Help Picking My Next Knife

Joined Jan 2, 2016
Hi Everyone,
I’ve been an avid reader here for a while, but jumping in to make my first post to ask for some advice on my next knife purchase.

Cooking is a hobby for me, so whatever I get won’t be subjected to the demands of a professional kitchen.

I have a number of water stones and both my knife and sharpening skills are pretty good (but not pro-level). I can put an edge I’m happy with on all of the knives I currently have. My current kit covers pretty much everything I need, so this would be a bit of a “for fun” knife.

I would priroitize something that I can put a great edge on with my skill level over an edge that will last for ever (it’s a hobby for me and I dont mind putting in the time to maintain). Top of the budget is about $300 (I’m willing to spend, but not for “prestige”, and I feel like above that price point I’m probably not going to realize any of the marginal benefits anyway).

My current kit :
  • Konosuke HD2 240m Gyunto - This is my go to for most things
  • 10in Carbon Sab Chef - This is the default for anything I won’t use the Kono for (eg, anything I might encounter a bone like butchering a chicken, etc.)
  • Misono Sweedish 150m pety
  • MAC 10.5in Superior Bread
  • Two pairing knives, one carbon and one stainless
  • A couple others that are mainly for use by people that aren’t me or for things you shouldn’t use a knife for (Wustof chef, santuko, paring, Shun petty)
What I’m considering:
  • Sujihiki - Gesshin Ginga 270m or 300m White 2 (also considering Kohetsu Aogami or HAP40 and Kurosaki AS). I ended up with the Gesshin as my first choice from this group becuase it seems to be the thinnest (using my Kono for the first time was an eye opening experience...). I’m concerned the HAP40, listed as 65HRC will be to much for me to sharpen. I’m also a little concerned this will just essentially be a shorter version of my Kono....
  • Yanagiba - I currently dont have any single bevel, but am interested in learning. I know you can spend you’re life savings on one of these (which I’m not willing to do), but if I can get one in my price range that I can use for more than just sushi, which i don’t make much (like cleaning beef tenderloin, portioning other proteins, etc.), I think this is what I secretly want deep down inside. I’ve been looking at the Massamoto KK - but this is a whole new world for me.
  • Deba - Again, I don’t break down whole fish that often, and if i went with a deba I would need to be able to do other things with it (eg, break down chicken, etc.). I’ve seen mixed opinions with some people saying that they’re good for fish only and other saying they can be a bit more versitile. I’ve been looking at the Tojiro Shirogami (as long as I can get it sharp, I’m not sure I’d realize the benefits of spending more - but I’m open to being schooled).
  • Usuba - One more time, I don’t do a lot of katsuramuki, but do cut a lot of veg. I’ve done the least amount of research here, but based on what I have looked at, the Kitaoko Blue 2 seems to be the best fit.

I know this is quite the diverse range, but the way I’m thinking of it is that I have one open slot in my knofe roll and am trying to figure out what to fill it with. Like I said, this is a hobby for me, so I’m looking for something that will be fun to use, push me to learn, (and if I go the single bevel route, something I can use for a little more than it’s narrowly defined purpose)

Joined Nov 15, 2012
I don't you'd have fun of any of those knives, unless you really have something to use the big slicer on. Chrislehrer might chime in on his attraction to the Usuba.

You might like trying a Chinese cleaver, like the Suisin VC for all sorts of prep, fine slice and otherwise.

For chicken butchery you might like a Honesuki or Honkotsu.

Speaking of veggy prep, I do much of my fine-slicing in-hand, like <1mm, I should take a video of that once I fix/replace my broken camera.
Joined May 29, 2013
I'm hoping I'm not stealing this thread.

But for katsuramuki, I've held off buying a usuba, since I wasn't sure I wanted to spend the energy and effort in learning how to thinly slice daikon.

Just a week ago, I finally broke down and bought a reconditioned KitchenAid 590 watt 6 quart bowl lift stand mixer and a KitchenAid Vegetable Sheet Cutter attachment, which can spiral slice a long sheet from fruits and vegetables (such as daikon), in thicknesses of either 1.2mm or 1.8mm. Both were on significant sale and the devil made me do it.

That combo might be the alternative to finding a usuba and learning how to properly use it. There probably isn't much soul to a machine, but the learning curve is a lot shorter (not to say, the amount of nicks, cuts and visits to the emergency room).

Joined Oct 9, 2008
You're looking for fun value, I think. I'd say go with the sujihiki.

Single bevels are a considerable investment of time and effort. If you're interested in making the shift, you're going to have a problem, in that you don't have reason to use these knives.

Usuba: means basically leaving the gyuto on the shelf for several months and a lot of horrible frustration. I don't recommend it, though I love mine.

Deba: a bad move unless its primary function is butchering whole fish.

Yanagiba: very, very difficult to learn if you don't have other single bevels experience, especially if you are planning on using it for something other than slicing raw, boneless fish.

I can see a honesuki or garasuke being fun if you break down whole chicken with any regularity. But I'm inclined to think that a good slicer (sujihiki) will get the most use and thus be the most fun.
Joined Nov 15, 2012
Good call Chris. I actually used to use a suji almost exclusively, even on the board where you use a modified pinch-grip for knuckle clearance. They're just so light for the length, especially if you get something like a Geshin Ginga.
Joined Jul 13, 2012
How about a nice pair of kitchen shears. I have Tojiro pair and they are very good and not terribly expensive and I use ethem quite often.

The Japanese have a knife for every occasion.
Poultry knife, squid knife, eel knife, octopus knife, boning knife, vegetable knife, fish knife, slicing knife - the list seems endless.
Top Bottom