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ghud
06-09-2011, 12:37 PM
Hi All, I know I'm just another guy asking, but I really want to purchase a quality set of knives that will last me, well my kids, forever! I just missed out on a set of 13 VINTAGE SABATIER KNIVES on EBay. I really didn't know enough to value these knives, but my desire is to get a set. I'm willing to spend up to $1000.00 and looking for the minimum number of knives necessary. I love to cook and have been doing all kinds of Cuisines for years. I'm a custom woodworker and understand that quality tools come at a price, so thanks for listening to my plea for direction/help

Potato42
06-09-2011, 01:26 PM
Sabatier are fine knives but you have many options especially in your price range. A lot of people show up dead set on getting a set, and that's ok, but around here we're going to challenge you to ask yourself why. If you just want similar looking knives, that's ok. If you think having every kind of knife imaginable is going to make you a better cook, that wont happen. As far as a set goes most would recommend a chefs, paring, and bread knife as the standard kit. You can add a utility knife, a slicer and a boning knife to really round things out.

Having a family around that abuses the hell out of my knives, there are a few things I recommend you keep in mind when selecting a knife. First, make sure that you're willing to see your knives abused from time to time if other people are going to use them. Since you plan to pass these on to future generations, I don't see you keeping them under lock and key. Teach people how to properly handle and care for them, but expect the advice and knowledge to go unheeded on occasion. This doesn't mean you must select a stainless knife over carbon, but be prepared to to expand your idea of what you consider "patina" if you go carbon. I have literally discovered a carbon knife submerged in water at my house, and they know better! (Just about all my knives are carbon BTW, but it doesn't deter me) At my girlfriends house, her one and only decent knife, a shun petty, has been used as a tool to clear the sink...

Since you cannot control the actions of other who may use these knives, you might consider knives that aren't hardened quite to the level many of the Japanese knives we covet are. 64-65 HRC is a Ferrari level heat treat and can perform as such, but it also takes similar care and maintenance to keep it in tip top shape. I had a Watanabe gyuto floating around in the house for a while, and it ended up with chips in it after a short time. My family will never grasp the concept of "hard foods" and thus as long as such a knife was available to them to use, it would not get proper care. 60-61 HRC is still very hard steel, but in my experience holds up much better to abuse.

Finally, consider the long term use situation with these knives. How will they be sharpened? How will they get touched up? You might want to have an alternate knife or two so that when one gets dull, you can simply trade in the other. If you want to send them out for sharpening that's ok, but long term you save money doing it yourself. Touch ups can be with a strop or steel. A few years back ceramic rod "steels" were in, now it's leather and balsa strops.


You have to start somewhere, and given all the choices, I recommend getting just one knife before you buy a whole set and realize you wanted something slightly different. I still have the first couple j knives I bought and I like them, but they're not my favorite knives. If you can give us a little more info on your cooking habits and needs we'll try and find a good fit for you.

Pensacola Tiger
06-09-2011, 01:48 PM
First, welcome to the forum!

Don't feel like you missed out on anything special by not getting that set of Sabatier knives on eBay. There are better knives available. A budget of $1000 give you a lot of choices, but I won't make any specific recommendations at this time, and please don't listen to any that are given in a well-meaning attempt to answer your question. Frankly, you need a bit of education about kitchen knives, and I mean that in a good way, so you can make an informed decision, and not waste you money.

I'd suggest that you start by reading a book: An Edge in the Kitchen, by Chad Ward. This is, in my opinion, the best first step for someone new to kitchen knives. The book is subtitled "How to buy them, keep them razor sharp, and use them like a pro." It's the unofficial "bible" of kitchen knives.

I think that after you've read it, you'll realize you don't need a set of 13 knives; you need a general purpose chef's knife or gyuto, and a short parer or petty. Those two knives will let you do 90% of what you need in the kitchen. If you want to, add a slicer or sujihiki, and maybe an inexpensive serrated knife for bread.

So, read the book, and we'll be here to make suggestions after you have.

Rick

Eamon Burke
06-09-2011, 03:45 PM
Welcome! I suggest you stick around. There are quite a few woodworkers here, and they make fantastic boards and handles. For that price, you really can get a full set up - 2-3 knives, board, storage, stone, and strop/hone that will shine in a household setting.

My first suggestion is this: Buy one at a time! Figure out what knife you use the most, and let us know what it is, how you use it, and why you want to replace it. We'll fit you with a winner to be sure.

echerub
06-09-2011, 04:34 PM
There's fun to be had when buying a lot at once, or within a short time frame, but financially speaking it makes a *lot* more sense to buy 1 at a time and gradually find out what works for you and what fits your style + preferences.

oivind_dahle
06-09-2011, 05:10 PM
Since you are woodworker:

Wouldnt it be fun having done your own handles?
http://***********************/2011/05/pimp-my-knife-victorinox-refurbishment.html

If you really believe you will go down this road of knives, I can promise you that cooking will be more fun than ever.
The cheapest way to start is to go for a 240 Hiromoto AS and a couple of stones. Then you can see if this is something for you or not. You can even rehandle it your self.

If you just want a goodlooking knife, that you might send for sharpening I would go for a Devin Thomas 240 ITK


There are mainly 3 knives you will use as a homechef:

Parer
Petty
Guyto

You might use a breadknife from time to time :)

mano
06-09-2011, 06:01 PM
You'll get a lot of good input here.

As someone who was very recently in your position and who has learned a a lot since then, my advice is to contact JBroida http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/

He'll guide you in the right direction by asking lots of questions and never tries to sell you anything. I bought only one inexpensive knife from him and he recommended not buying two other things I thought I needed. Jon's a former chef so he's tuned in to the realities of cooking.

IMHO work backwards. Look at what and how you cook and select the knives and stones that fill the need. For me it's a gyuto (chefs), honesuki (boning) and sujihiki (slicing). Plus two water stones. You may need a different set-up but it's unlikely you'll need more than 3-4 knives.

ghud
06-09-2011, 06:38 PM
Thank you Sean for your extensive response. I found it very enlightening, even though I do almost all the cooking I realize from time to time the family will do some "dumb" things. However I have been able to instill the following thought in all their heads, when it comes to my tools, " you break it you bought it ". And some of my tools are quite expensive! It just means at times more chores around the house, helping Mom out .

Rick, thanks for making me feel like I didn't miss out by not getting those Sabatier knives on EBay. They sold for $620 Four Star Elephant logo and if, as most of you have suggested, one at a time is the best course and mixing different makers is perfectly acceptable, so I'm glad I lost! I will order Wards book tonight and read it.

Yes, Eamon I do plan on getting board, storage, stone and a strop/hone. I renovate and restore Craftsman homes and find myself constantly making stuff I cannot find! I'm a hands-on guy and respect my tools and this is exactly how I would look at a set of quality knives. I plan to stick around this great forum!

Thanks Len for echoing what the others have said, I will go down the "one at a time road".

And finally, Oivind_Dahle I would find it very relaxing making my own handles. And I want you to know I own twenty or so chisels and sharpen them as standard operating procedure!

To all of you thanks for such a warm welcome is quite a special thing to have complete strangers give such thoughtful advise, it is sincerely heartfelt.

OK because you asked, I cook breakfast, lunch and dinner, I prepare meats and vegetables, my gal loves homemade soups. I build them from scratch. She loves fresh fruit and vegetables. I will buy larger cuts of meat, all kinds, butcher them then freeze. This includes whole chickens. I bake bread and cakes from time to time.

I just finished buying vintage revere ware, pre 1968, the heavy type, 2X copper bottom, all kinds of pots and pans about 65 pieces including the lids! And 1950's Flint utensils! I just took a look back and said these were the things I grew up with and they seem to stand the test of time. I would like to be able to say the same about the knives I will be purchasing.

So some may ask the following question,

What have use been using? Well a clever, one small pairing knife, an old bread slicer and a 14-inch carving knife. That's kind of it. So I want to step up get some great knives.

Thanks to all of you for you time. I look forward to your responses. Greg

Eamon Burke
06-09-2011, 07:10 PM
AW I had a revereware stockpot that I grew up with that my parents had from forever ago, and it got STOLEN after I absentmindedly left it on the porch during a short-notice move. Pissed me off for weeks.

What kind of motion do you like to use when cutting? Are you planning to learn to cut differently, or do you want a knife that suits your style?

Do you want to make things for them, like matching custom handles, your own magnetic strip/knife block? Cause if you do, you can buy great blades with fugly handles and save some cheddar.

ghud
06-09-2011, 08:33 PM
Well Eamon I guess I use all kinds of motions, rolling my Clever back tip down, sometimes the opposite. I'm ambidextrous, I write left handed, but can do most things with either hand. I learned at an early age to keep my fingertips turned under and allow the knife to ride off of my knuckles. I'm willing to learn how to properly use a knife, I just ordered Chad's book, it should be here in about a week.

Sorry to hear about your lost/stolen stock pot. A Made Under Process Patent Patent 2272609 Double Ring 1801 Copper Clad 8Qt can be had for around $35 plus $10 shipping off of ebay. These are the only type to buy, period. Revereware has been increasing in price over the last 2 years about 15%. I have 20Qt,16Qt,12Qt,10Qt,8Qt stock pots and have used them all, the 20Qt I used to brew beer!

I have a good friend who works at a hardwood store, I can get any type of wood I need, yes I planned to make a block and have some magnets kicking around. What type of blades are you talking about?

Hi Mano, Didn't mean to leave you out, just was typing away when you posted. Thanks for the link I'll check it out, I'm glad to see someone else has gone through this recently!

FryBoy
06-09-2011, 09:06 PM
Where do you live? There may be some stores we could recommend for browsing.

First off, there are a lot of really good knives out there. The impassioned debates here are on the level of Ferrari vs. Maseratti, or Canon vs. Nikon, or Lafite vs. Latour. You don't need to go down that rabbit hole to get some super knives that will last for years -- and none last forever as sharpening wears them down to the point that they're no longer very serviceable. But most home cooks don't need to sharpen very often, so any you buy should be in good shape by the time your kids steal them from you or pry them from your cold, stiff hand.

Second, you have a couple of very basic decisions to make: 1. Western (Yo) or Japanese (Wa) handles; and 2. Carbon or Stainless Steel. I like Western handles because that's what I've used for the last 40+ years, and I like stainless for the ease of care. Most of the guys here like the Wa handles, which they feel give them greater control, and they prefer carbon steel as it takes a sharper and generally longer-lasting edge (but it can rust and thus requires more maintenance than stainless). IMHO, good stainless (e.g., VG10) gets scary sharp and stays that way for months (I'm a home cook like you -- I do 99% of the cooking, and my wife likes pretty much what you say yours does).

Third, I agree with the others about what you need -- which will probably differ from what you want. I'd recommend a Gyuto (Chef's), 240mm or 270mm, or both; a Sujihiki (slicer or carving knife), 270mm; a parer, 70 - 100mm; a couple of Petty knives, 120 and 150mm; maybe a Western Deba (for cutting up fish and so forth), a Honesuki (boning knife), maybe a Nakiri (veggie knife) or Santoku (sort of an all-purpose knife). A good Chinese Cleaver might be nice, and maybe a cheap heavy cleaver (e.g., Dexter-Russell) for bones.

Fourth, the wood. If you're into wood working, you can make your own, but if not, look at the products from www.theboardsmith.com (http://www.theboardsmith.com) (or study them if you intend to make your own), and check out the Shun knife blocks from Amazon (but don't buy the knives).

Fifth, sharpening. Stones are great, if you have the time and interest to develop the skills. Otherwise, look at the gadgets from www.edgeproinc.com (my choice).

Good luck -- and kiss the $1000 budget farewell!

Eamon Burke
06-09-2011, 10:49 PM
Ok here's my official out of the gate suggestion for $1000. Keep in mind I a very practical person:
$250 - decent home sized boardsmith board, whatever wood matches your decor and your wife likes.
$100-120 - 2pc Tojiro set, pick a 210 gyuto or a 240 for an extra 10(I would but it's up to your wife if she is ok with big knives) I only said this over a Tojiro DP alone because you said you use a parer. I've yet to meet a paring knife I didn't hate. IF you don't want a parer, I'd get a Suisin Inox 240, which is about $125.
$20 - Old Hickory QN-710, great carbon steel slicer, ready for a new handle
$30 - Forschner Bread Knife, perfect design, the softer steel will make eventual resharpening with a round hone less tedious
$50 - King 800/6000 combo stone, the only level of stone any home cook really needs. Sharpening is a part of cooking!
$100 - JKS Strop kit, it's a really great no-brainer strop setup and IMO stropping is a necessary step in freehand sharpening
$100 - Wood for your new handles and a rod of a pretty mosaic pin
$10 - Gray Kunz Spoon. Ok it's not a knife, but you'll use it more than any one knife! They are brilliantly designed and if you make a lot of sauces you'll want it.

$320 for your oncoming addiction. I wish I was kidding, but I'm not! You could also add the $120 for a main blade into this and see if Stephan Fowler can knock you up a chef's knife in W2 for $430. I don't know what his prices are on that kind of thing, but if he can, you can get in early and get a great knife from a talented guy cheaply(cause whatever he's charging today is less than it will be soon)! If you can't, I'd still set the $320 back and save to buy something from a custom maker once you really have a grasp on your knife and sharpening style.

ghud
06-09-2011, 11:05 PM
Thank for the reply Doug, I'm in San Diego. Everything you said sounds good except for that part about kissing the $1000.00 budget farewell! What would your suggested list cost?

Wow nice list Johndoughy! Where would you go to buy this list? Also I'm not married to any of my knives, except I do like my clever, though. I have a few pieces of hardwood round the shop; Lacewood, Cocobolo, Purple Heart, Pau Amarello are any of these suitable for handles? What type of material is "a rod of a pretty mosaic pin"?

Thanks guys, you are all being very helpful in describing my new addiction!!

FryBoy
06-09-2011, 11:29 PM
Thank for the reply Doug, I'm in San Diego. Everything you said sounds good except for that part about kissing the $1000.00 budget farewell! What would your suggested list cost?

Wow nice list Johndoughy! Where would you go to buy this list? Also I'm not married to any of my knives, except I do like my clever, though. I have a few pieces of hardwood round the shop; Lacewood, Cocobolo, Purple Heart, Pau Amarello are any of these suitable for handles? What type of material is "a rod of a pretty mosaic pin"?

Thanks guys, you are all being very helpful in describing my new addiction!!
$1K will be a very fine start -- but you may very well fall down the rabbit hole to some degree, and pretty soon you'll think that having a 4th or 5th 240mm Gyuto made by some raving madman genius cutler is a perfectly sensible way to spend your money.

Pensacola Tiger
06-09-2011, 11:40 PM
... pretty soon you'll think that having a 4th or 5th 240mm Gyuto made by some raving madman genius cutler is a perfectly sensible way to spend your money.

Are you trying to say it's not?

Eamon Burke
06-09-2011, 11:46 PM
I have a few pieces of hardwood round the shop; Lacewood, Cocobolo, Purple Heart, Pau Amarello are any of these suitable for handles? What type of material is "a rod of a pretty mosaic pin"?
Yes, those are fine woods, methinks! I am a fan of all of them.

This is a mosaic pin. (http://www.texasknife.com/vcom/index.php?cPath=587_883) It's a rod you use to keep the handle scales aligned, in conjunction with epoxy. It's mostly decorative, thanks to the strength of modern epoxy, but they certainly are pretty. You can make your own out of brass rods for model train sets if you are feeling crafty, or can't find a design you like.

You can buy those things at a variety of places. Dave Martell of JKS, Jon Broida of JKI, the BoardSMITH & Stephan Fowler have subforums here. Chefknivestogo is a great site, I love it for window shopping, and he does a lot of volume sales. Don't pull the trigger too soon, cause other people are going to give you different ideas, I'm just one voice in a nuthouse. I read forums for 3 months before buying, myself. Knowledge is worth way more than tools, but I'm sure you know that!

ghud
06-09-2011, 11:50 PM
Doug, I prefer the purple pill, a little red, a little blue! I've been down the rabbit hole before, sometimes its fun and usually expensive! Is that where the raving madman genius cutler lives, at the bottom of the rabbit hole? And what knife would he show me?

Johndoughy can you please describe this, ($250 - decent home sized boardsmith board) and do I have to buy this or can I make it?

Thanks again

ghud
06-09-2011, 11:56 PM
Johndoughy is there a preferred wood? And is there wood to avoid? I know from experience certain African hardwood when they splinter the burn you get is immediate

ghud
06-10-2011, 12:04 AM
Sorry Johndoughy I missed the link! I checked the boardsmith site, got it! I'll check with my guy at the hardwood store, check the epoxies approved for food usage. Putting something together like that is right up my alley. Oh I forgot I have a piece of 4/4 Curly maple with some birdseye.

apicius9
06-10-2011, 12:06 AM
Johndoughy is there a preferred wood? And is there wood to avoid? I know from experience certain African hardwood when they splinter the burn you get is immediate

As long as they are well seasoned and not too light, most woods should work. Cocobolo is a classic and should work well ( and I assume I don't have t tell you not to breath in the dust?). Desert ironwood is also very well liked because of its density and nice pattern/color. I'm not a friend of purple heart because it burns so easily and it's not my color, similar with the yellow canary wood. Lacewood has splintered on me before but I think there are different types. Living in Hawaii, of course I like koa... Many people prefer their wood stabilized, i.e. resin-injected under vacuum. Definitely makes them more stable and water-resistant, bit you also lose the natural feel. If you make it for yourself where you live and the wood is seasoned, I don't see a reason for stabilizing, just oil the handle occasionally to keep it from drying out.

Stefan

Potato42
06-10-2011, 12:26 AM
Sorry Johndoughy I missed the link! I checked the boardsmith site, got it! I'll check with my guy at the hardwood store, check the epoxies approved for food usage. Putting something together like that is right up my alley. Oh I forgot I have a piece of 4/4 Curly maple with some birdseye.

If you're talking about making your own cutting board, you'll want to be more discriminatory about your wood selection. Anything with edible sap or seeds is the rule David Smith TheBOARDSMITH goes by. He uses only Maple, Mahogany, walnut and cherry for his boards. Other species may be perfectly acceptable but those are a good start. I don't remember the exact glue he uses but I believe it's a titebond product.

For knife handles your imagination is the limit.

swarfrat
06-10-2011, 01:22 AM
Titebond III (http://www.titebond.com/WNTitebondIIITB.asp), waterproof and FDA approved for indirect food contact.

ghud
06-10-2011, 01:35 AM
Nice Titebond III, use it all the time, last time I bought a gallon!

Thanks for the reply Stefan, my guy carries some Koa, he can get it out of LA if need be, love that wood! I have a piece of 8/4 Cocobolo with very little sap wood I think I'll start there. have a Bench Dog router table with 3 1/2 HP PC hooked up to it. Just need to make a good template. Man but HW's eats up my bits!

ghud
06-10-2011, 01:43 AM
Hey Sean, I've seen a few cutting boards, are there any plans/designs you guys like? Size, thickness and features?

ghud
06-10-2011, 02:44 AM
OK Doug here's what I found per your suggestion. I'm not saying I'm going there, but I want some input from everyone on the following list. It comes in a $1100. Without a board or sharpening equipment!

Tojiro DP Chef Knife 240mm
Kikuichi Elite Carbon Sujihiki 270mm
Tojiro DP Paring Knife 90mm
Hiromoto Petty Knife 120mm
Moritaka Petty 150mm
Tojiro DP Western Deba 240mm
Fujiwara FKM Stainless Boning 145mm
Tojiro DP Nakiri 165mm
Maruyoshi HD-5 Santoku 7"
Sugimoto Cleaver #30
Dexter-Russell 8'' X 3'' Chinese Chef Knife

Well what do you guys think? Greg

mc2442
06-10-2011, 03:00 AM
A bit of overlap on some of the knives, like the santoku and the nakiri. And you are back to getting a lot at once. Earlier suggestions of getting 1-2 knives to find what you like or want. Chef's knife - gyuto and a parer will accomplish most tasks, although I like the boning knife as well.

mc2442
06-10-2011, 03:02 AM
And auto correct on an iPhone can lead to a lot of weirdness if you don't carefully go over what you typed... Some odd suggestions in that last post

JohnnyChance
06-10-2011, 03:07 AM
I don't think you need all of those right away. I use a gyuto/chefs knife 90% of the time, and would rather spend more of my budget on that one knife than on multiple knives. I would concentrate on starting with a 240mm gyuto, 270/300 suji, a parer, a bread knife, and a cleaver since you already know you like them, then fill in the gaps from there. An additional long petty or honesuki type knife is a good utility knife and can help butcher whole chickens.

I don't think you need all those pettys and parers. One should suffice for the time being. Depending on what you prefer, long or short, should help you pick the first one. If you are unsure, get the 120 and then for your next one you can go up or down from there.

I find a nakiri and a santoku and a slicing cleaver and a gyuto to be very redundant. With a good gyuto and a slicing cleaver (very thin cleavers, not like our thick western cleavers that are made for butchering meat), I never find myself reaching for any of the nakiris or santokus I have. They are good for people who do not like using bigger knives (wife, kids, mom, etc). If you do not have something already they can use, just get one or the other. If you already have something they can use, skip these for now.

The more time you spend here, the more you will learn and the more you will find out what you like and what you dont. So I wouldnt buy everything at once, buy a few key pieces, see how they work for you, and then go from there.

Potato42
06-10-2011, 03:07 AM
Hey Sean, I've seen a few cutting boards, are there any plans/designs you guys like? Size, thickness and features?

I'd bet 9/10 of the guys around here have a board from http://www.theboardsmith.com/ so, that's a pretty good place to start.

As for your knife list, I still recommend saving that cash and starting light. I started with 2 knives, a gyuto and a petty, and I wasn't hurting for cutting power after that. I expanded my collection for many reasons trying different makers, sizes, steels, finishes and knife types. You can do it all at once, but you'll likely end up figuring out your money would have been better spent on something else as your preferences in cutlery become more clear.

Keep an eye on the B/S/T forum too, there are a lot of killer deals there. Many one of a kind knives end up needing new homes after we realize our bank accounts present a more pressing reality than our knife drawers. Gyuto's and suji's are the highest in demand, so if you have interest in single bevel knives, or anything less common (cleavers, nakiri's, boning knives) you can probably snag one up for an even bigger discount.

Hiromoto AS or Fujiwara FKH are good entry level choices for carbon knives. I'm not well versed on stainless knives so I'll let someone else fill in there. I will mention that Glestain is a good stainless knife when you can get them on sale, and just about the only knife where the "grantons" actually work to keep food from sticking (though it still sticks).

tk59
06-10-2011, 03:34 AM
OK Doug here's what I found per your suggestion. I'm not saying I'm going there, but I want some input from everyone on the following list. It comes in a $1100. Without a board or sharpening equipment!

Tojiro DP Chef Knife 240mm
Kikuichi Elite Carbon Sujihiki 270mm
Tojiro DP Paring Knife 90mm
Hiromoto Petty Knife 120mm
Moritaka Petty 150mm
Tojiro DP Western Deba 240mm
Fujiwara FKM Stainless Boning 145mm
Tojiro DP Nakiri 165mm
Maruyoshi HD-5 Santoku 7"
Sugimoto Cleaver #30
Dexter-Russell 8'' X 3'' Chinese Chef Knife

Well what do you guys think? Greg

Seriously, you should get a nice 240 mm gyuto and a 150 petty. Get them in stainless or semi-stainless unless you don't eat any raw acidic foods or fresh fruit and go from there. If I were you I'd look at CarboNEXT, Kikuichi TKC, and Konosuke HD series. I've tried out a ton of knives and nothing significantly outperforms these for a home cook. At some point, you should get something in non-stainless like a slicer so that you can experience how easily they achieve awe-inspiring edges and that's it. After that, it's just the disease taking hold (unless you're heavily into sushi or something). BoardSMITH is awesome, btw.

oivind_dahle
06-10-2011, 09:47 AM
I would go for

240 Gyuto
DT ITK - you cant go wrong!
Or contact Marko, he will make some really nice knives.
Dave is also an option

150 - 180 Santoku/Guyto - This is for your wife and other members, and yourself
I went on the trademarked and found a Carter:
http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php?1197-WTB-Carter-Stainless-Fukugozai-Funayuki
Just took 2 days - and then you can change the handle yourself

120 Petty
Your wife needs it.
I have severels, but this gives bang for da bucks
http://www.chefknivestogo.com/fufkmpe12.html

Smaller knives
I have a couple of Forschner Fibrox Paring Knife 3.25" always laying around

ghud
06-10-2011, 10:38 AM
Hi All Good Morning here,

Thanks MC2442 I'm still on the road to one at a time. I thought by posting Doug's suggested list it would be a good start at identifying quality J-Knives.

Hi JohnC, Yes I'll be reading and researching everything you guys throw at me for awhile, before I purchase a single knife. I will defineately read Chad's book first! End of next week.

Hey Sean, I looked at Boardsmith site and they make some beautiful boards and nothing replaces the time they have put in on development. They have researched and have come up with a great product. I just love to woodwork been doing it for 35yrs, have spent $$$$'s on tools, created jigs, made furniture, one offs,etc. So if I can make it I will both from a $ sense and time sense. And I will check out the B/S/T forum, I have no problem supporting you guys, a mutual win win!

TK59 Fellow San Diegan, My gal is a tomato freak and fresh fruits too! I'm looking at semi and stainless knives, but would like to experience the carbon world also, my mom has an old french chefs that is carbon, I now need to look at it a little closer. I will check out CarboNEXT, Kikuichi TKC, and Konosuke HD series. I do fillet fish from Point Loma Seafoods, usually Sunday dinner, we try to get our fish in!

Thanks oivind_dahle Great suggetions I'll put it on a speadsheet, where all of your and everyone elses suggestions are going along with a brief explanation of usage!

Thanks Guys keep it coming I'm all ears, I'll keep researching your links and directions Greg

MadMel
06-10-2011, 11:41 AM
I'd start by saying that not everyone is comfortable with a 240mm gyuto as their main knife to use at home, and that you won't need that many knives to begin with. I suggest getting the knives a couple at a time, doing some sharpening and cutting with it, then decide if you like the dimensions, performance, how it responds to your sharpening and then branch out and get other knives.

I'd go with:
A gyuto 210 or 240. Note the difference between how the length is measured on the yo and wa handles. There are a couple of choices for stainless and carbon and also clad.
Couple of knives for stainless/semi-stainless obviously includes the DT forum knives at CKTG, Heiji, Yoshikane, Konosuke HD, and the cheaper options include Fujiwara FKM, CarboNext, both available from Koki at JCK.
Clad knives are knives that have a carbon core/cutting edge with stainless steel wrapped around the rest of the blade. A popular example is the Hiromoto Aogami Super available from Koki at JCK. It takes a wicked edge and holds it damn well even in a pro kitchen. It's my main knife. Yoshikane makes clad knives as well if I'm not mistaken.
I'd leave the carbon choices to the guys who have more experience with them as I have not owned any, though I'm looking into getting one and was recommended a Suien VC by Jon from JapaneseKnifeImports. It is apparently made from the same steel that goes into Suien's well received cleavers.

A petty 120 or 150. Depending on how you like it. I got a 120 which doubles as a parer. A 150 could double as a boning knife tho I use my 120 for it. Fujiwara FKM is a pretty good choice there. I'd get them either from Koki at JapaneseChefsKnife or from Mark at CKTG.

A nice bread knife as it is for posterity cause there is not that much stuff to change about a serrated bread knife lol. I'd maybe go for a MAC?

Finally a slicer or a Sujihiki. IMO, if you are getting a 240 gyuto, then you might want a longer sujihiki at about 300mm or so. If you decide on a shorter gyuto, then a 270 is pretty fine. Again, you have a host of choices ranging from carbon to cladded to stainless. I'd not comment on that as i'm shopping for a Suji myself LOL!!

Have fun shopping and remember to post pics of your buys!!

ghud
06-10-2011, 11:44 AM
Oivind_dahle How did your Carter project turn out, pics?

ghud
06-10-2011, 12:44 PM
Hi Mad Mel, I guess you guys are located all over the world! Thanks for your thoughtful reply.

When you say "I'd start by saying that not everyone is comfortable with a 240mm gyuto as their main knife to use at home".

Are you referring to size/function. I'm a big guy 6'3" 245, I need a diet and have no problem with using large tools. My hands are on the large/ex-large side and swollen most of the time from wood/construction work. The buy it, try it then resell is something I try not to do with my tools and I would like to do the same with knives. I realize knives hold there value better then a power tool, but I like to research and purchase, just me.

Handle type is one of the first questions I was asked when I joined the forum. I guess I'm used to the "Western type" handle. The only round handle I own is my Japanese dovetailing saw. A saw, not a knife! I'm looking forward to making custom handles. Creating the personalized template, hopefully big enough to scare the family away from using it!

You said "IMO, if you are getting a 240 gyuto, then you might want a longer sujihiki at about 300mm or so. If you decide on a shorter gyuto, then a 270 is pretty fine". This is interesting the gyuto/sujihiki ratio. 240/300 or 210/270 both are 60mm apart, is this a standard separation or a "rule of thumb" when considering these two knives?

As for the Petty, I'm not sure yet how I would use this type of knife. I need to read Chad's book to get a better understanding here.

Yes I want a bread knife, so I'll check the MAC. Homemade/fresh bread is my first choice!

At this point, I feel I should take at least a month before I make any decision. Definitely will read Chad's book first. Then continue to take all the suggestions here research them. Its all going on a spreadsheet right now. Then finalize a list, post it for the old "thumbs up or down" including prices and suppliers. Take in members opinions, then purchase! After that I will post pics and update on my experiences. Thanks again, Mel

oivind_dahle
06-10-2011, 01:02 PM
Oivind_dahle How did your Carter project turn out, pics?

Its picked up in US next week by Harald (aka Darkhoek). He is picking up several knives and some projects for us. I guess we will start on the project next weekend :) So we will post it on the forum.


But with your skills, you should visit trademarked. And buy used knives and pimp em up! So if you put your money into jnats, then much is done!! :)

Then you can customize your own, and in time you get get a custom knife by Devin Thomas, Bill Burke or another high end maker :)

FryBoy
06-10-2011, 01:21 PM
OK Doug here's what I found per your suggestion. I'm not saying I'm going there, but I want some input from everyone on the following list. It comes in a $1100. Without a board or sharpening equipment!

Tojiro DP Chef Knife 240mm
Kikuichi Elite Carbon Sujihiki 270mm
Tojiro DP Paring Knife 90mm
Hiromoto Petty Knife 120mm
Moritaka Petty 150mm
Tojiro DP Western Deba 240mm
Fujiwara FKM Stainless Boning 145mm
Tojiro DP Nakiri 165mm
Maruyoshi HD-5 Santoku 7"
Sugimoto Cleaver #30
Dexter-Russell 8'' X 3'' Chinese Chef Knife

Well what do you guys think? Greg
I seen nothing wrong with getting all of these at once if you can afford it. That would give you an opportunity to try them all and decide which you prefer. You can always sell the ones you don't want fairly easily, and perhaps by purchasing that many knives at once, you could cut a deal with the seller. Wouldn't hurt to ask.

JohnnyChance
06-10-2011, 02:14 PM
Even though it is considered expensive by most people's standards, a Devin Thomas ITK gyuto (http://www.chefknivestogo.com/dethfokn24ab.html) is a great value. One of, if not the best stainless, great craftsmanship, and if it isn't your cup of tea, great resale value. You may have to wait for one, but worth it if you can. CKTG has also been taking preorders for these, not sure if he still is. You can always sign up so you get an email when they are back in stock.

This Tojiro 270mm Bread Knife (http://www.chefknivestogo.com/toitkbrkn.html) is pretty much a copy of the Mac bread knife, and is about $20 cheaper while it is currently on sale.

Some other places mentioned in this thread in shorthand that you may not know are Jon @ JKI (http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/) who is also a member here (Jon Broida) and Koki @ JCK (http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/).

MadMel
06-10-2011, 02:22 PM
For the 240 comment it's actually not about body size, more on how much space you have to work in and the length of the blade that you are comfortable with. Take me for example, I'm 5'5" but I'm comfortable with a 240 at work, but not at home as my workspace is smaller at home. I have a friend who is 6 feet and he uses a 180.. Its all a matter of getting a feel for the 'correct' length or range of length for you. Maybe you should pop down to a store and handle some knives of different lengths just to see what you are comfy with.

For the ratio of the suji to the gyuto, it's more from a practical point of view in my opinion. Cause I don't see why you can't slice with a 240 gyuto. Things you can't slice in 1 stroke with a 240 would probably need something that is longer and I don't think that 30mm is gonna make that much of a difference. But again, that's my view on things and not a rule per se.. So we come down once more to your 'comfort zone'. I personally, am not very comfortable with anything in the 300 range so I'm shopping around for a suji that I can custom to my specific length. What I'd say is again, go out and shop around, feel out some knives, their styles, weight and find a comfortable length. Do not let what people say dictate what you are gonna buy and use yourself. We are just providing a general guide that works for us you see.

A petty is kinda like a mini utility kitchen knife. As I said, it's my most used knife and I work in a professional kitchen so that testifies to its versatality. You can use it as a parer, or as a boning knife or almost anything. I use it for anything that requires a bit more agility from the knife like deboning and stuff.

So basically, build up a set slowly as there is no rush to get everything at once. Get a couple of knives, play with them and if you feel you need something more or something better, upgrade and buy again.

JohnnyChance
06-10-2011, 02:31 PM
Like a 240mm gyuto, I think a 300mm suji is a good place to start. I normally use 270mm gyutos and have a 300 suji, and often find myself wishing I had a 330mm, so a 210 or 240 and 300 combo works well I think.

oivind_dahle
06-10-2011, 02:56 PM
When you use 240 for a few days, there is no going back to a smaller one :)

ghud
06-10-2011, 03:38 PM
oivind_dahle You said"When you use 240 for a few days, there is no going back to a smaller one" then what size sujihiki do you favor?

TK59 Where can I go to handle some knives in SD. Don't want sale pressure, I just need to handle a few!

JC, What's the overall length of a 330mm suji? Weight? Manufacturer?

oivind_dahle
06-10-2011, 03:41 PM
ghud:

I have no suji. The Gyuto does the trick :)
A Gyuto will serve you well, and will do most a home chef needs to do.




A 240 will be a friend for a long long time :)
Now that you are getting into this, have you ever considered a custom?

A Devin Thomas would make your day! :)

ghud
06-10-2011, 03:46 PM
Mad Mel, I was wondering about the Petty Fujiwara FKM line. If I used it more for deboning would you choose a #3 Deba 150mm or a #4 Boning 145mm. Which would be a more versatile knife? There's quite difference in weight. Have had experience with these two knives. Thanks Greg

echerub
06-10-2011, 03:53 PM
It's probably best to wait until you know what works and feels best to you before going the custom route :)

Little details can make a big difference in how well a particular knife suits you. It takes hands-on experience - sometimes just by handling a knife in a store or a friend's somewhere, sometimes by actually using it - and comparing them to really get a sense for your own preferences.

You might be surprised at what you eventually realize best suits you. It's not always what we might expect at the beginning.

ghud
06-10-2011, 03:53 PM
Oivind_dahle: Devin Thomas custom Gyuto at 240mm what would something like that cost?? And would it be wise for me to cut my handle making teeth on something like that??? I went to his site extremely impressive! But until I understand what suits me, per Mad Mel, I don't think can reasonably consider something like that, however it would be buy it and enjoy it for a very long time!!

oivind_dahle
06-10-2011, 04:07 PM
If you want damscus I guess 1500 for a Devin Thomas :)

But you can make a DT ITK 240 look really good:
http://www.knifeforums.com/forums/fbbuploads/1293987694-DSC_1417.JPG
http://www.knifeforums.com/forums/fbbuploads/1293987706-DSC_1418.JPG
http://www.knifeforums.com/forums/fbbuploads/1293987840-DSC_1427.JPG

If you can do the wood and the saya yourself, this is how it could be....

Potato42
06-10-2011, 04:34 PM
Hey Sean, I looked at Boardsmith site and they make some beautiful boards and nothing replaces the time they have put in on development. They have researched and have come up with a great product. I just love to woodwork been doing it for 35yrs, have spent $$$$'s on tools, created jigs, made furniture, one offs,etc. So if I can make it I will both from a $ sense and time sense. And I will check out the B/S/T forum, I have no problem supporting you guys, a mutual win win!

I hear you on all that. My intention was to point you in the direction of inspiration rather than a place to buy. You can find a couple of boards if not more made by other people here on this forum that borrow strongly from David. Of course if you do decide not to embark on that adventure, David's prices are very reasonable.

ghud
06-10-2011, 08:22 PM
oivind_dahle:

Well, well, some eye candy do you use those, it looks like you have at least 2, or are they on display?
Could I make those handles, I believe so, some time, some money, I've enjoyed inlaying/joining different species of wood in the past, can be challenging, but fun, satisfying in the end. A nice sharp spokeshave or drawknive with the correct profile. I bet I could use some of my past gunsmithing experience, I remember how sharp I had to get that octagonal barrel on the Marlin 44 before bluing, lots of stone work no rounded edges! Time, time, time..... As for the saya, I would have to get the technique, but after that time,time,time...

Hi Sean, I'm glad you brought up his site. I have relatives in NC love the people down there, hardworking. I'll look at the cost versus time and if it makes sense to go Davids way I will, always love to support one man operation and I can tell lots of you guys appreciate his work. Greg

ghud
06-10-2011, 08:29 PM
Oh I forgot, thanks Len we were thinking the same thought at the same time. It would be fun someday to make that investment, but not now. However I'm enjoying the education right now. Thanks Greg

MadMel
06-11-2011, 03:51 AM
Mad Mel, I was wondering about the Petty Fujiwara FKM line. If I used it more for deboning would you choose a #3 Deba 150mm or a #4 Boning 145mm. Which would be a more versatile knife? There's quite difference in weight. Have had experience with these two knives. Thanks Greg

A boning is definitely better for deboning.. The name should clear all doubts. I don't think I'd pick up a deba to do anything else then breaking through bones cause of its weight. it kinda restricts the agility of the knife.

JohnnyChance
06-11-2011, 04:05 AM
JC, What's the overall length of a 330mm suji? Weight? Manufacturer?

I wasn't trying to recommend a particular 330mm suji. I have a 300 (and another on the way) and still think this is a good place to start. For my own kit, based on what I need and what I like and dislike about the 300mm, I will be adding 270 and 330mm sujis at some point. I think 330 is a little long for most folks, especially a home user.

And since you are a woodworker, here is a simple project you could do to add to your knife stuff and save some money at the same time. After you get stones, strops can also be nice to have. I built this (http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php?1375-I-built-a-strop-too) strop base even though I am basically useless with wood.

ghud
06-11-2011, 12:26 PM
Nice work JC, How about some Mesquite for a southwestern favor? Or was there a reason you chose cedar? Where did you purchase your stone(s), which ones should I look at first? And would it be too much to do a through tenon on the base with peg. At that point the whole thing could be broken down. Any advantage you think. Did you oil the base?

MM, I think the #4 145MM is on a list. Currently I have two lists going and it looks like 4 or 5 knives will be the setup for me!

JohnnyChance
06-12-2011, 01:47 AM
I chose cedar because if I also wanted to use the base as a stone holder, I could get it wet and it wouldn't rot. I did not oil it, but will probably put some beeswax on it at some point. I dont feel the need to break it down, it doesnt take up much room as it is, but if you want to try it, go right ahead and show us how it comes out!

I have a Bester 1200 and Suehiro Rika 5000 from Dave Martell @ japaneseknifesharpeningstore.com (he also runs this forum). I also have an Atoma 140 diamond plate from Dave to keep my stones flat.
I have a Gesshin 5000 from Jon @ JKI
And I have a Chosera 400 from Sur La Table, but they are way too expensive from there.

All are good stones, I just got the Gesshin but I have really been enjoying it so far. The Bester and Rika are both good stones to start with and learn on. Just gotta get something to flatten them with.

jheis
06-14-2011, 11:38 PM
Even though it is considered expensive by most people's standards, a Devin Thomas ITK gyuto (http://www.chefknivestogo.com/dethfokn24ab.html) is a great value. One of, if not the best stainless, great craftsmanship, and if it isn't your cup of tea, great resale value. You may have to wait for one, but worth it if you can. CKTG has also been taking preorders for these, not sure if he still is. You can always sign up so you get an email when they are back in stock.

I also thought he was taking pre-orders, but he's not. I put my name on the list and waited patiently for my place in line for about six months only to find that I had no place in line - only an email when he gets a few in stock. If you don't happen to be sitting at your computer when he turns on the order button, you're out of luck. After three of these run arounds I gave up. Damn piss poor way of doing business in my opinion. Left a bad taste in my mouth. I'll never buy anything from CKTG again.

James

JohnnyChance
06-15-2011, 02:00 AM
He did start taking pre orders, but only recently. Signing up for the email would not get you on the preorder list. You have to contact him directly, by email or telephone. The reason he did not want to take pre orders is sometimes it takes months and months to restock, and he didn't want to hold onto people's money for that long. Neither way is a perfect system. The DT ITKs are really great, and they are worth it even if you have to deal with CKTG.

You could also contact Devin directly and order a custom AEB-L through him, but his wait is around a year or so, and I think it would be more than the ITKs.

oivind_dahle
06-15-2011, 02:49 AM
You shouldnt say that about CKTG and Mark. He gives great service and is a great business man.
He got lots of brands and great prices, and he makes a great effort in getting knives known.
Pierre and Devin got a lot of attention through CKTG, and we have seen products like ITK and Richmond Addict come from his place.

Busnies is hard, and he is doing well. Ive used Mark several times, and have no problems with him.
Still gonna recommend him and his store, as he got a lot of knives for great prices and gives a great customer service.

JohnnyChance
06-15-2011, 02:53 AM
You shouldnt say that about CKTG and Mark.

Were you referring to me?

jheis
06-15-2011, 04:37 AM
As I said, it was my opinion.

I thought that after patiently waiting for six months I had, at least, earned a place in line to buy a knife. As it turned out, I had exactly the same priority as anyone who happened to stumble onto the CKTG site when the order button was activated.

My experience is that I got jerked around three times - each time, by the time I received the email - the knives were already gone. I suggested to Mark that he offer the knives to the next "x" number of people in line and give them 24hrs to say yes or no before offering the knifes to the general public. Mark's response was to offer to put me back on the list for another useless email.

I know lots of folks like Mark and CKTG. I did not like the way I was treated and choose not to patronize businesses that do not treat me well. YMMV.

James

MadMel
06-15-2011, 11:01 AM
You could also contact Devin directly and order a custom AEB-L through him, but his wait is around a year or so, and I think it would be more than the ITKs.

Don't know how long the wait is but the current price Hoss is charging for his custom AEB-L is $70 an inch. thats way above what you will be paying for an ITK.

99Limited
06-15-2011, 11:29 AM
I also thought he was taking pre-orders, but he's not. I put my name on the list and waited patiently for my place in line for about six months only to find that I had no place in line - only an email when he gets a few in stock. If you don't happen to be sitting at your computer when he turns on the order button, you're out of luck. After three of these run arounds I gave up. Damn piss poor way of doing business in my opinion. Left a bad taste in my mouth. I'll never buy anything from CKTG again.

James

I see your point of view and understand the way you feel. On the other hand how many people signed up for notification only to change their mind for what ever reason. Then Mark is sitting on inventory for a day wondering who's going to reply and who's not. Then he's got to match up who signed up for notification first with who replied first. Then he's got to see if they actually placed an order. Then you've got those people who responded but need to wait until next payday or what ever reason to pay for it. This whole thing just becomes one big pain, fraught with possible mistakes being made.

Once people become aware that these special order items are sold on a first come, first served basis then there shouldn't be any problems. CKTG isn't the only company that sells this way. It's pretty much how all businesses run.

I wanted a DT 240mm AEB-L gyuto and a Carter gyuto, but I was too slow to pull the trigger. It sux about missing on the Carter because this might not happen again but that's life.

SpikeC
06-15-2011, 02:19 PM
It is not that complicated, and holding inventory for one day is not a hardship. If there is a list, you offer to the list, then the next day the offer goes public. Is that so hard?

99Limited
06-15-2011, 05:56 PM
It is not that complicated, and holding inventory for one day is not a hardship. If there is a list, you offer to the list, then the next day the offer goes public. Is that so hard?

Then you should open up an online knife store. :biggrin:

SpikeC
06-15-2011, 06:32 PM
Ya, right, no dissent allowed.