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Wedding gift. What to get.

Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:25 am

Good morning
I purchased a set of Henckels professional knives from you c. 4 years ago for our niece.

I would like to purchase same or similar very high quality for the money Henckels or Wusthoff? For our sons wedding in April.
I look at the professional series in each brand, any other suggestions in this price range? ( the Henckels Pro is German Made with the 2 figures on the blade indicating best quality?)

Thanks for your help. I am from Canada, currently vacationing in the US and would have the knives shipped to a ny address and declare them at end of vacation.



Re: Wedding gift. What to get.

Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:42 am

Hi Jim,

I think we could do much better. How about trying a really good Japanese knife for them? They perform much better and look unique and very cool. They make excellent gifts.

Re: Wedding gift. What to get.

Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:42 am

Are there sets within the Japanese brands?
I discussed with my son and we like the handle shape on the Henckels/Wuthoff. I looked at he site but there are many brands. Can you narrow down for me?

Re: Wedding gift. What to get.

Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:45 am

Of the two I prefer Wusthof myself. I don't think it is likely that I'll ever buy another one of either brand though.

Re: Wedding gift. What to get.

Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:45 am

Sets of knives are less common with Japanese companies but Shun offers some like these:

I would encourage you to give them a couple knives like this and make your own set:

Kind Regards,

Re: Wedding gift. What to get.

Tue Mar 05, 2013 5:59 pm

Jim -Mark and others here are the true experts, but I see some very solid and consistent recommendations and advice that often appear on these forums. I'll try to best summarize my version of all this information:

1. Most cooks can do 95% of any standard kitchen tasks with 3 to 5 knives.
2. Trying to purchase a set of matching knives is very limiting vs. selecting the best model of each type according to your particular needs and budget.
3. The #1 most used knife for most people is an 8" Chefs/210mm Gyuto or a 10" Chefs/240mm Gyuto, and this is the best candidate for spending a bit more of your budget percentage on a really nice model.
4. Other very useful knives for most people include: a paring knife, a good bread knife, and a smaller 4-5" utility knife/petty.

For me personally, a good 210 Gyuto is a revelation of great cutting performance vs. Henkels/Wustof. I prefer the 210mm size. This knife is not the kind of thing to use hacking through frozen foods or banging through tough butternut squash, etc. It's awesome when used as intended and a stunning performer.

I use this inexpensive but very solid performing 10" Chef's knife for tougher jobs or bigger stuff like watermelon. http://www.chefknivestogo.com/fofi10chkn.html.

Great bread knives that are commonly recommended here are:
Victorinox 10" http://www.chefknivestogo.com/fowabrkn10.html (I have this one and it works very well)
Tojiro DP (Out of stock right now)
Richmond Artifex 270mm Bread knife http://www.chefknivestogo.com/riarbrkn27.html. (I bet this would be a great performer)

You'll find lots of options for petty/utility knives. Common lengths are 120mm and 150mm. Frequently recommended models with a western handle are these:
Fujiwara 120mm stainless: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/fufkmpe12.html
Fujiwara 150mm stainless: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/fufkmpe15.html

Others here with much more experience can give you Gyuto and paring knife recommendations.

Enjoy the diversity of having so many great brands at your disposal and take advantage of that luxury to assemble an awesome performing collection for the wedding present that might just be the most used and appreciated that they receive.

Don't forget to make sure they have a good, safe knife storage solution as well to keep the knifes in top shape.

I hope this helps and congrats on the upcoming nuptials.


Re: Wedding gift. What to get.

Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:57 pm

I agree with Paradox, in that, between the two - I prefer Wusthof, as well.

Honestly, the full bolster of the Henkels make them useless to me in even a casual situation as you can only sharpen them a few times w/o having to thin that damn bolster. The Wusthof Classic & Grand Prix have the same bolster, the Gourmet is just garbage (to me), but the Ikon line… the Ikon line does not have a full bolster. If you go German, I strongly recommend the Wusthof Ikon. Ironically enough, I just bought the 8pc set & a 20cm slicer last night; admittedly, not for myself, but…

Those VG-10 Shuns are much nicer knives than the Germans: easier to sharpen, better edge retention, better cutters due to geometry/grind (note: very different profile than Germans), lighter in weight, nicer F&F, but not nearly as durable if your gift recipients are "usual" people that treat knives "usually". You have to understand the quality of knives available here - our treasures, are effectively trash to 99% of the population. E.G., if I allowed my GF to use one of my JK's hardened to HRc 66 sharpened at 12 degrees, she'd break it under 2 minutes on a board.

If they're "normal" and let's say they leave knives in the sink, for one example or for another example, they use glass or corian cutting boards or for another example, they use their knife as a bench scraper & slide food across their board with it, just buy them Wushof Ikons and be praised for gifting them "the best on the market..." ;)

Most people don't want a job or an education in a gift; only you know what type of people they are....

Re: Wedding gift. What to get.

Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:21 pm

Thank you Melampus. Once again, you distill everything down into a much more practical bottom line. I often forget that most people don't give a *** about treating a knife as a precision tool and just want to lump it in with the butter knives, spoon, forks, and other silverware.

We once had a couple stay overnight to dog sit and I just about had a cow when I found my chef's knives in the dishwasher the next day. This was before I even got into the world of Japanese steel. People really just don't know any better. It is a bit of an education and a commitment.


Re: Wedding gift. What to get.

Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:50 pm

Japanese knives are an acquired love. Your son doesn't want to spend the next 50 years hearing about those damn strange knives you bought.

If I was in your shoes I would buy a set of the Shun Ken Onion. Not because they're the best (although they are quite good) but because they are the most likely to be appreciated. Mark has the 8" chef on sale for a song. Buy that and the block and have anniversary presents nailed down for years to come?

If you want to make a statement, the 3 Shun blue steel knives with the new Shun 'pagoda' magnetic rack would do just that.

Either of the above can take some neglect without being ruined. And Shun has been the gateway drug for many jknife fanatics.

And CONGRATULATIONS on the upcoming nuptials!



Re: Wedding gift. What to get.

Wed Mar 06, 2013 3:07 am

STEVE <> You're welcome? Glad to assist; this is my R&R. Even if it's almost 04:00, even if I just got off work, even if I just walked the dog, showered, even if I am drinking a whiskey & have to be back ITK in 4 hours after walking the dog, after showering and sucking down a doppio espresso... well, it will mostly be expresso.. I swear. :twisted:

RICK <> LOVE the block & 1 knife gift idea! Another year, another slot... genius. 8-)

As for the Onion, damn is that one strange knife. I'm honestly getting angry just thinking about it. The majority are not comfortable with that ergonomic. A marketing ploy gone terribly awry IMO. One might deduce that's why it's on close-out...

As for the Shun Blue Steel being able to handle neglect, I have to respectfully disagree, as well. They may be laminated, but they are carbon cores w/exposed cutting edges. That knife would be in an ugly place after a day in a wet sink. Not to mention, or rather, I will... they're hard; much more likely to endure fractures & chips by "normal" everyday people abuse.
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