Another plea for knife reccomendation

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Joined Jan 17, 2017
I know everyone likes to talk knives so I won't feel too bad asking for advice. I've been using western/German/French knives up to this point. They are great but I would like to get a Japanese chef knife. I would like it to be at or close to 10 inches. I'd like it close to a traditional western shape but thinner than the Wustof Classic I am used to. I'm open to it being carbon steel but everything I currently own is stainless. I would also want it to be easy to sharpen since I suck at that. I'd like a normal 50/50 edge. And finally I'd like to keep the price at $200 or less. A little more is fine. I've read that the Shun classics are overpriced. They are currently available on Amazon for $150. What options are better considering my preferences?
 
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865
Joined Mar 1, 2017
I know everyone likes to talk knives so I won't feel too bad asking for advice. I've been using western/German/French knives up to this point. They are great but I would like to get a Japanese chef knife. I would like it to be at or close to 10 inches. I'd like it close to a traditional western shape but thinner than the Wustof Classic I am used to. I'm open to it being carbon steel but everything I currently own is stainless. I would also want it to be easy to sharpen since I suck at that. I'd like a normal 50/50 edge. And finally I'd like to keep the price at $200 or less. A little more is fine. I've read that the Shun classics are overpriced. They are currently available on Amazon for $150. What options are better considering my preferences?
 Hi OCDshaver.

There are a lot of options that fit what you are looking for.  However, before we get too far afield here, I need to know some more information such as what is the intended purpose of the knife?  If you are looking for a good, general purpose knife for tasks such as slicing, dicing, chopping etc, I would suggest a smaller knife no more than 8' in length.  Longer knives are not as nimble for prepping small and mid sized ingredients such as shallots, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes etc.  Longer knives are generally good for breaking down larger items such as grapefruit, watermelon, slicing roasts that do not require navigation around bone and so on.  So, knowing the job asked of the knife is rather important. 

Another factor to consider is your level of knowledge and proficiency with knives.  Some higher end Japanese knives require a moderate amount of care and maintenance.  Improper use or poor sharpening techniques can permanently ruin the blades or at the least, dramatically reduce the performance and life of the knife. 

Next, based upon the intended purpose of the knife, you should decide what style blade is best suited for your purposes.  A stiff blade has different performance characteristics than a flexible blade.  There are many styles of blades made from many different materials each with their own characteristics.  You should familiarize yourself with these details, if you have not done so already.

You should also decide what type of edge is best suited to your needs.  Here is good article that explains the different types of knife edges and their general uses.  You can find more detailed information elsewhere with a simple google search.  https://www.theknifeconnection.net/blade-grind-types/

Lastly, your need for a knife to be easily sharpened vs. wanting a a good Japanese knife presents a bit of a dilemma.  95% of the time, a knife's edge can be restored with a few swipes on a honing rod.  However, sharpening a blade is a skill all to itself.  You would be doing yourself a huge favor by learning how to sharpen a knife, especially if your looking to purchase a 200 dollar Japanese blade.  You can't roll these knives through the blade sharpener on the back of your can opener and there are very few professional sharpening services out there who know how to properly sharpen a hand forged Japanese blade.  :)

Here is good article that discusses the different types of Japanese knives and is a great entry point into the large and complex world of Japanese knives and how they are made.  http://www.thekitchenguy.net/what-is-best-kitchen-knife-set-under-500/japanese-kitchen-knives/

There are literally hundreds of Japanese knife makers out there.  You can definitely meet your price point and have a superb quality knife to add to your collection. 

Between you and me, take a look at the knives made by Kikuichi.  I own a few Kikuichi knives and I am thoroughly happy with them in all respects.  But, everyone is different with different styles and preferences.  

I hope this helps.  :)
 
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