Home Cook with an awesome Wife

Discussion in 'Cooking Knife Reviews' started by shiftyshats, Sep 27, 2012.

  1. shiftyshats


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    At home cook
    Hello everyone,

    I'm a first time poster to the forums. The reason I'm posting today is because as a 40th birthday gift my wife has offered to buy me a new set of knives (she owes me considering she doesn't cook at all). The problem is she seems to think that for 1000 dollars Cutco is the best money can buy. We need your help!

    I've looked online, done some research, however I don't know where to start!

    Can someone give us some guidance?

    Quality brands? Brands to stay away from?

    I'm looking for something in the 7-9 piece range.

    Thanks very much in advance

    - Richard
  2. minas6907


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    Line Cook
    Ummm, wow, that's like everyone's dream, someone offering to buy you a set of knives. You should go to a store where you can handle a knife and see what your comfortable with. I personally like Messermeister brand, and either their Meridian Elite or San Moritz Elite line. They are bolsterless, sturdy knives that are nicely weighted. Again, this is my personal opinion, see what your comfortable with. Personally, I really dislike cutco knives, the shiny handles are slippery and my knuckles hit the cutting board when I'm using it. And that's aside from them telling you that their knives are not serrated when they pretty much are, hence they don't go dull. But when I you DO need to have them resharpened, it is nice they do it for free after you send your set to them, just plan on not cooking for the next six weeks. I had friends who worked for cutco, they didn't know anything about knives, they just went through the presentation that assumes your a complete moron when it comes to your cooking knives. If your wife doesn't have a problem spending a grand on you, go find a nice 9 piece set you like and feels comfortable to you, them you'll have $400-$500 left over to get some more kitchen toys. If your looking for knives, cutco is not where you should look.

    Sent from my DROID X2 using Tapatalk 2
  3. petemccracken


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    Professional Chef
    If you're asking for personal opinions, I like MAC knives and I detest knife sets of any kind.

    Get yourself:
    • a 8"-12" chef knife
    • a petty
    • a bread knife
    • and water stones, oil stones, or some other form of maintenance equipment to keep them sharp
    Remember, there is no such thing as a knife that does not need sharpening!

    and then figure out what you might need/want later
  4. eblis


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    At home cook
    Have you seen this review ? It's rather old now and it doesn't review how well the knives hold their edges, but the Cutco knives aren't highly rated in their cutting performance.
  5. boar_d_laze


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    Cook At Home
    First:  Don't buy a "block set."  Buy a few individual knives which can handle all your needs gracefully.  Allow the block itself, and storage generally to be another issue.  Steak knives, too.  There's no practical reason to buy all your knives from one maker. 

    Second:  Cutco is a horrible choice.  Maybe not the worst possible choice, but it could be.  We can go deeper into the whys and wherefores if you like, or you can just take it on faith.   

    The best knives for you will reflect how you use a knife and how you sharpen.  If you're interested in becoming a better cook, you may be open to improving or at least changing your knife and sharpening skills.  If you're interested in knives themselves, you almost certainly are. 

    As a practical matter, for many people, the choice comes down to knives made with Japanese techniques and French profiles or knives made with German techniques and profiles. 

    Japanese is the modern trend with most skilled cutters for a number of very good reasons.  But that doesn't mean that German is a bad choice.  Ultimately it comes down to a matter of taste.  If you don't already have good knife skills I suggest going the Japanese route, because the knives are more agile, lighter, get much sharper, and stay sharper longer. 

    As an even more practical matter, you've got to understand that good knives are all about sharpening.  No matter how much you spend, all knives and get dull and all dull knives are equal.  If you're not going to take sharpening seriously, don't buy expensive knives.  The choices you make about how much time and effort you're willing to put into sharpening will help shape the best knife choices, and vice versa.  If you want to use an "easy way" like a Chef's Choice Electric, that's not a problem.  There are plenty of wonderful knives which will do just fine.  But, there are also plenty which won't; e.g., knives which are very thin, knives made from very hard alloys, and knives with unusual shapes. 

    I generally recommend buying four knives as a "basic set" which can do it all, along with a few specialty blades as needed for frequently performed "specialty" tasks.  The four are:
    • 9-1/2" - 10-1/2" Chef's knife;
    • 10-1/2" - 12" Slicer;
    • 10" Bread; and
    • 6" Petty
    As you can see, I recommend knives which are longer than those usually found in a block.  If your knife skills are "only" average, it's going to take a little learning -- all in improving your grip and posture -- to get you to the point where handling longer knives is as intuitive as handling shorter; but it's a matter of a few weeks only.  Also, you've also noticed that I recommend a "petty," but not a paring knife or a boning knife; that's because the petty can perform most short knife and boning tasks at least as well as the other two combined. 

    Even at $1000 budget is a little bit of an issue, and a bit larger if sharpening also needs to be addressed. 

    Most people get the most use from their chef's knives, so it makes sense to put the most money into that. 

    Your thoughts?