one month experience with kitchen knifes
My parents stayed with my small family (me, my wife and my 2 years baby girl) for a few months and they had to leave back to China. So I have to come back to kitchen. This time I want to be better equipped so I did some research on how I should upgrade my kitchen knives.
Since located in Europe, then Henckles is naturally the first choice. I bought a set with three knives professional S with discount. 200mm Chef's knife, 200mm slicer, 100mm pairer. I found out that the western style chef's knife is totally different with what I was used to before which means Chinese cleaver and one Pollux Santoku. The blade is too curved not suitable for push cut I like most.
Then I surf some Chinese kitchen knife posts and learned something from there. Then I choose Hiromot AS 190 Santoku by someone's recommendation from JCK. I like it very much. But I still find with some food materials, Santoku is not so fit against my old Shibazi low end Chinese cleaver.
So I order one Sugimoto CM4030 from JCK. I like this knife wholeheartedly, especially the handle and the perfect size. But there are some small glitches. Such as the choil is not rounded, the tip is too sharp and too low, the blade ootb is too thin so that a lot of tiny curves appeared after a few chopping and mincing.
But after a few refine, CM4030 is now my favorite knife. I rounded the choil and part of the spine close to the handle. I grounded off about 2mm blade from the tip so that the blade will not dig into the board now when I am doing the push cut. Now the tip will glide on the board in the way I was used to.
The handle is such greatly designed. For example, the two grooves are located exactly where the middle finger and ring finger will curve back when you are holding the knife in a correct way so that the grasp is most confident. And the golden yellowish color is beautiful to see.
Regarding the blade retention, the AS is far superior against the CM steel used by Sugimoto. So I wrote to Koki of JCK asking why Sugimoto is not doing some Chinese cleaver with steel and construction similar like that of Hiromoto AS series. But no reply Koki San is very responsive with questions about purchase, but not with questions too technical.
Or maybe the easy to get tiny curves is just coming the too thin edge of CM4030. So I really want to try with Sugimoto CM4001 or CM4002. But sadly these two knives are not clad with stainless steel but still some other high carbon steel which I cannot understand at all.
So I turned my sight back to Shibazi, finding out the new series with composite steel. Core is something like AUS-8, clad is soft stainless steel. I really want to try this. I am still waiting for some friends to take one for me from China.
The AS santoku is a great knife. But the problem with Santoku or any Gyuto is the blade is too narrow compared to a Chinese cleaver so that the pinch grasp is not so relaxed as on a Chinese cleaver. The point finger cannot extend naturally down the blade too far and has to be curved a little bit. And because of the low height of blade, some food materials will run over the blade and come over to the left hand side which is very annoying, such as cucumber. And for potato, also Chinese cleaver is a better choice since the weight can help with cut.
But for some more flattened food material, such as kelp, Santoku is more agile and more efficient.
About Henckles, I found out that the small knives are great. I like the pairer very much because of that finger guard, the knife feel very balanced and secured and safe in the hand. Now my wife use this knife a lot. And also the utility knife (low end chef series, made in Spain not in Germany) is great for tomato and lemon. But the 200m chef's knife has left me as a gift to my parents. They are going to use it only for watermelon.
Perhaps Hiromoto really should make an AS-series chukabocho.
takeda makes an as cleaver
But I would imagine the (hypothetical) Hiromoto version would be somewhat less expensive?
Yes, I totally agree with you. But I like the Sugimoto's handle very much. So maybe they should cooperate...
Originally Posted by Seb
Tojiro has clad structure Chinese cleaver, but the core is VG10. And the handle is something like what I just posted with Shibazi.
I have the Tojiro clad,my only stainless cleaver.If it is the same one with the bolt sticking out the back of the handle.I cut it flush & epoxyed the gaps.Also filled some gaps at the choil.
Even though it has handle issues,they are fixable,and I find it comfortable. The blade I like.It is on the heavy side at just over 1#.Has an very nice convex edge ground onto it.I have had a couple stainless cleavers that I didn't like & got rid of.Used chinese carbon cleavers for yrs.Been cutting all kinds of stuff with it including frozen fruit for smoothies.No chipping & holds a decent edge.This is not a thin vegetable cleaver,has some thickness & weight which I like in this particular blade.