Best Budget Chef's Knife + Best Beginner's Knife?

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Mar 7, 2014
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Try the webstaurant.com website, there you'll see Mercer Genesis knives which are used by students in many culinary schools throughout the US. The Cordon Bleu academy uses them that's saying a lot for their integrity and you might like the prices offered at that website. They're extremely reasonable. This tidbit of information could knock out two birds with one stone so to speak as to answering both of your questions. I've just picked up a bunch of them (Mercer Genesis). Truthfully, for the price of two high end knives I've put together an impressive assortment of knives, including individually sized knife guards and a carry bag for just under $350. They're good looking and well balanced. The handles are made of a santoprene fabric which helps reduce slips from your hand but they have other models that have plastic riveted handles as well. Good luck in your search, but give the webstaurant site a look even if you don't buy a thing.

Peace.

Jorge.
 
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Jan 23, 2011
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I have a Santoku and a 8" Chef's knife from Henkels. One is made in Germany, the other in Spain. Both are very good and I paid around $40 for them around 8 years ago.

I also have an Opinel paring knife that is very good; if you get their Chef's knife, I think it will be a very nice knife.

All these knives will dull with regular use. It's best to sharpen them regularly. I touch mine up about twice a week with a mini croc sticks, except I swipe one side at a time, not down at the vertex of the "V". If you are skilled, you can use a stone or even the unglazed bottom of a mug to keep the knives sharp.
 
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Mar 31, 2009
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Easily the Tojiro DP. The 210 mm version can be had for ~$62 last time I checked.

Funny enough, I just sharpened a brand new one (though it didn't really need it) for my brother. The grind is quite good - exceptional, in fact, when considering the price - and they use VG-10 at a good harness.
 
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Feb 1, 2012
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I've had been using mine for 10 yrs before it was stolen with my other knives. Never had to put a new edge on it. Just honed it with a steel. I'm buying another one and plan to use it forever.
 
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It's so easy to pick up a necro thread. You're Googling something you are into that day and see folks discussing it.... It's how I started posting here more regularly for better or worse.

We that check the board regularly can get too close to things too. I've seen threads a couple months old get cries of "necro, necro!". Wonder what the standard would be, if there is one.

3 years is old, but what if the existing discussion greatly interested the responder? I dunno.

If you can find other things of interest at them also, yard sales are great sources of wonderful old carbon steel kitchen knives for little money. I'm looking at a 14", probably quite old, Green River knife steel hanging on my kitchen wall right now. It cost me $1. I have a block of sharp carbon steel knives for when I have kitchen duty. I sharpened them really well at first and I give them 3 swipes per side on the steel after each use. I rarely have to sharpen now.
 
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Dec 15, 2013
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Absolutely without question the Victorinox Forschner 8 inch chef's knife. $40...and outcuts/outperforms nearly any other chef's knife out there. It is no small coincidence that it is the knife of choice for culinary students - as recommended by their instructors. Incredible value. Top shelf performance.
 

kyle007

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Mar 9, 2014
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I've been down the Forschner/Victorinox/Softer Euro steel route and just can't abide the short edge life, and greater work to sharpen (vs carbon). My wife occasionally throws the Old Hickories in the sink and dishwasher. They get ugly rusty, but still sharpen back so quick, that even she prefers them. Plus I never complain to her, about abusing them. Unexpetedly the 10-in Old Hickory chef is her favorite. She seems to like the heft and added length, and the fact that it's kept sharp, and doesn't have to be babied.
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Oct 18, 2003
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For cheap, go with the Victorinox. For a little more, I like the Tojiro DP in VG10. You can get. 6" petty now for $50 and a 7" Gyoto chef knife for 70. The Tojiro are great knives. The petty has a narrower blade, while Gyotos are wider.
 
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Mar 26, 2013
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I may have more expensive knives, but this Becker/ESEE collaboration knife is the most used knives in my food prepping adventures...light weight and thin blades make them for a most enjoyable to use kitchen tool....

 
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Nov 4, 2005
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Managed restaurants for over 30 years. At home I use Kai Pure Komachi 2. Sharp as hell and inexpensive. I do no heavy dicing however. No need to.
 
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Feb 27, 2010
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For budget priced kitchen knives it's hard to beat Dexter Russell's. There is a good reason you see them in so many commercial kitchens and fishing docks - they are well made, very durable, and relatively easy to sharpen.

DexterRussell_S145-6PCP.jpg

This ^^^^

I have had one for many years. It is like a Craftsman screwdriver :D ....Low cost, but not cheaply made. A great kitchen tool.
 
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May 28, 2010
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Victorinox/Forschners are the best bang-for-the-buck in kitchen knife land

I recommend these also.

Unless ... you can find a set of Ethan Becker's kitchen knives. They are selling for about $50 for a set of four, but I think I read they're being discontinued. They can still be found online.

Oops ... Alnamvet68, you beat me to it. I didn't see that this thread had a page 2 when I posted. And I applaud your excellent taste in kitchen knives.
 
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Mar 26, 2013
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I recommend these also.

Unless ... you can find a set of Ethan Becker's kitchen knives. They are selling for about $50 for a set of four, but I think I read they're being discontinued. They can still be found online.

Oops ... Alnamvet68, you beat me to it. I didn't see that this thread had a page 2 when I posted. And I applaud your excellent taste in kitchen knives.

Not a problem friend...I see that I too double posted; time for the Aricept.;)
 

GatorFlash1

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May 28, 2012
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VIctorinox. Used in and approved for use in commercial kitchens. Thin blade. Won Cooks Illustated's recent chefs knives competition over many other far more expensive Japanese and European competitors.

You can Google the review from people/pro chefs who cut more in a week at work than you probably will in a lifetime.
 
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