Letter From The TEDitor: Knives To Buy?

My friend is registering for a wedding and wants a nice collection of knives for her kitchen - got any recs? [Email Sent May 29, 2018, 11:08 AM]


[Response, Sent May 29, 2018, 11:34 AM]

I always tell people they really only need 3 knifes for cooking: chef's, small chef's (aka petty) and a serrated.  I don't include steak knives because to me those are part of silverware.  Realistically, if they end up with a 10+ piece knife set, they'll only ever use 2 or 3 knives (who needs 2 different slicers and 2 different paring knives? Not me, that's who).

All that said I know some folks just like having the set, which is cool too. I think Wusthof makes perfectly fine knives.  I like the Ikon series but knives are personal so she should go to a store and hold them before registering for something that may be uncomfortable (can you return/exchange wedding gifts? I don't know how adults do things).  If they prefer Japanese style (a little lighter, thinner blades) Miyabi or Shun are solid brands.  I find the Shun blades to have a larger belly (the curve of the actual cutting edge) which makes it awkward for MY style of knife work.  Again, this is all personal so what's right for me may not be right for your friend.  If they want REALLY light, they should look at Global.  They're probably the most divisive company in that some people love them and some people hate them because they're so light.  Great for chopping herbs, not so great for hacking apart a butternut squash.

At the end of the day, the best knives are the ones that you maintain and care for.  I have a $250 Togiharu Gyuto that is essentially useless because I haven't had time (or the motivation) to sharpen it in like 8 months so any walmart knife would out perform it in its current state.  Most german blades (Wusthof, Henkels) will be made with harder steel so they'll maintain an edge for longer but be harder to sharpen when the time comes.  I recommend most folks take their knives to a blade sharpening service so sharpening is less of an issue.  It also all depends on type and frequency of use.

Happy to provide further insight if you really wanna go down the rabbit hole.  I can talk knives for days.

Letter From The TEDitor is a collection of recommendations born from random email requests from friends, family, and colleagues. Got a question of your own? Submit it here.

Erica Rosen