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  1. #1

    Help me not throw money away - new choice

    I am in the process of moving to a new home in less than a month where I can resume cooking on a normal time (our crackerbox apartment leaves a lot to be desired. That being said, I spent a lot of time/focus on the kitchen and making it functional because I love cooking.

    I had done a lot of research (so I thought) in looking at starting to piece together some GOOD functional knives. (In comparison to what I use now) I currently have about a set of Chicago Cutlery Insignia 2s or something like that.... I said in comparison because I feel that they are more like baseball bats than knives in many of your eyes. I have always kept them in good condition when compared with friends and family, and was always very picky on who could use them.

    I have been to a few local places to try out different styles etc and found that I liked how the Shun Fuji line fit in my hand and how they performed. I had a chance to pick up a 6" Fuji which had basically never been used for $40 and have been using it, and I cannot believe I wated that long thinking my old knives were "sharp"

    I have been used to an 8.5" chefs from the CC set, so the 6 seems small in comparison. Had been looking at going to the 10" Fuji then I stumbled on this forum and started reading. Apparently my self-education was not going to lead to a good decision. That being said, I do like the grip and how it feels in my hand.

    There are not many places around here that get into the Japanese knives that I can get a feel for etc. Looking for some suggestions, see below responses:

    LOCATION
    What country are you in?
    United States



    KNIFE TYPE
    What type of knife are you interested in (e.g., chef’s knife, slicer, boning knife, utility knife, bread knife, paring knife, cleaver)? - Chef's, Gyuto

    Are you right or left handed? - Right

    Are you interested in a Western handle (e.g., classic Wusthof handle) or Japanese handle? Japanese I think (does this more closely compare to the Fuji?

    What length of knife (blade) are you interested in (in inches or millimeters)? Had been thinking between 9.5" and 10.5" so say the 240mm range?

    Do you require a stainless knife? (Yes or no) - Not required, also not restricted

    What is your absolute maximum budget for your knife? - I cannot see myself spending above $400 which I believe puts me somewhat in the "entry" level in this crowd


    KNIFE USE
    Do you primarily intend to use this knife at home or a professional environment? Home

    What are the main tasks you primarily intend to use the knife for (e.g., slicing vegetables, chopping vegetables, mincing vegetables, slicing meats, cutting down poultry, breaking poultry bones, filleting fish, trimming meats, etc.)? (Please identify as many tasks as you would like.)
    Aim to have this be my go-to knife. I have a fair understanding of what limitations are between the different types. Alot of slice/dice/mince veggies, slicing meat.
    Not looking to break bones or super fancy things, mostly the basics as expected.



    What knife, if any, are you replacing? Chicago Cutlery 8.5" chefs (now using Shun Fuji 6" chefs, looking for advise or comparisons to going with the 10" fuji)

    Do you have a particular grip that you primarily use? (Please click on this LINK for the common types of grips.) Most comfortable with pinch grip, some hammer depending on the task.

    What cutting motions do you primarily use? (Please click on this LINK for types of cutting motions and identify the two or three most common cutting motions, in order of most used to least used.) Slice, Rock, Draw

    What improvements do you want from your current knife? If you are not replacing a knife, please identify as many characteristics identified below in parentheses that you would like this knife to have.) Sharp, fairly low maintenance, holds edge well, can be sharpened fairly easily

    Better aesthetics (e.g., a certain type of finish; layered/Damascus or other pattern of steel; different handle color/pattern/shape/wood; better scratch resistance; better stain resistance)?

    Comfort (e.g., lighter/heavier knife; better handle material; better handle shape; rounded spine/choil of the knife; improved balance)?

    Ease of Use (e.g., ability to use the knife right out of the box; smoother rock chopping, push cutting, or slicing motion; less wedging; better food release; less reactivity with food; easier to sharpen)?

    Edge Retention (i.e., length of time you want the edge to last without sharpening)?



    KNIFE MAINTENANCE
    Do you use a bamboo, wood, rubber, or synthetic cutting board? (Yes or no.) Wood End grain mostly, I plan on exclusively using this knife and keeping it on that only.

    Do you sharpen your own knives? (Yes or no.) Not currently, but am going to also be investing in stones as well.

    If not, are you interested in learning how to sharpen your knives? (Yes or no.) Yes

    Are you interested in purchasing sharpening products for your knives? (Yes or no.) Yes - any suggestions as to stones to pair would be nice as well



    SPECIAL REQUESTS/COMMENTS

    Judging by what I have gotten from my own reading, I am guessing that my budget will somewhat limit my choices especially when it comes to looks etc. ( I have seen some of the custom knifes in the pic threads... and am still cleaning up drool.)

    I am not opposed to buying used (looks like the classifieds are fairly well used here as well, especially if it provides me with a little more bang for the buck. In that case, I may even be able to budget a bit higher if the value is there.

    Forgot to add: I know I am going to be somewhat restricted to online purchases, but am also worried about not being able to handle it. I live in Minneapolis, and have only been to a few box retail type stores and gotten to hold the likes: Henckel, Whustof, Shun, MAC, Global....blah blah blah

  2. #2
    I don't have the knowledge most of the members here have but I wanted to welcome you to KKF I'm sure someone will come along shortly to give you lots of options to choose from. Be careful though, this does become an addiction

  3. #3

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    $400 is plenty to get both stones and a knife.

    This is a great set of sharpening stones:

    http://www.japaneseknifesharpeningst...set1dmcore.htm

    There are cheaper stones that you could start with, but you aren't likely to outgrow this set. You could just get the Bester 1200 and Suhiro Rika 5K separately to save a little bit now. You won't find better stones for less money.

    Being a home cook coming off an 8-1/2" chef's knife, I'd stick with a 240mm gyuto. There are a lot of choices out there. Carbon steel will get sharper easier, but you'll have to be more careful to keep it clean, (that doesn't seem like it would be a problem for you). To help narrow it down, what do you think of these two:

    The Gesshin Ginga is thin, so it will wedge less. It has a more polished blade and a small bevel:
    http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/...-wa-gyuto.html

    The Zakuri is thicker, so it should have better food release. It has a more rustic finish and a wide bevel.
    http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/...hi-gyuto.html#

    Also, how committed are you to rocking? These knives are sharp enough to embed themselves slightly in your cutting board, and twisting that happens when rocking can cause small chips in these harder/more brittle blades.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    I'd say that if you can find one available go for a Pierre Rodrigue "mid-tech". At $325 or so I would say this knife is SO full of value for the dollar. Mine is easy to sharpen, holds an edge really well, and talk about laser thin! The Konosuke Gyuto seems to be quintessential example of a laser gyuto and the PR kills my 240 HH in thinness.

  6. #6
    Well thank you for the responses so far!

    I am not set on rocking and can adapt to what works best for my choice (hopefully someone will shed light on that upon my choice)

    Some feedback on the choices thus far:

    Gesshin Kagero - Aesthetically this is appealing to my eye, I only have a bit of a concern about how the handle will feel without having a chance to test it out)
    Gesshin Ginga - Looks also very much like a laser! I am attracted to this in the fact that I am really after the feel of making cuts with very minimal effort and minimize wedging.
    The Pierre also looks nice - possibly a slightly different level from the other 2?

    The Zakuri thus far falls to the bottom of the list based on the descriptions.

    A few additional questions/notes/concerns - Do these selections follow fairly standard edges? I have not looked much past a 50/50 traditional 15ish degree, namely a single bevel or any of the 70/30s or something like that.

    I would also factor the stones out of the budget. That is a set cost that I have figured "elsewhere" I do appreciate the suggestion of the above kit... I had previously been looking at some chosera stones, but if the consensus is that this kit is plenty for what I will need (and ultimately I care most about how it is on the blades, not wanting to do damage to them by going too cheap)

    With this point about stones being out of budget, is there any advantage/quality of stepping up from the 230 range to say that 325-375 range of the Pierre? or other like suggestions/comparisons

    Any feedback on the Kagero vs Ginga either from use, pros/cons, etc?

    Thank you so much, I feel like I knew a good amount going in... and now feel like I have not even scratched the surface! You guys rock!

    Also should note that I currently have a MAC Black Ceramic honing rod (should that be sufficient for these/other choices)

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    My Konosuke HH was in the ballpark of $240, and it's a great knife. It was worth it to me. I'd get an HD version if I had it to do again but I was scared off by the "semi-stainless" at the time, that is not an issue for me any longer. Was the Pierre worth the extra $85? HELL YEA! Absolutely it was, as you describe, it's on another level from the stuff that I have seen in that +/- $250 range for sure.

    Another consideration if you don't have to have this in a week or two is the pre-buy that Randy of HHH is doing right now. I'm certain that those are going to be some really high value knives for that price. Check out his sub-forum here on KKF for the details. I have one of his paring knives and it is amazing!

  8. #8
    Senior Member ThEoRy's Avatar
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    Most double beveled Japanese knives are to be sharpened asymmetrically. Just an fyi.
    Starting this harvest I'm a starving startling artist/
    Lyrical arsonist it's arduous spitting this smartest arsenic/

  9. #9
    Oh I forgot about the pre-buy! Those are some pretty knives and the Honduran rosewood handles are stunning. You should definitely check that out.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Paradox View Post
    My Konosuke HH was in the ballpark of $240, and it's a great knife. It was worth it to me. I'd get an HD version if I had it to do again but I was scared off by the "semi-stainless" at the time, that is not an issue for me any longer. Was the Pierre worth the extra $85? HELL YEA! Absolutely it was, as you describe, it's on another level from the stuff that I have seen in that +/- $250 range for sure.

    Another consideration if you don't have to have this in a week or two is the pre-buy that Randy of HHH is doing right now. I'm certain that those are going to be some really high value knives for that price. Check out his sub-forum here on KKF for the details. I have one of his paring knives and it is amazing!
    Thanks for the recommendation. By the looks, that will be a heck of a knife. I do not "need" it any time too soon so roughly an Xmas delivery would be alright (plus a number of the others also are currently sold out so who knows on delivery time.)

    With many of these custom blades, I really do not know enough to compare between each, looks like I may have a long weekend of studying these forums as much as possible.

    Anyone have insight on the HHH pre-order vs the Pierre (obviously hard to tell when it has not even been produced, but speculation would be fine)

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