Buying First Knives. Looking for Help

Discussion in 'Cooking Knife Reviews' started by katabami, Oct 26, 2016.

  1. katabami

    katabami

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    Hello,

    I've spent the last week or so browsing forums and online stores looking for a knife to use at home and I've been a bit overwhelmed. These will be the first knives I buy and I'm not too familiar with many of the technical terms. I was originally planning to buy a Shun or Global, but from what I understand, it might not be the best for what I'm looking for.

    From what I've gathered, I think I'd prefer a carbon steel gyuto and a paring knife to go with it. I won't be cutting any meats with my knives, so naturally it will be used for pretty much mostly vegetables. A 240mm length seems appropriate for me and I'm tempted to go with a 270mm length but I'm a smaller person with relatively small hands. I'm right handed, prefer a Japanese style handle and for the chef's knife, I would like a price range of around $150 (but could possibly stretch to $200). As for the paring knife, I don't have any particular budget in mind but definitely under $100. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated. 

    I currently use a whetstone to sharpen my knives, but I have a combination 1000/3000 (Suehiro). I was wondering if it was worth buying an additional 6000 or 8000 grit stone, and if so, which brand would be the best (in the lower price range)? I've heard the King 1000/6000 is good for its price but it also seems unnecessary seeing as I already have the 1000 grit covered. Also, would it be advised to use a whetstone to remove scratches from the face of the knife, or is sandpaper (or some other tool) best used to remove scratches from using the whetstone?

    One more thing. I've heard conflicting information about whether it's okay to use a honing steel on a Japanese knife. And if I should use one, are there any in particular that are recommended?

    Of course, I'm flexible on any details I've specified since I'm not too knowledgable about knives

    Apologies for so many questions. Thank you for taking the time to read all of this. 
     
  2. millionsknives

    millionsknives

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    Personal preference how long of a knife to get... but 270mm is 1) probably overkill for home amounts of cooking 2) costs more than the same knife in 240mm

    Removing scratches- I don't bother HAH!  You can use one or more of the following: metal polish, wet/dry sand paper in increasing grits, slurry from your sharpening stones, finger stones.  Also consider using painters tape to cover everything except the last centimeter near the edge.  No more scratches! simple right?

    Honing steel - NO NO NO.  You can read my review of diamond hone on this website.  I tested steels from 57-64 HRC.   Anything over 58ish HRC and you are probably gonna chip it.  Just strop on your finest sharpening stone.  Only takes a few strokes to bring it back usually.  if not, it's time for real sharpening.

    What stone to buy on the cheap...  maybe shapton kuromaku on ebay (it's the same as shapton pro just the japanese marketed version).   OR stick it out with your 1000/3000 until christmas and wait for one of the many 20%+ off sales and get a 6000 grit then.
     
  3. katabami

    katabami

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    Thank you very much! I'll be sure to stay away from the honing steel.

    Looking through some knives, I quite like the look of the Tanaka Damascus 240mm gyuto, the Kajiwara Damascus 240mm gyuto and the Harukaze AS Wa Gyuto 240mm. The Tanaka is pushing the price just a bit out of my budget ($220) and the Kajiwara is just below it ($190) but seems a bit heavy and thick from what I understand and I'd prefer a knife on the lighter end.

    Are these knives good for their price range? Although I'm still don't know too many knives so recommendations would be great.
     
  4. millionsknives

    millionsknives

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    You have to realize you can have some things, but to get everything just right you have to pay.  In the price range you're looking for with stainless knives, I see a lot of western handled knives whether it is Misono, Masamoto, etc some of the bigger makers.  

    Start looking at these.  My pick is the gesshin uraku or one of the korin knives

    https://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/products/gesshin-uraku-240mm-stainless-wa-gyuto

    http://korin.com/HTO-INGY-240?sc=27&category=280054

    http://korin.com/HSU-INGY-240?sc=27&category=280068

    UX10 or 440 lines here http://japanesechefsknife.com/MISONO2.html#Misono  
     
  5. katabami

    katabami

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    These knives all look really good, but I think I might be misunderstanding something. Just to be clear, the two steel choices are between carbon and stainless? I'm very happy to take the extra care needed for carbon so I think I would prefer that (and it's what I currently use). Or are you saying that the best knives in the price range are stainless?
     
  6. millionsknives

    millionsknives

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  7. millionsknives

    millionsknives

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    Oh sorry I read your post real fast.  You mentioned shun and global so I thought you were shopping stainless.  There's no perfect knife.  They are all better at something and worse at something else.  Carbon sharpens easier but you have to manage its reactivity.  Stainless is easier to maintaint but takes a bit more time to sharpen.

    I own some of everything.  Carbon knives, stainless knives, even carbon clad stainless knives (maybe the best of both worlds).  If you are open to carbon now too I will post some other recommendations later
     
  8. chrislehrer

    chrislehrer

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    You might look to see whether Aritsugu Tokyo still ships oversea, or if Korin or somebody is selling them. Their carbon is remarkably underpriced, at least in Japan. Myself, I swear by my Masamoto KS wa-gyuto, but it's significantly above your price limit.

    I'm against honing these knives. Too hard.

    I personally would suggest buying a cheap 3-pack of victorinox paring knives and put the savings into the gyuto.

    As for a stone, for the moment, I'd say you're all set. When you feel the need, get a 6k or 8k.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  9. katabami

    katabami

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    That would be very helpful, MK. 

    I think I'll get those Victorinox paring knives, Chris. I've used them before and they've been pretty good. I love the look of the Shun paring knife but I can't imagine that price discrepancy ever being able to justify itself. 
     
  10. foody518

    foody518

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    If you're finding Tanaka Damscus VG-10 or Blue #2 at $220, you're finding them wayyyy overpriced.

    If you do get a finer stone upgrade, it wouldn't be a bad idea to keep it in the Suehiro range for similar feel and construction (that is, if you like the sharpening feeling on your 1/3k). The Suehiro Rika 5k is a respectably budget friendly pick

    If you're okay with budget stretching, the Ikazuchi 240mm w/saya is right at $200 from Japanese Knife Imports. Great knife, very thin, stainless clad AS.

    Masakage Yuki from Knifewear should run under $200 (toggle to USD) for the 240mm. It's stainless clad carbon, a little curvy on the knife profile (not much of a true flat spot). Runs a bit thicker above the wide bevel but not too much so (at least for the one I have)
     
  11. foody518

    foody518

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