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16 answers 1868 views
23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added almost 6 years ago

I'm a huge fan of Globals. I think their prices have gone up a bit since I first started my collection, but they're pretty widely sold at places that offer sales/coupons frequently. Otherwise, I got this little Wusthof starter set for my brother in law when he started taking intro classes. They've held up really well for him.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added almost 6 years ago

How about a gift certificate or a shopping trip to a kitchen supply store so the grad can her or his own. The knife has got to feel right in your hands and work for you. I have very small hands and like the Henkel Pro S - The Henkel Four Star on the other hand feels very unwieldy. (Sorry to complicate!)

Wholefoods user icon
added almost 6 years ago

I love my 8 inch Viking bread knife; it is really versatile and seems like a perfect gift!

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added almost 6 years ago

Henkels has a reasonably priced set for less than 50$

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added almost 6 years ago

I got a set of these everedge knifes as a below the poverty mine graduate student & they're still going great 10 + years later!

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added almost 6 years ago

I graduated from college last year and am an avid cook ... I love the OXO Good Grips knives, $80 for a complete set. I also got the 6.5" Santoku knife ($20) and the kitchen scissors ($17). The larger santoku knife is fabulous - my go-to!

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Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added almost 6 years ago

Wusthoff knives are commonly available and reasonably priced. Also, if you have a decent restaurant supply store available (yes, they'll sell to anyone, though you may not get as good a discount as restaurants receive), take a look for Mundial knives. They're very reasonably priced, and great starter knives. What a lovely and generous gift you've thought of.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added almost 6 years ago

Depends on what you're willing to spend. However, if you get an inexpensive set (
So...I would get 1-2 knives depending on your budget to start them on a set. Global, Henkel, Shun, etc. Pairing knife, vs chefs knife.

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francesca gilberti

Francesca is the former Assistant Editor of food52 and believes you can make anything out of farro.

added almost 6 years ago

I find full knife sets make me sad. Think of all those random shaped knives unused, when you always pull for your chef, paring, or serrated knife anyway? Those are the three you need -- I wholeheartedly believe.

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added almost 6 years ago

i am a big fan of the victorinox forschner knives. they aren't the prettiest knives, but they are affordable and of really great quality. my chef's knife is a workhorse, and i love using it.

having said that, though, i am a big believer that people should choose their own knives because what might feel perfect in my grip and for the way i move might not be right for someone else. but then again, some people aren't that particular.

and don't forget the superstition that a gift of a knife or scissors can be seen as severing the relationship, so tape a quarter to the package so the recipient can give it back to you to "pay" for the gift, thereby preserving the relationship : )

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Kari Johnson

Kari is the manager of Whisk, a kitchenware store in Brooklyn.

added almost 6 years ago

If you absolutely had to purchse knives for someone - i'd point you towards the Fibrox series from Forschner.

As Francesca has said, knife sets are often full of useless knives.

Additionally, knives are very personal - you have to think of them like shoes! Every person is comfortable with different kinds of knives - weight, heft, materials, etc. I think your best bet is to get a gift certificate to a kitchen store so the recipient can pick out exactly what is the best fit for them!

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added almost 6 years ago

I am with Kari on a gift certificate for knives, and not a set as Francesca said. I bought a great, expensive knife for a close friend and it was too big for her grip and she ended up exchanging it.

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Chops is a trusted home cook.

added almost 6 years ago

I agree with Kari as well. I have the smallest hands and finding gloves and knives that feel right are is so hard for me. I own a Wustoff Grand Prix block set and they are okay, although I would love to upgrade to Global. Lemonsharp is a very reasonably priced brand that I think is wonderful and under-rated. Can't go wrong with a good Santoku or Chef's knife (with a gift receipt to a store nearby with hassle-free returns/exchanges.) Lucky grad!

Wholefoods user icon
added almost 6 years ago

I'm with Francesca. To narrow it down to one, I'd get the Shun Santuko (approx $80 from Williams Sonoma). And the proper sharpener for Asian knives. (Alternative plan is the Wustoff Santuko with their sharpener. )

Background: I'm just now learning how to cook after a lifetime of taking shortcuts in the kitchen ... and the first time I wielded a Santuko, I got an "I can do this - and enjoy this!" feeling for the first time. Stiill get more of a thrill from that Santuko from having remodeled the entire kitchen!. Best wishes to your grad!

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added almost 6 years ago

Agree with including a sharpener or perhaps a gift certificate for professional sharpening. Good knives are only good when they are sharp so inculcate the sharp habit with your gift.

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added almost 6 years ago

If you don't mind my asking, what's the price range you're going for?

Assuming under $100, I recommend the Global GS-5 (14cm Vegetable Knife) for a newer cook. It has a blade that's a little shorter than most, which less-experienced chefs tend to find more comfortable/less intimidating. At the same time, it is the same height as a typical 8" Chef Knife, making it very practical for the sideways scooping of chopped veggies, etc.. Though it has vegetable in the name, it really is suitable for meat and more; therefore, if they had only one knife, it really can do it all.

If you are willing to spend more, I do encourage throwing in the MinoSharp Water Sharpener ( It's one of the easiest, most fool-proof ways to sharpen a knife, and it's specifically designed for the smaller angle of an Asian knife.

Both are available on through the following links:
Knife --
Sharpener --

Hope this helps and congrats to the grad!

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