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Wife wants a new set for Xmas.
Henkel or other?
-Zorba, "The Veiled Male"
"If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
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The ones Wes I use the most are the various commercial kitchen knives I’ve picked up from restaurant supply houses. Some Victorinox, some Dexter... need to try the cold steel ones.
Do go to a restaurant supply place and buy a handfull of the cheap $5 pairing knives. You use them a lot and are handy as hell to have spares
Ah......One savors the hypocrisy!
Karma.........It’s a bitch.
Don't laugh. Kiwi. Sold in most Asian food markets (or online) and so cheap it's almost like you're shoplifting them. I'm talking $4.89 for an 8" chefs knife, and $1.49 for a paring knife.
Cheap steel, sharpens easily, and holds that edge for most kitchen chores. The best way to sharpen a Kiwi is by "steeling" it on the back edge of another Kiwi. Anything else, even ceramic is too aggressive. But, you can repeatedly whip out a true razor's edge in less time than it takes for you to decide it's dull. I'd not pick one for sectioning a rack of ribs (leave that to the Mercers), but I've yet to meet a veggie (including green acorn squash, which is saying something) that they wouldn't handle with aplomb.
Got a drawer full of great Mercers, but truth is, the Kiwi's do 90% of the chores.
That will be my next set. These guys rigorously test stuff.
The Work Sharp Ken Onion Edition sharpening system will turn any old crap knife into a razor in seconds. It works equally well on really nice knives.
I've felt for years that the sharpening method or system was actually of more import than the knife steel itself. (Selection of the proper blade shape for the task at hand is the first consideration, of course. It's tough to slice whole ribs with a paring knife, and it's equally difficult to peel an apple with a carver. Exaggerated, I know, but you get the point). And I avoided anything other than hand honing on high dollar stones for decades.
All knives get dull with use, be it Henkel (dollars) or Kiwi (cents). Getting them back into fighting trim is usually the issue and why most folks become disappointed with "the knives they have".
You can spend upward of $800 per blade on some fine Japanese folded steel or $4 for a Kiwi. My recommendation is to put your first $150 into a Work Sharp Ken Onion and you won't need to concern yourself very much about what you drag through it.
You can thank @Knitepoet for this PSA.
I probably have almost $2K in stones and steels. I still use the steels for touchups, but I don't think I've touched a stone in well over a year.
One caveat.....discard any belt that you've worn or cut a hole into.
FWIW.....once you've initially sharpened your stable of knives, chances are you'll be using only fine belts from that point forward unless you've really damaged a blade or bought a new blade that you want to change bevel.. I bought a variety pack from Amazon, but have used nothing but the fine belt.
Belts last quite a while, so it's not like you'll be replacing them every time you turn around.
WorkSharp makes a few different sharpening systems. Be sure you get the Ken Onion edition.
John 3: 1-21
And once again.....check out Mercer Cutlery. You'll be pleased with them, too. Personally, I lean strongly toward the Genesis series, but all are waaay better than the price point would indicate.