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Thread: newbie question(s)

  1. #1

    newbie question(s)

    I am a very amateur home chef, but love to cook and love quality. I am geting a new blade for christmas, and want to direct my wife to the best fit for what I need want.

    My current set are some machine shop sharpened lamson goodnoughs (i live near their mfging, supported local)

    My thought was to get one nice blade for all around use, which steered me to a gyuto. From everything I have researched, I have found the masmoto vg 10 210mm to be the choice.

    BUT THEN, I saw a nakiri specializes in vegetables, and the majority, probably 80-90% of my prep is veg, should I now make this my choice? I do not want to overcomplicate or overthink, I have basic but pretty good and quick skills with a chefs, is there a big adaptation to skills with a nakiri? Will I make cleaner chops for things like garlic or poblanos where I want a fine dice?

    Last, I see the masmoto gyuto I picked seems to have a great overall reputation, is there a go to nakiri that is equally idolized for a similar approx $200 price tag?

    And lastly last, I plan on purchasing whetstones to sharpen, saw all the merchandise on JCK, and like what I see, is this a good source for stones as well?

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    The incredibly sophisticated Boise, ID <g>
    Welcome to the forum.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    sachem allison's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    I haven't lived the life I wanted, just the lives I needed too at the time.

  4. #4
    Your major difference in using a gyuto vs a nakiri for veg prep will be that a nakiri is designed/limited to being used in a push cutting motion, where a gyuto can still be "rolled" on the board, as well as a push cut. I still like to rock my knife for things like big piles of herbs. And I like having a tip for things like cleaning out the lining of bell peppers.

    Masamoto makes a very nice gyuto. I love my Masamoto HC, which is basically the same knife but with a carbon steel instead. If you're looking for other options, the Gesshin Ginga and Kagero would both be great alternatives (and still stainless steel), although a couple bucks more than the Masa. JapaneseKnifeImports has the Gesshin line along with a nice selection of waterstones. JapaneseKnifeSharpening has most of the most-recommended starter waterstones, too.

  5. #5
    For $200 you could probably get a 240 gyuto and a nakiri with a few buck to put towards stones. The Dojo blue steel nakiri is under $100 and one of the best blades I've used for quick veg prep. It's a 165mm, but is thin as hell and holds an edge for a long time. I use it in a pro environment and it preforms amazingly well for the money. For gyutos look at a Fujiwara FKH 240 gyuto, or a 240 Artifex, or a 240 Kanemasa Minamoto, all around $100. These are all very good knives, regardless of the price. They will give you a nice entry into j-blades and will preform really freaking well.

    You need some stones as well. A simple 1000/6000 from japanese knife sharpening, Dave's store, would work well in this situation. And it's only $50. The only other stone you might want to add is something coarser, and you could go with something inexpensive like a sun tiger 220 or a pink brick at Dave's store.

    Welcome and good luck man!

  6. #6
    thanks guys/gals!

    I am getting great info here. Really like the site.

    Any advantage for a home chef to go carbon steel vs stainless?

  7. #7
    Carbon takes a little more effort to care for, but imho it's worth it. Everything in life is a trade off, and carbon generally holds a sharper edge longer than stainless, but you can neglect stainless more. Both the FKH and Kanemasa are not all that reactive for high carbon knives, more like a high carbon alloy. Just wipe 'em dry after use and no problems. If you feel you can care for carbon, absolutely go for it.

  8. #8
    Well this new information may provide new decisions. I am now looking at the moritaka supreme. I will be using this daily, so as long as I wipe it dry Im good?

    Some pictures the blade looks shiny and others rather blackened. It is tough not having a high end shop to visit to give visual inspection, I am looking for performance first, but aesthetics are nice as well.

  9. #9

    Zwiefel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Little Rock, AR
    I have the Masamoto VG 210MM was my first jKnife. I've been pleased with it for about 3 years now...I have picked up some higher-end knives since then, but still reach for the Masamoto sometimes (mostly when I feel like using a western handle).
    Remember: You're a unique individual...just like everybody else.

  10. #10
    Senior Member stevenStefano's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Norn Iron
    If I were you I'd get a good gyuto before you think about a nakiri

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