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Old 07-11-2007, 06:20 PM   #1
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That Bold Renegade Carves a Q with His Blade

My favorite cooking and 'Q tools are my knives. As you may or may not have guessed I'm a bit of a knife geek.

Anyone else? What do you have? What do you want, realistically? What would you buy if you hit the Lotto? What do you hate? How do you keep yours sharp? Anything you want to know?

Rich
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Old 07-11-2007, 07:37 PM   #2
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The collection of knives I have are not very impressive.
I have a few that are my favs that were given to me by a family friend.(German steel)
One question. I'd like to know of an affordable, good quality knife set that someone that didn't hit the lottery could afford.
I use a stone and a hone to sharpen.
Thanks
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Old 07-11-2007, 07:46 PM   #3
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I have heinkels. the mid grade ones from Kohls.. I shapin them with a weird thing made for gardening shears and then a knife sharpener rod thing.. I like knives too. I would buy a set of good buther shop knives for sure!!
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Old 07-11-2007, 08:46 PM   #4
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I use Henkles (for 20 yrs) and they are ok. About a year ago I bought a Forschner chef style, recommended buy a magazine staff test, for less than $20 (not exactly lottery money) Other than being on the large size for general whacking and cutting I like it better than the Henkle products.
For sharpening I keep an edge with a steel. But steels seem to wear out too quickly for me. I now have a DMT diamond coated steel which quickly looses it's abrasive feel after a few uses (this is misleading) but still cuts metal nicely. However, if my edges are not maintained (allowed to get over dull) I, up until a couple of years ago, re-establish an edge with water stones. The secret to success with stones is to maintain a PERFECT angle with the knife....quite hard to do.
Sharpening is very critical for my tools in the wood shop (plane irons, chisels, etc.) and therefore I bought a Tormex water wheel sharpening system. You can make razor blades on this thing. So when edges need to be re-established I go to the Tomex (now we are approaching lottery money).
So, with the knives I have, and the shapening system used, I get by better than most, but not at boar_d_laze level.
Everybody now fast asleep?
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Old 07-11-2007, 08:54 PM   #5
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Not sleeping at all! Thanks for the info
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Old 07-12-2007, 08:19 AM   #6
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I've got some Wusthof Trident knives some Bucks & Rada cutlery knives I use the Rada more than the others due to the ease of re-edgeing. I have a Chef's Choice mod 120 sharpener.
Here is a super artical on Knives & sharpening:
http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=26036
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Old 07-12-2007, 11:30 AM   #7
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I have one "good" knife made by Wusthof. A 7" something santoku Classic with the hollow edge thing. I love it....my only regret is not buying the Asian set they offer. I just need to find a smaller pairing-ish knife and I am done.
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Old 07-12-2007, 10:57 PM   #8
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Everyone seems to love the Forschner Fibrox and Rosewood series (same blade). I've got a four rosewoods. A straight parer, a drop point parer, a tournee and a fillet knife. I keep the fillet, which is super flexible in my block. The smaller ones are scattered strategically.

The fibrox handles dominate the meat industry and are very popular in commercial kitchens too -- it's one of the few blades worth resharpening that comes on a handle that can go into a commercial dishwasher, at a reasonable price. Because I don't have to worry about dishwashers or theft, I prefer the rosewood. You can keep the handles looking good forever with a little mineral oil three or four times a year.

If you're shopping for something interesting and idiosyncratic you could try Warther. They are very hip. Good knives too.

I'm not familiar at all with JB's Rada knives. They look interesting.

The rap on all of these compared to more expensive Euro styles is that they don't have bolsters. Personally, I don't think that's a big deal as long as the knife balances right for the way you hold and use it.

I'd be careful about using a diamond steel as a "steel." The purpose of steeling is edge straightening and repair. Diamond steels are awfully aggressive and remove a lot of material, ultimately messing up your knives. An extra-fine or "glass smooth" steel is much better as long as it's harder than your knives. Take a look at the steels at HandAmerica, and see what you think. http://www.handamerican.com/steel3.html

For the life of me, I can't figure out what the big deal is about santokus. But people really love them, especially women. Maybe it has something to do with hand size. Helen, if I were going to pair a parer with your Wustie I think I'd be looking at two Forschner Rosewoods. One, a straight paring knife for food, and one for string, cryovac packages and other utility work around the kitchen. For a Few Dollars More, get a Forschner for the utility stuff, and a Thiers Issard stainless paring knife. Very nice.

I've had Chef's Choice machines. They're as good as machines get. In fact pretty much everything from Chef's Choice is great. I switched back to stones partly because I wanted to be able to control the bevels, and because I wanted more control of degree of polish on the edge. Different bevels and polishes for different knives. It's a geek thing.

If I were recommending a sharpening method for someone who doesn't want to pay for a Chef's Choice machine. and who doesn't want to learn to freehand, but is willing to use a steel regularly, it's the "crock stick" systems from Spyderco and Lansky. If you're not willing to use, or don't want to learn how to use a steel properly you might want to look at the Chef's Choice "pull through" sharpener and steel. If you don't care about handing your knives down to your children and just want something easy, check out the Chantry. It will eat your knives, but they'll die sharp by God.

Rich
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Old 07-13-2007, 08:19 AM   #9
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The Radas are a high carbon, stainless steel. They are easy & quick to resharpen with radas knife sarpener.
http://www.radakitchenstore.com/Product ... CH_ID=R119
They are razor sharp & very cheap, I use my Radas more than any other of my knives
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Old 07-13-2007, 11:57 AM   #10
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I have an assortment of Henkle knives that I pick up from time to time when I catch them on sale. My favorite cutting tool is this one.


It was my great grandfathers. Take a look at the serial number.


And of course the Henkles
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Old 07-15-2007, 10:13 AM   #11
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wdroller, God is going to cut back on your martinis for saying that !!
When my wife hears me laughing while on the forum, she comes running to hear what was posted. She knows a couple of neighbors that she wants me to sharpen knives for now. LOL
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Old 07-15-2007, 02:23 PM   #12
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The only benefit to the fibrox handled Forschners is that they can go in a commercial dishwasher. Since you're not going to putting your knives in a dishwasher anyway, the rosewoods are more attractive, better balanced and more comfortable in the hand. The handles require maintenance about three or four times a year -- a light rub with drugstore mineral oil. But to each their own. Bottom line on Forschners -- you can't do better on the blade for anything near the price.

Generally, I don't recommend a "set" to anyone. And particularly not a set of Forschner fibrox or rosewood series.

The reason for not recommending a Forschner set is that you're better off buying exactly the knives you want open stock. Forschner open stock prices are so reasonable you can afford to buy a few knives just to try them out.

The reason for not recommending sets generally is pretty much the same thing. Most sets are built around an 8" chef's knife. To my mind, hand-size, and the technique I was taught, this is one of the least useful knives in a set. By itself it's very versatile. But as part of a set you don't need to compromise edge length like that; a 10" chef's is much better as the heart of a set.

A really good 'Q centric set would be something like this:
12" Cimiter (curved butcher's knife) -- big enough, powerful enough to use it for almost everything a cleaver can do -- plus you can make some nice long cuts. The ideal "ribs" knife. and/or a medium heavy cleaver.
10" Chef's
10" Slicer (Granton edge) -- Oh you brisket!
8" Bread
7" Chef's or Santoku (Granton edge) for prepping small vegetables like shallots, garlic, medium or smaller onions, etc.
4" paring (utility + light food duty)
3" Paring kife (peeling and decorative cuts)

FWIW, "santoku" means "three virtues." These are slicing, chopping and smashing. Santokus are very easy to learn. Because the handle is elevated and the belly so deep, you don't need a special grip to keep from rapping your knuckles on the board. They're also short enough that you don't have to think too much about where you're putting the point -- even if you don't keep a straight wrist. I think of Rachel Ray as the perfect person for a Santoku. Small hands, indifferent technique, likes to cook -- sorta, doesn't want a lot of BS -- just chop the damn onion. On the other hand, if you use a pinch grip or modified pinch grip, I don't really see the benefit. But again -- to each their own. Your knives are about you, not me -- not even about someone who knows what they're talking about.

"Pinch grip" means you hold the knife with your back three fingers on the handle and your thumb and forefinger on the blade (in front of the bolster if there is one). "Modified pinch grip," means you've got your index finger on the on the blade. Most trained pros use a pinch grip. A consequence of which is a set of calluses from the squared off edges on the knife spine. If you don't want a new set of calluses you can ease the edges a bit with a sheet of very fine emery paper or a Dremel. Like buttah.

Anyway, it will take you a few minutes to get used to a pinch grip, but once you try it you'll see the benefits. (Not the least of which is keeping those knuckles off the board) Whether or not you'll convert is another story. Pinch grip really maximizes the benefits of a very sharp knife because it highlights agility, balance, and tactile feedback. You guys who've used woodworking hand tools no how important it is to keep a relaxed grip ... Pinch grip is the same thing.

On the other hand, the pinch grip maximizes the consequence of a dull knife, because it reduces power (compared to a death grip on the handle and index finger on the spine). Pinch grip is not useful for slicing, but a modified pinch grip is.
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Old 07-15-2007, 02:45 PM   #13
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I'm a Forschner man.
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Old 07-16-2007, 03:20 AM   #14
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Mostly Sabatier K au carbone, Sabatier Thiers-Issard au carbone, and Nogent au carbone, and a few Forschner Rosewoods me.

10" Henckels Extra Fine Steel
12" Sabatier K au carbone Chef's
10" Sabatier K au carbone Chef's
10" Sabatier K au carbone Slicer
8" Henckels Pro Bread
7" Nogent au carbone Chef's
7" Nogent au carbone Slicer
7" Forschner Rosewood Fillet (flexible)
Chicago Cutlery Butcher's cleaver
6" Henckels Pro Flexible Boning
6" Sabatier Thiers-Issard au carbone Stiff Boning
5" Forschner Rosewood paring
4" Sabatier Thiers-Issard au carbone paring
3" Forschner Rosewood curved point paring
3" Forschner Rosewood Bird Beak aka Tournee

But Wait! There's More!
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