HELP please. Recommendation needed quickly

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Joined Jan 21, 2018
Hi All,
I am not a chef, not even close but I love cooking. I am trying to buy a nice knife for a good friend. Need it quickly because I have done so much searching on google for so long and its all so overwhelming that I cant make a decision and am utterly confused. I found this site where I have read through a bunch of posts on japanese knives. Its all very interesting but I cant make seem to pull the trigger with peace of mind on a decision. PLEASE HELP. I know you all probably get tired of this but youi are my last shot. I dont want to go to Macys and buy their nicest wusthof like I did last time and its sitting in his drawer broken - the handle came apart. I am set on Japanese tho, so heres what I am looking for:
$210 or less or more...but not much more
Hes a non-chef but likes to cook at home -he would be chopping veggies, nothing too crazy like butternut squash or anything. He would be slicing chicken breasts or cooked flank steak, splitting apart wings for the grill but not splitting breasts in half.
Not too long of a knife - I dont see him wanting that at all - I dont see the tip being of too much importance to him bcz that seems like a more professional use of the knife
Hes probably not a rock chopper so maybe more of a push type cutting/chopping
one that holds and edge and requires less sharpening but he does have a place that he can take the knife to for sharpening - he would not be doing his own sharpening
it would be his only knife so an all around general one would be good and last
Hes small in stature and his hands are not large, so one that would fit nicely.
hes the type that likes nice things, he doesnt have much money but when he buys something he researches, saves for it and gets a really nice "it" - so an aesthetically impressive knife would be kind of important
Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated please please please.....and THANK YOU.
 
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Joined Mar 2, 2018
If you're looking for Japanese knife, and it's going to be his only knife, I'd probably recommend going with a santoku. They're pretty versatile, and can be used for most things. If he's not going to be doing his own sharpening, I'd probably suggest going with a harder steel, maybe a carbon blade. People have different opinions on the appearance of high carbon blades, personally I rather like them, but not everybody agrees. If you do get him a high carbon blade, make sure he understands that it will rust, if he doesn't dry it. Skimming through the knives on this page -https://www.chefknivestogo.com/santokuknives.html - most of them seem like they'd be pretty decent for what you want. Just take a look at what you think looks nice, and it should do you pretty well
 
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Joined Jan 21, 2018
Thank you so much for your input. I checked out the link and there are SO many - do you have 4 or 5 out of that page you would highly recommend...keeping in mind aesthetics...also, I think the handles that you dont see any rivets (or whatever they are called) are more handsome-my personal thought. Thank you again, I dont mean to be a pain.
 
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Joined Jan 21, 2018
Based on whats in stock - and ONLY on aesthetics, these are the ones I think look really nice, with the Shun taking 1st place. I know there are some strong feelings regarding Shun, but to me its the most handsome one. No clue what-so-ever on performance.

https://www.chefknivestogo.com/kiswwada.html

https://www.chefknivestogo.com/shunpremier1.html

https://www.chefknivestogo.com/tskape15.html

https://www.chefknivestogo.com/ogatasantoku.html

https://www.chefknivestogo.com/tachsa17wtbo.html

https://www.chefknivestogo.com/yosg2sa16.html
 
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Joined Dec 18, 2010
Although not a universally supported opinion with some here, I find the Shun Premier to be a good balance of flash and performance. Pricey but if that’s not an impediment... who cares. Not the easiest to sharpen but not too difficult either. Mine only failed me once: when I dropped it on a tile floor. After a professional repair it continues to serve me well. If Shun were junk they’d be out of business... don’t you think?

But for a person who busted a Wusthof I really think you may be setting both of you up for failure/disappointment. Good luck.

Personally, I’d be more oriented to a carbon steel like Old Hickory (and the like) for this kind of situation. Cheap, relatively indestructible, Easily replaced when it gets broken, and a good cutter. Not pretty but...

I didn’t look at all of your links but the ones I looked at sure meet your “flashy” criteria!
 
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Joined Jan 21, 2018
Although not a popular opinion with some here, I find the Shun Premier to be a good balance of flash and performance. Pricey but if that’s not an impediment... who cares. Not the easiest to sharpen but not too difficult either. Mine only failed me once: when I dropped it on a tile floor. After a professional repair it continues to serve me well. If Shun were junk they’d be out of business... don’t you think?

But for a person who busted a Wusthof I really think you may be setting both of you up for failure/disappointment. Good luck.

Personally, I’d be more oriented to a carbon steel like Old Hickory (and the like) for this kind of situation. Cheap, relatively indestructible, Easily replaced when it gets broken, and a good cutter. Not pretty but...

I didn’t look at all of your links but the ones I looked at sure meet your “flashy” criteria!

brianshaw - thank you for your input! Everyone seems so surprised the Wusthof busted...hmmm Im not sure he knew how to treat it, I was thinking maybe he put it in the dishwasher. I didnt ask...but it doesnt matter - he will take very good care of this new knife as I will go over it with him - I did not with the first knife as I myself really had NO CLUE until this last month of research and this forum. You guys are awesome. Yes the ones I picked are kinda flashy I guess - I just looked purely at aesthetics...while that is pretty important, I do want it to be impressive in use as well.
Its funny how strong people's opinions are of Shun, it is actually the brand that got me interested and looking into all of this.
I cant imagine they are junk - they just seem to expertly market to the general public better, and while there are better choices for the money, as is with most things, if it will function as needed for a regular person I think it was the most aesthetically pleasing...for me anyway. As long as its in the $210 and under range (or even slightly over) Im fine with that. BUT I am totally open to any and all suggestions...I have till mid day today before I need to decide. I would love to give him a knife and say something about it being a not so known or popular brand but its well known to professionals and is the bomb knife to have in that world...that would float his boat. Shun doesnt fit that description so I am truly OPEN for suggestions!
 
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Joined Mar 2, 2018
brianshaw - thank you for your input! Everyone seems so surprised the Wusthof busted...hmmm Im not sure he knew how to treat it, I was thinking maybe he put it in the dishwasher. I didnt ask...but it doesnt matter - he will take very good care of this new knife as I will go over it with him - I did not with the first knife as I myself really had NO CLUE until this last month of research and this forum. You guys are awesome. Yes the ones I picked are kinda flashy I guess - I just looked purely at aesthetics...while that is pretty important, I do want it to be impressive in use as well.
Its funny how strong people's opinions are of Shun, it is actually the brand that got me interested and looking into all of this.
I cant imagine they are junk - they just seem to expertly market to the general public better, and while there are better choices for the money, as is with most things, if it will function as needed for a regular person I think it was the most aesthetically pleasing...for me anyway. As long as its in the $210 and under range (or even slightly over) Im fine with that. BUT I am totally open to any and all suggestions...I have till mid day today before I need to decide. I would love to give him a knife and say something about it being a not so known or popular brand but its well known to professionals and is the bomb knife to have in that world...that would float his boat. Shun doesnt fit that description so I am truly OPEN for suggestions!

That's easy, the only place to go is Korin, if you're in New York City, and if not,

http://www.korin.com/site/home.html

They've been taking care of Western as well as Asian chefs for years. They sell a wide variety of knives and cutting boards, keep your knives sharp. If you need to send in your knives for sharpening service, they are fast and incredibly efficient. One stop shopping for the rest of your kitchen career.
 
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Joined Jan 21, 2018
Huh? You sound very confused... Good luck.
Sorry not trying to sound confused. I like the shun for looks - no clue on its performance but I imagine its fine for a non pro and I would be happy to buy it.
What I was saying, and not well apparntly is that I am open to other suggestions that are considered 'the bomb' in the professional world -so I can tell him that when I give it to him, as he wont know the name brand. I know none myself, except Shun, so to tell him the knife he has is considered awesome in the world of professional chefs would seriously be cool and he'd be pretty impressed. Im not stuck on Shun. Sorry to sound confusing. Anyway thanks for your help brianshaw.
 
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Joined Mar 1, 2017
There are a variety of reputable Japanese knife makers that have outlets here in the US. Therefore, if you order online, you should have it by next Friday. So, that should not be an issue. Whatever you choose, don't forget to include a coin with the knife to avoid bad luck. :)

The problem with asking advice about what knife you should get is you can ask 10 people the same question and get 10 different answers. With the exception of issues like material quality and what the knife is used for, whether or not a knife is "good" is a matter of opinion. What's good for me is not going to necessarily be good for the next person and so on.

But, on a positive note, it seems that you know what he will be using the knife for i.e. prepping basic ingredients etc, and knowing the knife's intended use is half the battle when choosing a knife. If you are determined to give him a Japanese knife, you can peruse the multiple reputable Japanese manufacturers online and choose any knife that is in your price range and quite literally be doing just fine.

From a professional chef point of view, we typically buy knives for two reasons: 1) functionality and 2) looks and appearance, generally in that order. I don't know a chef who isn't a knife junky, me included. But, there are only so many knives you can buy before the realization sets in that they all pretty much do the same thing within their basic design scheme and how well they perform those tasks is determined by the hand that holds the knife and not the knife itself.

The greatest chef I ever knew who taught me everything I know, my uncle, could filet a full salmon with surgical precision in just a few minutes with a generic, no-name knife that he inherited from his grandfather. On the other hand, I have seen professionals utterly destroy a beautiful fish with a $300, Japanese, hand forged, fancy shmancy, knife that could cut electrons out of the box (nope....it wasn't my kitchen).

What I am trying to say in a very long winded manner is if you buy a $200, 8inch, hand forged, Japanese knife made with quality materials for your friend, you will have successfully accomplished your mission and achieved the "wow" factor that you are going for.

But, just out of curiosity, how did your friend manage to destroy the handle on a top of the line Wusthof knife?? He would really have to go out of his way to do something like that.
 
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Joined Jan 21, 2018
A very good performing and nice looking Santoku is by Misono in their UX-10 series. Edge keeps its bite even after some first dulling -- has to do with the coarsely grained Sandvik 19C27.
https://goo.gl/images/YVBkAe
Ask Korin for their free initial stone sharpening.
Thank you benuser, I appreciate your input. I am trying to make my decision...ugh so difficult.
 
18
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Joined Jan 21, 2018
There are a variety of reputable Japanese knife makers that have outlets here in the US. Therefore, if you order online, you should have it by next Friday. So, that should not be an issue. Whatever you choose, don't forget to include a coin with the knife to avoid bad luck. :)

The problem with asking advice about what knife you should get is you can ask 10 people the same question and get 10 different answers. With the exception of issues like material quality and what the knife is used for, whether or not a knife is "good" is a matter of opinion. What's good for me is not going to necessarily be good for the next person and so on.

But, on a positive note, it seems that you know what he will be using the knife for i.e. prepping basic ingredients etc, and knowing the knife's intended use is half the battle when choosing a knife. If you are determined to give him a Japanese knife, you can peruse the multiple reputable Japanese manufacturers online and choose any knife that is in your price range and quite literally be doing just fine.

From a professional chef point of view, we typically buy knives for two reasons: 1) functionality and 2) looks and appearance, generally in that order. I don't know a chef who isn't a knife junky, me included. But, there are only so many knives you can buy before the realization sets in that they all pretty much do the same thing within their basic design scheme and how well they perform those tasks is determined by the hand that holds the knife and not the knife itself.

The greatest chef I ever knew who taught me everything I know, my uncle, could filet a full salmon with surgical precision in just a few minutes with a generic, no-name knife that he inherited from his grandfather. On the other hand, I have seen professionals utterly destroy a beautiful fish with a $300, Japanese, hand forged, fancy shmancy, knife that could cut electrons out of the box (nope....it wasn't my kitchen).

What I am trying to say in a very long winded manner is if you buy a $200, 8inch, hand forged, Japanese knife made with quality materials for your friend, you will have successfully accomplished your mission and achieved the "wow" factor that you are going for.

But, just out of curiosity, how did your friend manage to destroy the handle on a top of the line Wusthof knife?? He would really have to go out of his way to do something like that.

Ok - so a broken Wusthof is a pretty big deal I see...I dont know how he broke it...the two halves of the handle separated from the middle knife part..sorry I dont know the terminology...anyway...bcz everyone seems so shocked, I will have to ask him. I was thinking he must have stuck it in the dishwasher every time he was doing dishes without knowing...as I too would have....no one tells you not to do this at Macys when you buy it. So I can only guess that the intense heat and steam loosened everything up and he probably dropped it and it separated...Im only guessing. I will ask and report back to solve the mystery. LOl - kinda funny.
 
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Joined Mar 1, 2017
Ok - so a broken Wusthof is a pretty big deal I see...I dont know how he broke it...the two halves of the handle separated from the middle knife part..sorry I dont know the terminology...anyway...bcz everyone seems so shocked, I will have to ask him. I was thinking he must have stuck it in the dishwasher every time he was doing dishes without knowing...as I too would have....no one tells you not to do this at Macys when you buy it. So I can only guess that the intense heat and steam loosened everything up and he probably dropped it and it separated...Im only guessing. I will ask and report back to solve the mystery. LOl - kinda funny.

Lol....its not really that big of a deal. I can't speak for everyone, but, I'm curious how he broke the handle because Wusthof knives are known for their durability. A handle that broke in manner you described is sure to have a good story to go with it. :)
 
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Joined Jul 13, 2012
Seriously I recommend this - it's right up your alley. Great steel, very good grind, sharpens easily and holds an edge for a long time with simple maintenance like stropping on cardboard. I've been test driving the Yo (western) version and I'm very impressed. Probably the best bang for the buck knife going these days IMHO. You'd also have enough for a combo stone like a 500/1000 from the same vendor.

https://www.chefknivestogo.com/kapswagy21.html

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