Help me buy first 'real' knife

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spyne

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LOCATION
Australia

KNIFE TYPE
Gyuto / Santoku / larger Petty. Something that will make a good general-use knife around a home kitchen.

Are you right or left handed?
Right

Are you interested in a Western handle (e.g., classic Wusthof handle) or Japanese handle?
Western only because that's what I'm used to. They also strike me as more hygenic, but that's probably a lie I made up in my own head??

What length of knife (blade) are you interested in (in inches or millimeters)?
Prefer 180-210mm, but could be convinced a 150mm petty would suffice fro 90% of our needs.

Do you require a stainless knife? (Yes or no)
Prefer it for ease of maintenance, but not locked to it.
Would prefer non-reactive, simply for the fact I can't guarantee it will be treated 100% (wife will almost definitely leave it to air-dry after washing) or leave it sitting uncleaned after use for 30+ minutes.

What is your absolute maximum budget for your knife?
$220 AUD (incl any shipping) for the perfect knife. Preferably a bit lower though, closer to $150 would be nice.


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

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.)
80% vegetable & fruit prep - predominantly potatoes, carrots, onions, sweet potato, apples, melons and bananas.
20% protein trimming - mostly trimming chicken breasts/thighs.
May very occasionally be used to slice processed meats (chorizo, sausages).

What knife, if any, are you replacing?
Stepping up from a Victorinox Fibrox 210mm and a set of Mundial knives. The large Mundial will be kept for heavy duty tasks such as portioning roast chicken or possibly cutting tougher fruit/veg if required. Also for the wife - not sure I trust her with an expensive knife :)

Do you have a particular grip that you primarily use? (Please click on this LINK for the common types of grips.)
Hammer. Though I have tried pinch a small number of times.
Yes, I am uncivilized.

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 cut and rock. Primarily push cut.

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.)
A pretty knife is nice, but it's not one of the boxes that must be ticked for me...yet.
Rounded off (at least, not sharp) edge would be preferred.

Sharper = YES
Edge retention = BIG YES
Ease of sharpening = Yes
Ideally low maintenance - doesn't need to be babied against rust, however I am happy with stainless clad carbon core. Also fairly low chance of chipping (but I can reduce this risk by using my current cheap knives for anything risky/heavy duty).

Ideally $200AUD or less to get my toes wet and see if I like this new world.


KNIFE MAINTENANCE
Do you use a bamboo, wood, rubber, or synthetic cutting board? (Yes or no.)
Bamboo primarily, but we also have cheap synthetic (polypropylene) ones.

Do you sharpen your own knives? (Yes or no.)
Yes, I have a Hapstone M2 with Edgepro 'stones'; 220 / 400 / 1000. Pretty certain the 400 is a bit dished.
Also have 3 Hapstone silicon carbide stones, unused. 200 / 400 / 1200.
Happy to buy a whetstone though - possibly a Suehiro Cerax 1000/3000 combo (or 1000/6000). Or just source some new Hapstone/Edgepro format stones. Suggestions welcome under $100AUD.

Are you interested in purchasing sharpening products for your knives? (Yes or no.)
See above. Basic stone kit/combo if necessary.


I've spent the last few weeks looking at CKtG, K&S, JKI, Protooling and JCK and my current "short"list goes something like this (remembering the poor AUD/USD rate and shipping for some of these sites). The red ones are probably leading the pack at the moment, with the Hitorhira and Hoketsu probably my current favourites.

Masutani VG10 Damascus Gyuto 180mm - $185 AUD shipped
https://www.**************.com/mavggy18.html

Hitohira Imojiya Kuma 200mm Gyuto Knife - $190 AUD
https://protooling.com.au/products/hitohira-imojiya-kuma-200mm-gyuto-knife

Shinko Seilan Gyuto 210mm KU Aogami Super by Shiro Kamo - $195 AUD
http://www.knivesandstones.com/shinko-seilan-gyuto-210mm-ku-aogami-super-by-shiro-kamo/

Minamoto Hamon Santoku 180mm - $200 AUD shipped
https://www.**************.com/mi19hasa18.html

Tanaka Blue 2 Kurouchi Gyuto 180mm with octagonal Ebony handle - $220 AUD
http://www.knivesandstones.com/tanaka-blue-2-kurouchi-gyuto-180mm-with-octagonal-ebony-handle/

Kohetsu Blue #2 Gyuto 210mm -$220 AUD shipped
https://www.**************.com/kohetsublue1.html

Kohetsu Blue #2 Nashiji Petty 170mm - $230 AUD shipped
https://www.**************.com/kobl2nape17.html

Tanaka VG-10 Nashiji Western Gyuto 210mm - $240 AUD shipped
https://www.**************.com/tagy211.html

Takamura Chromax Gyuto 210mm - $250 AUD shipped
https://www.**************.com/tachgy21.html

Gihei Blue #2 Tall Petty 165mm - about $250 AUD after shipping
https://www.**************.com/gibl2tape17.html


And the budget option - Tojiro DP3 210mm Gyuto. <$100 AUD sourced locally.
 

Briochy

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Keep your eyes peeled for KnS cuz they are having some black friday deals coming up. That's all I can say.
 

Benuser

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Briochy

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As edge retention under harsh circumstances is required:
https://japanesechefsknife.com/products/jck-natures-deep-impact-series-gyuto-180mm-to-240mm-3-sizes
Have used it myself on crappy poly boards in a welfare kitchen. Hard core AS steel with no trace of brittleness. Thin behind the edge, allowing a conservative edge without performance loss. Best edge retention I've seen so far.
I love this knife. I have the 210mm and it is doind very well. I use this knife for tasks that I don't want to use my better chef knives for such as jointing a whole chicken. It is not brittle at all. The most it has got was some very small dents after I abused it on some chicken which takes no time to sharpen off. Would highly recommend it too.
 

spyne

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How is the F+F on that JCK knife? I have read mixed feedback in general of JCK offerings.
A bit above budget, but Stainless-clad AS sounds nice.

Throw this one in the mix, too? Above budget though, so just say the word and I'll never think of it again :)
https://knifewear.com/products/tsun...ji-western-gyuto-200mm?variant=12611555721317

Or this Misono? Being high carbon, I assume these must be cared for after use to prevent oxidation?
https://japanesechefsknife.com/coll...-180mm-to-360mm-8-sizes?variant=8134572015713
 
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Briochy

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How is the F+F on that JCK knife? I have read mixed feedback in general of JCK offerings.
A bit above budget, but Stainless-clad AS sounds nice.
My handle is slightly loose. That is to say when I squeeze it, there is a slight sound. The choil and spine are not rounded. But it's really not that bad for the price.
Throw this one in the mix, too? Above budget though, so just say the word and I'll never think of it again :)
https://knifewear.com/products/tsun...ji-western-gyuto-200mm?variant=12611555721317
This knife has different names from different vendors. I have this one from another vendor, and I don't like it. You'd be better off with JCK Deep impact
Edit: This knife is actually the same knife as the Protooling one that you asked in your introduction forum.
Or this Misono? Being high carbon, I assume these must be cared for after use to prevent oxidation?
https://japanesechefsknife.com/coll...-180mm-to-360mm-8-sizes?variant=8134572015713
I don't have this Misono, but read that people say edge retention isn't good. Carbon knives at this price point that don't reveal the steel tend to be made from SK steels, which are wayyy below AS. Having said that, it's slightly cheaper, but I'd still take JCK deep impact over this.
 
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Benuser

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My handle is slightly loose. That is to say when I squeeze it, there is a slight sound. The choil and spine are not rounded. But it's really not that bad for the price.

This knife has different names from different vendors. I have this one from another vendor, and I don't like it. You'd be better off with JCK Deep impact
Edit: This knife is actually the same knife as the Protooling one that you asked in your introduction forum.

I don't have this Misono, but read that people say edge retention isn't good. Carbon knives at this price point that don't reveal the steel tend to be made from SK steels, which are wayyy below AS. Having said that, it's slightly cheaper, but I'd still take JCK deep impact over this.
Fit&Finish of the Deep Impact are at the level you may expect at this price point. It doesn't offer the outstanding level of F&F you will find with Misono.
Spine isn't rounded, just deburred. Some prefer it rounded, others want it to remain square for better shoving produce. A few minutes with sandpaper will do. Same for the choil: I think it should be eased, without touching the very heel though. I use a nail file. I've no complaints about the very stable Micarta handle.
The Misono edge retention is very different, and so is the steel: certainly no SK, it's a Sandvik, very pure and finely grained, kept on the softer side, around 59 Rc would that matter — it doesn't, I use Sabs and Sheffields that are much softer, and are just as useful. Softer carbons recover their crazy sharpness within a few strokes — I have a small, cheap piece of Belgian Blue for that purpose.
If edge retention is essential to you, as in OP's case, the Deep Impact is the better choice. Otherwise, the Misono Swedish are fantastic knives.
 

daddy yo yo

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Fit&Finish of the Deep Impact are at the level you may expect at this price point. It doesn't offer the outstanding level of F&F you will find with Misono.
Spine isn't rounded, just deburred. Some prefer it rounded, others want it to remain square for better shoving produce. A few minutes with sandpaper will do. Same for the choil: I think it should be eased, without touching the very heel though. I use a nail file. I've no complaints about the very stable Micarta handle.
The Misono edge retention is very different, and so is the steel: certainly no SK, it's a Sandvik, very pure and finely grained, kept on the softer side, around 59 Rc would that matter — it doesn't, I use Sabs and Sheffields that are much softer, and are just as useful. Softer carbons recover their crazy sharpness within a few strokes — I have a small, cheap piece of Belgian Blue for that purpose.
If edge retention is essential to you, as in OP's case, the Deep Impact is the better choice. Otherwise, the Misono Swedish are fantastic knives.
I couldn’t describe my impressions better!
 

spyne

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Well I ended up spending a bit more than my intended $200 limit and hit the 'buy' button on a JCK Nature's Deep Impact gyuto this morning.
210mm, Aogami Super core with stainless cladding.

It was a real toss-up between this and the Tanaka VG10 gyuto for a very similar price. Hopefully makes a nice birthday present to myself in about a week or so, and proves to be an amazing knife (compared to what I'm used to).
 
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