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View Full Version : Home Cook Starter Set--Feedback Wanted



german_steel
12-05-2011, 09:35 PM
Hi all--stumbled across this forum last night and signed up. I've recently developed an interest in cooking and have been soaking up all the info about kitchen cutlery i can find.

Here's what I currently have in my block--any thoughts, feedback, suggestions for improvement are welcomed. I'm strictly a home cook and focus mainly on making salads, sandwiches and prepping fresh fruits/veggies rather than hacking proteins. Thanks in advance!

Calphalon Contemporary forged 8 inch Chef
Henckels Int'l Forged Premio 7 inch Hollow Edge Santoku
Henckels Int'l Forged Razor 3 inch parer
Henckels Int'l Forged Razor 8 inch serrated bread knife
Jamie Oliver grooved sharpening steel

SpikeC
12-05-2011, 10:17 PM
Welcome to the board! Obviously you need a custom Bob Kramer gyuto! Then you could really cook!
:knife:

:justkidding:

Eamon Burke
12-06-2011, 12:18 AM
:ntmy:
Let's see...
Yeah, you're gonna want at least one new knife. I mean, sure, you can still make dinner. But trust me--one decent knife. You won't be sorry! The bad news for you is that none of those are permanent purchases, the good news is that you are going to be VERY surprised with even a modest improvement!

Welcome!

german_steel
12-06-2011, 12:34 AM
you're gonna want at least one new knife.

Thanks. My thought was to ditch my Calph 8" chef and 7" Henckels Santoku and upgrade to either a Twin Cuisine/Four Star 8" Chef or Santoku. I prefer the looks of Henckels over Wusthof even if it means sacrificing a little bit of performace. Shun, Global etc. are probably not optimal choices for a basic home cook.

I'm satisfied with the performance of my parer and bread knife, although they have already started to stain :knife:

Amon-Rukh
12-06-2011, 12:49 AM
If you chose to go Henckels, I'd say get the original Zwilling 4-stars (not the 4-star II line!) online; because they've been discontinued, they're significantly cheaper these days than comparable German knife purchases and they're just as good as most others if not better. If you want to go for a Japanese knife that you can try out in a store before making a purchase, head to Sur la Table and have a look at the Miyabi Fusion knives. They really aren't much more expensive than Wusthofs or Henckles and are quite nice--in my opinion nicer than the majority of offerings by either of the standard Germans, Shun or Global. And if you're willing to just go for it and buy a knife online without testing it first, there are many worlds waiting to be discovered....

german_steel
12-06-2011, 01:00 AM
hi Erik, zwilling online is having a warehouse sale right now on b-stock merch--TWINŽ Cuisine 8'' Chef's Knife or 7" Santoku for $49.95.

In your opinion is the Wusthof Classic line superior to the Zwilling Four Star or Twin Cuisine lines?

Thanks

Eamon Burke
12-06-2011, 01:16 AM
Any reason why you need a german knife? If it's a nationality thing, I get that.

If not, there's a perfect knife for you, sitting waiting for you somewhere in the world on a warehouse shelf....we can help you find it!

german_steel
12-06-2011, 01:33 AM
doesnt have to be a german mfr...was just going with easy to find, trusted brands to simplify things and not get TOO technical as I'm not a professional.

Amon-Rukh
12-06-2011, 01:47 AM
Well dang, I just wrote a long response then accidentally deleted it. So the new, short answer is no, in my experience Wusthof is not better than Zwilling. They just have a better marketing team in the US (whereas Zwilling seems to get the better reputation in Germany, at least from what I've seen when I've been there). Before I got into J and custom knives, I was really into German blades, but quite frankly aside from the the Zwilling Cermax knives, they're really not that different from one another. A W Classic or Z 4-star is going to be reliable, easily purchased and nicer than anything you've got now, so it really just comes down to which you like the look and feel of best.

If you're willing and excited to try something more adventurous though, there's a lot more out there.

german_steel
12-06-2011, 02:44 AM
A W Classic or Z 4-star is going to be reliable, easily purchased and nicer than anything you've got now

and taking into account my current knives are german steel(china made) the upgrade will be noticeable?

mr drinky
12-06-2011, 05:07 AM
What's the budget roughly if you were to get one more knife?

k.

german_steel
12-06-2011, 08:19 AM
What's the budget roughly if you were to get one more knife?

k.


hi mr drinky, I'd say around $100 or less.

mr drinky
12-06-2011, 09:04 AM
I know it isn't made yet, but just throwing out there the $70 Artifex 210mm with $20 Eamon finish sharpening. It's a non-tested knife, so I could be eating these words, but it is something different in that price range with good steel.

k.

TB_London
12-06-2011, 09:14 AM
My progression went from zwilling( now with the inlaws) to global(still have a few) to an array of Japanese and handmade knives. If you are looking for increased performance one of the most noticeable changes is moving to a knife with better geometry than the standard thick German knives. It will stand up to less abuse but will reward you by being much better in use. The variety can be daunting but if you stick to gyutos within your budget there are a manageable number of options, and they will give you much better value.
The other option is to get a zwilling and run away with your wallet before spending $400 on a knife seems quite reasonable :D
Good luck

stevenStefano
12-06-2011, 09:31 AM
A 210 Carbonext is $105 but if I were the OP I'd look at spending a little more, the choice is fairly limited at that price range

tk59
12-06-2011, 12:29 PM
I have some Germans. They really aren't very nice to use. Unless you're pretty careless with your cutlery, get something Japanese. I'd go with CarboNEXT or Fujiwara at or around your price point.

Eamon Burke
12-06-2011, 02:55 PM
Stretch the budget ten bucks, get a Suisin Inox Western 210mm gyuto(as long as you are right handed). They are attractive enough, stainless, and come with a nice sharp edge out of the box. I say it's good for a right handed person because they are ground/sharpened with a right-hand bias.

I'd also like to add that I've heard nothing but good about the carbonext, but I've never used or even seen one in person, that's the only reason I'm not chiming in with a rec for the same thing. I've heard they are great values.

bprescot
12-06-2011, 05:21 PM
I think there are actually quite a few rather nice options at that price range, especially for someone looking for a solid performing knife rather than a top of the top knife.

As other mentioned, look at the Miyabi. SLT will let you handle them in the store and their return policy is legendary, but there ARE places online where you can get a slightly better price. With tax it might push you JUST over your budget.

Another good option is a Tojiro DP Gyuto. They're more expensive than they once were, but they are still a nice knife. I assume you're most comfortable with around an 8" blade? If so, you'll want to look for one in 210mm. They can be found for around $80 or so. Some sellers will even offer to send it off to be professionaly sharpened for you which you'd probably just have enough room for.

Similarly, and I've not tried it, but I believe others have and it's well received, is the Fujiwara FKM Stainless Gyuto. Also around the same price, I think. I believe it's a slightly better grind, but also a little softer steel than the Tojiro. They also come with a decent edge, but a number of places offer finishing sharpening which might be a good idea.

Best of luck and welcome to KKF!


EDIT: I'll also second Eamon's recommendation of the Suisin. It's a slight budget stretch, but a very very nice knife. There is no doubt that you will DEFINITELY notice a difference with that one. All of them, really, but especially that one.

joec
12-06-2011, 06:55 PM
I actually started and used a dexter stainless Chinese cleaver, old hickory boning knife and disposable paring knives for about 30 years. I still prefer cleavers but all one really needs is a gyuto, paring with perhaps a boning knife if one does a lot of protein preparations. The gyuto should be about 240mm or larger if one can handle it other than that unless one needs it not really necessary.

german_steel
12-06-2011, 10:48 PM
the Suisin INOX gyuto being recommended looks great...i assume that the wooden handle is coated by resin or some kind of composite material to protect against moisture?

The only problem I see is that I would also need to buy a new steel with a higher Rockwell rating for one of these Japanese knives...a little more than i'd care to spend.

Eamon Burke
12-07-2011, 12:31 AM
No it's not coated with anything crazy, but it's not natural wood...some kind of wood composite or something. You will need a new steel, but honestly it can wait. they aren't that expensive! Even with your current knives you need a new rod. Need as in you aren't getting the best from your knives, whatever that may be.

obtuse
12-07-2011, 03:46 AM
the suisin and Fujiwara are hardened to 58 rockwell, the same as henkels and wustof advertise

NoCoMom
02-05-2012, 01:46 AM
I recently upgraded from a set of the Twin Cuisine to Shun's. The difference is amazing, so much thinner, sharper, lighter...I couldn't be happier. I had problems with the handles of the Twin Cuisine's cracking (hand washing only), I was told by the kitchen store that they were being discontinued due the handle problems.

Tatletz
02-16-2012, 02:46 AM
If you chose to go Henckels, I'd say get the original Zwilling 4-stars (not the 4-star II line!) online; because they've been discontinued, they're significantly cheaper these days than comparable German knife purchases and they're just as good as most others if not better. If you want to go for a Japanese knife that you can try out in a store before making a purchase, head to Sur la Table and have a look at the Miyabi Fusion knives. They really aren't much more expensive than Wusthofs or Henckles and are quite nice--in my opinion nicer than the majority of offerings by either of the standard Germans, Shun or Global. And if you're willing to just go for it and buy a knife online without testing it first, there are many worlds waiting to be discovered....


Fully agree with you, so far perfectly happy with my Zwillin J A Henckels Four Star knife set. BTW they are not discontinued and are still on the company's web site. From time to time I change the Chef's one with my recently purchased Kasumi Gyuto 20cm. I've noticed that the vast majority of forum members are against German knives and embrace mostly Japanese one.

Ontravelling
02-16-2012, 04:11 AM
I have a Carbonext honesuki and think it's a great knife, good steel. If it were between that and a Wustof/Henckels for a 210 gyuto, I'd go Carbonext every time. My roommate has the 210 Suisin Inox Western and I love it. Great value for sure. I've sharpened it for him a few times and it takes a great edge. The handle is nice. It's finished so you don't need to worry about moisture etc. It should be fine.

MadMel
02-16-2012, 06:02 AM
Well if you really want a German knife, I have a set of un-used Wusthof Le Cordon Bleu sitting in a corner, though shipping may be a bit of an ass..

MadMel
02-16-2012, 06:05 AM
Fully agree with you, so far perfectly happy with my Zwillin J A Henckels Four Star knife set. BTW they are not discontinued and are still on the company's web site. From time to time I change the Chef's one with my recently purchased Kasumi Gyuto 20cm. I've noticed that the vast majority of forum members are against German knives and embrace mostly Japanese one.

We are not against German knives per se, but as a comparison, the Japanese knives do perform much better. What I really dislike about the major German brands are the spreading of the myth that a full tang 3-riveted handle blah blah blah is better.... Sorry if I hijacked the thread and sounded harsh..

Tatletz
02-16-2012, 02:57 PM
Well if you really want a German knife, I have a set of un-used Wusthof Le Cordon Bleu sitting in a corner, though shipping may be a bit of an ass..


Are you serious mate? If you are in Sydney I can pick them up from your place :)

MadMel
02-17-2012, 05:42 AM
Are you serious mate? If you are in Sydney I can pick them up from your place :)

I'm serious about selling them haha.. They would include a 230 mm chef's, 90 mm parer, 180mm flexible fillet (this one is a classic not LCB) and the sharpening steel. All comes with the edge guards.. If you are serious about buying them, let's move this to a pm and not hijack the thread.