European Knives VS Japanese Knives in a Professional Setting

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Joined Aug 25, 2015
Originally Posted by harrisonh  

And it's going to be hard to command ANY respect at all if you're using a victorinox when you're prep cook is using a Tojiro DP or a Wusthof Grand Prix2.

At the same price point, Wusthof Pro is FAR superior. Same steel, but much better handles. Much better ergonomics and less slip handles with just a hint of "tackiness" to them. Just go to a restaurant supply house or knife company and compare them side by side. Dirt cheap and not bad. They will be replacing victorinox as house knives in most kitchens. dexter v-lo and mercer millennia are also superior to victorinox at the same price point, but not as nice as the wusthof pro. Wusthof has lowered their gourmet series to be competitive with victorinox and at least you won't have prep cooks laughing at you behind your back.
 
I was ok with your comments until you start talking about wusthof as a worthwhile knife. I would take a cheap Paula Deen knife over a wusthof. The victorinox is a decent knife but I would stick them at dexters level and in terms of handles... they have several series like any brand and so it really is just taste. you got some classy prep cooks if they are all rocking a tojiro japanese knife. The only thing that amazes me about my prep cook's knifes is how amazingly skilled they must be to make such precise cuts with such dull pieces of crap and how none of them know how to use a sharpening stone or a honing steel..

a knife is a knife and if you have a preference thats great; I have mine but their are soo many out there. The best and only advice I would give on buying a new knife is to educate yourself about the different types of steels and modern knife making techniques than take that knowledge and go to a knife shop and pick up some knives and ask the owner of the store some questions about the products he is willing to display and sell in his shop. if you dont have that option than just educate yourself and buy accordingly online.
 
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Joined May 14, 2014
I've got a wusthof that's a great knife, had it for years. A multi use beast. I won't deny they turn out their share of crap. Frankly, any knife I spend more than $100 bucks on stays home. Using a better knife at the risk of it being stolen or damaged isn't worth more than just spending more time maintaining my ok knives
 
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Joined Jul 3, 2008
Quote:
 
my I recommend Tojiro DP if you want a very good quality but inexpensive knife
All of the other Japanese knives you mentioned are great values too!

VG10 core will take a much sharper edge and keep it longer than x50crmov15
I personally use the Senkuo line (67 layers with vg10 core) as my every day knives and I know dozens of guys on the line using DP. It was good enough for Heston Blumenthal and it was good enough for the Second place team at the Bocuse this year.
VG10 is NOT high end, but it's probably the best value for the dollar of all the current knife steels and the minimum bar for a professional. It's not too much money, essay to care for, takes a good edge and keeps it, yet is still easy to resharpen. No fuss no muss. Easy peasy. I've got lots of pletny of carbon, a couple of handfuls of superA, blue2 and white2, and am now trying out powdered steel, but my tojiro senkuos with their VG10 are still my everyday knives.

I know a quite a few guys still using their mercers from school. I STILL keep mine and those are the ones I travel with. (of course I'm from the era back when "Wusthof classic" was the school knife, but I had gradually sold those off and got a mercer roll a while back.)
I think a lot of us pretend we are too cool for our "school knives", when they were chosen as being reliable and a great value. in the first place. I like them a lot!
 I'd rather have any of the other Japanese knives you mentioned than a genesis or renaissance but I would choose a genesis or a renaissance any day over a victorinox. And they have a new M3 series that's pretty darn good and has a great price.

I personally don't like global either. I think most people use them just because they look cool, not because they work well.

And you cannot compare VG10 shirogami or aogami to german steel. It literally is night and day.


I literally do not know of one single line cook, much less a chef that uses a victoronix in real life. I don't even know any prep cooks that have them. I have never , ever seen one serious cook use one unless they forgot their roll and were using the "house knives". Yes, many places still have "dexter sani-safes" and "fiberox" on the wall although they are rapidly being replaced by "dexter icut pros" or "Wusthof Pros". It's decent and it's cheap. We use them because if a washer steals one or if it gets thrown in the trash, we don't care about losing them.
 If you used one in my town, you'd probably be laughed out of the kitchen, and you'd definately get ZERO respect from your staff (you said you're a sous). It would be a shame for your part time prep cook had better knives than you did.


 But if you want an "el cheapo" knife, the "Wusthof Pro" line is head and shoulders above the victorinox line and you do not need to use a dremel on it like you do the fiberox. Victorinox are now primarly for home cooks that watch too much TV.  I'd use wusthof pro any day over victorinox. Try one at your restaurant supply store side by side with a victorinox. Almost the same cookie cutter blade, but  much better ergonomics, better grippy and forgiving handle instead of hard plastic that needs to be dremmeled.

 
What a humongous load of BS on so many levels it leaves me at a loss for further words.  You need a career do-over in some real kitchens is all I can come up with at the moment.
 
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I've cut my fingers and other stuff with a bunch of different knives, German, French, Japanese, Mongolian, .  Given the choice, I much prefer to cut myself with my 50/50 Japanese honesuki or gyuto with about a 1.5mm spine sharpened to 13 degrees, than any of my other knives.  At least you can get finished with your prep before you realize you're missing the fingertip.  Look around for it real good, 'cause they really can re-attach it (man, does it feel good when they stick it back on!).

P.S.

Nothing wrong with Victorinox, I have several, but the wood handled ones ain't a good idea in my opinion.  They get all funky and water-logged and nasty after a while.  Yep, I've got a couple at home in a closet.  Went to the plastic handled ones for the store....more sanitary.

I want a new knife.  I want an 'Ol Hickory butcher knife, polished, with custom desert ironwood handle,  and sharpened to 13 degrees.  I also want it to have a custom saya.

Why do I want this?  I dunno, I jes do, that's all.

About cutting myself.

Over the years I've replaced three fingertips, and cut my fingers (seems to always be the same one) too many times to count.

Know what?  Only twice in 45 years have I cut myself when alone.

NUFF SED
 
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Joined Jun 9, 2015
i like kiwi brand knifes ... sharp as a lazor and $4 each ... i know , i know, but freak are they sharp !

then when they get old i just give em away , everyone wants a "new" knife
 
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I'm no knife snob, I can't justify spending thousands of dollars on Japanese knives so that I look better than the prep cook. I have used Forschner knives most of my career, they are affordable and get the job done. Does having Forschner knives make me a bad cook or chef? I think not.  Do I have to have a $400 Japanese knife to be a serious cook? This would be the same as a mechanic being laughed at for buying Craftsman tools and for not having a $30,000 tool box filled with Snap On tools. They both accomplish the same result.

From Harrisonh:

I literally do not know of one single line cook, much less a chef that uses a victoronix in real life. I don't even know any prep cooks that have them. I have never , ever seen one serious cook use one unless they forgot their roll and were using the "house knives". Yes, many places still have "dexter sani-safes" and "fiberox" on the wall although they are rapidly being replaced by "dexter icut pros" or "Wusthof Pros". It's decent and it's cheap. We use them because if a washer steals one or if it gets thrown in the trash, we don't care about losing them.
 If you used one in my town, you'd probably be laughed out of the kitchen, and you'd definately get ZERO respect from your staff (you said you're a sous). It would be a shame for your part time prep cook had better knives than you did.

 But if you want an "el cheapo" knife, the "Wusthof Pro" line is head and shoulders above the victorinox line and you do not need to use a dremel on it like you do the fiberox. Victorinox are now primarly for home cooks that watch too much TV.  I'd use wusthof pro any day over victorinox. Try one at your restaurant supply store side by side with a victorinox. Almost the same cookie cutter blade, but  much better ergonomics, better grippy and forgiving handle instead of hard plastic that needs to be dremmeled.
 
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I have always looked at the quality of the cuts made by the cook rather than the piece of sharp steel they have in their hand. But then again, what do I know. [emoji]128526[/emoji]
 
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Joined Jun 9, 2015
some knives are cheaper than buying a sports car...  personally I just like a cook that can use one well.
 
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Joined Oct 8, 2015
Like the others have said, it really depends on what kind of environment you're working in.

At the restaurant I work at in Ginza, Tokyo, everybody uses Japanese made knives. Apprentices are only allowed to use traditional single bevel knives, both carbon steel and stainless steel (ginsan), for the first two years. This is so that we learned how to handle delicate knives even in high pressure situations. Everything from slicing tomatoes, cutting onions, preparing daikon tsuma, even peeling carrots and potatoes was done on traditional single bevel knives. Only after we were disciplined enough to handle traditional knives were we allowed to use the western style stainless steel gyutos (which were seen as the lazy chef's knife). By disciplined, I mean learning how to wipe your knife clean with a damp cloth religiously without showing down, finding the time to polish it every night to prevent rusting, cutting frozen things without chipping the edge, etc.

Even with the gyutos, nobody uses a honing rod, since we are used to spending time everyday on the whetstones. For gyutos, we use 4000 grit stones to realign the edge, and sharpen on 1000 grit stones every week with moderate use.

If a knife goes dull during prep, it's not a problem because everyone has a one or two backup knives.

Image related, my knife roll for this season's menu.

My point is that Japanese knives are made with the Japanese market in mind, so if you're used to using western knives with the steel, you're probably better off sticking to what you're used to.

And if you really want to give Japanese knives a go, you should probably start off with a molybdenum steel misono or tojiro dp, since they're easy to sharpen and reshape, which make them great for sharpening practice.







 
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