suggestions on new paring knife

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Joined Apr 13, 2015
I'm a novice home cook who just got into buying some new knives. My first real knife purchase was the tojiro dp gyuto which is great. This knife is huge however. I have a small vic paring knife (cheap) but it just wont hold an edge that long and I havent invested in a good set of sharpening stones yet. I plan to.

I need a new, decent paring knife that will hold an edge longer than the vic. I will be using the knife to chop small vegetables, herbs, etc. I am considering this Mac.

can anyone comment on this knife? Also, what is the differences between the  "pro", "professional", and "superior" lines?

http://www.chefknivestogo.com/macprpakn5.html  

Chef knives has this "superior" mac on sale, but it has some weird star cutout at the top - http://www.chefknivestogo.com/macknsu5inut.html  I'm a noob but it makes me think about the knife being weaker there and subject to chiping.

Any difference between the Mac and this Fuji?  http://www.chefknivestogo.com/fufkmpe12.html  

I see that most of the japanese style knives have these rounded or round/square handles. I've never held one - are they decent to hold?

http://www.chefknivestogo.com/mamipe12.html
 
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I have been using a forshner/vic for thirty five years and have no problem with it holding an edge.  I use a double sided stone available from an industrial supply.  I have a diamond hone for daily touch up. 
 
1,061
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Joined Aug 6, 2015
Are you contacting the board much with your paring knife usage?
I would probably go stainless, or at least make sure to have a stainless paring knife

Pro and professional should be the same

I believe the hole is for the knife to be able to be hung up on a nail or something of the like in kitchens. If you sharpen up to that...you're not going to be using the knife on the board well at that point anyways.

Mac and Fujiwara FKM use different steels.

I don't use a petty or parer all that much, but so long as you have some grip flexibility the wa-handles are fine. Plenty of people use them, after all

Why not go Tojiro again?

How much knuckle clearance do you want for chopping?
 
2,563
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Joined Apr 25, 2014
It looks to me like you're doing some board work more than in hand work.  bump it up to 150mm petty i think you will find it more useful
 
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Joined Jul 13, 2012
The Tojiro ITK 150 petty is a really sweet (and tall) knife albeit fully reactive.  If you can handle that it's one of the best bangs for the buck IMO.
 
95
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Joined Apr 13, 2015
 
The Tojiro ITK 150 petty is a really sweet (and tall) knife albeit fully reactive.  If you can handle that it's one of the best bangs for the buck IMO.
what do you mean by reactive?
Are you contacting the board much with your paring knife usage?
I would probably go stainless, or at least make sure to have a stainless paring knife

Pro and professional should be the same

I believe the hole is for the knife to be able to be hung up on a nail or something of the like in kitchens. If you sharpen up to that...you're not going to be using the knife on the board well at that point anyways.

Mac and Fujiwara FKM use different steels.

I don't use a petty or parer all that much, but so long as you have some grip flexibility the wa-handles are fine. Plenty of people use them, after all

Why not go Tojiro again?

How much knuckle clearance do you want for chopping?
thats a good point i didnt think about - knuckle clearance.I guess just something a bit smaller than what i have length wise.

Question.  Is a smaller cleaver overkill for chopping onions and carrots ? 
 
95
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Joined Apr 13, 2015
 
The Tojiro ITK 150 petty is a really sweet (and tall) knife albeit fully reactive.  If you can handle that it's one of the best bangs for the buck IMO.
actually that looks awesome.  The Tojiro ITK 150 petty has enough room for dicing though that handle is a bit ugly.
 
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Joined Aug 6, 2015
Frankly if you really feel your Tojiro chefs is too big for these on the board small chopping tasks, then maybe consider a small santoku or nakiri so you've got some height for chopping

White 2 and Blue 2 are some of Hitachi's high quality carbon steels (non stainless). If I recall correctly the Tojiro ITK as well as the Masakage Mizu are clad in soft iron which will also be reactive. Given what seems like your lack of familiarity with this I might hold off on getting a carbon steel knife for now, especially if this is going to see use on things like citrus, onions, and tomatoes
 
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Joined Apr 13, 2015
I was looking at the santoku's but I read some comments by BDL (i think thats his nickname on here) who said they were basically junk because they take away from learning proper knife skills by using a traditional chef's knife.

Not sure If i interpreted his comments correctly but thats what I took away from it.
 
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Joined Aug 6, 2015
They can be considered redundant. Between a decent petty and gyuto you should be covered for typical board work. I do herbs and aromatics most commonly with a 240mm gyuto. But with you feeling like your Tojiro is huge I'm wondering what might be a good adjustment. Do you pinch grip?
 
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actually that looks awesome.  The Tojiro ITK 150 petty has enough room for dicing though that handle is a bit ugly.
There's a saying about traditional Japanese knives like these - "you buy the blade and get the handle for free"  Even Carter kurouchi knives come with handles like that.
 
95
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Joined Apr 13, 2015
can you comment or link me to some information regarding the difference between vg10 and the white #2 steel?  Is the White #2 steel going to hold an edge like the vg10?

The black matte finish on the Tojiro Shirogami ITK 150mm petty,  would i need to scrub this off before use?

The bluing of the outer steel, any idea if Tojiro does this by a chemical reaction, I think it can also be done by using heat. Maybe a heat gun?
 
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Joined Apr 25, 2014
They are about as different as you can get.  VG-10 is stainless and difficult to de burr.    White steel is carbon and the easiest steel to sharpen.  

Edge retention is up to so many factors.  I'll tell you that it literally takes less than 30 seconds, maybe 2 strokes per side, to restore my white steel knives to working condition.
 
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Joined Aug 6, 2015
If you scrub off the black finish, be very vigilant about keeping the blade dry and rust free

I don't know about the Tojiro ITK specifically, but my kurouchi finished knives aren't shredding into the food. They're only abrading off when I hit it with the stones.
 
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Joined Apr 13, 2015
If you scrub off the black finish, be very vigilant about keeping the blade dry and rust free

I don't know about the Tojiro ITK specifically, but my kurouchi finished knives aren't shredding into the food. They're only abrading off when I hit it with the stones.
the kurouchi are carbon steel knives also? Just to make sure I understand what you are saying - do you mean that your carbon steel knife when sharpened is not that sharp? Did I read that correctly?

I guess I would be less inclinded to want to take off the black finish if I knew what it was -- and how likely it would be for it to come off into whatever im cutting.
 
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Joined Aug 6, 2015
Kurouchi is roughly blacksmith finish or forge finish. I was referring to my knives (see profile picture) that also have Kurouchi and are carbon steel core with soft iron cladding, and commenting on the resilience of that finish (not coming off on food, only when I hit that area while sharpening/thinning), should have clarified. Nothing about edge quality which is determined by the steel at the actual cutting edge.

I would dig around the web if there's any commentary on how durable the ITK finish is. It looks rather thin and like a film.
 
95
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Joined Apr 13, 2015
Kurouchi is roughly blacksmith finish or forge finish. I was referring to my knives (see profile picture) that also have Kurouchi and are carbon steel core with soft iron cladding, and commenting on the resilience of that finish (not coming off on food, only when I hit that area while sharpening/thinning), should have clarified. Nothing about edge quality which is determined by the steel at the actual cutting edge.

I would dig around the web if there's any commentary on how durable the ITK finish is. It looks rather thin and like a film.
sorry im not good  with the terminology, thank you for clarifying

I assume that black colored, blacksmith finish (laquer i here they call it sometimes)  is just to prevent the steel from oxidixing and rusting?
 
1,061
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Joined Aug 6, 2015
It is not the same as lacquer, though some knives will also have a clear-ish lacquer film on them as well. I took that off with a cotton pad and some acetone. For the ITK I can't personally say whether it does or not, but whenever I read about a cheap carbon knife with cheap soft iron cladding and some reviewer says it's not very reactive, it makes me think the knife's got a lacquer on it the reviewer hasn't yet been taken off (or otherwise it gradually comes off through abrasion and use).

The kurouchi finish inhibits oxidation and rust though I don't think absolutely. Still going to need good maintenance habits.
 
95
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Joined Apr 13, 2015
do you have any suggestions for a smaller knife than what I have for chopping vegitables ? I currently have the tojiro dp gyuto 240mm  .. and im new to sharpening - havent bought my stones yet.
 

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