What took you a while to learn about your knife preferences?

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This is an interesting question to me because of what I (eventually) learned about my knife preferences: that I prefer heavy knives. Thin behind the edge, though not so thin as some here favor, but heavy. It might be a cleaver guy thing.

Any 270mm or 300mm knife, no problem.

Almost any 240, short of super-lasers like Takamura, sure.

Shorter than that, and my preferred knife starts looking a little odd: Wide bevels, thick in the spine, weighing more than 200 grams. Gotta have that weight, to really resonate with the knife.

For some reason, petty knives, including suji/petty, are exempt from this rule.
 
I bought a Takamura Chromax 210mm. Didn't take long to realize the size was lacking.

Then got an Ikazuchi 240mm. Much better size.

Tried some different knives in pass arounds. Got a custom 230mm. Realized I liked heavier knives. Bought a Heiji 240mm. Weight felt better. Length still not quite there.

Custom ordered a 265mm. Found what I wanted! Now I just use big knives and a 165mm Nakiri. Sometimes a stainless petty. Gotten used to using a knife that's 260mm+ for the majority of cutting, including working on the line of the restaurant.
 
This is an interesting question to me because of what I (eventually) learned about my knife preferences: that I prefer heavy knives. Thin behind the edge, though not so thin as some here favor, but heavy. It might be a cleaver guy thing.

Any 270mm or 300mm knife, no problem.

Almost any 240, short of super-lasers like Takamura, sure.

Shorter than that, and my preferred knife starts looking a little odd: Wide bevels, thick in the spine, weighing more than 200 grams. Gotta have that weight, to really resonate with the knife.

For some reason, petty knives, including suji/petty, are exempt from this rule.
Just a suggestion. Are you sure it's not more about balance? In which case getting used to move your grip may help.
 
Just a suggestion. Are you sure it's not more about balance? In which case getting used to move your grip may help.
Yes, I'm sure. I've paid a lot of attention to grip and balance point, but it doesn't have much to do with the weight of the knife helping with the way I like to cut, nor with the solid feeling of cutting with a heavier knife.
 
When I first, first started, I liked them thin. Last year I got some midweights and WHs and that opened my eyes. I've been on the search for the best cutting beasts (that I can afford). It's actually led me to some lesser known smiths and cheaper knives overall (below my average cost). I've hopped on the White 2 train too while delving into this.
I am wary of newer knife makers producing these gorgeous knives with fancy grinds. I've been seduced by a few and been left wanting.
 
I didn’t realize how much I dislike 240s until @jedy617 ’s ill-fated passaround. It just felt like there wasn’t enough knife. It’s tough because that seems to be BST’s favorite length. Even short 270s are a little iffy. Anything below 210 is a petty. And similarly, this doesn’t apply to sujis or single-bevels or rectangles, though a 165 nakiri feels like a child’s knife.
 
Honestly almost everything took forever for me. Takes a while for me to make up my mind whether I like or don't like something. So the whole journey took years. Size still isn't definitively settled; I guess I do well with just about anything from 210-270.
 
Honestly almost everything took forever for me. Takes a while for me to make up my mind whether I like or don't like something. So the whole journey took years. Size still isn't definitively settled; I guess I do well with just about anything from 210-270.
Took me roughly 4 years to figure out my preferences.
 
The biggest issue with figuring out preferences isn't so much the time but the cost. At some point I had to acknowledge that 'figuring out preferences' wasn't going to work with just 1 or 2 good knives. There's no substitute for trying things yourself. No one can tell you whether you'll like a workhorse, a laser, more taper, less taper, monosteel, sanmai, or a certain profile.
 
The biggest issue with figuring out preferences isn't so much the time but the cost. At some point I had to acknowledge that 'figuring out preferences' wasn't going to work with just 1 or 2 good knives. There's no substitute for trying things yourself. No one can tell you whether you'll like a workhorse, a laser, more taper, less taper, monosteel, sanmai, or a certain profile.
Yes! And I think that is someone's signature here on their posts along the lines of 'i won't know unless i try it'. And then, what if you have a bad representation of that sub-category? You get a WH, but the grind stinks, but you shouldn't write off WHs, so you try another. It's difficult and expensive. Then you got to flip a knife you don't like.
 
Short answer, 4 years. I’m still figuring them out honestly, so I'm sure it'll be an indefinite process.
- It took me a couple months to learn length preferences, but it took me a while longer to get comfortable with bigger knives. I've gotten to the point where I can comfortably use 300mm gyuto.
- I require either a laser knife with a thin tip, or a workhorse/heavy weight ONLY if it has a thug-nasty taper. Lean tip is always a must.
- Profile took me the longest to figure out. I like pretty traditional gyuto profiles with really long flat spots and a relatively low tip. It just can’t be so-much-so that it looks like a Santoku.
There’s a bunch more, like overall geometry, but that’s a bit much. These were a few of my biggest learning points and preferences.
 
Similar to many, I started out thin and then went heavy. As a home cook and dad, I’m kinda rough on my knives. I don’t have the time or mental space to constantly wipe down knives or have a perfect mise en place setup

As such, super thin knives that cut extremely well (Birgersson) aren’t my thing right now

I’ve also had to acknowledge that after 27-29 knives, I should focus less on buying knives and more on maintaining them, polishing and / or cleaning them up aesthetically
 
I’ve also had to acknowledge that after 27-29 knives, I should focus less on buying knives and more on maintaining them, polishing and / or cleaning them up aesthetically
Ha, exactly this. I've been acquiring and making a few meals with a knife and then shelf it for the newest shiny thing, rinse and repeat. I'll forget how some knives cut after a bit.

So, a retraction/correction to an earlier statement. I said I've been left wanting with newer makers with shiny knives and interesting curves and I guess I am batting 0.500 with that. One was just 'ok', needs some work, but the second has been absolutely great, the RD Knives Apex Clad damascus. When I first got it, I didn't care for the handle in real life and the grind was not impressed overall, but after using it a bit, it's become one of my favorites. The handle is surprisingly very comfortable in a prolonged pinch and the geometry has been a joy in use. It's a 195 and the balance is right at the end of the handle, so it is exceptionally agile and feels smaller than it is, abs. I was glad I didn't immediately flip it but I kept and used it and it helped realize what I like.

There's a ton of potential questions that could arise from that experience, but the point is, I need to gel with my knives before I dismiss or sell them. There are, of course, some that you immediately know won't work. I need to be a better sharpener.

One other thing that I absolutely hate, most of my impulse buys have turned out to be some of the best acquisitions.
 
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