So lost

Discussion in 'Cooking Knife Reviews' started by Rymanocerous, Dec 29, 2017.

  1. Rymanocerous

    Rymanocerous

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    Hi everyone I stumbled into this wonderful forum looking at reviews and I am blown away at the knowledge and experience that is compiled here. I also noticed a friendly group who was willing to help with many of the same types of questions without immediately responding: "this has already been discussed" "use the search bar" ect. I promise, I have spent a lot of time in your forum, reading learning, educating. And as it sometimes goes, I know so much more but feel even more lost then when I originally started. So I wanted to humbly ask for help, but in a different way.

    I have had a Shun block set in my Amazon cart for months now, skeptical of the price tag, going back and forth between it being an investment vs it being overkill. It marks all the boxes: it has a block, lots of knives, the knives are pretty ect. To date, I have used crappy knives with serrated edges (kill me) that as of late, have been systematically snapping in half at their "full tang" handles. I fully expect to get corrected on my usage, experience, terminology and perceptions, so I apologize in advance for anything I get wrong up front - it is not intentional. I have never not looked at block sets but you guys have sold me that the smart thing to do it create a stable of individual performers that will serve me well. Going this route, I’m willing to play with my budget and slowly accumulate but I do need a new chefs knife/utility/Santoku/Gyuto like now, so it will be the first purchase.

    My ask is to help me plan/build the stable and identify any redundancies I might be considering.

    Things I do: Cutting meat, lots of meat. Almost never de-boning or hacking through anything but I need knives that can carve up Pork, Chicken, Steaks, roasts, carve turkeys and chickens and so on. Chopping veggies, lot of veggies and several hard veggies. Finding a knife that is made for this task is my highest level of angst right now. A Usuba is not for me. I want stainless because I am careful but my wife isn’t; but I do want one Carbon stud. Ideally I would like each individual knife to be under the $200 mark but that’s not a hard and fast ceiling. And because I am a delicate snowflake, I also want knives that are visually appealing. I really hate the riveted handle, utilitarian look so like no MAC (sorry, not sorry).

    Here is what is on my radar as of right now:

    · 2 Go to knives (Chef, Santoku, Gyuto, Utility) – Considering the following:
    Gonbei Hammered Damascus Santoku 180mm
    Takamura Migaki R2 Gyuto 180mm (the handle I know)
    · 1 Paring Knife
    · 1 Bread Knife
    · 1 Set of Shears

    Tojiro Kitchen Shears
    · 1 Carving Knife
    · 1 Carbon Stud
    – Considering one of the Tanaka Blue2 offerings
     
  2. LZ365

    LZ365

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    Hi Ryman!! I’m new here as well. I feel your pain or rather felt your pain about knives. I’m no expert, but what I’ve learned is that it’s such a personal choice on what brand or even if to buy a block or not. There are so many good knives out there it’s rather scary!! I own Shuns and I’ll probably get massacred on this forum for it lol, but I love them!! The thing is they are great knives, are there better ones? Oh yeah, there’s always The next “best thing”, but that’s the fun part now for me, instead of being nervous about kitchen knives I’m looking forward to my next purchase!! I’m willing to try any brand. But my shuns will always be my first good set. If you like them buy them, they’re great knives for the money imho. Not one person on here would say that they aren’t expenitially better than something from Walmart or the like. Yes there are knives that blow them away probably, but to be honest I drive a Honda not a BMW, why? Because it gets me where I’m going just as fast and just as safe, I just don’t have a 1000 plus dollar payment!
     
  3. kevpenbanc

    kevpenbanc

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    Knife sets are all nice and whatever, usually there are a couple of knives you use and a couple more you don't really have a lot of use for.

    The Tanaka and Takamura on your list really are stand out performers, and you'd have to pay a fair bit of money to beat them.
    I have them both.

    I've never had Shuns, but you'll have to go a fair way to beat those two.

    So, go with the Tanaka and Takamura, you'll not be sorry.
     
  4. rick alan

    rick alan

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    Your company choices are excellent, but why the 2 little santokus? Maybe go a 210 or 240 gyuto with the Gonbei.
     
  5. Rymanocerous

    Rymanocerous

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    Honestly I don't know? I'm having issues discerning the difference between the gyuto and santoku, the santokus just seem to have a more familiar shape and look to them. I will most likely do a 180 and a 210. I like a smaller knife but can see how it would be nice to have a larger option. I think a 240 might be too big.
     
  6. millionsknives

    millionsknives

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    Its redundant. You dont need two 180mm and a paring. Just a 150mm petty to replace all 3. Skip the shears too.

    Spend that saved money on a 210 or 240mm ( pick one) and a butcher knife that doubles as a beater.
     
    benuser and rick alan like this.
  7. Rymanocerous

    Rymanocerous

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    That makes total sense. Any recommendations on specific models? Talk to Jon and the re-stock of the Gonbei is unknown and I just really prefer the Wa handles so I'm passing on the Takamura
     
  8. chrislehrer

    chrislehrer

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    First of all, I wrote an article intended to simplify things for people in your situation.

    Second, the thing about Shun is simple: they're decent knives priced much higher than their quality. There's nothing wrong with them, really, but you're wasting a good bit of money if you buy them.

    Third, focus on your chef's knife and don't worry about the rest. Based on your description of what you do in the kitchen, there's no reason (functionally speaking) to spend more than $100 per knife for anything other than the chef's.

    Fourth, you need a serious sharpening plan. Without that, every knife will soon be identical, i.e., blunt. If you don't have any sharpening plan yet, I recommend a King Combi stone, 800/4000. Soak it well and go slow, and it will teach you practically everything.
     
  9. aliphares

    aliphares

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    +5000 to this. Santokus are honestly useless. They're just nakiris with a different tip. And yes those choice are redundant, don't get 2 180s. but honestly I don't think you should skip on the shears. I find them very handy. Just get a good gyuto (I prefer 240 but a 210 would work) a petty or similar knife around 130-160mm for finer work, and maybe a small pairing knife if you'd use that a lot. My beater knife is a German chefs but you have multiple options there.

    I also agree that you shouldn't spend too much money, especially on the secondary knives. I'd buy a fujiwara FKM suji as a slicer for example, there's no need to buy a 300 dollar one. For bread knives, Mac is the golden standard but tojiro has decent ones too. One even for twenty bucks on CKTG.

    For a wa-gyuto you have many options. Staying on the entry level side of things, there's the Gesshin Uraku from JKI, the Tanaka kurouchi and the kanahide ps60 wa gyuto version both from CKTG. Japanese chef knives also has multiple offerings in your budget, some with Damascus patterns and hammered finish even, if that's your thing. And while I only have heard good things about them I don't know enough about them to recommend anything specific, beyond pointing out that they're a thing.

    I suggest you go with this route; finding the best knife that suits you in each type and then depending on what you need, buy more. Start with these then decide if you need more specialized knives like those 180s you wanted. Avoid blocks because they come with way too many useless knives (redundant and stupidly short chefs and bread knives). The most important thing is to learn to sharpen. The king whetstone is a great choice. Most importantly, remember to have fun!
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2018