Finally Upgrading My College Knife Set

Discussion in 'The Kitchen Knife' started by cookiesurgeon, Aug 28, 2019.

Help Support Kitchen Knife Forums by donating:

  1. Sep 5, 2019 #31

    cookiesurgeon

    cookiesurgeon

    cookiesurgeon

    Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2019
    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    NC
    I understand; I'll do just that then.

    OK, so I've decided to get a stainless knife for sure, but am on the fence between VG-10 and R-2 (SG-2)

    I really like the Raiun above and this knife:

    https://www.**************.com/kuvgfugy24.html

    However, I keep reading that VG-10 knives don't keep a great edge and are more prone to chipping than R-2. Is that correct? I also read that VG-10 is hit or miss, but I figure that Kurosaki is a more known blacksmith that it wouldn't be so bad.

    I won't mind an R-2, though I read that it's typically harder than a VG-10. but I can't seem to find one in my budget.

    Finally, I've been looking into 240mm gyutos recently. I have the space in my kitchen, but I am worried that it's too unwieldy, as I've only ever used a 7" santoku and an 8" chef's knife. Thoughts?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. Sep 5, 2019 #32

    MarkC

    MarkC

    MarkC

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2019
    Messages:
    127
    Per your initial note to this thread, you are in the early stages of learning about Japanese knives and sharpening and you are a home cook looking to learn. My honest suggestion is to not overspend on your first knife on this journey and just get started learning. My recommendation would be to buy from JKI one of his stainless knives. You will get a very good knife but not too much money and you can develop your skills for sharpening and using the knife and learn what you like so when you go to buy your next one, you will be better able to highlight what you like and don't.

    Knives are just tools. Watch some videos of Jacques Pepin and you will see a guy that uses any knife available often just a small german one because they sponsor him and he is doing all kinds of crazy technique. You will get more out of your knife if you improve your skills. Take a class at a local cooking school or knife shop, volunteer at a non-profit soup kitchen or the like and develop technique. Learn to sharpen. Eventually you may want to invest in a special knife but for now building skills will take you farther than the knife steel or size.
     
  3. Sep 5, 2019 #33

    flying hippo

    flying hippo

    flying hippo

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2019
    Messages:
    48
    Location:
    Indiana, USA
    I don't have any experience with R2 or vg10 however I recently asked this forum about their opinions on VG10 and the Yu Kurosaki / VG10 combination was recommended a few times as one of the really good ones. I think you're link is referring to the VG10 Fujin 240mm. I think that's a great choice with a solid middle of the road profile and grind, the BIG caveat being that I haven't actually used the knife personally.

    Length is very personal. Unfortunately you probably won't really know what size you like until you try one out. Japanese knives are a lighter and nimbler than a french style knife so usually its easier adjusting to a J knife with a longer blade. Most pro chefs prefer 240mm while some home chefs like 210mm. Personally, I really like 210mms but I've read that many home chefs go from liking 210s to 240mm when they become more experienced. It's possible your tastes may change. If it means anything 240mm is usually easier to resell if you decide you don't like it.
     
  4. Sep 5, 2019 #34

    nonoyes

    nonoyes

    nonoyes

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2018
    Messages:
    101
    It's hard, but don't overthink it. Any of these knives from these vendors in this price range should be pleasant to use and to sharpen.

    Vg 10 gets a bad rap as difficult to sharpen but EVERY SINGLE review of a vg10 knife provides an exception to this "rule".

    I think R2 is chippier than vg10 but holds an edge longer, generally speaking. It pays to be careful, avoid bones etc., and watch your technique.
     
  5. Sep 5, 2019 #35

    milkbaby

    milkbaby

    milkbaby

    Well-Known Doofus Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2016
    Messages:
    1,921
    Location:
    Sunny Florida
    For a home cook, I do not think there is much advantage to be gained choosing R2/SG2 over VG10.

    Also, some people are not comfortable with 210/240 mm or longer knives. It's a personal preference, no right or wrong. If your main cutting board is an 8" x 10" board, then even 210 mm can be too long for that smaller size board. There are plenty of people who use 150 to 180 mm length knives as their main knife, just maybe not many of them are forum members here at KKF.
     
    Carl Kotte and flying hippo like this.
  6. Sep 6, 2019 #36

    Michi

    Michi

    Michi

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2019
    Messages:
    1,467
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    For people new to professional knives and with a normal-sized workspace, 210 mm is a big knife, and 240 mm is a huge knife.

    I recommend going to a knife shop and handling either size, even if they are knives you don't intend to buy. It'll at least give you an idea of the feel and actual size in your hand.
     
    milkbaby, Carl Kotte and flying hippo like this.
  7. Sep 6, 2019 #37

    ian

    ian

    ian

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2017
    Messages:
    1,018
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    True, although it can be misleading if you go handle the knife in a big open storeroom, and then come back to your small, cramped kitchen. Out of context, 240mm can seem smaller than it will feel in use.
     
    Carl Kotte likes this.
  8. Sep 6, 2019 #38

    SeattleBen

    SeattleBen

    SeattleBen

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2018
    Messages:
    218
    Handling it on a board should provide some decent feedback.
     
  9. Sep 6, 2019 #39

    DitmasPork

    DitmasPork

    DitmasPork

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2012
    Messages:
    1,397
    Location:
    BROOKLYN, NY



    So you're looking for 8" chef, 7" santoku/nikiri, 3-5" paring, 8-10" bread knife. Max per knife would be $300, that's a total budget of $900.

    I'd break it down to this:
    $150 petty knife
    $90 Mac Bread knife
    $250 Nakiri
    $400 Gyuto (or two $200 gyutos)
    $10 a couple of beers at your local bar after blowing $900 on knives.

    That's $900 well spent IMO.

    Spend time cruising around some of the good vendor sites like JKI, Carbon Knife Co, JSN, K&S, CleanCut, Korin, etc. Chat with them for questions.
     
    Xenif and M1k3 like this.
  10. Sep 8, 2019 #40

    cookiesurgeon

    cookiesurgeon

    cookiesurgeon

    Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2019
    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    NC
    OK, quick update. Just bought a Gesshin Uraku Stainless 210mm gyuto (it came back in stock this morning) and will be buying a king combo stone.

    I’ll keep this thread posted with first impressions and whatnot.

    Still want to get the Kurosaki Fujin, but I may wait for the AS clad to come back in stock.
     
  11. Sep 8, 2019 #41

    ian

    ian

    ian

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2017
    Messages:
    1,018
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    Sweet! I have one of those too. Hope you asked for it to be sharpened. Mine came with a completely nonexistent edge, worst I’ve ever seen OOTB. But it’s a great knife. Very happy with mine.
     
    Carl Kotte likes this.
  12. Sep 8, 2019 #42

    DitmasPork

    DitmasPork

    DitmasPork

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2012
    Messages:
    1,397
    Location:
    BROOKLYN, NY
    Nice!!! Which King combo you getting, and why?
     
  13. Sep 8, 2019 #43

    cookiesurgeon

    cookiesurgeon

    cookiesurgeon

    Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2019
    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    NC
    I did; I had called JKI to ask about the Uraku previously, as I wasn't quite sold on the AUS-8 for the Gesshin Stainless. Jon said that it would be about a month before he got it back in stock, so I was surprised to get a notification about it this morning, and I picked it up. He recommended that if I do get it to ask for an initial sharpening, so that's what I did!

    I just bought the King KDS 1000/6000 combo stone. Seems to be a middle of the road splash and go starter stone, and it was around ~$40, so if I don't like it (I've read it's prone to dishing), it won't be a huge investment on my end (compared to getting individual stones).
     
  14. Sep 8, 2019 #44

    kayman67

    kayman67

    kayman67

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2019
    Messages:
    406
    Location:
    EU
    AUS 8 is a nice alloy. Ok, could be, but I'm not worried with Gesshin. Everything I got was of good quality (albeit I don't have stainless). Requires a little bit more maintenance in general, but that's about it.

    KDS is part soaking part not. You should soak only the 1k side and keep the 6k out of the water. And don't pressure the stone, just let it work. Since it's a softer stone, mistakes are easy to understand and this will allow you to learn proper form.
     
  15. Sep 8, 2019 #45

    DitmasPork

    DitmasPork

    DitmasPork

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2012
    Messages:
    1,397
    Location:
    BROOKLYN, NY
    Good choice on the 1/6k. IMO for most kitchen work, just need one decent mid-grit stone, I don’t like edges too polished, need some teeth on it.
     
  16. Sep 8, 2019 #46

    M1k3

    M1k3

    M1k3

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2018
    Messages:
    707
    The 6k side can be soaked. It's just more....sticky....rubbery feeling when soaked.
     
  17. Sep 9, 2019 #47

    Talim

    Talim

    Talim

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2013
    Messages:
    392
    Should have save the $40 and bought some gesshin stones.
     
  18. Sep 9, 2019 #48

    kayman67

    kayman67

    kayman67

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2019
    Messages:
    406
    Location:
    EU
    The 6k is a resinoid based splash and go. It really doesn't like being soaked on the long run or for a very long time. Different things happen, but it matter little.
    I ruined a few doing tests for this. The guys in Japan always said it shouldn't be soaked.
     
  19. Sep 9, 2019 #49

    DitmasPork

    DitmasPork

    DitmasPork

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2012
    Messages:
    1,397
    Location:
    BROOKLYN, NY
    Personally I love Gesshin stones, but cookies's King 1k/6k is a fine purchase, good starting point should cookie want to then move on to other stones like ShaptonPro or Gesshin.
     
    ThinMan and JBroida like this.
  20. Oct 5, 2019 #50

    cookiesurgeon

    cookiesurgeon

    cookiesurgeon

    Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2019
    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    NC
    Sorry for the delay guys! I got my knife back a couple of weeks ago, but got busy at work so I couldn't take pics.

    I got the Gesshin Uraku 210 Wa Gyuto and I had it initially sharpened by Jon.

    I came to two conclusions after taking pictures/using it to cut through a bunch of mushrooms:

    1) If I wanted to get a 240mm gyuto, I need to get a bigger cutting board
    2) I'm not sure if I am expressing this correctly, but I was expecting it to go through mushrooms like butter; it felt a little sharper than knives I've used before, but not drastically different.

    I like the balance and how light it is. It's feels great with a pinch grip, but I wouldn't call it leagues above what I've used before. I'll keep using it and will embark on learning how to sharpen in a week or two.

    Also, I made board butter from coconut oil and beeswax; can that go on the handle/saya or do I have to use something different to treat the wood.

    Thoughts?
     
    Carl Kotte and DitmasPork like this.
  21. Oct 5, 2019 #51

    ian

    ian

    ian

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2017
    Messages:
    1,018
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    The Uraku's built like a tank, but still cuts really well. It won't cut as dreamily as some of the more princess-like J knives, but it's a good multitasker, and is basically impervious to damage. Also, mushrooms can be pretty grabby on any knife, depending on the shroom, since when you cut down though it with pressure, the mushroom deforms in a way that presses against the sides of the blade. Slicing with minimal pressure rather than pushing down can help with this. Keep using it and report back!

    Coconut oil might go rancid at some point. I'm not really sure. I'd always use a mineral oil to be safe, both for the board and for the handle/saya. But yes, you can use board butter on those things too. I usually just do some mineral oil, rather infrequently. It's good not to make the handles too slick.
     
  22. Oct 5, 2019 #52

    Ochazuke

    Ochazuke

    Ochazuke

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2018
    Messages:
    243
    Yeah... mushrooms aren’t always the best testers. Go through some tomatoes.

    As a side note: I have almost always have buyers remorse until I get used to a knife. It usually takes me about a month of frequent use before I start to like a knife. The Uraku is a solid choice and I guarantee you that you’ll come to appreciate it in time.
     
    Carl Kotte likes this.
  23. Oct 5, 2019 #53

    Chef Doom

    Chef Doom

    Chef Doom

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    Messages:
    1,419
    You can go to Japanese Chef Knives youtube channel to learn sharpening technique.

    Then realize nobody does it better than old Japanese men in which you will start to look up videos of Japanese Knife Sharpeners.

    Then get lazy and ship your knives to JKI for sharpening. Do not worry about the 2 year wait queue. You don't really need knives to cook anyways.
     
    CiderBear likes this.
  24. Oct 5, 2019 #54

    cookiesurgeon

    cookiesurgeon

    cookiesurgeon

    Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2019
    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    NC
    I try to be gentle when cutting mushrooms, I don't put too much pressure and try to get the knife to do the work. I'll keep trying with other items and will report back.

    I don't love mineral oil, which is why I went with coconut oil. I've read that some coconut oil is pretty shelf stable, but I've only made the board butter, so we'll see.

    I like the knife and will keep plugging along. I'll add in future impressions as I use it.

    Does anyone have a recommendation for a larger walnut end grain board that won't break the bank? The board I have now is a 17x12x2.5 acacia board. I like the height of the board.
     
    ian likes this.
  25. Oct 5, 2019 #55

    lowercasebill

    lowercasebill

    lowercasebill

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    Messages:
    355
    Does anyone have a recommendation for a larger walnut end grain board that won't break the bank? The board I have now is a 17x12x2.5 acacia board. I like the height of the board.[/QUOTE]
    Boardsmith i have 2 and bought 2 for my sons
    My first was made by David the last 3 by Jon.
    There is nothing better out there.
     

Share This Page