Jr. Sous looking to start his knife roll/collection

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Joined Apr 30, 2017
Since the start of my career I've used the house provided cheap knives(Nella here in Canada).  However lately I've been moonlighting with a few co-workers Japanese knives and some popular mass produced Shuns and Globals.  The Japanese destroy Globals and Shuns and its not even close...and I can't even bring myself to go back to the Nella knives after being spoiled the last couple of weeks.

That being said I'd like to start piecing together a set of knives that I will use frequently at work and home...will hold up over time (keep a great edge), and most of all, fits hand and cutting style. I'm going to be using these knives for long hours of prep every day and hand excessive hand fatigue should be something to avoid, if possible.

Looking for:

Chef Knife 8"+

Petty 5-6"

Slicer

possible stainless 6-7" for on the line, in tight prep area situations and that my wife can use at home ;)

I need a workhorse that tears through prep of stuff like turnips,sweet potatoes, potatoes, large cabbage

Also for more delicate work involving peppers, beets, fruit, herbs, lettuce

some butchery of smaller birds, fish and meat

and finally a nice slicer for meats during long table service for customers, as we slice roasts at the head of the table.

Don't want to spend north of $250 on each knife.

Thanks
 
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Joined Aug 6, 2015
Hi @Split-finger, welcome to Cheftalk

How did you feel about the fit of the coworkers' Japanese knives you've used (hand fit and cutting style?)

$250 CAD or USD?

Are both western handles and wa-handles (Japanese) both okay?

Depending on where you are in Canada, might try to see if it's a viable option to visit Knifewear or Paul's Finest to check out some Japanese knives in person

Do you have sharpening equipment for the new purchase?
 
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Joined Apr 30, 2017
Thanks for the reply.
Loved the co-workers Sanki Takayuki Grand Chef 5" petty , but wasn't comfortable with the 8" doing harder veg prep, turnips, sweet potato, squash etc.
I've visited both those sites you have mentioned.
And yes, 250 Canadian.
These will be my tools for heavy use at work. But I always want/need to learn to care for them as well
 
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There are countless threads here on various knives, manufacturers and every detail you can imagine. So a bit of reading will provide plenty of info. 

     Personally, I have decided I prefer Sabatier high carbon knives and a Norton tri-stone for sharpening. But that is after many years of buying various knives. So while I encourage you to educate yourself on all the possibilities out there, you should remember that the next knife you buy won't be the last knife you buy.

     A lot of it comes down to what you enjoy using on a daily basis; how it fits in your hand, how you like the profile, ease or not of sharpening, and other factors. When you decide on a particular knife, look for the opportunity to hold it in your hand to make sure the weight and handle are something you like. 

And last but not least, when taking in to account all the different factors, price is often no guarantee that it is the right knife for you. So don't overlook a knife simply because it seems inexpensive in comparison. 
 
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Did you get a feel for the Haruyuki SRS15 when at Knifewear? What did you think of it?

Western handles only, or are Japanese wa-handles okay as well?
 
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Didn't get out to try them as I've been busy. Searching online and reading some reviews I've come down to a few knives
GIHEI BLUE #2 GYUTO 240MM
ANRYU BLUE #2 HAMMERED GYUTO 240MM
Between these two for my fall and winter season with the heavy veg and prep

And maybe a Torijo DP 210 for line service
 
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Might consider going thinner overall for large dense root veg, gourds+melons, and the like. Some of the more rough forged stuff stays pretty thick at the spine, and the wide bevels, while tending to promote decent food release, can cause wedging in stuff like that
 
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Tojiro DP 210mm is a solid knife. With a small bit of thinning behind the edge you can really take the performance to another level :)



This is about where I hit on the blade while thinning for a while on a coarse stone. Refinished with sandpaper afterwards due to vanity :3

Quite noticeable performance increase after doing this
 
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I need something that will handle a case of sweet potatoes. We do hand cut fries all year and guess who gets to cut them. Lol
Heading into summer it's easier stuff like zucchini, peppers, asparagus, beans, tomatoes, fruit etc. Just the potato and sweet potato fries (2 16L pales every couple of days)
Once winter rolls around and the veg transitions obviously to harder root veg + the fries. So naturally I was thinking of a more robust knife to handle that work.
Any suggestions for the summer knife and winter knife? Or just one good one that will fit both seasons. Also this will be my first true Japense knife. To care for, to sharpen on a stone. I feel that once I spend the summer using and caring for the knife THEN I can start thinking about prettys, and some other speciality knives.
 
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Again it feels like there's 2 ways to go on this

- thick and robust to power through the thing, set a conservative edge to minimize wear  

- or, so thin behind the edge you just go straight through the stuff

I thinned my Tojiro because it was wedging more than I liked on thick dense stuff, felt like the food was just squeezing the blade as it was making the cut. Now it breezes through carrots and is pretty respectable on sweet potatoes too
 
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Torijo is definitely on the radar. Just wish someone had one around here that I could look at get a feel for..
 
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Torijo is definitely on the radar. Just wish someone had one around here that I could look at get a feel for..
Knifewear has Tojiro DP, if you get a chance to make a trip there. And I still think the specs on something like the Haruyuki SRS15 would be good for your winter veg prep requirements
 
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Lots to think about. Definitely a purchase I don't want to rush into, even though I'm itching to get a knife.
I haven't even thought about stones yet either. Oye!
 
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As a visual example of the very thin behind the edge knife way to go about things

 
 
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For sweet potatoes and root veg check out the Anryu Blue #2 Hammered Gyuto.  It is a highly praised destroyer of dense veg items.
 
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