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Thread: A high-end no-fuss knife - contradiction in terms?

  1. #11
    Senior Member cclin's Avatar
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    if I'm going to buy $500 gyuto...I'm not sharping it with Chef's Choice machine though!! DT itk gyuto stainless & yoshikane SLD semi-stainless gyuto are good all around knives for me. they are great cutter, easy sharpping, good edge retention, won't reactive food & require no or little to take care of the knives!
    Charles ***[All statements I made here only my personal opinion and nothing more!]*** & Please bare with me for my crappy English!!

  2. #12
    Senior Member Notaskinnychef's Avatar
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    In my newbish opinion, get a solid 200-250 dollar knife and a few quality whetstones, hell, even get two carbonext knives and the stones, still be under 500. Granted the CN isn't stainless but being semi stainless you still have a larger time window (but SS is likely better in your situation).

    Overall tho, get a combo stone, even a king 1k/4k that lee valley sells. Sharpening seems like something you won't want to do, but like knives themselves, it's addictive.

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by tk59 View Post
    Any stainless knife and some stainless clad w/ semi-stainless core will handle the sort of treatment you describe. I would stick with blades that are not harder than 60 hrc and a thinner cross section so you don't have to worry about your edge thickening up too quickly. I would recommend a 240 mm. If you want western handles, you might a Gesshin Ginga stainless. A couple of steps down from that, you can try a Togiharu. If you are interested in wa-handles, your options include Sakai Yusuke and Tadatsuna.
    So as I look for those, I see that (for instance) the Sakai Yusuke is sometimes described as "Swedish stainless" and sometimes as "White No. 2 Steel." It looks to me like these are different things -- white steel is carbon steel of the sort that'd rust out if not cared for carefully, yes?

    As for the sharpener, it looks like the "Asian" sharpeners are different primarily in that they have a 15 degree angle instead of a 20 degree angle. Is 15 degrees a typical blade angle for the sorts of knives we're talking about here? Honestly, though, if it came down to having to buy a new machine, probably I'd just look at hand-sharpening options, so I suppose the question is whether a 20 degree machine sharpened angle is totally unacceptable -- based on the tenor of the responses here so far, I suspect I can guess the answer to this one...

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mkozlows View Post
    So as I look for those, I see that (for instance) the Sakai Yusuke is sometimes described as "Swedish stainless" and sometimes as "White No. 2 Steel." It looks to me like these are different things -- white steel is carbon steel of the sort that'd rust out if not cared for carefully, yes?

    As for the sharpener, it looks like the "Asian" sharpeners are different primarily in that they have a 15 degree angle instead of a 20 degree angle. Is 15 degrees a typical blade angle for the sorts of knives we're talking about here? Honestly, though, if it came down to having to buy a new machine, probably I'd just look at hand-sharpening options, so I suppose the question is whether a 20 degree machine sharpened angle is totally unacceptable -- based on the tenor of the responses here so far, I suspect I can guess the answer to this one...
    White steel is not stain resistant, yes.

    It is not a question of what is acceptable. Both angles will work. The question is whether you want to drive your sports car with tires made for a off-roader. Henckels are designed to take a beating: soft and thick. Japanese knives tend toward performance: hard and thin. With an auto-sharpener, you just don't want to go too hard and thin or you'll never come out with a pristine edge. Most of us here, have obviously gone down the waterstone route and we are happy here.

    I should clarify...
    15 x 2 is 30 deg included angle. That's a fairly "thin" edge. (Ultimate thinness is about 20 deg total included angle on the finest steels.) You also want a "thin" knife. 20 x 2 is 40 deg included angle. That's half way to the angle I'd sharpen an ax at. (In the spirit of full disclosure, I admit, I have never actually sharpened an ax.)

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by tk59 View Post
    (In the spirit of full disclosure, I admit, I have never actually sharpened an ax.)
    I am surprised at this.
    Michael
    "Don't you know who he is?"

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by tk59 View Post
    It is not a question of what is acceptable. Both angles will work. The question is whether you want to drive your sports car with tires made for a off-roader. Henckels are designed to take a beating: soft and thick. Japanese knives tend toward performance: hard and thin. With an auto-sharpener, you just don't want to go too hard and thin or you'll never come out with a pristine edge. Most of us here, have obviously gone down the waterstone route and we are happy here.
    Ah, thanks! That's a point I hadn't considered. I wasn't really worried about the machine sharpening, because I've read enough about sharpening in enough places to have come to the conclusion that it's just fine -- but that's in the context of the wider angles on Western knives, and I can certainly see that it'd be a different story on Asian knives.

    So, okay, I'll probably end up down that waterstone road and will have to read up on that. But I still don't want a knife that I need to worry about ruining if I leave it sitting around without immediately cleaning and drying it.

    Notaskinnychef upthread recommended Carbonext, which seems to be a stain/rust-resistant carbon steel. The idea of a magical metal that has the advantages of carbon steel but not its disadvantages sounds too good to be true, especially at the cheap prices it goes for. What's the catch there?

  7. #17
    Senior Member EdipisReks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mhlee View Post
    I am surprised at this.
    me too! i've on two occasions been lucky enough to sharpen traditional Scandanavian axes (a Gransfors and an old Bilnas), and they are great fun. files followed by Styria whetstones is how my dad always sharpened his axes, and that's how i did these two, and it worked great. they both easy shaved arm hair when i was done, though i don't think i'd want to cut carrots with them.

    if i wanted a high end, no-fuss knife, i'd buy a Heiji semi-stainless. scratch that, i've bought two Heiji semi-stainless, so there is no "if." i wouldn't spend that kinda money without knowing how to sharpen, though.

  8. #18
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    Mario stainless custom- in budget, stainless, awesome performance, although you will need water stones I'd recommend gesshin 600 and gesshin 6k both splash and go easy to use and work fast.

    Can't go wrong with that combo.

  9. #19
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    a suisin inox honyaki? =D

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by tk59 View Post
    I disagree. The geometry and profile of Japanese and Japanese-styled knives is already a significant upgrade. You will also see an increase in the amount of time that you are able to derive joy from any given edge. You just need to be wary of purchasing something that is going to microchip on your auto-sharpener. I know Chef's Choice makes a model for asian knives. That will be a significant upgrade as well.
    I'm impressed! And this objective, down to earth reply from a founding member.

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