First Post - Advice Requested on New Knives, Please!

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fsHbHdOt

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Hello!

First time forum user and thought I'd join since I like perusing posts.

Summary - Looking for any/all advice on new, high-quality knives for my set. I'm able to cook for myself after a long battle with a neuro disease.

I would like to buy a few pieces from different manufacturers since I love variety in the kitchen.

What am I cooking/prepping - Mostly doing lots of classic French recipes for dinner and lunch. Getting into traditional southern Indian cuisine, and Sicilian fish dishes. I love prepping lots of veggies on the fly. I even do a bit of pastry stuff and having a fun blade or two for that is always a plus.

What I currently have - I have a couple of pieces right now already - they're all Zwilling Twin Star II or Pro.

Sharpening -
I have an outstanding chef in my area who is also a bladesmith, so sharpening isn't an issue for something *weird*.

Other Caveats - have large hands with thin fingers. Love a good grip and hate banging my knuckles.

Price point - Price isn't an object for the right knives, so feel free to get crazy and recommend things that are both a great value for the money *and* the "If I were you and had $300 to burn"-recommendations.

What I would like advice on (in order of importance)

1. A 4" pairing knife. (Thinking a Shun Premiere since they're cheap right now). Open to other ideas.
2. A veggie knife. I LOVE flat edged blades. Make me some suggestions! Going *chop chop* is too much fun sometimes.
3. A really nice utility knife.
4. A fillet knife.
5. A chef's knife. Currently using a 7" Zwilling Pro. Great for the house. Am not running back of house anymore, so don't need a 10" blade.
6. Any bread knife.
7. A new carver. Currently using a 9" Zwilling Twin Star II.

Thanks folks!
 

bkultra

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Welcome to the forum. Moving this to the kitchen knife section
 

Qapla'

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Why would a paring-knife be of far greater importance over a chef's knife?
 

Nemo

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Welcome to the forums.

Lets break this down into manageable chunks-I'd suggest starting with one knife in this thread and going on from there in subsequent "which knife should I buy?" threads. Usually that would be a good gyuto (chef knife).

It's best if you use the questionnaire: The "Which Knife Should I Buy?" Questionnaire - v2

The questionnaire asks many of the questions that you are going to be asked about what you want in a knife. Copy and paste it into this thread and answer the questions (preferably, your answers would be in bold or in another colour).
 

fsHbHdOt

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Welcome to the forums.

The questionnaire asks many of the questions that you are going to be asked about what you want in a knife. Copy and paste it into this thread and answer the questions (preferably, your answers would be in bold or in another colour).
Thank you for the sage advice! I hated making such a long post, but I had to make a first post anyway, and I thought it was good to just get it all out there.
 

ModRQC

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About petty and knuckle clearance, suggesting to not buy anything under 150-180mm AND ideally over 35mm tall. Kind of rare - more of a small gyuto for those measurements. Another thing however is to position your cutting surface on a corner where your dominant hand is above the floor, thus working from the bottom right or left of the cutting board and scraping away cut food to the other side from there.
 

fsHbHdOt

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What country are you in?

The USA.

What type of knife are you interested in (e.g., chefs knife, slicer, boning knife, utility knife, bread knife, paring knife, cleaver)?

In order of importance (to me)
1. Pairing knife.
2. Veggie knife.
3. Utility knife.
4. Fillet knife.
5. Chef's knife. Currently using a 7" Zwilling Pro. Great for the house.
6. Any bread knife.
7. Carver. Currently using a 9" Zwilling Twin Star II.

Are you right or left handed?

Right handed (for now).

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

Let's switch things up! I already have Western handles (Zwillings). Let's get a few different pieces that meet my needs. I'm not worried about the handle, but something different would be fun as long as it fits great in my hands.

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

Completely depends on the type of blade. For a veggie, I would assume something above 5" to 6.5" would be great. For pairing, a 3" to 4" blade sounds about right.

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

No.

What is your absolute maximum budget for your knife?

I only buy on value. If there's something really nice for $50, I would love to try it. If there's something for $300, that's great, too. I'd like to keep individual pieces under $400.

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

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.)

Going to be doing a variety. Lots of vegging slicing, chopping, and mincing. Meat slicing. A little filleting fish. A little meat trimming. A little poultry cutting.

What knife, if any, are you replacing?

Adding pairing, veggie, utility, and fillet knives. Replacing my chef's knife and santoku with something better.

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


I vary and am willing to learn new techniques. I was trained in a French kitchen so the pinch-grip is my go-to.

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.)

Rock, push-cut, and chop are my three top types of motions.

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.)

Since I have neuro issues, a knife that is easy to handle is key for me. My fingers are long and wirey, and there's not a lot of meat on my palms. I would prefer knives that handle well in my hand and where I'm not bumping my knuckles.

I cut a lot of veggies, so ease of use out of the box with prep work is a plus.

Balance is always an issue when using a new knife, so something that is a "no brainer" for beginners is good. I am not a beginner to cutlery or cooking, but as far as Japanese knives are, I am.

Finally, I would love to have a few different knives from different knife makers. Having three or four that look different and distinct would just be nice. I'm okay "switching it up." I would love to support a smaller shops instead of a large one.

Do you use a bamboo, wood, rubber, or synthetic cutting board? (Yes or no.)

Been loving the OXO and Epicurean boards for meat. Wood for everything else. I use acacia, maple, and walnut. Willing to try others if necessary.

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

I use a steel but usually leave the sharpening to a professional friend of mine down the street.

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

Of course! I've been working as a machinist on and off for decades, so this would be fun.

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

I'll take any recommendations on "must haves" that a beginner should buy.
 

fsHbHdOt

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About petty and knuckle clearance, suggesting to not buy anything under 150-180mm AND ideally over 35mm tall. Kind of rare - more of a small gyuto for those measurements.
Awesome! Keep the great suggestions coming. Hell, send links if there's something you have in mind. If I need to try a new grip, I can do that, too.
 

Nemo

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To keep it manageable, lets stay with one knife per thread. As mentioned, most people would use a gyuto most (and would start with a gyuto) but since you mentioned that a paring knife is the most important to you, we'll start with that.

There is not as much around as there usually is due to high demand with CV19/ home isolation, so the choice of short petty/ paring knives is limited at the moment.

I'd have a look at:


Ironclad Aogami Super (carbon steel - will rust- with a kurochi (blacksmith's) finish). Pretty easy to make very sharp. Decent edge retention.


SG2/R2 (stainless- but don't leave it soaking in the sink or even wet for long periods) steel. Pretty easy to sharpen for a stainless steel (not carbon- easy though). Damascus cladding. Very long edge retention.


SG2 steel again, with a Western style handle. Currently out of stock but I'm pretty sure that the vendor, @JBroida said he's getting some Blazens in very soon. I'm not sure if this includes the paring knife, though. He may be able to advise whether he'll also be getting the Bonten Ryu or Tanganryu petties in as well.
 
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Nemo

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You definitely should get into sharpening. There is a good argument that you should learn to sharpen on a carbon steel knife.

While you are looking at JKI's site, have a squiz at his sharpening series (or search "JKI sharpening series" on YT).
 

fsHbHdOt

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You definitely should get into sharpening. There is a good argument that you should learn to sharpen on a carbon steel knife.
While you are looking at JKI's site, have a squiz at his sharpening series (or search "JKI sharpening series" on YT).
Thank you for the pointers! I'm looking at that sharpening series right now.

I've been a little (or a lot) lazy here because my bladesmith is just so good (and affordable).
 

Blerghle

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In part because there are several knives you're looking for, I'm going to take the approach of pulling recs from just one highly regarded vendor, Japanese Knife Imports. You could do this kind of thing for several different vendors. You might consider spacing out your purchases in part to see where you develop preferences.

It's simple and cheap, but I like JKI's basic stainless 90mm paring knife more than several other <$75 paring knives I have tried). Cheap enough you could get a couple of sizes to see which you like best.

For a vegetable knife, a Kochi santoku is part of a well regarded line. This gives you more knuckle clearance than most knives in this class at 55 mm. You could just as well go for a gyuto in that line.

For an easy to sharpen steel with a larger, comfortable octagonal handle, I like Zakuri blue #1 knives. A sabaki might be good for boning tasks with more knuckle clearance than most boning knives, could reasonably double as a utility knife.

I have not tried this bread knife but would trust that it is good quality.

For a gyuto with some belly that is reasonably familiar to someone with French training, I might go for a Gonbei, and I think it's nice to have at least one stainless all-purpose knife around. Alternately, there is the very well regarded Gengetsu, with stainless cladding and an easy-to-sharpen white #2 core - this has a little bit less knuckle clearance, but 48 mm is not bad.

For carvers, you could peruse the selection of sujihikis and pick whatever looks best. Some are quite thin, others more rigid.

JKI also has all the sharpening supplies you may need - I generally recommend a medium stone and diamond plate to start. Many people recommend a fine stone as well.
 

JayS20

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Okay let's see.
1. Paring knife is a hard one, don't like most ones, pretty much only use a cheap Victorinox, same for tourne knife. Like the profile and direction of the Tojiro DP. A possibility would also be a Herder but not sure how availabilty is.
2. As Veggie knife either Santoku/Bunka or Nakiri. I would go for a Nakiri but also like Blerghle's suggestion with the Kochi. For Nakiri, one of the best ones is Watanabe pro Best professional chef cookware | PROFESSIONAL . Then there is also Yu Kurosaki with a pretty thin grind though which I enjoy.
Got it in 165mm but would prefer 180mm.
Kato AS Nashiji Nakiri 165mm
Ashi Ginga Stainless Nakiri 180mm
Different steels different grinds but all should be more than fine
 

JayS20

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3. Utility would recommend stainless around 150mm

4. Filet/boning knife
Would recommend either a cheap Victorinox/swibo or if you want something good and nice
Silverthorn Knife & Tool | Bernal Cutlery Silverthorn is supposed to be really good
or the Munetoshi butcher Munetoshi Kurouchi 170mm Wa Butcher but from EU

5. Chef's knife/Gyuto too many recommendations possible.
You need to narrow it down, to grind, profile, steel, price point... Gengetsu is great though.

6.Bread Knife: cheaper one is recommended like Mercer I think or Tojiro F-737 but has a bit of flex I heard. Forhigher end Tojiro F-687. If you don't cut pretty hard crusty bread not necessarily needed, sharp Gyuto is fine.

7. Carver I would recommend a Sujihiki 270mm
To check out BST is a great option in your position too.
 

fsHbHdOt

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Hey folks! I wanted to thank all of you for all of the insanely good (and thorough) advice here. It really means a lot to me. I'm learning about a lot I didn't know before, but it's great. Please send along any advice you have here or via PM.
 

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