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First Carbon / Semi-stainless J-Knife Recommendation?
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Thread: First Carbon / Semi-stainless J-Knife Recommendation?

  1. #1

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    First Carbon / Semi-stainless J-Knife Recommendation?

    Hi Everyone,
    Iíve been lurking here for the better part of 9 months now, but figured Iíd come out of hiding to get some advice before I finally purchase my first J-Knife. Iíd like a carbon or semi-carbon - Iíve been using some old carbon knives that Iíve scrounged from parents and garage sales, so Iím not too concerned about the extra care they require. Finally, Iím not too interested in the ďblingĒ but would appreciate good fit and finish.

    What type of knife(s) do you think you want?
    -Carbon or semi-stainless Gyuto, 210

    Why is it being purchased? What, if anything, are you replacing?
    -Upgrade from some Henckels International set I was given as a present several years ago and the couple of old carbon knives Iíve scrounged, including a german profile chef knife.

    What do you like and dislike about these qualities of your knives already?
    Aesthetics- Poor fit and finish of the Henckels Intl, Come to really like the patina on the carbon
    Edge Quality/Retention- So-so at best for the Henckels Intl, better in both categories for the carbon chef
    Ease of Use- Well, the Henckels are obviously easier but I donít mind the carbon
    Comfort- Both are OK, I've rounded the spine on the Henckels Intl which helped a lot

    What grip do you use?
    -Pinch

    What kind of cutting motion do you use?
    -Primarily push cut

    Where do you store them?
    -Block

    Have you ever oiled a handle?
    -Yes

    What kind of cutting board(s) do you use?
    -Edge grain board right now, wife agreed to purchasing a nice end-grain board that matches the kitchen once we move

    For edge maintenance, do you use a strop, honing rod, pull through/other, or nothing?
    -Right now, the kitchen knives get the pull through treatment primarily. Iíve played with the carbon chef on an old coarse stone that I use for pocket knives and hatchets.

    Have they ever been sharpened?
    -Professionally? No. By me? Yes, though Iím definitely still working on my technique!

    What is your budget?
    -175-225 for knife and a better stone or two

    What do you cook and how often?
    -Protien and veggies 6 nights a week

    Special requests(Country of origin/type of wood/etc)?
    -Nothing really comes to mind. Iíve used both western and wa handled knives and donít really have a major preference at this point. I guess if anything, I'd prefer to stay away from the common mass-market knives. You all have developed a fine sense of knife snobbery in me. If only I could afford half of it!


    Iím considering the following (210 Gyuto):
    -Misono Swedish Carbon (on sale at Korin right now)
    -CarboNext (JCK)
    -Sakai Yusuke White #2 (BluewayJapan)

    For a stone, I figure Iíll pick up a King or Chosera or similar in 1000 or 1200 from the same place I purchase the knife. Later Iíll add a 6000. Iím very much open to suggestions though!

    Thank you all in advance for your help!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Cadillac J's Avatar
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    Like I always recommend:

    240 Carbonext and a Bester 1200 -- I can do some damage with just these two. Depending on your sharpening level, maybe even have the knife shipped to an experienced member to put the initial edge on for you...I'm sure many of us would be happy to.

    I know you looking for a 210, but I truly think almost everyone can benefit from a 240...especially if you add a petty later, you'll have more of a gap between. Just trying to nudge a bit, but you can get whatever you prefer.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Benuser's Avatar
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    The Misono Swedish is a great knife, very nice F&F, very easy sharpening, takes a great edge, not the best edge retention though, quite reactive (you'll have to force a patina, don't worry, we will explain).
    Check the Hiromoto AS, Aogami Super carbon core, stainless clad, easy maintenance, exceptional edge properties.
    Consider seriously to get the 240mm length, much more versatile, you get used to within hours or days, preferred by pros, (could become relevant if you want to sell).

  4. #4
    Senior Member chinacats's Avatar
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    Welcome! Sounds like you have a pretty good idea of what you want and all 3 make sense. I too would recommend the Bester 1200...for the money it is a great middle stone and really nice solo stone. Good luck!
    one man gathers what another man spills...

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    Don't forget the konosuke HD line. Excellent grind and steel.

  6. #6
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    Since you can handle carbon and like patina, it's a no-brainer to me. You should get the Sakai Yusuke or Ginga, etc. in white #2. They are easy to sharpen, get super sharp, are carbon steel and of course, they cut very well. You need a 1-5k stone, in my opinion. If you don't mind soaking, I would go for a Suehiro Rika 5k or a Gesshin 2k for a coarser edge. If you want a splash n go, I might choose a Gesshin 1k.

  7. #7

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    Normally I would second the carbo next, but its patina is not nice, more like dull grey water spots. I would go for the Sakai Yusuke.

  8. #8
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    One thing about HiroAS is they are well known for having piss poor fit and finish. You've probably noticed that Dave did a fair number of Hiro pre-buys that were only feasible for this very reason.

  9. #9

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    Thank you for the welcome and advice, everyone!

    How does the Misono Swedish carbon compare with the White #2 knives like the Ginga and Sakai Yusuke? Are those White #2s worth the extra cost in your estimation? If I step up to the 240mm size, the recommended White #2 knives soak up my entire budget for this round of purchases.

    In the White #2 camp, is the Konosuke White comparable to the Ginga and Sakai Yusuke?

    Again, thanks everyone! Really appreciate the advice and accumulated knowledge.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Benuser's Avatar
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    In composition Misonos Swedish and White #2 must be very similar: both very pure, and both without any addition.
    In practical life steel composition is not always that relevant, though. Heat treatment is far more likely to alter the blades properties. The same steel having been treated differently may give very different results. Different steels may behave very similary.

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