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Thread: First J Knife

  1. #11
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    Welcome to KKF!!
    I can see you were initially thinking of buying a sharpener (I guess you meant the pull-out sharpener like minosharp one?) and send your knife to a professional sharpener instead of buying stones.
    What I would suggest is that you could get a knife in the lower range like Fujiwara FKM and buy a combination stone (like JCK 1000/4000 or King 1000/6000) together which should still cost less than your budget (in fact, you can also get a wooden saya from JCK as well and it will still fit your budget).

    Sharpening is very fun and all you need are Jon's youtube clips, a sharpie (magic marker) and something to deburr like cork or even a rubber eraser or newspaper (of course a knife and a stone ). Using a sharpie helps a lot and you just need to feel burr formation on the edge using your thumb and deburr properly.

    If you know how to sharpen and properly maintain a J-knife, especially this is for home use, the Fujiwara can last way longer than 5 years. Buying a cheap knife can also give you a very good excuse to upgrade or buy a different type of J-knife in the future.

    Having said that my point was based more on practical reasons and every knife mentioned here will serve you very well for the purpose and they are all great value knives. I'd say follow your instinct and get what you want.

    Believe me or not, some people around me actually prefer German knives... including my mum... because they prefer its heavier weight and its ease of maintenance and it's a lot less sharper (sharpness sometimes intimidate people). For them, I'd recommend Global, if they ask me. You just need to make sure to keep your new knife away from them.

  2. #12

    hello there....:)

    i didn't think i will get to meet a fellow Israeli on this forum....
    perhaps the taste for good cutlery in Israel is starting to pickup..

    As someone who was in your shoes about a year ago, i can almost remember myself asking all the same questions (getting mostly the same answers).
    here is what i can offer you from my humble 1 knife experience (scouting for my second one these days).

    1. Sharpening - sending your Japanese knife to a professional sharpener in Israel is not really an option, there are probably a handful of people in the country that do this, most of the places that advertise sharpening service (some even sell globals or shuns) will not offer what your new knife will need, it will in most cases be a dry grinding of the blade, resulting in a fine Japanese knife with the blade of a German axe.
    when you order the knife order a 1K stone with it, and learn to use it, even though it will not be professional, a decent result is not to hard to get, and will be much better than most options you will have.
    Some water stones are available in Israel, bot most of them are either junk or very over priced, better to order on with your knife.

    2. Since this is your first knife, and it is for home use i recommend not to go for a carbon blade, leaving a carbon knife wet on the board for 20 minutes and it will develop rust spots, and for home use you will probably not wear out the edge frequently.
    i use mine on some evenings and on weekends, and i don't need to re-sharpen it very often, maybe every 3 months.
    (unlike my previous supermarket knife that i would need to roll sharp every time i wanted to use it).

    3. as for the delivery, i cant really help you there, my wife was in NY for a few days (work related), and she got me the knife from the korin store. from what i have seen many shops ship world wide, some charge more than others, and i honestly cant say if there will be any extra customs fees on kitchen knives.

    as for selecting your first knife... well.... i feel your pain, it took me months before i was able to finally make up my mind.
    i ended up getting a Masamoto VG 210 Gyuto, it does not offer much in F&F, it is quite simple looking really, but i am very pleased with it, it sharpens very easily on a 1K stone and i never felt the need to go any higher then that (on grit levels), after a good sharpening it will go through a ripe tomato like it wasn't even there, and will stay sharp for months.
    the 1K stone will not make it "Razor sharp", but since i don't use kitchen knives on the rare occasions that i do shave, i don't mind it that much

  3. #13
    Thanks again for all the comments.

    jsjs - What you said about getting a lower end knife with the necessary tools did raise a certain flag bug for some reason I'm just not very attracted to the Tojiro or Fujiwara...
    If it will come to me not being able to decide then I will probably step down eventually and take one of the two above to save myself money that I will use to buy the next knife.

    Could anyone please help me with comparing the two (Tojiro DP and Fujiwara FKM)? Edge retention, ease of sharpening, thinness and other thing that might be good to know?

    citizenY - I didn't think I'll see another Israel around here... haha. good to see you and thanks for the advice's.
    Sadly that's what I read about most sharpeners in Israel... gladly my cousin is supposed to be a pro knife sharpener with whet stones as far as I've heard (I don't talk to him that much...) so I might just call on a favor.
    The Masamoto still didn't catch my eye so much, but I marked that name down just in case.

    By the way, I was looking at JCK's knife and stumbled upon these three - KV5 / 6 / 7
    http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/KA...#KAGAYAKIVG-10

    They are a bit off budget consider I'll need a whet stone that costs around $50 with shipment (KING 1000/6000).

    Did anyone try them? have an opinion about them? am I going off the correct path again (should I stick with Tojiro or Fujiwara after all)?

    Thanks again.

  4. #14
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    If I were to choose between Tojiro and Fujiwara (please note I have never used either of the two) I might go with Fujiwara. The Tojiro is made of VG-10. While this is actually rather good steel, it is not the easiest one to de-burr during sharpening (now that is personal experience with Shun Classic petty knife). It is not a showstopper, but may confuse someone who has no sharpening experience yet and is about to start.

    Still - Tojiro is quoted as one of the best VG-10 incarnations out there and is supposed to be very good value.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by barakhav View Post
    Thanks again for all the comments.

    jsjs - What you said about getting a lower end knife with the necessary tools did raise a certain flag bug for some reason I'm just not very attracted to the Tojiro or Fujiwara...
    If it will come to me not being able to decide then I will probably step down eventually and take one of the two above to save myself money that I will use to buy the next knife.
    Yeah, I feel you. If I were in the same situation and had similar budget, I wouldn't be attracted to Fujiwara or Tojiro either.

    If you know how to sharpen a knife and are not afraid of using a carbon knife, there are much better options out there. This is one of other reasons I recommended buying a cheaper knife to learn how to sharpen and upgrade later to a better knife. I believe this is the learning curve that many of the forum members experienced before including myself. For example, Tanaka Blue#2 Damascus Gyuto can be found around $130-$150. IMO Blue#2 beat VG10 and any other SS in the similar price range in terms of ease of sharpening and edge retention.

    And Tanaka also make knife with VG10 and Ginsanko (Silver #3) within your budget with Japanese WA handle. I saw you wanted to stick with western handle but if you use pinch grip, WA handle will just do fine and you may even find yourself much prefer WA handle to western handle If you want something more special, you can check out the Tanaka knives. They are well regarded and recommended by many forum members.

    I think this member bought Tanaka VG10 gyuto recently (the post was here), you can ask how he likes it.

  6. #16
    the DP is considered a very good knife, and also the Fujiwara, although it is very difficult to compare the two, apart from sharing the same price range they are made from different steels and will be very different ....

    in your price range there are a lot more options than just FKM or DP, like jck carbonext, or hiromoto G3, misono stainless.... and many more...
    and you will need to put your personal taste into it, for me for example, the visual aspect of the knife was not that important, otherwise for 160$ i would have probably go for an other knife.

    most of the knives i have mentioned above are not made from the hardest steel around, but they will still be made of roughly 50% tougher steel then what you are used to if you only used plain euro/Chinese knives, and they are fairly easy to sharpen, and are not prone to chipping as the more high end stuff....
    you need to remember that tougher the still is, the more brittle it becomes, and Japanese western blades tend to be much thinner that what you are used to.
    also the common geometry of these knives is different than the common french/German style blades, and that takes some getting used to.
    and if this your first knife of this type, you will probably be making some wrong moves with it when you begin using it, so a slightly softer ,less brittle steel makes sense as a first knife.
    for example the mincing motion that is very natural on a rounded belly german knife, is not really possible the same way on a standard gyuto, it does not have enough belly for it, and i found myself , when starting, "stabbing" the board with the tip of the knife, on the really hard steel (regardless of price), it is easy to chip the tip off that way.

    as for sharpening, i really wouldn't worry about it to much, i am probably a terrible sharpener, and i know i add some convexity to my knife when i sharpen it, but it really not that hard to get decent a result, and give a knife an edge that is sharp and can maintain for a good while...

    also remember that these knives will not really replace completely you old knives, every once in a while, you might need to cut through some forzen food or some chicken bones, and a *** gyuto is the last knife you want for that stuff (especially if it is VG10), so my old German Style, Chinese made, dull as a teaspoon knife still gets to be in use every once in a while (although not much)

  7. #17
    And the list just gets longer haha.

    Can you guys please explain to me what F&F means?
    And what is the common grinding shapes I'd find on such knifes? and how do they effect the knife's behavior? For example how does a 70/30 Double Bevel differ from a 50/50 Double Bevel?

    The Tanaka Blue#2 Damascus Gyuto is BEAUTIFUL, but after all you guys said about burring and deburring tough steel I'm a bit intimidated since I ain't no pro in sharpening.


    After all that said, I think I won't be going with a VG-10 knife and save such choices for a second knife so I will learn the basics right, unless you guys think having a Blue#2 Damascus for a first knife isn't that bad to learn how to sharpen with.

    In the mean while I was looking at the - JCK Original KAGAYAKI CarboNext and was thinking about it, I heard it has a good edge retention any thoughts?

    And is there a good blade such as all the recommended ones just with a wa handle?

  8. #18
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    The carbonext and tanakas are very nice knives; easy to sharpen and deburr. My only concern is that the Tanaka sports a relatively reactive cladding and it'll require quite a bit of care before it patinas and settles down

  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by James View Post
    The carbonext and tanakas are very nice knives; easy to sharpen and deburr. My only concern is that the Tanaka sports a relatively reactive cladding and it'll require quite a bit of care before it patinas and settles down
    When you say caring you mean hand washing and instant drying?
    or does it involve any other things?

    OH and I forgot to add that if I take the Carbo-Next is it a wise decision to order it extra sharp?

  10. #20
    the 70/30 means that the edge is grind 70% on the right side, and 30% on the left side, 50/50 is what you normally see, when you will hold the knife in your hand it will be very visible , it will seem like there is almost no edge on one side, and a thick edge on the other side.

    unless you are left-handed, this should not matter much, any knife you order would either be 50/50 or 70/30 (for right handers).
    the blue is a carbon steel, if you believe you have the discipline not to forget it on the board after slicing some tomatos, you will enjoy it.
    the carbo-next got some good reviews in some places, and it has more stainless qualities.

    you need to remember that most of these knives, are not the kind of stainless you are used to, they are more reactive then the 420J supermarket knives you find in most kitchens, my masamoto vg, has developed some spots and stains after i left for a while on the board, they were small , and came off easily with some cleaner, but a "plain" knife would not have developed such stains.
    (the VG is considered a "stainless" Japanese knife).
    this is true for most higher quality knives, not only from japan....

    getting a carbon still knife, clad or not, reqires more attention when you use it, if you are up for it, then great....

    F&F stands for fit and finish

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