Kitchen knives for a new cook

I'm a new cook and I'm slowly replacing all of the my terrible, cheap cookware with nicer things. My current knives are ancient and very dull. Any recommendations for a poor twentysomething that would really like to cut a tomato with less effort than she's currently exerting?

molls to the wall


sfmiller February 16, 2012
As others have suggested, Victorinox knives are hard to beat at their price point.

Whatever knives you get, you'll need to maintain the blades, or else tomato-slicing will eventually become as difficult as it is now. If you don't have a sharpening steel (about $15 for a decent one), pick one up and use it regularly. All knives dull over time even if you use a steel, so at some point consider adding an inexpensive handheld sharpening tool like an Accusharp (about $10), too--much easier to use than a sharpening stone.
babytiger February 14, 2012
I have a slicer from Victorinox that I got for $20 or $30 and it works well. I also have a paring knife from the same brand that works very well and again, quite cheap (I think under $20).

Other than those two knives, I generally use one of my two santoku knives. I use them for most cutting tasks. You can get a great quality one from MAC starting at under $100.
Mr_Vittles February 14, 2012
Cutting tomatoes is made super easy with a bread knife. As for manufacturers please check out the Mundial 5100 series brand (found easily on They are really high quality, made from German steel, and assembled in Brazil. I have the 8" Chefs and their Paring and their Bread knife and they are all of high quality. Whatever brand you choose, please buy piece meal and avoid "sets", they are often overpriced and contain knives you won't really ever use.
Mr_Vittles February 14, 2012
The aforemention Fibrox by Victorinox are good, but made from cheapish, stamped steel. If that's what you can afford they are quite good.
Christine February 14, 2012
You are right, although I made my recommendation based on their saying that they are a "new cook". If the poster is not very experienced, the less expensive knives allow them to learn what they will most use and need without the financial commitment. Even the size of a chef's knife in the users hand plays a part in deciding what is comfortable and useable.
Christine February 14, 2012
I've bought Forschner Fibrox knives for my siblings over the years and they love them. A lot of butchers use them, I've noticed. Depending on your needs you can get a small set of maybe 3 basic knives for under $100.
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