Knives for fiance.. Question

11
10
Joined Dec 7, 2016
Hello there. I was wondering if anyone could assist me?

My fiance has mentioned wanting some new knives, particularly a chef's knife and a good set of steak knives. He mentioned a meat cleaver too, but we don't do any heavy chopping (or bone slicing).

However, I'm really confused. I've been researching these knives for days and I can't figure out which direction to go. I originally thought Wusthof because he really wants a German made knife, but I also read reviews that Victorinox may be better? 

Any thoughts or different suggestions for a good chef's knife and steak knives? Thank you!/img/vbsmilies/smilies/crazy.gif  
 
1,061
44
Joined Aug 6, 2015
Hi ashly, welcome to CT

There are a lot kitchen knives out there. Do you have a rough budget range? What kind of cutting tasks will these be needed for? What kind of grip and cutting motions are most frequently used? What size and kind of cutting board is being used?
Any input you can give to better tailor guidance and recommendations helps.
 
11
10
Joined Dec 7, 2016
Hello! Thanks for the response. These are all really good questions and I'll try to answer them without asking him (he'll suspect otherwise) and I'm trying to keep this a surprise.

We do a lot of cooking at home, just no heavy cutting (like through bone). We cook a lot of meats, chop a lot of veggies, herbs, etc. I'm really looking for a good chefs knife, a filet knife, and a better set of steak knives. He's mentioned a meat cleaver but I'm not sure why we would use that if we aren't slicing through bone? I don't really have a budget right now, but would like to keep each item around $100ish. I don't mind buying individual items and can spend a little more if neeeded. I just want to make sure it's good quality. He has a Japanese style knife at home but has expressed interest in a German made knife because he feels the other knife is getting too much use for every day cooking tasks. We have a small and medium sized cutting board at home.

I've done some research but I'm starting to get confused on all the different knives out there. Thank you!
 
2,563
538
Joined Apr 25, 2014
Everyday cooking tasks is what kitchen knives are made for...

Probably a meat cleaver so he CAN start hacking through bones.  I recommend this one http://www.ebay.com/itm/THAI-KITCHE...140128?hash=item210b37ffe0:g:-RcAAOSwmmxW4CQq

I've used mine for 2 years as a beater knife.  It has handled turkey bones,  pork bones, squash, lobster.  This thing is a tank made by a machete company.

Filet knife - 
Steak knives you have a few options

- get shitty serrated knives that handle the abuse of cutting on plates.  Don't sharpen them and when they dull toss them.

- get a long slicer and cut your meat on a board in the kitchen then plate it nicely (my way)

- get nice expensive steak knives and wooden plates, learn to sharpen these knives
 
Last edited:
11
10
Joined Dec 7, 2016
He knows it's for everyday cooking tasks but he feels the knife is more delicate and wanted to upgrade to something that could handle more.

You're right. He probably does want to start hacking stuff.

We have a set of henckels steak knives but I wanted to surprise him with a nicer set. I do like your idea of a long slicer, too.

I'll look at your links. Thanks again.
 
1,061
44
Joined Aug 6, 2015
If it's handling the every day tasks then how/why is it delicate? If it feels not durable you can put a more conservative edge on the knife
I will say that the typical rocking/walking technique for mincing herbs is not the best for some of the really thin behind the edge, harder and more brittle steeled knives (in that it accelerates edge wear)
Filet - meaning for fish or for meat with bones?
I've got a cleaver from the same folks as the link Millions put up above. It get used for coconuts. Be aware that it is not stainless, so don't leave it out wet - clean and dry in a timely manner. My Japanese chefs knives handle melons and the little squash and pumpkin I eat
 
Last edited:
11
10
Joined Dec 7, 2016
Foody518 - as far as the knife goes I'm not sure. He says there's little chips on the blade. He says the German made knives would be more durable? We use our current knife for cutting fruit (melons), chopping, dicing and cutting (meats, veggies). I'll attach a photo below of the current knife we have.

The filet knife would be for meat with bone. Or for even thinning out thick slices of meat. He's mainly expressed wanting a new chef knife, meat cleaver and new steak knives. I thought the filet knife might be a good addition.

As of right now I do most of the cooking in the house, but he's almost finished with his degree and he's been talking about cooking more while I finish out my nursing degree, so I wanted to be sure to get him knives that are good.

Here's the picture of our current knife. I don't remember the name.


Thanks again for the help and the links provided!
 
11
10
Joined Dec 7, 2016
I did ask him again and he says the blade is thin and you can see some small divits. He thinks he may have been handling it wrong when slicing meat. He is wanting a German knife for the shape of the blade and angle. So a wider blade I guess? Or maybe I just need to get him a cleaver for meat? But he also mentioned using the cleaver for dicing. He wants a heavy one.
 
Last edited:
1,061
44
Joined Aug 6, 2015
Foody518 - as far as the knife goes I'm not sure. He says there's little chips on the blade. He says the German made knives would be more durable? We use our current knife for cutting fruit (melons), chopping, dicing and cutting (meats, veggies). I'll attach a photo below of the current knife we have.

The filet knife would be for meat with bone. Or for even thinning out thick slices of meat. He's mainly expressed wanting a new chef knife, meat cleaver and new steak knives. I thought the filet knife might be a good addition.

As of right now I do most of the cooking in the house, but he's almost finished with his degree and he's been talking about cooking more while I finish out my nursing degree, so I wanted to be sure to get him knives that are good.

Here's the picture of our current knife. I don't remember the name.


Thanks again for the help and the links provided!
Have y'all sharpened a few times past the initial factory edge? It does not surprise me to see a more brittle (maybe too thin), chip-prone initial edge. But that kind of chip (the one on the curve towards the tip) also looks to me like there was possibly some twisting action going on (twisting in a hard dense food, or digging and twisting into the cutting board). A German knife may hold up better, or you might simply see a bent out of true portion analogous to where the chip is, and both are indications of damage at the edge. 

Boning knife primarily for cutting out & separating between bone and meat, or also for taking off the silver skin.

(Open question: What are folks using for portioning thicker cuts of meat?)

Meat cleaver if he's wanting to cut through bone as opposed to boning/jointing. 
 
Last edited:
2,855
236
Joined Nov 15, 2012
The knife you have is probably from one of the OEM makers, who rebrand their knives for many different sellers, probably VG-10 steel and not properly heat treated and therefore chippy.  I have my doubts as to whether the edge is in actuality too thin.  There are few companies that do a good job with this steel, and you pay for it, and there are better steels for the price.

Your man's technique might be a little lacking and that would add to the chipping problem.  When cutting on the board you need to control your power to minimize slamming, and you especially want to eliminate all twisting motions.

This knife is plenty enough rugged and way better than any German steel: https://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/products/gesshin-uraku-240mm-stainless-wa-gyuto

But a MAC chefs knife will do for you very well and cost much less:


Thouh I believe you'll get more joy of the Uraku.

And maybe he wants a bigger knife also to go along.  This one is again better than your typical German, in terms of blade, but actually the company is in a primarily German speaking country, Switzerland, and the price is right also:


But any knife/cleaver you get will still have to be sharpened properly.

So spend your money their as you can save it on your other items, like the cleaver and steak knives.

There is no sense in getting "good" steak knives, they are expensive and require sharpening. All non-serrated knives, good or not so good, have to either be used on wood plates, or used in such a way the you only allow the tip to touch the plate.  And even non-serrated Henkles will cut well if you keep them sharp.

For serrated these at least look good.  Don't go for the very cheapest though, they will be poor imitations of Laguiole knives instead of decent imitations.

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odk...ives.TRS0&_nkw=laguiole+steak+knives&_sacat=0
 
Last edited:
11
10
Joined Dec 7, 2016
 
Have y'all sharpened a few times past the initial factory edge? It does not surprise me to see a more brittle (maybe too thin), chip-prone initial edge. But that kind of chip (the one on the curve towards the tip) also looks to me like there was possibly some twisting action going on (twisting in a hard dense food, or digging and twisting into the cutting board). A German knife may hold up better, or you might simply see a bent out of true portion analogous to where the chip is, and both are indications of damage at the edge. 

Boning knife primarily for cutting out & separating between bone and meat, or also for taking off the silver skin.

(Open question: What are folks using for portioning thicker cuts of meat?)

Meat cleaver if he's wanting to cut through bone as opposed to boning/jointing. 
I don't do the sharpening with the knives, but he does. So I am not sure if he's gone past the initial factory edge. He has admitted that he may have been handling it wrong. He did use the knife to cut the turkey on Thanksgiving and there was some twisting motion going on. He thought the German blade would handle better, but he did admit that he may need to work on how he was handling the knife. So, that does make sense. 

Do you have any meat cleavers you would recommend? 
 
11
10
Joined Dec 7, 2016
 
The knife you have is probably from one of the OEM makers, who rebrand their knives for many different sellers, probably VG-10 steel and not properly heat treated and therefore chippy.  I have my doubts as to whether the edge is in actuality too thin.  There are few companies that do a good job with this steel, and you pay for it, and there are better steels for the price.

Your man's technique might be a little lacking and that would add to the chipping problem.  When cutting on the board you need to control your power to minimize slamming, and you especially want to eliminate all twisting motions.

This knife is plenty enough rugged and way better than any German steel: https://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/products/gesshin-uraku-240mm-stainless-wa-gyuto

But any knife/cleaver you get will still have to be sharpened properly.

So spend your money their as you can save it on your other items, like the cleaver and steak knives.

There is no sense in getting "good" steak knives, they are expensive and require sharpening. All non-serrated knives, good or not so good, have to either be used on wood plates, or used in such a way the you only allow the tip to touch the plate.  And even non-serrated Henkles will cut well if you keep them sharp.

For serrated these at least look good.  Don't go for the very cheapest though, they will be poor imitations of Laguiole knives instead of decent imitations.

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odk...ives.TRS0&_nkw=laguiole+steak+knives&_sacat=0
Thanks for the link and the suggestion! Will this knife do everything required? From chopping vegetables to slicing meat? And you're right on the steak knives. I decided earlier today to wait on the steak knives and spend the extra money on a new chef's knife or meat cleaver. If I got the knife you recommended, do you think a cleaver would still be needed? If so, do you have any recommendations? Thanks! These replies have really been helpful.
 
11
10
Joined Dec 7, 2016
 
The knife you have is probably from one of the OEM makers, who rebrand their knives for many different sellers, probably VG-10 steel and not properly heat treated and therefore chippy.  I have my doubts as to whether the edge is in actuality too thin.  There are few companies that do a good job with this steel, and you pay for it, and there are better steels for the price.
Thank you for your reply. This is really helping. He did admit that he may have been handling the knife wrong which probably helped with the chipping. You're right on the steak knives. I decided earlier to hold off on them and spend the extra money towards a new chef's knife or meat cleaver. I really liked the first knife you posted. It looks like something that he would get a lot of use out of. Do you have any suggestions for meat cleavers, or do you think it is needed?
 
2,855
236
Joined Nov 15, 2012
Millions is especially the cleaver expert around here, what he says is spot on I believe.  I added some more information to my post above you might find helpful.
 
11
10
Joined Dec 7, 2016
 
Millions is especially the cleaver expert around here, what he says is spot on I believe.  I added some more information to my post above you might find helpful.
Perfect. Thank you again. I really appreciate everyone's help. 
 
2,855
236
Joined Nov 15, 2012
Well yes, the cleaver stays in the game, it's a particular tool for a particular set of tasks and would not have been suggested otherwise.  And since Millions picked it out it's unlikely you'll want for another.
 
Last edited:
1,061
44
Joined Aug 6, 2015
 
I don't do the sharpening with the knives, but he does. So I am not sure if he's gone past the initial factory edge. He has admitted that he may have been handling it wrong. He did use the knife to cut the turkey on Thanksgiving and there was some twisting motion going on. He thought the German blade would handle better, but he did admit that he may need to work on how he was handling the knife. So, that does make sense. 

Do you have any meat cleavers you would recommend? 
If he hasn't yet, it may very well behave better in the future with some sharpening. That and a more conservative bevel angle for some reassurance.

Victorinox can certainly be considered for a tougher knife that tends to bend more than chip as well as a more rocking knife profile, if desired.

Benuser's tranchelard style knife up above looks like a good choice for portioning meats.

I very rarely cut through like pork or beef bones (light chicken bones-, can manage with chefs (the heel area) and Chinese cleaver), so my cleaver doesn't really see use for those purposes. I keep one around to open up young coconut. From the same guys (Aranyik) as Millions gave a link to above. There's a different type of meat cleaver that's like 7-8 inches long, not near as tall, maybe around one pound or a bit under, don't have experience with those types

 
Last edited:
360
90
Joined Jan 25, 2013
 
I don't do the sharpening with the knives, but he does. So I am not sure if he's gone past the initial factory edge. He has admitted that he may have been handling it wrong. He did use the knife to cut the turkey on Thanksgiving and there was some twisting motion going on. He thought the German blade would handle better, but he did admit that he may need to work on how he was handling the knife. So, that does make sense. 

Do you have any meat cleavers you would recommend? 
for a first cleaver I would recommend an Old Hickory http://www.ebay.com/itm/Ontario-aut...277842?hash=item2cb6bb2052:g:CYwAAOSwA3dYQQJG.  the blade steel is nothing fancy, but with a little work on sharpening stone, it can be made shaving sharp.  I have used either an Old Hickory or one of similar size for the past 35 years as my heavy kitchen knife.  
 

Latest posts

Top Bottom