View Full Version : Looking for your recommendations

09-24-2012, 02:33 PM
Hi everyone, name's Tim. I call upstate NY home. I worked as a line cook for 5 years, but life got too busy to continue that, so cooking is a hobby now.

What type of knife(s) do you think you want? I think I want a 240 Gyuto and a 150 Petty. Maybe a good cheap parer too, but the other two are priorities.

Why is it being purchased? What, if anything, are you replacing? I'm replacing an old 8in german style chef's knife and a chicago cutlery santoku that I'm getting really sick of.

What do you like and dislike about these qualities of your knives already?
Aesthetics- Aesthetically nothing in particular bothers me
Edge Quality/Retention- I prefer the santoku cause it's thinner and lighter
Ease of Use- Depends on the situation. The santoku is shorter and lighter and the chef's knife is longer. Sometimes the santoku is just too freaking short...
Comfort- santoku feels way more comfortable to hold cause of weight

What grip do you use? pinch

What kind of cutting motion do you use? push and rocking

Where do you store them? santoku usually stays out with the board. The chef's knife actually came with a plastic sheath and i keep it sheathed in the drawer.

Have you ever oiled a handle? Nope, but i have mineral oil lying around usually so why not.

What kind of cutting board(s) do you use? Currently a plastic one, but I'm planning on purchasing a much larger wooden one along with the new knives.

For edge maintenance, do you use a strop, honing rod, pull through/other, or nothing? Currently just a honing rod, which is doing just about jack now, so basically nothing.

Have they ever been sharpened? I finally have some time in my life to start learning some basic sharpening, so would appreciate some recommendations on a starter's kit to go with the knives. Will practice on my old knives first obviously...

What is your budget? I'm looking to be around 400-500 on the knives alone, but if a compelling case could be made, I might be willing to go higher. Do keep in mind that these would be my first Japanese knives, so my appreciation has yet to be developed. I'll be willing to pay whatever is necessary for a proper sharpening setup.

What do you cook and how often? I cook everything and everyday. I do break down my own chicken and work with whole fish, but I figure the petty would be adequate for that. Let me know if I'm mistaken. I rarely do anything that requires me to butcher through any serious bones. Big bunches of leafy greens is the primary reason I want a longer knife than what I have now. I make a lot of fruit salads and generally peel my apples and pears by hand. I feel like the petty would be a bit awkward for that, hence why I'm also kind of looking for a cheap paring knife.

Special requests(Country of origin/type of wood/etc)? My significant other's only input in this so far is that she would prefer wa handles and she would prefer that the handles weren't black :scratchhead:. Honestly, feel free to recommend anything. O and she doesn't really like damascus. But i like damascus so I might overrule her on that too :biggrin:


09-24-2012, 02:44 PM
Welcome to the Knut House! Good luck with your quest. That budget gives you way too much to choose from!

09-24-2012, 02:46 PM
Welcome--where in upstate are you?

09-24-2012, 03:00 PM
Rochester =) Should I narrow my budget? How about 300 for the knives? I guess what I'm looking for can be summarized as solid beginner japanese knives with wa handles that can be my workhorses even after i get more knives.

09-24-2012, 03:14 PM
You will get plenty of good advice here from members. I recommend you buy a boardsmith board.
I have a maple magnum.
I have one of these Sakai gyutos in a 270mm and I am very happy with it while I wait for my Rodrigue custom gyuto.

Hope this helps.

09-24-2012, 03:51 PM
I was planning on purchasing a black walnut carolina slab as that fits on my little kitchen island perfectly :cool2: That sakai gyuto looks awesome. How's the edge oob and the fit and finish? I would like to buy a knife that will come with the best edge possible oob so I have something to emulate when learning to sharpen. I suppose I could always have it sent out...but that's just inconvenient.

Also, the lady just pointed out that she would like the petty and gyuto to match... -__-

Pensacola Tiger
09-24-2012, 03:58 PM

Welcome to KKF!

If you don't mind waiting a little, Jon Broida of Japanese Knife Imports will be more than happy to take the time to talk with you on the phone and make some recommendations when he gets back from his trip to Japan on October 20th.

I'd say get a 27 cm Gesshin Uraku wa-gyuto for the leafy greens and as a general purpose knife if your workspace can handle it:

A 15 cm petty will be more than sufficient for breaking down a chicken, though there is a specific knife for that purpose - a honesuki - that you might want to try at some time in the future.

Many people swear by the cheap Victorinox paring knives, and they are so inexpensive you should at least try one.
If you want something better, the Shun Classic paring knife enjoys a good following among many of us.
Or jump on a custom from Del Ealy, Pierre Rodrigue or Will Catcheside:

For dealing with whole fish, a deba is probably the knife you should consider. It is designed for one thing - breaking down whole fish into fillets. Note that a deba is a traditional Japanese single-bevel knife and is made either right or left-handed. Here are a couple of videos of a deba in use:




09-24-2012, 04:03 PM
Rick's advice is as always spot on. I thought about Jon, but I knew he just left for Japan. It would be worth the wait for him.

09-24-2012, 04:29 PM
Welcome to the forum, Tim!

Rick's advice is as always spot on.


09-24-2012, 05:01 PM
270 seems suspiciously long. Do most people adjust okay to almost a 3 in increase in size of the blade? I would like the longest knife possible, but I don't want it so long I don't feel comfortable using it. For work space it'll just be on my island, should be big enough to accommodate a 270 I think. So how does the gesshin uraku compare to that sakai? Is it a different steel? The uraku also seems to be a bit thicker and heavier. I don't know how noticeable that would be in the hand or performance wise. Both those knives are definitely right along the lines of what I'm looking for though. And my lady friend appreciates the matching petty for the gesshin uraku gyuto hahaha

Deba looks sweet, and I would love to get one in the future, but I don't think I'm ready to jump in to single bevel yet :scared4: but I love how that lady in the video said pulling the bones out is like pulling out your eyebrows, cause I can really relate...you know.

I wouldn't mind waiting until Jon came back to give him a call. I would like to get a sharpening setup going first though so I can at least play with that while i wait. Suggestions?!

The hekler
09-24-2012, 05:13 PM
I don't know if Dave is still offering it but he had a beginners sharpening setup on sale recently, all the needed stones and his DVD on sharpening. It would be worth it to search for the thread. Dave Martell beginners sharpening setup or something like that, sorry I'm on my phone or I'd try to find or for you. If you were willing to wait Jon also deals with stones and with one phone call and shipment you could knock out everything. I don't have any personal experience with Jon but word around these parts is he will really go the extra mile and will talk you out of spending money rather then send you home with something you don't need/want. Either way goodluck and welcome!

09-24-2012, 05:24 PM
I saw that offer for the beginner's setup but it looks like it ended on Sept 15th =( Should I just go through and buy the pieces individually? lol Is the DVD worth it? I imagine there's probably some pretty good videos on line too...

seems a shame if I can't buy anything other than a cutting board until Jon comes back =( what will I spend my money on??

09-24-2012, 05:39 PM
A magnum sharpie for practicing your sharpening technique. The afore mentioned Jon taught me that.
240mm is a very popular size. I was fortunate Rick let me test drive some knives before ordering my custom. I test drove a 240m.m. And a 270m.m. My 270mm feels very agile and in no way shape or form feels too long. It feels just right.

09-24-2012, 05:47 PM
Or you can get the same without the DVDs. This setup has some good reviews.

09-24-2012, 06:54 PM
for what its worth, i've been pretty on top of e-mail so far while gone, so if you do want to reach me, that seems to be working now.

09-24-2012, 07:42 PM
O! wonderful! I shall email you then =P

09-24-2012, 08:06 PM
i'm just about the leave the hotel for the day, but if i have an e-mail waiting for me tonight, i'll get back to you then

sachem allison
09-24-2012, 08:26 PM

09-25-2012, 10:34 AM
Just ordered my cutting board =) mad excited. Is there a cheaper solution to that board butter?

09-25-2012, 10:40 AM
Just ordered my cutting board =) mad excited. Is there a cheaper solution to that board butter?

Food grade mineral oil from a pharmacy.

09-25-2012, 10:42 AM
So the beeswax is not necessary? I'm assuming the beeswax improves the sealing. Maybe just occasionally throw in some beeswax?

Pensacola Tiger
09-25-2012, 10:50 AM
So the beeswax is not necessary? I'm assuming the beeswax improves the sealing. Maybe just occasionally throw in some beeswax?

Buy some beeswax and make your own "board butter". Five or six parts mineral oil to one part beeswax by weight.

09-25-2012, 10:51 AM
So the beeswax is not necessary? I'm assuming the beeswax improves the sealing. Maybe just occasionally throw in some beeswax?

It isn't necessary but does assist in sealing up the board better, the oil is a must since the board will dry out and crack otherwise. If you have access to the beeswax you can heat it up and mix the melted wax into the mineral oil to make your own butter.

09-25-2012, 11:40 AM
This link might be interesting for you.


09-25-2012, 03:51 PM
I heated 4 oz. of mineral oil and melted 1 oz. of beeswax into it. Works like a charm!

09-25-2012, 07:50 PM
Just ordered my cutting board

What did you get?

09-25-2012, 09:14 PM
carolina slab walnut. Prefer the darker colors =P

09-25-2012, 09:31 PM
Like this? :)


09-25-2012, 09:37 PM
hopefully exactly like that lol

09-25-2012, 09:50 PM
Well, congrats!

Just as much fun to open as a new knife, and just as useful.

09-26-2012, 10:51 AM
Big thank you to Jon for calling me from Japan :wow: and answering my questions. Bought a King 1000, now just need Mr. Broida to come back so I can buy knives :knife: