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Thread: Tojira DP, Shun Sora, or Other?

  1. #1

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    Tojira DP, Shun Sora, or Other?

    To make a long story short, I'm looking at converting to Japanese knives. I've spent a good long while cooking with antique carbon hand-me-downs from various french & german makes, and I essentially just want to try something new.

    I'm looking to get an 8" Gyuto, as well as a 6" Petty, and/or 4" Parer to start, perhaps also a 7" Santoku. My problem is this:

    I'm feeling overwhelmed by all of the options out there haha, there's a ton of makers, steels, etc. The more I read through threads, the more possibilities I seem to end up with.

    VG-10 Stainless options:

    Shun Sora (8" Gyuto ~$60)
    Tojiro DP - (8" Gyuto ~$50)

    Aus-8 Options
    Fujiwara FKM - (8" Gyuto ~$75)
    Togiharu moly (8" Gyuto ~$96)

    Clad Carbon Options
    Natures Blue Moon Series Wa - (8" Gyuto ~$98)

    Note that I'm actively adding to this list as knives are suggested.


    LOCATION
    What country are you in? - USA



    KNIFE TYPE
    What type of knife are you interested in (e.g., chef’s knife, slicer, boning knife, utility knife, bread knife, paring knife, cleaver)? - Japanese Chef

    Are you right or left handed? - Left

    Are you interested in a Western handle (e.g., classic Wusthof handle) or Japanese handle? - No preference

    What length of knife (blade) are you interested in (in inches or millimeters)? - Roughly 8"

    Do you require a stainless knife? (Yes or no) - Not exactly, but my preference is at least stainless-clad in this instance.

    What is your absolute maximum budget for your knife? - $100


    KNIFE USE
    Do you primarily intend to use this knife at home or a professional environment? - Home & non-professional travel

    What are the main tasks you primarily intend to use the knife for (e.g., slicing vegetables, chopping vegetables, mincing vegetables, slicing meats, cutting down poultry, breaking poultry bones, filleting fish, trimming meats, etc.)? (Please identify as many tasks as you would like.) Slicing, chopping, mincing, and general home kitchen work. No breaking down chicken, boning, etc. I'll use another knife for those tasks.

    What knife, if any, are you replacing? ~9" vintage german carbon.

    Do you have a particular grip that you primarily use? (Please click on this LINK for the common types of grips.) Pinch, finger-point.

    What cutting motions do you primarily use? (Please click on this LINK for types of cutting motions and identify the two or three most common cutting motions, in order of most used to least used.) Push-cut, slice, chop, draw.

    What improvements do you want from your current knife? If you are not replacing a knife, please identify as many characteristics identified below in parentheses that you would like this knife to have.) - Better aesthetics, thicker handle, lighter/thinner blade, similar edge retention, better food release, smoother/easier cutting.


    KNIFE MAINTENANCE
    Do you use a bamboo, wood, rubber, or synthetic cutting board? (Yes or no.) - Yes

    Do you sharpen your own knives? (Yes or no.) - Yes

    Are you interested in purchasing sharpening products for your knives? (Yes or no.) - Yes


    These will most likely spend time in a travel/class/whatever kit, which is why I'm looking at lower-maintenance knives on the cheaper end of the spectrum (read: they may not always get the kind of care my european carbon ones do). That being said, I still want good quality steel, fit, finish, etc. Which would you choose? Is there a similar option I've overlooked? Thank you in advance for your time & opinions!

    When it comes to sharpening, I intend to purchase a 1000/6000 water stone, fine ceramic honing rod, and a holder and flattening plate. I assume this will be sufficient, but feel free to chime in here as well.

  2. #2
    Senior Member foody518's Avatar
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    Interestingly, it was finding a thread about QC issues with the Shun Sora line that led me down this rabbit hole of Japanese knives
    I own a 210mm Tojiro DP and am pretty happy with it. It's also in the price range such that you don't feel bad about scuffing it up and modding it however you wish.
    Do you have defined different uses for the petty and parer?
    Save the money on the santoku if you will get a gyuto - put it towards a longer slicer or a bread knife or whatever else may be desired.

  3. #3

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    The petty and parer would be redundant to most I'm sure, but with my current knives I tend to use a 9" knife for general work, 6" for lighter prep (herbs & small veggies, some slicing, etc) and a ~4.5" inox for tomatoes and citrus (my carbon 6 and 9 hate those) as well as detailed work, in-hand cuts, etc.

    It's an odd habit I've obtained, and at this point I just sort of go with it haha.

    Also, you're saying to skip the santoku if I get a gyuto, correct? It seems a fair idea, as the two styles do appear to share quite a bit of overlap duty-wise. In fairness, I suppose I could probably get away for quite awhile with just the gyuto and parer.

  4. #4
    Senior Member panda's Avatar
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    Togiharu moly is better entry level.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by panda View Post
    Togiharu moly is better entry level.
    As far as I'm aware, VG-10 has properties superior to the aus-8 stainless used in the Togiharu line you mentioned, would you care to elaborate on your opinion?

  6. #6

    JBroida's Avatar
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    there's much more to a knife than just steel type... also, just because some things sound better than others on paper, doesnt mean they will be that way in real life. I know many unimpressive steels on paper that blow peoples minds.

  7. #7
    Senior Member panda's Avatar
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    It's easier to sharpen and is better made. The cheapest one from jki is probably also good but haven't tried it.

  8. #8
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    Buy a knife form a reputable maker, not according to steel. An ordinary HT can ruin a great steel. A good maker can make an ordinary steel shine.

    Also, don't neglect the important contribution of grind and profile to the overall performance of the knife.

    If you want specific recommendations, I suggest that you fill out the "Which knife should I buy" questionnaire.
    "I'd better change my signature before I get myself into trouble..."

  9. #9
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    The Tojiro you mention is a good knife at a great price. I can not speak for the other knives mentioned thus far as I have not used them. However, the softer MV steels used in some of those other knives is easier to sharpen, imo, but marginally so. Not something that I would worry about but that is me.

    Fujiwara is another great value knife. I favor mine to my Suisin when it comes to bang for buck. Performance is a push but F&F goes to Suisin.

  10. #10

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    I understand that steel alone doesn't amount to much. From what I have seen, Tojiro's DP knives have a pretty good reputation, and while Shun generally includes a rather inflated markup, their knives are not exactly garbage, either. I have read that Korin is known to sell some pretty good knives, and the Togiharu moly line is presumably plenty usable.

    That's why I asked if Panda would care to elaborate, since differences like blade thickness, grind, profile, hardness, etc. will all play a part in the experience of using the finished product.

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