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agp
04-02-2012, 09:43 PM
What type of knife(s) do you think you want?
Chef's knife / Japanese knife (chef's knife shaped)

Why is it being purchased? What, if anything, are you replacing?
Needs a new knife to replace my current knife. I'm using a Hamilton Beach that I got from Costco from a set of knives. It's nothing fancy and it's getting dull.

What do you like and dislike about these qualities of your knives already?
Well since there's nothing to like about my current knives I'll just write about what I would like in my future knife.

Aesthetics- looking for a knife with burl wood (or any sort), flame maple, or steel handle.
Edge Quality/Retention- preferably does not dull fast, since it will take me a while to learn how to sharpen knives properly
Ease of Use- easier is always better
Comfort- more comfortable is always better?

What grip do you use?
Finger point

What kind of cutting motion do you use?
Mainly rocking, with walking throwing in for garlic and herbs now and then.

Where do you store them?
In my bedroom. I don't have any sheath or anything, so preferably the knife comes with a sheath.

Have you ever oiled a handle?
Nope, but I have oiled guitar fingerboards (I have 3 guitars and 2 basses)

What kind of cutting board(s) do you use?
I usually use laminate wood and I have tried synthetic boards but did not like them. Nonetheless, I am willing to change if necessary.

For edge maintenance, do you use a strop, honing rod, pull through/other, or nothing?
Have never maintained a knife, so I'm willing to learn.

Have they ever been sharpened?
Haven't sharpened a knife

What is your budget?
$200 - $300. The lower the better. I'm no professional chef, I just LOVE cooking, so just a good looking knife that does not get dull quickly will keep me satisfied.

What do you cook and how often?
Every weekend, and most week days. 1 - 2 meals each day.

Special requests(Country of origin/type of wood/etc)?
Like mentioned before, I'm no professional, so just a good looking knife that does not get dull quickly, and is not too expensive will keep me satisfied.

Benuser
04-03-2012, 03:03 AM
Every knife will dull. If you want to learn sharpening you will have to exercise; so the edge retention becomes less relevant. I would suggest a carbon steel knife because of the easy sharpening. Some suggestions: Very easy sharpening: Fujiwara FKH, some $75. Finer steel, great F&F,even easier sharpening, some $215: Misono Swedish Carbon. Both are very reactive. Patina building required. Easier maintenance: Hiromoto AS, exceptional carbon core steel with a stainless cladding. Will take the finest edge and hold it almost forever. About $150.

James
04-03-2012, 03:43 AM
JCK carbonext and email the owner (Koki) to see if he can set you up with the appropriate saya. Spend the rest of your money on a decent medium grit and fine grit stone as well as a stone flattener. You will need to learn to sharpen.

tk59
04-03-2012, 03:45 AM
In that price range, I'd recommend Akifusa or if you like more curvature, a Cermax/Miyabi. However, as Benuser mentioned, it will eventually get dull like any other knife. If you are really averse to sharpening, you might consider a nice bread knife instead.

skewed
04-03-2012, 04:27 AM
Where do you store them?
In my bedroom.

I am not going to judge. :eyebrow::lol2:

To really enjoy the full benefits of a nice knife you have to invest the money and time to keep it sharp. Sounds like you are open to doing this. Definitely get a couple stones and perhaps as Benuser recommended an inxpensive easy to sharpen carbon knife like a Fujiwara FKH. Once you feel comfortable with sharpening, then get a higher quality knife.

BTW- watch out, this can be addictive.

Have fun!

agp
04-03-2012, 08:58 AM
What's the general consensus on damascus knives? Are they hard to sharpen/maintain?
Also, if I want to set the new budget at 150, 200 max, for a gyuto/santoku as well a sharpening material, what would you recommend?

agp
04-03-2012, 09:12 AM
What's the deal with damascus knives? Are they easy to sharpen/maintain?

Let's update my budget to 150-200 for a knife and sharpening/maintenance equipment.

And any specific recommendation for sharpening/maintenance equipment?

Shinob1
04-03-2012, 01:03 PM
I recommend giving Jon at Japanese Knife Imports a call, he will steer you in the right direction.

bprescot
04-03-2012, 01:57 PM
Alright. Well I'm going to give you a potentially unpopular recommendation, and that's the one that gets you a beginning setup that I can wholeheartedly recommend and you'll likely enjoy for as CHEAP as possible. By no means are these the sexiest knives, but they are going to perform WAY better than your current and have the added bonus of coming in well under budget.

Option 1 (The cheapest/Most conservative): Forschner Fibrox and a King 1k/6K stone.
Pro: Good value knife you can use and abuse plus a stone to help you figure out how to sharpen and if sharpening is for you. The steel in the forschners and their general geometry are better than most at this price, though they are ugly as sin and not as good as some of the more expensive knives. But total investment of $75 max is always nice... If you decide that you love sharpening you can look to upgrade knives in the future, and you only paid a $35 premium. If you find out sharpening isn't for you, you can re-sell the stone and continue to use the knife and just replace as necessary, or get a crappy electric sharpener at some point. It will destroy your knife in the long run, but it's a $35 knife so who the hell cares?

Option 2 (A step up): King 1K/6K stone and "Used"
So for a step up and still cheap, try posting a Want To Buy thread. You're looking for a Tojiro, Yoshihiro, Kagayaki... something in that range. Goal is about $75 or below. Or ask to see if people have a Fujiwara FKM they'd let go. New these guys are around $85, so you could probably find an okay deal. As an added benefit, if it's being sold by a long-standing member, they have probably done the work to set initial bevels and sharpen. It will make it a bit easier to get the hang of sharpening when you can see what others have done. That's what i found at least. Again, if not your thing, you can sell off both at only a slight loss. DON'T use any of the above knives in a POS sharpener. Just sell them and go find that Forschner.

Option 3 (whole hog... sort of): King 1k/6K, CarboNext 240mm Gyuto (and maybe ask Koki to see if there's a saya that would work?)
No saya with this one, but it's a dang good knife. Semi stainless, so do take care or it will discolor. Great steel. Something like $130 (or it used to be) plus the stone, so maybe $170 all in?


ALL of these options are less that your $300 max and are viable. The deciding factor should be whether you really think this is something you want to get into. If you honestly don't see yourself sharpening but want to try it out anyway, 1 or 2. If you thing it can go either way, 2 or 3. If you KNOW you're in it for the long haul, 3 or another forum member's recommendation.

El Pescador
04-03-2012, 02:03 PM
+1 on option one. Resist the urge to buy something fancy that you can't or wont sharpen. When it becomes dull its nothing more than a shiny pry bar with a nice handle

Benuser
04-03-2012, 02:10 PM
Remember the Carbonext comes almost without an edge.

agp
04-03-2012, 02:11 PM
Should I get the 1K, 6K, or both?

Deckhand
04-03-2012, 02:14 PM
Or this. I have one in a 270mm and love it.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Japanese-Swedish-Stainless-Wa-Gyuto-Knife-240mm-Octagon-/230726550467?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item35b85fc3c3#ht_2640wt_836

Or this

http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/gesshin-ginga-240mm-stainless-gyuto.html


Getting a good chefs knife is the most important thing you will do. The rest will take care of itself over time. Just my:2cents:

bprescot
04-03-2012, 02:31 PM
Remember the Carbonext comes almost without an edge.

Ah. You know what, I had forgotten that.

OP, add CarboNext to used list. For Option 3 .... maybe a Tanaka Ginsanko off of ebay. Good knife, good initial edge, and easy to sharpen. Might have F+F issues, but I've had good luck with them. Sakai Yusuke or Yoshihiro are also options, though I think the Ginsanko steel hold an edge a bit longer.

oivind_dahle
04-03-2012, 02:32 PM
Its amazing what you get on the Buy/Sell/trade forum here.
Id go for that and ask for a carbonext. Ill bet you will get one sharpened and cheap

DanB
04-03-2012, 02:53 PM
I got the CarboNext 240mm gyuto and love it. But what ppl say is correct: it comes needing sharpening. And the other thing they're saying is also correct: you MUST learn to use stones. Otherwise, don't bother. It's not hard, you don't need to do it often, and you won't believe how it transforms your work. Probably if I had learned to sharpen before getting into new Japanese knives, I might have just stayed with my Forschner's. It's a damn good knife for the money, and when you take the edge down a bit, it gets wicked sharp and can be touched up easily on a ceramic rod. And it's $25, so you're never afraid of what you might do with it (it bested my Zwilling Kramer in dog rawhide cutting contest!).

slowtyper
04-03-2012, 05:26 PM
Where do you store them?
In my bedroom.

This made me LOL.

Andrew H
04-03-2012, 05:30 PM
Remember the Carbonext comes almost without an edge.

Maybe mine was the odd one out here but my CN came with an OK edge. It wasn't push cutting tomatoes or anything but it wasn't as bad as people make it out to be.

tk59
04-03-2012, 05:46 PM
Maybe mine was the odd one out here but my CN came with an OK edge. It wasn't push cutting tomatoes or anything but it wasn't as bad as people make it out to be.Nah. I've seen three of new ones and the edges were all useable although I immediately installed a nicer edge on them.

Andrew H
04-03-2012, 06:00 PM
Nah. I've seen three of new ones and the edges were all useable although I immediately installed a nicer edge on them.

Yup, it hit the stones almost right away but there was something to work with.

kalaeb
04-03-2012, 07:21 PM
Okay, I am going to be the only one going against the grain on this one and suggest something completely opposite.

I am not sure carbon, or even semi is the best choice here considering it is going from “never sharpened” Hamilton beach to a new j knife.

I think you should look at the Suisin Inox western handle. Great profile, reasonably thin and gives that little extra with the two tone handle, not burl, but hey, not pressed particle board either.

IMO, next to AEB-L, Suisins stainless takes one of the sharper edges and retains it for a good long time.

Fit and finish on this knife is above par, even above the CN and the OP will not be completely put out when he forgets to wipe it down after cutting limes.

It should suffice with both rock chopping and slicing.

It can be had here http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/kitchen-knives-by-type/gyuto/suisin-inox-western-240mm-gyuto.html#for the lower end of your estimate.

I have owned two and enjoyed both.

Cadillac J
04-03-2012, 07:33 PM
- 240 Fujiwara FKM gyuto
- Bester 1200 stone

or if you want a fancier handle, get the Suisin inox western that kalaeb recommended...it has curvier profile if you continue to primarily rock-chop, but I would urge you to give push-cutting a try

agp
04-03-2012, 08:59 PM
Since I don't want to wait 30 days or spam 50 posts, I'll just buy a new CarboNext. I plan to purchase it from JapaneseChefsKnife. Should I get the JCK whet stone from there as well? (first one here: http://japanesechefsknife.com/WhetStonesForSale.html). Or is there another website that has these knives for cheaper?

Pachowder
04-03-2012, 09:26 PM
Its amazing what you get on the Buy/Sell/trade forum here.
Id go for that and ask for a carbonext. Ill bet you will get one sharpened and cheap

+100. I had my budget at 300 also but couldn't resist a carter with a sweet handle that made me add another 100 to it :)

But keep on the lookout here, save a few bucks and put the savings towards learning to sharpen

bprescot
04-03-2012, 09:39 PM
+100. I had my budget at 300 also but couldn't resist a carter with a sweet handle that made me add another 100 to it :)

But keep on the lookout here, save a few bucks and put the savings towards learning to sharpen

Yeah, I really think that's the way to go. The Fujiwara above is a great knife, but may as well see what you can get used. It should come with the advantage of being pre-sharpened. I vote Option 2!

oivind_dahle
04-04-2012, 10:06 AM
I would go for the ASAI that is a bargain in Buy/Sell/Trade forum atm :)

agp
04-04-2012, 11:57 AM
I would go for the ASAI that is a bargain in Buy/Sell/Trade forum atm :)

That is way too much money

agp
04-04-2012, 07:41 PM
Okay so I'll be picking up a Fujiwara FKM/FKH soon. Should I get a 1000 stone, 5000 stone, or one of those sharpening rods? What other accessories should I get?

skewed
04-04-2012, 09:00 PM
Okay so I'll be picking up a Fujiwara FKM/FKH soon. Should I get a 1000 stone, 5000 stone, or one of those sharpening rods? What other accessories should I get?

Bester 1200 is a great medium stone. A finer finishing stone would be good to get also (5k-8k). You will need something to flatten them with (every few times you use the stones). On the side of a cinder block works or I have heard of people using dry wall smoothing screens on a flat tile (like marble) or a diamond plate (a lot more expensive).

I like the couple of FKH's I have. They are pretty darn easy to sharpen, get reasonably sharp and hold it fairly well. They come with an asymmetric edge but you can easily change that.

Cheers and best of luck,
rj

agp
04-04-2012, 09:16 PM
Also, is there a KKF-approved tutorial on how to sharpen a knife?

tk59
04-04-2012, 09:21 PM
Also, is there a KKF-approved tutorial on how to sharpen a knife?Jon has a bunch of 'em on youtube. You can start here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKeSRDMRpY0

Cadillac J
04-04-2012, 10:09 PM
Hunter, read this first to get the basic idea...

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?/topic/26036-knife-maintenance-and-sharpening/

agp
04-07-2012, 12:34 PM
Just bought a set of King whetstones, I'm going to practice sharpening my Hamilton Beach knife until I get the hang of it, then I'm purchasing a new knife:D

tk59
04-07-2012, 01:34 PM
Sounds like a plan. I would look for bevel consistency rather than sharpness though. Sometimes it isn't easy to get cheap knives sharp and burr free.

Benuser
04-07-2012, 06:55 PM
I think tk59 is right. Especially cheap stainless can be a problem. Look for simple carbon knives.

Shinob1
04-08-2012, 01:05 AM
Make sure to flatten the stones before you use them. They won't be flat when you get them. You want to round the sides off first, then flatten the middle part, then hit the sides again. If you don't have a diamond plate, you can put some sandpaper on top of something flat and flatten your stone against the sandpaper. But if you have invested in stones you may as well get a flattening plate. A DMT course diamond plate can be found online for around 50-75 dollars.


Just bought a set of King whetstones, I'm going to practice sharpening my Hamilton Beach knife until I get the hang of it, then I'm purchasing a new knife:D

agp
04-09-2012, 09:30 PM
I know that most people recommended the Fujiwara, but is there anything similar to that with a traditional Japanese handle?

labor of love
04-09-2012, 09:51 PM
I know that most people recommended the Fujiwara, but is there anything similar to that with a traditional Japanese handle?

tojiro makes a wa handle version of their dp line. i think its around a $100. actually the dp isnt really similar at all to the fujiwara though. besides the price. if you want to keep the price low the next best thing i can think of is the stainless yoshihiros at japanese knife imports for a little bit more $$$.

labor of love
04-09-2012, 10:01 PM
Make sure to flatten the stones before you use them. They won't be flat when you get them. You want to round the sides off first, then flatten the middle part, then hit the sides again. If you don't have a diamond plate, you can put some sandpaper on top of something flat and flatten your stone against the sandpaper. But if you have invested in stones you may as well get a flattening plate. A DMT course diamond plate can be found online for around 50-75 dollars.
Im not sure whats left of your budget but you certainly need a stone flattener. I love DMT but if you cant pay that $50-75 at the moment then atleast get the stone flattener at the bottom of this page
its not as good as dmt but it will get the job done.http://www.thebestthings.com/newtools/norton_waterstones.htm

agp
04-09-2012, 10:28 PM
I don't like how much more complicated this is getting... Do I have to get a flattener for the barely used whetstones?

SpikeC
04-09-2012, 10:30 PM
Dry wall screen is cheap and works fine. I think that absolute flatness is over rated.

Vertigo
04-09-2012, 11:14 PM
Yep, I've been using drywall screen taped to a $5 piece of tile for like 6 months now. Expensive flatteners are much less messy and more convenient, but for the price its hard to beat the screen.

agp
04-16-2012, 06:21 PM
I have a King 1000, 3000, and 6000 stone. When it comes to sharpening, which one do I use?

SpikeC
04-16-2012, 07:00 PM
Yes.

Pensacola Tiger
04-16-2012, 08:29 PM
I have a King 1000, 3000, and 6000 stone. When it comes to sharpening, which one do I use?

I'm going to point you to a good article by Chad Ward, entitled "Knife Maintenance and Sharpening". The actual sharpening part starts about a third of the way down the page, although I suggest that you start at the beginning - there's lots of good background information there.

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?/topic/26036-knife-maintenance-and-sharpening/

Start with the 1000 stone until you get a burr on one side, then do the other side, again until a burr is raised. This guarantees that you have made a bevel on each side that meet to make the edge. Remove the burr by cutting into a hard felt block sold for this purpose, or very lightly cut into the edge of a piece of soft wood, like a pine 2 x 4. At this point, the edge should catch on your fingernail or a plastic pen. If it doesn't, repeat the process with the 1000 grit until it does. Only then are you ready to move up to a finer grit and polish your edge. At this stage in your development as a sharpener, use the 3000. Again, raise a burr on each side, but the burr will be much smaller and harder to feel.

For now, let that be the end. Later, as you gain experience in the most important aspect of sharpening - holding the knife at the same angle all the time as you sharpen - you can either add the 6000 grit as a third stone, or go straight to the 6000, skipping the 3000.

When you are finished, test the edge by cutting something, like a carrot or potato. Cutting a sheet of newspaper can tell you something about the edge, but actually using the knife to cut food is the real test.

I hope I've explained this clearly, but if I haven't, please ask for clarification.

Rick

agp
04-18-2012, 09:33 PM
So I get a burr on each side using the 1000 and then the 3000, now what? Do I need to straighten the burr for the knife to be sharp?

Crothcipt
04-18-2012, 09:41 PM
Deburr with a hard wood or hard felt, or cork. It will take off the edge and give you the new one. If you still feel the burr after repeat on the stones again until burr comes off.

agp
04-22-2012, 09:41 AM
How do I deburr? I read the article posted about but it says nothing about deburring with hardwood/felt or cork.

agp
04-22-2012, 10:33 AM
Also, any recommendations for a Nakiri? Preferably easy to sharpen and holds an edge well.

stereo.pete
04-22-2012, 10:56 AM
I'm confused AGP, did you ever order a gyuto? If you haven't yet, skip the Nakiri and get a 240mm Gyuto. The reason I suggest this is because the first half of the blade will be relatively flat like a nakiri and then the tip will be useful for other tasks. Nakiri's are tad bit more one dimensional when it comes to kitchen tasks versus a well designed Gyuto.

P.S. Keep in mind I'm the guy who owns about 9 Gyuto's so I am biased. :spiteful:

Pensacola Tiger
04-22-2012, 11:06 AM
So I get a burr on each side using the 1000 and then the 3000, now what? Do I need to straighten the burr for the knife to be sharp?

The burr is just an indication that you have sharpened to the edge. Once you have formed a burr on one side, and you flip the knife and sharpen the other side you are just "flipping the burr" from one side to the other. If you alternate sides enough times the burr will weaken and fall away from the edge. This is called "chasing the burr". A quicker way to remove the burr is to cut into hard felt or wood to essentially tear away the burr from the edge. If you have a loupe, look at where you cut into the felt or wood and you will see what looks like hair-like metal curls or shavings - that's the burr you removed. You should remove the burr before you move on to the next higher grit.

If you don't remove the burr, the knife may seem sharp, but as soon as the edge makes contact with a board the burr will fold over.

Lefty
04-22-2012, 11:21 AM
Dry wall screen is cheap and works fine. I think that absolute flatness is over rated.

I agree with Spike. I flatten my stones far less than likely 95% of the guys here. Yet, only when sharpening a sheepsfoot parer, or making a new bevel on a refurbed straight razor have I ever cared for perfectly flat stones.

agp
04-22-2012, 11:30 AM
I have a Fujiwara carbon steel santoku, and I'm looking for something else with a japanese handle. I don't need a sushi/sashimi knife, so I'm looking for something a bit more versatile.

Pensacola: to remove the burr, I just chop into a block of wood, and if I see a strip of metal fallen off, then the knife will be ready for use?

tk59
04-22-2012, 11:32 AM
I'd also add that as you finish, lighten up a lot on the pressure and use edge-trailing strokes.

Andrew H
04-22-2012, 11:53 AM
I have a Fujiwara carbon steel santoku, and I'm looking for something else with a japanese handle. I don't need a sushi/sashimi knife, so I'm looking for something a bit more versatile.

Pensacola: to remove the burr, I just chop into a block of wood, and if I see a strip of metal fallen off, then the knife will be ready for use?

I just drag my knife through a piece of cork with just its weight. You don't want to use a ton of pressure.

agp
04-22-2012, 11:55 AM
So the burr should be straightened? Not removed?

Cadillac J
04-22-2012, 12:03 PM
Once you raise a burr the whole length of the edge on one side, flip over and sharpen until you feel it all along the other side.

Now think about it like this...you want to abrade down and minimize the burr--so in order to do that, alternate back and forth sharpening on each side with lighter and lighter strokes as you go. I never count strokes, but the people that do will count down strokes on each side until they reach 1 alternating back and forth. Then finish by light stropping (edge trailing) strokes on the stone.

Then you can either slice(not chop) into some cork, felt, etc. or you can strop on felt/leather first to weaken even more, but then slice into some type of medium.

^the above applies to coarse and medium grit stones mostly--the goal on your finishing/polishing stones is not to re-create a burr, but to continue to refine and minimize anything that is left.

Andrew H
04-22-2012, 12:08 PM
So the burr should be straightened? Not removed?

No. You do want to remove it. What CJ said is true, you want to make the burr as small as possible on your coarse and medium stones. That way when you try to remove it (on cork, felt, wood, whatever) you don't have to use a large amount of pressure.

Pensacola Tiger
04-22-2012, 12:20 PM
I have a Fujiwara carbon steel santoku, and I'm looking for something else with a japanese handle. I don't need a sushi/sashimi knife, so I'm looking for something a bit more versatile.

Pensacola: to remove the burr, I just chop into a block of wood, and if I see a strip of metal fallen off, then the knife will be ready for use?

Cut, as in slice, not chop. Use just a little pressure, you're not trying to cut anything in half. You're not going to see a strip of metal, but what looks like whiskers, and you'll need some kind of magnification, as the burr is almost microscopic.

Rick

stereo.pete
04-25-2012, 10:55 AM
Cut, as in slice, not chop. Use just a little pressure, you're not trying to cut anything in half. You're not going to see a strip of metal, but what looks like whiskers, and you'll need some kind of magnification, as the burr is almost microscopic.

Rick

Yes, don't think you're going to see a strip of metal like in this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Eh9iOOGwHAs because these guys are doing it wrong. You should barely be able to feel the burr, let alone see it.

agp
04-29-2012, 05:27 PM
I'm having difficulties deburring. I cut into an old wood cutting board and I can still feel the burr. Does not matter how hard I cut, the burr still seems to be there.

Andrew H
04-29-2012, 05:30 PM
I'm having difficulties deburring. I cut into an old wood cutting board and I can still feel the burr. Does not matter how hard I cut, the burr still seems to be there.

Hmm. I guess my suggestion would be to go back to the stones and really try and reduce the burr. When you can't feel it on either side do some edge trailing strokes on your stone. If you have a leather strop try stropping with or without compound, then drag your knife through cork or wood again. If you still can't seem to get the burr off send it to Dave.

James
04-29-2012, 11:05 PM
Hmm. I guess my suggestion would be to go back to the stones and really try and reduce the burr. When you can't feel it on either side do some edge trailing strokes on your stone. If you have a leather strop try stropping with or without compound, then drag your knife through cork or wood again. If you still can't seem to get the burr off send it to Dave.

+1; you need to abrade the burr and flip it back and forth a few times before trying to remove it.

Benuser
04-30-2012, 01:42 AM
+1
And if you try eventually to remove the burr, do it very gently, or you will make a new one. Perform a few edge trailing strokes afterwards to remove the last debris.