Knives are awesome. You can chop celery, ward off intruders, and perform circus sideshows with them. In the high end kitchen market there are two dominant brands, Henckels and Wusthof. Both of these brands are incredible and are fairly evenly matched. I personally use Wusthof knives, but if I were to buy again today I might make a different choice.
There are a couple key things to look for in your cutlery. First is the construction of the blade. The two types of blades are forged blades and stamped blades. Stamped blades are machine cut from thin pieces of metal and then ground into a knife. Forged knives are hand shaped from a thicker steel blank and then ground into a knife. It's easy to tell which is which by holding a knife. Forged knives are heavier, while stamped knives are flimsy. Forged knives also hold their edge much longer - always buy them.
It's also important to have a full tang blade. The tang is the part of the knife that extends into the handle. Full tang means that it extends throughout the whole handle, while other types of tangs extend only an inch or two in. Having a full tang means that the knife will be weighted better and that there's less of a chance of the knife breaking. All high quality knives are full tang.
Weighting and balancing are also important. When held properly, you want for the knife to be evenly balanced so that no effort is required to keep it straight. This seems like a minor consideration, but cutting herbs with a handle-heavy knife will get annoying very fast because you can't use the knife's weight to your advantage.
Besides Wusthof and Henckels, there is another high quality, forged bladed, full tang, well balanced knife brand out there called "Cook's Knives". I was very suspicious initially since they're made in China and I'd never heard of them, but one of my chef friends loved the ones he bought.
I ordered a cleaver since I didn't have one, and I was very impressed when I got it. Its construction was actually so similar to my Wusthof Classic knives that the casual observer wouldn't be able to tell the difference. The cleaver was fantastic, making it very easy to chop through 8 young Thai coconuts (which are very hard to cut traditionally). I've also had the opportunity to check out my friend's more extensive collection, and I am equally impressed with those.
The knives are forged, have a full tang, and excellent balance. The one area where they fall short is that they are pure stainless steel. Ultra premium knives like Wusthof and Henckels add things like Carbon and Beryllium to the knives to make them keep their edge longer. If you want the very best, buy a set of Wusthof or Henckels knives, but if you want 95% of the performance at 10-30% of the price, check these out.
You can buy them at JC Penney
you should include RC and what type of bladesteel in your articles and basic tech. Either way good job :)
I've tried the forged and the stamped and while I agree forged is cool, try the MAC knives one day. They're stamped, but the alloy that they use is incredibly hard. It's the sharpest knife I've ever used and it's held it's edge well.
I searched all over the internet until I found the brand. It was a Microtech Halo Knife. Microtech is a US based knife manufacturer with an obsession for quality. Just before plunking down around $300 for a Halo I came across another model: the Troodon.
The Troodon has a slightly smaller blade, but the real difference is in the mechanism. The Halo requires a button press to extend the blade, but to retract it one must use two hands to pull back part of the handle of the knife. It's hard to explain, but the important factor is that it can't be retracted with one hand. The Troodon uses a flick switch on the side of the knife. Pressing it forward causes the blade to extend straight out, but pulling it back causes it to snap back inside with a satisfying click noise. Here's a video:
Cool, huh? I ordered the black on black Troodon and couldn't possibly be happier with it. The fit and finish are all top notch and simply holding the knife gives the impression that it's perfectly built. It was harder than I expected to move the switch, but a bit of practice makes it easy. I haven't done much with it other than open packages, but boy does it open those packages with style.
My wife loves to cook, and she’s always talking about how she wishes she had better knives. So we decided to go out and find the very best knives we could for a budget not to exceed $500.
Now, if you think spending upwards of $500 on knives, this review probably isn’t for you. For most of us, the standard knives we receive in a box set work well enough. But for someone like my wife who cooks all the time, having a few really good knives makes a world of difference. Personally, I don’t cook enough to even understand the difference in knives, so I set out to get educated as a first step.
I enlisted the help of my friend Haidar, an award-winning professional chef at Proof, an award-winning DC restaurant known for its cuisine. In fact, Haidar recently won an Iron Chef-style “Capital Food Fight” competition hosted by Anthony Bourdain and cooking legend José Andrés.
In Haidar’s professional chef world, he uses knives are so good they are can be used to cut sushi, and are only sharpened on one side.