View Full Version : Need some knife+sharpening suggestions

07-19-2012, 02:31 AM
I'm looking to be educated on a good chef knife to buy + how to keep it sharp. I kind of know honing steels, and those sharpening kits, but would love links to really good guides on which ones apply. So many different knife types and sharpening each one is different, so I'm getting totally confused.

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

Chef's knife + relevant equipment for edge maintenence

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

Need a main knife, have a cheap chef knife right now, but really need a new one for the amount of cooking I do.

What do you like and dislike about these qualities of your knives already?
Aesthetics- don't care
Edge Quality/Retention- Dislike, but I don't think I'm taking care of it correctly
Ease of Use- Not sure what this means, and how it is different from edge quality or comfort.
Comfort- don't care

What grip do you use?


What kind of cutting motion do you use?

Mostly slice, some chop

Where do you store them?

Magnet strip

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?

I use a honing steel before and after using, but I have no idea what hardness my knife is( some cheap off brand ), and I don't think it does much.

Have they ever been sharpened?


What is your budget?

$200 for knife + sharpening stuff

What do you cook and how often?

At least once daily, uh meat and vegetables? Not sure how specific I need to be here.

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


Thanks for looking!

07-19-2012, 04:49 AM

All available here. Stones also

Find what you like visually and boom.

07-19-2012, 11:18 AM
Have a simple carbon gyuto to start with. Other, advanced stainless with their specific sharpening problems will follow once you got the basics. If you're right handed, a Fujiwara FKH, Misono Swedish Carbon or Hiromoto AS might be a suggestion.

07-19-2012, 11:43 AM

I would agree that a gyuto may be the best place to start. Are you familiar with the neediness of carbon--in other words, do you clean a knife immediately after use, or leave it laying on the cutting board/sink?

You can find a nice 2 sided stone that will be great for a beginner sharpener for maybe $50-60 which will leave the rest of your budget to a knife--you can find something very nice for this amount of money. Finally, are you in the US?


I will add a few other sites to peruse:


07-19-2012, 01:17 PM
[Depends on where you live] I would say JCK is unbeatable if it comes to postage price and speed.

You can buy all you need to start right there and save on shipping from two different sources.

Also Fujiwara, stainless or not, is the cheapest decent starter available?

07-19-2012, 01:52 PM
[Depends on where you live] I would say JCK is unbeatable if it comes to postage price and speed.

You can buy all you need to start right there and save on shipping from two different sources.

Also Fujiwara, stainless or not, is the cheapest decent starter available?

there're also the artifex and tojiro ITK from that other site; pretty cheap knives made from very decent steels.

07-19-2012, 03:18 PM
Only if youre in US, mention that

07-19-2012, 08:36 PM
Welcome Sandman!!!

07-19-2012, 11:18 PM
Wow awesomely fast responses!

@bienik: I actually saw that site being referred a lot in other posts, but that site is seriously overwhelming. I'm pretty sure I want a gyuto, but there's a ton of gyutos there (There's a bunch of different craftsman, that have a bunch of different lines, and I really can't tell the difference between them.

@Benuser: Yep I was thinking the same thing. I am right-handed.

I'm assuming you're referring to these?

Uh, what's the difference? The description paragraphs all say the same thing about super quality edge or what not. The FKH is half the price as the other 2, is it worth the jump?

My current knife is 8-inch, but are there any simple tests on what length gyuto is good for you, or is just preference?

@chinacats: Yep, I take good care of my crappy knife, always wash, hone, and dry right after I finish using it it. I am in the US.

2-sided stone? The picture guide on that website says you should use 3, but I'm guessing one side is medium and the other side is fine?
Is the combination stone the kind you are referring to?

07-20-2012, 12:44 AM
I would choose a 240mm. You will get used to it within a few days. These blades are thin and light compared to e.g. their German equivalents. The 240 are much more versatile, and are preferred by most pros, which can become relevant if ever you would like to sell it.
All three are excellent knives.
Fujiwara: tool steel, not the finest grain, simple but acceptable F&F
Misono: much finer steel, exceptional F&F
Both are very reactive, so you will have to force a patina (don't worry, we'll explain)
Hiromoto: very different animal, carbon core with stainless clad, easy maintenance, just a few milimeters of the core is exposed. Core is made of an exceptionally good steel, takes a crazy edge and holds it almost forever.

07-20-2012, 12:54 AM
Nice, yes the 1k/4k available there would work just fine...I would also recommend searching out Jon Broida's (Japanese Knife Imports) sharpening videos to get you started...I believe you can find links to them here. All the knives you are looking at would be fine...the Misono might be the most fun! Agreed that 240 would be a nice size now and later.

Good luck!

07-20-2012, 02:22 AM
Ok, those movies were super helpful, but now I gotta get a whole bunch more stuff :scared4:

And so much for my $200 budget haha.

Hiromoto AS 240mm gyuto - $161
JCK 1k/4k combo stone - $65 + $7 ship
DMT XXC to flatten stone - $76 from amazon

Sharpen probably every 1-2 months, strop with newspaper over dry waterstone every 1-5 uses (more? less?). Maybe will buy diamond spray if newspaper isn't making it sharp enough :wink:

Sound good?

07-20-2012, 02:42 AM
You could save money on the flattening stone if you are concerned about blowing your budget...

07-20-2012, 03:06 AM
You can use the DMT XC to flatten (it's what I'm using now) and it'll save you $20 or so. It does get stuck to the whetstone a little more (remedied by running water while flattening) and cuts slower than the XXC though. Also I think you can save some more $$$ by getting a king stone instead of the JCK one. King stone is 1k/6k I believe.

Keith Sinclair
07-20-2012, 03:55 AM
You can get the DMT 8" XC free shipping 52.19 Amazon.JMO think a good Med. stone is all you need to start.You would save some coin & have a very good Med. in the Bester 1000 or 1200.If you get the Hiromoto either of these stones will put an excellent cutting edge on the core carbon which is very good steel.

Later after you hone your skills on the Medium grit,if you feel the need for a polishing the 5K suehiro rika is a good choice.Both of these are better than what you would get in a combo stone,last longer as well.

07-20-2012, 04:11 AM
start with one medium stone, Bester or Chosera.

07-20-2012, 01:17 PM
Ah, I'm not too worried about going out of budget, I kind of expected it since it always happens.

Switching from the combo block to the higher quality medium block seems worth it though. Bester 1200 seems to be more recommended than the 1000.

After looking a bunch of reviews on the DMT XC vs XXC, it doesn't look it's worth going to XC just to save $25 (longer flattening times, harder to clean, less longevity).

Hiromoto AS 240mm gyuto - $165
Bester 1200 - $48
DMT XXC - $76

As my little starter kit. Any last thoughts?

EDIT: stupid question, but are the hiromoto knives sold by chef knives to go the same as jck? I know sometimes same brand + model = different product at different stores.

07-20-2012, 01:46 PM
Hiromoto AS 240mm gyuto - $165
Bester 1200 - $48
DMT XXC - $76

I think you pretty much nailed it. The Hiromoto should be a great knife to learn to sharpen on. Once you are able to reliably get a sharp edge with the Bester 1200 you might want to take it up another notch with a good 5-8k stone.

I could also see a good petty in your future.


Keith Sinclair
07-21-2012, 07:12 PM
Sandman you are off to a good start.You get to experience sharpening high quality carbon steel wt. the Hiromoto.A caution it is a clad blade,so be careful not to let the stone hit the sides of the blade,save it for the bevel,if you do scratch it don't worry about it the knife will still cut fine.

The only other thing you might need is a stone holder,the one wt. the 2 rods & 3 rubber blocks.Japan woodworker sells it for 15.00.Simple design that works well.There are some good online tips for freehand sharpening.I also like Dave Martells DVD cause he tells why certain things work & some common mistakes.

07-22-2012, 01:44 AM
Because the clad is very soft, it will scratch easily, but removing scatches is just as easy with ScotchBrite.