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Stace

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Hi everyone,
This is my first time posting, and I don't know where to start, but basically I really would like to get some feedback on some knives that I've been looking at for my husband. He loves to cook but we've never been able to afford a suitable knife to use. I would like to start his collection, but am unsure of where to begin.
I know that he really loves japanese knives- especially the look of the damascus steel. I've been doing some searching and was recommended Global by a friend, which I realize is not damascus, but I also came across Miyabi Kaizen, Tojiro Senkou, and Kanetsune Hammered Damascus.

I know that my husband will be using the knife mainly as a multi-purpose knife to begin with, so chopping vegetables etc...

I would appreciate any suggestions or information.
Thanks so much!
 

tk59

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The Tojiro design appears to be gimmicky. I've been pleasantly impressed by the Miyabi lines, in general but I have to give the nod to the Kanetsune. I tested one from Japanese Chefs Knife with an octagonal handle and I found it to be a very good performer. I tend to favor 19c27 over vg10, as well.
 

jm2hill

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The Tojiro design appears to be gimmicky. I've been pleasantly impressed by the Miyabi lines, in general but I have to give the nod to the Kanetsune. I tested one from Japanese Chefs Knife with an octagonal handle and I found it to be a very good performer. I tend to favor 19c27 over vg10, as well.
+1 to kanetsune. for the same reason as well. Friend of mine has both and I love the look of the miyabi's but the thought of VG irks me! While both knives will be upgrades to your current set, the Kanetsune is my preference.
 

ecchef

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:welcome2: Stace! Where are you from, if you don't mind me asking?
 

welshstar

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Stace

I think the first thing is pick western handle or traditional japanese handle. You said general purpose so i would suggest a gyuto, next thing is size, 210 is small, 240 is about right and 270 is probably to big for first knife. Therefore a 240 mm Gyuto would be ideal. Dont want to state the obvious but you are aware that most Japanese knives are designed specifically for right or left handed people.

If you pick the western style the following Kanetsune is a great knife, it comes incredibly sharp and is very well made for $149, i have the 210 version and it is a great knife that equals others ( kikuichi ) that sell for double.

http://japan-blades.com/category/chef-knives/western-style/gyuto/240mm

http://japan-blades.com/chef-knives/2542.html

If you pick the Japanese handle I would suggest going with the knife tk59 suggests, the Inazuma is a great value knife. As a western alternative you could also look at the Gekko line from JCK, im not sure how they would compare to the Kanetsune, maybe someone else could add here.

For a first knife I would not get to caught up in the steel type, as long as you keep in a stainless finish of some type you will be fine.

Alan
 

Stace

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+1 to kanetsune. for the same reason as well. Friend of mine has both and I love the look of the miyabi's but the thought of VG irks me! While both knives will be upgrades to your current set, the Kanetsune is my preference.
Thank you! I will definitely go back to the Kanetsune!
 

Stace

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Stace

I think the first thing is pick western handle or traditional japanese handle. You said general purpose so i would suggest a gyuto, next thing is size, 210 is small, 240 is about right and 270 is probably to big for first knife. Therefore a 240 mm Gyuto would be ideal. Dont want to state the obvious but you are aware that most Japanese knives are designed specifically for right or left handed people.

If you pick the western style the following Kanetsune is a great knife, it comes incredibly sharp and is very well made for $149, i have the 210 version and it is a great knife that equals others ( kikuichi ) that sell for double.

http://japan-blades.com/category/chef-knives/western-style/gyuto/240mm

http://japan-blades.com/chef-knives/2542.html

If you pick the Japanese handle I would suggest going with the knife tk59 suggests, the Inazuma is a great value knife. As a western alternative you could also look at the Gekko line from JCK, im not sure how they would compare to the Kanetsune, maybe someone else could add here.

For a first knife I would not get to caught up in the steel type, as long as you keep in a stainless finish of some type you will be fine.

Alan
I'm very glad that you stated the obvious- I was figuring it out pretty quickly when I would go to see the ordering procedures and they asked if it was for left hand or right hand. But with this in mind, I will be extra careful when ordering.
One question that I have is what is the big difference between the western handle or the japanese handle? I like the look of the japanese handle, and I think my husband would as well, but of course, I would also like to be thinking of performance! Thank you so much for the recommendations! And not worrying about the steel has made me feel much better! I think I have some more searching to do!
 
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I find the japanese (or "yo-handled") style to be my preference both functionally and aesthetically. Something about the design makes me want to relax my shoulder, loosen my grip and push-cut. I say give them a shot:)
 

welshstar

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Stace

Im not experienced enough yet to pass any judgement on the merits of western via japanese handles, im still working through that process myself.

I would suggest finding a store in your city that sells japanese knives and try a few out for feel. If you want to make this a surprise I would not be to concerned, both styles are functional, if you go japanese i personally prefer the darker woods like the Inzamuna handle but that is strictly a personal preference.

Alan
 

Johnny.B.Good

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I find the japanese (or "yo-handled") style to be my preference both functionally and aesthetically. Something about the design makes me want to relax my shoulder, loosen my grip and push-cut. I say give them a shot:)
I think this is a typo. "Yo" describes the regular/Western style handles you see on popular German knives such as Wusthof/Henckels, "wa" describes Japanese style handles (usually octagon or "D" shaped). There are many threads on this Stace, here and elsewhere. Google "wa vs. yo handle."

I purchased my first Japanese style knife several months ago, and opted to order it with an octagon shaped "wa" handle (having never held one before, this was a leap of faith). I liked it immediately; it feels nimble and light. If you like the looks of the "wa" style and think your husband would too, give it a shot. If he really doesn't like it, you could always have a custom Western handle put on the knife (though this might cost as much as the knife itself). Ideally he should go to a store like Williams-Sonoma or Sur La Table, pick up both styles, and see which one he prefers (except this would ruin the element of surprise).

Good luck with your decision. I'm sure your husband will be pleased and excited no matter what you choose.
 

Stace

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Thank you! I will google the two different handles! I do want this to be a surprise, so I am taking a leap of faith as well! I do think the traditional japanese handle does look beautiful, and I'm hoping that my husband will have the same experience as you did- that it will be a perfect fit!
Another question that I have though is what is a reputable website that I can order the knife from? I've been looking at Japanese Chefs Knife.com, which is where I was sent to when I went to some of the links that other people posted. The site seems to be really excellent and the prices seem to be reasonable. The one thing I'm concerned about is shipping, since I live in Canada.
So basically, I was just wondering if there was anywhere else that I should be casing out!
I actually never knew how much deliberating went into a purchase like this, but I am really excited to see his face on Christmas!
 

Johnny.B.Good

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I don't know of any large retailers in Canada. I'm sure everyone with a website in the US/Japan will ship to Canada...for a price. Someone here will undoubtedly have a good suggestion or two. You might email/phone Jon Broida, who is the owner of Japanese Knife Imports. Extremely knowledgeable guy, great website, top notch customer service. I purchased a couple of sharpening stones from him a few weeks ago and each one arrived wrapped like a little present (bubble wrap sleeve, black tissue paper, and fancy box with a handwritten thank you note). He is also a member here. You could send him a PM with what you have in mind and your budget and see what he says. Other sites that are fun to browse and have a large selection include Japanese Chefs Knife (which you have seen), Chef Knives to Go, The Epicurean Edge, and Aframetokyo. Of course there are many more. Another thing to consider is how your husband will keep the new knife sharp, which is a whole separate issue. Does he sharpen his own knives now? Send them out to a professional? If you can spend a few minutes, it might be worthwhile to fill out the "what knife should I buy?" questionnaire (http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php?2058-Which-knife-should-you-buy) and post it as a new thread in the main forum here. You will probably get a large number of good ideas from the many members here that are smarter and more helpful than me!
 

tk59

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I have a pile of western and wa-handled knives. I prefer the wa- because it doesn't really matter where I put my hand. The westerns sometimes have contours that feel odd as I shift my grip. I also feel that larger handles tend to be a little more comfortable. That said, I've never bought a knife based on the handle and they all seem fine to me. Shipping from Japan seems to be pretty affordable, in general. The only retailer in Canada that I know of is Knifewear. Seems like a nice shop carrying some good stuff.
 

Stace

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No, I'm not really concerned with the handle. I'm going to try Knifewear and look again at the other sites! I'm so glad that I'm starting the search now! Thanks for the advice!
 

Stace

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Thank you! I will definitely try to get a hold of Jon Broida! I also sent off another new thread like you suggested and hopefully I was a little bit more clear! I just want to give my husband a knife that he will love and that we will have with us for a very long time! Thanks again for all of your help- I really appreciate it!
 

tk59

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You're welcome and good luck. I'd be interested to know what you end up with and how you and your husband end up reacting to it. I'd definitely go with a 210-240 gyuto, btw.
 

Johnny.B.Good

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welshstar

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Stace

All the websites mentioned so far are very reputable and will be fine, do not worry about buying from Japan, the knife will arrive in 3-4 days.

alan
 

SpikeC

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I was amazed by the service from JCK, $7 shipping from Japan in 3 days! Koki had 3 versions of the Tanaka petty that I wanted, and he let me choose the one with the grain pattern that I liked best.
 

kalaeb

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I was amazed by the service from JCK, $7 shipping from Japan in 3 days! Koki had 3 versions of the Tanaka petty that I wanted, and he let me choose the one with the grain pattern that I liked best.
That is usually the case with JCK, however, Koki does get bogged down during the holidays and it can take longer. Don't wait until the last week.
 

stevenStefano

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That is usually the case with JCK, however, Koki does get bogged down during the holidays and it can take longer. Don't wait until the last week.
I ordered a knife from Koki last year at Christmas Eve and it came about 3 or 4 days later. Couldn't believe it, wasn't expecting it until mid-January
 
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