Looking to upgrade, this is whats important to me...what do you recommend

Discussion in 'Cooking Knife Reviews' started by gjoey66, Jun 8, 2017.

  1. gjoey66

    gjoey66

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    Ok, I've owned my first few sets of German and Japanese knives and I think I have a good handle of the features I'm looking for:

    Price: not too worried about this, I'm willing to make the investment

    Profile: I prefer straighter edge profile, like the traditional french knives

    Steel: I prioritize sharpness and holding an edge over strength...I'll most likely have them professionally sharpened 1-2 a year

    Thickness: I don't like overly thin or overly hefty knives...I guess I'm looking for something down the middle

    Use: 75% of the time I'm using my knives to cut fruits and vegetables, 25% meat and that's typically cooked

    Brand: I want quality not the latest fad or marketing trend...I'd prefer a company that's been making knives for generations

    Handle: I prefer Japanese style handles, I hold my knife more like a scalpel than a meat cleaver

    Knives: I'm looking for a paring knife, short and long utility knives, not sure I want a chef's knife as I rarely pull mine out of the drawer

    I'd appreciate any advise you can offer.

    thanks,

    Joe
     
  2. brianshaw

    brianshaw

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    Welcome to the forum and congrats on knowing what you prefer and want. Too often folks post first messages "wanting the best" or asking "what do I want". But I have to ask... have you yet read any postings here? Your question and desires are very common and asked often. The answer rarely changes. Mac or Torijo DP are the default recommendations. But welcome and hope you enjoy your new blades!
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2017
  3. gjoey66

    gjoey66

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    I spent a few days reading different threads and researching the recommendations, but always found 1 or 2 attributes that didn't quite fit.  The number 1 miss match seems to be most folks prefer to sharpen their own knives and I'd rather have a knife that can hold it's edge between professional sharpenings...also want razor sharp.
     
  4. brianshaw

    brianshaw

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    Most of the hard steel Japanese knives will hold their edge fairly well and for a reasonably long time if not abused or used, say, 10 hours per day. But sharpening needs to be done at some point. One can either do it yourself, or send it out to a trusted knife sharpener. If you are in a major city it might be possible to find a good place to do your sharpening.

    I'm sure you've read already about honing J-knives on fine stone in between sharpening to keep them razor sharp longer.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2017
  5. gjoey66

    gjoey66

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    I had not, that seems like a level of maintenance that I'd be willing to invest in
     
  6. brianshaw

    brianshaw

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    That is pretty easy. Surprisingly, one of the knife geeks here recently mentioned that he only needs to sharpen about annually. He hones on a fine stone and seems to cook a lot too. I'm sure he is very careful when using his knives, which may be very different from some folks who experience chipped blades, etc. And I know he really values a sharp blade!

    That's not too different from my experience, but I hone on a ceramic rod mostly.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2017
  7. kevpenbanc

    kevpenbanc

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    If edge retention is a desire, then a PM steel would probably be worth investigating.
    I have a number or R2/SG2 knives and like the steel a lot. SRS-15 is another option, among others.

    JKI have the Kagero range.
    Chubo knives have the Tanaka SG2/R2 range.
    The Takamura Hana are also worth investigating.
     
  8. kevpenbanc

    kevpenbanc

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    I should probably add that I have both the Tanaka R2 and Takamura Hana, both awesome knives.

    I have also just received a red handled Takamura from Chubo, a lot cheaper than the other 2, but still an awesome knife.
     
  9. foody518

    foody518

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    I Just Like Food
    Who will be your professional sharpener?
     
  10. gjoey66

    gjoey66

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    Who do you recommend, hadn't got that far. Did research in Fort Worth and couldn't find anyone that stood out...I assume there are easy mail in services?
     
  11. millionsknives

    millionsknives

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    That's the key isn't it?  I wouldn't let any 'pro' sharpeners in my area touch my knives because they are all hacks.  Just learn to sharpen your own.  In the time you take to pack a knife for shipping and go to the post office, I can sharpen 3-4 knives probably.
     
  12. brianshaw

    brianshaw

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    Actually not... easy to find mail order options. Nor is it easy to answer your question as currently stated.

    There are some and I once had good work from a mail order sharpener. Paid through the nose for shipping though.

    Where in the world are you? If in Los Angeles, for example, there may be 2 or 3 options to consider... depending on the type of knife. Fort Worth... I don't know that area or what any nearby cities may be able to offer. Are you willing to drive to Dallas (or beyond) to get knives sharpened?

    This is why there is such an emphasis on all knife forums about learning to sharpen. It's a matter of both being self-sufficient and also getting quality workmanship.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2017
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  13. foody518

    foody518

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    I don't know of anyone in your area off the top of my head. Not sure if I even have a default Texas recommendation either besides running into a competent hobbyist or chef or something like that. Did some googling and saw 'Texas Pride Sharpening'. No clue where they finish kitchen knives though, and it doesn't say online

    A rough price benchmark of minimum $10 for an 8 inch blade is where I'd be looking for a good service doing hand sharpening on stones. We're talking $100-200+ knives, right?

    If you don't sharpen and don't have a reliable, GREAT pro sharpener, I'm not sure you've really had prolonged experience with sharp knives...

    Out of state - Look at folks like Japanese Knife Imports, Coutelier NOLA, Japanese Knife Sharpening (Dave Martell), Bernal Cutlery, etc. Yes - the shipping back and forth would really start to add up after a few times. Enough to just buy stones to last over a decade...

    Edit - Serenity Knives in Houston might also be an option, though I don't know his style

    There's also this if you're going to be in Austin anytime soon... 
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2017
  14. rick alan

    rick alan

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    If you would only sharpen twice a year then nothing short of SRS-15 steel should be considered worth the investment, and preferably ZDP-189 (rather expensive).

    But with occasional touchups SRS-15 is a great choice, in particular the Geshin Kagero line.  Their 210 gyuto, rather short in height for a gyuto, would fit your needs very well. Blue Super would also work here.

    I can check to see what home-based competent sharpener might be in your area. Otherwise you might as well send out to Jon at Japanese Knife Imports, (source of the Kagero). He will tailor the grind to suite your particular needs.  His youtube vids will also show you all you need to know about sharpening.

    Of course if you would put a little more effort into sharpening then that opens up a world of possibilities.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2017
  15. playero

    playero

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    go to a knife show in Texas or around your area. there are good knife makers there. look for HHH or something similar. for sharpening knives if you don't want to do it go to some high end restaurant and they will point you to someone. other places you can look is etsy or ebay.
     
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  16. gjoey66

    gjoey66

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    Ok, I bought a bunch of Torijo DPs and I'm already regretting it.  They were somewhat sharp out of the box, but after cutting a single container of grape tomatoes the edge wouldn't cut through the skin easily.  The edges near the handle hadn't been polished and cut me twice.  Lastly, the handle is too close to the board on the slicing knives.  I won't be buying another knife without seeing and working with it in person.

    I tried my new sharpening stones as well, I'm going to need some practice...but I can see what you mean...it's quite rewarding.
     
  17. rick alan

    rick alan

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    gjoye, this is the "factory edge" you are complaining about.  You usually have to sharpen a knife several times before it really shows what it has, regardless of how much you spend.  Especially with an inexpensive knife like the Tojiro that likely comes with much of the burr left on the edge.  And slicers are not known for their knuckle clearance, you are not using them the way they are intended to be used if you are complaining about this.  Put your product near the edge of the board and all will be just fine.  F+F issues on inexpensive knifes are a rule and, well, that's actually one of the reasons sandpaper was invented and made so readily available.

    Learn how and you will enjoy your knives, you made a good purchase.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2017
  18. foody518

    foody518

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    If you ever visit San Antonio, Rodriguez Butcher Supply stocks quality knives. I don't know if they do sharpening though.

    Coarse sandpaper to round sharp edges on spine and choil

    Slicing knives run narrower by design and aren't typically used as your chopping on the board knife where knuckle clearance is an important factor.

    Judging a knife by its OOTB edge is a mistake IMO, considering you're buying the knife to last years and years. I didn't ever get to recommendations for knives in this thread, but would have only listed knives from sellers who also sharpen well and put on an initial edge for you. There's stuff with superb edge retention but delivered with too acute an edge for some users, and without having regular sharpening in the conception of how you maintain knives, you'd never be able to see that steel shine.
     
  19. gjoey66

    gjoey66

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    i also spoke with JKI, who also said that out of the box edge isn't normally spectacular.  I'll give it another go this week and see if i can get good enough on my stone.
     
  20. scott livesey

    scott livesey

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    I resemble that remark.  my knives are one piece, high hardness, high carbon steel with very low edge angle(about 7 degrees per side).  about every 6 to 8 weeks, the blade will get 3 or 4 passes per side on a 1600 grit diamond honing stone.  I don't try to cut bone or frozen food and always use a wood or HDPE cutting board.  

    for learning to sharpen, I recommend a 8" Norton coarse/fine, a bottle of mineral oil from pharmacy, and an Old Hickory slicer to practice on.