Looking for good chef knives but cheap

Discussion in 'Cooking Knife Reviews' started by nelsonel2012, Jun 19, 2014.

  1. nelsonel2012

    nelsonel2012

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    Hi guys,

    I am a novice at home cook and my roommates had all the good chef knives now that I am out on my own I am curious about what would be good chef knives for cheap. Here are some things I've looked at. I'd like to spend no more than $40 on either a few or just one please let me know what you think of the following and any other suggestions. My main concern is how long would they last with daily use. Thanks!

    1. Chicago Cutlery

    2. Guy Fieri Triple Riveted Chef Set (groupon)

    3. Mercer professional 3 piece chef set (groupon)

    4. Zwilling J.A. Henckels Twin Signature Hollow Edge Santoku Knife

    Thanks everyone!!
     
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  2. minas6907

    minas6907

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    I second the reccomendation above for the Victorinox. I just checked out the knives you mentioned on groupon, I wouldnt go for either. Get one good chefs knife rather then a three pack, no matter how awesome guy fieri makes it look. Check out amazon for a Mercer Renaissance 8" chefs knife. Its pretty decent given the price of $45, otherwise go with the Victoinox.

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk
     
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  3. kaneohegirlinaz

    kaneohegirlinaz

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    @nelsonel2012  I've tagged a few knives (see the top right hand side of this page) for you to look at, Erin, you don't need to spend alot of money on a decent knife
     
  4. nelsonel2012

    nelsonel2012

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    hello!

    thanks for the help! I am a little new still to the website? where am I look for the tags? thanks!!
     
  5. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    Note the knives near the right hand margin of this page.  But look into getting the Victorinox line; they'll do you well.
     
  6. kaneohegirlinaz

    kaneohegirlinaz

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    I was at Costco today and they had a bunch of Tramontina Proline Santoku knives, I was really shocked to see that

    Are these worth my hard earned money?
     
  7. rick alan

    rick alan

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    Quote:
     I believe these are much like knives you can get in restaurant supply and various discount stores for $2-7ea.  Amazon has a pair for 13.

    Rick
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2014
  8. kaneohegirlinaz

    kaneohegirlinaz

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    Rick, I'm not a knife enthusiast some of you all here, is this a great,good, fair or horrible knife?

    $2-7 US dollars per sounds like a Dollar Store Special to me and those are not found in my knife drawer, although I do have to admit that I do own a "Dollar Tree Store" knife and plastic/foldable mat for cutting up fruits,veg and roasted chickens and such while on Road Trips, so that we can have a healthful meal in hotels rooms from time to time.
     
  9. rick alan

    rick alan

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    Listen to me for a moment folks.  We have plenty of posts identifying low-end knife choices, and everything else.  There's also a lot of stuff on stones and sharpening.  But when it comes to the latter, no where do we have definitive answers as to what is the lowest cost "real" sharpening setup (as opposed to a hacksaw-your-blade type pull-thru).  And as we well know, "All dull knives are created equal."

    In a couple posts now I've proposed that possibly the least expensive "decent" setup might be the Winco silicon carbide combination stone, paired with a Kyocera fine/course ceramic steel for edge truing and refinement.  Both can be had on amazon for about $25 shipped.

    Now I personally have never tried the Winco but I've heard several professionals giving them uncontested  thumbs up, and I suppose the Kyocera is passable also.  I know I have a Norton SC that is significantly more refined than my JIS1000 waterstone and cuts as fast as you really need.

    Anyone have further thoughts on this?

    Rick
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2014
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  10. rick alan

    rick alan

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    Kgirl, professionals actually use knives in that price range, but not the typical ones you find in Dollar stores, those do tend to be terrible.  You can find <$10 knives of reasonable steel and relatively thin edges, and the Tramolines probably fall in there (don't know for sure as I've never had one), nothing great but they can get a line cook and maybe even a prep cook through a shift.  CutleryandMore and a few other online places carry an NSF knife for that money and they are very popular cheap knives.

    If you ask me though I think you deserve at least an FKM, really, go treat yourself, if in fact the knife you're looking for is actually for yourself.

    Rick
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2014
  11. millionsknives

    millionsknives

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    I give a big thumbs up to the Victorinox Forschner.  It's a good enough steel, and it's already pretty thin, making it a great cutter.   I've had mine for 4 years but I just got into serious sharpening this year.  I thinned it behind the edge and put on a secondary bevel.  I'll tell you that my VF with my sharpening cuts better than any of my friends much more expensive knives.  Edge retention is a different question.  I strop it every once in a while, if that fails, then finishing stone.  I do a real sharpening starting at 1000 grit maybe twice a year.  I store, use, and maintain my knives correctly though.  I bought my mom the same knife and I sharpen it for her much more often.  Completely lost cause there.

    This is the knife I leave out on my magnet, and I don't mind if other people use it.  I still find myself reaching for it on quick jobs because of ease of use/cleaning over my better knives.  It's not the super best knife ever, but for the money it is very very good.

    Also for $50, Ikea has a pretty decent VG10 8" knife called the Slitbar. 
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2014
  12. ordo

    ordo

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    I really have issues with those thick, clogged plastic handles (on both, the Tramontinas and the Victorinox).

    And i agree with Rick: K-Girl, you deserve a really good knife, not a 5 bucks soft steel cheapo blade. I'm not saying convert yourself to the religion of the Edge Worshipers, but... just a good Japanese 240 mm gyuto could be so good to your cooking.

    About the Winco stones, no idea. The silicon carbide stones i can get in this part of the world are simple horrible.
     
  13. millionsknives

    millionsknives

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    Yah the victorinox handle annoys me when I go back from a wa handle. Also it makes it difficult to sharpen the heel.

    For $50 ikea has an 8" vg10 slibar. Kinda short for me. Amazon has tojiro dp 240mm at $70 right now.
     
  14. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    I have the VG10 Slitbar. Surprisingly good knife for the money, but it is short. That tojihiro on Amazon is tempting. 
     
  15. mhpr262

    mhpr262

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    I tried to buy that knife a few weeks ago. Both of the knives I took out of their packaging and inspected were overground, with the blade not touching the board in the middle. And don't even get me started on what a hassle it was trying to buy it. apparently some of them got stolen, now IKEA protects them like the crown jewels. Took me three quarttes of an hour to actually be able tolook at two samples. I should have told them to go f*ck themselves ...
     
  16. mrbushido

    mrbushido

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    Can recomend the tojiro shirogami gyuto :)
     
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  17. millionsknives

    millionsknives

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    Everything OP has been looking at so far looks like stainless.
     
  18. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Sorry ! No such thing as a good cheap knife anymore.
     
  19. mrbushido

    mrbushido

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    Tojiro shirogami if carbon is ok or else the tojiro dp.
     
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  20. azfoodie

    azfoodie

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    @nelsonel2012

    From one novice cook on a tight budget to another:

    I bought a set of used Calphalon knives on craigslist for $30.  They were dull and wrapped in newspaper.  I spent several hours sharpening them on one of those pull-thru wusthof sharpeners that I bought for $15.  Now I have a great set of knives!

    My favorite knife is a 7-inch Santoku by Farberware that I bought from Walmart for $12.  When it got dull, I used the same pull thru sharpener.  Shows you how much I knew about knives!!  Now the knife no longer has the Asian edge, but its sharp!!

    Look on Amazon for used knives.  Sometimes you get some really good deals.  I bought a Calphalon chef's knife for $12 - less than half the price of a new one.  When it came, it was still brand new in packaging!  Dont know how anyone ever used it without unwrapping it.  Nice weight.  Feels good in the hand.  Sharp.

    I just bought a colorful Farberware chef's knife and santoku knife.  Havent used them yet.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2014