Looking into getting a set of knives debating Japanese vs. German

Joined Jun 12, 2014
Hey all, I'm a working line cook who is debating purchasing my own set of knives.  I've used western knives me entire culinary career and im curious about Japanese knives. Any thoughts about which type is better/you prefer?
Joined Dec 6, 2012
please don't buy a set.

buy the knives you need instead……need a cleaver? get a cleaver. need a chefs knife? get a chefs knife.

try to try before you buy. hold the knife , see whether it is balanced, how it feels for you.

do you want light knives or heavy knives? matter of preference.

and the thing for japanese above german is that usually the japanese are better balanced.

plus they are sharpened in much different ways…..remain sharper longer. much thinner blade, suitable for finer jobs.

also, they are different metals so inform yourself on types of metals for knives ….most need more care than stainless.
Joined Dec 6, 2013
and the thing for japanese above german is that usually the japanese are better balanced.

plus they are sharpened in much different ways…..remain sharper longer. much thinner blade, suitable for finer jobs.
True, but they are also much more prone to damage when somebody uses them incorrectly. Even if the owner does, a co worker in a professional kitchen might just grab it for a second and mess it up. They also require someone who knows what he is doing when it comes to sharpening. Plus, you can't use a steel on them, you need a set of stones.
Joined Dec 2, 2013
I agree with Ordo, do a search. It really depends on what kind of knife you would like. Honestly I think it would be best to go to a knife or kitchen store so you can try different knifes. You don't know how any one knife is going to fit in your hand if you've never held it before. I took a chance though a few years ago and bought a Wustof Santoku (A popular German knife company that also makes Japanese styles). I love that knife. It is light weight and fits perfectly for me. I mainly use it to prep vegetables since it is very thin but end up using it quite often. 
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Joined Dec 3, 2010
Not sure the OP is even still following this, but the suggestion to search along with the very nice inclusion of a link was spot on for an answer.

Not that anyone prefers not to help with this question (it is in some form asked countless times) but rather that there is a wealth of information already available, and after you learn some of the basics etc your going to have much different and more precise inquiries.

I believe it is then (being after you have a basic understanding of the pro's and con's of both styles and some brand specific info) that we will be better able to help you find your needs just what your after so that you may then start figuring out just what is your best options or create a short list.

Remember that much of finding happiness in your decision on a new knife or knives is very dependant upon your use and personal preference. As an example the very knife previously mentioned as liked by another member is very similar to the one I had (Henckel vs Wusthof) that drove me to Japanese knives.

I know they are not identical, but close enough that you should be able to understand that we all have different preferences, and our likes, dislikes and ideas will change as we become more experienced.

That all said the main reason I would consider not owning an expensive knife in a commercial setting from any maker would be due to the amount of exposure to loss, and I don't care what caused it anymore than the name of the knife since your still out cash.

I will also offer that there are enough Japanese brands with prices in line with the popular German brands that I would recommend taking the time to compare so you don't miss out on an opportunity to experience exactly what so many rave about with j knives unless of course your eliminating both due to cost and plan on going with low cost low end commercial quality stuff.

I recently commented how a $4 knife can still work etc, and judging by the cuts I see in almost everything I get when I eat out these are very popular for sawing and crushing (that is what happens when you cut with a dull blade no? ).

Looking forward to your new questions ;)
Joined Jan 7, 2012
Personal preference, some claim that German/French knives are better, others prefer Japanese. I've used European style knives for the most of my career, but I just switched to Japanese a year ago. All my knives are MACs now, they have a line of knives with a similar shape to the classic European knives, but stay sharp almost the whole service. 
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