Good Stainless Contenders for Cook-in-training

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Chang

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A server expressed interest in working behind the line. She's a decent person, I think she can do it, so now, first things first, she's gotta get a knife. She's pretty good with not touching my babies, but she's gotta get her own knife anyways. IMO, owning a good knife always pushes people to be more interested in cooking. Her budget is $200, and she's never used a "good" knife before.

Aiming for stainless, but, personally, I'm not a huge fan of AUS-8/10 (or any other stainless steels that sit around 58-59 HRC), AEB-L, VG10/VG1, so trying to avoid those steels. So far my list is:

210 Kaeru SLD
210 Takamura Chromax
210 Tsunehisa Ginsan
210 Hitohira SG2
210 Yoshimune Stainless Clad/Shiro2 (maaaaaybe)


Am I missing anything?
 

James

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A softer, stainless knife will probably be a good idea until she establishes good technique and knife habits.
 

Chang

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A softer, stainless knife will probably be a good idea until she establishes good technique and knife habits.
I know, but she’ll be under my watchful eye. The problem with getting a softer knife is that once you develop good knife skills, then you have to upgrade. Makes sense if it takes a person years on years to “git gud”, but I’m trying to recommend knives where there’s no upgrade required.
 

xxxclx

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This stainless uraku maybe? Though I've read somewhere they might be vg1

 

ian

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Isn’t this one just semistainless?

This stainless uraku maybe? Though I've read somewhere they might be vg1

They’re Aus 10. The steel‘s pretty nice imo. I don’t remember exactly how hard it is, but it stays reasonably sharp for a bit and is kind of a tank. Like, it’s never going to chip. The grind is kind of on the flat side, so it‘s sometimes stickier than I‘d like, but it’s an ok choice.
 

MowgFace

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This stainless uraku maybe? Though I've read somewhere they might be vg1
Only the Kiritsuke Gyutos are VG-1 currently, but they are expanding the line with Gyutos on order. The new ones are AUS-8 (previously AUS-10). Just picked up a 210 yesterday. The new ones are ground much thinner than the previous iteration, but I haven’t put it to the board yet.

Got mine to live on the mag strip for the non-knife initiated to have something tough to use.

Edit** They do carry VG-1 petties as well
 
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ian

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They changed to Aus 8? Huh. Interesting. Yea, the grind on mine is not thin by any means, except at the spine. :)
 

MowgFace

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That’s what Kevin said in store yesterday, but VG-1 iterations coming soon. I’ll post some glamour shots shortly. It’s a nice little knife
 

refcast

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Get her a tadafusa hk 4 for $130 from Knife Wear. I'm quite enthusiastic about this.... The roasted wood handle is amazing, and the grind is tops. It comes in amazing packaging too. The wood handle is lighter than the other western handle stuff too. Awesome knife in SLD, patinas very slightly. Sanjo made
 

dafox

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Kanehide TK semistainless, one of @stringer 's favs at work. Hrc 61, not expensive, durable, rounded corners, easy to sharpen and holds it for a decent amount of time, Great knife.
 

Chang

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Isn’t this one just semistainless?
yeah, but I’ve left mine out wet and dirty and no rust, so that’s why it’s a contender. It’s my fav line from Takamura besides their dammy stuff
 
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Chang

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Get her a tadafusa hk 4 for $130 from Knife Wear. I'm quite enthusiastic about this.... The roasted wood handle is amazing, and the grind is tops. It comes in amazing packaging too. The wood handle is lighter than the other western handle stuff too. Awesome knife in SLD, patinas very slightly. Sanjo made
oh sweet, I haven’t looked at knifewear’s site in a hot minute. My first j-knife was the kohetsu SLD bunka, so I know they’re ok for what they are.
 

Jovidah

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Don't you have a few beaters she could try so she could get a feel for her preferences / tastes? Even just knowing if she ergonomically prefers western vs wa handle narrows it down a lot.
 

Rangen

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Takamura seems awfully lasery and fragile for a newbie doing heavy line work.
 

daveb

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En above would be pretty ideal solution.
 

Chang

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Don't you have a few beaters she could try so she could get a feel for her preferences / tastes? Even just knowing if she ergonomically prefers western vs wa handle narrows it down a lot.
she has been using my takamura 210 chromax which has been how I’ve been trying to see what works for her. Wa or Yo is fine, basically any knife is fine, I’m just stepping in with the recommendations that essentially don’t require an “upgrade”. Yeah, she may not know any better now, but she’ll thank me years down the line. It was a mistake I made and I wish someone was looking out for me when I first got into “good knives”.
 

Chang

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If you sign up on their list you can get a 20% off code.
I have a business account with them, but thanks for the recommendation. The last time I was there at the physical store, I wish I held one of these in my hand, these seem interesting for what they are.
 

Chang

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Takamura seems awfully lasery and fragile for a newbie doing heavy line work.
you’d be surprised, I’ve been beating my chromax left and right, Ike turner style and the edge is still straight and intact, and it can still cut paper towel. Insane. The R2 line is a bit more fragile though. She used my coworkers Takamura r2 gyuto and twisted the edge from doing heavy “palm assisted” cuts aka slamming your palm down on the spine to get through dense ingredients. She did the same with my chromax when I wasn’t looking. Breathed a sigh of relief when I looked at the edge and it was a-ok haha
 

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for a scenario like this, i would get them a beater, something like a tojiro DP

their technique gonna suck, they wont know how to sharpen, and any knife they get will be an upgrade to normal knives they are used to.

a stainless, beater knife will always be useful, even if one day they decide they want `better` knives.

rest of the budget can be spent on a roll, some stones, a bench scrapper or other random stuff a new cook will need.
 

tostadas

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for a scenario like this, i would get them a beater, something like a tojiro DP

their technique gonna suck, they wont know how to sharpen, and any knife they get will be an upgrade to normal knives they are used to.

a stainless, beater knife will always be useful, even if one day they decide they want `better` knives.

rest of the budget can be spent on a roll, some stones, a bench scrapper or other random stuff a new cook will need.
I feel like you didnt read anything that @Chang already wrote in this thread.
 
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