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Knife question(s)

FoxmanNC

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So in addition to being new to the smoking meat game, I know next to nothing about knives. I am trying to learn. Our knives are old, dull, and crappy. My wife and I have had a couple of conversations about getting new ones. I have learned about D2 steel and 1095 steel, but I am not sure what is preferable for use with cutting meat, trimming, slicing etc. So, I welcome some input.

As I understand it, the D2 holds the edge longer, but is more difficult to sharpen, but is also more resistant to rust. The 1095 steel is easier to sharpen, but doesn't hold its edge as well and is prone to rust. I am a bang for the buck buyer, and really don't want something complicated to sharpen. What do yall prefer for your cutlery? Is there another steel I should be looking into?

I have spoken with 2 online knife makers, one using 1095, and one with D2. I am thinking about a 10" carving/slicing knife, an 8" chef, 8" Santoku, and a 6" boning.. Thoughts, ideas, feedback and all knife knowledge or makers appreciated.
 

Hamdrew

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Learn your hands, what shape is best for you. unfortunately that will take some trial and error

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My "tracer"/exact-o knife was maybe $10. My favorite's, cleavers, $30-50 since i burn through them. My carver is about 60yrs old
 

phathead69

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1. Taking care of a good knife nullifies rust. use it, lay safe to side somewhere but never in sink. cleaning up after supper wash dry imeaditly and if you want lite coat of cook oil.
2. step 1 takes care of most sharpening needs. stored safely in block edge up or other non edge contact method and sharpening steel the knife should stay sharp with normal use .
3. edge grain cutting board helps extend edge life by miles. I get 6 months to a year between sharpening and yes they are, not paying attention you will bleed sharp. now if you want sushi grade sharp someone else can chime in.
others will add in better advice
 

jcam222

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Might help to understand your budget for those knives. There are excellent commercial choices in many ranges.
 

kruizer

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I run my knives over a hone each time I use them and then wash and dry after each use. The knives stay sharp as a razor and never any problems.
 

FoxmanNC

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Might help to understand your budget for those knives. There are excellent commercial choices in many ranges.
The price I was quoted for the D2 blades was $580 for the 4 knives, the 1095 was $400. Both included shipping and a leather role. If we just bought these 4, I wouldn't spend more than the $580, but if I can get a great knife for less, I wont be upset.
 

JckDanls 07

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And then to throw another equation in.. Different knives have different angles used on the blade ... Pending what your using the knife for... I recall hearing/reading/seeing something about it but didn't pay much attention as I should have ...
 

jcam222

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The price I was quoted for the D2 blades was $580 for the 4 knives, the 1095 was $400. Both included shipping and a leather role. If we just bought these 4, I wouldn't spend more than the $580, but if I can get a great knife for less, I wont be upset.
Can I also ask what knives you had /,have currently?
 

FoxmanNC

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jcam222 jcam222 Kind of embarrassing. I have been using some old pampered chef knives my wife got from some party. The only other brand knives we have are some 20+ year old entry level Hinkle's that was part of a wood block set, that barely cut hot butter. Just to get by, I spent a whopping $12.00 on a Mercer boning knife off of Amazon, its the best knife we have currently.
 

thirdeye

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Ask 10 people, and you will get 10 answers. I like knives that feel good in my hand. Sharpening and steel is secondary, since I understand how to maintain an edge. I could survive with four knives: A Chef's knife, a slicer, a boning knife, and a 4" fillet knife for close in work.

My Chef's knife is a vintage Chicago Cutlery (maybe a 12"), my slicer is Messermeister Park Plaza 10” slicer with reversed scallops (this thing works well on meats, vegetables, and big fruits like pineapples) and I highly recommend it. My favorite boning knife is a Victornox flexible model (they make a flexible and rigid model), and my small fillet knife is a Rapala (the wooden handle ones from Sweden). The Park Plaza is the bottom knife. I use several fillet knives in the kitchen, but I'm comfortable with them and I use a 15° blade angle, so they are scary sharp. Non-fisherman might hate a fillet knife in the kitchen.

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My Victornox flexible boning knife is the bottom one.
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I do have quite a few specialty knives, like this cimeter and scalloped slicer.... I really like both and they have the 'show off' factor.
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FoxmanNC

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thirdeye thirdeye Very nice. It's sounding like the best thing I could do is purchase something I can handle first rather than buying custom made knives. At least until I know what I like.
 

jcam222

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It is very hard to beat the Zwilling Pro series knives in my opinion. A chef, boning , slicer and small utility would be a great core set. If you start breaking down larger cuts you may want to add a cleaver and larger maybe scimitar style knife. A granton edge 14” slicer is also nice for brisket. For me those are used less do I consider Victorinox Fibrox, higher end Mercer or mid range Dalstrong for those. I can say I also have a Miyabi chef knife that has a Asian edge and it’s is surgical.
 

Winterrider

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Hit the search page from home page and type in knives. Lot of good reads on different knives.
 

thirdeye

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thirdeye thirdeye Very nice. It's sounding like the best thing I could do is purchase something I can handle first rather than buying custom made knives. At least until I know what I like.
Well, I guess that's what I would recommend.
 

clifish

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Victoronix makes some good knives the below pairing knife set is incredible, multiple have bought it after trying mine.

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the below is a great granton meat cutter

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boning knives

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Not very expensive but have been really good to me. I started out cheaper to get a feel for some different knives but not looking any replacements so far. Stay very sharp with just a steel, have not put them on the sharpener yet.
 

whistlepig

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Dexter Russel makes very good knives at reasonable prices. I have a couple with high carbon steel blades. These blades hold an edge well but will rust easily. I have a couple of Tojiro knives with VG-10 blades that are rust resistant and hold an edge very well.
 

SmokinEdge

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I would start out with victronix. These are used a lot in commercial kitchens.
I prefer 1095 and D-2 along with old (wwII era) solingen steel, but I know what I like and why.
 

callmez

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I hesitate to jump in here as I have less experience with knife use in butchery or the kitchen than I do in the greater knife community (I have served as the editor for a knife magazine for the last 24 years, and have dabbled in knives for most of my life). I am a BIGTIME supporter of the custom knife community, but I do not recommend that you start there -- start with high quality factory knives. You do not need to spend a ton of money to get good knives, but once you know what you want, handmade knives can take everything up a notch.
First off, do not buy into the "steel spiel" -- the steel type can be important, but more important than steel choice is proper heat treatment. In my experience the typical stainless steel German-made chefs knives like Henckels and Wusthof are just too soft: they won't take a really good edge and certainly won't hold one, but will easily sharpen to a mediocre edge and take a lot of abuse (apparently what they are designed for). The Old Hickorys are made from a good simple steel, are reasonably hard and will take a decent edge, but may or may not be designs ideal for your needs. The Victorinox/Forschner (=Victorinox brand) knives truly represent a great value in stainless bladed knives. Dexter Russell makes great knives too, and in America! There are many other brands of good knives and of course a lot of them are made in China these days. Choosing between good and bad there can be a challenge. But bear this in mind: if you aren't committed to taking good care of your knives, buy stainless steel.
My wife benefits from what I do -- she has a constantly changing assortment of custom made knives, antique carbon steel knives, and modern American, German, Japanese, and Chinese factory knives. If she likes it, it stays in the rotation. My knife-using role is more along the lines of carving, deboning, and/or prepping for smoking or grinding -- and I have my own stash beyond what she uses, some of which are really unusual. Some aren't even made of steel!
Knives are a wonderful rabbit hole to go down. You can spend your whole life exploring it! But I suggest that you start simple. Try a cheap but respectable factory knife and the equipment to sharpen it properly (NOT a cheap draw-thru sharpener!). Once you have some experience with a decent knife, you should know what direction you want to go with the next knife.
 
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