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Thread: Really bad knives

  1. #1

    Really bad knives

    I go over and cook for my parents,(79) about once a week, just lately. They must have the worst knives in the world. 2 or 3 serrated no name cheapos, A thick and tall 5", very dull and a plastic handled chef knife, 7" thin and dull. I was looking for a cutting board but they just have a couple Corian cut out boards from when they had their kitchen remodel. An interesting side note is they like nice things. They just don't realize their knives don't work!

    I have mentioned there are knives that would make their life easier and the benefit of cutting boards. Anyway they will be getting a Gyuto from me (and cutting board). Anyone else have friends or relatives with "REALLY BAD KNIVES".

  2. #2
    Senior Member TamanegiKin's Avatar
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    My mom refuses to use a Sharp knife lol.
    Most prep and line cooks I've worked with also don't have a knife close to Sharp.
    I think in these two cases though most of the reasoning is that It's safer to use a dull knife or a Sharp knife is dangerous.

  3. #3
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    I nearly cut my pinky off with a sabatier that hadn't been sharpened in over a year. good knife though.

  4. #4
    Das HandleMeister apicius9's Avatar
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    I had given my Mom a rehandled VG10 knife but she wouldn't use it because it was too sharp, so I took it away from her again... A friend of mine was left with a full $20 knife block after his divorce (his wife took the $40 block with her...), and I gave him an old Henckels chef knife - I occasionally cut things at his place... Anyway, a few days ago another friend called out in the kitchen while she was cutting something. When we looked, she said "I didn't do anything, the knife just fell through the tomato". I think not having sharp knives is really more the norm than the exception, we are a very small (but growing) group of nerds

    Stefan

  5. #5
    Seriously, I have never encountered a sharp knife anywhere outside my own house. If I spend any time at all at someone's house, I will be drawn into the kitchen, and will do what I can to sharpen their pathetic knives. I've started to bring along my Takeda hand held stone, and a 250/1000 King, and a diamond steel whenever I travel to friends or families houses. To the horror of one of my nephews, I spent half an hour stropping his mother's "big chef knife", a Henckels 8", on a cinder block paver I found in the garage. It was rendered useable, though I had to steel it often. (I'd been recruited to cook dinner for everyone that night). So many of the knives I've encountered are so dull, I'd end up using their bread knife (I don't know why, but as bad as most of the knives are, many folks have a decent serrated bread knife). A friend of mine, who's family owns a restaurant somewhere, has her house stocked with Nella knives. Have you seen these things? Big multicolored plastic handles, light concave ground complex bevel knives whose blades are so weird and light, they feel like their made of aluminum. I saw on some show once that these knives are typically rented by restaurants, and once a week, they rotate the old one's out for new one's that have been sharpened on some coarse grinder. These are some of the worst knives I've ever seen.

    The older people in my family have knives that have some archeological value: ancient, rusty steel knives with blades deformed from years of attempted sharpening on the edges of ceramic bowls, etc. My dad has one that has both scales swinging free like gates, held on by one remaining rivets, the other two having given up decades before. He still uses it, gathering it all up in his hand before going to town on some innocent piece of sausage. He has another one that looks like it might have been an Old Hickory, but know is deformed and rusted ... I call it "The Murder Weapon."

    I don't know how these people get anything done.

    Cheers,

    Jack

  6. #6
    My coworkers. The knives they make their living with would confuse you.

  7. #7
    Senior Member stevenStefano's Avatar
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    Couple of times I forgot my knives in work and it is maddening using crappy house knives. It is hard to put into words how much easier it makes your job not having to use blunt Victorinox knives all the time. Another thing to point out is that I think getting used to super-sharp knives takes a lot less time than people think. After about a week or so I got used to it, just needa be a little more careful with your technique that's all

  8. #8
    Senior Member mpukas's Avatar
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    Mid October I went back east to visit my folks and one of my cousins and her husband who came to town to also visit my folks. My mom is a serious snob - she thinks she's a connoisseur - and has amassed an absurd amount of kitchen wares. She has a big Wusthof cherry knife block and every slot has a knife in it. Most are older Henckles she's had for years, but now there are a couple of Shun's and some other really cheap Japanese made knives mixed in. Styles are 8" chef's, santoku's, and a 2 maybe 3 nakiri's, a couple slicers & utilities and many small parer's. She's got a t least 3 of everything. They're all dull and they all suck.

    I brought my GS stones back to sharpen some of her knives. I only used the 1k and 4k. No need to go higher. I prolly went through about 12 or more knives. Cutting new bevels and refining the edge. Some of the them took a decent enough edge; some just would not. And the edge retention was marginal. I've never used a Shun chef's knife before, and MY GOD are those things horrific!!! Never mind that an 8" knife is too short for me, everything about the knife sucked - except for the handle which I quite liked. Everything from the faux-Damascus cladding to the ridiculous belly curve to the silly "ganton" edge or what-ever-the-f**k those things are. Just plain awful!!!

    And on the other side, the GF's mom has horrid knives as well. When we first got together 8+ years ago, I bought her some cheap Calphalon stamped knives f/ BB&B - a chef's and a slicer I think. Those were a HUGE improvement over what she had been using. She's since bought a Chef's Mate electric sharpener and keeps some of her knives w/ a acceptable cutting edge. However, she still loves some of the cheap dull small/parer's she's always had - she thinks she'll cut herself w/ a sharp knife doing in hand work like peeling apples, etc. A couple summers ago a remarked on how sharp her knives were (before I got into J-knives and sharpening) so she told me about her Chef's Mate, and consequently we got one for X-Mas... I used it a bit on my G-knives (again before J-nives) and it really doesn't do that good of a job.

    It's been less than a year since I found this crazy world of Japanese knives and sharpening. When I came back from visiting my folks I realized how jaded I've become so quickly! I've always like to have and use good kitchen cutlery and equipment, and thought I kept my knives sharp. Now I've seen the light!!!

  9. #9
    Senior Member Lucretia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackslimpson View Post
    My dad has one that has both scales swinging free like gates, held on by one remaining rivets, the other two having given up decades before.
    LOL! I don't remember who had it, but somewhere in the family was (and probably still is) a knife just like that! Although as I think about it, there may have only been 1 scale left.

  10. #10
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    How about friends with decent knives that can't seem to stay sharp? That's crappy, isn't it? The other day, one of them told me they don't just throw their knives in the sink anymore. I took a look and they were wet, sitting neatly piled in the sink next to the dirty dishes and everything else rather than under and in between dishes sitting in pool of water. I guess it's a start...

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