Quantcast

What are Your Game Changing Knives?

Kitchen Knife Forums

Help Support Kitchen Knife Forums:

mr drinky

Founding Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2011
Messages
3,544
Reaction score
13
I was thinking today about the evolution of my knives, skills (cutting and sharpening), and what types of knives I like now. In my rather short 'knife-life', I have had a few knives that changed how I think, so here they are:

(1) Mr. Tanaka 165mm Damascus Santoku. It is still the most beautiful blade I have, and it was the knife that made me take up sharpening.

(2) DT ITK 270mm Gyuto. It is big, but it doesn't feel big and I still use it often and for small jobs, and the edge lasted forever.

(3) Carter 6.7 sun SFGZ. It was small, light, and thin and felt strange in my hand, but it is now my favorite knife in the kitchen.

k.
 

G-rat

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 14, 2011
Messages
255
Reaction score
0
My first real Japanese knife (first I bought was a shun yanagiba) was my Moritaka chukabocho. Completely altered my understanding of sharp. Could last and last as a cutting tool. Sure the grind is a little off but I will never ever sell it. It is beautiful and incredibly useful.
 

Lefty

Canada's Sharpest Lefty
Founding Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2011
Messages
5,504
Reaction score
2
8" Henkels Chef knife that I inherited from my Dad. I don't care who you are, you'll probably have a soft spot for a late 70s Henckels. It's actually a great knife.

210 Misono moly gyuto. I discovered what thin Japanese steel was all about. It changed my perspective more than the Konosuke white 2 laser gyuto did. The jump from German to J-Knife was almost impossible to comprehend at the beginning.

5.2 sun Murray Carter SFGZ funayuki. All I can say is, if you have never used a Carter, you have to. They're that good!
 

ecchef

Staff member
Founding Member
Global Moderators
Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2011
Messages
5,878
Reaction score
168
Location
MCAS Miramar
+1 one the Carter. Still in my top 3.
 

mhlee

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2011
Messages
1,787
Reaction score
0
1. Global G-2 Chef Knife. I learned that my Wusthof and Dexter Chinese Cleavers were so heavy compared to this knife.

2. Hiromoto AS 240 rehandled and sharpened by Dave Martell. I learned just how sharp a knife could get when sharpened by someone who knows what they're doing. (I still don't know what I'm doing.)

3. Devin Thomas 240 Western. Not my favorite knife in certain ways, but I learned how important the grind is to a knife and that a well ground knife makes a good cutting knife. It's a superior cutter to the Hiromoto.

4. 5.4 Sun Carter SFGZ Riveted Handle Funayuki (White Steel). Bigger blade isn't necessarily better and add a good grind to excellent steel and you get a fantastic cutting knife. The DT is a little smoother of a cutter, but the Carter is significantly thinner and stiff - it just feels better.
 

stereo.pete

Founding Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2011
Messages
2,270
Reaction score
1
My Shigefusa opened my eyes to how a knife should feel and perform.
 

AFKitchenknivesguy

Been at this...not long enough
Joined
Apr 25, 2011
Messages
1,681
Reaction score
855
Location
SE Pennsylvania
This may sound weird, but my Kramers are my first high end/great knives I ever bought. I just didn't get the order until years later. When I first saw them online, I placed an order within minutes.

Watanabe gyuto was the first knife I bought and held were I said out loud holy sh%t!

I am gonna jump on the Carter bandwagon, it's the first knife I used where I could never go back to consumer knives.
 

Wagstaff

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2011
Messages
142
Reaction score
1
My first good knives were just lucky for me -- an romantic interest, a woolly-headed (in my case) wish for carbons and "old things" -- I learned to cut with Sabatier "Nogents". My father had a super-thin Carbon Sab (no idea what maker -- that had long been worn off by the time I was allowed to play with knives).

A Mac Professional 9.5 chef's was the real entree into Japanese knives, and that wasn't very long ago. That and discussion boards, when I started "researching" what I had with the Nogents. But I don't own a Mac. My first J-knife purchases were recent. The Yoshihiro got me to prefer wa-handles and their associated lightness. So that's a game-changer. And my most recent petty -- a first "laser", is the Gesshin Ginga 210mm petty. Freaks me out how sharp it is, how light it is, how thin it is.

Those are the four. Or five if you count my father's.
 

echerub

Founding Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2011
Messages
1,979
Reaction score
0
A Tanaka VG10 240 gyuto hooked me forever on nice gyutos. I couldn't go back to German chef knives after that. I still love to use it.

A Takeda 240-ish gyuto got me onto carbon steel. I'll still use stainless or semi-stainless, but rarely. It's still my most-used gyuto though I have others to choose from now.

A CCK carbon steel cleaver got me onto using chinese cleavers. It was the first time I really enjoyed using a cleaver, changing my thoughts about cleavers completely - I'd grown up thinking all cleavers felt as cruddy as the $10 stainless slabs that my family's kitchen always had. This one, unfortunately, doesn't see much use anymore as other cleavers came along.

A Shimatani yanagi opened my eyes to the fun and joy of using single bevels. Too bad I cracked the poor thing while learning to sharpen it.

My very first and most important game-changer though? My mom's old Henckels 8" chef knife. I learned the fun, enjoyment, and basic skills of cooking with that thing - and I remember I took good care of it, at least based on my knowledge back then.
 

phan1

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2011
Messages
92
Reaction score
0
1) Konosuke HD 270 gyuto. My most used knife that cuts smooth and fast.

2) 300 blue # 2 yanagi. Gives me an edge that is beyond the beyond. I haven't seen many other people's knives but it gives me the sharpest edge I've ever touched in my life.

3) 210 Deba. The "heart" of my knife set. It picks up any work that my other 2 knives can't do, since the others are extremely thin and delicate.
 

chazmtb

Founding Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2011
Messages
506
Reaction score
1
Gyutos:

Tojiro DP 270 First true Japanese gyuto

Hiromoto HC 270. First carbon gyuto I used and wasn't afraid of patina, rust, sharpening scratches. Light, thin laser like.

Yoshikane 240 SKD 11. Awesome knife, first tool steel, semi stainless, that could get really sharp and stay sharp. I wished that I had never sold it (with a Stefan handle no less) trying to chase thinner knives.

Ichimonji Mitsuhide TKC 270. A knife that I always go back to, no matter what other knives I bought, no matter what flavor of the month I was in a kick to buy.
 

Eamon Burke

Banned
Joined
Mar 5, 2011
Messages
4,855
Reaction score
9
My Tanaka Yanagi is the knife that made me think "holy hell this thing is sharp". My first real knife purchase. I marveled at it for a long time...still do, but for the price they sell them at.

But my Tojiro DP 210 that came with it really changed my whole attitude. I was cutting a snapper with it, and focusing on the fish, not the knife. Next thing I know, I've bent the thing like a fillet knife and there's nothing left on the bones that can be scraped with a spoon. I never would have stressed my knife before that, I had that "quality=probably fragile" mentality. Ever since then, I've beat the hell out of it and it's given me back 100%. Ok 80% but still.

The Rader passaround was surprising for me because I was initially very unimpressed with the knife--I didn't like it at all. But to this day, I think about it at work. It had design qualities that are full of character--nonstandard, but full performance, you just have to learn to drive it first.

Then the most recent: My friend's Henckels International Fine Edge Synergy block. I have never used a knife set and been so ready to find the people who made it and slap them. There is not excuse, in 2011, to be putting out ready-made landfill additive like that. There is nothing to be liked about them, and if robots in a factory can make a car part that fits within a tolerance of .002", or make computer parts in a lab with chemical reactions, they can damn sure put out better knives than that for the same money. Absurd. You pay money, and get NOTHING in return. Poor steel, dim-witted design, uncomfortable, absurd looking, bad edge, uneven/sloppy fit, careless finish, 5 even-more-useless knives in the block. Changed my outlook, for sure.
 

NO ChoP!

Old Head
Joined
Apr 11, 2011
Messages
2,726
Reaction score
555
Location
North Carolina
Back in the day, I used to be the guy that sharpened the big plastic handled house knives on an old oil stone. I bought a Henckels chef and parer somewhere in the nineties. Those were game changers for me. I kept 'em sharp, took 'em home every night. I rounded out the collection with other Henckels and Wusthofs including a slicer, utility, bread, cleaver, etc... I thought they where the shizzle probably until 2000'ish, when a new cook from CIA broke out a MAC. Well, I was impressed to say the least. I quickly replaced my German line up with the MACS.

The MACS opened me tro the world of JKnives, and seeing Salty's collection first-hand really rocketed it to a true compulsion!

I would say my love/ hate relationship with the Takeda is what opened my eyes to what a great knife should be.

Although, I use a gyuto more because of its versatility, I really love sujihikis.
 

Cookin808

Active Member
Joined
May 19, 2011
Messages
35
Reaction score
0
Has to be the Takeda 240mm gyuto...Not the prettiest visually, but upon first cut I was amazed at how the blade slid through whatever product I was working with. It is still a go to knife and one that I show to students to demonstrate the benefits of Japanese carbon steel.
 

jaybett

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2011
Messages
526
Reaction score
6
First German Knife - dramatically improved quality of cuts.

First Japanese Knife - A Shun Santuko. It was surprisingly light, and amazingly sharp. I probably would have been satisfied with this knife, except it wasn't good at prepping large amounts of veggies.

Ideal Knife - Cleaver. Short knife, with a long flat edge, which makes it suited to small kitchens. The weight of the blade, assists in the cuts. The height of a cleaver, acts an edge guard, makes horizontal cuts easy, and my favorite, a cleaver can clear a board in one pass.

Jay
 

cnochef

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2011
Messages
618
Reaction score
0
My first and still favorite, Ichimonji 240mm TKC gyuto (love it so much I just bought a used 270 from bishamon). Recently I purchased a Harner parer from Dave at JKS and I feel the same way about it, a truly amazing knife. I will buy another if I can.
 

tk59

Founding Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2011
Messages
4,212
Reaction score
6
I started cooking with an old, cheap but well-designed Sabatier stainless. My first game-changer was a Glestain 240 mm gyuto. It got me thinking about the curvature of the faces of knives and how then affect cutting. That led to the A-type where, I (like some others here) basically ground my own knife in stages trying to find the holy grail of hamaguri edges. After a year of tinkering with the geometry, I had something that continues to hold its own in my rotation. Then I started in with the thin stuff and the DTITK which are great but I can't say they really changed the game. It changed once more with Heiji and Carter which really operate on the same principles the difference being that the Heiji is thicker and heavier (while still being an incredible cutter).
 

karloevaristo

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 19, 2011
Messages
203
Reaction score
1
+1 Carter SFGZ... it's just crazy good... I'm not really particular with looks... And actually for me it doesn't look bad at all and I don't mind the handle also... the important thing here is that... IT CUTS LIKE A DREAM!!!
 

JBroida

Founding Member
KKF Vendor
Joined
Feb 28, 2011
Messages
6,640
Reaction score
783
Location
Beverly Hills, CA
my suisin inox honyaki... i still love that knife. My favorite knife before that was my blazen.

First game changer for me was my masamoto gyuto.
 

Cadillac J

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2011
Messages
637
Reaction score
4
Global G2 - largest single knife-to-knife performance increase (from crap I had)
Takeda AS - keenest/sharpest/thinnest behind the edge I'd seen at the time
Konosuke - best personal fit ...made me go "oh yeah, this is what I've been waiting for"
 

kalaeb

Banned
Joined
Feb 28, 2011
Messages
2,323
Reaction score
1
I have no game :cry:

But I have lots of nice knives that make it look like I do :D
 

Amon-Rukh

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2011
Messages
299
Reaction score
0
I think like a couple others have posted also, my biggest change came with my first set of decent German knives. The upgrade from stuff purchased off the wall at Target to my Zwilling 4-Stars was the real "wow, this is sooooo much better" moment. After that my mind quickly switched over to "of course there are nicer things out there" mode.
 

jm2hill

Founding Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2011
Messages
541
Reaction score
0
My biggest change was from semistain/stainless to carbon.

I thought my Tojiro's were sharp. Then I saw this SK5 knife on sale and I figured my sister would enjoy it and I would try the steel. Sharpened it up and I was done. Its only carbon from here on out. I spent hours trying to get a tojiro petty to the same level and I couldn't do it. I retired that petty and got myself a gesshin ino petty (white) and a miroshi deba (blue) and love those thing.

Now my next biggest changer will probably be a carbon gyuto and something longer than 210 (DAVE!!!!). Whenever that ones done I think I will be super happy.

My mom's biggest change has to be the Tojiro petty that got retired. She used it for the first time today and texted me today: "OMG -------/ just used a great knife!!!!!". Then informed me of two things: 1) she now understands the obsession 2) that I have consent to replace more of the knives I own so she can get the left overs.

Now if only my GF would consent. Then life would be a dream.
 

Mattias504

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2011
Messages
324
Reaction score
3
The first gyuto i bought other than Shun was a Nenox S-1. I still use it alot to this day and I have been in love with it since I got it. It just feels right.

Game changer. The next game changer was definitely the Heiji gyuto. Perfection IMO...
 

Vertigo

Senior Member/ Internet Hooligan
Banned
Joined
Mar 1, 2011
Messages
1,085
Reaction score
0
A big ugly fat-bellied Shun Classic gyuto. A new employee brought it in and added it to the house stable, and one day I found myself using it to do something stupid, like cut a quesadilla. Kinda took me by surprise, like "wait a second here... this isn't like the other knives..." It performed so much better than anything else I'd seen, that I started to bogart it and hide it in my station. Eventually, curiosity got the best of me and I wrote down the model number and went on the internet looking for better stuff.

16 months and a lot of money later, I still bogart the thing and hide it in my station whenever I can't use my personal knives.
 

deanb

Founding Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2011
Messages
198
Reaction score
8
Suisin Inox Honyaki Wa gyuto (270 mm) and Bob Kramer 9" chef's knife.
 

Wagstaff

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2011
Messages
142
Reaction score
1
A big ugly fat-bellied Shun Classic gyuto. A new employee brought it in and added it to the house stable... {snip}...

16 months and a lot of money later, I still bogart the thing and hide it in my station whenever I can't use my personal knives.
Yeah, 'cause if there's one thing I know about you, it's how much you "love" that big, curvy, exaggerated German profile....
 

apicius9

Das HandleMeister
Founding Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2011
Messages
3,953
Reaction score
8
A few steps for me. Decided to get a good knife at age 19 when I moved to do my civil service, and I got a Henckels 23cm chef's knife - some distant relative worked there, and I got a 40% discount. I made use of that for a few more knives and was happy except for the fact that I never got them as sharp as I thought they should be. The next step was when I was cooking with a friend who had just gotten a complete block of Globals for Christmas - quite a difference to the thick German knives. Picked up a few cheaper Japanese knives that weren't all that convincing until I got a Watanabe kuro-uchi nakiri on sale somewhere - that opened the world of custom knives to me (even if the Watanabe was from the standard line). I then had a Hiro AS 240 rehandled by Fish, which spoiled me on the side of esthetics, and around the same time ordered a 285 suji from Murray which was my first full custom knife. Not much looking back after that...

Stefan
 
Top