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New lefty looking for help on first Japanese knife
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Thread: New lefty looking for help on first Japanese knife

  1. #1

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    New lefty looking for help on first Japanese knife

    Hello KKF,

    I have been doing some reading on the forums for the past few days in preparation for getting my first Japanese kitchen knife. I’m just a home cook with neither professional experience nor aspirations.

    I see that Fujiwara FKM, CarboNext, Tojiro DP, and Suisin INOX seem to be the recommended options when someone is looking for a stainless/semi-stainless knife, at least in the price range I am looking. My question is, how do these recommendations change - if at all - if I am a lefty? I have seen some discussion about getting knives made for a lefty, as well as some saying to look for knives a 50/50 grind, and still others saying not to even worry about a 70/30 righty grind because I would adapt. I suppose there is probably some truth in each of those options, but I guess I am just looking for more input.

    What type of knife(s) do you think you want?
    I am looking for a Gyuto, probably 240mm. I’d like to get something that is stainless or semi-stainless as I don’t know that I am ready for full on carbon steel yet. I’m not opposed to trying a Wa handle, but I believe all the knives I have looked at are western handled

    Why is it being purchased? What, if anything, are you replacing?The why is that I would like to begin my journey of learning about and using Japanese kitchen knives. My current primary knife is a Victorinox 8 inch chef’s knife which replaced the chef’s knife in a Farberware block set. I also have Victorinox paring and bread knives, and the rest of the junk from the Faberware set.

    What do you like and dislike about these qualities of your knives already?
    Aesthetics- Nothing I specifically like or dislike, I just like the aesthetics of many Japanese knives better
    Edge Quality/Retention- I don’t really have a basis for comparison other than the Victorinox cuts better than the Farberware
    Ease of Use- No complaints
    Comfort- The sizes and weights of the knives I have used have been fine, and the handles are ok too

    What grip do you use? Pinch grip

    What kind of cutting motion do you use? Rocking and push cuts depending on what I am cutting

    Where do you store them? Currently the knives are stored in a block, though I plan to keep my Japanese knife/knives in a knife roll initially.

    Have you ever oiled a handle? My current knives haven’t needed the handles oiled, but I am willing to do so

    What kind of cutting board(s) do you use? I use poly cutting boards

    For edge maintenance, do you use a strop, honing rod, pull through/other, or nothing? I have not done edge maintenance previously

    Have they ever been sharpened? No, but I just acquired a King 1000 grit stone and will be learning to sharpen so I can properly maintain my knives

    What is your budget? About $150. I could stretch a bit if necessary, but would wouldn’t mind coming in less either

    What do you cook and how often? I cook a variety of foods – meats/fish/vegetables and cook about 3 nights a week

    Special requests(Country of origin/type of wood/etc)? Nothing I can think of

  2. #2
    Senior Member stevenStefano's Avatar
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    Can't speak for all of them but I got a Carbonext and it is pretty assymetric. Saying that, it says on the JCK site that you can get lefty versions and I reckon they would not be that expensive. I am a lefty and was in a hurry to buy one and forgot about asking Koki for a lefty price. I'd be very interested to hear what he says.

  3. #3

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    Thanks for the response - I did send and email to Koki @ JCK to see what the price is, and I plan to check in with Jon at JKI on pricing for lefty bevel knives as well.

    Let me modify my original question at bit: It seems the 4 knives I have been looking at have a 70/30 bevel, so I would plan to get a lefty version if I choose one of those knives. Are there any recommendations for knives with a 50/50 grind in the neighborhood of my target price?

  4. #4
    Canada's Sharpest Lefty Lefty's Avatar
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    BST has a good price on a lefty Suisin.
    09/06

    Take a look around at: www.sharpandshinyshop.com

    Email me at: tmclean@sharpandshinyshop.com

  5. #5
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    And now I know why that nice looking lefty disappeared before I could get to it. Congrats!

  6. #6
    Senior Member stevenStefano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cgul629 View Post
    Thanks for the response - I did send and email to Koki @ JCK to see what the price is, and I plan to check in with Jon at JKI on pricing for lefty bevel knives as well.
    Did Koki get back to you on the price of a lefty Carbonext?

  7. #7
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    I know this wasn't directed at me but Koki had sent me this info in the fall.

    CarboNext Left Handed Version
    KC-6ES Gyuto 240mm $143
    KC-7ES Gyuto 270mm $159
    + Shipping fee $7

    Seems fair.

  8. #8
    Canada's Sharpest Lefty Lefty's Avatar
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    Koki's awesome to deal with, as everyone knows. I just feel it's appropriate to give him some credit, where credit is due. So, there it was.
    09/06

    Take a look around at: www.sharpandshinyshop.com

    Email me at: tmclean@sharpandshinyshop.com

  9. #9
    Senior Member labor of love's Avatar
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    at the jck site i just read under the information for left handers section that hiromoto will regrind a blade and resharpen the edge to fit a lefty customer. only $18. sounds like a pretty good deal. i figured something like that would be more expensive.

  10. #10
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    at the jck site i just read under the information for left handers section that hiromoto will regrind a blade and resharpen the edge to fit a lefty customer. only $18. sounds like a pretty good deal. i figured something like that would be more expensive.
    since koki himself isn't doing the sharpening, he hires out people that'll convert it for him.

    Jon said he'd do conversions for free if you buy from him. since he doesn't have to pay anyone to do it for him, i guess he just does it for free as a perk for purchasing from him.

    =D

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