I joined the forum thinking that the two $50 Sabatier knifes I use were hard-core bad-a## kitchen knives. I am taking the family on a trip to Japan this summer (July) and I started researching Japanese Kitchen knifes. I have always been fascinated by knifes and samurai swords, but have never really had the time to geek out on them. I am an IT-guy with a technical background which means that I have to research the heck out of a topic before I make buying decisions...
I like cooking at home, but am by no means a pro. I don't know how to sharpen a knife, but I am willing to either learn how to do it or send my knives somewhere once in a while to keep them sharp. Based on my research I think I am looking for:
- Something that looks "Japanese" - I like that look/blade/handle much better than traditional Western
- I think I need 3 knives:
1) a Nakiri or Usuba for cutting veggies (don't know what the difference is).
2) a small Paring (to replace one I have today). Probably 10cm
3) a knife for trimming and cutting meat and fish. Probably 24cm
With regards to 3), I love the look of a Yanagiba, Kiritsuke, Takobiki (especially the Sakimaru Takobiki)
With regards to steel, I really don't know what to look for. I like the look of damascus, but I am not married to it. Realistically I need a knife that I am not going to have to sharpen every day - so Kirenaga is important. I have looked at Kasumi or Hongasumi styles since that sounded like it would match what I was looking for?
Finally, I am trying to figure out where to buy. I am going to Tokyo and Kyoto this summer and will have 10 days so I can easily fit in a little knife shopping. Apart from the fact that it would be cool to tell people that I bought the knifes in Japan I am trying to figure out if I can save by doing it or if I should just buy them online here in the US.
Has anyone been to Union Commerce in Kappabashi - I have read that that's one of the places to go. I was also planning on going to the Aritsugu retail store in Kyoto.
With regards to budget, I am thinking I want to stay under $250-$300 per knife. I am willing to spend a little more and then maybe just get 2 knifes.
Ok, I know that's a lot of questions and that I have a lot to learn, but I hope that some of you will help me out in my quest. Even if you can just give me a perspective on some of the things I am hoping to learn more about, that would be really helpful. I am always really impressed by how much knowledge is out here on forums like this and how willing people are to help.
Thanks in advance,
Lars, San Francisco