View Full Version : What Knife Should I Buy

08-24-2012, 12:57 AM

In case you missed it, here's my intro.


Now on to the most predictable question. I need help deciding which knives suit me best.

So I went to the sticky and copied the list. Here it is:

What type of knife(s) do you think you want?
A high heeled German-style with a thin tip and a lot of belly curve. I'm fond of the look of the Bob Kramers, but really I don't know anything good or bad about anything except the set I have.

Why is it being purchased? What, if anything, are you replacing?
I am replacing a JA Henckels Intl block set. The kind you can buy at the department store for a few hundred bucks. I have a similar set of Tromantia (sp?) too, basically the same in my hands.

What do you like and dislike about these qualities of your knives already?
Aesthetics- Meh, I'm not picky as long as it performs like a beast.
Edge Quality/Retention- what I have is not all that I had hoped. If my edge lasts a long working day in a restaurant situation it'll do for me fine. I hone often and will sharpen often as well, when they are mine and not the Mrs.'
Ease of Use- Mine (hers) feel almost cumbersome. I want something lighter, better balanced, maybe with a rounded spine to it digs my finger less.
Comfort- Again, round the spine and give me something fuller to hold, more curve to the belly.

What grip do you use?
I pinch the blade just up from the bolster, like a conductor's baton.

What kind of cutting motion do you use?
The tip for little slices, the heel for rock chopping.

Where do you store them?
Currently in a wood block, but I'm open to recommendations.

Have you ever oiled a handle?

What kind of cutting board(s) do you use?
3/4" poly, restaurant supply

For edge maintenance, do you use a strop, honing rod, pull through/other, or nothing?
I have a steel in the block and a pro sharpener down the street.

Have they ever been sharpened?
Once, recently, after about 18 months from new. Like I said, they're not really mine, so it's not totally up to me.

What is your budget?
Depends on the value. For a super excellent deal I'll spend more, maybe $400-450, but for regular retail prolly more like $250-300 each for a big and little Chefs, $100-ish for the boning, somewhere between for my slicer/carver.

What do you cook and how often?
I do pit barbecue and some grilling and sauce making, a few traditional country sides and even some playful experiments with classic brunch fare. I cut a lot of pork and beef, mostly primals, ribs, shoulders, rounds/hams, the occasional shank or other bone cutting but not usually. I mow through a lot of roots and bulbs, a fair amount of tomatoes and chiles, a few greens, lots of vegetable garden kind of stuff. I do "something" twice a week, with major events (100+ folks) once very couple of months.

Special requests(Country of origin/type of wood/etc)? Right now I feel like my knives are an old dodge van, functional but not really optimal. I want a reliable workhorse that makes my hobby more enjoyable, and any future "work" more efficient. Really it's all about the bottom line, better work, easier work, reliable work, consistent work, value added. I'm not romantic about it.

Again, I'm a novice, but I really enjoy what I do, and I'm eager to improve my skill and gain experience.

I"m looking for a big chef's knife, 8-10", a small chef's knife 6-7", a stiff boning knife, a long long slicer to get through those big porchettas, briskets and hams, a small utility or paring for the things the small chef's doesn't do (optional really) and maybe, just maybe a cleaver (also optional). Really I only want 4 knives, if after a year or two I find myself needing something I don't have I'll consider expanding.

08-24-2012, 01:54 AM
Not sure this is quite in line with what you are thinking, but some of the Japanese knives with a somewhat thicker spine than usual would be a huge improvement from what you are using. I would suggest looking at maybe either the Kochi or Gengetsu knives from JapaneseKnifeImports (the owner Jon is a member of this forum and quite helpful).

Good luck!