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What is superior about cooking knives that are "hand-forged"?


Ginevra
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I know from lucky experience that I love j.a. Henckles knives, but I don't know if their lower-price point knives are also good. I want to get a good set of knives for our beach house, so they needn't be the best knives ever made, but I want them to stay sharp and awesome like the heckles knives someone gave me when I got married.

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Hand forged = more expensive.  Like "hand made" it doesn't necessarily mean higher quality.  It depends on the maker.

 

For cheap, incredibly sharp knives, I love my cheap-o harbor freight ceramic knives.  You can't pry with them or they'll snap, but they'll cut anything.

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the cheap henkles are NOT as good as the other's.  get an inexpensive set of wusthof's, available from amazon.  the changes are in the handles more than the blades.  (if you *think* you love henkles, wait till you try a good wusthof.  even dh was converted.  I've tried lots of bread knives.  I think I'm in heaven.  and the santuku.  I got one for ds for x-mas as he was moving out and he'd fallen in love with it.)

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We really like knives here as dh used to cook in a restaurant in a previous life. Henckles and Wusthof are great, but a few years ago, dh was reading one of Anthony Bourdain's books and learned about Global knives, which are Japanese.  He had to have one and I will admit that our Global chef's knife is my favorite by a mile. It's lighter, so if you are doing a ton of chopping, it is much easier on your hand. It makes my other chef's knives feel clunky. It also stays sharp longer. On the other hand, I love my Henckle paring knife, but dislike the design of the Global paring knife. 

 

Whatever you buy, it's best if you can try it out in person. When we bought the Global, we were playing with knives that were 2x the price, but the balance and weight were so slick we couldn't resist.

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The knives you got for your wedding are most likely MUCH better made than any knives they sell now.

What makes you say that, though? Are knives in general just crappy now?

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Look for "full tang". That is another factor that makes a good knife.

 

Even high quality knives need to be sharpened from time to time. That's not necessarily a negative. In culinary school that is one of the first things we learned how to do. Sharpen knives.

 

Ceramic is a good choice if you don't want to have to sharpen often.

Maybe, but I love my chef's knife and it's plenty sharp, though I have never sharpened it. Where do you take them to get them sharpened? I just know that, being knives at a jointly-owned beach house, they will never receive kid-glove handling and if anyone considers taking them for sharpening at all, it will be me.

 

At present, there are two knife-blocks and one drawer-block at the house, but most of the knives that actually belong there are absent. Most of the knives that do remain are strange types that I don't know the purpose of. There is one Chef's knife that is so dull, I might as well use a butter knife.

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What makes you say that, though? Are knives in general just crappy now?

Henckels has really dropped their quality to stamp their name on lower price point knifes. The (not cheap) Henckels knives my brother got as wedding gifts in 2005 pale compared to the ones I've used that are older. Since you have teens I figure you probably got married a decade or more before them. Apologies if my assumption is wrong. :)

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