New chef knife

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hi so I've been using my victorinox fibrox 8 inch for sometime now and I want to change into something longer and have a better edge so I would like some recommendations.
I have:
1) big hands
2) prefer light and thin knives ( French and I would like to try gyutos)
3) longer than 8 inches
4) I do know how to sharpen knives, my fibrox is sharper than globals
5) I know the basic knife skills
6) I'm in Malaysia
 
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I'm a big fan of Sabatier. They can be ordered online if you don't have them in your area. A ten inch should do the trick.

     They run around $100-$125 if I remember correctly. Carbon steel so you have to keep them dry. Retain an edge well, easy to sharpen and for me a pleasure to use. 
 
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The Hiromoto aus-10 is still available, very good reports on this discontinued item, very good steel, nice thin edge geometry.

http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/Hiromoto.html#Hiromoto

Their JCK special Carbonext is a very good value, semi-stainless and gets very sharp, the factory edge is lousy but you could easily fix that.

You can take a look at the JCK originals and the Misonos also.

Rick
 
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The Hiromoto aus-10 is still available, very good reports on this discontinued item, very good steel, nice thin edge geometry.
http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/Hiromoto.html#Hiromoto

Their JCK special Carbonext is a very good value, semi-stainless and gets very sharp, the factory edge is lousy but you could easily fix that.

You can take a look at the JCK originals and the Misonos also.

What's your take on the tojiro do and Mac mighty without dimples ? I'm quite interested at those. I'll take a look at your suggestions


Rick
 
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Rick, thanks for the recommendation will check them out soon. What do you think of tojiro dp and the Mac mbk series?
 
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I'm not personally familiar with them but I think Benuser and others would say they were all pretty close on the whole, except the Mac Mighty which is a heavyweight I believe.

There are some recent posts on http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/ that you might find helpful in terms of both buying and choosing a Japanese knife, but their site seems to be having trouble right now.

Rick
 
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I'm pretty sure mac ultimate (overpriced) is the heaviest knife, mac mighty is so named I believe simply because it gets a bolster and consequently has a bit of a weight jump from the (superior I think is the next step down) previous line. Mac Mighty is also now sold under the name mac professional, I'm not sure if new knives are stamped "mighty" anymore. Or maybe it's a market thing, ie one market is mac mighty, but in another the same product is mac professional. Who knows.
 
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 What do you think of tojiro dp and the Mac mbk series?
Just for the record, I am not a knife geek, but I am a chef with many years of experience and fairly mad knife skills. I have had a MAC MBK-110 for a couple of years now. I use it for at least 90% of my knife work. I used it Saturday for slicing 100# of grilled veg, cutting 18 qts of grapes in half, peeling and skinning 12 beef tenderloins, etc. etc. etc. I love my MAC. It is light enough, but yet heavy enough. It holds an edge and is easy to sharpen when needed. I would buy it again in a heartbeat.
 
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cysoon, what's your price range? Do you have a preference between Western-style "yo" handles and Japanese-style "wa" handles?

Since you want stainless and better edge taking than your Victorinox Fibrox (whose alloy is X50CrMoV15), you'll want to look almost exclusively at Japanese-style knives [1]. Virtually no European knife makers use better alloys than X50CrMoV15, and many use worse.

I take that back. The new "200 Range" from K-Sabatier allegedly uses an alloy called 14C28N [2], hardened to ~60 HRC. The alloy's reputation seems to be that it has comparable edge properties to 13C26/AEB-L but a little more corrosion resistance [3]. I have no clue if that reputation happens to apply to its use in this particular knife, but if heat treatment, geometry, and weight are comparable to good Japanese knives, this could be the first high end European stainless knife I've come across. That said, the 10-inch / 250mm chef's knife costs 161 USD (as of today), so it's not the bargain that French knives normally are compared with Japanese.

Since the Mac Professional/MBK series is on your radar, I'm assuming it's in your price range. If so, the MBK-95 is by all accounts an excellent all around stainless knife, and the MBK-110 that cheflayne praised might be tough enough for those heavier duty tasks that Japanese knives normally don't do well with, along with general purpose tasks if you're okay with the extra length and weight. cheflayne, has your knife seen squash? Small bones by any chance?

I'm not sure how shipping to Malaysia would work, but you might also want to check out the stainless Gesshin Uraku from Japanese Knife Imports if you're okay with wa handles. Both the 240mm and the 270mm are less expensive than the Mac MBK-95 and probably of similar toughness to the MBK-110. I'd guess that means handles winter squash well but bone not so much.

You asked about the Tojiro DP. The blade, like Shun knives, has three layers of steel ("san mai") with a core of VG-10, an alloy with the reputation of being chippy (unless heat treated by Hattori a là the Hattori FH) and sometimes difficult to deburr, but with pretty good edge properties for a stainless alloy. Some people don't like the feel of san mai knives as compared with knives made from a single layer of steel. I haven't used the knife, and I have virtually no experience with VG-10 or san mai knives in general. Some people find the handle on the Tojiro DP uncomfortable. I imagine the Tojiro's grind and overall F&F are worse than those of the Gesshin or Mac. The Tojiro DP represents pretty good value and can certainly take a sharp edge, but I wouldn't suggest it for your main knife if you can afford something more comfortable and with better cutting performance.

Lastly, if your budget happens to be considerably higher than the Mac, and if you're interested in something super light and thin, there are some phenomenal stainless and semi-stainless knives in the "laser" category, such as the Gesshin Ginga and Konosuke HD.

[1] CKtG's Richmond knives use modern alloys and are manufactured in the US, so they're technically not Japanese knives. Same goes for some high end custom knives. But these are Japanese in style--they don't have any distinguishing characteristics that make them resemble Western knives more than they do Japanese.

[2] The only source I can find for K-Sabatier using this alloy in the 200 Range is this German blog post: <http://www.messerforum.net/showthread.php?127483-Review-K-Sabatier-200-Jahre-8-Generationen-7-inch>. It seems like the only information K-Sabatier has disclosed about the alloy is that it contains nitrogen, which seems to be what led people to suspect Sandvik's 14C28N. A bit of googling reveals that a single page for a different knife on K-Sabatier's American website does mention 14C28N (http://www.sabatier-shop.com/2912-j...-ivory---damascus-bolsters-j-p-veisseyre.html), so I imagine those forum members are on to something.

[3] http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/showthread.php/813117-13C26-vs-14c28n
 
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Surprisingly I have never heard a bad report of Tojiro's VG10 which is a more difficult steel to heat treat, but dozens of complaints about Shuns on this forum alone, by several pros also who have seen a lot of them.  VG10 has the characteristic of loosing its razor sharp quickly, but then holding a serviceable edge for a good amount of time.  It is not an alloy that turns me on personally though.

Rick
 
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Gladius, I don't want to specify my price range because my currency is much smaller compared to usd. 1 USD = RM3.75
I'm fine with the handle as long as it's comfortable to use with the pinch grip. If possible I would not want to buy online because items over USD 133 would require import tax and a big hassle to pick it up at the customs at the airport. Anything higher maybe when I have more money but right now I need a tough and reliable workhorse. Thanks for your opinion
 
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Originally Posted by Gladius  

cheflayne, has your knife seen squash? Small bones by any chance?
Seen and even cut. As far as small bones, to do what? I cut up whole fish and poultry.
 
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Surprisingly I have never heard a bad report of Tojiro's VG10 which is a more difficult steel to heat treat, but dozens of complaints about Shuns on this forum alone, by several pros also who have seen a lot of them.  VG10 has the characteristic of loosing its razor sharp quickly, but then holding a serviceable edge for a good amount of time.  It is not an alloy that turns me on personally though.


Rick

Well Rick what are the steels that can turn you on? And what are your personal favorite knives that you held and used?
 
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Out of stainless I've had good experiences with swedish stainless, AUS 10 and G3.  I've sharpened a few different makers of VG-10.  Don't like it at all.
 
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Don't get me wrong Cysoon, I think VG10 works well were you have the need for a knife that holds a serviceable edge for a long time.  But my desire is for steels that hold a very sharp edge as long as possible, and/or get that edge back very quickly, but I much prefer the former.  I'm not afraid of VG10, the Shun I had sharpened easy enough, from the heel to 2/3 the way to the tip, the tip was obviously heat-damaged in the factory sharpening process

Right now I have a Geshin Kagero knife in SRS-15, a powdered metallurgy supersteel.  This knife is very similar to the Akifusa, but has a better grind.  I only just removed the factory edge, so it will be a while before I have first hand experience of its abilities, other than it takes a very sharp edge for stainless and gets only good feedback from those who've used it.  The Geshin Kagero 240 Gyuto is reasonably priced at $230USD, but the trip from the States combined with you tariff counts it out for you.

I'll reflect Millions and Benuser in saying if I were in your shoes I'd go for the Hiromoto AUS 10 from JCK, which beats your tariff, or the carbonext which also comes in under 133.  But I'd still be happy with the Tojiro or Mac.

Rick
 
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Don't get me wrong Cysoon, I think VG10 works well were you have the need for a knife that holds a serviceable edge for a long time.  But my desire is for steels that hold a very sharp edge as long as possible, and/or get that edge back very quickly, but I much prefer the former.  I'm not afraid of VG10, the Shun I had sharpened easy enough, from the heel to 2/3 the way to the tip, the tip was obviously heat-damaged in the factory sharpening process

Right now I have a Geshin Kagero knife in SRS-15, a powdered metallurgy supersteel.  This knife is very similar to the Akifusa, but has a better grind.  I only just removed the factory edge, so it will be a while before I have first hand experience of its abilities, other than it takes a very sharp edge for stainless and gets only good feedback from those who've used it.  The Geshin Kagero 240 Gyuto is reasonably priced at $230USD, but the trip from the States combined with you tariff counts it out for you.

I'll reflect Millions and Benuser in saying if I were in your shoes I'd go for the Hiromoto AUS 10 from JCK, which beats your tariff, or the carbonext which also comes in under 133.  But I'd still be happy with the Tojiro or Mac.


Rick
So do VG sharpens like stainless? And with a decent stones is it just like any other steel or is it slightly different? I'd never used VG before so I'm not sure about how well it sharpens and how well it holds its edge. Ohh and what do you mean by "serviceable edge"?
 
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I have only sharpened one VG10 knife, and like I said 2/3 of it sharpened much like any other "good" stainless knife and razor sharp, but 1/3 was simply impossible to sharpen to any king of reasonable edge.  If Millions and Benuser say they don't like to sharpen it, then I have to say that most VG's are considerably more trouble to sharpen.

By serviceable edge I mean an edge that is not razor sharp, but still sharp enough to get the job done well, though not exceptionally well. VG10 can get screaming sharp, but it just doesn't stay at that level for very long, but it will stay  serviceable for a considerable period longer than many other alloys.

Rick
 
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I have 5 VG10 blades and they aren't the easiest to sharpen but not much more difficult than German stainless. Ricks observation of going from screeming sharp to serviceable is my experience too, but I only need serviceable sharp so it works for me. If I want to do surgery I want screaming sharp but for cooking serviceable sharp is fine. Mine touches a stone only once a month or so. The rest of the time I rub gently on a smooth steel.
 
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