How reliable is America's test kitchen recommendation?

Discussion in 'The Kitchen Knife' started by Dxtreme, Apr 10, 2019.

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  1. Apr 10, 2019 #1

    Dxtreme

    Dxtreme

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    Im looking to get a serrated knife and came across this review



    This $15 Mercer Culinary M23210 Millennia 10-Inch Wide Wavy Edge Bread Knife is the winner of the test. What do you guys think ? I am wondering why they did not test the Gude ???
     
  2. Apr 10, 2019 #2

    chinacats

    chinacats

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    If you want a cheap bread knife just get a Forschner... as to why the test didn't include a Gude, likely the same reason the chefs knife test didn't include a Shig, Watanabe, Tanaka, etc
     
  3. Apr 10, 2019 #3
    ATK relies on the American housewife for their revenue stream. Gude? What's a Gude?

    That said, they don't do well with test set-up, measuring quantifiable characteristics and their results interpretation is pretty subjective. (I did a lot of R&D and T&E in my younger years.)

    And that said, Mercer is the sorriest knifemaker making sorry knives. They could not stay viable if they didn't have contracts with so many culinary schools that require students to buy their product.
     
  4. Apr 10, 2019 #4

    ThinMan

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    Not reliable.
     
  5. Apr 10, 2019 #5

    HRC_64

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    All the german bread knives are vaugely comparable...the Gude is nice but only unique in the 320mm size

    The closest shape to the Gude which (and one which is more available) is the old style F-Dick. I've used both side by side
    and the profiles are nearly identical (good). They are little taller heel height and very asymmetric and cut straight slices.
    The F-dick has teeth point-shapes more like the ATK prefers, the Gude is narrower teeth-spacing (=sometimes cuts board LOL).
    Neither are pastry style round lobe.

    (NB--I've seen som more modernized F-dick for sale, I'd probably check photos before buying to avoid SKU variation)
     
  6. Apr 10, 2019 #6

    Dxtreme

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    Strictly for Artisan homemade bread, would you prefer the Guys or F-dick ?
     
  7. Apr 10, 2019 #7

    Elliot

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    I am actually a fan of ATK with a couple of caveats.
    For run-of-the-mill kitchen equipment, from pans and spatulas to blenders and cutting boards, I think they are more than reliable.
    In addition, their recipes are usually good.

    Now, as it relates to knives, we must always acknowledge that the people of this forum are in a sub-culture outside of what the mainstream views. Is a Victorinox a solid chefs knife for the home cook? Absolutely. But -- the average home cook, and perhaps even line cook for that matter, doesn't dip their toes into Kato, Shigefusa, Konosuke and the such. Should they? Sure. I would suggest they all look at budget-friendly makers like Wakui and others.
     
  8. Apr 10, 2019 #8

    HRC_64

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    The 320 gude if you make artisinal (1-2kg) sourdoughs.
     
  9. Apr 10, 2019 #9

    labor of love

    labor of love

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    Cool video. Through experience I came to the same conclusion that narrower bread knives were favored. Less serrations is best is an interesting discovery.
     
  10. Apr 10, 2019 #10

    HRC_64

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    The ATK article on bread knifes discussed tradeoffs in serration spacing/shape and is worth reading,
    if nothing else just to have a starting point on this element of design.

    Note that gude is 320 (pretty big) and not 250-270
    and if you're buying the 320 the second knife (recommended)
    doens't need to be the same serration pattern.
     
  11. Apr 10, 2019 #11

    labor of love

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    She does dismiss scalloped serrations (think Mac or tojiro style serrations) for pointed serrations which I do not agree with at all.
    Also, after 6 monthes of use those pointy serrations will likely be a lot less pointy and start ripping bread.
     
  12. Apr 10, 2019 #12

    chinacats

    chinacats

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    Agreed...
     
  13. Apr 10, 2019 #13

    Michi

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    I have knives with each type of serration. I generally prefer to the use the one with scalloped serrations, especially for crusty bread, such as baguette, and for really soft things, such as croissants. Fewer crumbs flying with the bread, and no tearing with the croissants.
     
  14. Apr 10, 2019 #14

    parbaked

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    I too prefer scallops to saws.
     
  15. Apr 10, 2019 #15

    Interapid101

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    Worst knife purchase I ever made was a Mercer. Avoid.
     
  16. Apr 11, 2019 #16

    parbaked

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  17. Apr 11, 2019 #17

    HRC_64

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    The mercer bread knife or some other knife?
     
  18. Apr 11, 2019 #18

    HRC_64

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    Scallops are best for gluten-free bread (a.k.a pastry) ;)
     
  19. Apr 11, 2019 #19

    labor of love

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    The Mercer looks like a cheaper forschner to me. Their Chinese made, probably a bad choice for a chef knife but maybe a good bargain bread knife.
     
  20. Apr 11, 2019 #20

    Interapid101

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    Fair point, it was not the bread knife.
     
  21. Apr 11, 2019 #21

    playero

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    I use a sharp knife for bread and other projects. do not use a serrated knife no more. eliminating the serrated side from the knives
     
  22. Apr 11, 2019 #22

    labor of love

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    I rely on bread knives solely because I don’t want to dull the edges on my good knives cutting bread.
     
  23. Apr 11, 2019 #23

    panda

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    I used to love cutting bread with takeda 270 gyuto back when I still had it.
     
  24. Apr 11, 2019 #24

    DitmasPork

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    I feel that ATK is not a bad place for a home cook to start researching a bread knife, one of their parameters are accessible brands, readily available at places like Macy's—good video for people like my brother and his wife, who don't cook much (fear of cooking), and live in a city without a decent knife store. Researching bread knives outside of 'Consumer Reports' or ATK wouldn't happen.

    I do appreciate the extent at which ATK does an extensive test—results informative and appropriate for its audience. But of course, like any review it's a reflection of the testers' preferences.

    Why they didn't include a Güde bread knife? The average home cook wouldn't have the foggiest idea of where to buy one!

    Personally, my go-to bread knives are a Mac Superior Bread Knife or a 270 Watanabe Gyuto or a Masamoto KS—the inexpensive Dexter-Russell bread knife has also worked fine for me.
     
  25. Apr 11, 2019 #25

    AT5760

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    I think ATK and Cook's Illustrated are going to get you to a 90% solution 95% of the time. I'm biased because the magazine was my introduction to more serious cooking than simply following my grandma's recipes. As a home cook, I find nearly every recipe or recommendation a terrific starting point. And for the most part, they explain their methodologies, so you can make your own judgments to some extent. They aren't going to give you the ideal solution for a knife nerd, but it's a heck of a lot better than the recommendations from free websites.
     
  26. Apr 11, 2019 #26

    DitmasPork

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    Well said.

    From my observations, the average home cook is not a knife nerd. Friends and family of mine who're avid and very good cooks just want a knife that's 'good enough,' something reasonable sharp to get them from point A to B, without a desire to have the best possible knife, but rather the most inexpensive knife that's good—and get them sharpened at the hardware store. ATK would be viewed as a source for 'serious cooks'

    BTW, Mac knives are especially popular in Hawaii.

    With my Hawaii family, they are huge fans of Kai Pure Komachi knives, from which you can get a bread knife for under $10, in a very bright color. My parent's would express much displeasure if I ever told them I splurged $500 on a Kato WH, ..."wasteful, financially irresponsible kid, got ripped off buying a knife."
     
  27. Apr 11, 2019 #27

    chinacats

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    I'd be with your parents on that:)
     
  28. Apr 11, 2019 #28

    Keith Sinclair

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    Yes for decades Mac knives have been a mainstay in Hawaii.

    Mac & Victorinox make good bread knives. As you know Vic 10.25 is my favorite stacked sandwich knife hands down.
     
  29. Apr 12, 2019 #29

    Dxtreme

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    Ok this recent review of theirs TOTALLY KILLED their credibility for me. What do you guys think of their take on this one ?

     
  30. Apr 12, 2019 #30

    Hammett

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    I have the 20x15 version of the Proteak, that I bought after reading lots of first-hand accounts that it was not dulling blades. I did not buy it based on ATC, though I was aware of their original reviews.

    So far, it has been a great cutting board and I have absolutely no complaints about it. I have an end-grain walnut board that I love, but the Proteak has a more pleasant, softer feel. The Proteak shows cut marks, where the end-grain walnut does not, so I would say they are different, but one is not necessarily wholly better or worse than the other.

    Was there something in particular about their recommendation that you objected to?
     

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