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now that our children are old enough to stay out of them, I want to invest in some good quality knives, preferably w/a block to store them in. I've had Henckels in the past, but don't want to spend that much. Does anyone have a set they really like?

I found these and wonder if they're comparable quality-does anyone have Chef's knives?

http://www.chefscatalog.com/catalog/...all&item=20460
 

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Y'know, if I had about $150 to spend on knives, I think I'd forego the big huge set and just invest in three really super good knives.

I love my Wustof knives. And the three that I use the most are:

8" Chef's knife
Bread knife
3" paring knife

Here is an excellent article on what knives to buy.

Hope that helps!
 

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I'm going to second the pp! With a paring and one chef, you can do a lot! Here in Boston there's a kitchen supply store that sells reconditioned knives. I got great deal (around 40 bucks) on my best knives. Maybe try calling a few non-chain kitchen supply places to see if you can get some reconditioned knives? I also really recommend getting a honning rod. I defintely notice that when I use the honning rod frequently I don't need to sharpen as much. No season tests out the sharpness of a knife like tomato season!
 

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I have a Santoku knife that I love, I use it much more than my big chef's knife... It is great for cutting anything, and since it isn't as long as a big chef's knife you have more control over it. I have the Henkels and don't recommend that one, I think Cook's Mag recommended the MAC brand. I have Henkels and love them, but they are freakin expensive. I would say if the steel is Ice hardened, and it has a full tang, and the knife feels balanced in your grip, and it a good price, get it!
 

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Yup, I only have 3 decent knives and they're all Henkels. I actually prefer Wustof, but they're were/are a bit pricier than the Henkels. I find that I can do almost anything with my 8" chefs, bread knife, and paring knife.

I have a wooden block to store them too. Tips on blocks.. don't get any that store the knives with the cutting edge down, get the ones that store them on their sides. It preserves their edges. Also, if you do get the Henkels brand, make sure they're German made ones, not the China made ones. The quality is better.
 

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I have a full Wusthoff set and I would have to say I only ever use the same two knives out of the whole set. Depending on your budget, I agree with others that it may be worthwhile to just get one or two good ones, even though having a full block is really tempting.

Although if you did have $150 to spend, I noticed that there are better sales on sets than on single knives. If you had that much budgetted, then it may be worth it to watch for a really good deal on a small set. I believe we paid $250 for our set, and while it seems really pricey, it's a really good deal since it's a really big set (7 knives, scissors, block with extra spots and sharpener tool). I wanted a santoku knive, and haven't felt right buying it since it's like $80 by itself. I noticed that Costco sometimes has Henkels sets for a good price but not sure if it's the good (German) ones.
 

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My husband has gotten me a couple of JA Henckels for birthday gifts the past couple of years, I've got one small, sharp paring knife (maybe 4 inches) and a santoku. I love both of them! They feel really sturdy and hold a good edge too. Wusthoff Trident is also excellent!

I would also get them individually, you could probably get the two I mentioned for the money you've got. I honestly only pretty much use a paring knife and a chef's knife/santoku exclusively! Good knives make cooking SOOOO much nicer!!

A decent bread knife is nice too if you make your own bread... both brands will have good ones, they are excellent knives all the way around.
 

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This is a subject near and dear to my heart...a good knife make cooking such a joy (not that I didn't love it before, lol).

I had my santoku made by Watanabe Blade in Japan. It is amazing. It's the only knife I use (though I am getting a smaller one for my birthday next month). I've had it for 2 years now and it's still perfect. I sharpen it myself with a ceramic sharpner.

http://www.watanabeblade.com/english/pro/kaibou.htm
 

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These probably aren't in the same league, but I have been happy with my Pampered Chef knives. They have storage sharpeners, so if my kids reach in the drawer, the blades are covered. And I can sharpen when I remove them from the covers. They are a great midstep until we can afford the amazing knives I've heard about.
 

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I used to have a knife block for my Wustofs, but I didn't like how much counter space it took up so I graduated to a magnetic strip on the wall. LOVE IT!

I also want to say that a good pair of kitchen scissors are an essential for me. They are so versatile - I hardly ever "chop" herbs anymore; I simply snip them into whatever I'm making. This summer I've been cutting off the tops of my corn on the cob before I shuck them, so I don't have to deal with the ucky silk and dry end of the ear. You can "slice" pizza with kitchen scissors, too! Lots of great time-saving uses!

Is it bad that I've never had my knives sharpened? I've had them for three years and I use the steel on them fairly often, but I don't have a sharpener myself nor do I really have the money (or initiative) to go get them professionally sharpened. Someone tell me!
 

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I get my knives professionally sharpened about once every 1-2 years or so. You can help straighten the blade every time you use it using a steel. People think this is sharpening the knife but really you're just straightening the blade. And you should do it every time you use one. And I probably should sharpen more often.

I agree with the pp that you really only need 3 knives. Others are nice to have but even just having a good chef's knife will get you really far.

I bought mine at Broadway Panhandler in NYC. I have Sabatier. What's great about going to a good kitchen store to buy a knife is at Panhandler and the good kitchen store I have in VT now, they have all the same quality of knives and different brands. A good chef's knife is an extension of your hand, it should feel good in your hand and easy to use. I tried Henckels, for me they felt clunky and I wasn't ready for the Japanese brand they had it was all metal. The Sabatier as soon as I picked it up boom it felt like it was part of my hand. Others will feel different about different brands. So go try some out find the one that's you.

And I should tell you Sabatier licensed their name out all over the place so the cheap ones you find on Amazon are not the ones you'll find in a good kitchen store. The ones with the elephants are the good ones. They're still made in France. I have no idea if Henckels does something similar. But if you try out a knife and then want to try to find it for cheaper make sure you give the knive a good look over and the one you find for cheaper matches.

To me, a chef's knife is your most important kitchen tool. It's worth it to not skimp b/c then you get to see it being passed down to your grandchildren.
 

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i have a set from chicago cutlery that i love, and theyre great... theyre sharp, and cut well, and it only cost me like $30 for the set (at AAFES though, so it'd probably be more at a regular store) for i think 6 knives, 8 steak knives and a block
 

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I second the Pampered Chef knife suggestion.

The Knife Holder/Sharpener combo is very handy! I like that the blade is covered and not a danger. I also really love the Quikut Paring Knives. I know...for only $1.25 - they're not "super-fabulous", but I have had mine since I was a freshman in college and LOVE it!

Also, PC knives are very reasonably priced until you can afford teh more expensive knives. (Paring - $14.75, Chef's - $25.75)

Mrs Bernstein
 

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If I had $150 to spend... I'd buy a single Shun.
: 8" chef's knife. Yeah, baby


As for butcher's blocks, the pp who mentioned not storing them blade down was right... but that doesn't mean you can't use a block with vertical slots. Just slide the knife in with the blade facing up instead of down.
 
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