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Food & Wine Ground >> Recommend knives.


11/29/09 4:37 PM
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droc
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Hi Guys,

I have managed to interest my 18-year-old brother in cooking, it was either that or eat the microwave meals that my mother loves so it wasn't that hard.

I wanted to give him a good set of knives for christmas as there are no decent knives in my parent's house (shameful, isn't it).

Couple of details:

They have to hold an edge well, he's a bit lazy and I'm not sure that he'll take the time to sharpen them often.
They have to be really sharp and easy to use as he has limited use of his right arm, actually, he was born without half of it.
I live in France, so I would prefer something that is easily available anywhere in the world.

Does anyone have any recommendations?

Thanks

DROC

11/30/09 12:44 AM
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Mullet @ Heart
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Where's my thread?
11/30/09 2:40 AM
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droc
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 Excuse me?

DROC
11/30/09 3:13 AM
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junon
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Victorinox offers high quality products at reasonable prices.
11/30/09 7:35 AM
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droc
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 Victorinox make kitchen knives? I had no idea. I'll check it out.

I've seen some reasonably priced knives by Pradel Excellence from France and by Muller or Kochmann from Germany. Anyone know if they're any good?

Thanks

DROC
11/30/09 9:57 AM
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droc
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So I went off on my internet search for Victorinox kitchen knives. I was gonna get the Victorinox Fibrox set of 3 Chef's knives, as recommended above by junon and on the interweb by lots of different places.
Bargain, said I. 65 dollars for 3 and with the current rate of exchange that'll only be about 50 Euros.

So I go looking around the Victorinox website, download the catalogue and it seems they don't make them anymore. Or they were only sold in the US or some other shit. Maybe it's just that I can't find them...

Arseholes.

Any other recommendations? Or somewhere I can find these knives and not have to pay the same in shipping as I do for the blades?

DROC
11/30/09 9:57 AM
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droc
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11/30/09 12:27 PM
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Mullet @ Heart
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We had an epic thread on this a few years ago when I was in the same boat. I was looking for a nice set of knives, and several OGers, especially crescentwrench, changed my way of thinking about shopping for them.

In a nutshell, the advice was to go to a kitchen store like Sur La Table and test drive them to see which ones felt most comfortable. Also, buy a few knives you'll use regularly, rather than a full block set, where the majority go unused.

I went into the shopping spree thinking I wanted a full set of Globals. After following this advice I ended up with 2 Wustoff Grand Prix II knive (added a 3rd last year) that I've been very happy with.
11/30/09 4:57 PM
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crescentwrench
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 Mullet's epic thread.  

http://www.mixedmartialarts.com/mma.cfm?go=forum_framed.frame&thread=1559896&page=1

 


They don't have Fibrox in France?  Shit, there went my recommendation.  I always say Victorinox for beginners.  

Try some restaurant supply stores if there are any around.  They usually carry the Fibrox here, maybe there is a comparable line of knives that you can find there.  Or maybe it's as simple as the product going by another name over there.  If all else fails can't you just go to Switzerland and pick some up?  It's like 10 miles away isn't it?  Europe is so weird to me, you have whole countries over there that are smaller than municipalities over here.  

11/30/09 6:34 PM
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junon
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oh yeah thats right droc lives in France.
12/1/09 4:33 AM
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droc
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I'll have a search for the thread

I found out that there's a Vctorinox store in Paris, I'll drop in and see what I can find. I really like the 3 Chef's Knife Fibrox set, think it would be ideal.

 I should be able to get Swiss made products in France and not have to order them from America.

DROC




12/1/09 10:10 AM
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crescentwrench
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You'd think.  It would be like me having to get a sombrero from a shop in Belgium.  

That other knife thread is probably good for people who have prepared meals enough to know what they would look for in a knife.  How they handle it, what they mainly prepare, if they get fatigued doing certain things, etc.  For a rookie you're on the right path with that Fibrox imo.  It won't break at the first sign of adversity or frustrate him because it won't hold an edge like an el cheapo knife might.  And if he drops it tip down and an inch of blade goes flying under the counter or it turns out he likes something heavier or lighter you didn't spend so much money that you feel married to it.  

He'll also need a good cutting board that won't destroy his edge.  So that means no glass or metal.  I like synthetic because they're cheap and stand up well to abuse.  I baby my knife, I don't like having to baby my board but that's just me.  Some people like the look and feel of a wooden one.  What else?  Oh yeah, a steel for honing that edge.  I like old fashioned smooth metal ones over the ridged ones.  Those ridges can put a hurt to an edge if you aren't well versed in how to use one.  And those "sharpening steels" with the abrasive coating are ass, stay away from those.  I see steels at flea markets and garage sales all the time.  You might could pick one up second hand if that's your thing.  

That's all he needs now!  Well, pots and pans I guess but that's another thread.  And proper use and care.  But there's videos all over the internet covering that too.  I even saw one on how to make radish roses and watermelon swans and that kind of stuff.  Never tried it but I saw it.  
12/1/09 4:40 PM
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droc
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Edited: 12/01/09 4:47 PM
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Right, so I've searched a bit further and found that they do the fibrox here, but not the set of 3 that I wanted. So maybe I'll get him the Chef's knife, a decent chopping board and a steel (thanks CrescentWrench) and stick them all together in one present.

What do you all think of this one 



http://www.achatenconfiance.com/boutique/fiche_produit.cfm?ref=BELIGNE_68003xxG&type=334&code_lg=lg_fr&num=20

Or this one



http://www.couteaux-suisses.com/PBSCProduct.asp?PGFLngID=0&ItmID=2897467

What length of knife would you recommend for a beginner. I like a decent length one cuz it does everything from veg through meat and I often cook in pretty big portions so wanna be able to cut 2 or 3 carrots (for example) at the same time for a soup or a sauce.

For cutting boards, I use a synthetic one for veg and a wooden one for meat. Not for any real reason other than the wooden one was free from a meat restaurant and says (in French) for the love of meat for 30 years. or something like that...
I never EVER cut on metal or glass.

Pots and pans there are aplenty in my parent's house, but my mother doesn't do a lot of cooking so no decent knives.

DROC
 
12/1/09 5:42 PM
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droc
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Edited: 12/01/09 5:59 PM
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 I've had a search on some French forums, and they recommend Sabatier or Deglon

What do you all think of this one?

http://www.meilleurduchef.com/cgi/mdc/l/fr/boutique/produits/deg-couteau_cuisine_25_bc.html
 


DROC
 
12/1/09 11:15 PM
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Mullet @ Heart
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My knives are so sharp. How sharp are they? They're so sharp I once accidentally cut the hand I was holding the knife with.

True story.

Same day I let the BGE surround me in flames.

I was pretty drunk that evening.
12/2/09 10:03 AM
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dennisv
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 I have the Wusthof Culinars, a paring knife, a 6" Santoku, a 10" chefs knife, and  a bread knife. I love them. Super sharp and stay sharp.
12/2/09 12:51 PM
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droc
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The Wusthof have got great reviews everywhere I've looked, they've even been called the best knives in the world. But I don't think it's worth splashing out on them for a beginner. I'd rather he got more experience and learned to use the knives first, then I'll buy the Wusthof's.

DROC
12/2/09 6:45 PM
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junon
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Wusthofs are very heavy compared to Victorinox.

also the thing about Wusthofs is the heel of the blade is not sharpened.

i tend to use the heel end more so than the tip end for most of my cutting. for instance julienne which are "match sticks" sized strips. sometimes i end up with a bunch of them still connected at the bottom like actual match sticks because the heel doesnt cut all the way through.

with that said i love my Wusthofs.

one thing i do not like about the Victorinox knives is the bulbous handles on those things.
12/3/09 11:51 AM
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droc
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 Thanks guys, great advice.

DROC
12/3/09 12:46 PM
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Veegoh
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www.popeilfamilystore.com/kn20b.html 


These are the Ronco 6-star knives.  It is a pretty good set for the price.  A good variety of styles of knives.  I have had my set for quite a few years and I still havent had any problems from them.

Not an "elite" set of knives by any means, but my wife and I use them for all of our cooking.






12/3/09 3:32 PM
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MikeZev
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i still have the first chef knife i bought 6 years ago - a henckels 8". still in great shape.
12/4/09 4:42 AM
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junon
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oh shit, Ronco!

if ever you needed to saw a pipe with a Chefs knife.
1/7/10 1:22 PM
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Breezah
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 henkels suck. I had one.

Now I use a shun and I really won't even use anything else.
1/7/10 1:34 PM
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MikeZev
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 i love my henckels!
1/7/10 1:59 PM
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droc
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I picked up a set of Japanese style knives for him in the end from Pradel Excellence. They were razor sharp, pretty comfortable in the hand-if a bit light- and he was pretty happy with them.

Bad news is, I dropped my own chef's knife the other day and broke the tip off it. It was a pretty cheap knife bought in a block with a bread knife, carving knife etc... but I liked it, and I was used to it. Now I have to go buy myself a new knife.

DROC

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