View Full Version : Getting Started

08-13-2012, 12:22 PM
Have been reading through all the great information on this forum and have some confidence in what I think I'm going to do, but thought I'd make a post of my own in case any more specific info might help.

I am located in Canada (Calgary to be specific) so buying at Knifewear and Lee Valley for stones is an option, but I am definitely open to the usual suspects online.

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

Why is it being purchased? What, if anything, are you replacing?
Replacing an inexpensive Henckel's 7" chef's knife, want something higher performing that will hold an edge better.

What do you like and dislike about these qualities of your knives already?
Edge Quality/Retention
Ease of Use
Nothing in any of these categories that I particularly like/dislike about the current knife, it is what it is. Am looking to learn more about sharpening so what a knife that I can progress with.

What grip do you use?

What kind of cutting motion do you use?
Push-cut or rock

Where do you store them?
Homemade bamboo skewer knife 'block', but will get getting a Mag-Blok.

Have you ever oiled a handle?
No, just cutting boards.

What kind of cutting board(s) do you use?
End-grain block.

For edge maintenance, do you use a strop, honing rod, pull through/other, or nothing?
Honing rod and strop, will get some stones with this knife.

Have they ever been sharpened?

What is your budget?

What do you cook and how often?
Broad range of foods/cuisines most days a week.

Special requests(Country of origin/type of wood/etc)?
No real preferences here yet.

Have never tried a wa handle but think that I would like to. CarboNext, Inazuma, Sakai Yusuke (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Japanese-Swedish-Stainless-Wa-Gyuto-Knife-240mm-Ichii-/380435271116?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5893b58dcc#ht_3164wt_1165), Gesshin Ginga are probably the leaders right now. Am looking for value in my first j-knife, don't want something too expensive but would like to be able to develop my sharpening skills and have something that will benefit from that.


08-13-2012, 09:24 PM

Any of the knives you have mentioned would be a good introduction to Japanese knives. The Henckels will do as far as a practice knife for your sharpening skills so I would look to buy a knife that you will want to use for a while. If you want something in the lines of a lazer then the Ginga or Sakai would both be nice. If you are not sure, then maybe you should touch base with Jon at Japanese Knife Imports and open a dialogue...he is extremely helpful, not pushy, and will help keep you from spending your money unwisely.

One note here about edge holding...this is a relative term and once you develop your sharpening skills you may find that this is not as important to you as the ability of the knife to get screaming sharp. My own attitude as a home cook is that I want to only use very sharp knives and if that means I have to sharpen more often then so be it.

Good luck!

08-14-2012, 10:47 AM
Sounds good, I was definitely considering giving Jon a call.

In the meantime I'll probably pickup a stone locally to start practicing, any of the ones at Lee Valley jump out as good picks? 1000 Bester (no 1200 unfortunately) or maybe a King 1000/4000 combo? Thanks again.

08-14-2012, 12:22 PM
Welcome aboard!

I haven't used any of the particular makes that you've cited, but I think you've got a solid list of contenders there. Glad to see that you've noted it'll be your *first* japanese knife, not your only one ;) (Experience shows that it's really rare for anyone to stop at just 1)