First Knife - Shiro Kamo? KU Fading? Aogami 2 or super

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fourmations

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hi all

yet another "what will i buy" i've done the questionnaire below although I have done a fair bit of reading and whittling down and it seems to be all pointing to the Shiro Kamo AS 210 gyuto

I was a bit miffed to read that the KU fades and leaves a bit of a non finish,
its important that I love the look of the knife which might seem silly to some but It makes sense
to me that i love the look and it looks "cool", its a part of the appeal of japanese knife, i want to be excited pulling this off the rack,
i love the KU look but not so impressed with what it looks like when faded, from my reading theres no way to stop this happening but different manufacturers ones last longer, how do Shiro fare out on this?

im a new sharpener and have a SP 1000 and am not getting anything else until i learn on that,

I have lots of SS knives including 5 globals which will do the hard work so i want a proper scary sharp full carbon or carbon core knife

I'm a bit concerned about the rust thing as it would be very common for me to leave dirty knives sitting around while i tend to other things while im cooking, i'm pretty messy! but i have decided that i will just be dissapointed with myself if i dont get the full on japanese experience
(as mentioned I have globals so plenty of tougher knives at my disposal) its just a matter of getting into the better habits required

now to the questionnaire (although i have probably said it all above)

many thanks



LOCATION
Ireland


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)? GYUTO

Are you right or left handed? RIGHT


Are you interested in a Western handle (e.g., classic Wusthof handle) or Japanese handle?
WA


What length of knife (blade) are you interested in (in inches or millimeters)?
210


Do you require a stainless knife? (Yes or no)
NO


What is your absolute maximum budget for your knife?
200€


KNIFE USE
Do you primarily intend to use this knife at home or a professional environment?
HOME COOK


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.)
THE USUAL VEG AND MEAT PREP (I HAVE OTHER KNIVES FOR NON SUITABLE HEAVY WORK)


What knife, if any, are you replacing?
ADDING TO GLOBALS

Do you have a particular grip that you primarily use? (Please click on this LINK for the common types of grips.)
PINCH

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.) PUSH, ROCKING, LIKE THE IDEA OF GETTING INTO STRAIGHT DOWN FAST CUTTING AS WELL AS AN OPTION


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.) EDGE RETENTION, SHARPNESS,

KNIFE MAINTENANCE
WOODEN BOARDS, MAIN ONE IS 20yrs OLD , I DONT KNOW WHAT IT IS BUT ITS NOT END GRAIN AND ITS NOT BAMBOO, , I HAVE A COUPLE OF BAMBOOS AS WELL BUT I HEAR THEY ARE HARD ON KNIVES. I WILL BUY A NEW BOARD IF NEEDS BE

Do you sharpen your own knives? (Yes or no.) YES, LEARNING ON AN SP1000

If not, are you interested in learning how to sharpen your knives?

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


SPECIAL REQUESTS/COMMENTS
 
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The Shiro kamo does seem like a good choice, for what you want. You can make the ku last a bit longer by using less pressure when wiping the knife off by the ku. Also AS would definitely be the better steel to use, I have had one and it was a little chippy on me, never chipped but made some noises now and then, it stops when you get better at handling it. You can also look at the Hinoura 210 on clean cut
 
Reading through your post, I see you want something that is easy to take care of. I have a Shiro Kamo AS Kiritsuke with stainless cladding, but the AS isn’t necessarily easy to let sit. It will rust if left for long periods of time. My recommendation would be to get something with Ginsan and stainless clad. Ginsan sharpens well and pretty easy and will be k to leave sit around.
 
Reading through your post, I see you want something that is easy to take care of. I have a Shiro Kamo AS Kiritsuke with stainless cladding, but the AS isn’t necessarily easy to let sit. It will rust if left for long periods of time. My recommendation would be to get something with Ginsan and stainless clad. Ginsan sharpens well and pretty easy and will be k to leave sit around.
Thanks Steve, appreciated, but... Im prepared to "get my fingers wet" on this, I want the full experience! Even it bites me on the ass!! I have decent knives that are fine for my home cooking but dying to try the real deal and I'll look after it! How's your Ku holding up? Cheers
 
The KU is fine as expected, but I wipe down knives quickly. I can assure you that a quality Ginsan knife will give you the full experience because it can get VERY sharp and is a high quality steel. AS is a great choice and will be just a bit sharper in theory, but I doubt you could really tell much difference in any quality knife steel. I think that Shiro Kamo AS represents a great value.
 
Why do you think that you have to get a full carbon to get the full experience? That's really an outdated misconception. There's plenty of quite excellent stainless steels and knives, and the limitation in sharpness is most likely to be the sharpener, not the steel.
Constantly wiping blades or dealing with reactivity is not a mandatory part of the experience, as much as some people around here like to glorify it.

If you really insist on getting a rustbucket I have a Y. Tanaka (Miura Itadaki) that's reactive as all hell that I could let go for cheap, but I don't think it's the ideal choice. :p
But I second recommendations for getting something in Ginsan or AEB-L.
 
Why do you think that you have to get a full carbon to get the full experience? That's really an outdated misconception. There's plenty of quite excellent stainless steels and knives, and the limitation in sharpness is most likely to be the sharpener, not the steel.
Constantly wiping blades or dealing with reactivity is not a mandatory part of the experience, as much as some people around here like to glorify it.
Completely agree. I have a mixture of stainless clad TF's and ironclad Ku and Migaki blades. For day to day use I reach for my SS TF's. Easy to keep sharp and I'm not constantly fretting about wiping the blade if I have to leave it wet or sitting in onion juice for a few mins.
I have ironclad knives for a different reason. In the last year or so I've been bitten by the Jnat kasumi bug. Ironclad knives are a joy to work on the stones. SS are a nightmare. I love bringing out the fine details and interesting cladding lines of the soft iron blades, which in part is down to them being hand forged rather than prelaminated bar stock. But they need more TLC. For me SS is utilitarian and just gets the job done with the least amount of stress.
 
thanks for the feedback all.

i was veering towards the carbon as its easier to sharpen and im a sharpening learner,
i have Globals and while i realise they are a nightmare to sharpen and not the HRC or quality of the better steels
they are thin profile, thin on the spine and light and all that, I want something very different. that was my logic anyway

rgds
 
It's easy to stop rust on carbon steel knife.

1. Hand clean the blade.
2. Wipe it super dry.
3. Apply use a drop or two of food grade mineral oil and wipe it all with a cloth.
4. Store the knife in a dry location.
5. Allowing a Patina to form over everything, but the cutting edge helps as well.

Cheers
 
You just described 4 superfluous steps that are completely unnecessary on any stainless knife, and a lot of normies would find 'too much of a bother'.
For someone who has a habbit of leaving knives around dirty it's just not ideal.

If people are deadset on having something carbon (for example for polishing), fine, but there just isn't really any need to go carbon considering the amount of excellent stainless options. Go carbon because you really want carbon, not because you think you should just to get a good knife or a good cutting experience.
 
Full carbon is only a problem if you live in a place that will generate rust while the knife is not in use.

Otherwise, learn to appreciate the fact that your knife will get patinaed and rusted, and then learn how to remove it. A rust eraser took care of this in a couple of minutes:
20210326_194642-jpg.120224


While some appreciate iron-clad carbon knives for the polishing, I prefer to embrace the patina and marks of use.
 
Why do you think that you have to get a full carbon to get the full experience? That's really an outdated misconception. There's plenty of quite excellent stainless steels and knives, and the limitation in sharpness is most likely to be the sharpener, not the steel.
Constantly wiping blades or dealing with reactivity is not a mandatory part of the experience, as much as some people around here like to glorify it.

If you really insist on getting a rustbucket I have a Y. Tanaka (Miura Itadaki) that's reactive as all hell that I could let go for cheap, but I don't think it's the ideal choice. :p
But I second recommendations for getting something in Ginsan or AEB-L.

Oh good grief. Iron clad carbon is not that bad and does not need to be constantly wiped down. This is the exact mantra that was repeated to me for years that kept me from trying even carbon core let alone iron clad. I wish I wouldn't have listened to most of it. Sure, there are absolutely good applications for stainless and no doubt there is some great stainless out there but I find the application of stainless largely unnecessary.

I'm in no way against stainless, I'm just against the overdramatization of the maintenance needs of non-stainless.

thanks for the feedback all.

i was veering towards the carbon as its easier to sharpen and im a sharpening learner,
i have Globals and while i realise they are a nightmare to sharpen and not the HRC or quality of the better steels
they are thin profile, thin on the spine and light and all that, I want something very different. that was my logic anyway

rgds

I see you're in Dublin and looks like you have fairly high average humidity so maybe stainless or stainless clad would be best for you but I certainly wouldn't shy away from carbon. Super nice to learn sharpening on so you're on the right track there. Ginsan/Silver 3 which is stainless is also nice so keep that in mind.

I don't baby my knives at all. I take care of them but I don't baby them. My knife sits on the board while I'm working largely without being wiped. I will rinse and wipe it after acidic ingredients like onions, citrus, etc. I never oil my blades unless they are being stored. I have several iron clad, non-stainless core knives that live directly above my no-exhaust stove and see a lot of steam and they do just fine. I just give them a check, wash and wipe once in a while if they haven't been used in a bit.

If you really want to try it out, dip your toe in without spending a bunch and see what you think.
 
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FWIW, I have a Shiro Kamo AS and haven't had any rust or chipping issues with it. It was advertised as stainless, though the cladding has taken on a bit of patina, so who knows what it actually is. The core steel wasn't all that reactive. The main particularity of mine is that it's quite tall and consequently has a pretty marked belly, so it's perhaps less suited to people who like flatter profile. Otherwise, a fabulous knife on a budget.
 
I love AS, personally. Very easy to sharpen, and not quite as reactive as the simpler whites and blues. If OP is at all worried about rust or maintenance, just dunk the knife in super strong instant coffee overnight for a nice starter patina.

I do that with all my reactive clad knives as I don’t cut enough cooked meats for pretty blue patina and otherwise would end up with ugly brown onion patina.
 
Oh good grief. Iron clad carbon is not that bad as does not need to be constantly wiped down. This is the exact mantra that was repeated to me for years that kept me from trying even carbon core let alone iron clad. I wish I wouldn't have listened to most of it. Sure, there are absolutely good applications for stainless and no doubt there is some great stainless out there but I find the application of stainless largely unnecessary.

I'm in no way against stainless, I'm just against the overdramatization of the maintenance needs of non-stainless.
I'm not saying it is that bad; I've never oiled any knives. But especially reactivity IS a thing with certain ingredients, and it may not constantly require wiping but you will see the effect of leaving it dirty for 5 minutes. I agree that people highly overstate how problematic it is (oiling isn't necessary in most environements and total amount of care isn't that much more; it's just that it needs it faster)... but the opposite is also true: people highly overstate the benefits of carbon, especially when it's iron clad.

When there's virtually no performance benefit it's silly to consider it 'mandatory', regardless of whether the extra hassle is 25%, 10 % or just 1%. Especially if you're in a 'buying 1 good knife' situation, instead of just building a quiver where a knife is just one of many options.

I'm not against carbon. I'm just against overdramatizing its superiority. Because that's just as much as a fairytale these days as all the 'oil your knife every day' crap.
For every overblown carbon-is-impossible-horror story you'll find just as many if not more nonsense acting as if carbon knives are god's forgotten gift to the culinary world and all stainless knives are utter garbage because they weren't forged by some geriatric grandmaster and quenched in unicorn tears.
 
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.....forged by some geriatric grandmaster and quenched in unicorn tears.

Now you're talking! where can i get one of those! :)

I'm still sold on the carbon, im 50 and have had SS knives all my life, (globals & western granted) but i want to try a carbon out of interest, still struggling on clad/not clad and finishes, if there was a permanent KU finish there would be no question its what id like, cheers
 
Now you're talking! where can i get one of those! :)

I'm still sold on the carbon, im 50 and have had SS knives all my life, (globals & western granted) but i want to try a carbon out of interest, still struggling on clad/not clad and finishes, if there was a permanent KU finish there would be no question its what id like, as mentioned the aesthetics matter to me, I want to love the look of this as well, cheers

oops did something weird there and cant see how to delete, sorry!
 
Oh good grief. Iron clad carbon is not that bad as does not need to be constantly wiped down. This is the exact mantra that was repeated to me for years that kept me from trying even carbon core let alone iron clad. I wish I wouldn't have listened to most of it. Sure, there are absolutely good applications for stainless and no doubt there is some great stainless out there but I find the application of stainless largely unnecessary.

I'm in no way against stainless, I'm just against the overdramatization of the maintenance needs of non-stainless.



I see you're in Dublin and looks like you have fairly high average humidity so maybe stainless or stainless clad would be best for you but I certainly wouldn't shy away from carbon. Super nice to learn sharpening on so you're on the right track there. Ginsan/Silver 3 which is stainless is also nice so keep that in mind.

I don't baby my knives at all. I take care of them but I don't baby them. My knife sits on the board while I'm working largely without being wiped. I will rinse and wipe it after acidic ingredients like onions, citrus, etc. I never oil my blades unless they are being stored. I have several iron clad, non-stainless core knives that live directly above my no-exhaust stove and see a lot of steam and they do just fine. I just give them a check, wash and wipe once in a while if they haven't been used in a bit.

If you really want to try it out, dip your toe in without spending a bunch and see what you think.

Totally agree. The hand-wringing and pearl-necklace-clutching over the supposed problems with reactive blades is so overblown. It really dissuades users (especially new users) from trying some great knives.
 
I'm still sold on the carbon, im 50 and have had SS knives all my life, (globals & western granted) but i want to try a carbon out of interest, still struggling on clad/not clad and finishes, if there was a permanent KU finish there would be no question its what id like, cheers
Do yourself a favour and get a Morihei Hisamoto W#1. It basically covers all the bases and not for an insane price. TF W#1 is a dream to sharpen and keeps it longer than many others, hand forged by said 75+ year old geriatric, a Ku finish that is just about indestructible barring the application of abrasives and a profile that is perfect (for me). The only thing I can't guarantee is the unicorn tear quench. I think thats reserved for Denka's.:dancingcow:
 
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Nothing wrong with stainless clad knives. I use them because I just prefer much easier maintenance especially for work.
Coffee patina helps big time if the soft iron reactivity consistently becomes a battle.
Mono carbon seems much less prone to rust and also has added benefits as pro knife.
You could have your cake and eat it too with mono carbon. However the choices above the $300 mark become a lot slimmer comparatively.
 
Totally agree. The hand-wringing and pearl-necklace-clutching over the supposed problems with reactive blades is so overblown. It really dissuades users (especially new users) from trying some great knives.
This feels a bit like a straw man's argument / putting words in people's mouth. No one here (especially not me) is saying no one should ever buy a carbon knife. But I think there's also just a bit too much... 'nostalgia' about it, and people too often talking about it from a position where they have a whole quiver of knives, which is a different position than the OP here.

OP who's basically going for his 'one good knife' purchase, and outright says he leaves knives dirty, and is under the impression that somehow he needs a carbon knife and only a carbon knife will do because there's this almost Pavlovian reflex around here to point people towards carbon knives no matter what the OP says.

To then say that stainless is a perfectly valid and good option isn't pearl-necklace-clutching gatekeeping, it's just common sense.
FWIW I actually have all kinds of knives, monosteel carbon, ironclad, semi stainless, full stainless, and I happily use carbons in a lot of situations. It's not like I'm just pulling stuff out of my ass here. 🤷‍♂️
 
Nothing wrong with stainless clad knives. I use them because I just prefer much easier maintenance especially for work.
Coffee patina helps big time if the soft iron reactivity consistently becomes a battle.
Mono carbon seems much less prone to rust and also has added benefits as pro knife.
You could have your cake and eat it too with mono carbon. However the choices above the $300 mark become a lot slimmer comparatively.
Yeah amongst my carbons I heavily favor the monosteel carbons. Sadly there's just not a lot of options there. Then you're basically down to the yo-gyutos and gingas? I think Hitohira might also have some fairly affordable ones with a wa-handle... but none of them look particularly sexy.
 
Shihan had a good thing going for years. His mono 52100 solved the problem of finding high performance, easier Carbon maintenance, readily available off the shelf and at a price point of $550ish for a 240mm gyuto.
That knife filled a voided that IMO existed for years…what’s better than $200-250 jcarbon? Better than the $450 ks? But not quite fancy land custom $800+ blade but still super cool.
While obviously there’s all kinds of makers still cranking out mono blades I’m waiting for this void to be filled once again by the above criteria.
 
For carbon vs stainless I don’t really care either way most of the time as long as I like the grind and shape of the knife. I also find that most medium to high priced knives tend to be carbon so my collection is like 80-90% carbon
 
Nothing wrong with stainless clad knives. I use them because I just prefer much easier maintenance especially for work.
Coffee patina helps big time if the soft iron reactivity consistently becomes a battle.
Mono carbon seems much less prone to rust and also has added benefits as pro knife.
You could have your cake and eat it too with mono carbon. However the choices above the $300 mark become a lot slimmer comparatively.

@moderncooking has been doing some good stuff with Fredrik Spare and mono-carbons. The MCX/Spare ApexUltra is wonderful, and I expect the Birch and Bevel mono-carbon would be about the same.

@MSicardCutlery, @Kippington and @KAMON Knives are all great mono-carbon blades. @eddworks is in my queue and reports are all very good about his stuff as well. My ShiHan A2 is extremely nice.

But I agree, there are less options. Today's trend is some funky version of wrought wrapped around the core steel. I just don't get that that many people are into polishing to make it worthwhile.
 
Hi

OP here, I've just realised the Shiro Kamo KU is stainless clad and not iron, Is that a good or bad thing, does that mean the KU finish will be tougher? I believe it will change the feel of the knife? Am i getting too deep into this considering its my first knife? I just want to get it right, i know its a bugdet knife to you guys but its still 150€ for a knife that I dont actually need, i just want one!

cheers

..
 
I'm not a pro cook so my knives are not being used for long-term cutting sessions, but the carbon knives I have (B2 and AS - S. Kamo, Ikeda, MSicard, Wakui, S. Tanaka) are not reactive in the way many on this site would claim. I get some patina but nothing that comes anywhere near rust. I live in Hong Kong, a fairly humid environment. I only oil my knives if I'm away from home for a considerable time, and have noticed no issues with reactivity.
 
Hi

OP here, I've just realised the Shiro Kamo KU is stainless clad and not iron, Is that a good or bad thing, does that mean the KU finish will be tougher? I believe it will change the feel of the knife? Am i getting too deep into this considering its my first knife? I just want to get it right, i know its a bugdet knife to you guys but its still 150€ for a knife that I dont actually need, i just want one!

cheers

..
I believe the Shiro Kamo AS is always stainless clad, but there is also Blue #2 which is (sometimes/always?) iron clad. Someone will clarify this who knows his knives better. I don’t know which would be tougher or even if there would be much difference.
 
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