What Is The Best Style Knife for Doing this? .............................

Discussion in 'Cooking Knife Reviews' started by lennyd, Jan 9, 2012.

  1. lennyd

    lennyd

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    I see the subject come up in many threads,  What knife is best for this, or that etc.

    Most recently it was "what do you use your slicer for", and it got me to thinking that a lot of people use a different knife for a different task, and even more people may not really be sure what may be the better knife to use.

    So post it up!

    Let us know what you use your sujihiki, gyuto, santuko, petty, yanagi, deba, and any and all of the others for.

    The reverse is fine also in that what knife do you prefer to use for slicing, chopping, mincing, opening packages, and everything else.

    I remember a member once questioned why I had used a smaller knife to slice chicken breast into 1/8" thick pieces, and found that my use of a petty to cover for the western type slicer I no longer had (yea sold off all those Germans to get another couple J knives lol) was not the best choice even though it was super thin and sharp (prob could be ok if longer though) and have been using a 240mm gyuto most times ever since.

    This will also be a good place to discuss if you can expect to make good use of your next intended purchase, or if it will just be a bunch of money in a knife block.

    I am going to start off with what do you believe to be a good choice for slicing.
     
  2. butzy

    butzy

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    I like the idea of this thread.

    I am/have been contemplating buying a slicer/carving knife/sujihike, but don't know if I actually need it or will use it enough to warrant the expense.

    I use a chef's knife for everything. Slicing bread, peeling and chopping onions, trimming meat, peeling apples, chopping up lemongrass and garlic etc etc.

    I just use a more sturdy one (stainless steel no make and/or global) for the tougher work and my Carbonext for everything else.
     
  3. chef the sun

    chef the sun

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    i use my butchers knife for most thing from skinning fish to fine dice onions, but there is times when doing fish such as filleting and skinning of salmon when you have to use the right knife for the job.
     
  4. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    It's a matter of taste, really.  Sometimes even a matter of whim.

    BDL
     
  5. lennyd

    lennyd

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    Interesting the first reply here involves a slicer since another discussion on slicers is what prompted me to start this thread. I also share your concern over if it is actually needed, but also can see the benefits as well.

    Curious if you have considered adding a serrated bread knife?

    I actually find the ones I have very helpful.
     
  6. lennyd

    lennyd

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    "whimsical" knife choices :D

    I can fully understand that, and with my use being non professional for so long I find myself just trying different knives for different things as some sort of test to see how things can be different.

    A point I forgot to make in the first post was how it seems some people (mostly those cooking at home, or with smaller hands) seem to lean towards shorter knives, and really meant to start a discussion on if this is better left alone, or if it is really worth it to try and help people change habits, or improve etc.
     
  7. lennyd

    lennyd

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    Since you mention fish I used to have a flexible filleting knife that I used most every time I was doing flounder filets. I no longer have it, and had not noticed it was missing as I find myself reaching for a petty or gyutofor this type of stuff now.
     
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2012
  8. chefedb

    chefedb

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    I have carbon steel slicers 12 to 14 inch. I do however like the serrated slicers of today. I have a flex boner and a stiff one to. A 10 inch french knife, and a lot of specialty decorating knives and tools I purchased abroad. Its all what you are used to and feel comfortable with.
     
  9. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    A lot of this boils down to what you are comfortable with.

    There's no question that certain knife designs are more efficient for certain tasks. I would say that most of us on these boards have a collection of knives for that very reason. But if you're not comfortable using, say, a boning knife, then it doesn't matter that objectively it's best for that purpose. You'll reach for something else.

    Fabricating fish is a good example. Personally, I can't imagine using a chef's knife to filet a fish. But I see others do it all the time. That doesn't make me right and them wrong. Similarly, Friend Wife uses a 4" utility knife when I reach for a chef's knife or a slicer to do the same job.

    And, when all is said and done, just watch Morimoto turn a section of daikon into paper with an 18" knife. Then ask yourself if a selection of styles is really needed.

    Curious if you have considered adding a serrated bread knife?

    I used to think a serrated bread knife was an affectation......until I started using one. Now I don't cut bread with anything else.
     
  10. lennyd

    lennyd

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    I have to agree 100%, but also know many of us have become comfortable with things for what may not be the best reasons (how we learned, what we had, what was heard etc) and also since there are so many people reading the forums looking for information who may not have enough experience to even have a comfort zone yet.

    In another thread there was a discussion (I think it was here lol) about suggestions for which knives to use from slaughter to plate. There was some great information on all kinds of different knives, styles and uses.

    The idea was really to get as much of the great ideas and opinions from the various members onto one easily searchable thread so that it wouldn't be so scattered around etc.

    Just from reading some of the posts from members who are new or newer to cooking in general you can see there is a desire for ideas and suggestions that can help others improve, and very honestly seeing some of the differing opinions and debates really can get one to thinking :)
     
  11. chrislehrer

    chrislehrer

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    I use a 300mm yanagiba for slicing meats that don't have a crust.

    I use a 195mm yanagiba for slicing meats that do.

    I use a 210mm deba for fabricating large fish, cutting very hard vegetables, shearing bone, and mincing.

    I use a 105mm deba for fabricating small fish and occasionally other teeny-tiny jobs.

    I use a 210mm usuba for all other vegetables.

    I use a mediocre serrated bread knife for crusty loaves.

    Sometimes I use other things that come to hand, but not much.

    It's not just what you're used to. I had never used any of these sorts of knives (except the bread knife) before Fall of 2008. It was a conscious decision, that took considerable time and effort, to make this transition. I've never been sorry I made it, but I have also pretty steadfastly advised others not to go this route, because it is unquestionably a PITA and you have to be willing to suffer quite a bit in the process: you get hit hard in the wallet, and an usuba is a constant trial for a very long time, and so on.
     
  12. lennyd

    lennyd

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    Chris I notice the obvious omission of a gyuto, and was wondering if you thought the deba and usuba were better or just different ways of going about getting to the same results, and if you could why?

    Also if you could expand more on the two different length yanagiba etc.

    I do find it very interesting how so many find their way to using so very different knives for similar purpose.
     
  13. chefedb

    chefedb

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    I use Globe knives  a soft boneing, stiff boneing, 10  inch french and a 12 inh slicer as well as paring knife. These plus my trusty chinese clever knife do everything. No 150.00 or $200. or ceramics or japanese or chinese,knives needed or wanted.No fads. No plastic or wood handles.(they mold) Save your $$. Just keep them clean and extremely sharp. Make scabbards for each if possible to protect edges. Buy and use a good steel. I have had this set 20 years. Looks brand new.

    PS.

    A girl in work came in with a PINK  8 inch french knife(t comes in assorted colors) she paid 12,95 at Target. I tried it and was surprised it cut great, had a good feel and good weight. For 12.95 they are almost deemed disposable. I think it had a japan type name on it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2012
  14. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Not to demand too much ideological purity but Global knives ARE Japanese AND the larger ones go for $150 and up.  Furthermore, Yoshikin (who makes Global) along with Kai (Shun) were the manufacturers who led the Japanese invasion into Western kitchens' and the Globals were cutting edge back in the day.  

    They're perfectly adequate and very sturdy, but they're an idea whose time has past -- especially in terms of their alloy's (Chromova 18) get sharp/stay sharp qualities, but they're also thicker than the modern trend.  A LOT of people don't care for their handles, which can be both slippery and uncomfortable in a strong grip. 

    The thing about knives... as long as they're sharp, roughly the right length, and strong enough for the task most of the other distinctions don't matter too much.  Sharp, sharp, sharp.

    Just sayin'

    BDL
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2012
  15. lennyd

    lennyd

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    When I first read that I thought be wrote Global as well but then noticed it said Globe which I know nothing about but would be interested to know more etc.

    Also until recently my four mainly used J Knives had a total cost of around $150 and will say once again that this amount was less than the retail value of the previous Henckels pro s they replaced.

    I am so much happier with them it almost doesn't matter.

    I won't comment too much on this years addition a Konosuke HD 240mm gyuto as I am still getting used to it but it was more than all the others combined.

    Point is that even though there are many inexpensive ways to reach the end result desired (I have a odd cheap parer that is of obvious poor quality from China that somehow has managed to avoid the garbage but also can get really sharp, has its place etc, but really is a POS)


    This doesn't mean it is in any way comparable to my Tojiro 120mm petty, and even with comparing $29 to free the Tojiro is IMHO a superior value.

    We will see what I think of the comparison between the Tojiro and Fujiwara FKM to the new Konosuke HD soon as I get some more time and a chance to sharpen the new one etc but this will be a tougher decision than the first comparison.

    I guess best to use what your comfortable with both in use and cost, but be aware of what else is out there so you can make a personal decision etc.
     
  16. chefjpauley

    chefjpauley

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    Different styles of knives are made for a reason, if you are just starting out I would suggest using the correct knife for the job. I used a Chinese chef knife for everything for 5 years and it was difficult to use anything else for a long time after. I still have to use heavy knives and I am sure it negatively effects my product (not to say my knife skills are bad) but I know I shouldn't use my slicer on a 1# trout.
     
  17. lennyd

    lennyd

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    Using the correct knife for the job, and figuring out what that may be etc was the intent behind when I started the thread. I also agree there may be more importance to this for someone who is new, learning and improving skills (this includes those cooking professionally, and especially should include some of the cooks who made some of the plate's I have been served recently lol) , but also difficult to determine for many once they begin their journey into J knives.

    Just from personal experience combined with what I have read from other J knife "noobs" posting on various forums there is a whole new learning curve due to the vastly different variety of products.

    I do share in some of these thoughts and see them all the time sujihiki v/s yanagiba, or what is a debate best used for etc etc.

    There are just so many different types of kitchen Knives and once you get to the Japanese who use so many different knives and styles that most Americans both do not know of but many also find interesting or even intriguing.

    But the info is spread around hidden in between all kinds of non related static.
     
  18. deputy

    deputy

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    I like this thread idea. Gret way for people to think outside their usual boxes or to show off great ideas. 

    Personally, I use a 9" Chef for anything big or extended (time wise) and a 6" utility for most quick small jobs (eg grabbing a slice of lime). Parer for smaller finer jobs (not often) and a 10" slicer whenever I'm slicing a roast or turkey. 
     
  19. chefedb

    chefedb

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    BDL The knives I have are not Global Brand, they are Globe and are over 20 years old. Lucky if I paid 150.00 for all of them. I am familiar with Global . If I am not mistaken they are all silver colored from tip to the  handle which is also metal. Mine ? I don't know where they were made but they are like razors.
     
  20. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    I'll bite.  "Globe" isn't a familiar kitchen knife brand to me.    
    • Where were you knives made?
    • Who's Globe? 
    • Are they the same company who makes the slicers? 
    • Or are they some other maker?
    • Do they still make kitchen knives? 
    • If so, how much are they now?
    • Where can I find them sold and/or advertised? 
    • Do you have pictures?
    • How do you sharpen?
    BDL
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2012