Help me choose a petty

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PotterMcMuck

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LOCATION
What country are you in? Canada



KNIFE TYPE
What type of knife are you interested in? Petty

Are you right or left handed? Right

Are you interested in a Western handle or Japanese handle? probably Western, but I'm not discounting Japanese

What length of knife (blade) are you interested in (in inches or millimeters)? 150mm, give or take

Do you require a stainless knife? Yes

What is your absolute maximum budget for your knife? $200 CDN ($150USD), but would prefer to spend less than that



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? Mostly small stuff like onions, garlic, ginger, etc, but sometimes fruit (including citrus), and occasionally breaking down a chicken or something too

What knife, if any, are you replacing? A Henckels utility knife that I can't stand.

Do you have a particular grip that you primarily use? Pinch grip

What cutting motions do you primarily use? Push-cut and draw. Occasionally slicing

What improvements do you want from your current knife?

Comfort: knuckle clearance, and a more comfortable handle



KNIFE MAINTENANCE
Do you use a bamboo, wood, rubber, or synthetic cutting board? Cherry wood for veggies with carbon knives, and poly for meat with SS knives.

Do you sharpen your own knives? Yes

Are you interested in purchasing sharpening products for your knives? No. Well yes, always, as I suffer from HAD, but it's not really relevant to this topic


SPECIAL REQUESTS/COMMENTS

I'd like to buy within Canada in order to avoid extra import fees and whatnot. And since this will be my first decent petty/utility knife, I don't really want to spend too much money - I'd prefer to start cheaper and upgrade later when I have a better idea of what I like and don't like. I have a few choices from places like Paul's Finest and Tosho, but I'm not sure of the quality. The Misono Molybdenum 150mm is in the lead at the moment, and I'm pretty sure it will be good quality because I have a Misono carbon steel gyuto, but I'm also interested in trying out a different brand. There's a 140mm Ohishi V-10 that looks interested even if it's a bit short. There's also the Sakai Takayuki Grand Chef and 33-layer damascus that are in the right price range. The Morihei Hisamoto just looks cheap. The Hitohira KH is a contender as well.

Thanks!
 

Benuser

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The only stainless I have is a Misono 440 180mm. They call it a slicer, I use it as a petty. A perhaps unexpected advantage of the extra length, besides the more obvious ones: the contact area with the board is larger. The edge retention benefits.
And it comes with a normal handle instead of the tiny ones you usually see with 150s. Normally I hardly care about handles but in the case of a petty it's different.
 
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daveb

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From those you cited, I like the Misono, even more so if the 440 can be had in your price range. 150mm is the most popular size for a petty but I strongly prefer the more versatile 180mm.

Have you explored Knifewear's offerings?
 

Qapla'

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Knuckle clearance from a petty knife? Are you open to santoku's/bunka's?
 

nexus1935

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At 150mm length with knuckle clearance, I like a 150mm gyuto option. I have this Masashi and quite like it: the SLD is just like stainless, blade is quite thin throughout, feels light like a petty would. The handle is a bit short, but it's a nice burnt chestnut. I use this knife for all the same purposes that you listed. $11 USD over your budget though, close enough?

 

PotterMcMuck

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Knuckle clearance from a petty knife? Are you open to santoku's/bunka's?
I am, especially a bunka for the sharp tip - they seem like they'd be more versatile than a santoku. But bunkas don't seem to be very common, or within my price range for a utility knife.

I have been wanting to buy a bunka for a while now, but never really considered a SS one. I really prefer carbon, and only want a SS petty because it would be used for fruit occasionally.

As for knuckle clearance: On my current utility knife, the handle is nearly in line with the blade edge. The handle is also wide and chunky. So a pinch grip is impossible, and cutting on a board is impossible except for slicing and drawing. My good cutting board is a little under an inch thick, but even with my hand off the board my knuckles hit the counter. Onions, garlic and herbs are out of the question. I don't need a super wide knife, I just need a wide enough blade to be able to use it on a cutting board.
 
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PotterMcMuck

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Petty with knuckle clearance sounds contradictory, but Glestain makes a 140 mm SS offset petty. Glestain knives are well made, and are attractive if you like dimples and, in this case, the offset look. Certainly a distintive knife. Korin has them on sale:

Glestain Indented-Blade Offset Petty
Interesting knife! I know my original post said aesthetics weren't so important, but maybe that wasn't completely the truth. I guess I'm not into the offset look....
 

PotterMcMuck

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At 150mm length with knuckle clearance, I like a 150mm gyuto option. I have this Masashi and quite like it: the SLD is just like stainless, blade is quite thin throughout, feels light like a petty would. The handle is a bit short, but it's a nice burnt chestnut. I use this knife for all the same purposes that you listed. $11 USD over your budget though, close enough?

This is an interesting knife. If it hadn't been described as a gyuto, I would have assumed it was a santoku. It is within my price range, just.

But then I need to go back to Quapla's suggestion, and rethink the santoku/bunka option. Hmmm....
 

HumbleHomeCook

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I am, especially a bunka for the sharp tip - they seem like they'd be more versatile than a santoku. But bunkas don't seem to be very common, or within my price range for a utility knife.

This has got me reconsidering my decision to buy a petty....

As for knuckle clearance: On my current utility knife, the handle is nearly in line with the blade edge. The handle is also wide and chunky. So a pinch grip is impossible, and cutting on a board is impossible except for slicing and drawing. My good cutting board is a little under an inch thick, but even with my hand off the board my knuckles hit the counter. Onions, garlic and herbs are out of the question. I don't need a super wide knife, I just need a wide enough blade to be able to use it on a cutting board.
I have a couple bunkas and like them but don't get hung up on the tip versus santoku. Santoku have a more robust tip so the odds of busting it are much less and I've not found the really pointed tip of a bunka all that much of an advantage.
 
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Delat

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Take a look at the JCK house-brand knives Japanese Knives | Japanese Chef Knives & Kitchen Knives Store

They have a good assortment of pettys <$100 US. I have this 140mm petty and it works well and looks great on the knife rack. My only complaint is the the tang is a bit proud of the scales in a couple places. I smoothed out a section on my stones pretty easily but need to take some sandpaper to the curved sections eventually. I like that the steel is AUS-10 as it takes some abuse (my wife and daughter will sometimes use it as a steak knife right on their plates).


It also comes in a set with a k-tip bunka for just a bit over your budget

I agree with others that knuckle clearance + petty don’t usually go together, but it’s really just semantics for the search engine. It sounds like you should be looking for a small gyuto/bunka/santoku/etc
 

Qapla'

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I am, especially a bunka for the sharp tip - they seem like they'd be more versatile than a santoku. But bunkas don't seem to be very common, or within my price range for a utility knife.

I have been wanting to buy a bunka for a while now, but never really considered a SS one. I really prefer carbon, and only want a SS petty because it would be used for fruit occasionally.
So specifically carbon-steel and available locally in Canada? Something like these? (Note that now you're mentioning carbon-steel; your original post mentioned that you wanted a stainless knife and that you might use them for cutting fruit.)
The Masashi Kemuri mentioned upthread is semistainless, so that might also be something you could check out.
 
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Delat

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FYI there’s a 150mm carbon petty over on BST
 

PotterMcMuck

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Take a look at the JCK house-brand knives Japanese Knives | Japanese Chef Knives & Kitchen Knives Store

They have a good assortment of pettys <$100 US. I have this 140mm petty and it works well and looks great on the knife rack. My only complaint is the the tang is a bit proud of the scales in a couple places. I smoothed out a section on my stones pretty easily but need to take some sandpaper to the curved sections eventually. I like that the steel is AUS-10 as it takes some abuse (my wife and daughter will sometimes use it as a steak knife right on their plates).


It also comes in a set with a k-tip bunka for just a bit over your budget

I agree with others that knuckle clearance + petty don’t usually go together, but it’s really just semantics for the search engine. It sounds like you should be looking for a small gyuto/bunka/santoku/etc
That JCK petty is a serious contender, thanks!

That set is very tempting, but I doubt I'll pull the trigger on it. I prefer to buy different brands for each knife, in order to have more variety but in a functional way. I'm never going to be the kind of person who has 5 different types of each style of knife, I'm much more into having one example of each type, and upgrading each type when I feel the need.
 

PotterMcMuck

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FYI there’s a 150mm carbon petty over on BST
Yes, I noticed that - and in Canada, too. I very seriously considered it. But even though I prefer carbon steel in general, I think it makes sense for me to have a stainless steel petty.

There's a 130mm R2 petty selling from Canada, too, which I seriously considered. But I think 130 would be a bit too small.
 

nexus1935

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This is an interesting knife. If it hadn't been described as a gyuto, I would have assumed it was a santoku. It is within my price range, just.

But then I need to go back to Quapla's suggestion, and rethink the santoku/bunka option. Hmmm....
You might also consider a ko-bunka if you don't want to move up in size to 165mm santoku/bunkas. It provides the knuckle clearance, has a k-tip, and generally a flatter profile such that the shorter length doesn't feel much less than a regular 150mm petty. Here's an example:

 

HumbleHomeCook

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Does it have to be in Canada? Because the MAC Pro line, as previously suggested, makes for a nice petty albeit in the more traditional idea of a petty.

I mean, maybe you can find them up there. I just only know a couple places and didn't see them.

 

Justinv

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For something with knuckle clearance a tall petty, small gyuto, or ko deba are options. I have a 120mm Kohetsu Nashiji ko-deba from CKTG that is stainless clad carbon Blue #2. Its going for $105USD. Its a nice utility knife, has good food release and a stout spine. Works well for boning chicken, cutting cheese, and small vegetables. It has a 50-50 edge and sharpens easily. Its stout so its good for removing parmesan rind and the like.

 
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Bobby2shots

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I've checked out Tanaka knives, they seem great, but I can't find a Canadian retailer that carries them. And ordering them from out of the country is very expensive.
Potter,
One knife you should really consider is the Victorinox Rosewood 6" (6 1/4" actually). Paul'sFinest sells them, as does Tzanet Kitchen supply (near Costco Marche Centrale). Roughly $44. CDN, and the quickest/easiest knife to sharpen I've ever owned. The rosewood handle is warm in the hand, with a great overall feel. If you buy from Paul's, you'll want to consider one of Paul's Idahone ceramic 10" honing rods.

I bought my first 6" Vic knife at Tzanet a few years back, and that purchase was to replace a Zwilling Pro S 6" chef knife which had suffered a broken tip.(1 1/4" of the tip had snapped off after a fall). Not only has that 6" Vic become my most frequently used knife, I also ordered three more from Paul's Finest, to give as gifts to my girlfriend, as well as both of her daughters. They all feel the same way about that particular knife.

I bought that first Vic in November 2018, and have yet to sharpen it on stones,,,, just a very light touch with a steel, or, the ceramic rod. Stay's razor-sharp with little or no effort. No sign of chipping, even if I abuse it somewhat when carving chicken off the bone.(twist as I cut). Tomato-skins are a breeze,,, same with onions. See-through tomato slices for sandwiches,,, no problem.

I own roughly twenty knives, mostly Wusthof Ikon,,,Wusthof Classic,,,Zwilling Pro and Pro S, as well as Japanese knives from MAC, Shun, and Miyabi, yet I keep reaching for that 6" Vic because it's simply an excellent performer,,,day after day. They're one heckuva bargain if you ask me.

Regarding waterstones, I own a half dozen or so Shapton Pro's, 4-stone Norton set, and Naniwa stones, King, Aotoshi Green Brick, , etc, as well as a 10" Tormek. I just don't need them with this Vic,,, at least not yet (over 2 1/2 years). A quick touch-up on a good steel, or, the ceramic rod, and I'm off and running. Highly recommended.

PS, if you buy one,,, keep the cheap plastic sheath that comes with it. You'll be surprised at how well it protects the knife if you simply store the knife in a utensil drawer. I've got a few adjustable in-drawer knife racks that Victorinox also sells, and those also are great. There are several similar style units on the market, but they're not always adjustable like the Vic's.

Good luck.

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Ensis

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I hadn't - there's something offputting about that site, but I can't put my finger on it. Anyways, I checked it out now, the only one in the size & price range is the Tojiro DP.
Probably the ads that used to follow people around. However, I think they got rid of those. I've bought from them before. They are responsive and not bad to deal with IMO.
 

HumbleHomeCook

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If you are indeed open to a Santoku, which honestly seems like a better fit for what you're chasing, and you can nudge your budget a bit, perhaps one of these would suit you:


I have no firsthand experience with them so I cannot comment on the knife itself but specs look attractive. S35VN is a steel specifically designed for cutlery application and while more strength focused, it does have some toughness.. At 58-60Rc it should provide that balance fairly well and be relatively easy to maintain and sharpen.

With G10 handles in different colors it should be, if the user likes it, a lifetime knife.

Made in Canada with a 30 day satisfaction guarantee.
 

PotterMcMuck

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I have a separate bunka budget, larger than the petty budget, since I was planning on buying one eventually. So maybe I'll just forget about the petty, and put that money towards the bunka/santoku.

But the thing is, I know I will buy a petty eventually....
 

HumbleHomeCook

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I have a separate bunka budget, larger than the petty budget, since I was planning on buying one eventually. So maybe I'll just forget about the petty, and put that money towards the bunka/santoku.

But the thing is, I know I will buy a petty eventually....
Of course you will and it makes sense. :)

It's the trio of knuckle clearance in a petty, stainless and sold in Canada that makes it tough for solid recommendations. I know of some good stainless petties sold in Canada but don't have the clearance. And I know of some knives that have knuckle clearance but aren't stainless and so on. I suspect that most are in the same boat so the bunka/santoku consideration comes up as it really opens up offerings.

I think if you said I want a stainless petty for $200 or less and preferably sold in Canada you'd get a fair number of recommendations.
 

Bobby2shots

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Of course you will and it makes sense. :)

It's the trio of knuckle clearance in a petty, stainless and sold in Canada that makes it tough for solid recommendations. I know of some good stainless petties sold in Canada but don't have the clearance. And I know of some knives that have knuckle clearance but aren't stainless and so on. I suspect that most are in the same boat so the bunka/santoku consideration comes up as it really opens up offerings.

I think if you said I want a stainless petty for $200 or less and preferably sold in Canada you'd get a fair number of recommendations.
Knuckle clearance need not be an issue for a petty/prep/utility/sandwich knife. Worst case scenario,,,just pull whatever you're cutting, closer to the edge of your counter or cutting board so your knuckles overhang (as Jacques Pepin often suggests). That said, I don't usually consider a petty knife for "chopping"; I generally use mine for carving smallish BBQ chickens (2kg) or carving similar sized smoked hams, etc, as well as slicing veggies. I also use the petty for chopping/julienne, or for a brunoise if there's not too large a volume involved.

Regarding the santoku (and I have a couple) I feel the tip geometry is a bit too limiting when compared to a dedicated petty. Mind you, it may perform better for certain styles of chopping. (rocking santoku vs straight-edge)

I've got roughly 4 or 5 petty/utility/sandwich knives, from various makers, and ranging in length from 4.5" to 6.25". Personally, I find the 6.25" length to be the most versatile (and I had not expected that when I originally started shopping for a petty.) I also found that I prefer using a petty with a modest belly.
 
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