I'm looking for my first J-knive . I've looked around the forum and got some ideas but most of the discussed brands here I can't find in The Netherlands so that's why i've setup a new thread.
What type of knife are you interested in?
Are you right or left handed?
Are you interested in a Western handle (e.g., classic Wusthof handle) or Japanese handle?
What length of knife (blade) are you interested in (in inches or millimeters)?
between 190mm and 210mm
Do you require a stainless knife? (Yes or no)
What is your absolute maximum budget for your knife?
Do you primarily intend to use this knife at home or a professional environment?
What are the main tasks you primarily intend to use the knife for (e.g., slicing vegetables, chopping vegetables, mincing vegetables, slicing meats, cutting down poultry, breaking poultry bones, filleting fish, trimming meats, etc.)? (Please identify as many tasks as you would like.)
just the normal stuff
What knife, if any, are you replacing?
Do you have a particular grip that you primarily use?
What cutting motions do you primarily use?
slice, rocking, push-cut
What improvements do you want from your current knife? If you are not replacing a knife, please identify as many characteristics identified below in parentheses that you would like this knife to have.)
Better aesthetics (e.g., a certain type of finish; layered/Damascus or other pattern of steel; different handle color/pattern/shape/wood; better scratch resistance; better stain resistance)?
don't really care, but I like the layered finishes
Comfort (e.g., lighter/heavier knife; better handle material; better handle shape; rounded spine/choil of the knife; improved balance)?
better handle shape
Ease of Use (e.g., ability to use the knife right out of the box; smoother rock chopping, push cutting, or slicing motion; less wedging; better food release; less reactivity with food; easier to sharpen)?
Edge Retention (i.e., length of time you want the edge to last without sharpening)?
the longer the better
Do you use a bamboo, wood, rubber, or synthetic cutting board?
Do you sharpen your own knives?
If not, are you interested in learning how to sharpen your knives?
Are you interested in purchasing sharpening products for your knives?
Hope this is enough information for an advice. Thanks in advance.
Since you are in Europe, I'd be looking at ordering direct from Japan, or JNS (Denmark, although he doesn't carry fully stainless knives).
Being a lefty may rule out highly asymmetric blades. Based on your responses Tanaka VG10 stainless damascus or JCK Inazuma may be good fits.
Your budget also puts you in the ballpark for a Sakai "laser" (read: thin) gyuto, e.g. Sakai Yusuke or the new JCK Fu Rin Ka Zan Swedish steel series amongst others, if you are willing to lose the "damascus"-type looks.
Does your budget include sharpening equipment?
Since J-knives tend to be somewhat asymmetrical (righty based) I would consider something like a lazer which may be less biased. How about something like this? It comes with a saya and if I've done the math right it is just slightly over budget.
I would suggest something simple for your first stone; a combo (1k/5k) would be a fine way to learn.
The damascus cladding on Tanakas is not stainless if I am not mistaken so that probably defeats the purpose of having a stainless knife for him, although I still recommend them. Now I haven't used these at all, but this looks like it would be a great choice for you and would still leave some money to spend on a sharpening stone.
the damascus cladding on the vg10 tanaka is stainless
The cladding on the ginsanko tanaka is stainless, see prior posts. I have the 210 gyuto, and can confirm that it is. This knife is not 50 dollars, more like 125 but ane excellent inexpensive blade. The fit and finish are rough, and the knife needs some work to realize its potential. Mine was not very sharp ootb, and required thinning and a new edge.
Okay, so general consensus seems to be the Tanaka knives, especially the VG10 so I'm gonna look into them for the moment.
Be aware that VG10 is often derided on the forums (an offshoot of Shun-bashing, imo), often being blanket labelled as prone to chipping. IMO there is nothing wrong with adequately treated VG10.