Home cook wants to upgrade from a Shun

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ChefKnivesToGo
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Home cook wants to upgrade from a Shun

Post by ChefKnivesToGo » Mon Jun 25, 2018 12:56 pm

Hi



Here is our standard recommendation request form. Even though you answered some of these please fill it out and I'll match a couple knives to your criteria.



1)Pro or home cook?

Home cook


2)What kind of knife do you want? (gyuto, santoku, etc)

Gyuto



3) What size knife do you want?

10”


4)How much do you want to spend?

I’ve budgeted up to $300 for a knife that will last me a lifetime.


5) Do you prefer stainless or reactive carbon?

Probably stainless but I’m really good at taking care of my blades


6)Do you prefer Western or Japanese handle?

Probably Japanese, I’ve never liked the western and again I take care of my stuff.



7)What are your main knife/knives now?

I had a Shun Classic 10” (ex took it) and I had a Wusthof Ikon 10” as well. Didn’t like the handles much on the Wusthof and felt it was a bit heavy. I miss the Shun and was going to get another but then found a forum that linked to your website and then got lost in the variety and amount of options. Several people recommended the Laser.


8)Are your knife skills excellent, good, fair?

Good, certainly not a pro.


9)Are you a rocker, chopper or push cutter?

Mostly chopper, some pushing if the food is tough


10)Do you know how to sharpen?

Been sharping with wet stones since I was in scouts 30 years ago. Need to get some new stones, however.
Mark Richmond
Co-Owner www.chefknivestogo.com
Founded in 2002
Madison Wisconsin

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ChefKnivesToGo
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Re: Home cook wants to upgrade from a Shun

Post by ChefKnivesToGo » Mon Jun 25, 2018 12:59 pm

Ok,

This one is in stock, attractive, fully stainless, under your budget and handmade by a very good blacksmith. I think you would enjoy using it: https://www.chefknivestogo.com/kanasugy24.html

I'm sure my forum mates will have some other suggestions.
Mark Richmond
Co-Owner www.chefknivestogo.com
Founded in 2002
Madison Wisconsin

easilver
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Re: Home cook wants to upgrade from a Shun

Post by easilver » Mon Jun 25, 2018 1:13 pm

If you can find a Sukenari Ginsan 270 you'd probably really like it.

Maybe the Kanehiro Ginsan or the Kohetso HAP-40
Ed in L.A.

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Jeff B
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Re: Home cook wants to upgrade from a Shun

Post by Jeff B » Mon Jun 25, 2018 3:04 pm

An excellent stainless that will give you years of excellent service. Might run slightly short that the old Shun on the cutting edge but not by much.

Kanehiro Ginsan Gyuto 240mm https://www.chefknivestogo.com/kagigy24.html
If God wanted me to be a vegetarian he wouldn't have made animals taste so good.

salemj
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Re: Home cook wants to upgrade from a Shun

Post by salemj » Mon Jun 25, 2018 3:17 pm

First things first: if your goal is to buy a one-and-done blade, this is REALLY scary territory. I'll tell you why.

At $300, you are in one of the most competitive segments for hand-made knives. Hand-made knives vary a lot more than less expensive knives, so you get way more variations and idiosyncrasies. The VAST majority of forum members I know around these parts have several "favorites" in this range and make lots of recommendations based on owning 10 or more blades (and having owned more before). Point being, the answer you get from these people if you ask "if you could only keep one knife from your collection to use every day for the next 20 years, what would it be?" is likely to be VERY different than if you ask "what is your favorite knife in your collection?" or something like that. Many "favorite" knives are not necessarily the best everyday, one-and-done knives, even in the sub-300 range.

Given your interest in 1) length, 2) performance and durability, and 3) prior experience, I would definitely for a lighter, more basic blade that does lots of things well.

You'll find many examples of these types of blades in discussions of "KS clones." The term has become unpopular, but the reality is, most knives that are described this way (or have been in the past) are going to be front-and-center options for you: they are closer to 10" without being overly massive or heavy, they tend to be very good all-around blades that have a bit more beef toward the rear and are thinner and tuned for performance near the front, they tend to be pretty flat in terms of profile (good for chopping, pushing, and some rocking), and they tend to not be to tall or oversized, so they will be very close to the Shun or Wusthof you're accustomed to in that regard.

The original "Masamoto KS" is probably hard to get. It is full carbon but not that reactive and is easy to care for and sharpen. If you can find one, it will change your life.

Two recent newcomers include the Shibata Kashima and the Konosuke GS+ Togatta. The Kashima has gotten rare reviews from several professionals in professional use: don't let the fact that these knives are thinner fool you: with basically good technique, these things can really do a whole lot.

I also think you'd like an Ikeda gyuto. They used to make an amazing "KS clone," but now they only make 210 and 240 gyutos, which are essentially the same but a little shorter in length and a little taller in height. Fully reactive, but the Damascus is much less reactive than iron...mine takes a light patina but never is in danger of rusting.

Finally, you could do a lot worse than a 270mm Konosuke SS gyuto with a Western handle. Several forum members recently bought these to be daily drivers for all tasks to "save" nicer knives, if you will (there was a sale!). I think there is one or two in the classifieds right now. It will definitely perform well, no doubt. Konosuke is one of my very favorite brands. While it has a Western handle, it would still be a nice one that balances well with the blade...it would feel nothing like a Shun or Ikon: it would be lighter, more nimble, with a smaller handle (in terms of circumference) and with better balance overall. Perhaps a bit plain and boring, but it would definitely be a life-long standby and you could set aside the extra money for a more exotic "specialized" knife once you fall in love.

That's all I got for now...
~Joe

Comments: I'm short, a home cook, prefer lighter, thinner blades, and own mostly Konosukes but have used over a dozen brands.

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Re: Home cook wants to upgrade from a Shun

Post by lsboogy » Mon Jun 25, 2018 10:08 pm

Welcome to the world of high(er) end knives. I've still got some shuns (sit in the drawer most of the time - decent knives but you can do SOOO much better. I love Kikuichi Damascus knives for "pretty", and they perform better than expected, and they are stainless. You can get knives that run you the price of a car, but I really like the kohetsu stuff. I got turned into this place a couple years ago by a chef friend, and have since purchased a dozen or so knives (many as gifts for the next generation - lots for me and my better half). Every time I think I have the "great knife" in my hands, I find something better. What you will find is there is no perfect knife, but things that are close. I'm getting some thinning done to one of my favorites (great profile - grind is lacking compared to others I own) - but you will discover that this is a great area to play in. Every knife I have from Mark is well beyond what I paid for it. Find something, try it, and be aware you will be back for more. It's kind of like the greatest lamb chops - mine were the tops till last weekend - talked with the chef and he gave me some tips. The foodie world is open and real chefs usually help us home cooks. They also give us great tips on knives, but you may well end up like me with more than 100 J knives - what a great passion

MisoSatisfried
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Re: Home cook wants to upgrade from a Shun

Post by MisoSatisfried » Tue Jun 26, 2018 5:31 pm

I'd be curious to know if you only used your Shun before or if you also ever grabbed the Wusthof. I ask as it would probably provide insight into how tough of a blade you may or may not need.

Right off the bat though without knowing more, I'm tempted to go with something that is a bit off the popular recommended path here since you really seemed to enjoy the Shun (and I'm making assumptions as to the possible reasons why). While it's just slightly over the budget, it's a laser performer, stainless, and a real looker too, ha. The Kikuichi Swedish Damascus.

https://www.chefknivestogo.com/kiswwadagy24.html
I'm Dave. I don't take myself too seriously and you probably shouldn't either.

sac36555
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Re: Home cook wants to upgrade from a Shun

Post by sac36555 » Tue Jun 26, 2018 8:34 pm

Shun is soooo overrated and overpriced! Any J-knife on the site with a price tag as an equivalent Shun will be far superior in just about every way!
Last edited by sac36555 on Wed Jun 27, 2018 4:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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lsboogy
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Re: Home cook wants to upgrade from a Shun

Post by lsboogy » Tue Jun 26, 2018 9:19 pm

I agree that Shuns are very much lacking to most knives on the site, but I still use them when I cook at a homeless shelter as they require NSF marked knives. I have no problem doing most things with them (mine are pretty sharp) and they are very pretty knives. I have a couple of their blue steel knives, and they are very nice (overpriced yes, but nice). They classic ones also take the dishwasher if you have younger ones (I let my kids use them when they started cooking - and they did put them in the dishwasher) - something to consider

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Re: Home cook wants to upgrade from a Shun

Post by salemj » Tue Jun 26, 2018 11:11 pm

MisoSatisfried wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 5:31 pm
I'd be curious to know if you only used your Shun before or if you also ever grabbed the Wusthof. I ask as it would probably provide insight into how tough of a blade you may or may not need.

Right off the bat though without knowing more, I'm tempted to go with something that is a bit off the popular recommended path here since you really seemed to enjoy the Shun (and I'm making assumptions as to the possible reasons why). While it's just slightly over the budget, it's a laser performer, stainless, and a real looker too, ha. The Kikuichi Swedish Damascus.

https://www.chefknivestogo.com/kiswwadagy24.html
Nice recommendation. I tend to avoid recommending these anymore due to the price (unlike Shuns, they don't go on sale so much). However, they fit many of the desired qualities of the OP and they certainly seem to perform very well as knives, so in that sense, you aren't getting ripped off for the price so much as the reality that you can probably find something that performs as well for a bit less, but which also lacks the same attention to detail and cosmetic "wow" factor. I'd definitely pay the money for a "one and done" knife that has killer looks and great specs as a home user after my years of experience in this price bracket. One reason I think this is a nice recommendation is that these tend to be quite oversized in length but not in height, and they also tend to be light and thin without being too delicate (they have a reputation for being stiff despite their thinness and being san mai, too)—these characteristics make them a lot like the "KS" blades I mention above. The bonus is that this particular line has a nice, durable core steel that is likely to sharpen very well while also offering easy maintenance.
~Joe

Comments: I'm short, a home cook, prefer lighter, thinner blades, and own mostly Konosukes but have used over a dozen brands.

Lepus
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Re: Home cook wants to upgrade from a Shun

Post by Lepus » Wed Jun 27, 2018 1:51 am

You should get something with a carbon core. As a lifelong sharpener you'll appreciate how quickly they respond to a stone. Any thoughts on this Anryu? I used mine tonight and, as usual, it impressed.

https://www.chefknivestogo.com/kaanasgy24.html

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jbart65
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Re: Home cook wants to upgrade from a Shun

Post by jbart65 » Wed Jun 27, 2018 12:13 pm

Were I to go stainless, the Kanehiro ginsan is the best option on CKTG in my view. More expensive than the Kato, but just a great combination of performance, looks and fit and finish. Easy to sharpen too.

Do consider stainless clad. If you are a chopper, a flatter blade like the Yahiko Nashiji or Kurouchi will fit the bill. Sharp enough to chop anything. You won't feel compelled to push like you do with a German knife.
Jeffry B

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Jeff B
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Re: Home cook wants to upgrade from a Shun

Post by Jeff B » Wed Jun 27, 2018 6:33 pm

Lepus wrote:
Wed Jun 27, 2018 1:51 am
You should get something with a carbon core. As a lifelong sharpener you'll appreciate how quickly they respond to a stone. Any thoughts on this Anryu? I used mine tonight and, as usual, it impressed.

https://www.chefknivestogo.com/kaanasgy24.html
Tend to agree here and carbon is not hard to care for from the whites through AS. I leave knives setting dirty(usually purposefully testing reactivity) the whole time I'm cooking and wash when the meal is ready to serve and never a problem.
If God wanted me to be a vegetarian he wouldn't have made animals taste so good.

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Re: Home cook wants to upgrade from a Shun

Post by CacahuateSommelier » Wed Jul 11, 2018 12:50 pm

MisoSatisfried wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 5:31 pm
I'd be curious to know if you only used your Shun before or if you also ever grabbed the Wusthof. I ask as it would probably provide insight into how tough of a blade you may or may not need.

Right off the bat though without knowing more, I'm tempted to go with something that is a bit off the popular recommended path here since you really seemed to enjoy the Shun (and I'm making assumptions as to the possible reasons why). While it's just slightly over the budget, it's a laser performer, stainless, and a real looker too, ha. The Kikuichi Swedish Damascus.

https://www.chefknivestogo.com/kiswwadagy24.html
Has this guys recommendation been taken care of (IE. He already made a purchase?)

If not I have a 240 Kikuichi Swedish warikomi damascus that is like new that I’d be willing to let go of....

I’ll ship it OP in exchange for him buying me a 240mm Masakage Koishi from CKTG... so essentially a 17% discount OFF retail to the OP & brings the $$$ well bellow $300

If he wants pics and what not I’d be happy to provide

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