Need advice on purchasing a new japanese chef nife

Discussion in 'Cooking Knife Reviews' started by ex navycook, Sep 14, 2011.

  1. ex navycook

    ex navycook

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    Hello all, I am looking to buy a new chef knife. I was using an 8" Kikuichi knife that I loved for over three years. Unfortunately last week at my internship another intern used my knife without my knowledge used m beloved knife while I was out weeding the garden and some how broke it. I know that suckes so bad but i can't turn back time and she paid me what I bought it for. Again unfortunately i bought it for $80. that's not going to buy me another Kikuichi but that's life. So i was thinking if any one has used other Japanese knives like Masahiro etc not Shun, Mac or Global ( I don't really like those knives for several reasons) i would greatly appreciate advice on them. I use a soft pinch grip normally, sharpen my own knives ( have been doing so with great pride for about 8 years). I am thinking about getting another Kikiuchi but I thought this might be a good time to try some other knives around the same cost. Any help will be greatly appreciated
     
  2. iceman

    iceman

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    KG-6

    Gyuto 210mm 

    Total Length: 330mm   Blade Thickness: 2.2mm   Total Weight: 169g

    Special Price $90.00

    [​IMG]

    JCK Original   輝  KAGAYAKI Basic (ES) Series

    http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/KAGAYAKI.html

    OK. So I don't have all the experience of the real geeks here, but I think this fits your plan. I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'. And only because you're NAVY. 
     
  3. ex navycook

    ex navycook

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    Thanks IceMan this is a good recommendation from what i read about it and very affardable. Thank you
     
  4. iceman

    iceman

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    It'a all good my friend. Just wait until the regular standard knife geeks chime in. You'll have pages of good information in no time.
     
  5. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Fujiwara FKM or Tojiro DP are among the very best entry level, stainless, western-style, chef's knives. One of those is probably your best choice.

    The Misono Moly is excellent, better than either, but not as good a bargain as it once was. If you can afford the extra few bucks... as good a student knife as you can get. That said, it's now selling for roughly the same price as a MAC Pro which is an altogether better knife. Anyway, they're both probably out of your price range, so moving on...

    Sorry, but I can't recommend the Kagayaki Basic ES.

    The next series up from the Kagayaki Basic ES, the Kagayaki VG-10 ES, is better made, and an excellent value if you can live with VG-10's sometime chippiness; and as VG-10 goes the Kagayaki is not very chippy. FWIW, "Kagayaki" is not a manufacturer, it's JCK's house brand. The knives are made and put together "by committee" as the saying goes.

    If you're already a very good sharpener -- or know someone else who's very good with Japanese knives -- the Kagayaki CarboNext is a lot of value. The sharpening caveat is for real. The knives need more than edge, they need complete, take it from jump street profiling. Don't buy the "extra sharpness" service JCK is selling, ieveryone who has tried it for the Carbo-Next (and posted) has been disappointed. Angry in fact.

    Korin's house brand, Togiharu isn't the deal it used to be either, and they're only okay, not nearly as good as the Fujiwaras -- so no recommendation.

    Get a 24cm or 27cm, not 21cm. Get some decent stones and learn to sharpen really well.

    BDL

    PS. Curious as to what you don't like about MACs. Does it include MAC Pro? Please share.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2011
    gastrorgasmic1 likes this.
  6. wagstaff

    wagstaff

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    My own CarboNext might be atypical in a couple of regards.  With apologies in advance for redundancy -- the negative: there's a mild overgrind, which is probably not an issue but might be.  We'll see when I sharpen into the "dished" area a bit more. The positive: my knife didn't need a full-on reprofiling.  The edge was bad, even with the $12.00 extra "Extra Sharp" option.  The bevel was not even -- I don't mean asymmetrical, I mean it was not a consistent bevel on either side of the blade, individually.  BUT... it sharpened easily, it got "pretty" easily.  The knife is much easier to sharpen than it my stainless (Yoshihiro) gyuto.  This doesn't mean I like it more, because I don't... but I think it's a good steel to work on, even for a beginner -- or relative beginner -- for sharpening.  The knife is very thin without being laser-thin. 

    I might have had a less needy particular knife than most others, though -- I don't know. I'm not reporting a major-reprofile need, but I'm the only purchaser I've seen report an overgrind, so perhaps more problematic than others in that regard.

    I'd still recommend the Kagayaki CarboNext to anyone who has plans to sharpen their own knives, based on my experience.  It's got a very good, easily-sharpened steel for an entry-level knife, anyway, and once sharpened it's a good cutter.  I only wish I got a 270mm instead of 240mm.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2011
  7. iceman

    iceman

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    My recommendation was based completely on not being a knife geek like the rest of you guys. I was having conversation. That knife fit what was asked for, in my view. Would you admit though, that it "doesn't suck"?   A while ago I asked about "affordable to me" laser knives. That was one suggested to me. TY Trooper. 
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2011
  8. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Does the Kagayaki Basic suck? Depends what you're comparing it to. It's not as good as either the Fujiwara or the Tojiro, largely because the quality control isn't as good. Kagayakis run "iffy." In a horse race of entry level Japanese stainless knives it doesn't totally suck, but it's not among the best of breed either.

    Nor, by any stretch of the imagination, is it a laser. Whoever told you so was poorly informed himself and did you a disservice.

    I believe the request was for best knife near a certain price point, and the Kagayaki Basic isn't among them -- in my opinion, of course -- for reasons given in my earlier post, and here as well.

    BDL
     
  9. iceman

    iceman

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    LOL. I qualified everything I said. "I'm not a geek" and "I was just having conversation".  It's $90. Do you, from what you know about me, think I'll ever buy a $90 knife? Outside of that one(1) exception time when I just had to buy something, I don't think that will happen soon. I'm not all that happy I bought what I did, or spend the kinda money I did either but  sometimes though, a guys gotta do what a guys gotta do. 
     
  10. wagstaff

    wagstaff

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    You qualified just fine, IceMan, and got the discussion rolling, and brought out a knowledgeable opinion from someone who is familiar with the brand and the particular steel.  Altogether a success, nothing to apologize for.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2011
  11. gastrorgasmic1

    gastrorgasmic1

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    Thanks to everyone who has posted their suggestions, advice, and experience with professional knives on this excellent thread.  I wish I would have come across this site BEFORE I dropped a healthy chunk of change for my MacPro knife. sigh.

    Boar, you seem to like the MacPro knife, and so I'd like to ask you why you think it is a better knife than others?  The reason I ask is that I purchased the MacPro Chef's knife about 3 or 4 years ago, however, I feel as though it lost it's edge and became dull too quickly...after only about 6 to 8 months of mostly daily home use only.  Is that the norm?  

    Because it was the first good knife I've ever owned, I've babied that knife and always wash it by hand, dry it, and put it back into it's original box.  I don't cut bones or anything even remotely that dense, and yet, it doesn't seem to keep it's edge very long.  Because of the investment, and my naivete, I am scared to death of sharpening it myself for fear of ruining the knife's edge, and so I take it to a local guy who sharpens knives, scissors, etc.  I only chop on a wooden cutting board or an antibacterial white polypropylene cutting board.  To my knowledge, I've done everything right to take care of my knife.  Is it possible that I purchased a defective knife?  Or, that the person who is sharpening it doesn't know what he's doing? 

    I've considered purchasing a high quality whetstone and learning how to sharpen it myself.  Is it terribly difficult to do so?  And, if I choose to go that route, is it too easy to screw up my knife for good?  Also, is there a particular method or brand which you recommend?

    I'm sorry about all the dumb questions, however, I'm only an at-home cook (wannabe chef) with no professional training. 

    Any advice you can offer me is greatly appreciated.

    P.S.  Your screen name and avatar are brilliant, imho.  :- )

    Quote:
     
  12. iceman

    iceman

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    Shoot. I'm a professional. I use $10 knives. My 5-knife roll can be replaced for <$100. Don't apologize for your questions. We all like or dislike whatever, for whatever the reasons are. Asking questions means you're not dumb at all. I say goofy stuff all the time. I'm still here. Sharpening is just a learned skill. It's not rocket surgery. "6-8 months of daily use" is a lot of use I believe. Knives need to be sharpened much more regularly than that. Maybe the guy you're using is not so good, I don't know, but I've seen that before. 
    Until BDL comes back to give you more help (he's good for that), go watch the videos this guy gives. Entertain and educate yourself a little. 

    [​IMG]

    http://www.chefknivestogo.com/knife-sharpening-tutorials.html
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2011
  13. wagstaff

    wagstaff

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    6 months between sharpening seems like it's holding an edge for a long time, actually!

    Learning whetstones is not hard, but you don't do a great job until you put in some hours.  That or... there's another thread here which talks about the (and which) Chef's Choice machine, or using a pull-through and ceramic honing rod... each of which is less good than the preceding suggestion as far as getting a refined edge, but each of which has advantages in terms of ease/time and expense.

    The usual advice with Japanese waterstones is to start with the medium grit (1000-2000), because it's probably what you most need anyway and it's much more forgiving of mistakes than something rougher (i.e. lower grit) -- that is, the coarse stone removes more metal in fewer strokes, so you can hurt your knife if you haven't developed the ability to hold a more steady angle on the knife.  Coarses grit stones are for reprofiling the blade or faster thinning behind the edge, which you won't want to do right away.  Eventually, yeah.  And you'll want something higher.

    You might want to get the three-stone set (as a way of saving expense in the longer term) from CKTG. You'll want to figure out something about flattening, too.  There are some very current threads here that deal with all that, so I'll stop rather than repeat someone else's experience.  I'm a n00b sharpener and don't have the experience with a very wide variety of options for stones and methods... I like my set up just fine, but it's not what I'd recommend to someone else beginning.  Not the price-point decisions someone else should make.  IceMan is right -- it's not "rocket surgery" (which is a bizarrely useful phrase, from now on).

    But there are plenty of reasons to do something else, too.  Like find someone else who you're sure is a good sharpener, or buy a machine, or a jig set up, or.... etc.
     
  14. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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    I've used MACs exclusively for the past ten (10) years and I hone every time I use them and (BDL, close your eyes now) touch them up on the RollSharp once a day, maybe 5-10 strokes and they're as sharp or sharper than out of the box (OK, BDL, open your eyes now).

    I am not aware of any knife that can be used for six days, let alone six months without some form of maintenance for the cutting edge!
     
  15. lennyd

    lennyd

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    Gastorgasmic1

    It sounds like your just needing to touch up your edge more often, and that there is likely nothing wrong with the knife.

    I do not own a Mac, but the ones I do own with similar steel do go a while between sharpening, but not nearly 6 months.

    Plus the more you use them (and that poly board can speed up the process too) the more often they will need to be redone if you want to maintain a just sharpened edge. That just done edge is what I believe drives so many to just learn to maintain or sharpen themselves as it allows you to be able to do it as often and when you want.

    Actually I could not imagine going 6 months, and after about a month or two of light use there is a difference you can feel (still sharper than anything I have owned before at this point though) and it is back to the stones, but seldom do I wait that long.

    Thats just me, and I can be a little OCD at times, and honestly just really love how the knife feels when the edge is in top sharpness.
     
  16. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Sorry I missed your post and didn't get back to you sooner.

    It's obviously time for me to start posting to my blog again and direct people there for this sort of basic question. I get it a lot.

    With nearly every knife, regular sharpening is a fact of life. An important... no... critical fact of life. I try to make that crystal clear several times in every "which chef's knife should I buy" question to which I respond. High end knives -- expressly including MAC Pro -- are not immune to the need. If anything, they exhibit the difference between sharp and dull more clearly than their less-good brethren.

    That brings us back to you. Yes, you need to sharpen your knife a lot more often. If you're a home user who cooks nearly every night and strongly relies on his chef knife for prep, your sharpening schedule should be in the neighborhood of every 8 weeks, and no less than every 12.

    Pete gives me a hard time about using a Rollsharp as though I disapprove, which I don't. MAC also recommends it. I'm certainly not against them. They're effective without too much effort, and not actually harmful which puts them among the best single-stage pull throughs. They're also set at an Asian angle. But I don't think it -- or any single stage pull through -- will get most of the goodness out of a MAC Pro.

    I'll be more than happy to discuss which of several sharpening methods will work best for you if you want.

    Knife edges go out of true -- largely from impact. Impact is another fact of knife life; even for instance, from chopping on a good board. The way to correct this is on a rod hone, aka a "steel." I'm a big believer in frequently using a honing rod for almost every knife which isn't (a) too hard; or (b) too asymmetric. Your MAC is one of the great majority of knives which should be honed regularly. An Idahone fine ceramic hone (which CKTG sells the "fine" as the "1200") is the best choice for nearly everyone looking for a single hone. 12" is the right size for any knife kit which has a knife longer than 8". The 12" Idahone is around $30 with a wooden handle.

    Rods are something else we can discuss if you like, but we'll almost certainly come back to the Idahone when we get to brass tacks. If you're interested, start by reading Steeling Away. It will also teach you how to use one.

    There's a reason I'm separating sharpening from truing as concepts. It's always a bad idea to use any hone aggressive enough to sharpen on any decent, fine edged knife like your MAC Pro. If you like, read this as well.

    Hope this helps,
    BDL
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2011
  17. gastrorgasmic1

    gastrorgasmic1

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    Thank you, IceMan, for making me feel welcome and not too dumb. lol.  Actually, I know that one doesn't have to drop a bundle of cash in order to buy good knives.  I recently picked up a set of like 4 or 5 Ceramic knives from Costco for $30.00, and they slice tomatoes more thinly than my Mac Chef knife has.  I now wish I had purchased two packs of these because my son chipped the Ceramic Chef knife by dropping it into the sink. 

    I am most definitely going to go watch the videos you suggested as soon as I log off from here.

    Wishing you a wonderful week ahead,

    ~Yvonne
     
  18. gastrorgasmic1

    gastrorgasmic1

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    Thanks Wagstaff...for the excellent information and education.  From what I've gathered, the majority of you here like ordering from CKTG, so that in itself is very valuable information.

    Happy Chefing!

    ~Yvonne
     
  19. gastrorgasmic1

    gastrorgasmic1

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    Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention that I'm such a Noob, I didn't even know how long a good knife should hold its edge.  Thanks all, for learnin' me the errors of my ways.  

    And here I've been hatin' on my Mac's and didn't even know how long they were supposed to remain sharp.  Shame on me.  /img/vbsmilies/smilies/lookaround.gif
     
  20. gastrorgasmic1

    gastrorgasmic1

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    Oh, wow, Pete, I was not aware that good knives needed sharpening that often.  Thank you for opening my eyes to this fact, and to the fact that what my knives are missing is some good ole fashioned tender-lovin' care.  lol.

    Oh, and I think you're safe...it doesn't appear that BDL got wind of your RollSharp.  :- )