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Thread: What knife should I buy?

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by chinacats View Post
    ...learning how to sharpen is a priceless skill. Good luck.

    Cheers
    Very true. A bester 1200 and some course sandpaper on a marble tile (to flat the stone) would be a great starting stone.

    Best of luck,
    rj

  2. #12
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    I repaired a Shun paring knife for my sister that was chippy as all get out and had small holes in the steel. Based on that experience I would not buy one. Others have had different experiences, so YMMV.
    Spike C
    "The Buddha resides as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain."
    Pirsig

  3. #13
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    Whatever you decide upon, get a sharpening stone to accompany...

    Japan Woodworker is in Alameda and while you might not like their knife selection, they have a decent stone selection. Not Jon's place but a decent shop. You might get a chance to handle a Shigefusa and Yoshikane as well... just for kicks...

  4. #14
    Senior Member Justin0505's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brett Hatchstone View Post
    Awesome, thanks for the replies. I've looked up each of the recommended knives, and found a couple others as well... has anyone here heard of Yamawaku? He's a Japanese guy, forges the knives by hand, and I get the feeling that he works out of his garage and uses Google Translate extensively. Anyway, he has 210/240mm gyutos for $63/$90 at his eBay store. Also, there's a guy selling a used 8" Shun for $75 over at KnifeForums' sales forum. From what I gather, this is a very good price for a Shun; my question is, is it a very good price for a knife? In other words, how much of that $75 is buying me the Shun name as opposed to a quality knife? One of my coworkers and the Kitchen Store lady up the street both seem to worship Shun, but I'm a little more reserved to jump the gun on it.

    For reference, I found a Fujiwara for $83, and a CarboNext for $105-$128.
    I have not used a Yamawaku before, but there are some members on here that have them and the feed-back seems to be generally good. The knives actually look pretty good in the photos and videos: the profiles and grinds both look good and the materials and specs sound good as well.
    However, there are some potential issues that can be very difficult to detect unless you've used and sharpened the knife for awhile such as low spots/ over grinds that will cause a "hole" in the edge. The seller (330mate) does not have a reputation for good customer service / returning your emails after he has your money. So, if you DO have a problem, good luck getting help with it.

    I have experience with 2 knife lines that are in a similar range: Tojiro's "ITK Shirogami Series" in white #2 and Zakuri Kurouchi finish in blue #1. Both are very good value and "cool" if you like the whole basic, rustic, made with fire and hammers and manliness. CTKG sells the Tojiro and I have never had a problem with Mark's customer service, but Jon at JKI sell the Zakuri and his customer service is as good as it gets.
    The only thing that I don't like about either is that they do this sandblasted "frosted" thing on the bevel to try to make it look better in pictures/ save time on finish polishing and it adds drag to the cut and clings to moisture, so step #1 for me is always sanding / polishing that out. But hey, passing the relatively easy to do finishing work on to the customer is something that helps to keep the cost down.

    One last possible suggestion is something from Murray Carter's "Stainless Fukugozai, Riveted Handle" line. Normally these knifes would be way out of your price range, but he just had a really huge sale. If you call him up and explain your situation (explain being a poor working pro, looking for a first good knife) , mention missing the sale, talk about what you're looking for, he will likely cut you a deal. He's a good guy, but also a smart businessman and he knows that if he can get people to try his knives, they will buy more / tell other people to do so. The way that his knives cut may be equaled by other's but I don't think I've yet found one (at any price) that I could say is significantly better. He's got the last of his "old stock" blue steel knifes on his site now. Edge retention is better than with white steel and once they're gone, he's not making any more in blue.

    I guess in all of this, the one thing that I never mentioned was that a chef's knife might not be the only choice for you: if you're doing 90% veggies and already have a chef's knife, it might be worth trying a Nakiri or even a Chinese style chef's knife AKA slicing cleaver. Some people people think square is beautiful, and some people cant stand not having a traditional point on the end of the blade. If you think that they are at least interesting, then it might be worth trying out something different.

  5. #15
    Japan Woodworker has the Akifusa knives, which I've heard are pretty nice. I looked at them in person briefly and they looked to have a decent grind and distal taper. They're also fairly well priced. I think they call them the "Artisan" series at Japan Woodworker. You could also pick up Bester stones, Kings (like the 1200), among some other stones if you go there.

  6. #16
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    If you go the Carter route as Justin said (which I think is a great choice) Carter makes awesome knives. PM me first and I'll help you with the discount.

  7. #17
    You want an Ikeda

  8. #18
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    Ikeda???
    Spike C
    "The Buddha resides as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain."
    Pirsig

  9. #19

  10. #20
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    I think Akifusa is more helpful than Ikeda. That's like telling someone to buy a knife by Bill without giving a last name.
    Spike C
    "The Buddha resides as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain."
    Pirsig

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