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Gift Knives for Mom

Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:57 pm

Hi everyone,

So here's the situation. My parents just finished renovating there kitchen after 4 years. 4 years where my Mom had to work off a plastic folding table and an electric oven that kept moving through the house. Now that it's all done I want to replace her knives for Christmas. She's had the same terrible serrated stamped knives since I can remember. When I got back from college she actually stole my $25 Cuisinart santaku knife because the blade was so much better than her's.

I'm a complete noob when it comes to knives. I'm an engineer and I've taken enough material science classes to understand what makes a good knife but the choices are so vast I'm getting a little lost.

Here's what I'm looking for as far as knife types
-Chef
-Paring
-Serrated bread
-utility
-Slicer (though I dont think it will see much action so it's not 100% necesary)
- Steak knives at least 4 but 8 would be preferred (don’t need to be great, just decent)

Here are the characteristics I'm going to need in a knife.
- Stainless steel (I know my mom and I know high carbon will get for gotten about one day and rust. )
- Good edge retention (I know I'll be coming over to sharpen these knives periodically so I would like to keep it to a minimum)
- Doesn’t need to be surgery sharp (She won’t be doing anything that requires see through tomato slices)
-Western Style Handle
-Knifes don’t need to be the same manufacturer but a similar look would be nice.
- Forged if possible, more of a personal preference than anything
-I’m looking at a price of around $450 for the whole set up. The price isn’t set in stone but I just don’t think she would gain too much more from a more expensive set.

I’m open to any recommendations or comments. Let me know if any other information is needed. I’ll be combing through the forum in the meantime.

As long as I’m making a purchase I think I may pick up a Tojiro DP for myself. From what I’ve read it’s a good knife to learn on and not too expensive.

Re: Gift Knives for Mom

Thu Nov 15, 2012 2:15 am

Artifex line up :) 210mm gyuto, 150mm petty, 80mm paring, bread knife (or the tojiro ITK bread knife) and then whatever steak knives you like.

Re: Gift Knives for Mom

Thu Nov 15, 2012 4:06 pm

Yeah, the Artifex is about the best you're going to get with that budget. Great value knives.

And....all steel is forged.

Re: Gift Knives for Mom

Thu Nov 15, 2012 5:49 pm

All steel is forged???? :)

Re: Gift Knives for Mom

Thu Nov 15, 2012 7:31 pm

Pretty much at some point it is "forged"! May not be forged to shape, but it is heated and then formed, usually with pressure, which I guess could be a loose definition of "forged".

Re: Gift Knives for Mom

Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:51 pm

I was just teasing Adam. He and I have answered that question about a million times.

Re: Gift Knives for Mom

Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:54 pm

I know :)

Re: Gift Knives for Mom

Fri Nov 16, 2012 1:33 am

Thanks for the advice. I'll take a look at that.

Hmm that makes sense about some forging is necessary for steel, but why do companies make a big deal about stamped vs forged then? Is it just an easy marketing technique then?

Re: Gift Knives for Mom

Fri Nov 16, 2012 2:32 pm

Yes, it's just marketing.

You should see how Wusthof's are forged. They're forged with giant stamps....eww, I love YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YdycKhpHpOs

It's not like some guy is standing there pounding the knife to shape. The blank is cut, heated, then drop forged by a huge stamp forge. It takes 5 seconds.

Even still, a truly hand forged knife isn't better than one I can make from a sheet of steel just because he forged it. Now, there are things a forger can do that I can't since they start with a block/bar of steel and pound it to shape (integral bolsters are a prime example)....but that doesn't make the steel any better.

Just my $0.02.

Re: Gift Knives for Mom

Fri Nov 16, 2012 11:36 pm

I bet it's because when you think of forged, a mental picture of a black smith comes to mind while stamped reminds you of long lines in the Post office haha

I was recomnded the Artifex and the Fujiwara FKM knives by someone else for a gift set. Does anyone have any notes on comparing them? They both will fit in my budget and I'm leaning towards the FKM a little more just because of the bolster... which really isnt a great reason, but ascetics do play a part.

Is there a benifit to the Molybdenum/Vanadium stainless (FKM) vs the AEB-L (Artifex)?

I feel a little like at this point I'm comparing green apples to red ones. I'll be happy with either choice once I take that first bite.
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