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Good chef knife under $100

Sat Dec 14, 2013 5:01 pm

Hello. Looking for a good knife for my wife for cooking at home. We just have a cheap block set of knives and a $10 sharpener and she is always saying she wants to get some good knives one day. I Want to spend under $100 and have read a chefs knife is probably the best knife to get to start. also though I've read it might be smarter to buy a really good sharpener and practice on your cheap knives then buy a good knife next..

Can you recommend a knife or give your thoughts on this? Thanks so much!!

Re: Good chef knife under $100

Sat Dec 14, 2013 5:07 pm

Here are a couple to look at.

The Tojiro DP is a good knife and it's under your budget:

The Shun Sora is another one: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/shunsora8chef.html

The Richmond Artifex is a third option. It uses excellent steel: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/riar21.html

Re: Good chef knife under $100

Sat Dec 14, 2013 5:27 pm

Here is the Tojiro DP gyuto : http://www.chefknivestogo.com/tojiro-dp-f-8081.html

The one Mark linked to is the petty. Not sure if he meant to. ;) I personally have looked at it as a good option for a slicer as a future purchase for myself.

The gyuto is essentially the Japanese take on a western style chef's knife from what I understand.

A santoku is also a good all around blade shape, but typically it is shorter.

Here is a Tojiro DP 170mm santoku: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/todpsakn17.html

And the longer Richmond Artifex santoku: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/richmond1.html

So if you want something more like an 8" classic chef's knife a 210mm gyuto is the way to go, 240mm gyuto if you like closer to 10". For something a little shorter (6"-7"-ish) the santokus are nice. Arguably the most utility would be had by the longer gyutos, but I personally like santokus as well so I thought I'd throw them in the pot too. ;) lol

The nice thing is that with the prices on these brands you can actually build up your collection as you go, stop when you like, and you'll have a nice set of knives at the end that you didn't have to sell any kids or internal organs for. ;)

Edit: Oh yeah, I forgot to mention anything about sharpening! lol The thing about sharpening is that it can easily add up to more than the cost of a knife (or a set of knives!), but it is a worthy investment for the betterment of ALL of your knives. Kitchen knives, pocket knives, etc. will all benefit from it. As a matter of personal preference, I would suggest learning to hand sharpen your knives. Once you get the hang of hand sharpening it is not hard to do and many (including myself) find it very relaxing and therapeutic in a way.

This set is certainly NOT a $10 sharpening set by any means, but it comes with a nice, complete set of stones, a stone holder, a plate for flattening the stones, a felt block for deburring, a sharpie for helping you when learning to sharpen, and a jeweler's loupe so you can see what is going on with the edge of your knife as you learn: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/knshcoset.html

It is more of a sharpening system and with the selection of stones and stuff you get you won't need to add anything else unless you want to. With it you can do anything from sharpening, to fixing chips, to finishing a nice edge, to maintaining the edge.

At the very least I would suggest a 1k stone and strop, but I think the above set would serve someone new to hand sharpening VERY well and will be something you will have for years. Whatever you decide to do, PLEASE don't run these knives through a $10 sharpener! :P lol

Re: Good chef knife under $100

Sat Dec 14, 2013 5:54 pm

Sorry for the double post, but I forgot about this stone!


It would be good for starting out, but you will probably want to add to it later with a way to flatten it (diamond plate) and possibly a way to hold it stable. But by itself it at least gives you a good way to sharpen and finish your knives.

Re: Good chef knife under $100

Sat Dec 14, 2013 7:36 pm

Oops, sorry I fixed the link.

Re: Good chef knife under $100

Sat Dec 14, 2013 8:39 pm

Ditto Mark's recommendations. I own the Tojiro and Artifex, both very good. I have seen the Shun, its handle is cheaper looking than either of the other two, but the blade is very attractive.

Ditto Munky's recommendation on sharpening:
1) A good stone or two, a bit of practice, and you'll never have a dull knife in the house again. Very much worth investing time and money sooner rather than later.
2) Most high end knives do not come from the manufacturer as sharp as they can get. If you cannot sharpen, you will never know what your knife is capable of.
3) Even the best knives dull with time, having hand sharpening under your belt means you will never know this sadness.
4) Even the best sharpeners have significant limitations. Serrations, novel profiles, a variety of bevel angles...make gig or device based sharpening useless. Hand sharpening means if you can get the edge to the stone, you can sharpen it.
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