piece set and probably use 5 of them.  A la carte would be my suggestion.  Get a nice steak knife set, a paring knife, a chef knife and a boning knife.  The brand of steak knifes is irrelevant, just find something that you like.  For the actual knifes, spend money on good ones because they get used all the time.  I use Victorinox.  Good quality and easily sharpened but not overly expensive. 

If you don't care about price, Wusthof is great (and priced accordingly). 

Acorns

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Re: Knife Sets
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2017, 10:01:28 PM »
I have had almost this exact knife set for almost 15 years and I am very happy with it http://www.zwillingonline.com/35065700.html. It's at a great price right now and I actually just sent it to someone as a gift. The thing with knives is, whatever brand you go with, get them professionally sharpened every year or so (depending on how often you use them). No matter how high quality the knife is, if it is dull it is dangerous to use!

libertarian4321

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Re: Knife Sets
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2017, 04:55:33 AM »
Bought a set of Ginsu on HSN in 1999 or so, for about $25.

Still work great.

Note:  these knives cut meat, etc.  They have ZERO snob appeal.  If you are looking for snob appeal, there are plenty of companies wlling to sell you a single knife for 10 times the cost of what I paid for the set.

libertarian4321

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Re: Knife Sets
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2017, 04:56:25 AM »
Bought a set of Ginsu on HSN in 1999 or so, for about $25.

Still work great.

Note:  these knives cut meat, etc.  They have ZERO snob appeal.  If you are looking for snob appeal, there are plenty of companies wlling to sell you a single knife for 10 times the cost of what I paid for the entire set.

jac941

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Re: Knife Sets
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2017, 07:17:32 AM »
Buy the knifes you need a la cart ó we have a set and never use most of them. All we regularly use are the bread knife, chefs knife, paring knife, and kitchen shears.

As far as brands .. we have Henckle and Wustolf which are fine but I donít think worth the cost (they were gifts). The best value knife we have was $6 at a restaurant supply store 15 years ago. Ugly thing with a plastic handle and no name brand, but it holds a blade well and cuts better than the fancy knives we have.

justplucky

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Re: Knife Sets
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2017, 01:03:54 PM »
I third buying them a la carte, or at least a small set (like three basic knives) with some supplements. The main knives I use are:

- Chef's knife (I own a Wusthof and a Victronix)
- Paring knife (I own two Victronix)
- Bread knife (I own a Victronix)

I have another knife that is a slicer from a Victronix set, but I don't use it as frequently.

I also own an electric knife for cutting large roasts, hams, etc. I am considering investing in a set of steak knives, but I've been able to manage without them so far.

Victronix was very highly rated by America's Test Kitchen, and is a fraction of the price of Wusthof, Messermeister, and other high-end knife manufacturers.


Acastus

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Re: Knife Sets
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2018, 08:21:55 AM »
I bought a set of Henckel's 20 years ago for about $200. We use them every day. They are all still going strong, except for maybe the paring knife. Get the nice ones, not the cheaper serrated ones.

GizmoTX

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Re: Knife Sets
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2018, 02:02:58 PM »
Henckels 4 Star for us, over 20 years ago & used every day. Get a French knife, 6" or 8",  & a paring knife to start, open stock (Amazon). We now have both sizes of French knives, serrated bread knife, serrated tomato knife, boning knife, & carving knife. It's important to keep them either in a block (horizontal storage or upside down if vertical to protect the cutting edge), secured on a magnetic strip, or in drawer inserts. Use a knife sharpener like the Chantry before every use, & professionally sharpen (hone) the knives annually.

letired

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Re: Knife Sets
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2018, 09:33:54 PM »
I don't have any long term comments, but my roommate and her knives moved out recently, so I bought myself this set: https://www.chefknivestogo.com/tojiro3pcset.html

It's the right price point for me right now, and in a few more months, I'll get stones and learn to sharpen.  Should keep me going for a few years!

lthenderson

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Re: Knife Sets
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2018, 08:07:34 AM »
More importantly than the brand of knives you buy is how you plan to keep them sharp. After buying all kinds of sharpeners over the years, I finally saw this reviewed and bought one.

https://www.amazon.com/ChefsChoice-120-EdgeSelect-Sharpener-100-percent/dp/B00004S1B8/

It sharpens knives easily and repeatedly. The last part is very important because with many of the other types of sharpeners I could get knives sharp some of the time but not all of the time.

After buying this sharpener, I started sharpening all the knives in my kitchen from the fancy expensive ones to the cheap ones that we inherited somehow. The sharpener makes them all razor sharp and a pleasure to cut with. The difference between the expensive fancy knives and the cheap ones has more to do with the comfort and balance of holding the knife rather than the edge it keeps. So my advice is to buy knives that are comfortable to hold in your hand, regardless of brand name, and then get a quality sharpener to keep them razor sharp.

Hibernaculum

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Re: Knife Sets
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2018, 12:11:15 PM »
It is useful to think of your cutting as a system, a system that includes not only the knives, but also how you sharpen them and what you cut on.

Knives. I agree with the others who have posted that you don't need a set, just a few good knives: chef's knife (and/or Chinese slicer-cleaver), smaller knife (something from 90-150mm blade length or possibly both if you do a lot of in-hand cutting), maybe a boning knife, maybe a bread knife. If you keep your knives sharp, you won't need a serrated "tomato" knife. The big German brands all use the same stainless steel. It is rather soft as steels go. Durable but doesn't hold an edge for a particularly long time. The Victorinox Swiss-made knives use the same steel, so that's one good way to go.

Victorinox chef:
https://www.amazon.com/Victorinox-Fibrox-Chefs-Knife-8-Inch/dp/B000638D32

Victorinox paring:
https://www.amazon.com/Victorinox-Paring-Knife-Straight-Spear/dp/B0019WXPQY

I'm a big fan of Chinese-style knives. They look like a Western cleaver used for bones, but in fact, they're thinner and great for everything BUT bones. Here's a good one (carbon steel, so will need wiping down after use, but takes a wicked edge):
http://wokshop.stores.yahoo.net/vegcleav.html

Bread knife:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000PS1HS6

Sharpening. There are all sorts of gizmos that attempt to do what a good hand-sharpening will do. Generally, they will sort of hack a ragged edge onto the knife, but they remove too much steel, and don't allow you to thin when the time comes for that to be needed. Using a sharpening stone has a little bit of a learning curve, but once you get it, you'll be able to put a very fine edge on your knives whenever you want, in just a few minutes. You'll also realize that "factory sharp" is not as sharp as a knife can be, but rather more of a starting point. Here's a really nice combination waterstone, costs a little over $50 not including shipping:
http://www.toolsfromjapan.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=335_405_583_585&products_id=2055

And here's a good video channel to help you learn how to use it:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpgJbCAVxzDHKaKYeuGYyOA

Cutting Board. Finally, make sure you're cutting on wood rather than (shudder) glass or stone. Even bamboo isn't great, because the glue that is used to hold all the little pieces is pretty hard. All these harder surfaces will dull your knives very quickly. Edge-grain or (even better but pricey) end-grain wood will allow your edges to last longer. Something like this would give you a nice large cutting surface, if you have the space in your kitchen:
https://www.amazon.com/Michigan-Maple-Block-AGA02418-Cutting/dp/B0040EDQRG/

You can pick up mineral oil from your local drugstore to keep the board from drying out.

For meats and whatnot, you can use the same board, sanitizing with a dilute bleach solution, or just use a plastic board and run that through the dishwasher.

Add in steak knives:
https://www.amazon.com/Victorinox-Classic-6-Piece-2-Inch-Serrated/dp/B005LRYQ2A

and add in a boning knife from your local restaurant supply store for something under $20, and you're right at $300, assuming $20 for shipping for the stone from Japan.

Plugging Along

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Re: Knife Sets
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2018, 03:38:41 PM »
Hi all,

We're looking for a knife set that we can sharpen and keep for a long time. Any recommendations? I'm thinking in the $200-$300 range. I've seen Cutco recommended but wow, seems pricey!

I have to say, I love my cutco knives.   They are pricey but work it.   I have had mine for almost 17 years now, and they have lasted.   They cut better, stay shape, and their warrenty is second to none.   I had broken two knives (both my fault).   They fixed or in my case replaced them.   Twice I s not them in for sharpening and it was just shipping.   I think I go to it free because I ended up buying an additional knife.

I starred with a smaller set  bu now i have almot all of them. I cook a lot so a good set of knives is important to me.

wawot1

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Re: Knife Sets
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2018, 09:17:32 PM »
Check out restaurant supply stores in the area - you can get some really good deals.  Guess who their customers are?  People who are chopping / cutting all day every day for a living.  They sell practical knives without all the marketing smoke and mirrors.

JLee

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Re: Knife Sets
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2018, 09:23:11 PM »
I have a Victorinox chef's knife, bread knife, and paring knife.  I haven't felt a need for anything else and they take quite a lovely edge.