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I need a chef knife with good edge retention

Tue Jul 03, 2012 4:39 pm


I need suggestions for a chef knife 10 inches to chop onions, slice tomatoes, lemons,peppers,mushrooms etc.
Unfortunately I am NOT an expert in cooking so the very advanced suggestions are not likely to help me.

my roommate has a JA Henckels international fine edge pro chef knife. It is basically a cheap knife made in china with stamped blade and I used to think it is a waste of money before I sharpened it.
I am good at honing straight razors and I took out 3 of my synthetic stones: Norton 1k, Norton 4k, Norton 8k. I started resetting the bevel on 1k, then 4k then 8k until I got a mirror bevel. I sharpened at ~20 degree angle.

I was very surprised at the edge that the knife got. it could shave my arm hair. I was not expecting this from a very cheap knife. JA Henckels international has a forged blade series that is higher priced and supposedly better. For that reason I could not believe how sharp the cheap stamped blade became.

unfortunately, the sharpness was gone in a very short amount of time. the edge did not hold for more than a few meal preparation.
I need a knife that holds its edge for longer period of time.

I can take care of a knife but it should not rust too easily. I prefer not to pay more than $200

Please let me know

Re: I need a chef knife with good edge retention

Tue Jul 03, 2012 4:54 pm

There are a ton of options, I would suggest exploring http://www.chefknivestogo.com/kitchen-knives.html. This way you have a feel for what people suggest.

Re: I need a chef knife with good edge retention

Tue Jul 03, 2012 5:30 pm

Thank you I already seen those pages for myself but I don't own any of those knives. I thought someone who owns many knives will tell me which one is better. I was thinking of buying a Wusthof classic knife but I am not sure if I should buy a harder japanese knife instead.

Re: I need a chef knife with good edge retention

Tue Jul 03, 2012 5:33 pm

Well...I am by no means as knowledgeable as many of the other member...so I am going to leave it to them! No need for me to mislead you haha

Re: I need a chef knife with good edge retention

Tue Jul 03, 2012 6:07 pm

Hi Dan,

Are you right handed?
Do you want a Japanese handled knife or a western handle?

Re: I need a chef knife with good edge retention

Tue Jul 03, 2012 6:31 pm

Hi Mark,
I am right handed. the handle does not matter too much but Japanese handled ones look easier to hone around the heel of the blade.

edit: by the way, It needs to be 50/50 bevel so I can sharpen it easily myself. I am a little hesitant to look into Japanese knives because I want a workhorse and I don't want to chip the blade trying to chop carrots.

Re: I need a chef knife with good edge retention

Tue Jul 03, 2012 7:52 pm

Workhorse gyuto under $200 with 50/50 edge.

If you're ok with semi stainless, try the TKC:

If you would rather try a wa handled knife try my Ultimatum:

There are other good choices like the Hirmomoto AS or my Addict or the Masamoto VG. All of these knives will work for you.

Re: I need a chef knife with good edge retention

Tue Jul 03, 2012 10:23 pm

Yeah, even the Wustoff's won't hold an edge like a harder Japanese knife will! I have several bolstered Japanese Western (Yo) handled knives and the bolsters don't make sharpening the heel an issue since I usually have the blade at an angle to the stones, so don't let that put you off!

If you want something without a bolster, but Western handle, look at the Artifex 240mm; it's a 9.5" blade, AEB-L stainless steel that will hold a nice edge.

As far as the 50/50 grind, most Japanese knives don't have it. Many have a 70/30 with the right hand side of the blade more beveled than the left hand side of the blade and are sharpened that way as well. With stones, it's no problem having a 70/30 edge; just follow the original bevels when you sharpen. The single bevel knives aren't every day knives (unless you are a sushi chef!) for most people anyway. I wouldn't be put off by a non 50/50 bevel as long as it's not a single bevel or 99/1 type blade.

Another suggestion would be to get 2 knives. Get an 240 Artifex Gyuto and then add in a Stainless Steel Nakiri into the mix. The Nakiri is great for the veggies like peppers, onions, mushrooms, etc. The gyuto is a multi purpose knife that will handle everything, but I enjoy using a Nakiri on veggies, especially if I am doing really thin slices. By using the Nakiri for veggies and the gyuto for the proteins or bigger veggies, I find that I have to sharpen less since the work is being split between 2 knives. I prefer Carbon steel Nakiri's myself for the carbon edge that they take, but acidic foods will discolor them and the edges may go dull faster due to oxidization. A new carbon knife may also discolor the food when it reacts to it, but it usually goes away once the blade develops a Patina.

Re: I need a chef knife with good edge retention

Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:24 am

Being your first j-knife I would strongly recommend the Artifex in 240 or 210. I wish this knife had been available when I got started out. Based on the fact that you seem to be a competent sharpener I think you will have little issue getting one of these more than acceptably sharp and getting a feel for what a high quality steel with good hardening has to offer.

I think even at the very solid price point of the Artifex you will be pleased with it as an initial knife. Many folks who own loads of high end knives on the various knife forums still seem to be pleased with the Artifex's they own.

I doubt this will be your last knife based on what you have posted thus far and your appreciation for a quality shave. thus start with something of a high value and high performance in my opinion would be a great starting point and would give you info as to where to spend your money on your next knife based on what you may like or not like about about the Artifex.


Re: I need a chef knife with good edge retention

Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:18 pm

Since you seem interested in steel quality and edge retention almost exclusively, I'd suggest the Artifex as well. I took one to work as a sous chef and worked with it for a solid week, and it'd still shave hair off my Idahone rod after all that. No small feat--it is good steel.

Also, make sure you are deburring when you sharpen. I don't know what you mean by a few meals, but if you mean like 3 meals at home, I would say that, on any knife, that sounds like a wire edge to me. When you order the Artifex, pick up an Idahone rod for upkeep and a piece of Rock Hard Felt for deburring.
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