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Thread: Knife recommendations; Re-fitting a professional kit

  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Noosa, Queensland, Australia
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    Knife recommendations; Re-fitting a professional kit

    What type of knife(s) do you think you want?
    I'm looking to buy several knives to expand and/or replace some knives in my kit. I'm leaning toward Masamoto (KS and KK series) as the company seems to find a nice balance between affordability and quality. Also quite happy to take on the extra "loving" required for carbon steel.
    In particular I was looking at
    a 240mm Gyuto for general use (herbs, large dice and other misc jobs)
    a 270mm Sujihiki or Yanagiba for meat/fish slicing (raw, cured and cooked) suitable for cutting cured meats <1mm
    a ???mm (Kama?)Usuba for detailed cuts, brunoise, julienne or any slicing usually done with a mandoline
    a 120mm-ish Petty for trimming meats, boning out chickens/fish etc and various paring type jobs.

    Why is it being purchased? What, if anything, are you replacing?
    Will be replacing an Icel 240mm Chefs knife, a Victorinox boning knife, a Mundial 240mm slicer and a Victorinox 200mm Chefs knife, Icel Chinese Cooks knife, Victorinox Santoku.

    What do you like and dislike about these qualities of your knives already?
    Aesthetics- Not really much of a consideration
    Edge Quality/Retention- except for the Mundial all knives do not really get or maintain much of an edge
    Ease of Use- Blades do not maintain a very sharp edge and I am constantly required to "touch up" with a diamond steel during the course of a shift.
    Comfort- Due to long time use all of these knives aren't uncomfortable.

    What grip do you use?
    Primarily Pinch.

    What kind of cutting motion do you use?
    Depending on job to be done I pretty much use every motion.

    Where do you store them?
    In a Knife Case.

    Have you ever oiled a handle?
    Not yet.

    What kind of cutting board(s) do you use?
    Wood at home, Microban Plastic at work

    For edge maintenance, do you use a strop, honing rod, pull through/other, or nothing?
    I have been using a diamond steel between sharpening on an oilstone, but i'm looking to change.

    Have they ever been sharpened?
    Every two-ish weeks

    What is your budget?
    Less than $1500, preferably closer to $1200

    What do you cook and how often?
    I cook everyday at home or work, using a whole range of cuisines and ingredients.

    Special requests(Country of origin/type of wood/etc)?
    Preferably Japanese, nothing too flashy.

    Thanks for any help that anyone might give, I have been changing my mind on these for the last couple of weeks and it's driving me crazy. I really need a set of knives that will last me a very long time, be completely trustworthy, and stay razor sharp. I will also be getting a couple of waterstones to replace my current stone I was thinking of the #1000/#4000 combo and #6000 polishing.

  2. #2

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    Oh, I would prefer Wa handles also.

  3. #3

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    Oh, I would prefer Wa handles also.

  4. #4
    Senior Member eaglerock's Avatar
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    My advice is to start with a bit cheaper knives and a stone or two, they will do the job perfectly. after using them for a while, If you feel like you want better knives go for the Masamoto KS.

  5. #5

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    May 2013
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    Upgrading stones are definitely a must.
    As for cheaper knives though, this will probably be my last chance to update my kit for a very long time so I'm concerned that if I go too cheap now, then I will be paying for it for quite awhile.
    Did you have any cheaper knives that you would recommend?

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    far north Queensland
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    Welcome to the forum
    I would leave out the usuba freeing up more of your budget for the Gyouto , Sugi and some stones. Perhaps thinking about a western deba for all those times you don't want to cane the thin edge on the gyouto.
    Since you've indicated your keen on carbon . Kato Gyouto and Sugi from Maxim , Misono sweden steel western deba .
    I use the tried and tested stone combo of beston 500, bester 1200 these are perma soakers and can happily live submerged in a container ready for use.
    You will also need a finishing stone , there are many options.
    For trimming and boning I have to admit I go for my swibo swept back boner everytime ( I have several very good petty knives)
    Good luck and happy shopping!

  7. #7

    Join Date
    May 2013
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    Noosa, Queensland, Australia
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    Thanks for the reply eaglerock and barramonda, After a bit of soul searching I realised that you both had some very good points, I kinda had my maximum and was falling into the trap of getting the best knives that I could afford, and considering what the knives were that got me through the last 16 years of cooking were and how well they performed for me, it probably wouldn't be the best idea to splurge all my money on a few very pricey (for me anyway) knives.
    So...... I reconsidered, and I'm thinking of removing my criteria for Wa style handles, and dropping the hardness requirement a couple of notches, and also keeping my Mundial slicer instead of getting a Sujihiki (because apart from a slight bend towards the tip the knife is perfectly adequate for its purpose.)
    I would still quite like to get an Usuba as I really think that having a single bevel knife would allow me to do some of my prep work with a little more ease ( for very thin slicing I currently angle my knife so that the left hand bevel is vertical to the chopping board), so my list has been reduced to this, a gyuto and a petty.
    I was thinking, for Gyuto and Petty.
    Masamoto HC - My current favorite due to hardness, shape, and positive reviews.
    Hattori FH - I feel like this would be too soft to hold an edge for a shift without steeling
    Hiromoto AS - I'm not sure whether the stainless cladding is worthwhile

    And as far as an Usuba goes, I haven't really seen any that are more affordable than the Masamoto KK.

    As for stones would a #500, #1200 and a #6000 be a workable combination? would it be better to get a "splash and go" or ones that require a bit more of a soak (like the beston) I am intending to touch up my knives at the end of every shift so it would be better for me if I could keep them dry between uses.
    Anyway, thanks again for your help,it is MASSIVELY apperciated.
    I also decided to keep my Cleaver in my kit to deal with the more chunky type prep.
    Oh, btw i just saw the Kato knives, freaking wow, so out of my league.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Welcome aboard Griffin Chef.

    I ha Sakai Takayuki Usuba 210mm blue #2 active on Buy/Sale/Trade forum at one point. You can PM me if you have any interest.

  9. #9

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    Noosa, Queensland, Australia
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    Thanks schanop, but I might have to give this one a miss (for now anyway), I really think I should get something cheaper to begin with, it would be a completely new kind of knife to me.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    That's funny. You mentioned KK which is not that much cheaper from regular channels like JCK, chuboknives etc. There might be some vendors on rakuten which are cheaper at the moment.

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