(Powdered) knife suggestions?

Discussion in 'The Kitchen Knife' started by ralpheburns, Sep 29, 2019.

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  1. Sep 29, 2019 #1

    ralpheburns

    ralpheburns

    ralpheburns

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    Can you make some suggestions for an enthusiastic home cook who’s never owned great kitchen knives and is seeking to change that? I have carried a folding ZDP-189 Spyderco knife for many years without any chipping, and maintain it to shaving sharpness with a 20 year old 40-degree (included angle) Spyderco triangle sharpener. I enjoy what the ZDP-189 does!

    For the kitchen, I’d naturally seek out more powdered steel knives; those with a good reputation for corrosion resistance with an eye towards resisting citrus juices? Do some knives experience less food stick than others? I’d like to try out two or three shapes and evolve my cutting styles.

    Here are some pointers:
    - maybe one gyuto around 200mm, something around 175mm and a petty about 130mm
    - curious about R-2 and HAP-40 along with ZDP-189
    - Big note is that my hands are quite large with skinny fingers
    - hold pinch or hammer grip.
    - I’ve never used a true Japanese-handled knife
    - Prefer a tapered bolster when holding pinch-grip, but without a bolster extending to the cutting edge
    - thin blade is maybe preferred over thick… but without getting flexy
    - good corrosion resistance
    - I cut right-handed on bamboo cutting boards. I’m pesca / veg.
    - good looks are always great to behold!
    - Looks like I'll have to upgrade sharpening too...
    - budget… let’s say $300 each? I never mind buying used…

    There’s so many! I saw some JCK Kagayaki and Konayuki and also some Takamura Migaki.

    Thanks much! - Ralph in Colorado
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2019
  2. Sep 29, 2019 #2

    Eloh

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    I would try takamura ryusen or sukenari. I personally have good experiences with the hap40 from sukenari.
     
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  3. Sep 29, 2019 #3
    I would talk to Jon of JKI.
     
  4. Oct 1, 2019 #4

    ralpheburns

    ralpheburns

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    Thanks - there's much to learn!

    My current guess is that for pinch-grip, then my big hands may fit a traditional Japanese handle ok, but for hammer grip I'm accustomed to Western. Most of the HAP40 / ZDP-189 / R2 knives I’m finding are Japanese-handled.

    At the moment I’m looking for suggestions of those steels that are well-executed in Western-handled. The Carbon Knife Co. in Denver is an hour away, so I ought to pay a visit.

    I’m also interested in my next chapter in sharpening. I enjoy pushing my own sense of craftsmanship, but like the idea of reliable guided sharpening.
     
  5. Oct 1, 2019 #5

    James

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    I would send a PM to Andrei Markin. He works with a few different types of PM steel. I'm expecting a gyuto petty set in m390 from him in the next few months.
     
  6. Oct 1, 2019 #6

    Eloh

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    There aren't a whole lot of options unfortunately.

    I would probably get the takamura pro or ryusen blazen, since they have a bit of tapered spine and are more middleweights and have great f&f. You also can find a kohetsu/kohsey western in hap40 wich is more laser-ish. You can also find pm steel western gyutos from tojiro, sabun and a few others.


    But yeah, you can also get a custom knife. I also got one by Andrei markin and he's a great guy to work with. I'm sure he would make you a knife you like.
     
  7. Oct 1, 2019 #7

    parbaked

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  8. Oct 16, 2019 #8

    adam92

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    +1takamura
     
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  9. Oct 16, 2019 #9

    daddy yo yo

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    Man, you ask for advice at exactly the right time: https://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/threads/blazen-240mm-r2-gyuto.43694/

    Don't hesitate, the knife is stellar. I have one of these myself. You can find so much info on this knife, it has been around for soooooo long. And I would say it fits your requests just perfectly!

    I know you were asking for a ~200mm size, but as you have large hands, I'd get the 240 instead, as usually the handle is slimmer/smaller on a 210 size than on a 240 size. Also, most of us knife nerds settle with the 240 size...
     
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  10. Oct 16, 2019 #10

    Bcos17

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    +1 Takamura.
     
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  11. Oct 16, 2019 #11

    LucasFur

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    Thanks bud! It would blow his socks off ...
    OP's call. No pressure.
     
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  12. Oct 16, 2019 #12

    ralpheburns

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    Hello, hello, hello! I love your input. Methinks that Takamura, Andrei Markin, Blazen, Sukenari would all be wonderful to own!

    I reckon my next step is to get my rear end to Carbon Knife Co in Denver. I'm always "busy" with a personal craftsman project, but maybe Saturday.

    I'm actually knife shopping for two kitchens... one kitchen is large and the other teeny, and I'll surely learn from one set and make course adjustments for another. So maybe four or five knives in my future, fun, fun!

    In other news (get ready to cringe. are you ready?), I bought an old model but hardly used EdgePro Pro: https://tinyurl.com/y3k43tkm (you were warned!) I'm a fan of hand craftsmanship, but also a fan of proper jigging. We'll see! I'm reshaping someone's broken knife now, so can practice with abandon!
     
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  13. Oct 21, 2019 #13

    ralpheburns

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    Visited the Carbon candy store this weekend. While there are many fine steels, they had three makers using powdered: Gihei HAP40, Takamura and Sabita in R2. Asking about grinds for food release, I took the sales bait about the flat-to-convex grind of the Takamura.

    A leading contender was the Takamura Hana R2 with the funkier Western-Wa hybrid handle. It filled my long slender-fingered hands ok, tho with a smoothness that might not be great with wet hands. They had a 165 Santoku Hana there to handle. Although the budget red Takamura Migaki might cut the same, I thought that the jewelry Damascus pattern would hide scratches better. My impression of either with the impregnated Pakka wood veneer is that it might not age well? Of course if I went with a traditional Wa handle there would be more choices.

    Finding a 210 Takamura Hana R2 will take some patience? So there isn’t a need to completely decide yet. Another one that keep perking curiosity is Saji R2 costing even more with an even more rounded handle and squared bolster for unknown pinch grip feel. (Hmm ???)

    And then for the teeny galley kitchen, I’m wondering about asking Andrei Markin for a few shorter ones maybe in M390, perhaps 180mm, 165 and 130, with enough heel for my hands. A question would be what handle shape and material would age well?

    Or maybe just start Andrei on a 210 for my regular kitchen instead of the Hana? :) His unique work is cool!
     
  14. Oct 21, 2019 #14

    inferno

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    Kurosaki does r2 really well. imo. also japanesechefsknife.com has their house brand in both western and japanese handles. i have a vortex damascus r2 santoku and its kick ass imo. it basically wedges itself into my board on every cut...

    also akifusa is stainless clad srs15. its another stainless powder hss like r2, not much difference in real life between these 2 steels imo. both are much tougher than one might think. still mode of dulling is by microchipping. and it is what it is. takes and holds a killer edge too imo 4k for both of these is a good stopping point. they respond up to this as opposed to crapola SS.
     
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  15. Oct 21, 2019 #15

    MrHiggins

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    I really liked my Sukenari Hap40, too.
     
  16. Oct 21, 2019 #16

    ralpheburns

    ralpheburns

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    Ahh, choices only if I bust away from Western-handled, hmm... If I did that I might try for Yoshida or Sukenari ZDP-189.... just because I've had that in (softer) folders and loved it!
     
  17. Oct 22, 2019 #17

    Qapla'

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    They absolutely exist with Western handles.

    Western ZDP-189:
    https://www.akifusa.com/products/ohishi/ohishi-zdp189/
    https://www.**************.com/kazdgy21.html

    Western HAP40:
    https://www.**************.com/kohawehakn.html

    Western R2:
    https://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/collections/blazen/products/blazen-ryu-210mm-gyuto
    https://www.**************.com/takamura3.html
    https://www.akifusa.com/products/ohishi/ohishi-classic-powder-metal-damascus/
     
  18. Oct 22, 2019 #18

    SeattleBen

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    I believe epicurean edge also carries the Akifusa with a western handle as well as Ai and Om.
     
  19. Dec 13, 2019 #19

    ralpheburns

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    Hello again KKF !

    I’ve been slow and cautious making a decision, and tentatively narrowed it down to two choices. I could go Yo or Wa, most always pinch-gripping. Would like to get a set of two or three sizes, and I keep my tools for life (or generations). Remember I have large hands with long fingers.

    (1) Takamura Uchigumo in 210, 180 and 130mm if one becomes available. Pluses on these are that the convex grind is a probably a safe bet, and the damascus etch might both hide scratches and help with food release. And there’s a 270 sujihiki if I got addicted…

    (2) Andrei Markin 210, 170, 130mm in M390, no cladding: Would try ordering an upsized version of his Euro-hilt in convex grind.
     

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  20. Dec 13, 2019 #20

    Barmoley

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    I don't get the whole set thing that some people are into, why have all your knives look the same, but ofcourse that's all personal. Andrei is a great guy to work with and his work is exemplary, I would go for option 2.
     
  21. Dec 13, 2019 #21

    LucasFur

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    lol. 270, 210, 180, 130
    Following the sales pitch "A knife for every size of ingredient."

    As a home guy - i do 240, a peeler, some stones. Some call me crazy.
     
  22. Dec 13, 2019 #22

    Barmoley

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    :Iagree: oh and you are crazy......

    you need 20 or so 240s and a peeler
     
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  23. Dec 13, 2019 #23

    daddy yo yo

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    Seriously? You must be kidding! How can one survive with only 20 240s???
     
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  24. Dec 13, 2019 #24

    ralpheburns

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    Yessir.... home cook and back in the day I was enthusiastic - did weekly winter dinner parties for an average head count around 30, with each meal out-doing the last... I owned one slicer, one paring and did it all in a tiny kitchen. Now? Kinda burned out, have a big kitchen and still just one 210 and the same paring knife. This all started because I recently got my daughter a J-knife for her birthday and thought... "now why don't I still have a decent one?"

    210: for me
    180: only maybe. some people prefer small.
    120: just because

    I'll end up with a couple more because I'm slowly building up a Sprinter camper van with nice cabinet work and will get a knife or two for that tiny galley (maybe shorter ones will work nicer in smaller quarters).

    I tend to keep tools for life / generations.
     
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  25. Dec 13, 2019 #25

    Barmoley

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    That's why I said 20 or SO:upsidedownspin:

    I still say get a really nice main knife, especially since you keep them forever, then decide on the rest. Some series and even custom makers are best at some types of knives, but not always others. Mixing and matching best from different makers is OK.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2019
  26. Dec 13, 2019 #26

    ralpheburns

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    Gotcha. I was only thinking three all at once if I ordered from Andrei since he's a moving target. I can get a Uchigumo 210 ordered today...
     
  27. Dec 14, 2019 #27

    inferno

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    240ies are peelers too. you only need 240ies.
     
  28. Dec 14, 2019 #28

    inferno

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    i completely agree. get 1 really really good and nice knife. then take it from there.
     
  29. Dec 14, 2019 #29

    LucasFur

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    Exactly .. 25 240’s and a couple peelers to rotate out of the dish washer.

    Very easily. It’s great. I pick up 1 knife and use it AWWWWW NIGHHT LONG.

    It’s slower and more waste. Apples I use gyuto carrots peeler is way more efficient.
     
  30. Dec 14, 2019 #30

    ralpheburns

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    I've never handled the Taka Uchi, but got word that the handle is essentially the same small size as the Taka red Migaki, which I have handled (and Hana, which had good volume). True or no? If so, that's not for my hands that can palm a basketball.

    So then it's Andrei Markin M390 with his Euro-hilt that he says can be made more voluminous. Will ask for 210 x ~48 x ~2.25mm blade. I'm kinda ignorant of the grind types - what should I ask for? Is there a happy medium between thickness, surface finish, and grind for food release? A symmetrical convex like the Takamuras? And what surface finish that will hold up over years or that I can redo if it gets scratched up? Or leave it up to Andrei to do what he's best at?

    I've returned to scrubbing carrots with a stiff brush for a rustic presentation, plus it's quick.
     

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