First Real Knife Recommendation
What type of knife(s) do you think you want? Santoku or Gyuto - I have a cheap Santoku, I don't like the rocking action of traditional french chef knifes - no personal experience with a Gyuto.
Why is it being purchased? What, if anything, are you replacing? I have junk A $80 set.
What do you like and dislike about these qualities of your knives already?
Aesthetics- cheap feeling
Edge Quality/Retention- i don't think there ever was one
Ease of Use-
What grip do you use?
What kind of cutting motion do you use? Push-Cut, Chop, Slice
Where do you store them? Block
Have you ever oiled a handle? No
What kind of cutting board(s) do you use? Cheap paperstone - looking also to purchase end grain wood block
For edge maintenance, do you use a strop, honing rod, pull through/other, or nothing? nothing but need to learn something
Have they ever been sharpened?
What is your budget? $150 for my first real knife.
What do you cook and how often? Meat, BBQ, Italian
Special requests(Country of origin/type of wood/etc)?
Love to cook but one area that is very lacking is my knives. Finally decided to spend the money to slowly piece together a set of better knives. First knife looking to purchase would be a general purpose knife - I'm not a big fan of the traditional french knife - too curved. I have a cheap Santoku that I enjoy. Gyuto seems like a flatter chef knife but larger then a santoku so has my interest. I truely don't know brands of what is good, Shun is a name the mainstream knows but seems frowned upon by those in the know. The Shun Premier Santoku 7" looks interesting but I would prefer something bigger but without the rake(is that the correct term) of a traditional chef knife.
To give an idea of future plans I would like to also get a boning knife and paring knife in the next 6 months or so to go with it. I believe these 3 knives will cover most of my needs but I'm sure as every other hobby I have or had, lust will set in to some degree and I'll want more.
Welcome to the addiction ... er hobby??
Shun is an ok knife what pulls them down is the cost for what your getting. You can get a better knife for that money or an equil knife for less. It's still a good knife... Just not something I would ever own again lol (I'm a carbon steel junkie).
A few more things you need to consider
Handle styles and sizes, not all hands fit all handles. Handle styles western or traditional japanese, both have their folowings, I prefer traditional japanese... It's a personal choice.
Steel family, Carbon steel (yesss) or stainless (the icky shiny stuff ) again both are a personal choice and have their own followings.
Size... Yes size matters... What size? what your personaly needing and feel good with, thats what size is best... So again personal choice. If the 7" (210 ish) seemed to short than a 240 (8+"ish) or 270 (10"ish) may be more to your liking, hard to say untill you get your hands on one.
A gyuto does seem to fit you interests and is the usual first jump into higher grade cutlery. But again not all gyuto are made the same. Some have more belly than others, so you'll want to read as many reviews with Pics to get an understanding of who makes what and how that fits your needs.
After you get used to your first knife, I suggest a more affordable line till you get used to them, than start looking for the real knife of your dreams For your budget a cheaper learning knife and a stone or two can be had.
I suggest a "training" knife because some people are hard on their knives. And western knives allow you to be hard on them and bad habbits can become everyday use. I sure had my share of weird habbits I had no clue I was using till I got my first japanese knife. I just about killed it daily while working on the line. I learned fast what I was doing wrong that damaged my knife, changed a few practices that work well with japanese knives and my knife skills improved dramatically. And I learned to repair my own knives (learned by doing the damage lol).
Not everyone is interested in that level of use but if you hang around here very long it tends to rub off on you So read back posts and ask questions, lots of questions... it will only help you narrow down the huge pile of choices that are ahead of you... Or you can jump in with all four feet (like I did) and learn as you go, it all works lol.
Welcome to the insanity
Whichever knife you choose, get a honing rod. My favorite is the Idahone Honing Rod.
Canada's Sharpest Lefty
If you like the look of Shun (they are pretty), but don't like the cost per quality inch ratio (I made that up, I think), I'd take a good look at Miyabi Kaizen, and Miyabi 7000D. They have a much nicer pricetag, at $99 for an 8" gyuto, and the steel should be pretty good. One complaint I have read about the 7000 series is the weight seems to be too far back into the handle. I haven't tried one, but these knives have me going back and checking them out online almost daily. For just $149, you can try the 7000MC line which has zdp-189 (if I remember correctly) and is an insane price, if I am correct about the steel.
With all of that being said, you could just go with the old standbys and get a Carbonext, Fujiwara FKM, Tojiro, or Ashi.
Let us know what you choose
After doing a bunch more research last night and the suggestion of more of a starter knife I'm considering the Tojiro DP Wa-Gyuto 240mm. Compared to most others in this price range this also has the Japanese style handle. This also leaves more room for buying 3 stones and honing rod.
+1. Not a bad decision.
Originally Posted by Ratton
Now just trying to figure out what sharpening process to start off with as well.
Get a nice 1-3k stone. I started with a 3k Naniwa Superstone. It's a splash n go, soft and makes you pay for every wobble but you learn to not wobble pretty quick, lol. Some nice, harder ones are bester 1.2k (solid budget performer), chosera 1k (long time standard for performance), Gesshin 2k (a current popular choice) and Gesshin 1k (my current favorite).
Well changed my mind. I realized that I didn't know jack about any of the vendors and what they know or don't know. Being a noob myself it is hard to figure out sometimes who the experts are. Well reading a lot of this forum has helped me at least realize who some of the people that truly care about their customers, profession, and are more knowledgeable. I realized there was only a couple places selling the Tojiro. The more I read the more I didn't like. I've decided that I would rather get a knife from Jon at Japanese Knife Imports based off what I have read so far. What would your opinions be between the Yoshihiro 240mm Stainless Wa-Gyuto and Zakuri 240mm Blue #1 Kurouchi Gyuto. Carbon has my interest the more I read and seems like it is easier to keep sharp. The Zakuri is carbon so I would have expected it to be thinner then the Yoshihiro but based off the measurements that doesn't seem to be the case. Odd to that the text for the Yoshihiro states "Our customers have been asking us for an alternative to the super-thin wa-gyutos we have been carrying" and the Zakuri is thinner.