Author Topic: Recommend me a good chef's knife
Lokkie_the_Fierce 
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Subject: Recommend me a good chef's knife
preferably around $50 and 6-8"

 

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Anotherstormslayer 
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Subject: Recommend me a good chef's knife
I prefer Forged low carbon steel they are relatively inexpensive but hold an edge well and sharpen easily at home and a steel works wonders on their edge between sharpening.ed

 

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Terminius_Est 
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Subject: Recommend me a good chef's knife
Look around at flea markets. I found mine in one.

Kitchen knives are individual, you must feel it in your hand before you know if it will work out for you or not.

Chicago cutlery is an old company that I've had a 8 inch chef's knife for almost 30 years.

Stainless steel is the only way to go, IMO, because while you can get the low carbon blades sharper, they just tarnish too easily in my kitchen.

Watch out for Japanese knives, they grind the edge different and they don't work for left handed people.

 

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Lokkie_the_Fierce 
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Subject: Recommend me a good chef's knife
Terminius_Est posted:
Watch out for Japanese knives, they grind the edge different and they don't work for left handed people.



Good to know, since I'm left handed.

I found one I liked at Kohls the other weekend, part of the Food Network guide of stuff. Had a nice heft to it, fit my hand nice, seemed solid. Alas, couldn't actually test it lol.

 

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shaggynuts24 
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Subject: Recommend me a good chef's knife
i like Henkels -- the in-laws gave me and the wife a set a while back --- they are sturdy and the steal that came with the set works wonders ---- all i need to do is to teach her how to use the steal

http://usa.jahenckels.com/index.php?subcategory=39


... the 6" chefs knife is $130-ish

http://usa.jahenckels.com/194henckels

depends on what series you go for ... some as low as $65 and some as much as $250

 

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Lynea 
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Subject: Recommend me a good chef's knife
I agree with shaggy.  I have Henkels (both Int'l and Bros.)

 

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Lokkie_the_Fierce 
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Subject: Recommend me a good chef's knife
shaggynuts24 posted:
i like Henkels -- the in-laws gave me and the wife a set a while back --- they are sturdy and the steal that came with the set works wonders ---- all i need to do is to teach her how to use the steal

http://usa.jahenckels.com/index.php?subcategory=39


... the 6" chefs knife is $130-ish

http://usa.jahenckels.com/194henckels

depends on what series you go for ... some as low as $65 and some as much as $250



For some odd reason, I'll spend a fortune on my cookware, but seem to have issues buying nice knives and cuttlery (sp?).

$50 is probably all I'll be able to buy at the moment w/o cringing.

 

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pkhere 
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Subject: Recommend me a good chef's knife
love my globals and henckels


got this one old farberware knife that I just can't get rid of
it works so well on certain things



 

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Subject: Recommend me a good chef's knife
Lokkie_the_Fierce posted:
shaggynuts24 posted:
i like Henkels -- the in-laws gave me and the wife a set a while back --- they are sturdy and the steal that came with the set works wonders ---- all i need to do is to teach her how to use the steal

http://usa.jahenckels.com/index.php?subcategory=39


... the 6" chefs knife is $130-ish

http://usa.jahenckels.com/194henckels

depends on what series you go for ... some as low as $65 and some as much as $250



For some odd reason, I'll spend a fortune on my cookware, but seem to have issues buying nice knives and cuttlery (sp?).

$50 is probably all I'll be able to buy at the moment w/o cringing.




go

buy

a

good

KNIFE!

henckels or Wüsthof



for goodness sake! lol
dont make me buy you one for xmas...

 

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solid3 
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Subject: Recommend me a good chef's knife
nothing really good in that price range, you'll have to be willing to get closer to $100 if you want an actual decent knife

 

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Lokkie_the_Fierce 
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Subject: Recommend me a good chef's knife
Eh, I refuse to believe that.

Top quality? Yes - you'd have to go above that range.

Mediocre? I think you can easily fit in there.

 

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UpAngel180 
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Subject: Recommend me a good chef's knife
I have a Calphalon Contemporary 8-inch Chefs knife that is actually pretty nice. I think they come in at around $40-$50, but you might be able to find one at a Homegoods for cheaper if you have one of those stores around you.

 

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solid3 
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Subject: Recommend me a good chef's knife
thats like going shopping for a new car with only $12,000. you're going to end up with a piece of crap kia sephia and you'll be disappointed. no other possible outcome. save until you can get something worth spending money on.

 

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Silverwuf 
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Subject: Recommend me a good chef's knife
Lynea posted:
I agree with shaggy.  I have Henkels (both Int'l and Bros.)

 

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shaggynuts24 
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Subject: Recommend me a good chef's knife
Lokkie_the_Fierce posted:
shaggynuts24 posted:
i like Henkels -- the in-laws gave me and the wife a set a while back --- they are sturdy and the steal that came with the set works wonders ---- all i need to do is to teach her how to use the steal

http://usa.jahenckels.com/index.php?subcategory=39


... the 6" chefs knife is $130-ish

http://usa.jahenckels.com/194henckels

depends on what series you go for ... some as low as $65 and some as much as $250



For some odd reason, I'll spend a fortune on my cookware, but seem to have issues buying nice knives and cuttlery (sp?).

$50 is probably all I'll be able to buy at the moment w/o cringing.


just like anything else --- you get what you pay for

 

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Lokkie_the_Fierce 
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Subject: Recommend me a good chef's knife
solid3 posted:
thats like going shopping for a new car with only $12,000. you're going to end up with a piece of crap kia sephia and you'll be disappointed. no other possible outcome. save until you can get something worth spending money on.


Spent $12k on a car, have no regrets. And laugh at people that are still making $500+ car payments.

 

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Lokkie_the_Fierce 
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Subject: Recommend me a good chef's knife
shaggynuts24 posted:
just like anything else --- you get what you pay for



And if I wanted top of the line, I'd pay for it :P

I want good. Better than $5 piece of tin from Walmart.

To those who actually answered the original question - thanks for the suggestions, gonna check out some reviews of the ones listed.

 

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shaggynuts24 
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Subject: Recommend me a good chef's knife
Lokkie_the_Fierce posted:
shaggynuts24 posted:
just like anything else --- you get what you pay for



And if I wanted top of the line, I'd pay for it :P

I want good. Better than $5 piece of tin from Walmart.

To those who actually answered the original question - thanks for the suggestions, gonna check out some reviews of the ones listed.


sorry, wasn't trying to offend you or anything

i've tried a cheap set too --- didn't last for very long -- a year or two
the in-laws gave us the Henckel set -- had them for about 3 years with no problems (i just have to sharpen them every now and then)

i hope they are as good as the ones my grandma has -- they got regular use and my grandpa used to sharpen them once a month --- she's had them for over 30 years

 

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Silverwuf 
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Subject: Recommend me a good chef's knife
Lokkie_the_Fierce posted:
shaggynuts24 posted:
just like anything else --- you get what you pay for



And if I wanted top of the line, I'd pay for it :P

I want good. Better than $5 piece of tin from Walmart.

To those who actually answered the original question - thanks for the suggestions, gonna check out some reviews of the ones listed.


Check out this place http://www.smkw.com/webapp/eCommerce/main_front.jsp They have a store in Sevierville, TN, just a short drive from Pigeon Forge. They have every kind of knife imaginable and very reasonable prices. We stop by there when we drive to SC to visit my mom and that's where I got all my knives.

Silver

 

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Lynea 
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Subject: Recommend me a good chef's knife
I've had my Henckels now for 10 years and just sharpen them periodically.  Can't say the same for cheaper knives I've had in the past.

 

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Subject: Recommend me a good chef's knife
More than you ever wanted to know about kitchen knives


Knives are the most important tools in the kitchen. You use them more than you use your cookware or your range. I've had enough experience with kitchen cutlery that I thought I would share some basic thoughts with you here. Yes, I think it's probably more than you wanted to know but, if it isn't, then perhaps it will be useful in helping you choose knives for your own kitchen.

Parts of a knife (let's get some terminology out of the way.)

No two kitchen knives are exactly alike but, for the most part, we can divide the knife up into two or three "parts." The front part of the knife is the blade and it has an edge that cuts, a spine that is opposite the edge and (for most knives at least) a tip or point at the front of the blade.
The part of the knife that carries the handle is the tang. Sometimes the tang is the full size of the handle and the handle is actually hard scales that are riveted or otherwise attached to the sides of the tang. Sometimes the tang is narrower than the handle so that the handle can be attached to it and surround it for a more ergonomic feel. Full tangs are usually thought to be stronger and stick tangs are usually thought to provide a more comfortable handle. This is something you should decide for yourself.
Some knives also have a bolster which is a thick section of steel between the blade and the tang. It's purpose is to provide better balance to the knife and to make it heftier. We'll get into bolsters a little more in the next section.

Construction

Basically, there are 3 ways to make a kitchen knife. You can block it, forge it or sinter it. Well you could grind or file one to shape from a steel blank but knives aren't made that way commercially.
Blocked knives are cut from a sheet or roll of steel of constant thickness something like cutting cookies from a dough. The blades are then ground and edged and handles are attached to the tangs. Some blocked knives have a full or partial tang with riveted scales and some have a handle epoxied to a stick tang. These knives never have bolsters. They are light, inexpensive and usually poorly balanced. Examples of these knives in the Knife Outlet product assorment would be the Forschner.
Forged knives are made by heating a steel blank very hot and pounding it into shape with a drop forge machine. The purpose is usually to provide for that thick bolster. It wouldn't be practical or economical to grind the knife from a steel blank thick enough to produce a bolster. Forged knives, then, are made from a single piece of steel in this fashion. An example of forged knives would be the Wusthof Classic series.
Sintered knives are made by fusing together the blade and tang or, sometimes, the blade, bolster and tang to make up a complete knife from the various parts. This is done as an economy measure in some cases since it is less expensive than forging. In other cases it allows for construction that would be impossible without it. An example of sintered knives would be the Global G and GS series. They are sintered from a flat steel blade and a tubular steel handle. It would be impossible to block knives like this and forging would produce a heavy solid handle.

Style

There are basically two styles or philosophies of making kitchen knives. We'll refer to them as Eastern and Western. Eastern style knives such as Japanese made knives like Global are made from harder steel, the blades are significantly thinner, producing a lighter weight knife and the bevel angles are more acute. That means these knives will hold an edge longer (and also take longer to sharpen or steel) and will be sharper, requiring more maintenance. They are wonderful for cutting where accuracy is necessary such as preparing Sushi or making decorative cuts. Western style knives such as European made knives like Wusthof are made from softer steel (less edge holding but easier to maintain) are thicker (heavier) and have more obtuse bevel angles so that they won't get quite as sharp but the edges will be sturdier requiring less maintenance. They are outstanding at chopping, as an example.
The Japanese also make knives that incorporate a chisel grind (bevel on one side with the other side flat or even concave) and made from sandwiched steels where a hard steel for edge retention is sandwiched between soft steel or even iron to provide better toughness. These knives have traditional Japanese blade shapes like the Yanagi, Deba and Usuba. They do require more care and maintenance but they cut wonderfully. It is hard to compare them to Western style knives but they do an excellent job with Japanese style cooking.
So you must decide between better cutting performance but more required maintenance (Eastern style) or somewhat less performance but easier and less frequent maintenance (Western style.) You must choose between light weight (Eastern style) and heftier, heavier knives (Western style.) Obviously a good cook will be a good cook with either style. It is a matter of preference and priority.

Steel

Basically, kitchen knives are available in three types of steel.

High carbon steel is actually the best performer providing more toughness and the ability to take a very sharp edge with less overall effort. However, high carbon steel is not stain resistant. It can rust and will discolor from use. After much use, high carbon steel kitchen knife blades will actually become black. This discoloration is purely cosmetic and does not affect the performance of the knife in any way. An example of this kind of knife is the Sabatier Au Carbone.

High carbon stainless steel is the best of the stain resistant steels. It has a high content of carbon for hardness and still enough chromium to keep it looking great. High carbon stainless will take a sharp edge and maintain it well. It is the most popular steel type used in high quality kitchen cutlery and most of the cutlery we offer is made of this type of steel. The Japanese knives use an alloy and heat treatment that produces a harder thinner blade requiring more maintenance (Global) and the European knives produce a softer thicker blade requiring less maintenance. Most of the kitchen cutlery we sell would fall into this category

Stainless steel or surgical stainless steel has less carbon and more chromium in the alloy. It is very resistant to rust and stains but not hard enough to maintain the best possible edge. This type of steel is used often in the less expensive cutlery you may find at a local discount department store. You won't find them here. We think the quality and performance of your cutllery is important to good cooking and we don't recommend this kind of knife.

Titanium is actually a matrix of titanium and carbides. Titanium is lighter than steel and more wear resistant. So a titanium alloy can hold an edge as well as steel. The carbides in the alloy allow the blades to be heat treated to a hardness appropriate for cutlery. Titanium imparts no flavor whatsoever to food. The blades are more flexible than steel blades so they aren't a good choice for some applications like decorative cuts but work quite well for boning, fileting, etc.

Ceramic is not a steel at all, of course, but a very hard ceramic material called zirconium oxide. These blades are so hard that they will maintain a sharp edge for months or years with no maintenance at all. Also they cannot impart any "steel" taste to the food. On the negative side, they are more brittle and cannot be used for prying (actually, no kitchen knife should be used for prying) and they require diamond sharpening tools to maintain. Also take note that you should use ceramic knives only on a cutting board. Don't use them as steak knives. They are hard enough to cut the glaze on your dinnerware. Examples of this type of knife are the ceramic bladed Boker and Kyocera knives.

Handles

You can choose between composition handles, wood handles or stainless steel handles. The choice is between the practical maintenance-free nature of composition or stainless and the beauty and luxurious feel of wood. Most professionals choose composition or stainless handles because they require no maintenance and wood handles aren't allowed in most commercial kitchens. Wood handled knives are attractive and work fine in a home kitchen where the cook takes care of the equipment.

Blade Types

The best kitchen knives are flat ground. The blade profile tapers from the thicker spine to the thinner edge in a straight or convex line. They are heavier and tougher than hollow ground blades which have a concave profile.

Serrations are the wavy type of blade edges. The purpose is to keep part of the edge from making contact with the cutting board which dulls edges much faster than the food. We consider this an outstanding feature on bread knives and recommend that your bread knives have it. As long as you keep your edges sharp, plain edges are better for all other kitchen purposes. A well sharpened plain edge knife should slice a ripe tomato cleanly and easily. Serrations are popular in lower priced knives because they will cut better when dull than a plain edge blade. We recommend plain edge blades for people who can and will keep their edges sharp. They provide more accurate and precise cuts as well as being easier or even possible to sharpen. Sharpening serrated edges is impractical because one would need the wheel from the factory with which the serrations were originally ground. It is possible to touch up serrated edges on the back side by honing them lightly. When serrated edges become dull, you should think about replacing them.

Some knives have what is known as a granton edge. You may have seen the large Kullenschliff slicers used to cut prime rib at a buffet. These knives have hollow oval areas ground into the side of the blades. They are used by professional chefs for slicing meat and fish as well as for other purposes. The advantage is that the food being cut with them has less tendency to stick to the side of the blade. They are maintained just like regular edges.


Types of kitchen knives

Lets attack this subject by dividing kitchen knives into three basic cutting actions - chopping, striking or slicing. Then we'll divide the slicers again between those that are used against a cutting board and those that are not.
Chopping or dicing or mincing is usually done by rocking the knife like a lever with the front of the blade as a fulcrum. The food is then pushed under the rear part of the blade where it is cut. This is the purview of the chef's knife and every cook should have one and learn to use it properly. The chef's knife has a wide blade to allow the cook to control it with the other hand as it rocks up and down. It is the basic kitchen knife and the one that most cooks use more often than other types.
Striking knives used in a manner that looks like the way one would use a club. The most common striking knife is the cleaver and it is used to sever bones and joints in meat preparation. The chef's knife is sometimes used as a striking knife to mince food using short choppy strokes with both hands holding the knife.
All other knives are slicing knives. For the most part, they are used in a back and forth fashion, sometimes against a cutting board and sometimes not. The basic slicers that are not used against cutting boards are the parer, the filet knife and the boning knife.
The parer is usually held in one hand while the food to be cut is held in the other. The parer then can peel or make decorative cuts or it can be used in countless ways. It can even be used against a cutting board but usually is not.
The filet knife is used to free fish filets from the skeleton and skin. It has a thin blade and is often flexible. We won't go into a treatise on using the filet knife but if you filet fish you'll find one very handy.
The boning knife is used to separate poultry from it's carcass. It is used in short slicing strokes as legs are separated from body or breasts are removed from the skeleton. If you buy your poultry in pieces, then you won't need one. If you plan to bone poultry yourself, the boning knife makes it easier and faster. Did I mention that Martin Yan can bone a chicken with a big Chinese cleaver in less than 20 seconds? It just goes to show you what someone with excellent knife skills can do. You and I would do better with a boning knife.
The rest of the slicers are usually used against the cutting board. They can be long slicers and carvers, short utility knives, serrated tomato or bread knives or sausage knives and on and on. Basically, they all have relatively narrow blades so that food will have less of a tendency to stick. Which ones you need are a matter of your cooking style and knife skills.
What do you need to have in your kitchen? I think you need at least one chopping knife (chef's knife) one parer and one slicer. The slicer could be a bread knife, as an example, which can cut more than just bread. Generally, you want the slicer to have a longer blade than the food you are cutting os a longer slicer is probably more useful than a shorter one if you will only have one. Specialy knives like the filet and boning knives or cleavers are only good to have if you do this kind of cutting.
So there are some things to think about. There is no right or wrong in choosing a knife. It is a matter of personal preference and feel. I tell my customers all the time that I can cook with cheap cookware. I have to watch it more closely but I can do it. I can't prepare food properly with cheap knives, though. Knives, as I said at the beginning, are the most important tools in the kitchen. We have tested and recommend all the kitchen knives you see on the web site. We know all of them can get the job done. The better balanced ones will get the job done with more accuracy and comfort. Those with the best blades and high quality steel with take and hold an edge longer. If you prefer hefty knives, the bolstered models will feel better to you, if you prefer light knives, then something else is the answer.

 

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Subject: Recommend me a good chef's knife
whoa..

 

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-Foxy- posted:
whoa..


yeah ... me too

i am ready to go buy a knife now

 

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Subject: Recommend me a good chef's knife
shaggynuts24 posted:
-Foxy- posted:
whoa..


 

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Subject: Recommend me a good chef's knife
pkhere posted:
love my globals and henckels


got this one old farberware knife that I just can't get rid of
it works so well on certain things






That is why I love my Old Hickory low-carbon-steel knives. Mom had one butcher knife from the 1950's it was a wedding gift. It was her best knife once we got an electric sharpener / can opener. I have ended up with a complete set and a half.

 

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Lokkie_the_Fierce 
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Subject: Recommend me a good chef's knife
A sharpener would probably solve the issues with my current knives lol

 

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Lynea 
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Subject: Recommend me a good chef's knife
You can always get a sharpening steel.  That's what I have, though an electric sharpener might be nice.

My grandfather was a butcher, so I've always known how to sharpen a knife.

 

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Subject: Recommend me a good chef's knife

 

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Terminius_Est 
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Subject: Recommend me a good chef's knife

http://japanesechefsknife.com/KDSeries.html

Didn't want to post this because these are north of 300 dollars.

But there's a lot of interest so I'll do it anyway.

The Japanese knives are thinner knives that are sharper than the German knives as they use a very hard core steel surrounded by a shell of softer steel. The edge is sharp as a razor.

They are more delicate, use them only for soft foods. Cutting through an acorn squash or thick bone or a watermelon rind may damage the edge. Keep your old knife for these tasks.

They are ground so that they don't work for left handed people. The grind is a T instead of a V.

I have two, one a 15inch serrated and a 10 inch chefs, nothing makes a thinner chop than these knifes. They glide through an onion like it's butter.

 

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Anotherstormslayer 
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Subject: Recommend me a good chef's knife
Lynea posted:
You can always get a sharpening steel.  That's what I have, though an electric sharpener might be nice.

My grandfather was a butcher, so I've always known how to sharpen a knife.


I hate to admit I use my dad's sharpening steel that he had for his surgical stainless large animal posting knife.

A Sharpening Steel straightens out micro bends in the blade between sharpening every serious cook should have one and use it on their knives regularly

P.S. Here is what a Necropsy set looks like:


 

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Lokkie_the_Fierce 
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Subject: Recommend me a good chef's knife
The knife I wanted was on sale plus I had a 30% off coupon.

If it sucks, ah well, only $20 out of pocket.

 

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Lokkie_the_Fierce 
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As I told the midget ... good lord this thing is sharp.

Was washing it and sliced the sponge right in half grin

 

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Gaevren 
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Subject: Recommend me a good chef's knife
Terminius_Est posted:

I have two, one a 15inch serrated and a 10 inch chefs, nothing makes a thinner chop than these knifes. They glide through an onion like it's butter.


That's probably why you always see those Japanese chefs going chopchopchopchop a million miles an hour...because they CAN. I might have to get one of those knives.

 

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