Recommendations for a knife set

CSGambill

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We are in the market for a new set of kitchen knives. We'll be replacing our 15 year old, used and abused J. A. Henckels. Any cutlery enthusiasts have recommendations?
 

The D

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    I'm not a chef or a knife snob but I’ve had a Wustof classic set for about 10 years. They’re not real fancy but they’ve held up great so far
     

    TxWelder35

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    I have a kitchen aid set my wife bought 5 years ago that’s like the $25 set. Man those things suck so bad. Need a new set of kitchen knives something fierce. Been thinking about paying a knife maker to make me up a bad ass Damascus chefs knife with an S grind in it.
     

    nso123

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    My wife just gave me a set of Wusthof Classics and I really like them. They know how to put an edge on a knife for sure.
     
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    Jgunner

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    Our aj henkle are alright, I don’t believe they are worth the money, i know they have different lines..... i too would love good knives, but feel i am not worthy. My aj suit my trashy ass just fine
     

    rjacobs

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    send me your old used and abused Henckels knife's for disposal...

    They have a lifetime warranty. If they are really fucked up, Henckels MAY replace them...for free.
     

    Jgunner

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    send me your old used and abused Henckels knife's for disposal...

    They have a lifetime warranty. If they are really fucked up, Henckels MAY replace them...for free.
    My scissors have issues, but nothing is trashed, just not what I expected from a year of use.
     

    Soulezoo

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    There are lots of great knives out there. Many will tell you how fucking awesome their Japanese knives will slice (and they will!) But won't tell you how easy the edge will chip.... I have Shun, so I do know.

    Seriously, the best value in kitchen knives are Wusthof classic (what you will mostly see on food network shows) or F. Dick.

    Use what the pros use....
     

    Jgunner

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    There are lots of great knives out there. Many will tell you how fucking awesome their Japanese knives will slice (and they will!) But won't tell you how easy the edge will chip.... I have Shun, so I do know.

    Seriously, the best value in kitchen knives are Wusthof classic (what you will mostly see on food network shows) or F. Dick.

    Use what the pros use....
    Thats what i needed for info a year ago!
     

    diverdon

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    I was gifted Cuttco. After 12 years of normal use they are still very good. I sharpen the nonserated ones about once a year. Way overpriced, but with moderate care a once in a lifetime investment.
     
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    CSGambill

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    send me your old used and abused Henckels knife's for disposal...

    They have a lifetime warranty. If they are really fucked up, Henckels MAY replace them...for free.
    They aren't in horrible condition. If you want them, I'm happy to sell them. I'm ready for a change. Santoku and chef's knife are in very good condition. The tip of one steak knife is broken, and the tip of another is bent; both still functional.

    20210227_192317.jpg
     

    Soulezoo

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    Thats what i needed for info a year ago!
    You're welcome. I have had a full set of the Wusthof for about 10 years now and they get used the most. Still in great shape and have never needed more than just normal honing. My ex wife who was a professional chef used her set of F. Dick for 30 years.
     
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    theLBC

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    i would check america's test kitchen reviews. anymore, i won't try to get a good "set" and will buy what i need.
     

    rjacobs

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    They aren't in horrible condition. If you want them, I'm happy to sell them. I'm ready for a change. Santoku and chef's knife are in very good condition. The tip of one steak knife is broken, and the tip of another is bent; both still functional.

    View attachment 7568742

    You have the cheaper chinese made ones... thats your problem with why they didnt last. I only run the made in germany ones. They have 2 of the little guys next to each other. Professional-S series is what I have. I would guess 20 years on my oldest 8" chef. Got 2 8" chef knives, 6" utility, 4" pairing, 6"ish Santuko, and a 6" cleaver. Need to get a bread saw.

    BUT I still say contact Henkels and see if they will warranty any of them. Then at least you have brand new knives to try to sell, although I dont think they are worth much. They probably came in a big butcher block set.
     

    rjacobs

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    My scissors have issues, but nothing is trashed, just not what I expected from a year of use.

    I run "cheap" fiskars scissors...if $15-20 for scissors is cheap. I had a scissor sharpener at one point but lost it. To me they are disposable, although Fiskars are pretty high quality and you can buy them at walmart or wherever.
     
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    amcardon

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    I'm a fan of Henckels, as long as you get the forged options. I prefer Shun knives, the VG10 core is fabulous.
     
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    CSGambill

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    You have the cheaper chinese made ones... thats your problem with why they didnt last. I only run the made in germany ones. They have 2 of the little guys next to each other. Professional-S series is what I have. I would guess 20 years on my oldest 8" chef. Got 2 8" chef knives, 6" utility, 4" pairing, 6"ish Santuko, and a 6" cleaver. Need to get a bread saw.

    BUT I still say contact Henkels and see if they will warranty any of them. Then at least you have brand new knives to try to sell, although I dont think they are worth much. They probably came in a big butcher block set.

    Spot on assessment. Was pretty poor when I picked them up. I'm pretty sure I used one of those 20% off Bed Bath and Beyond coupons on them.
     

    Sportin Wood

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    I've been slowly collecting Dalstrong Shogun Series knives. They are beautiful Damascus and keep a nice edge. I am looking into buying a Wicked Edge setup to sharpen all my knives as well as coworkers, etc. But I've heard great things about Wusthof and Henckels.
     

    gibson

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    I bought some Forshner knives 35 years ago and they are still magnificent. I hit them once a year on a water stone and use a fine steal the rest of the year. They still shave hair off my arm. I must qualify that these knives were for meat cutting, not steak knives. I was going to be a butcher out of high school, but ended up going down a different career path 4 years later.

    I bought my mother a set of Henckels 10 years ago. Very disappointing. They simply do not hold an edge like my Forshner knives do, not even close.

     
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    Bbob

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    Go to chief knives to go. they have a forum. japan knives are very good. whustof run about 58 to 59 rockwell most Japines knives run 60 plus.
     

    S197

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    the best way to pick knifes is to list what you want the knife to do. If you buy from a reputable company and focus on the blend of steal, the edge and it’s intended use. Also make sure you buy the correct sharpener as each knife will have a different bevel.
     

    Sean the Nailer

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    1989, I started my Henckels 4-Star selection/collection. They have done me/us fine, well, and proud. I sharpen them each by hand, once in a while. I run them on a steel once in a while-er. Start with a 'fine' steel, then go to an 'extra-fine'

    I have a 'coarse' steel here, but it never gets touched.

    People keep on saying that the Wustoff and Shun and Obeekobee (or whatever) knives are gooder. In my next life, I'll start building up a collection/selection of them. In the meantime, we'll continue to get by with these.

    Buy once, cry once. And yeah, if you look around for 'clearance sales' on the original 4* and not get sucked into the 'new-and-improved and more-fashionable' ones.... it doesn't take near as much to get going.

    YMMD.
     

    Bmghunter

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    Don't buy a set, buy individual knives that does what you need that are of the quality you want. Make sure to get a good sharpening tool, stones or belt sanders, some leather strops. Some cheap knives can be a real bargain once you sharpen them up.
     

    powdahound76

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    Lotta good options listed. I just wanted to be a goofball. Its what I am good at! Henckel, Shun, Wusthof, Cutco Haven't tried the F Dick. But I am poor and use Chicago cutlery. Also havent tried the ones Mr Chikin suggested. I will say his advice hasn't steered me wrong thus far.
    listen, you can hear him say "have more bourbon!!!"
     

    Doctorwho1138

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    I have Wusthof and they are 10 years old. They are decent. I got the African hardwood IKON series. If I were buying now, I would get custom knives and just add to the slowly if money were a concern. My knives don’t hold an Edge and require monthly resharpening. They don’t chip though but I like my knives like razors.
     

    powdahound76

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    At the rate I cook, monthly resharpening isn't an issue.
    I cook dinner from scratch about 28 days a month. Cut stuff daily for lunches (mine and kid)

    and Buffalo Trace is a seriously underrated cheaper burboun. That and Jeffersons are both on the shelf. and a few others. Nothing like the stuff you talk about though @Soulezoo. Poors liquor cabinet here :)
    Been on Jeffersons lately due to the cool drawing of Thomas Jefferson. Seems like a good time to channel a little of him.....
     
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    Doctorwho1138

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    We cook everyday in our house too. Only been out to eat 5 times since COVID started. If you cook that much I definitely would get custom knives. My go to cheap bourbon is Old Grandad 114 and my favorite bourbon that you can get every day is Bookers or Old Forrester 1920. People seem to love Buffalo Trace and Makers Mark for sure. They are drinkers for sure just not my first or second choice. Now the Makers Barrel Proof is amazing. Every bourbon drinker has their favorites thats for sure.
     
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    shields shtr

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    Shameless plug for a friend of mine, he makes pretty much all the knives I use besides my folders. Are they expensive? Yes. But they are Made in the USA and will shave the hair off your arm. Also, all are one of a kind. Plus this is Snipers Hide and people here appreciate the finer things made by Americans who don't fuck around. I actually couldn't think of a better thing to spend a little money on and use the rest of your life, especially if you cook a lot.

    Here is a set of his steak knives:
    1614489145250.png
     

    CSGambill

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    I'm leaning towards the F. Dick 1905 line. I like the idea of heavier, well balanced knives. I can sharpen well enough that I'd feel comfortable changing for it. Just wish I wasn't working 12+ hours a day so I could cook more from scratch. I don't cook enough to justify Cutco. Plus there may be a pair of PVS-14s in my future.

    Drinking Woodford Reserve Double Oaked.
     
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    Zatchmo

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    I became a sharp knife snob after buying a wicked edge a year or so ago. I had a collection of Henckels and Wushtoff. My Wusthoff boning knife is the only one I'd consider anything special. They're from 5-10 years old. They all sharpen up super nice, but don't hold an edge well. I recently tried some New West Knife company knives. They are made in Wyoming and use s35vn steel. I'm happy with the edge retention so far.
     
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    Buzzinga

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    1. Ask yourself if you want german or japanese style knives, or both?
    2. What steel, stainless? carbon?

    Wusthof classic or ikon, they are the same steel, just different handles, and they are made in Germany, not china. This is an expensive option, but are high end European knives with a solid reputation.

    Victorinox are good, I keep a chef's knife in the garage for breaking down boxes, etc. It takes and holds a nice edge. It is not my favorite for the kitchen though--the shape is just not correct for me.

    If you go with Japanese style knives, you have to ask yourself if you want stainless steel or carbon? Tojiro DP is a really good, inexpensive stainless steel option. They are VG-10, Spyderco uses this in a lot of knives and is still a solid steel. chefknivestogo.com is your friend for carbon steel knives and everything else for that matter.

    Cutco is overpriced. You are paying for the sharpening service and lifetime warranty. The steel, which I think is 440A, is old and outdated. For the same amount of money you could buy much higher quality knives.

    On a related topic, how do you plan to sharpen these knives?
     
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    NY700

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    Honestly the specific knife is less important than how you use it, what are you cutting on and how do you plan to sharpen it and what is your willingness level to work towards keeping an edge.

    I think this is the functional equivalent to when guys come On The hide and ask what the best caliber or rifle is and then all these guys jump down there throat.

    my back ground is at a young age I worked In A restaurant and did lots of prep work. I have way more high end knives than rifles and I used to sharpen knives at a local gun shop on the weekend to make some ammo money.

    western style knives I.e. German like your henkels and Whustof type knives are generally thicker, heavier and the heat treat is less hard which means all together it’s more forgiving. If your hard on your blades, if your a toss it in the sink till I get to it to clean it type of guy, if you tend to twist or roll when your cutting especially on like thick plastic cutting boards these are best. The edges will roll more so then chip

    Japanese style blades tend to be thinner, with a much thinner edge and the Rockwell hardness is typically higher. It means it will slice like a razor and hold its edge longer but if your twisting and if it’s hitting ceramic and other things it’s likely to chip.

    if I’m deboning I go for western blade. If I’m slicing vegetable i go Japanese blade.

    honestly the butcher block knife set looks cool. But it’s generally the wrong idea. Build your own and mix and match.

    more importantly. Cutting board get a good one. A really good one. Get a legit end grain cutting board. And with a little care your great grandchildren could use it. If working with raw meat on a wood cutting board just creeps you out too much than get it for your fruit and vegetables and cooked meat and for the raw stuff either get the thin cutting boards from IKEA or get real restaurant grade rubber cutting boards (not the shit plastic ones)

    get a good ceramic rod to touch up your knives. This honing rolls the edge back your it really sharpening the blade just reshaping the rolled edge to keep it sharp. If you get good blades with good steel and you take care of them even if you use them everyday they will only need to be sharpened a couple times a year and when then time comes do it right either send them off to be sharpened or get a real kit to sharpen them and learn how to do it right.

    do not get the shit pull through ceramic sharpeners or the electric spinny ones they are crap they will toast your edge or even worse f’up your heat treat.
     

    BigTex

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    I've had most all of them, worst off, Henkel, Shun, hand made. Get a couple good Japanese kitchen knives and call it good. No need for a set. My favorite ones to date are from Yu Kurosaki.

    If I wasn't going to spring for the Kurosakis, I'd just get some Victorinox Fibrox knives and call it a day.
     
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    Sean the Nailer

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    And yeah, I too have to attest to the fact that if I had to do it over again, I'd get the 'feel' of each and every knife intended for each individual purpose.

    I mentioned above, that I've got a fairly large set of the 4*'s, and that started over 30 years ago. Having the 'matched set' truly doesn't mean a damned thing. We too cook here daily, from scratch. Over the years I/we've really run these knives through their paces. Do we like them, sure. Are they excellent quality and do exactly what we ask of them, yes.

    But, comparing myself and My Lady's hands and their differences.... we each have our own knives that we prefer. And to that, seeing the selection of knives available in the 'good' kitchen supply shops,,,, it really is something to get a 'hands on' for each individual knife that you want to use.

    The meat and veggies don't give a shit what color the handle is, or whether the blade is shiny or patterned. What matters is how it feels, how it performs, and how it lasts. Looks don't mean shit. Function over fashion.

    Now, to that end, if you have the time, availability, and interest, then there are MANY knife makers out there that can build you nearly EVERYTHING that you want. I'll put a shameless plug out here, for Dawson Knives.

    Will also do the same for Skallywag Tactical. But that might be for a different story. :D
     

    tomcatmv

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    Or, as a couple peeps have already mentioned, sharpen them. Get a Ken Onion work sharp and a couple of good water stones.
     

    hankpac

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    Only one other mention of Cutco. I like them. However I try not to buy retail, because they are overpriced.
    I have a carving set I picked up at an Estate Sale, for 25 bucks, that is a real prize, and an assortment of others. My wife likes the smallish handles, and I like that I have yet to need them sharpened. Years.
    They have a sharpening service, but if you hand wash them, dry immediately and put back in the blade guard, right away instead of the dish dryer rack, they STAY sharp.
    I also have several Henckles, including chef's knives. I throw a quick edge on them every time I use them, or just touch up with the steel, and they also stay sharp. These too, get immediate hand wash, and return to the magnet hanger immediately.
    May just be my personal bent, but I think just tossing them into the same part of the dish drying rack with the spoons, etc, is hard on the edges. They are supposed to be precision instruments, so I treat them that way.
     

    zeroz

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    Wustof classics have been great for years. If you go higher end than that or the good Henckels, its mostly for show. Not that there is anything wrong with that. You can buy sets or find a real dealer and buy the pieces you want. We got a small set for Christmas years ago and have added the ones we want +/- 100 a knife. They need a touch up here and there but if you stay on it they are razors. The main thing seems to be keep guests away from them and train the old lady what not to do with them (or maybe you need trained). Dishwasher can be a killer as is raking the edge when it goes back in the block. I always cringe when I see vertical slit blocks and people storing decent knives edge down.