View Full Version : Hey guys, looking for help choosing

11-17-2012, 09:58 PM
Hi guys,

Been reading a bunch here, and I'm probably more confused than I was before I first came. I'm a long time collector of folding knives, so I had the naive thought that picking a decent set of kitchen knives would be easy. Oh how wrong can a person be!! So.... I'm just going to shut my brain down before it just gets me in trouble and see what you guys recommend.

What type of knife(s) do you think you want? Complete block set.

Why is it being purchased? What, if anything, are you replacing? To replace a cheap Farberware set with decent steel.

What do you like and dislike about these qualities of your knives already? I like the variety of a full set and the block. I dislike the cheap steel that cuts poorely and won't hold an edge.

What grip do you use? Not sure, haven't paid mutch attention

What kind of cutting motion do you use? Usually a slicing motion towards me I think.........??

Where do you store them? In the block

Have you ever oiled a handle? Current kitchen knives have SS handles, but I oil my wood handled folders.

What kind of cutting board(s) do you use? Large teflon cutting board

For edge maintenance, do you use a strop, honing rod, pull through/other, or nothing? Sharpen with either a Lansky Sharpening System or a Spyderco Sharpmaker.

Have they ever been sharpened? Many Many Many Many times

What is your budget? About $500 for a ful block set. (That's what I figure the threshold is before the WIFE wants to use a knife on ME!)

What do you cook and how often? A quite varied menu, and most nights.

Special requests(Country of origin/type of wood/etc)? It all MUST match (Wife again) and fit into a standard block design. I want to avoid plastic or FRN type handles.

I HAD been looking at Henckels and Wusthof sets, but after reading here I guess that's not the way to go. And I had LUSTED after Shuns, but didn't dare spend that much, but I guess alot of folks here don't care for them anyway. So I'm just TOTALLY confused now.

Thanks for the help guys.


The hekler
11-17-2012, 10:05 PM
You won't find much love for block sets here. Reason being they have 2-3 knives you will constantly be grabbing and the other 4-6 won't ever leave the block. Matching sets can be done but again most here have a wide collection of knives from many different makers. Aside from aesthetics your best bet is to get a nice gyuto (Japanese chefs knife) a suji for slicing tasks, and a paring knife or petty or both. With those 3-4 you'll be able to do any task you can with a 10 piece block set, and do it with higher quality steel and better results.

11-17-2012, 10:19 PM
What he said......Chef's knife (or gyuto), a petty or paring knife, maybe a boning knife depending on use

11-17-2012, 10:28 PM
+1 to both posts. You should definitely consider investing in fewer, but better quality, knives for that money.

11-17-2012, 10:29 PM
You're right that we don't usw all the knives in the block on a regular basis. Our current block holds a large bread knife that RARELY gets used, 2 large knives (one with a broader blade) that I have used quite a bit, a 5" serrated knife that NEVER gets used, a paring knife that I have used quite alot, a sharpening steel, (Never got good with one, so I don't use it), kitchen shears (a MUST) and 6 steak knives.

Both the wife and I like the block design and will use one reguardless of what I end up getting. Having all the knives at hand on the counter in a compact space is nice. The kitchen shears probably get used more than any of the knives, so there will be one of them in the mix as well. And we DO use the steak knives at the table quite alot. I aggree that we probably only use 3 of the knives in the block for food prep on a regular basis. So, if necessary I could buy a block seperately that fit the knife selection that we ended up with.

11-17-2012, 10:43 PM
Good. Now you need to decide what you actually use and get the best versions out there for the money you're willing to spend.

11-17-2012, 10:51 PM
Well...... I'd guess that I'd use a Chef's knife of some kind for working with meats, turkey, etc..., a mid-sized knife, we eat alot of fresh vegitables, so a knife that is really good at chopping, and a paring knife. Whatever I get needs to be in a handle style that can be fairly closely matched to a good quality set of steak knives. I guess the end result will still be a block set, but one that is customized for our needs.

11-17-2012, 10:53 PM
Three knives plus steak beaters. We need a budget.

11-17-2012, 10:56 PM
I have to say, if you really want the handles to match, it may be a losing proposition. Pretty much everyone I can think of here, has mismatched handles and even customize handles to all be different.

11-17-2012, 10:58 PM
Budget is around $500. Any more and the wife will use the knives on me! Actually it's not so much a budget constraint as it is her mid-western practicality rearing it's head (What the heck you want to spend that much on kitchen knives for?).

11-17-2012, 10:59 PM
I have to say, if you really want the handles to match, it may be a losing proposition. Pretty much everyone I can think of here, has mismatched handles and even customize handles to all be different.

Hmmm..... That would be a problem. The wife is a bit OCD about things matching.

11-17-2012, 11:02 PM
If it's any consolation, most of us started with matching sets. Mine was a Henckels Pro. :)

11-17-2012, 11:04 PM
I would probalby go with the Suisin western INOX line. Check that out at Japanese Knife Imports. Excellent knives. Stainless, good cutters, tough steel for the beginner and takes and holds an edge quite well. Nice fit and finish and relatively handsome western handles. What do you think?

11-17-2012, 11:07 PM
No clue yet.... I'll check them out though. Any specific knives in that line that you would recommend?

11-17-2012, 11:15 PM
Well, if you really want a chopper, you'll want a cleaver. HOWEVER, I do just fine with a 240 mm gyuto. After that, I'd recommend a petty and then if you had to get a third knife, it would be a slicer (sujihiki). For the steak knives, you probably won't get a perfect match but you could get close.

11-17-2012, 11:18 PM
Black plastic western handles are going to be the easiest to match... Check out Hattori HD at Japanese Chef Knife or Masahiro at Knife Merchant... Or I think Togiharu at Korin is a black western handle, if not the Ittosai Kotetsu line.

11-17-2012, 11:25 PM
OK thanks, will do!

11-18-2012, 04:17 AM
I have two blocks of forged box store knives and plan on ditching one and then keeping one to out in the 2-3 good knives I'm collecting and a few for random hacking situations :-)

Likely buying a carbonext tomorrow, 240mm, good price atm for it. For your 500 range I'd have to agree to with the above people saying buy a few key quality knives and see how much ya got left. Hell if you only have a few good knives you won't even need a block, just get a magnet bar or covers for the knives and put em away.

11-19-2012, 05:13 PM
Be careful what you're getting yourself into. Once you get 1 quality Japanese knife, you'll get hooked.