What were your first three and last three J-knives acquired?

Discussion in 'The Kitchen Knife' started by DitmasPork, Jan 31, 2019.

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  1. Jan 31, 2019 #1

    DitmasPork

    DitmasPork

    DitmasPork

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    The other night I was looking over all the J-knives acquired—trying to decide which are surplus to requirements that might be headed to BST.

    I began to analyze the chronology of knife purchases within the context of how my tastes in knives have evolved. My knife preferences have been defined over the last six years through a combination of how I cook, what on trend, personal aesthetic, etc.

    My first three J-knives were western handled, two out of three were stainless. Of the three, the Masamoto is always in the kitchen, used quite regularly.

    Since the first three, it's been almost all carbon, all wa handles except for a honsuke, hankotsu, and two western handled sujis.

    My tastes have transitioned from the sleekness on UX10 to more rustic knives like Mazaki and Kochi. Since I sharpen my own knives, carbon is easier for me. Aesthetically, I'm not much for bling—well designed, utilitarian knives are where I'm at. Tastes are very subjective—there're a bunch of highly regarded knives that just didn't do it for me, like Gengetsu, Konosuke Fujiyama, UX10—all good knives, it's not them, it's me.

    Curious on how other KKFers' collections have developed. What major changes in taste have you experienced in going from point A to B?


    MY FIRST THREE, 2012–2013

    240mm Masamoto HC Gyuto, western-handle
    Source: Korin
    Influences/Why I pulled the trigger: Chatter on ChefTalk; dialoguing with Korin staff, handling the knife.

    240mm Misono UX10 gyuto, western-handle
    Source: JCK
    Influences/Why I pulled the triggerr: Chatter on ChefTalk; online research.

    240mm Gesshin Kagero gyuto, western-handle
    Source: JKI
    Influences/Why I pulled the trigger: Dialoguing with Jon at JKI on the by phone.

    =======================

    MY LAST THREE, 2018

    220mm Mazaki gyuto, wa-handle
    Source: Clean Cut
    Influences/Why I pulled the trigger: Loved my 245 Mazaki, wanted a smaller version.

    240mm Gesshin Heiji SS sujihiki, wa-handle
    Source: JKI
    Influences/Why I pulled the trigger: Dialoguing with Jon at JKI on the by email; 20% off sale at JKI; already have two 270 sujis, wanted a smaller one; Labor on KKF messaged me about the 240 Heiji suji he was getting.

    135mm Wakui Petty, wa-handle
    Source: Bernal
    Influences/Why I pulled the trigger: Dig Sanjo made knives, wanted a petty to go with my Mazaki.
     
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  2. Jan 31, 2019 #2

    Elliot

    Elliot

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    This sounds like a lot of fun!

    So, overall, I am very new to this whole thing, though I have started with a bang and see no slowing in sight.
    In terms of what has changed, I think there are a few things.

    1. I have clearly crossed into the semi-collector. I use all of my blades, but I am home cook that normally cooks for one or two max. As such, having 25-30 high-end knives is sort of ridiculous if we're talking just about cooking needs.

    2. Not wasting time on the small stuff. There is nothing wrong with some of the names I am about to drop, but again, I am not just interested in good cutters. As such, I don't have anything from Wakui or a Wat gyuto. Fabulous cutters by every single account I have heard. However, as a home cook, I have to ask, would I reach for it before the Shig Kitaeji or Kato? Probably not.

    There's surely more, but I assume no one wants the story of my knife life, so on to the record.


    MY FIRST THREE, 2017, all from Koki at JCK


    240mm Hattori Forum Series
    Influences/Why I pulled the trigger: Chatter and wanting a solid, somewhat low maintenance start

    150mm Misono UX10 petty
    Influences/Why I pulled the triggerr: Also chatter and maintenance, but wanting to try the whole petty thing that seemed to be a really big deal

    270mm Misono Dragon Suji,
    Influences/Why I pulled the trigger: Everything I read was saying that a suji was the missing link. Went economical and for my first carbon.

    =======================

    I have been going a bit crazy, so I will focus on the last three that entered my house and not what is either en route or on order.

    MY LAST THREE, 2019

    240mm Gesshin Heiji
    Source: JKI
    Influences/Why I pulled the trigger: Heiji is just one of those names I knew I wanted to own. Figured going through Jon would improve F&F and allow me to get something that isn't as much of a carrot cracker.

    210mm Gesshin Kageikyo petty Aogami 1
    Source: JKI
    Influences/Why I pulled the trigger: Well, I wanted to try a long petty that could double as short suji. I already own some Kagekiyo and know that F&F is pretty much the absolute best in the game. Add in the incredible steel and it was a done deal.

    235mm Comet W2 honyaki
    Source: Carbon
    Influences/Why I pulled the trigger: Among my main goals this year is to try a lot of the non-Japanese makers. Trey is about as nice a guy as they come and I heard only good things about his product. It exceeded already very high expectations.

    For fun, I am expecting three to four new knives in a relatively short amount of time. In order:

    - Yoshikane 240mm Shiroagmi #2 from Carbon
    - Kenji Togashi Aogami #1 honyaki, aka "The James."
    - Bryan Raquin Suji, 360mm (not a typo -- monster suji).
     
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  3. Jan 31, 2019 #3

    DitmasPork

    DitmasPork

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    Wow! Some awesome knives in 2019, just one month in. At that rate you'll have 36 knives by year's end! BTW, I saw that Comet on Carbon's instagram, what a beaut.
     
  4. Jan 31, 2019 #4

    gman

    gman

    gman

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    First three (2014-2015)

    240mm Masakage Koishi Gyuto - Aogami Super
    150mm Masakage Koishi Petty - Aogami Super

    Bought these at the same time to replace Henckels chef's knife and utility knife. I thought they looked cool and my limited knowledge of steel options at the time suggested that AS had a good balance of toughness vs sharpness.

    300m Masakage Koishi Sujihiki - Aogami Super

    Was happy with the first 2, and I must admit, I like things that match.

    Last three (2018)


    180mm Kurosaki Sesame Gyuto - R2
    Bought this for my wife because she was using my petty for everything, but still afraid to use a bigger gyuto. I use it from time to time and it's actually a very handy addition, and much easier to sharpen than any stainless I've used before.

    165mm Kitaoka Suminagashi Deba - Shirogami #?
    240mm Kitaoka Suminagashi Yanagiba - Shirogami #?

    Bought these after getting to a point where I felt pretty confident in my sharpening abilities and was buying whole fish instead of pre-blocked. As expected for a single bevel at this price point, the grinds weren't perfect, but a few hours on the stones cleaned them up nicely. Decided on a shorter yanagiba because when i cut sushi with my 300mm suji I was able to do so without using the full length. I still like things that match. One question I have, is does anybody know for sure which steel these are? The place I bought them from lists them as white #2, but another retailer lists them as white #1. I will say they sharpen up very easily, to a ridiculous edge, so I suspect the latter.
     
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  5. Jan 31, 2019 #5

    Elliot

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    That isn't even all of 2019 :)

    I've gone a bit nuts.
     
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  6. Jan 31, 2019 #6

    mikaelsan

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    I'm a very budget oriented guy, the forementioned tanaka is the most expensive knife in my block. Im starting to find it hard to justify getting more knives for now

    first three: i think all was 2017 maybe one was 2018
    Tadafusa 210 nashiji
    i've always been a sucker for bang for buck, and cheap but good solutions, at i think around 100 euros this felt like a no brainer at the time. I found out since then that its a little short for my taste, otherwise balanced enough, for the one stop knife it was supposed to have been.

    unknown 165 Kuro ochi nakiri knife blank, white paper, iron clad.
    I wanted to put some sentimental value into a knife, instead i got a knife i have learned alot with, burning in handles, thinning, removing the concavity in the bevel, also gave an idea of how knives are finished.

    Tadafusa 240 nashiji suji
    this is one of my first "knife crushes", that and the tojiro shippu, but i never acted on that one. i found that a slicer is not just a slicer, and i might be more into western handled knives for carving specifically. I'm still trying to adjust my style, but i find my self often reaching for another knife for carving.

    Last three knives:

    Tadafusa damascus white santoku:
    Im a bit of a fanboy of the tadafusas i guess, and i loved this when it became available, purchased it strictly as a "knife crush", but its nice to have something to reach for when im in the mood for something short, thin and light. I was not overly thrilled with the profile of the knife though, so i removed some steel behind the tip, and removed some of the belly so its fairly flat now, i really dont think alot of belly makes sense for a santoku, at least not with my cutting style. I love it though, nice core steel, easy to sharpen, very thin after i thinned it and nimble of course.

    Tadafusa Sld nakiri:
    Yes im a bit of a fan boy, but this knife was also something i stumbled upon while actually looking for a new nakiri, and one of the best options i could personally find for my needs, which was: very little distal taper, not too much change in blade height, medium heavy. I got this out of these specifications because i wanted something very specific in terms of feel and balance of the knife. And of course i wanted to see what what all the fuss about SLD was about, and needed a stainless knife i could reach for when i was in the mood

    Tanaka wa VG10 damascus 210
    The 185 vg10 yo handled tanaka was one of the first knives i purchased, and likely is the best knife i had owned up to this point, but i found that the handle style did not fit me, so this was a direct replacement for it.
    why this specific model? because i liked the convex nice grind of the yo handled version and wanted something like it, i knew this was going to be a little thinner, so it would not be exactly the same, but then again i also knew it was going to be closer to 50mm which was very nice. It was a ***** to find anywhere, and if metal master had the 185 version available i would have gotten that instead. Its not really been put through the paces yet, just prepared a single meal with it so far, but i love it so far. And feel much more of an itch to reach for it then the western version, so it was a success so far.

    Im guessing that knives you made yourself does not count? otherwise the two gyuto's i made recently would have been on this list as well.
    Its really nice to know exactly what you want in a knife when you make one yourself, i made one s-ground 190, which i left relatively thick, non j-knives users would still consider it very thin. This is my potato knife, i do a lot of potatoes.
    The other i just finished, a 200, hefty and thin asymmetrical convex, close to but not laser grind, 50mm tall, 188 grams, low tip, not too curvy, but still mostly a continues curve.

    And screw punctuation. Baby's getting hungry and impatient.
     
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  7. Jan 31, 2019 #7

    GorillaGrunt

    GorillaGrunt

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    First three - Mac 8” dimpled chef, Carbonext 150mm petty, Hiromoto Ginsan 270mm gyuto. Still have the petty, sold the Hiromoto on here and the Mac to a coworker.

    Last three - Takamura Pro 210mm gyuto, Murata 165mm koyanagi, Mazaki 180mm petty. I have a bunch, sold a bunch, and have a long buy queue, lots still to try!
     
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  8. Jan 31, 2019 #8

    alterwisser

    alterwisser

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    First three were all Kobayashi ...

    That's what they had at the knife store across the street from us ...

    1) Kobayashi Santoku, White with stainless cladding

    Still have it, won't ever sell it. Was a present from wifey (I am sure she has regretted that decision multiple times over). Got it rehandle by Tony Laseur. Did a killer job like he did with every rehandle and the customs I got from him...

    2) Kobayashi Petty

    Nothing special ... still have it though

    3) Kobayashi 180ish Gyuto, low layer "Damascus"

    Gave it to my cousin. It was the extension of my entry drug and I had no clue ...

    The whole madness really kicked into full gear when I moved to the US ... and then some when I became a father a year later ...


    Last three

    3) Kamon 250 S-Grind with Blue/Greenish Maple Burl handle and Mokume Ferrule/end cap. Up and coming Austrian maker, maybe my favorite maker right now.

    2) Dalman Carbon Petty

    Sold mine last year, regretted it almost instantly and was able to chase one down to re-buy it. I don't think I'll ever sell a Dalman again. Will buy more though ...

    1) Raquin 205ish Gyuto

    Got it of BST here recently. Wanted to try another Raquin. Have a third one coming soon. Only one will stay. Probably not this one ...


    EDIT: Ooops, I didn't realize it said J KNIVES ... ok ... my bad ... haven't bought J knives in a while ...
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2019
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  9. Jan 31, 2019 #9

    DitmasPork

    DitmasPork

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    I wouldn't jump to label your knives as a budget kit—they're at a higher price point that most people spend on knives, some pro cooks I know use knives in the $70–$150 range. I feel that much J-knives are luxury items. At the end of day they're tools. It's like a car—can it get you to your destination without breaking down?

    I cherish my Heiji suji and Shig yanagiba, have put them to good use—but in a pinch, my Wustof, Mac or Mercer are more than capable of slicing up a big chunk of ahi into a respectable platter of sashimi.
     
  10. Jan 31, 2019 #10

    Jon-cal

    Jon-cal

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    First 3 (2018):
    Anryu B2 240 gyuto
    Anryu B2 150 petty
    Konosuke SS 270 Suji

    Last 3 (2018/2019):
    JNS Mazaki 270 gyuto (one of my favorites)
    Daovua 240 leaf spring gyuto (really cheap but interesting)
    Shigehiro 270 gyuto (on the way)

    I very quickly turned to all carbon, but if I look back for trends my knives are definitely getting bigger and heavier.
     
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  11. Jan 31, 2019 #11

    DitmasPork

    DitmasPork

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    Carbon just feels right to me. I've looks at Daovua many times, not because I want it, but mainly because it's so dang cheap—it's like when the meat market has chicken drumsticks selling for 69 cents a pound, gotta grab five dollars worth!
     
  12. Jan 31, 2019 #12

    childermass

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    I will just leave the cheap lefty set from Watanabe out of this, these would have been my first five but I consider them to be more of an interest buy than something really meaningful.

    So first three, all Watanabe all together 2014:
    165 Standard Kurouchi Nakiri
    240 pro Sujihiki
    180 pro Kaibou (this one was sold this month and returned to me because the buyer was intimidated by its size and weight )

    Last three December 2018 until today:
    180 Wakui Gyuto (sold to daddy yo yo and immediately replaced by...)
    210 Tesshu forged by Wakui Gyuto
    150 Watanabe custom hammer finished kurouchi Kaisaki (purchased today, will receive it in about a month I guess)

    I haven’t bought knives over a long time but after getting on this forum last year things have gone wild again .
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2019
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  13. Jan 31, 2019 #13

    Nemo

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    I think that my collection revolves around exploring the performance differences between different grinds and steels/ HTs.

    My first 3 (2016):
    Akifusa 210 (SRS15). My only 210. Now a 207, unfortunately. On the upside, I still have all of my fingers .
    Ryusen Blazen 240 (SG2). Beautifully finished and balanced knife.
    Yoshikane Tsuchime SKD 240 (thicker vesion). A great workhorse.

    My last 3 (2018):
    Kippington laser 240 (1095 IIRC). Wickedest taper of all.
    Wakui Tsuchime 240 (shiroko2). Thicker grind, which is different to what I was expecting. Still trying to decide whether it is a great workhorse.
    Sukenari 270 k-tip (YXR7). Wanted to try this steel. Mainly gets used as a slicer. Gets treated pretty rough and hasn't chipped. Given its toughness, I was worried it would be difficult to deburr, but it wasn't difficult at all.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2019
  14. Jan 31, 2019 #14

    Xenif

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    This sounds fun!
    Early 2018
    First three:
    1) Hiromoto Gin-3 270: ended up a tad big for my small kitchen. I keep it around and I use it to break down bigger fish, tough melons, and the undead. Great story though, was looking to get a Kono petty from BST, was mins late, but he offered me this knife at crazy low price. Which pulled me into KKF and here I am today.
    2) Tanaka Gin-3 Petty: great little knife, used daily for all the small things, anything under 10 cuts. Recommended to me by KKF
    3)Tanaka 240 KU: my first real carbon knife. Used mostly for testing stones since I know it the best. Also recommend by KKF.

    Last three:
    Late 2018
    1) Hinoura W#1 Nakiri: steel is sublime, grind and shape is love/hate for me, but I seem to enjoy it more each time I use it, werid eh? Love the purple heart/Mahogany handle.
    2) Mazaki W2 KU Nakiri: because I can't afford a Kato ...
    3)Yu Kurosaki AS mini Chuka: I miss using my CCK #4 a lot, but wanted way better cutting performance, so in comes this knife

    Technically I also bought a Foster Bros cleaver from Dave, but it's not a jknife and I don't have it yet so it doesn't count
     
  15. Jan 31, 2019 #15

    Jon-cal

    Jon-cal

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    The Daovua is surprisingly good. It sharpens up really easily and is super thin. It’s a little rough of course but by no means uncomfortable to use. But yeah, price is the main reason to look at those. I just wanted to try something a little different
     
  16. Jan 31, 2019 #16

    Elliot

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    That Hinoura from JCK? I have been looking at the W #1 he carries.
     
  17. Jan 31, 2019 #17

    bprescot

    bprescot

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    Okay, so we need to define J-knives.

    First three mainstream J-knives 2008 (wedding registry)

    Shun 8" Chef
    Shun 7" Santoku
    Shun Baby Nakiri

    Before these, not only did I not know about knives I didn't know how to cook. My cooking involved trying to pan fry everything and make it tasty by adding Knorr seasoning. Chicken Breasts were raw in the middle. Onions were things that made you cry and were to be avoided. Vegetables all tasted better raw, so why would I cook them? And besides, recipes were horrible. I never had the right ingredients and they were all terribly fussy and they never turned out right...

    I still have these knives, because, for me, they were the turning point. They were the nicest things I ever owned and, to my eye back then, gorgeous. So I strove to be worthy of them. My first meal I tried to cook with them I jokingly made Bell Peppers and Beef for my wife (Cowboy Bebop shoutout!). It turned out pretty good, and goodness... i didn't even use a recipe. "Wait a second," I said. "You can just use your brain and taste buds to make stuff based upon what you think is PROBABLY the way to do something?!?!" So I stopped looking for recipe books and started looking for cooking books.

    These knives were the thing that most changed my culinary outlook. I wanted to be in the kitchen with them, so it forced me to get good in the kitchen. In that sense they were the best knives I ever owned.


    First three KnifeNut Knives 2009

    Hiromoto AS Santoku
    Kanemasa E-Series 240 gyuto (I still love the profile of this knife, so much so that it's still in rotation sporting a handle by Dave in curly mango).
    Shigeki Tanaka Damascus 240 gyuto in vg10 (oooooohhh DAMASCUS..... and HEY it's the same steel as the Shuns, so it's GOT go be good!)

    I knew nothing. Ppl recommended them. I bought them. I was blown away. They were actually better than Shuns! But then they dulled... so I had to learn to get them sharp. Wait, there are better ways to sharpen than an Arkansas stone?


    Last Three All 2019

    Gengetsu 240mm Gyuto - Wanted to try one for forever. Saw one on BST and I have poor impulse control.
    Tosa-ichi 240mm Gyuto- Trying to find a replacement for a Sakai Yusuke Extra Thin White 2 I picked up way back in the day. Gonna see how these are. Blueway has had some great bargains in the past. Let's try it.
    Ginga 240mm gyuto (extra thin) - Trying to find a replacement for a Sakai Yusuke Extra Thin White 2 I picked up way back in the day. Gonna see how these are. Blueway has had some great bargains in the past. Let's try it.

    2019 is, for me, re-examining the laser market. I hadn't bought a new knife or kept up with offerings since about 2012 so a lot has changed. Gonna be doing a lot of catch and release of things so you'll be seeing a bunch of these for sale on the boards pretty soon. Not the Gengetsu. I like that one too much.


    Asking how taste has changed since these purchases though is asking for a synopsis of 10 years of using and abusing cutlery. I prefer carbon now, I prefer lasers except when I don't, I prefer a flat profile, I prefer a chinese cleaver a LOT more often than I used to. I prefer things with a story. I now believe that a knife comes from a factory, a blade comes from a smith and while I like both I only treasure one. I know how much I don't know but no longer feel the need to learn it.
     
  18. Jan 31, 2019 #18

    Xenif

    Xenif

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    Yeah
     
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  19. Jan 31, 2019 #19

    wind88

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    2015
    1st: Konosuke HD2 240 gyuto after research and talking with folks at Tosho
    2nd: Ashi Ginga Petty 120 because I want a paring to complete the set
    3rd: Konosuke HD2 180 petty thinking I need something inbetween

    2018-2019
    Last: Maz 240 off BST to find out what the hype is all about
    2nd last: Konosuke swedish suji 270 off BST because I want a suji and price was really good
    3rd last: Toyama 150 petty off BST because I want a mini gyuto and price was really good
     
  20. Jan 31, 2019 #20

    tgfencer

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    Hmm, this takes me back.

    First three (all departed) :
    -Masakage Koshi 240 gyuto
    -Kono Fujiyama 210 gyuto
    -Nameless cheap nakiri

    Most recent:
    Raquin gyuto (#3, though one is now gone)
    A few nameless single bevels
    Catcheside gyuto (#3)
     
  21. Jan 31, 2019 #21

    DitmasPork

    DitmasPork

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    Geez, they're some really cool knives in peoples' kits—of those mentioned, two that've been on my bucket list are Comet and Benjamin Kamon.

    Personally I feel that there are certain knives that everyone should own—even if they sell them on—if only because they are often referenced, and classics to me. My list of must experience would include: Watanabe, Masamoto KS, a Konosuke Laser, etc. All fairly accessible.
     
  22. Jan 31, 2019 #22

    Elliot

    Elliot

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    I only have the one Comet. . . but. . . GOD DAMN. Will post photos from my phone in a sec.
     
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  23. Jan 31, 2019 #23

    Elliot

    Elliot

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    Comet 235 W2 honyaki.
    Big time babe.
     

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  24. Jan 31, 2019 #24

    Elliot

    Elliot

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    Hell of a start with a Koishi and Fuji!
     
  25. Jan 31, 2019 #25

    Jon-cal

    Jon-cal

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    Ok, I’m going to revise my last 3. The Daovua is Vietnamese so doesn’t qualify as a j-knife. Should’ve read the rules!

    Last 3:
    Hitohira Tanaka-Kyuzo 240 gyuto
    JNS Mazaki 270 gyuto
    Shigehiro 270 gyuto
     
  26. Jan 31, 2019 #26

    Elliot

    Elliot

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    That Shigehiro looks gorgeous! If I didn't already have two knives from Ikeda, I would grab that up in a hot second. Have only heard incredible things.
     
  27. Jan 31, 2019 #27

    bprescot

    bprescot

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    Once I'm fully unpacked (in the middle of renovation right now), to the extent that I have some that you just want to try out, I'm happy to send them over for you to get a feel for 'em. But when you inevitably make one of your killer looking meals with one of em, we get pics and the recipe!
     
  28. Jan 31, 2019 #28

    DitmasPork

    DitmasPork

    DitmasPork

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2012
    Messages:
    1,382
    Location:
    BROOKLYN, NY
    Daovua is as much a J-knife as Comet, Shi Han, Carter, Dalman, Tsourkan, et al. It's a Vietnamese made J-knife, hence the knife shapes that are gyuto, santoku, nakiri, etc.
     
  29. Jan 31, 2019 #29

    Jon-cal

    Jon-cal

    Jon-cal

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2018
    Messages:
    248
    Yeah I’m really looking forward to that one getting here. I haven’t tried anything by Ikeda yet.

    Fair enough!
     
  30. Jan 31, 2019 #30

    labor of love

    labor of love

    labor of love

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2011
    Messages:
    7,356
    My first 3:
    Tojiro DP 240mm
    Loved it. It was a very nice transitional knife from the Globals I used up until this point.
    Fujiwara 240mm
    Thought it was just okay. Good for the price.
    Mac Pro 270mm
    This knife completely overshadowed the tojiro and Fujiwara. Blade felt thinner, moved through food with relative ease unlike anything I’ve used up until this point(2010). I loved the reach of 270mm gyuto and I only used 27mm gyutos for the next 3 years. Still my fave western handle of all time.
    My most recent 3 purchases
    Wakui hairline 240mm suji
    My favorite budget knife along w Kaeru. Plenty of thinness, does everything I could possibly ask a thin knife to do.
    Kippington 250mm laser
    Still quite new but I love love love sharpening it! Feels so smooth on the stones and takes a wicked edge, makes me rethink wanting jhonyakis altogether honestly. It’s quite thin 25-30mm above the edge but still has plenty of weight and thickness from handle area to the spine. Plus weighs Atleast 180grams so it doesn’t feel wimpy. Incredible pine handle...I didn’t even realize pine handles were a thing.
    Yoshikane SLD 240mm western
    (See the konosuke YS thread)
    I’ve already spammed the forum enough about this knife.

    Parting thoughts: I’m increasingly becoming more interested in stainless and western handles not unlike how I was when I initially got into jknives. The difference is now I have a larger budget.
     
    Kippington and Nemo like this.

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