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rdpx
01-28-2013, 06:33 PM
Hi there

I recently decided it was time to buy a new kitchen knife as my 10 year old Sabatier, though still sharpening nicely, is getting a bit chipped and should perhaps be retired to become a general purpose chicken bone chopper/knife to be abusd etc....

I thought it would be straightforward but once I started looking into it I am totally lost. It seems the more you find out, the more you find there is that you don't know. I would love to just be able to go spend 150 (I am in UK) but realistically budget is under 100.

So maybe I can throw myself on your mercy with a few options that I have been looking at, and see what that throws up.

Here is what I have found so far that seem like nice deals...

1. Zwilling JA Henckels Four Star 200mm chef's knife [49.95 including a pair of scissors & sharpener! This just seems like a great deal.

http://www.hartsofstur.com/acatalog/Henckels-Four-Star-Chef-s-Knife---Scissor-Set-35176_004.html


2. Wusthof Classic 20cm chef's knife [- 60 reduced from 90 in a local store.]


3. Tojiro 210mm gyuto - 55 - pretty sure this is the DP knife F-808?

http://www.millyskitchenstore.co.uk/EcobyTojiroKnives21cmChefsKnife-Product-15932.html


4. Suisin high carbon steel gyuto - around 75 delivered

http://www.korin-france.fr/nos-collections/couteaux-japonais-par-utilisations/chefs-knife-gyutou/suisin-high-carbon-steel-gyutou.html


5. Togiharu Inox Steel Gyuto - around 85 delivered

http://www.korin-france.fr/nos-collections/couteaux-japonais-par-utilisations/chefs-knife-gyutou/togiharu-inox-steel-gyutou.html

6. KC141 180mm Gyuto - 89

http://www.japaneseknifecompany.com/KNIVES/LAMINATEDSTEEL/WARIKOMECOLLECTION/GYUTOMULTIPURPOSECHEFSKNIFE180MM.aspx

7 Zanmai PRA - 59 - seems like I might not love cheap looking plastic handle?

http://www.japaneseknifecompany.com/KNIVES/SINGLELAYERHIGHCARBONSTEEL/PRO/GYUTOMultiPurposeChefsKnife180MM.aspx


So there you go. Leaning towards the number 6, but also tempted by 1 and 5.

[FYI - I have a japanese whetstone 240/1000]

I generally use a pinch grip if that is relevant.


Any thoughts greatly appreciated. Especially if any of you are familiar with any of these knives.

Thank you

Robert

Zwiefel
01-28-2013, 06:48 PM
Welcome to the forum!

rdpx
01-28-2013, 06:52 PM
Welcome to the forum!

Thanks!!

I meant to say this was a first time post. I guess you all can tell though. It was always finding google links to this site that made me think it might be worth asking on here!

:(:O:)

knyfeknerd
01-28-2013, 06:56 PM
Welcome, you are in the right place. Take a look around on the "Buy Sell Trade" threads here. You may find an incredible deal that's close to home. I believe Bieniek has a good looking Glestain for around 100us dollars.

Benuser
01-28-2013, 06:59 PM
Chipping with Sabatier, carbon or stainless, is far from common. How do you sharpen, and would you care to show some pix? I think we should clear this up before even thinking about another knife.

scott6452
01-28-2013, 07:05 PM
Just to throw another spanner in the works, have a look at http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/ Your knife will reach you in the UK in about 4 working days with no customs hold up. Choice number 6 is from japaneseknifecompany.com which are regarded to be quite an over priced business (just like most uk pages!).

olpappy
01-28-2013, 07:21 PM
Hello and welcome! Of the options you listed #3 Tojiro DP and the #5 Togiharu would be my choices of value and performance. The handle of the Tojiro will be perhaps a hair larger, so great if you have large hands. the handle of the Togiharu perhaps a bit less bulky, but the difference is slight. Both have high quality materials and workmanship. Togiharu perhaps a tad nicer, but definitely not 30.00 of difference.

You might also need to factor in some extra budget for water stones....I would suggest following your 1000 grit stone with a Besuton/Bester 2000 grit and Suehiro Rika 5000.

stevenStefano
01-28-2013, 07:29 PM
I'd stay the hell away from UK knife vendors to be honest, they are all a total rip-off. I'd recommend something from JCK (http://japanesechefsknife.com/) due to the cheap shipping, or other European vendors. Can you explain a little more what you'd like? I'd recommend you get a gyuto that is at least 240mm

Blobby
01-28-2013, 07:36 PM
Chipping with Sabatier, carbon or stainless, is far from common. How do you sharpen, and would you care to show some pix? I think we should clear this up before even thinking about another knife.

Although I don't know much about Sabatiers, I agree that it could well be the sharpening rather than the knife.

Blobby
01-28-2013, 07:41 PM
..............I'd recommend you get a gyuto that is at least 240mm

Why? Gyutos that size don't chip?

rdpx
01-28-2013, 07:45 PM
Chipping with Sabatier, carbon or stainless, is far from common. How do you sharpen, and would you care to show some pix? I think we should clear this up before even thinking about another knife.

It is probably 11 years old, and was pretty cheap at the time (I think about 25?) it has also been pretty badly abused - handle also cracked through years of going through a dishwasher (i know i know)

How do I sharpen? I rub it along the stone first the rough then the smooth one until it is nice and sharp. It seems to work for me though I am sure I may not be doing it 100% correctly.

Been trying to upload a pic but cant get camera to share pic with computer right now! That was a waste of 45 minutes!!

stevenStefano
01-28-2013, 07:47 PM
Why? Gyutos that size don't chip?

I'd say they would chip as much as any other size of knife, just that it seems to be a pretty popular size if you're gonna spend a bit of cash. I started off with 180s and 210s, then 240 and now 270.

rdpx
01-28-2013, 07:48 PM
Been trying to upload a pic but cant get camera to share pic with computer right now! That was a waste of 45 minutes!!

finally figured it out!!!

http://i.imgur.com/yUCJSBx.jpg

rdpx
01-28-2013, 07:53 PM
Just to throw another spanner in the works, have a look at http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/ Your knife will reach you in the UK in about 4 working days with no customs hold up. Choice number 6 is from japaneseknifecompany.com which are regarded to be quite an over priced business (just like most uk pages!).

Are you sure about the no customs charges?
I thought it was 20% or something import tax on knives?

Nice to hear JKC is overpriced before I make mistake of buying! Does that knife I linked to look good though and what price should it be?

It seems all knives are "REDUCED 50%" so hard to know what "real" price is of anything.... hence coming here!

rdpx
01-28-2013, 07:55 PM
yes i think it is probably the sharpening!

or maybe because i have used it to cut through duck carcasses and duck leg bones.....

rdpx
01-28-2013, 07:59 PM
I'd stay the hell away from UK knife vendors to be honest, they are all a total rip-off. I'd recommend something from JCK (http://japanesechefsknife.com/) due to the cheap shipping, or other European vendors. Can you explain a little more what you'd like? I'd recommend you get a gyuto that is at least 240mm

Nice to know - why are UK so expensive? Anyone have any idea?

It seems no-one is mentioning the Henckels 4 star or the Wusthof choices - is it all japan on here?

What do I want ? - just general chef's knife. One I have is 20cm and I have never had a problem with the size which is why I am looking at similar now.

Ideally something that will be a pleasure to use, and to look at, and to know I have a great knife - I guess an entry level serious knife as I can;t really afford to go spending 100+

rdpx
01-28-2013, 08:13 PM
The JCK site seems really great - but I am still a bit lost in there. It kind of looks like the kind of site where they only sell decent knives, so I can't really go wrong?

There seem to be a few in my price range on there. If anyone could weight in with what they reckon are the best of the low end ranges on there that would be great.

Scott6452, can you please clarify what you said about the "no customs hold-up" ?

Thanks

rdpx
01-28-2013, 08:14 PM
I'd say they would chip as much as any other size of knife, just that it seems to be a pretty popular size if you're gonna spend a bit of cash. I started off with 180s and 210s, then 240 and now 270.

As money is an issue I am happy with a 210mm knife (possibly even 180mm?) thus meaning I can buy a better one!

scott6452
01-28-2013, 08:26 PM
Yeh koki from Japanese chefs knives marks the item value at $20 or something so it sails through customs no problem. On all my trackings, they are literally in customs for under an hour. I've had about 5 orders from them to uk and no problems any time.

rdpx
01-28-2013, 08:28 PM
Yeh koki from Japanese chefs knives marks the item value at $20 or something so it sails through customs no problem. I've had about 5 orders from them to uk and no problems any time.


aha this is great information thanks Scott.
$7 postage is amazingly cheap as well.
Am I right to think they are all good then, or would you recommend any, or staying away from any?
Thanks again.

Benuser
01-28-2013, 08:30 PM
Thanks for the pic! I must humbly admit I've seen one of these chipping before. That one after fifteen years of dishwasher.

chinacats
01-28-2013, 08:32 PM
Take a look at the Fujiwara from JCK...this is the stainless variety.

http://japanesechefsknife.com/FKMSeries.html

If you are interested in carbon...

http://japanesechefsknife.com/FKHSeries.html

You really need to come up with a maintenance plan/storage plan before you spend too much on a new blade, that Sab needs some love.

rdpx
01-28-2013, 09:17 PM
Take a look at the Fujiwara from JCK...this is the stainless variety.

http://japanesechefsknife.com/FKMSeries.html

If you are interested in carbon...

http://japanesechefsknife.com/FKHSeries.html

You really need to come up with a maintenance plan/storage plan before you spend too much on a new blade, that Sab needs some love.

Thanks CC.

The FKH look very nice - is there much benefit over stainless?

Are these knives better than all the ones in my original post?


I was wondering if I could push the spend to go for a MISONO Swedish Steel, but I think that way madness lies and I will keep going up and buy a HATTORI which I would probably just destroy.

These ones look like they are on "special" but I found a reference to this special price on a forum that is about 18 months old, so I guess not so special:

http://japanesechefsknife.com/KAGAYAKICarboNextSeries.html

rdpx
01-28-2013, 09:20 PM
You really need to come up with a maintenance plan/storage plan before you spend too much on a new blade, that Sab needs some love.

Yes well I guess

1. no more dishwasher
2. learn to sharpen properly
3. keep on magnetic strip

Re: the Sab - what should I do? Should I grind it back to get rid of the chips? Is this easy to do - ie is there a video or something that would show me what to do? The sab is basically going to end up as a knife for rough jobs, but might as well make it as nice as possible, right?

Benuser
01-28-2013, 09:37 PM
I guess it's just a thin layer of steel that has got weakened by the aggressive salts used with the dishwasher. Give it a try.
Carbon blades can take finer edges but do require some serious maintenance effort. They sharpen very easily. Both the FKH and Misono are the most reactive in the world, and both are strongly asymmetric - right biased.
To see what carbon means in daily life, get a carbon peeler by Robert Herder, Solingen with
edenwebshops.co.uk
or find a carbon Opinel.

rdpx
01-28-2013, 10:03 PM
I guess it's just a thin layer of steel that has got weakened by the aggressive salts used with the dishwasher. Give it a try.
Carbon blades can take finer edges but do require some serious maintenance effort. They sharpen very easily. Both the FKH and Misono are the most reactive in the world, and both are strongly asymmetric - right biased.
To see what carbon means in daily life, get a carbon peeler by Robert Herder, Solingen with
edenwebshops.co.uk
or find a carbon Opinel.

I have about three of the OPINEL pocket knives. All beautiful.
Actually this whole kitchen knife thing started when my partner came home with an OPINEL No.118 chef's knife. Only 32 and very nice, but the wooden handle was very badly fitted so she returned it. I got involved and all of a sudden knives cost 250!!! Which is why I am trying to keep budget down.

So - no-one likes the Zwilling JA Henckels 4 star 20cm cooks knife? I am real tempted by the price of it and a pair of scissors thrown in, but saying that I love all things japanese.

Maybe I should just buy two knives?

Benuser
01-28-2013, 10:52 PM
Expect the Zwilling to have about the same steel as your stainless Sab, cost at least the double, perform less, be much heavier, have a fat profile with a higher tip and a relatively thick geometry.
You may try a stainless Fujiwara FKM, experience what difference weight, profile and geometry can make, and decide what you prefer.

ThEoRy
01-28-2013, 11:22 PM
The reason 240mm is recommended to newer members also has to do with weight I believe. Even at 240mm a Gyuto will be lighter and more well balanced than a typical German blade of 210mm. So you can go up a size, have a more functional blade and still be nimble and more controlled compared to the blade heavy German steel.

Johnny.B.Good
01-29-2013, 10:14 AM
These ones look like they are on "special" but I found a reference to this special price on a forum that is about 18 months old, so I guess not so special:

http://japanesechefsknife.com/KAGAYAKICarboNextSeries.html

The CarboNext line is frequently recommended to people in your situation by experienced members of this forum. There is a 210 (which happens to be in the UK) for sale in the Buy/Sell/Trade section of the forum right now: http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php/10127-FS-210mm-Carbonext-Gyuto-UK-EU

Good luck with your decision, and welcome!

Benuser
01-29-2013, 01:42 PM
In general, I wouldn't go for a used one as a first Japanese unless you get it from an experienced sharpener. There might be too much work involved you've no experience with.

Johnny.B.Good
01-29-2013, 02:51 PM
In general, I wouldn't go for a used one as a first Japanese unless you get it from an experienced sharpener. There might be too much work involved you've no experience with.

I figured that since a common criticism of the CarboNext line is that they don't arrive with a great edge (even if the buyer orders it "extra sharp"), that it wouldn't make much of a difference. The savings should be enough to have it professionally sharpened (if required).

rdpx
01-29-2013, 08:28 PM
I figured that since a common criticism of the CarboNext line is that they don't arrive with a great edge (even if the buyer orders it "extra sharp"), that it wouldn't make much of a difference. The savings should be enough to have it professionally sharpened (if required).

so if JCK is so great, how come there are complaints about the special sharpening?

keithsaltydog
01-29-2013, 08:54 PM
Alot of sharpeners here are pretty good & sharpen their own knives.Trouble wt. services is,not their knives & attention to detail can suffer.

I sharpened a guys knives that he had been sending back to the place where he bought it for shar. ser.,but it took so long he brought them to me.Who ever sharpened them Did not do correct heel shar.,the heels were high on all 3 knives where he went at an angle to the stone & neglected the heel.

rdpx
01-29-2013, 09:58 PM
Alot of sharpeners here are pretty good & sharpen their own knives.Trouble wt. services is,not their knives & attention to detail can suffer.

I sharpened a guys knives that he had been sending back to the place where he bought it for shar. ser.,but it took so long he brought them to me.Who ever sharpened them Did not do correct heel shar.,the heels were high on all 3 knives where he went at an angle to the stone & neglected the heel.


so am i right in thinking that whatever knife I but from JCK I would need to sharpen it myself when it arrives?

SpikeC
01-29-2013, 10:32 PM
I got a Tanaka from JCK and it did NOT require sharpening! It depends on the knife.

Johnny.B.Good
01-29-2013, 10:44 PM
so if JCK is so great, how come there are complaints about the special sharpening?

JCK is certainly great when it comes to prices, selection, and shipping. I don't know what the deal is with sharpening. I ordered a Masamoto from them that arrived in no time and was razor sharp.

I've read that the CarboNext knives don't always arrive with a great edge out of the box, what this means exactly (good but not great?) I can't say, nor can I explain why it's the case (assuming it is). Still, the CarboNext series is recommended so often, that I don't think you can go wrong with one. Either learn to sharpen on it by watching videos (like these (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLEBF55079F53216AB&feature=view_all) from Jon at Japanese Knife Imports (http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/)), or have a professional sharpen it for the first time once it arrives (if necessary).

There are many posts about the CarboNext on this forum. Copy and paste this into Google, hit return, and see what I mean:

site:kitchenknifeforums.com carbonext

Amon-Rukh
01-29-2013, 11:50 PM
Since you asked about he 4-star,I will give my input on that. The price you listed and the knife are not bad at all but you have to
Ask yourself what you're looking for. I have that same 4-star and although iit was a huge improvement over the knives I had been using when I got it (went to it from lousy $15 things from Target), but there are better otions out there. If you get your Sabatier fixed up, it's performance will surely be similar to what the 4-star can offer. I would say that it's a better Idea to get your old sab back up to speed and then pick up a new Japanese knife so you can experience a different style of blade.

ThEoRy
01-30-2013, 12:10 AM
so am i right in thinking that whatever knife I but from JCK I would need to sharpen it myself when it arrives?

Whatever knife you buy from anywhere will most likely need sharpening when it arrives. I always give em a test first but the edge usually fails rather quickly requiring I put a proper keen bevel on.

keithsaltydog
01-30-2013, 01:13 AM
A couple knives you listed are pretty good.The Togiharu INOX at Korin France is a good blade,it is thin behind the edge & cuts well.The Inox steel holds up with constant use.

Also at JKI they have the Kenetsugu Pro M,good price,comes wt. a Saya,One of the most comfortable western handle I've seen on a J-Gyuto.Sharp out of the box.

If you get a nice J- Gyuto,learn to sharpen it,then you never have to worry about it being dull.

rdpx
01-30-2013, 01:43 PM
A couple knives you listed are pretty good.The Togiharu INOX at Korin France is a good blade,it is thin behind the edge & cuts well.The Inox steel holds up with constant use.

Also at JKI they have the Kenetsugu Pro M,good price,comes wt. a Saya,One of the most comfortable western handle I've seen on a J-Gyuto.Sharp out of the box.

If you get a nice J- Gyuto,learn to sharpen it,then you never have to worry about it being dull.

I have to admit I do really like the look of the Togiharu INOX.... very pretty characters on it.

Then again I like the look of a lot of other ones that I can't afford as well! Like the Misono one with flowers or dragons on it.

rdpx
01-31-2013, 10:39 AM
In general, I wouldn't go for a used one as a first Japanese unless you get it from an experienced sharpener. There might be too much work involved you've no experience with.

Thanks Ben

toying with idea of a 240 anyway. Also GF has said she would rather we got a shiny brand new one. I mean the price difference is not enormous enough really, and she would rather any ugly patina marks were made by us!

Still thinking about it all. May even up budget a bit and go for a Hattori HD, a TJ Aogami Super or a Masamoto VG. Still trying to wrap head around what the differences all are.

HD=very pretty
VG=apparently very well balanced
AS=i just like the word SUPER

Carbonext still well in the game, but not sure if its just a "good cheap knife" or if it is actually a better knife than the other 3 I just mentioned...

Its a learning curve, innit?

Benuser
01-31-2013, 11:24 AM
Forget about the HD. Faux Damascus, made by another and sold under Hattori name and priced accordingly. After a few months it doesn't look very attractive anymore.
Masamoto: good knives, great profile, poor value: IMO it's worth about half its price.
Hiromoto: good knives, excellent steel, excellent value.
Carbonext: both good knives as good value
Fujiwara: good knives, excellent value

rdpx
01-31-2013, 11:46 AM
Forget about the HD. Faux Damascus, made by another and sold under Hattori name and priced accordingly. After a few months it doesn't look very attractive anymore.
Masamoto: good knives, great profile, poor value: IMO it's worth about half its price.
Hiromoto: good knives, excellent steel, excellent value.
Carbonext: both good knives as good value
Fujiwara: good knives, excellent value

Thanks Ben it's very helpful to be able to scratch the Hattori HD off the list.


So in a face off between 240mms, a Carbonext would be $128 and a Hiro AS $161.... from your post it seems you might lean towards the AS?


Having googled pictures of them both it seems that the AS knives have a very beautiful patina thing going on between the AS edge and the stainless face. The CN knives seem to look less interesting with use.

franzb69
01-31-2013, 11:51 AM
i say get both. =D

i would.

rdpx
01-31-2013, 12:22 PM
i say get both. =D

i would.

Haha.

Yeah nice advice. Though if I were buying two knives I would probably at least try to get two different styles! I quite fancy a Deba one day.

But no. Sadly I only need one gyuto today, and so at some point I will have to make a decision, fun as it is just talking about it.

:cool2:

chinacats
01-31-2013, 12:29 PM
I do think that you have narrowed it down to choices that you will be happy with either way. Good luck with the decision!

rdpx
01-31-2013, 12:31 PM
I do think that you have narrowed it down to choices that you will be happy with either way. Good luck with the decision!

This is helpful, yet not helpful.

We want opinion!

:knife:

chinacats
01-31-2013, 12:42 PM
This is helpful, yet not helpful.

We want opinion!

:knife:

OK, Hiromoto, but as I understand, you must be willing to learn to thin this knife to get the best performance.

http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php/10255-Hiromoto-AS-Thickness-question

or as there are a few relevant threads try to google:

site:www.kitchenknifeforums.com hiromoto thinning

Cheers!

Benuser
01-31-2013, 12:45 PM
Quite often the Carbonext comes with a very poor edge, so take into account the costs of getting it sharpened by e.g. Maxime in Denmark, 10 inclusive shipping, plus your shipping costs towards him.
The Hiromoto comes with a decent edge.
Again, both are good knives.
The Carbonext gives a good idea of what a Japanese blade is about. In that sense, it's more average than the Hiromoto with its clad construction and remarkable core steel. Please note the Hiromoto feels stiff and solid, while most others have a very light flex and feel nimble.

Benuser
01-31-2013, 12:52 PM
About Hiromoto thinning: it doesn't need thinning out of the box, it needs thinning behind the edge every time you sharpen. It's true with every knife, but in the case of the Hiromoto, it's imperative. It will teach you proper sharpening and avoiding jig systems.

chinacats
01-31-2013, 01:14 PM
About Hiromoto thinning: it doesn't need thinning out of the box, it needs thinning behind the edge every time you sharpen. It's true with every knife, but in the case of the Hiromoto, it's imperative. It will teach you proper sharpening and avoiding jig systems.

Thanks for clearing that up!

rdpx
01-31-2013, 01:50 PM
Ok I like this firm decision.

Now reading about thinning it is never ending!



OK, Hiromoto, but as I understand, you must be willing to learn to thin this knife to get the best performance.

http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php/10255-Hiromoto-AS-Thickness-question

or as there are a few relevant threads try to google:

site:www.kitchenknifeforums.com hiromoto thinning

Cheers!

chinacats
01-31-2013, 03:07 PM
Ok I like this firm decision.

Now reading about thinning it is never ending!

As a general rule, learning how to thin is part of learning to sharpen. It is the only way to really maintain the geometry of the blade. So yes, a never ending part of the game.:knife:

rdpx
01-31-2013, 04:34 PM
As a general rule, learning how to thin is part of learning to sharpen. It is the only way to really maintain the geometry of the blade. So yes, a never ending part of the game.:knife:

Yes - at first the idea of needing to thin the AS put me off it, but then I realised I would have to thin ANY knife...

Benuser
01-31-2013, 09:42 PM
Sharpening is not just putting an edge on a piece of steel. That might be done by a machine, or by a man reduced to behaving like one.
It's more about restoring the previous geometry in another place - slightly upward towards the spine, where the blade is slightly thicker.