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Subject   (reply to 9673)
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>> No. 9673 Anonymous
1st August 2013
Thursday 1:17 pm
9673 Knife sets
Can anyone recommend a good set of knives, preferably with a block? I'm sick of having to saw through sinew with a non-serrated edge.
I don't really know where to start and the prices have a huge range.
Is it possible to get a worthwhile set for under £100?
Expand all images.
>> No. 9674 Anonymous
1st August 2013
Thursday 2:38 pm
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Get the cheapest set you can find. It's the same mass-produced crap no matter how much money you fork out.
>> No. 9675 Anonymous
1st August 2013
Thursday 3:41 pm
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That's complete bollocks.

Go to TK Maxx and get a nice looking set around £30 and you wont go wrong. Anything cheaper than that, or a £30 or less set in Argos or somewhere will be no sharper than cutlery after it's been used once.
>> No. 9676 Anonymous
1st August 2013
Thursday 3:56 pm
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I got a 3 set of Sheffield knives from TK Maxx, haven't failed me at all, they sharpen up beautifully.
>> No. 9677 Anonymous
1st August 2013
Thursday 4:57 pm
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It's likely you don't need a set. Think about what you really need - you can do almost everything with a good chefs knife, a decent paring knife, and a cheap bread knife. You can get a decent set (as said, from TK Maxx if you're lucky) at that price range you'd be looking at Sabatier or Stellar, and they'd be fairly decent, but you'll be buying a few knives you never use, guaranteed. You'll usually end up with a utility knife, a little serrated paring knife, a boning knife and possible a filleting knife you'll never use. They're nice to have but you almost certainly don't need them.

I cook for a living and I only really use two knives, I have shitloads more but they see very occasional or specialist use.

For £100 you can buy a really good chef's knife, a really good paring knife and a really good steel, and probably a stand to store them in too. And they'll last you a lifetime if you look after them.

I'd recommend Wusthof, Global, or Henkels for under a hundred.
>> No. 9678 Anonymous
1st August 2013
Thursday 5:29 pm
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I agree with this, though I find global to be overpriced for what you get.

My chefs knife is a japanese made brand called Tsuki. The problem with expensive chefs knives, especially the harder 60HRC Chinese and Japanese knives, is that you also need to invest extra in a decent whetstone. Steels and most sharpening gadgets can do more harm than good to these knives.
>> No. 9679 Anonymous
1st August 2013
Thursday 5:48 pm
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I agree with the 'couple of knives' bit, I do 99% of my knife work with a Chinese chef's knife, a paring knife and a bird's beak knife.

Where I disagree is with the expensive knives bit. My chef's knife was £10 from the local Chinese supermarket and my other knives were a couple of quid each from a catering supplier - the type with the orange plastic handles. I'd far rather have my cheapo knives (sharpened with a whetstone and strop) than the finest of knives sharpened with a machine.
>> No. 9680 Anonymous
1st August 2013
Thursday 5:56 pm
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Did he retire or something?
>> No. 9681 Anonymous
1st August 2013
Thursday 6:04 pm
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>> No. 9683 Anonymous
1st August 2013
Thursday 6:56 pm
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I went ahead and got the "Richardson Sheffield Kyu 5 Piece Knife Block Set". The handles look nice and a bit different to what I'm used to and they have had good reviews.

The point about only getting a couple of knives is probably smart but I'd worry they'd get blunted quicker if they don't have a block to sit in, and it's a major arse if you keep having to stop and wash up the knife you're using so you can do something else. I'd rather wash up more once I've finished actively cooking. I'm sure it's possible to cook all day and never cross-contaminate your meat and veg but I'd struggle.
>> No. 9684 Anonymous
1st August 2013
Thursday 10:50 pm
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>I'm sure it's possible to cook all day and never cross-contaminate your meat and veg but I'd struggle.

I agree, it's impossible.
>> No. 9685 Anonymous
1st August 2013
Thursday 11:06 pm
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Would've been better off buying a single mid-range chef's knife and a sharpening system.
>> No. 9686 Anonymous
2nd August 2013
Friday 12:28 am
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Well, there's nothing wrong with using a cheap knife, provided you find one that holds a sharp enough edge. I have a couple of cheap knives that are just not sharp enough no matter how much work I put into them. If you can shave your arm hair with it, it's sharp enough. But I'm willing to bet if you tried a pricier knife made with good high carbon Solingen or Jap steel, you'd not want to go back. They really are worth the price tag IMO. Though of course I need a knife that can hold an edge for eight or nine hours at a time, so I suppose I'm always going to have to shell out.
>> No. 9687 Anonymous
2nd August 2013
Friday 12:38 am
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If I may just take this opportunity to preach about how important it is to KEEP YOUR KNIFE SHARP!

A dull knife is far more dangerous than a sharp one, it WILL slip off whatever you're preparing and cut you. And an injury with a sharp knife is generally very small and clean, a cut with a dull knife tears your skin rather than cutting it and is more painful and usually more serious.

And learn how to position your hand, using your knuckles to guide the knife, and you'll never cut yourself again. Once you get the feel for it you don't even have to look at what you're doing, and can survey the room whilst chopping shallots. It really impresses the ladies, probably.

Also don't use a glass chopping board please
>> No. 9688 Anonymous
2nd August 2013
Friday 12:44 am
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It's six of one and half a dozen of the other. A very hard steel will take a fine edge, but it'll be very brittle. A soft steel won't take as fine an edge, nor will it keep that edge for as long, but it's far easier to sharpen and hone. A professional is probably better off with a relatively hard blade for the reasons you've stated, but I don't think it matters very much for a domestic cook.
>> No. 9689 Anonymous
2nd August 2013
Friday 1:39 am
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>Jap steel

My experience with this is in gardening, but my word can those people make good tools.

There's this Japanese hand-saw that I tried using called a Zubat (yes, like the pokémon - it' the Japanese onomatopoeia for the 'schwing!' of a sword) which would go through a 8" thick living tree trunk in about 5 seconds. Fucking magic.
>> No. 9690 Anonymous
2nd August 2013
Friday 1:44 am
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Student here. What is the best way to keep my knives sharp? I've only got a couple (no idea what type) and I don't want to waste money on something our resident professional cheflads think is the dogs bollocks but costs an arm and a leg.
>> No. 9691 Anonymous
2nd August 2013
Friday 1:59 am
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I need a Hattori Hanzo kitchen knife.
>> No. 9692 Anonymous
2nd August 2013
Friday 2:00 am
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Knife sharpening is a bit of a fine art. You can buy automatic sharpeners, but they tend to be quite hard on your knives and don't give a brilliant edge. The Chef'sChoice machines do a decent job, but they're bloody expensive. You can sharpen knives very well with a cheap whetstone or a piece of window glass and a few sheets of sandpaper, but if your technique is wrong you'll just make things worse. I'd suggest having a look on YouTube for some tutorial videos.
>> No. 9693 Anonymous
2nd August 2013
Friday 2:11 am
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I have some Globals that are rather soft steel, they're the sharpest knives I own, but only for about half an hour. The Germans seem to have worked out the balance for me. Two or three strokes a day on my Wusthof and it's razor sharp, literally.


A good old fashioned steel would be my first suggestion. You need one if you own a knife, frankly. To forgo it would be like buying a bicycle but not bothering with a pump. You need it for basic maintenance.

A normal metal steel is a pretty cheap item, just make sure you get one that's about a foot long, or at least as long as your longest knife's blade. Using it is trivial, even this cunt can do it:


However, what I have is a ceramic version made by Kyrocera. It is fantastic at what it does, and can even re-work an edge, not just hone it. However, it seems likely it costs more than the knives you have (about forty quid) so it's probably pointless.

A lot of chefs I know swear by those water sharpener things with the ceramic wheels in them, but I feel like they don't get things super sharp.

And while we're talking about ceramic, that's certainly something to consider for the home cook. I wouldn't dare use one in a pro kitchen because if you drop one they shatter, but I've got one at home and the hype is true - they come sharp as fuck and they stay sharp as fuck, no maintenance required. I've had a Kyrocera for two or so years now and it's still sharp. If they were more durable I'd use them for work, no question. They're not particularly cheap either, but it's something worth considering.

I could babble on about knives for hours. My last count I owned forty seven of them.
>> No. 9695 Anonymous
2nd August 2013
Friday 11:15 am
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The best value whetstones for sharpening are the ice bear/king branded ones. To start get the 250/1000 grit, the one here is a good price: http://www.axminster.co.uk/ice-bear-japanese-combination-waterstones-prod22468/
1000 grit will give a pretty good edge, you only need 250 grit if there are any chips that need working out. 6000 grit takes it to a near razor sharp edge, far better than the standard factory finish but not strictly necessary. For stones in the region of 6000 grit nagura stones are a good accompaniment and are only a few quid, the keep the stone flat and build a slurry to improve sharpening speed.

If you want to use a whetstone, before you even touch one buy a £5 hardware shop combination stone and spend hours practicing with a knife you can afford to ruin. These cheap stones aren't recommended for good quality knives though because they tend cause chipping and damage the blade as you're sharpening.

Never buy the sharpeners with the v-shaped bit made from two chunks of ceramic or tungsten, they just tear blades to shreds. The sharpeners which use a pair of wheels are better.
My last housemate had a Bear Grylls sharpener, he raved about how it made all his knives razor sharp, but I looked at them and the edges were visibly wavy and covered in chunks of swarf.

(sage for having to repost to correct inexcusable typos.)
>> No. 9696 Anonymous
2nd August 2013
Friday 4:52 pm
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Thanks a lot for the advice. I'm kinda confused on the difference between whetsones and steel sharpeners. Also:

>about a foot long, or at least as long as your longest knife's blade

I want to sharpen a couple of knives, not a machete...
>> No. 9697 Anonymous
2nd August 2013
Friday 7:01 pm
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A large chef's knife has a blade of about 12".

A whetstone is an abrasive stone, used to grind away the sides of the blade's bevel to restore a sharp edge. It requires some amount of technique to use, because the blade must be held firmly at the correct angle to the whetstone. You're trying to grind two flat edges onto a curved blade, which involves a definite knack. As >>9695 says, you should practice with a cheap knife and a cheap whetstone. There are some good videos available, showing the proper use of a whetstone.

A steel (as seen in the Ramsay video) isn't a sharpener but a type of hone, used to maintain a relatively sharp blade. When a sharp blade is used, the fine edge starts to curl over to one side - this curl is called a burr (shown on the microscope photo attached). Honing a blade on a steel or strop straightens out this burr, restoring the edge of the blade. Honing is a useful technique for maintaining a blade day-to-day, but it doesn't do anything to restore the sharpness of a badly blunted blade, or to remove chips or dents from the blade edge.

How often you'll need to hone or sharpen your knife depends on what it's used for. A knife used for preparing vegetables on a wooden or plastic chopping board will require regular honing but only occasional sharpening, because it isn't coming into contact with anything hard enough to dent or chip the blade. A knife used to cut meat off the bone will need more frequent sharpening due to the hardness of bone; A cleaver used for cutting through bone will need sharpening after every use.
>> No. 9701 Anonymous
2nd August 2013
Friday 10:56 pm
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Whaaaa? My 'long' knife is about 6-7", the short one about 3".

What use is a blade longer than 8" except for hacking off limbs?
>> No. 9702 Anonymous
2nd August 2013
Friday 10:59 pm
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Though cheers for the help on whetstone vs steel. I've not sharperened my knives at all and they were hand-me-downs so I've no idea when they've last been sharpened. Guess I'll practice on a cheap whetstone, if it fucks up I'll go grab a machete and declare war on chicken breasts and onions everywhere.
>> No. 9703 Anonymous
3rd August 2013
Saturday 12:28 am
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>What use is a blade longer than 8" except for hacking off limbs?

It's used for all the same things you use yours for, it's just bigger. Proper knife technique usually includes some part of your blade being in constant contact with the board (see whimsical gif), so the longer your knife the "taller" the food you can safely cut. It's also handy for chopping a large amount of herbs at a time, and also the extra heft and weight you get is something a lot of people prefer, personally for me the width is more important than the length (IYKWIM), I like a nice deep knife.

My everyday knife is 8" but I think I prefer a 10".
>> No. 9704 Anonymous
4th August 2013
Sunday 4:35 pm
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I thought that was from what I... thought it... was. I just didn't remember it being made with a load of toys.

>> No. 9705 Anonymous
4th August 2013
Sunday 5:05 pm
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Why do the Chinese use the axe like knife? It might be a cleaver, I am not good with knives. What good is it? Seems so big and useless.
>> No. 9706 Anonymous
4th August 2013
Sunday 5:43 pm
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>> No. 9707 Anonymous
4th August 2013
Sunday 5:45 pm
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I think the ones he mans are the ones sort of somewhere between a cleaver and a chefs knife.

They seem a good compromise at versatility to me.
>> No. 9708 Anonymous
4th August 2013
Sunday 6:32 pm
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Reckon the video for this is made by the same guys? Or just a imitation.
>> No. 9709 Anonymous
4th August 2013
Sunday 6:44 pm
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It's an imitation.
>> No. 9710 Anonymous
4th August 2013
Sunday 7:07 pm
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A Chinese chef's knife looks like a meat cleaver, but it has a much thinner blade. You don't grip it by the handle but hold the blade between your thumb and fingers, using the handle just for leverage and letting the weight of the blade do most of the work. The tall blade means that you've got lots of surface area to use as a guide against the knuckles of your other hand. For these reasons, a Chinese knife is far more precise than a European knife and far quicker for dicing or julienning.
>> No. 9711 Anonymous
4th August 2013
Sunday 7:34 pm
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Thanks lad, I learnt something today.
>> No. 9726 Anonymous
11th August 2013
Sunday 2:02 pm
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>I've had a Kyrocera for two or so years now and it's still sharp. If they were more durable I'd use them for work, no question. They're not particularly cheap either, but it's something worth considering.
Does anyone have any experience with cheap Chinese ceramic knives? They go online for around $10 a pop including shipping (dx.com), so I'll probably get one anyway, but I thought I might as well ask here first.
>> No. 9727 Anonymous
11th August 2013
Sunday 2:16 pm
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never used one but I wouldn't drop it or otherwise apply any kind of shear or tensile stress, ceramic is brittle as fuck.
>> No. 9728 Anonymous
11th August 2013
Sunday 2:19 pm
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I had some taylors eye witness branded ones which I believe are coming from the main chinese manufacturer of these cheap ones.

Sharpest knives I ever used, but incredibly fragile, the edges got covered in tiny nicks which ruined them. (Although this may have been mainly due to my housemates last year, I once caught one of them using my razor sharp santoku knife as a chisel on a lump of frozen meat, and I think they used them as carving knives on bone sometimes.)
>> No. 9729 Anonymous
11th August 2013
Sunday 2:23 pm
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King Double knives look rather good.

>> No. 9730 Anonymous
11th August 2013
Sunday 3:20 pm
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What the fuck is up with his accent?

Also what's the legal situation with importing ceramic knives from abroad? I won't get in trouble for importing a weapon, or something, will I? I just want to chop onions, I'm not a terrorist.
>> No. 9731 Anonymous
11th August 2013
Sunday 3:41 pm
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>I just want to chop onions, I'm not a terrorist.
Sorry, lad. Onions can be used by filthy terrorists to make little children cry. Are you sure you're not a filthy terrorist?
>> No. 9732 Anonymous
11th August 2013
Sunday 3:42 pm
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Fairly sure it's legal to send them by international post.

I know that kyocera knives have metallic particles added to the ceramic so they show up in metal detectors, I wonder what the case is with the chinese ones.
>> No. 9733 Anonymous
11th August 2013
Sunday 4:17 pm
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I am dying. This accent.
>> No. 9734 Anonymous
11th August 2013
Sunday 4:20 pm
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You're "fairly sure", eh? If the rozzers come knocking I'll tell them you put me up to it, then.

I'm thinking of a 7" one. I presume that increased length increases the fragility? Is a shorter one a better bet?
>> No. 9736 Anonymous
11th August 2013
Sunday 4:56 pm
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>> No. 9737 Anonymous
11th August 2013
Sunday 8:01 pm
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Ceramic knives aren't a proscribed weapon, so it's perfectly legal to import them so long as you intend to use them for a lawful purpose. If you'e just after some cheap ceramic knives, they often turn up at Lidl, Aldi and TK Maxx.

That said, I'm really not a fan of ceramic knives. They stay sharper for longer than steel blades, but they do still lose their edge. You can't sharpen a ceramic knife yourself, so unless you buy a Kyocera and send it back to them for sharpening, a ceramic knife is effectively disposable. If you have no intention of ever sharpening your knives, then you're probably better off with a ceramic knife, otherwise I'd prefer a steel knife. If you're too intimidated by a whetstone, then there are some mechanical sharpeners that do a pretty good job - the Accusharp and Anysharp give a decent edge, even on a knife that has been totally abused.
>> No. 9738 Anonymous
11th August 2013
Sunday 8:25 pm
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>a ceramic knife is effectively disposable
At $10 each, for something that's going to last a couple of years, I don't really see that as a problem.

Thanks for the advice about importing them.
>> No. 9741 Anonymous
21st August 2013
Wednesday 1:00 pm
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I got this one:


2 years ago and it's working brilliantly with nice weight to it. I bought the IKEA sharpener and it keeps the knife reasonably sharp.

I'd love to own a set of Globe knives, but I don't see the point as I don't regularly de-bone fish or make shashimi or whatever. A good chopper, is right and proper.
>> No. 9742 Anonymous
21st August 2013
Wednesday 1:19 pm
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The Global G2 is a wonderful chefs knife and everyone should buy one.

Though they're notorious with chefs for their thin profile digging in to the callous on their finger, light civilian use will cause no such problem.
>> No. 9784 Anonymous
24th August 2013
Saturday 1:38 pm
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I once had 5 instances of this playing like a round. It was much like Ligeti's Poeme Symphonique for 100 metronomes.

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