Newbie here. Sorry, another recommendation thread.

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Jin

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SAHM here. Hello. Looking for a Japanese knife recommendation. This would be a bday gift to myself. I know there’s a lot of threads but with kids it’s hard to sit down and search for them all. TIA for your time and recommendations. I’d prefer something easy to obtain. Nothing outside of the US if possible. If that narrows it down too much I guess I’ll keep buying overseas an option. Thank you all.


LOCATION
What country are you in?
USA


KNIFE TYPE
What type of knife are you interested in (e.g., chef’s knife, slicer, boning knife, utility knife, bread knife, paring knife, cleaver)?

CHEF’S KNIFE/GYUTO
All-in-one/KIRITSUKE


Are you right or left handed?
RIGHT

Are you interested in a Western handle (e.g., classic Wusthof handle) or Japanese handle?
JAPANESE

What length of knife (blade) are you interested in (in inches or millimeters)?
10” AND UP

Do you require a stainless knife? (Yes or no)
NO PREFERENCE

What is your absolute maximum budget for your knife?
$500


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 (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.)
ALL THE ABOVE EXCEPT FILLETING FISH. I MOSTLY CUT THROUGH PORK SHOULDER AND CHKN

What knife, if any, are you replacing?
I HAVE A FEW KNIVES. PLEASE SEE PHOTOS


Do you have a particular grip that you primarily use? (Please click on this LINK for the common types of grips.)
PINCH

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.)
CHOP AND ROCKING

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.)

Better aesthetics (e.g., a certain type of finish; layered/Damascus or other pattern of steel; different handle color/pattern/shape/wood; better scratch resistance; better stain resistance)?

Comfort (e.g., lighter/heavier knife; better handle material; better handle shape; rounded spine/choil of the knife; improved balance)?

Ease of Use (e.g., ability to use the knife right out of the box; smoother rock chopping, push cutting, or slicing motion; less wedging; better food release; less reactivity with food; easier to sharpen)?

Edge Retention (i.e., length of time you want the edge to last without sharpening)?

EASE OF USE AND BETTER EDGE RETENTION


KNIFE MAINTENANCE
Do you use a bamboo, wood, rubber, or synthetic cutting board? (Yes or no.)
WOOD. I HAVE A FEW. BOOS AND LARCHWOOD END AND EDGE GRAIN, BUT I SEEM TO REACH FOR THE PLASTIC ONES MORE DUE TO EASE OF WASHING

Do you sharpen your own knives? (Yes or no.)
NO. I’VE TRIED BUT FAILED. I HAVE THE KRAMER SET FOR BED BATH

If not, are you interested in learning how to sharpen your knives? (Yes or no.)
I GUESS I COULD GIVE IT ANOTHER TRY. I THINK I’VE TRIED TO SHARPEN MY SHUN AND RUINED IT. LOL. I CANT REMEMBER

Are you interested in purchasing sharpening products for your knives? (Yes or no.)
NO I HAVE THE KRAMER SET, UNLESS IT’S CRAPPY.

 

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rickbern

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You may want to consider buying a more modest carbon knife in addition to the honyaki and stones and learning to sharpen. I doubt many here would advise maintaining that knife with that Kramer sharpener.

call whoever you bought the knife from and ask for advice on stones and a practice knife.

doesn’t matter how good the knife is initially, when it gets dull it’s no better than any other dull knife.

edit- I assumed the Kramer sharpener was a device. If it’s stones you’re fine once you learn to use them
 
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soigne_west

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I don’t think you need to buy another knife. And you said you have the Kramer knife sharpening kit. Just practice sharpening the knives you have.

I’d check out this guys sharpening videos @JBroida

 

Bert2368

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You own ALL those knives in the pictures, CUTCO, Global, Henckels/Miyabi, Wusthof, Shun?

And you've got a Kramer "kit", which is some Chosera synthetic stones and a sink bridge, plus a cleaning/flattening stone? Which you tried to use once, and didn't get good results/made the Shun duller than before you started?

And you're looking primarily for "ease of use" which I translate to mean "sharper? And knives that stay sharp longer?

All the people above who told you to learn how to sharpen are correct.

That lovely #3 white steel carbon blade (which will rust if you do not religiously clean and dry it immediately after EVERY use before you lay it down, very much different from your huge stable of stainless knives) is not going to solve your sharpness problem after you take the factory edge off. It likely will be a bit easier to sharpen than your stainless steel knives once you learn how- And you will probably make it kind of ugly by learning on it. Practice on something cheaper! Those SG2 core Miyabi knives should sharpen up quite nicely if you follow the advice others gave you on learning to hand sharpen.

I will add one more piece of advice: give the CUTCO knives away to someone you dislike, or if you're too a nice person for that, just throw them away.
 
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Bert2368

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I was thinking he had the Kramer stone set?
I admit to jumping the gun and assuming that she had got a powered sharpener. I have edited my reply to reflect this-

I looked up Kramer and now understand she probably has a set of synthetic stones (Chosera?) which perhaps cost more than they would bought piecemeal for having that brand name. But would likely work, once she learns how to use them.
 

Jin

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You may want to consider buying a more modest carbon knife in addition to the honyaki and stones and learning to sharpen. I doubt many here would advise maintaining that knife with that Kramer sharpener.

call whoever you bought the knife from and ask for advice on stones and a practice knife.

doesn’t matter how good the knife is initially, when it gets dull it’s no better than any other dull knife.

edit- I assumed the Kramer sharpener was a device. If it’s stones you’re fine once you learn to use them
I will buy a cheaper carbon knife and practice. The stones has been sitting in my pantry for a couple of years. I’ve just been too afraid to damage my knives. Thanks
 

Jin

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I don’t think you need to buy another knife. And you said you have the Kramer knife sharpening kit. Just practice sharpening the knives you have.

I’d check out this guys sharpening videos @JBroida

Thank you, I will check this video out.
 

Jin

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You own ALL those knives in the pictures, CUTCO, Global, Henckels/Miyabi, Wusthof, Shun?

And you've got a Kramer "kit", which is some Chosera synthetic stones and a sink bridge, plus a cleaning/flattening stone? Which you tried to use once, and didn't get good results/made the Shun duller than before you started?

And you're looking primarily for "ease of use" which I translate to mean "sharper? And knives that stay sharp longer?

All the people above who told you to learn how to sharpen are correct.

That lovely #3 white steel carbon blade (which will rust if you do not religiously clean and dry it immediately after EVERY use before you lay it down, very much different from your huge stable of stainless knives) is not going to solve your sharpness problem after you take the factory edge off. It likely will be a bit easier to sharpen than your stainless steel knives once you learn how- And you will probably make it kind of ugly by learning on it. Practice on something cheaper! Those SG2 core Miyabi knives should sharpen up quite nicely if you follow the advice others gave you on learning to hand sharpen.

I will add one more piece of advice: give the CUTCO knives away to someone you dislike, or if you're too a nice person for that, just throw them away.
I know I need to practice. I guess what scared me is that I messed up the shun uhm should I say profile? Made it dull. At that time, the shun was my cheapest knife. I had my henckels set and the shun (which I got on clearance). Honestly other than my wedding set I’ve purchased the knives on clearance except for the miyabis. Those were on sale plus I used a 20% coupon at BBB. The global set cost me $89 at HomeGoods clearance.

throw away my cutco? Lol. I could practice on those. I actually love those and I’ve sent them in to be sharpened before. I like their warranty and service. My mil gifted me the chef knife, found the serrated at a thrift store and when I sent my knives and 20+ knives to be sharpened (friends and family’s), cutco gifted me the other knife.


But bottom line, I know I need to learn to sharpen my knives myself. Thank you
 

Bert2368

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throw away my cutco? Lol. I could practice on those.
I strongly advise NOT practicing on the CUTCO!

I have personal experience with sharpening CUTCO knives (parents had received them as wedding gifts). The steel used in these is almost magical- In that it reliably defeats the best efforts of experienced people in hand sharpening. Others here may back my opinion on this.

By all means, start with a cheaper but decent quality carbon steel blade, good Carbon steel usually is quickly rewarding once you get the hand motions down. Or even start on one of your Globals! Personally, I've had decent luck in sharpening Globals with less equipment than you describe having- See here:

https://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/threads/sharpening-a-global.35894/page-4#post-590987
 
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rickbern

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I know I need to practice. I guess what scared me is that I messed up the shun uhm should I say profile? Made it dull. At that time, the shun was my cheapest knife. I had my henckels set and the shun (which I got on clearance). Honestly other than my wedding set I’ve purchased the knives on clearance except for the miyabis. Those were on sale plus I used a 20% coupon at BBB. The global set cost me $89 at HomeGoods clearance.

throw away my cutco? Lol. I could practice on those. I actually love those and I’ve sent them in to be sharpened before. I like their warranty and service. My mil gifted me the chef knife, found the serrated at a thrift store and when I sent my knives and 20+ knives to be sharpened (friends and family’s), cutco gifted me the other knife.


But bottom line, I know I need to learn to sharpen my knives myself. Thank you
Jin, don't worry about it too much, at it's WORST it's like giving yourself a bad haircut during quarantine (hey, I just did that!)

If you screw up the knife a bit from sharpening, you ship it off to someone like @Dave Martell and he can fix it for much less than the cost of a different knife. When I wrote the post I only saw the picture with the German knives, you can't learn on those.

Maybe follow Bert's advice, practice on the Miyabi. Ask Dave what a spa treatment would cost if you screw it up. These days, he may even consider coaching you over zoom, who knows?
 

Nagakin

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I learned how to sharpen on a Miyabi Artisan and "ruined" it plenty. These knives have more than enough steel to outlive a learning curve. In my experience it's easier to raise and deburr on the Miyabi than Shun, even if it's harder steel.
 
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Jin

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I just heard back from the seller. I’m placing an order for a saya and a 6” pallares carbon knife (seller recommendation) to practice on. Before completing my order is there any other accessories I should get? Like the camellia oil?
 

M1k3

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Learn to sharpen. Watch Jon's videos. Practice, practice, practice. The Cutco's I'd sharpen after you can reliably sharpen your other knives. Or trash them. Either way, I wouldn't try to learn on them. Don't get hungup on grits and strops and all that stuff. Just get to the point where you can get a sharp, burr free edge off a 800-2k grit stone.

And if you start getting frustrated. Step back. Relax. Come back to it later.
 
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