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Stolen chef's knife replacement...

Sat Jul 27, 2013 8:28 pm

Hi - I need some help. I just finished Culinary school and the Chef Knife that was given me at school was stolen (at work) from me last week. It was a 10" Mercer which I've been told is a good starter knife but I could do better. I also have a few Henckels in my collection but none of then really professional quality. What knife would you buy? I can spend about $200. I am right handed and yes I know how to sharpen it. I want a knife that won't break the bank, will stay sharp under daily use, and be easy on my arm/hand.

Thanks for your help.

Re: New Chef's knife wanted.

Sat Jul 27, 2013 9:27 pm

The Richmond Artifex line should do you well.

Re: New Chef's knife wanted.

Sun Jul 28, 2013 11:20 am

Hi Rebecca!

Tons of great choices for the working pro under $200 Some questions for you. The trick is going to be limiting the group to a few good choices from which you can't go wrong.

Help us by answering a few questions:

  • Would you consider a wa-gyuto (Japanese style handle)? Or Western only?
  • If you know what the difference is, do you prefer a German or French profile? Why?
  • Would you rate your knife skills as excellent, good average or adequate?
  • 8" or 10"? If 8", why?
  • Robust all-around? Ultra-light? In between?
  • Would you rate your sharpening skills as excellent, good, average, or adequate?
  • What equipment do you use to sharpen now?
  • How often do you sharpen your most-used Mercers?
  • How often do you steel them? And,
  • What kind of steel are you using now?

Writing about things which you think might help us help you will not only do that but help you organize your own thoughts. So... please feel free.


I need help

Sun Jul 28, 2013 2:26 pm

As for the handle, I watched the videos on the site about Japanese knifes and was intrigued that their balance point moves towards the tip of the blade and would probably fall at my grip not behind it at the heal of my palm. That said I’ve never actually held a Japanese knife so I don’t know if I’ll like one.

I think I would prefer a German profile. I do the rocking thing that it allows when cutting smaller vegetables, herbs. The French profile being flatter, would probably take some time to get use to. I have an 8” Henckel utility knife I use to core bell peppers and alike, it has more of a French profile and about 1” height and works great. I believe, in using the right tool for the right job. I wouldn’t use my pairing knife to bone out a chicken.

My knife skills are good for my experience level. My speed and accurate is good. For example, I can small dice an onion in less than 30 sec but I sill have to look so I don’t lose any finger tips. (-; Fifty pounds of red potatoes can be quartered in about 30 min. Still learning and getting better.

I have a whetstone. The stone has medium side and a fine side. At school I used an oil stone that also had a course side. I try to sharpen them about once a week but that doesn’t always happen. If my knife starts to “pop” through the food instead of gliding through I know I’ve waited too long. I’m actually new to knife sharpening. I rate my skill as adequate but needs work. I try to remember to hone them before and after I use them and in between as needed. I have two steels both look to be the same type. They are rods on a handle with course surface.

I’m looking for a 10” knife. When I started school I found the 10” Mercer too long and bought an 8” Henckel. But once I got use to the length I never used the 8” knife. That was until the Mercer was stolen. I was glad that I had left the 8” knife in my roll. I now find it too short and the rocking radius not wide enough. As for “Rrobust all-around? Ultra-light? In between,” I don’t know how to answer. I want a knife that I can hold and use all day. That will hold a sharp edge for a reasonable time. My knife should be an extension of my hand, it should feel good.

Re: Stolen chef's knife replacement...

Mon Jul 29, 2013 2:50 am




Re: Stolen chef's knife replacement...

Mon Jul 29, 2013 8:37 am

If someone stole your knife at work what prevents them from stealing your more expensive one you are about to purchase. If someone stole my knife I would flip and I would stop bringing my knives to work except one all purpose knife. Also they could never use the knife at work cause I would catch them, I also don't think anyone I work with would do that or is obsessed with knives.

Re: Stolen chef's knife replacement...

Mon Jul 29, 2013 8:51 am

Buy this


Re: Stolen chef's knife replacement...

Mon Jul 29, 2013 8:54 am

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... qS7LNjgwOI

Re: Stolen chef's knife replacement...

Mon Jul 29, 2013 12:24 pm


Re: Stolen chef's knife replacement...

Tue Jul 30, 2013 10:30 am

A German profile doesn't rock chop better, it push cuts worse. You can rock chop any profile no matter how flat.

In fact, a French profile knife is actually more comfortable to rock chop than a German in that you don't need to lift the handle as high, and there's less of a sense of pumping the handle when rocking. Plus, it push cuts MUCH better, because the longer flat run of the blade (if cut sharp) helps prevent accordion cutting even without pushing the handle way down -- so, less pumping again.

The three knives Melampus recommended are probably the yo-knives I'd recommend for you; with the MAC Pro and Masamoto VG being the mass-produced, stainless, better than entry level yo-gyuto, I most often suggest -- particularly the MAC. But I would have encouraged more conversation with the goal of leading you to enough of an understanding that the recommendations made sense.

But, cutting to the chase certainly has its good points. If all you want is the recommendation, then those are three great knives, and any of them should suit you extremely well. If you want some discussion of the differences between them or want to learn more about knives so you can figure out what's likely best for you, we can do that as well.

By way of a sample: Many of the most interesting options in the sub $200, 10" group are wa-gyuto; and the transition from yo to wa is very easy for anyone who holds her knife with a decent pinch grip. You might want to take a look at the Richmond Addict in AEB-L.

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