Knive choices

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Joined Dec 11, 2017
hey I’m about to start my second year and want to get a bigger sharper chef knife. Atm iv got a 21cm Victorinox, it’s got a polyester grip which I like. I kinda pinch the knife when I use it so I’m looking for something to be comfurtable and light. Iv tried Swiss and german knives already and want to try Japanese knives next can anyone give me some good Japanese knives I can try. I was gonna invest in something like this https://www.chuboknives.com/products/karaku-aogami-gyutou-240mm#.Wi1BKWh_XYX
I keep all my knives in the best condition and sharpen in a stone once a week but with something like that I imagine I will have to use the stone more to keep it sharp would you agree?
 
2,852
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Joined Nov 15, 2012
Hi Dan and welcome to chef talk.

I'll mention that your Vic, which will be relegated to a beater sort of knife I guess, would be nicer if you took a dremel with small sanding drum to it and ground out space for your thumb to fit more naturally in. Vics are already reasonably thin at the edge, but thickish at the tip. You could take the very tip down a little ways back with a course stone and not too much trouble, but ideally you'd have use of a belt sander and put in distal taper up to 3.5" back. All right, all right, enough project stuff.

As a professional you already have some ideas of what you want, so just as a starter to get some feedback from you:

For a professional living in the States Geshin Uraku and Geshin Gonbei lines are good choices. If you've got more money it's hard to beat the Geshin Kagero as a great cutter that really has edge retention. So let us know what you think of these knives, what they have or what you'd like more/different of.
 
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Joined Dec 11, 2017
The GeshinGonbei is definitely to my liking. Now with Damascus steel what sort of up keep an I looking at, I sharpen my knives at least once a week on my days off. Should I bother with a honing rod and purely relie on the stone?
 
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Joined Nov 15, 2012
I wouldn't worry at all about keeping the appearance of damascus, but if you must you can take out scratches and leave a reasonable matt finish with a 6K stone.

Around here a fine ceramic rod is considered only as an expedient for use in professional kitchens, a couple few stropping strokes on a fine stone is preferable. With the 19C27 steel (courser grain than AUS-10 but better edge retention) of the damascus Gonbei I would think you should easily be able to get through a whole week with just touch-ups, any sharpening needed after that should be minimal.
 
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Joined Nov 15, 2012
"Sharp" is something that should be defined at least a little here. For me "initial" sharp is gone when I can no longer mince herbs effortlessly, the knife no longer just falls thru, I actually have to make some little effort. In a pro environment with a knife like the Gonbei you mentioned initial sharp I'm guessing would last 1/2 to 1 hour of continuous prep. What's left after that would probably satisfy most chefs for the rest of the week without any touch up, and even much more.
 
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Joined May 29, 2013
In looking at the Japanese Knife Imports web site, I'm seeing that the only Gesshin Gombei hammered damascus available (i.e., not sold out) is the 240 mm sujihiki. Is that the knife you're looking at?

I have to confess right off that I am definitely not a fan of damascus. Once scratched up, you need to polish out the scratches (which also polishes out the damascus highlighting), then you need to re-etch the blade with acid to re-highlight the damascus, then re-sharpen the edge. That's a lot of work, just to make the blade "look good".

GS
 
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Japanese knives always get sold out, the ones in demand anyway. Call Jon and he can usually give you a good idea when the next shipment is coming. Oh, but unfortunately this is Christmas season, better call and reserve if you have your mind on this one or most any other small production/desirable knife. It's just part of the game.

As to the damascus, again you don't have to keep it in factory shape, a 6K stone finish looks fine enough, etching is optional. I never etched the one shun I have and you can still see the pattern just fine. At least these knives don't have crappy decals like Shun and Myabi, and non-hammered ones come with an embossed Kanji [in place of the decal].
 
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