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Thread: First Japanese Knife Recommendations

  1. #1

    First Japanese Knife Recommendations

    Hi guys! I'm new to the site as a poster but I've been reading the forums for a long while. I'm in awe of the wealth of knowledge everyone has and I've learned a lot. I'm ready to take the plunge in purchasing my first Japanese knife(s) and would love to get your thoughts and/or recommendations for the best one for me in my price range. We are stationed out in the middle of nowhere so I don't have the option of being able to test anything out in person so unfortunately it's mail order for me.

    I was looking at the shun edo but from reading the boards it seems that shun knives are not liked much. I'm not a chef by any means, just a mommy chef that loves being in the kitchen. I just want a good knife that keeps an edge and doesn't constantly need resharpened/honed after every chopping job and is nice to look at. I'm open to learning how to sharpen with a stone and at the least, I'd send them out to be sharpened.



    What type of knife(s) do you think you want?

    Gyuto 210mm, paring and maybe a boning

    Why is it being purchased? What, if anything, are you replacing?

    As an upgrade to my Wusthof classics (I bought these as a starter to learn knife skills)

    What do you like and dislike about these qualities of your knives already?
    Aesthetics- too clunky and it feels a little heavy
    Edge Quality/Retention- needs honing quite often. Professional sharpening doesn't last very long
    Ease of Use- meh. It's good as a starter I guess. Nothing exciting.
    Comfort- it's ok. I tend to over grip and the handle seems thin, not ergonomically comfortable in my hand

    What grip do you use?

    Pinch

    What kind of cutting motion do you use?

    Slice, chop, rocking, some pushing

    Where do you store them?

    Knife block in drawer

    Have you ever oiled a handle?

    No

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

    End grain walnut, bamboo for stinky stuff and poly for raw meats

    For edge maintenance, do you use a strop, honing rod, pull through/other, or nothing?

    Honing rod but open to learning to sharpen or will send out for professional sharpening

    Have they ever been sharpened?

    Yes

    What is your budget?

    $300ish for gyuto and paring and/or boning

    What do you cook and how often?

    Everything. Lots of chopping, slicing, mincing. I separate my own chicken and debone



    Here are ones I was looking at. I would love your thoughts and suggestions. I would prefer a western handle at least until I'm out of the desert and can actually handle a traditional Japanese handled knife.

    JCK Hattori FH
    Suisin Inox
    Misono 440 or UX10

  2. #2
    Senior Member labor of love's Avatar
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    Suisin Inox western handle im assuming? I havent tried one yet but they do get alot of love around here. I liked my old Misono 440 but theyre pretty overpriced nowadays. Hattori FH is popular also, but Im pretty sure the Suisin Inox would be easier to sharpen and is more inexpensive. I would suggest a Gesshin Kagero gyuto($215)Suisin Inox parer($75)and a Forschner boning knife. The Gesshin Kagero are supposedly easy to sharpen and have good edge retention, and should be quite a step up in performance from Suisin. Have you considered getting a petty knife instead of parer?

  3. #3
    Senior Member Benuser's Avatar
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    Welcome! Verify the Misono prices, they've been adjusted downward recently, due to the Yen depreciation. A 150mm petty will make both a parer and deboning blade redundant. Have a look at both Fujiwaras and Hiromotos as well. And get two stones.

  4. #4
    Senior Member labor of love's Avatar
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    indeed. Misono 440s in the 210mm size are only $130 plus shipping from JCK, which is much less than what they used to be. I still like the idea of using a $300 budget to get a $200-220 gyuto plus $80-100 on either a petty or a parer/boning knife combo.

  5. #5
    If a petty can do the job of a parer and boning knife then I should probably go with one of those and a gyuto. That Gesshin Kagero is pretty sexy. I like the Kanji engraving on the blade.

  6. #6
    I remember looking at the Misonos before I got the Wusthofs and the 440 was over $200 which is why I didn't buy it. But, since its come down in price, I added it to my list.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Benuser View Post
    Welcome! Verify the Misono prices, they've been adjusted downward recently, due to the Yen depreciation. A 150mm petty will make both a parer and deboning blade redundant. Have a look at both Fujiwaras and Hiromotos as well. And get two stones.

    I looked at the Hiromotos but they didn't have a 210 in stock. Are they better than the ones I listed or a Gesshin?

  8. #8
    Since you're at Edwards, if you can make it to LA, I highly recommend stopping by Jon's shop (Japanese Knife Imports) in Venice.

    I don't think this has been asked, but do you require a stainless steel knife? The Hiromoto has a carbon steel core so it will stain and possibly rust if left wet or if it's not cleaned or wiped down after it's been used.

    And, for what it's worth, I don't think a petty knife and a parer are redundant. Do you use a petty in hand, i.e., gripping the entire handle with your thumb on the blade? I think it's difficult to do the in hand cutting that you can do with a parer with a 150 petty, e.g., using a 150 petty to core strawberries or tomatoes is different than using a parer. I do, however, think that a petty knife and a boning knife are essentially redundant (I often use a 120 petty to debone chicken).

    I've used a 210 Gesshin Kagero. I would choose it over a Hiromoto. It's made of tougher steel and will hold its edge longer than the Hiromoto. The fit and finish of the knife is better than the Hiromoto - the handle is nicer, the spine and choil (the vertical part of the knife that is perpendicular to the handle) are rounded. It's also well balanced for a western handled knife.
    Michael
    "Don't you know who he is?"

  9. #9
    Senior Member labor of love's Avatar
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    Im curious what "in hand" stuff youre doing. Do you really need a boning knife?

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erilyn75 View Post
    If a petty can do the job of a parer and boning knife then I should probably go with one of those and a gyuto. That Gesshin Kagero is pretty sexy. I like the Kanji engraving on the blade.
    You will use the 210 Gyuto the most,if you can afford it get a premium blade like the Gesshin Kagero,esp. if you like the looks of it.A 120 or 150 petty comes in handy too.Suisin Inox around 69.95 for 120mm.You can debone wt. a petty as long as you go thru the joints,not trying to cut bone.If you order a knife fr. Jon at JKI call him,his online knife sharpening tutorals will get you started.

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