Another Knife(s) recommendation..

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Serious Tone
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Another Knife(s) recommendation..

Post by Serious Tone » Fri Nov 29, 2019 8:45 am

Hello everybody, been lurking around learning about Japanese knives for a few days now and trying to find out which ones to upgrade to - been one hell of a rabbit hole - I think I've landed on some but would just love some final critiques/suggestions from you pros before I order.

1)Pro or home cook? Home

2)What kind of knife do you want? (Gyuto, Santuko, Petty, Paring, Sujihiki, etc.) Gyuto, Sujihiki, Petty (and honing rod)

3) What size knife do you want? 210 Gyuto, 240 or so Sujihiki, 135-150 Petty

4)How much do you want to spend? 400-600 total

5) Do you prefer all stainless, stainless clad over reactive carbon, or all reactive carbon construction? Preferably all reactive or stainless clad over reactive

6)Do you prefer Western or Japanese handle? Japanese

7)What are your main knife/knives now? Cheap Costco Set

8)Are your knife skills excellent, good, fair? Fair to Good

9)What cutting techniques do you prefer? Are you a rocker, chopper or push/pull cutter? Not sure, but they'll also be used by my lady

10)Do you know how to sharpen? Not yet but I have a whetstone set that I'll learn how to use on the old cheap knives

Please also add any additional pertinent information that can help everyone with suggestions.

So here is where the subtle problems arise. The sweet lady of mine wants something that matches, she would just as soon go out and get a Wustoff set or the likes. We were looking at the Shun Premier set before I went down this rabbit hole. So I'm trying to find the knives we want in as close to matching as possible. So far this is what's in the cart:

https://www.chefknivestogo.com/yofuwh1gy21c.html

https://www.chefknivestogo.com/yofuwh1su241.html

Is Yoshimitsu pretty decent knives? I mean, ideally I'd like to get some knives that I can have forever and not have to upgrade again - but of course budget right?

I'm open to either Blue #2 or White steel..As for the honing rod, not sure which one to get, is the ceramic chefknivestogo brand fine or do I need the 90 dollar Dick or is the 40 dollar dick fine? No idea.

Thanks in advance anyone with suggestions!

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Drewski
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Re: Another Knife(s) recommendation..

Post by Drewski » Fri Nov 29, 2019 1:49 pm

I don't know much about the Yoshimitsu knives, but I wouldn't hesitate to get them. The W#1 steel will require sharpening more often than Blue or AS, but that depends on usage too. Personally I would start with a stainless clad knife over a reactive core. Easier to care for, less to worry about after use.

Here's a set, but the pettys are not in stock at the moment. Anryu B#2 hammered is an excellent knife and will last for a lifetime
https://www.chefknivestogo.com/anryuhammered.html

Kohetsu AS is also an amazing bargain. I have a knife in the HAP40 variety and couldn't be happier with it. Granted, not as much bling as other knives.
https://www.chefknivestogo.com/koaosuwaha.html

Most of the Masakage Yuki line is OOS for now, but these seem to come in pretty quickly. Some people complain about the handles, I don't mind mine on a 120 petty, but I also don't use it nearly as much as a gyuto.
https://www.chefknivestogo.com/masakageyuki.html

If you want to use a honing rod, just go with the CKTG one. I'd probably pick the black one as it is a finer grit. However, do not get a honing rod made of metal for the knives you are looking at. The knife you buy will have steel that is harder than the steel in the honing rod and the honing rod will be ineffective (at least that's my understanding). You could also maintain your knives by stropping, which a lot of us do. I would highly recommend this kit: https://www.chefknivestogo.com/haamstkit.html

Serious Tone
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Re: Another Knife(s) recommendation..

Post by Serious Tone » Fri Nov 29, 2019 10:24 pm

Thank you very much for the suggestions! I was actually looking at those Anryu's earlier today or yesterday as I really do like that hammered pattern and initially was going to go with blue #2 anyway.. I think You've convinced me to go with the Anryu, at least for the Gyuto, but I don't think I can stomach spending $270 on the sujihiki when we'll probably only use it a few times a year, IF THAT..Idk maybe not though, maybe I'll find all kinds of uses for it? But I think I'll go with the Kohetsu Sujiki because it's $100 cheaper and looks similar enough I hope..

I'll wait on a petty knife but get a MAC bread knife, even though I really don't like that basic ass handle and it doesn't match..But all I ever hear is it's the best one, so I figure I might as well, we'll definitely use it. Will pick up the strop kit as well, thanks for that recommendation.
Last edited by Serious Tone on Fri Nov 29, 2019 11:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

stevem627
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Re: Another Knife(s) recommendation..

Post by stevem627 » Fri Nov 29, 2019 10:51 pm

I love my Anryu hammered 240 and I know you will be happy with it. If you can swing it you can’t go wrong with these.

You also should look at the Kohetsu Nashiji Blue #2 knives. You can get all the knives you want and have some bling to the finish for a little over 400. These knives aren’t laserish but good solid day to day knives.
https://www.chefknivestogo.com/konabl2.html

Serious Tone
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Re: Another Knife(s) recommendation..

Post by Serious Tone » Sat Nov 30, 2019 12:05 am

I probably would go with the Kohetsu set but the lady prefers dark wood. I forgot to say before, but edited it into my last post, that I am going to go with the Kohetsu Sujihiki because I'm hoping the handle is similar enough and it's a more reasonable price for us.

Thanks for sharing your +1 on the Anryu

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jbart65
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Re: Another Knife(s) recommendation..

Post by jbart65 » Sat Nov 30, 2019 7:17 am

Methinks the lady has too much influence given her novice status, but sometimes that's the way it is. (-:

To me the worst idea in the knife world is a matching set. Absolute. Worst. Idea!

Some knives and smiths are better than others for this task or that. And most knives in a set are unnecessary. Basically you are sacrificing performance for looks and paying a pretty penny too. Many of us succumb to the desire for sets when we are young or before we know better, but knives aren't meant to be pretty things or showcases for the guests. They are meant to get down and dirty and make our daily sustenance.

Most of these handmade Japanese knives, by the way, are pretty darned good looking.

I'd stay away from fully reactive, too. It will discolor and rust if not kept dry or swiped regularly. Not a plus for knife owners who put aesthetics (matching sets) over performance. Definitely requires more time and greater commitment from the owners.

I'd skip a suji entirely. Given you light usage it's a total waste of money. I've owned or used more than 100 Japanese knives but I don't own a suji. Got a cheap $20 Mercer Culinary for carving, but you could use your main Japanese knife so long as you avoid the bone. They are that sharp.

A 150 petty can double as a boning knife. A 135 is not big enough for most such tasks.

Mac is a good bread knife. Ditto Tojiro. But the Wusthof double serrated is easily the best I have used. Not cheap, but I got a like-new one on eBay.

One other thought: Get a small $200 knife set or some such by Wusthof, Henckels, Miyabi ... and then get one really good J knfe for yourself to use. If you have to have a set for the lady's sake, that's what I would do.

Actually, I wouldn't. I'd divorce my lady and find a new one. That's why my lady leaves the knives to me!

I was joking about the last part. :lol:
Jeffry B

Serious Tone
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Re: Another Knife(s) recommendation..

Post by Serious Tone » Sat Nov 30, 2019 10:45 am

Believe me, I've been trying to convince her how bad of an idea it is just to go with a set, just because it matches. But on the other hand, I do enjoy a bit of semblance as well. The stark difference in the bread knives handles are slightly bothersome to me as well..We like looks just as well as function what can I say?

I'm not too worried if we end up with fully reactive, we already have a carbon paring knife so I've already familiarized her with how important it is to make sure its dried after used. And I stay on top of oiling it every so often.

Thanks for the Wustoff bread knife recommendation, gonna think the bread knife over some more as well as the Sujihiki - I think it is smarter to just go with a 150 or bigger petty for now and sometime in the future if she still wants a Sujihiki than we can get one. On second thought, maybe I'll just go with the Anryu Honesuki - seems like a good balance between a petty and Sujihiki.

Interesting idea about getting a "show" set for her. Might just bring that up and maybe she will like that!

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lsboogy
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Re: Another Knife(s) recommendation..

Post by lsboogy » Sat Nov 30, 2019 11:35 am

Id avoid the honesuki as a basic knife - they are designed for butchering poultry Get a good gyuto as a first knife and learn to use it. I do 90+% of all my cutting with a 240mm gyuto.

Serious Tone
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Re: Another Knife(s) recommendation..

Post by Serious Tone » Sat Nov 30, 2019 3:42 pm

Yeah, still going to get the Gyuto as the main knife.

Carlo
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Re: Another Knife(s) recommendation..

Post by Carlo » Sat Nov 30, 2019 11:50 pm

I got my brother in law a wedding present of a set of Wusthof knives with a block -Classic Ikon, the “step up” from the Classic line- because he knew his bride wouldn’t take care of them, and a very nice gyuto (Shiro Kamo R2) JUST for him. (Only problem is that he feels that the good knife is TOO good to use every day so he keeps it hidden away for special occasions!)

Anyway, check Sierra Trading Post for Wusthof knife sets, and make sure you use a 25% off coupon (need to sign up for emails), I think I paid about 230-240 for a set of their top of the line knives. She will be pleased AND you won’t have to feel sick to your stomach when they get run through the dishwasher* AND you will still have a lot of coin left over for your own amazing knife. Go carbon with a wa (Japanese) handle (the opposite of the Wusthofs, which are fine knives, just not everyone here’s cup of tea) and you will be absolutely thrilled with almost anything sold by CKTG**

Idk about your lady, but most people are probably going to be at least a little respectful of a wa handled knife that they have been warned will rust or chip easily.


*(not that any decent knife should ever intentionally go in the washer or sit in the bottom of the sink)

**Also, don’t sweat too much over choosing this first one -go with your gut- because they are easy to turn over if you want to get a fair chunk of your money back (see Classifieds section) and if you are like many of us you will experience the sweet sensation of your new knife cutting through food like a ***ing lightsaber and get so hooked you end up with knives and sharpening stones hidden away from your wife, who didn’t know you had an addictive personality...


TLDR: go with nice consumer grade set for your lady and treat yourself with the leftover $

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jbart65
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Re: Another Knife(s) recommendation..

Post by jbart65 » Sun Dec 01, 2019 8:08 am

A honesuki is not a carving knife - far from it. A speciality knife to bone poultry. I've got one and use it mostly for that. Also cutting chunks from large raw pieces of lamb, beef and pork

Plus to what Carlos says. If you get a Wusthof set, keep it small. The Ikon is the best line. Avoid the Classic with bolster. The Wusthof Gourmet is just as sharp, more thinly ground (easier to sharpen) and cheaper. I like Miyabi best among the mass market Japanese makers. It's owned by Henckels.

Not that I would go, there mind you. I do have Messermeister 9-inch chef knife as my beater, Messer steak knives, A Mercer carver, Wusthof bread knives and a few Wusthof paring knives foro my wife, but that's the extent of German stuff.

The problem with semblance is you end up spending way more than you should or buying knives that seriously, seriously underperform on a price per performance basis. I vaguely recall it used to bother me that not all my knives were the same. Vaguely because it seemed like in prehistoric times.

Or to put it more bluntly, you are getting looks but - relatively speaking - you are not actually getting function.

Here is what my knife rack looks like now. I love all the different handles. My guests notice the more ... exotic ones.

Image
Jeffry B

Serious Tone
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Re: Another Knife(s) recommendation..

Post by Serious Tone » Sun Dec 01, 2019 9:56 am

Thanks Carlo and Jbart for your suggestions!

Eh, I brought up getting her her own 'show' set but she said no that's ok. She'll come around to being all in with these knives once she uses them, I think. I actually find myself liking all the different handles in your block as well, Jbart! Except for the western handled ones ha.

I didn't mean to say that the Honesuki would be in place of the Sujihiki in use, I meant maybe just get one instead. But now I'm digging these Nakiris and Bunkas as well.
I'm kind of thinking of skipping the petty altogether, because it basically just looks like a mini gyuto, and getting the Anryu Hammered 130mm bunka instead..

Then if I don't get the Sujihiki, maybe get a Nakiri for veggies and use the Gyuto mainly for meat - effectively extending the 'life' of the edge of each - the same as having a set of all weather and separate snow tires. But I don't know, even though the slicer might not b used much, I feel like it might be worth having in the grand scheme of things. At least it has it's own specific use.

So that leaves me with:

Anryu Hammered 210 Gyuto
Anryu Hammered 130 Ko Bunka
Kohetsu 270 Sujihiki
MAC Bread Knife
Strop Kit

And then a Nakiri most likely down the road, but who knows. OR get rid of the Gyuto and go with the Nakiri/Suji combo for proteins/veggies.... :?

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jbart65
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Re: Another Knife(s) recommendation..

Post by jbart65 » Sun Dec 01, 2019 10:19 am

I use a nakiri regularly for vegetable-laden stir fries. Great choppers so long as they are flattish (some aren’t).

A bunka is like a nakiri with a tip, but again, some are flatter than others. Great for doing all the same thing a nakiri does, but the tip helps with delicate work or draw cuts on meat.

I don’t think I would have a need for 130 bunka. Seems too small to me, but some people like to ko bunkas.

I do find a 150 petty quite worthwhile. Boning, taking skin off raw fish, small jobs, cutting a piece of fruit. A santoku can a lot of that too. Just some ideas.

Still think you should skip a suji for now. What I do is use a 150 petty or honesuki to take meat off bone and use one of my thinner 240s to carve. I’d recommend you get a laser 240 in the future. A Konosuke Togatta has a profile that’s like a cross between a Gyuto and suji, but it’s much more versatile.
Jeffry B

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lsboogy
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Re: Another Knife(s) recommendation..

Post by lsboogy » Sun Dec 01, 2019 11:16 am

I'd dump the suji - only time I ever use mine is for slicing raw fish. And you can do that with a gyuto - especially a longer one. Probably why most of us concentrate on 240+ knives. I have some 210's, but they are relegated to mostly line and home use - I'd get a 240 as a basic knife and learn to use it before I get anything else. If you want two knives, get a petty/paying knife for off board use, but a nakiri is an excellent choice as well.

If you think about things, it might be best to get knives over time. No need to order a whole set right now. I would spend money on a gyuto - get the best you can afford and learn to use it. The Anryu is a pretty good choice, but the more I use my Konosuke the more I realize why they are revered here - expensive knives but worth every penny. I do nearly all of my slicing with a gyuto, and a 240 is long enough to slice most stuff. Point is that you can do almost everything with one knife - I slice bread with a gyuto, do veg and proteins etc. First knife is a gyuto, second a petty/paring, then everything else - nakiri's is are cool (I own several) and I would get a really nice one later. If you learn to cut well it transcends everything else - all knives are just tools - get a good one, keep it sharp, and learn to use it well. Once you have that down start looking at other purpose built knives. And look at profiles - I like Sabatier/KS stuff because it has a long flat spot good for chopping and push cutting

Serious Tone
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Re: Another Knife(s) recommendation..

Post by Serious Tone » Sun Dec 01, 2019 1:34 pm

Ok ok ok, I'm definitely getting somewhere here thanks to you guys.

I will officially take the Sujihiki out of the equation, up the 210 Gyuto --> 240.
Up the 130 Ko Bunka --> 170 Bunka...That should perform similarly to the petty, no? And since you say it's similar to a Nakiri, good compromise of both worlds?

I have to wait for the 240 gyuto and 170 bunka to come back in stock (hopefully), but this sounds like a decent set of knives for 99% of uses. Might still end up getting a Nakiri in the future as I would say,veggie prep is like 75% at least of what I do. BUT if I get the Nakiri in 165mm then maybe the 130 ko bunka might feel less redundant than having it in 170mm..ugh I need to just stop.

The Konosukes look way nice for sure, but idk if I can justify that much on just one knife just yet.

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lsboogy
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Re: Another Knife(s) recommendation..

Post by lsboogy » Sun Dec 01, 2019 3:16 pm

Justify it. Konosuke is where many of us would go - I have more than 100 knives, still revere kikuichi stuff, but konosuke is worth every penny and the rep is well deserved. It might well be the "one" knife of a majority up here. My HD2 is a joy to use every time, never fails to impress me. Get a single knife for now - learn to use it well (get a few boxes of onions every week to start - cheap way to learn to use a knife - my "second job" usually starts with a couple,or three boxes of onions most Saturday's - learning from a real chef to run a kitchen when I retire) and after a few months or years start getting others. You don't need a large collection or a set - that's what is being pushed on us. I could probably get by for the rest of my life with just a 240 gyuto and a small petty - along with a good hunting knife/pocket blade.

Serious Tone
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Re: Another Knife(s) recommendation..

Post by Serious Tone » Sun Dec 01, 2019 6:06 pm

You have a good point there, I was looking at the Fujiyama Series earlier and those ones are quite the spend but the GS+ isn't much more than the Anryu.

I particularly like this one: https://www.chefknivestogo.com/kotogsgy24eb.html

Definitely have some mulling over to do for a couple days, thanks for your input.

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lsboogy
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Re: Another Knife(s) recommendation..

Post by lsboogy » Sun Dec 01, 2019 8:18 pm

Go get the thing. It will not disappoint you. It's a KS profile blade with a kono grind - as a basic knife for <$500 it probably can't be beat. I'm waiting for my Xmas present - Carter Hopkins is making me the only knife it get this year – probably a >$600 purchase, but nothing like a knife make for you. Don't worry about a kono - if you find a better blade for you it will sell quick in the classifieds here. Few makers are on pat with him

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jbart65
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Re: Another Knife(s) recommendation..

Post by jbart65 » Sun Dec 01, 2019 8:58 pm

One. Knife. First.

Even though I bought two. (-:

Seriously, don’t try to buy everything in one swoop.

What I would recommend is one good knife and a Daovua to practice sharpening on. Then buy a combo stone, say a 1-3 Suehiro Cerax, and a CKTG 140 grit plate. Dull the Daovua on the side of the stone and sharpen. Then do again.

As I said before, I really hated the idea of learning to sharpen when I ended up here four years ago. But I am glad I did and listened to the advice.

Yes, you can spend a lifetime sharpening and constantly learn new things, but I learned how to get a good edge in a month just using two or three stones. The first time you succeed ... it’s quite a thrill.
Jeffry B

Ut_ron
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Re: Another Knife(s) recommendation..

Post by Ut_ron » Mon Dec 02, 2019 9:27 am

Check out this h2d kono on sale for $250. https://www.chefknivestogo.com/kohd2gy24we.html
Home cook that enjoys sharp knives.

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