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willyum

Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2022
Messages
5
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3
Location
California
I am on a search to find a chef/gyuto for my wife for our upcoming anniversary and was hoping to employ the collective forum to help find something memorable

LOCATION
What country are you in?
United States


KNIFE TYPE
What type of knife are you interested in (e.g., chefs knife, slicer, boning knife, utility knife, bread knife, paring knife, cleaver)?
Gyuto
Are you right or left handed?
Left handed
Are you interested in a Western handle (e.g., classic Wusthof handle) or Japanese handle?
My wife likes the handle on a Shun Fuji. I'd assume she would also like an octagonal handle. She does not like D shaped handles because she's left handed.

What length of knife (blade) are you interested in (in inches or millimeters)?
Appropriately 8inches
Do you require a stainless knife? (Yes or no)
 Yes
What is your absolute maximum budget for your knife?
$600


KNIFE USE
Do you primarily intend to use this knife at home or a professional environment?
 Home
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.)
Chopping, slicing and mincing vegetables. Would not be used for breaking down chicken or other meat. Maybe some light trimming of fat from meat. Honestly, it may take crust off a few pb and js.
What knife, if any, are you replacing?
Cheap stuff
Do you have a particular grip that you primarily use? (Please click on this LINK for the common types of grips.)
Pinch grip, pointed finger

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.)
Unsure how much of a rocking technique my wife uses but I mainly use a push cut

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 (e.g., a certain type of finish; layered/Damascus or other pattern of steel; different handle color/pattern/shape/wood; better scratch resistance; better stain resistance)?
Aesthetically pleasing, stain resistant. Finish is not a huge determining factor but would like if food was less likely to stick to the blade.
Would prefer if made by an esteemed knife maker


Comfort (e.g., lighter/heavier knife; better handle material; better handle shape; rounded spine/choil of the knife; improved balance)?
Lighter knife with good balance

Ease of Use (e.g., ability to use the knife right out of the box; smoother rock chopping, push cutting, or slicing motion; less wedging; better food release; less reactivity with food; easier to sharpen)?
Easier to slice through vegetables

Edge Retention (i.e., length of time you want the edge to last without sharpening)?
Longer the better


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

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

If not, are you interested in learning how to sharpen your knives? (Yes or no.)
Not really, would likely hire someone
Are you interested in purchasing sharpening products for your knives? (Yes or no.)
No.

thank you all in advance




 
A few points for those new to Japanese knives to be aware of:

Almost all Japanese knives are assymetric. This is done to improve food release. Most are biased for a right hander (left handeness is rare in Japan). A few makers make left handed knives but they are often up to 50% more expensive. An alternative in your price bracket is having a knife custom made.

Very thin knives (colloquially known as "lasers") don't have much room for assymetry, so they are closer to being ambidextrous than thicker knives. They go through hard food very easily but food release and stiction in wet foods are not great.

You will need a plan to keep your (wife's) knife sharp. The best plan is to learn to sharpen it yourself/ herself. There are some great internet resources on this (as well as a lot of nonsense ones). Start with "JKI sharpening playlist" (made by @JBroida) on youtube and the knifeplanet.net sharpening school (made by @Sailor). Failing that, find a professional sharpener that us used to sharpening JAPANESE knives on WATERSTONES. If you are in SoCal, the aforementioned JKI offers a very well regarded service.

If you want long edge retention, a knife made of PM stainless such as SG2, SRS15 or ZDP-189 will hold a usable (but not razor sharp) edge for a fairly long time. Even so, it's rare that in my home use, I let a knife go much beyond a month between sharpenings. Often only a week or two for knives made from more simple steels.

Not being a leftie, I'm not going to make any specific recommendations as I don't know how the knives that I am familiar with perform in the left hand.
 
A few points for those new to Japanese knives to be aware of:

Almost all Japanese knives are assymetric. This is done to improve food release. Most are biased for a right hander (left handeness is rare in Japan). A few makers make left handed knives but they are often up to 50% more expensive. An alternative in your price bracket is having a knife custom made.

Very thin knives (colloquially known as "lasers") don't have much room for assymetry, so they are closer to being ambidextrous than thicker knives. They go through hard food very easily but food release and stiction in wet foods are not great.

You will need a plan to keep your (wife's) knife sharp. The best plan is to learn to sharpen it yourself/ herself. There are some great internet resources on this (as well as a lot of nonsense ones). Start with "JKI sharpening playlist" (made by @JBroida) on youtube and the knifeplanet.net sharpening school (made by @Sailor). Failing that, find a professional sharpener that us used to sharpening JAPANESE knives on WATERSTONES. If you are in SoCal, the aforementioned JKI offers a very well regarded service.

If you want long edge retention, a knife made of PM stainless such as SG2, SRS15 or ZDP-189 will hold a usable (but not razor sharp) edge for a fairly long time. Even so, it's rare that in my home use, I let a knife go much beyond a month between sharpenings. Often only a week or two for knives made from more simple steels.

Not being a leftie, I'm not going to make any specific recommendations as I don't know how the knives that I am familiar with perform in the left hand.
Not sure I can agree with this first statement. Almost all is a massive overstatement. Most of the Sanjo knives are symmetric (prob because of Yoshikane heritage), and there are makers in other regions who make symmetric knives. Not sure I'd recommend a custom given this, nor paying 50% more for a lefty knife. A few decent symmetric options: Myojin SG2 or cobalt special, Yoshikane SKD/SLD, Nihei SLD, or the Konosuke SKD/SLD variants of above. (if you google these there's a bunch of variants)

Some of the most popular lasers (Ashi, Takada) are asymmetric.

Also if you're in SFBA, I'd recommend Bernal for knife sharpening. TBH, if you're in SFBA or LA, your best bet may be to go into JKI (mentioned above) or Bernal.
 
Aesthetically pleasing comes down to personal preference a lot. Here are some of the knives I recommended. Note that the handle is somewhat changeable. K&S has a few options. For some of these, sugicutlery.com has them and you could order a custom handle with him. Some of these are more stain resistant than others, but all are stainless clad and relatively unreactive (SKD is most reactive here and it's honestly not bad, SLD is technically semi stainless but mine has no patina and I never take any special care with it). You might be able to find different prices/handles for these knives by looking at different vendors. All of these are symmetrically ground.

https://www.epicedge.com/shopexd.asp?id=95595&bc=nohttps://knivesandstones.us/collecti...s/naohito-myojin-cosp-gyuto-180mm-210mm-240mmhttps://knivesandstones.us/collections/seisakusho/products/naohito-myojin-sg2-gyuto-210mmhttps://www.chefkniv estogo.com/kosusldgy21l.html
https://carbonknifeco.com/collectio...ikane-nashiji-skd-gyuto-210mm-chestnut-handlehttps://carbonknifeco.com/collections/nihei-knives/products/nihei-sld-nashiji-gyuto-210mm
 
Not sure I can agree with this first statement. Almost all is a massive overstatement. Most of the Sanjo knives are symmetric (prob because of Yoshikane heritage), and there are makers in other regions who make symmetric knives. Not sure I'd recommend a custom given this, nor paying 50% more for a lefty knife. A few decent symmetric options: Myojin SG2 or cobalt special, Yoshikane SKD/SLD, Nihei SLD, or the Konosuke SKD/SLD variants of above. (if you google these there's a bunch of variants)

Some of the most popular lasers (Ashi, Takada) are asymmetric.

Also if you're in SFBA, I'd recommend Bernal for knife sharpening. TBH, if you're in SFBA or LA, your best bet may be to go into JKI (mentioned above) or Bernal.
I can't agree that Sanjo knives are ground symmetrically. Some are, however, ground quite thin, which, as mentioned, means less room for assymetry.

20220628_112526.jpg


Yoshi Tsuchime (SKD). Quite a beefy workhorse grind. Note that almost all of the convex goodness is on the right blade fade (left side in this upside down picture). So food release is gonna be better on that side. Note that some of the Tsuchime (hammered) Yoshis are said to be much thinner than mine.

20220628_112802.jpg


Yoshi Nashiji (white2). A much thinner knife. Still has a bit of assymetry.

As I said, I have never used these knives in my left hand, so I don't know how this translates to left handed use. But they are not symmetrically ground.
 
I can't agree that Sanjo knives are ground symmetrically. Some are, however, ground quite thin, which, as mentioned, means less room for assymetry.

View attachment 186199

Yoshi Tsuchime (SKD). Quite a beefy workhorse grind. Note that almost all of the convex goodness is on the right blade fade (left side in this upside down picture). So food release is gonna be better on that side. Note that some of the Tsuchime (hammered) Yoshis are said to be much thinner than mine.

View attachment 186200

Yoshi Nashiji (white2). A much thinner knife. Still has a bit of assymetry.

As I said, I have never used these knives in my left hand, so I don't know how this translates to left handed use. But they are not symmetrically ground.
Have you put a straight edge to the bevels? Mine are dead even. If you looked at the choil of one of my Yoshis and Niheis you'd probably think it's left-handed but it's a regular off-the-shelf one. Likely this just reflects that the knife was handmade thus they aren't perfectly symmetrical (I'd say the same for human bodies. We're mostly symmetrical, but not perfectly so). (FWIW, mine were bought in the last year or two, in case it changed over time)
And of course not all Sanjo knives are symmetrical. Toyama is very distinctively asymmetrical. But the Yoshikane knives are effectively unbiased.
 
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I wouldn't say visual choils is a good way to examine it either because of optical illusions (which is the CKC choil shots are super nice). Putting it in gimp both sides look dead flat. Of course, you'll get much better precision with a straight edge IRL. Granted the left side (in the photo, right side IRL) is less steep, but the opposite is true for some of my Yoshikane and related. Regardless, the amount of potential asymmetry is so small I doubt it would matter.
 

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Your wife going to love Yu Kurosaki fujin SG2 or SRS13 with Blue turquoise handle if you can find one available in the US. Beautiful knife

Or a bunka which is perfect size for wifey.
My wife like the Yu Kurosaki Fujin SG2 165mm Bunka with wenge blue turquoise handle.
IMG-20210906-WA0023.jpg
 
Let’s get this man’s wife a knife! (Don’t get me wrong, I love to read about asymmetry from the masters)

Kurosaki and other takefu knives are reasonable, I’d suggest looking into the various masakage lines available, if you don’t take the myojin route. Visually you may find some more appealing than others.

Just about anything short of TF is available at that price range, and just about anything stainless from the jknife world would be a big upgrade.

Recently discussed was Ryusen hamono. My wife knife is made by them, and as a produced (vs artisan) knife they’re quite good. Low maintenance, durable and well constructed.
 
Thank you all for your help so far
I really like the yoshikane, nihei, and the Yu has a beautiful handle.
What would be the differences between sg2 and SLD?
 
Thank you all for your help so far
I really like the yoshikane, nihei, and the Yu has a beautiful handle.
What would be the differences between sg2 and SLD?
SG2 is classified as stainless steel due to its relatively high chromium levels. This makes it highly resistant to corrosion and rust
SLD is a semi stainless steel.
I would get an SG2 for Easier maintenances.
 
I don't know where you are in California, but I would suggest that since you won't be sharpening it yourself, you buy from the shop you will have them sharpened at. Many shops now (pretty sure this is true for Japanese Knife Imports in LA) only sharpen knives purchased from their store. If you are in LA, that's Japanese Knife Imports. If closer to San Fran, that's Bernal. Ideally, go to the shop to buy in person. They will be able to help guide your purchase better than us.
 
I don't know where you are in California, but I would suggest that since you won't be sharpening it yourself, you buy from the shop you will have them sharpened at. Many shops now (pretty sure this is true for Japanese Knife Imports in LA) only sharpen knives purchased from their store. If you are in LA, that's Japanese Knife Imports. If closer to San Fran, that's Bernal. Ideally, go to the shop to buy in person. They will be able to help guide your purchase better than us.
This is really good advice and probably easier to make a choice seeing the knife in person
 
Aesthetically pleasing comes down to personal preference a lot. Here are some of the knives I recommended. Note that the handle is somewhat changeable. K&S has a few options. For some of these, sugicutlery.com has them and you could order a custom handle with him. Some of these are more stain resistant than others, but all are stainless clad and relatively unreactive (SKD is most reactive here and it's honestly not bad, SLD is technically semi stainless but mine has no patina and I never take any special care with it). You might be able to find different prices/handles for these knives by looking at different vendors. All of these are symmetrically ground.

https://www.epicedge.com/shopexd.asp?id=95595&bc=nohttps://knivesandstones.us/collecti...s/naohito-myojin-cosp-gyuto-180mm-210mm-240mmhttps://knivesandstones.us/collections/seisakusho/products/naohito-myojin-sg2-gyuto-210mmhttps://www.chefkniv estogo.com/kosusldgy21l.html
https://carbonknifeco.com/collectio...ikane-nashiji-skd-gyuto-210mm-chestnut-handlehttps://carbonknifeco.com/collections/nihei-knives/products/nihei-sld-nashiji-gyuto-210mm
+1 on all this😁
 
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