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Thread: Need Advice on Two Knives - filled out the newbie form too.

  1. #1

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    Need Advice on Two Knives - filled out the newbie form too.

    New Member here and while fun, I am exhausted at all the info there is so I hope some of you can help (no, I know you can help actaully... )
    Hope this is an OK spot for the post


    What type of knife(s) do you think you want? An all purpose Japanese knife (Western Gyuto?) and probably a paring knife

    Why is it being purchased? What, if anything, are you replacing?
    Good friends got married. (I married them actaully)
    They have crap knives. I know they (certainly he) will be ecstatic to get a fantastic Japanese knife but it needs to be good for broad use. The bride is tiny and if I don't buy them a paring knife to boot, my wife will be bent as I can't get her to use anything else (I swear she'd slice thanksgiving dinner with it if it were her task). Plus it's good for the couple to have one.

    What do you like and dislike about these qualities of your knives already?
    Aesthetics- I want the knife to be somewhat unique but this is least important. By nature it will be given it's japanese.
    Edge Quality/Retention- This is very important. I don't trust they will, nor do I want to burden them with having to, babysit the knife if it won't hold the edge.
    Ease of Use- They are not high caliber chefs, so on the easy side but not afraid to let them grow into it a bit.
    Comfort- Again, not professionals with the knife in hand all day, so it's not critical, though the handle should feel good so the it's love at first site/feel

    What grip do you use? They are Right handed

    What kind of cutting motion do you use? They cut stuff.

    Where do you store them? This can come second but it will certainly be a block or magnet(?)

    Have you ever oiled a handle? No

    What kind of cutting board(s) do you use? Wooden.

    For edge maintenance, do you use a strop, honing rod, pull through/other, or nothing? Nothing. He has all sorts of sharpeners for other tools, he is a carpenter.

    Have they ever been sharpened?

    What is your budget? It looks like I can get a great knife for between $100-200 and then a great pairing knife for less, but the ranges are huge and the differences are hard to tell.

    What do you cook and how often? Lots of veggies, fish, pork, some beef.

    Special requests(Country of origin/type of wood/etc)?

  2. #2

    echerub's Avatar
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    Hi Big Al! Welcome aboard!

    At the $100-200 range for something that looks like it ought to be stainless (or at least semi-stainless) and which looks special, I actually think the Tanaka VG10 Damascus 240mm gyuto would be a good choice. It's not one that gets much discussion time here, but I think it's good for what you're looking for. I got one way early on and still use it. It's stainless so keeping it looking great is easier.

    It's got the layered cladding so it looks quite nice. It has a wa-handle and kanji engraving so it's very obviously Japanese. I have a family friend who drops by my kitchen and admires my Tanaka each time. It doesn't matter what else I have because that's the only one I have out in easy reach that has the layered cladding so that's what catches his eye. Plus it can take a nice edge and holds it well for home use.

    Runs a very reasonable $150 or so, I believe.

    The others will have other recommendations, but that's my addition to the pool

    For the paring... are you set on the paring or will a 135mm/150mm petty be worth considering? It would be okay as a solo use knife if the lady really doesn't want to use a chef's knife - certainly more flexible than a paring - and yet does a good job for in-hand peeling and other small jobs, I think.
    Len

  3. #3
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    I'd pick up an akifusa or a gesshin kagero (although this is a bit over the budget). The steel is supposed to hold an impressive edge.

  4. #4
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    mr drinky's Avatar
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    I've never tried the knives, but if I were to get one for a wedding gift, I've thought those JCK Inazuma knives would fit the bill. They are definitely beautiful and not that expensive. I've already pegged these as my future wedding gift for some novice knife home cooks. They don't have a parer, but do have a 150 petty and only the 210 gyuto is in stock right now though.

    The JCK Gekko line is another option in similar style and price range, and there is also the Togiharu hammered line from Korin that looks similar.

    The JCK knives are down on this link. And Korin is on this forum.

    k.
    "In Japan they don't call it Japanese food, they just call it food." -- Children's Hospital Quote

  5. #5
    Canada's Sharpest Lefty Lefty's Avatar
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    I really like all of these suggestions, myself except for one little change. I know firsthand what you and your friend are going through with the wives being paring knife users. I'm with you on the paring knife idea. I tried to get my wife to switch to a small nakiri, and even a 120 and 150 petty. No dice! I finally caved a have a custom parer that she and Pierre designed with me as the middle man. So, yes...definitely get a parer over a petty, in this case.

    As for which knives to go with, I really like the Tanaka suggestion, but there isn't a true parer to go along with it that I know of. I'm assuming you want the to be matching, correct? If so, I'd seriously consider the Misono Moly line of knives, sold at japanesechefsknife.com. The parer has a great shape, they have terrific fit and finish, and the steel is very forgiving, yet gets incredibly sharp while holding the edge for a pretty good amount of time. You could also consider the Masmoto lines, based on the Masamotos I've used.
    09/06

    Take a look around at: www.sharpandshinyshop.com

    Email me at: tmclean@sharpandshinyshop.com

  6. #6

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    What about Hattori HD?

    Thank you for the feedback.

    What about the Hattori HD Series Gyuto?
    http://japanesechefsknife.com/HDSeries.html#HD Gyuto

    Looks nice, seems to be easy maintenance/holds its edge, but would love your thoughts. Is there something I am missing? A far better knife etc?

    Thank you again,

  7. #7

    echerub's Avatar
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    I haven't used that line before, but it should be good. From a sharpening perspective I'm not as fond of Hattori's VG10 (from another product line) compared to the Tanaka, but it's certainly good from a use/performance perspective.

    The 240 gyuto's just a smidge above your budget, but shipping is cheap so it should be okay.

    Perhaps one of the other guys has firsthand experience with this line
    Len

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by echerub View Post
    I haven't used that line before, but it should be good. From a sharpening perspective I'm not as fond of Hattori's VG10 (from another product line) compared to the Tanaka, but it's certainly good from a use/performance perspective.

    The 240 gyuto's just a smidge above your budget, but shipping is cheap so it should be okay.

    Perhaps one of the other guys has firsthand experience with this line
    Thank you.
    So FIRST i have to decide on a the brand, but then I keep thinking these 210, 240mm blades are pretty huge for the standard cooking events (I look at my Wusty's and the 16cm gets a lot of us...but so does the 20cm. I was really thinking 180mm would be a good everyday for them. Am I off?

  9. #9
    Canada's Sharpest Lefty Lefty's Avatar
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    Go with 210, minimum or an "everyday" knife. With that being said, my travel knives get crazy use and are 150 and 170. Still, for home use, 210 or 240, in my opinion.
    09/06

    Take a look around at: www.sharpandshinyshop.com

    Email me at: tmclean@sharpandshinyshop.com

  10. #10

    echerub's Avatar
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    It can be. A lot of us around here are used to using 240s, but some of us are also proponents of smaller knives at 165mm or 180mm for low-volume home use. It is with good reason that the most common answer for recommended length in a chef's knife / gyuto is 240mm. It really is handier. Now for the shorter lengths... at 180mm let's say... the issue I see comes from the blade height from edge to heel.

    With a standard gyuto profile, there's not a lot of blade there for scooping up cut product. In this length, I personally would suggest a santoku which gives you the short length but greater height. That translates to "more usable" for me, but it really depends on whether the santoku shape suits the recipient. It also depends on whether you want to give a santoku since sometimes this knife design carries a different image from that of a chef's knife or gyuto.

    The longer lengths aren't absolutely necessary in a home environment, but they sure do make the prep work easier, faster, and more enjoyable. A lot of folks started off with shorter lengths, had concerns about the unwieldiness of the longer lengths, but once they tried the longer lengths found they preferred them. The Japanese knives that you're considering are going to be lighter and feel better than a Wusthof of the same length.

    If you're worried the recipient might be put off by something at 240mm, then go with 210mm if you're going with a gyuto. It's a perfectly fair size for home use while being long enough to do the range of work that a general purpose knife will be asked to do. If you're considering a santoku, then 180mm is perfectly good *although* there are some things like taking apart a whole chicken that in my opinion it won't be as well suited.
    Len

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