Here is the inexpensive alternative to the fancy designer knives that I have featured on several of the pages of this blog. The Victorinox company produces this line of knives with a heavy duty handle that is designed to take a lot of abuse. Washing a knife in a dishwasher is never recommended, but this one would survive the trip nicely. The 8″ blade is easy to handle for the beginner, and as you look at the picture you can see that it gives you a lot of clearance between the board and the handle of the knife. They have made the heel of the knife a few millimeters wider than the average chefs knife.
The Forschner Chefs knife is manufactured by the same company that brings you the Swiss Army Knife. This line of knives comes in all the standard sizes, an 8″ and 10″ Chef knife, a 6″ Boning knife, a 4″ Parer, a 7″ Santoku, a 10″ Slicing knife and an 8″ Bread knife.
Inside most professional kitchens you will find a number of different knife brands represented. Probably the most popular brand you will see is the Forschner chefs knife. These knives will typically be owned by the kitchen itself. They are provided for the helpers and people who do not own their own set. When they are new out of the box they are incredibly sharp and durable. the “Fibrox” handle is slightly grooved so it is rough to the touch which enables the user to hold it safely even when her hands are wet.
If you are looking for an inexpensive alternative to the high end designer knives, this is the best way to go. I have two of them that I purchased over 20 years ago. The ones I bought have rosewood handles and are available for slightly more money than the set pictured above. The steel of these knives is softer than most of the modern knives, but they can also be sharpened much more easily. Over time the blade will wear as does any knife that is sharpened often. The key to making the knife last a long time is to learn how to sharpen it properly.
All basic chef knives have a slight curve in them so that the blade will rock back and forth as you are slicing. If the blade is sharpened too much in the center only and not from end to end, then that slight bow will get sharpened right out. So learning to sharpen a knife correctly is key to keeping the blade around for a long time.
For a beginner set or just a solid yet inexpensive knife this is the way to go. The set above is available for way less than $50 and that is for 2 blades. Sounds like a great deal to me. You can see these and more at Chefs Knives To Go.
Here is video #1 of a set of 7 that the great folks at chef knives to go put together on knife sharpening, you can see this and many others on their site.