F.Dick 1905, Paring Knife (Officemesser), 9cm or 3 1/2″

Bought on my recent trip to Munich, the F.Dick 1905 paring knife is everything one can expect from a paring knife – versatile, small and extremely sharp. The handle has these distinctive and easily recognizable F.Dick brandmark steel rings. I bought it for 40 euro which is bargain considering the knife quality. Actually I regret not buying as well the F.Dick chef’s 8″ knife from the same 1905 line. Next time.

F.Dick 1905, Paring Knife (Officemesser), 9cm or 3 1/2

Victorinox Cutlery 9-Inch Wavy Edge Bread Knife

Bread knife should not be expensive. Bread knives go long way without any maintenance. I’m pretty happy with Victorinox Cutlery 9-Inch Wavy Edge Bread Knife, Black Polypropylene Handle. The knife slices effortlessly through tough breads, has a good balance and a comfortable grip. The offset handle keeps you clear of the cutting board.

Victorinox Cutlery 9-Inch Wavy Edge Bread Knife

Small Kitchen Knives

My latest acquisitions of small kitchen knives:

Mercer Culinary Genesis 2-1/2-Inch Forged Peeling Knife

Wusthof Classic 4″ Extra Wide Paring Knife

Mercer Culinary Millenia M22003 3-1/2-Inch Paring Knife

paring-knives-9265-1

While Wusthof definitely keeps edge better than Mercer knives, Mercers are hard to beat when it comes to price and ergonomics. Wusthof Classic 4″ Extra Wide Paring Knife proved to be a disappointment – too short handle, flimsy thin flat blade, not worth the $50 price tag. For a mere $8 Mercer Culinary Millenia M22003 3-1/2-Inch Paring Knife offers much better value, the grip is very comfortable.

Toledo Kitchen Knives

Visiting Spain I could not miss opportunity to get acquainted with the Spanish kitchen knives. Spain is the home of Arcos, one of the oldest European knife manufacturers. Toledo has been know for centuries for its steel, swords and artisans. Almost every historic novel I read in my childhood featured a rapier or a sword “made from the finest Toledo steel”.

Well, I started from Madrid’s Cuchillerías Simón, a specialized knife shop in the very center of Madrid, 100 meters from Metro Sevilla. A very professional shop attendant has recommended me the local brand (probably shop’s private label) Simon of Spain, a line of typical Sabatier forged knives similar by composition to quality German knives, with price range from 55 euro for 3.5 inch paring knife to 120 euro for 8 inch chef knife. Prices for similar stamped knifes were about 40% lower. Priced as Wusthof classic line the Simon brand failed to impress me beyond being decent ordinary European kitchen knives. For all my curiosity I was not ready to pay premium price for rather generic knives.

Cuchillerías Simón

Next day – Toledo. Every souvenir shop in Toledo offers kitchen knives next to all kinds of medieval armory, supposedly handcrafted by the last surviving artisan of Toledo.

Toledo knives

Aggressive knife peddlers are charming unsuspecting tourists with paper cutting trick. It’s here in Toledo where my best instincts started to shout loudly “tourist trap” and “ripoff”. The different brands of supposedly Damascus knives offered by different shops bear striking resemblance to Chinese-made Damascus knives available at Amazon for a third of price. While some knives were marketed by eager vendors as VG-10 core knives I could not help but notice 440C mark which is considerably softer and cheaper grade of steel. I have no doubt that thousands of tourists coming to visit Toledo are duped daily into buying worthless piece of Chinese junk for 200 euro, assuming in their naivety they bought a “unique 67-layered Damascus knife of Toledo steel”.

Actually reviving glory of Toledo knives would be a great business idea, for example by launching “Toledo Knife” as a high end brand associated with quality instead of countless generic pretenders.

Toledo  Knives

Toledo  Knives

Toledo  Knives

Finally the only knife I brought from Spain was the kind they use in all Spanish markets to cut fish – a very authentic wide curved heavy cleaver.

Pinch grip

Cutting Fish, Mercat de Sant Antoni, Barcelona

Wusthof Classic 6″ Wide Cook Knife

The Wusthof Classic 6″ Wide Cook Knife is the most versatile knife in the amateur kitchen. Wide, heavy, and not too long – a perfect knife for the most tasks, absolutely my favorite. Sharp as all Wusthof knives. If I were to choose only one knife, that would be it.

Wusthof Classic 6" Wide Cook Knife

Deglon Cuisine Ideale Bread Knife, 8-Inch

No Sabatier company owns Sabatier brand and yet the name Sabatier has become an industry de-facto standard as a superior performance professional service knife. This name originated in Thiers, France at the beginning of the 1800s. There are many knife manufactures using Sabatier as part of their branding. In 1921 Jean Déglon, from Switzerland, set up his workshop in Thiers, specializing in high quality knife manufacturing.

This bread knife is my first experience with Deglon brand. So far my first impressions are favorable. The knife is sharp. My ultimate test for bread knife is cutting crumbly brioche. The Deglon Cuisine Ideale Bread Knife passed the test with flying colors – clean cut, no crumbles. One can argue if Deglon is genuine Sabatier or not, but at its price/quality ratio the knife definitely offers good value. To buy click the following link – Deglon Cuisine Ideale Bread Knife, 8-Inch.

Only two months in the kitchen and the Deglon Cuisine Ideale Bread Knife is not already so sharp as it was out of the box, and that after very occasional use. Probably I need another bread knife.

Deglon Cuisine Ideale Bread Knife, 8-Inch

Deglon Cuisine Ideale Bread Knife

Zwilling Four Star Fillet Knife, 180 mm

Whether you are filleting salmon for gravlax, boning whole chicken, stuffing lamb leg or slicing beef for teppanyaki, this is the knife for the job, with long, narrow and flexible blade. The blade is 7 inch (180 mm) long and o.625 inch (15 mm wide). I bought this knife in Germany, click the following link to buy the US-marketed version of the same model Zwilling J.A. Henckels Pro Fillet Knife 38403-183 , 7″.

Zwilling Four Star Fillet Knife, 180 mm

Zwilling Four Star Fillet Knife, 180 mm

Score (0 – 5)
Style & Design 4
Craftsmanship 5
Blade Material 5
Handle Material 4
Sharpness out of the box 5
Edge Retention 5

Zwilling Twin Cuisine Slicing Knife, 200 mm

The upper knife is the brand new. The lower one went through one year heavy abuse including dishwasher, a big no-no for quality knives. Still, despite some faded out engraving and scratches the knife is as good as new. Long and thin blade is a pleasure to use. Balance is superb. The knife can easily replace chef knife or fillet knife for multitude of tasks. Out of the box the knife was not scary sharp as Japanese knives but sharp enough for all practical purposes. Due to relatively thin blade steeling and sharpening is quick and easy. Edge retention is excellent. The knife is 8 inch (200 mm) long and 1.25 inch (30 mm) wide at the blade base. One of the most used knives in my kitchen. I bought this knife in Germany, click the following link to buy the US-marketed version of the same model Zwilling J.A. Henckels Twin Four Star Slicing Knife 200mm/8″.

Zwilling Twin Cuisine Slicing Knife, 200 mm

Zwilling Twin Cuisine Slicing Knife, 200 mm

Zwilling Twin Cuisine Slicing Knife, 200 mm

Score (0 – 5)
Style & Design 4
Craftsmanship 5
Blade Material 5
Handle Material 5
Sharpness out of the box 4
Edge Retention 5

Wenger Grand Maitre Chef Knife, 250mm

The Swiss-made Wenger Grand Maitre chef knife (250 mm, stainless Swiss-made, model 355126), a veteran of my kitchen, survived about 5 years of every possible kitchen abuse, still sharp (with proper care) and usable as 10 years ago. It seems that since Victorinox’s acquisition of Wenger in 2005 the knife is no longer in production. This Victorinox knife is the closest replacement to good old Wenger – Victorinox Swiss Classic 8″ Chef’s Knife.

Wenger Grand Maitre Chef Knife, 250mm