Looking to become a 3 knife kitchen. Advice welcomed.

Discussion in 'Geek Food' started by Aratama_Bashi, Feb 18, 2018.

  1. Aratama_Bashi

    Aratama_Bashi Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    Messages:
    7,074
    Location:
    Melbourne
    As the title suggests, i want to turf the 7 blade knife block from harris scarfe that we have and become a 3 knife kitchen.

    looking to outlay decent cash for well built blades that will last 20 years, if not a lifetime, including manual sharpening and care.

    looking to spend a decent amount for decent product but money is NOT just an object. so OCAU, where do i start? i'm gonna get a huge boner for good japanese or german stuff. dont care about showoff factor, just good quality and longevity.

    thinking something like cook's knife, santoku, and small utility?

    any advice or stuff welcomed.
     
  2. Hater

    Hater Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2012
    Messages:
    2,259
    Location:
    Canberra
    how much maintenance and upkeep are you willing to go for? happy to have a knife you ned to wipe clean if you cut tomatoes or onion etc, or rather something a bit more hardy?
     
  3. RyoSaeba

    RyoSaeba Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2001
    Messages:
    12,050
    Location:
    Perth
    1x Bread knife (serrated edge)
    1x Chef knife
    1x Cleaver

    That's all you need. Chef knife is your bread and butter. Spend on that one. The other 2 is just for specialized uses. Try them before you buy. Especially chef knife. Handle feels varies between individual. If you don't feel comfortable holding, don't buy it. Last thing you need is the knife slipping when you're cutting. Japanese typically has harder steel but is also more brittle. Thus more care is required. German knives are softer (in comparison to japanese steel and does not mean they're using soft steel) but are more forgiving. Also typically are thicker thus feels a bit heavier. So hold one to see how it feels first. Then go buy online for better savings. ;)
     
  4. oculi

    oculi Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2004
    Messages:
    9,616
    are you single or are they going to get put in the dishwasher eventually?

    I guess a cleaver is something you would get used to if you have one, I don't, don't miss it.

    agree on the bread knife (or as my wife calls it: the tomato knife) and the chef knife, i'd probably go for a paring knife for the third though. we have chef knife, bread knife, paring knife, and a small santoku knife, they are all mid priced stainless steel, all do the job fine and I stone them occasionally. i'd get nice knives but they would just get ruined so meh.
     
  5. theSeekerr

    theSeekerr Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2010
    Messages:
    2,706
    Location:
    Prospect SA
    Why precisely 3? Are you really aiming to include stuff like bread knives and cleavers in your 3?

    I'd say:
    1) Chef Knife (or Santoku, if you like)
    2) Paring knife - a little knife for peeling, skinning, trimming. Sometimes a Chef knife is too big for the job at hand, and you look like a guy using a wrench as a hammer.
    3) Non-specific utility/vegetable blade (unless you only cook alone, in which case your chef knife can do this. If you ever cook together, you want two knives!). I like the Global GS-5 for this.
    (or a bread knife, if you're counting those)

    Other than that, just echoing RyoSaeba's advice about comfort and grip - get something that feels good to you. I love the Global one-piece handles, but that doesn't mean you would.
     
  6. darksilencer

    darksilencer Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2004
    Messages:
    377
    Location:
    Syd
    Pretty hard to cut down to 3, but proper tools and practice to sharpen and maintain what you currently have. You could probably pull the following three from your knife block and then invest once you get sharpening down.

    Chefs Knife or Santoku
    Serrated
    Shorter knife like a paring knife for peeling and those small jobs that you need the dexterity

    If you don't want to learn how to sharpen with waterstones you could dump your money into a Edge Pro Apex kit
     
  7. RyoSaeba

    RyoSaeba Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2001
    Messages:
    12,050
    Location:
    Perth
    Actually in a chinese kitchen the Cleaver pretty much can be use for every role. It's actually really versatile knife, but takes some getting used to. I only really use it for breaking through bones. If i have a chicken carcase i want to cut up for example I'd use the cleaver. My chef knife is a Shun and it's pretty expensive. Rather not risk chipping it if I can. But yeh pairing knife is a good idea too. I got tramontina steak knives which sometimes I use as my pairing knife lol.
     
  8. STINGA

    STINGA Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Messages:
    425
    Location:
    West Sydney
  9. Ratzz

    Ratzz Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2013
    Messages:
    6,866
    Location:
    Cheltenham East 3192
    Wusthof are nice knives. I have a cheap 7 blade block, but I replaced the chefs knife with a 20cm Wusthof. I use it for pretty much everything, the other knives are those stupid serrated 'never go blunt' knives so not really useful for much. I even peel veges with the heel of my Wusthof. A quick couple of strokes on the steel whenever I put it away, its lasted well and always razor sharp. Mine was $300, those are great prices. Shame I don't see a chefs knife in there.. the bread knife is interesting though.
     
  10. Benno1988

    Benno1988 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Messages:
    4,210
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Wusthof classic.

    I use the wunderknife as my bread knife. It's not serrated, but does the job. Also more versatile.

    I have 6 Wusthof classics. Well built and balanced. Lifetime free sharpening if that's your thing too.

    2 x 16cm
    1 x Wunderknife
    2 x Small Pairing
    1 x Larger Pairing
     
  11. OP
    OP
    Aratama_Bashi

    Aratama_Bashi Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    Messages:
    7,074
    Location:
    Melbourne
    thanks for all the input. the reason i think 3 is a good number is because we have a knife block with a bunch of knives in it, and we probably only use 2 or 3 of them. just a cheap set from harris scarfe from when i moved out and moved in to the bachelor pad. one of those sets that has a chef's knife, santoku, "meat" knife (lol just a slightly narrower chef's knife), a serrated bread knife, and two small utility knives, both the same width but one is longer than the other.

    but now the knife block is taking up precious bench space, and i do want to invest in some decent knives and keep them for a good while.

    so, my thoughts on which knives are:
    1. chef's knife
    2. a not-massive santoku
    3. small nimble utility knife

    we've never needed a bread knife, and if i'm doing tomatoes i just grab a steak knife from the drawer, does the job fine. i dont think a cleaver is necessary if i have a good chef's knife - i'm not going through bones. the mrs and i do cook together so i think the second knife is probably good to be a santoku for the versatility.

    as for effort, i'm happy to invest some time in learning how to sharpen them properly on a regular basis, but it wouldnt be that often given they wont be put through heavy duty use.

    lastly, of course you dont put good knives in the dishwasher- even cheap ones for that matter lol. mum brought me up right! (we dont even have a dishwasher anymore anyway)
     
  12. zeropluszero

    zeropluszero Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    Messages:
    6,007
    Location:
    3132
    Ex chef
    Use my 26cm Wustoff Classic Chef knife the most, followed by my Santoku.
    I have Serated knives I use for tomatoes/bread
    Wustof classic boning knife - only if you do any butchery - can easily use a chef knife if needed.
    Victoriox Paring/Turning knives - cheap and do the job

    Global knives are awful.
     
  13. oculi

    oculi Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2004
    Messages:
    9,616
    *cringe*

    good idea, then you an cut tomatoes the correct way :)

    it happens, even if there is a chance it will get left in water i'd be inclined to go stainless with non porous handles.
     
  14. RyoSaeba

    RyoSaeba Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2001
    Messages:
    12,050
    Location:
    Perth
    I agree. When I was a chef by trade, had one that I used for prepping all day. After a prolonged period of use, my hands would be in pain. Slight bit of moisture in your hand and the grip would be slippery as. Definitely in my no go pile since. However I understand some people who may have smaller hands (mine's aren't actually that big though) may find it comfortable.

    And speaking of handles, one to look out for are pinned handles rather than glued. Pinned handles are usually made of wood/horns etc. You will often see the metal pins sticking on the handle. Those metal dots on the handles are the pins. Plastic/rubber/silicon handles are often glued. Glued handles tends to come off after awhile making the knife useless. So if you can go for pinned ones rather than glue ones.
    ie. Pinned handle upload_2018-2-19_9-6-19.png ie glued handle (most probably) upload_2018-2-19_9-9-2.png

    Whilst we're on the subject of handles another thing to look out for is having a full tang is also a great idea. Tang is the metal bit that extend from the blade down to the handle. Some knives only have half tang which means it extend half way into the handle only. A full tang provides more weight towards the handle and giving you a better balance. A well balanced knife will feel better in your hand than an unbalanced lighter one. If you see pins all the way down the handles like the image above, that's a full tang. Some knife only have like 2 pins or 1 pin which means the tang probably isn't going all the way. Or you can simply see it from the top. The metal from the blade extends all the way to the back of the knife. Plastic handles where you can't tell usually only have half tang to save cost.
     
  15. Benno1988

    Benno1988 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Messages:
    4,210
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Full tang a must.

    I find the Wusthof Classic weighting and build quality spot on. Global is garbage in comparison.
     
  16. miicah

    miicah Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2010
    Messages:
    5,261
    Location:
    Brisbane, QLD
    I only use my cleaver when making wings
     
  17. OP
    OP
    Aratama_Bashi

    Aratama_Bashi Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    Messages:
    7,074
    Location:
    Melbourne
    cool, will check wusthof's range. any japanese brands to consider? and yeah i can see the benefit of full tang.

    there are a few of these 'artisanal' knives popping up on kickstarter, indiegogo, etc. is it safer to stay away from those kinds of things given the unproven work?
     
  18. oculi

    oculi Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2004
    Messages:
    9,616
    up to you I guess, no way to hold before you buy though. If I was going to pay through the nose for such a knife I'd want to talk to the maker (in person) first.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2018
  19. OP
    OP
    Aratama_Bashi

    Aratama_Bashi Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    Messages:
    7,074
    Location:
    Melbourne
    nah its a fair point, wouldnt want to buy a knife without holding/trying.
     
  20. Benno1988

    Benno1988 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Messages:
    4,210
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Yeah, at least Myers etc. have the Wusthof Classic you can hold.

    I bought mine online from USA (Cutlery & More website) when exchange rate wasn't too bad. Still like $600 for 6 knives and a drawer insert and steel and sharpener. But was better than AU stores at the time.

    Mundial is a cheaper version of Wushof, similar look, feel a bit bulkier and not as balanced, but still reasonable for cheaper.

    Shun is a Japanese brand seems better than Global, still somewhat "popular" type choice. And some of the lower ranges have plastic crappy feeling handles.
     

Share This Page