Please help me gift my two college daughters with two knives each

We encourage you to post your questions about kitchen knives here. We can give you help choosing a knife.
Post Reply
dave_in_gva
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:28 am

Please help me gift my two college daughters with two knives each

Post by dave_in_gva » Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:50 am

Please help me buy two knives each for my daughters. They are both college students and on a recent visit home bemoaned the fact that they are no longer using good kitchen knives. I have a small collection of Hiromoto and Hattori knives that I keep reasonably sharp, and so the transition to IKEA blades has been a bit brutal on both of them.

I'm after two knives for each of them, to handle most everyday cooking chores.

1)Pro or home cook?
Home cooks, both.

2)What kind of knife do you want? (Gyuto, Santuko, Petty, Paring, Sujihiki, etc.)
I'm open to suggestions, but think a Gyuto and a Petty would be best to cover bases.

3) What size knife do you want?
I laid out my collection of knives here and asked them which sizes they felt would be easiest and give them the greatest flexibility. They both opted for the same combination - a blade length of 150mm (overall 260mm), and a blade length of 190mm (overall 310mm) - so I am thinking of a set of two knives of these general sizes. I realize these err towards the shorter end of what are typically used in professional environments, but I have also seen that my wife will tend to prefer one of our shorter knives for most kitchen work than what I would choose.

4)How much do you want to spend?
I am looking for *reasonably inexpensive", but am somewhat flexible here - i.e. could go higher if just short of a big step up in quality, but ideally I would like to buy them both something that is good quality without being a collector/grail knife. Say a budget of around $400 for the two knives for each of them, so around $800 total.

5) Do you prefer all stainless, stainless clad over reactive carbon, or all reactive carbon construction?
They have both grown up with the Hiromoto and Hattori blades and so are perfectly capable of taking extra measures of care. Therefore, although I am not particularly drawn to one steel or another, they would be able to care appropriately for any steel type. So this aspect is one where I would defer to the wisdom here.

6)Do you prefer Western or Japanese handle?
Think best to set them up with Western handles for now.

7)What are your main knife/knives now?
As above, Hiromoto and Hattori have been their knives while growing up. They're now suffering through IKEA stuff.

8)Are your knife skills excellent, good, fair?
Fair for both of them.

9)What cutting techniques do you prefer? Are you a rocker, chopper or push/pull cutter?
Push/pull and some rocking.

10)Do you know how to sharpen?
No, neither has ever sharpened. I'm planning on extending the gift to include an Apex Pro with some suitable mods and stones to give them a sharpening system they can grow into.



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

Really not too much additional info I can think of that is not already covered in the above. I realize there are many pros and knife conoisseurs here and I really hope I can get some good guidance. To be honest after getting my Hiromoto and Hattori knives and keeping them well sharpened I have simply never felt the need to extend my knife collection as they cover everything I need to do on the home cooking front and I am very happy with the performance of what I have. Now that I am looking to give my two daughters an initial leg up and get them set up with some good knives and a sharpening system I have returned to the world of knives and I have seen that there are a world of options in terms of steels, makers, production techniques etc. So rather than trying to educate myself deeply about all that is out there I would rather take advantage of some well considered advice to help my two daughters along.

Many thanks for your collective wisdom.

User avatar
joanjet
Posts: 115
Joined: Fri Apr 26, 2019 10:25 am

Re: Please help me gift my two college daughters with two knives each

Post by joanjet » Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:33 pm

I gave my mom my Migaki R2 210mm for Christmas and she really likes it.

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

Super lightweight and western style handle. Good length for her.

Laser sharp but stainless steel so it doesn't need the more rigorous upkeep of a carbon steel blade, which was big for my mom but you mentioned wouldn't be an issue for your daughters.

I've never used shorter Migaki blades but I imagine they would be just as nice as the 210mm.

Some other considerations would be the Anryu Blue #2 Hammered series.

I know they don't have western handles, but in my opinion they perform significantly better than most knives in the same price range. Usually all sold out, and the other sizes are sold out for the most part, but the 150mm and 180mm are actually still both in stock right now.

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

https://www.chefknivestogo.com/kaanaspe13.html

https://www.chefknivestogo.com/anbl2hagy18.html

User avatar
Jeff B
Posts: 11667
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2017 5:59 pm
Location: Kentucky

Re: Please help me gift my two college daughters with two knives each

Post by Jeff B » Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:08 pm

A very good performing knife close to their prefered size in a quality stainless steel. The steel in this knife is pretty tough too and can handle a little abuse should it fall into the wrong hands. It has a petty to match also if you want to go that direction. A very reasonable price for quality knives too so you don't have to break the bank to get them started.

Kanehide PS60 Gyuto 195mm - https://www.chefknivestogo.com/kapsgy19.html
Kanehide PS60 Petty 150mm - https://www.chefknivestogo.com/kapspe15.html

A slight step up in performance and better edge retention. A little pricier but very nice knives for the money.

Takamura Migaki R2 Gyuto 210mm - https://www.chefknivestogo.com/takamura.html
Takamura Migaki R2 Petty 150mm - https://www.chefknivestogo.com/takamura2.html
If God wanted me to be a vegetarian he wouldn't have made animals taste so good.

dave_in_gva
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:28 am

Re: Please help me gift my two college daughters with two knives each

Post by dave_in_gva » Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:18 pm

Thank you Joan and Jeff.

I've actually been doing a good bit of reading of this excellent forum the last few hours and had been struck by the number of people giving positive comments on the Anryu Blue #2 Hammered series. I'm not really under any time pressure to make the purchase, and so one option open to me is to put my email down for the 150mm petty (there is only one available now and I would need 2) as well as 2 of the 210mm gyuto. Since Mark has said he gets a shipment or two every month from Anryu, this should not be a problem.

But still very open to other suggestions. Also, I seem to remember seeing a comment (I think from you Joan) a comment to the effect that the Anryu knives would be suitable for sharpening with an EdgePro system (you made this comment relative to another blade you did not think would be well suited to sharpening with an EdgePro). Since the EdgePro would be the system I'd buy them both for keeping the knives sharp that is also a consideration.

Thanks again for your advice, very helpful.

User avatar
Jeff B
Posts: 11667
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2017 5:59 pm
Location: Kentucky

Re: Please help me gift my two college daughters with two knives each

Post by Jeff B » Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:58 pm

Anything that is not a traditional single bevel is suitable to sharpen on an EdgePro.
If God wanted me to be a vegetarian he wouldn't have made animals taste so good.

TheVincenzo
Posts: 229
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2017 12:15 am

Re: Please help me gift my two college daughters with two knives each

Post by TheVincenzo » Sat Jul 13, 2019 4:22 pm

I would definitely support the recommendation of the Anryu hammered knives. However, personally I find that I get less utility out of a 150mm petty. I would recommend looking at a 130mm petty, especially since you are looking for a shorter main knife. I find that they are a bit easier to use in the hand and there will be less overlap between the 2 knives.

For the main knife, a gyuto or a santoku would work really well here. The western handle preference makes it a bit harder for me to make a recommendation since the options are more limited. It's a bit shorter than you were looking for at 170mm, but the Kono HD santoku would definitely be something to look into.

https://www.chefknivestogo.com/kohd2sa16.html

If you want to stick with a gyuto, I don't know what the best option would be with a western handle. It would probably be easier to find a western if you went up to 210mm.

If you are willing to include japanese handles, it becomes much easier to make a recommendation in the 180 range. I think a Masakage Koishi or Yuki would serve well. I have used both in different sizes and they are great knives. Both have stainless cladding so the upkeep is easy. The Anryu 180 that was recommend earlier would also be an excellent choice.

https://www.chefknivestogo.com/mayugy18.html
https://www.chefknivestogo.com/makoasgy18.html

Lastly, the Kono MM 180 gyuto is phenomenal, I have one in B2 and I absolutely love it. It looks like the product page for the 180 has been removed, but mine with an ebony handle was around 300 new. The standard handle would be cheaper. I would definitely keep my eyes open for those if they come back. You can ask Mark what the likelihood of them coming back into stock is and also watch the Kono updates thread.

https://www.chefknivestogo.com/konosukeginsan.html
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=19

Radar53
Posts: 996
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2017 2:44 am
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Re: Please help me gift my two college daughters with two knives each

Post by Radar53 » Sat Jul 13, 2019 7:06 pm

Hi there Dave and welcome to the forum.

Certainly, as Jeff says the EdgePro will be able to handle all these knives. A couple of comments though, not knowing where you are with this. If you are still using the standard EP stones you should definitely consider moving to the third party stones Mark sells here https://www.chefknivestogo.com/edgepro.html ~ Shaptons, Choseras & through Ken123 Nubatamas as well. As you move into harder steels or more alloyed steels the standard EP stones will really struggle and it will become a burden on standard stones.

Don't want to distract from this thread so if you want to get input on the EP ask questions on the EdgePro Advice part of the forum.

Some other random thoughts to help you in your choices.
Wa handled gyutos, because of the smaller (& lighter) tang & handle, have a balance point that is generally further forward that the western handled, full tang knives. The Wa handles gernerally move the balance point to about where a pinch grip holds the knife. This makes the knife feel more nimble & "smaller", thereby somewhat less intimidating. This might open up more choices eg the 210 gyutos.

Something else to consider, if the 180 size is still what you're after, is the Santoku as an option here https://www.chefknivestogo.com/santokuknives.html Not overly favoured in general terms on this forum, but it will open up more choices.

Another comment is how about getting each daughter something from different makers. That opens up a 3 - way family pass-around, so that you can all experience a lot more manufacturers, steels, profiles, sizes etc. That will help you all develop your own preferences for future choices.

Welcome to the rabbit hole.

All for now but keep us up to date
Cheers Grant

Just because you're not paranoid doesn't mean they're not going to get you!!

dave_in_gva
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:28 am

Re: Please help me gift my two college daughters with two knives each

Post by dave_in_gva » Sun Jul 14, 2019 2:28 pm

Thanks everyone. I showed girls the web links and we are leaning to the Anryu Blue #2 hammered line - a 165mm Santoku and a 210 Gyuto. Sound reasonable?

User avatar
Jeff B
Posts: 11667
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2017 5:59 pm
Location: Kentucky

Re: Please help me gift my two college daughters with two knives each

Post by Jeff B » Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:13 pm

dave_in_gva wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 2:28 pm
Thanks everyone. I showed girls the web links and we are leaning to the Anryu Blue #2 hammered line - a 165mm Santoku and a 210 Gyuto. Sound reasonable?
For me, to much overlap in those knives. A Gyuto and Santoku, though different lengths, generally do the same tasks. I would get a Gyuto or Santoku and a 150 petty for more versatility.
If God wanted me to be a vegetarian he wouldn't have made animals taste so good.

-toa-
Posts: 57
Joined: Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:52 pm

Re: Please help me gift my two college daughters with two knives each

Post by -toa- » Mon Jul 15, 2019 7:48 am

I´ve lent a few of my knives to my sister - including the 210 anryu. She prefers the 180 gyuto and use it for everything (it´s a Kanehiro AS), and finds the 210 gyuto a bit too long to feel natural for her (although with time i suspect she would grow to prefer this lenght in the long run). Much of this has to do with preference. Many users on the forum prefer longer gyutos, and here the gyuto + petty combo makes great sense because they compliment each other (as per Jeff B´s post above). As such single answer. I often use the 180 gyutos for smaller meals, and often doesn´t really need a petty (180 gyuto are ususally super nimble). Maybe consider starting with a single knife and let you daughters get used to them and form their opinions before buying the next knife for them ?. ps: i´m sure you´ll get a vote for dad of the year soon :)

User avatar
Altadan
Posts: 1312
Joined: Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:15 pm
Location: Dallas, TX

Re: Please help me gift my two college daughters with two knives each

Post by Altadan » Mon Jul 15, 2019 9:32 am

dave_in_gva wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 2:28 pm
Thanks everyone. I showed girls the web links and we are leaning to the Anryu Blue #2 hammered line - a 165mm Santoku and a 210 Gyuto. Sound reasonable?
My initial thought was much like Jeff B's;
I'd lean towards a 210 and a petty - something really just for the small things, quick and nimble.
That being said, I don't think anyone would deeply regret owning both... your daughters might just end up making up their preference with those knives. I myself often use either a gyuto, or a santoku for smaller tasks. Both have height and knuckle-clearance, and that's a plus.
I think you may have found what you want. Now just wait till they all come back in stock :)

dave_in_gva
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:28 am

Re: Please help me gift my two college daughters with two knives each

Post by dave_in_gva » Mon Jul 15, 2019 10:01 am

Thanks again all - I had initially wanted to go for a 150 petty and a 210 gyuto, but when the girls saw both were out of stock they were swayed towards the 165 santoku which is in stock. Seeing the glowing reviews of CKTG users on the santoku and becoming enamoured by the photos of both has pushed them both into knife envy and so I have today placed the order for an EP sharpening system (with Shapton Glass 500, 2k, 4k) and the 165mm Santoku. They will get the 210mm gyuto when it is in stock as a second delivery.

Thanks to -toa- who said I may get a vote for dad of the year but I am sure there are many dads out there who are far more deserving. FWIW, what I have learned about fatherhood over 25 years is that it's never buying stuff for your kids that's important - in my opinion something far more important is helping them to have the self assurance to realise their potential. This gift is something I was (probably stupidly) thinking of as a wedding gift - I just decided to move it up early for both of them based on our recent vacation together. But I'll take a vote for dad of the year (and a peck on the cheek and an "I love you Dad") with pleasure :D

And I do agree with Jeff's concern the 165 and 210 knives may have too much overlap. We'll see...by the time the 210 gyuto is back in stock if I see the 240 gyuto is also in stock I may ask them if they'd prefer going for the 240 instead.

In any event, thank you to all here for the very helpful and considerate replies - I really appreciate it. Also has me thinking about snagging some of these Aryu knives for myself since I haven't seen too many people saying they are not great fans...

Thanks again.

Post Reply