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View Full Version : Forschner Knives Purchase - A couple questions



Teddy J.
11-30-2008, 01:26 PM
So I'm finally getting around to purchasing a few knives for my smoking/grilling/etc needs. I was looking for a few that will do most of the basic jobs; trim uncooked/cooked ribs, trim and slice butts/briskets, chop my misc veggies, and the other basic needs. After researching all the old posts on the topic, this is what I've come up with.

1) 8" Chef - Fibrox
2) 6" Curved Boning Knife (Flexible) - Fibrox
3) 14" Slicer w/ Hollow Edge - Fibrox
4) 10" Sharpening Steel - Fibrox

I figure this will get me started. Any thoughts on any real important others that you would recommend buying on the first go-around? I'm thinking about the 7" Santoku as well? Seemed like a lot of people praised it when sifting through the previous topics.

Pretty much I'm starting my knife selection from scratch, so I'm open to any suggestions.

Once again I thank Chris and all you guys for providing such a great resource for us.

K Kruger
11-30-2008, 01:36 PM
Though I am not a Forschner fan many here like their products very much. Sticking with them, though, since that seems to be you direction, I'd suggest switching the boning to a stiff or semi-flex, and the steel to a diamond oval (http://www.knifemerchant.com/products.asp?SRS=1). My two cents.

Bryan S
11-30-2008, 01:46 PM
Originally posted by Mitch Josey:
I'm thinking about the 7" Santoku as well? Seemed like a lot of people praised it when sifting through the previous topics.

Mitch, I'll suggest a Santoku for you. I've had this one for over 3 years now and still love it as much if not more than the first time I used it. I can't give this knife enough praise. I have several @ 3 X the cost of this, and still, this is my go to knife. I have 2 Forschner knives, the 14" granton slicer, and a 12" granton cimeter, love both knives, and they are a good value IMO. Link to the Santoku for you. (http://www.cutleryandmore.com/wusthof_santoku.htm) I buy many things from Cutlery and More. Good prices, free, very fast shipping. A great Co. to deal with. HTH

Teddy J.
11-30-2008, 01:57 PM
Originally posted by K Kruger:
Though I am not a Forschner fan many here like their products very much. Sticking with them, though, since that seems to be you direction, I'd suggest switching the boning to a stiff or semi-flex, and the steel to a diamond oval (http://www.knifemerchant.com/products.asp?SRS=1). My two cents.

I was curious about whether the 'flexible' would be too flexible or not. Seems like semi-stiff may be the way to go?

Also - can you give me some insight between the different types of sharpening steel? What is the major factor to get the diamond?

Tom Raveret
11-30-2008, 06:53 PM
take a look at cooks illustrated online before making your purchase. if your not a member you cna join for a free 14 day trial ( I love it)

they are quite fond of Forschner knifes as best buys for many of them.

I have been a loyal Wustof fan but i have bought several forschners, a filet knife and recently a slicer

K Kruger
12-01-2008, 05:55 AM
Mitch-- For barbecue and working with most meats I think a stiff or semi-flex would be most appropriate. I use a stiff much more than any other boning when working with meat or poultry.

Smooth steels are for realigning the edge. Other, textured or diamond steels are for light sharpening. Were I buying a sharpening steel for Forshners I would buy a diamond oval. The shape is better, imo, and the diamond is more sutiable to the softer metal Forschner uses. It needs to be used with a light touch.

Tom Raveret
12-01-2008, 06:13 AM
What finally pushed me to try the Forschner was the value. They tend to go for less than half what I would be buying the equivilent Wustof for(or in the case of the boning knife more like 25%. The Forschner 40513 is the one that won the Cooksillustrated test back in 2002 (the last tim they appear to have visited it. It is a medium stiff knife with some flexibility and has served me well.

It does have a "cheaper" feel for it than the Wustofs. I only have two and havent had them long the boning knife 3 months and the slicer 2 weeks. So I havent used them extensively.

Teddy J.
12-01-2008, 05:03 PM
Thanks for the info.

Went ahead and switched to the semi-flex boning and to the diamond steel.

Knives should be here Thursday, can't wait to finally have something sharp.

Jeff Day
12-02-2008, 01:17 PM
Mitch,

Please come back and give us a review of your new knife set and sharpener!

I am in the exact same position, have taken careful notes and will probably pull hte trigger before Xmas if you like all that you got.

Jeff

Teddy J.
12-02-2008, 03:33 PM
Jeff - will do sir.

A good friend of mine has a nice set of Henckels, and is eager to see how these perform in comparison.

Chris Finney
12-03-2008, 02:49 AM
I have "at home" knives and my "traveling/BBQ" knives... The Forschners are my pick for the BBQ knives. You can't beat them for value vs price.

If you do plan on traveling with them you might want to switch to the 12" slicer... hard to find a knife roll that the 14" will fit in.

K Kruger
12-03-2008, 12:42 PM
The hard case that Victorinox makes (http://www.cutleryandmore.com/details.asp?SKU=6052) will. That's what I travel with.

Teddy J.
12-06-2008, 11:19 AM
Knives arrived a couple days ago - a few pictures below for reference of other users.

Preliminary thoughts:
- Very light knives
- Nonslip handle is great, nice texture to it
- Wow, is this what a sharp knife is like?
- The semi-stiff boning is much stiffer than I anticipated

http://i236.photobucket.com/albums/ff164/ucfz31s13/WSM/IMG_1581a.jpg
- From top to bottom: 10" diamond steel, 8" chef, 6" curved semi-flex boning, 14" slicer w/ hollow edge, 10" serrated/bread, 7" fillet, 3 pairing.

http://i236.photobucket.com/albums/ff164/ucfz31s13/WSM/IMG_1591a.jpg
- Here is a close up of the construction by the handle

http://i236.photobucket.com/albums/ff164/ucfz31s13/WSM/IMG_1592a.jpg
- Texture of the nonslip handles

So far for with basic tasks the knives feel great in the hands. If you tend to like the feel of heavier knives, these are not for you.

In the midst of a brisket cook now, will see how the 14" slicer does its task.

K Kruger
12-07-2008, 07:20 AM
I think you'll find the semi-stiff more useful for boning poultry and meats, which is why I recommended it. It's also good when making trimming in smaller areas (like removing fell) where a paring is unnecessarily small. It works well for smaller fishes also. I like flexibles for larger fish--like whole tuna, dolphin and shark. Very handy there.

How did you like the slicer and the others so far?

Teddy J.
12-07-2008, 08:50 AM
Kevin:

Agree with you on the semi-flex.

The slicer is great, meets the expectation I had based on what I read by Bryan S and Wolfe. I think it will take a few uses before being real comfortable with such a long knife. And I'll say that just because you have a sharp slicer, it's not that easy to get those paper thin slices that you guys post on here!

I also love how the chef's knife is tapered real thin at the end. I assume this is standard on chef knives, but something I never noticed before until now.

Overall I'm very satisfied so far, and looking forward to getting more use with them. Having a decent set of knives really does make cooking that much more of a pleasure.

Teddy J.
12-07-2008, 04:07 PM
Hey Kevin, any advice on how often to sharpen these with the steel?

K Kruger
12-07-2008, 06:56 PM
Good question. The reason I am not fond of Forschner blades is because of the fairly soft steel blend they use. (I am very hard on knives and prefer the thin-but-stiff forged blades of many Japanese makers.) Much depends on a few variables: how often you use the knives and in what fashion; the level and type of sharpness you prefer; how you store them; your skill at varying your touch with a steel; whether you have a smooth steel at hand, and how and when you use it.

For the slicer, e.g. (if you are only using it for slicing), the blade should hold up fairly well for a while. (If you have a smooth steel some occasional light steeling is in order but don't sweat it if you don't.) For the blades that contact the cutting board firmly (like chefs knives or santokus), or blades that contact bone (like boning, butcher, fillet, and possibly paring), maintaining or returning the edge is a more frequent endeavor.

Though a diamond steel will remove metal, as you'd expect, a light touch with the steel, more frequently perhaps, imo, is the better route to go, rather than a heavier touch less often. This does not (necessarily) mean that you need to steel during a cutting task--or even before each task. While the knives are new (and if you like their current sharpness level) get used to the feel of their sharpness. Test the sharpness with your thumb now and each time you use a knife, just before use. Spend a litle time feeling. Don't think about it too much intellectually. Your body will get used to the feel quickly and you will be able to tell, with subsequent tests, when an edge feels off. Slightly firmer steeling will be required at that point. Periodically, depending on amount of use and type/level of use, you might need actually sharpen them with a sharpener (or have them done if you don't have one), but you can extend this time of this requirement by maintaining your edge as long as possible via light but somewhat more frequent steeling with your diamond.

Make sense?

I am glad you are enjoying your new knives. Nothing makes prepping more enjoyable than knives you like using.

Bryan S
12-07-2008, 07:28 PM
Originally posted by Mitch Josey:
The slicer is great, meets the expectation I had based on what I read by Bryan S and Wolfe. I think it will take a few uses before being real comfortable with such a long knife. And I'll say that just because you have a sharp slicer, it's not that easy to get those paper thin slices that you guys post on here!

Mitch, The best thing I can tell you is to let the knife do the work. A sharp knife requires very little down force to cut through the meat. Use long strokes and you'll get the hang of it quick. HTH

Bill Hays
12-08-2008, 03:55 PM
Thanks, Kevin .. Good read. Can you explain how to properly use the different steels?

Thanks,

Bill

K Kruger
12-08-2008, 04:20 PM
I can. Are you speaking of technique?

Bill Hays
12-08-2008, 04:28 PM
Yes. Technique, proper angle, etc. http://tvwbb.infopop.cc/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Bill

K Kruger
12-08-2008, 06:06 PM
Well, first, allow me to disabuse you of the notion that the in-the-air approach to steeling is the best method. It isn't. The flailing one sees on the cooking shows is often just silly and is probably the thing that keeps home cooks from learning anything about steeling and its importance and so they don't bother; their knives suffer.

Steeling is one of the most important skills to have and utilize, when it comes to knives, without question. An in-the-air approach can be learned then practiced but it is more important to understand the point and process and learn an easier way first, imo, so that you're comfortable with it and thus reap its benefits.

Frequent steeling will keep your knives sharper for much, much longer. A sharp knife is much, much safer than a dull or dulling knife. It's good for the knives and so is good for you. You should steel pretty much every time you use your knives. I'm speaking here of steeling with a regular cut or smooth metal steel, not a diamond or ceramic. (Those two are different and their use should be much less frequent.)

For most home cooks a regular cut steel is probably best. Though the steel will remove a little metal (and thus provide a little sharpening) while it realigns the edge, this is nothing to be concerned with. A regular cut steel offers good tactile feedback and that's important when you're just getting the hang of it. (Very avid cooks--those doing frequent multiple-hour cooking sessions with heavy knife work should consider getting both a regular cut and a fine cut or smooth (polished) steel.) F.Dick makes superior metal steels of varying prices based on finish, cut, length, and handle material. (Here (http://www.knifemerchant.com/products.asp?manufacturerID=132&mtype=21), scroll past the diamonds.)

Hold the steel so that the tip is straight down on a cutting board or kitchen towl, something that won't slip. Put your knife edge on the steel directly (but gently), so that it's at 90 degrees. Tip your knife so that it's half that, or 45 degrees, then half of that angle again--that will put you at 22 degrees or so, just where you want to be for the vast majority of knives from American and European manufacturers. (Angles and edges are different on Japanese knives in most cases and many Japanese knives should not be steeled with metal.)


http://www.cutlery.com/images/angle.gif


From PCD--they're succinct: Start with the heel of the blade contacting the steel as close to the handle as possible with the tip pointing straight out away from you. Pull the blade back towards you and down the shaft of the steel. The motion should end with the tip of the blade in contact with the steel towards the bottom of the shaft. Switch sides and do the exact same thing on the other side. Because you are holding the steel vertically you can see that you are using the same angle on both sides. Repeat about 4 - 5 times. Gentle pressure is all that is needed. You don't want to grind your knife. If you hear an almost musical sound, the pressure is perfect.

http://www.cutlery.com/images/steelfinal.gif

That's all there is to it. If you do it slowly and watch what you're doing you can maintain your angle without trouble. As your body gets comfortable with how it should feel your speed will increase naturally. It is not necessary to try to be fast. It's just a matter of being aware of what you're doing while you're doing it.

Bill Pearson
12-08-2008, 08:02 PM
Originally posted by K Kruger:
(Angles and edges are different on Japanese knives in most cases and many Japanese knives should not be steeled with metal.)

Kevin I have a set of Shun knives with the Shun steel, what do you mean that they should'nt be steeled with metal?

Bill Hays
12-09-2008, 02:55 AM
Thanks Kevin.

Bill

K Kruger
12-09-2008, 04:29 AM
Perhaps I should have said 'many' instead of 'most--though I do think it's most. Due to the differences in the steel alloy and in the manufacturing methods between Japanese knives and those from Europe or the US, metal steels can be inappropriate or downright bad for Japanese blades. Japanese makers offer specific recommendations for their knives. Due to the harder steel used, many do not make steels of any type for their knives, instead recommending and/or expecting the knives to be stone sharpened. Others make steels for the various lines they sell, be they metal, diamond or ceramic. If you use a line from a maker that also makes a steel for use with that line, use it.

Note that the angles of Japanese knives are more acute. Many Japanese knives are ground on one side only, or ground on one side acutely and made concave on the other. Either of these require a different approach, obviously.

If your Shun knives are from the Classic or Alton lines they are ground on both sides but at a tighter angle, 16?. That's the angle that should be used. Using the above method, start by holding your blade perpindicular to the steel (90?) then halve that (45); halve again (22) then again (11). Then increase the angle to halfway between where you are (11) and where you just were (22) and you'll be close to 16. You can also make a template out of a piece of cardboard using a protractor and copy the angle from it. Always watch what you are doing closely so you get used to the visual of what the angle looks like when your knife is being properly held. With a little time and practice you'll get used to how it is supposed to look and feel.

j biesinger
12-12-2008, 02:38 AM
Perhaps I should have said 'many' instead of 'most--though I do think it's most. Due to the differences in the steel alloy and in the manufacturing methods between Japanese knives and those from Europe or the US, metal steels can be inappropriate or downright bad for Japanese blades. Japanese makers offer specific recommendations for their knives. Due to the harder steel used, many do not make steels of any type for their knives, instead recommending and/or expecting the knives to be stone sharpened. Others make steels for the various lines they sell, be they metal, diamond or ceramic. If you use a line from a maker that also makes a steel for use with that line, use it.

thanks for the heads up. I just picked up two new japanese knives a Brieto Nakiri (molybdenum) and a Togiharu gyutou (a blend of high-grade Chromium and Molybdenum Inox steel). Both were ground with a 70/30 edge. I guess I better do a bit of research before using them.

btw, for those that might be interested in japanese steel, www.korin.com (http://www.korin.com) is running a 15% off sale through 12/31! http://tvwbb.infopop.cc/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif http://tvwbb.infopop.cc/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif http://tvwbb.infopop.cc/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

Lance
12-16-2008, 08:29 AM
Kevin,
In your post about sharpening knives above you say that you should steel almost every time that you use your knives. Is that based on the amount of use for each time? I guess what I am asking is if there is a rule of thumb about how much use before sharpening? For example, if I am cutting up a cucumber and a tomato and previously used the knife to cut lettuce or some other vegetable, do I use a regular steel prior to cutting or is that excessive? I know that I should steel my knives more often and I am trying to get a feel for what the frequency should be. I would say that I use my knives in a light duty capacity.
Lance

K Kruger
12-17-2008, 03:04 AM
It is more about steeling for each knife 'session', unless the session is particularly long or there is significant hard cutting/chopping going on, in which case you'd steel again.

In your example, I'd steel at the beginning of the session, prior to cutting the lettuce, and the knife should be fine for the cuke and tomato. The knife would get put away then steeled again the next day (or whenever). But let's say you were then moving from tomatoes to carrots then on to onions and shallots. If you weren't doing much of anything the knife might well be fine thoughout (if you get used to steeling often enough and get used to how the knife feels you might well be able to tell if it needs it sooner); then again, were you doing a lot, especially if there were major chopping of hard vegs happening, you'd lkely steel again after that and before continuing.

Ray Crick
12-17-2008, 03:33 AM
do I use a regular steel prior to cutting or is that excessive? I know that I should steel my knives more often and I am trying to get a feel for what the frequency should be. I would say that I use my knives in a light duty capacity
Lance,

I make it a practice of steeeling after each use or session. After using the knife, I wash it and then steel it later (when dry) before storing it in my drawer (in a wooden storage bin that keeps the knives separate).

Ray

Lance
12-17-2008, 06:39 AM
Kevin and Ray,
Thanks for clearing that up for me. I am going to make a conscious effort to steel my knives much more often. The trick will be convincing my wife that it needs to be done.
Lance

PS Today is my one year anniversary as a TVWB member! Last year I was in Iraq and enjoying 70 degree days and the first snow in Baghdad in over 50 years.

Ray Crick
12-17-2008, 07:45 AM
Lance,

Glad you are here now. Thanks for your service to our country. It is dearly appreciated.

Ray

Teddy J.
01-05-2009, 06:31 PM
Just returned from a cruise on Monarch of the Seas (Royal Caribbean International line), and guess what the chefs were using to slice the roasts for dinner? The 14" Fibrox granton slicer.

Too funny that I even recognized the knife, and then even funnier when the guy saw I was more interested in the knife than the leg of lamb he was slicing for me.

Ed Cardoza
01-05-2009, 08:32 PM
Kevin, I have been using your method of sharpening my knives and must say, what a huge difference it has made. It sure make slicing so much easier and cleaner with a good edge.
Thanks for the great tip...

Steve Whiting
01-07-2009, 09:21 AM
Originally posted by Mitch Josey:
Just returned from a cruise on Monarch of the Seas (Royal Caribbean International line), and guess what the chefs were using to slice the roasts for dinner? The 14" Fibrox granton slicer.

Too funny that I even recognized the knife, and then even funnier when the guy saw I was more interested in the knife than the leg of lamb he was slicing for me.

Mitch, Was the slicing being done at your table or did you get a tour of the galley? The reason I asked is that the wife and I took a Royal Caribbean cruise to Alaska this past summer and I dont remember having the opportunity to see what knife was being used. Its cool to hear the Chef was using the 14" Fibrox granton slicer. That knife is next in my purchase plan.