PDA

View Full Version : What is the catch



welshstar
09-05-2011, 11:54 AM
Hi

Looking at these knives online they appear to have all the qualities of significantly higher price knives. Could you advuse what am i missing please ?

http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/FKHSeries.html

They appear to be equivalent at $81 to a $200-300 Gyuto.

There is always a catch, what is it please ?

Alan

stevenStefano
09-05-2011, 12:13 PM
The things you are paying extra for with say a $300 Masamoto? Geometry, profile, edge retention, fit and finish, less reactive steel. Fujiwaras are decent value knives, but at the same time, I think the more expensive knives are still worth the money. I have a $145 JCK KV8 and I have a $400 Watanabe. Which is worth the money? Both of them

Cadillac J
09-05-2011, 12:16 PM
Fujiwara (both FKM and FKH) are what I like to recommend to people just starting out. The ones you posted have great profiles and fit/finish for their price, but they are lacking in the steel department. SK4 has much more impurities versus the higher end carbons...both my FKHs I owned previously always had an odor/flavor when cutting anything remotely acidic, but I still have my FKM(stainless) honesuki and my travel knife is my FKM suji.

Edge taking is pretty good and retention is average. I love Fujiwara for what they are--you will see many posts from me here or on the other forums saying if they made these in a semi-stainless like the TKC/CN, they would be my favorite yo-handled knives.

Eamon Burke
09-05-2011, 12:17 PM
They don't perfect the finish, the design is geared more towards function and simplicity rather than nuanced performance. They are plain looking. They are made in a factory. The steel isn't top-notch, nor is the heat treat.

Honestly, for 80% of cooks/chefs out there, this is the kind of knife you want to use and abuse. The other knives are for you to enjoy, but these will destroy some food with the best of them.

JohnnyChance
09-05-2011, 12:26 PM
It's a Kia Soul. Does it get you from A to B, same as Audi A4? Sure. But is the craftsmanship as good? No. Performance? No. Does it help you with the ladies? No.

welshstar
09-05-2011, 01:02 PM
Johnny

Great, finally an analogy that i can relate to, cars !!

In my life i go for fit, finish and classic type products. Im not into the fanciest showiest things but i do appreciate great quality. To give examples, I prefer my Stainless Steel Rolex Submariner over other watches because it has a timeless fit and finish. Other people would say that its overpriced but 20 years later i still love my sub and they have had 20 other watches. The same with cars, I typically purchase Audi, BMW, Lexus etc but a 5 series or A6 nothing to showy.

So having said all that if i can relate knives to cars/watches then it will make it all very easy to understand.

What is the ideal knife style brand that would relate to my Rolex ? if you said say the MAC Ultimate you would make me very happy, if you said it had to be one of the higher grade Japanese knives please could you select a couple of brands and ranges, i like the JCK store, prices seem to be reasonable. Things that im looking for im my new Gyuto are fit/finish, I prefer a thin blade ( have a MAC Cleaver ), western handle ( thicker the better ), would like Damascus but only for cosmetic, im only a home cook so its light use but i want something that I can be proud of for 20 years and will never second guess again. Im willing to pay a reasonable amount for a 240-270 mm knife, anywhere from $100-$500, as much as i need to fulfill the criteria of never having to worry if i bought a great knife

Alan

stevenStefano
09-05-2011, 01:15 PM
Looking at your criteria I'd get a Hattori FH. Impeccable fit and finish, totally awesome Western handle and VG10 blade which is pretty solid. It isn't laserish thin and isn't Damascus which means it doesn't tick all your boxes, but it is a very good knife. It is also fairly reasonably priced.

welshstar
09-05-2011, 01:19 PM
Steven

Thanks, ive never heard of Hattori but a quick scan around seems to indicate they are very good. What about the HD range? same price and Damascus, its just that it seems thicker and heavier, do you think its a bad trade off for cosmetics ?

alan

AFKitchenknivesguy
09-05-2011, 01:46 PM
Shigefusa = Rolex in my mind. There's one for sale in the "for sale" area.

Eamon Burke
09-05-2011, 02:00 PM
Shigefusa = Rolex in my mind. There's one for sale in the "for sale" area.

That would be a killer purchase and great timing. You would certainly never want for a better performing knife.

welshstar
09-05-2011, 02:03 PM
You missed the bit about not liking wa handles

Eamon Burke
09-05-2011, 02:20 PM
I think Pierre can do a 210 in this price range? I don't know for sure, you should ask him. But his 240s he did for CKTG, which are out of stock, are just in under your range, though they weren't special order.

Pensacola Tiger
09-05-2011, 02:30 PM
Steven

Thanks, ive never heard of Hattori but a quick scan around seems to indicate they are very good. What about the HD range? same price and Damascus, its just that it seems thicker and heavier, do you think its a bad trade off for cosmetics ?

alan

Having owned both, yes it is a bad trade off. The geometry of the HD is inferior, IMHO. Go with the FH series.

stevenStefano
09-05-2011, 04:06 PM
I agree with Rick but for a different reason. The FH handle is downright beautiful, it might not have damascus like the HD but the FH is a handsome knife. You also get an awesome presentation box with it. Just my suggestion, I'm sure there are others

Cadillac J
09-05-2011, 04:18 PM
Things that im looking for im my new Gyuto are fit/finish, I prefer a thin blade ( have a MAC Cleaver ), western handle

Look into Konosuke HD western gyutos...they would fit the bill here perfectly

Seb
09-05-2011, 07:00 PM
+1 for the Konosuke HD Western!

welshstar
09-05-2011, 08:42 PM
Hi

I was looking around for info on the Knoosuke and came across the Gesshin Ginha western handled stainless Gyuto's. they seem to be beautiful, nice blades, rounded spines etc. They also have that great thin profile im looking for.

http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/kitchen-knives-by-type/gyuto/gesshin-ginga-270mm-stainless-gyuto.html#

The Konosuke and the Hattori FH both seem very good but this Gesshin just seems to cross all my boxes and be of equally quality to the first two and just catches my eye better.

Am i missing something ?

Alan

Eamon Burke
09-05-2011, 08:54 PM
Not really. Jon puts out a great product.

tk59
09-05-2011, 09:02 PM
I've handled the Hattori FH, HD (Ittosai Kotetsu), KonHD and Gesshin/Ashi. The Konosuke and Ashi are very similar in terms of grind. Ashi is stainless and both are excellent. I have not tried out a Konosuke western but I like the Ashi a lot. With regard to the Hattori knives, I think both are a step behind the Kon/Ashi in pretty much all respects but I would give the nod to the HD. I found the Hattori FH to feel clumsy and odd, although I do agree the handle was very nice. The HD is thinner behind the edge, making it a better cutter. The spine and choil are rounded so it is more comfortably to use and it looks much nicer, although the pretty cladding does scratch up quite easily. From my personal experience, I would go for an Ashi-Gesshin first then a Hattori HD. There's no way I'd ever keep an FH in my block but the HD still sees occasional use.

welshstar
09-05-2011, 09:17 PM
TK

Im just a bit confused, im not sure when you are talking about the Hattori HD and the konosuke HD.

Alan

tk59
09-05-2011, 09:23 PM
Haha, sorry! I think the Ashi and KonHD are great knives. The Hattori HD is a pretty good knife. The FH is also a good knife but I like it least among the four. I own something from each of the first three. I passed on the fourth (FH).

Wagstaff
09-05-2011, 09:32 PM
"I would give the nod to the HD." -- in that part, he's talking solely Hattori, would give the HD the nod over the FH.

"The HD is thinner behind the edge, making it a better cutter" -- again, the Hattori HD is thinner behind the edge than the Hattori FH.

"There's no way I'd ever keep an FH in my block but the HD still sees occasional use." -- again, the HD is the Hattori, but only vs. the Hattori FH.

"I think both are a step behind the Kon/Ashi in pretty much all respects" -- here I think it's clear. The Konosuke or the Ashi (in whatever steel) is a step ahead of even the Hattori HD (which is a step ahead of the Hattori FH).

I'm interpreting, I've never used any of the Hattori knives. I think the Gesshin Ginga (Ashi) and the Konosuke are very close indeed, depending on which steel options you might prefer. My own choice for a petty was the Gesshin Ginga; for a larger knife (a gyuto) it may well be the Konosuke HD.

But are we getting away from what you asked, in terms of needing a yo-handle?

Edit -- ok, tk59 speaks for himself, so my post is redundant. But I'll leave it up just for the line-by-line exegesis :-)

Vertigo
09-05-2011, 09:49 PM
exegesis
Whoa there buddy! I can't find my dictionary under all this sandpaper and swarf. Did you just swear at someone?! :jumpy:

A Hattori HD was my first j-knife purchase, and I loved it right up until the day I realized that the cladding extended down to the edge in some parts, and that it was over-ground sharply in the middle of the right face. Spent hours fussing with it, until I'd basically punched a hole right through the thing trying to even the grind. Can't see myself buying another Hattori (though the pictures make the FH look awfully sexy).

jaybett
09-05-2011, 10:12 PM
Whoa there buddy! I can't find my dictionary under all this sandpaper and swarf. Did you just swear at someone?!

Well if that's swearing? Then is Isogesis a compliment?

Jay

Wagstaff
09-05-2011, 10:14 PM
yeah, my vocab is hung! "Sandpaper and swarf" is a lovely phrase though. I'll steal that for a poem sometime.

Vertigo
09-05-2011, 11:02 PM
Then is Isogesis a compliment?
No, it's a triangle. Sheesh.


"Sandpaper and swarf" is a lovely phrase though. I'll steal that for a poem sometime.

My steel tipped fingers,
An edge forgot, shining new,
Sandpaper and swarf.

Hai-kudn't have done it without ya!

Wagstaff
09-05-2011, 11:05 PM
Damn, you stole that back right quick! Good job. Seriously, actually.

welshstar
09-05-2011, 11:57 PM
Great

In the same thread one person is adamant that the Hattori HD blows away the FH, another person says the exact opposite !!!!

Back to the cars/watches. is it BMW/Mercedes, Ford/GM, Mustang/Camero type of thing where there is no real right and wrong you just have to weed through the info and make the best educated guess !!

Alan

Wagstaff
09-06-2011, 12:18 AM
If everyone agreed, everyone would have the same knives.... there's no real right and wrong, but for any individual there might be.

That said, get the Konosuke or the Gesshin/Ashi. That way there's no moral failing and your eternal soul is safe.

AMP01
09-06-2011, 12:34 AM
All I can say is, I have a Hattori FH 270mm Gyuto and I love it! Maybe it does not hold an edge as long as a carbon knife, but it is truly a pleasure to use. It is thin, came pretty darn sharp right out of the box, and at 270mm, it feels very nimble in my hand. Too each is own.

Cheers,

Andrew

so_sleepy
09-06-2011, 02:35 AM
I'll throw more love in for the Hattori FH. The handle/bolster/choil transition is ergonomic perfection for me. The Hattori HD is not bad, but aside from the damascus cladding, it is indistinguishable from half a dozen other Japanese knives.



What is the ideal knife style brand that would relate to my Rolex ? ... Things that I'm looking for in my new Gyuto are fit/finish.


I don't believe there is knife brand equivalent to Rolex. None of the high end brands are well known enough that people will acknowledge your taste when they see the logo. If Rolex is the idea of precision manufacturing, then Nenox may be the closest to having that cachet, but real knife snobs commission custom pieces from master craftsmen who aren't immune to a few flaws.

Many of the "value" Japanese knives are notorious for flaws in their finish. The idea being that you are getting excellent steel without paying for hand finishing and a nice handle.

wenus2
09-06-2011, 04:06 AM
the Gesshin Ginha western handled stainless Gyuto's. they seem to be beautiful, nice blades, rounded spines etc. They also have that great thin profile im looking for.

Alan, you ARE on to something here. Forget the "which Hattori" nonsense and follow your gut on this one.
Nobody provides better service that Jon does at JapaneseKnifeImports.com, give him a call and talk out your needs. He will do his best to ensure you get not just what you want, but really, what you need.

jaybett
09-06-2011, 04:19 AM
Entry level knives, typically will not have the grind, of higher end knives. Plus their level of fit and finish is not as good.

A common misunderstanding with regards to Japanese knives, is that a $300 knife will cut three times better then a $100 knife. A $300 knife will cut 10-20 percent better then the less expensive knife. One forum member thought that his honyaki knife which cost around a $1000, cut maybe 5-10 percent better then his clad knives. That is nice jump in performance, but it does come with a cost.

I'm a bit surprised that forum members are making recommendations, since we don't know your back ground or experience with higher end knives. Unless you posted it somewhere, and I missed it.

Jay

MadMel
09-06-2011, 06:30 AM
Based on the cars analogy, I'd think Shigefusa?? And they can do yo handles too.

Delbert Ealy
09-06-2011, 09:36 PM
Whoa there buddy! I can't find my dictionary under all this sandpaper and swarf. Did you just swear at someone?! :jumpy:

A Hattori HD was my first j-knife purchase, and I loved it right up until the day I realized that the cladding extended down to the edge in some parts, and that it was over-ground sharply in the middle of the right face. Spent hours fussing with it, until I'd basically punched a hole right through the thing trying to even the grind. Can't see myself buying another Hattori (though the pictures make the FH look awfully sexy).

I know that others have commented on it already, but after 2 days of hand sanding both blades and handles and over a dozen sheets of sandpaper, thats an apt phrase on and near my workbench.
Swarf is a bit uncommon as well these days, nice one.
Del

Justin0505
09-07-2011, 03:16 PM
A SS Rolex Submariner is, IMO, not equivalent to an ultra high end j-knife like a shige. The Rolex is a piece of precision jewelry, but it's also about bomb-proof, water-resistant, corrosion-proof, shock-resistant durability.
J-blades are awesome and I sure love my shigefusa, but it's certainly not a knife designed for harsh conditions and abuse.

So, I think that the question is this:
"What is the most durable, functional, no-fuss, high end knife that can take all of te abuse of a "cheap" blade, but also has top notch design and f&f?"

For me the first part of this answer has to be a non-clad stainless blade in a non-powered metal.
-One of my first thoughts would be a western handled blade in AEB-L from Devin Thomas (best stainless steel I've ever used)
-I just got a custom blade from Rader, and it's amazing: very durable and the best f&f I've ever seen. I also know that he's experimenting with a new stainless that supposed to give AEB-L a scare. Also, if you want a sub-killing, warmachine of a kitchen knife that you can take to the bottom of the ocean with your watch to hunt zombie Nazis, a master-smith that also makes weapons is a good place to go..
-I've also seen (1st hand) some work by Pierre and can vouch that it's good stuff at a very fair price. I know that he uses CPM154 for SS, which is a PM, but perhaps the toughest of the PM's (from what I've heard).

Lefty
09-07-2011, 03:25 PM
Let's not forget about S35VN

Justin0505
09-07-2011, 04:07 PM
Let's not forget about S35VN

Yeah I have an S30V and was really underwhelmed. I know that S35VN is supposed to fix the toughness issues, but I don't have any experience with it, nor have I read much out side of the "tactical" knife circles (and we all know how much thoes knives actuall get used vs kitchen knives).

ELMAX is the stuff that Rader is playing with, but do you know anyone that's making kitchen blades out of S35VN?

so_sleepy
09-07-2011, 07:07 PM
-One of my first thoughts would be a western handled blade in AEB-L from Devin Thomas (best stainless steel I've ever used)


I have a western DT ITK, fit and finish were underwhelming. When you consider that they are only available for a few random days per year, they are hard to recommend. The OP would be better off ordering a full custom, but that blows his budget.