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Maestro
02-04-2013, 11:36 PM
Hi everybody.
my name is Dan. I am relatively new to kitchen knives (but I have some experience with straight razors and honing them)
I want to buy myself a chef knife or gyuto for general work.

I already have a Tojiro Shirogami nakiri and I like the edge it takes but it goes dull too fast and it a generally delicate knife (I am worried to chop through harder foods)
the carbon steel also can rust really easily and I have to be really careful with it.

which knife do you recommend that is hardier than the one I have and holds a better edge? I will keep my eyed peeled in the classifieds section I prefer buying a used knife.

I pull the knife towards myself when I am cutting and I push down. I don't use the rocking motion often.

Thanks for your help
Dan

chinacats
02-04-2013, 11:51 PM
Greetings Maestro!

Might be best to start with this (http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php/2058-Which-knife-should-you-buy) questionnaire.

Maestro
02-05-2013, 12:04 AM
Thanks!

What type of knife(s) do you think you want?

chef knife /gyuto

Why is it being purchased? What, if anything, are you replacing?

I only have one nakiri knife, I need a chef knife with a pointy tip

What do you like and dislike about these qualities of your knives already?
Aesthetics- I don't care about aesthetics that much
Edge Quality/Retention- it is very important to me, my Tojiro carbon knife does not hold the very sharp edge for too long
Ease of Use- ease of sharpening is very important. 50/50 bevel is essential.
Comfort- is good to have but I don't use the knife for long periods of time because I am not a professional cook

What grip do you use?
pinch grip

What kind of cutting motion do you use?
pull knife towards myself and slice

Where do you store them?
in knife drawer

Have you ever oiled a handle?
no

What kind of cutting board(s) do you use?

I am using glass cutting board I know it is not the best option, I want to get plastic

For edge maintenance, do you use a strop, honing rod, pull through/other, or nothing?

I use synthetic 1k ,4k and 8k Norton waterstones. sometimes I use Ozuku kiita japanese stone for finishing the edge

Have they ever been sharpened?
I sharpen the knife pretty often because it does not hold its edge that well

What is your budget?

under $200

What do you cook and how often?

different types of food, I chop onions potatoes, leeks, mushrooms, butcher chicken, cut meat, etc

Special requests(Country of origin/type of wood/etc)?

I want a knife that gets an edge as good as the Tojiro shirogami nakiri that I already own, but holds it longer, is more resistant to rusting, and can take some more beating.

franzb69
02-05-2013, 12:15 AM
semi stainless ok for you? or stainless?

what cutting board do you use? wood? plastic? glass? stone?

in that drawer where you keep it, does it bang around with other knives? do you use a knife sheath or an edge guard of some sort?

Maestro
02-05-2013, 12:19 AM
I use glass cutting board right now but I want to buy plastic one. I heard glass dulls your edge quickly.

no in the drawer the knife stays comfortably. it is only the knife and my 1k stone I keep handy for touching the edge.

James
02-05-2013, 12:23 AM
Go for a wood cutting board (preferably end grain maple) first. This will save you a lot of grief and will make your edges last exponentially longer. Then I'd look at the sakai yusuke stainless. Ask the seller (bluewayjapan) for a knife with an increased hardness.

mc2442
02-05-2013, 12:39 AM
Welcome aboard!

I cringed when I read the glass cutting board. No wonder your edges do not last very long. I use a large end grain maple for larger jobs, and epicurean boards (some kind of press material) for quick ones. I am sure you will get a lot of suggestions, though the end grain wood will prevail.

franzb69
02-05-2013, 12:41 AM
glass will kill any knife edge. wood or plastic will make your edge last way longer. wood is better. =D

this is why we should include the questions i added into the stock questions. =D


on the rust issue, read up or watch youtube on how to care for carbon steel knives.

Drumjockey
02-05-2013, 02:08 AM
My Kikuichi Warikomi Elite chef's knife is a little more than your desired $200 budget but it holds its edge very well through constant use with approx. monthly sharpenings & minor realignment on a simple $11 ceramic rod; is stainless with western-style handle; and takes a beating without chipping no matter what i am cutting, though I 'm not ripping through bones with it. Not a lot of Kikuichi love on this forum (to be fair, I haven't seen any Kikuichi hate either:) but I really like this knife for constant use with great edge retention, minimal worry and minimal upkeep. Wasn't sure about it when I bought it, had heard mixed reviews about Swedish blade steel, but it really grew on me and now it remains my go-to even though I own 'nicer' knives

Drumjockey
02-05-2013, 02:10 AM
All I use is a 5000-grit ceramic waterstone and the cheapo ceramic rod, btw

NO ChoP!
02-05-2013, 07:59 AM
If you like your Tojiro, they also make a hand hammered gyuto that will come in under $200 that fits all your criteria...its a nice knife; very tough.

vicv
02-05-2013, 09:42 AM
Those shirogami knives are plenty hard. Your edge retention issues are from your use of a glass cutting board. No matter how hard the blade steel is it will dull very fast using that. If you just want another knife and don't want carbon either tojiro dp for stainless or maybe a carbonext would be a wise decision and both fall well under your price range. First replace your board and that tojiro you have will hold its edge quite well

Maestro
02-05-2013, 09:49 AM
Thanks for the recommendations. so the first step is to get a cutting board.

I was thinking of buying a ******** artifex knife because I had heard good things. or a used Konosuke HD or Konosuke HH

Thanks for knife recommendations please keep them coming

Regards
Dan

chinacats
02-05-2013, 10:00 AM
Maestro,

I agree with the board first and foremost. As to the Artifex, I believe it may need considerable work (thinning) out of the box to make it perform, though I have no experience with them. How about a Suisin from JKI, currently out of stock, but receive good reviews. As to the shirogami (I believe actually shironiko--shirogami is white 1), it is not known for the best edge retention, but I agree that the board is crushing the edge.

http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/kitchen-knives/suisin.html?dir=asc&order=price

You can call Jon to see when these are coming back in stock.

Cheers!

edit: in stock at Korin

http://korin.com/Knives/Inox-Western-Style_2

chinacats
02-05-2013, 10:18 AM
Too late to edit, but realized you may want semi-stainless, could also want to look at Carbonext knives which have a reputation that is gaining around here. Price is similar to Suisin's above.

http://japanesechefsknife.com/KAGAYAKICarboNextSeries.html

jayhay
02-05-2013, 10:43 AM
Thanks for the recommendations. so the first step is to get a cutting board.

I was thinking of buying a ******** artifex knife because I had heard good things. or a used Konosuke HD or Konosuke HH

Thanks for knife recommendations please keep them coming

Regards
Dan

The Artifex isn't a bad buy for the money, but it will need work out of the box. The factory edge is poor and the knife is beefy. A good thinning and sharpening is truly necessary. A bit of skill, patience and good stones are necessary if you get the Artifex.

The Carbonext and Suisin chinacats suggested are very solid recommendations. An end-grain wood board is a very good idea too.

Maestro
02-05-2013, 11:43 AM
Thank you for shedding light on this subject.

so the short list is Carbonext, and Suisin so far.

I am comfortable with sharpening the knives on stone but not thinning their grind!

jayhay
02-05-2013, 12:15 PM
The Suisin has great fit and finish, it's thin, light, nimble and has a nice profile. Great blade for the money. And Jon at Japanese Knife Imports sells them, so they are in the US ready to ship. Assuming you live in the states, you could get your fix quick :)

rdm_magic
02-05-2013, 12:58 PM
You guys are recommending a CN, but saying that an Artifex will need work out of the box?

jayhay
02-05-2013, 01:09 PM
CN's need more edge work, than thinning from what I've seen. The Artifex is real thick behind the edge. The Artifex is way more work imho. The Suisin is pretty great straight from the box.

El Pescador
02-05-2013, 01:10 PM
You guys are recommending a CN, but saying that an Artifex will need work out of the box?

Yes. The CN needs to just b sharpened, the Artifex needs to be thinned in addition to sharpening.

mhlee
02-05-2013, 01:14 PM
You guys are recommending a CN, but saying that an Artifex will need work out of the box?

See El Pescador's comment.

The Gesshin Uraku Gyuto is also in your price range. It also comes with a saya, which are not included with most knives in your price range. While I haven't used the 210/240 Wa Gyuto, I do have a knife (180 Deba) from that line and it's a solid knife. Although it's out of stock right now, you may want to call Jon to see when he'll be getting more in.

James
02-05-2013, 01:20 PM
Yes. The CN needs to just b sharpened, the Artifex needs to be thinned in addition to sharpening.

Artifex also has potential for quite a few under/overgrind issues. The one I'm playing with has an overground section near the tip and spots of underground sections on the face of the blade.

tomsch
02-05-2013, 09:34 PM
My Artifex does need some work. Since it is inexpensive it is going to be my knife to work on thinning with the new stones that are on the way. The way it is now my reprofiled Forgecraft slices better despite the thicker blade. I think after the Artifex is thinned and a new primary bevel is set it will show how good the AEB-L really can be.

Maestro
02-05-2013, 09:38 PM
friends, do you have a recommendation for a knife with japanese handle?

chinacats
02-05-2013, 10:00 PM
friends, do you have a recommendation for a knife with japanese handle?

See mhlee's comment above, I've not tried them, but have heard great things--call Jon and see how long before they are in stock. I too have an affinity for wa handles so I understand completely.

Cheers!

mhlee
02-05-2013, 11:43 PM
See this thread for a brief review of the 240 Wa Gyuto:

http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php/8016-Hiromoto-s?highlight=gesshin

Maestro
02-06-2013, 07:43 PM
Thanks I read the review.
what do you guys think about Konosuke knives?

mhlee
02-06-2013, 07:58 PM
Thanks I read the review.
what do you guys think about Konosuke knives?

Aren't they above your price range? Why are you considering them?

Maestro
02-06-2013, 08:51 PM
my budget is stretchable.
also I would prefer to buy a used one from BST which means it will be less money than new right?

Maestro
02-07-2013, 10:48 AM
my budget is stretchable.
also I would prefer to buy a used one from BST which means it will be less money than new right?

a Konosuke HD showed up today on BST for $200 for example

mhlee
02-07-2013, 05:39 PM
If you're going to buy a knife that's made of harder steel, you're going to have to buy a real board first. Because hardness does not necessarily equal toughness. See this thread: http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php/4772-what-steels-and-why/page3?highlight=toughness

You're right. When you buy a knife on BST, it will probably be cheaper. But you're likely getting a knife that's been personally tailored by the owner, and will likely have scratches, patina, or possibly even some damage. Also, because these knives are pre-owned, they may not be ground 50/50. (In fact, I'd say the majority won't be.)

As for the Konosuke, I tried out a 270 HD Gyuto a while back. They're thin, with good geometry, generally good fit and finish (more recent versions, according to some posts I recall reading, have had fit and finish problems). I can't say much for its durability other than the edge held up over a week of home cook use. But, it's not really what I would consider a knife that can "take a beating"; but, that ultimately depends on what you mean by "take a beating."

If you're talking about whacking through fish and chicken bones, I wouldn't recommend the Konosuke based on my experience. (I don't try these kinds of things with knives that I borrow or try out.) But, I'm definitely interested in hearing from owners whether it's durable enough for this kind of stuff.