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Thread: Help a young chef find new knives!

  1. #1
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    Talking Help a young chef find new knives!

    First of all, this forum looks awesome! Lots of information to read!

    So, a little background since that's always fun. When I was 4 my crazy mother trusted me with a sharp knife and began teaching me kitchen skills and techniques. Since then I've grown a bit and now I'm 20 with the same love of cooking. I've always loved cooking and preparing meals with care. However I've never really purchased a "full" set of knives. I've always used whatever I can get my hands on. I'm currently in university and this year I will have an apartment style room with a kitchen.


    I'm looking to buy a couple knives, a whetstone, and a cutting board (or two).

    I currently use a Global 8" chef's knife. To be honest, I bought it on a whim a couple of years ago when I was younger. I never really thought about it thoroughly. Worth it, or terrible decision? I've used a variety of knives from the cheap, "stays sharp forever!" knives to Furi Santoku sytle knives to a Global to Kyocera ceramics. I liked the Kyocera, but it shattered when my dad accidentally dropped it!

    So, the first thing to talk about, budget. I'm looking to spend less than $800-900 on everything. If something really looks worth it, I can push it a bit. Optimally I'm looking for 2-4 knives, a good general purpose board, a good meat board, and a whetstone or other sharpening device.

    I'm open to all suggestions. I'm looking for a good general purpose knife, a paring knife, a ceramic knife, and anything else deemed necessary. Maybe a serrated knife?
    Also, for cutting boards, are the Boardsmith boards standard? Does type of wood matter, other than end-grain? Plastic board for meat or no?

    And finally some type of sharpening device. Whetstone seems to be the go to for sharpening.



    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Welcome. Lots of information here. You'll get a lot of knife recommendations, all of them good ones too.

    I think a beginning question is, have you ever used carbon steel knives? Do you know the difference between Carbon vs Stainless? Would you be willing to put extra care into a knife (always drying it promptly and never leaving it with food on) to get extra benefits?

    What type of length are you looking for? What type of handle (wa [japanese] or yo [western])?

    take a look at this thread and perhaps fill out the questionnaire to give everyone a better idea: http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/sh...should-you-buy

    welcome again!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by jm2hill View Post
    Welcome. Lots of information here. You'll get a lot of knife recommendations, all of them good ones too.

    I think a beginning question is, have you ever used carbon steel knives? Do you know the difference between Carbon vs Stainless? Would you be willing to put extra care into a knife (always drying it promptly and never leaving it with food on) to get extra benefits?

    What type of length are you looking for? What type of handle (wa [japanese] or yo [western])?

    take a look at this thread and perhaps fill out the questionnaire to give everyone a better idea: http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/sh...should-you-buy

    welcome again!
    I have not used a carbon steel knife. Always stainless. I don't know specifics, but carbon steel is strictly C+Fe, while SS is a mix of C+Fe, V, Cr and other metals. Basically SS has extra metals for certain desired properties, such as rust resistance.

    I'd be willing to do some extra work to ensure the knives stay in top condition. If I put money into something I'm not going to forget about it. Especially not a tool. Something my dad always said was, "a tool is worthless if you don't treat it with care." Though at the time he was talking about carpentry tools, ha!

    Something around an 8"/20cm knife would be good. As for the paring knife, and any others, I'm open to suggestions. I don't have very much experience with Japanese style knives, however I've always been interested in them. Typically though I'm used to western, but that doesn't mean I can't switch!



    Sorry, didn't even see that!

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

    See above. General purpose knife, paring, serrated, ceramic.

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

    Need a good set of knives! Looking to get my first set of serious knives. Replacing a Global chef's knife. On a side note, I've been using my mom's Furi and Wusthof knives.

    What do you like and dislike about these qualities of your knives already?
    Aesthetics- Not bad, don't pay that much attention, but I do enjoy a beautiful knife.
    Edge Quality/Retention- At the moment, they're ok, but not great.
    Ease of Use- Depends what I'm doing, but not bad.
    Comfort- Pretty good.

    What grip do you use?
    Mostly western, but I use a global knife.

    What kind of cutting motion do you use?
    Rocking, slice, chop mostly.

    Where do you store them?
    Magnetic strip on the wall.

    Have you ever oiled a handle?
    No.

    What kind of cutting board(s) do you use?
    A probably terrible end-grain board. Most likely walnut.

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

    Have they ever been sharpened?
    Professionally, once.

    What is your budget?

    800-900, can be pushed a bit.

    What do you cook and how often?
    Often. Currently less because I am abroad, but at home nearly everyday, and at college, often.

    Special requests(Country of origin/type of wood/etc)?
    Any. I'm open to any and all suggestions!

  4. #4
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    I think a good place to start would be: How would you like to improve on your Global? What knives do you use the most and why?

    Boards: I wouldn't say BoardSMITH are standard. They are excellent boards. I have several but I mostly use a 16x22 walnut board. It looks nice but I wish it was maple. I have a plastic board for raw meat. It's a PITA to have to wash the big board in the kitchen sink (or the bathtub).

    Whetstones: Low maintenance would be a diamond plate (fine). Most of us use Japanese waterstones. I like the convenience of splash-n-go stones like the Gesshin 1k http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/...-go-stone.html. They aren't the fastest but I can put them away after a couple of hours (as opposed to days) and I like getting a little extra practice. Putting an extra couple of minutes into my sharpening routine is a good thing, in my opinion. Some people like to have a bucket of water with their stones soaking permanently which is fine. I use an Atoma 140 diamond plate to flatten but there are cheaper options.

  5. #5
    king combo 1000/6000 = 30 USD
    Ikea plastic cutting board = 10 USD
    and this
    http://www.cartercutlery.com/japanes...gozai-funayuki

    Based on: I think you have a small kitchen, you are young and will have people dropping by, you will start off with a really high preforming knife.
    You can also buy a carter at Buy/Sell/Trade here at KFF (you need one more post to see that subforum) and I guess you are a home chef

    Buy nice or buy twice

  6. #6
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    I belive you are in for a treat =), lots of knowledge here. Id like to mention that there is also "in betweene steel" not really stainless and not really carbon that some ppl like alot.
    "If you are flamable and have legs you are never blocking a fire exit."

  7. #7
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    Yeah, I'd get a Carter SFGZ and get it rehandled. If it were me and I couldn't get a Carter, I'd get either Ashi or Suisin for stainless, TKC or CarboNEXT for semistainless or Konosuke or Masamoto KS for carbon.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by tk59 View Post
    I think a good place to start would be: How would you like to improve on your Global? What knives do you use the most and why?

    Boards: I wouldn't say BoardSMITH are standard. They are excellent boards. I have several but I mostly use a 16x22 walnut board. It looks nice but I wish it was maple. I have a plastic board for raw meat. It's a PITA to have to wash the big board in the kitchen sink (or the bathtub).

    Whetstones: Low maintenance would be a diamond plate (fine). Most of us use Japanese waterstones. I like the convenience of splash-n-go stones like the Gesshin 1k http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/...-go-stone.html. They aren't the fastest but I can put them away after a couple of hours (as opposed to days) and I like getting a little extra practice. Putting an extra couple of minutes into my sharpening routine is a good thing, in my opinion. Some people like to have a bucket of water with their stones soaking permanently which is fine. I use an Atoma 140 diamond plate to flatten but there are cheaper options.
    With the global, I've noticed that edge retention isn't that great and the egde isn't razor sharp. This is probably my fault though, due to the use of a diamond rod instead of a whetstone.

    I mostly use a chef's knife for general purpose work, but I've found that I like santoku style knives a far bit as well. The chef's knife for slicing and things of that nature, but the santoku knife is better for chopping. A paring and serrated knife as well for smaller work and bread, etc.


    Are they any other good boards that I should look at? I think I'm going to have to go the plastic route for meat as my sink is small and I'm not washing my board in the shower! Unless I really really have to!

    As for whetstones, what's common to have? Do you really need 5 or more stones to have the best edge? As for soaking/use of water, what's the deal with that?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by oivind_dahle View Post
    king combo 1000/6000 = 30 USD
    Ikea plastic cutting board = 10 USD
    and this
    http://www.cartercutlery.com/japanes...gozai-funayuki

    Based on: I think you have a small kitchen, you are young and will have people dropping by, you will start off with a really high preforming knife.
    You can also buy a carter at Buy/Sell/Trade here at KFF (you need one more post to see that subforum) and I guess you are a home chef

    Buy nice or buy twice
    I am a home chef, haha. Though I once had dreams of being a pro chef, but then I discovered may things about it. Off to marine biology!

    I really hate plastic, it's such a slow surface to cut on!

    Interesting knife choice, any reason why?

    Quote Originally Posted by toek View Post
    I belive you are in for a treat =), lots of knowledge here. Id like to mention that there is also "in betweene steel" not really stainless and not really carbon that some ppl like alot.
    Interesting, I'll look into it.

    Quote Originally Posted by tk59 View Post
    Yeah, I'd get a Carter SFGZ and get it rehandled. If it were me and I couldn't get a Carter, I'd get either Ashi or Suisin for stainless, TKC or CarboNEXT for semistainless or Konosuke or Masamoto KS for carbon.
    Any places to buy these from the US?

  10. #10
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    Some really "need" at least 5 stones and some manage just fine with 2, i get by with a 1000/4000 combo and stropping. Some stones need soaking to perform but there is also splash n go stones which doesnt need to be soaked. Learn more about stones by searching for whetstone in the forum lots of good stuff there.
    "If you are flamable and have legs you are never blocking a fire exit."

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