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View Full Version : Another help me find a knife thread !



Smith
03-14-2013, 10:18 PM
Hi All, Ive been lurking, researching options for a new knife for the last few weeks\months and thought I was going to get the Shun premier chefs knife. I like the light damascus pattern and western handle but didnt love the hammered look. The Shun Classic looks awesome but I dont like the handle. Then after looking around more over here I didnt see a lot of love for Shun but saw a lot of people saying Shun is hyped and overpriced and you can get much better for the same money. But I didnt see direct recommendations for the equivalent Shun chef knife. So..i still love the look of the shun premier but starting to look at other options including Konosuke and Hattori. Just became aware of the dave martell mamoth tooth handled knife which is amazing but out of my price range at this time :( Thanks !


What type of knife(s) do you think you want?
8" chefs\gyuto?
Why is it being purchased? What, if anything, are you replacing?
Looking to upgrade a 13 year old 8" Henckel chef knife made in spain.
What do you like and dislike about these qualities of your knives already?
Aesthetics- average
Edge Quality/Retention- good
Ease of Use- bulky unbalanced
Comfort- average
What grip do you use?
Western
Where do you store them?
Knife Block
Have you ever oiled a handle?
No never had a knife that required oiling
What kind of cutting board(s) do you use?
Walnut end grain board - 2x18x22
For edge maintenance, do you use a strop, honing rod, pull through/other, or nothing?
Currently use a small chefs choice pull through sharpener but plan to learn water stones eventually
Have they ever been sharpened?
Yes
What is your budget?
$200
What do you cook and how often?
Meats, italian, grilling, 2x weekly
Special requests(Country of origin/type of wood/etc)?
Came here looking for a japanese knife and noticed there seem to be several

Chef Doom
03-15-2013, 12:30 AM
Did you actually hold a Shun in your hands or did you just see them online?

don
03-15-2013, 12:43 AM
The Shun premier handle is incredibly comfortable to me.

wenus2
03-15-2013, 06:46 AM
I think the Hatori HD would be a good solution for you.
Some insist that everybody needs a 240mm gyuto, I don't agree, I think 210mm is a great size and big enough for most tasks. BUUUTTT, If you are used to an 8" Henckels anyway, then I would suggest the 240mm HD-8. It's technically a bit longer, but because it's so nimble it actually kind of feels smaller.
That should set you on the right course.
I'm sorry it's your whole budget, if you weren't so keen on Damascus I would suggest the Suisin Inox Western from Japanese Knife Imports for much less money.

Gravy Power
03-15-2013, 07:49 AM
The Shun a stamped damascus I believe, and someone can correct me if i'm wrong. I own a few and after some regular use and wear, the knife's are about the ugliest thing I own. Can't wait to dump them. I do like the profile on my 7" Asian cooks knife though, but absolutely detest there classic chef's knife and it's belly. Their new blue steel line may have some promise, but you still could do much better for the money. If you end up with a legitimate Japenese knife, ditch that pull through at a garage sale and put the money towards your stone or accessories for it. A Suisin 210 mm with a Western handle may be a good fit for your budget.

Smith
03-15-2013, 10:48 AM
@Chef Doom Yes I did hold a shun premier once but at the time didnt really pay attention to the "feel" as much as the look and sharpness. Will have to try it again.

So two suggestions here for the Suisin ? Is that an example of one that is considered better or equal to Shun ? At that price might be able to spend a but more and get a rehandle too :)

Notaskinnychef
03-15-2013, 12:17 PM
Carbonext for the win :-) that's what everyone directed me to not all that long ago. Being a semi - stainless it is more forgiving in terms of moisture compared to straight carbon yet can still get paid sharp easily. Their 240 is 135 shipped I believe. Their 210 is around 125ish shipped. Solid performers and great bang for the buck

don
03-15-2013, 12:31 PM
A dazzling number of knives at the Shun price range of $150-$200. At this price, I'd seriously consider the Gesshin Uraku. (http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/gesshin-1/gesshin-uraku/gesshin-uraku-240mm-stainless-wa-gyuto.html) But I really like wa handles, and it comes with a saya. Not aesthetically pleasing as a Premier but it'll be a better knife in the kitchen.

Rehandled knife will break your budget, though you can pick up some really nice deals on the BST threads.

wenus2
03-15-2013, 12:39 PM
Well, it's definately a better value. I haven't used the Shun premier, so I can't say how it cuts. It's profile does not appeal to me though., nor does VG10 steel at ~$200.

I had the impression you were set on Damascus for some reason, if that's not the case...
If I purchased an 8" gyuto right now, it would be a Gesshin Kagero. I handled one over the summer and it just keeps creeping back into my mind. I think this knife offers a lot at $200: it felt great in hand, the profile is just right, and the powdered stainless steel provides convenience and performance.

Gravy Power
03-15-2013, 12:50 PM
I don't know enough about the steels between Shun (VG 10) and the blend that Suisin uses. I'm sure someone on here can comment on their comparative abilities to take and hold an edge though.

mhlee
03-15-2013, 01:31 PM
I'd choose a Suisin INOX over the CarboNext. I just compared them side by side last weekend and, overall performance-wise, the Suisin is superior in my opinion. It' slices vertically and laterally/horizontally much better over the length of the blade, with less resistance and wedging than the CarboNext. Both have comparable food release, i.e. food does stick to both. But, it's also thinner, but stiff and sturdy, more balanced in hand, and if the OP is a lefty, the grind is much more favorable for a lefty from what I saw because my CarboNext has a very right-hand biased grind - it's convexed on the right side but, AFAICT, it's flat on the left. The edge bevel, however, for the regular sharpened knife is close to 50/50.

But, if the OP likes a more sturdy/solid feeling knife with heft, I would choose the CarboNext. And, despite my preference for the Suisin, the CarboNext is a really good knife for the price. I can think of a several other knives that I would not choose over the CarboNext that are more expensive. (I can't give an opinion as to ultimate sharpness or edge retention as I haven't used them over an extended period of time yet.)

wenus2
03-15-2013, 03:34 PM
Good post Mike.

rdm_magic
03-15-2013, 03:43 PM
This might be an odd question, but what would you actually 'value', say a 240mm CN gyuto at?

mhlee
03-15-2013, 05:51 PM
This might be an odd question, but what would you actually 'value', say a 240mm CN gyuto at?

I'm assuming that this was directed to me so I'll respond.

First, I think it's hard to "value" or put a price on any knife because so much of what makes a knife personal is unique to the individual. (I personally prefer thinner knives that are stiff, smooth cutting without wedging, with good balance over the length of the knife so I value these types of knives higher.) Also, it's difficult to "value" hand made knives versus machine made/factory made knives because there are inconsistencies with hand made knives and some knives made by the same maker that are of similar specifications, may perform differently, with one being superior to another, e.g., Carter knives. That being said, I do believe that some knives are good values for the money, while others are simply overpriced for what is charged.

Compared to other knives that I have used in the $100 to $200 range, which, admittedly, is not that many (I'm working on this), I found the CarboNext to be a very good performer for the price, and a great value before trying the Suisin. I wouldn't have hesitated to purchase it if it were $150. However, if it were closer to $200, i.e. greater than $175, I would think twice about buying it as there are a number of noticeably better quality and/or better performing knives in the $200 range, like the Gesshin Kagero and Ginga. (At that price, I would also still consider a small Carter SFGZ.)

But, because the Suisin is comparably priced, I can't say the CarboNext is necessarily a "great" value now. But, because it's still less expensive than the Suisin, it is certainly a good value. To me, it's more that other knives that are similarly priced are too expensive for what they are.

I hope this answers your question.

Chef Doom
03-15-2013, 10:50 PM
Have you considered any other knives from any other vendors? I would do some more research and have a list of knives I would be considering which would lead to better advice.

keithsaltydog
03-16-2013, 02:23 AM
A dazzling number of knives at the Shun price range of $150-$200. At this price, I'd seriously consider the Gesshin Uraku. (http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/gesshin-1/gesshin-uraku/gesshin-uraku-240mm-stainless-wa-gyuto.html) But I really like wa handles, and it comes with a saya. Not aesthetically pleasing as a Premier but it'll be a better knife in the kitchen.

Rehandled knife will break your budget, though you can pick up some really nice deals on the BST threads.

+1 the Gesshin Uraku is much better than the Shun.People get drawn to the surface decoration bling of the shuns,if the knife is used alot it does not look so great down the line.

Smith
03-16-2013, 11:51 PM
Really appreciate all the replies. very interesting and informative!

So far, in an unscientific survey we have 4 votes for the Gesshin Uraku or Kagero, 3 votes for a Suisin and about 1 for a carbonext and hattori hd. Seems like Gesshin and Suisin are the favs in this price range.

Basically I want a knife that can do this (especially the no touch horizontal tomato slice!):


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0kVs8aJlq3E


PS: I bought a shun premier from Don based on this thread for a good price so still looking for the next upgrade :)

mhlee
03-17-2013, 12:08 AM
Really appreciate all the replies. very interesting and informative!

So far, in an unscientific survey we have 4 votes for the Gesshin Uraku or Kagero, 3 votes for a Suisin and about 1 for a carbonext and hattori hd. Seems like Gesshin and Suisin are the favs in this price range.

Basically I want a knife that can do this (especially the no touch horizontal tomato slice!):


If so, then you better shift your funds toward stones rather than knives and practice sharpening A LOT.

Gravy Power
03-17-2013, 12:30 AM
If so, then you better shift your funds toward stones rather than knives and practice sharpening A LOT.

Echo that. Your looking at a guy with literally, one of the best knife collections in the world, and years and years of practice of sharpening them. He also runs a pretty decent restaurant. I've wanted to stage with him and he's been very accomodating, but the timing has never worked on my end.

chinacats
03-17-2013, 04:04 AM
double echo...

sharkbite111
03-17-2013, 04:28 AM
If you're not dead set on western handle, I HIGHLY recommend the Tanaka Sekiso Damascus. Check it out (there are a couple videos as well I believe on another site). Ridiculously sharp, holds its edge forever, and looks pretty damn sexy after a patina forms :)

Chris

franzb69
03-17-2013, 04:30 AM
basically I want a knife that can do this (especially the no touch horizontal tomato slice!):

learning to sharpen can lead to a knife that can do that. it takes years and years to find out what knife you really wanna settle on. it's a long process.

=D

Smith
03-17-2013, 11:00 AM
If I end up with a nice Gesshin, Sussin or god forbid Shun and send it out to a master sharpener such as Dave here, would it be able to perform the no-touch-horizontal-tomato-slice ?


@sharkbite111 I like that tanaka a lot!

chinacats
03-17-2013, 11:41 AM
yes

mhlee
03-17-2013, 01:19 PM
If I end up with a nice Gesshin, Sussin or god forbid Shun and send it out to a master sharpener such as Dave here, would it be able to perform the no-touch-horizontal-tomato-slice ?


@sharkbite111 I like that tanaka a lot!

Maybe. In my experience, and perhaps Dave can add his thoughts here, most sharpeners aren't gunning for this kind of sharpness. It's time consuming and this kind of edge will not last.

Is there a reason why you are so concerned with this kind of sharpness? I've talked with someone who can reach this level of sharpness and, according to this person, as soon as you hit a cutting board with this edge, that sharpness is pretty much gone. So you're regularly will to spend $40 or so and you get a few seconds of this? (FWIW, I've never been able to get knives this sharp, but I also don't care to do so - it's not my goal when sharpening.)

gic
03-17-2013, 05:38 PM
Maybe. In my experience, and perhaps Dave can add his thoughts here, most sharpeners aren't gunning for this kind of sharpness. It's time consuming and this kind of edge will not last.

Is there a reason why you are so concerned with this kind of sharpness? I've talked with someone who can reach this level of sharpness and, according to this person, as soon as you hit a cutting board with this edge, that sharpness is pretty much gone. So you're regularly will to spend $40 or so and you get a few seconds of this? (FWIW, I've never been able to get knives this sharp, but I also don't care to do so - it's not my goal when sharpening.)

So suppose one gets this level of sharpness and takes a super fine stone and microbevels the end a few degrees higher. Would the knife stay scary sharp longer?

(I get my knives pretty sharp - easily slice tomatoes with the weight of the knife - pull and push - but not *that* sharp, and then the microbevel I put on lets me keep it happy for a long time with an occasional(!) stroke of my 2k dmt ceramic...)

Smith
03-18-2013, 01:53 PM
Maybe. In my experience, and perhaps Dave can add his thoughts here, most sharpeners aren't gunning for this kind of sharpness. It's time consuming and this kind of edge will not last.

Is there a reason why you are so concerned with this kind of sharpness?

I didnt realize that level of sharpness was so difficult and temporary. Good to know.. Guess Im looking to get to that level just for the badassery of it :)

franzb69
03-18-2013, 10:50 PM
I didnt realize that level of sharpness was so difficult and temporary. Good to know.. Guess Im looking to get to that level just for the badassery of it

practically any good knife that gets suggested on here is capable of doing that. =D

vai777
03-27-2013, 04:01 PM
(Ikeda) Akifusa