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Newbie #862 - Got a lot of questions!
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Thread: Newbie #862 - Got a lot of questions!

  1. #1

    Join Date
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    Newbie #862 - Got a lot of questions!

    Hi All,

    Great to stumble on such a wealth of knowledge, have been reading a bunch of information here and absorbing. I do a lot of cooking at home, entertaining, smoking meat etc and worked in a restaurant in my late teens for a few years. Really enjoy using good knives, however have survived for the last ten years on Henkels four-star chef and paring knives.

    For my birthday last week, my wife bought me one of these:



    For some reason as I've read through this forum, these don't get much - if any - love. However, it's mine and a thoughtful present from my wife, and so I'd like to learn how to keep it sharp, look after it properly and ultimately to team it with complimentary blades of different sizes and usage. To be honest, it's a revelation in terms of knife / blade feel, sharpness and hand fit - I really like it.

    I gather that I will need to buy a stone or two to keep this honed. There have been mentions of strops as well, more than happy to procure these things but do need some advice as to where to start. I really, really like using a sharp, healthy knife.

    So, if I could ask please:

    1. What's the best way to keep this sharp?
    2. Why the lack of love for this brand?

    Thanks all, I hope to learn a lot.

    Cheers - Mike

  2. #2
    Welcome Mike! I would suggest getting a couple of water-stones. Initially you will need something in the 1k range and also something to finish on such as 5k-6k. I see where you are in Australia, so you might be better off purchasing directly from Japan or locally in Australia...you will notice many members from your home country. Strops are fun and can add to your sharpening repertoire, but initially I would focus on learning how to use the stones. What might your budget be for sharpening gear?

    This youtube channel is sponsored by one of the forum vendors and his technique is very good and he explains things very well. You may find it answers most of your sharpening questions--if not then feel free to ask here as there are many excellent sharpeners in these parts.

    I've never used your brand of knife, but I think it is probably fine and what really counts is that you like it; many here are snobbish about certain brands and steels but that shouldn't bother you. The only thing that I may add is that the only VG-10 knife I've owned was not the easiest to deburr during the sharpening process...that may or may not apply depending on the how the maker treats the steel. I would say that a nakiri may be a good shape to learn to sharpen because you will not have to learn to sharpen the tip initially and this is where many newbies have issues.

    Cheers and best of luck!
    one man gathers what another man spills...

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    My first Japanese knife was a kasumi brand santoku, and they're not really bad knives, a touch thick behind the edge and the heat treatment of kasumi's vg10 is not bad either - i think its better than the shun classic knives for instance.

    Sharpening, I would recommend a single stone around 1000 grit. learn to sharpen and maintain your edges with that, and once you are confident with that stone purchase a finishing stone and coarse stone.

    There are a lot of videos online about sharpening, I recommend having a look at Japanese Knife Imports youtube channel. The owner Jon is a vendor here and his knowledge and demonstrations are excellent.

    Also I've just noticed you're in Sydney, when I started sharpening I did a beginners class at Chef's Armoury, it was extremely useful, its good to be shown how to raise a burr, what it looks and feels like and you will be steered clear of any sharpening bad habits from the get go.

    Why no love for kasumi knives? I think a couple of reasons, firstly for the money, there are other knives that will perform a fair bit better. Also they are marketed at an audience that is not really represented on this forum.

    They make cracking great gateway knives though. Enjoy yours and welcome to KKF.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Hbeernink's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chinacats View Post
    Welcome Mike! I would suggest getting a couple of water-stones. Initially you will need something in the 1k range and also something to finish on such as 5k-6k. I see where you are in Australia, so you might be better off purchasing directly from Japan or locally in Australia...you will notice many members from your home country. Strops are fun and can add to your sharpening repertoire, but initially I would focus on learning how to use the stones. What might your budget be for sharpening gear?

    This youtube channel is sponsored by one of the forum vendors and his technique is very good and he explains things very well. You may find it answers most of your sharpening questions--if not then feel free to ask here as there are many excellent sharpeners in these parts.

    I've never used your brand of knife, but I think it is probably fine and what really counts is that you like it; many here are snobbish about certain brands and steels but that shouldn't bother you. The only thing that I may add is that the only VG-10 knife I've owned was not the easiest to deburr during the sharpening process...that may or may not apply depending on the how the maker treats the steel. I would say that a nakiri may be a good shape to learn to sharpen because you will not have to learn to sharpen the tip initially and this is where many newbies have issues.

    Cheers and best of luck!

    +1 all of that.

    I'd add: don't get hung up on steel, learn to sharpen on stones, and learn how to evaluate "sharp". once you have all these, you're all good and can tailor to your own preferences and really enjoy your kitchenware.

    all the best and welcome to the community....

  5. #5

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    Thanks!

    Brilliant - thanks for the warm welcome.

    Budget for sharpening? No idea! However, considering the fact that I'll likely be sharpening my knives till I leave this earth and my taste in knives will only allow me to seek more esoteric and interesting offerings I might as well spend the money.

    I'll speak to the vendors suggested and go from there with a 1k stone. Good suggestion on the course, I learn best through using my hands and this will accelerate the process.

    It's normal of folks in highly focused and specialized forums such as this to come across as 'elitist', but that's the value a lot of the time. One of my other hobbies (aside from food, fitness and audiophile-level hi-fi) is beer making. I've been making beer from grain for the last eight years and am pretty proficient at it. It's always interesting to watch the old 'salty dog' brewers stare down new brewers who ask seemingly inane questions around beer kits and taps, whilst the old salts are arguing about plato vs temp efficiency, astringency value of HFPE and lupin values from the 2008 North American Cascade crop.

    It's the mark of a good forum when you can intro with some basic questions and get quality response. BTW, feel like an elitist experience? Go have a browse through or post in some of the serious hi-fi forums. It's almost creepy!

    Cheers - Mike

  6. #6
    Senior Member Seb's Avatar
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    As one of the early Australian knife-nuts (since 2008), I have been championing the collective cause of Japanese ebay/online sellers who take the trouble to ship to Australia (for a very reasonable rate) and communicate fairly well in English, and usually deliver good to excellent customer service. These are:
    - Bluewayjapan (ebay)
    - Metalmasterjp (ebay)
    - Japanesechefsknife/JCK (online store)
    - japan-blades (online store)

    Personally, I have bought more stones and knives that I will ever need from all of them, but I recommend Metalmasterjp for stones and Bluewayjapan for knives. JCK has some excellent knives too.

    Btw, are you in the e subs or inner-city?

  7. #7
    Senior Member Seb's Avatar
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    If money is no object, you can buy a King 1K/6K combination stone at Johnson's (George St, Railway Square) for about $90. You can buy for half as much on ebay if you are prepared to wait 1-3 weeks for it to ship from Japan.

    Kasumi are nice knives but overpriced in terms of performance, most of the price tag is for looks and marketing. You can get a better performing knife such as the Minamoto-Kotetsu for about $90.

  8. #8
    Senior Member jimbob's Avatar
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    Ive got a near new JCK 1000/4000 if your interested...

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
    Ive got a near new JCK 1000/4000 if your interested...
    Sure - PM me a price?

    Quote Originally Posted by Seb View Post
    As one of the early Australian knife-nuts (since 2008), I have been championing the collective cause of Japanese ebay/online sellers who take the trouble to ship to Australia (for a very reasonable rate) and communicate fairly well in English, and usually deliver good to excellent customer service. These are:
    - Bluewayjapan (ebay)
    - Metalmasterjp (ebay)
    - Japanesechefsknife/JCK (online store)
    - japan-blades (online store)

    Personally, I have bought more stones and knives that I will ever need from all of them, but I recommend Metalmasterjp for stones and Bluewayjapan for knives. JCK has some excellent knives too.

    Btw, are you in the e subs or inner-city?
    Thanks for the recommendations. I'll grab one off eBay, they are literally 1/2 the price. I'm in the Hills District but work in / around the City.

    Cheers - Mike

  10. #10
    Senior Member Seb's Avatar
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    No Worries. While you are waiting for your stone to arrive, you can freshen your edge by stropping on newspaper - lay a single sheet over a flat, hard surface (newspaper is an ideal gentle abrasive), using a consistent angle and very light pressure. If you are extra keen, buy the finest grit sandpaper you can find at Bunnings and strop lightly on that.

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