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View Full Version : New lefty looking for help on first Japanese knife



cgul629
02-26-2013, 10:19 AM
Hello KKF,

I have been doing some reading on the forums for the past few days in preparation for getting my first Japanese kitchen knife. Iím just a home cook with neither professional experience nor aspirations.

I see that Fujiwara FKM, CarboNext, Tojiro DP, and Suisin INOX seem to be the recommended options when someone is looking for a stainless/semi-stainless knife, at least in the price range I am looking. My question is, how do these recommendations change - if at all - if I am a lefty? I have seen some discussion about getting knives made for a lefty, as well as some saying to look for knives a 50/50 grind, and still others saying not to even worry about a 70/30 righty grind because I would adapt. I suppose there is probably some truth in each of those options, but I guess I am just looking for more input.

What type of knife(s) do you think you want?
I am looking for a Gyuto, probably 240mm. Iíd like to get something that is stainless or semi-stainless as I donít know that I am ready for full on carbon steel yet. Iím not opposed to trying a Wa handle, but I believe all the knives I have looked at are western handled

Why is it being purchased? What, if anything, are you replacing?The why is that I would like to begin my journey of learning about and using Japanese kitchen knives. My current primary knife is a Victorinox 8 inch chefís knife which replaced the chefís knife in a Farberware block set. I also have Victorinox paring and bread knives, and the rest of the junk from the Faberware set.

What do you like and dislike about these qualities of your knives already?
Aesthetics- Nothing I specifically like or dislike, I just like the aesthetics of many Japanese knives better
Edge Quality/Retention- I donít really have a basis for comparison other than the Victorinox cuts better than the Farberware
Ease of Use- No complaints
Comfort- The sizes and weights of the knives I have used have been fine, and the handles are ok too

What grip do you use? Pinch grip

What kind of cutting motion do you use? Rocking and push cuts depending on what I am cutting

Where do you store them? Currently the knives are stored in a block, though I plan to keep my Japanese knife/knives in a knife roll initially.

Have you ever oiled a handle? My current knives havenít needed the handles oiled, but I am willing to do so

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

For edge maintenance, do you use a strop, honing rod, pull through/other, or nothing? I have not done edge maintenance previously

Have they ever been sharpened? No, but I just acquired a King 1000 grit stone and will be learning to sharpen so I can properly maintain my knives

What is your budget? About $150. I could stretch a bit if necessary, but would wouldnít mind coming in less either ;)

What do you cook and how often? I cook a variety of foods Ė meats/fish/vegetables and cook about 3 nights a week

Special requests(Country of origin/type of wood/etc)? Nothing I can think of

stevenStefano
02-26-2013, 06:26 PM
Can't speak for all of them but I got a Carbonext and it is pretty assymetric. Saying that, it says on the JCK site that you can get lefty versions and I reckon they would not be that expensive. I am a lefty and was in a hurry to buy one and forgot about asking Koki for a lefty price. I'd be very interested to hear what he says.

cgul629
02-27-2013, 10:02 AM
Thanks for the response - I did send and email to Koki @ JCK to see what the price is, and I plan to check in with Jon at JKI on pricing for lefty bevel knives as well.

Let me modify my original question at bit: It seems the 4 knives I have been looking at have a 70/30 bevel, so I would plan to get a lefty version if I choose one of those knives. Are there any recommendations for knives with a 50/50 grind in the neighborhood of my target price?

Lefty
02-27-2013, 10:48 AM
BST has a good price on a lefty Suisin.

samuelpeter
03-03-2013, 09:32 PM
And now I know why that nice looking lefty disappeared before I could get to it. Congrats!

stevenStefano
03-03-2013, 09:34 PM
Thanks for the response - I did send and email to Koki @ JCK to see what the price is, and I plan to check in with Jon at JKI on pricing for lefty bevel knives as well.


Did Koki get back to you on the price of a lefty Carbonext?

samuelpeter
03-03-2013, 10:43 PM
I know this wasn't directed at me but Koki had sent me this info in the fall.

CarboNext Left Handed Version
KC-6ES Gyuto 240mm $143
KC-7ES Gyuto 270mm $159
+ Shipping fee $7

Seems fair.

Lefty
03-03-2013, 11:08 PM
Koki's awesome to deal with, as everyone knows. I just feel it's appropriate to give him some credit, where credit is due. So, there it was. :)

labor of love
03-03-2013, 11:29 PM
at the jck site i just read under the information for left handers section that hiromoto will regrind a blade and resharpen the edge to fit a lefty customer. only $18. sounds like a pretty good deal. i figured something like that would be more expensive.

franzb69
03-04-2013, 12:10 AM
at the jck site i just read under the information for left handers section that hiromoto will regrind a blade and resharpen the edge to fit a lefty customer. only $18. sounds like a pretty good deal. i figured something like that would be more expensive.

since koki himself isn't doing the sharpening, he hires out people that'll convert it for him.

Jon said he'd do conversions for free if you buy from him. since he doesn't have to pay anyone to do it for him, i guess he just does it for free as a perk for purchasing from him.

=D

labor of love
03-04-2013, 12:29 AM
yeah, koki states that "hiromoto craftsman" will do the grinding. when you say conversion, do you mean that jon will regrind a knife blade for a lefty for free? or just the bevel?

franzb69
03-04-2013, 12:35 AM
when you say conversion, do you mean that jon will regrind a knife blade for a lefty for free? or just the bevel?

he only said he'll sharpen it lefty. i did not get to ask if he would regrind the whole thing. i suspect only the bevel.

cgul629
03-04-2013, 08:40 AM
Sorry for not posting it earlier, but Koki did respond to me promptly and his quote for lefty sharpening on the CarboNext 240 Gyuto was essentially what has been posted already. The Suisin INOX popped up on B/S/T shortly afterwards and I couldn't resist, otherwise I would have most likely purchased the CarboNext.

I suspect there will be more knives in my future, so I look forward to being a customer of both Koki & Jon in time.

franzb69
03-04-2013, 08:54 AM
good luck! =D

Madmox
03-06-2013, 10:22 PM
Im also a lefty and I have and absolutely love my 210mm carbon Masahiro Gyuto. It takes an edge like a scalpel and is a breeze to sharpen. Its an 80/20 bias i believe and i can't say enough good things about it. the blade is thinner than most other knives i have used but overall is very balanced. Its like an extension of your arm. When i was working at a sushi bar i found myself using that for everything and rarely using my lefty shigeki Yanagi. Just my 2 cents. I would buy another in an instant

Benuser
03-08-2013, 12:24 PM
Im also a lefty and I have and absolutely love my 210mm carbon Masahiro Gyuto. It takes an edge like a scalpel and is a breeze to sharpen. Its an 80/20 bias i believe and i can't say enough good things about it. the blade is thinner than most other knives i have used but overall is very balanced. Its like an extension of your arm. When i was working at a sushi bar i found myself using that for everything and rarely using my lefty shigeki Yanagi. Just my 2 cents. I would buy another in an instant
Didn't you experience a lot of food sticking on the flat, left side??