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    Post #1 - May 31st, 2004, 10:25 pm
    Post #1 - May 31st, 2004, 10:25 pm Post #1 - May 31st, 2004, 10:25 pm
    I have several Solingen steel kitcken knives which have gotten quite dull over the years, can anyone direct me to a knife sharpening service in the north suburbs or the northside of the City? Also does anyone know the name of the "inexpensive" Japanese kinves that Anthony Bourdaine shills in Kitchen Confidental ? Thanks in advance.
    jb
  • Post #2 - June 1st, 2004, 2:05 am
    Post #2 - June 1st, 2004, 2:05 am Post #2 - June 1st, 2004, 2:05 am
    I don't know about the north suburbs but I can highly recommend Northwestern Cutlery (it's on the city's north side, barely). I've been going there for a while now but was most impressed my last visit when I took an ancient, abused Sabatier to be sharpened. They straightened the tip, sharpened it on the wheel, then on a couple stones, and buffed the blade so it looked like new. Very reasonable charge (well under $5). Much of Northwestern's business is commercial sharpening for those butchers and meatpackers that remain in the old meat district. It's a pretty interesting shop to poke around in.

    I only had a quick read of Kitchen Confidential in a bookstore but I think it was Global that Bourdain went on about. Northwestern Cutlery carries much of the Global line (as well as other Japanese brands). If you're thinking about buying one be sure to play around with a few knives first. It took me less than a minute to realize I hated the handle and would never be happy with a Global. Don't misunderstand, I'm not saying Globals are not good knives, only that they're not the knives for my hand.

    Northwestern Cutlery
    810 W Lake St
    Chicago
    312-421-3666
    They keep fairly early hours; call ahead!
  • Post #3 - June 1st, 2004, 7:23 am
    Post #3 - June 1st, 2004, 7:23 am Post #3 - June 1st, 2004, 7:23 am
    In Andersonville, there is a kitchen shop called the Wooden Spoon. They did my knives (including a serrated) for 1$ each! Can't beat that. It's on Clark.
    "Food is Love"
    Jasper White
  • Post #4 - June 1st, 2004, 8:54 am
    Post #4 - June 1st, 2004, 8:54 am Post #4 - June 1st, 2004, 8:54 am
    I assume you mean santoku knives, chef's knives with the shorter, but raised blade. When you chop you can hold the blade directly with your thumb and index finger, with the rest of your hand on the handle. Some people feel that gives them more control over the knife, and prefer it when chopping (not me). Lucky for you, they seem to be more prevalent with Wusthof and others coming out with santoku knives of their own. But try them first, and see if you really will chop like Anthony Bourdaine in the infomercial.
  • Post #5 - June 1st, 2004, 9:32 am
    Post #5 - June 1st, 2004, 9:32 am Post #5 - June 1st, 2004, 9:32 am
    Depending on your need for convenience vs. speed, if you buy from a butcher, ask them -- I once mentioned to my butcher that my knives were going to need sharpening soon, and they offered to have mine sharpened with theirs, but it would have taken a week.
  • Post #6 - June 3rd, 2004, 3:57 am
    Post #6 - June 3rd, 2004, 3:57 am Post #6 - June 3rd, 2004, 3:57 am
    john@thebar wrote: Japanese kinves that Anthony Bourdaine shills in Kitchen Confidental ?

    John,

    Rene, as usual, is right on the mark, Bourdain recommends Global, more specifically the vanadium steel series. (I have the book right in front of me)

    I own a few good knives, of various manufactures, though no Global, which do not feel 'right' in my hand. My current favorite knife, a Misono 7" Oriental slicer, model Y722 at http://www.jbprince.com , was recommended to me by Evil Ronnie, who is a professional chef, and sees daily use.

    I'd agree, once again, with Rene about Northwestern Cutlery being the best place to have knives sharpened. Northwestern uses the wheel/stone method and takes pride in their work. Northwestern carries a full line of knives, from inexpensive Dexter white handled sani-safe to the better known German and Japanese.

    If you ask, they are not on display, Northwestern may still have a few original carbon steel Sabatier's in the back, which are hard to find. Northwestern does not carry Misono and is slightly weak in upper end Japanese knives. No custom knives either.

    Northwestern has kitchen gadgets, accessories and cookware, including All-Clad, but, frankly, their prices are starting to creep up, still less than the majors, but not the amazing deals they were. A 'don't miss' at Northwestern are their bargain bins, the occasional amazing deal can be had.

    Northwestern is just West of Halsted on Lake, be advised Lake is currently closed going West at Halsted.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
  • Post #7 - June 3rd, 2004, 10:14 am
    Post #7 - June 3rd, 2004, 10:14 am Post #7 - June 3rd, 2004, 10:14 am
    Since we're on the subject of knives, following are a couple good, related stories from this week's SF Chronicle:

    Cutting edges -- A quick course on kitchen knives: tips on selection, use and care
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2004/06/02/FDG3U6S6DK1.DTL

    Ferraris of the knife world
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2004/06/02/FDG9D6UGT11.DTL
  • Post #8 - June 3rd, 2004, 10:52 am
    Post #8 - June 3rd, 2004, 10:52 am Post #8 - June 3rd, 2004, 10:52 am

    HH,

    It appears the Gate used an article from The Art of Eating, 'Precision Cuts' 2003 #65, as reference. The Art of Eating is not online, but the URL for Saori Kawano's Japanese knife shop, Korin, is http://www.japanese-knife.com

    Enjoy,
    Gary
  • Post #9 - September 25th, 2007, 7:59 pm
    Post #9 - September 25th, 2007, 7:59 pm Post #9 - September 25th, 2007, 7:59 pm
    Or rather, my mom does. She doesn't need a lot of knives; a "big, long knife", something for veggies, something for "detail work", and last but not least, the need that inspired this search: a high-quality pair of scissors. Price hopefully <$400 for the lot.

    Would she be better off buying a set or individual pieces? Any recommendations? Is there someplace she'd be able to feel these knives before buying? Would it be a dumb idea to buy online?
  • Post #10 - September 25th, 2007, 8:17 pm
    Post #10 - September 25th, 2007, 8:17 pm Post #10 - September 25th, 2007, 8:17 pm
    I prefer to buy individual knives. I would recommend going to:

    Northwestern Cutlery

    810 West Lake Street
    Chicago, IL 60007
    United States
    Ph: 888-248-4449
    Bruce
    Plenipotentiary
    bruce@bdbbq.com

    Raw meat should NOT have an ingredients list!!
  • Post #11 - September 25th, 2007, 9:47 pm
    Post #11 - September 25th, 2007, 9:47 pm Post #11 - September 25th, 2007, 9:47 pm
    The Great Danton wrote:Or rather, my mom does. She doesn't need a lot of knives; a "big, long knife", something for veggies, something for "detail work", and last but not least, the need that inspired this search: a high-quality pair of scissors. Price hopefully <$400 for the lot.

    Would she be better off buying a set or individual pieces? Any recommendations? Is there someplace she'd be able to feel these knives before buying? Would it be a dumb idea to buy online?
    Individual pieces for sure. I use 3 knives for everything- a large kitchen knife, a serrated longer knife and a paring knife. I've yet to encounter a situation where those three couldn't get me through.
    is making all his reservations under the name Steve Plotnicki from now on.
  • Post #12 - September 25th, 2007, 10:16 pm
    Post #12 - September 25th, 2007, 10:16 pm Post #12 - September 25th, 2007, 10:16 pm
    I'm a big fan of Lee Valley for kitchen stuff. They're primarily a woodworking and gardening company, but under their "gardening" section they have some interesting kitchen stuff.

    I agree that most knife sets aren't great, but for the money ($85), this one seems pretty good:

    http://www.leevalley.com/garden/page.as ... 40738&ap=1

    While I haven't tried those, my go-to knife is one of theirs. They've upped the price significantly, but it's still a great carbon steel chef's knife for under $22.

    http://www.leevalley.com/garden/page.as ... 40738&ap=1

    There's a discussion of it here:

    http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=3373

    I have always found their products to be well designed and exceptional values. And they're the guys, mostly unrecognized, who popularized the use of the woodworkers' Microplane for zesting and other kitchen uses.
  • Post #13 - September 26th, 2007, 7:08 am
    Post #13 - September 26th, 2007, 7:08 am Post #13 - September 26th, 2007, 7:08 am
    We recently bought a second house and while I wanted to save money when it came to stocking the kitchen, good knives to me are just an essential. I find that I usually have pretty good luck with Cook's Illustrated recommendations so when I checked out what they had to say about brands, I was pleasantly surprised to find that they felt that the knives by Forschner were some of the best. They are priced much lower than Wusthoff or any other comparable brand, yet I have found their quality to be exceptional. I also bought a set of their steak knives with rosewood handles and those are awesome as well.

    I purchased my knives through this web site...

    http://www.cutleryandmore.com/
  • Post #14 - September 26th, 2007, 7:54 am
    Post #14 - September 26th, 2007, 7:54 am Post #14 - September 26th, 2007, 7:54 am
    jpschust wrote: I use 3 knives for everything- a large kitchen knife, a serrated longer knife and a paring knife. I've yet to encounter a situation where those three couldn't get me through.


    When I worked at Williams Sonoma I would tell this to people looking at complete sets...I was not on commission :lol:
  • Post #15 - September 26th, 2007, 9:47 am
    Post #15 - September 26th, 2007, 9:47 am Post #15 - September 26th, 2007, 9:47 am
    DMChicago wrote:
    jpschust wrote: I use 3 knives for everything- a large kitchen knife, a serrated longer knife and a paring knife. I've yet to encounter a situation where those three couldn't get me through.


    When I worked at Williams Sonoma I would tell this to people looking at complete sets...I was not on commission :lol:

    This same advice is given in Cook's Illustrated List of 25 Kitchen Essentials (warning: pdf file). The linked file has recommendations for each of a chef's knife, paring knife and serrated knife.
  • Post #16 - September 26th, 2007, 10:08 am
    Post #16 - September 26th, 2007, 10:08 am Post #16 - September 26th, 2007, 10:08 am
    The Great Danton wrote:Or rather, my mom does. She doesn't need a lot of knives; a "big, long knife", something for veggies, something for "detail work", and last but not least, the need that inspired this search: a high-quality pair of scissors. Price hopefully <$400 for the lot.


    "big, long knife"
    This could mean two things... A serrated one for breads or a carving knife for meats. A cheap serrated knife will probably do but don't skimp on the carving. Should be at least 10".

    something for veggies
    8" chef's

    something for "detail work"
    3" paring or maybe a Mandolin :)

    At $400 you're definitely going for high-end... Global is a good choice, but I tend to be biased towards Japanese brands when it comes to knives.

    I've never been too picky with scissors and have been happy with $10 Oxo shears. Try to get one that can be disassembled for more thorough cleaning, though.
  • Post #17 - September 27th, 2007, 7:43 am
    Post #17 - September 27th, 2007, 7:43 am Post #17 - September 27th, 2007, 7:43 am
    Matt...Thanks for pointing out that very handy list. I must've missed that.

    I did heed CI's recommendation and did not buy a set, but rather bought individual knives. I bought the paring knife and the serrated bread knife that is recommended as well as a 10" chef's knife, a 12" chef's knife, a sharpening steel and a kitchen shears. I just picked the block that I felt would best accommodate all that and was good to go. Much easier than buying a set.
  • Post #18 - September 27th, 2007, 9:13 am
    Post #18 - September 27th, 2007, 9:13 am Post #18 - September 27th, 2007, 9:13 am
    It's your Mom who needs the knives, but it sounds like you might be buying them for her. I'd strongly recommend that she accompany you to buy them. I feel as if it's a very personal decision, and what appeals to one person won't appeal to another. For example, if you have huge hands and she has small ones, you might each gravitate toward knives with different handles. A heavier knife might be too heavy for someone who's elderly or has arthritis. There are so many variables, and it's tough to predict what someone will like!
  • Post #19 - September 27th, 2007, 2:41 pm
    Post #19 - September 27th, 2007, 2:41 pm Post #19 - September 27th, 2007, 2:41 pm
    Go to eBay and you can find Wusthof Classic sets at all price ranges. I recently purchased a 10 piece Classic set #8243 for $249 + shipping.-Dick
  • Post #20 - September 27th, 2007, 10:17 pm
    Post #20 - September 27th, 2007, 10:17 pm Post #20 - September 27th, 2007, 10:17 pm
    Kwe730 wrote: I find that I usually have pretty good luck with Cook's Illustrated recommendations so when I checked out what they had to say about brands, I was pleasantly surprised to find that they felt that the knives by Forschner were some of the best. They are priced much lower than Wusthoff or any other comparable brand, yet I have found their quality to be exceptional.


    I also did this recently, having heretofore had a set of Chicago Cutlery I received as a present many years ago. I bought the Chef's, a paring and a boning knife. I wish I could remember from whom. I adore them, but I have never had anything exceptional with which to compare them. That said, I was shocked at how much I loved them and how nice having a truly sharp knife is. Besides the serrated knife I already had, I never use anything but these.
  • Post #21 - September 28th, 2007, 5:49 pm
    Post #21 - September 28th, 2007, 5:49 pm Post #21 - September 28th, 2007, 5:49 pm
    Like everyone's said before...8" chef knife, serrated knife (go cheap), and a paring knife. Definately take your Mom with to purchase these...A great knife can get horrid reviews based on picky users. My favorite hold, and I know I'll get torn apart on this is...Cutco knives. They have a great handle and keep their edge.

    If you have $400 I'd go for a 8" Shun at around $120 after tax, an offset serrated knife at $20, and the paring knife of your choice.
    GOOD TIMES!
  • Post #22 - September 28th, 2007, 5:51 pm
    Post #22 - September 28th, 2007, 5:51 pm Post #22 - September 28th, 2007, 5:51 pm
    I really like the Wusthof Grand Prix paring knife, I find myself using it more than I probably should.
  • Post #23 - January 3rd, 2008, 3:11 pm
    Post #23 - January 3rd, 2008, 3:11 pm Post #23 - January 3rd, 2008, 3:11 pm
    Well it is time for new Kitchen knives. Could anyone point me to some real good knives. I have always had gotten the $20 set with the serrated blades that you cannot sharpen and actually snapped my butchers knife while trying to cut an acorn squash
    Dave

    Bourbon, The United States of America's OFFICIAL Spirit.
  • Post #24 - January 3rd, 2008, 3:22 pm
    Post #24 - January 3rd, 2008, 3:22 pm Post #24 - January 3rd, 2008, 3:22 pm
    davecamaro1994 wrote:Well it is time for new Kitchen knives. Could anyone point me to some real good knives. I have always had gotten the $20 set with the serrated blades that you cannot sharpen and actually snapped my butchers knife while trying to cut an acorn squash


    Go to a reputable kitchen store and make sure to hold, and feel the knives in your hand. Going just by the looks or recommendations of others won't be enough. Personally I look for knives like fruit, heavy for it's size and balanced.

    Flip
    "Beer is proof God loves us, and wants us to be Happy"
    -Ben Franklin-
  • Post #25 - January 3rd, 2008, 3:23 pm
    Post #25 - January 3rd, 2008, 3:23 pm Post #25 - January 3rd, 2008, 3:23 pm
    I am a big fan of German knives like Henkels & Wusthoff. I do not buy complete setes, but pick and choose.

    My daily knife, and the best chefs knife I have ever owned or used is a Wusthof Culinar 8" cooks knife. Sleek stainless steel, and a workhorse in the kitchen. Not cheap @ over $125, but it will last forever.

    good luck with your purchase
  • Post #26 - January 3rd, 2008, 3:31 pm
    Post #26 - January 3rd, 2008, 3:31 pm Post #26 - January 3rd, 2008, 3:31 pm
    I love my Global knife. Although I "winged it" and ordered it off of Ebay without trying it first, I agree that Flip's advice to try it out in person first is a good one.

    Also, you might want to check out Northwestern Cutlery on Lake & Halsted in Chicago.

    Northwestern Cutlery
    810 W Lake Street
    Chicago IL
  • Post #27 - January 3rd, 2008, 3:36 pm
    Post #27 - January 3rd, 2008, 3:36 pm Post #27 - January 3rd, 2008, 3:36 pm
    I assume you want cooking knives, not steak knives.

    The place to start is Northwestern Cutlery. They have tons of knives and knowledgeable staff and will guide you through the process. See below for contact info.

    There are four main knives most cooks use:

    1. A chef's knife, usually 8 inches. Also called a cook's knife.
    2. A 3-4 inch pairing knife
    3. A 6-8 inch utility, sandwich, or flexible knife
    4. A serrated bread knife.

    There are a lot of other knives besides these, such as boning knives, fillet knives, Santukos, etc. But the four above are probably the place to start.

    Each of the four above has a pretty specific purpose:

    1. The chef's knife is the most useful because it can do the most. It is designed for efficiently slicing, chopping, and dicing. Your knife dollars are best spent here first - and here's where you don't want to skimp. Depending on your budget, you can get a decent 8" knife by Forschner for around $25 (Cooks Illustrated loves this knife). You can get top-of-the-line German, French, or Japanese knives for $80-$100, or more. I have a cheap Calphalon knife that keeps its edge for about a day, and a Wusthof knife that is phenomenal.

    2. The pairing knife is smaller and is best for doing more detailed cuts. Although you can certainly get by without this knife, you can also get a pretty decent one for about $10. Check out the Forschner Victorinox.

    3. A utility knife is generally as long as a chef's knife, but is thinner and shorter. It is good for slicing and can generally make thinner slices than a chef's knife. You can definitely get by without this knife. I have a Messermeister that is quite flexible and so doubles as a boning knife.

    4. A serrated knife is good for getting through tough exteriors, like bread and tomatoes. I have an expensive Wusthof, but also a $20 Forschner that performs nearly as well.

    Be sure you buy a sharpening steel (about $20) and use it after each time you use the knife. In addition, get your knife professionally sharpened once or twice a year (they do it at NW Cutlery while you wait for a few dollars per knife).

    How do you choose a brand? You have to hold the knife and see how it feels in your hand. Does it feel comfortable? Does it fit your hand? Does it feel balanced?

    My advice: Buy the best chef's knife you can afford. You can easily make do with less-expensive utility, pairing, and serrated knives, if you'd like to save money. Go to NW Cutlery and ask for a salesperson who is knowledgeable about knives. Tell them how much you'd like to spend and ask to see a bunch of knives.

    Northwestern Cutlery
    810 W Lake Street
    (between Green St & Halsted St)
    Chicago, IL 60607
    (312) 421-3666
    www.nwcutlery.com/
    Last edited by Darren72 on January 4th, 2008, 1:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #28 - January 3rd, 2008, 3:38 pm
    Post #28 - January 3rd, 2008, 3:38 pm Post #28 - January 3rd, 2008, 3:38 pm
    Good advice on not buying a set -- they're usually a waste. Start with a chef's knife and a paring knife. As was suggested above, hold the prospects in your hand and see how they feel. You want something heavy enough so that it won't fly around but not so heavy that using it over an extended period of time will be fatiguing.

    If you have friends who own decent knives, see if you can borrow a couple from them. Unfortunately, there's no easy way to tell if a knife will work well for you without using it for a while, and extended test drives are not really offered by retailers. In all likelihood, no amount of time spent with a knife in a store is going to be enough to make an accurate determination about whether it's right for you or not. That said, if it feels natural in your hand, that's probably a good place to start.

    =R=
    Last edited by ronnie_suburban on January 3rd, 2008, 5:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    There are many things that are legal that are not a great idea --Nick Shabazz

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #29 - January 3rd, 2008, 5:15 pm
    Post #29 - January 3rd, 2008, 5:15 pm Post #29 - January 3rd, 2008, 5:15 pm
    Good call on the Northwest Cutlery suggestion - a great place to start.
    I just bought a Shun 8 inch chef's knife as a present for my wife.
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0000Y7KNQ
    Of course, it ended up being a present we both could use and I've completely fallen in love with it. :D
    I love restaurants. You're sitting there and all of a sudden, there's food. It's like magic.
    - Brian Wilson
  • Post #30 - January 3rd, 2008, 5:35 pm
    Post #30 - January 3rd, 2008, 5:35 pm Post #30 - January 3rd, 2008, 5:35 pm
    Darren72 wrote:Depending on your budget, you can get a decent 8" knife by Forschner for around $25 (Cooks Illustrated loves this knife).


    I went to NW Cutlery with the intent of "mixing and matching" various brands to replace my el cheapo LC Germain block set. After handling many different knives, I left the store with a set of Forschner fibrox knives. I felt that all varieties of their line were the most balanced, probably because they are "stamped" and not forged.

    Our budget allowed us to spend more, but I was very impressed with these knives. They are very industrial/utilitarian in appearance--- You can definitely find other knives that exude "more wow"

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