hello, I am looking for a knife

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bananajama
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Oct 14, 2017 3:12 pm

hello, I am looking for a knife

Post by bananajama » Sat Oct 14, 2017 3:21 pm

Hello, I am new here and am amazed to find such an awesome knife website! I am pretty new to nicer knives and caught the knife fever using a nice twin henkels last week. After searching around for a few weeks I have landed in the Japanese knife realm. I am currently looking at some VG-10 knives but am open to suggestions.

1) Home cook

2) Gyuto or Santuko - although I am open to suggestions! I mainly use a santuko in my day to day prep.

3) What size knife do you want?

~180 - 200mm

4)How much do you want to spend?

Less than $120, ideally.

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

Stainless. Maybe stainless clad... But preferably stainless.

6)Do you prefer Western or Japanese handle?

Likely Western. Never tried Japanese.

7)What are your main knife/knives now?

Henkels International

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

Knife skills are good

9)What cutting techniques do you prefer? Are you a rocker, chopper or push/pull cutter?

I am a rocker, but want to learn new techniques

10)Do you know how to sharpen?

No, but I have someone who charges $10 per knife.

cedarhouse
Posts: 4467
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2017 7:12 am

Re: hello, I am looking for a knife

Post by cedarhouse » Sat Oct 14, 2017 5:57 pm

Welcome to the site!

Given your preferences, something like this would blow you away: https://www.chefknivestogo.com/kapsgy19.html

This one has a bit more character in the blade: https://www.chefknivestogo.com/mihagy18.html

If you are looking for more of a budget option, this one is a killer deal. The steel is not quite as nice as the other two but these are exceptional knives: https://www.chefknivestogo.com/fufkmgy21.html


A word of warning, this is a big world you are walking into. Be careful before you trip and accidentally collect them all!

Robstreperous
Posts: 1535
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2017 11:46 am

Re: hello, I am looking for a knife

Post by Robstreperous » Sat Oct 14, 2017 7:34 pm

^^^ Good advice from Cedar above. I'll vouch for the Kanehide. I have its big brother at 240 mm. Excellent value and excellent performer. His other choices seem solid too.

Good luck to you and welcome to the forum.

bananajama
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Oct 14, 2017 3:12 pm

Re: hello, I am looking for a knife

Post by bananajama » Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:25 pm

cedarhouse wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 5:57 pm
Welcome to the site!

Given your preferences, something like this would blow you away: https://www.chefknivestogo.com/kapsgy19.html

This one has a bit more character in the blade: https://www.chefknivestogo.com/mihagy18.html

If you are looking for more of a budget option, this one is a killer deal. The steel is not quite as nice as the other two but these are exceptional knives: https://www.chefknivestogo.com/fufkmgy21.html


A word of warning, this is a big world you are walking into. Be careful before you trip and accidentally collect them all!
Awesome, thank you for the advice. How much does the Kanehide weigh?

ahanson
Posts: 45
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2017 10:45 pm

Re: hello, I am looking for a knife

Post by ahanson » Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:25 am

Oh, definitely look into Tojiro DP for the western style. I picked up a 170 santoku for my in-laws and was very impressed by it. I got them it around Christmas time and it's their primary knife now and my mother-in-law recently said she'd like me to sharpen it since it's starting to feel a bit less sharp. So that was a good six months, not bad for the money. I used it just briefly before giving it to them and if I didn't prefer Wa handles I'd probably have one.

You could pick up a gyuto and a nakiri for just about the budget.
https://www.chefknivestogo.com/tojirodpseries.html

bananajama
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Oct 14, 2017 3:12 pm

Re: hello, I am looking for a knife

Post by bananajama » Sun Oct 15, 2017 2:04 pm

ahanson wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:25 am
Oh, definitely look into Tojiro DP for the western style. I picked up a 170 santoku for my in-laws and was very impressed by it. I got them it around Christmas time and it's their primary knife now and my mother-in-law recently said she'd like me to sharpen it since it's starting to feel a bit less sharp. So that was a good six months, not bad for the money. I used it just briefly before giving it to them and if I didn't prefer Wa handles I'd probably have one.

You could pick up a gyuto and a nakiri for just about the budget.
https://www.chefknivestogo.com/tojirodpseries.html
Thank you, this is the knife that led me to this forum! I was still debating at that price it is hard to pass up, especially because I would like a santoku and a gyuto... Perhaps I'll start with the santoku and then buy the previously suggested Kanehide.

Do you have any suggestions for sharpening these knives? From my understanding, the Japanese knives do not do so well with a honing steel, but I have heard people saying ceramic is a good bet, as well as a whetstone, and also just using a strop.

cedarhouse
Posts: 4467
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2017 7:12 am

Re: hello, I am looking for a knife

Post by cedarhouse » Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:40 pm

If you watch the video on the product page, Steve offers a lot of information that is not in the product description. Per his video, the Kanehide is 165gr.

I owned a Tojiro DP and they are very good knives. I think the Tojiro has better steel that the Fujiwara I linked to but the Fujiwara is better ground and should perform better. The other two knives I recommended, I think are better in most every respect to the Tojiro. However, the Tojiro has one very big advantage over most other Japanese knives. Because it is somewhat beefy, it is more tolerant of new users, unfamiliar with use and care of Japanese knives. The added mass also makes the knife feel more familiar to users accustomed to western cutlery. FWIW, I would recommend you push a bit farther out of your comfort zone but that is just, like, my opinion....man.

So sharpening...

Western cutlery uses fairly soft steels. Consequently, the most common failure mode for the edge is folding. The edge actually folds over and no longer points "forward." A honing rod works like a hair comb and brushes the edge back into place. Japanese knives use harder steels which don't tend to fail in the same way. There can be some deformation but since the steel is harder and more brittle it is more likely to break than fold back into place. Hence the recommendation against steel honing rods on Japanese knives.

Ceramic rods are a bit better because they do not work so much by folding the edge back as lightly abrading a new edge...like a water stone would do. These are great quick-fix solutions for people in a hurry, ie pros. But since the mode of operation is basically the same as a water stone, I would recommend you get...

A water stone. Sharpening your own knives is far less intimidating than most people think. It can be very simple. It can get very complicated if you want it to but it only needs to get complicated if that is how you want to enjoy the hobby. At its simplest, you will need a stone that is coarse enough to work quickly and fine enough to leave a usable edge. For a new knife or a knife with no visible damage to the edge, a 1k stone is perfect. If you can see chips in the edge, something closer to 400-800 would be better. Then simply soak, rub you knife on the stone, repeat until you are happy with the results.

You will need to occasionally flatten the stone. That can be done with either a diamond impregnated plate or a piece of sandpaper laid on a flat reference surface. The sandpaper option is cheaper in the short term but taking the long perspective a diamond plate can save you money.

And this brings us full circle. To really enjoy a Japanese knife, it is a good idea to learn to sharpen (just having a truly sharp knife is half the appeal of JKs after all). VG10 is a popular and effective steel but it is somewhat notorious for being less than fun to sharpen. The other three knives I recommended use steels that should be far more rewarding to learn to sharpen on.

bananajama
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Oct 14, 2017 3:12 pm

Re: hello, I am looking for a knife

Post by bananajama » Sun Oct 15, 2017 8:27 pm

cedarhouse wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:40 pm
If you watch the video on the product page, Steve offers a lot of information that is not in the product description. Per his video, the Kanehide is 165gr.

I owned a Tojiro DP and they are very good knives. I think the Tojiro has better steel that the Fujiwara I linked to but the Fujiwara is better ground and should perform better. The other two knives I recommended, I think are better in most every respect to the Tojiro. However, the Tojiro has one very big advantage over most other Japanese knives. Because it is somewhat beefy, it is more tolerant of new users, unfamiliar with use and care of Japanese knives. The added mass also makes the knife feel more familiar to users accustomed to western cutlery. FWIW, I would recommend you push a bit farther out of your comfort zone but that is just, like, my opinion....man.

So sharpening...

Western cutlery uses fairly soft steels. Consequently, the most common failure mode for the edge is folding. The edge actually folds over and no longer points "forward." A honing rod works like a hair comb and brushes the edge back into place. Japanese knives use harder steels which don't tend to fail in the same way. There can be some deformation but since the steel is harder and more brittle it is more likely to break than fold back into place. Hence the recommendation against steel honing rods on Japanese knives.

Ceramic rods are a bit better because they do not work so much by folding the edge back as lightly abrading a new edge...like a water stone would do. These are great quick-fix solutions for people in a hurry, ie pros. But since the mode of operation is basically the same as a water stone, I would recommend you get...

A water stone. Sharpening your own knives is far less intimidating than most people think. It can be very simple. It can get very complicated if you want it to but it only needs to get complicated if that is how you want to enjoy the hobby. At its simplest, you will need a stone that is coarse enough to work quickly and fine enough to leave a usable edge. For a new knife or a knife with no visible damage to the edge, a 1k stone is perfect. If you can see chips in the edge, something closer to 400-800 would be better. Then simply soak, rub you knife on the stone, repeat until you are happy with the results.

You will need to occasionally flatten the stone. That can be done with either a diamond impregnated plate or a piece of sandpaper laid on a flat reference surface. The sandpaper option is cheaper in the short term but taking the long perspective a diamond plate can save you money.

And this brings us full circle. To really enjoy a Japanese knife, it is a good idea to learn to sharpen (just having a truly sharp knife is half the appeal of JKs after all). VG10 is a popular and effective steel but it is somewhat notorious for being less than fun to sharpen. The other three knives I recommended use steels that should be far more rewarding to learn to sharpen on.
Wow, thank you! This is one of the best responses I have ever received on a forum. Besides all of the information, you have a great writing style. Anyway, I will take all of this into account. The hobby aspect and learning to sharpen is alluring and I am sure there are many tutorials out there for me to look into. Thanks again!

Cutuu
Posts: 1567
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:00 pm

Re: hello, I am looking for a knife

Post by Cutuu » Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:51 am

The kanehide tk would be a great first jk. Also, it is a really great knive to learn how to sharpen on. Its monosteel and sharpens up really easily.

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jbart65
Posts: 1804
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:18 pm

Re: hello, I am looking for a knife

Post by jbart65 » Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:02 am

The Kanehides are very good knives. Very good. However ...

If you really want to find out what J knives are all about, I'd suggest saving a bit more and getting a real head turner. In this case, the Takamura R2. Either the santoku or 210. Very few Japanese knives will beat out the Taka on sharpness.

My first two J knives were a Taka and Kanehide PS 60. While the PS60 was a superb performer, the Taka was the one that first took my breath away - and sent me down a long and expensive path!

The Yahiko R2 is another option with similar performance closer to your price range, but it might not be as sturdy as the Taka, relatively speaking.
Jeffry B

bananajama
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Oct 14, 2017 3:12 pm

Re: hello, I am looking for a knife

Post by bananajama » Mon Oct 16, 2017 1:22 pm

jbart65 wrote:
Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:02 am
The Kanehides are very good knives. Very good. However ...

If you really want to find out what J knives are all about, I'd suggest saving a bit more and getting a real head turner. In this case, the Takamura R2. Either the santoku or 210. Very few Japanese knives will beat out the Taka on sharpness.

My first two J knives were a Taka and Kanehide PS 60. While the PS60 was a superb performer, the Taka was the one that first took my breath away - and sent me down a long and expensive path!

The Yahiko R2 is another option with similar performance closer to your price range, but it might not be as sturdy as the Taka, relatively speaking.

Holy shit! I just looked at the R2. Amazing. Those cutting videos are insane. As much as I want that, I figure I should start small and work my way up to the big guns. Give myself something to look forward to when I am making more $$.

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jbart65
Posts: 1804
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:18 pm

Re: hello, I am looking for a knife

Post by jbart65 » Mon Oct 16, 2017 3:24 pm

Honestly, I think the Taka is starting small. I just noticed the price has gone up to $180 from $160, though. That might make the Yahiko 210 a better option for your budget. The Taka santoku is just $160, however.

I am not a huge fan of the Tojiro DP. Great value when compared to German knives, but it's like a halfway house to me.

Sure, wait till you have more money for better stuff. But again, hardly any of the better stuff will outperform the Taka. I am talking sheer performance. Why not have some of that sheer performance until said future arrives?
Jeffry B

Cutuu
Posts: 1567
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:00 pm

Re: hello, I am looking for a knife

Post by Cutuu » Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:35 pm

+1 on not a huge fan of tojiro dp, unless on a super tight budget. Even then I might go the color route. I will admit ive only had the dp nakiri though.

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