I only have one knife...Need more a couple more. What would you get next?

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Joined Aug 24, 2018
My wife got me this thing as Birthday present a couple years ago. Apart from my butter knives and steak knives its the only knife I have in the kitchen. I absolutely love this knife, but I wouldn't know what I'm missing otherwise because I've never tried to use a different one. Three questions:

1 - Is there anything wrong with or not good about Wusthof?
2 - If a proper chef knife is the next investment, should I buy one good chef knife or a set?
3 - The only kitchenware retailer within 100 miles of me is Bed Bath and Beyond...should I go play with them there and then order them from online? If so, where do you recommend buying from? Can you trust your basic instincts about how they feel?

...Is it unreasonable to ask for a recommendation for a set under $1000? Is that enough to buy something decent that I won't have to upgrade for a very long time?

If anyone would like to point me toward a credible resource to read up on, please do!

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Hoo boy. I suggest you start by skimming through the knife forum here, reading threads with titles like "Help me pick a good first knife" and so on. There's a standard set of questions and information, and the sooner you take some of that on board, the sooner people can come up with some strong suggestions for you.
 
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Joined Aug 24, 2018
Hoo boy. I suggest you start by skimming through the knife forum here, reading threads with titles like "Help me pick a good first knife" and so on. There's a standard set of questions and information, and the sooner you take some of that on board, the sooner people can come up with some strong suggestions for you.

Thanks Chris...I see you're quite the knife expert! I didn't realize how overly broad and complicated the question was. Lets forget about what I'm going to end up using long term as I've found from skimming those other threads that I'm waaaaaay too novice to begin to make an informed decision on what to buy down the road.

What do you think of just going to Bed Bath and Beyond and starting with set of Wusthof Gourmet series knives, learning what the hell I'm doing, then re-assessing the more permanent investment several months from now? Is it adequate for a super beginner who is still learning to cut an onion properly to get started on? Since they're only a few hundred dollars I don't mind learning on them then just giving them away later. I guess my question is if they're enough to get me started or are they are so low quality that I won't even be able to learn proper technique?

Let me know what you think :)
 
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Joined Aug 24, 2018
So I figured I'd just take them home and try them...

I went out and bought the most expensive Chef knife and Santoku's that were in the store. I'm under no disillusion that these are high end knives, but it was the best I could get a hold of. I was disappointed that they didn't have Wusthof, but I since I was there I figured I'd try some anyway. Despite the sales associate not wanting me to touch them at first, I insisted on picking them up and holding them. It only took a few minutes to narrow down a clear winner. I noticed the weight distribution and handle made a huge difference. They are both 7".

I went there to try out chefs knives, but I found the Santoku feels much much more natural to me... Is it normal for the Chef knife to feel a little clunkier and harder to wield at first?

I went home and started chopping up everything in sight, and it kind of affirmed my suspicion that I'd end up heavily favoring that Santoku for chopping any kind of vegetable. It felt pretty amazing, but I imagine anything decent would after I've been using only that one knife for two years. Should I just hang on to these until I outgrow them or would it be better to return them and go out of town to try something better? Should I attempt to get proficient with those 3 knives or buy a set and start learning to use the other ones?
 

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Start with a good chefs knife.
Would you be kind enough to give an absolute beginner some pointers on what 'good' entails? If you don't have time to explain, I understand, but if you could point me toward a credible 'how to buy your first knife' article I'll take the time to read it.

Ps...
I can return the 2 knives I got if I need to. I'll hang on to the receipt.
 
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Joined Mar 1, 2017
At your level, anything you get from Wusthof will do nicely. As others have already said, there are some good threads on this forum about knives that will help point you in the right direction.

There is nothing wrong with some of the cutlery offered at Bed, Bath and Beyond. So, if you decide to go there and kick the tires so to speak, its not like you're picking from the $5 bin at Wal Mart. Sure, you can get some pretty poor quality stuff there. But, you can also get some good stuff, too.

You can go and buy a $400 chef's knife or a $1,000 knife set. But, unless you have a specific reason or that kind of money is just burning a hole in your wallet, why would you want to? You can spend $75 and get an excellent chef's knife made by any one of thousand manufacturers that will serve you very well until you are ready to move up. There are many knife sets available under $500 that are excellent choices as well.

My workhorse chef's knife that I used in my restaurant (and home now that Im retired) is a $100 Wusthof 8 inch chef's knife. There is nothing fancy about it. Its made of quality materials, well balanced, holds an edge and is comfortable in my hand. These are very important factors especially when you're spending multiple hours a day prepping ingredients.

I have seen many a young cook take a trip to the hospital because they were using a knife that was beyond their skill level. Trust me when I say this: when you cut yourself with an 8' Wusthof chef's knife, chances are the cut is going to be far less severe that a cut made by a high end knife sharpened to the point where it can shave atoms. Those knives require excellent blade awareness and cutting skills. Even then, the pros sometimes get bit. A young chef who worked for me many moons ago literally filleted the skin from his index finger while prepping veggies with his shiny new, insanely sharp $700 Japanese laser. The knife was so sharp and the cut was so fast, he removed the skin to the bone from the first knuckle to the nail before he even knew what happened. It wasn't the knife's fault. His skills were just not developed enough to safely handle that knife. Had he made the same mistake with any other knife, he still would've cut himself, but, not so severely.

Remember, choosing a knife is a very personal choice that only you can make. What is preferred by one person may not be preferred by another. What's good for me may not be good for you and vice versa. You can easily figure out which manufacturers are reputable and decide for yourself.

Good luck. :)
 
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Joined Apr 11, 2018
Those two knives are similar enough that over time you will likely find a preference for one and rarely use the other. The Chef knife is the classic general-purpose design but personally I find myself grabbing my Santoku more often, YMMV.

But either way yes, take the time to gain proficiency with what you have instead of buying a big expensive set. The ones you have will cover most every need in lieu of a variety of more specialized designs you find yourself mostly using infrequently. Not including steak knives, I have 13 knives in my block and only 2 or 3 of them account for maybe 90% of my usage.

The only thing I would consider adding in the short term is something with a serrated edge for bread, if you have such a need.
 
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Joined Aug 24, 2018
You can spend $75 and get an excellent chef's knife made by any one of thousand manufacturers that will serve you very well until you are ready to move up.
Great! Thats mostly what I was wondering.

I have seen many a young cook take a trip to the hospital because they were using a knife that was beyond their skill level...It wasn't the knife's fault. His skills were just not developed enough to safely handle that knife. Had he made the same mistake with any other knife, he still would've cut himself, but, not so severely.

That's a pretty serious heads up for someone that plays the piano for a living!! I uh....I'll stick with that mid-tier Wusthof and the Zwilling :)
 
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Joined Feb 24, 2015
Great! Thats mostly what I was wondering.



That's a pretty serious heads up for someone that plays the piano for a living!! I uh....I'll stick with that mid-tier Wusthof and the Zwilling :)
Better keep those fingers safe then :)

To come back to your question about a chefs knife feeling out of sorts when you handle it - very honestly, when I started working the kitchen it was the same for me - you do get used to it
However - I’ve met plenty chefs in my time that prefer a Santuko over a western Chefs knife any day - personal preference

A wise chef (I think he was wise) once told me:
There is no such thing as a wrong knife, just the wrong person handling it
 
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Joined Nov 15, 2012
With the exception of the Wusty Pro series, and the Ikon slicer I mentioned, I feel wusty's are considerably overpriced. And a dull knife is potentially more dangerous than a sharp one. Which brings us to the inevitable revelation that "all dull knives are equal." So, have you ever sharpened or do you intend to sharpen your knives? And if so then how? Can you or will you learn to use stones, or are you going to have someone else sharpen, or are power sharpeners in consideration here?
 
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Joined Aug 24, 2018
So, have you ever sharpened or do you intend to sharpen your knives?
No to the first part, and I have no idea to the second.
Can you or will you learn to use stones, or are you going to have someone else sharpen
Not sure to the first part, and most likely to the second.
are power sharpeners in consideration here
Um...maybe...I guess?? Do most home cooks sharpen their own knives?
With the exception of the Wusty Pro series, and the Ikon slicer I mentioned, I feel wusty's are considerably overpriced
Good to keep in mind...I hope to get my hands on one (literally) in the next few months. Maybe I could order one and try it. I'm still experimenting quite a bit and starting to feel out what seems natural.
 
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I am going to disagree with others on this, as I always do. A superlative chef's knife is a great investment. If you have the money and are willing to learn, get:

Masamoto KS wa-gyuto, 27cm
King Combi stone, 1k/6k

Learn to be rigorous about taking care of carbon. Practice sharpening by going slow. Cut carefully and pay attention to what you're doing.

In a year you'll wonder why anyone ever suggested something else.
 

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