I know, let's talk about knives for a change (building a new kit and welcoming opinions)

Joined Jun 27, 2011
Hello all, hopefully the sarcasm was recognized in the title. Sometimes it can be hard to convey that digitally, but anyways:

Latley I've been reading up on on all sorts of tools but cutlery in particular. This is so much info to be had on here, shared from many perspectives and backgrounds. It's truly great stuff.

For some background, I am a garde manger who prepares tartare in many forms, cheese dishes, charcuterie, various salads and deserts. Currently, I have an 8-pc. Henckel Four Star set and they have been great for me up to this point as I figured out how to handle and treat a knife. But, I find myself needing to perform at a level that the Henckel's cannot support. Now I see why there is such a strong base of support for building a set that is tailored to your needs rather than springing for a pre-meditated arrangement from a manufacturer. In particular I have a difficult time cutting the 1/16-1/24 brunoise of onion my chef wants with anything in that set and having it come out as uniform as when I use either one of chef's knifes or another co-workers (I can only ask to borrow their knives so many times).

I recently purchased a Shun Premier 6" Chef's because it had the weight, rigidity, width, metal and comfort that I was looking for (plus I got a killer deal). While I know they are not held in the highest regard on this site I felt it to be a quality knife that stood very separate from the rest of the Shun lines. From my understanding, they are hand made and are authentically Damascus but I could be wrong on both accounts there. I am thinking I would like to add a 9.5-10" Chefs/Gyuto, a 9"+ bread knife, a set, or single, cheese knife/knives and maybe a slicer as well as a nakiri/usuba down the line. Oh, and a good set of shears & steel/stones

Here is what I am thinking so far:


MAC Pro 9 1/2" "Mighty" Chef's Knife  (I like the french profile and I heard these are thin and rigid)

Masamoto VG 240mm Gyuto  or 270mm  (I would love to be able to compare side by side but I already think 270 may be too big)

Ryusen Blazen 240mm Gyuto

Hattori HD 240mm Gyuto

Konosuke Stainless Wa-Gyuto 240mm (The handle on this could be totally hit or miss as I have either loved or hated all Wa handles I have handled thus far)


Open to suggestions on this. Doesn't have to be Japanese, but does have to be rigid. Also I wouldn't mind a little additional weight here. I am thinking maybe F. Dick 1905 or Henckel/Wusthof. Again, open to suggestions.


I cut any and all kind of cheeses from big wheels to small pyramids with textures and hardness varying throughout. The hard cheese are not as much of an issue, but when I am cutting a very delicate blue there is a lot of crumble produced (unless I heat my knife before every cut, but that is way too time-consuming) and these cheese are not cheap by any means. The most sucsess I have had thus far is my 6" serrated utility, but I can't break down a wheel with that. Again, opinions and suggestions very welcome here. 

Slicer & Nakiri/Usuba

This is going to be more for me at home as I have no need for these knives professionally yet. Not to say that day won't come in the next year or two, so it would be nice to have them for use at home and already "know" them when the time comes at work. But, no rush on either of these as I am not Mr. MoneyBags.


I was going to wait and see what the arsenal looked like before aquiring either but might as well start the discussion early. 

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