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View Full Version : Henckels, Wusthof, Thiers-Issard or Global as the kitchen knife?



Silverman
05-17-2011, 08:47 PM
Hello guys,
I am looking for a Top notch knife set, as a good addition to a kitchen.
I did some research on popular knife makers, and they are: J.A. Henckels (Germany), WUSTHOF, Thiers-Issard, and Global (Japan)

So far I am looking at Henckels Pro-S 8(set), what you guys think?

http://budk.com/Knives/Henckels-Pro-S-8-Piece-Block-Set?
Which Hencheks are better Pro-S or Five star?
OR If I am missing something, which of the Henckels series are the best?


But again, I really want a VERY (top notch) set aprox 5-10 knifes.
Out of Henckels (Germany), WUSTHOF (germany), Thiers-Issard (france), and Global (Japan)
Which of these brands make THE BEST knifes, I mean top #1
as well suggest some models, if I am missing something, please add.

Highly appreciate your help,

mainaman
05-17-2011, 08:54 PM
may be the new Henkels Bob Kramer?
but you have to take care of the knife because it is carbon.

tim0mit
05-17-2011, 09:03 PM
Get a set of henckels miyabi knives. The steel is not too hard so they won't chip and the handles and blade shapes are excellent.

Silverman
05-17-2011, 09:14 PM
henckels miyabi knives look very Nice,
but how are Pro-S Series?
Are they good? better or worth than henckels miyabi ?

Henckels , Wusthof, TI (Sabatier, france), or Global (japan) ?

SpikeC
05-17-2011, 09:28 PM
What sort of cooking will these knives be used for? How much experience does the cook have?

Silverman
05-17-2011, 09:31 PM
Cooking experince about 7 years.
I want somethign really good, that will last me a life time.

Tristan
05-17-2011, 10:07 PM
I love it when a question starts on which mass production knives to get, it moves to the higher end of the spectrum like miyabi, then people will chip in why henckles, you get more value out of such and such *** knife, and another convert is born!

:razz:

Next up, try checking out the carbonext range at japanesechefknives.com

Lefty
05-17-2011, 10:16 PM
The henckels 5 star and pro s are virtually the same knives. They have the exact same blade with different handles.
The 5 star series has been discontinued, so great deals can be had, but only if you go that route.
The blades are decent steel, but very soft compared to what we like over here (56hrc, or so). They respond well to steeling because of the softer steel, but the bolsters get in the way when sharpening. They will eventually have to be filed down to allow for metal loss on the edge, due to sharpening.
I also have experience with the Thiers-Issard, and they are VERY nice knives, but are a different breed compared to our preferred j-knives. One very nice attribute on the TI knives is the relieved bolster, and an option with no "figure guard" at all. The steel, however is much like henckels knives, and again responds very well to steeling. I love the TI looks and handles, but everything you mentioned is well finished.
If I had to choose between your options, I'd go TI.
HOWEVER, j-knives are, quite honestly nicer than anything you mentioned here.

mr drinky
05-17-2011, 10:35 PM
You are forgetting the other direction these thread often go -- advising 'down' to Forschners.

With that said, do we have a sticky like Adam's at Knife Forums that solicits basic info so that feedback can be more focused/better? The KF one was rather extensive IMO and also a bit confusing to newbies, but a shortened/simpler version might be nice.

Just for reference, here are the questions from KF.


What are you looking for in your new knife?
What knife are you currently using that looking to replace or partner with?
What other knives do you own/use for tasks that you're looking to use the new knife for?
How do you grip the knife?
Do you prefer the knife balanced more handle heavy or blade heavy?
Do like a tall or short blade?
Do want it thin-thin, heavier build, or a some description of something in between?
Do you prefer a flatter edge or more curvy?
Do you like the blade to 'belly up' or flat, parellel with the handle?
What handle shape would you like?
What handle materials are you looking for?
What budget constraints do you have?
What sharpening equipment do you have?
What other special features/accessories would you like?

k.

rockbox
05-17-2011, 10:39 PM
First of all, you do not need a set. You only need 2 or 3 knives. A chef knife, a petty/utility knife, and a bread knife if you cut a lot hard crusty breads. All the German knives use the same or similar steel as a 25 dollar Forschner, so the extra money is for aesthetics alone since the Forshners are thinner and perform better.

If you are dead set on getting a knife available at the big cooking stores; then I would go with the Henkel miyabi fusions sold at Sur La Table. They have very good steel and are pretty also.

rockbox
05-17-2011, 10:52 PM
I forgot to say welcome to the board.

If you know what is good for your wallet, I would run away and never come back. Its very dangerous around here. The natives consider a good 100-200 dollar knife a gateway drug. We also like to debate if it reasonable to spend 8 thousand dollars on one knife. If you do decide to stick around, I promise you will learn something new almost everyday. I've been around good kitchen knives for over 5 years and I'm still learning from this group.

Eamon Burke
05-17-2011, 10:57 PM
welcome!

dont.
buy.
a set.



If you are like most set buyers, you'll just be buying a really expensive petty with a large foot print.

Tell us your budget, what you have and what you do and dont like about them.

MadMel
05-17-2011, 10:59 PM
I second the opinion that J-knives are much nicer then any of the above mentioned brands. I went from using Henckels to using J-knives and find that the edge retention of the J-knives are better then that of henckels. I do not recommend getting a set. Individually getting each knife may cost slightly more but if you get each and every knife in the set but most of the time, you do not need every knife in the set. What you would need is probably a chefs knife/gyuto, a parer/petty, slicer/sujihiki, boning/fillet, maybe a meat fork and a pair of kitchen shears. That's the usual arsenal of a professional kitchen, and if you are gonna be using it at home, I doubt that you will be using everything in there.

Any knife will last pretty much a good 5-10 years depending on how you treat it. A nice, well made knife will last even longer then that. 'Lasting a lifetime' is kinda subjective. It all comes down to how you care for your knives. If budget is no issue, I'd seriously consider a few custom knives. Otherwise check out the reviews of the Japanese knives here. Between the brands that you have chosen, I'd go for a Henckels Miyabi line over any of the rest.

Tristan
05-17-2011, 11:41 PM
I believe the response is overwhelming in one direction: which is don't buy a set.

The point is also cost vs quality. Yes you do get perceived savings if you buy a set, but the 'savings' are spread over a number of knives that won't get used. Also, even after the savings, each knife taken on its own still costs $X, and that $X can be better utilised.

Leading to the other point is: for the individual cost of the blades in the set, there are typically better options for the same money that a)are higher quality b)are more aesthetically pleasing or any combination of the two. At least in the eyes of the people on the forum.

I never thought I could get better quality for less or the same money, but I learned quickly from this forum that this happens all the time.

Silverman
05-18-2011, 12:23 AM
Budget up to $500
So i thought of a small set 6-8 razors.
Not talking about these 18-22 knife ones that Henckels offers.

Silverman
05-18-2011, 12:26 AM
How are Wusthof comparing to Henckels ?

Lefty
05-18-2011, 12:32 AM
6 of one, half a dozen of the other :)

Lefty
05-18-2011, 12:34 AM
Although, I read that Wusthof is now hardening their blades to 58hrc...
It's still the same steel, though, so who knows how it will respond to the extra hardness.

NO ChoP!
05-18-2011, 12:44 AM
You guys mentioned Carbonext, Forschner; what about Tojiro DP? Where's the love? I thought this was the standard starter...

tim0mit
05-18-2011, 12:47 AM
You should have bought the miyabi's and run away pretending you'd never heard of this place. The upsellers have arrived...

rockbox
05-18-2011, 12:54 AM
How are Wusthof comparing to Henckels ?

Compared to the miyabis, not even close. Compared to the other lines, they are all worse than a 25 dollar Forschner in terms of pure cutting performance.

Tristan
05-18-2011, 02:29 AM
You should have bought the miyabi's and run away pretending you'd never heard of this place. The upsellers have arrived...

Hahaha... as if we couldn't see this happening.

Actually you can't get 6-8 Miyabis with $500. I'll leave it to the more seasoned to recommend a composite set of 6 knives that can get within this budget.

I might try:
Tojiro DP honesuki 80
Carbonext 240 Gyuto & 270 Suji 128 & 139
Forschner paring $30(?)
Fujiwara 120 petty $35
Any $15 breadknife

That leaves around $70 to upgrade any of the above to a better knife. Or to add 1-2 more if you have need of something else.

MadMel
05-18-2011, 03:09 AM
Hahaha... as if we couldn't see this happening.

Actually you can't get 6-8 Miyabis with $500. I'll leave it to the more seasoned to recommend a composite set of 6 knives that can get within this budget.

I might try:
Tojiro DP honesuki 80
Carbonext 240 Gyuto & 270 Suji 128 & 139
Forschner paring $30(?)
Fujiwara 120 petty $35
Any $15 breadknife

That leaves around $70 to upgrade any of the above to a better knife. Or to add 1-2 more if you have need of something else.

For paring, just get any knife. I'm using my 120mm petty of paring jobs. And the Victorinox paring is about $6 if you seriously want/need one.
So that's $6 for a paring
A honesuki would do well if you like that kind of blade geometry. Otherwise, if you prefer a western boning/fillet knife, again a Victorinox/Forshner. Again, a longer petty would also do for boning/fillet.
That's $30 if you go for the Western, $80~$100 for the honesuki
Petty, go Fujiwara FKM $35
Gyuto/Chef's are your do all and a staple in the kitchen.
I'd go for a Hiromoto AS at $122 for a 210mm or a $145 for a 240mm
Otherwise, the CN is a pretty good choice at $128 for a 240mm
If you go for a 240mm chefs/gyuto, you may want to hold of on the sujihiki/slicer for a while. Otherwise, again a CN or a Hiro AS.
And here again, you want to look at the length.
A CN 270mm would cost $139, a 300mm - $154.
Hiro AS would set you back $201 for a 300mm.
And for the bread knife, I agree on a cheap one but test the blade for flex. You wouldn't want a wobbly blade. I'd say about $20 or so.

So that gets you to (I'm using the upper limit here) about $507.

And anyway, spending that much $$ won't ensure that your knives last unless you take care of them. So I'd rather get the necessary stuff like the gyuto, petty and bread knife and spend some cash on a combination stone for some edge maintainence. Otherwise, you can always send them to Dave :P

TB_London
05-18-2011, 04:24 AM
10 years ago I made a similar choice, but without the help of the forums and I just wanted a chef, petty, boning, parer. I went with global and they kept me happy for about 7 years. If I were you and doing it again, I'd spend 4-450 on a decent gyuto that will amaze you, and 50-100 on forschners. Then I'd learn to sharpen.....
This approach will only work if you're someone who takes care of their kit and isn't predisposed to 'drawer queening' but you'll use that gyuto for at least 80% of what you do in the kitchen, so IMHO deserves the same proportion of budget
As ever, just my thoughts, there are people here with more experience who have handled many more knives, the more info you give the forum in terms of what you have already, what you cook, which of your current knives you use the most, the more tailored the responses will be

MadMel
05-18-2011, 05:55 AM
4-450 would get you more then decent gyutos haha.

Cadillac J
05-18-2011, 09:21 AM
ahhh, so much to learn...you've come to the right place.

I will almost guarantee if you stick around here for just a few months, you'll probably forget all about the European brands, unless you are looking for a beater.

Here are my recommendations for you, based on what I think you are looking for.
- 240mm Fujiwara FKM gyuto (~$80)
- 150mm Fujiwara FKM petty (~$40)
- MAC 10.5" bread knife (~$80)
- Bester 1200 sharpening stone (~$50)
- End grain wood cutting board (~$80-$200+) or a Sani-Tuff rubber board (~$30-60)
with money left over in case you want something else

MadMel
05-18-2011, 09:25 AM
ahhh, so much to learn...you've come to the right place.

I will almost guarantee if you stick around here for just a few months, you'll probably forget all about the European brands, unless you are looking for a beater.

Here are my recommendations for you, based on what I think you are looking for.
- 240mm Fujiwara FKM gyuto (~$80)
- 150mm Fujiwara FKM petty (~$40)
- MAC 10.5" bread knife (~$80)
- Bester 1200 sharpening stone (~$50)
- End grain wood cutting board (~$80-$200+) or a Sani-Tuff rubber board (~$30-60)
with money left over in case you want something else

Hmm I kinda disagree on spending $80 on a bread knife but the rest of the stuff are great starting out. Not that I'm against it or anything but I don't see a need for an expensive bread knife. I would really like to hear the reason behind it :) No offence intended :P

shankster
05-18-2011, 09:41 AM
Hmm I kinda disagree on spending $80 on a bread knife but the rest of the stuff are great starting out. Not that I'm against it or anything but I don't see a need for an expensive bread knife. I would really like to hear the reason behind it :) No offence intended :P

$80. is a lot to spend on a bread knife.Victirinox/Forschner makes a solid bread knife for around $15-$20.If it's for work,why bother if it''s for home use and you want a nicer looking bread knife..maybe

And I agree that the bulk of the $$$ should be spent on a really good gyuto,maybe not $400.-$450 out of a $500 budget

mikemac
05-18-2011, 10:15 AM
How are Wusthof comparing to Henckels ?

I don't know how things have changed in the last 10+ years, but back in they day the answer to Henkels vs. Wusthof was Messermeister. ( I thinkl the Meridian line) IIRC they were thinner than the standard euro knife and had the half-bolster.

Another option in your price range if you are stuck on the 'block & set' route is Shun...

Since everybody else is (correctly) banging on the 'just say no' to the set theme, I'll add that I really could live very easily with 3 knives: Chef's, Slicer, and Bread

Cadillac J
05-18-2011, 01:19 PM
Hmm I kinda disagree on spending $80 on a bread knife but the rest of the stuff are great starting out. Not that I'm against it or anything but I don't see a need for an expensive bread knife. I would really like to hear the reason behind it :) No offence intended :P

I normally don't even recommend a bread knife, but because he was looking for a 'set' originally that would last a long time, I was trying to cover the most functional ground. He said he wanted 'top notch' knives, and the MAC is one of the best breads out there (I also don't consider $80 to be that much).

You might also see that I didn't recommend a $200+ gyuto, even though he is looking for 'top notch'. This is because the Fujiwaras will be a huge leap in performance compared to brands he listed, while having good fit/finish, easily adaptable western handles, and steel that is tougher than some of the harder/brittle stuff out there--so no chipping issues, could use a ceramic/borosilicate steel if he wanted, and even a poly boards wouldn't be too bad. Perfect transition for someone just getting into Japanese knives IMO.

SpikeC
05-18-2011, 01:34 PM
After the recent post of the pimped out Forschner bread knife I don't understand why anyone would want anything else.

Eamon Burke
05-18-2011, 01:38 PM
I could tell you what knives to buy, but I'd just be putting in my opinion. I want to know what YOU want out of these knives.

I know you want good ones, and you are willing to spend a realistic amount of money for a permanent purchase. But what do you like! I don't want to get you a knife that cuts like a laser and you are never comfortable with. If you will have it forever, I'd like to see that you get a few knives that you love, get them rehandled to personalize them, and be done with it!

I started with a Tojiro DP, and it kept me more than happy for over a year. Then I kind grew away from it, because it's short, and the balance is not as forward as I would like.

If you want the BEST, top #1 knife like you mentioned, contact a talented maker like any that have a subforum here, and talk to them about a custom. One knife, however, will be over your budget. The point is, the best knife is the one that fits you the best.

What do you want out of them? Why are you replacing your knives? What kind of knife you do think you like?

I promise, they all get sharp.

WildBoar
05-18-2011, 02:11 PM
I used to think Wusthof was as good as it could get. After using mainly stamped knives growing up and for a few years out of college, I received a set of sweet Wusthof Grand Prixs for Christmas one year. I was absolutely in heaven! The handles seemed great, the knives were solid and heavy -- I mean, what could be better? I proudly used them for quite a few years. Guests would see the knife block/ collection on the kitchen counter and "ohh" and "ahh" over them.

But deep down inside, I really was underwhelmed. Although I thought there were no better kitchen knives in the world, the chef's knife wasn't that great of a cutter. It was really thick, and did not stay very sharp. And although it was massive weight-wise, it really was only an 8 inch blade. And while I liked the bread knife a lot, it was too short for a lot of the loaves I buy or my that my wife bakes now. The paring knives were okay, and the utility was okay.

One day I decided to buy a knife for my then-girlfriend (now my wife). I went for a Shun chef's knife with a 10 inch blade. It was so sharp it scared her, and she found it too long. So I mainly used it, and really liked the thinner, lighter blade. I was content for a couple of years, until I ventured into the world of kitchen knife forums...

I initially dropped $100 or so on a Hiromoto 210 gyuto 'second'. Hmmm, once again I was a little underwhelmed. While it was a bit lighter and much more nimble then the 8" Wusthof, I still found myself reaching for the Shun most times. Over the next year or so, I picked up a DT ITK 240 gyuto, had a suji, parer and petty made by Pierre Rodrigue, and bought a Dave Martell-customized/ tuned/ sharpened Hiromoto 240 gyuto. Now we're talking!!! I now have a much better understanding of the things that bothered me about the Wusthofs, the 210 Hiro and even the Shun. And I have an appreciation for knives that are not too think behind the edge. I will never buy a Wusthof again, unless they really come around and change to knives much for similar to j-knives.

The people here are trying to save the OP money and increase his level of satisfaction. Many here started on the same path he is looking to take, and are trying to save him from the frustration.

I recommend contacting Jon at JKI, or even Mark at CKTG, and assembling a 'kit' with a gyuto, slicer, paring and maybe a utility/ petty from the brands they carry. And start learning about sharpening with stones so the new knives can be kept in top form.

Silverman
05-18-2011, 04:35 PM
Thank you all for your contribution, although I got more info that though I would receive.
I'll go tonight to downtown knife shop, try to get my hands on Wusthof and Henckels knifes. Indeed they are overprices, but meeeh I was always a big fan of German products, and their quality.

Eamon Burke
05-18-2011, 05:13 PM
I assure you the quality is just as good, or better, in Japan and it's almost universally better in the U.S.(though not as cheap).

Your shop downtown will not carry a good deal, I assure you. If I had own a knife from a brick and mortar store, it would be a Shun Paring knife, or Forschners(my favorite euro-beaters). I'll be blunt and make some sweeping generalizations, which are true 90% of the time:
German knives are thick, heavy axes and do not hold an edge for very long, and do not get as sharp because they are made from softer steel with large, hap-hazardly treated chromium carbides. They are very expensive for the steel quality and the care that isn't put into their creation. The handles are very comfortable, and better finished than most cheap Japanese knives, because Japanese makers and consumers want a tool that cuts properly, so you won't be fighting to get it through food, and therefore the handle comfort is kind of a non-issue(that's why J-blades have 'wa' handles...basically just sticks). Thick blades wedge into food clumsily, and get stuck in harder things. They are handle-heavy, which does nothing but give timid users a false sense of control and produce fatigue due to the work it takes to swing around a handle, and fight it's counterweight against the blade.

They try to sell German knives in sets because it makes them money by getting a consumer to buy things that aren't worth the price and will never use. Employees of every knife shop I've been too don't know jack about knives, only how to keep inventory, be personable, and clock in on time.

Germans can make fantastic knives, but despite the Ad Copy, Henckels and Wusthof are not creating world-class cutlery, they are producing profits for their investors every quarter, however they have to.

The answer to how to get knives worth investing in, is to tell us what you know and like/dislike, and we can tell you how to make a purchase that will literally change your life(even in a small way).

Or you can just buy a Shigefusa Santoku and a King 1k/6k combo stone. That's what Japanese people do.

stevenStefano
05-18-2011, 06:08 PM
If you're buying knives for the first time, get a 240 gyuto, a 15cm petty and an 8cm parer. That's the knives I use all the time and never really need anything else, though I have a few others. I'd also recommend you spend as much as you can on the gyuto and go a little cheaper on the others. That's what I did and I find it works for me. I'd recommend Tojiro DP myself, they were the first real high end knives I bought and despite spending a fortune on others, I still use my Tojiros all the time

Andrew H
05-18-2011, 06:21 PM
Or you can just buy a Shigefusa Santoku and a King 1k/6k combo stone. That's what Japanese people do.

This is probably your best option

MadMel
05-19-2011, 12:19 AM
Or you can just buy a Shigefusa Santoku and a King 1k/6k combo stone. That's what Japanese people do.

+1 on that

NO ChoP!
05-19-2011, 02:15 AM
I don't think he's listening...seems he wanted reassurance for his Germans, and hasn't gotten it. Sorry dude. Again, check out Tojiro, Fujiwara, etc...

Let me attest, $79 for the Mac bread knife is a fair price. It is THE (although I have not tried the new Tojiro for $49) best bread knife. Period.

Rotary
05-19-2011, 02:21 PM
Thank you all for your contribution, although I got more info that though I would receive.
I'll go tonight to downtown knife shop, try to get my hands on Wusthof and Henckels knifes. Indeed they are overprices, but meeeh I was always a big fan of German products, and their quality.

Lots of super helpful advice and guidance, but I think No Chop nailed it. The OP is enamored of the German knives and has his mind made up that he's going in that direction. Nothing wrong with that . . . some of us are wired so we have to learn by doing rather than reading or listening. At the end of the day he may very well be perfectly content with his Germans. If not, maybe we'll see him back. :biggrin:

I'm trying to remember which popular car mag called the Mitsubishi Eclipse "a triumph of form over function." I kind of think of German knives the same way. But some people love them.

rockbox
05-19-2011, 02:26 PM
Lots of super helpful advice and guidance, but I think No Chop nailed it. The OP is enamored of the German knives and has his mind made up that he's going in that direction. Nothing wrong with that . . . some of us are wired so we have to learn by doing rather than reading or listening. At the end of the day he may very well be perfectly content with his Germans. If not, maybe we'll see him back. :biggrin:

I'm trying to remember which popular car mag called the Mitsubishi Eclipse "a triumph of form over function." Totally true, but some people love them.

Then why ask. Its like people and politics. Most people already have their minds made up based on their gut feeling, and just want justification to back up their biases. Its the 20 percent in the middle that decide which way the country goes.

MadMel
05-19-2011, 02:31 PM
Haha, cut the guy some slack. He'll come round sooner or later...maybe... So we'll get back to the question in the title: Henckels, Wusthof, Thiers-Issard, Global. If you can only choose either of these brands, which would you go for? I'd go for a henckels miyabi hands down.. And maybe rehandle it.

WildBoar
05-19-2011, 02:49 PM
I'm trying to remember which popular car mag called the Mitsubishi Eclipse "a triumph of form over function." I kind of think of German knives the same way. But some people love them.Hey now -- my 1990 Eagle Talon TSi AWD is still going strong!!! Well, except for the fact that it's been on jackstands the last 4 years... :slaphead: But before that I got about 15 years of service out of it as a daily driver. And it will finally be back on the road later this year, once we finish with the kitchen renovation/ addition and track season ends :outonlimb:

Rotary
05-19-2011, 02:54 PM
Then why ask. Its like people and politics. Most people already have their minds made up based on their gut feeling, and just want justification to back up their biases.

True enough. Though for him he was probably genuinely interested in knowing if Henckels were better than Wustofs. For most of the people on this forum it was at best an intellectual exercise.

Rotary
05-19-2011, 02:59 PM
Hey now -- my 1990 Eagle Talon TSi AWD is still going strong!!! Well, except for the fact that it's been on jackstands the last 4 years... :slaphead: But before that I got about 15 years of service out of it as a daily driver. And it will finally be back on the road later this year, once we finish with the kitchen renovation/ addition and track season ends :outonlimb:

Sweet! But please tell me you didn't add a body kit with a giant wing and a fart-can muffler.:wink:

WildBoar
05-19-2011, 03:21 PM
Sweet! But please tell me you didn't add a body kit with a giant wing and a fart-can muffler.:wink:No body kit, but slightly bigger turbo-back exhaust. Kinda need that last one when running more boost. That being said, I kept the car stock the first 10 years, then did some power, suspension and brake mods. It was a fun around-town car -- I really need to get it back in service one of these days.

Tristan
05-19-2011, 11:17 PM
I WAS going to say something about the OT looking for reassurance... but I read the question again. It is a justified question. I would likewise go Henckles Miyabi. If a more western feel is desired, perhaps try the new henckles kramers.

If we are talking about typical german profiles with the standard issue that they produce, then any of those brands would be fine. Globals are having some bad feedback regarding carbides in the metal being a problem during sharpening. Not sure if this is a recent thing. My globals are many years old, and while not my favorite knives, do a good job of being general use around the house knives.

Seb
05-19-2011, 11:34 PM
K-Sabatier has a limited edition stainless series (http://www.sabatier-shop.com/kitchen-knives_129_authentique-1834-limited_.html) ('Authentique 1834 Limited') with apparently higher hardness.

I am also a believer in giving people what they want. If a friend or relative asked for a Henkels or a Global as a gift, I would just get it for them. If they ask for something better, then I offer suggestions.