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Nothing says paralysis of analysis as considering a good set of knives, at least for me.  

 

As many reviews or articles that I’ve read that say the only X number of knives you need are ..., no one makes that as a set.  I’m not opposed to purchasing anything individually for quality, but just don’t know enough to jump in.  

 

The other issue I struggle with is storage. We’ve been bad over the years with storing things in drawers.  We’ve had knife blocks that went unused as well.  I’d like to use a magnetic strip, but would rather have something freestanding on the counter rather than a wall-mounted strip.  I haven’t seen anything that fits this well either.  

 

I’m sure the opinions on this will be strong and vary considerably, but I’d love to hear them all.  Thanks.  

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You'll never find everything you want in a set. 8" chef's knife, 5"utility knife will get you started. 

 

I know you said you'd rather have a block as apposed to a magnetic wall board. But problem with blocks is that if your knives aren't totally dry when you put them in a block they'll stay wet and corrode. SS not a big deal, other high end knife steels not such a great idea. 

 

There are a few counter top knives bars that give you the best of both both worlds. 

 

@Mewantkj makes some really nice custom knife bars. Contact him, I'm sure he could make you a counter top knife bar. On top of that he can direct you to some kick butt knives. He's sort of a knife Guru even he doesn't want to admit it.

 

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1 hour ago, ckreef said:

You'll never find everything you want in a set. 8" chef's knife, 5"utility knife will get you started. 

 

I know you said you'd rather have a block as apposed to a magnetic wall board. But problem with blocks is that if your knives aren't totally dry when you put them in a block they'll stay wet and corrode. SS not a big deal, other high end knife steels not such a great idea. 

 

There are a few counter top knives bars that give you the best of both both worlds. 

 

@Mewantkj makes some really nice custom knife bars. Contact him, I'm sure he could make you a counter top knife bar. On top of that he can direct you to some kick butt knives. He's sort of a knife Guru even he doesn't want to admit it.

 

Thanks for the information.  Will check that.  I want to clarify that I don’t want a block, but would prefer magnetic.  Would rather have a magnetic option that was modular similar to a block.  I’ve seen some flat faux rock surfaces that were magnetic, but it seems that one side of the blade would be laying against the surface without air flow allowing some corrosion or build up.  

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14 hours ago, ckreef said:

You'll never find everything you want in a set. 8" chef's knife, 5"utility knife will get you started. 

 

I know you said you'd rather have a block as apposed to a magnetic wall board. But problem with blocks is that if your knives aren't totally dry when you put them in a block they'll stay wet and corrode. SS not a big deal, other high end knife steels not such a great idea. 

 

There are a few counter top knives bars that give you the best of both both worlds. 

 

@Mewantkj makes some really nice custom knife bars. Contact him, I'm sure he could make you a counter top knife bar. On top of that he can direct you to some kick butt knives. He's sort of a knife Guru even he doesn't want to admit it.

 

 

Thanks CK. It sounds much better when you say it vs me bragging.  

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12 hours ago, TStormSC said:

Thanks for the information.  Will check that.  I want to clarify that I don’t want a block, but would prefer magnetic.  Would rather have a magnetic option that was modular similar to a block.  I’ve seen some flat faux rock surfaces that were magnetic, but it seems that one side of the blade would be laying against the surface without air flow allowing some corrosion or build up.  

As long as your blade is dry, that shouldn’t be a problem. 

 

The only other issue I have with a hard stone surface is that they will scratch the blade.  Most blades with a high polish will show marks from whatever storage system is used and even towels used to dry them.  I believe in using my blades, so I don’t mind a little wear &tear. 

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I don't have wall space for a magnetic knife bar but I do have counter space so I have a couple of these - https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00286VJ3Q/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

I also use one of these in a drawer - https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B014QLR6X2/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

Very satisfied with both.

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I have two sets of knives.  I have an excellent set of Henckels that I use day to day and sharpen with their special hand sharpener.  They are sharp, dull once a month or so but with the tool they stay really sharp.  I purchased this set piece by piece but purchased way more than I really needed.  Still a great set however 

 

second set was a me gift but not really a set again. I purchased 4 pieces. They are From the Takeda line. All hand forged, Aogami Super steel with carbon steel cladding, making them ultra light and super strong.  The blade seems to stay sharp forever... lucky for me as I can’t sharpen with wet stones.  The cost of owning stones and the technique required negates my desire to learn.  I have a shop that custom sharpens Japanese knives for 10.00 a piece.  

 

Now or I have four knives in this collection and they all have a unique feature.  

 

With all this said, you only really need a quality chef knife and a 4” to 5” utility knife.  That is my go to 95% of the time.  

 

Spend some good money and get a decent pair, then work on your other knives.  I think a good slicer knife and a butchering knife will come in handy down the road.  Maybe a bread knife too with a serrated edge. Other than that the rest are just toys looking to fill your collection. 

 

I subscribe to a minimalist kitchen.  If I can’t fit it in a drawer or cupboard, then I don’t own it.  I have a drawer block that holds my stuff.  I hate a cluttered kitchen. Plus my good Japanese steel is too sharp for others to use and I don’t want my wife cutting stupid things with them.  Hide them in the drawer and it saves me a lot of arguments.  I personally think hanging knives looks tacky, but to each is their own. 

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I have three knives that I use for 98% of my knife tasks.

 

8" chef knife

4" paring knife

6" boning knife

 

Get these three knives and get good quality ones.  I do use a wooden block to store them in.  That is the safest way and its easiest on the blades.

 

Get a good quality honing steel.  When a knife is sharp, a steel is the best way to keep it sharp.  A steel is NOT a sharpener but it will really extend the time between sharpenings on a good knife.  

 

If you want to sharpen your own knives with a professional result, there are a lot of good options out there but they aren't cheap.  I have an Edge Pro Apex system that works extremely well.  I sharpen my knives as needed which turns out to be once every 8 months or so.  I use the steel before each use.  

 

Never used your knives against any surface that isn't wooden or plastic.  I prefer wooden cutting surfaces.  Other surfaces will reduce the life of your blade edge.

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The Edge Pro Apex gives you a great degree of sharpening flexibility. For those of us who are just trying to sharpen kitchen knives, there are some good options. I bought this based on reviews, a "Chef's Choice 316 Diamond Sharpener for Asian Knives" and wished I'd done it years ago.

Note that "Asian knives" means a 15 degree edge; I've converted all mine to this standard. 

Frank

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I have some knives made from People’s Liberation Army artillery shells. I have no idea what the bevel is on them. They are sharp but I don’t use them because they are duplicates. I can’t bring myself to sell them. For all my other knives I use a chef’s choice sharpener. I know I’m probably abusing the blades, but I like mine sharp. It’s amazing how quickly they can dull. A matter of weeks. And yes, we only use the, on plastic and wood cutting boards. If you look directly at the blade under a light and it reflects its dull. The blades are still holding up well after 15 years so I figure if I burn through them I’ll buy another one. A sharp knife is a joy to use. 

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On 10/14/2017 at 4:36 PM, bosco said:

My Japanese knives have a 6 degree angle 

 Is that from the maker or did you reprofile?  Even for Japanese steel, that is extreme.  You're in straight razor territory with that angle and that edge would be super delicate even with Aogami or blue steel.

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18 hours ago, Slowdown said:

... I like mine sharp. It’s amazing how quickly they can dull. ...

How often do you use a honing rod on them? Sharpness on these Chicago Cutlery knives lasts many months with regular mending on a honing steel. 

Frank

 

 

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