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cravenz
10-21-2012, 02:24 AM
Hi, I'm thinking of getting my mate his first proper chef's knife and was wondering what I should be looking at.

I filled up the fields to the best of my ability. Hopefully it makes some sense!

What type of knife(s) do you think you want?
Multi-purpose.

Why is it being purchased? What, if anything, are you replacing?
As a gift.

What do you like and dislike about these qualities of your knives already?
Aesthetics- My friend likes things simple.
Edge Quality/Retention-
Ease of Use-
Comfort-

What grip do you use?
Pinch grip.

What kind of cutting motion do you use?
Push cut.

Where do you store them?
In a drawer generally.

Have you ever oiled a handle?

What kind of cutting board(s) do you use?
Bamboo at the moment I think.

For edge maintenance, do you use a strop, honing rod, pull through/other, or nothing?

Have they ever been sharpened?

What is your budget?
Approximately 200 - 300; and perhaps it may include a sharpening tool, might need advice on that too if possible!

What do you cook and how often?
Almost everyday.

Special requests(Country of origin/type of wood/etc)?
His preference is for a Japanese knife as far as I know.

Many thanks in advance!

chinacats
10-21-2012, 02:29 AM
Welcome Cravez! Sounds like you are a very generous friend, I am sure you will be pointed in the right direction. Might see what your friend knows about sharpening as it would be helpful to give proper advice. Also, it may be important as far as pricing to know if you are located in the states or elsewhere.

Good luck

cravenz
10-21-2012, 02:38 AM
Welcome Cravez! Sounds like you are a very generous friend, I am sure you will be pointed in the right direction. Might see what your friend knows about sharpening as it would be helpful to give proper advice. Also, it may be important as far as pricing to know if you are located in the states or elsewhere.

Good luck

Thanks chinacats!

I just realised my username was supposed to be listed as 'cravenz'! D'oh!

He's a good mate, so I thought why not. I've read a little about knives so thought I would need to spend a little more. I'd like to get him something that he can keep for a while, and also at the same time, give him a glimpse into what he's been wanting to look into. He loves cooking as well, so price/money isn't an issue. Though I don't have millions to throw around!

I'm not a hundred percent sure on what he knows about sharpening. I know he's used sharpening stones and that's about it unfortunately.

Pricing wise, I'm in Australia, which has pretty much the same value as the US dollar at the moment, which is great!

Edit: I forgot to add in the original post that my mate is left-handed as well! I can't seem to edit that into the first post, so this will have to do!

Thanks again for your input!

Benuser
10-21-2012, 08:55 AM
Did you see your friend using any carbon steel stuff yet?

cravenz
10-21-2012, 11:03 AM
Did you see your friend using any carbon steel stuff yet?

Nope. It would be his first foray into the knife world. Any differences with them?

Dave Martell
10-21-2012, 11:07 AM
I just realised my username was supposed to be listed as 'cravenz'! D'oh!





Fixed!

Welcome to KKF :)

Benuser
10-21-2012, 11:25 AM
You need some discipline: wipe after each use, rince and DRY before storing. You get the sharpest, finest edge and very easy sharpening.
Japanese knives are mostly made for right handers, even when advertised otherwise. You may see one with a neutral edge, but often the blade's geometry is still right biased.
European knives tend to have a more neutral geometry and come in general with neutral edge.
I would consider French or German carbons. A few names: Robert Herder, Solingen; K-Sabatier; Thiers-Issard.

cravenz
10-21-2012, 11:36 AM
Fixed!

Welcome to KKF :)

Thank you so very much! And thank you for the welcome as well. Much appreciated.


You need some discipline: wipe after each use, rince and DRY before storing. You get the sharpest, finest edge and very easy sharpening.
Japanese knives are mostly made for right handers, even when advertised otherwise. You may see one with a neutral edge, but often the blade's geometry is still right biased.
European knives tend to have a more neutral geometry and come in general with neutral edge.
I would consider French or German carbons. A few names: Robert Herder, Solingen; K-Sabatier; Thiers-Issard.

I'm pretty much set with looking for a Japanese blade for my friend. He's indicated that he is looking for one, and he also loves all thing Japanese. He studies it, and is also making a trip there himself next year or the year after! So I'm guessing I'll have to look for one with a neutral edge.

But you are right. He did mention that when he was working at Ippudo for a bit, they wouldn't let him do any prep work. He mentioned that it had something to do with them believing that lefties couldn't cut it properly, but it may have more to do with the blade?

Benuser
10-21-2012, 11:54 AM
Probably. For J-knives, check japanesechefsknife.com. They send from Japan, apply $7 handling costs for any destination. Mail the owner (Koki) to confirm about a knife's geometry, he will be glad to help you.

ajhuff
10-21-2012, 12:02 PM
I'm going through this exercise myself. After consulting with knife guru Jon Broida I decided on the Suisin INOX western . You may want to run your thoughts past him.

-AJ

cravenz
10-21-2012, 12:02 PM
Probably. For J-knives, check japanesechefsknife.com. They send from Japan, apply $7 handling costs for any destination. Mail the owner (Koki) to confirm about a knife's geometry, he will be glad to help you.

Will do that. I chanced upon that site whilst looking at knives, but I haven't the foggiest what to go for! I'll probably need to figure out which knife to go for first before I mail through to the owner. But I definitely did like the shipping costs!

Johnny.B.Good
10-21-2012, 12:07 PM
Hello Cravenz, welcome to the forum.

I second taking a hard look at what JCK has to offer (japanesechefsknife.com). Solid reputation and incredibly fast (and cheap) shipping.

Do you think your friend would prefer a western ("yo") or Japanese ("wa") handle?

mc2442
10-21-2012, 12:08 PM
I also gave a Suisin INOX western as a gift that was well recieved. Still have not used one myself, but for the price point they seemed very well reviewed.

cravenz
10-21-2012, 12:22 PM
Hello Cravenz, welcome to the forum.

I second taking a hard look at what JCK has to offer (japanesechefsknife.com). Solid reputation and incredibly fast (and cheap) shipping.

Do you think your friend would prefer a western ("yo") or Japanese ("wa") handle?

My guess would be the Japanese handle, but I definitely don't know the answer to this at all. If I'm honest, it's his preference for anything Japanese that has me guessing this really! I'm also horribly new at this, so I don't know much of the terminologies so I'm having to read up as we go. We both do a fair bit of cooking, and sometimes have a cook off on the weekends. I'm likely to leave the country soon, and thought it would be a good parting gift. Also enjoying reading up on all this because I might fancy getting on myself later down the line.

cravenz
10-22-2012, 12:32 AM
As an aside, is there any particular models or brands that I should be looking at, at the JCK website? I think the gyutos would be what I should be getting for my friend, but other than that, I'm not sure of the subtle differences in the branding etc.

Johnny.B.Good
10-22-2012, 01:01 AM
Sorry, but I don't much about wa handled gyutos from JCK in your price range (I have a Masamoto KS, but it's more than you want to spend and may not be the best bet for a first Japanese gyuto). There are several lines of knives frequently recommended here to those on a budget (CarboNext (http://japanesechefsknife.com/KAGAYAKICarboNextSeries.html) series and the Fujiwara FKM (http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/FKMSeries.html#WIDTH:%20400px;%20HEIGHT:%20236px) series), but both have western handles.

Perhaps someone more knowledgeable than I am will chime in here with some good options...

cravenz
10-22-2012, 01:05 AM
Sorry, but I don't much about wa handled gyutos from JCK in your price range (I have a Masamoto KS, but it's more than you want to spend and may not be the best bet for a first Japanese gyuto). There are several lines of knives frequently recommended here to those on a budget (CarboNext (http://japanesechefsknife.com/KAGAYAKICarboNextSeries.html) series and the Fujiwara FKM (http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/FKMSeries.html#WIDTH:%20400px;%20HEIGHT:%20236px) series), but both have western handles.

Perhaps someone more knowledgeable than I am will chime in here with some good options...

Thanks. Appreciated.

What's the main difference with the 'wa' handles if I may ask? And why would the western handles be lower in price?

Pardon the absolute ignorance here.

Johnny.B.Good
10-22-2012, 01:25 AM
I wouldn't say wa handled knives are any more or less expensive than yo (western) handled knives. I like the feel (and let's face it, the looks) of traditional wa handles, but it's pure personal preference. There are some beautifully done western handles out there.

If you haven't already, check out some of the knives owned by members here: http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/forumdisplay.php/72-Knife-amp-Gear-Galleries

cravenz
10-22-2012, 01:32 AM
I wouldn't say wa handled knives are any more or less expensive than yo (western) handled knives. I like the feel (and let's face it, the looks) of traditional wa handles, but it's pure personal preference. There are some beautifully done western handles out there.

If you haven't already, check out some of the knives owned by members here: http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/forumdisplay.php/72-Knife-amp-Gear-Galleries

The problem with myself looking at galleries is that I'll want one myself! I love good handles as well. But that's my preference. I'm sure my friend wouldn't be into the fancy stuff though. I have a couple of pool cues that have cocobolo and ebony wood separately. Can't say I like the damascus knives though!

eaglerock
10-22-2012, 08:06 AM
I recommend swedish steel Sakai yusuke 240mm gyuto from bluewayjapan.
At 200$ you cant beat this knife

cravenz
10-23-2012, 03:02 PM
Just wondering, does anyone have any experience with the Hattori FH series from JCK? Asking because I've read a few good things, it's a 50/50 edge, and it's on sale and within my budget so to speak.

Also, any input on MAC knives?

Thanks in advance!!

eaglerock
10-23-2012, 05:21 PM
Hattori FH is a great knife. Recommended

Macs are good too but for the price you can get much better knives.

cravenz
11-03-2012, 03:30 PM
Does anyone know if JCK usually takes more than a week to reply?

euphorbioid
11-04-2012, 09:20 PM
I got a reply today in 6 hours from Koki. The time difference maybe a factor in reply times.

As far as the left handed thing goes, I am left handed. I learned early on from Dave that most knives have a righty bias, even if someone sharpens the edge to a lefty profile. You can't change the grind of the whole knife. Having said that, for double beveled things like gyutos, which I guess is what you are looking for, I haven't noticed any issues with steering. Single beveled knives are a whole different story.

Sara@JKI
11-05-2012, 04:07 AM
I thought that a bamboo cutting board is really harsh on knives... When you give your friend a knife (or knives) as a gift, it might be a good idea to also talk about cutting boards :) !

I love picking out gifts for my friends and family - hope you are having fun in the process, and find a perfect one for your friend! :bliss:

Carl
11-05-2012, 01:37 PM
I bought a custom knife for a chef friend's wedding (from a vendor here, look around, you'll see it). Being a wedding present my buget was a little different from yours, but the end result was a one of a kind knife, so different from anything he previously owned that it changed his technique of cutting, and now uses it almost exclusively. Not to mention that all the other kitchen staff oogle it and drool over it every chance they get. It has made quite a statement.

I say go for it, and buy the best you can afford. A little polish and fancy wood goes the extra mile in making a truely unique and astounding gift.

Mike9
11-05-2012, 03:05 PM
I gave my best man my Tojiro ITK 240 gyuto that I rehandled and put a new edge on. He loves it.

turbochef422
11-05-2012, 03:57 PM
A pretty good knife and a nice cutting board, I couldn't think of any other gift I would want

mhlee
11-05-2012, 05:07 PM
I've given kitchen knives to two friends for their weddings, and given knives to other friends as gifts despite traditional superstition about giving knives as gifts. Good knives are always well received. And they last. :knife:

Carl
11-05-2012, 07:04 PM
Superstition about gift knives? Do tell.