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knives recommendation for culinary student

Wed Mar 20, 2013 8:55 am

I would like to ask for knives recommendation, because I am going to study at Le Cordon Bleu, but I'm not sure which knives should I pick for my personal tools that I can used not just at home but professionally. As far as I know Le Cordon Bleu used wusthof knives but I would like to ask whether there is better option for me. At the moment I have a 6 inch shun knife, but I found it a bit filmsy. So, I was just wondering whether all japanese knives are like this or if it is just ,my knife. I would like to purchase Japanese knives, because I like the sharpness of the knives, but if there are other options I wouldn't mind as well. I would like to get knives that I can use for years not just a couple of months

Thank you for reading this message

Re: knives recommendation for culinary student

Wed Mar 20, 2013 10:17 am

Not quite sure what you consider flimsy about the 6" Shun as I've never found them flimsy at all.

Most all Japanese chef's knives (gyuto's) will be significantly thinner/lighter than their Western/German counterparts....so if that's what you're considering flimsy, then yes, they will all be like that.

Help us with that aspect and we can go from there.

Re: knives recommendation for culinary student

Wed Mar 20, 2013 10:22 am

Yes, that's what I meant. thank you for the reply

Re: knives recommendation for culinary student

Wed Mar 20, 2013 10:32 am

Yeah, if you don't like how thin/light the Shun is, you might have a hard time finding a Japanese chef's knife you like.

Some are heavier than the Shuns...but not typically as much so as the Germans.

Henckels makes some that aren't bad.

The Henckels Kramer line is going to be heavier:


The handles are larger, and the blades are big. Maybe a good choice.

Carbon steel blade, fyi!

Re: knives recommendation for culinary student

Thu Mar 21, 2013 12:18 pm

I'd go with a Masamoto VG series if you want something that's not flimsy. A great workhorse, better than a Henckels IMO, and stainless.


Re: knives recommendation for culinary student

Thu Mar 21, 2013 12:40 pm

Thanks for the reply, I'll look into it. I also notice that William Sonoma has a shun knives line that is thicker then other shun knives, what do you think about it? Have you heard anything about it ?

Re: knives recommendation for culinary student

Thu Mar 21, 2013 12:53 pm

I am finishing up culinary school and so I can talk from my own experiences. I bought the kit that was recommended by my school. They were all german knives... chef, boning, bread, paring, birds beak, etc. etc...

The starter kit recommended worked out just fine for school, but once you get into the industry and need to step your game up then the kit is a waste of money because if you need to do precision work then the fat and heavy german knives are going to make your life more difficult. I am a big guy and I like a heavy knife, but try making a super fine brunois shallot with a fat wustof and it takes triple the time with triple the imperfections. You give me a good thin and light japanese knife set and I can do triple the work you can with much better uniformity and precision. Dude, if you are going to spend $40k on a culinary education... chalk up some extra dough and purchase the best tools you can afford and work with for many years. If you are serious about this field then these tools are your life. I highly recommend doing some research on the site and go with some thinner Japanese knives.

Some knives don't necessarily need to be Japanese. Those include a boning knife, paring, and birds beak... those go completely to preference. However, I would recommend researching some gyuto's and possible a nakiri... they are sharper, hold a better edge, and are easier to sharpen. There are many great values on the site... Just ask and there are plenty of experts on this forum that can offer better advice than any instructor at cooking school...

Re: knives recommendation for culinary student

Thu Mar 21, 2013 2:06 pm

Thanks for the advice, I think that might be the standard tools that culinary school provides. Some people said that I don't need the expensive knives because I'm only using it for practise, which I strongly disagree because knives are one of the main tools that we used in this industry and purchasing good knives is pretty smart choice, I think. I will definitely looking for the thin and sharp knives then. I was afraid that the thin knives would not last very long that's all. I also would like to ask do you have to use the knives that the school provide or can you bring your own knives?

Re: knives recommendation for culinary student

Thu Mar 28, 2013 10:30 am

As a word of advice, never use "house" knives. They are rarely sharp, generally not taken care of, and will make your work a million times more difficult. The school purchases the cheapest knives possible because they know their students don't know what they are doing and will not take care of them. Same goes with working in a restaurant... House knives are a last resort.. I will only use a house knife to scale a fish or to scrape bones while frenching...

Re: knives recommendation for culinary student

Thu Mar 28, 2013 10:45 am

Look at the Fujiwara Stainless series, Tojiro DP series and the Artifex series. Great entry level Japanese knives in all 3 series, all stainless with durable handles. The Fujiwara will probably be the thinnest behind the edge of the 3, followed by the Tojiro then the Artifex. A thin knife can last a long time. Japanese knives are much harder than their western counterparts and will take and hold a much better edge and will need occasional touch ups. As a home cook, I have one knife that I have used since August with only stropping it 5 times since I got it in August. In a pro kitchen, plan on sharpening every few days to once a week or so. depending on your useage. But you may only need to touch up the edge with a higher grit (say 2K-5K stone) instead of redoing the edge constantly from coarse to fine stones, so they may last a bit longer than you would think for a thin knife.
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