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Thread: First Real Knife Recommendation

  1. #11
    Senior Member Johnny.B.Good's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caseyswenson View Post
    I've decided that I would rather get a knife from Jon at Japanese Knife Imports based off what I have read so far.
    I haven't felt the need to post here yet, but have done a great deal of reading (here and elsewhere) over the past six months or so. I have spent some pretty serious coin on sharpening supplies with a few vendors, and one nice knife. I would probably do some things differently in hindsight (like not buying an Edge Pro Professional and then deciding to learn to freehand sharpen too), but no big deal.

    Like you, I feel like I have learned something about the various vendors and personalities in the small high-end cutlery community from my extensive research/reading, and really came to admire Jon and the way he runs Japanese Knife Imports with his wife. I haven't had reason yet to interact with him personally, but last night a package of Gesshinn stones I ordered last week was waiting on my doorstep. Inside was a rather lengthy handwritten note from Sara (Jon's pretty wife) thanking me for my purchase and assuring me they are there to answer any questions I might have etc. The main box was filled with rolled up newspaper to keep everything from shifting around in transit, and individual boxes were encased in bubble wrap sleeves. Within that bubble wrap sleeve, each box was wrapped in black tissue paper (like presents) with a Japanese Knife Imports sticker on top. For a guy that can't wrap a Christmas present without help from his sister, I find all of this pretty impressive. Just first class all the way from sale to delivery.

    In the future, given a choice between spending my money with Jon at JKI vs. another vendor will be an easy decision. I live in CA (which means sales tax buying from Jon), but still, easy decision. It's worth a few dollars more to me (that I can thankfully afford to spend given the tough times so many are experiencing) to support such a cool little company and nice people.

    Good luck with the knife purchase Casey. Let us know what you end up getting!

  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny.B.Good View Post
    I would probably do some things differently in hindsight (like not buying an Edge Pro Professional and then deciding to learn to freehand sharpen too), but no big deal.
    That is one area I'm also debating. I'd be interested in your opinion from the perspective as someone new to this hobby on the pro's and con's you have with the two different systems.

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny.B.Good View Post
    Like you, I feel like I have learned something about the various vendors and personalities in the small high-end cutlery community from my extensive research/reading, and really came to admire Jon and the way he runs Japanese Knife Imports with his wife. I haven't had reason yet to interact with him personally, but last night a package of Gesshinn stones I ordered last week was waiting on my doorstep. Inside was a rather lengthy handwritten note from Sara (Jon's pretty wife) thanking me for my purchase and assuring me they are there to answer any questions I might have etc. The main box was filled with rolled up newspaper to keep everything from shifting around in transit, and individual boxes were encased in bubble wrap sleeves. Within that bubble wrap sleeve, each box was wrapped in black tissue paper (like presents) with a Japanese Knife Imports sticker on top. For a guy that can't wrap a Christmas present without help from his sister, I find all of this pretty impressive. Just first class all the way from sale to delivery.

    In the future, given a choice between spending my money with Jon at JKI vs. another vendor will be an easy decision. I live in CA (which means sales tax buying from Jon), but still, easy decision. It's worth a few dollars more to me (that I can thankfully afford to spend given the tough times so many are experiencing) to support such a cool little company and nice people.
    +1!!

  4. #14
    Senior Member Johnny.B.Good's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caseyswenson View Post
    That is one area I'm also debating. I'd be interested in your opinion from the perspective as someone new to this hobby on the pro's and con's you have with the two different systems.
    I started getting into all of "this" (!) after taking a collection of knives to be professionally sharpened. The results were dramatic but short lived, and I decided I wanted to learn to keep my knives that way all of the time without the hassle and expense of sending them out.

    After reading a number of positive reviews and endorsements of the Edge Pro system from seemingly knowledgeable people, I decided to take a chance and order the “professional” model. The inventor/owner of the Edge Pro system is a terribly nice man named Ben Dale, who I am just as happy to endorse and support as Jon/JKI. Small family operation, guy answers his own phone all day long giving advice to customers, etc. You just can’t help but wish for him to succeed (could use a new website, but I could say that about many of the vendors in this arena). I gave very little thought to the idea of learning to sharpen freehand on stones, as I imagined a steep learning curve and months of frustratingly poor results.

    The Edge Pro really is a nice product. As I said, I purchased the “professional” model, which feels substantial and very well made. If you decide to go this route and have the money, I would order it in a heartbeat over the less expensive “Apex” model. It clamps down securely to any surface (without suction cups), allows you to purchase a scissor attachment (I did, but haven’t used it yet), comes in a nice hard plastic briefcase (that Ben writes your name on in fancy cursive in shiny silver ink!), and has some other advantages (all of which comes at a price of course).

    I was able to get pretty good results with the Edge Pro my first time out, including shiny “mirror” polished edges (I have since come to learn that shiny doesn’t necessarily equal sharp and isn’t required for a knife to be scary sharp). I took dull knives and made them all slice paper in a matter of hours with zero experience, so…mission accomplished. Using the EP isn’t a completely intuitive process and there is definitely a small learning curve involved, but not bad. Of course, in the hands of a skilled and dedicated user there is theoretically no limit to the results that can be achieved (one of the more divisive figures in this small community, a man not welcome here, does really amazing things with an Edge Pro).

    The more interested in all of “this” that I became, the more the idea of freehand sharpening began to appeal. While the idea of sharpening on water stones sounds like a bit of a production (soaking them, securing them somehow, keeping them flat, etc.), frankly, so is using the Edge Pro. Even though I am comfortable setting it up and putting it away, I wouldn’t just get it out and use it for fifteen or twenty minutes on one knife. If I had a workshop or fancy garage (I don't), I would leave it set up all the time.

    I can’t really speak to the pros and cons of using a “guided” system (there are many threads about this here and elsewhere) vs. sharpening freehand, as I have not yet learned to do without the Edge Pro, but that is now my intention. People collect and discuss sharpening stones in the same way they collect and discuss knives, which no longer sounds messy and annoying but fun!

    Do I regret buying the Edge Pro? Not really. Only in the sense that it feels a bit wasteful to have it sitting there while I learn to do without it. Thankfully I can afford to have it and still “start over” with a nice set of stones from JKI. I plan to learn to freehand sharpen on knives I don’t care about, and will probably continue to use the Edge Pro on my one (for the time being) high end Japanese knife, as I feel confident that I won’t do any knife irreparable harm using it.

    To me, the Edge Pro remains a nice shortcut to solid results. I don’t know that it would be a good idea for someone on a budget, as a few inexpensive stones and some practice would be far more affordable. If you just want to sharpen a set of knives or two reasonably well with little to no practice a few times a year, it will do the trick nicely.

  5. #15
    Well got a bit delayed due to having to buy my girls xmas presents before I buy for myself, but my first J Knife should be arriving today from Jon. Got a Yoshihiro 240mm Stainless Wa-Gyuto to introduce me to this world. Now if I wasn't stuck at work.....

  6. #16
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    Forum rules say that pics and/or videos are now required. Enjoy your new knife!

  7. #17
    Very happy with the knife. Edge is very sharp for me (compared to my old Henckel Synergy set I'm coming from). Able to slice carrots to make so thin I can see through them. The most noticeable difference is the steering, it just wants to cut straight, very easy now for me to get very thin consistent cuts that I used to have to use a mandolin to get that consistency.

    Well I'm going to sing to the choir for a moment here but so far very impressed with Jon at JKI. Have had a few email exchanges and gave me good advice on my knife purchase and took the time to explain...I had emailed a similar question to CKTG to compare and got a one liner no use answer back. Jon is now helping me get a starter stone package. Included in with the knife was a full page hand written letter from his wife thanking me for my business. A very nice touch that obviously shows how much they care about their customers.

  8. #18
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    Congrats on the knife - sounds like you are in good hands at JKI..

    Lars

  9. #19

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    So, wait, which knife did you get?

  10. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by johndoughy View Post
    So, wait, which knife did you get?
    I got the Yoshi 240mm Gyuto

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