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Thread: Yet another "what gyuto should I buy" thread ;-)

  1. #21
    Senior Member ChiliPepper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    New Zealand
    Mmm... while I understand and encourage the concept of supporting local sellers who back up their products and liaise with customers I must say that I have bought knives from Japan three times: two with JCK and one with Blueway.
    Result? Excellent prices, the fastest and cheapest shipping I ever experienced, excellent customer care and communication by email and sellers will gladly inspect F&F for specific needs.
    It is true, though, that I never had to send a product back.

  2. #22

    Your post is very interesting.

    I've sent an e-mail to Marko to check if he has any practice knives right now.

    I didn't knew about Japanese Knife Imports. I agree that I probably won't be able to identify any issue with a Japanese knife for now, so knowing that the vendor would personally inspect what I buy would be very reassuring to me.

    They carry a few Gyuto in my price range (let's say, $200-$450 max)... Do you have any experience with some of them?

  3. #23
    Hum, another interesting knife from JCK could be the Mizuno Tanrenjo Akitada Hontanren Series (blue steel #2)...

    Edit: Or maybe not after all - their Gyuto are single bevel, and I don't want to get into that right now.

  4. #24
    I have bought a number of knives, stones and other items from Japanese Knife Imports. I'm fortunate enough to live rather close to the store. You'll see that a number of the knives sold there have been reviewed here.

    Rather than recommending a single knife, I would recommend taking a look at the website, finding a few models you're interested in and asking for opinions here or looking for reviews. Come to think of it, most knives sold by JKI in your price range have been reviewed here. That way, you can choose the knives you're interested in first, and then narrow your choices down, rather than being pointed in a direction by my recommendation.

    You can also e-mail or call Jon for recommendations or questions.
    "Don't you know who he is?"

  5. #25
    Thanks mhlee, I will try to proceed as you suggest and search in the previous posts first.

  6. #26
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    I wholeheartedly recommend Misonos.
    Amazing F&F, perhaps the best Japanese Western handle, and just ergonomically great. I barely notice it is in my hand.

    I don't think forcing a patina is necessary, just let it build naturally whilst cleaning the knife after each job. Also taste food for any taint, but I've never found any problems.

  7. #27
    Senior Member chinacats's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    I would have to agree 100% with mhlee about where to order knives. I have personal experience with both vendors though not that many knives from each. I bought a Mizuno (fairly well respected brand) santoku from JCK and the deal was excellent, the knife not so great out of box. I didn't pay for the extra sharpening so didn't expect anything special, the edge looked to be serrated it had so many chips; not a big deal if you can sharpen, problem right off the bat if you can't. The service and communication were not a problem though I am glad I didn't have to ship it back to Japan or send it out to be fixed at an additional cost to me. I have bought from other vendors in Japan as well and aside from some communication issues overall I have been very happy. All this being said, I have bought a few knives from Jon at JKI and the knives were not only inspected before shipping, they were also made to his specifications and his higher expectations--in short any money saved by purchasing through JCK can be more than made up for by the service and quality of the knives Jon offers. Many knives on JCK are good knives though not all for beginners or people who don't know how to sharpen. Jon also has knives that are not for beginners, but he can explain why you should or shouldn't buy depending on your skillset/budget. How much is it worth to you to speak directly to someone who can help you through the process?

    My first purchase was from that place that doesn't deliver to Canada, I almost gave up on J knives due to the ignorance of the owner and the lack of help given to a J knife newb. I searched around and found that both JCK and JKI were much better vendors. That said, Jon at JKI will be much more helpful in finding you the right knife and not allowing you to waste a purchase as a learning experience.

    Hope that makes's been a long day and it's just winding down. Michaels post made me realize how right he is. It may cost a little more and it may cost less, but you will be in much better hands with Jon.

    once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right

  8. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by chinacats View Post
    My first purchase was from that place that doesn't deliver to Canada, I almost gave up on J knives due to the ignorance of the owner and the lack of help given to a J knife newb. I searched around and found that both JCK and JKI were much better vendors.
    This is precisely what I'm hoping that the OP will not experience and the main reason for my posts. I went through a very similar experience when I bought my first high-end kitchen knife.

    I bought a rather expensive knife as my first knife based on a lot of praise from other members. What I ultimately learned was that certain people got better preference and service because they were regular buyers from retailers, and, more importantly, what is good for one person, may be completely different from what another person wants. As a newbie, it's hard to put what you want into words and people offering recommendations can (1) not have enough experience using other knives to be able to recommend an appropriate knife that the person is looking for, (2) be completely fixated on their own recommendation and recommend a knife without really understanding if the knife is right for that person, (3) have a relationship with a retailer so they're pushing that retailer's items, or (4) trying to sell their own knives. I was so exasperated by the experience I didn't buy another knife for months.

    I'm not saying that the knives recommended are not a good fit for the OP or that the members that recommended these knives aren't knowledgeable. Maybe one of the knives recommended will be a good fit for the OP. But, as a newbie, I found it very easy to get caught up with recommendations from people. I've certainly learned that who is making the recommendation, e.g. tk59, chuck239, Pensacola Tiger (all of these members have owned or used LOTS of knives and I respect what each of them writes), is as important, if not more important, to understanding the recommendation than the recommendation itself.

    FWIW, I wasn't trying to steer him to Jon; I just wanted the OP to know that there are other options out there. As much as I've bought things from Jon, I still remember the first time I looked to buy something from him and he invited me to his apartment to take a look at what he was selling. I didn't buy anything from him for months after that. I really appreciated that and Jon has never given me a hard sell.

    And, your post brought up another good point. If you don't know how to sharpen, you'll have to pay for extra sharpening. Based on the prices I've seen recently, you may lose any benefit of a lower price if the knife doesn't come with a good edge out of the box.

    Anyways, just my $0.02. I hope the OP finds a knife he really likes and is very happy with.
    "Don't you know who he is?"

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