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Filling out revised questionnaire as requested.
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Thread: Filling out revised questionnaire as requested.

  1. #1

    Filling out revised questionnaire as requested.

    Feel free to give any more refined answers after this, but I'm pretty confident I have my plans laid out as to what my immediate purchase will be. I am filling this out as requested so I can give my opinion on which questionnaire I preferred.

    LOCATION
    What country are you in? U.S.A.

    KNIFE TYPE
    What type of knife are you interested in? E.g., Chef’s Knife (or Gyuto), Slicer (or Sujihiki), Boning Knife, Utility Knife (or Petty), Bread Knife, Paring Knife, Yanagiba, Deba, Usuba, Meat Cleaver, Vegetable Cleaver? Gyuto, and interest in a Chinese Cleaver a little down the road.

    Are you right or left handed? Left handed. Southpaws UNITE!

    Are you interested in a Western handle (e.g., classic Wusthof handle) or Japanese (wa) handle? A Western handle for the immediate future, but I have interest in a WA handle blade later on because I think they just look snazzy.

    What length of knife are you interested in (in inches or millimeters)? I do believe I am leaning towards a 240mm right now just to get a better feel for things beyond an 8" and for my sons to get a better feel for knives longer than the traditional 8" Chef's.

    Do you require a stainless knife? (Yes or no.) No.
    What is your absolute maximum budget for your knife (i.e., “I’m not spending one more euro/pence/penny/peso/yen more than this”)? 180 dollars.

    KNIFE USE
    Where do you primarily intend to use this knife?

    At home or a professional environment? (Please feel free to specify what type of work environment, e.g., catering, restaurant, butchery, seafood.) At home.
    How often? (Please feel free to specify how many hours a day, and days per week.) Daily, a minimum of half an hour of cutting everyday. Sometimes more often. I am also expanding my home garden, so will most likely be using it even more after that point. I do a lot of canning, I make sausages, I grind my own hamburger meat, I make a LOT of stuff from scratch.

    What are the main tasks you primarily intend to use the knife for (e.g., slicing vegetables, chopping vegetables, mincing vegetables, slicing meats, cutting down poultry, breaking poultry bones, filleting fish, trimming meats, etc.)? (Please identify as many tasks as you would like.) Everything except filleting fish as I haven't really got into that world yet, but plan on expanding my horizons in this regard within the next year or so.

    What knife, if anything, are you replacing? Chicago Cutlery 8" Chef's Knife.

    Is your primary grip when you hold your knife a “pinch” grip (i.e., holding the knife in front of the handle with your thumb and index finger on opposite sides of the knife)? (Please click on this LINK for the common types of grips.) (Yes or no.) Yes.

    What cutting motions do you primarily use? (Please click on this LINK for types of cutting motions and identify the two or three most common cutting motions, in order of most used to least used, e.g., rock chop, rock mince, push cut, pull cut.) Push cut, and Rock mince. Occasionally I will also use a rock chop, but find myself doing it less and less.

    What improvements do you want from your current knife? Please identify all improvements that you would like this knife to have. (If you are not replacing a knife, please identify as many characteristics identified below in parentheses that you would like this knife to have.)
    Better aesthetics (e.g., a rustic knife – e.g., hammered finish, or darkened (kurouchi) blade; satin finish; mirror finish; nicer steel pattern (e.g., layered/Damascus or other pattern of steel); different handle color/pattern/ shape/wood; better scratch resistance; better stain resistance) – Given my 'style' if I were to pick I would say a rustic knife. I am not much for aesthetics when it comes to my tools though. Even cars. Functionality is the driving force in my life. I get my need for aesthetics from the food I make. I am drawn to the 'personality' that comes from patinas, so stain resistance isn't really something that lures me. Scratches don't really phase me either unless they encumber the functionality of the knife.

    Comfort (e.g., lighter/heavier knife; better handle material (e.g., nicer type of wood or synthetic material); better handle shape (e.g., shorter or taller height, thicker or thinner, shorter or longer length); rounded spine/choil of the knife; improved balance (i.e., please identify how you like the knife to be balanced, whether toward the blade, in front of the handle, or toward the handle) – Handle material doesn't phase me much at this point. The knife's weight I currently have doesn't prove difficult to manage whatsoever, but I don't think I'd care for one much heavier than this one. I'm actually being drawn to lighter knives the more I read through this site as a good edge seems to make up for the weight of a knife, and as I said I plan on buying a Chinese Cleaver pretty soon down the road, and that will be my weighty blade. I would prefer a less boxy handle shape, and thinner. I don't need a very rounded spine, but I don't want it to be so thin it develops callouses on my hands from using it either. I am used to a blade being weighted towards the handle more than towards the edge because of my current one, but honestly don't know which one is better for me overall.

    Ease of Use (e.g., ability to use the knife right out of the box; smoother rock chopping, push cutting, or slicing motion; less wedging; better food release; less reactivity with food; easier to sharpen) – I was originally drawn to this site because of my googling of honing. Out of the box sharpness isn't that huge a deal for me because I have a LOT of cheapie knives that I will be working on to better my skills, mine and the knives of my family. I would like less wedging, I have severe wedging issues right now. Food release would be nice but not mandatory. Reactivity with food doesn't phase me because I LIKE these patinas I see on this great forum. I would enjoy it being easier to sharpen. I want something with some belly, but not too much. I also don't want no belly whatsoever, because every now and again I do like to rock my socks off.
    Edge Retention (i.e., length of time you want the edge to last without sharpening based on your expected use above) – I would like longer edge retention than I have now, but what I have no is almost none, so that's not much of a surprise I wager.

    KNIFE MAINTENANCE
    Is it very important that your knife require only minimal daily maintenance? (i.e., only need to wash and dry after use, occasional sharpening) (Yes or no.) No.
    Do you use a bamboo, wood, rubber (e.g., Sani-Tuff) or synthetic cutting board (e.g., any type of plastic, Hi-Soft, etc.)? (Yes or no.) Yes.
    Do you sharpen your knives on your own using any type of whetstone? (Yes or no.) No, but very soon this will be a yes.

    If “yes,” are you looking to purchase more specific products for this knife? (Yes or no.) Yes.

    If “no,” will you have your knives professionally sharpened? (Yes or no.) N/A.
    If “no,” are you interested in learning how to sharpen your own knives? (Yes or no.) Yes.
    If “yes” to the question immediately above, what is the absolute maximum amount of money you would be willing to put toward sharpening products? 200 dollars right now. More as my skills develop and I am able to do more with my honing skills.

    SPECIAL REQUESTS
    Country of origin – N/A.
    Other – N/A.


    My thoughts on this questionnaire is that I felt it covered a lot of things the other one did not. A couple of the questions seemed a BIT over my head, but nothing that some basic reading on this forum didn't make me feel as though I could tread through the water. How well I did the treading is really left to the more knowledgeable individuals reading this. To be more specific the ones about rounded spines and the like, had I not been doing some searching on this forum and on other sites I would have absolutely no freaking idea what that was asking. The cutting board question sort of confused me at first, but after reading it a second time I realized what it was really asking is, "Do you use a glass or marble cutting board?" At least that's what I felt it was asking anyway. I use rubber and plastic boards at this point in time, so simply answered yes as those were included in the question. I am really, REALLY fond of the right or left handed question, but that is mostly because I am left handed and find this changes a lot of potential buying issues as it almost always comes with a price increase (like so many things do in our Southpaw existence) and on some knife sites I noticed a left handed version simply does not exist from the factory. I also really appreciated the questions leading up to honing knives, as that was exactly what I came in to ask about in addition to my knife purchases. I find this to be even more important than the knife itself in some ways because even with a crappy knife if you're capable of honing a blade you can make it work for you even if it will hold that edge for a ridiculously short amount of time.

    Hope this helps! I am glad to have contributed.

  2. #2
    Thanks for the input. You understood why I was phrased the cutting board question in that manner.

    FWIW, I was just hoping you would answer it in a PM and send it to me. Nonetheless, I really appreciate you going through the process and providing your feedback.

    As for recommendations, there are the usual carbon steel western handled knives out there around your price range or below (Kanemasa, Togiharu, Fujiwara, etc.). I recall someone recommending the Suien VC 240 carbon gyuto as well in your previous thread.

    But, right at your price point is this: http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/...chi-gyuto.html

    While I haven't personally used this (I've handled one), a number of members have used Zakuri knives and most seem to have been or are happy with them. They're a little on the sturdier side, a thicker blade, but are not heavy at all, feel very good in the hand, have a comfortable handle and are thin behind the edge and appear to be very good cutting knives. Jon at Japanese Knife Imports can tell you more.
    Michael
    "Don't you know who he is?"

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by mhlee View Post
    Thanks for the input. You understood why I was phrased the cutting board question in that manner.

    FWIW, I was just hoping you would answer it in a PM and send it to me. Nonetheless, I really appreciate you going through the process and providing your feedback.

    As for recommendations, there are the usual carbon steel western handled knives out there around your price range or below (Kanemasa, Togiharu, Fujiwara, etc.). I recall someone recommending the Suien VC 240 carbon gyuto as well in your previous thread.

    But, right at your price point is this: http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/...chi-gyuto.html

    While I haven't personally used this (I've handled one), a number of members have used Zakuri knives and most seem to have been or are happy with them. They're a little on the sturdier side, a thicker blade, but are not heavy at all, feel very good in the hand, have a comfortable handle and are thin behind the edge and appear to be very good cutting knives. Jon at Japanese Knife Imports can tell you more.
    Lmao yeah I should've put that together in the end on my own, but I've been on very little sleep as of late. I was up for thirty hours yesterday because of schooling the children, and the dentist, and blah blah blah those things called life. Then I crashed at about 10 P.M. and thought "Man I'm gonna sleep GOOD!" but then I woke up at about 4 a.m. and couldn't go back down. Then it came striking down on me like a lightning flash that I had told you I was going to fill that out, and I dragged up the questionnaire in the forum; without thinking I just put it right in the forum.

    Thank you for the recommendation. Do you have any advice to offer regarding a Chinese Cleaver?

  4. #4
    Are you looking for a bone chopping Chinese cleaver? Or more of a vegetable cutting Chinese cleaver?

    I've had five different Chinese cleavers over the years. I still have four. My go to Chinese cleaver for years has been a Dexter Russell Carbon Steel Chinese Cleaver. It's been a workhorse. It's not too thick,but not thin, has handled a ton of abuse, from chopping chickens, cutting salmon steaks, butchering whole Albacore, but good enough to use for general everyday use. It gets ridiculously sharp, holds an edge relatively well (although it can be a pain to deburr). And, it's relatively cheap and better made than some of the Chinese made cleavers I've seen.

    I purchased a used Suien VC that's been thinned but haven't used it yet (I'll hopefully do so soon), and I also have a rehandled Richmond Fanatic. The Richmond is a good cutter, but it's definitely more of a vegetable cutter; it's noticeably thinner than my Dexter Russell. The Suien is, based on feel, about the same thickness as the Dexter Russell; I can verify this later this week when I have some time.

    If you've never used one regularly, I would consider purchasing a cheap cleaver to see if you like it. You may hate it. (I don't use any of mine regularly, but I always have at least one around.) I just lent three of my cleavers to a friend of mine to give them a shot to see if he liked them. But, as he put it, he's "not a cleaver guy."
    Michael
    "Don't you know who he is?"

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by mhlee View Post
    Are you looking for a bone chopping Chinese cleaver? Or more of a vegetable cutting Chinese cleaver?

    I've had five different Chinese cleavers over the years. I still have four. My go to Chinese cleaver for years has been a Dexter Russell Carbon Steel Chinese Cleaver. It's been a workhorse. It's not too thick,but not thin, has handled a ton of abuse, from chopping chickens, cutting salmon steaks, butchering whole Albacore, but good enough to use for general everyday use. It gets ridiculously sharp, holds an edge relatively well (although it can be a pain to deburr). And, it's relatively cheap and better made than some of the Chinese made cleavers I've seen.

    I purchased a used Suien VC that's been thinned but haven't used it yet (I'll hopefully do so soon), and I also have a rehandled Richmond Fanatic. The Richmond is a good cutter, but it's definitely more of a vegetable cutter; it's noticeably thinner than my Dexter Russell. The Suien is, based on feel, about the same thickness as the Dexter Russell; I can verify this later this week when I have some time.

    If you've never used one regularly, I would consider purchasing a cheap cleaver to see if you like it. You may hate it. (I don't use any of mine regularly, but I always have at least one around.) I just lent three of my cleavers to a friend of mine to give them a shot to see if he liked them. But, as he put it, he's "not a cleaver guy."
    It'd be used mostly for veggies in the end, but I also break apart a LOT of chickens in this house. At least three whole birds a week. So sort of both if at all possible which sounds like it is. I was drawn to the Suien VC after doing some browsing on the internet, but I was hesitant of putting that much into something I might not like a whole lot. I'll definitely be checking into the Dexter Russel, thanks!

  6. #6
    Suien VC is one of the "few" very asymmetric cleavers so not the best idea for a lefty....

  7. #7
    Baaaah. Thanks for enlightening me Rott, that is not good news but a lot better than it would've been had I bought the freaking thing.

  8. #8
    http://www.amazon.com/Dexter-Russell...hinese+cleaver

    Is this the one that's being talked about by the way? If not do you have a link for the one you mentioned Michael?

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by jazzybadger View Post
    http://www.amazon.com/Dexter-Russell...hinese+cleaver

    Is this the one that's being talked about by the way? If not do you have a link for the one you mentioned Michael?
    That's good info about the Suien. Mine's been thinned so the asymmetry may not be obvious on mine.

    The one I have is like this one - a carbon steel blade: http://www.knifemerchant.com/product.asp?productID=2494

    There are TONS of these available at different places at different prices. This is just an example.

    Dexter-Russell's website has a number of models as well. Frankly, I don't know the difference between the many models. When I bought my cleaver about 15 years ago, I didn't see different models - there was either stainless or carbon steel. I'll have to take a look to see if I can still see the model number on mine.
    Michael
    "Don't you know who he is?"

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by mhlee View Post
    That's good info about the Suien. Mine's been thinned so the asymmetry may not be obvious on mine.

    The one I have is like this one - a carbon steel blade: http://www.knifemerchant.com/product.asp?productID=2494

    There are TONS of these available at different places at different prices. This is just an example.

    Dexter-Russell's website has a number of models as well. Frankly, I don't know the difference between the many models. When I bought my cleaver about 15 years ago, I didn't see different models - there was either stainless or carbon steel. I'll have to take a look to see if I can still see the model number on mine.
    Thanks again. At that value I'll definitely have to be checking them out.

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