Inexpensive "Sushi" 3-knife set from Lee Valley: opinions?

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by mikelm, Dec 23, 2009.

  1. mikelm

    mikelm

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    Just saw this from Lee Valley, a highly-reputable source of woodworking, gardening, and cooking equipment:

    Lee Valley Tools - Important Announcement

    Ther certainly look nice. I don't make much sushi, but they look to be useful around the kitchen, and the price is certainly reasonable. Looks like they have a cast bolster, not forged.

    Anybody got any opinions, just from looking at the pix?

    Mike
     
  2. adaml

    adaml

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    First, I love lee valley.

    But I don't know if I trust knives that cost $12.50 each.

    That's the same price range as the knockoff wusthof paring knives my grandmother buys from the door to door con- *ahem* salesman.
     
  3. mikelm

    mikelm

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    Yeah, know what you mean.

    Leonard Lee, the Lee Valley founder, was the guy who pointed out that the Microplane - a really good, innovative wood rasp - was kind of useful in the kitchen. The rest of that is history.

    Still not sure about the @ $12 knives...

    Mike :rolleyes:
     
  4. adaml

    adaml

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    Upon further reflection:

    On the one hand, Lee Valley sells awesome tools. The best splitting axe I have ever used came from Lee Valley, I would immediately recommend anyone to buy Lee Valley tools.

    On the other, at 12.50 a knife, retail price, corners are being cut somewhere, once you get materials, labour, transport, packaging, etc. paid for, how is the store making any kind of decent profit off the knives?

    I have no clue what '420 stainless steel' is, from a quick google I ran across this:

    IIRC (And I could be wrong, this is all theorycraft), Japanese knives traditionally hover somewhere in the 60-63 range. Would this not require the Lee Valley knives to use a more european bevel angle in order to keep a decent edge?

    I notice you asked about 'usefulness around the kitchen', and this is where I could see myself hating the knives.

    The paring knife is 5 inches. I hate paring knives with 5 inch blades. I have a beautiful MAC paring knife with a 5 inch blade, I keep it around so that I have a knife to give the dishwasher if they ask to borrow one for prep. I find 5 inch paring knives too long to do any precise work, and too short with poor geometry for any chopping, dicing, slicing, etc.

    The santoku has a 6 1/2 inch blade. Now, I really don't like santoku's in general, I always find myself wishing I had just used my chef's knife. That's just me though, I know tons of people who swear by them.

    The slicer has a 8 inch blade, I personally prefer a much longer slicer. Again, this is my personal preference.

    In conclusion - Lee Valley makes good stuff, but I find these a little iffy. I would recommend sinking more money on 1 nice chef's knife than these 3.