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Thread: Another "Which Knife Should I Should I Buy" Question

  1. #1

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    Another "Which Knife Should I Should I Buy" Question

    A little background:
    I've always been into knives, just not kitchen knives.
    I'm pretty good at sharpening with my Edge Pro and setting the secondary bevel with my Spyderco Sharpmaker.
    We received a set of Hoffritz knives when we got married over 20 years ago.
    They're some sort of SS, Western handles, and ground relative obtusely.
    They don't sharpen up that easily, or retain the edge for that long.
    So, I've been wanting to try a thin angle Gyuto with a Wa handle for a while now.
    Here's the standard questionaire:

    What type of knife(s) do you think you want?
    Just 1 Gyuto to start out. I cut in a rocking motion so I'd prefer some good curve to the blade.

    Why is it being purchased? What, if anything, are you replacing?
    See above, my Hoffritz knives.

    What do you like and dislike about these qualities of your knives already?
    Aesthetics- OK, but I'd rather have a Wa handle for different grips plus I think they look better
    Edge Quality/Retention- Current Hoffritz knives are adequate at best
    Ease of Use- OK, but, as always, they could be sharper
    Comfort- I'm not a fan of the blocky, harsh edge western handles

    What grip do you use?
    Mostly hammer grip, but I'd like to experiment with different grips. Hence the desire for a Wa handle.

    What kind of cutting motion do you use?
    Rocking

    Where do you store them?
    Wood block hanging on the wall with individual slots

    Have you ever oiled a handle?
    No, never needed to.
    But I don't have a problem doing it if the rest of the knife meets my requirement

    What kind of cutting board(s) do you use?
    Usually, Rock Maple, occasionally, other small wood or plastic cutting boards

    For edge maintenance, do you use a strop, honing rod, pull through/other, or nothing?
    I usually touch up on the Spyderco Sharpmaker.
    But I'd like to learn to use a honing rod.
    We have a grooved one, but I've read that these aren't that good for Japanese blades

    Have they ever been sharpened?
    Yes. I had the edges thinned out a while back, and I've kept them up with the Sharpmaker and Edge Pro

    What is your budget?
    $100 give or take for the Gyuto.
    I'll follow up with a parer and a mid size Petty in the future

    What do you cook and how often?
    I'll mostly use it for veggies, occasionally, beef.
    At most, I'll use it 3 or 4 times a week.


    Special requests(Country of origin/type of wood/etc)?
    I want it to look nice, not blingy, so a tasteful damascus cladding is OK.
    Also don't mind the look of that black, unfinished steel some blades have at the spine side.
    Also, I don't mind if the core is High C non-ss (or for that matter, the entire blade).
    Not too picky about the handle material, as long as it's durable, comfy (Wa), and well sealed around the tang.
    My main criteria is ease of sharpening, and edge holding.

    Thanks all,
    Lenny

  2. #2
    Canada's Sharpest Lefty Lefty's Avatar
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    Lenny, as always, you're going to get a huge number of options and suggestions. So, here are mine:

    Tojiro Shirogami gyuto at CKtG. It's insanely affordable, somewhat thicker at the spine, has a nice gentle curve throughout and it's a very nice steel (assuming it's been HT'd properly).
    Check out the many Miyabi gyutos at cutlery and more. They have great prices, and Miyabi has some nice profiles, if you ask me. They get better reviews than many expect.
    Take a look at the Grand Cheff gyuto as well. Same as above.
    Of course, there is also the Fujiwara FKM gyuto at JCK. They're great knives, especially for the price and they're not so hard that rocking will lead to huge amounts of chipping.

    Hope that helps a bit, and at the very least, I hope I spark some conversation that will benefit you.
    09/06

    Take a look around at: www.sharpandshinyshop.com

    Email me at: tmclean@sharpandshinyshop.com

  3. #3

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    Thanks for the info Lefty.
    I like the Fujiwara FKM a lot, and it is inexpensive to boot.
    But what is a "70/30" edge?
    Does it mean that the primary bevel is 70 degrees, and the secondary bevel is 30 degrees?
    If so, that's a pretty obtuse and thick blade.

    As for the Tojiro Shirogami, I also love it and great price too.
    I've read good things about white steel.

    Also love the Miyabi Kaizen, great look and recommended to me on another forum.

    I can't find the Grand Cheff knives though.

    Of the above 3, which would you recommend.
    Thanks again.
    Lenny

  4. #4
    Senior Member stevenStefano's Avatar
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    I don't think there are many wa handled knives at that price range. The Carbonext would be my first recommendation but it is Western handled and the 240 is sold out. What length are you thinking of getting?

  5. #5
    The alleles created by mutation may be beneficial

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    I have a knife from the Tojiro shirogami line (the petty) and the steel is pretty reactive. Even after it has a nice patina it still turns garlic brown. As Steven said there aren't many wa options for $100. If you don't mind go western there are a couple of options for you, Fujiwara, CarboNext.

    When someone says a knife is 70/30 they can be talking about the grind of the blade faces or the bevel, usually it is the bevel. Basically what 70/30 means is the bevel on the right side of the knife is bigger than the one on the left side. Here is a thread about it (look at the picture second from the left.) The right side has a more acute angle than the left side.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew H View Post
    I have a knife from the Tojiro shirogami line (the petty) and the steel is pretty reactive. Even after it has a nice patina it still turns garlic brown. As Steven said there aren't many wa options for $100. If you don't mind go western there are a couple of options for you, Fujiwara, CarboNext.

    When someone says a knife is 70/30 they can be talking about the grind of the blade faces or the bevel, usually it is the bevel. Basically what 70/30 means is the bevel on the right side of the knife is bigger than the one on the left side. Here is a thread about it (look at the picture second from the left.) The right side has a more acute angle than the left side.
    Andrew,
    Your link didn't come thru.
    I just don't understand why you'd want 2 different bevel angles.
    Is this a right handed/left handed thing?
    So, 70/30 really means one side is 35, and the other is 15?

    As for length, I assume 240 is a good intermediate length.
    Don't really know what I want.
    What are the benefits/drawbacks of different lengths?

    And could you please rate the 3 knives for me?

    Thanks all.

  7. #7
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    Lenny,

    You say you use an Edge Pro, so any asymmetrical ground knife is going to present a challenge to sharpen correctly on it. I'm not talking about the cutting bevel (sometimes called the primary bevel and sometimes called the secondary bevel, but that's the subject of a entirely different thread), but rather the typical Japanese practice of grinding one side of the knife with a pronounced convexity while leaving the other side almost flat. The Edge Pro is designed for knives that have symmetrically ground sides, as most all German, French and American knives are. When you flip an assymentric knife from one side to the other on the Edge Pro, you drastically change the bevel angle, and you would need to change the angle of the stone arm each time you change the side you are sharpening. Not to mention the fact that because a convexed surface will rock, you have to ensure that the convexed side of the blade is held against the stage the same way every time. It's one of the reasons I don't use my Edge Pro on my Japanese knives any more.

    So, if you're looking for a Japanese blade, I'd also suggest that you get a couple of waterstones and start sharpening freehand.

    As to a recommendation, if you don't mind a 210, take a look at the Sugimoto wa-gyuto at CKTG. It's a steal at $80, shipped.

    BTW, welcome to KKF!

    Rick

  8. #8
    The alleles created by mutation may be beneficial

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    Quote Originally Posted by OneEyeMan View Post
    Andrew,
    Your link didn't come thru.
    I just don't understand why you'd want 2 different bevel angles.
    Is this a right handed/left handed thing?
    So, 70/30 really means one side is 35, and the other is 15?

    As for length, I assume 240 is a good intermediate length.
    Don't really know what I want.
    What are the benefits/drawbacks of different lengths?

    And could you please rate the 3 knives for me?

    Thanks all.
    That's weird, I could have sworn I linked it. http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/sh...imetric-grinds
    In kitchen knives you usually have relatively small angles. Most people here put 12-15 degree angles on their blades (24-30 if you count both.) If you look at the thread you can see that the angle is smaller on the right hand side, but the bevel is bigger. (picture number 2).

    240mm is pretty much the standard length on the forum. The knife is big enough to do almost all tasks, but isn't unruly. A 210mm or a 270mm works also works, but it comes down to personal preference. Most people buy 240s.
    As for the three knives you are looking at you have one that is stainless, one that is carbon, and one that is somewhere inbetween. The CarboNext can patina, but is not nearly as reactive as the steel in the tojiro shirogami series. The fujiwara is completely stainless, but probably can't get as sharp as the CarboNext or the tojiro.

    I'd go with the CarboNext.

  9. #9
    Canada's Sharpest Lefty Lefty's Avatar
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    Good points, as always, Rick.
    I'm thinking the Kaizen or now the Tojiro DP. VG10 is what it is, but ithas a loyal following. I'm not sure on the grind for either of these knives, however....
    A 1k stone and *gasp* Moritaka might be nice too.
    How abut finding a few knives that you like the look of, and telling us what they are. We might be able to narrow it down to two or three, at which point you will just have to take the plunge.
    09/06

    Take a look around at: www.sharpandshinyshop.com

    Email me at: tmclean@sharpandshinyshop.com

  10. #10
    Canada's Sharpest Lefty Lefty's Avatar
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    I should add one thing. I know that most here swear by 240s and even 270s, but I'll take a 210, thanks.
    09/06

    Take a look around at: www.sharpandshinyshop.com

    Email me at: tmclean@sharpandshinyshop.com

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