How did I end up down this rabbit hole???

Discussion in 'Cooking Knife Reviews' started by Jazzled, Nov 12, 2017.

  1. Jazzled

    Jazzled

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    Hey guys :emoji_wine_glass::emoji_wine_glass::emoji_wine_glass:

    First of all, thank you very much for all the info you’ve shared on your forum. So this post was born when I broke our cheap 6” Cuisinart vegetable knife. It was meant to be easy: go to the knife store and buy a new replacement, instead, I went to a Japanese knife store, looked at some knives and decided to consult Google and YouTube. Fast forward many hours later and many nights twitching in sleep, I’m very deep down a rabbit hole and lost in a myriad of options I never knew I had!

    Currently I have 2 knives worth mentioning: 20cm Wusthof Grand Prix 2 and an 18cm Global G5 vegetable chopper. I really love this last knife as it is light, sharp, keeps a good edge, cuts hard vegetables with ease, has a wide blade which makes me “feel safe” while chopping , good for scooping up chopped veggies and feels good in my hand. I consider myself a good home cook and would now like to purchase a sharpening stone set and two new knives. I have to admit being dazzled at first by the Damascus look of the Shun, although it didn’t take me long on this forum to change my mind.

    As I’m a new J-knife user I am going to follow your advice and start off with an inexpensive Japanese blade and practice sharpening by using stones. This brings me to 3 questions though:

    1. Do any of you have a recommendation for a nice stone set? I recently saw a video online where a guy was using a 3-in-1 set. It had a plastic base with a V-shape body while the stones were contained in a triangular shaped mold. The stones could be changed by simply removing the assembly from the body and turning it around to either a finer or courser stone. I don’t want to build my own base and would rather prefer a finished product.

    2. Any recommendations on a good value for money 5” J-blade? It’ll be a knife a use a lot and something I would like to fall in love with. I will try to give as much info as possible as to my preferences: sharp, thin and hard blade which keeps a good edge, Wa (octagon or oval, like my Global) in dark Rosewood or similar looking handle, Santoku, price – up to $150. I have large hands, right-handed, use pinch grip and slicing motion when chopping.

    3. Any recommendations on a good value for money J-blade chef’s knife? I was originally thinking of getting the 8” Victorianox Fibrox Chef’s knife to start off with, although it seems that for not too much more I can get a J-blade like the MAC, Tojiro DP, Fujiwara FKM or Suisin Gyutou instead. Again, I’m looking for something which would be a good intro into the world of Japanese blades and something which will be a pleasure to work with. Price range of up to $150, although I’d be up for spending more on something like a Masamoto 240mm Gyuto (or similar) if it is really worth it for a beginner knife. For this one I wouldn't mind the Western type Yo handle.

    Thanks for taking the time reading my posts and apologies for all the questions. I do feel though that this is the place where I would be getting good advice :)
     
  2. dave kinogie

    dave kinogie

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    Quick thoughts and answer, Tojiro's are an awesome and relatively inexpensive entry into J-blades.
     
  3. dave kinogie

    dave kinogie

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    Also, would you be willing to go high carbon?

    If so, a Kochi Petty is a GREAT blade for the money imho.
     
  4. dave kinogie

    dave kinogie

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    A King combo stone is a good starter stone as well. Something like a 1000/6000, or a 1000/4000. They'll do the job just fine, but they will dish pretty quickly. You can get them cheap on Amazon.
     
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  5. Jazzled

    Jazzled

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    Hello Dave thank you for your replies :). I would totally be up to, and caring, for a carbon knife as I have a Sami Puuko which I love very much. What I'm looking for overall is a knife which feels good and would be a joy to use in the kitchen.
     
  6. dave kinogie

    dave kinogie

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    I have to say, if you're willing to spend a decent amount of money and want to jump directly into something pretty high end, the Masakage Koishi's seem to be on sale right now on CKTG. They are absolutely fantastic knives. I own a 210 in this line and it is far and away my favorite gyuto I've ever owned or used including some knives such as Tojiro DP's, Kohetsu Blue 2, Sukenari Ginsan, Ikeda AS KS, Masamoto KS, Shun's and a number of others.

    It does occasionally have some food release issues, the handle needs some sanding, but none the less, it's a knife that always brings a smile to my face and is good at just about anything.
     
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  7. Jazzled

    Jazzled

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    Lol, so we're going whole hog here eh?!:smokin Well I have to admit that I have been tempted by the Takeda when I was visiting the J-knife shop but decided that I needed to learn more before splashing out. I don't mind spending money on a good knife as I know I would love to use it.

    Maybe a good game-plan would be for me to buy a cheaper 150mm knife and then splash out on a 210mm+ chef's knife. I could practice sharpening on my Wusthof and Global until I'm happy to sharpen the Masakage (or *insert another recommended knife by another forum member*)
     
  8. millionsknives

    millionsknives

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    Dave is right on everything. I will add

    1) bigger knives are easier to learn freehand sharpening on. Easier to hold a consistent angle.

    2) My best cutting knife isnt hundreds of dollars. Its a really thin carbon steel small chinese cleaver. https://m.aliexpress.com/amp/item/32772849802.html

    No joke it is up there with gyutos that are hundreds of dollars in the 'joy of cutting' metric. Pick that up and learn to sharpen, it is carbon steel. You might get into chinese cleavers and pick up a full size 220mm one (there are japanese made high quality ones in this shape too)
     
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  9. brianshaw

    brianshaw

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    Similar thought here. My inexpensive American carbon steel Forgecraft knives cut as well as any most other knives.

    If you want a Japanese knife you’ll certainly get a lot of opinion and suggestions here. If you want to cut food for cooking... then there are other options you might consider.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017
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  10. dave kinogie

    dave kinogie

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    So a couple things.

    1. It's a great idea to get something modest right now and a stone and eventually buy something expensive down the line.

    2. But, as millionsknives said, I agree, it will be easier to learn on something like at least a 180mm Gyuto then a much smaller and shorter Petty. Much easier to learn consistent angle holding on a taller, easier to balance blade.

    3. Carbon knives are easier to sharpen then stainless in general, especially white steels and Swedish steels. Some knives are notoriously difficult to sharpen, especially for a beginner. VG10 is harder to get right, especially Shun's for example.

    4. To expound on that, there is nothing wrong with getting a cheaper entry level knife, but I'd avoid certain ones. For example, Tojiro DP's are incredible value for the money, but their ITK series imho are junk. Bad fit and finish, blades are absurdly reactive and smell and stain as they are in use and get wet. You can get a nice carbon blade for similar money, but I'd avoid those like the plague.

    5. Continue doing your research on here, but remember in this community, it's easy to eventually sell your blades to others without losing a ton of money off the purchase price, so don't be scared to take the plunge and just order something as long as you can afford it. Find a nice carbon blade for $75 to $130 or something like that and unless you destroy it through misuse, you can always recoup maybe 80% if what you paid for it if it's not your cup of tea or you "outgrow" it.

    6. Checkout the classified section on here and CKTG. The Buy/Sell/Trade board on KKF, there are often some great deals and interesting knives on all these sites. Me personally, a majority of the knives I own or have owned were purchased or traded for on all 3 of these sites.

    7. Have fun. A knife that cost $90 can often be you just as much joy and 90% of the real world functionality as one which cost $370.
     
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  11. Jazzled

    Jazzled

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    Hello millionknives and thanks for your reply. That is a good tip and I will most likely purchase one of those cleavers as I don't currently have one. That cleaver must make quick work of a chicken carcass I take? A while back a traveled through Asia and saw many cooks using cleavers for cutting up pretty much everything. Surprised that I haven't actually bought one as yet.
    Hello Brian and thanks also for your input. I most definitely, most certainly, with great excitement and eagerness, like to purchase a Japanese knife! Let me paint you a picture: Many times I like to plan a themed meal i.e. Indian curry, put on some Bollywood dance music from YouTube, open a beer and start roasting and grinding spices while doing a bad white-boy dance. I like to cook, like tasty food, like to see others enjoying it as well and I would very much like to have Japanese knife which feels, and looks (not overly important) good in my hand. In short, a knife which will put a smile on my face. Do you maybe have a recommendation?
    Thanks again Dave. This has been the overall good advice I have seen here on the forums. My thoughts are currently to buy the cleaver millionsknives recommended, the Kochi you recommended and then something like a MAC or Tojiro DP (or similar entry level J-knife). I've seen the Tojiro DP mentioned many times before although I really don't like the look of the Western handle. I would much rather have a Wa type handle although understand that I might have to go Yo for the sake of learning. As you mentioned, I could always upgrade later.
    Good tip thanks. I haven't thought of that.
     
  12. millionsknives

    millionsknives

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    The cleaver I linked is a thin vegatable cleaver. Veg, boneless meats only. You should use a boning knife (pointy) to go around joints or a heavy meat cleaver to chop through bones.

    Instead of getting 3 chef knives consider filling out your butchering tools to save your main knife from that type of work. You can learn to sharpen just as well on those.
     
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  13. rick alan

    rick alan

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    Second that for Millions. Relatively cheap butchery, and general kitchen knives like the Vic Fibrox, can handle the rugged tasks. And a good knife that takes and holds a keen edge well should be dedicated to fine cutting. In fact consider having one for only the lightest board contact, and another for more vigorous chopping.
     
  14. Jazzled

    Jazzled

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    Millions and Rick thanks again for your replies. So I had a random yet productive afternoon. Thought I'd take a quick look on Craigslist and managed to find a MAC 8" Professional Chef's knife for $95CAD (around $75US) brand new! The woman had two knives given to her as presents and only needed one. She kept the Shun and I was very lucky to walk away with the MAC! I will use this knife for my fine slicing while using my Global and/or Wusthof as "rugged" knives. Netting this bargain will allow me to spend more money on stones instead.

    Can any of you recommend a good set of stones that's not going to wear too quickly? The King combo set seems ok, although I feel that if I spend a little more I could get something that is going to last longer. I will definitely be on the lookout for a good Japanese knife in the future
     
  15. rick alan

    rick alan

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    I don't feel a 6K finisher is too fine, and the Iminishi combo is a great deal fine to start you off.
    https://www.chefknivestogo.com/imtwosi1kst.html

    Set it on top of a wash cloth and piece of 2x4 and you're ready to go.

    For a course stone go 400

    That's a really great deal on the pro btw, congratulations.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
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  16. Jazzled

    Jazzled

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    Hey Rick thanks for that recommendation. I've been researching sharpening techniques and been especially interested in deburring. I'm thinking of building myself a 3x12" two-sided, paddle, leather strop and load the one side using Veritas honing compound. I will use this to maintain a good edge on my knives.

    The 400 stone you recommended will definitely come in handy to re-shape my old knives as I've been using both the wrong type of sharpener and angle. My current sharpener is a Warthog V-Sharp Classic 2, although it only sets down to 20 degrees at most. Using stones is the proper way and I have learnt a lot from this forum so big thumbs up to everyone!
     
  17. scott livesey

    scott livesey

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    for stones, I would get a norton crystolon coarse/ india fine 8"x 2", a Smith's 8"x 3" fine diamond, and a JewelStik 12"x 2" extra fine diamond. get a basic old hickory paring knife to practice on, good steel, easy to sharpen.
    on knives themselves. start here and watch both of these for backround
    for some ideas. a theme you hear in both is a comfortable handle, narrow (low angle edge) and a thin blade are the most important. find what fits your hand, my favorite knife probably won't work for you as I shaped the handle for people with large thin hands that have early arthritis. spine thickness should be 1/16 or 3/32 for a slicer. decide if you want sharp knives to cook with or pretty knives to show. a set of Old Hickory or Forgecraft will take a razor edge and work well for years.
     
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  18. Jazzled

    Jazzled

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    Hello Scott. I thought my post was dead long ago so have only seen your reply now. Thanks for your input!