What are your cooking knife suggestions for my budget and use?

Discussion in 'Cooking Knife Reviews' started by deltabravo, Jan 3, 2015.

  1. deltabravo

    deltabravo

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    My background-

    I'm moving away from the family and need to purchase my own knives. Due to budget, I can only justify one quality knife right now. I've worked in a few restaurants so I appreciate quality knives. My budget is between $100-150 (if I could buy a 7 star knife for $100, I would rather buy a 9 star knife for $150). I'm vegetarian, so I will only be using it on vegetables. I need one all purpose knife.

    I was raised with the chef's knife, so I'm inclined to go back to one. Although, I've also been researching the santoku recently. I think I would prefer the santoku for cutting onions (which I eat a lot of), but for everything else I think I would prefer a chef's knife (practicality- one all purpose knife).

    Based on my research, I recognize major differences between knives - length, alloy composition, angle of the cutting edge, etc...

    At the point of actually choosing a style and brand, I'm lost, and I need your help please.

    *Double points if you provide a link to the suggested knife.

    Thanks in advance for all the help!
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2015
  2. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Give us an indication where you're from. Shipping/customs and such can impact which vendors and knives work for your budget.
     
  3. deltabravo

    deltabravo

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    phatch,

    I'm from California, and will be moving to Oregon. I would prefer to have my knife before I leave, so I need to order it within the next week. Thanks for the prompt reply!
     
  4. millionsknives

    millionsknives

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    Southern California? :D because in LA is Japanese Knife Imports, one of the best brick and mortar knife shops in the country.  Up in seattle is Epicurean Edge.  Worth a day trip to either.
     
  5. deltabravo

    deltabravo

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    Millions,

    That's great to know, that trip won't be too far away. Thank you. Do you have a suggestion for the knife?
     
  6. deltabravo

    deltabravo

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    Deleted Post.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2015
  7. millionsknives

    millionsknives

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    Really to make a good recommendation we'd need to know more about what you want in the chef knife:

    -carbon? stainless?

    -western handled?  japanese style wa handle?

    -left handed? right handed?

    -How are you going to sharpen?

    I wrote a whole article about this that might help, and some maintenance articles too:  http://www.knifeplanet.net/best-japanese-chef-knives-gyuto/

    Yes, the headers were buzzfeeded up... but I stand by the content.

    Some in your price range to consider:

    HIromotos in stainless or stainless clad carbon- gonna be extinct soon since the maker retired

    http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/Page4.html#GingamiNo.3

    http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/TenmiJyurakuSeries.html#AogamiSuper

    Gesshin uraku in stainless or carbon

    http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com...u/gesshin-uraku-240mm-stainless-wa-gyuto.html

    http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com...in-uraku-240mm-white-2-kurouchi-wa-gyuto.html

    nice thin stainless.  Also sold at JKI if you go there in person to check it out.

    http://korin.com/Susin-Inox-Gyutou?sc=27&category=280068

    The dragon! Thin, reactive carbon, definitely need to build patina

    http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/SwedenSteelSeries.html#SwedenSteel

    Maybe something jumps out at you.

    Also I'm a big fan of the Tanaka Blue #2 but it's a little over your price range at CKTG.  It was cheaper at metalmaster ww but they are sold out at the moment.  Also worth considering is Tojiro DP for like $68 on amazon.  It's a good gateway knife.

    A dull knife is going to be a dull knife no matter what you pick, so put aside some budget for maintenance and sharpening.  At a minimum a combo stone. 
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2015
  8. millionsknives

    millionsknives

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    I didn't recommend any santokus.  If you're only getting one knife, it should be able to handle everything.  Santokus are too short for a lot of things, and they have no tip for other stuff.
     
  9. dave kinogie

    dave kinogie

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    I'd backup the suggestion of getting something like a Tojiro DP, a Fujiwara FKM or the such and getting a combo stone and a thick wood cutting board instead of spending your whole budget on a knife that will inevitably get dull and damaged without them. Also a ceramic honing rod would be a plus.
     
  10. deltabravo

    deltabravo

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    I found this questionnaire on the kitchen knife forum, which I thought may be more helpful than my previous initial post.

    LOCATION
    United States



    KNIFE TYPE
    What type of knife are you interested in (e.g., chef’s knife, slicer, boning knife, utility knife, bread knife, paring knife, cleaver)?

    Chef's knife

    Are you right or left handed?

    Right

    Are you interested in a Western handle (e.g., classic Wusthof handle) or Japanese handle?

    Gosh I don't know. Ive been used to a hard plastic one that was provide to me by work; I would like to try something else. I would also like to move away from the standard black and metal rivets, which seems to be ultra common (hopefully that makes sense.

    I did feel handle a shun today and that felt really nice in my hands, so Japanese, maybe? I think I also handled a Global today (with those dots). I don't like the look of that.

    What length of knife (blade) are you interested in (in inches or millimeters)?

    Somewhere between an 8" and a 10". I'm used to handling blades that were closer to 10, I think. How am I limited by using an 8" or is that pretty standard?

    Do you require a stainless knife? (Yes or no)

    Not a clue. Does this primarily influence cleaning? If I cleaned and dried my knife after every use would it really matter?

    What is your absolute maximum budget for your knife?

    $150ish



    KNIFE USE
    Do you primarily intend to use this knife at home or a professional environment?

    Home

    What are the main tasks you primarily intend to use the knife for (e.g., slicing vegetables, chopping vegetables, mincing vegetables, slicing meats, cutting down poultry, breaking poultry bones, filleting fish, trimming meats, etc.)? (Please identify as many tasks as you would like.)

    Slicing and chopping vegetables. I don't currently do a lot of mincing, but I would like to start soon. I'm vegetarian so my cutting would be limited to vegetables.

    What knife, if any, are you replacing?

    The miracle blade (Asian style chop rocker thing, I don't know the name)

    Do you have a particular grip that you primarily use? (Please click on this LINK for the common types of grips.)

    Hammer Grip

    What cutting motions do you primarily use? (Please click on this LINK for types of cutting motions and identify the two or three most common cutting motions, in order of most used to least used.)

    Rock

    Slice

    Draw

    After thinking about it, I think this is correct. To be candid, I've never given it much thought until now. I know is that I don't mince much currently.

    What improvements do you want from your current knife? If you are not replacing a knife, please identify as many characteristics identified below in parentheses that you would like this knife to have.)

    Better aesthetics (e.g., a certain type of finish; layered/Damascus or other pattern of steel; different handle color/pattern/shape/wood; better scratch resistance; better stain resistance)?

    Comfort (e.g., lighter/heavier knife; better handle material; better handle shape; rounded spine/choil of the knife; improved balance)?

    Ease of Use (e.g., ability to use the knife right out of the box; smoother rock chopping, push cutting, or slicing motion; less wedging; better food release; less reactivity with food; easier to sharpen)?

    Edge Retention (i.e., length of time you want the edge to last without sharpening)?

    While I recognize aesthetics won't improve my cutting ability, I would like to enjoy looking at my blade. The wood grain look on the Shun's looks very pleasing to the eye. Some extra color, style, or swirling like that would be a plus.

    I don't like wood grain look on my handle though. Again the Shun looked and felt nice to me. I really enjoyed its light weight.

    I would prefer it to be non reactive. I don't want to sharpen my knives myself yet, maybe ill revisit the idea in a year or two. I would like it to be ready to use out of the box.

    I would like a professional to sharpen my knife maybe once or twice a year.



    KNIFE MAINTENANCE
    Do you use a bamboo, wood, rubber, or synthetic cutting board? (Yes or no.)

    I was thinking plastic although the kitchen supply store told me that I could properly sanitize a wooden board, so I'm thinking about moving to a wooden cutting board if I can keep my edge longer. Also, Costco's plastic cutting mats say they wont dull knives. Is this a generic marketing point that means nothing, or is there some truth to this (similar to wooden cutting boards).

    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.)

    Not now

    Are you interested in purchasing sharpening products for your knives? (Yes or no.)

    Not now



    SPECIAL REQUESTS/COMMENTS

    I have read a lot of comments about Shun. That they do make a good knife, but there can be better knives that cost less. With that being said, I liked the light weight of Shun, it felt nice in my hands. Nevertheless if something has similar characteristics to a Shun, I would like that.

    I hope this helps more!
     
  11. deltabravo

    deltabravo

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    Million,

    I read your article. Thank you.

    Between German and French I don't know. I would like to start mincing more so maybe German. Would German go better with a medium blade?

    I think I have a good technique, but upon reflection I question myself. I would like a thin blade, but I am concerned about damaging the blade. So maybe knife C (medium thickness). This may give me some time to intentionally practice my cutting and buy a laser (French style maybe?) a few years down the road.

    I am right handed. ( I think I would like to experiment with an asymmetrical blade, I don't think I've ever used one before).

    I typically keep my knives clean so I think I would like carbon. Stainless clad carbon is also an option (Besides the cleaning issue, is price the only factor in choosing carbon vs stainless clad?)

    Damascus cladding would be my ideal choice (Knife B), but it doesn't have to be.

    I think I would like a Wa handle (Japanese style).

    9-10 inches (I don't cut a lot of watermelon, but cabbage sometimes). 240mm sounds about right.
     
  12. deltabravo

    deltabravo

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    To everyone,

    I am grateful for the help. Due to my newbness, if you would not use abbreviations I would appreciate it. <@:)
     
  13. deltabravo

    deltabravo

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    Million,

    With all that I said, how does that GOKO SWEDISH STEEL (19C27) 240mm fit with my profile? I saw one with a hammered finish that looks gorgeous!
     
  14. rick alan

    rick alan

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    Goko is big bang for the buck.  Geshin Uraku is another.  Richmond addict in AEB-L is another.

    Rick
     
  15. chrisbelgium

    chrisbelgium

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    You're not very different than many other people; you want a nice looking knife that cuts well.

    I have this idea that you mean "Gekko" instead of Goko. Gekko has that hammered finish but is made of stainless VG10. However, there are many Gekko clones.

    I recently found this website where I found this Gekko clone that might interest you (choice of type/size is up to you, who are we to decide your preference);

    http://www.hocho-knife.com/sakai-takayuki-33-layer-vg10-damascus-hammered/

    BUT.....also on the same site, Yaxell damascus hammered beauty. This one matches a bit (well, a lot) your appetite for Shuns;

    http://www.hocho-knife.com/yaxell-zen-37-layers-vg-10-damascus-hammered/

    I have a 255 mm gyoto on the road form the same site, also a Yaxell. I'm expecting it tomorrow.;

    http://www.hocho-knife.com/yaxell-ran-69-layers-vg-10-micarta-handle/

    PS Get yourself a 1000/6000 (King is the most popular) combination stone and try to sharpen your knives. Learn how to sharpen on old knives, certainly not on Damascus knives!
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2015
  16. deltabravo

    deltabravo

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    Chris,

    Thank you for your reply.

    I think I will get around to practicing sharpening one day.

    I like those knives but I really want a Wa handle.

    Also, in MillionKnives first link he mentioned a Goko (as I've found some online I'm assuming that it actually is Goko and not a misspelling).
     
  17. deltabravo

    deltabravo

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    Upon reflection I think I know what I want, but need suggestion on brands.

    I want a Gyuto with a Wa handle. Carbon or clad carbon. 240 MM in length. Medium thickness. French profile. Asymmetric. Damascus clad and hammer finish.

    Did I leave anything out?

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2015
  18. millionsknives

    millionsknives

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  19. deltabravo

    deltabravo

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    Millions,

    So that would be considered french style?
     
  20. millionsknives

    millionsknives

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    More french than german at least.  You can tell that rock chopping wouldn't work well because it's more flat.  What happened for me is I adjusted my technique without thinking so much about it.