looking for quality kitchen knive sets

Tinkermatic

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@Tinkermatic The Wicked Edge system made sharpening the Shun's easy. Diamond stones FTW. 😁 I did try a more traditional method (regular stones) to sharpen the same blades and that was far more difficult. Granted, the systems are NOT cheap, but you do get what you pay for. I stay clear of anything powered for sharpening my knives. Mostly because I don't trust them to not remove too much material. IME/IMO you want to remove the bare minimum to achieve sharpness on your blades (all blades).
I'm a glutton for punishment. Japanese whet stones all the way, even if it means having a 3-4 knife rotation. The VG-10 chips out mainly while boning, not sharpeneing, nevertheless, I love the edge it takes. With that said, the Ken Onion version of the work sharp sharpener and the grinder attachment has caught my eye a fair number of times. $200 with a decent array of grits and strops to finish it off is very appealing with the number of knives I own. That pic doesn't include the pocket knife rotation either. PM2's in S30V, S110V, S35VN, OKC Rats in D2 and AUS-8, the list and metals go on... A sharpening system is highly appealing, but it's hard to give up the stones.
 

citoriguy

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Another vote for the Wusthof Classics. I’m probably close to 20 years on my set. As everyone else notes, maintenance is key.

i was the fortunate recipient of a NES Karma and got some whetstone that are far better than any mass produced knife “sharpener.” It does take some practice for someone that’s never used them, but I used to shave with straights, so I’m not a novice to blade maintenance. They may be an economical way to get into blade management.
 

bfm

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I have the Ken Onion Worksharp and the bench grinder attachment. With anything other than a polishing belt it removes a good bit of metal and throws it around, so best used in the workshop and not in the kitchen. Other than something that wasn't sharpened correctly from the factory or something that was abused it does not get used on most of the knives I sharpen. I will use it to reprofile if someone managed to take a few good chips out of a blade, but for the most part my kitchen knives do not get bad enough to break it out. I mostly just use the knivesshipfree.com strops. Usually the green and white compounds. The black one if someone has really messed up an edge.
 

ront02769

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There is a dexter russell factory outlet in southborough open a couple of days a week. Great deals on the knives you see in restaurant kitchens around the country.
 
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Manomet

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Just my opinion, buy a great sharpener which doesn't have to cost $20 and you can keep almost any knife sharp. If you buy exceptional craftsmanship it won't need much sharpening at all but no one but yourself will respect it or treat it properly so it will get abused and dull and then not worth the expense.
 
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Very happy with Cutco knives and they stand by their products... got a set that my ex didn't want in our divorce and they were pretty beat up. Not sure why she didn't fight for them... I remember having a heart attack when she paid a fortune for the set! New wife and I do a lot of cooking and a cutco rep. came to our house to sharpen and sent them out and they came back brand new (replaced or restored, sharpened). Their straight blade knives (like the chef knives we use daily) can absolutely be sharpened at home (we bought the sharpener and regularly sharpen the chef, paring knifes, etc.). The serrated knives need to be sent out but they've held their edge for a long time (since the rep sent them out a few years ago) so I don't even think about it.
 

Evadd

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I love all of my Shun Classic (and Kaji) knives. I gave up on the Henkel steak knives and just made one myself to use.

I second getting just the knives you need instead of going for a 'set'. Chances are, you'll only use a couple/few out of the set 99% of the time. Ones I use most often are the 7" santuku, 8" chef, 6" utility, 4" paring and the 9" Kaji meat slicer. I do have a bread knife that I also use daily (to slice my own sammich bread) which is a different brand. Keep in mind, I didn't pay the prices listed on the Shun site. For the Kaji, I think I did pay that much since you can only get them from that one seller. Love that one though.

How long they'll stay sharp depends on more than a few elements. Most important include the surface you use them on (maple/walnut cutting boards are best), how you treat them before/after use (proper use of a honing steel will extend how long they remain sharp) and even how you clean them. Also make damned sure you don't let them sit wet after you've used them (and have cleaned them). Even stainless knives will develop surface rust spots if you let water stay on them for long enough. Using these methods I managed to keep the santuku sharp for about 15-18 years. Same with the chef knife. You can send them back to get sharpened if you wish, or get a solid sharpening system to do the job. Just keep in mind, these blades have a 16 degree bevel/edge on them. You want to keep that applied when sharpening. Personally. I'd only send them out to Shun IF I was willing to be without them for the time it took. I recently picked up the Wicked Edge system and have used that to sharpen these to great effect. It's not the fastest (15-25 minutes per blade) but the results are beyond excellent. I doubt I'll need to sharpen these all that often, so spending one to two hours every X months is more than OK by me.

Also, last time I looked Bed Bath and Beyond sells the Shun Classic line. Use the 20% off coupons that are available and you'll not spend as much.
Another Shun fan here. I bought my wife a small set years ago. They're still sharp and comfortable. I love using them. The edges on the ones we have are narrower than the German style, so you can't use them to hack on bones and such but they're great.
 
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Sur la table will sharpen a knife for $5, even if they have to do it by hand, like my wife's Kramer 8" Damascus chef knife. That thing is a lightsaber.

They'll also happily let you try their knives before you buy. Just ask.
 
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SERE

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I can't find a thread on this but i'll keep looking. One of the NES chef's listed a knife combo set and a place to get them that got fantastic results. Anyone remember an NES Chef, not the lady caterer, male chef by profession?
 

bfm

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Cutco is at least made in the US, for which I will give them points. Factoring in US labor the price is fair for the quality. The 440A they use is what Randall knives use in their dive/salt water knives. It is very stain/rust resistant. It also tends to be a bit low on Rockwell hardness. This can make them easy to resharpen but can also mean you will bend an edge more often. For the nonserrated ones, learning to use a steel would be a good idea with these as with most of the softer German chef knives as truing up the edge makes a world of difference. I think they go overboard on serrations, but many people have nothing but serrated knives in the kitchen. If that works for you, great.
 

Asaltweapon

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I'm gonna say Whustof cause we have a shit ton of em. However my wife is also the Whustof sales manager for the Northeast so I'm biased cause she sleeps next to me and really knows how to use a knife.
That’s great!! I sleep with my banker.

She obviously knows the folks at Kitchen Outfitters In Acton. I got more stuff from them than I care to count.
 

Dennis in MA

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If I could do it over again, I'd piecemeal it buying the best of each. If you just want it over and done with, the Victorinox Fibrox series is hard to beat in regards to cost/great cutting. No the knives themselves aren't as nice as my Wustoff - but...
Yep. I know I’m a page late. My boning and paring knives are Shun. My chefs knife is a Kramer. Good stuff. I’d never buy a set. But what you need. 4 knives. Chef, boning, paring, slicer.
 

Spanz

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Lamsonproducts.com 40% off in stock items w/code BF19WEB. I own a few of them and they're good knives with lifetime sharpening.
i agree lamson knives are the balls, and the code is still working this morning.
Henkles, global, and wustoff are great too.
I would go with a high carbon stainless blade, so that you do not have to handle them with kid gloves. Also i would get a steel to keep the edge straight, and a powered sharpener, like a Chef's Choice electric one for every month or two
 

Tackdriver

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You are going to want to hold quite a few different knives to see what feels good in your hand.

Over 20 years ago I bought a set of Henckels four-star knives including the steak knives. Since then they’ve added the five star line which are a different handle. I have to hone them once in a while, but otherwise no issues. For my vacation house I bought Calphalon knives. Not as good as the henckels, but pretty solid and won’t break the bank.

Dave
 

rep308

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It is an interesting choice. My professional chef friend buys inexpensive knives at Restaurant Depot, sharpens the hell out of them with an electronic sharpener and then tosses them when all the sharpening wears down the blade thickness. I chose Wusthof as a good mid level blade. I use my Gatco knife set to sharpen the steak knives once or twice per year and have the rest of the blades professionally sharpened from this person in Westwood:

 
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