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View Full Version : Best Chef Knife for around $300-$350



TheAndre
06-23-2012, 09:31 PM
TL;DR: I like the Shun Fuji 10'', what's better / more cost effective for a semi-trained anal retentive everyday chef?

So... I bought a block of Calphalon Katana series knives when I was in college (few years ago)... I loved them then, the best knives I'd ever owned (my parents, and my friends all of course praised Cutco, even when I'd run their knife across my wrist and not even feel the slightest cut...not being suicidal, just being dramatic and ranting about how Cutco blows).

Anyway... a friend sent me a Microtech HALO V for my birthday,...and it occurred to me that while my Calphalons are above the general quality that most people I know look for (I'm constantly praised for how sharp I keep them when my buddies come cook at our weekly BBQs, etc)....they aren't sharp enough.

Not by a long shot.

So, my question is...what should I get? I'm just looking for an extremely sharp japanese style chef's knife, preferably fairly low maintenance... I was leaning towards a Shun Fuji 10'', I really like feel of it, and I can get one off ebay for around $300-$350.

BUT I decided to do a little research before I dropped that kind of cheddar on a knife, because I don't know particularly much on the subject. Found your site, and mass confusion ensued.

I lead a very strange life, and have been obsessing over this for awhile. I need something to cover the following bases very well, I am extremely particular about detail when it comes to cooking, it's what keeps me sane at work (I do front end for a prominent pop culture advertiser in Hollywood, and it sickens me...ANYWAY):

My typical cooking day:
Breakfast (8am): Generally crepes or an omelette, not much need for a knife here. I'm half asleep anyway and would probably cut myself.
Lunch (made at 9:30, eaten around 11 at work): Maki Rolls / Sashimi...everyday, but I don't want to drop the money on a yanagiba just yet, maybe in a few years.
Dinner (around 6:30): switches between various chicken/fish dishes, Caribbean fresh salsas, Chicken Marsala, lemon garlic Sole w/ capers...

I've always favored the 8'' Katana chef knife in my block, for pretty much everything. I use a pinch grip, and love the shape and balance, although I think I want something bigger for making more smooth single stroke cuts.

I have a few sharpening stones, and a honing stick thing, I'd say I'm at about a 6/10 on sharpening, I can get it razor but it takes me a good while. I've never redone profiles or anything like that.

Any suggestions? WHAT out there will cover my needs? Is there something that would suit me better than the Shun Fuji 10'' Chef's knife in that price range? Something that is aesthetically pleasing as well as sharper than the devil's wingtip shoes?

Things I don't like in a Chef's knife: French / German style blades, high maintenance blades, overly curved blades,...

obtuse
06-23-2012, 09:39 PM
You have come to the right place! Especially since you are obsessing over a knife so much. Suggestions to follow...

Deckhand
06-23-2012, 09:42 PM
Yes, go see Jon at Japanese Knife imports in person and try out some knives. He will be very helpful, and much better to get a feel of different knives in your hand. Probably a 240-270mm gyuto by your description would be a starting place. I think you will be significantly happier than the Shun.

SpikeC
06-23-2012, 09:45 PM
Welcome to the Knut House! There is nothing like a really sharp knife, and when you use one your willingness to spend the effort to learn to sharpen and maintain an edge goes way up. Sharpness is addictive!

Johnny.B.Good
06-23-2012, 09:47 PM
Are you in Los Angeles?

If so, I would definitely recommend that you drop by Japanese Knife Imports: http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/

Jon (the owner and a vendor here) is extremely knowledgeable, offers unparalleled customer service, and has a wide variety of high end knives (I see Deckhand already beat me to this recommendation).

Welcome to the forum.

unkajonet
06-23-2012, 09:50 PM
Yes, go see Jon at Japanese Knife imports in person and try out some knives. He will be very helpful, and much better to get a feel of different knives in your hand. Probably a 240-270mm gyuto by your description would be a starting place. I think you will be significantly happier than the Shun.

+1. Very much +1. His shop is in Venice. He has a sub-forum on this site, is ultra cool, and you'll have a great time learning about some of the really great stuff that's out there.

And just to be fair: check out the other vendors on this forum. They all have great reputations.

Johnny.B.Good
06-23-2012, 09:53 PM
This might fit the bill nicely: http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/kitchen-knives/gengetsu/gengetsu-210mm-stainless-wa-gyuto.html#

You're lucky (assuming you close to Jon) in that you can spend time actually handling the merchandise before pulling the trigger, which you should definitely do.

James
06-23-2012, 09:55 PM
Things I don't like in a Chef's knife: French / German style blades, high maintenance blades, overly curved blades,...

You're talking about the profile here right? So something not too flat or curvy....I would say check out konosuke, carbonext, hiromoto AS, sakai yusuke, or gesshin ginga. If you don't already have them, you'll want a sharpening stone in the 1000 range and one in the 4000+ range.

TheAndre
06-23-2012, 09:57 PM
I'm actually going to be in Venice tomorrow morning / early afternoon, if he's open on Sunday I'll check him out.

Not to sound pessimistic though,... but would a Gengetsu 240mm Stainless Clad White #2 Wa-Gyuto being bought at retail ($365 at his store) be better than getting the Shun Fuji 10'' for $300 or the Shun Bob Kramer Meiji 8'' for $280 at auction? They both "msrp" for literally twice the price, and I'm sure there's a pile of marketing going into that, and that Japanese Knife Imports has good prices (or you guys wouldn't have recommended them),...but $300 on auction is pretty damn cheap.

TheAndre
06-23-2012, 10:01 PM
also... I'm sure the aesthetics shouldn't particularly come into account that much, but the Shun knives are VERY pretty, while that Gengetsu knife is very plain looking.

ie: While it may be a better utilitarian knife, it's not as flashy, and I like flash... people watch me cook fairly regularly (BBQs nearly every weekend, 15-20 people, sometimes we do Iron Chef challenges.... I generally win).

James
06-23-2012, 10:06 PM
I'm actually going to be in Venice tomorrow morning / early afternoon, if he's open on Sunday I'll check him out.

Not to sound pessimistic though,... but would a Gengetsu 240mm Stainless Clad White #2 Wa-Gyuto being bought at retail ($365 at his store) be better than getting the Shun Fuji 10'' for $300 or the Shun Bob Kramer Meiji 8'' for $280 at auction? They both "msrp" for literally twice the price, and I'm sure there's a pile of marketing going into that, and that Japanese Knife Imports has good prices (or you guys wouldn't have recommended them),...but $300 on auction is pretty damn cheap.

The MSRP is a marketing ploy and I don't think any dealers list them at that price so they're always on "sale". I would stay away from the shun meiji as I've read that their heat treatment on the sg-2 steel was a bit funny (chippy).

If you want something kind of flashy, the Miyabi birchwood series from sur la table would fit the bill.

TheAndre
06-23-2012, 10:13 PM
ahh those Miyabi Birchwood knives are indeed, very pretty, but...to quote one of my favorite commercials...


"Will it blend?"


ie...is it actually any good?

Deckhand
06-23-2012, 10:17 PM
There is always a good deal on eBay for different knives. Jon has good knives and waterstones and can show you how to use them. Also, he has no need to up sell. He is one of us and if he thinks something else will fit your needs better he will tell you. You will learn from him and reading threads here. I understand the itch to buy, but patient you will thank me. Hope you make our west coast gathering next month.

Johnny.B.Good
06-23-2012, 10:17 PM
I didn't mean to suggest that you need to spend $365 to get a knife with mind blowing performance compared to what you're used to with your Calphalon set. The 240mm Gesshin Ginga (stainless, as you want something low maintenance) is $250, and there are plenty of sold options for less than that. Personally, I would rather have a "plain" looking knife that I know to be hand made and prized by serious cooks and knife fanatics than a flashy offering from Sur La Table that is made in a factory somewhere, but if you love the Fuji or the Meiji, far be from me to stop you.

Lots of flashy offerings on this site as well (plus cheap, fast shipping): http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/products.html

TheAndre
06-23-2012, 10:28 PM
I understand, I will be going by Japanese Knife Imports tomorrow in person... however I doubt I will buy when I'm there, as this will just be a preliminary knife test,... I'm not an even remotely impulsive person and plan on doing significantly more research on the matter.

I was playing with the idea to actually get a proper honyaki yanagiba for awhile, as I literally make sushi -EVERY WEEK DAY- for my lunch, but I decided I wasn't properly versed in the care of such, maybe he can help with that?

Johnny.B.Good
06-23-2012, 10:30 PM
I was playing with the idea to actually get a proper honyaki yanagiba for awhile, as I literally make sushi -EVERY WEEK DAY- for my lunch, but I decided I wasn't properly versed in the care of such, maybe he can help with that?

He can help with everything, but I don't think he's open tomorrow (you might call anyway, as he seems to work 7 days a week regardless of what the hours stated on his website).

TheAndre
06-23-2012, 10:31 PM
website says Sundays noon to 5

Deckhand
06-23-2012, 10:31 PM
I understand, I will be going by Japanese Knife Imports tomorrow in person... however I doubt I will buy when I'm there, as this will just be a preliminary knife test,... I'm not an even remotely impulsive person and plan on doing significantly more research on the matter.

I was playing with the idea to actually get a proper honyaki yanagiba for awhile, as I literally make sushi -EVERY WEEK DAY- for my lunch, but I decided I wasn't properly versed in the care of such, maybe he can help with that?

He absolutely can help with that. He can teach you how to properly sharpen a single bevel. Btw I have no interest in whether you buy or not, but the knives you are obsessing on aren't the ones knife knuts obsess on. You can do better. You will have a great time at Jon's and learn a lot.

SpikeC
06-23-2012, 10:33 PM
If you want true flash you need to up your game a bit...

SpikeC
06-23-2012, 10:38 PM
If you want true flash you need to up your game a bit...

JohnnyChance
06-23-2012, 10:38 PM
I'm actually going to be in Venice tomorrow morning / early afternoon, if he's open on Sunday I'll check him out.

Not to sound pessimistic though,... but would a Gengetsu 240mm Stainless Clad White #2 Wa-Gyuto being bought at retail ($365 at his store) be better than getting the Shun Fuji 10'' for $300 or the Shun Bob Kramer Meiji 8'' for $280 at auction? They both "msrp" for literally twice the price, and I'm sure there's a pile of marketing going into that, and that Japanese Knife Imports has good prices (or you guys wouldn't have recommended them),...but $300 on auction is pretty damn cheap.


also... I'm sure the aesthetics shouldn't particularly come into account that much, but the Shun knives are VERY pretty, while that Gengetsu knife is very plain looking.

ie: While it may be a better utilitarian knife, it's not as flashy, and I like flash... people watch me cook fairly regularly (BBQs nearly every weekend, 15-20 people, sometimes we do Iron Chef challenges.... I generally win).

I have used all three of those knives and yes, a thousand times yes, the Gengetsu is better than either of those Shuns. It really isn't even close.

As for aesthetics, the more time you spend here, the more you will appreciate the beauty of a "simpler" handmade knife and less and less you will be attracted to factory beauty queens.

TheAndre
06-23-2012, 10:45 PM
I have used all three of those knives and yes, a thousand times yes, the Gengetsu is better than either of those Shuns. It really isn't even close.

As for aesthetics, the more time you spend here, the more you will appreciate the beauty of a "simpler" handmade knife and less and less you will be attracted to factory beauty queens.


See? That's what I wanted to hear.

Although, and I'm sure I don't have to say so, but there's something attractive and pretty about damascus patterns, and an aesthetically pleasing handle... I see these lower end knives that you guys are suggesting, and while I'll probably end up with one of them I can't help but feel a little disappointed that it isn't wavy fun metal...

and if it comes to having to up the anty to the $500 range for a quality hand made blade,...that happens to have those aesthetically pleasing components, then I'll have to just wait another paycheck and do that.

TheAndre
06-23-2012, 10:52 PM
If you want true flash you need to up your game a bit...

I realize... when I was obsessing over the idea of the honyaki yanagiba I found one in the $1200+ range that was very pretty and had amazing reviews, I actually found it through this site.

But ended up not getting it, I had the cash but family emergencies came up.... which was probably for the best, I would have ruined it.

GlassEye
06-23-2012, 10:57 PM
If you like the damascus look, check out the makers that are vendors on this forum. But the better the knife, the more it will require from the user in skills and maintenance. Once you have used a truly great knife, such as anything from JKI or recommended here, you may care less about flashy appearance and appreciate pure performance.

Welcome!

chinacats
06-23-2012, 11:02 PM
See? That's what I wanted to hear.

Although, and I'm sure I don't have to say so, but there's something attractive and pretty about damascus patterns, and an aesthetically pleasing handle... I see these lower end knives that you guys are suggesting, and while I'll probably end up with one of them I can't help but feel a little disappointed that it isn't wavy fun metal...

and if it comes to having to up the anty to the $500 range for a quality hand made blade,...that happens to have those aesthetically pleasing components, then I'll have to just wait another paycheck and do that.

I think you should 'wait another paycheck' and get a Devin Thomas.

Good luck in your search!

SpikeC
06-23-2012, 11:02 PM
You want bling?

http://www.fototime.com/33D560C740DE411/orig.jpg

TheAndre
06-23-2012, 11:03 PM
If you like the damascus look, check out the makers that are vendors on this forum. But the better the knife, the more it will require from the user in skills and maintenance. Once you have used a truly great knife, such as anything from JKI or recommended here, you may care less about flashy appearance and appreciate pure performance.

Welcome!

Thank you. I am extremely well trained in knife use, I grew up learning how to make sushi from a family friend that was an acclaimed sushi chef... however that ended when he died about 10 years ago now (when I was 15). He never really got around to teaching me the proper sharpening techniques though, just the use of said yanagiba and proper cleaning.

Also... I live in Hollywood though... I don't think I'll ever loose my taste for a little flash.

TheAndre
06-23-2012, 11:05 PM
You want bling?

http://www.fototime.com/33D560C740DE411/orig.jpg

Yes, that is gorgeous. But...what are we talking here? $2000? $3000? $10,000? more? I'm trying to be vaguely responsible here, I'm only 24....that can come when I've actually established my career.

The Edge
06-23-2012, 11:08 PM
See? That's what I wanted to hear.

Although, and I'm sure I don't have to say so, but there's something attractive and pretty about damascus patterns, and an aesthetically pleasing handle... I see these lower end knives that you guys are suggesting, and while I'll probably end up with one of them I can't help but feel a little disappointed that it isn't wavy fun metal...

and if it comes to having to up the anty to the $500 range for a quality hand made blade,...that happens to have those aesthetically pleasing components, then I'll have to just wait another paycheck and do that.

I'm not sure it's right to say lower end knives. They are leaps and bounds above the shuns. That being said, most damascus blades that are going to perform on the same level as the gengetsu are going to be a hefty bit pricier than what these knives go for. Sure there are going to be people that rave about the shuns, but it's because they haven't tried anything better. Those of us here have, and therefore, we try to guide people towards knives that truly are a joy to use. If they do look a little plain to you, there are ways to spruce them up a bit, like custom handles. If you are truly set on the damascus, and aren't willing to shell out the 900 to 2500 for the ones Jon sells, I'd check out JapaneseChefKnife.com They've got some very nice stuff that should fall close to your budget. Just my opinion...

TheAndre
06-23-2012, 11:11 PM
I'm not sure it's right to say lower end knives. They are leaps and bounds above the shuns. That being said, most damascus blades that are going to perform on the same level as the gengetsu are going to be a hefty bit pricier than what these knives go for. Sure there are going to be people that rave about the shuns, but it's because they haven't tried anything better. Those of us here have, and therefore, we try to guide people towards knives that truly are a joy to use. If they do look a little plain to you, there are ways to spruce them up a bit, like custom handles. If you are truly set on the damascus, and aren't willing to shell out the 900 to 2500 for the ones Jon sells, I'd check out JapaneseChefKnife.com They've got some very nice stuff that should fall close to your budget. Just my opinion...

I would definitely be willing to shell out that amount of money down the line, but I think the more responsible thing would be to start a little lower.

and...I didn't mean to be insulting by saying "lower end", just that comparitively they are the lower end, as in $300ish is MUCH MUCH cheaper than a $2000 work of art knife that I would use until my death bed...and again, being 24, I can't justify spending that just yet.

So I relegate myself to the lower end of the spectrum.

Unless there's someone in LA that will sell me a used knife, and take that Microtech HALO V I mentioned as partial... I have no use for such a knife, and I don't have my concealed carry permit in CA,...just in FL (and the 40ish other states that accept that).

SpikeC
06-23-2012, 11:15 PM
A big plus to JCK for inexpensive flashy knives.

TheAndre
06-23-2012, 11:18 PM
A big plus to JCK for inexpensive flashy knives.

JCK? Is there a website I can look into...? I searched Devin Thomas and his cheaper stuff definitely qualifies for what I find aesthetically pleasing...but I only found limited "sold out" stuff, a better website to check out would be lovely.

TheAndre
06-23-2012, 11:19 PM
ooo japanesechefsknife.com

he misspelled it!

The Edge
06-23-2012, 11:29 PM
ooo japanesechefsknife.com

he misspelled it!

My bad! :spin chair:

chinacats
06-23-2012, 11:33 PM
Sorry about the DT, Epicurean Edge carries them, but the only knife they have is not damascus...but a very nice knife nonetheless.

http://www.epicedge.com/shopexd.asp?id=89762

Too many options to worry about DT though...:O

TheAndre
06-23-2012, 11:36 PM
Sorry about the DT, Epicurean Edge carries them, but the only knife they have is not damascus...but a very nice knife nonetheless.

http://www.epicedge.com/shopexd.asp?id=89762

I see...

http://www.epicedge.com/shopexd.asp?id=89771 is very pretty...

EDIT: and http://www.epicedge.com/shopexd.asp?id=89773 is prettier!

Deckhand
06-23-2012, 11:47 PM
Your edit link is my favorite Damascus of all. Devin Thomas feather. Salty has a scimitar in that. it is quite a sight.
Anything in Devin Thomas feather is amazing.

daveb
06-23-2012, 11:48 PM
I'm new to the J knife world - not long ago I thought kitchen knives came from either Soligen or Wally Mart. And I've nothing ill to say about Shun.

That being said I'll suggest that the "wavy" pattern on the shun is the metal equivalent of silk screening or laminate. It is not an integral part of the blade and by no stretch is it damascus. And that the first time that shiny knife hits a sharpening steel or whet stone it will look like its been dragged behind a truck. Would you rather have a solid teak chair or one made of particle board with a sexy veneer?

Jon has helped me spend some money wisely and talked me out of spending some as well. He's well recommended.

Regards,

Dave

TheAndre
06-23-2012, 11:54 PM
I'm new to the J knife world - not long ago I thought kitchen knives came from either Soligen or Wally Mart. And I've nothing ill to say about Shun.

That being said I'll suggest that the "wavy" pattern on the shun is the metal equivalent of silk screening or laminate. It is not an integral part of the blade and by no stretch is it damascus. And that the first time that shiny knife hits a sharpening steel or whet stone it will look like its been dragged behind a truck. Would you rather have a solid teak chair or one made of particle board with a sexy veneer?

Jon has helped me spend some money wisely and talked me out of spending some as well. He's well recommended.

Regards,

Dave



It doesn't go all the way through...? silk screening?

You're saying that its just printed on the blade, done as an after thought for aesthetic value in Shun's case?

Well, if someone can confirm this....it would be very sad for Shun indeed... I wouldn't have ever gotten any of the Shun VG-10 knives, as my Calphalon Katanas are already VG-10 with fake damascus patterns on it.

You've already sold me on not getting a Shun, but is this also the case with the other lower end knives out there? I was liking the look of the Asai "damascus" knives on EpicEdge, but that initial attraction would be destroyed if that was also the case...

TheAndre
06-24-2012, 12:12 AM
VG-1 **, sorry.

The Edge
06-24-2012, 12:20 AM
Just to add some personal thoughts on this as well. At your price budget, I would say go with the less flashy knife at first. I bought a lot of crap first because it was flashy and I liked it, but the first time I actually got a knife that truly cut well, I felt something akin to a tingling feeling in my pants. If the gratification of that starts to fade, you can always upgrade the handle to a flashy burl figured one that will not disappoint. Then, since you'll have a great performing knife, you'll be able to save even more money for your next, and you won't have to compromise on anything. You'll be able to afford a Devin Thomas, Bill Burke, Michael Rader, Randy Haas, Delbert Ealy, or Pierre Rodrigue when the time comes, and you'll have saved a couple hundred bucks by not trying to get blingy the first go around. And just for fun, browse the knife gear galleries to see what others have gotten, you'll get a better idea of what's actually possible in a custom.

Johnny.B.Good
06-24-2012, 12:44 AM
And just for fun, browse the knife gear galleries to see what others have gotten, you'll get a better idea of what's actually possible in a custom.

Absolutely.

http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/forumdisplay.php/72-Knife-amp-Gear-Galleries

I don't think you'll see too many Fujis in the gallery, and it's not because the members are unwilling or unable to spend the money for one.

And remember, you can always have a custom handle put on a "plain" blade to make it truly unique (there are a number of highly skilled handle makers on the forum).

mhlee
06-24-2012, 12:45 AM
At the price range you're looking at, almost all "damascus" knives are damascus clad. It's just pretty steel on top of the core steel that's the actual cutting steel.

Just call the store before you go. Jon is usually there on Sundays. Tomorrow may be an exception because today's his birthday. But, knowing him, he'll be there.

As for getting a honyaki, I would recommend looking at that way down the road. They require a lot of care - especially if you want to keep the mirror polish on them - and you will probably kill yourself if you happen to have it stolen. Things like that happen in kitchens. All of the sushi chefs that I go to here in the LA leave their nice knives at home. They use Masamotos, Ichimonji and other lower grade knives at work and they all say the same basically the same thing: "Anything can happen at work." I only know one sushi chef, who's in Gardena, who uses something close to a honyaki - a Nenohi yanagiba. But, he works by himself with his wife.

Jon has a wide variety of knives. If you want to go with a Gengetsu - go for it. It looks like it's a kick ass knife and serious users have really praised its cutting ability. But, as I've learned, taking "care" of knives, especially Japanese knives, means knowing how to sharpen them correctly. How it looks, what it cost, won't translate into better performance if you don't know how to sharpen it. And there's a ton to learn about sharpening. I probably spend more time talking with Jon about sharpening and stones than knives.

TheAndre
06-24-2012, 12:55 AM
"Anything can happen at work." I only know one sushi chef, who's in Gardena, who uses something close to a honyaki - a Nenohi yanagiba. But, he works by himself with his wife.


Thankfully I'm a web developer, I don't really have to worry about my co-workers taking my stuff, and my knives stay at home anyway.

Definitely WAY down the line on the honyaki...

I'll ring him when I'm on my way to Venice, I'm going there for other reasons anyway so if he's closed it's not that huge of a deal... I'm thinking that what I might to while I'm there is pickup a cheaper (under $200) yanigaba that is super high maintenance just to learn for now... maybe buy something in the $700-$1000 "custom" range around Christmas.

TheAndre
06-24-2012, 01:03 AM
kind of a 'jump right in'...'crash course' kind of a....mixed metaphor...thing...

chinacats
06-24-2012, 01:14 AM
Cool, make sure and report back if you find something you like!

wenus2
06-24-2012, 02:39 AM
Yes, the Gengetsu is light years better than any Shun at 60% of the "retail price."
In fact, we could provide pages of suggestions that are better than a Shun Fuji for less money.
If you asked for a list of knives better than the Gengetsu, for less money, it would be short - if not blank.

No offense, as we were all new once... But your perspective is all messed up right now, skewed by years of marketing BS.
Jon will fix you up. The best thing you can do is go in with an open mind and trust his advice.
He has talked me, and others here out of large purchases from his store because he didn't think it was a right fit. He is one of those rare people that really will send you, and all your money, down the road if he thinks it's in your best interest. So don't feel anything he tells you is "pitch," he's not selling cars, but he is selling some of the best J-knives made.

Go in, handle some sweet knives, and gain some wisdom. Buy nothing, buy everything, whatever.
(don't buy that 240 mm Damascus Heiji gyuto though, I'm savin my pennies)

Oh, and welcome to the Knife Knut House!
Careful, this place is real bad for your wallet...

Crothcipt
06-24-2012, 03:04 AM
Welcome to the forum, and you have been bit badly. It is a good thing you really have not bought your gateway kitchen knife. Next month you will go check out a shun and be disappointed, and very glad at the same time.

JBroida
06-24-2012, 03:12 AM
i'll be there tomorrow.... just might be 10 lbs heavier... just got home from an almost 4 hour dinner... in pain

obtuse
06-24-2012, 03:18 AM
i'll be there tomorrow.... just might be 10 lbs heavier... just got home from an almost 4 hour dinner... in pain

Nice!

Taz575
06-24-2012, 04:02 AM
Love how its 4am on the East Coast and Jon is till awake and on the forums!

TheAndre, I am a Microtech fan myself!! I went with the manual actions though; Mini Socom, Socom Elite Prototype, LCC, Vector. The Halo's have always appealed to me, but I couldn't justify that much for a knife I couldn't carry on my person.

Like was mentioned, you can always get the handle upgraded to add some flash. There are 2 types of damascus blades generally. The 'Real' Damascus where the guys forge different steels together and the stuff that is basically layers of steel forge welded onto a core of solid steel so you see the layers on the side, but not really a pattern per say, just layers. This style is most common with Vg-10 or VG-1 core steels. Some of the guys here do a solid core steel with real damascus on the outside as well. I would go for a simpler looking blade with good steel and then get it re handled down the road instead of going for a blinged out blade in a clad damascus with an average quality core steel.

Jon will steer you right! He spent a lot of time with me via PM's when I was trying to decide on a Sujihiki. He really understands how the different brands of knives vary and will help you find what will work best for you!

Eamon Burke
06-24-2012, 10:38 AM
Dude...you want a great Japanese knife, have the money to buy one, and that's about it. JKI is your candy store.

You'd be nuts to miss out on it. If I lived in CA I would be in that shop weekly.

wenus2
06-24-2012, 12:07 PM
Dude...you want a great Japanese knife, have the money to buy one, and that's about it. JKI is your candy store.

You'd be nuts to miss out on it. If I lived in CA I would be in that shop weekly.
Yeah it's really not fair that they get Disneyland AND Japanese Knife Imports!

Cadillac J
06-24-2012, 12:14 PM
As for aesthetics, the more time you spend here, the more you will appreciate the beauty of a "simpler" handmade knife and less and less you will be attracted to factory beauty queens.

Agreed 100%

With all of the noobs coming and going over the years (ourselves included at some point), there almost always seems to be a tipping point where it clicks and they 'get it'...all of a sudden, many of the knives they used to lust after thinking they were BMW and Audis now look like Honda Civics with mismatched ground effects, huge wings and fart-can exhaust.

stereo.pete
06-24-2012, 12:16 PM
Agreed 100%

With all of the noobs coming and going over the years (ourselves included at some point), there almost always seems to be a tipping point where it clicks and they 'get it'...all of a sudden, many of the knives they used to lust after thinking they were BMW and Audis now look like Honda Civics with mismatched ground effects, huge wings and fart-can exhaust.


+1

Chifunda
06-24-2012, 12:22 PM
Yeah it's really not fair that they get Disneyland AND Japanese Knife Imports!

Japanese Knife Imports IS Disneyland. :)

TheAndre
06-24-2012, 12:23 PM
Agreed 100%

With all of the noobs coming and going over the years (ourselves included at some point), there almost always seems to be a tipping point where it clicks and they 'get it'...all of a sudden, many of the knives they used to lust after thinking they were BMW and Audis now look like Honda Civics with mismatched ground effects, huge wings and fart-can exhaust.

hah, I've always been more of a Lotus man myself... I get the point though, when I started the thread I was more mixed about whether or not the Shun Fuji Chef knife at $480, bought at auction for $300, was a better deal than buying a $300 japanese blade at retail.

You've all sold me, and I will do my best to educate myself further on the matter. I don't like to skimp on quality...

I'll be hitting up JKI around 12-1 or so. I think this might be my starter right here:
http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/kitchen-knives-by-type/yanagiba/gesshin-uraku-270mm-white-2-yanagiba.html#

but... I could be wrong, it happens.

wenus2
06-24-2012, 12:34 PM
Not a bad way to go. Just think... With all that money you saved you could buy another knife!

And another... and another... And another

And so it goes; down the rabbit hole, lol.

oivind_dahle
06-24-2012, 12:52 PM
Yes, that is gorgeous. But...what are we talking here? $2000? $3000? $10,000? more? I'm trying to be vaguely responsible here, I'm only 24....that can come when I've actually established my career.

Buy it now: 15k
Order and get in years 5,6k

TheAndre
06-24-2012, 01:05 PM
Not a bad way to go. Just think... With all that money you saved you could buy another knife!

And another... and another... And another

And so it goes; down the rabbit hole, lol.

Idk about getting another knife with the $70 or so I save after tax,....but some sort of moderately high quality whetstone, perhaps.

Deckhand
06-24-2012, 01:15 PM
Idk about getting another knife with the $70 or so I save after tax,....but some sort of moderately high quality whetstone, perhaps.

Can't wait to hear your update, and he has lots of Japanese waterstones.

add
06-24-2012, 01:42 PM
Another plus plus for Jon.

W/O offense here TheAndre, at this point in your knife venture; you simply cannot truly appreciate your locale this resource...

TheAndre
06-24-2012, 02:07 PM
Heading out in a few, takes me about 45min to get down there and I gotta pick up beer first anyway (hiking up in Malibu!)....

I'll post my findings tonight when I get home, and...hopefully they'll include a picture of my possible new yanigaba and the sushi I tried it out on.

TO VENICE!

SameGuy
06-24-2012, 02:17 PM
I should head to JKI one of these days. What bus do I grab from LAX? The Montana/Lincoln? I'll probably have eight or nine hours to kill at LAX on my way to Brisbane in a couple of weeks.

Have fun, TheAndre!

TheAndre
06-25-2012, 01:16 AM
so.. had a nice long chat with Jon, bought a starter yanigaba and a whetstone, I'll post more details later, didn't get a chance to get fish tonight, hiking took too long!

Pictures to follow later, I suppose.

I got this one, btw.:

http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/kitchen-knives-by-type/yanagiba/gesshin-uraku-300mm-white-2-yanagiba.html

chinacats
06-25-2012, 01:28 AM
so.. had a nice long chat with Jon, bought a starter yanigaba and a whetstone, I'll post more details later, didn't get a chance to get fish tonight, hiking took too long!
Pictures to follow later, I suppose.
I got this one, btw.:
http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/kitchen-knives-by-type/yanagiba/gesshin-uraku-300mm-white-2-yanagiba.html

Congratulations, that is a beautiful knife, hope you enjoy! Let us know your impressions once you've had a chance to use it. Smart move buying a whetstone while you were there!

wenus2
06-25-2012, 03:49 AM
Very nice, congrats.
I thought the size upgrade might happen, wise choice. 300 is a good place to be.
You are well on your way now!

vai777
06-25-2012, 11:23 AM
Ikeda gyuto

TheAndre
06-25-2012, 12:04 PM
got up pat 6am, groggily drove down to the restaurant supply sushi / fish market on Skid Row (Pacific Fresh Fish, Co.... if you're in LA check it out).

Grabbed 2lbs of fresh Ahi, they cut a thick 'steak' off of a 4' piece...came home and made a quick sashimi salad for breakfast.

All I can say about the knife right now:

Holy. Crap.

Maluaka
06-25-2012, 12:15 PM
Good call on the length. I recently got a 330 as my first Yanagiba which I feared might be a bit unwieldy. Doesn't seem rediculous at all when only using it to slice. It was hard at first to learn to relax my wrist and just let the weight of the knife do the cutting.

Yanagibas are way too much fun for cutting meat. My wife finally got fed up the other night and requested a whole steak for dinner...

Congrats on the purchase!

Oh and btw, Jons single bevel sharpening videos are fantastic!

TheAndre
06-25-2012, 12:58 PM
he mentioned those videos,.... what's his youtube channel?

Definitely going to need to watch them as my knife sharpening skills are, well,....saying amateur might be giving me too much credit.

Johnny.B.Good
06-25-2012, 01:20 PM
Definitely going to need to watch them as my knife sharpening skills are, well,....saying amateur might be giving me too much credit.

http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/media

Congrats on the new knife.

Deckhand
06-25-2012, 02:06 PM
Congratulations! Glad it worked out well.

Gravy Power
06-25-2012, 04:24 PM
Congrats, I wish I was a little more patient and found sought out this place before my "Shun" phase. They aren't bad knives, and I still use my 7'' Asian cooks knife, but yeah the money could been better spent.

knyfeknerd
06-26-2012, 12:02 AM
So glad you didn't get a Shun. I gave almost all of mine away. You got a REAL knife instead.

TheAndre
06-26-2012, 12:16 AM
https://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/426248_10100266034042569_1672745276_n.jpg

Hope this image share works? Woo sushi!

Taz575
06-26-2012, 12:17 AM
Loving the honey horn/blond horn ferrule!!

Johnny.B.Good
06-26-2012, 12:47 AM
Nice Andre! Looks like that knife is going to get a workout with your steady diet of sushi.

wenus2
06-26-2012, 01:25 AM
Loving the honey horn/blond horn ferrule!!

Yeah, looks awesome. Congrats again.

gamblerS4
06-26-2012, 01:56 AM
Niiiiiiiiiiiice knife! Good for you and enjoy.

Deckhand
06-26-2012, 02:25 AM
That's great!

obtuse
06-26-2012, 02:39 AM
Looks like I need to start eating more sushi so I can have an excuse to buy a nice yanagiba.

TheAndre
06-26-2012, 01:03 PM
it takes some getting used to,... I haven't used one since I was like 14-15.

I was playing with the "Katsuramuki" technique last night and got about 1/2 of my little Persian cucumber into a paper-thin strip, was extremely pleased with myself...and made it into eyebrows / helmet for my dog...but anyway...

Going to take ALOT more practice to do that better / quicker / more efficiently though....

SpikeC
06-26-2012, 02:58 PM
Really nice looking knife ya got there, sport!