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Beginner setup in UK. AKA: What else to buy?
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Thread: Beginner setup in UK. AKA: What else to buy?

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    Beginner setup in UK. AKA: What else to buy?

    Hello everyone. I am a home cook living in Manchester. I already own a Tojiro Senkou 7" santoku and 5" utility knife, and have recently purchased a set of Globals. I never like the santoku because I found it too heavy and unweildy. I know everyone advises against buying a knife set but I am actually finding it quite useful in determining what type of blade I like to use and what I will find useful. I never thought I would use a paring knife but now that I have one as part of the set, I find myself using it on a regular basis.
    I will no doubt soon want to upgrade and/or thin out my knives but I want to learn to make the most of what i got first. I need a chopping board and a sharpening system and that is what I want help with. Do I also need anything else?

    Chopping board:
    Being in the UK, it seems my choices are limited. The only place I can find sani-tuff boards are here: http://www.buymats.co.uk/product/227...ards-sani-tuff and it seems they cost a small fortune. Is there a cheaper supplier? The only endgrain board I can find is this one: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Rectangular-...ef=pd_sim_kh_1 and while the price seems very reasonable, is it any good? Which is better suited to the home environment? For those who use endgrain, do you prepare raw meat/poultry on a different board? Is it necessary?

    Sharpening:
    I don't really want to spend the time learning how to freehand sharpen if I can get very good results using some kind of Jig. It is my birthday in a few weeks and I was considering getting the Shapton GS Edge Pro from **************. Will it provide me with good edges on all blades? Will it restrict my knife choices? Also, should I get a decent steel to use with my knives or a strop. I have an 18"x3" leather strop I could use as well as some chromium oxide powder.

    This post seemed a lot shorter in my head. Probably should of made it to posts but you know what newbies are like. Too many questions!

    Edit: I just noticed the filter has automagically edited my post with asterisks. If I made a mistake by mentioning that vendor, I apologise.

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    Senior Member Benuser's Avatar
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    I would strongly advice against any jig system. Free handing is much more versatile. Almost all J-knives are asymmetric and sharpening these with a jig system is time consuming, just as thinning behind the edge. And believe me, your Globals will need a lot of thinning.
    My first problem with these systems though is the preoccupation with the very edge. Sharpening is not just restoring an edge, it's more about restoring geometry. I've seen some blades with the nicest edges - who were poor cutters.

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    I live in the UK too and used to think it was tough but now i've come to realize that most people on here don't buy knives in person, its all mostly done online. If you dig around though its all out there in the UK and Europe. The only American site i choose to buy from is Koki, $7 shipping is amazing.

    I have often thought of buying an edge pro, but i understand the limitations. though i have had no dealing with him Lloyd knives has them in the UK for a reasonable price.

    End grain chopping boards are great and wipe them down and, perhaps my personal oddity ,flick it over, i've never been a fan of plastic/sani boards , Norfolk Oak normally do worktops, but if you dig round you should bespoke chopping blocks, again at what i think of as a reasonable price and they do a good job.

    I'm sure your wise enough to know but never never buy Japanese knives from a swanky chain of shops in London.

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    Senior Member stevenStefano's Avatar
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    Yeah I'd stick with JCK if I were you if you're gonna buy knives. In terms of sharpening, again I wouldn't bother with the Edge Pro. I got one when I started but I sold it and freehanding is really the way to go. You can pick up King stones for very little and I'd practice on the Globals with them. It shouldn't take you too long. I guess you could try the EP but I found the results with freehanding infinitely better. Yeah I'd get a strop too, I got mine on ebay for like a tenner

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    Senior Member eaglerock's Avatar
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    I just bought this one and it is very nice: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tuscany-Rect...9213891&sr=1-1

  6. #6
    Senior Member Benuser's Avatar
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    In Europe, Chosera stones are considerably less expensive than in America.
    edenwebshops.co.uk
    edenwebshops.de
    You might consider the 800 and 3k.

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    Thanks everyone. For the chopping board, I think I will get one of the T&G ones from amazon. Possibly he acacia one as recommended by eaglerock. Do I need a separate board for raw meat?
    For the knife sharpening it seems like freehanding is the way to go, and I do understand that it will take a while to become proficient at it, but how long, and am I likely to have useable edges in the learning period or will I probably screw things up a lot at the start?
    As for the stones, I understand that feedback should probably be a major factor in choosing stones as a beginner in order to make life easier. I don't really mind paying the money for good stones if they are better for the job at hand. Should I cough up and get some Choseras or go with the Beston 500, Bester 1200, Rika 5k? Atoma 140 seems to be the way to go for stone flatening. Oh, I almost forgot. I have a 8"x3" Coticule. Would this be useful for knife sharpening/maintainence/touch-ups at all? Is chromium oxide to fine an abrasive to use on a strop or am I better off leaving my strop nekkid?

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    Senior Member eaglerock's Avatar
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    You don't really need the beston 500, just go with Bester 1200, Rika 5k and atoma 140 if you can afford it, you can also use sand paper to flatten your stones.

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    About the separate boards for meat and veggies, to me that makes as much sense as having a separate set of hands for each of them!
    Spike C
    "The Buddha resides as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain."
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpikeC View Post
    About the separate boards for meat and veggies, to me that makes as much sense as having a separate set of hands for each of them!
    So if you are preparing meat and veg for your meal, and you prepare the meat on the board first (boning a chicken for example), do you just wipe the board clean with a damp cloth and then prep your veggies?

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