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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 06-04-2006, 04:50 PM   #1
The_Kapn
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Default Knife brand selection

This has been discussed before, but lots of new members with fresh ideas now.

I am gonna treat myself to a new 8" chef's knife for Father's Day.
Someone has to look out for me
Will be used only for "special" prep work and by me only!

Vacillating between Henckels and Wüsthof.
I do not want to venture into obscure brands.
This may grow into a set some day if Karen will just win the lottery for once
Price is always a concern, but "value" and "quality" are paramount.

Lot's of them available on EBay at prices that seem competetive.

Thoughts?????

Second question--"steel" vs "ceramic"???
Have used a "steel" for years.
Differences or advantages to "ceramic".

Thanks,

TIM
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Unread 06-04-2006, 05:02 PM   #2
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I've been real happy with my Henkles. I got the set on closeout through Amazon.com. They are the less expensive line(one guy holding a pitchfork instead of 2 guys). But they have the wood handles which I prefer. Go somewhere (local knife shop) so you can hold them. They're both equal in my opinion. Get which you like best in your hand.
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Unread 06-04-2006, 05:19 PM   #3
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Ty is right on--hold them before you buy them. Knives as you know, are very personal choices.
I have both Henkles and Wusthof and like them both. One of my current favorites is the 7 inch [I think] Wusthof Santuko. The granton relief along the edge make it a pleasure to use. It is a light blade, and in my opinion it will not do every thing a "real " chef's knife will.

As far a ceramic? I understand that they break easy. That is a no-go for me, cause I am too clumbsy to work with a breakable knife.
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Unread 06-04-2006, 05:22 PM   #4
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I was not clear.

"As far a ceramic? I understand that they break easy. That is a no-go for me, cause I am too clumbsy to work with a breakable knife."

I was referring to the "honing" sticks, or whatever folks want to call them

Sorry.

TIM
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Unread 06-04-2006, 05:29 PM   #5
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Sorry, Kapn. Ceramic honing sticks? Personally, I like them. I used steels for years too, and still do, but the ceramic seems to me to put a finer edge on.
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Unread 06-04-2006, 05:30 PM   #6
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I love steel, and have a drawer full to prove it.

Fro the $, and given my choice, it's Henckels 4 star. It fits in my hand well, holds a good edge. I like the Wusthof, a lot, but the 4 star just feels better in my hand.

There are exceptions. I boutght a Farberware Santoku for under $10 to see how I liked the knife. I've never felt the need to 'upgrade' to a Hanckel. It's not my most used knife and I bought two more to keep one in Austin, DFW, and San Antonio.

When you start looking at quality knives the bottom line is 'use'. You and your personality you will take good care of it. In your shoes I'd go with that was comfortable in my hand, and then look at price. With good steel it's something you will have for a long time.
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Unread 06-04-2006, 05:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Kapn
I was not clear.

"As far a ceramic? I understand that they break easy. That is a no-go for me, cause I am too clumbsy to work with a breakable knife."

I was referring to the "honing" sticks, or whatever folks want to call them

Sorry.

TIM
Kitchen knives go to a pro and I pay $1-3 per knife every year or so depending on how much I use each knife.

Fighting knives from back in the day when I had illusions of fighting to the death. I do them myself with a mix of ceramic and diamond stones.
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Unread 06-04-2006, 05:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jorge
Kitchen knives go to a pro and I pay $1-3 per knife every year or so depending on how much I use each knife.

Fighting knives from back in the day when I had illusions of fighting to the death. I do them myself with a mix of ceramic and diamond stones.
I am with Jorge here. My kitchen knives all go to a pro about once a year for a good sharpening. I keep them sharp by honing frequently--as in every time I use them, essentially. I even hone my steak knives before putting them on the table. [no serrated edges, I hate serrations on steak knives, and no rounded points either.] Sometimes I even break out my grandfather's leather strop and dress the edges with that. [mostly for show, though]
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Unread 06-04-2006, 06:12 PM   #9
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I got a block set of JA Henkel Twin signature knives for xmas along with a caphalon 6" santoku and a 10" chef knife. left the caphalon chef knife at my mothers because she did not have a good knife when ever i was there doin the cookin. and i just bought a 8" slicer from caphalon for about 30 bucks. very heavy and feel good in my hand. I use steel for honing. but will probably take them to get sharpened bout once a year if i can find a place.
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Unread 06-04-2006, 06:24 PM   #10
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Default Japanese steel knives can be very hard and either ...

... high maintenance or not. They can be extremely sharp and hold their edges longer. When they do need to be sharpened, you can do it with a few professional waterstones and a bit of practice. The harder they are (Rockwell #'s) the harder they are to sharpen.

Take a look at Kershaw Shun if you do not want to go far away from the mainstream. Their Pro and Classic Series have some nice selections. You can also talk to them on their toll free line and ask some specific application questions. They will sharpen their knives anytime for no charge if you ship them to their plant in Oregon.

Regards,
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Unread 06-04-2006, 06:31 PM   #11
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I have an 8" Wusthof and love it. Keeps a great edge, and is perfectly balanced (for me). It goes to Ambosi's twice a year for sharpening.
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Unread 06-04-2006, 06:50 PM   #12
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Off the subject a little but since there are some posts about sharpening.

I was hunting one year and left my stones, sticks, and steel at home.
One of my buddies showed me a trick that really worked.

Roll down your car window (not all the way down) and you can use
the top edge of the window to hone a nice edge on your knife.
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Unread 06-04-2006, 07:31 PM   #13
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Tim, I'd agree with the majority here. Go to the local BB&B or other type store and just see which one fits your hand the best. I've got the Henckels that I bought awhile back when the local BB&B store had a special of buying so much and getting a couple things free. I got a combination of the 4star and Pro S series. I think I'm leaning toward the 4star, I just like the handles better I think.
As far as the difference between Steel or ceramic. I think ceramic hones finer but it's more sucseptible to cracking and damage. I've used ceramic sticks to hone some of my pocket knives in the past. I couldn't really tell a difference when cuting anything between a ceramic stick or a steel. I've pretty much been a whetstone man myself.
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Unread 06-04-2006, 07:40 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Q_Egg
... high maintenance or not. They can be extremely sharp and hold their edges longer. When they do need to be sharpened, you can do it with a few professional waterstones and a bit of practice. The harder they are (Rockwell #'s) the harder they are to sharpen.

Take a look at Kershaw Shun if you do not want to go far away from the mainstream. Their Pro and Classic Series have some nice selections. You can also talk to them on their toll free line and ask some specific application questions. They will sharpen their knives anytime for no charge if you ship them to their plant in Oregon.

Regards,
Interesting--I researched them.
WOW--High end quality, High end workmanship, and High end price
May have to pass for now and save my nickels

Thanks!!!

TIM
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Unread 06-04-2006, 08:26 PM   #15
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Default Great that you were able to include them in your .....

..... decision process. I actually picked up a couple on eBay at much lower prices, but I'm sure you know that some risk can be involved. I stay with Sellers that have 99+ ratings over a large number of transactions in order to stay out of trouble. Good luck with your final decision!

Later on, there are two very good sources you may want to check now and then. I have found some of their phone-contact people to be very knowledgeable.

japanwoodworker.com AND japanesecutlery.com

The key is to stay close to more traditional Chef knife sizes and shapes until developing a real need for some of their more exotic designs like Deba or Usuba. Santoku is a much safer bet since Henckel and others sell many of this style.
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Unread 06-04-2006, 08:56 PM   #16
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Go try the Shuns before you pass... roughly the same as the good Wustofs, but, for my money, the better knife. I've been building my collection... There are better knives, but not for the money, I don't think.
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Unread 06-04-2006, 09:01 PM   #17
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For what its worth I get my knives shapened at Ambrose Bros and they sell Wustof, Global anbd Shun, the 3 top rated knives, I asked the guy what knives he likes the best. He said, Wustof are the hardest to sharpen. I said so does that mean they also are the hardest to dull. He smile and said but we also have some other wonderful knives. So basicly he like the Wustof the best and so do I. What ever you get look for a comfortable forged blade.
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Unread 06-04-2006, 09:10 PM   #18
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Tim,

Whichever manufacturer you decide on please consider a Santoku instead of a regular chef's knife. The serations on a Chefs knife decrease the friction and the meat making a better cut. IMHO the Santoku is a touch more versatile.
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Unread 06-04-2006, 09:28 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sawdustguy
Tim,

Whichever manufacturer you decide on please consider a Santoku instead of a regular chef's knife. The serations on a Chefs knife decrease the friction and the meat making a better cut. IMHO the Santoku is a touch more versatile.

Agree. I got a 7" Santoku a few months ago and like it a lot. Nice balance. Hardly use the chef's knife anymore.
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Unread 06-04-2006, 09:32 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sawdustguy
Tim,

Whichever manufacturer you decide on please consider a Santoku instead of a regular chef's knife. The serations on a Chefs knife decrease the friction and the meat making a better cut. IMHO the Santoku is a touch more versatile.
Guy, I love my Santoku's, but I still think a traditional Chef's knife has advantages. I would NEVER bang through a chicken back with my santoku, or use it to trim bony ribs. I trust my traditional chef's knives with heavier blades to do those jobs with out damage to the blade.
I think what I am saying is that I really like to use the santoku for a lot of stuff, trimming veggies, dicing and slicing, etc, but there are still jobs where a French Chef's knife does better. [aside-a really good Japanese clever will do all that stuff as well as a chef's knife-so maybe a combo of a santoku and a cleaver........
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Unread 06-04-2006, 10:04 PM   #21
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I saw a guy at Platte City this weekend who had several Japanese knives and MAN were they sharp! Felt nervous with several people next to me in case someone bumped me while i was handling it!!! Anyway, he gets his at www.japanesechefsknife.com and I am still waiting for an email with the exact type he had that I really liked most but I think it was this one:

http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/Hi...EIGHT:%20161px

As you can see, none of those knives are more than $58 AND you can have one shipped from Japan to you in three days for only $7. Great deal if you ask me. I'm going to order one soon.

He tore a page out of a magazine, dropped it from 6 feet or so and slowly swiped the knife down across the page... it fell into two pieces with an easy swipe! It was cool!
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Unread 06-05-2006, 05:14 AM   #22
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I have a Wüsthof and have been very happy with it/them. I my wife stays away from them because she says "they are too sharp!". I have been using the Wüsthof steel and so far haven't had to sharpen my chef's knife although I haven't had it very long.
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Unread 06-05-2006, 05:43 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbqinNC
I have a Wüsthof and have been very happy with it/them. I my wife stays away from them because she says "they are too sharp!". I have been using the Wüsthof steel and so far haven't had to sharpen my chef's knife although I haven't had it very long.
Yea, my wife and mother-in-law had the same problem with my henckel's when I first got them. After they cut themselves a couple times they learned how to use them. They were so use to using the cheap $20.00 a set dull serated things that you had to throw most of your body weight into to use. It's amazing what a good sharp knoife can so without any effort at all.
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Unread 06-05-2006, 07:43 AM   #24
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So I noticed no one mentined diamond hones ? I had one but misplace din in one og my many moves.
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Unread 06-05-2006, 08:12 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SP
For what its worth I get my knives shapened at Ambrose Bros and they sell Wustof, Global anbd Shun, the 3 top rated knives, I asked the guy what knives he likes the best. He said, Wustof are the hardest to sharpen. I said so does that mean they also are the hardest to dull. He smile and said but we also have some other wonderful knives. So basicly he like the Wustof the best and so do I. What ever you get look for a comfortable forged blade.
The rockwell rating on Shuns is several points higher than Wustofs... and they can be sharpened much sharper. The metal, however, is more flexible while still being stronger, allowing honing to be effective and sharpening to be easier. Shuns sharpen to 16 degree angles (and some are single side sharpened making twice as sharp) compared to 22 degree angles on German knives.

However, the best way to pick a knife, from what I've been told, is to go somewhere that has the knives you want to try out, get out a cutting board, and just act like you're slicing on it; pick the knife that feels the best to you.

By the way, watching Iron Chef American last night, Calphalon now has a Shun knock off for lower prices. I don't know the quality, but the metals used look very much the same. Very cool looking knives, though I'll stick with Shuns... I also like the lifetime warranty and free sharpening on them.
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Unread 06-05-2006, 08:15 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brdbbq
So I noticed no one mentined diamond hones ? I had one but misplace din in one og my many moves.
I don't like diamond hones as they try to be part honer, part sharpener; I use a simple knife honer that does nothing more, then send in my knives every 18 months or so for professional sharpening. Diamond takes off some metal with it.
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Unread 06-05-2006, 08:53 AM   #27
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Default Yup! I stay with the conservative Japanese method and use ...

.... a 2000 grit and 8000 grit waterstone ... but that is because all of my Japanese knives, plus many Henckels, are in very good condition. Then the process starts all over ..... the hard knives wear down the waterstones and they muxt be flattened. There are some cheapie methods (which I use) but the right way is a diamond flattening bed (only about $400.).... and the beat goes on ...

I was told to get a piece of float glass cut about 12"x12" and place a piece of 220 wet-dry paper on it (plenty of water to get it to 'suck down' on the glass). I mark pencil grid lines on the stone and then rub it on the wet-dry until the grids are all gone. Seems to work pretty well.

An earlier comment about the blade serrations is on target and some cutlery users avoid the finest grits, feeling that the polished finish is too smooth.
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Unread 06-05-2006, 09:43 AM   #28
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If you watched "Girls of the Grill" on Food Network, you saw Brent and Kim Walton that won the contest. They sell these knives and they are nice. One of our teammates bought one and used it to slice our ribs and brisket.

http://www.bbqn4u.com/html/forschner_knives.html
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Unread 06-05-2006, 10:01 AM   #29
Ron_L
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I'm coming into this thread a little late... Tim, I don't think you can go wrong with either Henckles or Wustoff. They are both good brands. As the others have suggested, try to find a place to try them out. I have a set of Henckles knives that we received as a wedding gift (22 years ago!) and they are still in perfect condition. Once a year they get a professional sharpening and I give them a quick honing with a steel before each use.
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Unread 06-05-2006, 10:05 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron_L
I give them a quick honing with a steel before each use.
A habit that I've gotten over the last couple of years, at the suggestion of a knife rep, has worked really well:

I hone my knives as soon as I wash them, before putting them away, so that they're always ready to go when I need them.
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Unread 06-05-2006, 11:33 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigmista
If you watched "Girls of the Grill" on Food Network, you saw Brent and Kim Walton that won the contest. They sell these knives and they are nice. One of our teammates bought one and used it to slice our ribs and brisket.

http://www.bbqn4u.com/html/forschner_knives.html

Forschner knives used to be an excellent quality knife. I don’t know about now. I haven’t used one in years. Hopefully the quality has endured.

On the subject of sharpeners
I’ve been using a Spyderco sharpener for a lot of years. It has yet to show wear, and puts an edge on a knife, that I believe to be unparalleled. You can literally shave with it. When I bought mine they were only $30. That shows you how long I’ve had it.
http://spyderco.com/catalog/details.php?product=77
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Unread 06-05-2006, 01:12 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron_L
I'm coming into this thread a little late... Tim, I don't think you can go wrong with either Henckles or Wustoff. They are both good brands. As the others have suggested, try to find a place to try them out. I have a set of Henckles knives that we received as a wedding gift (22 years ago!) and they are still in perfect condition. Once a year they get a professional sharpening and I give them a quick honing with a steel before each use.
I heard somewhere that they changed materials a while back and the newer stuff isn't quite as good. I don't know this as fact though, I'm sure they're both very good quality. I have a Henkle that's about 17 years old and it holds an edge like crazy.
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Unread 06-05-2006, 01:19 PM   #33
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Default OK ... now you got my attention ....

.... here is a site for some to ponder while they decide what next to add to their collection.

http://itkitchenknife.com/j_catalog/honyaki_b1.shtml

Still looking at these, but waiting for better Lotto results.
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Unread 06-05-2006, 01:28 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Q_Egg
.... here is a site for some to ponder while they decide what next to add to their collection.

http://itkitchenknife.com/j_catalog/honyaki_b1.shtml

Still looking at these, but waiting for better Lotto results.
Um...yeah... I'll take one of those 360 mm Yanigabis for brisket slicing!

Sur La Table has Shun Elite knives, exclusively, which are even cooler than the regular Shuns, but considerable more expensive... Hardened to 64-66 Rockwell.

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Unread 06-05-2006, 01:52 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Q_Egg
.... here is a site for some to ponder while they decide what next to add to their collection.

http://itkitchenknife.com/j_catalog/honyaki_b1.shtml

Still looking at these, but waiting for better Lotto results.
Two of those babies cost as much as my first house!

YIKES

I think I will hold out for the A-Team version:
http://itkitchenknife.com/j_catalog/honyaki_a.shtml

LOTTO is right

TIM
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Unread 06-05-2006, 01:53 PM   #36
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I have Wusthof knives, Shun knives and a big 10 3/4" MAC chef's knife

http://www.macknife.com/professional.html

I far prefer the Japanese manufactured Western style blades to my German knives. The main reason being the absence of a bolster. I like the way they grip with out the bolster and they are far easier to sharpen by hand with out a bolster.

I bought my waterstones from www.Korin.com and my Mac knife from www.jbprince.com (the actual retail shops). I also had great experiences purchasing from cutleryandmore.com and chefsresource.com

I highly recommend the Mac ceramic rod $15 , which they properly label as a sharpening rod . Ceramic and diamond rods are for sharpening not honing.

http://www.chefsresource.com/mac-cer...ening-rod.html

my Mac knife is thin and sharp and makes the thinnest cuts you can imagine. I highly recommend everyone try a wide 10" knife out a good shop. They are so much easier to use for chopping (the tip of the knife will stay on the board) and slicing (more blade to use). Most good shops have the Wusthof 10" wide which I like as well.
http://www.chefsresource.com/mac-mig...-knife-11.html


If you are deciding between Henckel and Wusthof, take a close look at the bolsters on each. I far prefer the design of the Wusthof, but the width of the bolster is the biggest design difference between the two.
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Unread 06-05-2006, 02:31 PM   #37
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Cabo (or somebody),

"On the subject of sharpeners
I’ve been using a Spyderco sharpener for a lot of years. It has yet to show wear, and puts an edge on a knife, that I believe to be unparalleled. You can literally shave with it. When I bought mine they were only $30. That shows you how long I’ve had it.

http://spyderco.com/catalog/details.php?product=77"

Help me out here.
I assume the angle on the blade is maintained by holding the knife vertical ?
One problem I have with hand-held sharpeners/honers is trying to keep the angle the same.
The "v-block" mount would help a lot if that is the purpose.

And, I have "fondled" all the major premium brands and love them all!
DROOL would be the proper phrase
All of them seem to fit just fine and feel comfortable in the grip.

Thanks for all the great input so far. Interesting.

TIM
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Unread 06-05-2006, 02:36 PM   #38
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Shun all the way...... I own full sets of Henkles and Wusthofs and I would put Shun up against them any day.....
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Unread 06-05-2006, 02:46 PM   #39
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I'm very happy with my Wusthof wide blade chef's knife. I like the heft and balance, has enough room so that your knuckles don't hit the cutting board.
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Unread 06-05-2006, 03:26 PM   #40
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Well I recently purchased a set of six star cutlery from Ronco, some may laugh, but let me tell ya, I have enjoyed these knives, they have a lifetime guarntee and replacement plus if they ever get dull they will either sharpen them or replace them free of charge.

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