What's your Home kitchen knife batterie?

Hi JustCharlie,

Now that you’re a home cook like the rest of us–and a chiseler on the side in your hobbyist shop–I’d be fascinated with your home cook batterie selections.

For me, high Rockwell has been addictive, and I’ve had no chipping–not even scratching on my damascus.


I’ve two small ones for peeling, two medium sized ones for general chopping, a big one that’s rarely used and a serrated edge bread knife. None are named as all are basic supermarket purchases.


When I started thinking of cooking as a serious hobby 7 years ago, my “batterie” consisted of my Sir Lawrence 7" butcher knife, and my Seki Magoroku 7" nakiri. Both had been given to me. If I had purchased them, I doubt if they’d cost more than your medium “choppers.”

Once I cleaned them up, they became great foundation knives for my present batterie–one American, one Japanese.

Kitchen knives that “do the job” don’t have to be expensive.


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Indeed. I’ve had these knives for years so can’t recall how much they were. But a quick look online suggests the medium ones are now around £6 (7.50 USD)

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The 8” G2’s are chef knives and the 8” Mercer being santoku is a distinction without a significant difference. What’s your point Ray?

That reminds me of my parents’ knives. Mother had a brand called Ecko and had two fairly long slicers, a couple of parers, and a bread knife. They got the job done, were kept sharp, and launched me on a life in the kitchen. In the sixties I got them two Sabs, the ten inch I have now and a matching petty my brother has. They got used a lot, but they were additions, not replacements.

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I have exactly the same. The pull-aparts I also use to cut pizza. I never could figure out a way to store a pizza wheel.

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This is my line up, all about 10-20 years old. All Henckels I think except paring knife is Miyabi. I rarely use the cleaver as it seems to be not big enough when I need to do serious hacking.

Hi, RD,

Just looked them up. What may seem to be a trivial difference to you is a big deal for design, intended use, and sales.

The Mercer is borrowing and adapting (and Americanizing) the standard cooking knife in most Japanese homes. I find that very interesting.

The Olympus is bringing in strong opportunities to push cut.


Hi Ray,

Just curious here, but what is the difference between a knife being ‘retired’ versus being in your ‘morgue’? :slight_smile:

Maybe similar to me. I am retired. I’m slower than I was. Not as sharp. Not as useful. But I still have some uses. And I’m not dead.


The various makers and designers tout each and every distinguishing feature, but in terms of their general use and functionality I can readily see the term “chef’s knife” applying to knives with blades in the 8-12" range that are double bevel and have decent knuckle clearance. That would include gyutos, santokus, and the various western knives labeled chef’s or cook’s knife. In that realm there are a wide range of points, edges, bevels, steels, bolsters, handles, etc. When you consider its blade shape along the cutting edge and around the choil and bolster, most santokus are just small chef’s knives with broad points.

It is with the Mercer. And the Global G2 chef’s is more than adequate for my use. Thanks.

Hi damiano,

My “retired” knives can be brought back as “consultants” to remind the "stars"not to overdo things and cut the user–or, heaven forbid, to chip.

I use them–from time to time. Still use my Sir Lawrence to slice open my morning English muffin.

My morgue knives are an embarrassment.



Hi Vecchiouomo,

For the home cook, the ranges offered are more like 6" to 9", and the differences can be profound–depending on the purposes of the user. It’s only the Europeans that have a Chef Knife meme–even though most users, worldwide, have a “go to” knife that they rely on.

Across the world, we use our knives quite differently. To simplify, the Euros slice and rock chop, the Japanese are push cutters, the Chinese slice and chop, and the Americans are all over the map.

Chef Panko goes to great lengths dealing with the different strokes involved in Europe–just with a Chef’s knife:


Hi briskett44,

Over the past 7 years or so, I’ve migrated away almost entirely from the European steel to the harder cladded design of the Miyabi you have. As a home cook, I find it extremely convenient to have a grabbable knife of assured sharpness that I rarely have to do much more than give a maintenance touch up.

Even when I started, I ruled out an American/European cleaver. Now, I’m having great fun with my inexpensive Chinese 8"X4" Shibazi vegetable cleaver.


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I have to say the chef’s knife does not seem to hold its sharpness long, even though I have a honing rod I use regularly. I also have a whetstone I use, but I don’t think I have the best technique.

Angle is important. Henckels of that era can range from 15-20°. Best to contact them to find out what it is for each model. I have a jig that lets me keep the proper angle of the whetstones (you should have several in various grits).

Sharpening them at the wrong angle might explain why the edge does not keep. Mine are all 28+ years old and are at 18-20°.

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You might try a “pull through” for touch up—stones can be a real challenge if you’re not a regular

With my Miyabi birchwood, I’ve maintained and even enhanced sharpness with a loaded strop.


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Hi SP,

As a home cook, I’ve been very unwilling to be distracted by maintenance–which is the most important reason I’ve migrated to harder steels. I’ve managed to maintain and even enhance sharpness with a loaded strop on my HRC 60+ knives, whereas my Wusthofs benefit from care almost every time I use them–and the same stropping that works so well with my harder knives seems to take forever with my Wusthofs.