Which knife to choose as a gift?

Discussion in 'Cooking Knife Reviews' started by tuchop, Aug 10, 2019.

  1. tuchop

    tuchop

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    Hello everyone, I'm heading to culinary school shortly and will start working in a kitchen as well. My godfather offered to buy "the best" knife as a gift and I was wondering which one would you choose?
    I was thinking of a Gyuto since I really like japanese ones. I'm starting my journy in the not-my-house-culinary world so I barely know how to sharpen knives with stones. I'll be learning all of this with experience over the next months and years but keep this in mind when suggesting a knife that needs to be sharpened often.
    Design wise I'm really in love with Miyabi and Shun knives, although I've read so many threads here with a lot of hate for these two brands. Budget wise it can be anywhere between $200-400 so if a very nice looking knife performs the same as a MAC (example) but it's $100 more expensive, I'd take the prettier one. Also, I'm not considering carbon or knives that require a lot of care for now, just in case.
    thanks for your time!



    PD: here's a list of the brands that were the most recommended online in no particular order

    miyabi
    masamoto VG
    gesshin ginga
    konosuke hd
    Teruyasu Fujiwara Denka
    MAC
    Ryusen Blazen
     
  2. benuser

    benuser

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    Normally, I wouldn't care much about design or Fit&Finish. In the case of a present that's a bit different, I guess. So, you're looking for a stainless chef's knife. A good length is 240mm. Have a look at the Misonos, especially the 440 and UX-10 series. The first rather conventional by design, the last quite innovative. If you go for a Misono, get it from Korin and have the free 'initial stone sharpening'. UX-10 are made of Sandvik's 19C27 which keeps some bite even after the first dulling.
    Important: Japanese knives have an asymmetry that's quite beneficial to right-handed users — left side almost flat, right side convexed, edge off-centered to the left. If you were left-handed, order one with the inverted geometry.
     
  3. tuchop

    tuchop

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    Thanks for the reply, benuser! I was thinking about Misono's at Korin, that's a very plausible option. How different would a UX-10 perform against a Miyabi BLACK 5000MCD67, a BIRCHWOOD - 5000MCD or an ARTISAN - 6000MCT?
    pros and cons if price was the same for all of these?
     
  4. benuser

    benuser

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    IIRC, the Miyabis are typically intended for the German market. High tip, fat belly, balance point with the handle. Great for tall rock choppers behind a low counter. Pumping from the shoulder.
    The Misono has more the French profile and a forward balance point.
     
  5. rick alan

    rick alan

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    The Myabi black is a good (Japanese-style) knife, and good deal for very pricey ZDP-189 steel, and 9.5" is just a hair under your PR. Tough to sharpen as it is very abrasion resistent, and doesn't handle poly-boards well as it tends to be chippy, but a good micro-bevel and good technique takes care of that in large part.

    For a good performing and good looking knife in a more durable steel (19C27), and if you are in the States, then a Geshin Gonbei hammered, sold out at the moment:
    https://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/products/gonbei-240mm-hammered-damascus-wa-gyuto

    Geshin ginga is a great choice for a laser (fully stainless), as is the Kono HD (semi-stainless, but close enough).

    Also consider Tanaka Ginsan and VG-10 (Tanaka does a good job with this steel).
     
  6. sgsvirgil

    sgsvirgil

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    There is an old superstition that you should know about. Make sure that when you are presented with the knife that you give your godfather something in return. Anything will do; a dime, a penny, a button.....anything that belongs to you. There is an old superstition that basically says that when a knife is given as a gift, it cuts the bonds of friendship. By giving your uncle something you own in return for the knives, they will not be gift and the bonds of friendship will be preserved.

    Ok....now on to your question.

    Start with the basics. Choosing a knife is a very personal decision. What may be good for others may not necessarily be good for you. Sure, many people can recommend knives based upon their quality and objective features such as blade style, materials, dimensions etc. But, no one can really recommend a knife to you based upon subjective qualities, especially those that deal with your personal preferences.

    So here are some questions you should answer that will help you narrow down your choices and help you target the knife that is right for you.

    - Do you want Western or Japanese style?
    - How well developed are your knife skills, including the use of sharpening stones?
    - What sort of grip do you use?
    - What will be the knife's primary job?
    - What sort of metal do you want the blade made from?
    - What material do you want the handle made from?
    - Where do you want the balance point to be?
    - What type of bevel do you want?
    - What dimensions do you want in the blade (length, height, blade width)?
    - What characteristics do you want in the blade i.e. length, flexibility, hardness etc?

    Any of the brands and styles recommended in this are thread are excellent choices, including those that you have mentioned. I would recommend that you visit a cutlery store, if you have one nearby, and try out some knives after you've had a chance to answer these questions. I would suggest that you re-arrange these questions based upon your order of preference and go from there.

    Good luck! :)
     
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  7. rick alan

    rick alan

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    Oh for lasers I forgot the Ikazuchi, great value, unfortunately also currently out of stock:
    https://www.japaneseknifeimports.co...uchi-240mm-stainless-clad-blue-super-wa-gyuto

    Geshin also carries Ryusen Blazen, rather pricey though.

    My philosophy is adjust your technique to the knife (within reason though, no Germans here). And exception is where for some product you really want a completely flat profile, here I have a very good petty knife I ground a nice flat into. This for producing fine slices of celery, garlic, etc, machine-gun rapid.

    As far as handles go, so long as you make your 2 smallest fingers your "power" fingers, keep the rest of your fingers relatively relaxed, you'll have no problem with any handle you'll find on knives recommended here.