PDA

View Full Version : How to learn about different knife brands?



slowtyper
04-23-2011, 11:57 AM
Is there a general guide to learn "roughly" about the different major knifemaker? Like a quick pros and cons guide to the major knifemakers, who they would be suitable for, etc etc?

I want to buy a yanagi and maybe a usuba, but want to do some research first...don't really know where to start.

unkajonet
04-23-2011, 12:29 PM
Maybe Gator's site (www.zknives.com). But even then, it's more about specific knives and steels. It's probably easier to have an idea of what type of knife you'd like (gyuto, yanagi, etc.), with maybe a price range, and seek recommendations that way. It really depends on what you're looking for.

Pensacola Tiger
04-23-2011, 12:44 PM
Is there a general guide to learn "roughly" about the different major knifemaker? Like a quick pros and cons guide to the major knifemakers, who they would be suitable for, etc etc?

I want to buy a yanagi and maybe a usuba, but want to do some research first...don't really know where to start.

I'd suggest talking with Jon Broida, of Japanese Knife Imports. Jon is a member here, and has traveled to Japan and met with several makers in the course of his business. He is not only knowledgeable about the knives you are interested in, but actually uses them and can give you some good advice. I trust him to give the best advice he can, and I would not hesitate to purchase a knife he recommended.

You can either start an open thread in his sub-forum here (http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/forumdisplay.php?16-Japanese-Knife-Imports), or if you want, a private message to him. You can also reach him through his website, http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/.

Lefty
04-23-2011, 12:59 PM
I second that, P Tiger.
He's very helpful and won't push a more expensive knife just to make a bit more money.
To be honest, he has answered q's of mine that had nothing to do with anything he carries!

Eamon Burke
04-23-2011, 11:23 PM
Agreed. Find a seller that clearly has a good selection of a variety of top-notch knives and has great customer communication--like Jon Broida--and tell them what you will do with it, your usage style, and budget. He's a pro, and wants your business, and doesn't want to rip you off--that way you'll come back when you inevitably buy more and more knives.

mikemac
04-24-2011, 09:30 AM
In addition to the referrals here, maybe send a pm to Dave....as a sharpener, he probably sees & handles more knives in month than most of us will see in a lifetime.

The problem with a 'buyers guide' is that the Japanese business model seems to support multiple OEM's who supply knives to a 'brand' at different price points, so in effect, the workshop who maked the $250 yanagi for "X" brand may not make the $500 yanagi, or make any of the usuba's, and may not make the $250 yanagi in 6 months.

euphorbioid
04-24-2011, 12:06 PM
I think all of the sugestions are good ones. I found the problem was that I didn't really know what I liked or wanted. I bought a couple of inexpensive gyutos with different shapes and tried them out. Only then was I able to figure out not only what I liked but what everyone else was talking about. If you have someplace nearby that sells these knives check it out. Or find some knife-nut nearby and look at their stuff. Good luck.

BTW, you won't go wrong with either Jon Broida or Dave Martell.

kalaeb
04-24-2011, 04:17 PM
Buy them all, write good reviews on them, post pics and let us in on what you find. :wink:

echerub
04-26-2011, 11:45 AM
If it's a matter of preference, as in what feels good to you and what suits your style, I'm not sure there's any way around it other than actually trying out different knives. The most economical way would be to find some folks who live in the area, get together, and try stuff out.

If it's about the technical side of the knives, the advice of the aforementioned experts and that of many of the folks here can point you in the right direction.

I'd say there's really no shortcut around learning about the specific characteristics that will feel good or feel right for you, though. But that's part of the fun of the whole experience :)

aser
04-27-2011, 01:13 AM
Well you're in Toronto right? I suggest you hit up stores to get a feel for knives. There are two in Toronto that cater to this level of nerdery. Knife on queen st focuses on more general release brands and Tosho will have Konosuke and Takeda, which are more in line w/ the taste of people here.

Tosho doesn't have a physical store yet but will soon. You can visit their workspace to check out the knives in person, they have a new shipment in w/ a lot of Konosuke.

Or if you want I have some knives you can take a look at.

http://knifetoronto.com/

http://www.toshoknifearts.com/

Dave Martell
04-27-2011, 08:05 AM
Well you're in Toronto right? I suggest you hit up stores to get a feel for knives. There are two in Toronto that cater to this level of nerdery. Knife on queen st focuses on more general release brands and Tosho will have Konosuke and Takeda, which are more in line w/ the taste of people here.

Tosho doesn't have a physical store yet but will soon. You can visit their workspace to check out the knives in person, they have a new shipment in w/ a lot of Konosuke.

Or if you want I have some knives you can take a look at.

http://knifetoronto.com/

http://www.toshoknifearts.com/


I know Ivan at Tosho (great guy BTW) but who is running the KnifeToronto, anyone we know? I can't believe that one city has two high end knife stores - you lucky bastids! :)

goodchef1
04-27-2011, 10:39 AM
May I add Knifewear in "I think" Calgary. Great people, very professional and courteous (which is 100% required if I purchase a knife) All the people I communicated with in Canada are some of the best! Is it the water or something?

http://www.knifewear.com/knives-for-sale.asp

Also on the same top notch level "if customer service & product knowledge is important to you"

Chefknivestogo
Japaneseknifeimports
Japanesechefknife

aser
04-27-2011, 12:17 PM
I know Ivan at Tosho (great guy BTW) but who is running the KnifeToronto, anyone we know? I can't believe that one city has two high end knife stores - you lucky bastids! :)

Knife is run by another former cook in the city that has decided to get out of the "game" to have a more normal life, I reckon. I've only been to the shop once, it's a place for the home cook looking for an intro to J-knives. He used to work for Roger Mooking who owns restaurants in Toronto and has a cooking show called "Everyday Exotic".

I know Ivan and Olivia (his partner) also, good peoples, very serious about their knives, def in line w/ the nerdery on here.

echerub
04-27-2011, 12:28 PM
Knife Toronto is run by Eugene Ong. Cool guy. Small physical space, but enough goodies on display to ogle at ;) I think dropping by here would be a good idea to get a sense for what you like.

Never met the folks from Tosho, but they sound like they'd be good local folks to deal with as well.

Oh, and for the OP, I'm around the Toronto area and also have a few items you could try out sometime. Maybe we could do a GTA gathering if there's enough of us around ;)