Christmas Present for the bosses wife

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DeepCSweede

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The boss man put me to the test to find his wife a set (which I swiftly shot down) of knives for Christmas. Right now I am thinking at a minimum a gyuto and a 150-160ish petty and probably a paring. Maybe even throw a Santoku in the mix too but doubt it. I haven't bought much stainless and would up my budget if it were for me, so trying to get a feel of that within his budget.


LOCATION
What country are you in?
US


KNIFE TYPE
What type of knife are you interested in (e.g., chefs knife, slicer, boning knife, utility knife, bread knife, paring knife, cleaver)?
Chef
Petty
Paring

Are you right or left handed? Right

Are you interested in a Western handle (e.g., classic Wusthof handle) or Japanese handle? Western

What length of knife (blade) are you interested in (in inches or millimeters)?
Chef 210mm
Petty 150-165
Paring 90-120

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

What is your absolute maximum budget for your knife? $500 for all 3 - Could potentially just do Chef and Petty also



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 (e.g., slicing vegetables, chopping vegetables, mincing vegetables, slicing meats, cutting down poultry, breaking poultry bones, filleting fish, trimming meats, etc.)? (Please identify as many tasks as you would like.)
Slicing/chopping veg
Slicing meats

What knife, if any, are you replacing?

Do you have a particular grip that you primarily use? (Please click on this LINK for the common types of grips.) Not sure - Will probably be doing some training with her. Guess right now would be hammer grip

What cutting motions do you primarily use? (Please click on this LINK for types of cutting motions and identify the two or three most common cutting motions, in order of most used to least used.) Push/pull

What improvements do you want from your current knife? If you are not replacing a knife, please identify as many characteristics identified below in parentheses that you would like this knife to have.) Better edge retention / sharpness - Replacing Chicago Cutlery

Better aesthetics (e.g., a certain type of finish; layered/Damascus or other pattern of steel; different handle color/pattern/shape/wood; better scratch resistance; better stain resistance)? Stainless and yo handle only requirement for care

Comfort (e.g., lighter/heavier knife; better handle material; better handle shape; rounded spine/choil of the knife; improved balance)?

Ease of Use (e.g., ability to use the knife right out of the box; smoother rock chopping, push cutting, or slicing motion; less wedging; better food release; less reactivity with food; easier to sharpen)?

Edge Retention (i.e., length of time you want the edge to last without sharpening)?



KNIFE MAINTENANCE
Do you use a bamboo, wood, rubber, or synthetic cutting board? (Yes or no.) Yes

Do you sharpen your own knives? (Yes or no.) - Boss can sharpen or give them to me to do for them

If not, are you interested in learning how to sharpen your knives? (Yes or no.) I've got them covered

Are you interested in purchasing sharpening products for your knives? (Yes or no.) No



SPECIAL REQUESTS/COMMENTS
Some current thoughts are Tojiro DP VG10, Kramer Zwilling Meiji, Zwilling JAH Diplome or Masamoto VG Hyper Moly Stainless
I have the old carbon Zwilling Kramer in a 10" chef and a paring. That paring knife is one of my favorite knives. Other than that, I have 0 experience with any of these knives I have listed.
 

tostadas

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Takamura Chromax

Edit: You can get $10 off with the referral link they emailed me (mods please remove if this is not allowed), or you can PM me for link/code
 
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DeepCSweede

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She has a whole set - The most used are the 2-3 I listed above to supplement / replace where needed.
 

tostadas

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Also check out the VG-10 or Carbonext line at JCK. They have a slight sale going on right now too.


edit: typo
 
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McMan

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Replacing Chicago Cutlery with Japanese knives might spell disaster... CC take a beating, spruce up on a steel, are profiled to rock, and aren't fragile in the least.
This gift has "Wusthoff Classic" written all over it... Or even the Victorinox rosewood handle set. For a great many non-knife-nerds, these will perform really well and be a significant improvement over Chicago Cutlery.
Personally, I think good Japanese knives make the best gift when the recipient has shown some interest in kitchen knives.

Edit: the Kramers you mention would be a nice fit as well--but ain't cheap.
 
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coffeelover191919

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uh... if your boss asks you to pick a set of knives for his wife, i'm pretty sure they dont want anything with a funny long japanese name that has funny markings on it. they want something that everyone has heard of that can be found at william sonoma... i promise you a set from there will make her more happy than anything you can buy at cktg or whatever.

edit... also... are you trying to ask for fragile ass Japanese steel that can't be thrown in the sink and will rust when wet? When they're currently using chicago cutlery?
 
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Delat

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Probably some flavor of Shun or zKramer stainless is the safe way to go. Still not as carefree as chicago cutlery or wusthof but they’re recognizable high-end brands that people would understand need a little more TLC.
 

M1k3

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Messermeister and Zwilling come to mind. Maybe Wusthof.
 

JASinIL2006

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I don't know... if they're replacing Chicago Cutlery, maybe the idea is to up their knife game? A good durable J-knife or two (or three) might be welcome. Hard to know, though, about the boss's intentions, so all we're left with are assumptions about what they may or may not want...
 

Pie

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I increasingly fear what happens to j-knives when they’re not in the hands of KKF members. It seems the more faith I have, the less it is deserved.

I might ask some more questions first before buying..
 

Jovidah

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Also check out the VG-10 Carbonext line at JCK. They have a slight sale going on right now too.

The Carbonext series is not VG-10, it's a semistainless monosteel. Great for people who sharpen themselves since they sharpen really quick and easy, but for someone who doesn't I'd lean to something that prioritizes edge retention instead (so something VG-10 or R2/SG2).
 
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Japanese? NO NO NO NO NO!!!
Did I mention "NO!"?
As others have said, the boss's wife is NOT ready for Japanese knives, unless the Boss told you so. Otherwise, your job and future would be at stake within days or weeks of the gift.

Go with Wusthof Ikon for really classy knives, or Wusthof Classic for just beautiful German knives. Or go full steam: Shun! Even though they are "Japanese" the Shun knives are made for the everyday user, and although not really top-of-the-line, as knife-lovers know, Shun has a name for the everyday knife user. And they will take almost the same beating as Wusthof. Personally I would do the Wusthof Ikon line, and only 3, maybe 4, knives. Not a set.

J.A. Zwilling is as good as Wusthof, but just trying to keep this simple. She will be impressed and thrilled with Wusthof or Shun.
 

rmrf

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Japanese? NO NO NO NO NO!!!
Did I mention "NO!"?
As others have said, the boss's wife is NOT ready for Japanese knives, unless the Boss told you so. Otherwise, your job and future would be at stake within days or weeks of the gift.

Go with Wusthof Ikon for really classy knives, or Wusthof Classic for just beautiful German knives. Or go full steam: Shun! Even though they are "Japanese" the Shun knives are made for the everyday user, and although not really top-of-the-line, as knife-lovers know, Shun has a name for the everyday knife user. And they will take almost the same beating as Wusthof. Personally I would do the Wusthof Ikon line, and only 3, maybe 4, knives. Not a set.

J.A. Zwilling is as good as Wusthof, but just trying to keep this simple. She will be impressed and thrilled with Wusthof or Shun.
If you go the shun direction, I saw there's a sale: Warehouse Sale

If the boss or the wife isn't a knife fanatic or a cooking fanatic, maybe aim for a mix of more durable and better performing? I'm not sure about other people but I abuse pairing and petty knives more than larger knives.
 

tostadas

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The Carbonext series is not VG-10, it's a semistainless monosteel. Great for people who sharpen themselves since they sharpen really quick and easy, but for someone who doesn't I'd lean to something that prioritizes edge retention instead (so something VG-10 or R2/SG2).
Oops, I started typing VG10 regarding the JCK gekko line, and then linked the Carbonext. Good catch, they're not the same.
 

AT5760

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If I were buying for someone who probably isn't interested in this rabbit hole, I would strongly consider Mac (if they don't care about aesthetics) or Miyabi's SG2 knives (if they do).
 

Justinv

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I doubt the OP is offering weekly sharpening for wusthofs with soft steel (its soft but does take abuse). For a mass market product, miyabi birchwood might be a fine choice, it looks nice and has good edge retention. I personally don’t like shun, miyabi, and wusthoff ikon due to the heavy handles and poor balance. Since you say they likely use a hammer grip instead of a pinch grip maybe that is OK.

JCK has some inexpensive VG10 knives in their natures line that should be a reasonable starting point that is a big improvement over wusthoff, particularly if you want something lighter. One example link is below:

JCK Gekko
 

slindsey15

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I agree with many others you should probably go wusthof or zwilling in this circumstance.

I have a set of wusthof classic I got for my wedding, and was VERY happy with them for years until I got into J knives. And even still, I pull out the chefs often to deal with harsher items, bones, etc often.

I'll say a few things more - regarding a set - consider whether they might need steak knives. My block set came with 6 and they're what I use.
Also - if you're going to be their sharpener, you might re-consider the Wusthof Classic line. They have a very large bolster that makes sharpening the heel difficult on stones.
Several people here recommended Shun, which seems a bit risky. Not knowing anything about the person you're buying for - I think it's important to consider their aesthetic preference. Clad Damascus is a type of fashion statement. Would that look gaudy in their kitchen? Or would they prefer something more traditional, like Zwilling.

Honestly, in your budget, get a mid range block set and then buy that chromax too...tell her it's to dip her toes in the ocean of J knives.
 

superworrier

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If you go the shun direction, I saw there's a sale: Warehouse Sale

If the boss or the wife isn't a knife fanatic or a cooking fanatic, maybe aim for a mix of more durable and better performing? I'm not sure about other people but I abuse pairing and petty knives more than larger knives.
These prices aren’t even good. If you compare to brand new, you save 10-20 bucks, lose warranty, and have some stuff laser ed on
 

Jovidah

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I would take just about any entry-level J-knife over a Wüsthof or Zwilling set. The performance difference is huge; bigger than between entry J-knife and higher end IMO. Just tell them what not to use it on.
 
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Tojiro DP are nice utility knives. VG10 holds a good edge. These are not too difficult to sharpen. They are not too thin (thin high HRC knives in average hands ends up getting major chips from cutting frozen food and hitting bones).

They are not “pretty” like the myabi or shun.

I also like the idea of victorinox, Mac knives. But, does she want “pretty” ?
 

spaceconvoy

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Shun knives are made for the everyday user ... they will take almost the same beating as Wusthof.
What makes you say that? The Shun I own is very thin behind the edge, more so than any other Japanese knives I've tried in this price range. Almost guaranteed to chip if given to the average home cook.

@DeepCSweede out of curiosity, what knives did your boss initially suggest?
 

PappaG

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Per my usual recommendation I would get 3 Gesshin stainless knives in 3 different sizes, wa or western, and you would still be under budget. So much more interesting then Shuns or other mas produced knives.
Unfortunately they are all sold out except the petty:

1. Petty: Gesshin Stainless 150mm Wa-Petty
 
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