Knifes recommendation for french culinary student

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Joined Oct 5, 2017
Hi; I'm Brieuc an ambitious french culinary student. First of all, sorry for my English, i will do my best.
I'm looking for professional knifes, i have already sabatier knifes that i don't really like because i don't feel them very sharpen, and the blade dulls quickly. But i like their balance. Can you help me choosing new knifes that I will keep in professional kitchen for the next 10 years (or more) if it's possible ? I don't want french knifes because I don't think they are following our new expetation about what a real knife should be (except for butcher knifes). I read some review on this website and my eyes were focused on the mac professionnal but it's hard to ship them to Europe And it's the same problem for many other brand. I hesitate a lot between choosing between a german or japanese knifes, hesitating between sharpening and solidity. In my head Japanese means very sharpen but hard to use and to sharpening german means heavy solid sharp but not too much (and that can be a good thing cause i want high longevity knifes). I don't care a lot about design i firstly care about solidity, sharpening and confort of use. I don't know anything about the quality of the steel or anything like that. I rely only on recommendations and on my feelings. I have a budget of 200€ 250$ for the chef knife, more or less than 100$ for the paring knife. I also need a fish knife but i think I will buy a fisherman filet knife. I also need a japanese slicer knife to have very clean meat to go on plate (want it japanese because i think that the value for a slicer is only to be very sharpen whatever his solidity or confort of use).

Can you help me choosing some knifes that can be shipped to France?
I'm new in this forum I saw that some people here knows a lot of things about techniques and knifes. It will be a pleasure to speak with you.
Thank you very much
 
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Joined Nov 15, 2012
Welcome to cheftalk. Since you are advantageously located I suggest you at least look at the Fischer Bargoin Zen line. They also have the Sandvick butchery line. None of us have any experience with them, but they sound like a great value and they certainly use very good steel. German knives are too thick, especially at the edge, and heavy, have too much curvature and the steel is poor in comparison to the typical Japanese. And keep in mind that in a pro kitchen knives are seen as having a limited life span.

Scott brought to our attention that a Swedish company called Rapala make very good and inexpensive filet knives.

There are many good knives around $250. Itonomon and Munitoshi are a couple great values
http://www.japanesenaturalstones.com/itinomonn/. But these cannot be considered rugged, they cannot be used carelessly, but they cut amazingly. For "rugged" I am not sure what European sellers offer.

For your fish slicer you would have to spend at least $250 for a decent yanigiba, but you may have a learning curve trying to sharpen a single bevel knife properly. A more conventional sujihiki does a good job though. Here I would recommend putting the question to the folks at kitchenknifeforums.
 
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Thank you very Mutch Rick for your answer. Fischer Bargoin is well known in France . But i can't tell anything about the Zen line but I will shake it out for you (I will make a review if I found them) I don't know why but i'm not very found of french coutellerie because a lot are made for home use other are made for tourists other are overrated and sellers are not often honest or don't know anything about their products (you will tel me that's it's the same everywhere but meeeh you will know what I mean) for example I went in a shop. A beautifull shop that was selling french blades from the same brand. When I was asking them "why are they better from others ?" They were answering me "Well (replace glasses) it's french made for 80 years" . So tell me what brand are good in France i dont see why it can be advantageous for the blades (of course it's advantageous for many reasons to learn how to cook in France I know i'm lucky ). For all your suggestion I will inspect thoes products these weekend they seems to be very interesting for me, the munitoshi looks very nice. When can we say that a blade is dead when we have very good one ? How long for example do you kept your last knifes. My chefs allways told me that they have knifes for 10 years... maybe it's because they are chef so they don't use knife that much they let the small hands bring their dusty blades and turning the artichokes ! Thank you rick again. For the Slicer I was more thinking about a long blade that would cut nicely both meat and fish before plating can we combine the use of a slicer for meat and fish or it's a totally mess up nooby idea ? The slicer is not a priority for the moment I will maybe ask you later for this later. Thank you again. It's nice to me to talk to specialists.
 
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Yes well I understand your concerns about French cutlery, but some French and German companies have been making efforts to catch up with what the Japanese offer. The Zen line uses steel very similar to what many high-quality Japanese knives use. Question is how well the heat treat and the quality of the grind. They are selling for an introductory price about half or less than a good Japanese knife goes for.

How long knives last depends a lot, though not entirely, on how hard you use them, so it is a moot point. Many professionals consider knives simply as tools that wear and get replaced.

Many will tell you that a single chef knife can do just about everything well enough. So if you wish to use some other knife for slicing then that is for your enjoyment, but not necessarily a need. I was actually quite happy using a 225mm slicing knife for everything, with a modified pinch grip for knuckle clearance, but I now appreciate having chef knives and only rarely use a slicer.

A knife steel I feel is very well suited to professional use is SRS-15, there is a maker that has their knives branded by many companies, and the Akifusa is one of those brands. This is a powdered metallurgy steel, it gets very sharp for stainless, sharpens easily, and holds its sharp much better than any conventional steel.

My time is limited these days, and my memory of what is out there these days not the best, but I'm sure more will chime in.
 
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Joined Oct 5, 2017
Hello Rick. I went to kitchenknivesforums and I registered, i will ask them for the yanigiba. I'm very interested in those japanese blades that you propose me, thank you. I think the most important is sharpening. Maybe before buying I should learn about stones and how to sharp. Thank you for your advises.
 

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