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View Full Version : $500 budget for home cook gyuto



David88
08-08-2013, 07:18 AM
LOCATION
What country are you in?
Australia


KNIFE TYPE
What type of knife are you interested in (e.g., chef’s knife, slicer, boning knife, utility knife, bread knife, paring knife, cleaver)?
Gyuto

Are you right or left handed?
Right

Are you interested in a Western handle (e.g., classic Wusthof handle) or Japanese handle?
Wa-Gyuto

What length of knife (blade) are you interested in (in inches or millimeters)?
240mm

Do you require a stainless knife? (Yes or no)
no

What is your absolute maximum budget for your knife?
$500 incl delivery, hopefully will have change for a cutting board


KNIFE USE
Do you primarily intend to use this knife at home or a professional environment?
Home

What are the main tasks you primarily intend to use the knife for?
All-round chef knife, wont be cutting bone or anything. will probably get a deba and petty in due course.

What knife, if any, are you replacing?
whustoff chef knife

Do you have a particular grip that you primarily use?
no

What cutting motions do you primarily use?
Open to learn better technique

What improvements do you want from your current knife? If you are not replacing a knife, please identify as many characteristics identified below in parentheses that you would like this knife to have.)

I am after a beautifully crafted piece that will make cooking even more of a joy. it should have good edge retention as I have not yet learned to use japanese stones (have pro *** knife sharpeners nearby) and would Ideally be not too fragile.
I like octagonal handles and particularly like the look of burnt chestnut but I am open to anything really.
I do not like damascus but I really like that 'hamon line' look that you get from cladding or other manufacturing techniques.
I was originally looking at the Gengetsu 240mm Gyuto (http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/kitchen-knives-by-type/gyuto/gengetsu-240mm-stainless-clad-white-2-wa-gyuto.html#) until they all sold out.
I am open to full carbon knives but would like some advice as it will be a knife I use every other day in the kitchen

I must stress that the most important thing to me in this knife will be the level of craftmanship.

KNIFE MAINTENANCE
Do you use a bamboo, wood, rubber, or synthetic cutting board? (Yes or no.)
I will purchase a good board to use this knife with

Do you sharpen your own knives? (Yes or no.)
No, there is a professional japanese knife sharpener nearby

If not, are you interested in learning how to sharpen your knives? (Yes or no.)
Yes. verry. just not on this knife, maybe on some old junky knives

Are you interested in purchasing sharpening products for your knives? (Yes or no.)
Yes in the future


SPECIAL REQUESTS/COMMENTS

Thanks for any recommendations you guys can make. I am keen to check them all out.

Timthebeaver
08-08-2013, 07:28 AM
If you like Gengetsu I would advise you take a look at Yoshikane, which are available in a variety of excellent steels and finishes, both stainless-clad and iron(will rust/patina) clad.

Von blewitt
08-08-2013, 07:47 AM
You could get a itinomonn from Maksim @ JNS, he could put an octagonal burnt chestnut handle on it for you. You could also grab a JNS 1000 stone as well.
http://www.japanesenaturalstones.com/itinomonn-kasumi-240mm-wa-gyuto/

bkdc
08-08-2013, 08:02 AM
If there is no professional sharpener near you, I'd first get a less expensive knife and practice sharpening before I shell out 500 dollars on a beauty.

David88
08-08-2013, 09:34 AM
dont know what got censored there but it meant to say "i have a professional japanese knife sharpener nearby"

pkjames
08-08-2013, 09:43 AM
welcome mate, i'd for a shigefusa 240mm gyuto which just fits your budget. hard to find one new though, may have wait for maxim to restock.

tripleq
08-08-2013, 09:53 AM
Wow. So many options in that budget. Is there any chance at all of getting your hands on some before you buy? It might save you a lot of pain.

Benuser
08-08-2013, 10:12 AM
As you come from German knives, you may first want to explore the world of Japanese knives by buying a basic gyuto, and develop your technique and preferences. So you see what kind of blade may suit you before spending all that money.

David88
08-08-2013, 10:47 AM
thanks for the reply's guys.
I understand what you mean about buying an entry level knife first. I have a habit of buying the best quality I can afford but I guess the budget should be $500 for knife, sharpening, shipping and board.
too bad because Im really liking the look and sound of the gesshin heiji. does anyone have any experience with the kochi migaki?

Thank you everyone for your suggestions and feedback.

Mucho Bocho
08-08-2013, 10:59 AM
David, Welcome to the forum!

Pretty much any advise you get today will invariable shift, especially the more time you spend on KKF. Everyone's posted some good suggestions, but mine would be to hold on to that $ and be patient. Your ideal knife will find you.

Keep reading the forum, asking questions and educating yourself before spending $500 on a tool that you really don't know how to use/maintain. You should be able to get a very very sweet blade for $200 or less. As others have suggested, the buy a couple of stones, a ceramic rod and maybe a strop. Then learn how to use them. taking them to someone else is not a sustainable practice. Sharpening can be learned quickly. No Joke.

Remember Gyutos are like Layes potato chips, you can't have just one.

Ruso
08-08-2013, 11:39 AM
$500 Budget for the knife, good board and sharpening supplies is realistically good enough for good entry kit.
Let's assume end-grain board - $100
Sharpening Kit, basic combo stone - $60
or
Three stone set Coarse, 1K and 5K - $120 - I recommend this more
So you already spent $220 + lets assume $50 shipping to Australia (Stones and board are heavy and the board is bulky as well)
You've spent $270. You have $230 left for the knife.
Realistically you are looking to $200-300 knife tops.

Timthebeaver
08-08-2013, 12:18 PM
$500 Budget for the knife, good board and sharpening supplies is realistically good enough for good entry kit.
Let's assume end-grain board - $100
Sharpening Kit, basic combo stone - $60
or
Three stone set Coarse, 1K and 5K - $120 - I recommend this more
So you already spent $220 + lets assume $50 shipping to Australia (Stones and board are heavy and the board is bulky as well)
You've spent $270. You have $230 left for the knife.
Realistically you are looking to $200-300 knife tops.

Sorry, but a lot of this is nonsense.

1. $500 gets you much better than "entry" kit.

2. You really don't need a $100 cutting board.

3. JCK for example ships worldwide for $7 (EMS, tracked, superfast). JNS shipping is FREE worldwide. Oddly enough, you don't have to buy from a US vendor.

4. Spending $120 on stones is unnecessary. I agree on the combo stone.

toddnmd
08-08-2013, 01:14 PM
Yes, the money you're spending is far beyond "entry level." A lot of people put $100-$150 into their first J-knife.

No, you don't need a $100 cutting board. I think a large end-grain is nice to have. You might want to decide if that should come out of the knife budget now. Or perhaps buy something more basic for now and upgrade later.

Jon's Japanese Knife Imports youtube channel is very helpful for basic techniques: http://www.youtube.com/user/JKnifeImports?feature=mhsn#g/u Well worth a half hour or so to get an idea of the basics of knife sharpening, which is a small amount of time, in relation to the significant amount of money you're putting into your knife investment. You could get a basic combo stone and be well on your way to keep your new knife sharp.

mhlee
08-08-2013, 01:39 PM
Personally, I recommend going with one medium grit stone that's not so abrasive that you'll really do a lot of damage to the edge, but abrasive enough to put a good, sharp edge, like the King 1200, or the Gesshin 2000, or similar stone; a stone flattener; a good synthetic board (whatever is available in Australia); and spend the rest on a ready to go out of the box knife.

For beginners, I think the simpler the better. Using more than one stone is difficult, let alone using a three stone progression. With practice, you can get a really nice working edge with one stone. Using a stone flattener leads to predictable, consistent results.

Ruso
08-08-2013, 02:13 PM
Sorry, but a lot of this is nonsense.

1. $500 gets you much better than "entry" kit.

2. You really don't need a $100 cutting board.

3. JCK for example ships worldwide for $7 (EMS, tracked, superfast). JNS shipping is FREE worldwide. Oddly enough, you don't have to buy from a US vendor.

4. Spending $120 on stones is unnecessary. I agree on the combo stone.

1. I said GOOD entry kit
2. Well, when somebody is mentioning a cutting board as their purchase, I automatically assume we are talking about a good one. I mean, really who does not have a cutting board at home already? Or if you are planing to spend $20 on one, why do you even mention it.....
3. The OP did not specify where he will buy the items, my shipping cost is a pure estimation from US/European seller. If you look close I had $100 variation on the knife price...
4. Depends, I think buying three stones is better then a combo stone you will save on the long run. On another hand if the OP is not sure about whether he likes sharpening or not, a combo might be an option.

I will keep my statement that if OP wants quality in all 3 aspects, he realistically can spend 200-300 dollars on a knives


Personally, I recommend going with one medium grit stone that's not so abrasive that you'll really do a lot of damage to the edge, but abrasive enough to put a good, sharp edge, like the King 1200, or the Gesshin 2000, or similar stone; a stone flattener; a good synthetic board (whatever is available in Australia); and spend the rest on a ready to go out of the box knife.

For beginners, I think the simpler the better. Using more than one stone is difficult, let alone using a three stone progression. With practice, you can get a really nice working edge with one stone. Using a stone flattener leads to predictable, consistent results.

I can't comment on Gesshin 2000 rather than it's expensive :) I found King 1200 be rather slow, especially on cheap stainless knives (Knives you fool around with) and for the beginner it can be frustrated, well it was for me and still kinda is. Bester 1200 looks like a better alternative to King IMHO.

I do not see any issue to start with 3 stones kit, except the money, especially if you have time and cheap knifes to fool around.

tripleq
08-08-2013, 02:22 PM
I knew this was gonna be good.

schanop
08-08-2013, 02:37 PM
thanks for the reply's guys.
I understand what you mean about buying an entry level knife first. I have a habit of buying the best quality I can afford but I guess the budget should be $500 for knife, sharpening, shipping and board.
too bad because Im really liking the look and sound of the gesshin heiji. does anyone have any experience with the kochi migaki?

Thank you everyone for your suggestions and feedback.

If you really want some sort of Heiji and being in AU, I am suggesting to go direct as Heiji pricing and shipping is very reasonable for us in AU, even at 85 JPY a dollar right now. 26250JPY plus shipping and other fee should be under 350AUD. It is not the same as Gesshin Heiji though; for that Jon had it mad to his spec and quality control.

For stone, best to get from Japan, for shipping and selection wise. Bestor 1200 and Arashiyama 6k will be a good start for wide bevel knife like Heiji.

For a decent board, may be Peer Sorensen end gain board? 100 bucks for 50x35 and 20 for shipping AU wide.

chinacats
08-08-2013, 02:54 PM
Heiji is a great knife, but if you are learning to sharpen you may want to start on something else. I may suggest a Kochi (I had the kurouchi V-2 as opposed to the migaki) which is a very nice knife for the money and much easier to sharpen. I believe one nice mid-grit stone and a finisher would be a nice start. Many good options for cutting board though I think you should get an end-grain board for sure if you plan on getting a nice knife. I definitely would suggest watching Jon's youtube channel here (http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLEBF55079F53216AB&feature=plcp).

Cheers

ChuckTheButcher
08-08-2013, 07:21 PM
$500 dollar budget leaves you a lot of options. You can get a shig kasumi for under 500. If you want to start a collection that's what I would probably go with. Just my thoughts though.

Seb
08-08-2013, 08:20 PM
If you are in Oz and are on a budget then younshouldmbuybdirect from Japan through JCK or BWJ.

pkjames
08-08-2013, 08:27 PM
not to mention that local store like victoria's basement has some good quality and large enough end-grain boards for less than < $50.

spaceconvoy
08-08-2013, 08:45 PM
For beginners, I think the simpler the better. Using more than one stone is difficult, let alone using a three stone progression. With practice, you can get a really nice working edge with one stone. Using a stone flattener leads to predictable, consistent results.

Yes! I don't think there's much point in using more than one stone until you can sharpen well. Start with a 1-2k stone, and keep practicing until you can push-cut a soft tomato after only that stone. Until then, higher grit stones won't make your edge any better, and are more likely to frustrate you. IMO a strop is a better buy for beginners - it can get a mediocre edge serviceably sharp by evening out inconsistencies without requiring a lot of skill.

RRLOVER
08-08-2013, 09:18 PM
Don't listen to these Knife nerds.... don't go tiptoeing into the shallow end of the pool.... jump your ass right into the deep end.... go buy a five to six hundred dollar Gyuto...beat it
..love it....then you will go buy another one...then another one...then another...etc.

Lefty
08-08-2013, 09:26 PM
I think I'm one of few guys who isn't against edge grain boards. I like the feedback, and they are not terribly damaging to the edge of your knife.

Anywho, for $500, your options are endless. For what it's worth, my King 1k has about 100 sharpenings left in it, and I've had this one for about 2.5 years....

Seb
08-08-2013, 10:14 PM
I have some acacia end-grain boards from Peters of Kensington which I hardly ever bother with any more because they are so big and cumbersome. I just use supermarket poly boards now and I think they are actually easier on my edges.

Mingooch
08-09-2013, 12:09 AM
I second Mario's opinion. Heck maybe even get in line to get one of his knives, they are very nice. Loving mine so far.

Matus
08-09-2013, 05:02 AM
If you are just about to start to learn sharpening, than something like king 1000 and 6000 (there is a combination stone too) or similiar. It will give you all you need. I would rather start there than with a single stone only. As you say - you will start learning on some of your less valuable knives. Then get a decen cutting board and see how much you have left for the knife. If you start with knife and it will turn more expensive, than you may be out of budget for the board and stones.

Just one word - there are really great knives for about $200 - $300 out there - try to resist those more expensive ones - there is a good chance that once you get the grip of the things you will find out that different blade shape or geometry is what you really want and you will end up trading the knife for a different one (maybe not, of course).

I am not sure about the cost, but I would throw a Yoshikane SKD (stainles clad semistainless core) in the bunch.

But a good start would be to contact Maksim at JNS and Jon at JKI - you will get good advice taylored to your needs and budget.

Seb
08-09-2013, 05:13 AM
Look, to cut thru the bulldust, buy a starter knife and learn how to sharpen it ... and destroy it in the process and then you will be in a position to buy a knife that costs more than $100... or just go to Moore Park Supacenter and get yeself a Shun or Yaxell. Then you will appreciate the premium knife all the more.

Recommended starters are Fujiwara FKM (stainless) or FKH (carbon) from JCK.

jimbob
08-09-2013, 05:24 AM
I have a JCK 1000/4000 hardly used if your interested.....

schanop
08-09-2013, 06:24 AM
That's a nice stone. I bought one for my sister.

smilesenpai
08-09-2013, 06:50 AM
dont know what got censored there but it meant to say "i have a professional japanese knife sharpener nearby"

I live in brisbane. Where is this sharpener at?

Salty dog
08-09-2013, 07:01 AM
Don't listen to these Knife nerds.... don't go tiptoeing into the shallow end of the pool.... jump your ass right into the deep end.... go buy a five to six hundred dollar Gyuto...beat it
..love it....then you will go buy another one...then another one...then another...etc.

Agreed. If you want a nice knife, get one. The rest is secondary.

I'd think about one of the makers on this forum.

David88
08-09-2013, 07:40 AM
So i cracked out the 1000/6000 king stone I have for sharpening my bushcraft knife and watched a few tutorials today and had a crack on an old chef knife and it was not as hard as I remembered.
I can see how an amateur regularly sharpening a nice grind could ruin a knife but in what ways could I ruin it if i just did quick high grit/ceramic hone/strop touch ups myself and got a *** pro to sharpen it 4 times a year or so?
in the meantime I could practice sharpening on my crappy knives as I procure stones and hopefully in a short while I would be able to sharpen it myself.

I stressed in the description that the level of craftsmanship is the most important thing to me and I will not get satisfaction out of cooking with a $200 gyuto just because it is sharp. I want to own a work of art which is the culmination of some blacksmith's life experience and believe me I would baby it if im spending that much cash on it.

Can anyone direct me to a few posts on the gesshin heiji semi stainless? I love the aesthetics and I don't mind spending a couple of hundred extra on something that I love the look of if i'm going to keep it for years.

David88
08-09-2013, 07:43 AM
And I want to say thanks for everyones responses, I did consider each opinion and this forum has taught me lots over the last few months.

Von blewitt
08-09-2013, 07:54 AM
If that's the case, ordering a custom from one of the makers here is a good option. It will take some time but you will have a real connection to it and it should last you a life time. There are plenty of Japanese knives that will satisfy your criteria, emailing Jon at Japanese knife imports would be a good start, he can talk you through some options.

cclin
08-09-2013, 08:49 AM
I agree you should choose the gyuto you like or you'll regret every time when you use it & you'll want to upgrade your gyuto very soon! I think you should call or e-mail Jon(JKI) before you decide go for Heiji ss gyuto. Jon can give you clear idea about Heiji gyuto's performance not be too subjective. Moreover, you can also ask him how to Sharpening wide bevel knife(Heiji) & which stones you should choose.......my:2cents:

Lefty
08-09-2013, 09:01 AM
There's a beautiful Singatirin on BST. I think that fits the bill, not to mention, it leaves plenty left for a pretty nice board if you buy that one.

bahamaroot
08-10-2013, 01:23 AM
Gesshin Ginga 240mm Stainless Wa-Gyuto (http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/kitchen-knives/gesshin-ginga/gesshin-ginga-240mm-stainless-wa-gyuto.html)
or a
White #2 (http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/kitchen-knives/gesshin-ginga/gesshin-ginga-240mm-white-2-wa-gyuto.html)

And a combo stone.