View Full Version : What were your first high performance knife choices?

03-02-2011, 10:43 AM
What did you chose as your first knife upgrades and how did you get there?

I was lucky enough to have an experienced friend hold my hand on a trip to Korin.


Tojiro slicer, Masamoto VG10 Gyuto and Tojiro Honesuki and petty. I later added a Minsono parer.

This served me well for a year and a half when I started to upgrade (http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php?41-My-Blades).

What was your process like?

03-02-2011, 10:45 AM
My first Japanese knife was a shun... I gave it to my dad.

03-02-2011, 11:07 AM
If Shun counts, then it was a 10" chef's knife I bought for my wife (then girlfriend). She would not use it, as it was too long and too sharp :-) My first real J-knife, purchased afer joining that Forum of Which We Do Not Speak, was a 210 Hiro AS gyuto -- a 'second' with uneven scales. It was okay, but a bit short for my tastes. I moved from there to a Shige nakiri, then ordered 3 knives from Piere. Just before they were finished, I scored a DT ITK 240 gyuto from the initial batch, followed by a DM turned/ rehandled 240 Hiro gyuto.

Dave Martell
03-02-2011, 11:30 AM

Real budget buy here for my first. I got a used Dojo

03-02-2011, 11:37 AM
I don't consider Shuns, but they were the first for about 2 years. I wanted to get into sushi making at home so I found the forums, and got a tojiro dp. A watanabe order came soon after. It has been a sick money pit after that. Good thing there is buying and selling.

Pensacola Tiger
03-02-2011, 11:50 AM
First one was a JCK Kagayaki VG-10 24cm gyuto. It's the knife I used as I learned to sharpen. It's in my knife drawer, scuffs and all, waiting for some TLC with Micro-Mesh.

03-02-2011, 01:13 PM
I bought a Shun Steel 8" Chefs that was on clearance with a 15% professional discount that I tricked the manager at SLT into giving me, and a lamson knife guard to go with it. I noticed someone on food network was endorsing them heavily and figured he knew something, but I was afraid to use it for near a year because I thought I would ruin it. My common sense also told me that running a regular steel across it didn't seem like a good idea!

I quickly realized I didn't like the ridiculous curve on the blade and my curiosity ended me up on the forums where I got my first real J knife, a Hattori HD 270. I was afraid the HD was going to be too big, based on my experiences with heavy German knives, but now the size seems to be the current size preference amongst many (including me). My first sharpening rig was a spyderco sharpmaker... I think I've come a long way since >.<

03-02-2011, 01:32 PM
Kagayaki VG-10 240 mm gyuto, MAC MTH-80 8" chef knife and 5" MAC petty. All three have since been given away as gifts, with the hopes of spreading the jknife fever. Less wallet friendly (but more fun) knives have taken their place.

03-02-2011, 01:32 PM
Hmm lets see. First was a Shun Elite 8" Chef (so much belly it feels closer to a 6" usable) and a Global GS-5 (handy little knife I still reach for). Then added a Fujiwara 240 FKH Gyuto and a CCK 1303 to play around with some new shapes and carbon. All within about 3 months of each other. Once you get the itch its all downhill lol.

Crazy Cutter
03-02-2011, 02:16 PM
First 'upgrade' from standard Fibrox / EU style knives was to a Global G2 (which I still really rate) closely followed by a Global GF35. These were a revalation at the time and I ended up getting 5 more Globals before I realised I couldn't sharpen them..... :o

I can sharpen them really well now and they are done on the EP, the G2 is the 'bread knife's' knife which she really loves and the GF35 is relegated to being used as an awesome slicer for hog roasts etc.

First upgrade from the Globals was to a 270mm Hiro AS and the rest as they say is history, (and a bloody big hole in my bank account) ;)


03-02-2011, 02:31 PM
my first "japanese" knife was a Mac Superior Santoku, which i got about 1 week after i first started cooking professionally. My first real japanese knife was a 240mm Masamoto HC Gytuo given to me by my chef in Japan.

03-02-2011, 03:54 PM
mine i guess would have to be a global (does) that count, but really it was when i started using tojiro dp, these knives still hold a spot in my heart, i only have one of them left as i have sold/given away the others, but it is one of my most prized knives seeing that it has been with me in every restaurant i have worked in

03-02-2011, 04:39 PM
wustof/henckel to global/shun to chroma/shun kramer to miyabi fusion to cck/tojiro to hiro/dt itk. now waiting on some "other" stuff.

Audi's or knives
03-02-2011, 05:13 PM
Home cook so Wustof to Shun's first j-knife was a Takeda 240 gyuto (this past xmas gift to myself). I tend to dip my foot in the deep end when hit with an obsession. Now i'm in the market for a petty, honesuki and a slicer, recs welcome.

03-02-2011, 05:44 PM
I jumped right in with a Takeda 210 gyuto. It is long enough for my purposes here at home. It was quite the revelation coming from a Forschner 8" chef! Although the Forschner dies a pretty good job, and I can get a pretty good edge on it, it just doesn't last and isn't as thin as the Takeda.

03-02-2011, 06:35 PM
My first J-Knife was a Fujiwara FKH 210mm Gyuto. I still use that knife every day and is what I am learning to sharpen with.

http://img686.imageshack.us/img686/2159/img0149jt.th.jpg (http://img686.imageshack.us/i/img0149jt.jpg/)

03-02-2011, 06:40 PM
Masamoto KS gyuto. I had bought a few j-knives before that (Hattori HD, Shuns), but the KS changed my perception of "high performance."

03-02-2011, 07:10 PM
I did a little online searching for a local retailer and found nothing within 30 min drive. I called David at KnifeMerchant and asked if I could come by the warehouse and check some things out. I came away with a 240 Glestain, and Masahiro MVH santoku and 150 petty. I've since given the santoku away, the petty is my wife's favorite knife along with a Shun classic santoku that a friend gave me once they saw a Shun was missing from my collection. The Glestain is my sentimental fave and it is my travel gyuto: tough, great design and responds well to steeling. I now use mainly 270 Kon HD, 270 DTITK and a 240 A-type at home along with a stainless Kon 150 petty.

03-02-2011, 07:51 PM
First knives I ever bought was a wushtof 10" heavy chef, boning and paring knife. Then after getting "lost" in my first pro kitchen, I bought another 10" wushtof. Then a friend from Bond St. In NYC (the restaurant not the street... Well technically it is on bond St.) turned me onto j knives. So I got my first 240 gyuto, a Mashahiro VG-10. Then 140mm petty or was it 160. Then I acquired a nenox 240 gyuto for a couple cases of beer and some free shifts at work. I sold it when I need some cash. Then the list goes on....

03-02-2011, 10:58 PM
First Japanese knife was a Shun 8"chef's. Then Bob Kramer Shuns. Then Artisan, knife forums, Nenox, Suisin, and on and on.

03-02-2011, 11:33 PM
my first was a watanabe.....can't go wrong with that!>.....ryan

03-02-2011, 11:37 PM
my first was a watanabe.....can't go wrong with that!>.....ryan

Same here, Watanabe standard nakiri was the first. I think. I also got a Shun 150 utility/petty around that same time.


03-02-2011, 11:40 PM
My first real Japanese upgrade (as opposed to a knife that was simply "made in Japan") was a Tojiro honesuki I bought used off of Ebay. What an eye opener! After that I figured I'd get aquainted with some more authentic stuff and got a set of Watanabe's basic knives. I still use the deba and ajikiri pretty regularly; the santoku, after much thinning, is now the 'go to' knife on the rack at home. The others were given away or lost over the years.

03-02-2011, 11:41 PM
Sad to say I've not every forayed into good knives, I was a cook at a seafood grill for a couple years when I was in college.
I got so pissed at the crap knives they had in the line that I went and got the best knife I could find which unfortunately was nothing better than a Henkels 5star. I still have it, though I have ground off the full integral bolster and rounded the spine.

currently I use a 210mm french pattern of my own in 52100. I am working on a W2 replacement at the moment.

03-03-2011, 05:02 AM
When I got my first apartment, I got a $60 set of Chicago Cutlery knives in a walnut block. I used that 8 inch chef's knife for ten years. Over that time I bought a bunch of different sharpening gadgets but could never get the knife sharp. Eventually i speculated, "maybe it's the knife," so I went to the internet to research whether to get a Henckels or Wusthof. The forums sent me in another direction. I started with a Tojiro DP and got hooked. That led me down the path of Shun, Hattori, Yoshikane, Nenohi, Watanabi, Moritaka, and Hiromoto. After I worked up to my Kramer I stopped trying to rationalize this hobby.

P.S. I still have that 8 inch Chicago Cutlery and I still can't get it sharp.

03-03-2011, 08:19 AM
My first was a Masahiro 240 VC, followed by Masamoto CT240,A-type 270.Now its a Mizuno 270, and Tadatsuna shiriko#2 270.

03-03-2011, 11:04 AM
after many months of reading at KF i decided to go for a 240mm takeda kiritsuke shaped gyuto.

though that was actually my second japanese knife, the first one being a moritaka gyuto that had to be returned due to a funky overgrind (that Dave here helped me identify).

i eventually got a 210mm tojiro dp gyuto that was supposed to be my wife's knife and that hon kasumi set of deba, yanagi and usuba from epicurean edge (that i've yet to use).

so far these are my only japanese knives.


03-03-2011, 11:17 AM
My first truly serious knife was a Henckels Cermax chef's knife. After using a Henckels' 4 star line for years, I got "lucky" when someone dropped it, point down, from about five feet onto an asphalt parking lot. The top three inches of the knife snapped right off. Having read about kitchen knives on a couple of forums and in Chad Ward's book, I knew I wanted something thinner and with better steel. The RC 66 of the Cermax impressed me, and while it wouldn't be my first choice today, I still own it and use it regularly. It's since fallen second in the rotation to its big brother, my 240mm Hiromoto AS rehandled by Dave.

03-03-2011, 07:02 PM
My first quality knife was a 180 mm Akifusa Santoku. That has since led to a 150 mm Petty, 240mm Gyuto and 210 mm Damascas Gyuto by Akifusa. A 165 mm Nikari, 240 mm and 360 mm Sujihika by Moritaka san and a 165 mm Santoku Masakage Shizuku by Kato san.

03-03-2011, 08:34 PM
My first perfomance knife was a Dp suji and a 240 misono sweedish steel gyuto. I still have the gyuto and i wish i never sold the suji. Every time i use my misono it impresses me. Iv have probley sold 7 or 8 gyutos since i bought it but its still my workhorse.

Salty dog
03-03-2011, 09:23 PM
Hattori KD santoku, May 2000

Dave Martell
03-03-2011, 09:25 PM
Hattori KD santoku, May 2000

Who starts off with a KD? Only you! Welcome Scott :)

Salty dog
03-03-2011, 09:37 PM
Big mistake. It was hard "settling" after that.

03-03-2011, 09:57 PM
Hattori KD santoku, May 2000

Now that you've had it for 10+ years, do you think it was worth the price? Oh yeah, do you remember what you paid for it?

03-04-2011, 03:46 AM
That is a pretty sick obsession in just 10 years time for Salty, can't wait to see what the next 10 brings.

The first for me was a Fujiwara FKH gyuto.

03-04-2011, 11:30 AM
I started out with a Sabatier and then used a (Henckel, Wusthof) and / or chinese cleaver for the better part of a decade. Along the way, I tried some locally available Japanese knives (Mac, Kyocera, Shun and Global), but they weren’t right for me. About a year or so ago, I got a Takayuki GC-WA and it opened my eyes to real Japanese cutlery. I’ve since added a few more, and been clearing out my older stuff to make room for more.

Salty dog
03-06-2011, 02:01 AM
Now that you've had it for 10+ years, do you think it was worth the price? Oh yeah, do you remember what you paid for it?

I have recently sold it. It was the knife that was with me when I laid it on the line. It was worth every seven hundred and forty two dollars. I shouldn't have sold it. It has a lot of mojo. So you can see where I have a soft spot for santokus. Because in the end, It's not the knife but what you do with it.

03-06-2011, 10:50 PM
I started with Hiromoto, then got Aritsugu A, then Masamoto VG10.
After those I got Mizuno Tanrenjio Stainless laser type guyto, my secondand last laser type purchase was Konosuke White 2.
Right now I use custom spec Shigefusa, it pretty much tops any of the knives I have had before,

03-07-2011, 01:24 AM
I started a little late in the game (about 3 days ago) with a kagayaki carbonext 240 gyuto. I've used Japanese knives before but never owned any. I spent a lot of time pouring over my options before picking up this knife and from all the Japanese knives I've used in this price range this one suits me the best by leaps and bounds. I am already planning a rehandle on it, but i want to give it some time with the stock handle to see if i want to change the balance point. I've got my eye on a fujiwara petty next.

Citizen Snips
03-08-2011, 01:14 AM
whustof grand prix II chef knife
shun classic-10" chef, 7" santoku, bread knife, 4.5" paring, 11.5" yanagi (pro)
hiromoto AS 240mm gyuto, misono sweedish 270mm suij
takayuki grand cheff-150mm petty, 240mm gyuto, 270mm suji
konosuke-210mm blue 2 mioroshi deba, 270mm HD gyuto, 300mm white 2 yanagi

each line is a set i bought together. i still own the shun bread knife (great for use at home with the rest of my home knives which are henkel 5 star) and my wife uses the hiromoto at work. she loves it and i would recommend that knife to almost anyone. i have the grand cheff petty for some tasks at work like strip loin fabrication and onion bag cutting. other than that i only want the three konosuke knives from here on out. i love them and dont see any reason to pick up any other knives (for now)

03-08-2011, 06:42 PM
Salsa was the first thing I made, that people enjoyed. Homemade salsa was unusual 15 years ago or so. It still is for some reason. Making salsa with low quality knifes, was slow and tedious. This kicked off my search for better knifes.

I made the typical mistake and bought a set of knives, Wustoff. There was a marked improvement in my cuts. But, the chef knife, wedged in the onion.

Even back then, I was looking to add, knives to the collection. I saw a funny looking knife on the wall one day at a knife shop The clerk called it a vegetable knife. It was a Wustoff santuko. The first time I tried it on an onion I was hooked. When Alton Brown recommended Shun, I picked up a santuko and was amazed.

The Shun santuko met my needs, until I started being asked to bring large bowls of salsa to parties. I needed a knife that was better at making large batches of salsa. I tried a variety of knives, but nothing increased my speed in prepping salsa. Not knowing what to expect I picked up a Shun cleaver. Finally a knife that made a difference!

I wanted more. That led me to forum that shall not be named, then to Andy and his cleaver thread. Initially I was put off by his review of the Shun cleaver. Reading more of his posts, I decided to pick up a full size cleaver, and fell into the hole that is Japanese knifes.

After purchasing many cleavers, I can confidently say that Sugimoto #7 is the ultimate salsa knife. The search is ended.


03-10-2011, 05:38 PM
My first J-knives were a 4 pc. set...the Mac Originals with a poly board that had the little ceramic block imbedded in the corner. Prety sure it came from Zabars in NY, and I had it in college, so '77 - '78? (Also got Blue Mtn Coffee there, before they sold the plantation)

In the modern era, I think it was a 7"/195mm Masahiro hi carbon form JB Prince

03-10-2011, 05:47 PM
Shuns. then a 210mm Tojiro gyuto, followed some time later by a 240mm Hattori FH. there have been a bunch since. the Shun 8inch chefs makes a great bread knife.

03-10-2011, 08:01 PM
For me it was a mishmash. Kind of got first two very close. First was a Damascus nakiri forget who made it but it was sold by JWW and close second was 8in Global. Still have both. Only really use the global for squash or when I need to do things that don't need a super sharp edge. While my nakiri is still a fan favorite, when I need to do a ton of vegetable prep it's always close at hand.

03-10-2011, 09:47 PM
I had a set of Global knives. When I wanted to take Dave's beginner course he said I couldn't attend with only a Global. My first "real" J-knife was a Watanabe 210mm gyuto, followed closely by a Takeda nakiri. This was 2 years ago and they are still sentimental favorites, if not my "go to" knife.

03-15-2011, 09:43 AM
I had started years ago with what I thought was great knives, the German ones, Whustof, and Henkels. I was very happy with them and they felt great. I knew of J-knives but only as a thought that I'd like to get one some day.

A few years ago I did a search and found a couple forums and started ed-u-ma-ca-ting myself. :) I traded a few PMs and emails with a few members and gained more insight.

My first was the 270 IT Tadatsuna Inox. Holy Cow, wow, this is awesome, needless to say, I was hooked. The performance was heads and tails over anything I had. Still have it and as far as I'm concerned is a true laser.

I picked up the Dojo parer and the CCK1303 and am still very, very happy with them. But I wanted to try something carbon and single bevel given how highly regarded they were by respected people. I got a 180 kasumi Yoshihiro white Deba. Oh my goodness gracious, it took only a single sharpening and instantly I knew what the rave was about. The white took an incredibly scary edge. While I could pop hairs with the Inox Tad, the white just took that edge even higher. I was definitely hooked!

My latest was the Devin Thomas 270 AEB-L about a year ago. Another fine example of knife craftsmanship.

03-15-2011, 10:21 AM
Watanabe 8 piece standard knife set to "practice with" purchased a year and a half ago...

03-17-2011, 12:54 PM
I stumbled on Japanese knives while doing research on an article/review of MAC knives for an online BBQ mag last year. I couldn't believe there was a whole other way of thinking about kitchen knives that I simply missed. I have also been a duffer at sharpening since college (20 years ago...), but really got into sharpening two years ago when I needed to maintain my competition BBQ knives. All these roads led me to Dave and my first Japanese knife - a yanagi - used to practice sharpening. That cheap knife turned out to be the sharpest thing I had ever used. It took me a while to try my hand at sharpening it because it became such a valuable tool in my kitchen - I didn't want to screw it up. However, once I did (about a year ago) I stopped using my Edge Pro and I freehand sharpen every night as therapy. My Japanese knives are the cheap ones that you can find at CKTG for under $50. I am saving for my first real suji and hope to have enough money saved by Christmas to make it happen. It costs too much to compete in BBQ to think I'll have the money any sooner :)

I still appreciate German knives because the reality is that where I live that's the highwater mark for knives. The same is true for comp BBQ cooks. I respect that, and can see the value in owning something familiar and able to take a beating. 100% of the sharpening I do for others is still on western knives and I suspect that will never change much. I love hanging out in the thin air that you Japanese knife freaks breathe! But I think I'll always live in the trailer park that is Wusthof and Henkels :)

03-17-2011, 01:32 PM
I did it a little strangely, I think. Most people probably start with a gyuto or a santoku, but I got that knife last. It's because I started with Wusthof's and stumbled on to Japanese knives when I was looking for info on how to sharpen my own knives, but wasn't really willing to get rid of the knives I already had until I was well addicted.

First was a Watanabe Petty.
Shortly after came a Takeda Nakiri.
About a year later came Ittosai Kotetsu Suji, which I gather is really just a Hattori HD.

Finally, I have an order in right now for Shigefusa Gyuto being rehandled by Marko. When it arrives, I'll finally be done with the German knives except for maybe when camping or the like. Oh, and I guess my bread knife.

I think I've done surprisingly well. Of the lot of them, the only one I don't love and plan on keeping ~forever is the Itosai.

03-20-2011, 01:57 AM
Wusthof, Shun 10", Tojiro DP 240mm gyuto, Dojo Nakiri, Hiromoto HC 270 gyuto, Ichimonji 300mm Yanagiba. A few more since then, but these were the first few...


Eamon Burke
03-20-2011, 10:51 AM
I didn't have knives for work until I got into Sushi, I just used whatever was around. At home, I was rocking a Calphalon Santoku. Then I got a Tojiro DP gyuto and a Tanaka Yanagi. I don't bother with other knives anymore, unless I am scrapping paint off something.

I really wanna rehandle my DP, I just use it too much!

03-24-2011, 02:56 PM
A custom chef knife from- Mastersmith,- - Wally Hayes , and then a slicer like for a turkey or roast,, a long thin one -- from him..Wally had made my camp knives -- very cool knives very cool.....

03-26-2011, 01:05 AM
Started out with a Hiromoto AS gyuto.. from there it was Tanaka gyuto/yanagi, cheapy hiromoto lower-grade santoku off ebay (still a favorite), Mizuno gyuto, Tojiro suji, Kanemasa E-series suji, Tadatsuna white gyuto, CCK1303 (twice), Misono carbon hankotsu, couple Hiromoto pettys, Sugimoto #6, and a Takagi honyaki gyuto. Wow, it didn't feel like that much when i was buying them :biggrin:

Most of these have been sold off to fund new ones. But it's been fun trying them out. The journey has taught me different ways to appreciate knives. Some aren't pretty but cut really well. Some are finished beautifully. Some are a bargain. Some are soft(er) steel but still "good enough" - and it's super easy to just bring them back to scary sharp. Some have edges that last forever. Not to mention finding what sort of personal preferences I've learned about myself. How tall/thick I want in a gytuo or a suji. Whether I like cleavers or not.

I've still been itching for a Watanabe for over a year now. Might be time to give in soon >.>

03-28-2011, 03:52 AM
Culinary school knives. Basically stamped out german knives. Then I got a global that no matter what I did to it, it wouldn't stay sharp. Then I moved onto a Hattori HD 210 gyuto and it was all downhill from there. Picked up a forum petty, HD nakiri, and a Misono UX10 gyuto ( which I am totally regretting I spent the money on. ) My latest acquisitions are my twin Hiromoto AS 240's with custom handles. Saving up for a DT right now tho. :(

03-28-2011, 12:56 PM
If you still have the Misono and wait until people forget how much the price went up you may be able to make a profit from it!

03-29-2011, 12:33 AM
I know. I'm holding onto it for a bit and I'm gonna send it out to get reprofiled and sharpened. I went on a 1 month vacation and my sous chef asked if he could borrow it. He told me he would sharpen it every day and keep it as sharp as I gave it to him. When I get back he gives me the knife and it's pretty ripped up. He sharpened it terribly, tried to thin it out, then I think he just gave up. It looks like a suji more than a gyuto now. lol.

04-21-2011, 09:09 PM
A global.
Wanted more so ordered from JCK Tojiro DP 120 petty (still love it), Kanetsugu Pro M petty (gave to the mother in-law), Tojiro Powder steel 210 gyuto and Hiromoto HC240 gyuto. Both gyutos are sold.
Continued to purchase second hand knives from KF to see how people sharpened. A Masahiro VC, Kumagoro Hammer finish, Fujiwara FKM

And it's been going on ever since...

04-23-2011, 03:26 AM
After a couple of years of Wusthof-ing it, I researched a bit and found out that carbon knives are "better" and ended up rocking vintage Sabatiers for a while. I eventually bought myself a Shun 10" and that just totally set off my obsession.

My first foray into real Japanese knives was started with a Kikuichi Elite carbon 270 suji and shortly afterwards a Nenox 240 gyuto that I still use to this day. I really hit the nail on the head right off top but that didnt stop me from dropping k's over the years.

04-23-2011, 08:22 AM
After the Shun's and alot of them, I got a 240mm Moritaka gyoto, all the Shun's are gone now.

05-04-2011, 10:06 PM
As with many here, I started off with what seemed pricey at the time, A 210mm Hiromoto AS and what I believe was the very last Hiromoto HC Petty JCK sold. I remember searching for the Hiromoto HC gyuto, but they were gone by then. I still have them today :thumbsup:

Since then they've gotten new dresses of course. I'm sure most of you have probably already seen these a dozen times before but here they are again



Adam calls me the king of expensive handles on cheap knives ;) It wont be long before every one of my knives (and kitchen utensils!) has a custom handle.

05-06-2011, 01:09 PM
Those are some great handles. Normally I dont really care for black and white ebony, but those scales are really nice. And that is one of the better two tone handles I have seen. The woods look great together, not too different, not too similar. And I like the wide space double mosaics. Are there hidden pins as well?

05-06-2011, 01:45 PM
New West Knifeworks 8" chef, a gift from a customer of mine, a MAC Superior santoku, Moritaka 240 gyuto, Konosuke 150 petty, and just this week a 1303 CCK cleaver and a Tojiro nakiri. I am developing a strange fondness for flat-edged knives :-)

05-08-2011, 08:44 AM
My first rather expensive knives were some henckels. Moved on to what I'm using now: Hiro AS and Fujiwara petty. Gonna get me some more soon haha

05-10-2011, 02:44 PM
Bought a few Globals before thankfully I saw the light and stopped. Tojiro DP were my first decent knives, then Hattori then Masamoto and a few others

NO ChoP!
05-12-2011, 10:15 PM
I had a whole kit of German blades, when I was introduced to the Mac over a dozen years ago. I've purchased many a Mac blade in my day. I also ventured into the Kyoceras, which I still use in my home, and still like, despite many peoples despise. I jumped to a 300mm Tojiro Pro, which I still use and love; which pushed me to try the Tojiro Flash line, which I'm not such a fan of; weird geo/ profile/ balance. I picked up a couple of the popular hammered damascus blades, and then was gifted a Takeda, which brought me to the world of hand crafted higher ended Jknives; Yoshihiro, Yoshikane, Moritaka, Watanabe, CCK, Sakai Yusuke, Togiharu, Konosuke. I think next I will get into customs, and/or a Mizu Honyaki.... they've caught my eye as of late.

05-15-2011, 12:32 PM
First, I admit, I have obsessions! I was lurking around Voldemart's forum and heard magic names bandied about: Takeda, Hiromoto, Hattori, Tadatuna, Yoshigane.
Then all of the types: Gyuto, Nakiri, Suji, petty.

And, of course, I HAD to have one of each. So in the space of about 6 months I dived head first.

Bought a Gyuto: Takeda 240
Then another one: Tadatuna Wa 240 white steel
Of course I had to have a Hattori Gyuto...240.
Had to have a Nakiri: Takeda Banno Bunka. And another, Yoshigane
Then heard of a cache of Solid white steel #2 knives made many years ago....bought a 2nd, a 240.
As of today, that 2nd Hiromoto solid white steel is the BEST overall knife in my kitchen. I think I paid $97 with the stipulation that I couldn't return it as it was a 2nd.

And then the fever left me.....but then again, I found you guys again on THIS forum. Maybe a Devin Thomas in the future?

05-16-2011, 09:31 PM
As a starving student, I found a rusty old Old Hickory 8" chef's in the basement of the house I was renting. Cleaned it up on a wire wheel and it was my knife for a couple of years.

I then bought a "box lot" of kitchen odds & ends at an auction which included a very old Wusthof 8" chef's (Sabatier/french style - virtually no belly) missing half of one handle rivet - it became my go to knife for years. I eventually acquired a fairly complete set of Wusthofs, although I rarely used anything other than the original chef's knife.

I then became intrigued by the Shun knives I was seeing at BB&B & picked up a wooden boxed set of 3 Shun Pro's including a Deba & two yanagis. I had no experience with single bevel knives, so my curiosity led me to the site which shall not be named.

Being a bottom feeder by nature, I started picking up other people's cast offs. My first acquisition was a Misono Swedish carbon 210 gyuto followed by a Konosuke 240 Swedish stainless gyuto, a Hiro Shiki 120 damascus petty, a Kumogoro blue #2 hammered 165 nakiri, and most recently a Nenox type G 240 gyuto.

Most of the Wusthofs went on Craigslist - except for the original 8" chef's - which I'm still quite fond of.

Since the Nenox is the newest, it's currently getting the most use while I get used to it, but I think the Misono is going to end up being my "go to" knife.

I think I'm good for awhile.


05-16-2011, 09:50 PM
Nenox Type G 150mm petty. All up hill after that :)


05-18-2011, 10:36 PM
Shun classic and Hattori KF.

05-23-2011, 05:11 PM
Korin 300mm Yanagiba / Masamoto 180mm Usuba Love both ! Before that a cheap ss yanagiba, but learned to sharpen on that:thumbsup2:

05-23-2011, 08:59 PM
Does a $15 Kai Santoku (http://www.kai-group.com/jp/products/item/id/KBI00000222/kitchen/CBI000019/CBI000020) count? :laugh:

05-30-2011, 09:11 PM
My first knife was a wannatbe,extremely thin edge.marekz

07-31-2012, 07:28 PM

Hope that link from FB works....

Dillard's low-end Henckel's 8" Chefs, ~1997
Masamoto VG10 210mm Gyuto, 2009 (thanks Cook's Illustrated!)
Suisin Inox Honyaki Gyuto 240mm (thanks to this forum + a buncha hours)

Very seriously eyeing the Gengetsu wa-petty 150mm in stainless clad white #2 from JKI right now....more of a when than if, really. :doublethumbsup:

The Henckel's was my first proper knife and I got a lot of hours out of it.

I ran across the Masamoto Gyuto from a cook's illustrated article...I had researched jknives before, but only knew about deba/suji/etc. and those were way more than I was willing to pay, esp for such narrow use items so I had given up on having a jknife in the kitchen until this article. This knife was a huge eyeopener...I was amazed for 2+ years at how this thing cut...even w/o sharpening it in 2 years. Just the geometry was such a huge advance over the Henckel's.

I started teaching some cooking classes for the local university extension office--2 hour demo type things--which created a very small income for kitchen goodies...which is how I summoned up the courage to spend the dough on the Suisin. I was pretty shocked to have my eyes opened all over again with this. I'm now sharpening my Masamoto to build skills to sharpen this w/o killing it.

I'm looking to the Gengetsu as a "beginner's introduction to carbon"...and hoping the patina behind the stainless cladding will be as cool as my imagination.

I'm also starting a program of giving away my older knives as I acquire newer ones...I need to avoid a collection--even if I fail to avoid acquisition. (is it just me or did that sound like a reluctant Ferengi?)

07-31-2012, 07:30 PM

07-31-2012, 10:25 PM
Compared to the crappy knives I grew up using at home, and the even crappier knives I had after moving out, the knives with which I started my married life were a definite move sideways. My first real upgrades were the 8-inch Henckels slicer and 3-inch Sabatier parer (my first real carbon blade). But the biggest leap up was this year when I brought the Masamoto KS 270 gyuto home with me from Tokyo.

08-01-2012, 08:03 AM
This year I bought a Suisin Inox Western 240 Gyuto and 150 petty. The petty handle was too small for my hand so I recently just sold it. Purchased the Inazuma 150 petty from JCK and so far I like it very much. I think it's a good bang for your buck knife. Now on the hunt for a suji. Also thinking about a rehandle for my Suisin gyuto.

08-01-2012, 08:06 AM
They might not be some of the high end j-knives but they were nice upgrades over the Calphalon and Tools of the Trade knives I had.

08-01-2012, 08:58 AM
I inherited a motley crew of old Sab's some 20 plus years ago, which served me well for many many years. Then two years ago my wife, who at the time knew nothing about knives, found Koki on line and bought me a Hattori damascus Gyuto for a gift. That opened my eyes and the proverbial floodgates....

08-01-2012, 12:37 PM
I spent years with Henckels and a cheap stainless Chinese cleaver. Then, earlier this year, I got a CCK 1303, a Tojiro white #2 petty, and a Fujiwara FKM petty, along with some water stones. I should have done this years ago! I LOVE the CCK, rustic looks and all. I mean, it looks like a lawnmower blade... but it cuts great, sharpens easily, and I actually really like the handle. The Tojiro is nice, too- that white steel does love to get sharp! But I'm not so hot on the handle. Next up- a nice wa gyuto. It'll be interesting to see if I'm a gyuto guy or a cleaver guy. I'm leaning cleaver, but I've never had a nice gyuto. The largest knife I had in my Henckels stuff was a 6" "chef" which was pretty much good for nothing.

08-04-2012, 06:25 AM
I started Culinary School Last year graduated oct they gave me full Mac Set.
I then saw on craiglist a Corian Dupoint Nenox Gyuto and Sujihiki for 350 I went to see they guy he threw in the Corian petty.
I took it and went home happy months later

I just bought last week

Hiromoto Tenmi Jyuraku Limited Edition Gingami No.3 Damascus Gyuto 240mm.

Also bought the

Konosuke Petty Sakura etched 150 mm.

Arriving Monday will be

Suisin Hayate Limited Edition Kiritsuke on korin.

Haha I love knives I am in search for Hattori Kd knife or cowry x steel knife been trying for couple months :O.

08-04-2012, 11:21 AM
Welcome Autobot! Sounds like you have some nice blades!

Salty dog
08-04-2012, 07:37 PM
My first Japanese knife was a Hattori KD santoku. That was 11 years ago.

08-04-2012, 09:44 PM
My first was a Hiromoto AS Santoku.

The Edge
08-04-2012, 09:48 PM
My first was a Tanaka nakiri in R2. Stunning knife that made me feel like I could do things I never could before.

08-05-2012, 05:27 AM
My first step up from random crap and kiwi knives was a tojiro santoku, followed by shun and global. They were certainly big steps up performance wise, but my first introduction to how good a knife can be probably came from my 27cm carbonext; still a great product line.

08-05-2012, 06:42 AM
My first was shun ken onion>Kikuichi vg-10>shun kramer>Konosuke >.................>now :yatta: Yoshikane SLD

08-05-2012, 06:51 AM
The one that got me onto Japanese knives was a mac utility. My first high perfOrmance was a 210 mm carbonext gyuto.

08-05-2012, 09:16 AM
Moritaka 240mm AS gyuto.

08-05-2012, 09:51 AM
I've already told about my progression from cheap, bad knives to a couple of decent European knives and finally to high-performance Japanese blades. But people laugh and roll their eyes when I admit that my real eye-opener knives were a couple of <$10 KAI PureKomachi 2 "colored" knives (serrated/bread and santoku). I use the bread knife every day; the santoku I've used maybe three times -- it's now the wife-knife.

08-05-2012, 02:44 PM
Not exactly "high performance" but,6" Kasumi boner and 7" santoku..

Keith Sinclair
08-06-2012, 03:39 AM
First blade that was a leap fr. what I had been using(mostly Forchners)was Masamoto carbon steel 240 Gyuto.

daddy yo yo
08-11-2012, 07:14 AM
well, it always depends on what one considers as "high performance"...

i started with a Wuesthof Dreizack Classic 4582 chef's knife and thought it was great for years...
then my cousin gave me a Yaxell Ran Santoku. although i never really liked the knife as a whole i like its blade.
then it was a Hattori FH/KF gyuto. it's a reliable and great performer with the best handle i've ever had.
then it was a Konosuke HD gyuto. this is serious sh*t! sharpness out of the box is terrifying! :scared4:
and then i had the chance to grab myself a Hattori KD gyuto. i love it in every regard, and this is what i consider not only sharp but this is pure beauty.

Messy Jesse
08-11-2012, 01:20 PM
My first chef used a Nenox SD 270 and taught me about Japanese knives. I bought a Takeda 282 gyuto as my first Japanese blade... it blew me away.

08-11-2012, 03:10 PM
My first was a dojo, I couldn't believe how thin and sharp it was. My second was an aritsugo 240 yanagiba a friend brought back for me from Kyoto. This was the knife that got me hooked-I was overwhelmed with it and frankly scared to use it since I knew I didn't have the skill to sharpen it. That's when I started trolling the web and luckily found Dave martells site.
First stones were shapton glass 1k 4k 8k.

10-20-2012, 08:54 PM
I think my first "high performance" knife was my Tanaka 240 in blue #2 Damascus. A 150 Petty soon followed and I just received a Carter Sujihiki that is amazing. I made a great score of a 240 Takagi Honyaki gyuto today for $150. I'm looking forward to putting that one to work.

10-21-2012, 02:28 AM
My first Japanese knife was a Hiromoto AS. I still wish I had that knife--looked cool as hell.

10-21-2012, 12:33 PM
Once I started getting interested, I escaleted pretty quickly. After using random stamped or german styled knives for years, I ended up geeting a much larger (10.5 inch) powdered steel Tojiro. Soon after, got a Devin Thomas ITK....and been playing around since then. It is still my favorite. Should probably get a custom from him eventually.....which means I should probably sign up now :-)

Like to try all the makers, and will probably work my way through them all eventually.