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Thread: A completely new set

  1. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Northern Virginia
    This will be fun! (For you, and for us.)

    That's a healthy budget--you should be able to cover things with room to spare.

    For stones, a 1K (or 1200) and a 5K or 6K would cover most normal sharpening. Maybe a 400 or 500 for major work or repairs at some point. And I'd suggest a strop (Marko Tsourkan on here makes nice wood mounted felt ones).

    Have you considered a slicer or paring knife? Those are two standard knives in a kit.

    You can get a very nice gyuto for 400-500. If you buy a used one (some offered here are barely used), you can try something out, and likely sell it for close to what you paid if it turns out to not be quite right for you. Or you could buy new, and have a similar option to move it on, if needed.

    Jon Broida's (from JKI) youtube sharpening vids are very helpful.

    Filling out the "new knife" questionnaire will help you focus on your wants/needs, and give folks here more info to help guide you in the right direction. Here it is:

  2. #12
    Senior Member JHunter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Vancouver BC Canada
    I would first suggest talking to jon @ jki here on kkf could prob be a one stop shop unless your set on certain things he may not have but I'm sure could suggest a good alternate option.

  3. #13
    First off, thank you everyone for being so responsive and helpful. I truly appreciate it. As for some of the questions, I have answered the ones that I saw.

    1. Are you prepared to wait a year + for a custom knife? I have waited this long. I am willing to wait longer, but I am getting a tad anxious.

    2. Would you consider buying used from the BST? I am more than willing to buy used. Is it hit and miss on the forum?

    3. Will you be the only one using the knives ? The knives might be used by my fiance, and that is why I am on the fence about carbon.

    4. Pairing knife/Slicer - I like a good pairing knife. I am not sure if I have actually used a slicer.

    5. Piece by piece - I am also willing to go piece by piece, but I thought that if I don't commit to something now, something will come up and it will never happen. I do apologize for sounding like such a naysayer.

    Thank you again for your advice. At times, this does feel a little overwhelming, and I haven't bought a thing. I think that I worry because I just don't want to get something wrong that will be a permanent feature in my home.

  4. #14
    I have responded to the questionaire, and I hope that I have answered the queries correctly. Thank you again for taking the time to help me.


    I’m interested in several knives. I wanted to get a brand new set of everything.

    I am right handed

    I believe that I am interested in a western handle, but I have not tried any Japanese

    Depending on the knife, the size will vary. However, I am coming to the conclusion that it is ok to go bigger.

    I am on the fence for carbon because it might be used by another.

    My absolute maximum budget would be $3000, but $2300 is also very agreeable.

    I intend to use the knife in a home environment.

    I intend to slice vegetables, chop vegetables, mince vegetables, slice meats, occasionally break poultry bones, trim meats, and cut cakes and bread.
    I am replacing my set of saber knives.

    My grip is pinch

    Some of cutting motions include rocking, chopping, and slicing.

    Some of the improvements include a better and easier cut, timelessness, comfort, and if possible edge retention

    I use several plastic and wood boards, but want to purchase an end grain from boardsmith

    I want to learn to sharpen my own knives

    I am more than willing to purchase my own sharpening stones

    Is it too soon to go custom?

  5. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    As someone who only purchased their first "real knives" a year ago I bought a couple of knives that weren't rubbish but also not so good that I would have been upset by ruining them with bad sharpening and I personally think that was a good approach. Now 12 months on i'm upgrading after having learned more and more each time I sharpen and from the others on this forum. I think if you go a bit cheaper now while you learn it might save you a whole lot down the road
    Life's too short for bad food and bad wine.

  6. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011

    My advice would be to talk to Marko T he can make you an amazing gyuto and a great cutting board.

    His stuff is truly amazing hands down one of the best if not the best knife I have in my collection.

    If you get a high end carbon steel like 52100
    It doesn't require much maintenance like white steel or simple carbon.

    Stainless is always an option and Marko is working with some that is supposed to be as good as his 52100, also Devin T makes great stainless but at a heartier price.

    Anything on jki is worth buying if you want talk to Jon he's great.

    For stones hands down gesshin line. I would get a jnat just because there fun as well.

    Good luck

  7. #17
    Senior Member eighteesix's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    whats a jnat

  8. #18
    Senior Member SpiceOfLife's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    London, Ont. Canada
    Quote Originally Posted by eighteesix View Post
    whats a jnat
    Jnat is just short for Japanese natural, as in a Japanese natural sharpening stone. Versus a synthetic sharpening stone. Hope this helps,


  9. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Bay Area
    With the following requirements for your gyuto, "better and easier cut, timelessness, comfort, and if possible edge retention" I too would look for a Marko Tsoukan stainless or a Devin Thomas ITK AEB-L. Marko's d handles are incredibly comfortable and his knife feels like an extension of your arm. His knives have a timeless look, especially in cocobolo or ironwood. Devin is a master, and I am extremely happy with his knives. His ITKs are more affordable than his custom, and offer tremendous value for the knife.

    There's actually a lot of solid (and stellar) knives at the $400-$500 price point. A lot of it will depend on your personal preferences. In general, I like lighter knives. So while Shigefusa, Kochi, Watanabe, Gengetsu, and Yoshikane are really nice knives, I reach for my Marko or DT when I want performance. The one exception is a Heiji. Recently acquired a 210mm santoku, and it's super fun.

    Unless you've handled a number of knives, I recommend not going custom. You may not know what works best for you. I had worked in a restaurant, enjoy cooking and baking, and am now middle age. But only after joining KKF and buying and trading way too many knives did I finally settle on what works best for me. But then again, I'm a pretty big optimizer, tweaker.

    Also, in your knives, I'd skip the 180mm petty. If you find you like that length, a 180mm gyuto or santoku will be more useful for home use. The 180mm gyutos and santokus provide extra height, so it becomes a pretty handy knife when you're making small meals (1-3 ppl). If you go 180mm gyuto, Marko does a 225m gyuto and 180mm gyuto set.

    Lastly, you're missing a paring knife. Since you got the budget, go for a Ealy 4" paring. The original 3" is great for in hand work, but I find the extra length useful.

  10. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    i don't recommend jumping from a costco to a catcheside.

    pick whatever knives you want but i recommend stuff that's less expensive to begin with. just because you have a massive budget doesn't mean you need to spend it all. pick something that you like the aesthetic of the most and has the best reputation. personally, i'm a big fan of ginga. they're not cheap but also not super expensive and still deliver excellent bang for buck. cutting with a stainless ginga will probably be really effortless for the first few weeks/months at home.

    what i do recommend is

    210/240mm ginga gyuto
    120/150mm misono/fujiwara/tojiro petty (180mm petty is a little unwieldy for a home cook. it's my line knife and i love it but it's overkill for household cooking duties. a 120 or 150 would be more handy.)
    beater cleaver from chinatown/chinese store. something robust and about $20-30. a #6 is a slicer type cleaver. it's thin and delicate for veg and meat prep, not bone breaking. it's more of a gyuto replacement. if you are capable with slicer cleavers, you'd love a ginga/sugimoto #6 but then you wouldn't want/need a gyuto or even a petty.
    misono bread knife is good. mac is nicer.
    victorinox paring knife
    atoma 140 for flattening
    chosera/shapton etc 1k and 5k or thereabouts.
    stone holder

    you're better off spending on great stones that will last a lifetime instead of expensive customs that can never satisfy for long. go easy and enjoy the journey.

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