Recs for Knives for in-laws
Long-time lurker looking for some recommendations on buying a few kitchen knives for my in-laws. Plus, I need to get some posts so I can get PMs from several people whose knives I have now pre-ordered . I am looking to get two or three basic ones - definitely something along the lines of a petty, a gyuto, and possibly a third like a bread knife or a suji. They have had the same knives their whole lives, some that (I'm guessing) were fairly cheap when they got them 50+ years ago. Right now, the edges on all of them are only marginally sharpener than a sharpening steel.
What country are you in?
What type of knife are you interested in?
Chef, petty/utility, possibly bread or slicer
Are you right or left handed?
Are you interested in a Western handle (e.g., classic Wusthof handle) or Japanese handle?
Definitely Western. If they are too different, they will probably not be used at all. An edge that will cut will be a radical enough change as it is. I also don't want to go to a knife store with them so they can try different handles.
What length of knife (blade) are you interested in (in inches or millimeters)?
~210 mm for gyuto (she prefers smaller knives overall), ~130 mm for petty (4-5 inches, probably)
Do you require a stainless knife? (Yes or no)
What is your absolute maximum budget for your knife?
$50-100 per knife, preferably on the lower end. Anything would be an improvement over what they have
Do you primarily intend to use this knife at home or a professional environment?
What are the main tasks you primarily intend to use the knife for?
Slicing, chopping, mincing vegetables, slicing and trimming meats. Definitely no cutting bones
What knife, if any, are you replacing?
50+ year old Chicago Cutlery knives that are very dull and have been used and sharpened over and over to the point they they are beyond redemption.
Do you have a particular grip that you primarily use?
Hammer, I believe
What cutting motions do you primarily use?
Drawing and rocking are my guesses
What improvements do you want from your current knife?
Sharp edge. Really, the bar is pretty low
Ease of Use?
Just a good all-around knife, stainless and not horrible to sharpen
Probably will be a function of whatever meets the other criteria and price
Do you use a bamboo, wood, rubber, or synthetic cutting board?
Do you sharpen your own knives?
He does, but not very often. The knives will not see an incredible amount of use, and we visit several times a year so I will sharpen them regularly
If not, are you interested in learning how to sharpen your knives?
Are you interested in purchasing sharpening products for your knives?
Again, I am not looking to spend too much because 1) Literally anything would be an improvement, 2) I don't think they would appreciate anything too nice, and 3) There is a not-insignificant chance they will abandon whatever I buy them and return to bludgeoning their food with their current knives. If I were certain about this last point, I would buy very nice knives and then claim them when abandoned - how could my wife complain about me getting nice things for her parents? I am not set on Japanese vs German if you think they sound like they would not benefit from better steel and profile. I would not be above buying a two or three piece Henckels or Wusthoff set and calling it good if nothing else sounds more appropriate.
victorinox for all three knives.
Fujiwara Kanafusa FKM Gyuto/Petty, Victorinox Bread (pastry) 10"
Originally Posted by panda
Tanaka silver (ginsanko) knives check ebay. They are rrelatively affordable and excellent grind out of the box. I have both the ginsanko and r2 tanaka Santokus and the ginsanko compares quite nice being a fraction of price
Why dont you just sharpen what they have and buy them something they'll use.
Originally Posted by Mrmnms
The Chicago Cutlery knives, if quite old and sharpened a lot, may need some serious thinning to make them perform well. They could be sharp on the edge, but too thick behind it to perform well.
If you don't want to thin the old knives, or pay to have it done professionally, I think Victorinox is a good rec for new ones. If you really like them and think they would appreciate them, you could upgrade the chef's knife to a Tojiro or Fujiwara FKM.
That's what I considered doing initially, but just as toddnmd mentioned, they have been sharpened to the point that they will need some serious thinning to be good at cutting. I wish I would have taken a picture - it would make it obvious they are not worth much effort.
Originally Posted by Mrmnms
Thanks for all the suggestions. At this point, I am leaning towards the Victorinox knives, even though the Tojiro, Fujiwara, etc look more appealing. I am struggling, because they are not what I would get for myself, but I keep reminding myself that I am not getting them for myself.