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Best Kitchen Knives For Every Budget

Cheap & Professional Chef Knife Set Review

Posted by Ken

Shun Classic Knives Choosing knives is one of the most important decisions an avid cook can make. Knives are among the most used tools in the kitchen, but can also be some of the most mysterious for buyers. One problem is that price doesn't always correlate with quality. Another is that a knife's performance "out of the box" may deteriorate rapidly upon frequent use. Add in unsubstantiated marketing claims, shady salespeople peddling hard-to-recognize brand names, and buying a knife can end up resembling buying a used car.

The good news is that a short list of expert tips can help you get educated in a hurry. Following those tips will ensure that you get the most appropriate knives for your budget. These tips can certainly save you a bundle of money but, more importantly, will help you walk away with great knives. If you've never wielded a light, razor-sharp Japanese Chef's knife, you're in for a real treat.

After I've laid out these tips, I'll apply them to a set of price ranges and make specific knife recommendations. Of course, choosing knives is a personal decision. You'll want to consider your style of cooking, how often you cook and the tasks you frequently perform. But the recommendations should serve as a good starting point -- they're all great knives and are priced appropriately.


The Great Kitchen Knife Revolution

Japanese vs. German KnivesBefore we get started, it's worth reviewing some kitchen knife history. Many people are unaware of the great upheaval that the kitchen knife industry has undergone in the last decade.

Needless to say, it has completely changed the landscape for buying cutlery. The short version of this great story is that the best knives available today were unheard of even ten years ago. Ten years ago, there were only two names in kitchen knives -- Henckels and Wusthof. And it had been that way for many years.

Today, those German knife makers are scrambling to keep up with new, superior knives introduced by Japanese knife making companies.

German knives still have their place in the kitchen, don't get me wrong, but if you've been stuck using those knives for the last decade, you'll be pleasantly surprised when you try out a knife from Global, MAC or Shun.

Learn more about the rise and fall of the great knife-making companies.


Tips for Saving Money on Kitchen Knives

Some cooks will tell you that you can't buy kitchen knives on a budget. "You get what you pay for", they'll say. Or "you can't get decent quality for under $150".

I don't buy it. Granted, you're not going to get a full set of quality knives without shelling out some serious dough, but there ARE some great values out there. And if you're smart about how you spend your money, those values can be found.

1. Don't Buy Too Many Knives

Too many bladesOne of the first mistakes people make when buying a set of knives is to go out and get the largest set they can. "Why buy the 14 piece set when you can get the 21 piece set for just $75 more?" they reason.

The answer is simple... You're never going to need all those knives. If you're a professional chef who needs the perfect knife for every task, then you'll certainly need a lot of knives. But for the rest of us, we can get by with a small number of high-quality knives. Buying three good quality knives instead of a 14-piece set with lots of "filler" can save you more than fifty percent. Of course, you won't have as many knives as with the large set. But your knives will be just as useful for most tasks and will be much higher quality.

Which knives are essential and which can you live without? Click here to find out.

Knife Set or à la Carte?
Many people assume that the best way to buy knives is as part of a set. And yet, most experts will tell you NOT to buy a knife set, but rather to buy knives one-at-a-time. That way, you get exactly the knives you want and don't pay extra for knives you don't need.

Of course, there are times when a knife set makes sense. Click here to discover the pros and cons of each.

2. Sharpness Matters More Than Price

Many people are happy with the performance of their knives when they first buy them, but then neglect to maintain them over time. A few years later, they're left wondering why these knives seem ineffective.

It may seem obvious that kitchen knives need to be sharpened periodically and I'm sure that most people know this. And yet, many home chefs don't know how to do this, don't want to do it, or just plain forget to do it. I make a habit of inspecting knives in as many home kitchens as I can and I can reliably say that the blades are too dull in about 90% of them.

If you don't know how to maintain knives properly, you might be tempted to discard old knives before their time. Or, worse yet, you might buy expensive knives in the hope that they will be sharper than an inexpensive set. Sadly, this is not always the case. Buying a new set of sharp knives and then keeping them sharp will put you way ahead of the game -- regardless of how much your knives cost.

How to choose sharp knives and keep them that way? Check out our kitchen knife sharpening guide.

3. Know Your Steel

forging steelThe single most important factor in determining the quality of a kitchen knife is not its name brand, its price or whether it was stamped or forged. It's the steel used in the blade. Better quality steel will last longer, can hold a sharper edge for a long time, and will be easier to resharpen.

And yet, other than making vague marketing statements about "high carbon content", most manufacturers do not advertise the makeup of their steel. This can lead to a costly mistake for the consumer -- purchasing knives made from inferior steel. Generic "high-carbon" knives might feel great when they come out of the box, but they're sure to disappoint down the road.

Click here to learn about the different materials typically used and to learn what type of steel you should choose.


Recommended Knives

Applying the tips above to a set of different budget tiers yields some real bargains. Most of the knives on this list are known more for their quality among professional chefs than for their name recognition and corporate marketing budget. If you've read this far, it won't come as any surprise that each recommendation includes just a small set of essential knives and that each knife is made of high-quality steel, is razor-sharp and can be kept that way.

Of course you don't need to stick to a single price level -- if you're buying à la carte as most experts recommend, consider mixing and matching knives from each price level. You're likely to save even more money doing that, as you may choose to get a high-end Chef's knife but other knives from the lower-priced categories.

Where's Cutco?
Cutco's made a name for themselves by showing people just how sharp home cutlery can be. I applaud them for that, but don't particularly care for their knives. In my opinion, the steel's nothing special and the price is too high. In short, they don't fit our three money-saving rules above.


Forschner Knife Set

Recommended $50 Knives

Cooks Illustrated's recommendation -- the Forschner 3-Piece Fibrox set -- is a screaming bargain. It's not beautiful and the steel is merely good, but it will out-perform just about any other knife in this price range. For those looking for more stylish knives, KAI's Komachi series is another great choice in this range.

Read More...


Messermeister San Moritz Elite knives

$150 Knives

In this price range, buying à la carte allows you to consider a top-notch Chef's knife from the Shun Classic or MAC Professional series, and then supplement with the less-expensive Forschners from our lowest price tier.

If you're determined to buy matching knives, Messermeister makes a great small set in this price range. Messermeister is not as well-known as Wusthof and Henckels, but their knives are a much better value. Their San Moritz Elite Knives are made of high-quality steel and are reasonably-priced.
Read More...


Shun Classic Knives | Seven Piece Kitchen Knife Set

$300 - $500 Knives

At this level, you're no longer making sacrifices. You'll find great knives intended for serious amateurs as well as professional chefs.

Shun is the current kitchen knife king. You can't chop an onion without noticing their great press. The Shun Seven Piece Classic set epitomizes the three money-saving tips outlined above.

Another option is Global. Global was the first knife maker to introduce the world to the joys of razor-sharp Japanese steel. The feel takes a little getting used to but the Global 5-piece set is priced appropriately.

If you're buying à la carte, consider the knives from Shun and Global mentioned above, but also check out MAC Professional Knives. They're lesser-known and are not typically sold in sets, but they are great performers and are typically less-expensive than both Shun and Global.


Hattori HD Kitchen Knife Set

$1000 Knives

If you're an aspiring professional or simply want the best knives that money can buy, you've got a ton of great choices in this range. Choosing one is really a personal decision, so it's hard for us to recommend just one.

Look for top-notch Japanese makers such as Hattori, Misono, Blazen, Glestain and Nenox to name a few. All of these makers produce exceptionally sharp knives with centuries-old knife-making traditions to back them up.


Mac Professional Chef

One Knife to Rule Them All?

If you've read this far, you may be curious to try out the virtues of Japanese knives without committing to a large purchase. Choosing a single 8" Chef's knife from one of the recommended names above will allow you to test the waters a bit. Either the Shun Classic or the MAC Professional make a good start to a Japanese-themed set and won't break the bank.


More Info

Can't get enough kitchen knives? I've attempted to provide an introduction to the world of high-performance kitchen knives and supply some recommendations, but I've only scratched the surface.

If you're a true knife head, then you already know about KnifeForums.com and Foodie Forums. Some very knowledgeable and friendly people hang out there and are happy to answer any and all of your questions.

Chad Ward is one of those friendly and knowledgeable knife buffs, but he went one step further -- he wrote a book. "An Edge in the Kitchen" is a comprehensive book about Kitchen knives. It's a great read.

Drop Me a Line

Buying and using kitchen knives is a very personal experience. Have you tried out some of these knives and loved them? Don't agree with my money saving tips? Leave a comment below or send an email and let me know what you think.


73 Responses

  1. Holly Says:

    Good job on your knife articles Ken! I personally got my set of Wusthof a few years ago and have loved them. I still want more knives though and that “one knife to rule them all” (LOL) is looking pretty sweet.

  2. LySine Says:

    I personally only use one knife and that is a 7″ cleaver like all good Chinese people. Never needed another. However, I’m in the market for a “sword” of sorts. I host quite a few parties and end up buying large cuts of beef. i.e an entire New York Strp or Ribeye from Smart and Final. They weigh about 15 lbs or so. I need a much longer knife to make clean slices through the beef. Any suggestions?

  3. Stephen Says:

    Just excellent. Your really know your steel.

  4. Julie Says:

    Nice site! I have Forschner chef, boning, and bread knives which I’m most happy with. It probably proves I’m not a true knife aficionado but one of the things I like about them is that they can go in the dishwasher.

  5. Curt Says:

    Excellent article. You definitely know your stuff!

    I’m probably one of the $50.00 guys. I don’t do a lot of cooking, but I do like a sharp knife.

  6. Fabi Says:

    holy moly, didn’t know knives could be as expensive as this! Thanks!

  7. Tojiro Knives | DP Series | Budget Japanese Kitchen Knives » Knives, Swords & Blades Says:

    [...] So what’s not to like? Tojiro knives are a bit hard to find, and they’re not available in a set. If not for those caveats, they easily could’ve been one of the recommended sets in our recent Best Kitchen Knives for Any Budget. [...]

  8. Sue Says:

    As a good home cook and former camp cook, I know the value of a good knife. A sharp knife is an indispensable tool in any kitchen.Ken’s guide is one of the best I have seen and certainly has something for every budget. Well done aticle, Ken!

  9. Susan from Food Blogga Says:

    You provide some really useful advice, Ken. Thank you so much. I splurged on some Wusthof knives a few months and got just 3 or 4 that I use all the time, and they’re well worth the investment. Sharpening frequently is key, though, no matter how cheap or expensive the knife.

  10. Small Bites: Drinks, a cool tool and a sharp blog « WTF? Random food for thought. Says:

    [...] find plenty of useful information about kitchen knives—including this exhaustive article called The Best Kitchen Knives For Any Budget. You’ll also find posts about hunting knives, survival knives [did anyone else shudder just [...]

  11. Furi Rachael Ray Gusto Grip 3-Piece Knife Set » Knives, Swords & Blades Says:

    [...] real treat, step up just a tiny bit in price and get yourself some Tojiro DP Knives. Check out our Best Kitchen Knives guide for the complete [...]

  12. TATO Says:

    Incredible Blog
    Greatings from Buenos Aires

  13. Ninja Says:

    I have the Forschner and they kick ass. I cook about 4 times a week and they will slice meat and veggies with ease. I love my 8-inch Chef and 4-inch Paring. I am saving up for the Global cleaver. I want to start hacking at bones.

  14. Cutco Homemaker Knife Set | Scam or Not? | Cutlery Review » Knives, Swords & Blades Says:

    [...] can do better than these for sure. Read our extensive Guide to Kitchen Knives if you’ve got a moment. Or, if you don’t, just go check out a set of Shun Classic [...]

  15. Ron Wood Says:

    I cook in a LARGE volume college dining hall where cutting a whole case of veggies or slicing 90 lb of pork tenderloins,or quartering 80 chickens may be all part of the day’s chores. Best slicer? My 12″ Forschner smooth. I’ve used the Granton type and the smooth edge is a tinner,whippy blade. Trick is you re-edge it,radically steep angle.This is tricky since the blade flexes. Once it’s right it’s not only a slicer but is freat for trimming,even for sashimi and being very low drag does well as a bread knife. My 10″ Forschner is my workhorse. Again,sharpening technique can make it better than “out of the box” The stamped Forschner has a bit higher Rockwell than German knives and is thinner than any forged type. It can do fine work due to nice balance (Wood Handle model) but is very rugged-which is why a lot of Pro cooks use them.

    A sleeper,if you can find it is the 7″ Kershaw 7700 clad. It has a VG 7 core,which is not quite VG 10 (no Cobalt) but comes rather close. All steel,great comfortable handle. The blade is rather thin and almost more like a petty than a Chef’s but it can really get SHARP for a knife you can find below $40. The other cooks at work love to borrow it,it always make them smile because it’s the sharpest they ever used. I’d bet I could get a better edge on a Shun or a Blazen, but I got my 7700 on a sale at 1/4 the price of those high end blades.

    A chef I briefly worked with elsewhere had a beautiful 10″ Kasumi with a VG10 core. Sadly…he didn’t know much about sharpening-so it was not as sharp as my Forschner. I spent about a half hour on it and got it pretty close to it’s potential. I was impressed. When I can afford-I want a VG10 knife.

  16. Kitchenaid Knife Set | Santoku, Chef’s Knife, Steak Knives, Shears | Stainless Steel 14-Piece Block Set » Knives, Swords & Blades Says:

    [...] you’ve read our Guide to Buying Kitchen Knives, you know that we advocate buying a small set of high-quality knives instead of a larger set like [...]

  17. Stainless Knife Enthusiast Says:

    Wow, this site is like heaven in a knife block! I’m in shock and awe at the amount of gorgeous information here, its planted firmly in my bookmarks and I will be coming back everyday! Great work.

  18. J.A. Henckels International Knife Block Set | Fine Edge Synergy 17-Piece Kitchen Knives » Knives, Swords & Blades Says:

    [...] out our Guide to the best budget kitchen knives for more on [...]

  19. Wusthof Cutlery Classic Knives | 23-Piece Kitchen Knife Block Set » Knives, Swords & Blades Says:

    [...] out our article on the best kitchen knives for any budget for some recommended knives in this and other price [...]

  20. Find the Best Kitchen Knives | TekPicks Says:

    [...] sharp (sorry I love puns) blog, Only Knives has a very good article on selecting your next set of kitchen knives. We whole heartily agree on their selection of the [...]

  21. Mundial Chef’s Knife Review | 5100 Series 8-Inch » Knives, Swords & Blades Says:

    [...] got strong opinions about Chef’s knives around here. Check out our guide to kitchen knives on a budget to get an overview, but we tend to recommend Japanese knives like Shun or, if you’re on a [...]

  22. Chicago Cutlery Metropolitan Knife Block Set Review | 10-Piece Knives » Knives, Swords & Blades Says:

    [...] out our Guide to budget kitchen knives for more on how to choose inexpensive kitchen [...]

  23. Henckels Twin Signature Knife Block Set | 11 Piece Stainless Steel Knives » Knives, Swords & Blades Says:

    [...] Check out our review of the Messermeister San Moritz Elite set for a less-expensive, smaller set that is much higher-quality. Or, if you want all the details, read up on our Buyer’s Guide to Kitchen Knives. [...]

  24. tristan Says:

    What about cutco? I cant find a comparison on them. Can you help me rank them? My friend is pushing them onto me.

    thanks,

    Tristan

  25. admin Says:

    Tristan,
    You should read this review of Cutco:
    http://www.onlyknives.com/category/brand/cutco/

    Sorry to say they’re not my favorite.
    Good luck!
    Ken

  26. R.H. Forschner Victorinox Slicer Knife | 12″ High-Carbon Stainless Steel Granton Edge Says:

    [...] reputation for making some of the best budget knives around and this knife is no exception. See our Guide to Kitchen Knives for more on [...]

  27. J.A. Henckels International Forged Synergy Knife Set | 16-Piece East Meets West Block Set Says:

    [...] That’s not too much “filler”, which is a good thing, since we don’t usually recommend buying large sets of knives. Always err on the side of getting fewer, higher-quality knives instead of a large set that may contain knives you don’t need. For more on that, see our Best Kitchen Knife Guide. [...]

  28. AP Wee Says:

    Hello, very helpful information. How do you find Berghoff knives? They are sold on overstock.com

  29. admin Says:

    AP Wee — Berghoff certainly fits in the “soft, German steel” category. They might be right for the price, but I’d urge you to try harder, sharper knives first.

  30. Nick L. Says:

    Hi – I am looking at the Knives listed in your “Best $150 Knives” category. I am searching for a nice starter set. Amazon has a major sale going for the J.A. Henckels International Classic Forged 7-Piece set (52% off). They also sell a Messermeister San Moritz Elite – 5 pc. Initiation Block Set, but deal there. Which option seems best to you? The bang for the buck is with Henckels, but you seem to like the Messermeister brand in your review.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00004RFN0?tag=onlyk-20

    http://www.amazon.com/Messermeister-San-Moritz-Elite-Initiation/dp/B0016J7IC2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1230578229&sr=1-1&tag=onlyk-20

  31. admin Says:

    Nick, yep I definitely prefer the Messermeister over the Henckels.

    But you might also check out this Forschner set:

    http://www.onlyknives.com/rh-forschner-by-victorinox-8-piece-knife-block-set-black-fibrox-handles/

    It’s in the same price range as the Henckels and they’re darn good knives.

    – ken

  32. George Says:

    #26 tristan Says:
    November 24th, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    “What about cutco? I cant find a comparison on them. Can you help me rank them? My friend is pushing them onto me.”

    For anyone interested in a very,very complete discussion of CUTCO knives — as well as some very informative discussions of knives, steels, etc. — may I suggest the following link?

    http://www.cheftalk.com/forums/cooking-equipment-reviews/11067-cutco-knives.html

    The general information (non-cutco) discussed there is worthwhile reading (imo) for anyone owning or considering owning cutlery of any type.

    Hope this is of assistance!

    George

  33. Tiffany Says:

    How do you feel about the Forschner 8-Piece Knife Block Set? I am registering at bed, bath & beyond but don’t want to shock anyone with the prices. From what I have read, this set seems to be nice for not breaking the bank.

  34. admin Says:

    It’s a great set, Tiffany. There’s a lot of subpar products available in that price range, but the Forschner’s are a notable exception. You’ll really like them!

    – ken

  35. Kitchen Knives - Sherdog Mixed Martial Arts Forums Says:

    [...] check out the internet like: Chef's Knives Rated – Equipment & Gear – Cooking For Engineers Best Kitchen Knives On Any Budget | Cheap & Professional Chef Knife Set Review Hope that helps. __________________ "I could beat Conklin and my meat at the same [...]

  36. Know Your Steel | Buying Kitchen Knives on a Budget Says:

    [...] This was probably more than you ever wanted to know about steel. But there's always more to learn, even without getting a PhD in metallurgy. The FAQ at ZKnives.com is an excellent resource that provides quite a bit of depth. Continue reading 'The Best Knives On Any Budget' [...]

  37. Knife Set or Knives à la Carte? Says:

    [...] All of the advice I've laid out elsewhere — on sharpening, maintenance, and researching steel — holds true regardless of whether you decide to purchase a set or individual knives. Continue reading 'The Best Knives On Any Budget' [...]

  38. Can We Talk About Kitchen Knives Please ? - 3 Fat Chicks on a Diet Weight Loss Community General chatter Says:

    [...] so I want the best bang for my buck.. Any recommendations ? You might want to take a look at this article. It has alot of good information. I personally have great things to say about Cutco – the knives I [...]

  39. Sharpness Matters More Than Price | Buying Kitchen Knives on a Budget Says:

    [...] It should come as no surprise, after reading about knife maintenance, that the surface of your cutting board affects how sharp your blades will be. Opt for wood cutting surfaces over ceramic or glass when choosing a board — the latter two surfaces can degrade a knife's blade dramatically and quickly. Continue reading 'The Best Knives On Any Budget' [...]

  40. sam Says:

    I just wanted to add my two cents here. There is one knife that no one has mentioned here that for the dollar can not be beat. The leather sheathed rapala fillet knife. I have had mine for ten years+ I used to keep it in my tackle box where it cleaned many a fish. Eventually I thought “you know I like this thing so much it should be in my kitchen”. I am fully aware that a fillet knife is by no means all purpose but for $20 you will not be disappointed. The quality of the steel is unmatched in it’s price range and I can bring it’s edge back to razor sharpness with great ease. The flex is perfect, I have owned alot of fillet knives that were simply too thick to get proper action out of. Personally I have no need for a boning knife as my rapala does better than any one I have purchased. They also make (or made) a short 4″ blade knife that is great to have around as well. I can do 90% of what I need in the kitchen with just my 8″ chefs knife and my rapala. On a budget the rapala can’t be beat.

  41. Bernard Says:

    i’m looking for a full steel knifes without any joining and shouldnt be too expensive.. which should i go for ?? i went to some shop and have a look they r pricy but probably thats what they were supposed.. global, scanpan, anolon, benzer, mundial which is a better choice if i don;t go for global..

  42. Best Paring Knife Review | Shun Classic 3 Inch Says:

    [...] knife — one of just a handful of "essential" knives for any kitchen. For more on that, see our Best Kitchen Knives guide. It's got an entire section devoted which knives are essential and which are [...]

  43. Jamal Says:

    This was extremely helpful. Thank you

  44. Don’t Buy Too Many Knives | Buying Kitchen Knives on a Budget Says:

    [...] find yourself wondering why you need a knife set at all. What about just buying a few good [...] The Best Kitchen Knives For Any Budget » Knives, Swords & Blades Says: May 13th, 2008 at 8:17 am [...] Which knives are essential and which can you live without? [...]

  45. The Rise and Fall of The Great Kitchen Knife-Makers Says:

    [...] Personally, I think that once you try out a razor-sharp Japanese knife, you'll never look back.Continue reading 'The Best Knives On Any Budget'Posted in Kitchen, Kitchen Knife Sets | 7 Comments »SHARETHIS.addEntry({title:"The Rise and [...]

  46. heather george Says:

    After 6 days of use Shun chefs knife chipped, I would not recommend these knifes unless you only cut soft foods. The companys life time warranty is questionable, did not offer any replacment.

  47. Nathan Says:

    I currently have shun classic knives, 7″ Santoku, 4″ paring, bread knife, serrated utility knife and a boning knife. I had Cutco for awhile but I was not happy with them. I found them to be very dull when used to cut foods. The shun knives are another matter. The knives are incredibly sharp. They go through everything like butter. You can even cut a tomato using a non serrated knive. One thing to keep in mind though is that you can’t use just any cutting board. In order to keep the knives sharp and not damage them your cutting board needs to be either an Epicuran, bamboo or other hardwood cutting board; e.g. maple or cherry.

  48. Glenn Says:

    Have been looking to buy a avg level knife set and see that king of knives has a brand called Bismark classsic on sale (very cheap) but have not been able to find any info on the brand was woundering if any one had some info on them?

  49. okadmin Says:

    Glenn, nope no info on Bismark knives. I would advise you to stick with something more well-known.

    There are some pretty inexpensive blades mentioned in this article, that perform way better than their price might indicate. I’d go with those.

    Regards,
    – Ken

  50. Sarah Says:

    Wow, Ken! Amazing resource that was very helpful when I bought my knives. I’m a culinary student and decided to go à la carte and mix and match knives from each price level. My paring, tourne, scimitar, and stiff boning knife are all Forschner. My utility, flexible boning and bread knifes are Shun.

    My original chef’s knife was a Shun also, which I was happy with, but my pride and joy is now my 240mm Hattori KD Series Gyuto and at $1100 it was worth every penny. I use my chef’s knife more than any other and as it is the essential tool of my trade, why wouldn’t I invest in superior craftsmanship?

    This isn’t to say that I want to spend a fortune on all my knives. When I first bought my knives I made the mistake of buying an expensive Shun paring knife(it came with the Chef’s knife, but still…) I’ve found that paring knives undergo a lot of abuse and misuse (I was very upset when I fellow student broke the tip off mine.) To be fair the company did graciously send me a new one for 1/2 the price. Cheaper ones are easier to replace if damaged and your heart doesn’t break if they do.

    The last knife in my collection is my slicing knife. I am on a salon team that travels for culinary competitions and a clean knife cut is imperative for presentation. This is usually easier with a longer knife blade. Therefore, I have a 14″ Forschner Slicing “knife” w/Granton edge. (I say “knife” in quotes because the thing is more like a sword than a knife.) It doesn’t fit in my custom knife case so I had to fabricate one just for it from foam, a PVC pipe, and ballistic nylon. (Believe it or not, I got the idea from a fishing pole case.)

    After a frustrating and exhausting search for a knife case that properly protected all my other knives and still fit in my backpack (carrying a backpack + knife case + purse makes you feel more like a pack mule than a culinary student.) I ended up making one using a solid Pelican 1090 laptop case with polyethylene foam that I custom cut to protect my knives and using BladeSafes to protect the knives’ edges. It works very well, but it was a trial and error process. So this brings me to my question for you, Ken. Do you have a recommendation for a great knife case to properly protect a knife collection without adding a ton of extra weight or bulk?

  51. J.T. Hats Says:

    Not sure how large your backpack is but Ultimate Edge makes a good 17-knife travel case that’s 20 inches long and 10 inches wide. That’s seems like it should fit a pack and probably hold your large chef’s knife. It’s flexible but stiff-sided so it does give knives better protection than a tool roll. It’s listed here at OnlyKnives at http://www.onlyknives.com/professional-travel-case-for-17-knives-by-ultimate-edge-knife-roll-bag-black-2001-17bn/

  52. Heidi Says:

    Hello! My husband told me he’d like to buy me a set of knives for Christmas, so I began to research everything I could. I read tons of reviews and then I finally came across your articles. LOVED THEM! I want to go with a set of Shun Knives, I’ve looked around and have so far found four types Shun Classic, Shun Edo, Shun Kaji, and Shun Bob Kramer. Do you know the differences I should consider with these? Thank you!

  53. J.T. Hats Says:

    With all the Shun knives you’ll get excellent steel and high performance design. Shun Classic offers a simple Japanese handle style and Shun Kaji looks more European, with a double bolster. The Bob Kramer pattern shows some much fancier forging and handles look more natural. Those three all use Damascus type steel. Edo knives use VG-10 steel for the whole blade, not just the central core, and much of the blade shows the hammer marks of the hand forging.

  54. Kelly Elder Says:

    I am not seeing too much about Henckels Zwilling Germany knives… I saw a couple mentions of the international, but I have heard that the ones made in Germany are the best. How do they rate compared to Shuns or MAC’s?

  55. Steve Says:

    Wow! Absolutely incredible. I was looking to do some research on a new set of ‘great’ knives to replace my ‘good’ ones that have made their way into the garbage disposal too many times (the roommate is moving out). I came across you site and learned so much about knives. Thank you for all your guidance. I think I will be looking at starting with a Mac. Thanks!

  56. Dale Says:

    thanks for the great info…made a few knives back years ago when working in machine shops. Picked up a few Marks Pro at an auction a few years back and would like to find a few more in a 4 to 5″ category…they were a good knife for the money.
    Most people don’t take care of their knives so they need stainless. If you are looking for an American blade you might look at Bark River. I have made knives out of A2 and they are incredible but you can’t be sloppy with them or they will rust.

  57. Becky Schultz Says:

    Thanks for all the info!What would you recommend for a nice but not expensive bread cutting knife…with at least a 10 inch blade? We purchased a bread cutting box a few years back, but our 8 inch knife is not quite long enough to comfortably slice without coming out ofthe side wall guides. Thanks again.

  58. ken Says:

    Becky, you really can’t go wrong with Forschner / Victorinox in the inexpensive category.

    Here’s their 10 inch bread knife.

  59. rory arrmee armaugh Says:

    ohio(deep bow),

    …wow…all that Japanese steel…what about Gary, ind, on the rebound or Pittsburgh?
    I mean no disrespect with our friends in Japan,and I will have no problem with our friends in China when we are finally trading,apples for apples and oranges for oranges.

  60. john Says:

    160 dollars for a shun knife, that’s a great deal!
    Seriously though great site, I never would have imagined an entier site dedicated to knifes and I have to say this is a far more informative source than crappy ehow/ezine articles.

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    These widespread shun knives are the high sellers, featuring classic styling with unique ergonomic handles. These knives are made out of layered Japanese VG-10 chrome steel, making certain a razor sharp, and hard knife edge. Shun Knives and cutlery tools have experienced tremendous growth over the past four years and have many innovative style improvements and unique features. the web site is one in every of the leading vendors for Shun cutlery and supply free shipping on all orders.
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  70. David Angelico Says:

    I have been a knife enthusiast for 60 years. My dad gave me my first pocket knife at age 6. As a child, I read about knives and sharpening. Long before I could afford to buy good knives I learned sharpening skills. Every knife and edged tool I own is always scary sharp! Dull tools are dangerous and inefficent. Even low quality knives can be made sharp; they just don’t hold their edge the way knives made from quality steel do. My kitchen has a variety of knives, some I made in the mid 70′s from stamped blade stock. They continue to be my favorite as I made the handles for my hand. My advice to all is learn to sharpen with a good oil or water stone. The new diamond sharpeners work well but being a traditionalist, I think a well maintained oil stone is the best. Invest some time learning sharpening skills and you will be rewarded with a lifetime of sharp knives. My knives are sharpened once a week whether they need it or not. It’s a practice I never tire of. A good knife or tool that is dull is pretty much useless.

  71. Carolyn Says:

    I noticed you didn’t review the Miyabi line. I recently bought one after researching them and trying them out many times. I’m pleased with how they feel in my hand and how well they handle my chopping, cutting and slicing. I think they work just as great as my Shun knives. What is your opinion on the Miyabi?

  72. rhin Says:

    I am a vegetarian in the market for my first (affordable) quality knife. My budget is $150 or under, ideally closer to $100. What are your thoughts on the Calphalon Katana-series Nakiri knife? And what do you think about a nakiri knife as an all-purpose knife in a vegetarian kitchen? I was looking for a santoku or chef’s knife to start, but based on reviews, the nakiri seemed like a good choice.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thanks!

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