Need knives for home use

Discussion in 'Cooking Knife Reviews' started by Qwertyuiop, Sep 23, 2018.

  1. Qwertyuiop

    Qwertyuiop

    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    7
    Exp:
    Pastry chef
    I'm moving out of my parents place and moving in my condo like end of the year or spring.

    So I need my own knives for the kitchen. I'm a pastry chef at restaurant but I don't want to ask my coworkers or head chef because I dont think they aren't that knowledgeable.

    Im not knowledgeable on knives and pastry chefs obviously don't use knives as much as cooks/chefs do but I cook pretty much every day at home. I usually use santoku over chef knife.

    What knives do you guys recommend? I currently have Mercer brand from school and I live in Canada.
     
  2. sgsvirgil

    sgsvirgil

    Messages:
    596
    Likes Received:
    353
    Exp:
    Retired Owner/Operator
    Why wouldn't your head chef or co-workers be knowledgeable about knives?

    Choosing a set of knives is a very personal endeavor. Not everyone is the same and what is good for one person is not necessarily good for another.

    Having said that, you should first examine your own knife skills and be brutally honest about it. A knife sharpened to the point where it can slice atoms can very easily send a novice user to the hospital. The same is equally true for a dull blade.

    After that, determine what the knives will be used for. What sort of cooking style and what sort of ingredients? This will determine the content of your knife set more than anything else.

    Do you want a pre-made knife set or do you want to piece together your own hybrid set? While pre-made sets can be cheaper, you tend to give up a measure of choice in terms of what knives are included in the set. Piecing together a set can be more expensive, but, you have complete control over what knives make up the set.

    Figure out what style of knives suit you the best. Western? Japanese?

    What sort of handle do you want. Professional chefs will place high value on the comfort of the knife because they spend a lot of time using it.

    Lastly, there are some excellent threads about knives in this forum that can answer many of your questions. Take a moment or two and look through them.

    Good luck. :)
     
    Qwertyuiop and brianshaw like this.
  3. Qwertyuiop

    Qwertyuiop

    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    7
    Exp:
    Pastry chef
    One of the cooks suggest knives at Ikea and head chef use henckels and they are his home use as well so he take them back home and come to work with it. So I don't trust their judgement on knife brands.

    They look like those typical henckels set you see at Canadian tire when they are on sale.

    Mainly need a better santoku and probably a paring knife. I have a chef knife that is ok and I just don't use it alot. The same situation for fillet and boning knife, they do the job fine.

    I think I got decent knife skills, I chop fast and accurate and can do it with my eye closed (which I should not do lol). I have no fear of getting cut as it never happen to me yet except a dumb little cut from a bread knife that was irrelevant :p

    I will check around the forum for the threads on knives
     
  4. rick alan

    rick alan

    Messages:
    2,494
    Likes Received:
    165
    Exp:
    Cook At Home
    I'm guessing it's a good bet you know what type of knife you want. Home cook needn't be concerned with too many details, cut performance is what most matters.

    Laser or something with good food release?

    You want to stick with stainless or consider carbon of stainless clad carbon?

    Any preference in trade offs between sharpening ease and edge retention?

    What's your budget?
     
  5. Qwertyuiop

    Qwertyuiop

    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    7
    Exp:
    Pastry chef
    Yeah I like cut performance

    No idea on laser vs something with good food release

    Never experienced carbon steel ...maybe both stainless for guests/family when they come over and help with prep or whatever so that way they won't use the carbon knife lol

    I'm somewhat flexible on budget ...I don't want the cheapest obviously .. it more like I'm willingly to pay a little more for alot more quality or best valued knives .. you know what I mean?
     
  6. millionsknives

    millionsknives

    Messages:
    2,500
    Likes Received:
    480
    Exp:
    Professional Caterer
    It's gone up a bit in price the last year but Tojiro DP is still a great performance/value

     
    Jason Drückenmiller likes this.
  7. rick alan

    rick alan

    Messages:
    2,494
    Likes Received:
    165
    Exp:
    Cook At Home
    Hmmmm, my thoughts on the DP is that it's a nice step up, but still a subdued wow factor. It's almost 3 times the cost of a Tojiro Santoku (lowest price) but the Takamura Migaki is a very exciting knife (laser), and a good bit for the money though prices have gone up like everywhere else in Japanese knives. You'll want a 6K grit stone for this one, and preferably an 8K. Is this within the budget?
    https://www.finejapanesekitchenknives.com/takamura.php
     
  8. galley swiller

    galley swiller

    Messages:
    478
    Likes Received:
    65
    Exp:
    At home cook
    What's really going to make the difference is in how you maintain the sharpness of your edges. And that means learning how to hand-sharpen your own knives. Until you learn to sharpen, then you are just going to need new knives on a regular basis. It's not rocket science.

    Taking your knives to a "professional" sharpening service is fraught with risk to your knives' edges, especially if the "service" uses a high-speed motorized dry grinding wheel. The resulting heat from the grinding is often hot enough to destroy cutting crystals along the edge. Under those conditions, the steel temper of the edges of the blades can be damaged significantly. The same thing often occurs if you use an electric motorized knife sharpener. That's why hand sharpening is always recommended.

    You are going to need to put together a sharpening kit with at least 3 stones. All 3 stones will need to be at least 2 inches (5cm) wide by 8 inches (20cm) long. Those are minimum widths and lengths. Smaller won't work, but bigger is better (and easier to use), though more expensive. Japanese waterstones have generally been the usual recommended types.

    One stone will be for general sharpening. It needs to be in the 800 to 1200 grit range. This will be used to re-establish an edge once the edge becomes just too dull for your use.

    The second stone will be for putting a finer edge on the blade by "polishing" the edge. On a microscopic level, this will smooth out the line of your edge and will (1) reduce your cutting friction; (2) allow for a finer cut; and (3) reduce the pressure along the individual points of the edge, so as to extend the service of your sharpening. Assuming you have a good Japanese blade that can accept such polishing, the grit here starts in the 3000 to 5000 grit range.

    The third stone is your repair stone. This is to grind away steel to re-establish a new edge line, if the old edge develops a "chip" (where a chunk of steel breaks away along the old edge). Not only do you need to re-establish a new edge line, but you will also need to significantly grind away at both faces of the blade to thin the blade enough so that the blade won't be so thick as to wedge during cutting. That's going to be a lot of steel and a lot of work, so you need a stone which will grind away as needed. That means a stone in the 400 grit level (or less).

    I'm sorry if I seem to be harping about sharpening, when you want to hear about buying a bright, shiny new knife (or several), but my feeling is that you need to think about cutting as a system, not just as a one-time-and-item purchase. That means also dealing with keeping the blade(s) sharp, and reducing the dulling process (through the proper choice of a good cutting board).

    Galley Swiller
     
    Jason Drückenmiller and dectra like this.
  9. Qwertyuiop

    Qwertyuiop

    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    7
    Exp:
    Pastry chef
    it a nice looking knife... why takamura migaki over tojiro santoku?

    it not pricey for someone who is new to japanese knives?

    lol it cool... knowledge is power, I never thought sharpening a knife is this deep with multiple types of stone
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2018
  10. Qwertyuiop

    Qwertyuiop

    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    7
    Exp:
    Pastry chef
    If I don't want to get carbon steel ... And go the stainless steel route

    What do you guys recommend?
     
    Jason Drückenmiller likes this.
  11. rick alan

    rick alan

    Messages:
    2,494
    Likes Received:
    165
    Exp:
    Cook At Home
    Well again it comes down to what you want to budget.

    The Takamura is worth the price in cutting ability, easier sharpening and edge retention. You'll zip through onions and be capable of extremely thin slicing. I take it you have good technique, no twisting motion on the board or excessive use of force, as lasers can't take that abuse well. You will also need to micro bevel the edge. Well, possibly it's too much for you to handle, but you you're a professional, you've got manual dexterity, good chance you'll enjoy it all.

    Is a brittle laser like the Takamura is more than you want to handle right now? Is a 165 too small? Will a 210 gyuto do? The latter is certainly more versatile.
     
  12. Jason Drückenmiller

    Jason Drückenmiller

    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    1
    Exp:
    Knife Sharpener
    Someone that is new to sharpening and japanese knives both I would personally go with MV Steel, sharpens very easy, keeps a good edge and is a great gateway to Japanese steel.

    VG10 is also one of the standard steels in a lot of Japanese knives and is also decently easy to sharpen but can be more chippy than MV steel (gotta get the right knife for the product you are prepping)

    If it were me I would stay away from carbon steel for as it requires a lot more maintenance (my only carbon knives are a yangiba and a 6 in petty knife.

    As Galley Swiller said though you really need to build a sharpening kit with your new knives.

    One of my cheapest and favorite knives for veg prep is the Tojiro MV Nakiri, well priced for the value and a really thin blade.

    But as said above choosing your knives is a very personal thing.

    If you like the Santoku (Three Virtues in english) go with that, seems you use it the most and is great for slicing, dicing and mincing. (hence three virtues)

    A good utility or petty knife is always good to have in your arsenal as well imo (CKTG has some great options at pretty darn good prices)

    I would be happy to help if you PM me, I have been sharpening for 30 years and love love love knives :)
     
  13. Qwertyuiop

    Qwertyuiop

    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    7
    Exp:
    Pastry chef
    Yeah no twisting motion ... Can rock it or go up and down chopping

    No idea on 165 or 210 ... Don't know

    Will check out takamura

    Not a fan of more maintenance from carbon lol

    Intriguing to know about mv steel

    How much does those sharpening kit cost?

    Tojiro MV Nakiri look cool... Never dealt a knife blade that look like that.... Wow 30 years, impressive

    Where can I get these knvies you mentioned? In Canada?
     
  14. Jason Drückenmiller

    Jason Drückenmiller

    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    1
    Exp:
    Knife Sharpener
    Tojiro MV Santoku - https://www.chefknivestogo.com/tostwa.html

    The Tojiro MV Nakiri is on https://www.chefknivestogo.com/toshsa16.html for $75 the Saya (Sheath) is $30 if you want that too.

    Maybe check out the Santoku, there are reviews all over the net.

    Hope this helps and speak soon!

    Jason
     
  15. Jason Drückenmiller

    Jason Drückenmiller

    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    1
    Exp:
    Knife Sharpener
    Also MAC has been using MV steel for years.

    MAC Santoku - https://www.chefknivestogo.com/macsu65insak.html

    I personally like them both but have the Tojiro (fujitora in Japan) and it is totally personal preference because I like Japanese style handles over western handles.

    So if you like a Western style handle better the Mac may be a better fit....both are excellent bang for your buck knives imo.
     
  16. Jason Drückenmiller

    Jason Drückenmiller

    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    1
    Exp:
    Knife Sharpener
    Ahh and sorry I left out, sharpening stones can be personal choice really too but the most important thing is getting the right grits and decent stones....for a starter stone the Naniwa Super Stone is great....get the thinner version if ya wanna save a few bucks.

    My repair stones are 220 but the main three stones I personally use the most are the 400, 1000 and 5000 as I sharpen knives for our Restaurant/ Bar down here in Miami. Or You could do 800, 2000 and 5000 there are quite a few combinations you could put together that will work fine and there is a lot of help on this forum to get you there.

    Look here for the stones and they are splash and go, so you keep them wet by splashing water on them in between passes (so no soaking time needed)

    This one is last years model as they changed the name and some of the bonding agents but a great stone this is the 400 but the other grits are there....and Mark of CKTG ships almost everywhere that I know of around the Globe.

    https://www.chefknivestogo.com/nasustbaexth.html

    My two favorite sharpeners are Bob Kramer and Murry Carter check out youtube there are some good vids....I have vids I can share and there also also vids on https://www.chefknivestogo.com/
     
  17. chrislehrer

    chrislehrer

    Messages:
    2,205
    Likes Received:
    289
    Exp:
    Cook At Home
    I always make the same recommendation for first-time serious sharpeners: King Combi. There are two versions, which I think are 600/1000 and 800/2000. In my opinion, the latter is much more useful, as 800 is aggressive enough to reset an edge and 2000 is perfectly sufficient polishing for most knives. The stones are consistent, cheap, easy to use, and give lots of feedback. They wear a little bit quickly, but by the time you actually wear through one side of one, you'll have a good idea what you like in stones and can pick up replacements that will suit you ideally.
     
    Jason Drückenmiller likes this.
  18. rick alan

    rick alan

    Messages:
    2,494
    Likes Received:
    165
    Exp:
    Cook At Home
    MV merely stands for molybdenum/vanadium, and almost all stainless knife steels contain it, this generic term is just for marketing purposes, so is actually rather meaningless. MAC's steel is decent, but some MV is not so decent. VG-10 steel, unless coming from a few well known small makers, can be a real bitch to sharpen for a beginner, and/or also rather chippy as JD suggested.

    Just google "Japanese knives in Canada" and you will find your local sources. CKTG, Bernal and JKI I believe can still ship to Canada without excess cost. Knives and Stones along with JNS manage reasonable internetional shipping also.

    Jon at JKI is a great pleasure to do business with, tell him what you want and he will steer you to some of the best choices.

    165 and 210 merely refer to the length of the knife in millimeters. 165 might be OK for a nakiri, santoku you might want more like a 180, and gyuto really wants to be 210+.
     
  19. Qwertyuiop

    Qwertyuiop

    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    7
    Exp:
    Pastry chef
    I never experienced japanese handle but looking for a place in canada that carry tojiro, called https://knifewear.com/collections/tojiro?offset=48

    they only western handle... I don't want to take a chance to order something from the US on possible custom cost and shipping cost that will be way higher overall cost comparing to buying something within my country.

    I'm surprised how pricey the stones are ... a few stones cost more than the knife

    I will check out those other places
     
    Jason Drückenmiller likes this.
  20. MnMarc

    MnMarc

    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    4
    Exp:
    Avid Home cook
    I was in the same boat. After dropping $150 on my 1st good knife I realized I would need to buy whetstones and a decent cutting board. I had never sharpened on a whetstone so I went the cheapest route and bought the King KW-65 1000/6000 combo stone for $30. It was good enough to learn on but dished quickly and provided little feedback. I have since upgraded to a Naniwa Chosera 1000 and 3000 stone ($70 ea) which have made sharpening faster, easier and more fun. Huge difference. In retrospect, I wish I had just bought the Choseras to begin with. Would have made learning to sharpen so much easier. They just cut much faster and provide better feedback. You can easily start out with just the 1000 and decide later if you want a finer grit stone to add to your collection.
     
    Jason Drückenmiller likes this.