Knife recommendation needed for a friend

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Mark Tomaras

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A friend saw a video I made of sharpening and using my Yu Kurosaki Gyuto and she lost her mind. She was about to buy a set of garbage knives and she asked me for some advice. She needs a Gyuto and a petty (chef knife and paring knife were her words). She wanted to limit the spend to $100 per knife, but may go a touch higher. I am searching the online stores for something interesting for her.

She had not even thought of sharpening, and she has one of the garbage sharpeners with the wheels. I know she is not going to dive in to manual whetstone sharpening, so I am recommending the edge pro system for her. I don't need much advice on this part, but I am telling you now so you know how she will be sharpening whatever you recommend.

So, I need a great recommendation for a huge benefit to cost ratio on a 210mm Gyuto and a 100mm or 120mm petty. I would be happy to recommend up to $130-$150 on the Gyuto if necessary and $90 - $120 on the petty.

Thank you!
 

Mark Tomaras

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I have been researching for an hour or two. these look interesting:
anyone have any experience with these ?
 
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If I had that budget to work with I’d get a $190 gyuto (wakui would be my choice) and a ten dollar vctronix paring knife. She won’t regret it.

fill out the questionnaire and you’ll get better feedback.

gyutos start getting good at about $175. Below that is often a compromise.

These guys have some decent choices.
 
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M1k3

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Does she want an actual paring knife? Or a small knife to use on a board?
 

sansho

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watching with interest because i had trouble finding interesting gyuto options in between $40 victorinox fibrox and ~$200 used knife. i was looking for a gyuto for a friend. ended up getting a used 240mm konosuke HD on BST for him.

and imo 8" victorinox chef's knife isn't bad at all.
 

Dull_Apex

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Also, did she like the Yu Kurosaki because of the looks? The recommended entry level knives don't tend to have a lot of visual flash.
 

Nemo

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You get much more use out of a gyuto than a petty.

In addition, she will notice the difference between a good gyuto grind and a poor gyuto grind to a much greater extent.

I advocate putting most of the budget towards a gyuto as this is where she will see the most value. This could get her a pretty decent knife.

As for the parer, a cheap Victorinox parer costs about 15 bucks and does a decent enough job.

Edit: I realise @rickbern already made this recommendation.
 
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Michi

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I have to second the Victorinox Fibrox suggestion. I've been cooking with one at a friend's place once a week for a while now, and it's a surprisingly good knife. Probably impossible to beat in terms of bang for the buck. The completely flat grind and polished sides don't make for great food release but, regardless, I could live with just that knife if I had to.

For a fancier option, I'd suggest a Kaeru SLD stainless. Again, that's a lot of knife for the money.

Agree with buying a cheap paring knife. You can get something that works well for $10-$15.
 
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rmrf

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I concur with the cheap paring knife. I bought 2 packs of 4 pairing knives from costco a while ago and that's pretty much all I use below 210 except if I'm butchering meat.

I like Kaeru and Takamura at that price range.

Does she want a 210? I gave a 170 takamura santoku as a gift to someone who never used a "good" knife before and she loves it.
 

Mark Tomaras

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If I had that budget to work with I’d get a $190 gyuto (wakui would be my choice) and a ten dollar vctronix paring knife. She won’t regret it.

fill out the questionnaire and you’ll get better feedback.

gyutos start getting good at about $175. Below that is often a compromise.

These guys have some decent choices.

You make a very very good point and I’m embarrassed for overlooking this possibility! Somehow I was thinking that it would be important to get the best petty and best Gyuto within her budget. But now that I think about it I completely agree with you!

Do you have any ideas for a $200 Gyuto in the 180-210mm size range?
 

Mark Tomaras

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Also, did she like the Yu Kurosaki because of the looks? The recommended entry level knives don't tend to have a lot of visual flash.

I don’t think so. I’m sure she liked it looks, but when I was showing her how it cuts, I think that’s what got it. In my video I was cutting some very thick carrots and it was sliding through them like warm butter!
 

Mark Tomaras

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You get much more use out of a gyuto than a petty.

In addition, she will notice the difference between a good gyuto grind and a poor gyuto grind to a much greater extent.

I advocate putting most of the budget towards a gyuto as this is where she will see the most value. This could get her a pretty decent knife.

As for the parer, a cheap Victorinox parer costs about 15 bucks and does a decent enough job.

Now that I’m reading the forums consensus, I am in complete agreement with this recommendation. Can you think of any $200 Gyutos that stand out in your mind? 180-210mm rage.
 

sansho

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or a takamura like mike said above

or maybe you can find one of these used for around $200:

 

Nemo

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Tanaka Ginsan Nashiji belongs in this conversation.

I haven't used the Sukenari ginsan but the HT on their YXR7 and AS is spot-on, so I would expect the ginsan to be pretty good too and might be worth a look.

Akifusa SRS15 is a great starter knife if that fits within budget. Excellent edge retention. Decent thinner grind.
 
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Nemo

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Also, if she is gonna use an Edgepro, she will need a plan to maintain the geometry of the edge after multiple sharpenings.
 

tim huang

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Now that I’m reading the forums consensus, I am in complete agreement with this recommendation. Can you think of any $200 Gyutos that stand out in your mind? 180-210mm rage.
https://www.**************.com/gibl2gy21.html
a little bit over the $200 limit
 

HumbleHomeCook

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I have 180mm wa-handled Akifusa in AS and it is a great knife. Stainless clad and the AS is pretty resilient but as @Nemo said, you can bump up a bit and go for the SRS15. Or maybe look at the santoku to keep price down a little. It's thin and slicey.
 
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Another option is the Nexus line. They are western handled, and made in China, but the steel seems to be quite impressive as does the sharpening/grind and fit/finish.

I got a set for each of my daughters for Christmas as an experiment with low expectations. I expected them to be equivalent to department store junk, but they were very impressive for the price.
 

JaVa

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Although the idea of putting more emphasis on the gyuto is good, in this case I’d go a different route. My experience is that the ladies gravitate much more towards petty type small-ish knives so I would suggest a bit nicer petty in the mix.
How about a Mac petty? I’d go for the pro line. Those cost around 60$ and they cut circles around anu Vics. Then get a any Takamura gyuto that fits the budget best.
 
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Although the idea of putting more emphasis on the gyuto is good, in this case I’d go a different route. My experience is that the ladies gravitate much more towards petty type small-ish knives so I would suggest a bit nicer petty in the mix.
How about a Mac petty? I’d go for the pro line. Those cost around 60$ and they cut circles around anu Vics. Then get a any Takamura gyuto that fits the budget best.
JaVa, normally I agree with most everything you recommend, but on this I disagree. If OP said she watched him cut a carrot and said "I want a knife that can do that", she's screaming gyuto at us. Granted, most women (probably most people) that aren't pros prefer a 210, but still I stand by my original advice, put all the gelt in the gyuto. I have a 180 gyuto in my drawer, good knife, not great for carrots though.

I agree (see, old habits die hard!) that the Mac petty is a good idea; I rarely see a reason to recommend anything higher end than that unless you're a collector. But no petty is going to slay carrots like a gyuto can. My original comment on the vic paring knives had to do with a hard $200 budget, and I really think decent gyutos start at $175.

Okay, now that I got that off my chest, back to cutting my carrots for dinner with my 240 Wakui gyuto!
 

Mark Tomaras

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What does the group think of this one? I just found it and I have been admiring Konosuke from afar for a while. Seems to be a new entry level option from them?

 
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