Time to get my first "Real" knife.

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Joined Jun 14, 2016
Hello all! I am a brand new member, however, I have been stalking the site for about a month now. I am interested in getting, as the title says, a "real" knife. So, I have copied a 

LOCATION
What country are you in?
USA (Pensacola, Florida).

KNIFE TYPE
What type of knife are you interested in?
Gyuto or Santoku

Are you right or left handed?
Right handed.

Are you interested in a Western handle  or Japanese handle?
I have never tried wa-handles. However, I am a traditionalist to the point where I rather have a more traditional handle just because of tradition...Hell, I have Japanese tattoos, and I only have them done by an artist who is a traditional tattoo artist from Japan. 

What length of knife (blade) are you interested in?
Mostly 210 mm, though 240 mm seems fine.

Do you require a stainless knife? (Yes or no).
I don't really know. I am new to "real" knives. I would like something that holds an edge for a long time but something that is insanely sharp as well. Carbon/blue steel is a possibility someday as I become more experienced but I take good care of my things, so whatever is best recommended for a "beginner."

What is your absolute maximum budget for your knife?

$100-150 including shipping/handling/taxes. 

KNIFE USE:

Do you primarily intend to use this knife at home or a professional environment?
At home.

What are the main tasks you primarily intend to use the knife for?

Mostly vegetable and meat cuts. I mean, that is about the extent of what most people NEED to cut in their kitchen...right?

What knife, if any, are you replacing?

Sabatier from a woodblock kit (wedding gift.) I plan to keep this for a while and just get an all-around knife for most use in the kitchen.

Do you have a particular grip that you primarily use?
Pinch grip. As I stated before, tradition...I worked with a Sushi Chef for a little while and I was IN LOVE with all he could teach me about traditional technique! So, if I can learn it, I have no preference.

What cutting motions do you primarily use?
Push/Pull/Chop. Willing to learn if this is improper lol.

What improvements do you want from your current knife?
As stated above, sharpness that is relatively easy to maintain, with a good edge retention

Better aesthetics?
Ummm...maybe? I really enjoy an "attractive" knife with something like a hammered texture. It looks to be TRADITIONAL to me.

KNIFE MAINTENANCE:

Do you use a bamboo, wood, rubber, or synthetic cutting board?
Bamboo! I, if you could not tell, live for tradition, and bamboo screams tradition to me.

Do you sharpen your own knives? (Yes or no.)

No.

If not, are you interested in learning how to sharpen your knives? (Yes or no.)

Yes.

Are you interested in purchasing sharpening products for your knives? (Yes or no.)
Yes. If the knife I decide to get leaves room in the budget I will get them at the same time, if not, I can wait.

SELECTION (in no particular order) 

Itto-Ryu Hammered 210 Gyuto White #2 

Gassan Blue #2 Gyuto 210mm

SPECIAL REQUESTS/COMMENTS

I just really want to learn! I worked in as a chef in an Italian kitchen for 2 years and the knives there were average, nothing special.

Thank you for any help and feedback! 

PF
 
2,563
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Joined Apr 25, 2014
Bamboo is actually terrible it is a grass not wood. To bind it together they use glues that dry hard and are very bad on knife edges.
 
40
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Joined Jun 14, 2016
Bamboo is actually terrible it is a grass not wood. To bind it together they use glues that dry hard and are very bad on knife edges.
WOAH! Thanks for that tidbit! What is better for cutting with then? I prefer wood because of the look of a wood board. Thanks for the heads up!!

PF
 
2,563
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Joined Apr 25, 2014
End grain is best, edge grain is okay but more likely to split and show cut marks. All wood boards need to be kept clean and dry or they warp

Best alternative is rubber
 
40
11
Joined Jun 14, 2016
End grain is best, edge grain is okay but more likely to split and show cut marks. All wood boards need to be kept clean and dry or they warp

Best alternative is rubber
ok, I'll keep my eyes open for End Grain! Thanks. I take really good care of all of my stuff, so I'm not worried. thanks, again! 

Any other tips or recommendations for me?
 
1,061
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Joined Aug 6, 2015
Definitely consider getting a decent edge or end grain wood board over bamboo.

Check out Gesshin Uraku White #2 and Stainless from Japanese Knife Imports. Good fit and finish, well made octagonal handle and ferrule, maybe the lighter side of middleweight gyuto
 
40
11
Joined Jun 14, 2016
Definitely consider getting a decent edge or end grain wood board over bamboo.

Check out Gesshin Uraku White #2 and Stainless from Japanese Knife Imports. Good fit and finish, well made octagonal handle and ferrule, maybe the lighter side of middleweight gyuto
Yep, I am looking at them right now! Thanks!

That knife looks really good. I like the F&F on it, and the handle seems better than a "Standard" Wa-handle. I prefer a lighter knife, so that's nice. Also, the price is really good!

I am curious about the functional differences in Stainless vs White and Blue steels. Can anyone enlighten me on this? 

Thanks,

PF
 
1,354
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Joined Aug 7, 2008
  I think the whole bamboo thing is slightly over blown. Like others here I prefer hardwood as well, preferably end grain, but I own and use both end and edge grain Maple. I did spend about a year experimenting with bamboo. If you own bamboo and are happy with it, continue to use it until you advance your skills as a sharpener. I'd rather use bamboo than some of the materials we were forced to use in commercial kitchens for years.

For your first knife I'd be leaning towards SS. Carbon comes with it's own set of pros and cons that many who are new to sharpening are not prepared for although generally speaking carbon is easier to sharpen. If you get good SS there is no odor absorption or reactivity, rust is a fairly moot point and edge retention can be a bit better.

If you are set on Carbon in your price range you might want to look at the Misono Swedish.

If you don't have any stones or a sharpening plan I'd suggest you search through BDL's posts here in the archives on that topic. No matter what knife you choose remember to have a budget for at least a single stone to start.
 
1,061
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Joined Aug 6, 2015
Online purchases for me.
My current one is a Top Chop Butcher Block, Cherry. I've also purchased a $50 Michigan Maple Block 15x15x2 inch for a friend.
What price range are you looking at?
 
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Joined Apr 13, 2009
Online purchases for me.
My current one is a Top Chop Butcher Block, Cherry. I've also purchased a $50 Michigan Maple Block 15x15x2 inch for a friend.
What price range are you looking at?
Price is not much of a concern, but I would like something fairly compact since I'm usually only cutting small vegetables for one person, and hopefully < 1" thin.
 
4,278
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Joined Dec 18, 2010
If you want good quality wood and thin too, look into the JK Adams boards. Not butcher block and not end grain but a classic board from a well respected company. Mine (Take 2 line) has been lasting forever.

https://jkadams.com/
 
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1,061
44
Joined Aug 6, 2015
That jkadams link above looks good. Additionally it looks like top chop butcher block site has 3/4 inch end grain boards as well, starting at 18x12 inch. I mainly cut for one as well but get melon fruits a lot so the 24x18x2" board I have works well :)
 
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Joined Apr 1, 2016
Upgrade board picks:
Mass produced: john boos (available at the normal suspects.)
Artisan-crafted (and a really nice and helpful guy): theboardsmith.com
 
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2,865
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Joined Nov 15, 2012
Boos is good but does not stand by their product all that well, BoardSmith is simply the best.

Rick
 
1,354
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Joined Aug 7, 2008
Boardsmith was sold so that product seems to have changed to some degree. I'd say 2" thick minimum for end grain. I've have had multiple 3" thick Boos board split but hey they are easy to get and easy to return if you buy from a vendor with a good return policy. Overstock used to carry MMB boards from time to time at a great price.
 
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Joined Nov 15, 2012
Dave was very picky when he sold his name.  Texas Artisans were already making great boards when Dave turned things over to them, along with his "trade secrets."
 

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