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I looking to invest in and build a preference for knives.

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    I looking to invest in and build a preference for knives.

    I would like to hear what anyone has to say as far what brand of knife is the standard amongst most pit masters? and what is the preferred blade? Also if there is anything else anyone wants to add to this matter please feel free I love to hear what you have to say.

    This is all over the map.

    Here's a couple of threads on knifes you might like:



    BTW strat50's point of view is hard to ignore
    Last edited by Jon Solberg; January 3, 2015, 10:14 PM.


      There is no wrong answer here, because everyone is a bit different in technique, likes, dislikes, and situation. Efficiencies that I use at work, for example, don't always transfer to my home cooking, even though I might be using the same knife. Sometimes they do, however. Having said that, I usually only use 4 knives in either situation: 1. A french knife, 2. A boning or fillet knife, 3. A paring knife, and 4. A dimpled slicing or "roast knife" is used occasionally. The brand doesn't matter as long as they work and you like 'em. Of course, there are many, many different ways to approach this situation. Brand is irrelevant to a point. If the knife keeps the edge that you need and like, then it's the right knife. If the knife feels good to you, then it's the right knife. I learned all this from a master chef I worked for in the 80's. I even use an old Ginsu to slice tomatoes. For that one, single job, I instinctively reach for it. The food will tell you what to do, and what to do it with.


        All this talk of knives makes me really think I am out of touch with current standards. I use an old set from Walmart or Target that was a wedding gift back in 2002. I rarely sharpen them and they seem to work fine. I recently acquired some 'free' steak knives that were bundled with a Maverick ET 732 I bought on eBay, and they work excellent. I am starting to think I don't know what I am missing. I bet it's like drinking Boone's Farm and if that's all you've ever had you might think that's what wine really is....

        That said, I am eager to hear some thought on a decent budget knife set. I am not at all interested in getting Wusthofs or Japanese pro blades. I'd like a decent set that won't break the bank. America's Test Kitchen reviews of knife block sets seems to favor Wusthof, Victorionox, and Shun, in that order. These are pro chefs who do this every day all day. Their standards are so far above mine in this regard it isn't funny.

        Here are screencaps of their knife block set ratings. Notice how the very pricey ones aren't always the best.

        I like the idea of the 'a la carte' Victorionox set, the second one @$215. That's not too bad for a nice knife set for my personal budget, I just laugh and shake my head at the $600-700 sets though.... Click image for larger version

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        Last edited by Huskee; January 4, 2015, 04:55 AM.


        • Moscuba
          Moscuba commented
          Editing a comment
          Agree Huskee. Cooks Illustrated rates Victorinox very high in many categories. #1 for Chef and Slicing knives.
          Last edited by Moscuba; January 4, 2015, 10:23 AM.

        My $0.02 is anything with a Nakiri knife:

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        We have this one that came in our JA Henkles Mikado set, but you can buy the Mikado Nakiri by itself for about $50.

        It is traditionally a vegetable knife, but I find I use it for everything except delicate boning / paring and slicing bread.

        I like it because it doubles as a sort of spatula.

        Not many sets come with a Nakiri, but there are several good brands that make them.

        I know the BBQ Pit Boys love their 10" Old Hickory butcher knife (I also have one of these) but it can be unwieldy -- it is more of a small machete than a knife IMHO -- but it sure looks cool!!

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        And whatever you get get a GOOD sharpener!
        Last edited by HC in SC; January 4, 2015, 07:41 AM.


          Gentleman, fantastic responses thank you! It does seem intuitive that cooking at home may not necessary translate to what you do at the pit. My conclusion here is that there is always brilliance in the basics and now I'm pointed in the right direction.


            I agree fully with strat50 here. There is so much talk (and prestige) in different brands. I have used and sharpened many different brands, and the knifes that tend to be used again and again are the ones that have a comfortable (for you) handle and with a decent quality blade that you can sharpen over and over.

            Also, I only use three knifes. A filét knife, a deboning knife, and an overall large (I think they are usually called 'vegetable') knife.

            I wouldn't even buy a set unless you get a good deal. Instead I would buy the 2-3 knifes I really need, and make sure I keep them sharp by either:
            1. get a whet stone and use it, or...
            2. hand them in to a knife sharpening shop to get them sharpened.
            Get them sharpened twice a year, and use a honing rod in between, and you'll be fine.

            Just my 2 cents.


              I use different ones for different jobs, but my favorites are nothing special, I just need a blade that is sharp and doesn't bend. I have 2 10" fish filet knives, a red handled one and black handled. The red handle is for cutting raw meat, the black for cooked, they are good for slicing, especially ribs. I have a 6" ceramic knife I use for trimming.
              That's it, I have a full set of something my wife will use, the only thing I am missing is a good slicer for brisket, the other 3 knifes do everything else.


                Henrik hit the nail on the head here. Many knife sets have more than you really need. Go down to your local restaurant supply retailer. You will be surprised at the variety and the cost effectiveness. As far as sharpening, I used the classic "tri-stone" set up for years. However, if you have a bunch of knives to sharpen, it takes a lot of time. At my wife's behest, I bought a Chef's Choice EdgeSelect 120 diamond sharpener. They're about 120 bucks, but are well worth it. They will sharpen any kitchen knife, even serrated knives, and sharpen them well. The unit uses spring loaded diamond sharpening wheels. I can sharpen all my knives in the time it used to take to do 1 or 2 with my trusty tri-stone.

                In the food business, knives are considered consumables. So, no matter what brand you buy, it will wear out eventually. It doesn't make sense to me to buy a knife that you have to baby. There are exceptions, of course, but by and large, they are merely a tool.

                Huskee, for the price of the knife sets you illustrated above, you could purchase all the kitchen knives separately that you would really need if you try a restaurant supply place. This way, you can hold them, and see how they feel. It's just like buying a guitar. You can line up 10 SG's or Strat's(or whatever), and play them all until you find "the one."


                  Everything written so far is so true. I am still stumbling around looking for the knife that is me but, it is so easy just to sharpen whats on the counter and go. My problem is the wife just uses a sharp knife in fruit or sugary based foods and then just lays on the counter til I wash and dry it. Most of the time it lays there long enough to dull the edge. Maybe they are poor knives Pampered Chef) and this wouldn't affect the high end knives that are out there but, until I hear different I will just keep plodding along


                    I'm a Wusthoff fan. But I'd advise you to visit a restaurant supply store.


                    • Strat50
                      Strat50 commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I'm a life-long Wustoff fan. When I bought my last french knife, I knew what I needed and went through every 10 inch french knife at the store. I ended up choosing my Forschner because I needed a knife with real backbone for my specific situation. I went into the buy favoring a Wustoff 10 inch. I do a great deal of heavy chopping combined with slicing, etc., so I needed a big, heavy knife. For my(albeit "not normal") use, this knife is perfect. The Wustoff was a bit light. I did make my living with my old Wustoff for 20+ years, but the Forschner was less work for the same result. For home, the Wustoff was/is superb, but I really only need 1 french knife for my use.

                    Some things to consider that may be more important than a name is blade material for holding an edge and ease of sharpening. here was an interesting site on Knife steel selection.
                    Last edited by Powersmoke_80; January 4, 2015, 07:24 PM.


                      My pocket knife is a Benchmade and has a blade made of 154CM. It hold an edge extremely well and I abuse it regularly. I has one of the highest rockwell hardness's. Thanks for the link it will help.


                      • Jon Solberg
                        Jon Solberg commented
                        Editing a comment
                        I'm in good company then. : )

                      I use this knive, a 7" Wusthof Santoku, nearly every time I cook. It is not heavy, feels perfect in my hand, sharp and holds an edge.
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                      I got the Wusthof fever and got the larger chef knife, it's great, but significantly heavier. I use it for big work. And I got a small boning knife, and it's great also.

                      For BBQ Prep, I got some inexpensive Dexter knives, and they work great and are easy to keep clean.

                      When MH mentioned the Rapala fillet knife, it reminded me that was the knife my dad used when we went fishing, and I so love the throwback look, and it works great for my Fat trimming on the briskets!
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                        We've got the Zwilling J.A. Henckels Twin Four Star II Elite (that's a mouthful) pictured above. I'd say the review is pretty spot on—I mainly use the chef's knife and the paring knife. I think the balance feels fine in my hands, but the blade doesn't sharpen well and I'm always tugging at the bark rather than cutting through. I need to get them professionally sharpened.

                        That Old Hickory knife is cheap and it has great reviews!



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