Would love help picking a chef's knife!!

Discussion in 'Cooking Knife Reviews' started by joeycannoli, Dec 5, 2016.

  1. joeycannoli

    joeycannoli

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    Hey knife Experts,

    I'd love some help picking out a knife. About me, I'm currently unemployed and want to experiment in the culinary world. I'd be using this knife for fairly simple tasks (cutting lots of veggies and simple store bought meats). I'd like to venture out into some advanced work in the near future, but just trying to be honest. Here are a few things that I've determined.

    - I'd like a Japanese style knife. I love the traditional look and heritage. My parents always had wustofs but never really liked them much.

    -I'm thinking 210mm (somewhere around 8 inches)is the size I'd prefer.

    -I've never sharpened a knife in my life and just from poking around on the threads, this seems very nuanced and a craft of its own. One I'm not sure I'm willing to undertake at this time. So I'd be looking for something that holds its edge that I could bring tons professional once or twice a year.

    -price is very relative for me (and maybe the knife I want for the price I'd like to spend doesn't exist) Though I love the idea of investing in something I could have in my kitchen for 20 years.

    Looking to spend around $100. I realize Miyabi is a hinkels bastard and probably not the most authentic gyuto, but cutlery and more has the 8inch kaisan chef's knife shipped for $79 right now. Which comes to my next question. Vg-10 seems to get a fair amount of criticism on the board. Is there a carbon steel at this price point? I checked out some of the entry level knives on JKI (Gesshin and Gonbei), but they are a bit more expensive than I'm able to spend.

    Any suggestions? Thanks in advance for your help.
     
  2. millionsknives

    millionsknives

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    @joeycannoli welcome to here. CHeck out korin.com knife sale. Togiharu and suisin western inox are in your budget, stainless, not too chippy, good first knife.
     
  3. foody518

    foody518

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    http://www.echefknife.com/knife-type/double-edged/gyuto-chefs-knife.html I think if you could spring a bit more to go for the powdered daisu steel gyuto, that might be one of your better shots at getting more edge retention in this price range.

    Would suggest going 240mm/10 inch over 210mm/8 inch. You'll get some more utility and sometimes it's just a $20 difference in price. But that shorter knife is never going to be longer when you need it to be

    If your standard for when you send out a knife to a (good, qualified) sharpener is when you can't fine dice a tomato anymore, and you're cooking most every day, I don't think these knives are going to go 6 months keeping to that standard. Think probably less (unless you go the route of extreme steeling to just give you lots of scuffing so you have a mini-saw thing going on).

    Depending on your location and possible shipping charges for sending your knife out to get sharpened, you could probably pay the cost of a decent stone in 2-5 visits.

    Don't get a higher hardness knife or one with some tendency to brittleness/chippy-ness (I might include VG10 in this group) if you haven't got a sharpener in mind who uses stones. 
     
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  4. joeycannoli

    joeycannoli

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    Bump, still haven't made up my mind.. I received a 7 inch Premier Shun santoku for Christmas and don't mind it, but feel there may mine some better options for me. That being said $159 is the max. I will not be sharpening my myself and would like a 210mm gyuto.i want a something aesthetically beautiful with a Japanese handle. I'm open to suggestions. If there are any options around $100 that would be ideal.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2016
  5. foody518

    foody518

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    Is fully stainless a requirement?
    What professional sharpeners do you have in your area?
    Gesshin uraku 210mm is at the top of your range and it's a highly competitive option at this level
     
  6. rick alan

    rick alan

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    This is as aesthetically beautiful as they get in the price range, and great performer too:

    https://www.japaneseknifeimports.co...ducts/gonbei-210mm-hammered-damascus-wa-gyuto

    But we just got introduced to these recently, they look well worth it.  I'm guessing the same decent grind as a Vic, maybe better, and with a much nicer handle and excellent steel.  Cheaper if you by them from France, but you'd likely get hammered with shipping:

    http://www.thebestthings.com/knives/fischer_bargoin_zen_knives.htm

    Any one of these: http://www.knivesandstones.com/ginsan/
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2016
  7. joeycannoli

    joeycannoli

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    No, I'm very interested in the carbon knifes I know they tend to patina, but I'm good with washing and wiping immediately whem I'm done. I'm in Minneapolis and there seems to be a place in a near by suburb that does whetstone sharpening. They said they have 30+ years of experience.
     
  8. rick alan

    rick alan

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  9. foody518

    foody518

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    Wouldn't recommend something with a cheaper reactive cladding for a first experience with carbon. Even a reputedly reactive monosteel carbon like Misono Swedish is amazingly easy to take care of compared to some of those claddings

    Masakage Yuki 210mm at Knifewear (toggle currency to USD) is around 155$ right now, stainless clad carbon. Edge retention is okay but the edge refreshes with ease. Cuts nicely for small foods though will exhibit some wedging on larger denser foods like sweet potato and large carrots. Would recommend some oiling on the handle and to avoid having wet hands when holding it. The wood feels more raw (or from a younger tree, can't quite explain it) compared to the handle of the Uraku
     
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  10. joeycannoli

    joeycannoli

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    Tanaka Blue 2 Kurouchi Gyuto 210mm with custom octagonal Ebony handle

    Really beautiful knife for $136.
     
  11. rick alan

    rick alan

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    Foody does have a point about the iron cladding, though I haven't heard of the Tanaka being overly reactive.  And the stainless clad version is just at the upper end of your price range.  These Tanakas are a very good value.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2016
  12. foody518

    foody518

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    On KKF it looks like even the Tanaka lovers comment on the Blue #2 claddings's insane reactivity. Probably another reason the stainless clad version sold out soooo quickly. If it restocks anytime soon, could definitely be a contender. Otherwise, I'd much rather recommend a monosteel carbon as an introduction to carbon, but most all the ones I can think of in this price range have western handles (Misono Swedish, Fujiwara FKM, Suien VC, Suisin and Masamoto's carbon line)
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2016
  13. rick alan

    rick alan

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    Thanks, missed that, makes you wonder why the hell they use that crap for cladding multi food use knives.
     
  14. foody518

    foody518

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    Jon's got a video on caring for carbon steel knives relating to how one should prep when using such knives -have a damp towel to regularly wipe the knife on and help stave off that acid buildup and a dry towel for wiping off if the knife has to be left on the board for a while. And if you do this in a disciplined manner there shouldn't really be problems. I suppose part of it is having to intermittently wipe in the midst of prepping acidic+reactive foods: I left my Moritaka (soft iron, reactive cladding) with potato juices and starches on it for 3-5 minutes while helping a friend with her stuff and I came back to rust...so it's something that isn't always ingrained in my habits too, especially while scrambling a bit and not at my usual space right by my sink to quickly rinse. And having a knife with cladding that is liable to rust on you while thinning is another thing I hadn't thought about watching for until it happened...
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2016
  15. joeycannoli

    joeycannoli

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    I'm not seeing anything under $200 on knifewear by that name???
     
  16. foody518

    foody518

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    Please toggle to USD currency. Conversion rate is like 1 USD to 1.3 CAD, fairly favorable compared to earlier in the year
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2016
  17. joeycannoli

    joeycannoli

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    Sorry my fault. It doesn't convert till you click the link. $158 I can swing. I'm gonna pull the trigger unless there is a better option
     
  18. rick alan

    rick alan

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    You can find different but probably not better for the price.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2016
  19. foody518

    foody518

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    I think the Uraku stainless might be a better overall deal (it includes a nice saya). Wide beveled knives are going to act differently and hopefully your sharpener knows how to be handling them. Having said that, I did want to throw out other options, particularly due to possible aesthetic interest :). Would recommend a fine stone or strop (heck, even cardboard or tightly secured newspaper on a raised surface is something) for touchups or else the Uraku is likely going to beat its edge retention for day by day use
    If you can hold out for sightly over a month, come Feb 1st Knifewear will be having their 15% off Masakage month sale. Last year I got the 270mm Yuki for like ~160-170 USD, happy deal
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2016
  20. joeycannoli

    joeycannoli

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    I'm can ride it out for a bit. I've got a few knives that get the job done, but will
    Probably put the Shun on eBay.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2016