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View Full Version : First J-Knife, looking for help/suggestions!



mdale13
05-19-2011, 01:55 PM
Hey guys! I am a home-cook looking to purchase my first J-knife. I am coming off the value oriented Forschner knifes, and am first looking to replace my 8" Chefs knife.

I am pretty sure I want to go larger than 8" this time around, so I am looking in the 240mm range.

I am still unsure if I want to go for carbon or stainless at this point. Depends on the exact steel I guess.

I am pretty sure I want a more traditional wa styled handle.

I originally started off with a $100 budget, then it got bumped to $130, then $150, and so on, and now I am firm at $200 give or take $10-20. I really cant afford anything more than that without living off Ramen for a month in exchange (then I wouldnt have anything to cut with my new knife :))

So far I have looked at the Konosuke gyutos, both the swedish stainless and the white steel #2. I cant seem to find the white steel #2 in stock anywhere however.

I sort of like the idea of the super-thin stainless on the swedish steel version. I am looking for a thin knife, but not one that I have to baby, and this seems to fit the bill. What sort of an edge will I be able to get on this?

I am a pretty inexperienced sharpener, just doing work on the Forschners with a cheap 400/1000 grit combo stone, but its something that I enjoy doing and would like to gain more skill/knowledge/equipment in eventually.

I am not totally committed to a Konosuke just yet, but here are the basic qualities I am looking for:

-240mm
-Thin spine
-Wa handle
-Carbon or Stainless (just as long as it takes a good edge and I dont -have to baby it)
-$200 or less


Thanks a lot for your help! This seems like a wonderful community!

MadMel
05-19-2011, 04:01 PM
Firstly, Welcome to the forums :)
This is my honest opinion. Be free to disagree :)

No babying = no full carbon... period.
You might wanna stay away from lasers if you do almost everything with just your gyuto, including going through anything hard like lobster shells, chicken bones etc.
All knives can get scary sharp. It's just a matter of how long can they STAY scary sharp or at least sharp enough for you. Of course, a thin knife will get much sharper, much faster, but will also lose that edge relatively faster.
Is there any particular reason for the Wa- handle? Cause it kinda limits your options. If your reason is just cause of the looks, try sending them for rehandling. There are people on this forum who are experts on that and do a pretty darn good job of it. For me, a wa handle looks fine on a sujihiki, yanagiba or any of those japanese style knives but I prefer my gyutos (which are kinda western style knives) yo-handled.

All in all, I'd probably get a cheaper knife like the CN or Fujiwara FKM, although they are not wa-handled, just to get a feel for the knives before I make any more expensive purchases. The remaining $$ can go towards a couple of stones like the bester 1200+suehiro 5k/arashiyama 6k or even a kings combo 1k/6k. That will give you time to feel out the knives and the difference and also get some sharpening experience in without worrying about scratching your precious $200 blade.
Otherwise, how would a 240/270 wa-sujihiki sound to you? they can be great multi-taskers too just like guytos.

Try looking at vendors like Jon from JKI and Mark from CKTG. An altanative would be: http://stores.ebay.com/BluewayJapan

rockbox
05-19-2011, 04:10 PM
Hold out for the konosuke white steel if you don't mind carbon. White steel is heaven to sharpen. You can always ask one of retailers like Jon, to place and order for it during their next order from Konosuke. I wouldn't worry about it being a laser. If you need something to cut up lobsters, then get a 25 dollar forshner.

ajhuff
05-19-2011, 04:21 PM
PM sent

-AJ

mhlee
05-19-2011, 09:31 PM
Do you like a knife to have a stiff or somewhat flexible tip?

Not many people raise this as a factor, but for me, this is one of the most important characteristics of a knife to me.

Think about some of the "must haves" in a knife and add them to what you're looking for. You'll get a narrower range of recommendations. :thumbsup:

Aphex
05-19-2011, 09:48 PM
How about a Sakai Yusuke from bluewayjapan (a well respected ebay seller)

They are near perfect replicas of konosuke (and other lazer knives) come in both stainless and carbon, have pefect f&f and cost just $180 (worldwide delivery included)

Seb
05-19-2011, 10:19 PM
How about a Sakai Yusuke from bluewayjapan (a well respected ebay seller)

They are near perfect replicas of konosuke (and other lazer knives) come in both stainless and carbon, have pefect f&f and cost just $180 (worldwide delivery included)

+1

The Sakai Yusuke brings everything the Konosuke does. Thin, outstanding geometry, incredible lightness and flawless Fit and Finish. The Swedish Stainless version will come with an excellent edge and you should keep the factory edge and bevels for durability and edge longevity. I once dropped my stainless Yusuke edge-first onto a drinking glass resulting in a large ding on the edge - just pushed the steel back with a #1000-grit stone - ding completely gone.

mdale13
05-19-2011, 10:52 PM
Wow! Thanks for all the responses. I posted a similar question on another knife forum (cough, cough) and didn't receive nearly as helpful responses. Special thanks to those members who took the time to PM me some additional info. You guys rock.


Addressing a couple points:

I am not afraid of a laser blade, I fully plan on keeping my Forschner around for all tasks Id be worried about using my thinner knife.

I tried my friends wa-handled knife at work, and I love the feel. I know it limits my options, but I am pretty set on it at this point.

The swedish steel is sounding like a good option. Mark over at CKTG said it can take a really good edge and hold it nearly as well as the white steel #2.

Ive done a ton of research on the cheaper options. I was set on the FKH, then the tijiro, then the jck inazuma, then the moritaka, and now the konosuke. im sure many of you can relate............ :laugh:

i have access to a 1k grit stone, and will likely buy some higher grit ones in the month following my purchase. ill just play it safe and follow the factory bevel for a while until i get the hang of some fancier stuff practicing on my forschner.

the knives on bluewayjapan look really good, but the price is awfully close, and unless i want to wait until mid-late june for the knife, i would only be paying $4 more to an actual konosuke from CKTG


i am still open to suggestions, however. i wont be ordering anything until early next week.

Citizen Snips
05-19-2011, 11:57 PM
i would also agree that the sakai yusuke would be a great choice. i personally own 3 konosuke knives and they are the only three i use with the exception of a grand cheff wa-petty. speaking of that, if you didn't like the yusuke, i would recommend a sakai takayuki grand cheff wa-gyuto. it will come in under budget and is a pretty thin knife. i personally like the profile of it and had one but sold it to pay for the new konosuke's. i do love my konosuke knives but i would give a serious though to the yusuke and takayuki because in my opinion, if you are gonna get a konosuke, you really should buy the HD or white 2 steels.

also, welcome to the forums :D

Seb
05-19-2011, 11:59 PM
The Yusuke's 'Swedish Stainless' is in all likelihood Uddeholm AEB-L (or something very close) hardened to about 58-59 HRC. This is a great fine-grained stainless that will take as good an edge as you can put on it. And it is incredibly easy to sharpen and de-burr.

My advice would be to keep the factory bevel and the edge will last just about forever as far as a home cook is concerned.

OTOH, if you don't want to die wondering, the White#2 version of the Yusuke is as good as anything out there.

PS: if you wanna do the one-stop-shop thing you could ask for a knife+stones discount: BWJ stocks the Besters, Kings, Naniwa SS and Arashiyama 6K stones as well as the Yusuke gyutos.

Seb
05-20-2011, 12:00 AM
i would also agree that the sakai yusuke would be a great choice. i personally own 3 konosuke knives and they are the only three i use with the exception of a grand cheff wa-petty. speaking of that, if you didn't like the yusuke, i would recommend a sakai takayuki grand cheff wa-gyuto. it will come in under budget and is a pretty thin knife. i personally like the profile of it and had one but sold it to pay for the new konosuke's. i do love my konosuke knives but i would give a serious though to the yusuke and takayuki because in my opinion, if you are gonna get a konosuke, you really should buy the HD or white 2 steels.

also, welcome to the forums :D

Hey you! Where ya been? I am around on chat but I set my account on 'Invisible' because all my students have my email. :D

mdale13
05-20-2011, 05:10 AM
Out of curiosity, does anyone know if the kanji on the swedish stainless konosuke gyuto 240mm is engraved or printed? I cant tell from any available pictures. Total vanity on my part, but I am curious, it adds to the beauty of the blade!

JBroida
05-20-2011, 05:31 AM
older versions are etched (printed) and newer ones are stamped in (engraved)

mdale13
05-20-2011, 05:47 AM
Thanks for the quick reply! I am sorry to see you guys dont carry the Swedish steel gyuto :(. I would imagine CKTG's stock would be current enough to have the stamped blades, yes?

tk59
05-20-2011, 10:23 AM
[QUOTE=mdale13;16861]...I am sorry to see you guys dont carry the Swedish steel gyuto :(...[QUOTE] I'm sure JKI carries the Swedish stainless line. I have one. The Ashis are just as good but the steel is a bit harder.

mdale13
05-20-2011, 01:37 PM
[QUOTE=mdale13;16861]...I am sorry to see you guys dont carry the Swedish steel gyuto :(...[QUOTE] I'm sure JKI carries the Swedish stainless line. I have one. The Ashis are just as good but the steel is a bit harder.

I meant the Konosuke specifically :wink:


So I am basically down to:

Konosuke Swedish Stainless 240mm $199-shipped

or

Takayuki Grand Chef Wa-Gyuto 240mm $189-shipped

The main differences I can identify are:

-Konosuke is SLIGHTLY thinner.
-Konosuke's fit/finish would likely be slightly better (rounded edges, nicer handle, etc)

Those two things are worth the $10 to me.

Cadillac J
05-20-2011, 02:02 PM
The biggest different is actually in the blade shape...I've owned both of these, but in 270 guise.

Takayuki has more of a sheep's foot tip that is more santoku-like, and it is a taller blade overall.

Also, I think the Konosuke price includes a saya as well.

mdale13
05-20-2011, 02:08 PM
Alas, the Konosuke from CKTG doesnt include a saya (I dont know why...)and that appears the be the only place where it is in stock. Ill look into the blade profile, thanks for the info!

Citizen Snips
05-20-2011, 09:11 PM
Hey you! Where ya been? I am around on chat but I set my account on 'Invisible' because all my students have my email. :D

hey bud!!! PT sent