Jesus Creed

Jesus Creed

Birthday Gift

I’ll put it this way. We’ve not purchased a set of kitchen knives for cutting up stuff since we got married over 34 years ago. In fact, our knives now tear stuff more than they cut things. My teeth are sharper. Kris has this in mind for a birthday gift (for me) so here’s my question: Got any advice on a good set of kitchen knives?

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L.L. Barkat

posted November 5, 2008 at 6:47 pm

Henckels. No question. The $300+ set (well, by now, they’re probably more than that!). I’ve had mine for 16 years and they are still matchless.

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posted November 5, 2008 at 7:11 pm

Really good knife sets can get pretty pricey ($400-$600?)…Keep one thing in mind: “It’s basically for cutting stuff”…So, unless you plan on some pretty elaborate Top Chef cutting tasks stick to a couple of professional grade knives. Probably, no real good reason to have the Bug’s Bunny cartoon clever in the set.
I’d say a 8″ chef’s knife (for 97% of you kitchen cutting needs)and a utility/pairing knife for the other 3%. Me and my wife spent over $100 on the chef’s knife and I don’t regret it. I use it for everything.
From there you can build a set if you feel the need. Our set consists of one Wusthof Black Classic 8″ Chef’s Knife ($120), a Wusthof Black Classic 4″ Paring Knife ($50), A set of 6 Crate & Barrel Bistro steak knives ($25) and a Wusthof Clasic 3 piece starter block that came with a sharpening Steele and a pair of kitchen shears,($50). So we came in at around $250 for a professional set of knives.
We’ve had it for most of the year and still have found no reason to add to the set.
Good luck in your search for culinary tool excellence.

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posted November 5, 2008 at 7:14 pm

Wusthof or Henckels, definitely! They are worth the money. Get a 7- or 8-piece set; skip the steak kinves that come in some sets. Cost is around $300 for the set with block, available at Crate & Barrel and other stores…but the white and black shopping bag from C&B is much cooler.

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posted November 5, 2008 at 8:18 pm

Wusthof and Henckels are good German steel, and they are quality, classic knives, but they are heavy and designed for male chefs (large hands, lots of muscle). My sister is a chef and she’s a small woman. She swears by Global. I’m a very particular home cook and a small woman, and I’ve also been using Global for three years. I used Wusthof before, and the transition was like going from a Ford Escort to a Lexus coupe.
Global knives are Japanese chef’s knives. The steel is harder, the blades are sharper than German steel and stay sharper longer, and the handles are ergonomic. The chef’s knife that I bought for my sister when she graduated from culinary school was $120. A pairing knife is about $30?$40. If your wife will be using these knives and if she doesn’t have large hands, I recommend that you have her handle both German and and Japanese knives and let her decide which she likes. Williams Sonoma carries all three of these brands and the salespeople will be happy to let you handle the knives and will answer your questions. However, the least expensive place to buy kitchen knives (according to my sister) is They also carry all three brands.
Good luck!

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Scot McKnight

posted November 5, 2008 at 8:26 pm

Well, I’m the primary cook and cutter — so the heavy would not bother me, but I will definitely look into Global.

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posted November 5, 2008 at 9:45 pm

Without a doubt…Henckels or Cutco. If I had my choice, I’d go with the Cutco. My parents have had these knives for over 35 years and they are still excellent. Recently, they sent them in for the first time to get a “tune up” and Cutco just replaced them for no charge. Great customer service.

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posted November 5, 2008 at 9:45 pm

Henkels all the way. Prior to ministry I was a chef and had the opportunity over the years to try and use many different knives and you can’t go wrong with Henkels. They hold their edge longer than other knives, are balanced in their weight, the handles feel good your hands, and they can be put in the dishwasher. You must know that there are several types of Henkel knives, but the ones with the solid black handles are the ones that I currently use and have used for over twenty years (here is the link…
One last thought. I’d consider investing in the types of knives that you need and will use. Not everyone needs an oriental chef knife or three paring knives. Typically the sets have alot of knives that look nice, but are rarely used. Personally, I’d spend more on the knives that I know I’ll use as opposed to a lessor quality set that has more knives. But I guess you do what you value. If you are like me and you like to cook, having the right tools for the job is what is most important. Enjoy…and watch your fingers!

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posted November 5, 2008 at 9:49 pm

Hi Scott,
I would like to send you a letter regarding your personal comments of Karen Zacharias book, Where is your Jesus Now? Looking on your website I don’t seem to see a link to contact you other than this blog site.
Scott, are you for real in your positive comments about that book and the author? Please tell me how you support a book that speaks so ill of both our president and vice president, placing them in the same group as Adolf Hitler.
Recently, your book, The Jesus Creed was given to me as a gift. I surly hope your book will speak truth and wisdom.

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posted November 5, 2008 at 9:53 pm

Cutco -all the way!

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John W Frye

posted November 5, 2008 at 10:23 pm

I personally like the Old Testament set called “The Flint of David” knives. Best used for doing that thing after the Goliaths have met their Maker. They are a little heavy like the Henckels, but like you note, you do the cutting. Keep them away from Kris. The Flint of David set comes with a nifty leather sling (in tan or red) and five stones…but wait! There’s more! If you order now, they will send you the Philistine paring knife–a real asset for the chef in any kitchen. S&H included in the price…56 shekels…aaaah, but for you, only 45. Such a deal!

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posted November 5, 2008 at 10:52 pm

Having a new set of knives is kind of like breathing fresh clean air when you are used to smog. Well wishes on your endeavor.

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posted November 5, 2008 at 11:44 pm

Hey, Dave!
You’ll find Scot’s e-mail address link over in the “About Jesus Creed” box next to your comment.
I’m pretty sure you’ll appreciate reading “Jesus Creed”. It’s a keeper, as are each of his books that I’ve read — and I’m in the middle of his newest, “The Blue Parakeet.”

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Liam Byrnes

posted November 6, 2008 at 4:46 am

I would say Global or Sabatier.
Secondly I would say you can often pick up a good set cheaper in TK Maxx (in the UK) which I understand is TJ Maxx in the states?!
Thirdly, many Thanks for whoever is responsible for turning your RSS feed onto full post instead of summary!

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Jim Rolf

posted November 6, 2008 at 8:31 am

My wife loves the Henkel’s I got here two years ago for Christmas. She *still* thanks me for them.

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posted November 6, 2008 at 9:29 am

Henkels are my personal favourite, I bought a block with chef knife, bread knife, paring knife, fillet knife, Satuko knife, carving knife, and scissors for $100 (it was a sale, %50 off) there are a full tang blade (runs right to the end of the handle). I think they are great, I actually bought two sets – one for home, and one for the church. At church I cook free meals for college and university students every week (large groups) as well as other meals throughout the week so they get a lot of use. You’ll appreciate the quality, so don’t settle for a cheap set.

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Chris Ridgeway

posted November 6, 2008 at 9:43 am

Cutco. Insanely sharp. The scissors are also particularly useful… will cut through carpet like butter.

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My 2 Cents

posted November 6, 2008 at 9:55 am

All I can say is: watch out! once I worked with new knives, I had cuts all over my hands until I modified my behavior. Didn’t realize how dull the old ones were.

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Ytzak the Nomadic Chef

posted November 6, 2008 at 10:07 am

Please, nice peoples! Listen to me! I am Khalid Mustafa. The only knives worth buying and using to prepare for heavenly meals is Achmed’s Acme blades. You don’t know knives until you try Achmed’s. Fine Arabian steel sharpened to a razor’s edge. You buy today and I send you half a camel. Did you ever try camel jerky? Heavenly.

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Ytzak the Nomadic Chef

posted November 6, 2008 at 10:19 am

Mustafa here. Ytzak is my nomadic brother. He put me onto Achmed’s knives. Pass the camel.

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posted November 6, 2008 at 12:55 pm

Can I take advantage of this discussion to ask about what kind of cutting boards (aside from wood) are best for keeping knives in good shape? I have heard that some of the plastic cutting boards are bad for the knife edges. I’m not a big cook, but I’m going to get some new knives soon, too, and any advice on the best (portable and easily washable) cutting surface would be helpful.

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Scot McKnight

posted November 6, 2008 at 1:03 pm

On cutting boards …
I love my John Boos cutting board.
And I’ve heard the Epicurean boards are nice.

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Dianne P

posted November 6, 2008 at 2:25 pm

Very much agree with Brian’s 2nd paragraph.
We found a set of knives by Forschner Victorinox – made in Switzerland – top rated by Cooks Illustrated – AND an amazing value (ie, not the crazy expensive prices that you see elsewhere). the bonus was a “free” Victorinox swiss army knife. Got that deal through cutlery and more website at
We love them. Cooks rated Forschner’s chef’s knife number one, and at $24.95, far far far below the price of the other highly rated ones – up to $175 – gasp.
Also purchased a smaller size santoku knife on sale at Macy’s (and with the Macy’s sale coupon on top of that, not too too expensive) by Henckel that I love. Recommend at least one santoku knife.
I have one Cutco knife (the cheese knife – very nice) though I don’t think there is a single thing about cutco that merits their over the top prices. But then I’m getting cheap in my advancing years and not too willing to pay for marketing.
Forschner did the trick for us at a great price – I cook a LOT and have arthritis in my small hands. Still love our set after a couple of years and would buy it again.

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Hendrik Eichrodt VanKlopensma

posted November 6, 2008 at 5:41 pm

Nah, nah. De ownzee cutting bort wort yore money is de von from VanKlopensma Woodworking Shoppe in Zeeland, MI. Dey haf de best ones ever, for sure, yah.

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Dana Ames

posted November 6, 2008 at 6:02 pm

no matter what size or style cutting board/s you get, make sure they are hardwood. Better for knives, but more importantly, they are actually cleaner than other boards- they inhibit bacterial growth. And good ones last as long as good knives: I have two I got for wedding presents 30 years ago. I use one for veg and the other for meats. No problems cleaning. You can use a mild soap sparingly, with hot water, and air dry; I usually just rinse the veg board with hot water. Lemon juice gets rid of bad or too much food odor. If the board gets dry, rub it down with canola oil and wipe off excess, but I’ve only had to do this once.
Bought my son a starter knife set this summer, not very expensive but not the cheapest, either. He’s in grad school but has never had to cook for himself before now. He swears by the santoku knife.

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posted November 6, 2008 at 10:53 pm

There are lot of wannabes in the knife world but one that is without comparison: Shun. Just ask the people at Williams and Sonoma about Shun and they will treat you like an insider at a speakeasy in the 1920s (come with us to the back room). Three years ago we bought a set and for two weeks I had bandages on three fingers of each hand… it’s like they have a mind of their own – they see something that is cuttable (word?) and go for it… effortless.

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Intern in Israel

posted November 7, 2008 at 5:14 pm

SHUN! Absolutely love mine.

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