First Japanese knife for a problematic hand

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Spadazzo88

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Hi all. This is my first tread here.
I would like to buy my first knife a Japanese one.

I have my right hand with half thumb amputated so I need suggestion for a chef/santoku knife that is comfortable tu pich with half thumb and not with a classic hand

LOCATION
What country are you in?
Italy



KNIFE TYPE
What type of knife are you interested in (e.g., chef’s knife, slicer, boning knife, utility knife, bread knife, paring knife, cleaver)?
I would like a chef or santoku

Are you right or left handed?
Right handed with the problem above

Are you interested in a Western handle (e.g., classic Wusthof handle) or Japanese handle?
The most comfortable for my problem

What length of knife (blade) are you interested in (in inches or millimeters)?
Around 180/210 I think

Do you require a stainless knife? (Yes or no)
I prefer stainless for my first knife. Less care

What is your absolute maximum budget for your knife?
Around 150 euros



KNIFE USE
Do you primarily intend to use this knife at home or a professional environment?
I use it only at 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.)
Will be my only knife at the beginning so vegetables and sometimes meat

What knife, if any, are you replacing? Kai wasabi chef 15cm

Do you have a particular grip that you primarily use? (Please click on this LINK for the common types of grips.)
Pinch I can do pretty good but not super stable. Hammer ok

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.)

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.)
Good sharpness and edge retention. I sharpen knife myself

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)?
I love a really good looking knife

Comfort (e.g., lighter/heavier knife; better handle material; better handle shape; rounded spine/choil of the knife; improved balance)?
Should be possible to pich grip it with an half thumb in the hand

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)?
As above

Edge Retention (i.e., length of time you want the edge to last without sharpening)?
I love sharpening but not every day ;)


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

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

If not, are you interested in learning how to sharpen your knives? (Yes or no.)
Yes

Are you interested in purchasing sharpening products for your knives? (Yes or no.)
Yes



SPECIAL REQUESTS/COMMENTS

Think about my health conditions and the shop must be in Europe. :)
 

MrHiggins

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My first thought is a Ginga laser in stainless. Super light, so if your thumb amputation has resulted in a lack of strength or grip stability, it would make sense to me for you to use a feather weight knife. The Ginga is also a really nice knife, thumb or no thumb.
 

Spadazzo88

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My first thought is a Ginga laser in stainless. Super light, so if your thumb amputation has resulted in a lack of strength or grip stability, it would make sense to me for you to use a feather weight knife. The Ginga is also a really nice knife, thumb or no thumb.
I would look at it. Yes, I have nice strength but less stability due to minor leverage with the thumb. Usually my first finger rest on the angle of the handle and the index on the blade.
 

Spadazzo88

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Someone has to have them. Here's one from Switzerland. The full brand name is Ashi Hamono and the line is Ginga. They are great knives and available with Western or wa handle.

//www.japanische-kochmesser.ch/1-3-Lagen-Messer/Ashi-Hamono-Ginga:::109_569.html#page=1&display_selector=0&perpage_selector=30&specialsOnly=0&minimumPrice=14&maximumPrice=429
Thanks for the clarify.
Swiss is not Europe. European citizen like me have to pay customs from Swiss. Is like buy fro lm US.
I’ll search the brand and i’ll find somewhere online :)

Thanks again.
In the mean time i’ll wait for other suggestions:)
 

stringer

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I have also purchased gingas from BluewayJapan. He is an ebay seller. Not sure about delivery to Europe, but prices are good and shipping to USA was very affordable.
 

Spadazzo88

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I have also purchased gingas from BluewayJapan. He is an ebay seller. Not sure about delivery to Europe, but prices are good and shipping to USA was very affordable.
I’ll check now. I thank you for your help but I think to keep under 150 euros the budget I have to switch to another brand.

https://www.japaneseknives.eu/
This is a big store in Europe. Maybe here there is something for me :)
 

Benuser

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A very different approach: I suffer from arthritis on my thumb. Normal pinch gripping is impossible, changing it to some claw grip did not give me the necessary relief.
With a Chinese cleaver I keep the thumb entirely free.




Because of its substantial weight (450g) it rests on the 3rd, 4th and 5th.
Has nothing to do with the European butcher's cleaver with their rounded edge to split bones. It's a general purpose knife, just as a gyuto or a chef's, just as thin behind the edge, but with a lot of weight behind it.
This is the one I use:
https://japanesechefsknife.com/products/suien-virgin-carbon-steel-chinese-cleaver
Isn't deadly flat, so it doesn't require me to change all my habits — until recently, I never used push cutting and only used 'guillotine and glide'.

Good luck!
 

Spadazzo88

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A very different approach: I suffer from arthritis on my thumb. Normal pinch gripping is impossible, changing it to some claw grip did not give me the necessary relief.
With a Chinese cleaver I keep the thumb entirely free.




Because of its substantial weight (450g) it rests on the 3rd, 4th and 5th.
Has nothing to do with the European butcher's cleaver with their rounded edge to split bones. It's a general purpose knife, just as a gyuto or a chef's, just as thin behind the edge, but with a lot of weight behind it.
This is the one I use:
https://japanesechefsknife.com/products/suien-virgin-carbon-steel-chinese-cleaver
Isn't deadly flat, so it doesn't require me to change all my habits — until recently, I never used push cutting and only used 'guillotine and glide'.

Good luck!
Thanks for that. My situation is similar due to the fact that my thumb is half long as usual. But I can make some force in the grip, I would like to try a chef or santoku.

:)
 

Spadazzo88

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M1k3

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JNS perhaps? They are in Denmark, so....still EU I believe?
 

MrHiggins

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Thanks!


Nice one! It’s similar to the ginga
I haven't seen a Kaeru, but my impression is that they're thicker than Gingas. Gingas are what are considered "lasers" in the knife community, meaning that they're very thin (less than 2mm at the spine), very light, and very easy to cut through things with. The Kaeru, I think, is a "middle weight." Not saying one is better than the other (I personally don't prefer lasers), just saying they're different.
 

Michi

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I haven't seen a Kaeru, but my impression is that they're thicker than Gingas.
The Kaeru isn't a laser, but I wouldn't consider it a workhorse either. Somewhere in the middle,

Gingas are what are considered "lasers" in the knife community, meaning that they're very thin (less than 2mm at the spine), very light, and very easy to cut through things with. The Kaeru, I think, is a "middle weight." Not saying one is better than the other (I personally don't prefer lasers), just saying they're different.
The main problem I have with lasers is that they are so fragile. As an everyday general-purpose knife, I'd say that the Kaeru—or something with a similar grind—is more appropriate.

The Kaeru is stainless, which is convenient, and the SLD core has a hardness of around 62-63, so edge retention is good. To me, the Kaeru is a near-perfect first Japanese knife, with excellent price-performance ratio.
 
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M1k3

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The Kaeru isn't a laser, but I wouldn't consider it a workhorse either. Somewhere in the middle,


The main problem I have with lasers is that they are so fragile. As an everyday general-purpose knife, I'd say that the Kaeru or something with a similar grind is more appropriate.

The Kaeru is stainless, which is convenient, and SLD core has a hardness of around 62-63, so edge retention is good. To me, the Kaeru a near-perfect first Japanese knife, with excellent price-performance ratio.
I use a Takamura Chromax (SKD? A2? steel on the high end of the HRC scale) at work for like 95+% of my knife work (deboning ribeye and swordfish, portioning steaks and fish, veggies, potatoes, everything but deseeding chilis). I don't find it to delicate. But maybe it's my technique? I don't hack at bones, I do touch/brush against them though (stupid knuckles on rib bones). YMMV?:cool:
 

Spadazzo88

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The kareu is a really nice knife. Not crazy expensive and clean in look.
I like that model.
I’ll put in my list.
Usually I make some list of 3 or 4 choices and then i’ll Decide :)
This one is there for sure
 

MrHiggins

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The kareu is a really nice knife. Not crazy expensive and clean in look.
I like that model.
I’ll put in my list.
Usually I make some list of 3 or 4 choices and then i’ll Decide :)
This one is there for sure
Have you looked at the knives at CleanCut? I think they're in Sweden, so hopefully you'll not be hit with import duties/fees/taxes, but you'd know better than me on that topic (I live in America). CleanCut has a ton of great knives. I've bought a few Mazakis from them and they the customer service was very professional.

Edit: for example, there is a stainless-clad carbon-core Wakui 180mm gyuto for 150euro that I think would fit you well. You can email the folks at CleanCut and ask them what they recommend. I remember them being very responsive to emails.
 
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Spadazzo88

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Have you looked at the knives at CleanCut? I think they're in Sweden, so hopefully you'll not be hit with import duties/fees/taxes, but you'd know better than me on that topic (I live in America). CleanCut has a ton of great knives. I've bought a few Mazakis from them and they the customer service was very professional.

Edit: for example, there is a stainless-clad carbon-core Wakui 180mm gyuto for 150euro that I think would fit you well. You can email the folks at CleanCut and ask them what they recommend. I remember them being very responsive to emails.
I looked at it and yes Sweden is perfect for me. No taxes.
The have a lot of brands and I pretty love the kurosaki brothers works. They made beautiful knife.
As length I don’t want I to go above 210mm.
Gyuto or santoku or the one like santoku but with top point is same for me.
I need an all around knife because will be my only real knife. I have only a cheap Kai wasabi knife that I keep as a backup
 
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