$300 Budget. What would you buy?

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cjmeik

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So, my employer knows of my knife addiction and recently offered to buy me one as a token of appreciation. A very nice offer but fraught with Shun and Miyabi pitfalls. Thankfully, they have the wherewithal to let me do the picking. Therein lies the rub...

After scouring every in-stock offering on every vendor's site that I could think of, I'm still left scratching my head. I have plenty of fire in my stable and I'm finding the $300 price point to be riding the line between ho-hum and just starting to get interesting.

If you had a $300 budget, what would you pick?

The caveats:
1) Must be in-stock at a retail vendor (no BST)
2) Budget is pretty fixed. A little over is probably fine, but I definitely don't want to come off as a d!ck by pushing the envelope

My Preferences:
1) Right-handed, good knife skills, home use only, can sharpen well.
2) Currently enjoying gyutos in the 210mm-240 range and santokus/bunkas in the 180-210 range

I'm stumped. Thanks for the help!
 
What do you already have and what are your 'knife preferences' in weight, grind, height, etc?
 
Most important things to know:

Yo or wa ?
Carbon or stainless ?

After that you can already be more steady in your search.
 
What do you already have and what are your 'knife preferences' in weight, grind, height, etc?
Sorry, I could have been more specific.

I probably have 50+ knives, including 30+ gyutos a handful of santokus/bunkas/petties, 3 cleavers, a couple nakiris, a yanagiba, bread knife, a couple sujis. Mostly Japanese makers with 6-8 western makers thrown in. I'm really quite well covered, so this is just a frivolous/fun addition.

Carbon vs stainless doesn't really matter to me, though I enjoy sharpening carbon more.

I definitely prefer taller knives: 55-58 on a 240 gyuto, 52 is an absolute minimum.

Yo vs Wa? Don't care. I gravitate toward wa but have been feeling an absence of yo lately.

I like a mid-weight typically. It needs to have enough meat for the grind to to be interesting, but not so WH that carrots crack.
 
Love this. Thanks. What would you "customize" about the Unshu?

What have you enjoyed from Knot Handcrafted?

Michael of Knot is on the forum and easily accessible. I had a nakiri from him that was exceptionally well executed and a lovely piece.

I also had an Unshu Yukimitsu and like many here on the forum found the steel excellent, especially at the price point. I only mentioned a potential "custom" version in case you wanted it taller than listed. @SwampDonkey and @ethompson are also fans of this maker.
 
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I like longer, taller knives so I asked Michael to order me a "custom" 230x50 from Unshu Yukimitsu. They're made to order for the most part so it isn't a big deal to ask for different specs. I got a K-tip KU gyuto, it came out at 230x51, 185 g. Definitely on the thinner side of the spectrum, nice flat profile. Excellent cutter, excellent steel. It is the most pleasant to sharpen of any I've tried and can get obscenely sharp. Spine is about 3 mm at the pinch so it's more comfortable than a true laser laser, mine gets extremely thin at the tip.

20230406_191753.jpg

20230406_191822.jpg
 
This is a great value and will come in under your budget. This was a top performer in food release in a test by Chefknife enthusiast.

I’ve read somewhere that it is made by Wakui (after checking I don’t think it IS made by Wakui) and this is a great deal, but I’d probably upgrade the handle.

There’s nothing sexy about it, but great performance and low maintenance is QUITE sexy. I will be ordering a 210 for myself soon.

https://www.japanesenaturalstones.com/kaeru-kasumi-stainless-gyuto-240mm/


 
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Wakui made the Kaeru workhorse and maybe the Kaeru in white steel.
I've never any mention by maxim that Wakui made the SLD knives.
 
Jovidah, I doubt it is made by Wakui actually after digging a bit. It was changed in specs a while back and is taller now. It’s still a great looking value to me.

Wakui’s knives are typically a bit shorter than the requested minimum 52mm height
 
Off the top of my head, at that price point I'd likely either contact Michael at @Knot Handcrafted or if 210 is open, I'd talk to Michael at Knife Japan about a "custom" version of this:

https://knifejapan.com/unshu-yukimitsu-hamono-migaki-gyuto-210mm/
That steel is outstanding.

I enjoy mine as well.. I picked up a Migaki finish in 240 and in retrospect the cladding is a bit reactive... I would've opted for the Kurouchi if I could do it over.

Slightly above your budget but my Toyama with stainless cladding is a favorite daily driver.
 
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I enjoy mine as well.. I picked up a Migaki finish in 240 and in retrospect the cladding is a bit reactive... I would've opted for the Kurouchi if I could do it over.

Slightly above your budget but my Toyama with stainless cladding is a favorite daily driver.
Thanks for the heads up on the cladding. KU will be the finish if I go that direction.

I have Toyama covered with iron-clad 210 and 240 gyutos and a 300 suji :cool::facepalm:
 
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