Kinda Clueless New Guy Next Knife or…

Kitchen Knife Forums

Help Support Kitchen Knife Forums:

Joined
Dec 24, 2021
Messages
137
Reaction score
230
Location
Wisconsin
I’m way beyond my first knife, but still rather clueless. I don’t really even know what to ask yet. I’m the kind of person who sometimes overthinks and other times just jumps in and figures things out on the fly. Not much in between. This time I just jumped.

It all started when I was looking for a slicing/carving knife for thanksgiving. As a long time member, I asked for help over at Badger & Blade. To serve that very specific purpose I bought a Wusthof 8” carving knife, carving fork, and boning knife. This worked out very well for dismantling the turkey.

The next thing I knew there was a supply chain shortage and I panicked. Knives were disappearing from inventory over at Cutlery and More. Even the manufacture’s websites were showing outages. So I laid in a few Wusthof paring knives and even a Wusthof petty, which is my least favorite.

The Wusthof knives and a Made In santoku that I got before this frenzy.
916E47AE-5A34-4F58-940B-8A9F19E4CABB.jpeg


Then I started getting emails for invitation sales. I liked the look of the Tojiro Flash series, plus they were marked down and with the 20% off invitation sale they were almost half price! Who could resist such an offer? They were also recommended by someone, somewhere, because homework, right‽ So I ordered one or two and was pleased with my purchase. Then inventories started plummeting and I bought more, and another one. Finally I had all the pieces that I thought I should have except for a straight edge paring knife that was on back order which never came in.

These are the Tojiro Flash knives.
EEF2C617-4638-440A-9CAA-F087E7658E21.jpeg


I thought I was in the clear and then I got an email about Yaxell knives and another 20% off the discounted price. Oh my goodness, what a lucky deal this was! This included the Dragon series (made with BD1N steel) which were the last inventory of the ones made in Japan. Again, how could I resist‽ So I ordered one… then two. Remember that whole supply chain shortage that I mentioned earlier, well that kept coming up in the news and of course inventories were falling like the Hindenburg. So now I’m four knives deep into this series.

The Yaxell Dragon knives.
FB8B3D0C-8EF4-4345-97BE-7961F38A4017.jpeg


With no rhyme or reason to my purchases (since the carving knife), other than chasing a sale, there I sat with well over a thousand dollars of production knives. This caused me to pause a bit. I realized that I really liked about four of the Wusthof knives and two of the Tojiro. These were the ones I found myself reaching for most often. Of course the carving knife and boning knife are specialty knives and will only get used a few times a year, but they are two of the four I really like. Of the Tojiro knives I really like the 8” chef and 5” petty.

I like the feel of the Yaxell Dragon handles. I really thought the BD1N steel was going to be the ticket for my wife’s, less than careful, cutting style. Her very first run with the nakiri produced a couple of nicks. Nothing I couldn’t take care of on a three piece set of Shapton Pro stones, but still was disappointing after all the marketing hype.

Sometime during all of this a B&B member told me about this place. So here I am and I had no intention of adding any more knives to my growing inventory. But some of you guys make videos and some of those videos are very intriguing. I mean, I really don’t need another knife, but that didn’t stop me from buying four yesterday (technically, since it is now after midnight, two days ago) from KKF members in the BST.

I just sent PP funds for the following:
Karaku AS Gyuto
yahiko sanjo w#2 santoku
Munetoshi 240 Gyuto
Terayasu Fujiwara Maboroshi "Santoku, aka Santobunka"


Here’s what I got by with for well over twenty years.
49062E45-1FB1-44C9-A5B7-C90993CFA53C.jpeg


So here’s my questions/thoughts. Where do I go from here? I ordered a better cutting board, Hagesawa something K. Got some mineral oil for the carbons. I feel like an aimless wanderer in an ocean of choices.

I live in a somewhat remote area of northern Wisconsin, USA.
I’m still working as a self employed truck driver and plan to retire in a few years. So current cooking/knife schedule is weekends only.
I’ve never used a WA handle, so I don’t know which style I prefer.

I’m looking forward to receiving the new knives and getting to know more members.

Thanks for reading my lengthy post.
 
Last edited:

blokey

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2021
Messages
799
Reaction score
1,342
Location
us
That's a lot of knives in a short span of time...I know how it feels after seeing so much new stuff and how I want to buy then test them all, but personally I would try first settle a bit and getting more familiar with all the new knife you just got, try which one you like, what kind of profile suit you need best. Since you are into shaving I assume you know about sharpening and stropping, but I would still practice a little bit on old knives.

You may already know him, Larrin does an outstanding job writing about all things knife related, I would read them and learn more about things. He is also in this forum so you might see him in some post.

Also there are bunch of really great knife makers right here in US, if you are interested and don't mind wait a bit you can custom order your own knife once you know what you want. Carter, Shi.Han and Pig Iron forge comes to mind. There are also many other non-Japanese craftsmen too, you can see their works often in BST, many of them use instagram to communicate with customers.

BTW I would use Tsubaki oil for carbon knifes, you won't need to wipe it clean everytime and it smells nicer.
 
Joined
Dec 24, 2021
Messages
137
Reaction score
230
Location
Wisconsin
That's a lot of knives in a short span of time...I know how it feels after seeing so much new stuff and how I want to buy then test them all, but personally I would try first settle a bit and getting more familiar with all the new knife you just got, try which one you like, what kind of profile suit you need best. Since you are into shaving I assume you know about sharpening and stropping, but I would still practice a little bit on old knives.

You may already know him, Larrin does an outstanding job writing about all things knife related, I would read them and learn more about things. He is also in this forum so you might see him in some post.

Also there are bunch of really great knife makers right here in US, if you are interested and don't mind wait a bit you can custom order your own knife once you know what you want. Carter, Shi.Han and Pig Iron forge comes to mind. There are also many other non-Japanese craftsmen too, you can see their works often in BST, many of them use instagram to communicate with customers.

BTW I would use Tsubaki oil for carbon knifes, you won't need to wipe it clean everytime and it smells nicer.
Thanks for your thoughtful and helpful reply. I will give that a read while I impatiently wait for my newest knives to arrive.
 

HansCaravan

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2022
Messages
93
Reaction score
161
Location
AWOL
Welcome OldSaw! @blokey gave you some good advice, in my opinion. Use what you have for a little while and figure out what knives you like and dislike in your collection. You may find that chunky Western handles are your cup of tea, or you may fall in love with the wa. FWIW, I only have one wa handled gyuto in my knife drawer because they push the balance point further up the blade than a western handle. If you're into chopping over cutting techniques then this is likely to be seen as a positive. But once you discover your taste it's much easier to hone in on new knives and have a better chance of liking what you've purchased.

Not knowing your proficiency with a knife here, I'll also make a suggestion. Work on your cutting technique. Even my underperforming knives feel better to use once I really learned how to claw with the left hand and pinch grip a blade with my right. Now rocking, chopping, slicing and carving feel more natural to me and I can move a little faster with less risk of injury. Prep times have been shaved in half and I can make more elaborate dishes. Cooking dinner has gone from a pleasurable experience to something I can't wait to get home from work and do.

This is a great forum. Lots of knowledgeable members participate and are very willing to share what they know. I think you'll like it.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Dec 24, 2021
Messages
137
Reaction score
230
Location
Wisconsin
Welcome OldSaw! @blokey gave you some good advice, in my opinion. Use what you have for a little while and figure out what knives you like and dislike in your collection. You may find that chunky Western handles are your cup of tea, or you may fall in love with the wa. FWIW, I only have one wa handled gyuto in my knife drawer because they push the balance point further up the blade than a western handle. If you're into chopping over cutting techniques then this is likely to be seen as a positive. But once you discover your taste it's much easier to hone in on new knives and have a better chance of liking what you purchased.

Not knowing your proficiency with a knife here, I'll also make a suggestion. Work on your cutting technique. Even my underperforming knives feel better to use once I really learned how to claw with the left hand and pinch grip a blade with my right. Now rocking, chopping, slicing and carving feel more natural to me and I can move a little faster with less risk of injury. Prep times have been shaved in half and I can make more elaborate dishes. Cooking dinner has gone from a pleasurable experience to something I can't wait to get home from work and do.

This is a great forum. Lots of knowledgeable members participate and are very willing to share what they know. I think you'll like it.
Thanks for these calming words of wisdom. My knife skills are probably above average compared to other home cooks I know. However, I’m certain they are no where near pro level and I still learn and try new things.

Incidentally, that Dexter in the last picture has been around for a long time. It was old and well used when I bought it secondhand over twenty years ago. It had some bad recurve which made annoying accordion cuts and forced the user to make draw strokes. Thanks to @cotedupy for his guidance in straightening that thing out. Now it is a well used workhorse again.
 
Joined
Dec 24, 2021
Messages
137
Reaction score
230
Location
Wisconsin
Some of my regrets that I’ll probably never use.

The Wusthof petty was an impulse purchase because I was at a store that had the classic line and I really liked the boning knife, but the petty just isn’t getting any use at all. However, that paring knife right next to it is my favorite paring knife and there are many paring knives in my house.
DF48C916-1643-410D-96AB-1357EF78ED1F.jpeg


From the Tojiro Flash series that 6” petty was another mistake that will only be used as a loner when someone wants to help. The one on the far right and the smaller petty, second from left, are my favorites. They seem to have a nice compromise in handle to blade transition and it is very comfortable to use the handle grip or pinch grip.
3D39C8C2-1014-48F5-BDAD-23020C51FA98.jpeg
 

Delat

Dazed & Confused
Joined
Dec 31, 2020
Messages
1,068
Reaction score
2,232
Location
Phoenix
I’d spend some time with what you have and think about what qualities you like and dislike, and what you’d want to improve on.

When you’re ready fill out the questionnaire so you can do a more focused search for something targeted to your needs. And maybe consider buying one knife at a time instead of several as a set.

If you don’t have any particular requirements and are just curious to try new stuff, that’s cool too. That probably describes most people here; honestly a couple knives are really all I personally need but I keep buying more just for the heck of it.
 

HumbleHomeCook

I cut therefore I am.
Joined
Oct 24, 2020
Messages
3,186
Reaction score
6,108
Location
PNW USA
My first Japanese kitchen knife was an early Yaxell Dragon Fire gyuto. I thought it was prettier than my Wusthofs and I like BD1N, but I'd already worked over my Wusthofs and when the honeymoon was over, I realized my pretty Yaxell didn't slice as well as my thinned Wusthof.

So I jumped deeper into Japanese knives. For me, each knife had to be different in some way. Whether it was profile, steel, size, whatever, I wanted to try a variety of things to find what I liked. I chose my affordable knives like Tadafusa, Tsunehisa, and Hinokuni among others. Great time! And now I'm narrowing in on my likes and getting more discerning.

One thing you'll notice with a wa-handled Japanese knife is how handle-heavy your others are. And once you use your knives that aren't the mass-market type like Yaxell, you'll notice how much thinner they are. They cutting experience is very different.

So I say you still have more journey. :)

Do you sharpen?

Also, not for their kitchen knives but, Spyderco. :p
 
Last edited:
Joined
Dec 24, 2021
Messages
137
Reaction score
230
Location
Wisconsin
I’d spend some time with what you have and think about what qualities you like and dislike, and what you’d want to improve on.

When you’re ready fill out the questionnaire so you can do a more focused search for something targeted to your needs. And maybe consider buying one knife at a time instead of several as a set.

If you don’t have any particular requirements and are just curious to try new stuff, that’s cool too. That probably describes most people here; honestly a couple knives are really all I personally need but I keep buying more just for the heck of it.
Trying a little of this and a little of that is exactly what’s happening. I kind of needed to make a better starting point for myself and that’s what this thread is all about.
 
Joined
Dec 24, 2021
Messages
137
Reaction score
230
Location
Wisconsin
My first Japanese kitchen knife was an early Yaxell Dragon Fire gyuto. I thought it was prettier than my Wusthofs and I like BD1N, but I'd already worked over my Wusthofs and when the honeymoon was over, I realized my pretty Yaxell didn't slice as well as my thinned Wusthof.

So I jumped deeper into Japanese knives. For me, each knife had to be different in some way. Whether it was profile, steel, size, whatever, I wanted to try a variety of things to find what I liked. I chose my affordable knives like Tadafusa, Tsunehisa, and Hinokuni among others. Great time! And now I'm narrowing in on my likes and getting more discerning.

One thing you'll notice with a wa-handled Japanese knife is how handle-heavy your others are. And once you use your knives that aren't the mass-market type like Yaxell, you'll notice how much thinner they are. They cutting experience is very different.

So I say you still have more journey. :)

Do you sharpen?

Also, not for their kitchen knives but, Spyderco. :p
I do sharpen, but I discovered that I wasn’t nearly as proficient as I once thought. I’m improving though.

My work knife is a Smith & Wesson folder with auto assist. Its most important feature is the lock closed setting, which keeps it from wrecking a load of expensive work clothes when it accidentally goes in with the washing.
E7A32192-0100-488E-B499-3ED33AE27672.jpeg


It resides in my right cargo pocket most of the time.
A4F7EB80-76FB-44F9-B760-89F5E0E86D39.jpeg


Most of the wear on the finish is from removing staples from work gloves.
6A5516E7-7DA3-4F62-AC2B-5B65DAC27DE6.jpeg
 

HumbleHomeCook

I cut therefore I am.
Joined
Oct 24, 2020
Messages
3,186
Reaction score
6,108
Location
PNW USA
I do sharpen, but I discovered that I wasn’t nearly as proficient as I once thought. I’m improving though.

My work knife is a Smith & Wesson folder with auto assist. Its most important feature is the lock closed setting, which keeps it from wrecking a load of expensive work clothes when it accidentally goes in with the washing.
View attachment 163264

It resides in my right cargo pocket most of the time.
View attachment 163265

Most of the wear on the finish is from removing staples from work gloves.
View attachment 163266

Sir, in the name of all that is good and right in the world, please find your way to a Spyderco vendor site. ;)

What sharpening gear do you use?
 

chefwp

Timing is everything when doing a raindance
Joined
Aug 25, 2020
Messages
743
Reaction score
1,993
Location
Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Some of my regrets that I’ll probably never use.

The Wusthof petty was an impulse purchase because I was at a store that had the classic line and I really liked the boning knife, but the petty just isn’t getting any use at all. However, that paring knife right next to it is my favorite paring knife and there are many paring knives in my house.


From the Tojiro Flash series that 6” petty was another mistake that will only be used as a loner when someone wants to help. The one on the far right and the smaller petty, second from left, are my favorites. They seem to have a nice compromise in handle to blade transition and it is very comfortable to use the handle grip or pinch grip.
Mistakes were made... I feel this! Even if not 'mistakes' I found myself with a lot of knives from here and there over the years too. Many of them were not worth the hassle or cost of shipping, because they were too cheap. For these I have had a lot of luck offloading knives on local BST community sites, this way I can let a knife depart for 20-60 bucks or so and not have to deal with packaging and shipping.

As far as your previous posts, I echo the idea of holding off on next purchases and give yourself some time to get used to your new knifes. You have enough to switch around and find what really appeals to you. I bet you could easily find videos that teach pinch grip and push cutting, I think this might be worth it so you get the most out of your new knives. Good luck on your knife adventures!
 
Joined
Dec 24, 2021
Messages
137
Reaction score
230
Location
Wisconsin
Sir, in the name of all that is good and right in the world, please find your way to a Spyderco vendor site. ;)

What sharpening gear do you use?
My brother is a Spyderco fan. For me, my work knife gets more abuse than proper use. In my truck I have a diamond stone of some sort and an Arkansas tri-stone for the work knife. I’m relatively certain I won’t be getting a new work knife, as the S&W meets my current needs.

At home I have a Ken Onion belt sharpener and a set of three Shapton Pro stones. I quickly discovered that the belt sharpener was not what I wanted for good knives, but it works great for my parent’s, neighbor’s, and garage knives. So for all those chores I’ll be keeping the belt sharpener.

I’m feeling pretty good with the 400, 1000, and 6000 Shapton Pro stones. I’d like to add a strop, but in the meantime, I have a ceramic rod that is satisfactory.

In addition to that, I have an oval shaped diamond rod that I picked up many years ago at a restaurant supply store. It was my go to device for a long time. I still use it for quickly tuning up a cheap paring knife or any of the smooth edge Cutco knives in the drawer.

I developed most of my sharpening skills when I worked in a paper mill. We used blunt tipped straight knives to cut down the ends of large toilet tissue rolls. I kept my own knife because most others preferred to hack away with great effort using a barely functional piece of steel straight out of the storeroom. All it would take is one tiny Knick or burr to cause the tissue to tear and bunch up in front of the knife. I also learned to stop a few layers before hitting the hard cardboard core. An older guy (because I was young then) showed me how to get a fine edge using a combination of devices that we had and finishing with a relatively smooth honing steel using long strokes and a very light touch.
 

Delat

Dazed & Confused
Joined
Dec 31, 2020
Messages
1,068
Reaction score
2,232
Location
Phoenix
Trying a little of this and a little of that is exactly what’s happening. I kind of needed to make a better starting point for myself and that’s what this thread is all about.

Well then my recommendation is to go buy a Yoshikane SKD or a Shibata Koutetsu. You’ll find the cutting experience with them to be strikingly different from what you currently have.
 

cotedupy

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2020
Messages
2,496
Reaction score
4,682
Location
South Australia & London
Oh hello. Welcome over here!

What other people have said is spot on... you've got a good range of sizes, types &c. there, for you to get to know what kind of thing you like, what knives you reach for the most often and why. And then after a while you can save up for something very smart, beautiful, and completely perfect for you.

(Which you will inevitably end up coddling like your firstborn, not letting anybody else touch, and cleaning every twenty seconds in use. And all your friends and family will think you're mad, but you will be happy. And we will be here for you.)
 
Joined
Dec 24, 2021
Messages
137
Reaction score
230
Location
Wisconsin
Oh hello. Welcome over here!

What other people have said is spot on... you've got a good range of sizes, types &c. there, for you to get to know what kind of thing you like, what knives you reach for the most often and why. And then after a while you can save up for something very smart, beautiful, and completely perfect for you.

(Which you will inevitably end up coddling like your firstborn, not letting anybody else touch, and cleaning every twenty seconds in use. And all your friends and family will think you're mad, but you will be happy. And we will be here for you.)
And this is the goal…
 
Joined
Dec 24, 2021
Messages
137
Reaction score
230
Location
Wisconsin
Oh hello. Welcome over here!

What other people have said is spot on... you've got a good range of sizes, types &c. there, for you to get to know what kind of thing you like, what knives you reach for the most often and why. And then after a while you can save up for something very smart, beautiful, and completely perfect for you.

(Which you will inevitably end up coddling like your firstborn, not letting anybody else touch, and cleaning every twenty seconds in use. And all your friends and family will think you're mad, but you will be happy. And we will be here for you.)
Thanks for jumping in here. You just nailed it. I bought a butt ton of knives because I really want “the one”.

So I have four knives coming and I’m really looking forward to trying the Teruyasu Fujiwara Maboroshi santoku. For some reason I feel really drawn to this particular series. If it is as satisfying as I anticipate, I will probably settle on two or three and be done. If not, the search will continue.
 
Joined
Dec 24, 2021
Messages
137
Reaction score
230
Location
Wisconsin
Definitely snap some pics for show and tell.
I should probably post these in the new purchases thread, but here’s a look. I started prepping my wife a few days ago that I had some packages coming. Also, we’re going on vacation soon, so I encouraged her to buy some new travel clothing for herself.
D63902C2-4AE9-4F2B-A23C-395305E6D439.jpeg


The first box. I’ll need to check my history to see what they are. I can’t remember. These were just an impulse buy from another member.
3EC0F446-81E8-40FF-91CB-362A57301B4B.jpeg


The second box was the real prize.
D935F4BC-1325-463D-9324-914E8B336DF8.jpeg


Saving the TF for last. Again I can’t remember which gyuto this is. I felt a very slight burr on the edge, so I gave it a few strokes across a ceramic hone with the lightest of touch that I could give. It had no problem pushing through newspaper.
026E6205-00AE-454E-8527-6D82D5095076.jpeg


Now for the TF Maboroshi santoku.
926BCA11-F365-4D15-BDC4-C7939B2F3660.jpeg

BAA9F03F-70E1-48B4-8973-0909635BCE3B.jpeg


Saw some pears laying on the counter, so I cut one up. It made paper thin slices with the greatest of ease.
CE9AB108-A5EA-43A9-82CC-D260B3A54BB6.jpeg

0AE3FCD4-9D27-4E16-97FD-6D6EC336F28A.jpeg


This is definitely my new favorite knife!
36C8A432-14AD-468A-ACA0-FAB30F9C60C6.jpeg
 
Last edited:
Joined
Mar 11, 2018
Messages
2,038
Reaction score
5,642
Location
Richmond, VA
I should probably post these in the new purchases thread, but here’s a look. I started prepping my wife a few days ago that I had some packages coming. Also, we’re going on vacation soon, so I encouraged her to buy some new travel clothing for herself.
View attachment 164760

The first box. I’ll need to check my history to see what they are. I can’t remember. These were just an impulse buy from another member.
View attachment 164761

The second box was the real prize.
View attachment 164762

Saving the TF for last. Again I can’t remember which gyuto this is. I felt a very slight burr on the edge, so I gave it a few strokes across a ceramic hone with the lightest of touch that I could give. It had no problem pushing through newspaper.
View attachment 164763

Now for the TF Mabaroshi santoku.
View attachment 164764
View attachment 164765

Saw some pears laying on the counter, so I cut one up. It made paper thin slices with the greatest of ease.
View attachment 164766
View attachment 164767

This is definitely my new favorite knife!
View attachment 164768

I like your style. Buy a bunch of knives and let God (and the USPS) sort them out. It looks like you have a nice variety there to try.
 
Top