UGH. So frustrated with knife shopping, I am ready to just get a Victorinox Fibrox and be done with

Discussion in 'Cooking Knife Reviews' started by imaya, Dec 6, 2011.

  1. imaya

    imaya

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    *sighs and rubs temples* First post off to a rough start when my browser ate the last hour's worth of composition and work. :/ So, here is the condensed version.

    Started my first professional cooking gig as a pantry and prep cook. I am working at a resort where I am expecting to move around throughout the other restaurants through the advancement of this career. So, I would like to start with some solid knives that will grow with me for a while instead of getting something that will be tossed into my kitchen at home as soon as I move out of prep.

    My budget has a small amount of wiggle room, but I REALLY don't want to spend more than $200. I would be thrilled to get these for $150 or less. What I need, for sure, is a chef/ french, santuku everyday knife and a very solid bread knife. I already have some little utility knives. We do a TON of club sandwiches (over a dozen on a slow shift) and lots of fresh veggies, lettuce, and fruit that needs to be prepped quickly. I am not sure what kind of prep I will be getting into, as I just started, but I am expecting quite the load.

    I have been researching knives for WEEKS and just cannot some to a decision. Whenever I ask Mr. Google a question, I always end up back on this forum, so I finally broke down and signed up to open a discussion about it instead of running around in circles :) This forum seems to not only be the most active, it is also seems to have the most unbiased and informed advice!

    I grew up with my dad's Wustof Classics, which he swears by. He has had them close to 30 years now. I don't remember being particularly impressed with them growing up, but then again, I also knew very little about cooking and prep, let alone the proper care and respect of good tools. I remember those things were tough and solid, and went through some serious abuse. All of his knives, even the small ones, have a few scars but are still intact and very usable. I don't remember them being particularly sharp, despite the fact I know he used the steel often. He may not have made a very sharp edge because there were kids in the house, I really don't know. I don't remember them feeling particularly fantastic in my hand, nor particularly bad either. They felt like they were solid. But, once again, I was young and stupid, I didn't know what I was doing with them.

    When I went knife shopping, I originally was sold a couple Messermeister Park Places. While they felt very good in my hand, the stamped metal would not do. I could save myself a lot of grief with a little extra money. And, I paid too much for them. I tried out the 7" Santuku, which felt like exactly the right size for me, and felt pretty good in my hand. It was light, and I grew up with heavy knives, so my instinct told me I would need a bigger, heavier knife in addition to a Santuku if I chose one. I returned them, and the owner assured me the Messermeisters forged 'Meridian Elite' were the ones I really wanted. She said that she was a lifelong Wustof fan as well, and only sold Wustof in her store, until another lifelong Wustof fan turned her onto Messermeister. She swore up and down about them, and said that Wustofs are great knives, and lifelong fans will never know better until they try a Messermeister too. I returned the stamped knives and thanked her, telling her I would think about it.

    So, through all my research, here is where I am. I was almost settled on a great deal on a Messermeister Meridian Elite 7" Santuku ($80), a Wustof Classic 9" Bread Knife ($50), and possibly one of the awesome leftover Cyber Monday deals on a Wustof 8" Grand Prix (knife, hand sharpener, and shears for $80) or a Wustof 8" Classic (also with the knife, hand sharpener, and shears, for $100). However, I started to question whether the Santuku from Messermeister was, in fact, the best choice, and if the other less expensive offerings from Wustof, Victorinox, or even a cheap ass Henckels were really that much different. I also questioned the Chef knife choice as well, since Victorinox and Henckles both have some much less expensive forged options.

    Of course, then I stumbled onto you lot, and my well-known name brand world of knives was turned upside-down as I began to see some Fujiwara (a little more than 7" that I felt was the perfect length), Kobayashi and Tojiro, as well as Sabatier and Mac. I am not even sure which bread knife to look at any more!

    So, plain and simple, I need help deciphering my options into pieces that fit my needs (and am open to suggestions of other knives too). Price range is as close to $200 as possible. Need, at least, a bread knife and a chef's knife (santuku or classic style), and would like to have enough left over to have both a 7" Santuku AND an 8" chef, but I don't need both as much as I need one solid one. If I go with a Santuku, I want to keep it fairly light, but with a bit of weight to it. It needs to have enough heft and weight to be durable and not ding up easily. If I go with a classic chef, I want it to be a heavier knife, but nothing obscene. I obviously still need to be able to work with it all day, but I want some heft to it compared to a lighter Japanese Santuku. All need to be stainless steel, or, if I am missing some other alloy, just something that won't turn into a giant ball of orange warts if water sits on it for an hour or if it doesn't get washed immediately after touching something corrosive. None of these will go in a dishwasher, I will love them kindly and hand wash them as often as I can with mild soap and a cloth. I will steel them daily or as needed, HOWEVER, I won't have the time to steel a soft blade while in the middle of slicing 20 lbs of onions. It needs to be able to hold an edge pretty well through a large task and throughout the day in general. I would prefer NOT to have to steel the bread knife, above all others, obviously. That is just a lot more maintenance. It needs to hold it's edge very well, weight doesn't matter.

    Thanks for reading! :)
     
  2. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Let's start by slaying a preconception and making one recommendation:  Some stamped knives are very near the pinnacle of performance quality.  The Forschner Fibrox/Rosewood series perform as well as just about any German made knife available.  I highly recommend their butcher knives, and just about everything but their chef's knives.

    The Forschner 10-1/2" bread knife is exceptionally good and an exceptional value.

    For someone with good knife skills, I don't really get the purpose of a santoku for general prep.  That doesn't mean it doesn't have one, or that all sorts of people with great skills don't love theirs... it means I don't get it.  Sell me -- and maybe I'll have a better idea of what you want and can address your desire cogently. 

    I strongly recommend a 10" (about chef's) with the proviso that if you're more comfortable with an 8", that 8" is an option (of course) but improving your skills to the point where a 10" knife handles better and more intuitively than your 8" or santoku currently does is a matter of about ten minutes reading and a few hours of practice.  It's 95% grip, the rest is a slight turn of your body.

    Compared to quality German knives, quality Japanese knives get sharper, stay sharper, are lighter, and handle better (for most skilled users).   Sabatier carbons are a lot like Japanese knives in those ways, sharpen even more easily,, but in other ways they're not like anything else in the world.  They're not a good generic recommendation because they need someone who's willing to rinse, dry and steel several times during prep; and not everyone's willing to put up with their neediness. 

    French stainless knives have the ergonomics but don't have very good edge qualities.  Everything considered, you're probably better off with a German or Lamson.

    That said, knives are all about sharpening and I don't want to delve too deeply into which and how much without finding out how you plan to sharpen.  If you're not willing to spend the time and/or money to do a really good job of it, you might as well save a lot of money and get a Forschner Rosewood or Fibrox.   

    So tell me about your sharpening.

    BDL
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2011
  3. imaya

    imaya

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    So far, just picked up a ceramic honing steel I use at the end of the day. I haven't done too much prep yet, so a few minutes at the end of the day has been all I need. It is 1k grit, if you needed to know that. When I order real knives beyond the utility ones I threw in the bag to get started, I am going to pick up a rougher grit steel, http://www.chefcentral.com/product/cutlery/532737-8721/wusthof-trident-3-piece-create-a-set.html . Once again, just chose that one because of the price. I need a new knife block at home too, so two birds with one stone and all that.

    In a few months I was planning on looking into some whetstones. I read that Japanese waterstones are the best. Just not enough money right now to invest in an advanced sharpening system and knives, I thought it may be best to get the knives now and order the stone in a few months when I have more money and I have worn out the factory edge and need it.

    The alternative was a sharpening service offered down here. Reasonably priced, I need to go see what kind of work they do. I was told they come to the shop twice a month, so I could go down every couple months and get it done on my way home from work. Considering that I have a full time job, part time work that comes and goes, as well as a season volunteer job, this seems like the better option to ensure I make the time to get the knives taken care of.
     
  4. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    There's nothing wrong with getting a Forschner while you develop your knife skills and sharpening skills. Then you'll have more idea what you'd prefer in the future.

    The skills will transfer to the new knife and so will the sharpening gear.
     
  5. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Your current ideas about sharpening are more consistent with Forschner than "better." 

    Very few sharpening services can or will do an adequate job with Japanese knives.  You can do a decent job with good oil stones on many Japanese knives, including the Fujiwara FKM or a Tojiro DP, but oil stones are slower (need more strokes) than water stones, and slower stones means you need better skills.  

    You definitely do NOT want a coarse steel.  In fact, you want to limit your use of a steel to "truing," and avoid sharpening with a rod altogether.  This is because the contact patch is so small and applies so much force that inevitable errors are magnified.  Furthermore, if you're using a knife made from an alloy which will take a fairly fine edge, a coarse, toothy edge is counter-productive.

    The logic behind not purchasing a good knife for a coarse edge is intuitively clear, I think; but we can delve more deeply if you're interested. 

    In my opinion (and it's only one man's opinion), it's worth going to the expense and trouble to buy, own and maintain a very good chef's knife because it takes so much of the onus out of prep. 

    I'm still curious as to why you like a santoku.  Don't worry, there's no implied judgment.  I only want to know more about how you think about knives so as to help find the right fit for you, your skills and your budget. 

    Speaking of skills... you can't begin to develop some of the more important knife skills without very sharp knives.  Duller knives require more power, sharper knives reward precision...  In the case of knife work, power and precision are pretty much antithetical.  Sharpness is key.

    BDL
     
  6. imaya

    imaya

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    I wish I could say I was diligent enough with my sharpening that I could keep a stamped blade where it needs to be throughout the day, but I am not. Season is about to begin, and we will be SLAMMED. I am sure there will be plenty of days I will have to hone on my lunch break and after work, because I just don't have time to stop and do it. I also am just plain a bit scatter-brained, and honing would be on my list of things to do, constantly getting pushed back as more important things come up. Also, if my blade gets chipped because I accidentally cut something hard or hit a pit or something, I don't have the skills to get the ding out. I would also be pretty pissed :p These are the reasons why a soft blade just doesn't seem like it would be a good fit and I feel I need something that will hold an edge better. Besides, I have more time to work on an edge at home than at work, so the less fussing at work the better.

    I have talked to multiple female cooks and chefs, and all of them swear by their Santuku. As a female, I was recommended one by all female cooks I talked to, they say it is their go-to knife for most tasks. I also was told that a huge part of finding the right knife is simply what 'feels right'. A santuku 'felt right' in my hand. I use a small one at home, and my biggest gripe about it is that it is too small for most everything I use it on (5"). The weight of the stamped one I tried felt a bit too light for me, but I imagine the forged one will have the extra weight I was looking for. If there is a similar style and weight I should be looking at as an alternative, please let me know! While the santuku felt pretty good, it still wasn't *perfect*. Once I really start working with one for long periods, I can probably narrow down what about it is wrong. I think it may just be a conflict of technique. I began with my dad's classic Wusthofs, he showed me how to use those with a rocking motion, but at some point early when I began to develop knife skills on my own, I began to prefer more of a slicing motion for most tasks. I suspect this is in large part because I have been using utility knives that are too small for quite a while now, so that is just the only way to cut with a small knife! I am more consistent with my slicing motions than rocking, and because I am working at a resort, many of the garnishes NEED to be consistent, so I have been slicing them. When in a hurry or cutting something that doesn't need to be perfect, I prefer the rocking motion (and would be the point I would want a classic french style chef knife). As you can tell, I wasn't 'trained' professionally. I just watched others to learn by example how to cook and prep. Ultimately, that is how school teaches you... I just didn't have someone to slap my hand when I did it wrong :p
     
  7. johnr

    johnr

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    Imaya, my suggestion is to use the house knives for a while. After working on the job for a while you will get a much better idea of what tools are best to use for what you need to do.

    The other reason is knife maintenance. I do my own (reprofiling, thinning as needed) but if you don't at least the house knives are usually sharpened every so often.

    As a relief/temp cook, often times I do more prep work than cooking and there are certainly situations when anything less than 10 inches would not work for me.

    For example yesterday I was cubing/dicing chedder cheese for salads in 1/4 inch cubes. The cheese block was maybe 6 inches wide. With a 10 inch Chef's knife, that gave me a couple of inches on each side of the cheese block to put push pressure on the blade with one hand on the pointy end and the other on the handle end like a cheese knife. Also cutting Romaine heads I use just about all of the 10 inch blade.

    My main tools in order of use are as follows:

    1. 10 inch Chef's-Forcshner (Rosewood handle)-about 90% to 95% useage
    2. Kuhn Y peeler
    3. Pocket (locking) folding knife (boxes and packages but if sanitized can be used as a Paring)
    4. 10 in Serrated bread knife-Update International

    I have 6 other knifes in my roll that are rarely used but are as follows:

    3.5 inch Paring- Update International
    6 inch Petty-Japanese steel but custom made by a friend
    8 inch Forcshner Breaking knife
    8 inch Victorinox Filet knife
    12 inch slicer- Update International
    6 inch Chinese Cleaver

    As far as Santokus; they don't work for me (although I have one at home) compared to a Chef's knife. It might be a personal choice but I feel I get more functionality out of a Chef's knife. I use the pointy end a fair amount of time, the size (10 inches) is more useful for me and the ability to do "rocking motion" cuts is more suitable to a longer Chef's knife.. At home and I just need to prep a couple of items it doesn't matter what I use and will grap whatever is clean be it a Santoku or anything else.
     
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2011
  8. iceman

    iceman

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    OK. Just for the "conversational value" it may bring, I'll tell you why I like a good santoku knife. I have two(2) of them; one(1) cheap, the other inexpensive. With either one, the balance is very nice; it's overall size/shape/weight all go well with the size/shape of the blade. Both of mine have flatter blades with less belly than their corresponding chef's knives (same brands). That, for me, makes working with them very nice. Both are lighter and thinner than the chef's knives too. I also like the fact that they are both hollow edged, I find that very helpful when it comes in play. 

    I absolutely agree with the idea of Victorinox Forschner being a good brand. Half of my knives are VF. Just recently I saw this clearance page on the site of a very nice retailer, Cutlery and More. It's for the LamsonSharp Walnut line. If it's me, and I needed a new set, I could drop +/- $100 and get everything I needed, outside of a "steel", and in that case I'd get a Idahone Ceramic for < $30, and call it a happy day. I'm not saying that the Lamson's are all that wonderful, but I think they don't suck and the price is nice. 

    "LamsonSharp"

    http://www.cutleryandmore.com/search

    [​IMG]

    LamsonSharp Walnut 1837 Hollow Edge Santoku  
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2011
  9. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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    I'm glad you like it, IceMan. I like my knives as well.
     
  10. just jim

    just jim

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    My Lamson cleaver is my favorite non-meat cleaver. Great as an Asian style.
     
  11. imaya

    imaya

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    I am quite firmly of the belief that my knives at home are 100% unacceptable for professional kitchens. The only thing I dared to take with me was my serrated as a backup, but I know it will rip up sandwiches. I use a steak knife at home for that. As I said earlier, my best knife at home is a 5" santuku, and I already have a plain 5" utility in my work roll. The rest of my knives at home are such trash, they only say 'made in china' on them... I have no idea where they are from. Oh, I also have an 8" chicago cutlery stamped chef's with a broken tip :p I hate every single knife we have at home, so I know that all those styles and brand are bad fits :p If I got new knives for home, I wouldn't even donate any of them, I would trash every single one except the 5" santuku.

    That clearance section has some interesting things... http://www.cutleryandmore.com/miu-france/forged-knife-block-set-p111229# have everything I would need, plus a lot of filler that would collect dust. The manufacturer's  website says it is 440 stainless steel, so they seem to be quality made. They also have a small collection of Miyabi 5000s. Google tells me these are Henckels' Japanese line. Both of these companies I am clueless about, so if anyone has any insight, please share!
     
  12. pohaku

    pohaku

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    FWIW, by "house" knives, I believe that JohnR meant the knives provided by the restaurant, rather than your own knives from home - unless of course your restaurant does not provide "house" knives.  I believe the Miyabi 5000s is a cheaper line of Henckels Japanese knives (as opposed to the 7000 line, for example) and the steel is not the same (softer) than their more expensive line.  IMHO.while having a knife with a substantial feel is nice when you first pick it up, weight is not an asset if you are doing lots of prep (unless it is cracking lobsters or splitting chickens).  A lighter, sharp knife is much preferable.  That's why just briefly handling knives in a store can be misleading.  They may initially feel good in the hand and have a reassuring weight to them, but it won't be the same after you have actively used them for several hours.

    Oh, while a chef's knife is a much more personal choice, don't spend a lot of money on a bread knife.  In my experience, the expensive ones don't cut much better than the inexpensive ones and you can spend the money where it will do more good..  A Forschner should be just fine. - you want at least a 10" knife.  Less than that (lots of 8" knives out there) is really too short for a bread knife.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2011
  13. imaya

    imaya

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    Ah! No, there are no knives in the kitchen I work in. Everyone brings their own knives... and tongs and whisks too, oddly enough. The only things the scullery has are ladles, scoops, and large spoons. There may be some other odds and ends I have not discovered again, but everyone brings their own... everything in terms of tools with them. People also seem to be pretty lax about others picking up their tools to use at the same station, and people who are friends will share tools. I have an engraver, however, so everything will get marked just to be safe :)

    I looked up those 'Miyabi' knives and had a lot of trouble finding solid info on them. The manufacturer's site simply said the knives were made out of Henkels proprietary metal, 'friodur', but I could not find ANY info as to what the 'friodur' actually is. I found one single discussion where most people agreed it is likely standard 440 stainless, just with the final ice bath. The debate was whether they used the high carbon 440c, like Henckels used in vintage knives, or the more common and softer 440a or 440b. If this is the case, I am not sure if the final ice bath makes those knives worth quite a bit more than the french MIU I linked, which also are supposedly made of the 440 stainless according to the manufacturer.
     
  14. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Hi Imaya,

    I scarcely know where to start.

    There's no intrinsic advantage to forged knives over stamped.  There are really bad and really good knives made either way.  We want to set you up with good knives which suit your skills and budget, but considering how little you want to spend, you're probably going to end up with at least a couple of stamped knives. 

    Softness/hardness are important up to a point; but they're also terms of art, so I want to be careful how I use them so as not to confuse you.  If it's any comfort, you've got me confused.

    I was afraid of just the answer you gave regarding santokus.  It's uncomfortable for me, as a man, to say your women-chef friends are wrong.   Throwing gender into an already complicated stew doesn't make things easier.  However, stature or hand size has very little to do with what size knife will be most comfortable for every day prep.  Grip and sharpness, are the whole story pretty much.  Similarly, a small knife isn't more suitable for a "little bit" of prep than a regular chefs.  There are a few tasks which are done better with something shorter than your "go to gyuto," like peeling, tourne, and boning... but not many. 

    MiU knives aren't exactly horrible, but they're not very good either.  The set itself is wholly inappropriate for a working pro.

    Your idea of putting sharpening off until your knives dull is self-defeating.  Most good knife skills are based around a soft grip, and you can't develop the grip or the skills without knives which are consistently kept very sharp.  Commitment to sharpness and sharpening is critical.     

    I know I'm saying a lot of stuff which you don't want to hear and challenges your preconceptions.  Your ideas, the questions you're starting to ask, and the advice you've already received will probably invite a lot more participation in your thread here at Chef Talk from people with a lot of different ideas and perspectives.  Before going further, it's a good idea to figure out if you want to work with me on this or with someone else.  The last thing I want to do is make you unhappy or unsure.

    BDL
     
  15. wagstaff

    wagstaff

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  16. imaya

    imaya

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    Well, ok, maybe a good place to start is to know if I am at all on the right track with the knives I was looking at in my original post? Even if a Santuku, for example, isn't the right style, am I still on the right track in terms of models/ series and manufacturers? Should I be looking at Gyuto instead of Santuku, for example? Or should I stick to just a french chef for now? Are any of the manufacturers better for my needs and price range than others, and are there some I should just forget about?

    Thanks for that link, Wagstaff. The information was quite enlightening :) I am not one to stick to old fuddy-duddy ways 'just because', there has to be a good reason for it! Obviously, there isn't a lot of reason to be a stickler about forged knives and bolsters any more.
     
  17. scubadoo97

    scubadoo97

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    Amen brother.

    Imaya, take this to heart it's important and very true.

    A cheap knife that's kept sharp is better performance wise than an expensive high end knife that is dull.  Sharpening is one of the basic skills that you should learn if this is to be your craft. 
     
  18. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    I think you should plan on investing a significant part of your budget on your primary knife; get R. H. Forschner for whichever other knives you absolutely NEED; and plan on replacing one or two of your basics, and adding whatever specialty knives you need as you need and can better afford them; and invest whatever's necessary in some sort of sharpening kit. 

    My idea of "good enough" for a pro's go-to includes something which will take and hold a sharp enough edge for it to "fall-through" nearly all prep instead of requiring a lot of effort to chop, push, pull, slice or rock through.  Until you've used something that sharp, you don't know much of a difference it makes.  For most people, "out of the box" sharpness is something of a miracle, but believe me you can do as well with all sorts of easy sharpening kits; and better if you have the desire to build the skills.  

    My generic recommendations for "bottom of the high end," entry level, good knives are Tojiro DP ($100ish) and Fujiwara FKM ($80ish).  That doesn't make them best for you, it just means they're decent entry-level values.  I'd like to see you with something a little better, but the next step up is expensive.

    I also think a 10" chef's knife is the generic, right choice.  Chef's/santoku is a matter of taste, yes.  But a chef's tends to be more productive, versatile and stay sharper longer.  A 10" chef's is just as agile as a 7" santoku, as long as the knife is light enough and the skills are there.  Sadly, they usually aren't.    

    The skill you build the other skills around is the softness of your grip, that requires sharp edges, and you can see that the whole thing is something of a circle. 

    As your basic knife kit, I suggest:
    1. 10", good quality chef's knife, such as a Tojiro DP (for instance).
    2. 10.5" Bread (RH Forschner, Fibrox or Rosewood)
    3. 5" or 6" "Petty" (Forschner)
    4. 3" Paring (Forschner)
    5. Something large and heavy duty for doing big, rough jobs your chef's shouldn't, like splitting chickens.  It could be an old used German chef's, a Forschner Cimeter, a machete, or any one of a number of choices. 
    6. Knife roll.
    There are two basic directions to take for sharpening.  The first is to use some sort of gag which doesn't require a lot of skill to produce a decent edge.  You could go with a 15* Chef's Choice Machine or the three stage Mino Sharp for instance.  If you did, you'd end up reprofiling your Forschners to 15* -- there are some trade-offs but they can handle it; in my opinion a net benefit; all of my Forschners are sharpened to 15*.  Another type of pre-set will create a very coarse edge which is adequately sharp, but (and?) very toothy.  The Fiskars "Rollsharp" is the best of that bunch. 

    The second way is to get a couple of bargain, but good quality water-stones and learn to sharpen.  There's a learning curve, it will take you a while and some frustration to get good at it, but it's probably the best choice for a pro who can't afford an Edge Pro ($200ish). 

    Additionally, you'll need a good "steel."  Fortunately they aren't very expensive.  I usually recommend the Idahone 12" fine ceramic, but let's see what the rest of your sundae looks like before worrying about the cherry and sprinkles.

    BDL
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2011
  19. imaya

    imaya

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    Thanks for the suggestions :)

    Let me also be clear that I already spent about $75 on a chef roll, all my tools, a ceramic steel, a cheap 5" utility/ petty, and a couple quality paring. So the budget I came here with, $150-200, is for a chef knife and a bread knife alone, with the possibility of adding any other type of knife (such as a Santuku or whatever) to compliment this set if I can get the chef and bread at a good price.

    I was certainly planning on waiting to get boning knives, etc. since the vast majority of my prep work is related to my station, and none of it requires more than a chef, bread, and paring. Once I am in a place where I need more than that, I will get them. I was told what kind of knives to bring for this position, and the list was Chef, serrated, and paring. I don't expect to need any of the other knives for at least a year. I was brought in this season for a specific station, and I won't be moving until at least next year :) Though adding an inexpensive knife for the dirty stuff isn't a bad idea. I might just find something at a really good price to throw in the kit.

    I have been practicing my steeling at home on the shitty knives here, and have given all of them quite a lift. I know they are far from perfect, but they also are FAR better than they were. :)
     
  20. imaya

    imaya

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    Now, BDL, for discussion sake, why do you recommend Tojiro DP? I understand price is one reason, but I would also like to compare it's merits and shortcomings with similarly priced knives. I don't doubt your choice at all, I just like to bargain shop. If I can find a similar knife cheaper, or slightly better knife for the same price, I feel all warm and special about about my purchase! :p

    Poking around, I am wanting to discuss some other very nice sounding Japanese knives I found. I obviously don't have experience with any of these, so if anyone, not just BDL, has experience or knowledge on these, please chime in!

    JCK has a bunch of their own lines of knives, are they good? A few in my price range:

    The Gekko and Inazuma series (about halfway down the page)

    CarboNext (ES)

    Kagayaki Original Basic

    Kagayaki VG-10

    Masamoto

    Moly VG Series

    Minsono

    Moly Series

    Hiromoto

    Tenmi-Jyuraku (Aogami Super)

    Tenmi-Jyuraku (Gingami No. 3)

    Kanetsugu

    Moly Pro-M

    Fujiwara

    FKM

    Moritaka

    Aogami #2

    Kikiuichi

    Moly Series