Noobie buying advice

Discussion in 'The Kitchen Knife' started by Bensbites, Oct 4, 2019.

Help Support Kitchen Knife Forums by donating:

  1. Oct 4, 2019 #1

    Bensbites

    Bensbites

    Bensbites

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2017
    Messages:
    479
    I was looking at a knife rev posts elsewhere online and realizing, if I had to do it again, I would suggest a different route!

    I upgraded my blades, then realized I wanted/needed to become a better sharpener. I learned how to sharpen/tweak fit and finish on a blade/rehandle knives after I started upgrading.

    1) take whatever knife you have, and learn how to sharpen first. Once you can maintain a hair popping 1k, you will be ready to assess and maintain peak performance of high end knives as to not get diminishing returns on your investment.

    2) Then upgrade.

    Am I crazy?
     
    M1k3 and Carl Kotte like this.
  2. Oct 4, 2019 #2

    ian

    ian

    ian

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2017
    Messages:
    913
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    Sounds good in theory! The only problem: you may lack the motivation to work hard at sharpening until you have this gorgeous knife sitting there that requires attention from whetstones.
     
  3. Oct 4, 2019 #3

    Carl Kotte

    Carl Kotte

    Carl Kotte

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2019
    Messages:
    882
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    A little crazy but at the same time very sane. Agree with Ian though about the motivation part. Still, your 2 points may still be very good rules of thumb.
     
    Bensbites likes this.
  4. Oct 4, 2019 #4

    Elliot

    Elliot

    Elliot

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2019
    Messages:
    606
    Location:
    Washington
    Totally rational, but I would argue most on this forum struggle with rational behavior.

    First J Knife I bought was a Hattori FH VG-10 from Koki. First knife I sharpened was a KS ‍♂️
     
    Nikabrik, Bensbites and Carl Kotte like this.
  5. Oct 4, 2019 #5
    Get a simple carbon knife that will later set as a beater or a travel knife. Something like a Munetoshi 165 petty, Zakuri 135 or 165 funayuki or similar. Especially the Zakuri is a great knife to learn on as it does require some effort to get the best out of it.
     
    Nikabrik likes this.
  6. Oct 4, 2019 #6

    Scribbled

    Scribbled

    Scribbled

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2019
    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    Shanghai
    Huh, this makes me think that maybe there’s a missed opportunity for the good knife sites (JKI etal) to sell dirt cheap Chinese ‘learning knives’.
     
  7. Oct 4, 2019 #7

    Bensbites

    Bensbites

    Bensbites

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2017
    Messages:
    479
    I thought that was Tojiro or Doa
    ...
     
  8. Oct 4, 2019 #8

    Nikabrik

    Nikabrik

    Nikabrik

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2018
    Messages:
    126
    Yeah, the "other" knife site has the stainless Tsubazo gyuto for this very purpose. I do think a carbon steel knife would be more satisfying in the low end. I don't think even Chinese origin is necessary for economy - there are knives from Tosa that are quite cheap, and take a great edge.
     
    Xenif, Carl Kotte and M1k3 like this.
  9. Oct 5, 2019 #9

    bahamaroot

    bahamaroot

    bahamaroot

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Messages:
    1,291
    I don't think you learn much about high end knives until you start using high end knives. Knowing how to put a good edge on a cheap knife doesn't teach you much about different geometries, profiles, steels etc. It takes experience actually trying different knives to learn all the nuances. I could sharpen before I started buying but you don't know J-knives until you start buying J-knives and it's a whole new world with a lot to learn.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2019
    DisconnectedAG and Nikabrik like this.
  10. Oct 5, 2019 #10

    Chef Doom

    Chef Doom

    Chef Doom

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    Messages:
    1,417
    Sounds like terrible advice to me. Everyone needs to eat. Not everyone needs to sharpen.

    You want to get a decent knife along with a simple 1k to 2k grit stone. Learning to sharpen on soft cheap steel or poorly heat treated harder steel doesn't really teach you much.

    Swinging around a wooden stick will not make you a Jedi Master.
     
    captaincaed and M1k3 like this.
  11. Oct 5, 2019 #11

    Chef Doom

    Chef Doom

    Chef Doom

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    Messages:
    1,417
    I am Bernie Sanders and I approve of this message.
     
  12. Oct 5, 2019 #12

    Barmoley

    Barmoley

    Barmoley

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2016
    Messages:
    1,360
    This is the crux of the problem you can't skip. You know how people when older say "If only I knew then what I know now, I would be unstoppable..." That is why you can't, it takes time and experience and no matter what more experienced people tell you you won't believe them until you get it yourself. When one starts with cheap knives there is always an excuse that it is the knife's fault because it is a crappy knife. You have to get an undesputable good knife to understand that it is not the knife but one's sharpening skill and cutting technique that is the problem. At least this is how it works for most people, there are some unique individuals that could follow your advice and be better for it.

    And yes, if you have to ask you are crazy:D
     
  13. Oct 5, 2019 #13

    Cbt

    Cbt

    Cbt

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2019
    Messages:
    56
    Location:
    Portugal
    How would you define "a hair popping 1k" for us noobs?
     
  14. Oct 5, 2019 #14

    Bensbites

    Bensbites

    Bensbites

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2017
    Messages:
    479
    I apologize if that was not clear. The conventional wisdom is that you can cleanly absorb easily shave arm hair off with a good edge off a 1K stone. Then you are ready to move up in grits.
     
    Cbt and Scribbled like this.
  15. Oct 5, 2019 #15

    DitmasPork

    DitmasPork

    DitmasPork

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2012
    Messages:
    1,387
    Location:
    BROOKLYN, NY
    Depends.

    IMO, it's by no means essential to know how to sharpen before upgrading to better knives—more cost effective, but not essential. Some cooks I know hate sharpening and send knives out to one of the many talented professional sharpeners out there, who would happily take on the work—an extra expense for sure, but ending up with a better sharpening job than they can do themselves.

    I sharpen my own knives, not an expert, but can do it well enough for my needs. Years ago I started buying some really fine J-knives before I knew how to sharpen—didn't let my lack of sharpening ability inhibit buying J-knives, life is too short.
     
  16. Oct 5, 2019 #16

    vlasena

    vlasena

    vlasena

    Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2019
    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    Berlin
    I think it is much harder and on top of that a lot less fun to learn sharpening on a basic stainless steel. I can easily make Ginsanko or White 2 or Blue 2 sharp, but it takes me a lot more effort to do so on AUS8. Because it is harder I think the value in sharpening less and it is also harder to learn the skill. For all these reasons I think it make sense to invest in a quality knife first, then learn sharpening.

    I am not chef and not professional sharpener by no means. So take my view with a grain of salt, but from my angle of view I can definitely see advantage of quality steel. And, I can not get a hair popping edge on 1k, i can not even on 3k, but anything above it gets screaming sharp for me.
     
    Nikabrik likes this.
  17. Oct 5, 2019 #17

    DitmasPork

    DitmasPork

    DitmasPork

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2012
    Messages:
    1,387
    Location:
    BROOKLYN, NY
    Agree with you that it's easier to learn sharpening on carbon. My first J-knife was a Masamoto HC, good knife, easy to sharpen—bought my first stone shortly thereafter.
     
    Nikabrik and vlasena like this.
  18. Oct 5, 2019 #18

    lowercasebill

    lowercasebill

    lowercasebill

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    Messages:
    341
    No you are not. I promised myself no good knives until you can sharpen. 3 tosagata from Japan woodworker, king 1k-6k , wet dry sandpaper on float glass for course.
    Hap Stanley, lee valley tool and Dave's and master Sugai (Korin) C-Ds Then i took Dave's course. Then the mind numbing wallet lightening insanity began. Accumulating mirror polish supplies for winter use. Just bought a thick very old and big mitre saw to make a nakiri .......
    Watch Jon's videos. You may borrow C-Ds
     
    Nikabrik and Carl Kotte like this.
  19. Oct 7, 2019 #19

    Cbt

    Cbt

    Cbt

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2019
    Messages:
    56
    Location:
    Portugal
    Thanks for clearing that up. I have another doubt: would that be without stropping, stropping on stone, with strop, plain or loaded? Sorry for all the questions!
     

Share This Page