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Old     (bigdad)      Join Date: Apr 2002       08-08-2010, 1:40 PM Reply   
I have 5 star Henckles and neurotic about keeping them sharp. I run them through my Spyderco sharpener every couple of weeks.

Overall they are good but when I was visiting a friend I used a small cleaver that was Japanese. It was like using a razor blade and this person never sharpens their knives. It was all Japanese writing and she had no clue what brand it was as it was a gift from his son.

So let me put it out there... any knife recommendations?
Old     (jinxton)      Join Date: Mar 2002       08-08-2010, 7:06 PM Reply   
The Japanese knifes are amazing, most of the companies that make these knifes have been making swords for 100's of years.

There are quit a few good companies out there; Mac, Masahiro, Global, Kikuichi, Bunmei are some of the better companies. They all make their blades with different steel compounds and different harding techiques. Some are single side edges and some are "western style" which have an edge on both sides of the blade like most of us are used to. These knifes require great care to keep there edge straight and sharp.

I had used Henckles for many years, I looked at many of the Japanese knifes but found I was having trouble controlling the knife when I used them. They have a totally different feel, almost to light in my hand and that really scared me when you use a knife for a living. The Henckles are a heavier, middle balanced knife making them easy to use.

I ended up going with a couple Global knifes. They make a great knife, it is a seamlees 1 piece construction with great balance and they hold an edge. I still use my Henkles for things like splitting lobsters and other heavy fabrication where that indestructible blade can take the abuse.

All said and done find out what feels good in your hands, any reputable knife store should let you work the knifes on a cutting board to get the feel of it. be prepared to shell out some $$ for a nice knife, but it will last a lifetime.
Old     (rio_sanger)      Join Date: Apr 2007       08-08-2010, 8:00 PM Reply   
Agree with Scotty, find what feels good in your hand.

I love my Wusthof Classics, they just feel right to me, and have served me well for many years.
Old     (ttrigo)      Join Date: Dec 2004       08-08-2010, 9:16 PM Reply   
cutco's have been great for me for years.
Old     (alindquist)      Join Date: Mar 2004       08-09-2010, 6:05 AM Reply   
I bought my chick a set of vikings last year and they work awesome... at least compaired to the crap I was used to using. They were pretty expensive but totally worth it.
Old     (bigdad)      Join Date: Apr 2002       08-09-2010, 7:48 AM Reply   
The German knives do have a sense of sturdiness and substantial weight to them. But using that Japanese knife was like driving a race car. Light and nimble. Very accurate. I may try getting one of those suggested by Scotty. Althought not a Kikuichi. Saw one listed on eBay for $1,100.
Old     (getssum)      Join Date: Jul 2005       08-09-2010, 9:13 AM Reply   
I'm really happy with our Shun Kaji 7" Santoku, it was the best balance of price, aesthetics, and handle for my wife and I.

We tried out all of the brands that were easily available, Shun, Global, Wusthof, etc. and this one worked for us.

Most of the stores will let you try something to cut, but we did have to take vegtables in once!
Old     (jason_b)      Join Date: Feb 2008       08-09-2010, 9:23 AM Reply   
My folks have had the same set of Cutco knives for 40+ years. They don't have the panache or flair of the exotic Japanese knives listed, but they are work horses and VERY nice knives by all but the most discerning critics. Send them in and they sharpen them for free also- for life.
Old     (mendo247)      Join Date: Mar 2005       08-09-2010, 10:19 AM Reply   
Hmmmm.. I've gotten into the German knives the last couple years, may have to look into theses Japanese ones though.
Old     (diamonddad)      Join Date: Mar 2010       08-09-2010, 11:52 AM Reply   
I love our Wustoff Classics that replaced our Costco Henkel set. Massively better.
I hate CutCo handles. To narrow (pencils). Too asymetric (gimmick). They suck.
Old     (colorider)      Join Date: Jun 2001       08-09-2010, 11:58 AM Reply   
Global is awesome. I have Wustoff too and have had them for years.. Also great knifes. Forged, not stamped. My wife was in the knife business for about 13 years and knows her steel.
Old     (guido)      Join Date: Jul 2002       08-09-2010, 12:35 PM Reply   
Wusthoff's are my daily choice. We had some Mac knives when I was growing up. Also nice, and held an edge well. Very light weight. I find that if I use a steel once every few days the blades stay very sharp. I rarely use a stone for sharpening. Once a year, maybe.

Sorry... other than that I don't have much input on japanese knives. I've been using german steel since almost day one.
Old     (guido)      Join Date: Jul 2002       08-10-2010, 12:29 PM Reply   
Hey, maybe try out some ceramic blades, too. I've got a couple ceramic paring knives that I keep around for small stuff. They're awesome and maintanence free. I've never used a ceramic chef's knive, but imagine it'd perform much like one of the japanese knives. Anyone have experience with one?
Old     (mammoth)      Join Date: Apr 2005       08-10-2010, 1:44 PM Reply   
+1 for Shun. Big fans of their Ken Onion line.

Sounds like you're sharpening a little too often. You should be using a steel regularly and sharpening once or twice a year as Evan mentioned.

Just saw a screaming deal on sellout.woot on a Ken Onion set. Sets are usually not the best way to go since you really only need a few important knives (Chef, paring, and cleaver to start) but the set price was about the same as the chef knife alone. Deals are out there...keep an eye on the deal-a-day type sites and consider the junk-mail list from Williams Sonoma, they do lots of great knife specials via email.
Old     (hatepain)      Join Date: Aug 2006       08-10-2010, 1:58 PM Reply   
You have the right knives in your hands now. I too have the 5 star Henkles and love them. Its odd that its not keeping its edge, use the steel before and after use and it should hold its edge. We take ours into the butcher every now and again to have them sharpened but other than that they are good to go. My favoirte think about them is the substantial feel they have in your hand and the balance.
Old     (colorider)      Join Date: Jun 2001       08-10-2010, 3:02 PM Reply   
Cie Evan,
I have had many ceramic chef knifes.. Im not impressed with them. Don't hold an edge long enough, and have snapped the blades before. When brand new, the edge is awesome, but when it goes, it is a pain to get sharpened. I have a few in my drawer that I no longer use.
Old     (phantom5815)      Join Date: Jul 2002       08-10-2010, 11:06 PM Reply   
Ceramic knives have limited use. Can't ( not recommended) use on bones. Great for the soft stuff.
Have several different brands but my favorite is the 10" Wustof Chef next to the cleaver.
Grew up using big knives thanks to Dad working in the restaurant biz.


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