Another, Which knife for me thread!

Discussion in 'Cooking Knife Reviews' started by scomel, Apr 21, 2012.

  1. scomel

    scomel

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    Hi all,

    My first post :) !

    I've been looking at getting a Gyuto for sometime, and as its my 40th next year I figured - no better excuse!

    But its so conufing as to what i should consider.

    I'm in Australia so have to allow for postage etc, but thinking of spending up to $400 USD.

    Here are the knives i'm considering:

    Takeda

    Konosuke Fujiyama

    Masamoto KS

    Shigefusa (okay its out of my price range, but still considering it!!)

    There is a range of steel types in there so im not sure about what would suit me best.

    I'm a home cook with some experience, will need to sharpen up (pun intended) my sharpening skills though.  So the knife is not going to get used heavily like in a commercial kitchen.

    Probably looking at getting a 240mm.

    Any thoughts or recommendations??

    Thankyou

    Scott
     
  2. duckfat

    duckfat

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    IMO you can't make a poor choice between the Masamoto and the Shigefusa.

    Dave
     
  3. scomel

    scomel

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    I contacted CKtG and they said they've stopped selling Shige's due to too many problems.
     
  4. duckfat

    duckfat

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    That would make the Masamoto an easy choice for me. IIR CKTG is out of stock but Koki at JCK has a better price on the 240mm any how and has them in stock.

    Dave
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2012
  5. mano

    mano

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    If this is your first Jknife seriously consider a CarboNext 240 gyuto at Japanese Chef's Knives. http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/KAGAYAKICarboNextSeries.html

    Shipping is only $7 and if you specifically ask for a saya, they're pretty inexpensive.  You'll need to sharpen it yourself; so if you don't already have them, buy a couple of wet stones. 

    The knives you mentioned are excellent high performance cutlery that may not be the best for the first knife of a home cook. 
     
  6. chinacats

    chinacats

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    Too many problems keeping them in stock?
     
  7. duckfat

    duckfat

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    You should get a Moritaka.......For real.
     
  8. scomel

    scomel

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    Re the Shige's - Tips breaking off and problems with how handle has been attached.
     
  9. chinacats

    chinacats

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    OK..amazing considering that Shig's seem to be one of the few knives equal in reputation to the Masamoto's...guess he got a bad batch:>)  

    Curious about the Moritaka's...
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2012
  10. scomel

    scomel

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    Havent the Moritaka's copped a hammering on these forums for problems?  Was keen on getting one of these until i saw the amount of negative feedback (overgrinding on bezel?)
     
  11. kitchen beast

    kitchen beast

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    yes they have. I wouldnt purchase one without knowing whether or not you could get a refund.
     
  12. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    You seem to be in the market for an ultimate knife.  Would you be as interested in "all the performance but less money?"  Or are you really pointed towards the pinnacle?

    By way of example, I'd be really torn between a Konosuke HD (at the very low end of your proposed budget), and a Masamoto KS. 

    Since you're seriously interested in carbon what about the Konosuke White #2?.  White #1 is all well and good, but as far as I'm concerned a Konosuke gets sharp enough even without the tiny extra boost a really competent sharpener can extract from a Fujiyama; on the other hand, White #2's edge holding and added toughness is something everyone can appreciate, AND they run about $150 less. FWIW, if you love the handle, you can certainly get custom handles both from Konosuke and from OEM handle makers.

    You might also consider the Tadatsuna wa-Western knives, whether "G3" or Shiro #2. 

    Then there are the Richmond and Moritaka KS clones in various flavors of blade alloy.  Certainly, they're at least worth considering.

    Be aware, a Takeda is a Takeda is a Takeda. For that matter, the KS clone aside, a Moritaka is a Takeda is a Takeda, too.  With their very flat profiles and ultra-thin, cladded, AS construction they have a particular feel and action, that's different from the other knives on your list. 

    And that begs another question: 
    • Rather than giving a list of rarified knives, can you articulate the attributes of what you really want? 
    Plus, when you talk about knives of such a high caliber you can't get away from the reality that they all need very competent sharpening or they lose their dearly priced advantages. 

    So, another couple of questions: 
    • Are you already a good sharpener?  And,
    • How are you planning to sharpen?
    BDL
     
  13. scomel

    scomel

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    Thanks for the reply BDL.

    My reference was to a White #2 Fujiyama, sorry i didnt make this clear in my first post, definately not looking at White #1 as i dont think the extra money is worth it for me.  I think I'm settled on this knife, although still tempted by the Masamoto.  The reason im looking at a "pinnacle" knife is its for my 40th.  To be honest, i've decided on these knives based on research (especially some guy called bdl :)) rather than first hand knowledge of using Japanese knives, as this is my first.  I know some will think i should get a "lesser" knife due to my lack of experience, but I plan on putting in the time to learn technique and sharpening.

    Regarding my sharpening skills, i've spent the last 12 months improving and practising, i have a 6000 and 1000 grit waterstone, i plan on getting a 400, 3000 and 10000 finishing stone also, plus a leather strop.  My 40th is 12 months away so i have some more time to get my skills to where i want them to be before the knife arrives!!  I also plan on looking at dong a course to improve.

    S
     
  14. chinacats

    chinacats

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    I wonder if anyone here has any bad experience with Shig's...from what I've read on other knife boards there are many happy users who seem to recommend them at least as much as anything else.

    I also think that maybe there is confusion as to the knives with the bad f&f/broken tips...if you search shigefusa on cktg it 'sounds like' Mark will be carrying them in the future (as in he hasn't in the past)--unless that is just a very old (cached) page...maybe someone here can add some insight.

    Aframestokyo is usually out of stock on most of the Shig knives they sell though they I believe they happen to have a small (~4 inch) deba in stock, but not much else.  They have 7 gyuto's listed on their site; all are currently out of stock...and none are cheap:>)
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2012
  15. duckfat

    duckfat

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    I haven't even heard of a bad experience with Shigefuas other than they they are highly reactive and there was some talk about some samples being thin which isn't exactly a bad thing. Probably not the best choice for a first knife but then again I've seen people buy a Doi yanagi to cut roasts. To each his own.

    The Masamoto is less expensive at JCK than CKTG which I suppose is a fairly moot point since Mark doesn't have those in stock either. 

    Tossing the Takeda and the Moritaka sillyness aside that leaves a single viable option on the list. The Konosuke which is a nice knife at that price point as is the Kagayaki that Koki carries.

    But lets get real, neither the Kagayaki or the Konosuke are going to offer "all of the performance" of the Masamoto.

    Not on a train, not on a plane, not even with green eggs and spam.

    Good value Yes but the" Pinnacle" on the OP's list that is in stock at JCK is the Masamoto which is exactly why we see so many KS clones.

    Dave
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2012
  16. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    The Masamoto isn't a laser.  It's a great knife, and perhaps a better all-rounder because it's a bit stiffer; but not by much.  If you gain anything with a Masamoto KS over a Konosuke, Tadatsuna or Suisun Inox Honyaki (and I'm sure Jon can supply a few other examples of ultra high-performance, carbon lasers), it's the Masamoto profile. 

    My personal aesthetic and cutting action says the Masa/Sabatier profile is the Platonic Ideal; but face it, (a) it's entirely a matter of taste, (b) it took me less than a half pound of mirepoix to find that my Kono gyuto's profile suits me as well. 

    Setting aside the Takeda/Moritaka type -- you'll be very, very happy with any of the uber knives.  At some point you're shopping looks and prestige instead of performance because the (well-sharpened) performance is just so frikkin' good for everything on your list or the few additional knives (like Tadatsuna) which are liable to end up there. 

    That's a critique, not a criticism by the way.  Moral of the story:  The better you identify your goals the better you'll be able to hit your targets. 

    Other morals: 
    • Sharpening is everything. 
    • Hold off on a 10K for awhile; perhaps indefinitely if you really like your 6K.
    BDL
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2012
  17. scomel

    scomel

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    Thanks for the advice on the 10k BDL, that was something i was wondering as they are so expensive.  The leather strop may finish them off well enough? 

    After talking to Mark at CKtG (he is incredibly helpful!!), i've decided to order (hopefully he can put in an order, im waiting on his reply) a Kono Fuji 270 Gyuto and a Kono HD 150 Petty (semi stainless as my wife will likely use it also, and she may be less reliable in the keep it dry after use department).

    Postage to Australia is about $30 for a knife which im pretty happy with to be honest, there's no duties on this end so makes it a pretty good price with our exchange rate these days!

    Cheers for the help!
     
  18. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Glad to do it. 

    You don't really NEED the polish you get from stropping.  You may find your strop a valuable tool for truing your Konos though.  Depending on how asymmetric you go with your edges, Konos  can be marginal when it comes to steeling.  

    I'm currently finishing all three of mine with a Gesshin 8K -- but honestly it's some degree of overkill for both usable polish and money.  Still, I like it and wouldn't trade it.  A good 6K, like a Takenoko; or a good (but less expensive than the Gesshin) 8K, like the Naniwa Pure White are more practical and also very good.  

    My experience with strops loaded with very fine compounds, like 0.25u diamond for instance, is that the polish doesn't really hold up long enough to be truly worthwhile.  Nice while it lasts, though.  I don't like finishing kitchen knives with chromium dioxide.  Too much slip, too much shine, not enough sharp.  Boron's not bad, and neither is diamond.  But as I said, it goes way beyond what you need for even the finest kitchen tasks.  

    Let us know how it all works out when you finally get the knives.

    BDL 
     
  19. scomel

    scomel

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    Thanks for the info on the chromium, and will post some pics and let you know how i go when I get my hands on the knives!

    S
     
  20. ed buchanan

    ed buchanan

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    NICKO ! Is it possible to make a site stricktly for knives , which is best and how to sharpen . I am really sick of seeing the same thing about knives all the time.  If I wanted to know about them I would have joined a cutlery site or William Sonoma. Questions about knives are repeated over and over agin.    Thanks Chefed