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Discussion in 'Cooking Knife Reviews' started by alohakid, Feb 21, 2012.
Which Santoku : MacPro or Korin Togiharu Cobalt Damascus ?
Forged Hollow Edge Santoku Knife $19.95
NSF Commercial Hollow Edge Santoku Knife $7.95
Calphalon Contemporary Cutlery Hollow Edge Santoku Knife $19.95
Furi Rachael Ray Gusto Grip Hollow Edge Santoku Knife $19.95
LamsonSharp Walnut 1837 Hollow Edge Santoku $19.95
Victorinox Forschner Fibrox 125th Anniversary Edition Hollow Edge Santoku Knife $24.95
...thanks for the reality check !
my understanding is that a santoku can also be used to cut non-boned fish and meat ,
I'd like to be able to cut pieces of sashimi grade fish .
I'm going to look at the $65 Mac superior as the top end and work my way down from there .
Actually my profile should say " Learning to Cook at Home " rather than " I Just Like Food " .
So , does that change your recommendation ?
Thanks again .
If that is your goal, you may want to look at some alternatives that might possibly do a better job.
In my understanding, which may easily be flawed, you want a very sharp, very smooth blade that allows you to cut with no tearing or sawing.
I am not familiar with the terminology nor the techniques involved with sashmi beyond that of the "consumption skills"!
no , not a "goal" , just one of the tasks I'm looking for in a multipurpose knife .
I don't want to make sushi or rolls but rather for sashimi , donburi ,chirashi , ect ...
I'm just learning to cook and working in a tiny studio apartment kitchen .
How much are you willing to spend, grand total? What do you currently use as your main "anchor" knife in the kitchen? Do you sharpen, and how?
Slicing sashimi can be anything from hack-and-hew to performance art, and the knife you use will be part of that. A santoku is not, on the whole, a good choice, but there are certainly worse ones. If you are thinking that this is a good knife because it's a Japanese design, think again: the Japanese home cook who cuts sashimi isn't using her santoku for this purpose, so the knife is in a sense designed NOT to do this. But, as I say, there are worse choices -- and price will matter quite a lot here.
What sort of fish do you usually cut this way, incidentally? There are cuts and cuts....
As someone who is just learning to cook , working in a tiny studio apartment kitchen , wanting to prepare Japanese or Japanese influenced cuisine , I'm looking for a multipurpose knife .
I thought a santoku might be the solution .
As far as budget , well , I have no knife skills , I'm just a beginner , just learning to cook .
So whatever is the minimum to get the job done well .
I started out looking at the MacPro or Korin Togiharu Cobalt Damascus .
I'm aware that there are specific Japanese knives for specific tasks , but like I mentioned , the goal is to find a multipurpose knife .
And I have read that many home cooks in Japan rely on such a knife .
As for the type of fish ?
I'm talking about cutting slabs of tuna , yellowtail , salmon that have already been butchered in the fish market .
But that is only one task ; I'm looking for multipurpose .
OK. I'm just going on my "late night reading retention/comprehension skills" here, I don't guarantee that this is correct, but I'm thinking it is. I believe our biggest "MAC" fan (knives), is the famed and highly regarded BDL. I think he said somewhere that the "Pro" was the best choice being that the "Superior" was overpriced. I love my santoku for lots of stuff. If you want to cut sashimi properly, you really need a very sharp knife. Probably everyone here will recommend you learn proper sharpening skills. I cut tuna slices all the time w/ mine, but the slices are never more than playing-card size, usually match-box size. I have that last one I posted, the Victorinox Forschner. It works just fine.
List for Pro Series $135 , Superior $80
Mmm, I'm a MAC user for better than 10 years and they do a great job for me.
I use a smooth blade when dealing with fish and I maintain my knives to be very sharp.
I do not use the "dimpled" style knives for fish.
I believe BDL was referring the the MAC Ultimate as being overpriced. I have a Mac Pro Gyuto and a MAC Chef 8" chef's knife. I don't care for the geometry of the MAC Superior line all that much. I have a very old Santoku from that line. I would suggest looking at the MAC Chef line and consider the 8.5" Gyuto or 8" Chef's knife rather than a Santoku. Ultimately a more useful size and shape I think. Check CKtG which carries MAC. Their prices are decent and their service is great.
OK. So what I meant to say he said was "Ultimate". So I mistakenly said "Superior", big deal, so what. I also said I didn't guarantee I was correct. NAH. LOL @ ME all the same still. Nobody pays "list" for anything. Go look at these two(2) places. Great prices, great customer service. I don't work for either place.
Santoku is not my favourite knife but I own one. I got it because I was curious on the blade properties and because I had no experience with carbon steel. If you can deal with cleaning your knife inmediately after each use, don't hesitate on getting a Tojiro shirogami santoku it gets scary sharp and it wont cost you an arm and a leg. I own a mac professional gyuto and it's a great knife, but since the day that I got a "shirogami" steel knife... I don't mind anymore on dealing with patinas, and cleaning too often. The edge, edge retention and the easy that it's to get it sharp is just amazing.
My 2 cents /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif
Setting aside brands for a bit. What you want for fish (and nearly all slicing and portioning) is something long enough and sharp enough to cut a portion with a single draw cut.
More setting aside for the moment, this time "sharp enough." Santokus are basically too short for serious fish work. They also have a rather high profile, which doesn't make things easier. Forget nearly everything good you heard about them -- they're essentially a cut-down chef's with a flatter edge profile than most German knives. They don't do anything better or special. Just another 7" knife, which isn't any more well suited to slicing and portioning than any other short, wide knife.
If you're looking for a single, all-around knife which won't do anything to make fish more difficult, you -- along with nearly everyone else in the world -- would probably be best off with a ~10" chef's knife. If you don't have already have a quality, "go to gyuto" that's the place to start. If you absolutely, positively, can't and/or won't use a 10" knife and must have something shorter, then we can talk santokus. But otherwise, waste of time pretty much.
Now, back to "sharp enough." Sharp and sharpening is really where it's at, and everything else pales in comparison. Now's the time, as you buy your first good knife, to figure out how you're going to sharpen (this is your first good knife, right?). It will save you a lot of money and mistakes down the line.
I either use a 12" wa-suji or 10" Sabatier au carbone slicer to portion fish; my favorite sushi-man at my favorite sushi-ya uses what used to be a 10" yo-suji ("V" edged slicer) but has been sharpened down to around 8" during the day time, and a 12" yanagiba (chisel edged, traditional Japanese fish knife) at night. I choose my knives willy-nilly without rhyme or reason other than whim. He chooses his because the night time customers tip better and get the show; but the suji is easier to handle and more efficient for general prep. Whim on my part, and efficiency on his are the differences. The important similarity is that all four knives are sharper than heck, sharper than you probably think possible and all of them can do that particular job equally well.
Like I said, sharpening is where it's at. From a home-cook's perspective, the second most important criteria should be "fun." All you really need is that the rest of the knife -- beyond the quality of the edge -- be sufficiently well suited to its tasks that any of its other characteristics don't get in the way of your good time.
As to which brand and line in particular... let's figure out whether you're going stainless, carbon or semi-stainless; gyuto, suji or santoku; wa or yo; your budget (very important); all that sort of stuff, and then start nailing down specifics.
If your still giving me the option of santoku as it appears you are from your closing sentence , than santoku , or gyuto .
Stainless ,yo, $160 .
For gyuto I was considering Korin Togiharu Hammered Texture Damascus Gyutou 50/50
No big. MAC has so many lines I get them confused as well. I mean really, how many lines of knives does one manufacturer need? Ultimate, Superior, Pro, Chef, Damascus, Japanese, etc.
+1 on the vendors. I've bought from both and their prices are good and their service has been excellent.
Had a chance this afternoon to handle the MacPro santoku and gyutou and prefer the gyutou .
So thanks for suggesting I look at a gyutou .
So it's MacPro Gyutou vs.Togiharu Hammered Texture Damascus Gyutou or for santoku ,
Togiharu Cobalt Damascus vs Togiharu Hammered Texture Damascus Santoku .
I guess if I go santoku it will come down in large measure to hand feel .
Probably the same for gyutou .
This thread has been very helpful so far , so thanks !
I've narrowed it down to either MacPro Gyutou 8" or Korin Togiharu Cobalt Damascus Santoku 6.4" .
I guess I can find sharpening and cutting board info by searching the forums .
I think you should buy this, 210 mm Fujiwara stainless: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/fufkmgy21.html
It's thin but sturdy enough to be an all around multipurpose knife for you. And it's cheap, $75 with free shipping. Use it for a year and learn to sharpen it and take care of it. You'll either fall in love with it and not want anything else or you'll catch the j-knife bug and you'll want to buy 4-5-6 more knives each with a $150-250 price tag
That is a great bargain knife and it's pretty good for what you want to do. IMO.