I need a chef's knife but don't have a lot to spend....

Discussion in 'Cooking Knife Reviews' started by suzbarker, Jun 2, 2014.

  1. suzbarker

    suzbarker

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    Hello and WOW  /img/vbsmilies/smilies/eek.gif! The sheer amount of information here is amazing...

    As such, I'm a bit lost  /img/vbsmilies/smilies/confused.gif. I just need a good knife to start myself off. I get that nobody is really a fan of "sets" so I just want to know, with little to spend mind you, what do I need to look for in my search? Can anyone just give me the basics?

    Thanks in advance!!  /img/vbsmilies/smilies/thumb.gif

    Susie
     
  2. brianshaw

    brianshaw

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  3. jbroida

    jbroida

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    i just clicked that link out of curiosity and the first thing that popped up was a ryoba deba (double sided deba)... thats not even a chefs knife... its a fish knife.  Based on the majority of knives i see on there, you're probably better off asking a knife-geared forum like kitchenknifeforums.com or kitchenknifefora.com.  However, they have their downfalls too... they will likely recommend only or mostly japanese kitchen knives or custom makers.  Temper that info with a bit of what you have here, and you should have a pretty good view on where you stand and what likely makes sense.
     
  4. grande

    grande

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    How much are you trying to spend? Is this for your home?
     
  5. suzbarker

    suzbarker

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    Grande,

    Yes. It is for my home. I'd like to spend less than $50. Not sure if that's possible.
     
  6. jbroida

    jbroida

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    forschner/victorinox always works in that range (under $50 for sure... closer to $30)
     
  7. suzbarker

    suzbarker

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  8. knifesavers

    knifesavers

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  9. tweakz

    tweakz

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    Last edited: Oct 27, 2014
  10. tweakz

    tweakz

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    Last edited: Oct 27, 2014
  11. tweakz

    tweakz

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    Last edited: Oct 27, 2014
  12. knifesavers

    knifesavers

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    There is only one proper Granton edge and that is the ones on a true Granton knife.

    http://www.granton-knives.co.uk/granton_edge_knives.html

    FWIW I agree with Benuser that for the most part they are a pointless waste. The only ones that are really effective are true Grantons and massive scallops like Glestain does.

    The skinny ones like that Victorinox have just collect grunge. I pull lots of muck out of kullens and the thinner they are the worse it gets.

    Jim
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2014
  13. ordo

    ordo

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    +1 Benuser. Unuseful and ugly.
     
  14. rick alan

    rick alan

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    I'm surprised the knowledgeable guys here haven't mentioned it yet but ordinary steels just ruin your edge, an Idahone would be the way to go here.  But before that, how do you think you want to go in the way of sharpening?

    If you are thinking of a pull-thru, a decent one will cost you about twice that of the knife.  A combination waterstone can be had for around $50.  Then a cheap India combination for as little as $10, though spending 20-30 on a decent India or Crystolon would be well worth it.

    Rick
     
  15. tweakz

    tweakz

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    Last edited: Oct 27, 2014
  16. tweakz

    tweakz

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  17. rick alan

    rick alan

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    It takes very little pressure to realign an edge.  The tiny contact surface of a grooved steel digs right in and tears up, turning your knife into a hacksaw, as well as excessively fatiguing the edge.  I recall reading about this over 30yr ago by an individual who did considerable research in the area, BDL mentioned his name in a post but I forget it now, so this is nothing new.  Yet a sweet mystery of life is that knife companies keep making and selling them and culinary schools keep encouraging their use.

    A leather strop does the best job of realigning, but a fine ceramic hone is far better than a conventional steel.  And as the blade dulls a few extra strokes will also provide some fine-stone sharpening.

    For steeling I use an Arkansas stone on which I've rounded one edge.  My knives are of relatively soft steel yet my go-to knife, a mere Ikon 9" slicer, only sees the waterstones maybe 3 times a year in ordinary home use, and is still nearly hair-whittling sharp at those times, such that many folks wouldn't even bother yet with sharpening.

    Rick
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2014
  18. knifesavers

    knifesavers

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    While I don't disagree that using a fine stone or a strop is better you have to look at where honing rods come in. The place they rule is meat processing.

    You cannot take a blood covered blade to a stone or strop. Meat cutters don't have time to clean sanitize and sharpen a blade, so they have fine steel and use it often.

    Once cleaned the blade can go to a stone but during a shift there isn't time for that and a honing rod is perfect. It can be cleaned of gunk where other items contaminated with raw proteins would be ruined. A t least an oilstone you could boil and scrub but that is a project by itself.

    Draw that scenario out into any kitchen prep a honing rod is a quick form of maintenance regardless of the situation. As Rick said it takes very little pressure and many folks overdo it.

    They have their place but like any tool it can be used to fix or damage the intended target.

    Jim
     
  19. rick alan

    rick alan

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    Yes, and this is why there is what at least one company calls a called a "packer's steel," a polished steel rod free of any grooves.  Some who find their knives need a little in the way of sharpening action during a shift will rough up the surface with fine sandpaper, typically 220-600 grit, creating much the same effect as a ceramic hone.  But the ceramic hone still works better.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2014
  20. rick alan

    rick alan

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    This is a great deal for a sharpening stone on Amazon, I hear it is recommended by professionals who use knives like Dexters and Forscheners:



    It's a nice big 12" silicon carbide stone, much faster cutter than the typical fused aluminum oxide stones you see for the same money.  $11'n change, I never knew you could get them this cheap, free shipping if you can get your total up to $35 and Amazon carries several different ceramic steels, I believe the cheaper Kyocera has a smooth and course side, if this is the case it will be fine.

    The SC stones don't compare to waterstones but really do work very nicely, I have a tiny 1x3" SC stone that touches up my machete in no time. The cheapest combination waterstone is going to run you about $50 in comparison.

    I'd say this and the ceramic steel, which can also be used to add some refinement to the edge the SC stone leaves behind, is a very good low-low-bucks sharpening setup.

    Rick
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2014