BIFL kitched knife that won't break a budget?

What skills to learn, what tools to get
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Re: BIFL kitched knife that won't break a budget?

Post by oldtom01 »

I own 3 chef's knifes and gave a 4th this year as a gift.

1. A generic wusthof knockoff. Decent knife, but I've never loved it. I've never been able to get it wicked sharp. The steel is "gummy" a common criticism of lower quality stainless knife steels, if you've ever sharpened high carbon and then sharpened these you'll be able to tell immediately. It doesn't mean the steel is soft or bad, just different. My understanding is that that the grain structure of the hardened steel is larger than nicer steels and causes it to feel weird as you sharpen.

So that was my baseline for the next 3 knives:

I bought these two Japanese stainless knives that are advertised as super-hard:

Nexus: ... UTF8&psc=1

Global: ... UTF8&psc=1

Both of these knives are indeed very hard and very very very sharp and retain their sharpness for a long time. I love both these knives. I gave the Nexus to my mom because it was a little too small for my hands, and I kept the Global. It is the nicest knife I've personally ever used and I love it.

Then finally is my Old Hickory: ... UTF8&psc=1

This knife's build quality is absolute shit. But for > $20 you get a nice simple high carbon steel blade. I personally like using this knife. I can get it very very sharp. The downside is that although the steel is nice, Old Hickory doesn't heat treat it as hard it should be so edge retention isn't much better than my Wusthoff knockoff. However it can quickly and easily be sharpened and I personally get good results on a shitty 2 sided oil-stone I keep in the kitchen drawer.

All of these knifes can be found well under $100 and will last you a lifetime.

I like decent tools for the things I do every day, and we definitely cook every day. These knives are all a joy to use, even the Old Hickory in spite of its fit and finish.


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Re: BIFL kitched knife that won't break a budget?

Post by anesde »

I think the construction of the knife matters more than brand (for non enthusiasts/serious chefs). I bought a ~7” chefs knife from IKEA that is a single piece of stainless steel a few years back (can’t rememeber price but definitely <£20). It’s gotten dull but easily resharpened. Compared to my SO’s knife set it’s held up much better. Her’s look nice but have wooden handles which have caused 2 of the 4 knives to break over time. That can be dangerous when it happens as the knife just gives out and collapses.

Another key is care - don’t wash in dishwasher, only by hand. Stainless won’t rust but still better off to dry Immediately. Also best to use a cutting board - they’re cheap, effective and versatile.

I’ve had the IKEA knife for 3 years, use it daily, and with a bit of sharpening every 2 months or so it’s the same as when I bought it. I enjoy cooking but I’m definitely not a master chef, and I don’t use it to butcher any meat. About the most for meat would be cutting fillets raw or carving roasts post cooking. Works fine for that + veggies but if you’re looking for serious work on meat it’s probably better to invest in a better option.

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Re: BIFL kitched knife that won't break a budget?

Post by bristoldude »

I used to have a bunch of kitchen knives but ended up using a Chinese light cleaver for everything, it was pretty cheap too.

I do take an opinel whenever traveling to make up for shoddy self catering knives.

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Re: BIFL kitched knife that won't break a budget?

Post by mferson »

The Opinel classic line of kitchen knives is fantastic and affordable.

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Re: BIFL kitched knife that won't break a budget?

Post by Bankai »

Thanks everyone for the advice. I settled for a pair of Victorinox knives - a chef and a paring one as several people recommended them. So far so good, they appear good quality - definitely better than any knife we had before, and the cost was under £30 for both.

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Re: BIFL kitched knife that won't break a budget?

Post by Sclass »

It’s amazing what victorinox produces using sheet metal stamping. The pocket knives and plastic handled kitchen knives are very high quality while being mass produced. I had one of the paring knives people mention in this thread. I accidentally melted the handle after using it for ten years.

I’m a big fan of the Swiss Army knives. Great quality at a great price. I had no idea that they were just stampings till I saw the manufacturing videos on YouTube.

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