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Subject: Quality kitchen cutlery that doesn't cost an arm and a leg - Recommendations please rss

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Dan Edwards
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I've taken a keener interest in cooking at home (Damn you, Food Network!) and have started looking askance at our set of kitchen knives.

We have a nine piece set of Chicago Cutlery knives that have served well enough for fourteen years, but the bride seemingly can't resist the urge to put them in the dishwasher, and so the walnut handles are starting to crack and look pretty ratty.

I'm thinking of replacing them, and would be looking for a set that can withstand a dishwasher (when I can't intercept them) so a composite handle might be a plus. I might also replace them one at a time. The ones I use most often are the 6" and 8" carving or utility knives, then probably the 8" chef. I don't use the 7" fillet much, and probably use the paring knives more than I realize.

I'm not a chef, and have no need for and can't afford a set of Wüsthof or custom made knives, but I don't want to go Ginsu, either. I've heard the Henckels vary by product line, have heard good things about Forschner, but I'd like to hear from some fellow geeks who use the damn things.
 
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Why spend money on forks AND spoons when you can just get a nice set of sporks?

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David Kahnt
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It's fun, it's healthy, it's good exercise. The kids will just love it. And we put a little sand inside to make the experience more pleasant.
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I have a set of CutCo knives. They work really well.

This set actually.

You can get the sharpened by sending them back at any time and I think its free too.

My wife and I got them as a gift so I don't know how much they were, but the knives are indispensable.

I believe Alton Brown says something about spending a bit of money on a good knife or else you'll spend more money on a bunch of bad knives.

-DK
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Dan Edwards
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Vandemonium,

Stay on topic, please. I might look at a spife.



David,

Thanks, never heard of 'em. While the set looks too big for my little family (is that a platoon sized steak knife set?) the fact that you like them means they are worth looking at. No prices on the website, so I don't know if they are in my ballpark or not.
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David Kahnt
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It's fun, it's healthy, it's good exercise. The kids will just love it. And we put a little sand inside to make the experience more pleasant.
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vandemonium wrote:
Why spend money on forks AND spoons when you can just get a nice set of sporks?



Bloodybucket wrote:
Vandemonium,

Stay on topic, please. I might look at a spife.



I see the spork and spife and raise you all three in one utensil:



-DK
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Dan Edwards
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Good Gawd Amighty, all my cutlery needs in one implement.

Inconceivable.

Alas, the search continues.
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David Kahnt
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Bloodybucket wrote:
David,

Thanks, never heard of 'em. While the set looks too big for my little family (is that a platoon sized steak knife set?) the fact that you like them means they are worth looking at. No prices on the website, so I don't know if they are in my ballpark or not.


Yeah, if I remember correctly Becky's grandmother had to go through a private salesman.

There are many different sets to meet needs though, we were lucky and got a bigger set.

Also 8 steak knives come in handy when you... well... need 8 of them...

-DK
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Larry Mendel
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Quote:
I've heard the Henckels vary by product line, have heard good things about Forschner, but I'd like to hear from some fellow geeks who use the damn things.


I used to work at a Cutlery World back in the day and those were the exact 2 sets I had in mind while reading your message. Wustov Trident are good knives but can get pricy. If all of these are out of reach, I would go back and get another Chicago Cutlery set. Those are decent knives and If I recall, they are are full tang knives, which is a rule of thumb mark of quality.

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Bloodybucket wrote:
Vandemonium,

Stay on topic, please. I might look at a spife.



On topic?



I don't do on topic
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vandemonium wrote:




I don't do on topic


And you don't read them either. Oh!
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Im confused, are you looking for cooks/chef knives, or steak knives?

We bought the Global 6 pce set, at $340 AUD, they were on sale, half price. So usually $680 or something. Very expensive, but worth it, and life timed warranty. Also dishwasher safe.

We have some Victorinox steak knives. They are brilliant. We paid $80 for 6 about 10 years ago and still going strong.

Good luck!

Shebby
 
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Penny
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DKahnt wrote:
I have a set of CutCo knives. They work really well.

This set actually.

You can get the sharpened by sending them back at any time and I think its free too.

My wife and I got them as a gift so I don't know how much they were, but the knives are indispensable.

I believe Alton Brown says something about spending a bit of money on a good knife or else you'll spend more money on a bunch of bad knives.

-DK


I have actually sold Cutco cutlery before when I was in college. I have a set for myself as a demo and I would used to go to other people's house to show them Cutco. I think they are good knives though. The ones I still have are good quality, don't feel cheap, well made and stays sharp. Yes you can send them back to sharpen for free. But you would have to contact a Cutco sales rep to come to your house to buy, I believe they are direct sale only. I particularly like their shears, vert strong, I used to demo it by cutting pennies with it. I also like the steak knives. I demoed that one by cutting a stack of leather, it is very sharp, great for steaks, even though tough ones that has leather-y texture.
Anyway, I second DK, Cutco isn't THAT expensive compare to some name brand cutlery and their quality is worth the price I think. I have not had any complaints from those items I sold.
 
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When I saw the subject, I immediately thought "Chicago Cutlery", but I see you already have that. I've had mine for 22 years, and they still are great. Of course, I don't put mine in the dishwasher. They do make a line with a non-wood handle. They look nice and are reasonably priced for quality cutlery.
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Xander Fulton
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kittyangel wrote:
Anyway, I second DK, Cutco isn't THAT expensive compare to some name brand cutlery and their quality is worth the price I think. I have not had any complaints from those items I sold.


Thirded. Nice handles, too, fit the hand well and DEFINITELY won't wear in the wash.

I also used to sell them in college (11 years ago, now), and still have my demo set, as well. While you can send them in for sharpening, we haven't had to yet. But, then, we don't cook all the time - probably just every other night or so, and what we cook varies a lot, so we don't use every piece all the time.

Worth pointing out that their place settings (knives/forks/spoons) are also really nice - I never managed to sell one of those back when I was working with them, but just recently (last couple years) picked a set up from one of the kids we know going to college now. EXCELLENT quality - clearly up their with the knives. And it's a silly thing to say, but the balance/feel of them are ideal. But while the cooking knives are fairly low priced for kitchen cutlery, the place settings are somewhat more 'up there' compared to their peers. Still less, I think, but much closer.

ANYWAY, as to getting them - as everyone I know who was, is, or seemed interested in selling them was/is/planning-on going to college, I would suggest finding someone you know working their way through college (it really doesn't pay very well for a 'real job' - but for the occasional side money when working another part-time job...perfect for college needs...it seems to have served well). Odds are they know someone who could get you pricing. I honestly don't remember the going rate.
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Dan Edwards
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I shall randomly approach college age youths and demand that they sell me really sharp knives.

I'm leaning more towards the Forschner stuff.
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Dan Becker
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I recommend JA Henckels Four Star Knives. (http://usa.jahenckels.com/index.php?subcategory=36) Mine are 25 years old and show no degradation. I put them in a dishwasher every use, but they have fully sealed plastic/rubber handles, so there are no rivets to come undone, no wood to split, etc. It's basically a two piece knife: blade and handle.

If you want to save money, get one or two good knives (an 8" chef and a 3" parer) rather than get 8 crummy knives. Good knives are cheaper over the long run.

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Top quality kitchen knives just aren't dishwasher friendly. Steel alloys that don't get rust-like markings when soaked in a dishwasher will not hold a good age as well as ones that do.
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Noreen Walsh-Esrey
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Through culinary school, 10 years of restaurant work, and now at home in my own kitchen, I have used Forschner knives. I paid about $25 each for an 10 inch chef knife and a 12 inch serrated chef knife. I have a 3 inch paring knife and a 3 inch serrated paring knife that cost about $5 each. I have a pretty good knife sharpener. I did have to replace a paring knife a few years ago, but that was because someone tried to shove it down the garbage disposal. There isn't anything culinary I can't do with these knives, and I recommend them whole-heartedly. In comparison, my brother, also a restaurant veteran, has very very expensive henckels. Those things are sticks without constant care and attention and lots of time on the sharpener.

It figures it would take a question about cooking to get me to stop lurking and start posting.

Forget kitchen stores and find a good restaurant supply store in your area when you are ready to make a purchase.
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Bloodybucket wrote:

I'm not a chef, and have no need for and can't afford a set of Wüsthof or custom made knives, but I don't want to go Ginsu, either. I've heard the Henckels vary by product line, have heard good things about Forschner, but I'd like to hear from some fellow geeks who use the damn things.


I recommend Forschner to all of my friends who aren't hardcore cooks or loaded with excess spending money. They really won't disappoint, and you can get the basics (10" chef's, slicer, and paring) for just $50 at Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0000CF99O?tag=article-boar...

That said, if you have a little extra cash and can keep them out of the dishwasher, shelling out for a Wüsthof, Global, or Shun chef's will be something that you thank yourself for every time you step up to the cutting board.

Regarding the CUTCOs, I would check around the web for comments (or just drop me a GeekMail). I know some people really like them, but there are some serious caveats and other issues to be aware of.

Whichever direction you go, try to have a moment of hands on time with the knife, so you can feel it in your hand. It would be even better if you can find a kitchen shop or restaurant supply store that will let you try it out in shop.
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hibikir wrote:
Top quality kitchen knives just aren't dishwasher friendly. Steel alloys that don't get rust-like markings when soaked in a dishwasher will not hold a good age as well as ones that do.


I know Cutco is dishwasher safe. I wash mine all the time in the dishwasher and they look fine.
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Jorge Montero
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kittyangel wrote:
hibikir wrote:
Top quality kitchen knives just aren't dishwasher friendly. Steel alloys that don't get rust-like markings when soaked in a dishwasher will not hold a good age as well as ones that do.


I know Cutco is dishwasher safe. I wash mine all the time in the dishwasher and they look fine.


Apparently, Cutco knives use 440A steel. That is as diswasher safe as it gets. I'd not call that High quality steel though. Why don't they need resharpening. According to their website, it's because they don't have a straight edge, but a pretty fancy serrated edge. That might be a ok for a table knife, cut a tomato, or to slice potatoes. Anything other than a straight edge is asking for trouble when dealing with a large piece of raw meat. They might be more than good enough for most people's needs though.

My kitchen knives are semi-decent. It uses a japanese alloy with vanadium and molybdenum. They need to be sharpened regularly, but the edge is so sharp it can surprise at first. The maintenance s probably too demanding for many busy moms though.

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zingor1066 wrote:
It figures it would take a question about cooking to get me to stop lurking and start posting.


Hey, Noreen, welcome aboard!
 
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hibikir wrote:
Why don't they need resharpening. According to their website, it's because they don't have a straight edge, but a pretty fancy serrated edge.

Not all of them have the "Double-D" edge (I think that's what it's called... it's been 10 years or so since I sold them). In the demo set I have, the chef's knife and paring knife are straight edges. They also have cleavers, boning knives, and butcher knives with straight edges available.

I think they're great knives for the price. The shears, which someone mentioned earlier, are fantastic as well. I wish I knew where mine went...
 
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Dan Edwards
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I combined le_cygne's advice with some research and went with Forschner...of course, being an impulsive wretch with no judgement I didn't do the sensible thing and buy a chef's knife and paring knife, but went and acquired a set that includes a bunch of other neat (but probably nonessential) knives, a steel and some shears.

Now I have to convince myself that it was a good idea to blow my rare extra dough on cutlery instead of wargames....

 
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Bloodybucket wrote:
I combined le_cygne's advice with some research and went with Forschner...of course, being an impulsive wretch with no judgement I didn't do the sensible thing and buy a chef's knife and paring knife, but went and acquired a set that includes a bunch of other neat (but probably nonessential) knives, a steel and some shears.


I hope you enjoy them! A nice knife will turn a chore into a breeze, and anything that makes time in the kitchen more pleasurable is a good thing in my book.

A steel is pretty indispensable for Western knives, so that was a great purchase too. I don't know how familiar you are with using them, but if you're not, you might want to do a search for "honing steel" on YouTube or elsewhere on the net. Regular honing (with occasional sharpening) will keep your knives happy.

Quote:
Now I have to convince myself that it was a good idea to blow my rare extra dough on cutlery instead of wargames....


Once they start releasing expansions for my favorite knives, I am so screwed.

Happy cooking!
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