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View Full Version : Advice for next purchase...



youkinorn
11-14-2011, 11:43 PM
Alright, so I'm in an interesting situation and know I need/want to buy a few new knives in the near future. Any input, suggestions, advice, etc... would be greatly appreciated.

Basically, the situation is this: I'm leaving my current job to pursue a career in cooking. I know this will probably get some eye-rolls, but I'm young, don't want to be working where I have been (or in the field I've been working in, for that matter), and figure it's the most risk-free time in my life I'll be able to try to make this switch.
I'm going to be taking classes at a community college with a decent culinary program to learn and try to make some connections. Will also be looking for internships/apprenticeships/part-time jobs to start to get some real experience.

I'm trying to decide what knives I should purchase and in what order.

I currently have:
240mm Sakai Yusuke gyuto
120mm Kanemasa E-series petty
Mac pro bread knife
Cheap boning knife
210mm tojiro dp gyuto

Knives I am considering picking up in the near future:
270 or 300 suji
Heavier gyuto or western deba (240, probably) or a cheap, hefty cleaver
Deba *probably one of the cheap tojiro white steel joints.
210 petty/suji
Honesuki or better boning knife

My main questions are:
Should I stick with cheaper options for while I'm taking classes/trying to break in to an entry-level kitchen job (i.e. fujiwara FKH vs. a konosuke white steel suji)?

What knives do y'all think I should put at the top of my to-purchase list? Should I just wait to see what I feel like I need the most once I get started and fill out my kit from there?

Any other general advice for this ill-advised adventure I'm about to put myself through? ha

Anyways. Sorry for such a long first post, and thanks in advance.

El Pescador
11-14-2011, 11:49 PM
I don't see a carter on your list. It would be a great choice. Doesn't look like much but cuts good

Eamon Burke
11-14-2011, 11:56 PM
Those are more than satisfactory to get you through courses. Expect to get ignorant comments about them, even from instructors....it's not their fault, lol.

You gonna work some joint in dfw? It would be cool to visit. I work at TCC, which is fort worth.

youkinorn
11-14-2011, 11:57 PM
Thanks for the quick response. I realized I didn't give a price range at all. For a 270 or 300 suji, I'd probably want to keep it around or under $300...so that limits things quite a bit, I know. Others would be a little less than that (adjusted for length/knife type).

Of course, if I end up going the cheap route for the time that I'm in school and just getting started, I'm just looking for the best bang for my buck.

youkinorn
11-15-2011, 12:05 AM
Those are more than satisfactory to get you through courses. Expect to get ignorant comments about them, even from instructors....it's not their fault, lol.

You gonna work some joint in dfw? It would be cool to visit. I work at TCC, which is fort worth.

I'll be headed back to DFW, yeah. Classes at El Centro. I feel sort of silly going back to Texas since I've been living and working in New York the past year, but with no kitchen experience, I figure living for free at home and getting some experience is a solid plan (planning on coming back to NY or heading out to SF after that, probably).

I'm definitely prepared for some knife criticism, ha, and am happy to use whatever comes in the kit they suggest purchasing for when I'm in class, if need be. I'll be there to learn, not show off, of course.

So that's sort of where my indecision is coming from should I go ahead and invest a little more and get knives I will be happy with for a while and skip the cheap/utilitarian stuff? Or is that just asking for a fellow student or future coworker to use a knife I really love as a can-opener ha?

SpikeC
11-15-2011, 12:10 AM
Just don't work with Bobby Flay!

heirkb
11-15-2011, 12:13 AM
I'll be headed back to DFW, yeah. Classes at El Centro. I feel sort of silly going back to Texas since I've been living and working in New York the past year, but with no kitchen experience, I figure living for free at home and getting some experience is a solid plan (planning on coming back to NY or heading out to SF after that, probably).

I'm definitely prepared for some knife criticism, ha, and am happy to use whatever comes in the kit they suggest purchasing for when I'm in class, if need be. I'll be there to learn, not show off, of course.

So that's sort of where my indecision is coming from should I go ahead and invest a little more and get knives I will be happy with for a while and skip the cheap/utilitarian stuff? Or is that just asking for a fellow student or future coworker to use a knife I really love as a can-opener ha?

As a newer guy who had these same questions about 6 months ago...I'd say go cheaper first. I definitely thought I'd start with something more expensive, and I did, but I came to the realization that it wasn't exactly what I wanted. Selling expensive stuff means taking a bigger hit than selling cheaper stuff. Or if it's as cheap as the Fujiwara, you may never have to sell it.

Anyways, I'd say get something cheap and play around. Modify it to see what you like, etc. etc...Again, this is coming from someone who bought a Shigefusa gyuto as his first gyuto, but I might do it a little differently if I could start over again.

tk59
11-15-2011, 12:34 AM
You need a 210 mm suji/petty. Rottman made one out of a broken 270 mm Niolox blade just for kicks and it is my second most used knife after my 240+ mm gyuto.

youkinorn
11-15-2011, 12:52 AM
As a newer guy who had these same questions about 6 months ago...I'd say go cheaper first. I definitely thought I'd start with something more expensive, and I did, but I came to the realization that it wasn't exactly what I wanted. Selling expensive stuff means taking a bigger hit than selling cheaper stuff. Or if it's as cheap as the Fujiwara, you may never have to sell it.

Anyways, I'd say get something cheap and play around. Modify it to see what you like, etc. etc...Again, this is coming from someone who bought a Shigefusa gyuto as his first gyuto, but I might do it a little differently if I could start over again.

Good points. Hadn't really thought about resale value.


You need a 210 mm suji/petty. Rottman made one out of a broken 270 mm Niolox blade just for kicks and it is my second most used knife after my 240+ mm gyuto.

Unfortunately, this is exactly what I want to hear ha. It seems like a very fun knife/size, but figured it shouldn't necessarily be a priority for me. I've read that people like them for trimming meat and as line knives...what else do you do with yours?

tk59
11-15-2011, 01:18 AM
...Unfortunately, this is exactly what I want to hear ha. It seems like a very fun knife/size, but figured it shouldn't necessarily be a priority for me. I've read that people like them for trimming meat and as line knives...what else do you do with yours?I use mine for those purposes, small mincing-type jobs, as well as all of my in-hand work like peeling, citrus supremes, etc... I hardly use anything shorter or smaller.

youkinorn
11-15-2011, 02:30 PM
yeah. I've actually done some in-hand cutting with my 210 gyuto, and I imagine a shorter blade would make it a lot more comfortable.

In terms of heavier-duty knives for breaking down fish/poultry, would it be redundant to get both a western deba and a traditional deba? I assume I'd be fine with just one for a while...and also assume that the western deba would be more useful overall.

Would a 240 tojiro western deba be awkwardly large for filleting smaller fish?

DwarvenChef
11-15-2011, 06:47 PM
yeah. I've actually done some in-hand cutting with my 210 gyuto, and I imagine a shorter blade would make it a lot more comfortable.

In terms of heavier-duty knives for breaking down fish/poultry, would it be redundant to get both a western deba and a traditional deba? I assume I'd be fine with just one for a while...and also assume that the western deba would be more useful overall.

Would a 240 tojiro western deba be awkwardly large for filleting smaller fish?

I used to have the Tojiro WD in 240 and it is a bit of a handfull, and I like big blades. Scared the heck out of the girls at one place I worked, 4x heavier than any knife they would ever use on the line :p

youkinorn
11-15-2011, 07:55 PM
I used to have the Tojiro WD in 240 and it is a bit of a handfull, and I like big blades. Scared the heck out of the girls at one place I worked, 4x heavier than any knife they would ever use on the line :p

Haha, yeah. It doesn't really appeal to me that much, but seems like it could be useful. Having such a thin gyuto (the yusuke) makes me want something a little more hefty sometimes...

If it would work decently well for getting through fish/poultry bones, filleting fish, and I don't know...other prep where a thick blade is handy...I was considering picking one up.

DwarvenChef
11-15-2011, 08:06 PM
I ended up getting a Kiabou from Watanabe, not as beefy as a WD but darn close, and it's served me well for many a tough job.

youkinorn
11-16-2011, 02:46 PM
I ended up getting a Kiabou from Watanabe, not as beefy as a WD but darn close, and it's served me well for many a tough job.

Will definitely consider the kaibou. Look pretty beastly.

If I decide to get a cheaper suji to start with are there any good comparisons around of the fujiwara carbons and carbonexts? Any consensus on if the carbonext is worth the few extra bucks?

Thanks for all the help, guys. I know it's a lot of questions...but it's fun to discuss/think about

tk59
11-16-2011, 04:33 PM
WD: I don't know. I keep on considering one and then just going to a cheap cleaver.
Suji: If you are using the suji as an all-arounder, don't get the fujiwara. If you are just slicing proteins and you don't need a ton of edge retention, it's fine. Of the two, I'll always pick the CN, personally.

youkinorn
11-16-2011, 05:19 PM
WD: I don't know. I keep on considering one and then just going to a cheap cleaver.
Suji: If you are using the suji as an all-arounder, don't get the fujiwara. If you are just slicing proteins and you don't need a ton of edge retention, it's fine. Of the two, I'll always pick the CN, personally.

Suji will be a pretty dedicated slicer/fish skinner. I like my 240 yusuke gyuto as an all-around knife (especially if I end up getting a 210 suji/petty for smaller slicing jobs).

Maybe I'll get one of the inexpensive white steel tojiro debas and a cheap cleaver instead of the WD. Would be fun to learn to use/sharpen a single bevel knife, anyways.

youkinorn
11-21-2011, 04:45 PM
Well, I just bought a kono hd 210 petty...

definitely the least NEEDED of the few I'm planning on buying...but it should be fun. Only regret is that it's another laser like my yusuke gyuto...need to get something hefty soon. Maybe I'll just put a really high angle bevel on my old tojiro dp gyuto.

now to decide what I'm going to do about a slicer (leaning towards a CN, even though I'd love something fully carbon) and something to break down fish and poultry...