In total I have 3+1: a 14″ Chef’s Knife (Wusthof), a small Japanese Paring knife and a bread knife with a serrated edge. The +1 is a Ceramic workman’s knife which I use for the really really fine work. I’ve had them for the past 10 years.
The 14″ Wusthof is wonderfully handy because of the length. I can slice through large roasts easily without having to slice at various angles with a shorter knife. And it has a nice weight to it.
The small Japanese paring knife was something I picked up for $29. It’s a stamped blade (c’mom, at $29 you really shouldn’t complain) but it maintains its sharpness quite well.
I’ve recently thrown away my bread knife because it got rusty after a long hibernation in the drawer. I got it for $15 eight years ago. Now I just use my Chef’s knife to slice bread.
In general I think Ceramic knives are a waste of money because after the initial factory edge is dull, there’s no way you can get a sharp edge easily again. And ceramic knives are expensive. So after my first one, never again.
So what’s with the Ceramic workman’s knife? Well, I use one because it allows me to do fine work like removing the skin off pork loins to crackle separately and whatnot. I like it ceramic because I can wash and clean the blade easily without fear of rust and if it gets dull, I snap off the dull bit and, behold, a new sharp edge appears.
Of course, you should never neglect to give all your knives the proper care and attention. I like to sharpen them at least once a fortnight and use a steel (I have a cheap ceramic one frok Ikea) before every prep. They’ll last for another 10 years.
And before you ask, I get all my knives from Razorsharp.
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