Advice on Knives

Discussion in 'Cooking Knife Reviews' started by ehcumpari, Feb 19, 2002.

  1. ehcumpari

    ehcumpari

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    I love working in the kitchen, and have on my wishlist a set of professional knives to purchase or receive someday. I had a tupperware party this past week and qualify to receive free their T-chef's series forged knives set, priced at 480.00 for a set of 6 knives, a honing steel,plus the block. Are you familiar with who makes these knives, how do they compare and last to the leaders (Wosthoft, Henckels, F.Dick, etc), and will I be happy with them for my lifetime (estimated-God Willing-at approx. 40 more years). I love the idea of receiving them for free, but not if in a few years I will still want somthing else.Am I better off just getting some free tupperware? They are high-carbon stainless steel, forged blade, with a full tang, good weight, handle made out of POM material, and feel good and heavy in my hands. I haven't heard yet who makes them, but they are made in China, so probably not one of your leading knife manufacturers.
    Any advice?
     
  2. mudbug

    mudbug

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    Well, if you're getting them for free, you could always try them and see if you like them but I do think that in the long run you would be better off with other tupperware products instead as there is very little information on these knives and a wealth of information to support those you inquired about. Of course, free is hard to beat if you don't need any tupperware...

    There's a lot to be said for the "leaders" who have built up a reputation over time.

    Here are threads on knives which you may find very informative:

    Knife Guide

    Knives

    Does cutting board type affect knives?

    A handmade high-carbon chef's knife for $79?

    Nenoxes knives

    Global or Wustof

    Who all owns a Global?

    Recommendations for a new knife set

    :)
     
  3. gmgrodne

    gmgrodne

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    Generally, if it's too good to be true, be careful. Tupperware is great stuff, but knives that no one has heard of before with an artificial list price are suspect.

    I have Wusthof, Henckels, Sabatier, Lansom, Chicago Cutlery and Global knives. Of those, I like some knives of each. To some degree it is a matter of personal preference and comfort. But at the end of the day, my vote for quality goes to my Wusthof, Sabatier (25 plus years use and counting) and my new Global.
     
  4. mezzaluna

    mezzaluna

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    I second the advice given here by cchiu and gmgrodne. (And a welcome to you, gmgrodne!) If you never use them, even free knives are worthless. Having just bought a set of Henckels classic, I'd recommend them highly. I also have one Global I use quite a bit.
     
  5. chiffonade

    chiffonade

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    Knives should meet the following criteria if cooking is a regular passion in your life as an avid home cook, or a professional...

    * Full Tang Construction. The metal part of the blade should run the entire length of the knife, including through the handle.

    * Riveted Construction. The handle should be held onto the blade section by rivets. If the handle conceals the entire blade, the company is hiding something (probably less than full-tang construction).

    * Forged not Stamped. Forged blades are much stronger and durable. Stamped are of lesser quality.

    * Stainless steel or stainless/carbon combination. Carbon knives will discolor when you cut acidic ingredients. Stainless are considered non-reactive. Carbon knives hold an edge better but take more management to maintain.

    * Metal Blade. The ceramic knives are a wonderful novelty but they're fragile and they need to be sent out to be sharpened. Given you should sharpen your knives after ever few uses, these knives are unfeasible. Especially in a professional kitchen.

    * Sculpted handle. The handle should be sculpted for a comfortable fit. I'm a fan of wood handles but the polymers have come a long way and no longer have that "Ginsu" look. Also, Globals are excellent knives and they have one-piece metal construction.

    * Balance. The knife has to feel good in your hand, be balanced and be comfortable for you to use. If you have small hands, a 10" chef's knife may not be for you. It might be cumbersome for you to use. An 8" or the new 6" (for REALLY small hands) might be more in line with your needs. This is why it's best to buy a knife in person - or from a mail order house with a liberal return policy.

    * Beware of "ever-sharp" knives. They are crap and good for bachelors in a kitchen used for nothing more than pouring wine for a date or cutting a loaf of bread. Get knives with a smooth blade edge so you can sharpen at will.

    * Sets are great, provided you know what you're buying. Individual purchases are much better for the lay person - but schools sometimes sell sets that include every knife required in the curriculum. Some better brand names also sell sets in 3-4 knife combinations that might be useful to the home cook or student.
     
  6. unichef

    unichef

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    "Made in China" is a dead giveaway for a junk knife. They can be full tang, riveted, etc.. but it's all about the steel. Henckles are it.
     
  7. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    I think Messermeister knives are pretty cool. Most imitation Wusthof/Henckel lookalikes are not worth the garlic, even if they're forged.

    Kuan
     
  8. kimmie

    kimmie

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  9. chiffonade

    chiffonade

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    I've been using Chicago Cutlery knives since they were made in Chicago. They have stopped making them in Chicago so I can no longer endorse them. The knives I have are incredible. They are well balanced and tough. As I said, these are "old issue."

    Don't get saddled down to that "it's either Henckles or Wusthof" propaganda, either. Globals are wonderful, F. Dick are great too. Visit a professional equipment site like http://www.jbprince.com. Don't go through your kitchen exploration with blinders on or you'll cheat yourself out of all kinds of discovery. Weigh all your options.
     
  10. mofo1

    mofo1

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    I'll yell it til I'm blue in the face. The ONLY good knife is the one that YOU like. There are NO "Best" brands. I have Wustoff. Global, Chicago Cutlery, Henkels and a few "no-names." I like them all and use them all. If I don't use it, I don't keep it Period. Check out different brands and styles. The "right" knife will feel like an extension of your hand, no matter what it costs.
     
  11. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    Right, there are no best brands. But chiffonade provided a very good list of things to consider. My Mother-in-law has a set of stamped Chicago Cutlery knives about 30 years old. The steel seems extremely hard. They're in excellent condition and the wood handles have aged extremely well. The tangs show no signs of separating from the handle and they're extremely comfortable to use. But I still prefer my Wusthof Tridents.

    Some types of knives are only available in the forged variety, and some makers have a patent on certain types of edges, and certain makers make knives with only one cutting edge or out of folded steel. Some manufacturers also have an (almost) unconditional lifetime warranty on their product, such as... Wusthof Trident. I've had only one very slight problem with a knife and I exchanged it for a brand new one at a department store. I'm not a salesman, but I really really like Wusthof Tridents.

    The other thing you have to consider is YOU. What knives do you want/need/have/like/dislike and what's your price range? If you're not going to be using them much and displaying them in your kitchen for your guests to see then I suggest you get gold plated ones, if not, get the best you can afford. I guess I'm not answering the original question about whether or not the tupperware knives are any good, and to be honest, without looking at them, I can't tell. I must admit also, I DID let some knife snobbery get in the way of making an objective suggestion. Maybe, just maybe, they're exact replicas and just as good as Wusthof or Henckels. I've been burned before thinking that paying big bucks for something meant it was the absolute best in the world. You would think I'd have learned by now. Sometimes I should take my own advice :)

    Kuan
     
  12. devotay

    devotay

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    The bad thing about Global is that they carry no guarantee. Good metal, nice edge, cool to look at, but if you break it, tough. Buy Wusthof, and you'll have it forever - if you break it, they'll replace it.

    (BTW Calphalon Pots & Pans do that too)

    Peace,
    kmf
     
  13. chefbk

    chefbk

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    :chef:

    I like wusthoff trident,they are a little more money,but in this case you get what you pay for! They feel really good in your hand and they are very easy to sharpen and the edge keeps for a good while.

    Brian
     
  14. ness99

    ness99

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    :chef: I've used my simple and cheap $20 Forshner blade for 10 years now. I love it. I have a set of Wustoff that I never seem to use. I always go back to my old fathfull Forshner.
     
  15. michael woods

    michael woods

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    I personally prefer the henckel 5 star knives. I would have to say the prices are a bit high, but I've had very little trouble having them keep their blades sharp. I would have like them better though, if they had a wooden style grip. (Plastic and grease, make the handle unsafe.) I am curious though about trying out a couple of global knives.
     
  16. josh shuffman

    josh shuffman

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    You really can't go wrong with an 8" Wusthoff Chef knife. You can use it for just about anything (including opening number ten cans) and if it breaks they have to give you a new one for free. Forschner makes great knives for the money. The two I've been most impressed with are the scimitar and the offset bread knife. Paring knives grow legs so fast I think I'm going to buy the really cheap Victorinox ones from now on. Global always seemed too fancy for my taste, or perhaps it's just that the people I've known who owned them were equipment geeks who didn't have it when it came to cooking (apologies ahead of time, that's not a generalization, just an observation based on my own experiences.) For flexi fish boners Sabatier carbon is hands down the best, though. Nothing gets as sharp as quickly and easily as carbon.
     
  17. chefwh

    chefwh

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    If I could choose whatever, I think I would go with the highest grade Messermeister set.
     
  18. rick alan

    rick alan

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  19. grande

    grande

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    It's fun reading what knives people were recommending 13 years ago... takes me back. Whole different game now. I do like messermeister, though.
     
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  20. davidmatthews

    davidmatthews

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    Farberware Pro forged knives are reportedly made from German steel. I've used a few! For $10, they get as sharp as my Sabatiers and Henckel's! Not all Chinese knives are junk! I have used forged Chinese cleavers for 40 yrs. Some are remarkable. All of my knives shave hair, cleavers included! In short, the home chef does not have the same demands as someone preping vegetables for a busy restaurant. Any knife the right size and weight that will take a sharp edge will do.