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A high-end no-fuss knife - contradiction in terms?
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Thread: A high-end no-fuss knife - contradiction in terms?

  1. #1

    A high-end no-fuss knife - contradiction in terms?

    Reading this forum has been incredibly addicting, and I've been very tempted by a bunch of the knives that get recommended here, but...

    I know myself. I am lazy. I am sometimes going to cook and leave the knife sitting out on the counter unwashed for hours. I am never going to sharpen a knife with anything other than the Chef's Choice 120 that I have. I'm not horrible to my knives -- they don't go in the dishwasher, I don't "sharpen" them on cheap little junk things -- but, as much as I might wish it were otherwise, they're never going to get tender, high-attention care from me, either.

    Still and all, I like nice things, and I don't think that my Henckel's Four Star chef's knife is really the ultimate in knifeware. Given the reality of my lifestyle, is there a knife under $500 that's worth upgrading to, or are all the "good" knives carbon steel things that would be ruined by my care?

    Here's the form letter:

    What type of knife(s) do you think you want?

    Chef's knife or gyuto

    Why is it being purchased? What, if anything, are you replacing?

    Because I like things that are great, and I'd hope that there's something better than the Henckel's Four Star out there.

    What do you like and dislike about these qualities of your knives already?
    Aesthetics- Just fine; I like plainish things.
    Edge Quality/Retention- Less than optimal. And yes, I'm aware that this is at least somewhat on me and my sharpening.
    Ease of Use- Perfectly fine.
    Comfort- Very comfortable in the hand.

    What grip do you use?

    Pinch.

    What kind of cutting motion do you use?

    A lot of rocking, some push-cutting

    Where do you store them?

    Block.

    Have you ever oiled a handle?

    No, but I oil my cutting board.

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

    Boos maple endgrain

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

    Honing rod, but I forget to use it as often as I should

    Have they ever been sharpened?

    Yes, by the Chef's Choice machine

    What is your budget?

    Under $500

    What do you cook and how often?

    I cook daily. Common things it'd cut are carrots, celery, onions, chicken/pork/beef, misc. other vegetables and occasional fruits

  2. #2
    Canada's Sharpest Lefty Lefty's Avatar
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    I'm not sure how far off Pierre's mid-techs are, but they'd be my number one choice, bar none.
    09/06

    Take a look around at: www.sharpandshinyshop.com

    Email me at: tmclean@sharpandshinyshop.com

  3. #3
    I think you're gonna want to stick with stainless steel knives. There are some good ones... like the Devin Thomas 270 gyuto in the buy/sell forum right now (is it still there? did someone snag it already?) It's right under your budget and the knife is one of the best.

    Anyways, assuming for now that this particular second-hand item isn't available... you're probably gonna want stainless, perhaps slightly on the softer side so that you can use your honing rod to refresh the edge a bit (and I hope you've got a smooth rod not a ribbed one!) and you're probably gonna want a handle with stabilized wood, micarta or something else that won't absorb anything. Suisin INOX? Sakai Yusuke harder-variant? Hmm... I'll leave it to some of the other guys who have more experience with the variety of stainless offerings out there to give you some specific product suggestions!
    Len

  4. #4

  5. #5
    Your desire to stick with the chefs choice 120 is gonna be the deal breaker at automatic sharpener is not going to be able to get the most out of a quality knife. The knives recommended are great but with subpar sharoening they will only be subpar knives. There are professionals here you could send it to for sharpening if you don't want to do it yourself or if your willing to learn a new skill you could learn to sharpen freehand and possibly develop a new hobby.

  6. #6
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    Any stainless knife and some stainless clad w/ semi-stainless core will handle the sort of treatment you describe. I would stick with blades that are not harder than 60 hrc and a thinner cross section so you don't have to worry about your edge thickening up too quickly. I would recommend a 240 mm. If you want western handles, you might a Gesshin Ginga stainless. A couple of steps down from that, you can try a Togiharu. If you are interested in wa-handles, your options include Sakai Yusuke and Tadatsuna.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by The hekler View Post
    Your desire to stick with the chefs choice 120 is gonna be the deal breaker at automatic sharpener is not going to be able to get the most out of a quality knife. The knives recommended are great but with subpar sharoening they will only be subpar knives. There are professionals here you could send it to for sharpening if you don't want to do it yourself or if your willing to learn a new skill you could learn to sharpen freehand and possibly develop a new hobby.
    I disagree. The geometry and profile of Japanese and Japanese-styled knives is already a significant upgrade. You will also see an increase in the amount of time that you are able to derive joy from any given edge. You just need to be wary of purchasing something that is going to microchip on your auto-sharpener. I know Chef's Choice makes a model for asian knives. That will be a significant upgrade as well.

  8. #8
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    I'd get that stainless DT ITK on the b/s/t, I'd prefer a 240 personally. Get a ceramic rod, they can maintain the Devin Thomas ITK knives really well, don't really think you'd need much more for home use, or even professional use really. That's my vote, stainless Devin Thomas and a ceramic, should be under 500$, but getting the Devin is the hard part.

  9. #9
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    I think the Devin ITK's are better suited for professional work. They are nice cutters but they truly shine in the edge taking and edge retention department, neither of which is going to matter to you. I should add that a Devin custom job is in another league but also a bit out of your price range, I think.

  10. #10
    Senior Member ThEoRy's Avatar
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    You will ruin your new knife with the electric knife ruiner 5000. Waterstones ftw!
    Starting this harvest I'm a starving startling artist/
    Lyrical arsonist it's arduous spitting this smartest arsenic/

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