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Thread: What are Your Game Changing Knives?

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    mr drinky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    St. Paul, MN

    What are Your Game Changing Knives?

    I was thinking today about the evolution of my knives, skills (cutting and sharpening), and what types of knives I like now. In my rather short 'knife-life', I have had a few knives that changed how I think, so here they are:

    (1) Mr. Tanaka 165mm Damascus Santoku. It is still the most beautiful blade I have, and it was the knife that made me take up sharpening.

    (2) DT ITK 270mm Gyuto. It is big, but it doesn't feel big and I still use it often and for small jobs, and the edge lasted forever.

    (3) Carter 6.7 sun SFGZ. It was small, light, and thin and felt strange in my hand, but it is now my favorite knife in the kitchen.

    "There's only one thing I hate more than lying…skim milk, which is water that's lying about being milk." -- Ron Swanson

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    St Louis, MO
    My first real Japanese knife (first I bought was a shun yanagiba) was my Moritaka chukabocho. Completely altered my understanding of sharp. Could last and last as a cutting tool. Sure the grind is a little off but I will never ever sell it. It is beautiful and incredibly useful.

  3. #3
    Canada's Sharpest Lefty Lefty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    8" Henkels Chef knife that I inherited from my Dad. I don't care who you are, you'll probably have a soft spot for a late 70s Henckels. It's actually a great knife.

    210 Misono moly gyuto. I discovered what thin Japanese steel was all about. It changed my perspective more than the Konosuke white 2 laser gyuto did. The jump from German to J-Knife was almost impossible to comprehend at the beginning.

    5.2 sun Murray Carter SFGZ funayuki. All I can say is, if you have never used a Carter, you have to. They're that good!

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  4. #4

    ecchef's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    In the Village.
    +1 one the Carter. Still in my top 3.
    Though I could not caution all I still might warn a few; Don't raise your hand to raise no flag atop no ship of fools. - Robert Hunter

  5. #5
    1. Global G-2 Chef Knife. I learned that my Wusthof and Dexter Chinese Cleavers were so heavy compared to this knife.

    2. Hiromoto AS 240 rehandled and sharpened by Dave Martell. I learned just how sharp a knife could get when sharpened by someone who knows what they're doing. (I still don't know what I'm doing.)

    3. Devin Thomas 240 Western. Not my favorite knife in certain ways, but I learned how important the grind is to a knife and that a well ground knife makes a good cutting knife. It's a superior cutter to the Hiromoto.

    4. 5.4 Sun Carter SFGZ Riveted Handle Funayuki (White Steel). Bigger blade isn't necessarily better and add a good grind to excellent steel and you get a fantastic cutting knife. The DT is a little smoother of a cutter, but the Carter is significantly thinner and stiff - it just feels better.
    "Don't you know who he is?"

  6. #6
    My Shigefusa opened my eyes to how a knife should feel and perform.

  7. #7
    Senior Member AFKitchenknivesguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    This may sound weird, but my Kramers are my first high end/great knives I ever bought. I just didn't get the order until years later. When I first saw them online, I placed an order within minutes.

    Watanabe gyuto was the first knife I bought and held were I said out loud holy sh%t!

    I am gonna jump on the Carter bandwagon, it's the first knife I used where I could never go back to consumer knives.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Canoga Park, CA
    My first good knives were just lucky for me -- an romantic interest, a woolly-headed (in my case) wish for carbons and "old things" -- I learned to cut with Sabatier "Nogents". My father had a super-thin Carbon Sab (no idea what maker -- that had long been worn off by the time I was allowed to play with knives).

    A Mac Professional 9.5 chef's was the real entree into Japanese knives, and that wasn't very long ago. That and discussion boards, when I started "researching" what I had with the Nogents. But I don't own a Mac. My first J-knife purchases were recent. The Yoshihiro got me to prefer wa-handles and their associated lightness. So that's a game-changer. And my most recent petty -- a first "laser", is the Gesshin Ginga 210mm petty. Freaks me out how sharp it is, how light it is, how thin it is.

    Those are the four. Or five if you count my father's.

  9. #9
    A Tanaka VG10 240 gyuto hooked me forever on nice gyutos. I couldn't go back to German chef knives after that. I still love to use it.

    A Takeda 240-ish gyuto got me onto carbon steel. I'll still use stainless or semi-stainless, but rarely. It's still my most-used gyuto though I have others to choose from now.

    A CCK carbon steel cleaver got me onto using chinese cleavers. It was the first time I really enjoyed using a cleaver, changing my thoughts about cleavers completely - I'd grown up thinking all cleavers felt as cruddy as the $10 stainless slabs that my family's kitchen always had. This one, unfortunately, doesn't see much use anymore as other cleavers came along.

    A Shimatani yanagi opened my eyes to the fun and joy of using single bevels. Too bad I cracked the poor thing while learning to sharpen it.

    My very first and most important game-changer though? My mom's old Henckels 8" chef knife. I learned the fun, enjoyment, and basic skills of cooking with that thing - and I remember I took good care of it, at least based on my knowledge back then.

  10. #10
    1) Konosuke HD 270 gyuto. My most used knife that cuts smooth and fast.

    2) 300 blue # 2 yanagi. Gives me an edge that is beyond the beyond. I haven't seen many other people's knives but it gives me the sharpest edge I've ever touched in my life.

    3) 210 Deba. The "heart" of my knife set. It picks up any work that my other 2 knives can't do, since the others are extremely thin and delicate.

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