Need a new chef's knife

Any brand recommendations? I'd like a quality blade, but nothing too expensive- I'm young and poor!



Margaret P. February 4, 2012
Not really fair or entirely correct. Cutco is also sold online. Why not just accept that some people like these knives, rather than assigning greedy motives. This site is meant to be helpful, but if you don't like someone's opinion, just ignore it.
lorigoldsby February 3, 2012
I think the best advice here is that 1) you need to go with what feels good in YOUR hand that feels good on your budget. I have large hands, so my favorite knife doesn't feel as good to our daughter, who is more finely boned...and 2) buy the best quality you can afford. I'm a big Bed, Bath & Beyond coupon user...they have all of the major brands there and you can feel them. If you have a small specialty cookware shop, they'll even let you try dicing/slicing. (and they'll probably price match for you) other advice? Don't buy a need 3 knives..a good all purpose chef's knife, a paring knife and a bread knife. The bread knife can be any inexpensive brand. If you ask for a particular knife of your creative in your request...ask multiple relatives to chip in...or ask for them to bundle presents over the course of a year and give you the present when they can...that's how I got my kitchen aid was a birthday, anniversary, Christmas and "don't ask for anything else for the year" present from my mother...27 years later, I still use it, and love it! Good luck building your collection!
babytiger February 3, 2012
MAC! Like many brands, MAC have different series of knives that command different prices. You can pick up a good quality chefs knife for under $100 in the lower end category. Also, you can get a very inexpensive sharpener (Rollsharp - $16.50) that works with MAC knives. Thomas Keller is a fan of MAC.

I have had Cutco knives....I sold Cutco knives for a while. Frankly, MAC makes better knives for similar prices.

I have a paring knife, boning knife and slicer by Victorinox. I am happy with the quality, especially for the price. Not sure about their chefs knives though.
Chef O. February 3, 2012
Cutco is sold like Mary Kaye or Tupperware - ie phone sales and parties/shows. Chances are very high that if someone "recommends" them strongly they are in the biz and trying to boost sales.
pierino February 3, 2012
This raises a very interesting and important concern in internet commerce; i.e. the "reviews". There have been quite a few articles in the press recently regarding companies paying shills to "review" their products. If you see the word "awesome" in a review then don't trust it. On the other hand here at Food52 participants are familiar with quite a few other users and you have some idea already of their judgement, experience and taste. That matters more than a 5 star review on Amazon or Yelp.
nolongrecipes February 2, 2012
Although I got some nice Global knives when I "grew up" (i.e., created a wedding registry) I also do just fine with an Oxo chef's knife. A good knife is a terrific investment, but having been young and poor for a long time I can say that it's not worth getting into financial trouble for. Keep the blade protected and sharp and it will do just fine for you until you can upgrade.
peach49 February 2, 2012
I use Cutco, and my mother has hers, that she bought back in the fifties. They are great, I have used others, but these are the best and the lifetime guarantee is wonderful. I sent mine to be sharpened, and they sent them back promptly, and replaced the sandwich spreader because it can't be sharpened. No charge!
Suz C. February 2, 2012
Shun is the only knife I would buy! So much nicer than a German knife in my opinion and much prettier!
pierino February 1, 2012
If you go to a Japanese or Chinese or Korean market (Marukai, 99 Ranch, HMart) you can find inexpensive knives. It's work to keep them sharp but they don't cost much.
Margaret P. February 1, 2012
I'd still go with Cutco. Wustof, Global all VERY expensive, plus you need to think of the cost of sharpening (you can do a somewhat adequate job yourself, but it's a pain). Cutco is American made, guaranteed FOREVER & they will sharpen for free (you pay postage). They're not cheap, cheap- a Chef's knife is more than $100, but you can wait for a sale. Remember, they're guaranteed FOREVER! How often do you get a promise like that? My daughter in college asked for these as a gift, after using mine. I'm 60 years old and a very experienced cook & I'm also very happy with them. When you're older & richer you can always get the other brands, but unless you're a professional cook, I doubt you'll need them. For myself, I have used many of the "best" brands of knives & haven't felt they were better or worth the extra cost. Good luck!
jmburns February 1, 2012
This is the second knife question in the last course of days and the second time you have shilled for Cutco. Are you sure you don't work for them. Your answer sounds right out of a sales brochure.
Margaret P. February 1, 2012
I'm a clinical psychologist and have never sold knives in my life! I like the product. Are you making the same accusations to the advocates of Wustof??? That's a great brand, of course, but if someone describes themselves as "young and poor" I think it's unrealistic to think the most expensive is the best option. By the way, I cook with (and absolutely love) All Clad cookware, but that's not what I would recommend to someone who couldn't afford it.
susan G. February 4, 2012
Margaret is not the only person who enjoys Cutco knives. Various people, including me, own them, enjoy them, and have answered this and the previous knife question to say so. We are speaking from personal experience. For me, it is the serrated knives that I prefer. The question asks for opinions, and that's what she's gotten.
Mr_Vittles February 1, 2012
If you are poor, you probably can't afford a Wusthof, as mentioned above. I recommend a Mundial. They are stamped, but have the appearance of a Wusthof classic. They are awesome knives, with steel made in Germany, but assembled in Brazil. Their 5100 Series is awesome, and my everyday knife. As long as you hone it after every use, it will stay sharp for about a year, before you need to sharpen it.
susan G. February 1, 2012
Have you seen this question? --
Most of the knives discussed are pricey, but some less expensive lines are mentioned. Also, the brands usually have different lines with different price ranges. The knife I use most is a Japanese cleaver which I've had for 25 years. It's not a known 'name' knife, but it's carbon steel, sharpens well, fits my hand and my cutting style well.
allans February 1, 2012
Wustof classic. You will have it the rest of your life, so save for it and invest. Mine is practically the only knife I ever use.
jmburns February 1, 2012
I have had some of my wusthof knives for almost 50 yrs. Get a quality knife that feels good in your hand

Voted the Best Reply!

ChefJune February 1, 2012
Victorinox makes some good value knives. But you do need to hold knives first and see how they feel in YOUR hand. they should be like an extension of your arm.
sfmiller February 2, 2012
Victorinox would be my recommendation, too, IF it feels good in your hand. It's what I got my kids when they were young and poor! Street price of a 7" chef's knife is about $25, versus more than $100 for a Wusthof Classic.

Another thing to consider is the means of keeping whatever knife you get sharp. Any knife will get dull if you don't maintain the blade, and professional sharpening gets pricey. If you don't have a honing steel, you should get one. And for under $10 you can get an Accusharp handheld knife sharpener that does a surprisingly good job.

Victorinox Fibrox knife + steel + sharpener should run around $45.

pierino February 2, 2012
I received my first serious knives as a gift from my mother about 30 years ago, German carbon steel chef's knife, utility and a hefty cleaver (I was six years old at the time. She handed them to me and said, "Now tournee these potatoes, we have company coming). It's important to have a steel. It doesn't actually sharpen but restores the edge. Useless with ceramic knives.
MrJDanger February 1, 2012
Well it might be a little of a investment but it will last you a good time... Get a wustof
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