Camp kitchen knife

Trapper

Author, Writer, Photographer
#16
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! :)

Trapper
 
#17
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.
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.
 
#18
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?
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.
 

IveofIone

Active Member
#19
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.
 

Alex MacDonald

that's His Lordship, to you.....
#20
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.
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!)
http://www.wokshop.com/products_main.html
Tell `em I sent you!