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liquidsense
03-13-2013, 12:23 PM
My mother is an amazing chef. Though I rarely eat her cooking these days, I get to experience it whenever I visit the folks. The last time I visited, I noticed that her knife collection was severely lacking. Her chef knife is some abomination (maybe Wusthof) that is possibly the dullest knife I've ever seen in a kitchen. (Maybe it's her care and not the knife that made it so bad.) With what little sharpening knowledge I had, I was unable to do anything about it. She typically sharpens the knife using some little stand wherein you pull the knife through several times.

So, I want to buy her a great chef knife. Nothing extremely fancy. I myself am a newb, so I know very little. But, I do know that she doesn't need a carbon blade, damascus metal, wooden handle, etc. She just needs a fantastic knife that will get the job done. Budget about $400. Ideas?

Mrmnms
03-13-2013, 12:43 PM
How's she gonna keep those expensive knives sharp? Big dilemma. I sharpened my mom's knives a couple time a year. Nothing fancy, but she was comfortable with them. I added a few knives over the years, but she always went back to her old favorites. Maybe buy from a shop near her that offers free resharpening. My mom was priceless, but if I ever told her I bought her a $400 knife, she would have been dumbfounded. She was a great cook.

skiajl6297
03-13-2013, 12:59 PM
Most important question - does your mom want or think she needs a new knife? Or do you just think you could make her life easier by getting her an expensive tool?

franzb69
03-13-2013, 01:04 PM
http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php/2058-Which-knife-should-you-buy

answer these questions for her =D

liquidsense
03-13-2013, 02:13 PM
Most important question - does your mom want or think she needs a new knife? Or do you just think you could make her life easier by getting her an expensive tool?

Well, frankly, it's really more me that wants to get her a new knife. However, we were having a lot of issues when we were cooking together and she definitely commented that her knife was no good. That said, I will attempt to answer the questions from the other thread.


What type of knife(s) do you think you want?
Basic daily driver chef knife that requires little maintenance.

Why is it being purchased? What, if anything, are you replacing?
Current knife is utter garbage. 10 year old Wusthof that is dull as heck.

What do you like and dislike about these qualities of your knives already?
Aesthetics - Not very important.
Edge Quality/Retention - Important, as long as it does not require frequent maintenance or know-how.
Ease of Use - Very important.
Comfort - Important.

What grip do you use?
Basic/standard/average.

What kind of cutting motion do you use?
Intermediate level learned from cooking at home for 40 years with no formal training.

Where do you store them?
Basic knife block.

Have you ever oiled a handle?
No.

What kind of cutting board(s) do you use?
Wood.

For edge maintenance, do you use a strop, honing rod, pull through/other, or nothing?
Pull through.

Have they ever been sharpened?
No; not professionally.

What is your budget?
$400

What do you cook and how often?
Every day. All kinds of ordinary food, but nothing fancy.

Special requests(Country of origin/type of wood/etc)?
None

ajhuff
03-13-2013, 02:42 PM
Suisin INOX Western. Done.

-AJ

mhlee
03-13-2013, 02:52 PM
Suisin INOX Western. Done.

-AJ

+1

If you think a sturdier knife is better for her, then I would recommend the CarboNext. But, IMHO, the Suisin INOX Western would be a very good knife for people transitioning from Wusthofs/Henckels to Japanese knives. I was really surprised by how nice this knife is. I enjoyed using it.

FWIW, I just compared the Suisin INOX to the CarboNext side by side this weekend. They're both good knives, but the Suisin is, on the whole, a superior knife based on my limited experience. It's thinner but still stiff, feels more evenly balanced in the hand, and cuts better than the CarboNext - it slices vertically and laterally/horizontally better than the CarboNext on the items I tried - bell peppers (skin and flesh sides up), onions, celery - and sliced chicken and sausage better as well. The food release was about the same, but the Suisin did not wedge as much as the CarboNext. I can't attest to edge retention or sharpness because I haven't beaten up either, but the Suisin is definitely a superior cutter.

I would also recommend the INOX over the CarboNext especially if your mom is left-handed. The CarboNext that I have (which is a right handed knife) is flat ground on the left side and convex ground on the right. The INOX, from what I saw, does not have such an obvious right vs. left side biased grind.

Mrmnms
03-13-2013, 03:41 PM
A dull expensive knife is no better than a butter knife. If you don't have a plan for keeping her knife sharp, you're wasting your money. You stated her Wustof is dull as heck. Most people outside this forum would be delighted with a Wustof if it was properly sharpened. If you're set on spending money, you might consider a Mac as well. But it too will become "dull as heck". If you buy some other names, they come with free sharpening. You can always bring your own very sharp knife when you cook together. Maybe she'll take a liking. Start by getting her knives sharp now. Dull knives are dangerous.

mhlee
03-13-2013, 04:06 PM
A dull expensive knife is no better than a butter knife. If you don't have a plan for keeping her knife sharp, you're wasting your money.

Agreed. If you're going to buy her a knife, give her something to use to keep that knife sharp. Most of the knives recommended here are made of harder and tougher steel than Wusthofs/Henckels and will keep their edges longer, but they will eventually get dull.

At a minimum, consider also buying a ceramic rod to keep that knife in working order. If she doesn't want to sharpen the knife, find someone local that'll sharpen it. And teach her how to maintain it - wash by hand immediately after using, no scouring pads, no dishwasher, no letting it sit in standing water (which can ruin the entire knife - blade and handle), etc.

liquidsense
03-13-2013, 04:10 PM
Agreed. If you're going to buy her a knife, give her something to use to keep that knife sharp. Most of the knives recommended here are made of harder and tougher steel than Wusthofs/Henckels and will keep their edges longer, but they will eventually get dull.

At a minimum, consider also buying a ceramic rod to keep that knife in working order. If she doesn't want to sharpen the knife, find someone local that'll sharpen it. And teach her how to maintain it - wash by hand immediately after using, no scouring pads, no dishwasher, no letting it sit in standing water (which can ruin the entire knife - blade and handle), etc.

OK. I will get her a ceramic rod. I just need her to actually use it, rather than reaching for the pull-through device. Are there any such things that work?

skiajl6297
03-13-2013, 06:00 PM
You could just pay to have her wustof sharpened on a regular basis by someone and provide her one of yours while her's is away. Best of both worlds - she keeps her comfy knife that she already uses, and its respectably sharp most of the time.

chinacats
03-14-2013, 11:54 AM
Get yourself and her a present. Buy her a nice knife (Suisin makes sense) and buy yourself a stone. You will spend way less than 400 and you will both have sharp knives. Ditch the pull through and the rod.

Cheers!

mhlee
03-14-2013, 12:33 PM
Get yourself and her a present. Buy her a nice knife (Suisin makes sense) and buy yourself a stone. You will spend way less than 400 and you will both have sharp knives. Ditch the pull through and the rod.

Cheers!

That's creative thinking. :thumbsup:

boomchakabowwow
03-14-2013, 03:49 PM
You could just pay to have her wustof sharpened on a regular basis by someone and provide her one of yours while her's is away. Best of both worlds - she keeps her comfy knife that she already uses, and its respectably sharp most of the time.

this^^.

your love and hobby of knives doesnt need to be her's.

my mom is the same way..beaten vintage wustofs and henkels..one has seen so much work deboning chickens is is wedged in the middle. craziest thing i have ever seen. she keeps it because it reminds her of her dead husband. i can respect that.

i pull out the old arkansas stones and put and edge on everything when i visit. she loves it.

Marko Tsourkan
03-14-2013, 06:21 PM
$400 should get you a custom stainless knife. Ceramic or diamond rod are much better for folks who don't use stones for sharpening. Electric sharpener or carbide V sharpeners are a No-No for knives hardened past 60RC and thinly ground at the edge.

M

panda
03-14-2013, 07:06 PM
victorinox 8", a better quality pull through, and a sharpening rod. i got my mom a messermeister santoku and she NEVER uses it even though i put an edge on it as best as the blade is capable of handling. the cheap fibrox however she uses the hell out of.

Mike L.
03-14-2013, 11:02 PM
Regardless of which knife you choose, you ought to take that pull-through thingie and quietly throw it in the trash. :D

Gravy Power
03-14-2013, 11:19 PM
Regardless of which knife you choose, you ought to take that pull-through thingie and quietly throw it in the trash. :D

Been waiting for someone to say this...If you buy a decent chef knife or gyuto, do everyone, yourself and your mother a favor, and ditch this POS.

franzb69
03-15-2013, 01:11 AM
i pull out the old arkansas stones and put and edge on everything when i visit. she loves it.

i heard arky's give a longer lasting edge on softer stainless like what your mom has.

you think there's any truth to it?

Benuser
03-15-2013, 03:04 AM
Arkansas is great with soft carbon like the Sabs. With soft stainless: the coarser the better. I sharpen them at J400 and end at 800 for very light stropping. Any higher grit is IMHO counterproductive.

franzb69
03-15-2013, 03:22 AM
Any higher grit is IMHO counterproductive.

bdl on another forum as we know likes to finish up to fine and even translucent arky's on his softer steel knives.... he attests to a longer lasting edge with the use of these stones. i just wanted an opinion from another arky user. coz i was thinking of getting arky's just for softer stainelss knives....

thanks.

Marko Tsourkan
03-15-2013, 10:38 AM
bdl on another forum as we know likes to finish up to fine and even translucent arky's on his softer steel knives.... he attests to a longer lasting edge with the use of these stones. i just wanted an opinion from another arky user. coz i was thinking of getting arky's just for softer stainelss knives....

thanks.

A little off topic, but high grit stones are completely ineffective on soft stainless knives. They gut gummied up quickly. In fact, only low grit stones (800-1200) should be used if you want to get that thing sharp.

franzb69
03-15-2013, 10:56 AM
ok sorry. thanks.

boomchakabowwow
03-15-2013, 01:39 PM
learnt something new!! now to steal my mom arkansas :D

teppanchef
03-16-2013, 05:41 PM
get a walmart knife