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Topic: Choosing a knife (20 msgs / 777 lines)
1) From: Mike Chester
Dave,
Wusthof: makes an excellent knife.  I have many that I use often.  My 
Wusthof: 8" chefs knife is 28 years old and I still use it almost every day. 
That said, lately, I prefer Messermister knives for new purchases.  They 
have harder steel than Wusthof and are sharper out of the box.  They also 
have an abbreviated bolster which I like better.  The Wusthof knives have a 
full bolster that prevents sharpening the rear end of the blade and hangs 
down after some of the blade is ground away in sharpening.  On the 
Messermister, the bolster ends before the sharp edge allowing you to sharpen 
to the end.  Both brands make forged knives and also make cheaper stamped 
knives.  For long use and maximum wear, get the forged ones.  For easier 
sharpening and a knife that you would take places where it could be lost or 
stolen, get the stamped.  For a quality low priced stamped knife, get a 
Victorinox.  (The Swiss Army Knife people)
Here are a couple of links to a site that sells the Messermister knives as 
well as many other brands.  You may find them cheaper if you search.http://www.cutleryandmore.com/details.asp?SKU818http://www.cutleryandmore.com/details.asp?SKU)23
J.B. Prince has the lowest prices on quality knives, that I have found, but 
it does not appear that they carry the Messermister Chef's Knives now.http://www.jbprince.com/Hope that this helps.
Mike Chester

2) From: Sandra Andina
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I've been using my stamped Forschner Victorinox since 1999!
On Dec 28, 2007, at 1:11 PM, Mike Chester wrote:
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Sandy Andina
www.myspace.com/sandyandina
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I've been using my stamped =
Forschner Victorinox since 1999!
On Dec 28, 2007, at 1:11 =
PM, Mike Chester wrote:
For long use and maximum wear, get = the forged ones.  For easier sharpening and a knife that you would = take places where it could be lost or stolen, get the = stamped = Sandy Andinawww.myspace.com/sandyandina = --Apple-Mail-9--628462832--

3) From: Scott Miller
In ~25 years of kitchen work, I can say I have tried just about every brand
and type of knife mentioned so far in this thread. Even an inexpensive
Victorinox that's held up well to lots of work.
From my experience, I have found that I won't buy a knife I have not
actually done some work with first, whether it's borrowing one from a friend
or going to a store that let me demo the blade.
If you are going to spend time several days a week with a knife in your
hand, it should be comfortable and have the right heft and balance ... or
least feel as though you can become accustomed to how it feels.
The other key thing with knives is regular maintenance. Steeling &
sharpening, as well as regular cleaning are necessary if you want the blade
to stay sharp and safe.
My work horse is a high carbon 10-inch Sabatier; for slicing meat, I have a
Messermeister; paring knife that I like best is a Kyocera ceramic. I've
never been able to work well with a Santuko blade; they just don't work for
me.
cheers,
Scott
On Dec 28, 2007 2:19 PM, Sandra Andina  wrote:
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4) From: Mike Chester
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
The Forschner Victorinox knives are the most popular knives used by =
professional chefs.  They are easy to sharpen, good quality and are =
cheap enough that if lost or stolen, it does not take a whole paycheck =
to replace.  I have a couple of them for specialized tasks that I don't =
often do.  The forged knives are much more difficult to sharpen, but =
hold an edge longer.  They last long enough to pass on for generations.  =
Like I said, I have had the forged Wusthof for 28 years now and it is =
still like new.  I do agree, however, that the Forschner Victorinox =
deliver the "most bang for the buck," and they are a good choice for =
many people.  
Mike Chester

5) From: Tom Ogren
Anthony Bourdain makes a big to-do about both Wusthofs and Globals in his
book "Kitchen Confidential". I've used both of these brands and think they
are great. Both scream quality. My favorite these days is the Wusthof
Classic 7" santoku (which has become the knife I reach for most often. I
also have the 6" and 10" Wusthof chef knife, both of which are less
versatile but have their places; the 10" is good for big jobs and the
thicker blade better for whacking through tougher material (melons for
example).
I admit to having a "yen" for Global knives, which are sleek, modern, and
very light. A bit more expensive (although not $120). The light weight may
or may not be something you want. I find using a Global "fun" and "exciting"
because it gives a feeling of precision and feels more like an extension of
the hand than a knife with a heavier feel. You may be sacrificing a measure
of stability a Global. These are very 'sexy' knives though, if there can be
such a thing. Recommended for users with good knife technique.
Used to have the Sabatier with the high-carbon steel blade and loved it. It
was about thirty years old and the point was broken, but it was unmatched
for slicing meats, as Scott noted. These blades are a bit harder to find
nowadays, Sabatier having moved to harder steels in most of their lines, but
the old-school carbons are desirable for folks who sharpen before every use.
The blade is thinner and has flex which gives great control and precision.
The carbon content means it dulls more quickly, but these knives sharpen
with just a couple of strokes and can be given a sharper edge than harder
thicker steels. The blade will become discolored over time, which is fine if
that doesn't bother you.
TO in VA
On Dec 28, 2007 2:11 PM, Mike Chester  wrote:
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6) From: Jim Wheeler
We use a variety of knives in our "kitchen built for two".  I sharpen
each knife we purchase or make for ourselves.  Then, we touch up the
blades with each use.  If you touch up a blade with each use, the
differences between carbon steel, stainless steel, forged steel, and
stamped steel become less of an issue.  Before each use, each knife
receives a couple of strokes on a ceramic sharpening stick.  A couple
of strokes on the ceramic stick before we put the knife away helps as
well.  Any knife that doesn't cut well, is sharpened and then touched
up on the ceramic sharpener before further use.  Sharp knives are
safer to use.
Dishwashers tend to eat sharp edges.  Only table knives go in the dishwasher.
Periodically, we review the knives in the kitchen, discard any not
used regularly, and ensure that the rest are sharp.  If a special need
arises, we purchase or make a knife for that need.  A few years ago, I
made about a dozen knives of various designs for my wife to try out.
She picked the ones she liked to use and the rest went out the door.
No, she didn't pick the ones I thought she would.  Neither did I.
Only actual use can determine if a knife will be convenient and
comfortable to use.
Although we have some of the brand name knives in our kitchen, they
are rarely the top favorites.
Time to make some coffee, enjoy the view of our snow-covered
landscape, and roast a bit more coffee for the coming weekend.
Happy new year to all.
-- 
Jim in Skull Valley

7) From: Ken Schillinger
Lots of differing views here. A few years back I splurged and bought a set 
of Global knives. While the handle on the chef's knife is a little thin for 
my hand I would buy these knives again if something happened.
Ken

8) From: John Brown
i make my own
Sandra Andina wrote:
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9) From: Sandra Andina
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wow--don't wanna meet up with you in a dark alley! :)
Just kidding--for cooking, hunting, or collecting?
On Dec 28, 2007, at 9:18 PM, John Brown wrote:
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Sandy Andina
www.myspace.com/sandyandina
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wow--don't wanna meet up with =
you in a dark alley! :)
Just kidding--for cooking, = hunting, or collecting? On Dec 28, 2007, at 9:18 PM, John = Brown wrote:
i make my own Sandra Andina wrote: I've been using my stamped Forschner Victorinox since = 1999! On Dec 28, 2007, at 1:11 = PM, Mike Chester wrote: For long use and maximum wear, get the forged ones. =  For easier sharpening and a knife that you would take places where = it could be lost or stolen, get the = stamped Sandy = Andina www.myspace.com/sandyandina <http://www.myspace.com/sandyan=dina>= homeroast mailing list http://li=sts.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast To change your = personal list settings (digest options, vacations, unsvbscribes) go to =http://sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings= Sandy Andinawww.myspace.com/sandyandina = --Apple-Mail-17--598992585--

10) From: Jim Wheeler
As they say, "Me too".  My wife and I have been making our own knives
for about 30 years.  Not that they are fancy, but they meet our needs.
-- 
Jim in Skull Valley

11) From: Treshell
<Snip>
John could you talk more about that.  Do you have images?  Thoughts on type
of knife material we should use.  AS a maker are there other that you
respect a lot for their quality? Some where I read that how it is attached
to the handle says a lot about the knife?
treshell

12) From: John Brown
good for you.  happy they meet your needs.
i like to forge medium carbon to high carbon steel.  old hand saws make 
for very good cooking knives.  the two man buck saws are among the 
best.  L6 Steel.
Jim Wheeler wrote:
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13) From: John Brown
for kitchen knives there is the debate about handle attachment.
new materials  or old  fashioned ones?
the basic argument is more along the lines of riveted handles, riveted 
and glued, or molded.
some are more afraid of the possibility of organic material getting 
stuck under the handle slabs, and going sour.  becoming a source of 
contamination.  molded handles are not as likely for this to occur.
but good cleaning takes care of the problem.
the next discussion generally heads to the differences between carbon 
steel and stainless steel.  in the past it was easier to properly heat 
treat carbon steel than stainless.  now days it is still a money thing, 
but high carbon stainless steel, properly heat treated is probably the 
best  all around  choice.  stainless steels ATS 34,  A 2, very good 
cutlery steels.  57 to 59 Rockwell C scale hardness.
edge holding, re sharpening it is a matter of trade offs. the harder the 
edge is the longer it will hold the edge but the easier to break.  and 
vice a versa.  not as hard  it will be easier to sharpen but needs it more
often and will bend rather than break.
the cheaper stainless knives fall into this category.  plus they may not 
have much carbon in them.
each function of the blade requires different edge holding and bending 
ability. meat cutting? go for a less hard edge.  chopping go for a 
harder edge with a soft back, veggie slicer go for a  harder edge but no 
bending.
there are basically two type of cutting actions .  they require 
different sharpening on the edge.  drawing cut use a rougher edge.
pushing cut use a polished edge.  all the steel does to the edge is to 
re align edge unless it is much harder than the knife edge.  you can 
have an edge that is to sharp for the job at hand.  it won't do what you 
expect.
meat cutting is one such job, a rougher edge from a coarser sharpening 
stone is better than a polished edge
Treshell wrote:
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14) From: Sandra Andina
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I use a steel before each time I use the knife, and every so often a  
ceramic hone.  I also have a 3-slot Chef's Choice sharpener, but since  
the shape of the edge it creates is proprietary, I use it only on my  
cheaper no-name and Chicago cutlery knives.
As to Santoku, the jury (in my mind--sounds schizophrenic, no?) is  
out--it feels comfy and (especially with Granton ovals) cuts smoothly.  
especially for "turned" cuts for stir-frying veggies; but I can't get  
that customary rocking motion going with it when I dice onions, slice  
scallions, etc. I also like the precision I get from a finer point at  
the end for prepping for cross-cuts. And for boning poultry (or  
cutting an already-grilled leftover restaurant steak off the bone) or  
filleting fish, I love those thin-bladed fileting and boning knives.
Anyone I catch  putting any of my cooking knives (except my cheap  
serrated tomato/sandwich knife) into the dishwasher gets stuck with  
catbox duty that night.
Sandy (I cheated and made that macchiato with Tanzania Meru instead of  
Las Ranas decaf--still have work to do).
On Dec 28, 2007, at 10:48 PM, John Brown wrote:
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Sandy Andina
www.myspace.com/sandyandina
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I use a steel before each time =
I use the knife, and every so often a ceramic hone.  I also have a =
3-slot Chef's Choice sharpener, but since the shape of the edge it =
creates is proprietary, I use it only on my cheaper no-name and Chicago =
cutlery knives.
As = to Santoku, the jury (in my mind--sounds schizophrenic, no?) is out--it = feels comfy and (especially with Granton ovals) cuts smoothly. = especially for "turned" cuts for stir-frying veggies; but I can't get = that customary rocking motion going with it when I dice onions, slice = scallions, etc. I also like the precision I get from a finer point at = the end for prepping for cross-cuts. And for boning poultry (or cutting = an already-grilled leftover restaurant steak off the bone) or filleting = fish, I love those thin-bladed fileting and boning knives.
Anyone I catch =  putting any of my cooking knives (except my cheap serrated = tomato/sandwich knife) into the dishwasher gets stuck with catbox duty = that night. 
Sandy (I cheated and made = that macchiato with Tanzania Meru instead of Las Ranas decaf--still have = work to do). On Dec 28, 2007, at 10:48 PM, John Brown = wrote:
for kitchen knives there is the debate about handle = attachment. new materials  or old  fashioned ones? the = basic argument is more along the lines of riveted handles, riveted and = glued, or molded. some are more afraid of the possibility of organic = material getting stuck under the handle slabs, and going sour. =  becoming a source of contamination.  molded handles are not = as likely for this to occur. but good cleaning takes care of the = problem. the next discussion generally heads to the differences = between carbon steel and stainless steel.  in the past it was = easier to properly heat treat carbon steel than stainless.  now = days it is still a money thing, but high carbon stainless steel, = properly heat treated is probably the best  all around =  choice.  stainless steels ATS 34,  A 2, very good = cutlery steels.  57 to 59 Rockwell C scale hardness. edge = holding, re sharpening it is a matter of trade offs. the harder the edge = is the longer it will hold the edge but the easier to break.  and = vice a versa.  not as hard  it will be easier to sharpen but = needs it more often and will bend rather than break. the cheaper = stainless knives fall into this category.  plus they may not have = much carbon in them. each function of the blade requires different = edge holding and bending ability. meat cutting? go for a less hard edge. =  chopping go for a harder edge with a soft back, veggie slicer go = for a  harder edge but no bending. there are basically two type = of cutting actions .  they require different sharpening on the = edge.  drawing cut use a rougher edge. pushing cut use a = polished edge.  all the steel does to the edge is to re align edge = unless it is much harder than the knife edge.  you can have an edge = that is to sharp for the job at hand.  it won't do what you = expect. meat cutting is one such job, a rougher edge from a coarser = sharpening stone is better than a polished edge Treshell = wrote: i make my = own =     John could you = talk more about that.  Do you have images?  Thoughts on = type of knife material we = should use.  AS a maker are there other that = you respect a lot for their = quality? Some where I read that how it is = attached to the handle says a = lot about the knife? treshell homeroast mailing = list http://li=sts.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast To change your personal list settings (digest = options, vacations, unsvbscribes) go to http://=sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings =   = homeroast mailing list http://li=sts.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast To change your = personal list settings (digest options, vacations, unsvbscribes) go to =http://sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings= Sandy Andinawww.myspace.com/sandyandina = --Apple-Mail-23--593541328--

15) From: John Brown
the ceramic hone is what is doing the sharpening.  the steel is just 
getting all of the saw like teeth back in line to make cutting a bit easier.
its a good thing to take scrubbing powder to the hone occasionally to 
clean the black metal fines off.  makes the hone work better.
Sandra Andina wrote:
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16) From: Sandra Andina
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yup, the steel just gets the molecules back into line.  Thx for the  
tip on scouring powder on the ceramic hone!
On Dec 28, 2007, at 11:26 PM, John Brown wrote:
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Sandy Andina
www.myspace.com/sandyandina
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yup, the steel just gets the =
molecules back into line.  Thx for the tip on scouring powder on =
the ceramic hone!
On Dec 28, 2007, at 11:26 PM, John Brown =
wrote:
the ceramic hone is what is doing the sharpening. =  the steel is just getting all of the saw like teeth back in line = to make cutting a bit easier. its a good thing to take scrubbing = powder to the hone occasionally to clean the black metal fines off. =  makes the hone work better. Sandra Andina wrote: I use a steel before each time I use the knife, and every = so often a ceramic hone.  I also have a 3-slot Chef's Choice = sharpener, but since the shape of the edge it creates is proprietary, I = use it only on my cheaper no-name and Chicago cutlery = kniveshttp://li=sts.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast To change your = personal list settings (digest options, vacations, unsvbscribes) go to =http://sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings= Sandy Andinawww.myspace.com/sandyandina = --Apple-Mail-24--591696864--

17) From: Michael I
Ah, Dave, a topic near and dear to me.  I'd been a German/W.European knife
person for some time.  But a couple of years ago, I moved on to the Japanese
knives, and am very happy to have done so.
The main difference is the bezel's angle on the Japanese knives is not as
sharp as the German ones.  They both have their uses -- you wouldn't want to
pry anything with a gyuto, for instance, as they are more delicate, but
that's ok with a German chef's knife.
There are several high quality options that fit into your price range, both
carbon steel and stainless.  And there are, of course, many sites and forums
dedicated to this, so I'll just give you a couple, and you can read up on
them for yourself, if you wish.
Someone already mentioned cutleryandmore.com, and they're ok.
Japanesechefsknife.com has a great assortment of knives, and are very good
to deal with.
My current workhorse is this:http://www.knifeforums.com/forums/showforum.php?fid/26/Knives can be another all-consuming obsession, so be careful. ">http://tinyurl.com/yottwaThis is one of the better forums I've found:http://www.knifeforums.com/forums/showforum.php?fid/26/Knives can be another all-consuming obsession, so be careful. 
-AdkMike

18) From: Dave
AdkMike
Thanks for the suggestion to look closer at the Japanese knives. My
son gave me a knife sort of like this one:http://tinyurl.com/2yjj7dthat he bought from the blacksmith who made it in Japan last summer.
It's a great knife.
-- 
Dave
Some days...
It's just not worth chewing through the leather straps
On Dec 29, 2007 8:34 AM, Michael I  wrote:
<Snip>

19) From: Michael I
That's a nice one -- I've come to really like the carbon steel, now that I
have some skill in sharpening with stones (and that one's c63, very hard).
The traditional look with the unfinished edge and the ho handle is
attractive, to me at least, too.  And the fact that it's made by a craftsman
usually using traditional methods makes it that much better for me.  I
wouldn't use most of my Japanese knives if I were working in a restaurant,
but they make cooking at home a pleasure.
Good luck with that one -- sharpening is very important, and using a ceramic
"steel" or a smooth steel is key, too.  Those ridged ones that come with
many block sets are tough to use well, since they can change the edge too
quickly.  I just give them a couple of strokes over my 8000 grit stone,
which does the trick.
Once you've got one, though, it's just a matter of time before you need an
usuba, and a deba, and a nakiri, and...
-AdkMike

20) From: bb
True Sabatier chef's knives...the four star elephant ones, and not the
cheesy German styled ones...are really not that expensive.
I hate the shape of German knives, because I like the flatter blades of
France.  Most Japanese knives like Global (the low end) and MAC (higher),
tend to be shaped more like the French knives.
That said, I think most people would better be serviced by a cheaper chef
knife and a better vegetable knife.  People often use to big a knife for the
things they're doing in my opinion, and I actually use an 8" global carving
knife for most of my work, because it was more in line with what we'd use in
the ACF Junior Olympic team knife skills competition.
But whatever gets you to cook, knock yourself out.  I personally would love
some Misono knives, but as I'm not longer a cook, and i already have about 9
chefs knives, my wife is not fond of this idea.
On 12/29/07, Michael I  wrote:
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