Essential chef knives for a professional

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Joined Nov 4, 2016
Hi chefs
This is my first post so bare with me .
Before ye start i know this has probably been asked before but here goes again .

Im from scotland and have recently moved to canada .
Iv been a chef fot over 10 years now 29.
I have worked in all kinds of kitchens back home from pubs to 5* hotels but iv always used basically the same set of knives since i attended collage victornox knives.
They have served me well over the years as most of yhe jobs i had were not too focused on detail.
Not that im in canada iv started working in a very high end restaurant and realise my knives are basically s**t.

Its like a spiritual awakening to realise what im using is like chopping with a frying pan compared to the other chefs.

They all have top of the line japanese knives.

I also embarrassed to say that iv only started to learn how to sharpen knives on a whetstone.
At home we used to use an electric grinder machine in the last 3 places iv worked

I want to stay at the higher level of cooking and need a set if knives that

1)will last me the next 10 years or more hopefully

2) my budget is around $700/800

3) easily maintained

)similar profile to european knives

I have bought a whetstone and am learning from videos from youtube and im using my victornox knives.

In the last few weeks i have bought a

Messermeister CR-12F 12 Inch Cermanic
Great steel imo

YOSHIHIRO Aoko(Blue Steel) Gyuto

Wusthof Classic Carving Knife 9" Serrated

Tojiro DP Series by 3 Layers with no Bolster Petty Knife 135 mm F-313

Mac professional single bevel sashimi 290mm

They are amazeballs imo except for the tojiro and the mac.
The tojiro is ok
The mac is not what im used to .
It only has a single bevel which iv never used before

I want to progress and having the right set of knives would be a wise investment

I will be moving tru all the sections hopefully .
They butcher whole fish and big joints of meat.

I was looking at getting a few of these knives over the next few weeks

A wusthof classic boning knief and a filleting knief.

Whusthof paring knife

Zwilling J.A. Henckels Twin Pro S 5-Inch Stainless-Steel Serrated Utility Knife

Wusthof 4062-7 Classic 2 1/2-Inch Peeling Knife

Kasumi 9.5in Slicer Knife

Misono UX10 Petty 5.9" (15cm)


What do ye think

I think they will complete my set of knives .
They will be a good mix Of german and japanese

Any info would be apprecited
 
984
212
Joined Jun 23, 2015
"always used basically the same set of knives since i attended collage victornox knives.
They have served me well over the years as most of yhe jobs i had were not too focused on detail.
Not that im in canada iv started working in a very high end restaurant and realise my knives are basically s**t

I also embarrassed to say that iv only started to learn how to sharpen knives on a whetstone.
At home we used to use an electric grinder machine in the last 3 places iv worked"

We have a special forum for knife advice.

I have used victorinox or forchner since before you were born.  It sounds like your knife skills including sharpening are lacking and not the quality of your knives.  Welcome to cheftalk and to North America..     
 
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Joined Aug 26, 2016
Don't feel bad because the chef standing at your elbow is holding $300 of Japanese steel in his hand.  It sounds to me that your main issue is learning to properly sharpen your blades & keeping them honed.  Learn that, & your Victorinox/Forchner knives will perform much better than you're used to.  

Now that doesn't mean don't get any new knives.  Although I would HIGHLY recommend you learn the sharpening aspect before graduating to better steel.  And even then, one or two high-end knives sounds better to me than replacing your entire set.  
 
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Guest

Guest
this is what i have in my carry kit 

8" chefs,

6" boning,

8" filet,

4" paring

carving knife and fork

a peeler.

pastry tips 

disposable pastry bags 

pastry ring cutters

melon baller 

zest/channel

measuring spoons

steel 

all of the above cost me less than $400 including the bag i carry it in

my chef knife came from sysco,cost about $120 has a wooden handle that fits well and is comfortable in my hand, holds its edge well and is easy to bring an edge back when needed doesn't have the annoying heal you find on the butt of some blades. cant ask for anything more out a tool that you use everyday all day

i have a bunch of other stuff that has been given to me as gifts or i found it to be pretty but its all more for show in my home kitchen than for actual daily use  

knives get beat up in a kitchen even if you baby them, shit happens, id rather have a $100 very good knife than a $1800 epic knife that i get all worked up about if something were to happen to it.when in the end there is no noticeable difference in final product why pay more. 
 
175
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Joined Feb 8, 2015
P​retty much stated as above.  You actually don't want super expensive knives in a kitchen.  Any decent midrange Jap/Ger knife should do. Santoku or chefs knife. One good boning knife, one filet knife (usually better to buy cheap/ dexter russel)  sharpen and replace after 3 months, serrated knife for bread or tomatoes, and a paring knife.  You don't need any other knives unless you are doing weird fruit carvings.  The more you cook you will realize the knife doesn't make good food, its the chef. Same as any craft you can have the best tool in the world but its no good unless you know how to use it. 
 
175
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Joined Feb 8, 2015
 Just read more of your post.  Basically you are going to use one knife of 80-90% of your work.  Chefs Knife or Santoku.  So pick what ever floats your boat on that.  Buy something nice.  But especially in a restaurant buy something that works and you won't cry if someone steals it, chips it. uses it to scrape flour off a cutting board (or in my case)  the night cleaners use it to scrape the grill and accidentally leave it in there till the next day and we notice the grill smells weird and a strange flame coming from it??
 
G

Guest

Guest
 
P​retty much stated as above.  You actually don't want super expensive knives in a kitchen.  Any decent midrange Jap/Ger knife should do. Santoku or chefs knife. One good boning knife, one filet knife (usually better to buy cheap/ dexter russel)  sharpen and replace after 3 months, serrated knife for bread or tomatoes, and a paring knife.  You don't need any other knives unless you are doing weird fruit carvings.  The more you cook you will realize the knife doesn't make good food, its the chef. Same as any craft you can have the best tool in the world but its no good unless you know how to use it. 
lol your post made me realize i forgot to list my bread knife on the list i wrote
 
2,238
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Joined Feb 17, 2010
I have used Forschner knives for 35 years. I could care less what the guy next to me is using.
Learn to sharpen your blades properly and those knives will continue to serve you. They both dice an onion.
 
1,765
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Joined Dec 23, 2004
I agree that it's the archer not the arrow, but....I'm a knife nerd!/img/vbsmilies/smilies/lever.gif/img/vbsmilies/smilies/lol.gif   A master carpenter can probably build cabinets with just a couple tools but generally they will have several specialized ones that make the job a lot easier.  That's how I view knives.  I could clean and cut top butts down with just a French knife but it's a lot easier to have a curved boning knife, too.  Along those same lines I love my Japanese knives.  They get sharper and stay sharper for longer between sharpenings.  It's true that you don't need to spend a bunch but to a great degree you get what you pay for.

To me the 'sweet spot' for knives is between $150-$200 USD.  Going cheaper costs you in F'n'F while spending more brings you up to the point of diminishing returns.

Apropos of nothing I find the santoku to be nearly useless, a jack of few trades and master of none.  I can't think of a single job that isn't easier to do with a different knife.  It's somewhat bad at everything and great for nothing I can think of.

My advice is to start with one good gyuto or French knife, then add others as you can.
 
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Joined Oct 21, 2014
I love knives! Have a obscene collection of them, that sad I find only a few needed from day to day
10" chef I like the bob Kramer design
6" petty many good ones out there I use a nenox but I use to use a shun ( more on that in a minute )
Offset serrated bread knife
And I like to have a Chinese style cleaver like a CCK
A good steel, DICK Dickron is the best IMO

I'm ( assuming we're talking about an average kitchen / non-specialty i.e. Butcher shop steakhouse sushi bar ect.

Now what was sad above is 100% true, most chefs don't know how to sharpen a knife properly , this is a skill that takes time to learn and if your not " into knives" or to Busy ( y'all know the hours chefs put in ) here's an alternative that I did for years before I got "into knives' and learn how to sharpen properly.
Many companies offer a free sharpening service you just mail back your knives and they sharpen them for you, Shun ( that's why I mentioned them above ) is one, i'm sure there are others, so what I did was I bought 2 sets of shuns, chef, petty and a slicer ( I didn't mention the slicer above because it wasn't used all that often ) once a month ( or as needed) I'd Mail one set back to get sharpened and still have a the 2nd set to work with , I did this for years.

f you don't like any of the brands that offer that service there are many online sharpening services, a few that actually specialize in kitchen knives I E use belts and wet stones instead of wheels ( wheels = hollow grind not good for chef knives). Once I got some big $$$ knives I didn't want to mess them up so I used such a service keeping my old shuns as the back up set, turnaround time is usually within the week I.E. Send off on Monday have back by the weekend and cost less then $20 including shipping , remember if you decide to do this save the receipts there tax deductible !

Just a note as I uses shuns name more then once, I do not use them anymore and really don't like them.
Good luck
 
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Joined Oct 21, 2014
Another " tip" that I posted about on here years ago is to get a cheep harbor freight belt sander and leather belt to " power strop" your knives. It's easy, takes little to no skill and keeps your knives sharp as hell for months before they need sharpening ( yes months I work in a high volume kitchen )
You may be able to find the post on this sight but if not the info is widely available on the Internet now, many are doing this.

http://t.harborfreight.com/power-tools/sanders/1-in-x-30-in-belt-sander-61728.html

Much more expensive now than it was when I got it but wait for a sale, you still should be able to get it for around $35

 
166
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Joined Aug 26, 2016
... keeps your knives sharp as hell for months before they need sharpening ( yes months I work in a high volume kitchen ...
Many people have no idea how sharp their knives will stay without actually sharpening them.  Keeping the edge straight is all it takes.  
 
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Joined Mar 6, 2014
Hello, a brit from Brooklyn here. Got my knives at college sabatier in 1981. Just started refurbishing knives that I give to (really) deserveing friends. I have many knives now and the shun are amazing, have a chef knife that I just reground just to get the bow out of the blade noting more than a steel in nearly 20 years. My own awakening was on Thanksgiving. I had bought a knackered carbon Henckels that dates to around 1900. Totally reground and replaced the handle with a rosewood one. Sharpened it and it is the best knife I have ever used hands down. It's noe being shipped 9ff to my oldest friend in blighty, he's a craftsman and like a brother to mensure so I want to give him a knife I know will be his go to blade. Sharp isn't cutting paper, right now this knife will cut kitchen roll and when I'm done toilet paper. Got 3 more handles to re0lace before xmas for gifts. Not selling, having too much fun giving old knives new leases of life, I only buy pre 1970's tknives. The Henckels was $37 total for the knife and materials not my labor. Guessing with the rosewood handles and custom mosaic pins it's probably a $175 knife. Buy old carbon steel and pay a well established knife guy to grind for you. Better still get a mentor to teach you. Good luck
 

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