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My First Serious Knife Purchase
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Thread: My First Serious Knife Purchase

  1. #1

    My First Serious Knife Purchase

    Hi Gents,

    I am looking to make some of my first legit knife purchases (investments) and could really use help with some navigation of what’s out there quality/price from the pro's on this forum. I love to cook and use my current garbage knives on a daily basis. I am 2 years out of college and my stamped SS "tools of the trade" $25 set is just not cutting it anymore, no matter how much I have cared for them. My father used to be a chef, and still swears by his 30 year old Henckel 4 star two's he got when he was my age, still using them to this day. I know there are a lot more options including Japanese now, and I'd value hearing what you all would recommend.

    Right now I'm looking to get a solid 8" chef’s knife, possibly also a Santoku for chopping, is it worth it? And or a utility knife. I will be slicing/cuttings/chopping/mincing meats, vegetables and herbs on a regular basis.

    What kind of cutting board(s) do you use?
    Primarily I use thin flexible plastic boards, any opinions on this? I also have a wood carving board that I don't use as often.

    For edge maintenance, do you use a strop, honing rod, pull through/other, or nothing?
    I hone on a standard slotted steel on regular basis.

    What is your budget?
    $150-300 for all considered knives total. Looking for an investment to care for over the long-term, but still economical.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Greetings!
    one man gathers what another man spills...

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    210/240 mm gyuto and a paring/petty are your best bet I think. A santoku and gyuto are pretty much interchangeable, but the gyuto has a length and tip advantage.

    I think 240 mm is a more versatile length and it isn't too hard to get used to; the extra length makes it a better slicer.

    What are your thoughts on stainless vs carbon and wa vs western handles?

  4. #4
    Senior Member Benuser's Avatar
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    Welcome!
    In addition to James' questions: are you left handed?
    You will need two stones for sharpening. With your limited budget, instead of the gyuto and petty combination, perhaps a 270mm slicer (sujihiki) and a well chosen santoku may cover all your needs as well.

  5. #5
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    Welcome aboard! How does your dad care for the knives?

  6. #6
    Thanks for the greetings!

    "Benuser" Good call, I am left handed, you must have sensed it ;-)

    For handles, I grew up and currently use Western, I should however, go try holding various ones to get more accustom to what feels right on a purchase like this. I do like it when a handle has a pinky hook, that seems to give me better control and a more ergo feel. I think it would be nice to get suggestions on both Japanese and Euro knives options.

    I think I would prefer a forged high carbon SS, I do not always dry my knives right away and would be concerned about high carbon steel staining, but maybe I need to learn what the tradeoffs are.

    Japanese knives scare me in regards to my lack of knowledge about their maintenance. With their one sided blade, I would imagine you cannot use them on an electric honing sharpener? Do you still steel them?

    I do plan on buying a nice 3 stage electric sharpener to keep my knives in top shape, but would also be open to stones, because I am handy and like the thought of craftily sharpening my knives. My father took good care of his knives and taught me the basics of honing, but he never sharpened them, and now uses an electric.

    My budget is rather loose, if there is some major benefit I am not seeing as far as price , let me know, but I need to see the value. I would not consider maintenance items in the budget.

  7. #7
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    Greetings,
    On j knives, no electric sharpeners. Hones, personally I rarely use them and only on certain knives. For that matter it would be a ceramic hone, a mac black. Stones are the best way to sharpen the knives for sure. As far as what stones, depends on what knives you end up with.

  8. #8
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    I also vote stones, though am still newish to it...electric will take a lot of metal away and shorten the life of your knives.

  9. #9
    Senior Member K-Fed's Avatar
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    Welcome. Add another south paw to the crew!

  10. #10
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    we lefties must band together! lol.

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