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Matus
02-18-2013, 05:39 PM
Hello! I am new here, but I am not entirely new to knives (though certainly not an expert). I live in Germany, though I come from Slovakia. I am not a knife collector, but have a strong appreciation of a well made (and practical) knives. So knives like Mora 2000 or Iisaki Aito have found way to our home (I even got a Ikari from Jukka Hankala to my best friend as a present)

But now to kitchen knives :)

Browsing around this forum already yielded a lot of information, so I suppose I am on the right address to ask a few question concerning japanese kitchen knives.

So - I have decided to 'upgrade' our kitchen knife selection which currently contains only 2 knives worth mentioning (and keeping) One is Wüsthof Dreizak knife from Soligen with 16cm Blade that is strong enough to be used around bones (not a cleaver though) and the other is Kai SHEN with 6" blade (which I got before the price went up in Germany).

The SHEN was the first attempt to get a japanese styled knife. It's VG-10 core is rather easy to sharpen (I have a sharpener set from KME - not the best, but uses 4" DMT diamond steels) and holds edge quite well. BUT it has a week side too - and that is the toughness. As the VG-10 forms only the core of the knife and the rest (of the every thin blade) is soft stainless damascus - the knife could be bend with bare hands - it ti would remain that way! I do realize that this knife is a slicer, but sometimes one may accidentally apply force transversally and the knife could get bend. It does does not induce much confidence. Therefore before investing in another knife or two I thought I should get more informed first.

So after lengthy introduction - what am I looking for?

A)
- 240 mm (or even 270 mm) long knife - probably Guyto or Yanagiba. Mostly for slicing meat.
- stainless (I know I know ...) or at least weakly staining steel. Maybe stainless-clad carbon steel could work too.
- hand forged (if possible)
- probably with classical handle (octagonal)
- priced up to 300€, I would go for more if it would be 'the one' :angel:

B)
- 80 mm knife for little work
- preferably from the same 'series' as above


Here is the question Nr.1 (sort of):
Now the above sounds very general, but I do have questions/points about the steel. Namely - most (many) of japanese knives imported to western world are made in a similar way as the SHEN described above - so a high quality steel in the core of the blade clad with either damascus or plain stainless steel. And that is my problem - after the experience with the SHEN knife I have - I am not sure whether I should trust these designs as it is hard to say whether the cladding supports the knife, or is there just for looks.

I do understand that certain (mostly high-end) steels may actually need that kind of treatment (like SG-2, ZDP-189) because thy themselves they are too brittle. But one mostly sees knives with VG-10 core where the cladding may not be necessary (or am I wrong?).

And so finally question Nr.2:
Which knives should I look at? There are many producers, steel material is not always well mentioned and it is very hard to find how much quality (blade, F&F) am I actually going to get.

To give you an idea - knives I have looked at and liked (many of them are in fact core-clad knives):
- Hattori FH
- Kanetsugu Pro J Series (clad )
- Ryusen Blazen (clad SG-2)
- Hiro VG-10 knives
- Kato sa Masakage Kiri or Hikari (clad VG-10)
- Konosuke Sakura (on the expensive side)
- Kanetsune
- AOKI Gingami 3 Ichii
- Zensho/Yoshikane SKD Kasumi Gyuto
- AOKI Sakai Takayuki Suminagashi Tsuchime Wa Sujihiki
- Yoshikane SLD Damascus Kiritsuke

Thank you and sorry for a long post

mc2442
02-18-2013, 05:47 PM
Welcome aboard!!

ThEoRy
02-18-2013, 06:24 PM
Get a 240mm gyuto. Unless you are slicing a lot of boneless raw fish you don't need a yanagiba.

Sanmai (cladded) construction is perfectly fine and you have nothing to worry about there. The purpose of this is to make sharpening the knife much easier by surrounding it with a softer metal. Damascus or not that part is only aesthetic. Honyaki (monosteel) construction is far more difficult to forge properly and further more it can be much more difficult to sharpen especially so for beginners. Not to mention the very substantial increase in price to the consumer.

Don't worry about sanmai. You aren't going to break or bend anything. You shouldn't be using any knife as a prying or twisting tool anyway.

That being said, I think a 240mm Hiromoto AS might just be perfect for your needs.

http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/TenmiJyurakuSeries.html

cclin
02-18-2013, 06:45 PM
welcome to KKF!
first, gyuto & Yanagiba are very different knives.....you may consider wide suji!!
all knives you list are different steel/type/construction.... you may want to fill up this firsthttp://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/sh...should-you-buy

Matus
02-18-2013, 06:45 PM
Thank you. Certainly no prying with knives in our kitchen!

So I would conclude that most sanmai are better made then SHEN knives .. ?

I have already had a look at Hiromoto AS. It would fit the bill (actually on the cheap side), I would just prefer japanese traditional design.

rdpx
02-18-2013, 06:56 PM
The Hiromoto that ThEoRy recommends is the knife that I nearly bought. If you really want the Wa (Japanese style) handle though, you might want to look at this one. I don't know much about these knives, but JCK seem to only sell decent knives.... This one seems to cover everything you mentioned. Handle type, stainless, price, etc....

http://japanesechefsknife.com/FurinkazanW1Series.html#W1-6


If you are considering "a gyuto or a yanagiba" you might want to consider a sujihiki from the same range. Yanagiba as I understand it is mainly made for slicing raw fish perfectly and the blades are more difficult to sharpen than on sujihikis, which are western style edges, and more suitable for the kind of things you mentioned.

As for the 8cm knife, that range does a 120mm petty, but you might want to try something from a different range just for the variety as its kind of addictive seeing the different kinds of blade. EG:

http://japanesechefsknife.com/MolybdenumSeries.html#No.534

or a bit dearer:

http://japanesechefsknife.com/HattoriForumHighEndChefsKnives.html#FH%20Parer

As far as I know (based on a couple of weeks searching kitchen knife sites) you won't easily find an 8cm wa-handled knife.

As I understand it, the reason for stainless cladding is so that you can get the advantage of a carbon steel edge (sharpness & retention) but don't have to worry so much about washing and drying the knife as you do with a full carbon blade.

rdpx
02-18-2013, 07:05 PM
or even....

Masamoto KS (http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/ksserieshonkasumigyokuhakukou.html)

mhlee
02-18-2013, 07:40 PM
Yanagiba as I understand it is mainly made for slicing raw fish perfectly and the blades are more difficult to sharpen than on sujihikis, which are western style edges, and more suitable for the kind of things you mentioned.

Personally, I've found single bevel knives to be easier to sharpen than most double bevel knives. Yanagibas, while not all-purpose slicers, are used for more than slicing raw fish.

And what type of qualities are you looking for in your knife? What is the most important thing to you? Smoothness of cutting/lack of wedging? Food release? How light/heavy of a knife are you looking for? Edge retention? Ease of sharpening?

mhlee
02-18-2013, 07:41 PM
or even....

Masamoto KS (http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/ksserieshonkasumigyokuhakukou.html)

The OP posted that he wants stainless, or at least weakly staining steel, or stainless-clad carbon steel. The Masamoto KS is none of these.

It's carbon steel. And it stains.

rdpx
02-18-2013, 07:51 PM
The OP posted that he wants stainless, or at least weakly staining steel, or stainless-clad carbon steel. The Masamoto KS is none of these.

It's carbon steel. And it stains.

I shall consider myself told.

Good job someone is doing QC on these replies.


The Masamoto is pretty though, isn't it, Michael? Maybe he will be tempted?

:sofa:

mhlee
02-18-2013, 08:17 PM
I shall consider myself told.

Good job someone is doing QC on these replies.


The Masamoto is pretty though, isn't it, Michael? Maybe he will be tempted?

:sofa:

It's up to original poster (OP). It's an ok looking knife, but from the ones I've seen, they have rough fit and finish, which is always a no-go for me. I want a knife out of the box that has the spine and choil rounded, that's consistently made and ready to go right out of the box. From what I've seen, it doesn't have a rounded choil or spine, and I've read here from people who are knowledgeable, the KS does not have great fit and finish and the grind can vary. Also, I recall someone that I know commenting that the handles on the KS are sometimes not very good.

I've never used a KS so I'm not one to say about its cutting performance. A number of other people here own them, have used them and really like(d) them. But, I'm not going to recommend it or any other carbon steel knife (or even a clad carbon steel knife). Most of the knives the OP identified are extremely stain-resistant. That leads me to believe that he knows he does not want to deal with the day to day care (not maintenance) of a carbon steel knife.

Personally, I don't believe in recommending what I like without knowing what the person wants, whether it's food, wine, knives, cars or anything. What I like can be completely different from what someone else likes. And, because I have no personal experience with the knives he listed, I'm not going to recommend any of those listed. And, I also don't know what he's looking for in a knife. So, I'm not going to recommend anything until I know more and the OP asks.

Also, most of these knives are what I would consider medium thickness knives. They're not thick, but none of these, from what I know, are lasers. I don't recall reading from people much more knowledgeable than me that any of these knives are that thin behind the edge, which is critical in my experience for a good performing knife. But, again, I've never seen or used any of the knives listed.

As for pretty, pretty doesn't necessarily make a good knife. I wish that were the case, but it's not. Don't get me wrong, a lot of people have said the KS is a great cutter. I just don't know.

But, since the OP is in Europe, if he's concerned about shipping, he might want to take a look at Bluewayjapan.

rdpx
02-18-2013, 08:30 PM
But, I'm not going to recommend it or any other carbon steel knife (or even a clad carbon steel knife). Most of the knives the OP identified are extremely stain-resistant. That leads me to believe that he knows he does not want to deal with the day to day care (not maintenance) of a carbon steel knife.

The first one I linked to seems to tick his boxes.

mhlee
02-18-2013, 08:45 PM
Yes, it does meet the OP's general requirements. But, without knowing more about what he's looking for in terms of cutting performance, it's hard to say if it's a good match. It's a pretty thick knife at the spine. And, if I recall correctly, a member here previously had issues with delamination or something like that.

A friend of mine has or used to have that knife. This is someone who has dozens of knives and tried many more, and is an accomplished sharpener. As I recall, he thought it was an okay knife, but not a great cutter.

For my friend, and for me, a great cutting/performing knife is what we're looking for. I learned what a great cutting knife was from him by using some of the knives he owned and recommended. Hell, if a Shun was a great performing knife, I would recommend it.

Isn't the bottom line how well a knife cuts? That's why I'm more interested in the performance characteristics he's looking for more than trying to pick and choose knives that meet his basic criteria. And, I will add that I'm not a great sharpener, but even with my level of sharpening, it's easy to see how one knife vs. another is a better cutter. Sharpness is one factor of many that makes a knife a superior cutting knife.

Pensacola Tiger
02-18-2013, 08:52 PM
Yes, it does meet the OP's general requirements. But, without knowing more about what he's looking for in cutting performance, it's hard to say if it's a good match. It's a pretty thick knife at the spine. And, if I recall correctly, a member here previously had issues with delamination or something like that.

A friend of mine has or used to have that knife. This is someone who has dozens of knives and tried many more, and is an accomplished sharpener. As I recall, he thought it was an okay knife, but not great.

A thread on the Fu-Rin-Ka-Zan is here:

http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php/6431-I-need-to-know-if-this-Fu-Rin-Ka-Zan-gyuto-is-a-good-quality-reliable-knife

Kalaeb had this to say about them:

"The knives are not consistant, some reports have excellent fit and finish, others not so much. There are now two options to purchase a thick and a thin. I bought mine when it was only the thin version and it cut well, but was "chippy", and needed to reduce the bevel angle and added a micro bevel to correct the issue. Reports that I have heard suggest the thicker versions do not cut well at all.

The knife that I had was severly lacking in the fit and finish department, including sharp spine, choil and some delamination issues. I was able to correct all the issues, in a night with some wet/dry sand paper, but is something you should be aware of.

In short, the knife takes some work to get it primed, if you don't want to put forth the work in a mid $200.00, I would not buy it."

What about the wa-handled version of the Kagayaki VG10?

http://japanesechefsknife.com/KAGAYAKIVG-10.html

mhlee
02-18-2013, 09:02 PM
A thread on the Fu-Rin-Ka-Zan is here:

http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php/6431-I-need-to-know-if-this-Fu-Rin-Ka-Zan-gyuto-is-a-good-quality-reliable-knife

Kalaeb had this to say about them:

"The knives are not consistant, some reports have excellent fit and finish, others not so much. There are now two options to purchase a thick and a thin. I bought mine when it was only the thin version and it cut well, but was "chippy", and needed to reduce the bevel angle and added a micro bevel to correct the issue. Reports that I have heard suggest the thicker versions do not cut well at all.

The knife that I had was severly lacking in the fit and finish department, including sharp spine, choil and some delamination issues. I was able to correct all the issues, in a night with some wet/dry sand paper, but is something you should be aware of.

In short, the knife takes some work to get it primed, if you don't want to put forth the work in a mid $200.00, I would not buy it."

What about the wa-handled version of the Kagayaki VG10?

http://japanesechefsknife.com/KAGAYAKIVG-10.html

Thanks for the link and info, Rick. There you go, rdpx.

(To rdpx - I value what Pensacola Tiger writes. He's used a lot/owned a lot of knives, and I've found his observations to be very similar to what I've experienced or what others have observed and written. You would do well to pay attention to what he writes. Similarly, kalaeb rehandles knives and I've bought a knife from him. His description of the performance of the knife I bought from him was the same as what I observed. Consequently, I value his opinions as well.)

I've never used the Kagayaki so I can't say anything about it. Rick, you've used/owned one, right?

rdpx
02-18-2013, 09:34 PM
I appear to have violated some forum etiquette.

Sorry everyone!
Will try harder.

:newhere:

Matus
02-19-2013, 02:56 AM
You guys are just wonderful :knife: Let me go through your replies to so that I can also answer the questions that appeared in the process:

- rdpx -
http://japanesechefsknife.com/FurinkazanW1Series.html#W1-6
I do like this one - carbon core with stainless cladding could work. The finish seems to look a bit 'rough' on the photos. The blade with 3.8 mm is on the thicker side, but on the other hand is relatively wide so that is probably OK.

The Hattori FH (solid VG-10) series seems to be highly regarded. I would only prefer less western design.

- mhlee -
The long knife is planned most for meat slicing or maybe for large vegetables or such. NOT for hard cheese or salami.
I would prefer lighter well balanced knife with hight edge retention.

The knife should not be too thick - that of course partially depends on the width of the blade. Wider blade will probably be thicker on the spine. But it probably should be a bit thicker than my 6" SHUN (VERY thin) given the length will be around 9-10".

I am not sure about the bevel - I have never used one-sided bevels before, so I do not know what to expect. BTW both me and my wife are right-handed.

Stainless or not: I do realize that for good reasons most knives available are not stainless, but I am not sure I am ready to handle knife made purely out of carbon steel in a kitchen. Carbon knives really need to be treated immediately after AFAIK use and that just seems a bit impractical. Also - the stain (which can no really be 100% avoided) tends to be 'smelled' on the food sometimes. So - stainless or nearly stainless would be preferred ...

The Looks: as I already mentioned - I would prefer japanese design with classical handle. The knife should not have rough finish. It should look 'consistent with itself', so to speak (not necessarily 'pretty') - the blade may of course shows signs of the process - in particular if it was hand forged. The mentioned Masamoto KS would probably not pass this part, even though the photos from the link would not suggest that.

Just an example:
http://gx2.japan-messer-shop.de/product_info.php/info/p1164_yoshikane-sld-damast-kiritsuke--26-cm--handgeschmiedet-und--signiert.html
http://gx2.japan-messer-shop.de/product_info.php/info/p292_aoki-sakai-takayuki-suminagashi-tsuchime-wa-sujihiki--24-cm-klingenlaenge--rostfrei.html

Sharpening: right now I have sharpening set from KME sharpeners which allows to clamp the knife and use a constant angle. If that would not be optimal I would be ready (in the future) to get proper sharpening stones.
I have no problem to sharpen the SHEN knife in a very short time, if that is of any help.

- Pensacola Tiger -
Thanks. The KAGAYAKI VG-10 (ES) Series would generally be fine, but I would prefer japanese design.

****

Any opinions on the knives available via: http://gx2.japan-messer-shop.de ? This is so far the largest German shop selling japanese knives that I found.

mhlee
02-19-2013, 03:33 AM
You guys are just wonderful :knife: Let me go through your replies to so that I can also answer the questions that appeared in the process:

- rdpx -
http://japanesechefsknife.com/FurinkazanW1Series.html#W1-6
I do like this one - carbon core with stainless cladding could work. The finish seems to look a bit 'rough' on the photos. The blade with 3.8 mm is on the thicker side, but on the other hand is relatively wide so that is probably OK.

The Hattori FH (solid VG-10) series seems to be highly regarded. I would only prefer less western design.

- mhlee -
The long knife is planned most for meat slicing or maybe for large vegetables or such. NOT for hard cheese or salami.
I would prefer lighter well balanced knife with hight edge retention.

The knife should not be too thick - that of course partially depends on the width of the blade. Wider blade will probably be thicker on the spine. But it probably should be a bit thicker than my 6" SHUN (VERY thin) given the length will be around 9-10".

I am not sure about the bevel - I have never used one-sided bevels before, so I do not know what to expect. BTW both me and my wife are right-handed.

Stainless or not: I do realize that for good reasons most knives available are not stainless, but I am not sure I am ready to handle knife made purely out of carbon steel in a kitchen. Carbon knives really need to be treated immediately after AFAIK use and that just seems a bit impractical. Also - the stain (which can no really be 100% avoided) tends to be 'smelled' on the food sometimes. So - stainless or nearly stainless would be preferred ...

The Looks: as I already mentioned - I would prefer japanese design with classical handle. The knife should not have rough finish. It should look 'consistent with itself', so to speak (not necessarily 'pretty') - the blade may of course shows signs of the process - in particular if it was hand forged. The mentioned Masamoto KS would probably not pass this part, even though the photos from the link would not suggest that.

Just an example:
http://gx2.japan-messer-shop.de/product_info.php/info/p1164_yoshikane-sld-damast-kiritsuke--26-cm--handgeschmiedet-und--signiert.html
http://gx2.japan-messer-shop.de/product_info.php/info/p292_aoki-sakai-takayuki-suminagashi-tsuchime-wa-sujihiki--24-cm-klingenlaenge--rostfrei.html

Sharpening: right now I have sharpening set from KME sharpeners which allows to clamp the knife and use a constant angle. If that would not be optimal I would be ready (in the future) to get proper sharpening stones.
I have no problem to sharpen the SHEN knife in a very short time, if that is of any help.

- Pensacola Tiger -
Thanks. The KAGAYAKI VG-10 (ES) Series would generally be fine, but I would prefer japanese design.

****

Any opinions on the knives available via: http://gx2.japan-messer-shop.de ? This is so far the largest German shop selling japanese knives that I found.

First, I hate to burst your bubble, but I don't think you're going to find what's generally considered a "hand-forged" knife, i.e., an artisan made knife, forged and hammered knife, for 300 euros. Second, most "hand forged" Japanese knives are carbon steel. Third, if you're going to use it for vegetables, I would not recommend buying a single bevel knife.

I can't read German, but from what I see on that website, there are several brands that offer stainless steel knives such as Sakai Takayuki (they carry the Grand Cheff Sujihiki which is made with AEB-L steel, a well regarded steel, which is generally tough, with good edge retention; a number of members here have probably had/used the Grand Cheff Gyuto), Aoki Hamono has two lines of warikomi (carbon clad knife lines of white 2 and blue 2) as well as silver 3 which is a stainless steel. They also have the Suisin Inox Honyaki line which is very well regarded by members here. And Sakai Takyuki has a number of lines of knives that could fit what you're looking for.

But, aside from looks, balance and high edge retention, what kind of performance are you looking for? Something that slices cleanly and easily, or something that tougher and more substantial? How hard are you on your knives? Do you bang them on boards? And what kind of cutting board do you use?

If you have knives you're interested in, I would recommend that you (1) translate the description from German to English, (2) explain why you like the knife, and (3) be more specific about what you're going to cut. There are a LOT of vegetables in the world and there's a big difference in hardness and size between cabbage vs. carrots vs. pumpkins vs. rutabaga. And there's a difference between slicing thick slices of ham or roasts versus very thin slices of, for example, smoked salmon.

And, if you can, I would recommend going to that store to see what you like in person and holding knives and seeing what you like most. Balance is not going to be obvious through photos. They also have a lot of options, but the prices vary significantly.

mhlee
02-19-2013, 03:46 AM
One more thing, how stiff of a knife do you want? Completely stiff with no flex, or a little flex?

Pensacola Tiger
02-19-2013, 08:35 AM
- Pensacola Tiger -
Thanks. The KAGAYAKI VG-10 (ES) Series would generally be fine, but I would prefer japanese design.



Scroll down and find the wa-handled versions as I suggested (there are two, a 24 cm and a 27 cm).

Timthebeaver
02-19-2013, 12:21 PM
First, I hate to burst your bubble, but I don't think you're going to find what's generally considered a "hand-forged" knife, i.e., an artisan made knife, forged and hammered knife, for 300 euros.



??

Yoshikane, Gengetsu, Kochi, Mizuno, to name but a few.

rdpx
02-19-2013, 12:43 PM
The Hattori FH (solid VG-10) series seems to be highly regarded. I would only prefer less western design.


Funnily enough, I was just looking at the FH series as I was thinking about asking you all about recommending one to some friends of mine who want to buy a gyuto. My friends don't want to get into forums, and all the knowledge etc, they just will want a really nice knife that will work OOTB and these are within their budget...

When I was looking for the link I found that there is actually a wa-gyuto (japanese handle) in the FH range, and wondered if that would not be a good purchase for Matus? It only comes in 270mmm, but this was suggested as maybe acceptable. It is stainless, great finish, good reputation, price spot on, etc etc?

Now I must stress here that I have no knowledge of this knife at all. I have never tried it and have not even spoken to anyone about it. In my own research over past week or two the FH knives seem to have always been highly spoken of in forums though - maybe someone with some experience of them could give an opinion of these knives? [This would also be helpful for me for when I come to suggest that my friends maybe get one - though that would be a 210 western-gyuto]

Hattori FH 270mm Wa-Gyuto (http://japanesechefsknife.com/HattoriForumHighEndChefsKnives.html#FH%20Wa%20Gyut o)

Thanks!!

Robert
:knife:

Timthebeaver
02-19-2013, 12:51 PM
Funnily enough, I was just looking at the FH series as I was thinking about asking you all about recommending one to some friends of mine who want to buy a gyuto. My friends don't want to get into forums, and all the knowledge etc, they just will want a really nice knife that will work OOTB and these are within their budget...

When I was looking for the link I found that there is actually a wa-gyuto (japanese handle) in the FH range, and wondered if that would not be a good purchase for Matus? It only comes in 270mmm, but this was suggested as maybe acceptable. It is stainless, great finish, good reputation, price spot on, etc etc?

Now I must stress here that I have no knowledge of this knife at all. I have never tried it and have not even spoken to anyone about it. In my own research over past week or two the FH knives seem to have always been highly spoken of in forums though - maybe someone with some experience of them could give an opinion of these knives? [This would also be helpful for me for when I come to suggest that my friends maybe get one - though that would be a 210 western-gyuto]

Hattori FH 270mm Wa-Gyuto (http://japanesechefsknife.com/HattoriForumHighEndChefsKnives.html#FH%20Wa%20Gyut o)

Thanks!!

Robert
:knife:

My initial thought would be why this instead of a Yusuke or Ginga which are comparable in price? (the Yusuke is cheaper). Unless you wanted VG-10 instead of Swedish steel of course. Whilst I have no issue with VG-10 at all (although it has its share of detractors) I much prefer 13c26. That said there are folks who claim Hattori's VG-10 as being particularly good.

rdpx
02-19-2013, 01:18 PM
My initial thought would be why this instead of a Yusuke or Ginga which are comparable in price? (the Yusuke is cheaper). Unless you wanted VG-10 instead of Swedish steel of course. Whilst I have no issue with VG-10 at all (although it has its share of detractors) I much prefer 13c26. That said there are folks who claim Hattori's VG-10 as being particularly good.

With regards to this thread Matus has specified he wants wither stainless, semi-stainless or at most a carbon core/stainless clad knife.
With regards to my friends, they don't want anything that they have to fuss over. Stainless is the way for them I am sure of it.

Timthebeaver
02-19-2013, 01:23 PM
With regards to this thread Matus has specified he wants wither stainless, semi-stainless or at most a carbon core/stainless clad knife.
With regards to my friends, they don't want anything that they have to fuss over. Stainless is the way for them I am sure of it.

Sandvik 13c26 (similar composition to Uddeholm AEB-L) is fully "stainless" (13% Cr).

mhlee
02-19-2013, 01:50 PM
??

Yoshikane, Gengetsu, Kochi, Mizuno, to name but a few.

One, he's looking for stainless or stainless-clad. Kochi, Mizuno are out.

Second, it looks like he's limiting himself to places in Germany. At that store, the hand-forged knives are EXPENSIVE.

If he's willing to buy a semi-stainless clad from the US or stainless from the US, I would recommend the Ginga or Gengetsu. But, it looks like the OP isn't looking at US retailers.

Timthebeaver
02-19-2013, 01:52 PM
One, he's looking for stainless or stainless-clad. Kochi, Mizuno are out.

Second, it looks like he's limiting himself to places in Germany. At that store, the hand-forged knives are EXPENSIVE.

If he's willing to buy a semi-stainless clad from the US or stainless from the US, I would recommend the Ginga or Gengetsu. But, it looks like the OP isn't looking at US retailers.

The Yoshikane SKD from Maxim ticks all his boxes and is in the EU. Finish sharpening from Maksim is a boon for a newbie as well.

Agree that the German site is expensive, nowhere near as big a rip-off as the UK sites though!

rdpx
02-19-2013, 02:06 PM
If he's willing to buy a semi-stainless clad from the US or stainless from the US, I would recommend the Ginga or Gengetsu. But, it looks like the OP isn't looking at US retailers.

I was in same position and wasn't looking at US sites, though I am not sure why really.

(Not actually sure anything the OP said actually discounted US sites, its just that his links have only been from Japan or Germany so far)

Benuser
02-19-2013, 04:14 PM
I was in same position and wasn't looking at US sites, though I am not sure why really.

I'll tell you. Crazy shipping costs, HM custom duties, handling costs in UK.
Within Europe, moderate shipping costs, if any. With JCK, flat rate shipping costs only.

mhlee
02-19-2013, 05:43 PM
The Yoshikane SKD from Maxim ticks all his boxes and is in the EU. Finish sharpening from Maksim is a boon for a newbie as well.

Agree that the German site is expensive, nowhere near as big a rip-off as the UK sites though!

I don't see any SKD sujihikis on Maxim's site. I also didn't recommend Maxim's site because his maximum price was up to 300 euros. I know Maxim carries really nice items and didn't fall within the OP's price range.

But, since it looks like the OP is willing to exceed the 300 euro limit, then, yes, the SLD sujihikis are something the OP may want to consider once they're back in stock.

http://www.japanesenaturalstones.com/Yoshikane-Kitchen-Knives-s/1843.htm

Matus
02-19-2013, 05:51 PM
:thankyou333: a lot - I did not expect so much help so quickly. I guess I'll keep hanging around here.

Now onto your suggestions and ideas:

- Michael -
I have no problem with the bubble bursting - should I not be able to get a 'fully hand forged' knife for the price I am aiming to, then I will get a 'semi hand forged' one ;) Seriously - it would feel great to get a knife that was fully handmade, but I do agree that 300 is probably not cutting it.

Thank you on the steel-info of some of those german knives.

I only use wooden boards (no ceramic or plastic!) - and I would consider them OK. Not too hard or such (no edge chipping with them).

Translating a bit info about the knives I consider interesting is a great idea - see more at the bottom of this post.

This german shop I have found is online-only. I have yet to come across a decent knife shop in Germany and if I do - the prices will be even higher.

The knife I am after may indeed flex a little - as long as it does not bend.

- Pensacola Tiger -
Indeed I did not scroll down the page. The KAGAYAKI VG-10 does look interesting.

- Robert -
The Hattori FH-9 Wa Guyto does look interesting too.

- Timthebeaver -
I for some reason though that VG-10 is 'superior' to Swedish steels like 12c27 (my Mora 2000) or the mentioned 13c26. AEB-L steel is new to me.

US or DE:
- I have in principal no problem buying from US is the price is right or id the knife I chose can not be bought here at all. The problem is as mentioned - the tax (around 25%) plus shipping (JCK ships for very good prices though). Also returns are nearly impossible or with lot of fuss.
- I have also got that impression that the German shop is expensive, but some of their knives look really nice. Returns in Germany cost me nothing and I have 2 weeks to decide whether I want to keep the knife or not.

Purpose of the knife
Meat - anything that has no bones it it (chicken, pork, beef). I am VERY rarely filleting fish (too far from ocean). Vegetables - more like larger salads, NO pumpkins (I have a stronger knife for that purpose). Also no carrots - I will use the SHEN I already have as it is very thin. Tomatoes - maybe, there I will probably keep using the SHEN. Hard salami or cheese - probably also not. Maybe pineapple or water melon here and then. In general no work that requires excessive force.
So - mostly meat :)

Knives I find interesting (translation when needed):
(includes also knives above my price range - just to give you an idea)
- (*) JCK Inazuma (http://japanesechefsknife.com/SPECIALS.html#INAZUMA): 12c27 core clad with stainless damascus
- Hattori FH9 Wa-Guyto 270mm (http://japanesechefsknife.com/HattoriForumHighEndChefsKnives.html#FH%20Wa%20Gyut o)
- The KAGAYAKI VG-10 KV-8 Wa-Guyto 240mm (http://japanesechefsknife.com/KAGAYAKIVG-10.html)
- (*) Aoki Gingami 3 Ichii Exklusiv Suminagashi Sujihiki (http://gx2.japan-messer-shop.de/product_info.php/info/p271_aoki-gingami-3-ichii-exklusiv-suminagashi-sujihiki--24-cm-klinge--handgeschmiedet-und--signiert.html) : hand forged blade Gingami-3-Suminagashi stainless steel (any good?) - 33 layers, both-sided bewel, Ichii-wood, weight 136g
- (*) AOKI Sakai Takayuki Suminagashi Tsuchime Wa Sujihiki 24 cm (http://gx2.japan-messer-shop.de/product_info.php/info/p292_aoki-sakai-takayuki-suminagashi-tsuchime-wa-sujihiki--24-cm-klingenlaenge--rostfrei.html) : stainless damascus (Suminagashi) steel with 45 layers, weight 120g
- Sakai Takayuki Shobu 24cm (http://gx2.japan-messer-shop.de/product_info.php/info/p695_sakai-takayuki-shobu-24cm-rostfrei.html) : single sided bevel stainless blade has two layers - the core is 8A steel ( C0,8- Mo 0,25,Cr 13,V 0,1-0,25%) and is clad with soft stainless steel. Thickness at the spin 3mm, weight 124g
- Sakai Takayuki Cheff Wa Gingami 3 - Shobu 24 cm (http://gx2.japan-messer-shop.de/product_info.php/info/p332_cheff-wa-gingami-3---shobu-24-cm--handsigniert--rostfrei.html) : hand forged single bevel blade made from two layers: core is Gingami 3 (C0,95-1,1, Si <0,35, Mn 0,6-1, P <0,003, S <0,02, Cr 13-14,5) clad with soft stainless steel. Spine thickness 3mm, weight 136g
- (*) Suisin Inox Honyaki Wa Sujihiki 24 cm (http://gx2.japan-messer-shop.de/product_info.php/info/p72_suisin-inox-honyaki-wa-sujihiki-24-cm.html) : stainless steel blade from 12c27, weight 100g
- (*) Takamura PM damascus Sujihiki 27 cm (http://gx2.japan-messer-shop.de/product_info.php/info/p346_takamura-pm-damastmesser-sujihiki-27-cm--handgeschmiedet-und--signiert.html) : hand forged stainless blade from 'PM-damascus' steel (any idea what is that?) - although it seems that the 'PM steel' is only the core and is clad with some kind of stainless damascus - I am not sure, both sided bevel,
- Yoshikane Raiun damascus Gyuto 24 cm (http://gx2.japan-messer-shop.de/product_info.php/info/p536_yoshikane-raiun-damast-gyuto-24-cm--handgeschmiedet-und--signiert.html) : hand forged blade with ATS-34 core and clad with stainless damascus, both sided bevel 50:50, thickness at spine 3.8mm, weight 204g
- (**) Yoshikane SLD Damast Kiritsuke, 26 cm (http://gx2.japan-messer-shop.de/product_info.php/info/p1164_yoshikane-sld-damast-kiritsuke--26-cm--handgeschmiedet-und--signiert.html) : hand forged blade from Hitachi SLD damascus steel (C1,5%.Si0,3%.Mn0,4%.Cr12%.Mo0,9%.V0,3%), both sided bevel 50:50, thickness at spine 3.5mm, weight 180g, it is mentioned that the owner should have experience with sharpening and that the blade may be harder to sharpen.
- (*) Zensho/Yoshikane SKD Kasumi Gyuto 240 mm (http://www.japanesenaturalstones.com/Zensho-Yoshikane-SKD-Kasumi-Gyuto-240-mm-p/613.htm) - what is the difference between SKD and SLD steels?

(*) means I rally like the knife, (**) means I consider is stunning and may sell some of my camera gear to get it :)

Please have a look at these and let me know what you think. Price-to-quality ratio is what matters here - the knives listed above are of different 'levels'. I am also opened to suggestions - personal experience counts a lot.

Thank you

ThEoRy
02-19-2013, 06:12 PM
Takamura uses R2 Powdered Metal which is an excellent super fine grained stainless steel with the ability to get super sharp and has extreme edge retention. Also sometimes called SG-2. This steel is sometimes hardened up to 64-65 HRC. I have a few R2 blades from both Tanaka and Itou and am still impressed with them. For a PM steel of this caliber it is quite easily sharpened and maintained.

mhlee
02-19-2013, 08:02 PM
Based on the knives you've "starred" above, you really seem to be concerned with how a knife looks. The only "starred" knife above that is not a damascus or tsuchime (or similar design) knife is the Suisin Inox Honyaki.

Is it safe to say that how the knife looks is the most important thing to you?

rdpx
02-19-2013, 08:38 PM
- I have in principal no problem buying from US is the price is right or id the knife I chose can not be bought here at all. The problem is as mentioned - the tax (around 25%) plus shipping (JCK ships for very good prices though). Also returns are nearly impossible or with lot of fuss.

I think if you are careful with your choice you will not want to send a knife back. Also if you choose something that is strongly recommended here, if you do decide you don't like it you will probably be able to sell it to someone for near purchase price.

It is hard to help you narrow your list down as you say some of them are out of your price range and to look through them all and try to figure out what is going on is too much like hard work!!!

Easier would be to say "I like knife X, but it is too expensive." Or, "I like knife Y, except it has wrong handle".

Sounds like you want something that looks like the Yoshikane, but for $300?

As mhlee says, are you more concerned with having a knife that is going to be great to use, or great to look at? If I had choice between an Inazuma and a CarboNext for example, I would choose the CarboNext every time, because all advice points to it being a far better knife for the money and in use, **but** it doesn't look like a traditional Japanese knife....but I know it is a better knife.

You may have to end up compromising. I know I did as I bought a knife that looked really boring (the CarboNext) but when it arrived it was far lovelier than I was expecting, and is a joy to use.

Robert

chinacats
02-19-2013, 10:19 PM
The only knife on your list that I have owned is the Suisin Inox Honyaki. It was a great knife, but a bit too light for my tastes. I would also note that at 240 this would fall somewhere between a long petty (I'm thinking 180-210) and a 'real' slicer which to me is 270-300. Other than the weight (which is a personal thing), it was an exceptional knife, steel was great, fit and finish was excellent and I really liked the handle.

My other thought here is that with the damascus knives you are paying for the finish and that is fine, but maybe you could up the ante by spending the same money on something that appears somewhat plain and is just a screamer when it comes to cutting.

As to JCK, somehow the duties in most places don't seem to be too bad, which I think is because he undervalues the knife when shipping.

:2cents:

Matus
02-20-2013, 04:56 AM
Before I will continue it seems that I need to clarify one more point, so ...

Looks -vs- Use
Indeed most of the (*) knives have some kind of damascus blade (but not all). What you have not noticed is that all (*) knives have darker handles ;) Seriously - I simply marked knives that, based on how they look, are more appealing to me simply because I do not have enough knowledge to really say which is better or more suitable. That is where your advice comes to play. After all :newhere:

So no, the looks does not play a dominant role, but I would not be bothered if the knife would indeed look good.

Please keep sharing your opinions and advices. Thanks to you I have already much better idea about what could be a good choice.

*****
- ThEoRy -
Thanks on the info about the steel Takumara uses - all I found was 'PM steel' what is obviously just a producer. Should I assume that all stainless Takumara knives uses the R2 steel?

- Robert -
your point about CarboNext is taken - I will seriously consider the knife.

Some of the points I marked with (*) are indeed above the stated 300 Euro, so this does say : "I like this knife but it is too expensive" :)

There are no 'wrong handles' apart from the point that I would prefer adarker one. I do not know which wood would be preferable for the handle and which should rather be avoided. The handle should in the first place feel well in hand.

- chinacats -
I am not 100% sure whether to get 240 or 270 knife. I have to think about that.

Customs in Germany:
My personal experience:
Undervaluing the goods does not do much help in Germany - for purchases from outside EU I have to bring prove of payment to the customs. It would have to be a gift from private person and THEN I could argue with the customs about the real value (and would still end up paying the tax on the value I would manage to persuade the guy about). Smart b- :censored:-rds :sad0:

franzb69
02-20-2013, 05:17 AM
which I think is because he undervalues the knife when shipping.


yep. pretty much. i even go about to telling sellers to declare it as a gift, after putting a much lower value just to be sure. customs officers here are greedy buggers.


My personal experience:
Undervaluing the goods does not do much help in Germany - for purchases from outside EU I have to bring prove of payment to the customs. It would have to be a gift from private person and THEN I could argue with the customs about the real value (and would still end up paying the tax on the value I would manage to persuade the guy about). Smart b- -rds

i lie my butt off when needed to and explain to them that the value of the things that are sent to me are more of an educational one. =D i never divulge how much i get them. they're wiley and clever alright, even here.

rdpx
02-20-2013, 09:37 AM
Some of the points I marked with (*) are indeed above the stated 300 Euro, so this does say : "I like this knife but it is too expensive" :)


;) ;) fair enough ok! - it is a lot of work though to click through on them all and see whether you can afford them, and then try to figure out what it is that they all have in common...

The thing is that reading through this thread I still have no idea which knives you may be leaning towards (you have just posted over ten knives that you like and after 4 pages af advice, you now mention that you would really like a dark handle!). I am sure you will get there, and people here seem to really like helping people get to a decision that they will be happy with, but narrowing it down might help.

The Gesshin Ginga that has been mentioned is very often mentioned as being a really superb knife. I should point out that I have never used one of these knives, but often see it spoken of with awe. I think you can only buy them from japanese knife imports, but maybe you could have a skype conversation with the owner (Jon Broida) to discuss what you want and stuff like shipping etc. From what people say he is very very helpful and will steer people to knife that will make them happy, rather than try to sell you an expensive knife. I just had a look at the Gesshin's and it looks like the 240 Gyuto is out of stock.... you could alwyas get a 210, or a 270, or a sujihiki? [or if you decide on that knife find out when it wold be in stock again] Whatever, Jon would I am sure be able to give you some face to face help.

http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/gesshin-1/gesshin-ginga/gesshin-ginga-270mm-stainless-wa-gyuto.html#

Sadly the Ginga handle is not dark wood, but maybe Jon could rehandle it for you?

Robert

Timthebeaver
02-20-2013, 10:04 AM
- (*) Zensho/Yoshikane SKD Kasumi Gyuto 240 mm (http://www.japanesenaturalstones.com/Zensho-Yoshikane-SKD-Kasumi-Gyuto-240-mm-p/613.htm) - what is the difference between SKD and SLD steels?



Pinched from DrNaka (I miss his input, he was a great source of information on the Japanese makers)

Yoshikane's standard gyutos use SKD-11 (D2) they also have some high gyutos with an amazing finish that use SKD-12 (A2).

I visited Yoshikane Hamano and his Migaki (Kasumi) double bevel kitchen knives he makes now and have the SKD mark are SKD 12 and not SKD11.

His Sekisou line with the stamp SLD are SKD11.


He used also VG10 before but he recommends now SKD 11 and 12.

I think Heiji use the same SKD 11 and 12 because Yoshida san told me that Heiji comes to his workshop and gets some "stuff".


and a contribution from Larrin Thomas, who most here would agree is one of the most knowledgeable folks regarding knife steel:

A2 has a much smaller carbide size and volume than D2. A2 is much better for kitchen knives, in my opinion. It's carbide structure is close to simple carbon steels but has the harder chromium carbides for better wear resistance. Ease of sharpening and edge stability should be near carbon while offering better wear resistance and some corrosion resistance (i.e. semi-stainless).

Since you have put a star by it, the 240 SKD gyuto from JNS is handmade, great steel, burnt chestnut handle, superb grind and excellent fit and finish. It's also quite narrow (50mm at heel) and the profile lends itself well to slicing (imo). It is longer than a Sakai 240 (which are typically measured handle to tip, Yoshikane measures from heel to tip), mine is 261 to the handle.


I think it's an absolute steal at the current pricing, especially for those of us in the EU.

chinacats
02-20-2013, 10:09 AM
Before I will continue it seems that I need to clarify one more point, so ...

- chinacats -
I am not 100% sure whether to get 240 or 270 knife. I have to think about that.


I think the point I was trying to make is that if you would like a slicer (suji) that maybe the better length would be 270+, where if you are looking for a gyuto that 240 might be a better size. The difference is usually in both blade height and blade profile. If you are planning on using the knife as more of an all purpose knife and you do not have 'professional' skillset, you may be better off just focusing on a gyuto. As to the handle color I cannot offer advice:scratchhead:

mhlee
02-20-2013, 12:50 PM
Looks -vs- Use
Indeed most of the (*) knives have some kind of damascus blade (but not all). What you have not noticed is that all (*) knives have darker handles ;) Seriously - I simply marked knives that, based on how they look, are more appealing to me simply because I do not have enough knowledge to really say which is better or more suitable. That is where your advice comes to play. After all :newhere:

So no, the looks does not play a dominant role, but I would not be bothered if the knife would indeed look good.

Please keep sharing your opinions and advices. Thanks to you I have already much better idea about what could be a good choice.



If you really care about performance, how about answering these questions I asked in a previous post?

But, aside from looks, balance and high edge retention, what kind of performance are you looking for? Something that slices cleanly and easily, or something that tougher and more substantial? How hard are you on your knives? Do you bang them on boards?

And, how do you cut? Do you pull cut, chop straight down, chop forward? What kind of grip do you use and how do you hold a knife?

And, I'd say, let's start over and please complete this questionnaire.

http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php/2058-Which-knife-should-you-buy

The knives you chose above are all over the place. You didn't seem to consider that some are single bevel, others are sujihikis and others are gyutos. These knives are not completely interchangeable. The only consistent quality was that they are all damascus except for the Suisin Inox (and somewhat darker handled).

If you want a slicer, then focus on slicers that are not single bevel since you want to cut vegetables and other things. If you want a chef's knife/gyuto, then focus on getting a chef's knife.

But, right now, it looks like you want a great knife that does everything, is pretty, and under 300 euros. If there were a universally great knife that did that, I would imagine there would have been some consensus as to what knife YOU should buy, which there isn't.

The only knife that I can think of that I know people rave about that fits all of your desires, for the most part (it is not damascus), off the top of my head is the Gengetsu Gyuto which is not a slicer and is out of stock. http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/kitchen-knives/gengetsu/gengetsu-240mm-stainless-wa-gyuto.html

I also really feel that you should just go to that store and see and handle those knives. By the way, is there a reason why you haven't gone there yet?

Matus
02-20-2013, 04:24 PM
Michael - point take, so here is my best effort to answer:

First to your previous questions I have missed:


Is it safe to say that how the knife looks is the most important thing to you?
No, the looks is not the most important. I do however respond to how things I use look and feel. So if there will be two similar knives (performance wise) and the I prefer the look of costs say 50 Euro more I may get it. I would not buy 'inferior' knife for more money just because it 'looks batter'


One more thing, how stiff of a knife do you want? Completely stiff with no flex, or a little flex?
The knife does not need to be entirely still, but it should not flex too much under normal use. As I would prefer thinner knife I realize that only certain level of stiffness can be achieved. The knife could be be a bit stiffer than the I have 6" SHUN (http://shun.kaiusaltd.com/knives/knife/classic-utility-knife) knife I have. It should NOT bend with little flexing.


But, aside from looks, balance and high edge retention, what kind of performance are you looking for? Something that slices cleanly and easily, or something that tougher and more substantial? How hard are you on your knives? Do you bang them on boards? And what kind of cutting board do you use?
The knife should slice rather cleanly than be 'tough or substantial' I have a 6" relatively strong knife I use for task like cutting HOkkaido pumpkin (quite hard) or de-boning. I am not hard on my knives and I do not bang them on boards. I am using a cutting board similar to one seen in this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=2X1RWfnWCeY)


And, how do you cut? Do you pull cut, chop straight down, chop forward? What kind of grip do you use and how do you hold a knife?
When I slice meat I pull/push (like sawing a wood) with as little pressure as necessary. No chopping. I hold the handle with all my fingers - I do not put my index or thumb finger on the spine. I prefer the thin grip of my SHUN to fatty 'western' grip of the german knife which makes it feel heavy in hand (well, it is heavier than SHUN)

*******
Now onto the proper questionnaire:

What type of knife(s) do you think you want?
Long bladed slicer for meet mostly). I think I ways a long not too wide blade probably with full bevel. Possibly one sided - I do not know how does the single sided bevel influences the slicing/cutting. As mentioned already: stainless, semi-stainless or maybe carbon clad with stainless. Concerning the blade shape - I would tend for narrower and thinner blade, but I will listen to your advice here.

Why is it being purchased? What, if anything, are you replacing?
I am (finally) adding this knife - right now we do not have any knife with blade over 6". We have two knives with 6" blade - one the very thin 6" SHUN (http://shun.kaiusaltd.com/knives/knife/classic-utility-knife) and one german knife with wider blade that is relatively strong (not for cutting through the bones though). I miss a knife for meat slicing.

What do you like and dislike about these qualities of your knives already?
I often find that 6" blade is simply too short to slice comfortably larger pieces of meat. 6" does a great job on smaller stuff - in particular vegetables (cucumber, tomatoes, cheese, hard salami).

Aesthetics- I am attracted by japanese style knives with Wa-handles. I would appreciate stainless damascus blade (not core cladded with 'dummy' stainless damascus).
Edge Quality/Retention- I expected edge quality retention at least as good as my VG-10 SHUN.
Ease of Use- Well, the knife should be a nice slicer
Comfort- - I do NOT appreciate thick handles or handle-heavy knives. In general I am not looking for a heavy knife. I am more of a slicer than a chopper, if that makes sense.

What grip do you use? I have relatively small hands and so prefer thinner handles - the handle of my SHUN is really thin but the shape makes it easy to hold and use.

What kind of cutting motion do you use? Slicing forward/backward, not too much pressure.

Where do you store them? The knife will either be stored in a wooden knife-stand, or if too long to find in its own box in a drawer (until a better solution pops). So a saya could be practical to have.

Have you ever oiled a handle? Actually not - was not necessary. My SHUN has ebony handle and it never seemed not need oiling.

What kind of cutting board(s) do you use? Only wood & once that are specifically intended for the purpose. I do not see a problem there.

For edge maintenance, do you use a strop, honing rod, pull through/other, or nothing? I have a KME sharpening set (http://www.kmesharp.com/kmeknshsy.html) which seems suitable for kitchen knives (though stones longer than 4" would be preferable). I do not use sharpening steels/rods.

Have they ever been sharpened? Yes, on regular basis

What is your budget? 300 Euro, maybe more if I would get emotionally attached :laugh:

What do you cook and how often? I cook way too often, but my wife does not complain. I actually enjoy cooking - that is why I am trying to get tools that make the process more enjoyable. The knife mentioned here would get used about once a week.

Special requests(Country of origin/type of wood/etc)?, well, Japan. I am not an expert on wood for knives, I would ask for a help here.

****

So, that is as much as I can produce ... so a few more questions:

I am a bit confused about SDK and SLD steels - seems like there are several of them. How do these compare to other stainless steels used for kitchen knives? Are these stainless, or semi-stainless?

rdpx
02-20-2013, 05:44 PM
From what you said about "dummy" effect I am not sure that you understand the deal with the Damascus effect on knives.

My understanding is that the reason you get carbon core knives, clad in stainless is so that you basically get the benefit of a carbon edge but lose the hassle of having to look after it quite so intensely because most of the blade is SS. [see the Hiromoto AS series of knives - google pics to see lovely effect this brings]

Damascus effect comes from many layers of steel put together to form the blade, so when it is finished you see all the layers on the blade, and it looks pretty. For a very good illustration of this you can look at this page:

scroll to the picture of the "blank" so you can see how they start off. (http://japanesechefsknife.com/KDSeries.html#WIDTH:%20368px;%20HEIGHT:%20258px)

So if you have a carbon clad with straight stainless, or clad with stainless with damascus effect, there is no dummy involved. As far as I know you can't "fake" a damascus effect.

Also, as I understand it, Damascus doesn't really serve any intrinsic purpose that relates to the performance of the knife (i may be wrong?) and is used purely as a decorative effect which means the knives can be sold for more money, but also that the knives will probably have taken more time to make (check prices on that hattori range, and also see they are ALL SOLD OUT)

You can look at the SPECIALS page on JCK and see all sorts of things with handles with castles or flowers in them, mirror polished blades, amazing damascus, and they are all very expensive. To get serious damascus effect (like in the link) you have to pay for it.

So (as I understand it, and again I may be wrong) PERFORMANCE/STEEL QUALITY wise, you will get more for your money if you don't go damascus.


(Am I getting this right, everyone?)

There are blades that have a very beautiful wavy line along them (called a HAMON I believe - see HERE (http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c303/munky2/P1030883.jpg)) which I think shows where the steel has been hardened differently; this is not the same as damascus. You also get a kind of "one-layer-damascus-effect" near the edge on the Hiromoto AS series mentiond above, which with a bit of know-how and effort [etching/thinning] can be made into a beautiful thing to look at [see THIS PAGE (knife worked on by Dave Martell the founder of this forum) (http://japaneseknifesharpening.blogspot.co.uk/2010/10/hiromoto-gyuto-japaneseknifesharpening.html).

From following this thread I think you maybe need to either compromise on something, or raise your budget.


You will also probably need to buy, and learn to use, some waterstones [or at the very least one #1000/#6000 combi stone], because I think most here would think it a crying shame if you were to spend $300 on a knife and not sharpen it properly. You should also practise on your old knives before attacking whatever new one you buy.

I also think from what you just answered, that you are now looking at sujihiki knives....


Have you seen this one?

http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/kitchen-knives-by-type/sujihiki/gengetsu-270mm-stainless-clad-white-2-wa-sujihiki.html#

Robert
:pirate2:

[NB - I welcome corrections from all you more experienced members if I have any basic errors in my understanding of these things]

Matus
02-21-2013, 02:16 AM
Concerning my 'dummy' comment about the damascus - it was probably a bit unlucky choice of words. I meant that the damascus used for cladding a hard core of the knife is really not doing much for the performance of the knife (certainly the case with my SHUN knife) and is probably easier to make as one does not need to concentrate of getting edge with good performance out of it. Cladding with soft stainless steel has the same effect.

For me somehow - once the whole blade is made out of damascus steel, then the 'damascus' part is somehow justified. Maybe just a wrong philosophy. Just forget it.

I am aware of what hamon is, though I seem to recall it can be achieved only with certain carbon steels - but I may be wrong.


sujihiki knives
Frankly - I am starting to think whether this would be the better choice for me - but maybe you guys could help me out based on the questionnaire I have filled in. Apart from the obvious difference in blade width - what is the difference between Gyuto and Sujihiki? Both seems to have full both sided bevel .. ?

That one linked above looks great me thinks.

franzb69
02-21-2013, 02:24 AM
gyuto is the japanese equivalent of a western chef knife. sujihiki can be considered as the japanese equivalent to a slicer.

gyuto and sujihiki are almost always double bevel (except for maybe some custom makers), most of the time they are asymmetric.

aside from the obvious height difference between the two.

ThEoRy
02-21-2013, 03:08 AM
Sujihiki is a slicing knife, sort of a western yanagiba.

Gyuto is all purpose.

Also, stop sawing your food!! :razz:

Matus
02-22-2013, 12:19 PM
I also really feel that you should just go to that store and see and handle those knives. By the way, is there a reason why you haven't gone there yet?

I have just realized that I have missed this one: Indeed nothing can replace a first-hand experience, but the problem is that the German store in question in ONLINE only. There are no 'real' knife shops in the area where I live. I have visited one smaller knife shop recently, but all they had was a few shuns and then just 'standard' German stuff (and load of crappy knives for living-room-rangers). Maybe there is something in Munich, but I will not get there any soon I fear.

But if anybody around here knows about a decent knife-store in south Germany, then please let me know.

Benuser
02-22-2013, 01:31 PM
Ask our German counterparts @

http://www.messerforum.net/forumdisplay.php?77-K%FCchenmesser

rdpx
02-22-2013, 01:32 PM
Did you buy a knife yet?

Matus
02-22-2013, 05:11 PM
N knife yet - I will go over the options I found (or was advised to look into) and pick one.

I am still open for suggestions - now that I have filled the complete questionnaire ;)

rdpx
02-22-2013, 08:41 PM
I am still open for suggestions - now that I have filled the complete questionnaire ;)


I must admit I am puzzled by the fact that you say you cook "way too often" yet you are only going to use the knife you are looking to buy once a week.

Either this means that you think cooking once a week is too often, or that for some reason you don't want to use this $300 knife you are going to buy each time you cook.

I think if you are going to buy yourself a good knife, you should be buying a knife that you will use every time you make a meal... or am I missing something?

Benuser
02-22-2013, 09:01 PM
Nobody could help you in finding a serious store in München??

Matus
02-23-2013, 04:05 AM
I already manage to find some info about the knife shops in Munich (although it is not clear how does it looks with japanese kitchen knives offering there), but as I said I will probably not manage to get there any soon.

I am cooking more than once a week :lol2: but it does not require a 270 mm gyuto every time. But it is quite possible that the knife will get used more than that once I have it :)

OK, I went through what I have learnt here and what I have found that can actually be bought and here is my shortlist of knives I am seriously considering.

I am not yet sure whether I will be getting gyuto or sujihiki with either 240 or 270 blade, but most of the knives below are offered in with both blade designs.

So - the list (ordered roughly according to cost, give or take):
1) AOKI Sakai Takayuki Suminagashi Tsuchime (probably VG-10 core clad is stainless damascus)
2) Suisin Inox Honyaki (19c27 steel if I am not mistaken)
3) Gangetsu Stainless (semistainless core with stainless clading)
4) Gangetsu Stainless (white #2 carbon core clad in stainless)
5) AOKI Gingami 3 Ichii (is this the 'G3' steel?)
6) Gessin Heiji semi stainless
7) Yoshikane SLD Damast Kiritsuke (I understand the Hitachi SLD is the core that is clad by stainless damascus)
- not much user info on the web. The knife does not have full bevels - how does it slice?
8) Takamura PM damascus Sujihiki (PM-stell (?) clad in stainless damasucs)
- anyone with experience? I found rather little information

Now before you go on that that is not a 'short' list please let me explain:
(1) is a cheapest option (155 Euro) of the bunch and I will ask seller for more info. If you have any experience please let me know.

(2 - 5) are the knives that have the best chance to land in my kitchen with price between 300 - 400 Euro (buying here costs comparably to US after import). Here is where I would appreciate your comments most - what would be your choice and why.

(6) - would cost me more (around 500 Euro) and the question is whether the price difference compared to (2-6) is worth it.

(7 - 8) are both close to 500 Euro, somewhat different design than the rest. I am not sure whether I will spend this much, I would love the hear more about these.

thank you

Matus
02-24-2013, 08:23 AM
I guess I have made a mistake - browsing this forum for Devin Thomas knives. Resulted in sweaty palms and shaking hands :O ... just amazing work.

So if anybody would feel like selling one in a good shape and willing to ship to Germany just PM me ... please ...

franzb69
02-24-2013, 08:57 AM
Takamura PM damascus Sujihiki (PM-stell (?) clad in stainless damasucs)

pm steel = powdered metal

usually stuff like s35vn, hap40, cpm154 etc. many kinds of powdered steels used for knives these days. if the maker doesn't say what it is, i guess they want it to remain a secret. =D

Matus
02-24-2013, 12:39 PM
:thankyou333:OK guys, save your breath - the decision was taken! :knife:

So - it finally is the Yoshikane SLD Sujihiki 270mm from Maksim @ JNS. Maksim vas VERY fast to reply my questions. Once he told me that he is clearing his Yoshikane knives and had only a few at discounted price I just could not say NO. I have also ordered Yoshikane SKD Kasumi Paring 80mm with chestnut handle (also discounted).

Before being shipped to its new home in south Germany the Sujihiki will get a new handle (also a chestnut - you remember I mentioned that I like the dark ones ;) ).

I will let you know once I get them in my hands and post a few photos.

So for now - :thankyou: for all your input (and patience).

I could of course use a few of those '.. what a great choice ..' or ' .. those are my favorite knives .. ' . Just kidding, I am just so excited :wink:

What MAY follow at some point a are a few nice sharpening stones, but first I want to see whether my KME diamond sharpeners (http://www.kmesharp.com/kmeknshsy.html) will do.

I will be, however, getting a magnetic knife holder.

rdpx
02-24-2013, 06:44 PM
I could of course use a few of those '.. what a great choice ..' or ' .. those are my favorite knives .. ' . Just kidding, I am just so excited :wink:

What MAY follow at some point a are a few nice sharpening stones, but first I want to see whether my KME diamond sharpeners (http://www.kmesharp.com/kmeknshsy.html) will do.

Know nothing about it, but looks very nice and seems a few people on here snapped up similar deals.

I don't know if you read the FAQs about diamond stones on the KME site yet, but I am not sure you would want to be going anywhere near your new $700 knife with them...

;)

Matus
02-24-2013, 06:59 PM
don't know if you read the FAQs about diamond stones on the KME site yet, but I am not sure you would want to be going anywhere near your new $700 knife with them...
;)

Indeed, that is why I started a new thread (http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php/10902-Building-sharpening-setup) exactly on this topic :)

BTW, U got 2 knives for about $600, not 1 for $700 :razz:

rdpx
02-24-2013, 07:10 PM
BTW, U got 2 knives for about $600, not 1 for $700 :razz:

I thought that the knife was at a discounted price, and I imagine you had to pay a little extra for the rehandle, no?

chinacats
02-24-2013, 10:27 PM
Good score Matus, please report back when you get a chance to use it a bit.

Cheers!

cclin
02-24-2013, 10:38 PM
good choice!! Yoshikane SLD isn't best cutter in my collection; but, it is my favor all-around knife!! enjoy!!

Matus
02-27-2013, 05:56 PM
So the knives have arrived. They were actually delivered yesterday (that makes it delivery from Denmark in less than 24 hours!).

They look great, they feel great. The sujihiki is actually clad with stainless damascus (I actually did not expect that), so it really looks great. The cutting abilities are yet to be seen, but I am positive about that too :)

So from my side a BIG :thankyou333: to Maksim from JNS and to you guys.

I will try to get you guys some photos, but that may be a problem as I am kind of 'in between' when it comes to decent digital cameras, but I will see what I can do.

Next in line is a magnetic knife bar which will be followed by some nice sharpening stones. And that is ALL I need, no more knives or such, I promise :lol2:

stevenStefano
02-27-2013, 07:05 PM
And that is ALL I need, no more knives or such, I promise :lol2:


Who are you trying to kid?

Johnny.B.Good
02-27-2013, 08:24 PM
Congrats!

Matus
03-02-2013, 05:01 PM
Who are you trying to kid?

my wife :razz:

Matus
03-04-2013, 05:51 PM
So - the magnetic bar from walnut-wood http://klotzaufklotz.de (it was easier for me to order from Germany than US or New Zealand and the bar looks nice in pictures and the price was right and 46cm should be the right length) should be on its way. Some nice sharpening stones will probably follow soon :happy1:

chinacats
03-04-2013, 10:05 PM
Congrats!

Matus
03-06-2013, 04:43 PM
So - the magnetic bar from walnut-wood http://klotzaufklotz.de (it was easier for me to order from Germany than US or New Zealand and the bar looks nice in pictures and the price was right and 46cm should be the right length) should be on its way.

Unfortunately the magnetic holder will be returned. The main reason is - it has only one row of magnets what means that longer or heavier knives may swing (not slip though) once or twice if they are not attached perfectly vertically. Also - the bar is only 4 cm wide what feels a bit on the narrow side with larger knives. The Finish of the bar was actually very nice (and the seller fast on responding to my questions and shipping). This bar would really be suitable only for lighter/smaller knives

So - I have to find a different one. I like the one from http://www.knifecraft.co.nz - the way it is designed it keeps the knives further away from the wall what makes then easier to grip, but it is on the pricey side (shipping and taxes).

The quest for sharpening stones continues too (waiting for some answers from Jon - I somehow find those Gesshin stones hard to resist :) )

rdpx
03-06-2013, 09:31 PM
That NZ one looks nice, but the knives in the pictures all look like they are attached vertically, which might be an issue?

Benuser
03-07-2013, 01:39 AM
That's not uncommon...

Matus
03-07-2013, 04:10 AM
That NZ one looks nice, but the knives in the pictures all look like they are attached vertically, which might be an issue?

No issue there as long as you have TWO rows of magnets and therefore each knife is hold it its vertical position with two magnets. The magnetic bar I am about to send back has only in one single place two magnets in vertical orientation what greatly improves the stability of the knife being attached. But it is only in one place AND the bar is rather narrow at 4cm. Width of 6-8 cm together with 2 rows of magnets instead of one should make the bar much more usable.

rdpx
03-07-2013, 06:18 AM
Have you raised your concerns with the bar manufacturer? It seems like they need to have a new look at their design.

Matus
03-07-2013, 07:15 AM
Have you raised your concerns with the bar manufacturer? It seems like they need to have a new look at their design.

I did explain in detail why I have decided to return the bar - it is up on them to consider a possible design update. I also found that given the thickness of the board (about 2 cm) - the knife handles are very close to the wall and when you try to grab the knife you will always have to touch the wall which I do not find practical. In comparison - the design from NZ guys gives you a bit more space and so grabbing the knife should be easier.

I will check out the prices for these kind of magnets and maybe try to make my own magnetic bar. Not necessarily to save money, but just 'produce' something myself again :)

Matus
03-09-2013, 04:02 PM
Regarding the magnetic knife holder - I started to to think to make one myself. I have just come across on one very interesting DIY project which has a great detailed description. Have a look at the Rainbow Wood Magnetic Knife Strip (http://www.instructables.com/id/Rainbow-Wood-Magnetic-Knife-Strip/?ALLSTEPS).

Matus
03-16-2013, 07:03 PM
I have just realized that once I have got the knives I should have a closer look at our cutting boards. While all our boards are made of wood (the bamboo ones are only used to cakes, do not worry :) ).

I am aware of the BoardSMITH (those boards look really nice but seem a bit thick at 2"), but I would prefer to a get a nice board in Europe, as importing is really not attractive on this type of article. So - any ideas about cutting boards in EU?

thanks