First chefs knife suggestions.

Discussion in 'Cooking Knife Reviews' started by Canned Ravioli, Oct 8, 2018.

  1. Canned Ravioli

    Canned Ravioli

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    Hello. I've been through quite alot of threads on this forum and so far I still cant find a good suggestion for what I should get. So I'm looking for my first gyuto OR multi purpose knife (santoku?) with a price range within 150 - 300$, even though 300$ knifes might be too high quality for my goals, with traditional handle (not western). And Im thinking that the Gyuto is a smoother transition to japanese knifes from western style than a Santoku?

    I'm thinking the length should be about 180 to 210 mm since my space for using it is limited. The steel should preferrably be stainless because of easier maintenance and the thickness quite thin. The softness of the steel should be kind of soft for it not to chip so easily because I want to learn to use the knife but I dont have the experince to use it flawlessly so some room for mistakes if you will. The edge retention should be good so there comes the tradeoff with the softness of the steel but I'm also going to learn how to use a sharpening stone so any complementing suggestions on that would be nice.

    My goal with this first knife is to get the technique right so that I later on can move on to harder steel and maybe better looking knifes. I live in sweden and where I live we have no niched knife store so i really dont have any preferences other than that I dont like coarse feeling wood handles and heavy blades. But the handle can be softened with some sand paper and oil anyways. I'm not cooking much stuff where I have to de-bone or anything so mostly just slicing, chopping and dicing for now.

    I found an example in a thread that might give you a hint at what thickness I'm looking for in a blade. https://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/products/gesshin-uraku-240mm-stainless-wa-gyuto

    Thanks :)
     
  2. galley swiller

    galley swiller

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    It should not just be about a knife. You should be thinking about a system that includes a process for sharpening. Whatever knife you choose will also need to be inexpensive enough so you can acquire proper sharpening gear.

    The general stone size you will need will be a minimum of 200mm length by 50mm width, but bigger is better. You are going to need several stones: (1) an 800 to 1200 grit waterstone for general sharpening; (2) a 3000 grit or higher stone for edge polishing; and (3) a 400 grit stone for edge repairs and blade thinning. I don't know what the sharpening stone market in Sweden is, so I will leave that to you.

    Since you stated that you have limited space, and are looking at a 210mm blade, I would suggest a basic MAC Chef Series HB-85. The Swedish importer is Vikingsun, and the link for the MAC HB-85 is https://www.vikingsun.se/sv/articles/2.27.124/mac-mac-universalkniv-21-cm. At 895 kr, that works out to $98.57 in US Dollars. It's under your budget, but that would leave you money for proper sharpening stones. It's a decent first knife, with general gyuto profile, a 2mm blade thickness at the spine, and MAC "Original Steel" (a proprietary steel from Hitachi made only for MAC). Definitely not fancy (no bolster), but well regarded.

    Galley Swiller
     
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  3. rick alan

    rick alan

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    Welcome to Cheftalk CR. JNS is right in your neck of the woods, and the Kaeru is your traditional (Wa handled) Japanese knife and comes highly recommended, has excellent edge retention, well within your budget and is a very good first Japanese knife:
    http://www.japanesenaturalstones.com/kaeru-kasumi-stainless-gyuto-210mm/

    This is a far better knife than the MAC HB, but it is thin at the edge and you will want to take things slow at first to learn not to exert excess force, no twisting, etc. Being a wide-bevel design it has good food release.

    Their own series of synthetic stones are very high quality, and Maxim will help you out in all things.

    What sort of cutting board do you have right now? If you are open to a new board I'd recommend a small High Soft synthetic board, as these are not too expensive and easiest on knives.
     
  4. Canned Ravioli

    Canned Ravioli

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    @galley swiller Alright! Thank you for your input. Especially with the stones!

    @rick alan Thank you! I think I will go with your suggestion, I've e-mailed maxim asking about synthetic stones but I also see that they had some sharpening sets but they are removed. Wasnt really looking for a good cutting board until you mentioned it, thanks for the tip, I'll most likely buy one. Although its not my first priority since I'm gonna try to sharpen the blade myself anyways so I dont mind if the blade becomes duller a bit faster than usual in the beginning. When you mention twisting of the knife though do you mean the twist in the blade if you rock chop (is rock chopping ok or should I just focus on push cutting?) or try to use it like a regular kitchen knife, aka having a part of the knife in contact with the cutting board almost all the time?
     
  5. Jason Drückenmiller

    Jason Drückenmiller

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    Totally agree, great reco GS!!!
     
  6. Jason Drückenmiller

    Jason Drückenmiller

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    except that is a western handle but great profile and super easy to sharpen
     
  7. rick alan

    rick alan

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    Twisting is when you make your hand move left or right as you cut down, causing the edge to scrape the board, which will quickly damage the edge.
     
  8. Jason Drückenmiller

    Jason Drückenmiller

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    That was a knife I repaired a ways back for a customer. Someone borrowed his knife for the day and you can see the bending in the blade...that is from twisting left or right upon contact with the cutting board
     

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  9. Canned Ravioli

    Canned Ravioli

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    Aaah. I see.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2018