Beer

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Joined Jul 30, 2018
Hello all. I just have a quick question. I like many others would like to try a J knife to see if it will suit me. I'm not a pro and I typically have used German bladed knives. I have played with some japanese style knives and I decided to buy one. I've lurked on the forum for awhile and I think it's just time. I came across this knife but can't find out much about it. I thought it might be a good introductory knife for me to learn on My cooking tends to lend to creole and french cuisine so there's a lot of trinity and mirepoix. I do slice a lot of beef as well.

I'm pretty decent at sharping knives also.

Anyways...the knife in question: https://www.japanny.com/collections...er-damascus-japanese-chef-s-gyuto-knife-210mm

Any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks again.

dave
 
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510
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Joined May 29, 2013
It looks pretty much like a stock, standard VG-10 cored damascus blade - with a price of $99 which is not all that spectacular for 210mm length. There are a lot of them out there. Takefu Specialty Steel Co. makes and sells the damascus blanks to innumerable cutlers, who then forge and grind the rectangular blanks into blades for sale.

I'm no fan of damascus. It doesn't add any specific advantages to the cutting performance. And, after just a little usage, the blade surface tends to look dismal with all of the scratches in the soft steel cladding layers. The appearance can be restored, but it requires re-polishing the full face of the blade to remove all of the scratches, then that face has to be re-etched in acid to re-highlight the various damascus layers. That's a lot of work for no cutting performance benefit.

While you can get VG-10 reasonably sharp, and, once properly sharpened, it can hold a decent edge for a respectable amount of use. The major problem is getting to that edge in the first place. VG-10 mandates that you have to carefully abrade any beaded edge away with progressively finer grit stones. If you attempt to remove a bead by just running the edge through a felt block, it has a tendency to snap the edge off below the thinnest point behind the bead - that mandates that you need to start over your sharpening process all over again.

I'm also noting that this is a 210mm blade. A 240mm or 270mm blade is (at least for me) a more pragmatic length.

You don't say where you are, but if you are in the USA, then you have some options. A stock, standard clad (but not damascus) Tojiro DP 210mm gyuto is available from amazon.com for $79.42. Also available from Amazon is a 240mm version for $89.95 and a 270mm long blade for $99.99.

Or, from various sellers on eBay, you can get a MAC HB-85, which is also 210mm long, and is a mono-steel blade (no cladding, hence not damascus) for just about $70. Tisn't fancy, but it is a basic honest blade.

Or, for about $110, you can get a MAC BK-100, which is 255mm long, and a good, honest, long-enough no-frills basic knife, used by quite a few line cooks.

By the way, how does beer come into this (other than as a universal libation)?

GS
 
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Joined Jul 30, 2018
Thank you very much. Your post pretty much confirmed what I was thinking. I thought that since it wasn't a massed produced knife that it might give me a better insight if Jknives were for me. I do live in the USA...Oklahoma to be exact and it's not exactly the center of the culinary world. I don't really have a budget(my wife is pretty good about me spending whatever) and damascus is not a big deal to me. It was just something more of an experiment than anything else. I'll probably buy it anyways and spend a little more on another if I conclude japanese knives are for me.

And like you said, BEER is a Universal libation and should be included in every conversation.

thanks again
dave
 
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Joined Jul 30, 2018
Why is this thread still here with an irresponsible title like "Beer"?
Soooo irresponsible. The next thing you know the F.B.I. will be beating on chefs talks door demanding their servers so they can pry for more "irresponsible" titles.

Dude you need a hug or something.

dave
 
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Joined Nov 15, 2012
You only need to understand Iceman's frustration here as so many of his "responsible" posts have been deleted. The world is simply not a fair place, and it is only illegal if you get caught.

Dave there are many shapes and grinds available in Japanese knives, and just buying this japanny is not really going to give you a good idea of what high-performance cutlery has to offer. And high-performance is really what you are actually looking for here. As example of the incongruities your post presents, many Japanese gyuto are actually modeled after the French Sabatier. The knife you are considering has a very flat "looking" profile, though it just may be a very shallow and continuous curve running to the very low tip, the combination of which might not be what you are looking for at all.

Then there are degrees of spine thickness, convexity or wide bevels and special finishes for good food release, various degrees of thinness at the edge, etc. And the types and heat treat of the steel of course.

What exactly is it you think you are looking for in a new knife? Knowing this we can be of much more help.
 
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Joined Jul 30, 2018
You only need to understand Iceman's frustration here as so many of his "responsible" posts have been deleted. The world is simply not a fair place, and it is only illegal if you get caught.

Dave there are many shapes and grinds available in Japanese knives, and just buying this japanny is not really going to give you a good idea of what high-performance cutlery has to offer. And high-performance is really what you are actually looking for here. As example of the incongruities your post presents, many Japanese gyuto are actually modeled after the French Sabatier. The knife you are considering has a very flat "looking" profile, though it just may be a very shallow and continuous curve running to the very low tip, the combination of which might not be what you are looking for at all.

Then there are degrees of spine thickness, convexity or wide bevels and special finishes for good food release, various degrees of thinness at the edge, etc. And the types and heat treat of the steel of course.

What exactly is it you think you are looking for in a new knife? Knowing this we can be of much more help.

Ah ha, Makes a little more sense as to Iceman's commits. I apologize to him and if the mods want to change the title feel free to do so.

As for the knife or knives, this all started when I was cooking with a friend. I was using his Shuns Classic) to dice the vegetables and liked how effortlessly it seemed to cut through onions carrots etc. Since I do a lot of creole style cooking and dicing through vegetables I thought a japanese style knife would make it more of a joy to do these tasks then my Zwilling. The only real reason I brought this particular knife to the discussion was because of the not so popular opinions of mass produced knives. Well that and I felt if I didn't care for it I would use it for honing my sharpening skills although, the latter doesn't really appeal to me because according to the website its hand made and I don't have a need to abuse a person work.

Like I said before, I don't have a budget it so I'm opened to suggestions. I can't really speak to spine thickness etc because all I can compare is the Shun to my Zwilling. I will say this though, I slice and don't really chop vegetables if that makes sense.

As you can probably tell I'm pretty ignorant on what I'm looking for but I'll try my best to narrow it down more if I can think of the correct verbiage.

Thanks for setting things clear with Iceman and I'll properly title posts in the future.

Thanks again

dave
 
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Joined Oct 9, 2008
If you're doing a lot of dicing (of the Trinity, for example), a light gyuto is going to be a great pleasure. I'm always useless when it comes to suggesting brands--I use the knives I own, and I don't collect for the sake of it, not that there's anything wrong with that. But it seems to me that if you're used to sharpening, you might want to consider a good carbon steel (my favorite is white #2). It does take some discipline, certainly, but it's very hard to argue with the freakish sharpness you can achieve--which makes dicing peppers and onions not just easy but genuinely fun.
 
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Joined Jul 30, 2018
If you're doing a lot of dicing (of the Trinity, for example), a light gyuto is going to be a great pleasure. I'm always useless when it comes to suggesting brands--I use the knives I own, and I don't collect for the sake of it, not that there's anything wrong with that. But it seems to me that if you're used to sharpening, you might want to consider a good carbon steel (my favorite is white #2). It does take some discipline, certainly, but it's very hard to argue with the freakish sharpness you can achieve--which makes dicing peppers and onions not just easy but genuinely fun.
You sir when the interwebz lol. Thank you for saying what I could not. The thing about the Shun I used was was that it seemed lighter and more nimble and therefore not as laborious, if that makes sense. :/ My only concern is using a single beveled knife. As in I've never used one but I do like the white#2 idea. If anyone wants to expand on this this please chime in.

thanks all
dave
 
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Joined Jan 4, 2011
OK ... Please remind me of all of those posts I've made that were deleted? ... I must have been away those days. The title "Beer" for this thread is completely irresponsible and a punk wisealec thing to do. Now I do realize that it is in the "Cooking Knife Review" section ... so I guess that's my mistake.

dave96 ... Your problems and experiences simply deal with using sharp and dull knives. You like the sharp ones and you're not happy with the dull ones. The knife you ask about is a piece of garbage. If you like it ... buy it. You won't know any difference until it needs sharpening.
 
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My only concern is using a single beveled knife. As in I've never used one but I do like the white#2 idea.
White #2 is used to make many very fine gyuto, which are by definition double-beveled knives. For example, I have a Masamoto KS wa-gyuto, which is spectacularly good -- and unfortunately now very expensive. I'm sure someone can recommend lots of wonderful white #2 gyuto that would be more sanely-priced and easier to get hold of.

I would in fact strongly recommend AGAINST trying a single-bevel at this point, for your purposes, but that's another story.
 
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Joined Nov 15, 2012
The Shun is actually a clunker compared to the typical entry level Japanese knife.

Iceman says piece of junk for the Japanny, I've no personal experience with the knife but have no problem taking his word here. For this Japanny hand-made is a very relative term. The faux damascus comes in 12' rectangular sheets right from the mill, it is laser of water-jet cut into a blank then embossed/shaped and finished on robotic machinery. Hands are used to place it in its packaging.

The Tojiro above is a rather crude piece with a bulbous handle, and the iron cladding known for being a bit more reactive than many, lots of pros use them though. This Masahiro is a good place to get a feel for carbon:
https://tinyurl.com/entry-level-carbon
 
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Joined Jul 30, 2018
OK ... Please remind me of all of those posts I've made that were deleted? ... I must have been away those days. The title "Beer" for this thread is completely irresponsible and a punk wisealec thing to do. Now I do realize that it is in the "Cooking Knife Review" section ... so I guess that's my mistake.

Dude! You need to step back from the knives and invest in a Midol dispenser.

dave96 ... Your problems and experiences simply deal with using sharp and dull knives. You like the sharp ones and you're not happy with the dull ones. The knife you ask about is a piece of garbage. If you like it ... buy it. You won't know any difference until it needs sharpening.

Uh no. My knives are sharp (although I'm sure you would argue that) It was more about the precision.

Again, I'm not glued to the knife I asked about. I just wanted to know any info that could be provided or other options.
 
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Joined Jul 30, 2018
The Shun is actually a clunker compared to the typical entry level Japanese knife.

Iceman says piece of junk for the Japanny, I've no personal experience with the knife but have no problem taking his word here. For this Japanny hand-made is a very relative term. The faux damascus comes in 12' rectangular sheets right from the mill, it is laser of water-jet cut into a blank then embossed/shaped and finished on robotic machinery. Hands are used to place it in its packaging.

The Tojiro above is a rather crude piece with a bulbous handle, and the iron cladding known for being a bit more reactive than many, lots of pros use them though. This Masahiro is a good place to get a feel for carbon:
https://tinyurl.com/entry-level-carbon

I'll look at a new version since I'm not a big Ebay person. Thank you for the suggestion I like this idea better.
 
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Joined Jul 30, 2018
Okay. After much deliberation I've decided to go with two.

This one

https://japanesechefsknife.com/coll...-240mm-to-300mm-3-sizes?variant=5443745185823

When it's becomes available and Icemans suggestion to use until I receive the other one.

Should be fun.

Oh and while I'm at it, I'm thinking about giving this as a gift


I know knife sets are frowned upon but it's for a young lady who will use each knife incorrectly, so she has that going for her.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Oh and Ice,seriously...MIDOL, it's your friend.

dave
 
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Joined May 29, 2013
I would recommend against the Tojiro DP set for someone who "will use each knife incorrectly".

I'm presuming that the "someone" probably does not have knife sharpening skills with stones. That makes getting Tojiro DP knives problematic, since the VG-10 core steel is not very easy to properly sharpen (see my post #2 in this thread). All you are likely to do is give a set of knives that, one after another, will eventually dull and be difficult to properly re-sharpen.

In my mind, that's a prescription to future frustration. Better to give a few knives that will work in the long run and can actually be sharpened more easily. A chef's knife (a japanese version being called a gyuto), a paring knife and a serrated or scalloped edge bread knife are all that are truly essential in blades for most western cuisines.

For a "first Japanese knife" for yourself, consider something relatively cheap that you are really willing to fool around with, especially on the sharpening stones. The Tojiro ITK isn't by any means an ideal beginner's knife - but its clunkiness and relatively low price make it a good blade to see how well your blade thinning and edge sharpening can develop. And it's those skills which are (at least in my mind) more important than the actual blade in hand.

GS
 
10
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Joined Jul 30, 2018
I would recommend against the Tojiro DP set for someone who "will use each knife incorrectly".

I'm presuming that the "someone" probably does not have knife sharpening skills with stones. That makes getting Tojiro DP knives problematic, since the VG-10 core steel is not very easy to properly sharpen (see my post #2 in this thread). All you are likely to do is give a set of knives that, one after another, will eventually dull and be difficult to properly re-sharpen.

In my mind, that's a prescription to future frustration. Better to give a few knives that will work in the long run and can actually be sharpened more easily. A chef's knife (a japanese version being called a gyuto), a paring knife and a serrated or scalloped edge bread knife are all that are truly essential in blades for most western cuisines.

For a "first Japanese knife" for yourself, consider something relatively cheap that you are really willing to fool around with, especially on the sharpening stones. The Tojiro ITK isn't by any means an ideal beginner's knife - but its clunkiness and relatively low price make it a good blade to see how well your blade thinning and edge sharpening can develop. And it's those skills which are (at least in my mind) more important than the actual blade in hand.

GS
All valid good points. I really don't think she would miss treat them since they came from me. She's a single mom and does show appreciation to gifts of this sort. It was really poor example of a joke. Anywayssss, I have a japanese friend straight from the motherland that assures me he can sharpen them for her.

I won't know how clumsy the handle will be for me until I obviously hold it but I think you take that chance you take that with something you can't actually touch or hold, so I'm okay with that and like you said I can work on my knife sharping skills.

Thank you for your advice. I honestly appreciate it.

dave
 
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