So I’m sharpening a few of my kitchen knives that desperately need it. It’s a task I procrastinate on terribly (as I’m currently posting this instead of stroking the water stone with high carbon steel). I needed a break, my hands keep going numb. I’ve got good knives- not the best money can buy, but not a cheap block set. I have purchased all my knives individually. About 20 years ago, I purchased a few J. A. Henkels Five Star knives- a 7” Santoku, 8” carver, 6” utility, and a 5.5” boning knife. They have done me well. They take and hold an edge pretty well, they’re durable, and they are pretty comfortable to use if you’re not using them for long periods. They’re good for the average home kitchen.
But a few years later, after working in the restaurant biz for a bit, I wanted a new 8” chef’s knife and a smaller santoku, so I did some research and went a different direction. I went with Japanese Damascus steel, and bought a Shun (Kershaw/Kai) Classic 8” Chef knife and a 5” Santoku. Damn! What a difference! So much harder. So much sharper. And I love the D-shaped handles if your using a knife all day. Pricey though. I think I paid ~$180 for the chefs knife.
These Shuns are a bitch to sharpen. The steel is so hard. Also, the edge is a few degrees sharper than German knives, which makes more surface area to sharpen. Plus they are brittle and chip easy, and sharpening chips out is a bitch. But if I treat them right, and keep up the edge on a honing steel, I’ve only got to tune them up on a stone once or twice a year. But they are literally the sharpest knives I’ve ever touched. They will cut your finger if you just touch-check the edge. Slice through over-ripe tomatoes with just their own weight. Crazy sharp shit; don’t make a mistake. They keep the edge really well, too. Next, I’ll buy a vegetable cleaver, but it’s like $300. Even with the drawbacks of super hard steel, I still prefer the Shun knives over the Henkels, and by a wide margin.
What do you kids use? Am I the only one who appreciates fine cutlery?