Camp kitchen knife

Discussion in 'Camping, Hiking, Cooking' started by Stewart, Mar 5, 2013.

  1. I've been lusting after a Chicago Cutlery folding kitchen knife. Problem is, they don't make 'em anymore and they are going for $60 or better on ebay. Does anybody know of another folding kitchen knife that would be less, or have you found a good substitute? I'm most interested in something that folds because it will prevent cutting myself in the dark and needs less room for storage. I tried just using a big pocket knife, but blade length is a bit short.
  2. Stewart, I have been using a Santoku knife for camping for several years now. Of course it doesn't fold and it is big and sharp so I built a sheath for it to protect both me and the blade. Unless you are backpacking this thing is sweet! It is sharp enough for the usual peeling and slicing duties around camp and heavy enough to be used as a light cleaver. And long enough that it can do much more than a lesser blade. In addition it is wide enough that you can scoop up stuff that you have already sliced and diced. The only thing it doesn't seem to do is slice bread but I have a nice Victornox bread knife for that.

    Take a look at the Santoku and see if it would work for your camping. If not it is still a great addition to your kitchen.

  3. I'm with Ive. Get a decent knife for cooking, regardless of where you cook. I use Shun and Henckels. I have sheaths for them.

    I don't let anyone use my knives. Not even my wife. I tell her "Honey, I don't wear your underwear, you don't use my chef knives."

    Steve Vaughn and Gary Knowels like this.
  4. I looked at Santoku knives on Amazon. The first one I saw was over $100, then I saw some $10 ones... and they had sheaths. The colored ones are weird, but it's really not that bad. Might be a good idea, and at price that won't make me feel like I'm wasting money. I just won't get as much use out of it, or appreciate it enough to want to pony up for a better one.

    I'd love to eat a meal that either of you guys made in camp, but I don't think you'd feel the same way about my meals. I'm not much of a camping cooker, but a decent all-purpose cooking knife is missing from my gear. Thanks for the input
  5. I can't imagine a genuine Santoku for $10 on Amazon. I'd be very skeptical. One thing I'd do is closely check out the many knives in thrift stores. My brother found a Henckle bread knife thrown into a box at a thrift store. He bought it for $5. It would retail for ~$130.
  6. If a non folding knife would work the Victornox series of kitchen cutlery are an exceptionally good value and out perform knives costing many times more. Readily available and exceptionally functional.
  7. Spend the $100 and get yourself a old Sabatier carbon steel 10" off eBay or a quality cutlery shop (good knife shops aren't found in malls, just so you know). They look ugly as hell, but they will take an edge that you can shave with.
  8. Well, when it comes to price, you just have to look at the quality. Santoku is a style, not a brand (at least I thought so). I have a couple nicer Santoku knives that I love to death (and weren't cheap, even getting them at "cost").

    I agree, thrift shops are fantastic! Especially if you get into ones in nicer neighborhoods. Know people that want to toss out a knife if it's dull. Quick hit on the stone and it's nice and sharp again. But agree, if you find one "cheap" on Amazon, chances are it's just that, CHEAP!
  9. You guys are killing my cheap-ass impulses. Maybe my lust for that Chicago knife IS the cheap alternative. I can't see myself paying $$$ to slice cheese and onions.

    Don't get me wrong, nobody has died from my cooking, but very few people comment on what a great cook I am. When I camp, I gotta eat, but I don't always cook.
  10. Picked up a "Chinese" knife in china town a few years back. Its basically a small cleaver. about 9 inches by 4 inches. Keeps a tight edge and can slice chop, hack like a cleaver and double as a spatula.

    The Mrs and kids don't like it 'cause its too big, so they don't jack it up.
  11. My "go to" knife's a small Chinese cleaver from the Wok Shop in SF. Carbon steel and sharp as a scalpel. Easy to handle, easy to maintain, great for slicing & dicing, but it won't work as a fillet knife.
  12. I have used a couple Green River butcher knives for years; also easy to maintain & use. The Wok shop also makes the best hand-hammered Wok I've ever had. Good procucts aren't always expensive.
  13. I say continue to resist the urge to spend $$$ on a kitchen knife. An average knife works great for me.
  14. Call the Kirby vacuum cleaner company, have them come to your house and demo a vacuum. You get a clean house and a set of knives...FREE!!!!!
  15. I see and treat my good chef knives much like my firearms. I let almost no one use them and I don't mind spending the money for something I'll likely leave to my kids when I kick off.

    Sure, you don't need a handmade 23 layer Damascus steel knife to cut lettuce, but when you're cooking for a 12-15 people three times a day for weeks, a knife that fits your hand, is well balanced, scary sharp and keeps an edge, is pretty damn nice.

    Do I NEED a $150 chef knife? No. I don't NEED a Glen Brackett/Jerry Kustich/Sam Druckman bamboo rod to catch trout either.

    Do I deserve it?

    Hell yes! :)

    Alex MacDonald and Patrick Gould like this.
  16. I like this idea. One of the problem with regular chef's knives is that the curved blade is hard to hold at a steady angle when you sharpen it. The flat blade on the small cleaver would be a breeze. You could sharpen it with the same jig used for planer blades.
  17. Very well said, Trapper, and I fully agree. :D

    Also, look at stores like TJ Maxx, where you can find pretty decent knives for about half of normal retail.
  18. We bought a full set of Henckels in a wooden block back in the 80's. They are just excellent knives that hold an edge. They were expensive but very good and neither on of us will ever live long enough to wear them out.

    But about 7 years ago I got interested in the Santoku knives and thought that one would be a nice addition to my camp box. I shopped around and found that a good authentic Santoku would probably cost between $60 and $90 at the time. Since I hadn't used one yet I decided to buy a less expensive one for camping and see how I liked it before spending the big bucks on one for the kitchen.

    I bought one for about $15 that was surprisingly good. I reasoned that since it had a forged blade it would probably sharpen up nicely-the question was would it hold an edge? It does. I liked it because it had a squarish riveted handle that fits well in a man's hands and doesn't have the tendency to twist in your hand like a rounded handle will when it is wet or cold. The difference in quality between it and an expensive knife seems to be in the final finish which shows the machining marks and the fact that it uses a plastic handle rather than a more refined composite. It feels better in my hand than any of the Henckels. Clearly it doesn't have the charm and workmanship of a $100 knife and falls well short of the hand made Santoku's that I have seen for $1200. But as Ficklin and Call said, you don't have to spend big bucks to cut things. After getting it sharp to my satisfaction I treat it with the same care and caution that I would give to a knife costing 10 times as much.

    I am still cutting biscuits with a biscuit cutter my grandmother bought back in the late 1890's. It has lasted over 100 years in regular service and is not near as well made as my $15 knife is.
  19. Patrick, the Wok shop in San Francisco! I just got another one yesterday, used it today for scallops and asparagus, and the smaller cleaver they sell is fantastic (cheap, too!)
    Tell `em I sent you!

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