Nakiri or Usuba better for me?

Discussion in 'Cooking Knife Reviews' started by celbrise, May 13, 2017.

  1. celbrise

    celbrise

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    My chef has been complaining that our lettuce has been turning brown and suspects that it's because of my knife. i use a 10inch kiritsuke gyoto by shun the blue steel one. it is pretty heavy which could be the cause but i don't think it is. im looking to get a nakiri or usuba for cutting vegetables at work and was wondering which one would be best for me. i read that usuba's are single bevel and nakiri's are double bevel which is the only difference and im not a pro nor have used a single bevel knife before. 

    i was also wondering why these knives are so short i see them at like 5-6inches usually.

    any recommendations on the knife as well? im not a huge fan of shun i think they are over priced only reason i got it was because the other knives i was looking at were more expensive or shorter in length then my previous knife. im looking for a comfortable wooden handle don't know much about metal types as well besides that some rust easily and need to be oiled. 
     
  2. foody518

    foody518

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    How are you sharpening?

    You haven't listed a prepping task that really requires an usuba

    Some wooden handles should be periodically oiled as well

    To me, this thread and the couple of others you've opened sound more like a sharpening problem (dull or too thick), maybe a wrong knife for the task problem, but going down to a 6-7 inch knife doesn't really seem like the optimal choice.

    Why not a regular well-ground chefs knife?

    Give a call to the guys at Japanese Knife Imports and talk about your prep needs, sharpening, and budget
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2017
  3. mike9

    mike9

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    Usubas are thicker than nakiris since they are single bevel - (think stubby yanagiba, or square deba).  I doubt the blue steel is turning the lettuce brown that's usually a reactive cladding issue.  Dull blade might help it along since you would be crushing the fibers and not slicing them cleanly.  How long is the product hanging around after prep?
     
  4. celbrise

    celbrise

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    i used to sharped on a 1000 grit stone to practice/learn since im new but then my head chef got kept saying my knife wasn't sharp and to use the generic hand held knife sharpeners at our job where you just slide the knife on it to sharpen it so i used that instead for a while. my knife is also noticeably thicker then the ones they are using. i am not sure what knife they use but it's really thin and light. looks like one of those cheap chef knives you buy at like wal mart or something.

    i don't really have an issue cutting anything it's just that the weight hurts my wrist when i have to prep a lot of vegetables and he always assumes that the lettuce turns brown because of my knife. even though sometimes when they cut it the next day it turns brown. 

    i also want to add a new knife to my collection. i used to work at a japanese restaurant where they prepped a lot of vegetables by hand every day. was thinking of a vegetable knife as i already got my kiritsuke knife just last year but am open to any either a nakiri or another gyuto knife and maybe get more coarse grinding stone to make it easier on the grinding when sharpening and maybe smooth it out with the 1000grit and get a polishing stone maybe. i do it by hand without a guide for practice but i am also thinking of getting a guide. it was 20 degrees angle but i've screwed up the angle by now. 
     
  5. foody518

    foody518

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    What are you looking to spend - knives and sharpening supplies?

    What minimum/maximum length are you needing? (to process the lettuce cleanly in one stroke and also to not hit your knife against the wall/back of sink)

    Thick plus pull-through sounds like not the best choice.
     

    This guy is less than 5 ounces https://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/products/gesshin-stainless-210mm-gyuto

    So is the Gesshin Ginga stainless gyuto https://www.japaneseknifeimports.co...oducts/gesshin-ginga-210mm-stainless-wa-gyuto

    Getting hung up on angles is missing the point of what sharpening does for you - it's not just setting a primary bevel that makes sense for your usage (combination of performance and durability), but it's also sharpening such that you maintain the thinness behind the edge over time by also removing metal above the very edge, among other things.
     
  6. celbrise

    celbrise

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    i am looking for both another knife as well as sharpening supplies. right now either a gyuto to to add to the collection or a nakiri for cutting vegetables when needed when i switch jobs that require more vegetable prep, since my current job doesn't prep all too much vegetables im thinking of another gyuto.

    length wise i am more accustomed to 10in, worked with 8in for a few years and it feels way to short for most tasks i do. the sink isn't a huge issue anymore as i now prep inside of the kitchen not at the bar so preferably 10inchs.

    price range- max range is $600 right now. 

    i am looking at CKTG and i see a few that spark my interest http://www.chefknivestogo.com/makugy27.html

    http://www.chefknivestogo.com/mihobl2gy27.html

    http://www.chefknivestogo.com/tastclgyex.html

    im basically looking at learning about my knives and how to care for them more properly because as of right now of course you can tell i don't know shet about knives or how to care for them. do you think any of the ones i listed would suit me well? 
     
  7. celbrise

    celbrise

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    length wise im looking at 10 inches. worked with 8 for a few years and it felt way too small for the tasks i do. price range is about $600 right now on a knife, supplies no budget really im looking to properly care for my knives and learn more about them as much as possible as you can tell i don't know shet about knife up keep. 

    right now im looking on CKTG and saw 3 that interest me Takeda stainless clad 270mm, Mizuno Hontanren Blue#2 270mm, and Masakage Kumo 270mm.

    Would you recommend any of these to me? 

    i figure i should invest in a gyuto rather then a nakiri at this point as you are probably correct that my knife isn't sharp thus causing the issue so buying a nakiri wouldn't fix the problem if that too isn't sharp. i wouldn't mind using a 240mm knife but 210mm idk. if you have any other suggestion that are on CKTG let me know. couldn't find the weight of my current knife but it feels like it weighs as much as a damn cleaver imo. 
     
  8. foody518

    foody518

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    I would *not* recommend going anywhere near blowing $600 on a knife until you can for sure have the sharpening to back up what that stuff deserves (easily and clearly outdo any pull-through, be happy with the cutting performance of your knife and a little scared of your edges, as a start). 

    Putting another 50-$100+ on stones plus flattening device, sure

    I'd suggest something that

    -Isn't a particularly idiosyncratic knife, as the Takeda knives tend to be (profile, height, aesthetic, grind)

    -Has useful profile (the tip is usable, you're happy with the flat area, and you can work with the transition from tip to belly to flat), or one you've felt very in tune with previously

    -Easier upkeep maybe, this time around (stain resistance and ease of sharpening and thinning over time)

    -Is a good value cutter. Maybe pay for performance not looks this time around to ensure you've got a damn good cutter as first priority. As an example, In stainless clad carbon core, Itinomonn V2 knives have this place for me for having excellent cutting performance relative to their price (and the sometimes possibility of getting one on sale/discount).

    -Since you're doing lettuce, you could just go laser thin and keep a nice keen edge for super easy clean cuts. Again, have a look at the Ginga https://www.japaneseknifeimports.co...oducts/gesshin-ginga-240mm-stainless-wa-gyuto

    -The good stuff you can find in the $200-350 range for a 240mm gyuto is probably overkill-good for your prep needs

    Yes to continuing to work on the sharpening

    Yes to getting a finer grit stone to finish on at some point, lettuce probably doesn't benefit from a more toothy ragged edge

    You should really give a call to the guys at Japanese Knife Imports and discuss your needs
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2017
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  9. celbrise

    celbrise

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    thanks for the help. i think i might go with your suggestion with that genji knife. i see they carry one in white steel #2 and stainless steel and was wondering what is the difference between the 2 metals? both are the same price but im guessing the stainless steel is easier to keep? my current knife gets rusted easily and forms a patina but i don't know much about patina's all i know is it's supposed to be good so i've heard. which of the metals would you suggest and what grit stones do you suggest for sharpening and smoothing out/polishing and do you suggest a sharpening guide at first then free hand or should i just start free hand? i can get my knife sharp on my wet stone but at the cost of grinding off too much metal 
     
  10. rick alan

    rick alan

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    Sounds like your co-workers are using cheap NSF knives, perhaps something like Fibrox or Wusthof Pro, maybe even the real cheap generics.  Blue 2 will certainly take a better edge than these, along with most knives you find in a typical pro kitchen.

    Stainless is better if you cut a lot of acid foods like tomatoes and onions.  If not then stainless clad carbon will be fine. And keep in mind that Blue 2 is less reactive than pure and low-alloy carbons.

    That said I believe that what you need is not necessarily a new knife, but to get your Kiritsuke thinned, and for goodness sakes do not use a pull-thru on it afterwards.

    Like foody518 said, thick is not good.  You might just send your knife to Jon at JKI for thinning (not super-thin though maybe) and have him recommend a fine stone for you, to go along with a 400 grit and diamond flattening plate.  And make yourself some angle wedges using a protractor and card stock, harden with superglue, this will give you the visual reference you need.  Sharpen to about 10deg/side then microbevel to 20.  A cheap fine stone like the Niniwa 6K would be good to take to work with you for touchups, a few stropping strokes will bring your edge back like new.

    That being said something like the Ginga would be a real nice addition for you, carbon or stainless, if you know how not to abuse real thin edges.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2017
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  11. millionsknives

    millionsknives

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    One problem is that your knife is dull and that's why you're having wrist problems. This is solved by sharpening. No two ways about it, you need to learn to sharpen to get the most out of good knives. Pull through doesn't create and refine a clean bevel so much as rip metal out and leave a very rudimentary edge. On harder steels and thinner edges it is a big problem.

    I think in another of your three threads asking about nakiri you said your prep space is limited and your 10" kiritsuke is too long. IMO nakiri is too short for lettuce.

    My recommendations are either
    - a 210mm gyuto, and btw this is a crazy good price for a nice thin one https://www.japaneseknifeimports.co...ecials/products/gesshin-stainless-210mm-gyuto
    - chinese cleaver

    I use chinese cleavers for almost everything and they have the same flat spot as a 270mm but they are much more compact. It would help in the tight quarters but you need to keep it sharp sharp sharp and learn to let the weight do the work. Once you're used to it, it's very hard to go back to a normal chefs knife shape. The bench scraper and garlic smashing functions can't be beat. And the knuckle clearance mmmm. Suien VC can be found for $160 new or even less used.
     
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  12. foody518

    foody518

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    I figured in your case go stainless this time and get a few more other variables about your preferences nailed down without thinking about reactivity

    Free hand. The guides don't know you and your performance and durability needs.

    Learn the burr method of sharpening so you have one approach to understanding when you're done.
     
  13. celbrise

    celbrise

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    thanks for all the help i ened up buying the ginga and it came in today will try out that thrust motion for cutting as currently i do a lot of rocking and scraping stuff off the board with my knife. will also look into buying more sharpening tools and practicing on sharpening more frequently. 
     
  14. foody518

    foody518

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    Enjoy the new knife! 

    Avoid scraping with the edge side please, unless you want to speed up the time to your next sharpening :) 
     
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  15. celbrise

    celbrise

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    yea john talked to me over the phone really nice company imo thanks for refering me to them. i have yet to use it though never used a knife with a wa handle before so idk how to care for it. if you know how let me know in my other thread i am having a hard time finding any information on care for it. only see video's showing how to remove them, make them, and just some basic information of what a wa handle is. saw one guy oiling it but thats about it he didn't talk much about how often to oil and why and all that.
     
  16. foody518

    foody518

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    If you use it with wet hands you might raise the grain of the knife (it feels hairy)

    I like mine on the smoother side so will do a little bit of light sanding then oil if/when that happens. Oil to saturate the wood so that it does that less. But it's all about your preference
     
  17. celbrise

    celbrise

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    so it is perfectly fine to use it when wet and get it wet then? and basically oil and sand it went it gets that hairy texture? what kind of oil do i use? i hear about this "tung Oil" never used that and i hear mineral oil. any specific brands or which of the 2 you'd recommend?

    also since i just got the knife do i have to oil the handle before use or is it good to go? it feels like it has already been oiled but then again idk it does have that wood texture 
     
  18. foody518

    foody518

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    Honestly, I just try to dry my hand off before picking up the knife. I don't like sanding handles (micromesh or medium - finer grit sandpaper) if I don't need to. And I start oiling the handles from the start so that it has some water resistance. But as I mentioned before - my bias is from liking a smoother handle and not liking inconsistency of spots of smooth and spots where there's been raised grain from moisture absorption. You can leave the wood handle with a raised grain even after oiling it. It's all going to come down to your preference on how you like the feel and if you want to do anything to it

    I use board oil or board conditioner - it's basically just food grade mineral oil or mineral oil + beeswax

    I'd suggest not leaving the handle wet or absorbing water continuously.

    Same treatment as you'd want for a nice wood board

    Use with a dry hand and you won't get the raised grains and it's good to go :) Jon's knives I've purchased with the magnolia wood handles haven't been as raw and finicky as some others 
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2017
  19. celbrise

    celbrise

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    thanks i think i will just hold off on using it for today try to find some oil tomorrow and give it maybe 1 coat then use it on friday. where can i buy mineral oil in store? i live in Hawaii so i don't know if drug stores here will even carry them. i was thinking home depot or like a hardware store but not to sure if they carry mineral oil. 
     
  20. jbroida

    jbroida

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    drug stores carry it out there... its in the laxitive section :)  (totally serious though)