Recommendation for larger-than-paring knife

tve

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Joined Oct 25, 2018
The knife I use most for misc prep is a Wusthof classic 4" paring knife (well, it's >30 years old but that's the equiv shape. I'm looking for something a bit longer and a bit harder (the Wusthof seems to loose it's edge just the moment I set it down next to the chopping board :).

Typical use would be chopping some garlic, an onion, a tomato, a bit of pancetta, some carrot, etc. I really like the not-tall blade of the wusthof paring knife(20mm), I just wish it was longer and with harder steel. I do more slicing than chopping and slicing a large onion with 4 inches of blade...

The next size up I have is a Tojiro DP Santoku 6.7", which I like a lot, but is too tall, too long, and too heavy for the small stuff. I also have a Wusthof classic 8" carving where I like the non-tall blade, full tang, and feel, but again too big for the tasks.

I'd like to stay under $100 and try something new. I'm looking for a slender longer blade. I know this is not popular here, but I like the full bolster of the Wusthof: I had to round the heel on the Santoku so I stopped putting a hole into my finger. When I look at, say, the MAC pro 5" paring knife I don't like that the blade is so tall and has that point at the heel. But after looking at hundreds of knifes I have the feeling to I'm looking in the wrong direction...

I'd appreciate some suggestions!
 
804
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Joined Sep 17, 2018
Have you tried a Shun 5" utility knife or Shun classic Nakiri knife? The Nakiri may be too tall if you don't like the santoku.
 

tve

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Joined Oct 25, 2018
You mean the Shun Classic 6" utility knife (I can't post a link)? I think I discarded that due to the pointy heel, but now that I'm coming full circle, you're right that it looks attractive and it's in my price range. Thank you!
 
4,282
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Joined Dec 18, 2010
That’s what I use most often for a paring knife. Balances really nice when used on a cutting board or in-hand. Point heels can be rounded, but I get bit more by the pointy point than the pointy heel. :)

Nakiri is not a paring knife, nor is a santuko
 

tve

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Joined Oct 25, 2018
I ended up swinging by williams sonoma to take a look at the shun classic utility and bought it. At $70 it doesn't break the bank so if something else comes along I can jump on it. I looked at the higher end versions (Premier and Kaji) and the store only had the serrated versions, but in addition, those have a taller blade, by about 3-4mm (hard to eyeball) and that's not what I want. So I saved myself the temptation to get a $130 knife :).

Something I'm not thrilled about in this Shun knife is that the blade is not straight. It curves slightly but very clearly about 1-1/2" from the tip. Both the display model and the one I got do this. I'll coax it back every time I sharpen so it'll get straightened soonish, just a bit disappointing from a QC perspective. I haven't really tested the sharpness out of the box, it doesn't feel super-sharp to me, the first onion will tell :).
 
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I don’t understand your QC comment. Are you saying it’s curved left or right near the tip? If that’s the case i wouldn’t have bought it.
 
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tve

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Joined Oct 25, 2018
Yes, the blade has a curve. I'll post a photo after this post gets approved...
 
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Joined Nov 15, 2012
I would have recommended breaking the bank with a Geshin Kagero:
https://www.japaneseknifeimports.co.../gesshin-kagero-150mm-powdered-steel-petty-nt

Insane edge holding steel that laughs at boards, nice thin edge, takes a great edge and it holds a "sharp" edge much better than most, and never a defect when you buy from Jon. I use the 135mm petty for all small fine prep, and some boning even (I microbevel the tip end to handle this), and it even doubles as my steak knife.

As to Shun, firstly beware of the cognitive dissonance that exists within many who have bought Shun. That said, if your Shun is defective, and you bought from a brick'n mortar, you can return it and expect a refund/replacement. For $70 it is a decent buy (though a bit thick at the edge), as Tojiro knives have gone up significantly in price (about $60 for 6"). But, whatever you do, do not take advantage of their sharpening service, it is a gaff and they will destroy your knife in short order.
 

tve

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Joined Oct 25, 2018
That Gesshin Kagero looks like a nice knife! If I know that that's a shape I use a lot I don't mind paying for it, but at this point it'll take some time to see whether in 3 months I still grab the Shun first or not...

WRT the curve in the Shun:

It looks a bit worse here than in reality (difficult to take an accurate picture) but the curve is there. I don't notice it though while cutting, just when looking at the knife carefully.
 
804
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Joined Sep 17, 2018
That Gesshin Kagero looks like a nice knife! If I know that that's a shape I use a lot I don't mind paying for it, but at this point it'll take some time to see whether in 3 months I still grab the Shun first or not...

WRT the curve in the Shun:

It looks a bit worse here than in reality (difficult to take an accurate picture) but the curve is there. I don't notice it though while cutting, just when looking at the knife carefully.

Link doesn't work. But like others have said, if there is a warp or curve in the blade than there seems to be something wrong with it. Also I wouldn't worry too much about sharpness out of the display case at the store, you're going to be sharpening it yourself anyways.
 
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Please return that knife and insist that the sell you one that has not been damaged. I have no proof about bends like that being factory defects vs damage elsewhere in the supply chain, but I saw similar in a mail order purchase from WS. I took it to the local store and they replaced without any discussion. In fact, they wouldn’t even address my questions of WTH and how-could-you-sell-that-in-good-conciounce. I’m one of the clan who have good experience with Shun (classic and premier) and suspect the problem is either downstream in the supply chain... or with WS. They should be embarrassed.
 
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PS. Bend like that can be repaired but there is always the risk of blade snapping during the repair. I dropped a Shun and tip bent about like that. It was successfully repaired with no evidence that it ever bent. But You should not bear that burden/risk on a brand new knife from a “reputable retailer” like WS.
 
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Joined Sep 17, 2018
Yeah that is a noticeable defect. I would guess it will only get worse over time and there may already be hairline stress fractures that you may not be able to see now but could pop up if you drop the knife or cut into something hard.
 
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Joined Nov 15, 2012
Echo above, even if you've repaired damage like this. And that is no downstream accident, bends like that only occur after heat treat, it should have been corrected at the factory. WS doesn't exactly have QC people in their employ, it would never have come out of its packaging to inspect. They will exchange it for you.
 
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