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Thread: Looking for a small set of knives, an help much appreciated

  1. #1

    Looking for a small set of knives, an help much appreciated

    Hi all, I'm new here, and I hope I don't come across as being rude that my first post is asking for help.

    I'm a chef and I'm looking to buy a set of knives to work with. I own a set of cheap knives that I keep in the house. They are kept pretty sharp (just with a steel), partly due to limited use, but I know they would never withstand the rigours of a professional kitchen.

    I have done a bit of looking around and have spotted a set that I rather like the look of, the Kai Shun DMS-300. Are the aforementioned a good standard of knife, or are there better available in that price range? I have gone ahead and filled out the form from the sticky thread.

    What type of knife(s) do you think you want? A small (i.e. 3-piece) set of very good quality knives.
    Why is it being purchased? What, if anything, are you replacing? First set, to be used in a professional kitchen.
    What do you like and dislike about these qualities of your knives already?
    I own no high quality knives, so I'll answer this as my 'ideal set of knives would be...'
    Aesthetics- I like the look of folded steel
    Edge Quality/Retention- Extremely high preferrably
    Ease of Use- I can learn to use any knife, especially if it is of good enough quality to last a lifetime ;)
    Comfort- Would need to be rather high given constant use. I find Globals very uncomfortable
    What grip do you use? I have no real preferrance, other than 'not Globals'.
    What kind of cutting motion do you use? Depends on what I'm cutting.
    Where do you store them? Ideally they will come with a case.
    Have you ever oiled a handle? No
    What kind of cutting board(s) do you use? Colour coded plastic chopping boards.
    For edge maintenance, do you use a strop, honing rod, pull through/other, or nothing? A steel, but I am open to being taught the error of my ways if that is wrong.
    Have they ever been sharpened? Only steel
    What is your budget? £250, can perhaps stretch to £300
    What do you cook and how often? Everything and I never seem to stop ;)
    Special requests(Country of origin/type of wood/etc)? None, although as I say, I love the look of folded steel.
    As I say, your help is very much appreciated. Thanks for your time.

  2. #2
    Hiromoto 240 AS Gyuto
    Hiromoto 120 AS Petty
    King stone 1000/6000 or 800/6000

    I dont know if CKTG got their cupon for 5% off still active...

    The Hiro is a Carbon knife cladded with stainless, so you get the best from both worlds. And when you can afford, you can have the knife rehandled and etched. The Hiro is a legendary knife, and for a firsttimer you can learn how to maintain your knifes. Free vids on how to sharpen both on youtube, on the forum and at different vendors sides

  3. #3
    Thanks very much. They look like very elegant knives. I shall look to see if I can get a good price in the UK.

  4. #4
    Das HandleMeister apicius9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Honolulu, HI
    I am not a pro but I do second Oivind's recommendation. The Hiros are great knives. The Japanese gyutos are overall a bit flatter along the edge than Western chef's knives - and the Shuns. So, you can rock them but they are not as curvy. The folded steel does not add anything to performance, it's pure aesthetics - I actually think food sticks more to the blade and there is more friction when cutting. One thing to keep in mind: while the carbon core steel of tje Hiromotos is great and retains an edge for a good amount of time, the stainless cladding is a bit soft, i.e. You will very likely get scratches very quickly - badges of honor for the working cook


  5. #5
    If you live in UK, we can find someothers as well. Carbonext perhaps.
    There are vendors in japan that ship to UK as well

  6. #6
    Das HandleMeister apicius9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Honolulu, HI
    Quote Originally Posted by Eulogy View Post
    Thanks very much. They look like very elegant knives. I shall look to see if I can get a good price in the UK.
    Don't know the scene in the UK but I understand that prices are on the ridiculous side... If you don't find them there for a decent price, don't hesitate to ask for sources. You can get them from Japan (and the US) for prices that may be lower even if you have to pay duty/taxes on them.


    P.S. I give up, Oivind is faster and I need to go to bed now...

  7. #7

    JohnnyChance's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Hello and welcome! Not a problem asking for advice in your first post.

    Generally, you find better value buying knives piece by piece than as a set. Even if you prefer to have knives all from the same manufacturer/series, most high end japanese styled knives are sold individually and sets from the big manufacturers are designed to look like a better value than they are. Also, you probably use a chef's knife 80% of the time anyway and use a parer and utility knife more sparingly. You might be better off spending more of your budget on a nicer chefs knife, saving on knives you use less, or adding them later.

    Second, you will not find a lot of people here who like Shuns. They are usually higher priced than other brands made of similar steel and craftsmanship. The profile on their chef's knife tends to be regarded as a poor design choice.

    When the questionnaire asked about grip, it was asking about how you grip the handle, not the design of the grip. Common grips are "hammer", where you grab the handle as if you were to use the knife in the same manner as a hammer, or "pinch" where your thumb and first 1 or 2 fingers are pinching the blade, and your remaining fingers loosely grip the handle.

    People will also recommend sharpening stones to you, and to include those in your budget. You can add them later if you must skip them at first, and they can be pretty affordable.

    Some lines to check out are the Miyabi Fusion, Togiharu Damascus, or the Kagayaki CarboNext
    "God sends meat and the devil sends cooks." - Thomas Deloney

  8. #8
    Excellent (and quick) advice from everyone. Very much appreciated. I'm sorely tempted by the Hiromoto 2pc set with the 120mm and 210mm knives. Looks like it'll cost £166.57 (which is $272.49, you lucky devils) including shipping and VAT, which is still a good deal cheaper than the above Shun set I posted, albeit with one less knife (which you are correct JohnnyChance, would probably be redundant). That means I can get a nice small case and sharpening stone.

    JohnnyChance, I would probably describe my grip as pinch, although it varies depending on what I'm doing with the knife. Sometimes even been known to hold it like a surgeon would hold a scalpel for the odd job.

    And thanks very much, I'll check out the knives you have posted.

    Much obliged everyone. Thanks.

  9. #9
    You might wanna consider ebay

    lots of us have ordered from bluewayjapan:

    I truly belive you should go for at least a 240 gyuto!

    I also recommend the Buy/Sell/Trade marked both here in the forum, at KF, FF and other forums. This way you will get really nice knives that will last a lifetime

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Nobody mentions Fujiwara KHM/FKH as a cheaper alternative? Tho the Hiro is superb in terms of edge retention.. I've been using it as my main knife since I got it. Loads of scratches, mostly from sharpening.
    You might want to drop the steel and get some stones instead. The Kings 1000/6000 might be a good starter. Might want to invest in strops sometime down the road, tho I have not reached that stage... Yet...

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