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agonczol
11-08-2011, 05:34 AM
Hi Guys
Long time "listener" first time "caller"....
First let me say that I have trolled through all 40 odd pages of past posts. There is a bunch of good info there, but no single post answers my "question" exactly.... Hence this post.
I am looking to take the "plunge" into owning my first truly Japanese kitchen knife.
I am a home cook and, while I do not handle a knife that much (my wife will tell you she does most of the cooking), I DO require that it be sharp, and I enjoy using a really sharp knife.
To give some background, my current kitchen arsenal is as follows (cringe):
Shun Classic 210mm Gyuto
Shun Classic 180mm Santoku
Shun Classic 150mm Petty
Shun Classic 90mm Parer
Shun Classic Bread Knife
Mcusta Black 210mm Gyuto
Mcusta Black 110mm Petty

Realistically, given the nature of use, I have not been unhappy with the knives in any way. At the time of purchase I thought I was being "clever" by not buying a set of Globals...
After "wrecking" the finish on my knives using the global 2 stage waterstone pull through sharpener, I progressed to using Naniwa "Superstones" (one step down from Choseras) in 400, 1000 and 3000 grades.
After taking a sharpening class and some practice, I was able to create and maintain a pretty good edge.
I have since been given a WEPS sharpener with various stones and strops, and have been able to attain more consistent results with this.
I find, interestingly, that although all my knives use "VG-10" steel, the egde on the Mcustas seems keener, and also lasts longer. Probably something to do with the heat treatment?....
Until now, I have found a 210mm knife to be more than ample, however it seems that 240mm is a popular size for a Gyuto.
I guess by the time you use a pinch grip (which I am starting to do more lately) you still have plenty of blade left to play with?
Having done a lot of reading, I don't believe that a Carbon knife is for me. While I do look after my knives, I dont really want to have to deal with reactivity, patinas etc etc.
I just want a knife that will get REALLY sharp and hold it's edge well.
After some reading, it seems that a KONOSUKE HD Wa-Gyuto 240mm would seem to be a logical and safe choice. I like Japanese style handles and hate the sight of riveted handles....
I am just wondering if there are any SanMai type, or other Semi-Stainless knives, that I should also be giving consideration?
ZDP-189 also seems attractive, albeit price-prohibitive...
Other info:
My budget is up to $500.
I don't want to wait months for delivery of a custom knife.
Would also appreciate any advice on where to buy online.
I am based in Australia and have seen Konosuke from CKTG, Tosho and JKI. Wonder if I am missing something.
I would prefer an "upgraded" handle from standard Ho Wood.
I think that this post will also be useful for other "lurkers" looking to take the plunge into the world of Japanese knives.
Thanks in advance. I look forward to your learned comments and suggestions.
Cheers
Andrew

jgraeff
11-08-2011, 08:13 AM
If you budget is 500 id look at the Masamoto KS as an option.

shendao
11-08-2011, 08:27 AM
I bought a Konosuke 240mm sujihiki from CKTG and am very happy with its performance. Edge retention is good and it cuts like nobody's business, so I would recommend the Konosuke gyuto.

stevenStefano
11-08-2011, 09:06 AM
You can buy an outstanding knife for $500. Perhaps you could provide a little more info about what you want in a knife so the members here could help you a little more

tk59
11-08-2011, 09:13 AM
If you budget is 500 id look at the Masamoto KS as an option.He doesn't want carbon steel.

Konosuke HD is a fine choice. I very much enjoy using mine although I find my handle (the ebony upgrade) is a little smaller than I'd prefer (It isn't tiny.) Nevertheless, I would consider Yoshikane or Heiji (http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/kitchen-knives/heiji/gesshin-heiji-240-mm-semi-stainless-wa-gyuto.html). These are both semi-stainless steel clad in stainless. I have both and prefer the Heiji by a fair stretch but they are both great knives. The style is a more "rustic" than the KonHD but still well finished, esp the Heiji.

MadMel
11-08-2011, 09:22 AM
For $500 I'd suggest a Heiji from JKI.

zitangy
11-08-2011, 09:23 AM
Better confirm how stainless is semi-stainless..

Citizen Snips
11-08-2011, 09:44 AM
i own a konosuke HD and enjoy it very much. if you are a home cook this knife will last you forever. the good thing here is that you have already started teaching yourself to sharpen. lots of people come through and pick up a good knife with no clue how to maintain it. if this wasn't the case i would recommend something a lot cheaper to get started on but konosuke seems to be a great choice for you.

i would like to hear more about exactly what you are looking for in your knife. you could buy one or two knives that will replace every knife you currently have in your arsenal. help us help you :D

wsfarrell
11-08-2011, 11:17 AM
My Konosuke HD 240 is a superb knife: perfect grind, fit and finish; light, nimble, and well-balanced; cuts like a demon. Potatoes stick to the blade, but you gotta ask yourself:

"How often will I be cutting potatoes?"

kalaeb
11-08-2011, 12:27 PM
The kono hd is a great knife, and 500 bones can get you pretty far, but I think I might hit up one of the makers from this forum to see if I could get one in cpm 154 or aebl made exactely how I wanted it.

heirkb
11-08-2011, 12:29 PM
Disclaimer: I have a Heiji that I'm considering selling, but...

I'll put in another vote for the Heiji. The only reason I might want to sell mine is that I want a 270 and mine is 240. I might just keep it, though, because I really love it. I haven't tried a Konosuke HD, but from what I hear, they are similar to other lasers in geometry. My Heiji way outperforms the one laser I tried.

JohnnyChance
11-08-2011, 01:13 PM
Disclaimer: I have a Heiji that I'm considering selling, but...

Damn heirkb, selling your Shige, now maybe a Heiji? What gems are you keeping if this is what you are selling?

heirkb
11-08-2011, 01:33 PM
Damn heirkb, selling your Shige, now maybe a Heiji? What gems are you keeping if this is what you are selling?

Haha, it'd be really hard to sell the Heiji. If I do, it would only be to immediately get a 270 Heiji.

Remember Mario's sale a while back? Heiji gyuto, Shig gyuto, and Shig double beveled Usuba. That's what I thought when I saw him putting those knives up for sale.

agonczol
11-08-2011, 03:56 PM
Wow!
Thanks for all the quick and helpful responses.
I have never posted on any forums before so was not sure what to expect.

A few of you have asked me to post more detailed info.
I did touch on most of the points I felt important in my original post but have now used the "What Knife Should I buy template" below.
I feel underqualified to answer some of the questions. It may be a bit like asking grandma if she wants more front wing on her F1 car...


What type of knife(s) do you think you want?
240mm Gyuto
Japanese handle
Semi Stainless or Stainless Clad
Hopefully I will see a performance increase vs VG10 but without the "issues" of Carbon steel with reactivity etc?

Why is it being purchased? What, if anything, are you replacing?
1st Japanese knife. I imagine it will become my go-to knife in preference to my Shun and MCusta 210mm Gyutos

What do you like and dislike about these qualities of your knives already?
Aesthetics- Like the handle shape - dont like riveted Western Style Handles
Edge Quality/Retention- OK given home use
Ease of Use- OK
Comfort- OK

What grip do you use? Varies but I imagine with a longer blade a pinch grip will be more viable, and give more control

What kind of cutting motion do you use?
Depends what I am cutting. Slicing and chopping.

Where do you store them?
I have a MagBlok wooden magnetic rack in Walnut.

Have you ever oiled a handle?
Have not needed to thus far

What kind of cutting board(s) do you use?
Epicurean with rubber corners. Like the fact that these dont move around, without being too heavy, and are also dishwasher safe.

For edge maintenance, do you use a strop, honing rod, pull through/other, or nothing?
I have a WEPS sharpener with chosera stones down to 3000 and then strops with diamond paste down to 3.5 microns.

Have they ever been sharpened?
Semi-regularly. I admit to probably waiting too long sometimes.

What is your budget?
$500

What do you cook and how often?
Variety of foods. My wife and I share the cooking - personally around 2-3 days per week

Special requests(Country of origin/type of wood/etc)?
Would like a "non-standard" Japanese style handle. Probably cant afford any of the burl handles, but like some of the ebony/buffalo horn options - Tosho has white "inlays" which look kind of cool. I have relatively small hands andfind the Shun D shaped handles OK to use.

From my reading I think a "Laser" knife would suit me. I dont need a "mighty" knife and would like the knife to be light and manoueverable. If it is really sharp then it should be able to cut anything I need to with minimal effort/force so heft should not be required.

Thanks again to all of you who replied. If there is any specific info I have not provided let me know.
At this stage, the Konosuke HD is still looking like a pretty good start point....

Cheers
Andrew

TamanegiKin
11-08-2011, 08:29 PM
Suisin Inox honyaki is worth looking at also.

mpukas
11-08-2011, 09:02 PM
From my reading I think a "Laser" knife would suit me.
Cheers
Andrew
I don't own a Kono HD, but you can't go wrong with that knife. There are several other lasers, both carbon and SS, that are excellent as well. They all seem to be semi-clones of each other. The HD is the cream of the crop IMHO for cost, steel, F&F and shape/geometry.

TDj
11-08-2011, 09:32 PM
The HD is a great knife indeed. It does take some patina over time - VERY slowly - I have no idea what you'd have to do with it to get it to outright rust (and I have no intention of finding out). But, if you really have $500 to spend and would be willing to wait a bit, I'm sure there are some customs/mid-techs that would be just as good and have that exclusive feel to it.

tk59
11-08-2011, 11:26 PM
Suisin Inox honyaki is worth looking at also.Yes, although I'd choose a Gesshin-Ashi instead.

TDj
11-09-2011, 07:38 AM
yea, the suisin inox is quite pricey - gesshin-ashi is cheaper, right?

jgraeff
11-09-2011, 08:49 AM
He doesn't want carbon steel.

Konosuke HD is a fine choice. I very much enjoy using mine although I find my handle (the ebony upgrade) is a little smaller than I'd prefer (It isn't tiny.) Nevertheless, I would consider Yoshikane or Heiji (http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/kitchen-knives/heiji/gesshin-heiji-240-mm-semi-stainless-wa-gyuto.html). These are both semi-stainless steel clad in stainless. I have both and prefer the Heiji by a fair stretch but they are both great knives. The style is a more "rustic" than the KonHD but still well finished, esp the Heiji.

Oh sorry, But ya i have the Kono HD its a great knife i use it everyday. I do wish i would have went with the black handle but other than that i love it.

Citizen Snips
11-09-2011, 10:15 AM
if you want a "laser", you could never go wrong with the suisin inox honyaki or the konosuke HD. although i do not own a suisin gyuto, i have a 210mm petty and it is quite the knife. on top of that, it has been revered for quite some time. my HD is a great knife and gets some heavy use. i dont have a problem with chipping ever so its not as delicate as i first thought that joyful day i took it out of the mail and held it for the first time. both of these knives will come in under budget but because its your first "real" japanese knife, maybe looking into a cheaper variation might be in the cards for you. from what everyone says, sakai yusuke makes a very similar knife for a lot cheaper. if you dont plan on buying another knife, go with the suisin or konosuke but if you wish to further a budding obsession, at least give some cheaper variations a good look.