The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Victorinox or other bread knife?

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Porkbutter's picture
Porkbutter

Victorinox or other bread knife?

I need to get a decent bread knife without breaking the bank. Still, I don't want to settle on anything too compromised. I have gotten recommendations for the Wusthof and Shun knives, and they look great, but are too spendy for my budget. The Victorinox 10" Classic seems to be a popular knife from what I can see, and at $30 delivered from Amazon, affordable enough.  Anyone use this one? Like it? Does it have a single or double bevel?


Any other knife suggestions?

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

Victorinox Forschner 10 1/4" curved blade, which is available at Amazon.


I purchased a Scanpan from Breadtopia.com and love it.


Betty

Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

I use an offset blade LamsonSharp that I picked up at their outlet store in Shelburne Falls, MA. Works well for me.

ericb's picture
ericb

I received a Wusthof 9" Brotmesser for Christmas (item# 4150). Seems to run about $75.


I received this as a replacement for my Wusthof Superslicer (#4400, $120), which I had been using happily for a year. For some reason, the gift giver felt that I had been using the wrong knife, and insisted on one specifically designed for bread (according to the marketing folks at Wusthof).


In my opinion, they both perform admirably, and would recommend either one as a lifelong kitchen tool. The serrated edge makes short work of slicing. I think the Brotmesser with its thicker blade might be more suitable for thick, crusty loaves. I prefer the Superslicer because of its lighter weight.


And that, my friend, is probably more information than you ever wanted to know or could possibly find useful.


Eric

davidg618's picture
davidg618

1. Chicago cutlery: 7-1/8-inch blade; I bought this for about $27.00 to use in my RV in 1998. Works fine, but I wish it had a longer blade.


2. Henckels: approximately 8-in blade. This was my only bread knife from 1989 until 1998. Worked well. In 2004 took it to a "professional" knife sharpener who claimed he sharpened serrated edges. Completely destroyed the edge. I'd paid $68.00 for this knife in 1989.


3. Lamson-Sharp bought through KA about 7 years ago. Paid about $35-$40. Good sharpness, but blade is too flexible. Because of the asymetric edge design, i.e., one side beveled, one side straight, the blade tends to skew toward the straight side. If you conciously "steer" the blade to take a straight path the blade bends. One winds up with a bread slice thin on each edge, and fat in the middle.


4. Victorinox Forschner "wavy edge" bread knife; blade length 10-1/4 inch (same knife mentioned above by Paddycake). Paid $27 in 2007. Best breadknife I've owned, to date. It has the same asymetric problem as the Lamson-Sharp blade, but it's stiff enough that when you "steer" it to make a straight cut it, and cut gently, it cuts straight. Best breadknife I've owned, so far. Best price I've paid so far.


David G.


 

Susan's picture
Susan

Victorinox bread knife.  Excellent knife, reasonably priced.

LindyD's picture
LindyD

My favorite is the same knife noted by David G. and San Diego Susan.  The blade is strong, yet flexible enough to allow me to control the cut and width of the slice, even with crusty breads.  It's a nicely balanced knife with a comfortable, well designed handle.


Thirty bucks at Amazon.  An excellent product.

AW's picture
AW

on America's test kitchen reviews. I have a Wustoff that was expensive ($89) but worth it. Over the years it has held an incredily sharp edge unlike the Chicago Cutlery one I had for a while. Also I am one to prefer a pointed rather than rounded edge, which is another destinction between the two knives. My principle with anything like knives and kitchen equipment is to buy the best products made of the best materials within budget. Ultimately you'll spend less money.

Porkbutter's picture
Porkbutter

Thanks to all who responded, your thoughts and insights have been quite useful. I considered all the knives mentioned and I've decided to go with the Victorinox. It seems well liked by many. Plus the fact that the price dropped $2 since I looked at it last night makes me think that the Angel of the Crusty Loaf is telling me something.

flourgirl51's picture
flourgirl51

We carry the RADA brand bread knives. They are wonderful knives and are very reasonable. They are made in the USA and carry a lifetime warranty all for only $10.50. They also come with two types of handle options. I will have photos of them on my website in January.


www.organicwheatproducts.com

Gardenwife's picture
Gardenwife

I was all ready to purchase a Victorinox knife, but decided to give the Kai Shun Pure Komachi 2 bread knife a try. It has deep scallops, a thin blade which does not drag and cuts everything from crusty French bread to my whole wheat bread wonderfully. You can't beat them for the price. My only wish is that it was a 10" rather than 8", but for $9.95 on Amazon, it was a true bargain and I use it every day. I could replace it three times over for the price of a Victorinox and I'm totally happy with its performance.

flourgirl51's picture
flourgirl51

The RADA bread knives are 14" with a 9 1/2" blade.

Gardenwife's picture
Gardenwife

If my Pure Komachi gives up the ghost, I might try a RADA. It's good to know about the longer blade. That's 1 1/4" longer than my knife's 8 1/4" blade.

flourgirl51's picture
flourgirl51

I will be updating my site in January to include the knives and other items of interest to bakers. The knives can be ordered from me now by calling my toll free number on the site.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Hey that's good news. Can you remind me what the web site is? What will you be carrying? I especially like the SpeeDee shipping deal from you. Glad to see you are hanging in there at the end of 2009. Your flours are the best.


Eric

flourgirl51's picture
flourgirl51

Thanks Eric. Yes I will be adding some new items in January such as dried sprouted grains for those people that like to grind their own, more varieties of sprouted flours, SAF yeast, RADA knives and sharpeners, dough enhancers,vital gluten and more along with Nutrimills and Bosch Universal mixers. The site is www.organicwheatproducts.com


Happy New Year!

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I'll keep an eye open for the site changes. I have a few of those knives already I think. The bagel knife is a favorite around here. I have given many away as gifts with bread. They are inexpensive and high quality. The veggy peeler is awesome! Good luck with the changes.


Eric

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

RADA knives(similar specs) are available from Breadtopia for $10.50 + $2.07 first class mail within US.


They also have the large Danish dough whisk for $8.00 plus 2.07 shipping, but if you order both, shipping bumps up to $4.90 but comes priority mail. Although one could just order them separately to save a few pennies.

alabubba's picture
alabubba

I got one of these off Amazon a while back and have been using it for several months. It goes through bread like... Well like a hot knife through butter.


For 10 bucks (delivered) how could I go wrong. Other than the color that is.


All shun knives also have a lifetime warranty, They will even sharpen them for free.


Gardenwife's picture
Gardenwife

Isn't it great? I didn't know they would sharpen them, too. I wonder what the turnaround time is if you send a knife in for sharpening.

LindyD's picture
LindyD

I have the eight-inch Komachi bread knife, but the blade dulled quickly.  That's when I switched to the ten-inch Victorinox, which remains super sharp.


Interesting about the free sharpening by Shun, though.  Will have to check that out.


The Komachi tomato knife remains my favorite tool for scoring.  Great little knife.


 

jackie9999's picture
jackie9999

I've been looking to buy the Victorinox for a while now.  It's difficult to source some things up here in Canada so I was lucky to find the knife online at BedBathandBeyond.ca


I was only going to get the plastic handle one but all they carried was the rosewood version...$32.99 plus shipping... if any other Canucks were interested.


 


edit: I just noticed the 8" knife is $44.99 so I think they've mixed up the pricing..so YMMV if you order.

anamouse's picture
anamouse

Rada might be less expensive but for my money Rada's not much of a knife, just one cut above Ginsu. 


On the other hand Victorinox makes very decent knives and prices them very reasonably.


You probably won't find any Rada knives being use by any restaurants or food processing factories, but you might easily find them using Victorinox knives.  That doesn't mean Victorinox is a great knife, just one that does the job very well and is economical.  Restaurants don't hand their staff great knives, because they are un-necessarely expensive and brands like Victorinox do the job almost as well as the best ones can, at a much lower price. 


Whatever you get, take care to keep the knife edge away from hard surfaces like counter tops or serving plates.  If you ding up the tips of the serrations it will have a trimendous effect on the blade and blades you take care of can stay relatavely sharp for years if all you cut with them is bread.  I know that's not what some gimick knife manufactures want you to believe, but it's the truth. 

flourgirl51's picture
flourgirl51

I beg to differ. RADA knives are very high quality. They are marketed mostly by individuals which is why many people haven't heard of them. They are made in the USA and have a lifetime warranty. Just because they don't cost a fortune doesn't mean that they aren't a good brand of knife.

anamouse's picture
anamouse

 I don't know one commercial institution that uses RADA, even though you are correct, they are very reasonably priced compared to the ones they do regularly use.


As you may notice in one of the last replies from a professional, he like most in his field can't justify the best quality money can buy, and he buys Victorinox because they perform well and are reasonably priced.


If RADA was just as good and less expensive they would be used by many professionals, and their not.


Bread is not very hard on knives, so there is little benefit to having a very expensive high quality bread knife other than it feels nice to own it.  For the sake of this forum I have focused on how well the different knives perform while cutting bread, and it's tough to beat a Victorinox 12 inch bread knife for ease of use.


And I know the wood handle is hardly professional, but I like it's look and feel and I'm not using it commercially or in a wet environment where bacteria is an issue and this is a bread forum not a butcher shop forum.

Tom Krein's picture
Tom Krein

Here is another vote for the Victorinox Forstner knife.


 


The are a GREAT value for the $$$.  Be sure and get the longer 10 1/4" version with the dropped edge.  It allows for better clearance when finishing up a cut.


Here is a link to the knife   LINK


 


I will have to look into the RADA knives.


 


Tom

salerina's picture
salerina

I am a professional chef and have found Victorinox knives to be the best. I have 10" chef's, 8" chef's,meat slicer, filet, etc. etc. I use these everyday...but...I have found an inexpensive dexter serrated knife to be the best for breads and cakes. For $10 at my restaurant supply house they almost become disposable. I bake 12 artisan loaves a day and put them out sliced on our buffet, they hold their edge well.If you are in the business of cooking it becomes tough to justify $100 for a knife that eventually be dropped on the floor, used by others, or worse ...stolen.

Porkbutter's picture
Porkbutter

After living with this knife a few weeks now, I am having mixed feelings about it. I like the feel and balance of the knife. It does not have any problem slicing through the crustiest of loaves, nor the soft ones either. I like the curved blade too. I think that makes it easier to cut cleanly though the bottom of the loaf.


On the down side, it does have just the single bevel and wants to skew off in one direction. As noted by an earlier poster, it is stiff enough to allow your to resist the skewing, but it would be better without it. The 2nd thing is there is a big burr on the flat side of the blade. This should have been buffed off during the the sharpening process. I can take care of it myself but should not have to. It may be a result of the burr, but I can see the crumb is torn rather than cleanly cut, particularly on whole grain breads. A decent knife, but not the best.


If I were to do it over again, I am not certain if I would buy this knife again. On the other hand, the Wusthof @ over three times the price, or the Shun Classic @ 4 times the price, while reputable, are a deep reach into the pocket. I'll wait and see if I break down and get one of the expensive jobs later on.

jackie9999's picture
jackie9999

I love my new victorinox...it does a nice clean cut, as thick or thin as I like and no more wonky cuts ..all nice and even :)


I am going to give hubby the project of making a small block stand for it..for now it just rests laying across the bread board on the counter. It's possible it could hit the floor so I need some sort of a stand. If anyone has suggestions for a single knife stand I'd appreciate it..pictures are always appreciated...