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Okay, time to ask for opinions on knife/whetstone purchases.
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Thread: Okay, time to ask for opinions on knife/whetstone purchases.

  1. #1
    jazzybadger's Avatar
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    Okay, time to ask for opinions on knife/whetstone purchases.

    What type of knife(s) do you think you want? I am looking at a 10 1/2" Gyuto in the end.

    Why is it being purchased? What, if anything, are you replacing? It's being purchased because I currently have a Chicago Cutlery knife set that I've owned for about five years now, and really in the end the one I use the most out of that is my Chef's Knife. I have some Forschner knives as well, but I am content with them for the time being. Since most of my food prep is done with the Chef's Knife I wish to upgrade that one first to a 'fancy knife.'

    What do you like and dislike about these qualities of your knives already? When I first got the Chicago Cutlery knives I enjoyed them very much. Their edge retention didn't impress me whatsoever though, and the difference between them and my Forschner knives were night and day, and so I figure I might as well put in some good money into the knife I use most often, be completely blown away, and begin a new addiction. I gave up soda after all.

    Aesthetics- Don't really care about aesthetics in the end, I want functionality.

    Edge Quality/Retention- This is what I'd like most of all out of my new knife, I wish to get a good edge, and a knife that keeps that edge.

    Ease of Use- I don't really understand this question, but for what it's worth I would like something that gets the job done, but I'm not too terribly worried about food letting go of the knife in the end if that's what this is asking. It would be nice, but I've been dealing with food sticking to my knives for years.

    Comfort- My C.C. set is currently pretty uncomfortable in the end when I first started using it, but I adapted to it and have no issues with them now. I figure I can do the same thing with any new knife I purchase.

    What grip do you use? Pinch grip almost always.

    What kind of cutting motion do you use? Push cut by and large, but I also do the rocking method on shallow cuts. Celery and the like.

    Where do you store them? Knife block, and a drawer knife holder. I also have some in their own separate drawer on the... rubber grippy stuff I lined that drawer with. Mostly the cheapo ones (yes, even cheaper than the C.C. stuff!) that the boys use for making their ants on a log and the like.

    Have you ever oiled a handle? Never not once.

    What kind of cutting board(s) do you use? Plastic/Rubber.

    For edge maintenance, do you use a strop, honing rod, pull through/other, or nothing? Right now a pull through, but I am also looking at whetstones which will be a part of this request of knowledge.

    Have they ever been sharpened? Beyond the pull through no.

    What is your budget? 100-150 bucks for the knives, about 200 for the whetstones. In the end I can always have either of these budgets flex a bit if it gets me what I want.

    What do you cook and how often? I cook a lot of different things. Lot of raw food prep, but only in a home kitchen setting. I cook multiple times everyday, at least four times a day. We are a family of eight, and I don't buy pre-cut or pre-mixed anything, so I do a LOT of knife work in the end. I make almost everything from scratch.

    Special requests(Country of origin/type of wood/etc)? None really.

    Okay, now as far as it all goes I've been looking at buying some knives for awhile now. I asked a fella whose opinion I respect a great deal on another forum to get me on the right track for knife purchases. He recommended to me at that time with my price point I should look into the Fujiwara brand of knives. My price point has changed recently and I can invest more money into them so I come to you to ask about these things now! I am really drawn to the idea of carbon steel, but my concern is that a lot of the cutting I do revolves around tomatoes and onions. My family and I love these freaking things, so they're in a LOT of my recipes along with citrus fruits and the like. I am looking for something that will either develop a patina, or reduce the amount of reaction that occurs. I have no issues with wiping down my blades. Since I started planning on this upgrade process I have begun wiping down my own knives between cutting, and every so often when cutting large amounts of veggies just to get into the habit of doing this. Better knives need better habits, so on and so forth. I've read here that some carbon takes patinas and reacts less over time much better than other brands. If I need to provide any additional information I will be glad to do so.

    Now while I have this thread going I would also like to ask about whetstones. I have been digging through this site and honestly feel that my best bet is to go with the Gesshin Stones. I can flex a bit on my price point with the stones in the end, I'd much rather get good quality early on and get what I need. From what I've read since I am a newbie to this whole sharpening thing my best bet is to get a 2k Grit to start. Is this correct? I was also planning on buying the diamond lapping stone from J.K.I. as well. My oZzie friend from the other forum says lapping is for noobs, but well.. I am a freaking noob so I'm content with that, plus from what I've read I can also use that lapping stone for shaping knives and the like much further down the road when I can manage such things. Is there anything else I should get regarding whetstones right now? I do plan on getting the hang of this, and so I do plan on getting more stones down the line that have a higher grit and the like, but is this plan good for the immediate future, or should I plan on more?

    Sorry for the long winded post, I am a fan of word salad.. it is a weakness o' mine. I appreciate any and all help/advice that is headed my way.

  2. #2
    Senior Member chinacats's Avatar
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    JAzzy, a couple of follow-up questions...

    Since you use a pinch are you cool with a wa handle? It may feel a little strange at first, but this way your options aren't as limited.

    Are you looking for something lightweight (lazer) or would you prefer something with a bit more heft?

    Also, you might want to consider what it is about the profile of your current knives you like or dislike. Do you want something with some belly or something flatter?

    As to carbon, I use it almost exclusively (Heiji semi-stainless being the exception) and cut lots of veggies (tomatoes and onions included) with no real issues once patina has set in to the blade. After a fresh sharpening session, I try to cut a hot chicken or something that will give them a good coat of blue for protection and usually have no issues after that. A freshly sharpened carbon blade with no patina is almost certain to stain food until some protection is applied, you can also force a patina though this is really unnecessary (though somewhat fun).

    As to the stone, I have one Gesshin (5k) and plan on getting more as I replace other stones. Might want to work out the blade before the stones though and Jon can help with both.

    I suggest looking at the Zakuri and Ginga, both would be at the higher end of your budget, but since you really only need one knife I would not try to cheap out too much and just get what you think you may want. The Kochi is even a bit more, but the one I had was a great knife and I would recommend it with no hesitation--I had the V2 kurouchi.

    Cheers!
    one man gathers what another man spills...

  3. #3
    jazzybadger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chinacats View Post
    JAzzy, a couple of follow-up questions...

    Since you use a pinch are you cool with a wa handle? It may feel a little strange at first, but this way your options aren't as limited.

    Are you looking for something lightweight (lazer) or would you prefer something with a bit more heft?

    Also, you might want to consider what it is about the profile of your current knives you like or dislike. Do you want something with some belly or something flatter?

    As to carbon, I use it almost exclusively (Heiji semi-stainless being the exception) and cut lots of veggies (tomatoes and onions included) with no real issues once patina has set in to the blade. After a fresh sharpening session, I try to cut a hot chicken or something that will give them a good coat of blue for protection and usually have no issues after that. A freshly sharpened carbon blade with no patina is almost certain to stain food until some protection is applied, you can also force a patina though this is really unnecessary (though somewhat fun).

    As to the stone, I have one Gesshin (5k) and plan on getting more as I replace other stones. Might want to work out the blade before the stones though and Jon can help with both.

    I suggest looking at the Zakuri and Ginga, both would be at the higher end of your budget, but since you really only need one knife I would not try to cheap out too much and just get what you think you may want. The Kochi is even a bit more, but the one I had was a great knife and I would recommend it with no hesitation--I had the V2 kurouchi.

    Cheers!

    Well as far as the stones go I really do plan on buying them up as I only have one really old, really crappy whetstone, and I truly wish to teach my sons how to properly hand sharpen a knife so that they can feel manly and impress their girls with fake Australian accents and make crappy Paul Hogan references that the girls they're trying to impress probably won't get. At some point I also plan on getting something along the lines of what you're talking about, but I also want to get a 'mid-range' one as well so that I can have my oldest son work with a 'good' knife that won't intimidate him. Right now he's just BARELY accepted using the Chicago Cutlery knives because he's convinced he'll slice a finger off with them, and I just keep plugging away that proper knife skills prevent such accidents from happening.

    I'm not against using a WA Handle in the end, but again because I'm also trying to get my oldest to use them and he might have issues with that. My knives right now have some weight on them, and in all honesty I don't believe I've ever used a light knife in my life. I'm not against the idea of them though by any means. I do like having some belly on the knives because of the rocking method, but I find myself using that method less and less these days. Given all this would my friend indeed be right, and my best bet would be to get something such as a Fujiwara? This is a new obsession of mine as of late, so I doubt I'll be stopping with just the one knife. I just wish to buy the one knife now, and then I will be getting better quality knives to replace my Forschner blades as well.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Chef Doom's Avatar
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    My advise is to clear your browser history and avoid any knife or hobby forum while your wallet still loves you.

    Otherwise, the Suien gyuto is a good knife that I would recommend. JKI sells them. And a 2000 stone will be a good starting point. I started with a 1000, but they are in the same range.

    Also, Korin would have some knives in your price point. Along with many other websites.
    "Into a country where the jails are full, and the mad houses closed." - Charles Bukowski

  5. #5
    Senior Member ChiliPepper's Avatar
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    Whatta... 3 replies and no mention of the Carbonext?!?

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    Misread...never mind.

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    Hiromoto AS sounds like it'd fit the bill. Western handle, slightly stouter blade, AS steel core has good retention if you're prepared to wipe it down, stainless clad so not as reactive, and can be pimped into something special later down the line.

  8. #8
    jazzybadger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TB_London View Post
    Hiromoto AS sounds like it'd fit the bill. Western handle, slightly stouter blade, AS steel core has good retention if you're prepared to wipe it down, stainless clad so not as reactive, and can be pimped into something special later down the line.
    Honestly those were the ones I was being drawn to at first when I started shopping around on the JCK site my friend had sent me to look at the Fujiwara originally. I just couldn't resist looking, and it caught my eye. The steel cladding sort of threw me off, because I really desire a totally carbon experience. Seems more 'spiritual' for lack of a better term. Same thing that originally threw me off from the idea of Edge Pro and Lansky and all that stuff they tout over on the other forum (not the one that should remain nameless, because I have no idea which one that is. I just remember what, if any, the policies are on mentioning other forums on this site.)

  9. #9
    Senior Member cclin's Avatar
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    how about Togiharu Virgin Carbon Steel Gyuto?? its pure carbon, western handle, very nice F/F & good cutting performance; however, a little over your budget....
    Charles ***[All statements I made here only my personal opinion and nothing more!]*** & Please bare with me for my crappy English!!

  10. #10
    jazzybadger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cclin View Post
    how about Togiharu Virgin Carbon Steel Gyuto?? its pure carbon, western handle, very nice F/F & good cutting performance; however, a little over your budget....
    Thanks for linking this one, I'll definitely be checking it out as I haven't seen it before. Also, thanks again to everyone who posted the helpful advice that they did. Definitely gave me some things to think about. In the end my budget will flex depending on how much my bills will be this upcoming month. I just dumped far too much money into the dentist as of late to really splurge, but I'll be getting a comfortable amount of money back up in no time at all. I'm leaning towards the Fuji for the immediate future, just to see how well I like the truly carbon experience, and if I enjoy it I'll upgrade to the Togi possibly, or be back to berate you guys with even more ignorance. Bwahahaha! I've always had a thing for knives, but mostly machetes and hunting knives, and I've always been obsessed with food so now that the two passions are merging into this one hybrid obsession I am sure these will be far from the only knives I purchase. I have the perfect scapegoat! "But darling, I can pass them down to our SONS when they're old and leaving us." Works every time.

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