So… I quit smoking (Yay. And booo. But mostly yay.) To help keep the quitting process from becoming one great big festival of suck, I applied a strategy for quitting that uses rewards for reaching milestones. For my first milestone, I decided to buy a new chef’s knife.
I currently have a decent chef’s knife that came with a block set, so I would never have gone out and just bought a new knife. But now, I have an excuse, a reason, an obligation to celebrate my milestone.
Even before I learned to cook, I understood the importance of having good knives. I’ve read enough articles and watched enough professionals to get it; knives, particularly your chef’s knife, are the most important tool in your kitchen. And choosing a new chef’s knife is a big deal! They are pricey, so you don’t want to invest in the wrong one. They last a long time, so you’re going to be stuck with it. Maybe it was the lack of nicotine, or me just being a weirdo, but I was building up a little anxiety ahead of choosing my new knife.
I thought that the more I researched and studied knives, the easier it would be to find the perfect knife for me and to not get all worked up about it. I was totally wrong.
Initially, my research led me to an 8″ chef’s knife from Myabi. In my previous job, I worked with some very sleek, high-end, Japanese hand tools, and I loved them. So, right out of the gate, I knew I wanted a Japanese-style knife. This drastically narrowed my search. I liked the length of my current knife, so I knew it would be an 8” knife. Great, all set there. I was not interested in the maintenance of carbon steel, but open to any other blade construction. This is too easy!, I thought. I liked the composite wood grain finish and accents on the handle of the Miyabi, as well as the blade pattern (nothing to do with functionality, but if you’re investing in a knife, it should look good too, right?). And, most importantly, it was in my price range.
So I walked in to my local Sur La Table and went directly to the knife case. I asked to see the Kaizen, and I liked it. I liked it a lot more than my current knife. I was happy. Milestone completed. Yay me.
Then the helpful sales associate pulled out a comparable Shun knife for me to compare. I picked it up just to be polite, since I had already done my research and made my decision. However, I liked this one too. Now I was less happy and reevaluating every decision I had ever made. I tried a different Myabi. Liked it. Different Shun? Liked it. Wüsthof? Liked it. This was not how I expected this task to go, and I really just wanted to step outside and smoke.
Then I picked up the Bob Kramer Meiji. This is it, I thought. Done. Take my money.
It took about 10 seconds for me to abandon all of my research and decide to buy that knife. So the moral of my story is that it’s great to do your research and have an idea of what you’re looking for in a knife, but when it comes to that ultimate decision, you need to grab some knives and start chopping if you want to find a knife you really love.
So how did you choose your chef’s knife? Was it the one you thought you wanted before you picked it up?
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