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guga
04-12-2011, 07:31 AM
Hi again, i started a topic a few days ago asking advice about getting a knife, after several replies and reading a lot on this and other forums....well...I am more confused tha before.

I will tell you a little bit more about myself, I cook at home, almost every day and weekends, I started culinary school but the knife will be used at home. I wont be using it several hours a day, so I can adapt to the knife id neccesary.
I own a few Wusthof Classic Ikon knives (8" chef, 4" paring and 6" sandwich) which I take care a lot. After every use, I clean them and put them away.

Now, the japanese knife I am looking for must be a good knife that will last me a lifetime but also must beautifull, I must admit that was one of the reason that I bought the whustof ikon's beside having good reviews of course.

Also I dont have skills using the stones to sharp the knives, I was thinking of getting a sharpmaker to begin.

My budget is under $200, but if it really justifies I can go a little above that.

This is a list of the knives I have seen:

- Hiromoto AS (http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/Te...akuSeries.html)
- Fujiwara FKM (http://www.chefknivestogo.com/fufkmgy21.html)
- Masamoto VG (http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/VG...EIGHT:%20181px)
- Tojiro DP (http://www.chefknivestogo.com/tojiro-dp-f-8081.html)
- Tohigaru Moly (http://korin.com/Shop/Togiharu-Molybdenum)
- Misono UX10 (http://www.chefknivestogo.com/mi.html) I liked this one a lot but I must find a really good reason to expend this kind of money.

Thanks everyone for their time and comments

apicius9
04-12-2011, 07:58 AM
It's easy to get confused because everybody here has his own preferences and sometimes the amount of information can be overwhelming. My take on this: these are all very good knives. The difference between your German knives and any of the ones you listed will be much bigger than the differences between the ones you listed - I hope this makes sense... You cannot go wrong with any of them. That said, my personal opinion is that the UX10 is overpriced. The Tojiro has come up in price a bit and is not quite the bargain anymore that it used to be, but still a very good all-round knife. My two preferences: The Hiromoto As with the stainless sides and the carbon core is an excellent all-round knife that is not overly challenging, you just should treat it with a bit of respect, i.e. Not let it sit dirty in the sink because the carbon layer may suffer. The Masamoto is less complicated, a very solid performer, and I always liked its blade profile. Personally, I would pick between those two but any one will make you happy with its performance.

I am not a very good sharpener and a bit lazy. But while you can go absoluely crazy with sharpening stones, many of us have started with a simple stone like a King 1000/6000 combo that is very affordable and - with a bit of practice- will give you good results.

Just my 2cts,

Stefan

bieniek
04-12-2011, 10:12 AM
As Murray Carter said that sharpening is 90% skill and 10 % tool, i would say the same about cheffing/cooking - 90 % skill and love versus 10% in tool. Or less even.
With time when I worked my way through different sections and produce, i noticed that the logo isnt much of importance, but sharpness, comfort and very personal preference are.
First knife i bought for serious money [as for me] was Exxent 24cm. Then I got to use Global for fair period. And this i didnt liked at all.
So when I used Kasumi, and understood why wooden handle is so important to me.
Then i had a chance to cut with Shun, and understood that 27cm is way too big for me.
Then I used some japanese knife that sous chef from Drones posessed - and was amazed by the way it ran through things. Dont remember the brand but it was heavy and felt great in use. And single bevel, yeah.
And finally I used KIWI knives, which costed exactly 2 Euros a knife. And they were seriously sharp, and if you used steel stick, they stayed sharper than the wusthof I had a chance to use.

All in all. All of the experience and your preference will come with time so for your first proper knife get something that catched your eye more than get suggested by brand.

guga
04-12-2011, 10:30 AM
Thanks everyone for your replies. Well as you say before, I will try to get the one that I like the most. I supposed I got lucky with the ikons and hoppe I get lucky with the jknife I choose, I will have to keep on reading the forum and get a little more confused before I get tired and choose one. :biggrin:

I also have a question about the sharpmaker, is it a good begginers tool??? I read very good reviews and even I really like to be sharp, I dont really need my knife to cut through steel, just a few vegetables every day.

NO ChoP!
04-12-2011, 10:35 AM
I think if you're trying to go with spending as little as possible, than Fujiwara is the choice. Otherwise I +1 on the Hiromoto; it will give you the most bang for your buck. It will have that wicked AS edge, but a stain resistant clad. It will probably outperform all of your other stainless choices. Plus, it will last forever. (when you get into UX10 money territory, there are soooo many choices that will get you so much more for the $$$)

guga
04-12-2011, 10:42 AM
It's easy to get confused because everybody here has his own preferences and sometimes the amount of information can be overwhelming. My take on this: these are all very good knives. The difference between your German knives and any of the ones you listed will be much bigger than the differences between the ones you listed - I hope this makes sense... You cannot go wrong with any of them. That said, my personal opinion is that the UX10 is overpriced. The Tojiro has come up in price a bit and is not quite the bargain anymore that it used to be, but still a very good all-round knife. My two preferences: The Hiromoto As with the stainless sides and the carbon core is an excellent all-round knife that is not overly challenging, you just should treat it with a bit of respect, i.e. Not let it sit dirty in the sink because the carbon layer may suffer. The Masamoto is less complicated, a very solid performer, and I always liked its blade profile. Personally, I would pick between those two but any one will make you happy with its performance.

I am not a very good sharpener and a bit lazy. But while you can go absoluely crazy with sharpening stones, many of us have started with a simple stone like a King 1000/6000 combo that is very affordable and - with a bit of practice- will give you good results.

Just my 2cts,

Stefan

Stefan, what about this knives??? This were whr ones I looked at first but everyone told me to go with carbon/steel:

so, I look at all of this:

- hattori hd gyuto (http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/HDSeries.html)
- ryusen tsuchime damascus series (http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/Ry...cusSeries.html)
- shiki damascus premium (http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/SH...cusSeries.html)
- kanetsugu saiun damascus (http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/Sa...cusSeries.html)
- kanetsugu pro j series (http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/ProJSeries.html)
- hiromoto Tenmi Jyuraku Damascus Series (VG-10) (http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/Te...EIGHT:%20184px)

I really liked the kanetsugu's but no one seem to have one.

Thanks

Pensacola Tiger
04-12-2011, 11:00 AM
I suggest that you postpone the purchase of another knife until you have gained some sharpening skills.

Take Stefan's advice and get a King 1000/6000 combination stone or a similar one. The Sharpmaker is just too limited in the bevel angles it can handle, where a stone isn't.

Rick

rysara
04-12-2011, 12:13 PM
+1

I totally agree. Simply because once that out of the box edge wears off (and it will fairly quickly) without proper sharpening you'll have a very expensive butter knife.

goodchef1
04-12-2011, 12:14 PM
Knives are a medium in the kitchen, as cars and airplanes are a medium of transportation. If you are just planning to do some home cooking. Do not get caught up in the hype of what's out there. Go to your local knives store, try out some different sizes, styles, handles. you will automatically be transported in your kitchen with the knife you feel most comfortable with. I'm sure for what you are spending, you will not be disappointed with whatever you choose. All your selections are fine. just close your eyes and pick one.

mhlee
04-12-2011, 12:52 PM
I recall you saying that you are in Argentina and may have difficulty getting some items there. That being said, as far as a sharpening stone, I would actually recommend going with a 2000 grit stone or something like that.

I started with a 1000 stone and I still took too much steel off knives because I kept trying and trying to improve my stroke. This was in the prehistoric days when there was no such thing as the internet so I had to learn from people, what little literature was out there, and lots of elbow grease. A 6000 is nice to have, but the one thing about combo stones is that many are not full sized and too narrow. The thickness of full sized stones helps a great deal.

Looks certainly are important. No one wants to use an ugly knife on a day to day basis, unless they're really looking for something just for performance. Also, remember that better looking knives are generally more expensive. Check out the CarboNext from JCK. It's not a pretty knife at all, but has sold well because it's inexpensive, a performer and most of the people who are buying and commenting about it are cooks and chefs.

Since you happen to own and like the ikons (I've handled them and found them to be nice knives; the handle shape is ok, but the finish is very good), maybe answer these questions for yourself first before buying:

1. Do you like the weight of the ikon?
2. What is your favorite aspect of the ikon?
3. Do you like the thickness of the ikon?
4. Are you looking for something that isn't so stiff/is more flexible?
5. Do you like the handle shape of the ikon?
6. Do you like the handle material of the ikon?
7. Do you "rock chop"?
8. Do you use it to break chicken bones, fish bones?
9. What is the thing you dislike most about the ikon?

Pay attention to details. Is the spine rounded? Is the choil rounded? I don't believe they are on the ikon, but these greatly affect comfort. A pretty knife is useless if you don't like how it feels. And I agree with goodchef, try as many knives as you can.

Good luck!

guga
04-12-2011, 02:26 PM
I recall you saying that you are in Argentina and may have difficulty getting some items there. That being said, as far as a sharpening stone, I would actually recommend going with a 2000 grit stone or something like that.

I started with a 1000 stone and I still took too much steel off knives because I kept trying and trying to improve my stroke. This was in the prehistoric days when there was no such thing as the internet so I had to learn from people, what little literature was out there, and lots of elbow grease. A 6000 is nice to have, but the one thing about combo stones is that many are not full sized and too narrow. The thickness of full sized stones helps a great deal.

Looks certainly are important. No one wants to use an ugly knife on a day to day basis, unless they're really looking for something just for performance. Also, remember that better looking knives are generally more expensive. Check out the CarboNext from JCK. It's not a pretty knife at all, but has sold well because it's inexpensive, a performer and most of the people who are buying and commenting about it are cooks and chefs.

Since you happen to own and like the ikons (I've handled them and found them to be nice knives; the handle shape is ok, but the finish is very good), maybe answer these questions for yourself first before buying:

1. Do you like the weight of the ikon?
2. What is your favorite aspect of the ikon?
3. Do you like the thickness of the ikon?
4. Are you looking for something that isn't so stiff/is more flexible?
5. Do you like the handle shape of the ikon?
6. Do you like the handle material of the ikon?
7. Do you "rock chop"?
8. Do you use it to break chicken bones, fish bones?
9. What is the thing you dislike most about the ikon?

Pay attention to details. Is the spine rounded? Is the choil rounded? I don't believe they are on the ikon, but these greatly affect comfort. A pretty knife is useless if you don't like how it feels. And I agree with goodchef, try as many knives as you can.

Good luck!

Here are my answers:

1. Do you like the weight of the ikon?
Yes, the weight is ok, as I said before I dont use it 8/10 hs a day, so If it not an extremely heavy knife, weight shlould not be a problem.

2. What is your favorite aspect of the ikon?
I really like the handle, I find it very confortable.

3. Do you like the thickness of the ikon?
Yes, I like the thickness, but I dont have a problem trying something different

4. Are you looking for something that isn't so stiff/is more flexible?
I am looking for something different, to cook everyday with and compare.

5. Do you like the handle shape of the ikon?
Yes, I like it a lot.

6. Do you like the handle material of the ikon?
Yes, I like it, I liked the Grenadill wood (African Blackwood) better but they were far more expensive and couldn't afford them.

7. Do you "rock chop"?
not usually

8. Do you use it to break chicken bones, fish bones?
Not really, sometimes, but usually not.

9. What is the thing you dislike most about the ikon?
It seems that I cant keep it sharp, but know that my sharping (lack) abilities are responsible for that.

After reading a lot I narrow my search to this (i think)

- Hiromoto AS (http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/Te...akuSeries.html)
- Masamoto VG (http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/VG...EIGHT:%20181px)

maybe, a very small maybe:
- Misono UX10 (http://www.chefknivestogo.com/mi.html)

I am almost sold on the hiromoto

jaybett
04-12-2011, 04:56 PM
With Japanese knives, its not as simple as picking up a knife. The blades are typically made from steel that is harder, then what is found in Western knives. A Japanese knife, is lighter, thinner, sharper, and can hold its edge. The down side, a Japanese knife that runs into something hard, and the edge will chip. A Western knife the edge would roll.

The profile of a Japanese knife typically is much flatter then a Western knife. Japanese knives are designed to push cut and chop. While they can rock chop, it's not their strength.

To get the most out of a Japanese knife, a person has to either send their knives out to be sharpened by somebody who is experienced with Japanese knives. Dave who runs this site, would be such a person. Or you learn how to sharpen.

Most of us on this forum are in search of the ultimate edge. It doesn't exist, but that doesn't keep us from trying. So we have multiple stones, pastes, strops, etc.... A two stone set up, a 1000 and 6000 stone, will put on a very nice edge.

Jigs are viewed as being limited. The complaints are you can't feel the edge. Pressure can't be adjusted. They have difficulty following curved edges. To be fair, fans of jigs will deny these criticisms. The Edge pro is considered to be the best jig system on the market.

Japanese knives have a learning curve, from figuring out how to use them to sharpening. Part of learning is making mistakes. The best advice is to purchase a relatively inexpensive knife such as: Fujiwara, Tojiro, Hiromoto, Carbonext.

People getting into Japanese knives spend a lot of time, trying to decide which knife to pick up. In the end, most users will say its personal preference, which means experience. Since you don't have any experience at this time, choose the knife that appeals to you the the most, in your price range.

Out of the box, a Japanese knife will be sharper then most Western knives. Use the knife for a month or so, and see how it works in your kitchen. Then send it to Dave and have him put an edge on it. The difference between an out of the box edge and one that an experienced sharpener can put on is incredible.

If you decide to free hand sharpen. It's much easier to hold a $100 -$150 knife over a stone, instead of a $300 one.

As long as you purchase a brand that is well respected, then you should not have any problems selling it, if you find that Japanese knives are not for you.

Jay

mhlee
04-12-2011, 05:51 PM
Between the Hiromoto and the Masamoto, I would have to recommend the Masamoto for a few reasons:

1. If you use the knife to break chicken bones or fish bones, you will probably want a tougher knife than the Hiromoto. While a number of people have one, including me, people have reported that the knife edge can chip. Since you don't have sharpening stones (yet - you will soon if you hang around here more!), you don't want to use the knife, have it chip from use, and not be able to use it because of that, the Masamoto may be a better choice.

2. Hiromotos have average handles according to most people. Mine was re-handled so I cannot comment on this. Nonetheless, people have commented that it is a little small and sometimes has fit and finish issues. Masamotos also have been known to have fit and finish issues, but from my experience, there are fewer comments/issues as far as size of the handle.

3. Since it seems like you like the handle most about the ikon, you may want to take a look at other knives that have very nice handles. The Ashi Hamono knives (at Japanese Knife Imports) have great fit and finish. The handles are extremely nice. And they are thin and agile. I've not cut with one, but I've handled a few.

4. People have ranging opinions of the UX10. Also, with the recent price increase, Misonos are not great values. Nonetheless, the steel is supposed to be good, but, as I recall, people have commented about the handle not being comfortable.

Eamon Burke
04-13-2011, 08:11 AM
I still think you should buy sharpening stuff instead of a new knife. Sounds like you are happy with the design of your Ikon! If it's just about sharpness, you have a long ways to go before the steel will hold you back from getting what you want. Took me a year and a half before I could tell when cheaper, softer steel didn't take as keen of an edge.

SpikeC
04-13-2011, 02:37 PM
+1
For a home cook german steel does a good job. Jknives are big fun, butt learning to sharpen should come first, along with cutting technique, IMO.

oivind_dahle
04-13-2011, 03:24 PM
I do NOT agree

For the first, some just have the interest in sharpening, so why go down that road?
You will be perfectly happy with a skilled sharpener doing the job for you.

And why should someone go german steel chef knife, when the can go japanese gyuto style?
However I dont see the point in working as a pro chef and buy a custom knife or an expensive japanese knife? For pro chefs knives are tools, for home chef a knife can be a lot more. I agree pro chef should have great knives at home, but not insane great knives at work.

Its a HUGE difference between a heavy german chef knife and a japanese guyto, and you dont have to be skilled in sharpening neither cutting skills to enjoy the true happiness in having a japanese gyuto. Go ahead, buy one and go for it. I have no great sharpening skills and probably no great cutting skills, but I enjoy a great knife. I have knives most users here would like to have, and as we speak, I have in the making: customs from Pierre, Devin and Bill.

If you have threadstarter have no interest in sharpening, he can use the services of Dave. And if he is a home chef and go for a Bill Burke, he will probably need to sharpen it only once every second year.

If interest in sharpening and dont know where to start: Hiromoto AS 240 Gyuto + King Combo 1000/6000 - Most bang for the bucks
If home chef with taste for design: Custom Knife by one of the big ones - you wont regret!

SpikeC
04-13-2011, 04:11 PM
Good points.
I have been thinking about a story I once read about a Japanese woodworking apprentice which colored my opinions.

Cadillac J
04-13-2011, 05:00 PM
Newbies always over-analyze and drive themselves crazy over small details (we've all been here at some point), but I guarantee you will look back and realize they are all good choices.

I will make it easy on you...
- If you want to try carbon get: the Hiromoto AS
- If you want to stain-resistant get: JCK CarboNext, Tojiro DP or Fujiwara FKM (CN and Fuji better fit/finish on handles)

Get yourself a Bester 1200 stone or a King 1K/6K combo stone

You will be under or right at $200 and am 95% sure you'll be happy with whatever you choose.

If you stick around the forums, this is far from the last knife/stone you are going to purchase, and probably one of the least expensive gyutos you'll buy from here on out anyway...just pick one and enjoy it!

oivind_dahle
04-13-2011, 05:53 PM
The Hiromoto AS is cladded :)

Do not stain acid food or is reactive at all. Just the edge is carbon. Takes a badass patina.
Here is a big pic of the Hiro with patina.
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_Vdle_zvLYDY/TSubY7RslxI/AAAAAAAAAMQ/Dy-bRta3ojA/s1600/Knives+and+results.jpg

Its a dave rehandle, and I cannot stop to recommend Daves work :) And the Hiro is a legend and a "must have" in your collection :)

This blog is awesome as well:
http://***********************/search/label/Knives

Citizen Snips
04-13-2011, 07:40 PM
lots of good points here. my original advise was to go with the hiromoto AS and still is. i think that you are gonna get a million different reasons why "X" knife is better than "Y" knife. these are all valued opinions based on each persons experience and tastes. the comment about sticking around these forums this purchase being the first of MANY is absolutely right.

i will say that if you enjoy the wusthof ikons, stick with em for a while while you can read more and make a decision. i would recommend getting the bester 1200 stone though. sharpening can bring out the love for knives most people here have. once you learn how to sharpen better, you will be in a better position to make an educated guess on which knife will work well for you (if any).

dont stress about knowing or not knowing which is the best knife in the world for you. it takes some practice and experience before you will find that. believe it or not my first post in the old FF was very very similar to your first post. i had a lot of damascus knives that looked pretty on my wishlist which was quickly changed at the advise of a few people with some more experience than me. i chose the hiromoto and was very happy with it.

i just hope whatever you pick is a great stepping stone for a wonderful hobby

guga
04-14-2011, 12:54 AM
First of all I would like to thank each and everyone that read my post and gave their opinion.
I read carefully every word that you wrote.

I think that I am going to get de Masamoto VG, but not right now, maybe in a couple of months or more.

My sister lives in the states (i am from Argentina), my mother will visit her now (in fact she arrived today to her place in NY), but she will get back in June and again September. If I get the knife, I will have it shipped to her place.

Well, now I want to learn how to properly sharp my german knives, I used to sharp my old $10 knife with a stone bought on a hardware store.

I will keep on reading on this forum to learn what kind of stone I should get. I found this one:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Japanese-Whetstone-KING-KDS-Combination-6000-1000-/380315301232?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item588c8ef570


also, I read about the Sharpmaker and de Edge Pro, but it is way too expensive for my budget.


thanks to everyone again

guga

SpikeC
04-14-2011, 01:02 AM
Your welcome! It sounds like you have a good plan, good luck!

bieniek
04-14-2011, 02:00 PM
few but's...
I cannot imagine a pro chef who doesnt treat his knife with respect and don't maintain it properly and still calls himself pro.
For me it is not tool only, it is my friend in hard work and my arms extension.
It have to be great quality, but still affordable.
Are you trying to buy, for example, Milwaukee drill but with diamonds on the handle and marble body? Do you accomplish the job better with expensive knife, or with sharp one?

The other thing is, that if guga is in Argentina, he might not get decent sharpener close to him who could do the job. That leaves it to himself. And then its worth learning, even if its just way to make your knife usable, not a religion.

Eamon Burke
04-14-2011, 07:36 PM
Buy any of them, they are all premium knives, and even after you use them, they have some resale value if you decide to trade up/sideways.