Chef's knifes

What do you use/would recommend

  • Wusthof

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Global

    Votes: 3 30.0%
  • Kai Shun

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I. O. Shen

    Votes: 1 10.0%
  • Kasumi

    Votes: 1 10.0%
  • Miyabi

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Masahiro

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Something else

    Votes: 6 60.0%

  • Total voters
    10

half diminished

Senior Member
Messages
1,361
Location
Buckinghamshire
Well, I've had some Sabatier Stellar knives for about 12 years and unfortunately as everyone here bashes them, drops them on the quarry-tiled floor and shoves em in the dishwasher, they are now chipped, tip-less and stained. So, I need to replace a couple at least and I'm now looking at the alternatives.

If it was me, I'd get the very best and just look after them - who wants to try cutting stuff with crappy blunt knives! But 'them lot' don't care.

So, what do I do, buy two or three really nice blades and keep em for my use or just replace the two worst damaged/practically unusable ones?

If I go for something special, what should I go for? So who uses:
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,619
Location
Betelgeuse
Knives

Ian

I've got a few Global knives, as well as a couple of old, super Sabatier Carbon Steel ones, and a newer Sabatier carver. But the ones which get used most are cheaper ones. For paring knives I have about half a dozen Victorinox plastic handled ones, which are cheaply made but with good steel. They take and hold a good edge, and can go in the dishwasher. For most cooking I use a 25cm Taylor's Eye Sheffield steel cooks' knife. It also has a plastic handle and can go in the dishwasher, it takes and keeps a good edge and cost the princely sum of £14. These are all good enough for easy use, but so cheap I don't care about them being abused.

The key to using any knife, but particularly cheaper ones is being able to sharpen effectively. My Grandfather was an old school barber, and he could put a razor's edge on a shovel, but I'm not quite so skilled so I use a three stage electric sharpener. It puts a beautiful edge on any knife, consistantly and quickly.

If you're attracted to the idea of a cheap but good knife (and this is what most pro chefs use) get a copy of Nisbets catalogue. Loads in there. With this option you won't get much of a sense of pride of ownership but you should get something that works admirably, if durable and about which you won't worry if it ends up dropped or in the dishwasher. Nisbets also sell good cheap electric sharpeners.

Jon
 
OP
half diminished

half diminished

Senior Member
Messages
1,361
Location
Buckinghamshire
Jon

I like using nice stuff - period. I have hardback books going back 20+ years that look unread, vinyl thats 30+ years old and mint, cameras that are decades old and in superb nick - I could go on!

But all of this is my own personal stuff and never gets used by anyone else. Lovely as she is, my wife looks after nothing (except me :) ) and though on balance I like her the way she is we do need to do something with the knives.

So whatever I get knife-wise unless I keep it away for personal use will get bashed, dropped and generally f***ed up in no time. As for sharpening, well that's be my job but there are so many chips and dings on the knifes we have it'd be hard work to sort them.

So as I said, I'm in two minds as to what to do. I will check out Nisbets though.

Which sharpener do you use?
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,997
Location
Just north of Munich
I know nothing about knives, but it seems to me that a set of competent, but not stellar ones for the family to use and a special HD only set of good stuff would be a good approach - especially if, like me, you react fairly loudly to people messing your kit up through negligence...
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,619
Location
Betelgeuse
Hi Ian

Yes, I like nice stuff as well, and like to look after it. I get upset when good kit gets damaged, and that's the reason behind my 'I don't care' set of cheap knives.

This is the sharpener I use.

http://www.nisbets.co.uk/products/productdetail.asp?productCode=D138

It has a coarse grinder for rescuing knackered blades, plus a medium and a fine one for normal sharpening. It can get an edge sharp enough to shave with in under a minute. It even managed to get a fine edge on an 80 year old hunting knife I found rusting in the back of my garage.


Jon
 
I love my Sabatiers nearly as much as my sax! So you can tell my Sabatiers are really up there. Just buy replacements for the most damaged and you'll be back to having a full set in prime fettle, at minimum cost. When I'm on my own, my knives are pristine, but if I let a woman into the galley, they (the knives, not the women) usually need TLC afterwards.
 

Andrew Sanders

Northern Commissioner for Caslm
Subscriber
Messages
2,764
Location
Ilkley West Yorkshire
If you know what you're looking for you can get decent sharpeneable knives from TK Max. Trouble is they are in plastic packaging so you can't really feel the weight and see how thin the blade is. I use a steel to sharpen them. My best knife is a Sabatier which I've had since college days. (1974)
 

Sue

If at first you don't succeed try try try a Gin
Subscriber
Messages
2,340
Location
The Millenium Falcon
Just bought some IO Shen (Japanese steel alla Uma Therman - Kill Bill) and love them - bought one of the sharpeners too.
 

thehunt

Member
Messages
797
Location
Studham Bedfordshire
Don't put good knives in the dishwasher, always wash them by hand. There is a scientific reason as hot water blunts and dulls blades. I have worked in the meat industry all my life , 36 years now, was a butcher for many years and also worked as a cook in Paris. Now in imort/export of meat. I think with a lot of knives you pay for the brand Sabatier for example. Victorinox make some good knives. I would say what is very important is to have a good balance in the knife, it must have some weight to it otherwise the blade can bend ( as with some cheaper makes ) and that is very dangerous. Anyway that is my opinion. Phil
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,401
Location
Sweden
My main knifes are Sabatier. Bought them in the 70's. Changed handles once. I think Victorinox is good when you're going cut thin slices. Ham, smoked salmon ..... I also have some very sturdy knifes called F.C.Dick (German brand). Good for cutting up chicken and fish.
 

thehunt

Member
Messages
797
Location
Studham Bedfordshire
Agree with Thomsax about Dick german knives, i used them when i was a butcher in Germany, although you are not quite right about the Victorinox knives only being thin, i have had boning knives which are sturdy shorter knives for taking out bones etc. They do a complete range of knives. It might be in Sweden ( as you eat a lot of fish ) thinner knives are more prevalent. When you use knives on a professional basis you do go through them as every time you grind the blade down it makes them thinner and thinner till you can't use them anymore. Phil
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,401
Location
Sweden
I have a case with 24 differnt Victorinox tools. I just use the long salmon knife and the shorter carving knife (ham, contrafilet). The other knifes are not bad but I prefer Sabatier and Dick as my allround knifes.

I never use a machine for sharpening my knifes. Stone and (news)paper!. I learn my students to sharpen thier knifes with a system called Gatco Sharpeners http://www.gatcosharpeners.com/product/sharp_systems/edgemate_pro_sys.mgi?mgiToken=41D30B0323647E3DCAE. A good way to treat your knifes. Machine sharpeners are not the friendly to the knifes. Your should at least use a machine that the stone is watercold. My oldiest Sabatier is still in duty after 30 years!

Thomas
 
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thehunt

Member
Messages
797
Location
Studham Bedfordshire
Thom,Agree about machine sharpeners but when you are boning out meat from 3am till 5pm you need to be quick. I know things have changed as when i do factory visits now there are some weird and wonderful sharpening devices available. I travel all over Europe to meat factories so see quite a lot of different things. When i was a charcutier /cook in Paris we only used wet stones. I was able to keep my knife sharp just by using a steel for most of the time. Anyway Tom i think we have done this knife debate to bed now i bet Mr HD wished he'd never asked the question. My boning knife is good though for trimming reeds!!
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,401
Location
Sweden
Thom,Agree about machine sharpeners but when you are boning out meat from 3am till 5pm you need to be quick. I know things have changed as when i do factory visits now there are some weird and wonderful sharpening devices available. I travel all over Europe to meat factories so see quite a lot of different things. When i was a charcutier /cook in Paris we only used wet stones. I was able to keep my knife sharp just by using a steel for most of the time. Anyway Tom i think we have done this knife debate to bed now i bet Mr HD wished he'd never asked the question. My boning knife is good though for trimming reeds!!
Nice to talk about knifes with you!
 
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