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  1. #1

    Need recommendation on chef knife for mother.

    My mother is an amazing chef. Though I rarely eat her cooking these days, I get to experience it whenever I visit the folks. The last time I visited, I noticed that her knife collection was severely lacking. Her chef knife is some abomination (maybe Wusthof) that is possibly the dullest knife I've ever seen in a kitchen. (Maybe it's her care and not the knife that made it so bad.) With what little sharpening knowledge I had, I was unable to do anything about it. She typically sharpens the knife using some little stand wherein you pull the knife through several times.

    So, I want to buy her a great chef knife. Nothing extremely fancy. I myself am a newb, so I know very little. But, I do know that she doesn't need a carbon blade, damascus metal, wooden handle, etc. She just needs a fantastic knife that will get the job done. Budget about $400. Ideas?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Mrmnms's Avatar
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    How's she gonna keep those expensive knives sharp? Big dilemma. I sharpened my mom's knives a couple time a year. Nothing fancy, but she was comfortable with them. I added a few knives over the years, but she always went back to her old favorites. Maybe buy from a shop near her that offers free resharpening. My mom was priceless, but if I ever told her I bought her a $400 knife, she would have been dumbfounded. She was a great cook.

  3. #3
    Senior Member skiajl6297's Avatar
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    Most important question - does your mom want or think she needs a new knife? Or do you just think you could make her life easier by getting her an expensive tool?

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    http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/sh...should-you-buy

    answer these questions for her =D

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by skiajl6297 View Post
    Most important question - does your mom want or think she needs a new knife? Or do you just think you could make her life easier by getting her an expensive tool?
    Well, frankly, it's really more me that wants to get her a new knife. However, we were having a lot of issues when we were cooking together and she definitely commented that her knife was no good. That said, I will attempt to answer the questions from the other thread.


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

    Basic daily driver chef knife that requires little maintenance.

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

    Current knife is utter garbage. 10 year old Wusthof that is dull as heck.

    What do you like and dislike about these qualities of your knives already?

    Aesthetics - Not very important.
    Edge Quality/Retention - Important, as long as it does not require frequent maintenance or know-how.
    Ease of Use - Very important.
    Comfort - Important.

    What grip do you use?
    Basic/standard/average.

    What kind of cutting motion do you use?
    Intermediate level learned from cooking at home for 40 years with no formal training.

    Where do you store them?
    Basic knife block.

    Have you ever oiled a handle?
    No.

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

    Wood.

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

    Have they ever been sharpened?
    No; not professionally.

    What is your budget?
    $400

    What do you cook and how often?
    Every day. All kinds of ordinary food, but nothing fancy.

    Special requests(Country of origin/type of wood/etc)?

    None

  6. #6

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    Suisin INOX Western. Done.

    -AJ

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajhuff View Post
    Suisin INOX Western. Done.

    -AJ
    +1

    If you think a sturdier knife is better for her, then I would recommend the CarboNext. But, IMHO, the Suisin INOX Western would be a very good knife for people transitioning from Wusthofs/Henckels to Japanese knives. I was really surprised by how nice this knife is. I enjoyed using it.

    FWIW, I just compared the Suisin INOX to the CarboNext side by side this weekend. They're both good knives, but the Suisin is, on the whole, a superior knife based on my limited experience. It's thinner but still stiff, feels more evenly balanced in the hand, and cuts better than the CarboNext - it slices vertically and laterally/horizontally better than the CarboNext on the items I tried - bell peppers (skin and flesh sides up), onions, celery - and sliced chicken and sausage better as well. The food release was about the same, but the Suisin did not wedge as much as the CarboNext. I can't attest to edge retention or sharpness because I haven't beaten up either, but the Suisin is definitely a superior cutter.

    I would also recommend the INOX over the CarboNext especially if your mom is left-handed. The CarboNext that I have (which is a right handed knife) is flat ground on the left side and convex ground on the right. The INOX, from what I saw, does not have such an obvious right vs. left side biased grind.
    Michael
    "Don't you know who he is?"

  8. #8
    Senior Member Mrmnms's Avatar
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    A dull expensive knife is no better than a butter knife. If you don't have a plan for keeping her knife sharp, you're wasting your money. You stated her Wustof is dull as heck. Most people outside this forum would be delighted with a Wustof if it was properly sharpened. If you're set on spending money, you might consider a Mac as well. But it too will become "dull as heck". If you buy some other names, they come with free sharpening. You can always bring your own very sharp knife when you cook together. Maybe she'll take a liking. Start by getting her knives sharp now. Dull knives are dangerous.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrmnms View Post
    A dull expensive knife is no better than a butter knife. If you don't have a plan for keeping her knife sharp, you're wasting your money.
    Agreed. If you're going to buy her a knife, give her something to use to keep that knife sharp. Most of the knives recommended here are made of harder and tougher steel than Wusthofs/Henckels and will keep their edges longer, but they will eventually get dull.

    At a minimum, consider also buying a ceramic rod to keep that knife in working order. If she doesn't want to sharpen the knife, find someone local that'll sharpen it. And teach her how to maintain it - wash by hand immediately after using, no scouring pads, no dishwasher, no letting it sit in standing water (which can ruin the entire knife - blade and handle), etc.
    Michael
    "Don't you know who he is?"

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by mhlee View Post
    Agreed. If you're going to buy her a knife, give her something to use to keep that knife sharp. Most of the knives recommended here are made of harder and tougher steel than Wusthofs/Henckels and will keep their edges longer, but they will eventually get dull.

    At a minimum, consider also buying a ceramic rod to keep that knife in working order. If she doesn't want to sharpen the knife, find someone local that'll sharpen it. And teach her how to maintain it - wash by hand immediately after using, no scouring pads, no dishwasher, no letting it sit in standing water (which can ruin the entire knife - blade and handle), etc.
    OK. I will get her a ceramic rod. I just need her to actually use it, rather than reaching for the pull-through device. Are there any such things that work?

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