what would be your ultimate 3 or 4 knives? and why?
i've got a pretty decent collection of knives now. and there are some things i like about some of them and some things i'm less keen on other ones.
i keep wondering if i was to start again from scratch, what knives would i buy based on what i now know about the various knives i've encountered.
i think my list would be something like:
* Konosuke HD Gyuto 240mm
* Gesshin Ginga 180mm Stainless Petty
* Mac Superior Bread 270mm
* Masamoto CT Series Sujihiki 300mm
I have the Konosuke SS Gyuto in 240mm. It's an awesome knife, but i'd love to see how the HD felt - both on the board and on the stones.
I have an Ashi 61HRC 210mm stainless petty, and a Masamoto VG 150mm stainless petty. The 210mm feels a teeny bit too long, and the 150mm feels a teeny bit too short. So i think a 180mm might be perfect. I think stainless makes perfect sense for a petty, at least for me. If i'm making cocktails in the evening i need a knife i can use to cut up lemons, and i don't want to have to wash it every time. And i love the profile on the Ashi petty.
I have the Mac Superior bread knife. It's awesome. Can't think of anything that might be better than it. Although i haven't tried the Tojiro ITK 270mm which looks comparable. And i haven't tried a Güde either.
I have a Konosuke Stainless 270mm Suji, and a Masamoto VG 240mm. I prefer the profile of the Masamoto. But both of them are a bit of a pain on the stones. I bet a carbon Suji would be much easier to sharpen. I haven't got any experience of the Masamoto CT but it seems like the best choice based on what i know i like.
So now that i've told you mine, it's your turn.
If you lost all your knives today, and had to start again from scratch, what 3 or 4 knives would you buy and why?
Oh, and i think for the purposes of this discussion we should assume that the knives you lost were insured, so you have a decent amount of money to spend on these new knives... Just so that cost isn't the most significant factor in what you would go for.
Canada's Sharpest Lefty
That's really really tough. I think my list would be something like:
ZKramer (or the real deal, if I won the lotto) 240 chef knife
Harner 180 Nakiri
Rodrigue 250 suji
My top-secret parer that Butch is making (or a remake of my wife's parer, by Rodrigue).
All carbon, except the parer.
Come to think of it, I could flip the maker's names around on my list, in any order and likely be happy. However, I'd keep the Harner nakiri and if my chef knife was by Pierre, I'd drop Kramer and add Carter as my suji maker.
For the sake of the discussion, I'll limit my choices to available, off-the-shelf knives, since custom knives take time, and I need these knives now, according to your premise.
Gesshin Heiji semi-stainless 240 wa-gyuto
Suisin Inox honyaki 240 sujihiki
Gengetsu 180 petty
My current top four, I just love the profile of my Masamoto's.
Masamoto Honyaki Wa Gyuto-240mm
Masamoto KS Wa Petty-165mm
Masamoto KS Wa Sujihiki-270mm
MAC Superior Bread Knife-10.5"
Canada's Sharpest Lefty
Oops. Need them now...?
ZKramer 240 Chef knife
Carter 240-250 suji
Carter 6sun Funayuki
Sabatier paring knife
270mm Kono funy HD gyuto
270mm Takeda suji
180ish Carter kuro-uchi funy/gyuto
150mm Tanaka blue petty
Gesshin Heiji 270mm wa-gyuto
Watanabe 300mm wa-suijihiki
Shigefusa 180mm nakiri
Gesshin Ginga 180 wa-petty
Tough one, but I reckon my list would be something like:
Sugimoto oms#6 cleaver; IMO Sugimoto make the best all round cleavers and I would take my Sugi #6 or #7 over anything else I've used so far. Haven't tried the oms series but supposeably it's a little better.
Any Kau Kong style chopper; I use a double lion brand one at the moment. Like $19 from China town and one of the most useful knives in my kit. There's just some jobs that I will not use my good knives on (fish heads, splitting ribs, lobsters etc).
Sab Nogent 10' flexible slicer; good for trimming silver side and fast for small fish. Anything larger I'll just use cleavers for.
Takeshi Saji 15cm petty in AS. Love his knives and the shape of his handles, seems like a good choice for a lot of in hand cutting. Or his Vg-10 or R2, I just prefer carbon.
List would probably change depending on jobs, but I reckon this would suit me well for where I am.
My top four are on order right now and they are...
+Marko 250mm Gyuto 52100: (The time this man spent working with Shigefusa knives and his attention to detail)
+Rodrigue 240mm Sanmai Gyuto Stainless with core of 52100: (I have followed his work since I've been into kitchen knives and his skills have grown tremendously, he also seeks feedback from people who know what they are talking about).
+Rader 240mm Gyuto in 52100: (He created my first custom knife so there's a special place in my heart for Mr. Rader, not to mention his skill level is top notch. When it comes to western style handles, IMO no one does it better than Mr. Rader.
+HHH 250mm Sanmai Gyuto Damascus with core of 52100: Randy is a "relative" newcomer to the world of kitchen knives but the rate at which he improves has absolutely amazed me. He and his son have an amazing passion for working with steel and their damascus is some of the best that I have seen. I have chosen Randy to make my first damascus knife. Randy's work in the realm of non-kitchen knives is also extremely impressive.
These will be the four Gyuto's to rule the world, at least my culinary world.
There are only two more that one day I would like to own but they are beyond my fiscal grasp. Those would be Bill Burke and Devin Thomas.
No, not the "ultimate" list, but what I'd actually buy:
Ashi Hamono cleaver, special lightweight, white #2 steel
Ashi Hamono petty, Swedish stainless
Mac bread knife
...and a cheap stainless Chinese cleaver and a couple of Forschner petties to keep people away from the other knives. And an Opinel #8 in carbon for various utility stuff...