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Do I need a bread knife? If so, which one? Tojiro?

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heirkb

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So I looked at the bread knife threads around here. I saw a post by tk59 that he uses a suji 95% of the time to cut bread. Do the rest of you guys only use a plain edge knife (as opposed to serrated/scalloped knife)? I have a tough time getting my gyuto to easily bite into anything that is even slightly crusty (i.e. anything more crusty than soft sandwich type bread).

I'm looking at the Tojiro bread knife and wondering if I should put that same amount or a little more into a suji or if the bread knife would be the better choice for now until I decide I need a suji for slicing meat.

Also, if I do go with the Tojiro, would it be crazy to think that I could rehandle it myself? I don't have a belt sander or things like that, so it'd have to be files, a few small saws, sandpaper, etc...
 

mc2442

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I got the Tojiro ITK bread knife for Christmas and am very happy with it so far. Glides through crusty bread.
 

kalaeb

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I use a suji most the time, and if you were torn between a suji or a bread knife, get the suji.

If you have some spare funds the Tojiro bread knife is a good knife, but completely non necessary.
 

Mike Davis

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I have been using a 270 laser gyuto to cut bread....I have had amazing luck with it and crusty bread.
 

dschonbrun

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I think it's a good idea to have a long serrated blade in your basic kit. You can use it for large and small breads and crusty fruits and veggies.

Some breads come in quite large/wide loaves, like a Miche, or large Challah. If you have a reasonable kitchen surface, go with a 9 or 10 inch bread knife over an 8 inch. The length allows you to focus on the carve/slice, rather than the downward pressure. It also facilitates less strokes to get through the bread, causing less damage.
 

heirkb

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Any ideas why my edges might not be biting into the bread? I know I'm not great at sharpening, but the edges work fine for most other things.

Also, if I get a suji, 270mm or 300mm? Is there any reason to go smaller other than cost?
 

dschonbrun

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I think it's a good idea to have a long serrated blade in your basic kit. You can use it for large and small breads and crusty fruits and veggies.

Some breads come in quite large/wide loaves, like a Miche, or large Challah. If you have a reasonable kitchen surface, go with a 9 or 10 inch bread knife over an 8 inch. The length allows you to focus on the carve/slice, rather than the downward pressure. It also facilitates less strokes to get through the bread, causing less damage.

As for which one?... there are many options. Please give us an idea of your budget and current knives and people can make recommendations.
 

Deckhand

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Finally, I got my tojiro itk bread knife on Friday. No regrets. This one is a definite keeper for me.
 

heirkb

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As for which one?... there are many options. Please give us an idea of your budget and current knives and people can make recommendations.
Current knives: 270mm Heiji gyuto, 210mm Heiji sujihiki, 80mm Suisin parer.

If I'm getting a bread knife, I wouldn't want it to cost much more than the Tojiro unless it's significantly better.

For sujis, my budget is bigger...let's say best I can get for around $150-200. I don't want to spend more, because I really don't slice a ton of meat. I barely do. It'd be nice for butternut squash and things like that, though. I kinda wanna buy the Suisin Inox just because I like my 80mm parer and Jon's shop, but I don't know if there are better options for the price.
 

Justin0505

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I also really like the ITK tojiro bread knife. I don't use it nearly as much as Eamon (aka sandwich machine), but it does do a better job with bread, cake, baked goods than a straight edged blade. The scallops also cut without the tearing/crumbing of product or gouging of board that the normal "pointy"serrations are known for.
The handle is perfectly fine as is, but I also wouldn't see a regardle project being all that difficult / more difficult than any other knife.

However if you stick with the gyuto, a lower grit/toothy edge helps, and using the point of the tip or heel to puncture the crust and start the cut works well on crusty bread.
 

tk59

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I like having a bread knife. I have the Tojiro but the MAC or even Forschner works just fine. I rarely use them but sometimes they do just work better. Suji... That's a tough one. Suisin is good though because of the wear resistance. Otherwise, I'd go with something in a carbon steel. Unless it's an all arounder, I really like carbon for sujis. It doesn't even have to be an expensive (read Hitachi) steel, either 'cause you don't have to worry about reactivity. Maybe Fujiwara?
 

heirkb

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The reason I have to get another knife either way is that the gyuto gets mini chips when cutting bread. I talked to Jon about it and he said that Heiji knives have harder steel, so you have to sharpen them at a more obtuse angle to cut things like crusty bread. I want to leave the edge acute since it cuts everything else just fine.
 

heirkb

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I like having a bread knife. I have the Tojiro but the MAC or even Forschner works just fine. I rarely use them but sometimes they do just work better. Suji... That's a tough one. Suisin is good though because of the wear resistance. Otherwise, I'd go with something in a carbon steel. Unless it's an all arounder, I really like carbon for sujis. It doesn't even have to be an expensive (read Hitachi) steel, either 'cause you don't have to worry about reactivity. Maybe Fujiwara?
You mean the Fujiwara carbons? I've heard they're super stinky, but would they be that way with meat, too?
 

tk59

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Then I'd go with Ashi. Not the Gesshin Ginga. The regular 58 hrc Ashi steel is very tough.
 

ajhuff

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My chef. Knives seem to cut bread with zero issues. I do have a serrated "bread knife". It's one of thoseas seen on TV type cuts through cans bricks and filet mignonette with ease and never needs sharpening. Gift fromky dad, I thinking costs. $25 for 2. AWESOME bread knife, especially on bagels.

-AJ
 

tk59

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You mean the Fujiwara carbons? I've heard they're super stinky, but would they be that way with meat, too?
Fujiwaras shouldn't react with meat, really. Just don't cut an onion with it! ...or a mango... or...
 

NO ChoP!

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I recently retired my Mac bread after many years of service. I replaced it with the ITK simply because it was less money and was touted as the best of all time.... don't think it was any better than the Mac, but good performer none the less....
 

GlassEye

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I vote for the bread knife. I use the 14" Victorinox, works great for those larger loaves of good crusty breads and has done really well for splitting cakes into layers. The Tojiro seems well loved around here; I will probably get one of those as well at some point. You could just get the suji next week.
 

heirkb

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There are some votes both ways and I'm finding myself leaning just a little more towards a suji since it seems more versatile. You guys sure they work well for bread? I guess the skepticism is from my current knives not feeling as bite-y as I like.

Somehow in my mind the jump from the $80 Fujiwara to the $150 Suisin is fine, but the jump from the Suisin to the $220 Ashi/Konosuke White/Sakai Yusuke white seems a bit big.
 

Deckhand

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I vote for the bread knife. I use the 14" Victorinox, works great for those larger loaves of good crusty breads and has done really well for splitting cakes into layers. The Tojiro seems well loved around here; I will probably get one of those as well at some point. You could just get the suji next week.
Scary mind reading ability. That is my plan for next week:biggrin:
Although, the Pierre Rodrigue knives and the Devin Thomas feather pattern knives are killing me.
 

tkern

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The thought of slicing some crusty loaves with my gyuto or suj. makes my skin crawl.






Edit: Coincidentally "Crusty Loaves" was a name I used to dance under.
 

heirkb

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The thought of slicing some crusty loaves with my gyuto or suj. makes my skin crawl.
Well, my Shig used to be able to cut pretty tough baguettes without chipping, but it didn't have a great bite, either.
 

Johnny.B.Good

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The thought of slicing some crusty loaves with my gyuto or suj. makes my skin crawl.
Me too.

I would spend the $60 on the Tojiro, which everyone agrees does a superb job on crusty loaves of bread (and other things).

Edit: Particularly since you keep saying you want the blade to "bite." Get the bread knife and then save up for a suji.
 

heirkb

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Alright you guys are killing me. Enablers. I'll just get the suji for now and get a bread knife next week if I'm not totally crazy with how the suji cuts bread. Only thing is that next week may be a month.
 

WildBoar

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Bought an ITK Tojiro for my wife for Christmas -- I like it a lot better then the Wusthoff bread knife we've been using. We cut crusty bread pretty much on a daily basis. The Tojiro cuts with very little downward pressure, so less crushing of the bread.
 

mr drinky

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My Forschner works just fine and is cheap. It is probably the least used knife in my drawer though, but for crusty bread it always comes out. Whatever knife you choose, it will show your cutting board who is boss. Whenever I use my bread knife I use it on my bamboo board.

k.
 

Justin0505

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I can understand the thinking behind not buying a dedicated bread knife because you don't go though that many baked goods and you don't want a dedicated knife just for that.

However, I really don't understand the idea of buying a cheap piece junk that performs like $#|t even when it's new, you can't sharpen, and is ultimately destined for the trash... ESPECIALLY when there is something infinitely better available for $60.

I would actually pay more for one that was a bit thicker and longer (that's what she said). The Gude looks soooo bada$$, but I really like the scalloped edge better and I don't know if there is even an importer of Gudes in the US anymore. Dave?

Anyone know of a Gude-like bread knife w/ scalloped (aka non-pointy / board shredy) edge that's available in the US?
 
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