Looking for a professional-quality knife
My girlfriend is a cooking enthusiast and she is going to be going to a culinary school and maybe starting a professional culinary career. I know that she wants a professional kitchen knife and I'd like to buy her one so that she can develop her skills. She likes the look of Shun knives that she has seen in magazines, but I have gotten the impression from my online research that they are not nearly as respected as other brands. So I'm trying to find the best knife for her, ideally with similar style but well-respected and with high performance.
She is right-handed, but she has never used a single-bevel knife or any other professional-level knife. I think she will take good care of a professional knife, so rust resistance is not that important. I'm planning to buy just one knife for now, so I assume it should be a 240mm gyuto.
I discovered the Takeda which seems to be really popular and the videos of it in action are impressive, but I am a little concerned about the kurouchi finish and whether she will like it or not. So if anyone has experience with Takeda knives, I'd appreciate your help. I apologize if these are stupid questions. :P
- Does the rough finish negatively affect the cuts that you make? e.g., if it were used to slice sashimi, would you get a rough surface on the sashimi due to it rubbing again the rough knife surface?
- Does the unpolished steel rub off on things or blacken your fingers or the food?
- Do you think the look of the kurouchi finish is an acquired taste or is unattractive?
- Do your friends with "flashier" knives wish they had your Takeda, or vice-versa?
I'd also be interested to know of any other knives with similar performance to the Takeda. I have been eyeing the Moritaka Damascus and the Sakai Takayuki 63-layer Damascus, which both look more beautiful to me than the Takeda, but I have no idea how their performance compares. :(
What type of knife(s) do you think you want?
Japanese, high-performance, 240mm gyuto, 50/50 bevel, aesthetically pleasing.
Why is it being purchased? What, if anything, are you replacing?
To hone knife skills for culinary school and/or a professional culinary career. Replacing J.A. Henckels International knife.
What do you like and dislike about these qualities of your knives already?
Aesthetics-Dislike, the Henckels are boring.
Edge Quality/Retention-Dislike, seems to have poor retention and the blade seems too thick.
Ease of Use-Like
What grip do you use?
What kind of cutting motion do you use?
Not sure what she uses currently--maybe slice, chop, and/or walk. But I'm sure she will be learning new techniques.
Where do you store them?
Have you ever oiled a handle?
What kind of cutting board(s) do you use?
Wood, bamboo, and plastic.
For edge maintenance, do you use a strop, honing rod, pull through/other, or nothing?
Have they ever been sharpened?
What is your budget?
If it's worth the money then the sky's the limit.
What do you cook and how often?
Vegetables and seafood, every breakfast & lunch and 3-4 dinners per week.
Special requests(Country of origin/type of wood/etc)?
We both like all things Japanese so a Japanese knife is preferred.