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Thread: Need Bare Bones "Set" of Quality Knives

  1. #1

    Need Bare Bones "Set" of Quality Knives

    My wife has been suffering (mostly) in silence for 16+ years with a set of Faberware "Professional" knives we got at our bridal shower/wedding reception. Occasionally she'll mention that one day she should learn more about knives so she can get her a better set of knives... So, I've been watching how she uses her knives and I want to get her a chef's knife, a paring knife, and a bread knife (really the only three I ever see her use). Below is the questionnaire with her observed behavior/preferences. In parentheses are how I use a knife when I find myself in the kitchen, if there's anything we need to consider where we differ, please let me know.

    I typically use sweethome.com for reviews on things I don't know and don't want to put too much time into researching, but in this case, I wanted to ask the experts. In this case, sweethome.com recommends the Mac Knife Professional 8-Inch chef's knife (mth-80). Is there something better for the same price? ($145 on Amazon) Is there something better for under $200? (I'm assuming the answer is yes to both of those)

    What country are you in?
    United States

    KNIFE TYPE
    What type of knife are you interested in (e.g., chef’s knife, slicer, boning knife, utility knife, bread knife, paring knife, cleaver)?

    Three altogether:

    1. Chef’s knife
    2. Paring knife
    3. Bread knife


    Are you right or left handed?
    Right

    Are you interested in a Western handle or Japanese handle?
    Western (Me: I'd actually prefer Japanese because I think they look amazing, but Western it is because it's her knife)

    What length of knife (blade) are you interested in?

    1. 8”
    2. 3-4”
    3. 10.25”+


    Do you require a stainless knife? (Yes or no)
    No

    What is your absolute maximum budget for your knife?

    1. $200
    2. Unsure of a reasonable budget
    3. Unsure of a reasonable budget


    KNIFE USE
    Do you primarily intend to use this knife at home or a professional environment?
    Home

    What are the main tasks you primarily intend to use the knife for?

    1. Jack-of-all-trades knife. Used for slicing, chopping, mincing veggies, slicing/trimming meats, poultry, etc.
    2. Things paring knives are used for
    3. Bread


    What knife, if any, are you replacing?
    Farberware “Professional” set given to us when we were first married, 16 years ago.

    Do you have a particular grip that you primarily use?
    Wife: Hammer (Me: Pinch)


    What cutting motions do you primarily use?
    Wife: Rock/Walk and (Me: Push Cut)

    What improvements do you want from your current knife?
    Smooth rock chopping, good food release, edge retention, good balance and sure grip

    On a related note, my wife and I share a certain amount of practicality, thus aesthetics are not important. Good steel and good design that works well and will last are the key factors.



    KNIFE MAINTENANCE
    Do you use a bamboo, wood, rubber, or synthetic cutting board?
    Yes

    Do you sharpen your own knives?
    Yes

    If not, are you interested in learning how to sharpen your knives?
    N/A

    Are you interested in purchasing sharpening products for your knives?
    No


  2. #2
    Senior Member foody518's Avatar
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    Tojiro DP can be had for half the price of that MAC chefs knife
    Also take a look at Gonbei AUS10

    Check out the MAC Superior Bread Knife

    If y'all don't currently use a paring knife for much, you could go pretty cheap here. Like <$10

    How are you sharpening your current knives? Even those Farberware level knives can be made kinda sharp... They just can't hold the edge for any good length of time. Though, will have to admit, I don't have anything that's been used for 16 years O.o


  3. #3
    I'll check out both of those.

    As for sharpening, I started off using decent-ish sharpener ($40 maybe) years ago with 15° and 20° slots. I've since graduated to an actual whetstone set. As you said, they can be sharpened, but they don't hold it for long.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    For someone that truly likes to rock and walk and hammer grip, I'd be tempted to recommend a german profile... however, that leaves ... some Shun and Global models. Or Zwilling - which come with the problem they are either too soft (the classic ones) or way too hard (cermax) or way too wack (diplome - cool steel choice but can't get over the fake lamination line...). Or Herder, maybe...

  5. #5
    She's pretty dyed in the wool on all three (Rock, walk, hammer)... From what I've read, I figured german profile would make more sense for her, but wasn't 100% sure. Thanks for the input.

  6. #6
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    Tojiro dp or victorinox would fit the bill I think

  7. #7
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    As others have recommended, Tojiro DP 210 gyuto, Tojiro DP 120 petty and the Tojiro ITK bread knife comes in at ~$160 total. Sharpened once every couple months, this set is better than what 99%+ of home cooks are use to.

  8. #8
    Excellent. Thanks pleue and skewed. Thoughts on the Tojiro ITK vs the Mac Superior (foody's recommendation) bread knives?

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Something like the DP could probably made to take that style (the japanese Gyuto shape is after all derived from old school french chef knives - these people seem to use a tip-resting-on-board technique too, but in a different fashion (http://www.cookfoodgood.com/?p=405) ...

    The long-necked, faceted-wood-handled knives that this forum seems to like so much? Oh, they're blade heavy and sometimes asymmetric so you will either *instinctively* go for a pinch grip or hate them... steel tends to be chosen and treated in a way that they will take endless hammering to the board without getting pounded flat, but will break not bend if actually overloaded (which can happen if you walk with force, not noticing your edge is jammed in the board...) ... they might be for you, not likely for her...

  10. #10
    Senior Member labor of love's Avatar
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    Tojiro also makes bread knives in 8.25 inch and 10.5 inch that are cheaper than mac's. I use them and like them a lot.


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