German Chef recommendation?

Discussion in 'Cooking Knife Reviews' started by yumyumgoodtimes, Mar 30, 2017.

  1. yumyumgoodtimes

    yumyumgoodtimes

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    If anyone has a recommendation for a good budget friendly german steel chef knife I would love to hear it. Same goes for a honing steel. The knife would not see heavy use and will be used for at home cooking a few times per week. Something around $50 (for the knife) give or take would be ideal. I'm looking to get something of the best value for the money that will hold up over time. I'm a little bit of a noob so any advice is appreciated.

    Thanks in advance for any insight :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2017
  2. foodpump

    foodpump

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    Not German, but Swiss, Victorinox.  Probably hands down the best bang for your buck.  
     
  3. chrislehrer

    chrislehrer

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    Why German? I don't mean to pry, but it's an unusual request around here.
     
  4. yumyumgoodtimes

    yumyumgoodtimes

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    I was originally looking at a Japanese knife, but I don't necessarily want to get into stones quite yet.
     
  5. chrislehrer

    chrislehrer

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    All knives need sharpening. What's your plan on that? Whatever that might be, it'll help give some recommendations.
     
  6. yumyumgoodtimes

    yumyumgoodtimes

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    The knife won't see as much use as one that is used in a professional kitchen for example. It will most likely be used a few times per week for some light duty cooking tasks at home. I plan on doing my best to treat the knife well and store it properly and it will be honed occasionally. With that being said I would think it would be quite some time before requiring an actual sharpening. I definitely find wet stones interesting and could possibly see myself getting into that in the future. If I had any other sharpening methods recommended on good authority, I would definitely take them into consideration.
     
  7. mike9

    mike9

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    I'll second the Victorinox it's hard to beat at that price point.  
     
  8. rick alan

    rick alan

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    Hey Yumy, by "hone" I suppose you mean some kind of steel.  But the fact of the matter is that if you are capable of using a steel and getting some positive effect, you'll instantly see that stones are orders of magnitude easier to use, as well as astronomically better sharpeners.

    The Vic Rosewood I have came with what was quite arguably the best factory edge of any German knife on the market today. 30deg inclusive angle, reasonably keen and no burr.  Not only that, it had an overall grind that is also superior, thin at the edge and less belly.  I suppose their [less expensive] Fibrox line provides the same.  And the clunky forward portion of these handles can be fixed with a Dremel and the 1/2" sanding drum.  The Rosewood handle has significant gaps that will ideally be filled with laminating epoxy or a "high-quality" superglue, and given their price I would go Fibrox instead.

    That said, I still cannot wholeheartedly recommend you regress from your original post of 3 days ago.  The Tojiro is a significantly better knife.  For the next step up these are an unbeatable deal at this early time of their introduction:

    http://www.thebestthings.com/knives/fischer_bargoin_zen_knives.htm
     
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  9. yumyumgoodtimes

    yumyumgoodtimes

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    Thank you for your response. I looked at the knives you linked and they look quite nice, but a little out of my price range. I also read through the text at the top of the page and noticed it made mention of Japanese knives being harder to sharpen than traditional western knives. Trust me I had my heart set on the Tojiro, but I'm just trying to be realistic about the situation. I have little to no experience with sharpening knives.
     
  10. foody518

    foody518

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    No, due to factors such abrasion resistance and thinner edges (less metal removal), I could probably sharpen a Tojiro faster than a Vic on the stones
     
  11. foody518

    foody518

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    To follow up on Rick's initial point, while honing rods are more commonly used to maintain German/Swiss/American-made German style knives, you should see better results in terms of sharpness, rate of edge wear, and maintained knife geometry over time from a regimen of sharpening stones with decent technique vs honing rod with decent technique. Not just a Japanese knife thing, just that honing rods tends to be an even less recommendable tool with harder and more brittle steels.

    Tojiro DP was the first 'good knife' I ever sharpened...it survived the process. Initial factory edge was actually fairly easy to follow as a beginner sharpener trying to just emulate a bevel that 'should work', before getting enough confidence and experience to tweak and set my own.

    In terms of this time interval to 'actual sharpening', I'd suggest looking into if you've got good knife sharpeners in the area and if you can vet out what they use and what kind of results they yield. I know that in my local-ish area, I think I've found maybe just one person who has a sharpening service and probably uses stones (a custom maker).
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2017
  12. foodpump

    foodpump

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    I don't know what you mean by "honing rods". I have used a steel for about 30 years now, but it doesn't hone. Honing, as I understand it, means to refine an edge, to smooth the coarser abrasion marks with finer abrasiv.

    The steel--when used properly-- is used to straighten the cutting edge. As the extreme edge is very fine, it will roll over with use, especially with softer steels. When you rub the steel over the edge, the grooves in the steel pick up the rolled edge and straighten it.. You can do this several times before the edge fatigues and crumbles off. Then you have to shsrpen ( ie use abrasives to remove metal to establish a new bevel).

    The harder steels don't really benefit at all from this method. When the edge fails, you need to sharpen.

    Its six for the softer steels and a half dozen for the harder steels. The softer ones are much easier to maintain and to sharpen, but theedges don't last long. The harder steels have much better edge retention, but when you do need to sharpen, it will require more effort, and the edges tend to chip, needing more time at the stones.
     
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  13. rick alan

    rick alan

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    Well, not exactly 6 o' 1 half doz the other, but I get your point.  Most tool-steel (O1, blue2, W2, SLD, SLR, etc) bladed knives come in around 61RC and they don't micro chip much, IF MICRO_BEVELLED PROPERLY," which is easy enough to do.  That done you can do a long prep week with them and I believe they will still be sharper than a German after it's first steeling.  The thing about any decent hard steel is that it holds its SHARP much longer than the soft stuff, which goes to a dull, just serviceable edge after relatively few wacks on the board.

    You shift to a PM steel like SRS-15 and you could likely go a month.  And all mentioned are easy enough to sharpen, except VG10 is a bit of a pita to deburr for the beginner.  Then there is HAP40 (still easy to sharpen), M390, and the King S110V, you can go even longer with those.

    Micro-bevelling is the key with the harder steels.

    I don't recommend a grooved steel at all, and I no longer recommend ceramic steels as the point-contact accelerates fatigue just like any steel, and will cause micro chipping on the harder stuff.  The home cook can do a few stropping stroke on a fine stone to get back a real edge.  The pro should really be tickled with an 8" DMT extra-extra fine diamond stone glued to a paddle, one back and forth strop and it's back to business.

    Getting back to Yummy, this all should give you enough to think about for the moment - A Vic/Fibrox, Tojiro or Fujiwara (not yet mentioned maybe), or possibly something a little better.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2017
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  14. chrislehrer

    chrislehrer

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    @foodpump, everything you say about honing and steeling is true. BUT the term "honing rod" has lately become dominant. In essence, what a rod or steel does is more akin to honing than to sharpening, and people want to get away from the misnomer "sharpening steel."
     
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