View Full Version : Knife For a Co-Worker

09-07-2011, 09:41 PM
So a co-worker friend of mine is having a birthday later this month, and I want to get him a piece of steel. He and I have worked side by side for probably 8-10 years total, and though we don't hang out much outside of work anymore (he fired off a couple of runts and moved 30 miles out of town), I still feel it's time to get him something besides a restaurant "gag" gift.

What type of knife(s) do you think you want?

240mm carbon or semi-stainless steel gyuto.

Why is it being purchased? What, if anything, are you replacing?

Giving him something to use besides our house knives. He's "frugal" and wouldn't spend more than $5 on a knife, though he's quite proficient at sharpening on sandpaper and can work a passable edge off a cheap sharpening steel we've got kicking around.

What do you like and dislike about these qualities of your knives already?

He doesn't like any of them, he just uses them because they're all we have. He's a big fan of my Misono carbon, though it's both a little bit long for him (270mm) and a bit more than I want to spend.

Aesthetics- Has never been interested in my wa-knives, so they're a no-go. Great Fit and Finish are a must, however.
Edge Quality/Retention- Easy to sharpen, but retention is not terribly important. He will steel it before every use regardless, and sharpen it now and then on his sandpaper block when it's ready.
Ease of Use- Erm. "Regular" I guess? I want to get him a gyuto, not a kiritsuke.
Comfort- How many people want an uncomfortable, difficult to use knife?

What grip do you use?

He uses a pinch grip.

What kind of cutting motion do you use?

It varies based off the task and the knife he's using. He's been a cook long enough that he adapts to his tools. Given the choice, though, he would use a "slightly" flatter profile and push cut more.

Where do you store them?

Knowing him, he'll most likely carry it around in a paper towel secured with some masking tape.

Have you ever oiled a handle?

I'm just gonna smile and nod at this one, after answering the last question.

What kind of cutting board(s) do you use?

Poly at work. Poly everywhere. Not sure what he has at home, though.

For edge maintenance, do you use a strop, honing rod, pull through/other, or nothing?

As above. A block with sandpaper at various grits, the habitual use of a honing rod before every use, and--when absolutely necessary--a few passes on a sharpening steel.

Have they ever been sharpened?

Have what? His knives? Our house knives? Back in like 2007 I think.

What is your budget?

I'd like to top out at around $130 shipped. Would be stoked to go less. I only spend more on people who let me into their vaginas (or pushed me out of one).

What do you cook and how often?

I'm looking for a gyuto.

Special requests(Country of origin/type of wood/etc)?

None really, only that it fit the characteristics more often associated with j-knives--harder and thinner.

A few names pop into my head right away--Fujiwara FKH, CarboNext, Kanesama-E, but I'm not positive these knives are likely to meet my F&F needs. As I said, the guy is "frugal," which means his little hawk-eyes will spot an imperfection at 20 yards (usually to assist in price-haggling).

09-07-2011, 09:54 PM
This looks good to me :D

09-07-2011, 10:03 PM
When I was faced with a similar gift for a friend's graduation, I went with the 240mm CarboNext gyuto. I couldn't beat the price. As far as I know she still like it.


Eamon Burke
09-07-2011, 10:12 PM
Aww man until that last bit I was going to suggest one of these (http://www.sabatier.us/kitchen-knives_15_au-carbone-vintage_cooking-knife-9-in__carbcui23pol.html).

I'd say the JCK Carbonext is what it sounds to me like you are describing. If it didn't have to be non-stainless, I'd say a Suisin Inox 240 would suit him very well.

09-07-2011, 10:38 PM
JohnnyD- That Sab is actually the knife I had in mind for the last few weeks, until today after work when he was griping about fingerguards and how much he dislikes them! Should have mentioned that in my first post, lol. And yeah, it's little soft.

Lefty- That's not a bad idea, but despite his appreciation of a "good deal" I think I'd like to go with new, if at all possible. Also, knowing my luck, it'd most likely get stuck getting out of Australia for the next 4 weeks and completely miss his birthday.

AJ- Can you comment at all on the F&F on the knife before it was gifted? No problems with the handle scales, no wheel scratches on the blade face? Everything fit snug and tight?

09-07-2011, 10:42 PM
It looked beautiful to me when I opened it. Nothing jumped out at me but at the same time, I probably did not look at it with the eye of scrutiny that is common here. I don't remember anything negative.


09-07-2011, 10:52 PM
I no longer recommend Kanemasa or Fujiwara for all arounders due to impurities in the steel. I'd go with Lefty's suggestion. If it's gonna be something he uses a lot and he likes carbon, you are not gonna beat that knife for that price. After that, the CN.

09-07-2011, 10:54 PM
I've given a few Fujiwara FKM's as gifts, I was a bit hesitant on the first one given the price, but after seeing the F&F and handling the knife (210 gyuto, 120 petty) I've given a couple more. Essentially any friends or family members that have kitchens I cook in (even occasionally) will eventually own one of these knives. They are cheap, they look nice, sharpen easily, and are relatively durable. I think I would like the FKH even more (FKM is a little chippy), but carbon is not appropriate for my gifting situations and I don't care to own one myself.

I also own a 240 CN gyuto. The F&F on the Fujiwara is at least as good if not better than on my CN (small gap 'tween scales and bolster). The CN steel is its real selling point, I do find the profile a tad more curved than I would prefer, but I'm still happy to have it fill a hole in my sisters knife block for when I visit.

09-07-2011, 11:06 PM
...I'm still happy to have it fill a hole in my sisters knife block for when I visit.NICE. :rofl2:

09-08-2011, 08:42 PM
Lol. ^^

Thanks for the ideas guys. I'll probably go with a CN since I'm already ordering from JCK anyways.