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Miyabi Birchwood SG2 7pc set on sale - good deal or not?

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heymac08

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Hi there! Newbie here so don’t criticize me too hard :)

I ordered the Miyabi birchwood 7pc set from Here. Ended up purchasing it for $760. Seems to be the SG2 models.

The set comes with the following:
  • 3.5" parer
  • 7" Santoku
  • 8" chef
  • 9" bread
  • 9" sharpening steel
  • Stainless steel shears
I know most would say don’t get a set, but for the price point, would you all consider this a good deal or should I return them once I receive them? I was thinking about purchasing the 9" inch slicing knife as well since I have credit to cut the high price.

Also - I take it the sharpening steel it comes with shouldn’t be used on these knives?

Thanks in advance for your input!
 

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inferno

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i would say no. the santoku and the chefs knife is almost the same size. and i would not use a steel on those knives at all.

if you need all of those, then yes its probably a goodish deal. i think the knives are like 200-250 each otherwise. but they are kinda expensive on their own i think. i mean yeah they look nice and all. but i would much rather get 10 other different knives before any of them.
 

dafox

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I think R2/SG2 is too hard of a steel for a bread knife and that petty will likely get used for utility purposes in which case I would get a softer steel for that as well.
 

QCDawg

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return it. And get :

Kaeru 210 gyuto $126
akifusa 90 paring $123
gesshin uraku 270 suji $185
mac 270 bread $90
Mac black rod $ 55

$579 and go buy a combo 1000/6000 stone.

I subbed a slicing knife for the santoku

WAYYYY better stainless kit... all have huge edge retention (which is why one might want sg2). Forget the knife block.. get a magnet rack.
 
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drsmp

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Sell the steel and santoku on eBay and buy a decent ceramic rod. Watch videos on how to use a ceramic rod. I think it’s a good starter set and a home cook won’t need to sharpen them for a long time. I’d also take your time and get a deal off eBay on the Birchwood slicer or pick up a sujihiki here on the BST. birchwoods were my first good quality knifes and I used them happily for years before getting into J and custom knives
 

josemartinlopez

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If you can find a copy of Edge in the Kitchen, it explains the problem with sets well. Or just find a library copy of Bourdain’s bio where he emphasizes you will do almost everything with the chef’s knife and should get a good one before anything else.
 

daveb

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This is not a good place for valjdation of a purchase - everyone has a better idea. Especially so when talking about sets, faux dammy, mass produced, and/or more show than go, knives.

My recommendation is to return the lot and buy a single chef / gyuto. There's a questionnaire that will get you specific recommendations that are (mostly) tailored to your requiements.

Buy the single knife, see what you like or dislike about it and what the knife doesn't do well before buying another.
 
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heymac08

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return it. And get :

Kaeru 210 gyuto $126
akifusa 90 paring $123
gesshin uraku 270 suji $185
mac 270 bread $90
Mac black rod $ 55

$579 and go buy a combo 1000/6000 stone.

I subbed a slicing knife for the santoku

WAYYYY better stainless kit... all have huge edge retention (which is why one might want sg2). Forget the knife block.. get a magnet rack.
is there a recommended website I can get these from?
 

heymac08

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This is not a good place for valjdation of a purchase - everyone has a better idea. Especially so when talking about sets, faux dammy, mass produced, and/or more show than go, knives.

My recommendation is to return the lot and buy a single chef / gyuto. There's a questionnaire that will get you specific recommendations that are (mostly) tailored to your requiements.

Buy the single knife, see what you like or dislike about it and what the knife doesn't do well before buying another.
thanks for the input! I wasn’t particularly looking for validation, just wanted to know if it was worth it to keep the set since I got a discount on it. if there are better knives for less, I’m all for it! The forum is just so overwhelming, trying to read through everything is giving me a headache lol
 

ma_sha1

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The only thing worth keeping there is the paring knife. I have the 4.5”, thin with super pointy tip, my go to knife for butterflying trout. I also had the 8” chef, very pretty but handle heavy, poor balance, hard to sharpen, plus the handle is too small for anyone, maybe except Dave 😂
 
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heymac08

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The only thing worth keeping there is the paring knife. I also had the 8” chef, very pretty but handle heavy, plus the handle is too small for anyone one, maybe except Dave 😂
Hahaha, okay good to know! So I am female and do have smaller hands than all you guys, so I need to figure out something that works! Lol
 

ma_sha1

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Hahaha, okay good to know! So I am female and do have smaller hands than all you guys, so I need to figure out something that works! Lol
I think it does work better for female. The 4.5 is my wife’s, she loves it. It’s stunning looking, once sharpened, edge is very long lasting. I just don’t like doing the sharpening on it.
 
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parbaked

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Since you are in Bay Area, I'd shop at Bernal Cutlery.
They will also sharpen your knives once for free...
The Tojiro R-2 knives are solid, if you are interested in that steel.

 
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drsmp

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If you want to get Japanese Knives I’d second Bernal, if you go to LA area see Jon Broida at Japanese Knife Imports. The wish list above would be from multiple dealers/sites and once you pay shipping it wouldn’t be as good of a deal. Honestly one Chef/Gyuto , one paring/petty and a Mac or Tojiro bread knife are a great start. Miyabi’s are good knives and I’m sure you’d be happy with them -but asking about them here would be like going on a Porsche message board and asking what they think about Hondas.
 
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Nemo

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is there a recommended website I can get these from?
There are several vendors known to offer quality knives and the list provided draws from several of them.

Maybe best to post a "which knife should I buy" thread in "the kitchen knife" forum, using the questionaire (in a thread pinned to the top of the same forum).

Edit- just realised that you already did.
 

McMan

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For less than $760, you could have a core group of three knives that are well-suited to your preferences and ways of using knives as opposed to a one-size-fits-all set. In fact, you could have a gyuto, slicer, paring knife, and two stones for ~$500. Call it $530 if you want to add a bread knife :) (Call it $700 if you want to add a beaut of an endgrained cutting board.) And we're talkin good values not bargain basement. So, my thinking would be to return the set.
Also, since you're in the Bay, definitely go to Bernal and talk to them. Good people there, not snobs. It can be very helpful just to hold knives in person. Things like handle size, weight, balance, can be very personal preferences. So, if you can get there, that might be the best option...
 

josemartinlopez

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I am female and do have smaller hands
Lot of good smaller knives in this forum. Someone gifted me with a Hinoura 180mm gyuto, for example, and it feels absolutely perfect in hand. The distal taper on the small knife is impressive, with the blade thick only at the spot where your thumb would be. I never thought I would enjoy a 180 but I do.
 

parbaked

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Bernal and JKI are both still closed to customers.
Bernal does have curbside pickup and is offering "virtual shopping appointments" where staff can show product and answer questions by video conference.
 

kayman67

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If you like them, close the forum and enjoy using them. Because around here things are rather complicated.
It's a nice looking set, with good performance. Expensive, but you had the money already.

I briefly had my hands on that "steel" that's not actually a traditional sharpening steel and I think it needed some usage before performing well for these knives. As well as expected from such a tool anyway.

I agree that you won't need all the knives, but might just as well use them.
My only caveat with these is again the handles. They look great, but won't age great if you don't take care of them.
Almost forgot. If you decide to return them and get something else, the paring knife needs to be a Shun. Seriously.

Now, on the other hand. These and others recommended, aren't easy to take care of since the alloy would be too hard and brittle, edge too thin and so on. Keep in mind that most people here have been where you are now but just don't realise how important that step was in handling the present tools. So, mind the gap maybe? Honestly, most people wanting better knives just enter a world of trouble with knives they don't need for various reasons or don't really understand and see them like some universal tools. That's why so many are chipped and so on. Our knives usually won't solve this, no matter how much better they would be considered.
 

McMan

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If you decide to return them and get something else, the paring knife needs to be a Shun. Seriously.
@heymac08 here's one to consider:
 

drsmp

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Yes if you keep the Birchwoods apply mineral oil or cutting board butter to the handles. They’ll look exponentially better and resist stains. The Birchwoods are good cutters, will hold an edge for a long time, the steel won’t stain or rust (as long as you wash with hot water, a sponge and dry well before storage.) They are also pretty resistant to chipping. They are also very good looking knives. I found the handles comfortable - assuming you’re right handed.
I gave a 4 knife set of Miyabi Kaizen to my friends wife. She cooks big family meals every day. She has a block of Henckels that she now no longer uses, she loves the Miyabis and they’re still pretty sharp after a year. The Birchwoods will hold an edge even longer.
It’s all relative. Some here that are critical of Birchwoods probably haven’t even used them. Yes there are better knives but the Miyabis look good, are low maintainance and a big step up for the majority of home cooks.
 

josemartinlopez

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Some here that are critical of Birchwoods probably haven’t even used them.
You might distinguish between being critical of the idea of getting a set and being critical of the knives themselves.

I think it's a fair point that if you had a $760 budget to buy SG2 knives, it would be a great idea to spend $300-500 on the gyuto. With that budget, you could get almost any R2/SG2 gyuto out there.
 

drsmp

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Per my earlier post - Sell the santoku and steel on eBay and you have three SG2 knives for under $500
 

DrEriksson

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The birchwood 9,5” (10?) was my first expensive knife. I also have the small petty knife from this set. Having bought handmade knives and more expensive knives, I still think that the 5000MCD are really good. They are think as a leaf, rather stiff, and have good edge retention. I do agree with a comment above that I would not use the steel, and it’s a bit of a shame that the guyto and santoku is so similar in length. But hey, you can always buy more knives. :-D
 

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