Are wostof's a waste of money

Discussion in 'Cooking Knife Reviews' started by missmeganmouse, Apr 1, 2010.

Should I invest?

Poll closed Apr 12, 2010.
  1. Hell no! They're crap

    0 vote(s)
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  2. Yes

    0 vote(s)
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Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. missmeganmouse

    missmeganmouse

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    HeyI'm a line cook and I start culinary school in the fallI have to buy a knife set and I started a wostof clasic setI have a nine inch chef knife and a basic paring knifea know it all first cook that I worked with for all of two weekstold me I just threw my money away before I finish my setI want to be sure Im buying the right one. Two other chefs saidthey were a good investment provided I learn how to use thestone correctly. I'm looking for some advice. Ps I don't like the feel of the japan style knives so that's out of the questionThanks :)
     
  2. phaedrus

    phaedrus

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    No, they're not a waste.  I do prefer Japanese knives (in fact, nearly all of my knives are Japanese) but even so, German knives will work fine for a lot of the work you'll do in a commercial kitchen.  For my money Messermeister makes the best mass produced German knives, but that's just me.
     
  3. missmeganmouse

    missmeganmouse

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     Thanks! 
     
  4. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Dear Ms. Mouse,

    In the greater scheme of knives, Wusthof Classics are very good knives.  In the greater scheme of very good knives, Wusthof aren't very good at all.  The two most important qualities in a kitchen knive are its abilities to take and hold an edge.  Mostly because of the few and similar alloys used to make German knives none of them score highly in those respects.  Their thick edge geometry has something to do with it as well.

    Their high level of fit and finish, and the quality of the handle, make Wusthof Classics among the better German knives.  As Phaedrus pointed out, Messers do have some minor advantages, relative to Wustie Classics -- but not so much compared to Ikons. 

    Wusthof Classics are expensive for student knives.  When it gets down to it, they don't really out perform much less expensive knives like Forschners.

    There's no good reason other than whim why all of your knives should be from any particular line or even from one manufacturer.  Nor is there any particularly good reason they shouldn't be.

    Presumably you already have your chef's knife, so there's no point discussing German vs French chef's knives' profiles. 

    I'm interested to know which Japanese knives you tried and what it was you didn't like about them.   

    Iwatani torches rock.

    BDL
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2010
    missmeganmouse likes this.
  5. missmeganmouse

    missmeganmouse

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    A few of the people I work with had them and I wasn't a big fan of the shape thats all really, I tried a shun at the knife store I guess I cant totally throw out the idea. Ive been buying knives at a Canadian chain store that only carries Shun, Victorinox, wustof, hankels and i think mercer. I really like my knives, i was just worried that I was investing in the wrong brand. my only complaint is that the with of the blade is kind of big for portioning tuna nicely but then I'm pretty sure there is a specific knife for that task any how.  thanks for the advice 
     
  6. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Wusthofs are so well made and so well accepted it's hard to say that you can really go wrong buying one.  On the other hand, there are knives which work as well for a much lower price, and knives which work much better for the same price.

    There are a few Canadian retailers and e-tailers who sell a variety of Japanese knives of all sorts of shapes -- including all the regular western shapes.  Speaking of which, the "right" western shape for portioning fish is a slicer, preferably in the 10" to 12" range.  Ideally, you want to cut fish with as few strokes and as little "sawing" as possible, and length is helpful.

    Shun are alright as far as it goes, but are not among the highest performing  Japanese knives -- not even in their price range.

    Enough with brands.  By far, the most important thing with kitchen knives is keeping them sharp.  Anything else, at best, is a distant second.  Buy a good sharpening kit you can learn to master -- and I don't mean a steel, although you need one of those too --  and use it frequently. 

    If you don't already know how to freehand on benchstones and you can afford one, you might want to seriously consider an Edge Pro Apex.  They aren't cheap, but they're very easy to master.

    BDL
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2010
  7. missmeganmouse

    missmeganmouse

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     I know how to use a stone but I don't have my own yet Ive been bumming off a friend. do you know a good brand or does it matter? Oil or water stone?

    you seem to have all the answers
    thank you so much you've been really help full
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2010
  8. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    If you're not already good with benchstones, and you can afford an Edge Pro -- get an Edge Pro.  You can get away with "kit 1" for the time being.  Try Chef's Knife to Go.

    Otherwise it depends on your budget and whether you're going to stay with the German knives or think there's any possibility you're going to move up to knives made from better, harder alloys. 

    For Wusties, I like oilstones -- particularly the Norton IB-8 coarse/fine combination Inda stone (around $20 at lots of places).  It's even better if you combine it with a Hall's hard, or better still with a Halls soft and surgical black Arkansas.  Or, alternatively an 8" Hall's Professional tri-hone (good), or 11" (better).  You can get the Halls through Hall's Pro Edge.

    If you're going to move up to harder knives, you'll want waterstones.  I like the Norton 1000/4000 combination waterstone -- it's a good beginner's stone (about $45) or the 400, 1000, and 3000 Naniwa SS 10mm stones.  Try Sharpening Supplies for all Norton and the 10mm Naniwas.

    Hope this helps,
    BDL
     
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  9. missmeganmouse

    missmeganmouse

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     It does thank you so much /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif
     
  10. phaedrus

    phaedrus

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    I won't argue the Ikons are nice for Germans but they're incredibly expensive.  At that point you could buy a Blazen/Akifusa/Hiromoto/Ichimonji/etc etc and be way better off.  Beyond that I agree with you almost completely.
     
  11. phaedrus

    phaedrus

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    Oh, God...don't tell him that.  He's hard enough to deal with already./img/vbsmilies/smilies/lol.gif
     
  12. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Phaed,

    Agree with you about Ikons as a relative-value proposition (which perhaps I should have mentioned), and about the over-inflation of my head too. No disagreement apparent anywhere. 

    BDL
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2010
  13. duckfat

    duckfat

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  14. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Good point  Your Royal Duckness.

    In re Wusthof Le Cordon Bleu series knives. 

    Cutlery and More
    may have an exclusive on whatever remains of the NOS.  I'm not aware of anyone else selling them anymore -- not that my ignorance counts for much.

    IMO, they are pretty good as German knives go.  A little more than twice what you'd pay for a Forschner, extremely well finished, slightly more streamlined chef's profile than a Forschner and made from the same X50CrMoV15 alloy.  They're basically Ikons with Classic handles.  If you want a good deal on a quality German, stainless, forged knife, an LCB is definitely one of the better choices.  

    BDL
     
  15. phaedrus

    phaedrus

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    The LCB line was really nice for what it was.  It's incomprehensible why the discontinued them.  Well, obviously they must not have sold well enough, but that's sad.  They were among the best knives Wusthof ever made, IMO.
     
  16. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    I think, more than anything it was a case of "one line too many," especially one which was too competitive with the more profitable Ikon line. 

    On top of that, the Ikon line looks distinctive, while the LCB demanded comparison with the "as good, or slightly better" Messermeister, and "much better, but similarly priced" Japanese made knife lines.

    I mean really, would you rather prep with an LCB than a MAC Pro?

    BDL
     
  17. phaedrus

    phaedrus

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    I don't think I've ever used a MAC Pro.  Probably rather have it than the German sight-unseen, though, just on general principle./img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif
     
  18. duckfat

    duckfat

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    As a student? Absolutely! 
    Why? Because as students start out in professional kitchens they wind up doing all the grunt work. That can mean countless hours prepping. This is a time I prefer a knife with some heft but as always that gets down to personal preference. No doubt for a lot of other work I would choose the Mac. They only good thing I have to say about Forschner is they work and they are cheap. Those are traits for many that can't be over looked. The last LCB Chef knife I saw was around $70. I'd take that any day of the week and twice on Sunday over a lot of others in that price range for a student.