View Full Version : Newbie

12-31-2011, 05:19 PM
Hello all,
I came across the new Kramer Zwilling line while shopping for a shun as a Christmas gift for my best friend. I always thought my Wusthofs and Shuns were the cream of the crop for kitchen knives until I came upon your site while researching Bob Kramer.

I am not a professional cook our chef but neither am I just a normal home cook. I've done dozens of turduckens, smoked whole hogs, cooked dinners for a hundred and bar-b-q's for two hundred. I buy all my fish whole and beak them down myself. I say this to say I know how important it is to have good sharp knives, safety, time and performance wise.

Your site has opened my eyes to what I have been missing.I did not know there was a high end market for kitchen knives. I now have to try out my first japanese knife. Probably a nakiri because it seems so perfect for a vegetable knife and I know it will get a lot of use.
Second choice would be a deba for breaking done fish.

Any suggestions?!

Thank you in advance for all I am about to learn from all of you!

12-31-2011, 07:18 PM
To start with, I'd suggest filling out Eamon's sort of template for those who aren't sure which knife to get

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

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

What do you like and dislike about these qualities of your knives already?
Edge Quality/Retention-
Ease of Use-

What grip do you use?

What kind of cutting motion do you use?

Where do you store them?

Have you ever oiled a handle?

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

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

Have they ever been sharpened?

What is your budget?

What do you cook and how often?

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

Even just say a little about what you like/don't like about your current knives, your cutting habits and that sort of thing usually helps

12-31-2011, 09:03 PM
First Off Mr Stefano thank you for your reply. I was looking at a nakiri to replace my chinese cleaver and a deba for fish as I usually by fish whole. A gyuto would probably in the future. I look for sharpness, comfort and quality build. I use pinch fingered hold mostly and cut by pushing done and forward. I store my knives on a magnetic strip and hone them on a fr dick multicut steel. Shapening is done on a chef's choice electric sharpener. Cuisine wise I'm all over the board but lately thinking of getting into preparing sushi at home. I already have several chef knives (Wusthof and Shun Ken Onion) and thought nakiri and deba were two that had no direct euro equivalent in type. I use boos cutting boards and willing to pay up to $300 for a single knife.

12-31-2011, 09:37 PM
Regular Shuns are pretty nice for what they are. If you are doing well with them, it's likely you prefer some belly to your edge profiles. I would recommend you stick with that. Going with something else would require some subtle or not so subtle changes in your cutting technique and you will likely not see much of an improvement on performance, especially with the type of edge maintenance you currently utilize.

12-31-2011, 09:59 PM
Thats why I'm here. I'm looking to up my performance level. If that means changing in cutting method and stone sharpening and honing then I'm willing to give it a try. I'm looking for the info to take the next step. Sharpening my own knives excites me in that I'm getting closer to the knife and partly responsible for its performance also. Just looking at some of the you tube videos and your site on japanese knives shows that there is another level above what I'm used to and I'm willing to investigate it.

01-01-2012, 05:09 PM
In that case, I'd recommend purchasing a ~1k and a ~5k stone (I am currently using Gesshin stones but there are numerous nice choices.) and work on getting a nicer edge on your Shuns. Some people like toothier or finer edges. You might just end up liking the Chefs' Choice edge which is fairly toothy. You might also consider getting something thin in a simple, low-sulfur, non-stainless steel. The reactivity can be a little annoying but frankly, it's worth it. Here's one to consider: http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/kitchen-knives-by-type/gyuto/gesshin-ginga-210mm-white-2-wa-gyuto.html. That one is about 8" on the edge. You might consider something a little longer, depending on your preferences. Longer means more flatish portion to work with.

01-01-2012, 07:07 PM
For $300 you could get a really amazing knife. I'd recommend getting a gyuto first. I think most people on the boards use 240s or 270s, I think a 240 is perfect for home use, though some prefer a smaller knife. Any ideas about handles? Do you like the look of the lighter Japanese style wa handles, or do you prefer the Western style handles? Any ideas about profiles? Sounds like you might like knives with a little belly. I'd perhaps stay away from the deba for a little while until you are a little comfortable sharpening your knives perhaps

Dave Martell
01-01-2012, 07:31 PM
Welcome Bill :)

01-01-2012, 08:11 PM
Thank you tk59 and Stefano. Buying stones and practicing on the Shuns is a great idea tk59. I would also like to pick up a thin, non stainless gyuto. Definitely a wa handle for lighter weight. Also less belly for learning chopping style. 240mm is perfect size for me. will check out japanese knife imports. Any other suggestions other than the geeshin while I'm looking?

01-01-2012, 08:23 PM
I think the Konosuke White 2 knives at JKI look great as well as the Gesshin though I'm not sure they are in stock at present. They're very reasonably priced and all the Konosukes have great geometry and are pretty thin. If I were looking for my first carbon knife I'd go for either of those, I think you can't go wrong with either, they seem like a great deal

01-01-2012, 10:44 PM
Gentleman, thank you both for the warm welcome and the benefit of your experience and knowledge. I will pick one of these knives and begin my journey of enjoyment in japanese cutlery. You do a great service to all the newbies that enter this site. I hope down the line I can be in your shoes and return the favor to a newbie.

01-02-2012, 01:01 AM
:thumbsup: Good luck to you. Let us know how it goes. With regard to other stones:
Beston-Bester-Rika is a nice lower cost line and the Chosera line has been an "industry standard" for a long time. I have both and I prefer the Gesshin. I also like Superstones but they are "more difficult" to use due to the softness.

01-02-2012, 01:28 AM
Welcome Bill. I will second (or third) the suggestion that you phone Jon at Japanese Knife Imports. I have ordered a number of things with him and his knowledge, advice, and service is all top notch. Many unique offerings, from affordable to very high end. Good luck, and please let us know what you decide (and then post pictures when it arrives!)

Heath Besch
01-08-2012, 09:07 PM
Welcome! Try an Ai-deba or a mioroshi deba, hon kasumi is a great construction and there are plenty of quality makers. for the steel I would recommend white #2

01-08-2012, 09:12 PM
Oops, posted in wrong thread.