Which first japanese knives should I buy?

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Neutri

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Hello everyone,
I'm a new knife enthusiast but I don't own a japanese Carbon steel knife yet. I was looking to buy a 210 or 240 kiritsuke for around 200$ and a 130 petty for around 100$. Would you have any recommendations?
I'm not well-versed in knives (yet I hope) so maybe my "requirements" are bad in which case don't hesitate to point them out but I'm looking for carbon steel, I want something that needs maintenance. I want an artisanal knife from a good blacksmith however I have no idea how to thin a knife or to correct grind or fit & finish so something that's not too rough.


So far my research have led me here:


For the kiritsuke I found Shiro Kamo AS 240 Kiritsuke on K&S australia. From my research I gathered that Kamo is very good for their grind and that AS is the best carbon steel when it comes to edge retention and hardness. That's why I looked for it but maybe I put too much focus on the steel? If you have any other recommendation for my price range whatever the steel and finish, I'm open.
1668084575613.png

And for the petty I found Fu-Rin-Ka-Zan White Steel No.1 Series Petty made by TF. I'd have prefered a japanese style handle but apparently the Nashiji ordered directly can be rough. I also looked at Takamura Chromax petty but it's semi-stainless so I don't know if it will patina and it also has a western handle. I don't really mind it because these two artisans are reputable and I prioritize that over the handle.
1668084706126.png

In short for both knives, I'm open to suggestions. I know my budget is small but I'm still hoping I can get what I'm looking for.
Thank you very much for reading and taking the time to help a newbie :)
 

HumbleHomeCook

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Good start, but let's get a little more info. Copy the template from the below thread, paste it in here and fill it out and it will help members give recommendations.

 

Neutri

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Oh ok thanks.
Here goes:
LOCATION

France


KNIFE TYPE
Interested in kiritsuke (k-tip gyuto) 210 or 240mm and a 130mm petty

Are you right or left handed? Right

Are you interested in a Western handle (e.g., classic Wusthof handle) or Japanese handle? Leaning towards Japanese handle but not a priority

Do you require a stainless knife? No

What is your absolute maximum budget for your knife? $200-250 for the kiritsuke and $150 for the petty



KNIFE USE
Do you primarily intend to use this knife at home or a professional environment? Home

What are the main tasks you primarily intend to use the knife for (e.g., slicing vegetables, chopping vegetables, mincing vegetables, slicing meats, cutting down poultry, breaking poultry bones, filleting fish, trimming meats, etc.)? Cutting vegetables in differentt ways manly


Do you have a particular grip that you primarily use? pinch

What cutting motions do you primarily use? depends on the belly of the knive put mainly push cutting

What improvements do you want from your current knife? If you are not replacing a knife, please identify as many characteristics identified below in parentheses that you would like this knife to have.)

I don't have any specfic requirements except for carbon steel and that it can be used ootb



KNIFE MAINTENANCE
Do you use a bamboo, wood, rubber, or synthetic cutting board? Yes

Do you sharpen your own knives? Yes (i'm learning)

Are you interested in purchasing sharpening products for your knives? already have some
 

Neutri

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Thanks to the both of you

Here goes:
LOCATION

France


KNIFE TYPE
Interested in kiritsuke (k-tip gyuto) 210 or 240mm and a 130mm petty

Are you right or left handed? Right

Are you interested in a Western handle (e.g., classic Wusthof handle) or Japanese handle? Leaning towards Japanese handle but not a priority

Do you require a stainless knife? No

What is your absolute maximum budget for your knife? $200-250 for the kiritsuke and $150 for the petty



KNIFE USE
Do you primarily intend to use this knife at home or a professional environment? Home

What are the main tasks you primarily intend to use the knife for (e.g., slicing vegetables, chopping vegetables, mincing vegetables, slicing meats, cutting down poultry, breaking poultry bones, filleting fish, trimming meats, etc.)? Cutting vegetables in differentt ways manly


Do you have a particular grip that you primarily use? pinch

What cutting motions do you primarily use? depends on the belly of the knive put mainly push cutting

What improvements do you want from your current knife? If you are not replacing a knife, please identify as many characteristics identified below in parentheses that you would like this knife to have.)

I don't have any specfic requirements except for carbon steel, that it can be used ootb and from an artisan



KNIFE MAINTENANCE
Do you use a bamboo, wood, rubber, or synthetic cutting board? Yes

Do you sharpen your own knives? Yes (i'm learning)

Are you interested in purchasing sharpening products for your knives? already have some
 

HumbleHomeCook

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Understand that traditional kiritsuke are single bevel knives but the term, along with k-tip, is also widely used with double bevel knives so just be conscious of that when shopping around. I suspect at this price most will be double bevel.

Is your desire for this type knife mostly for the look?
 

Neutri

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Yeah that's what I gathered. But yeah I'm looking for double beveled k-tip gyuto basically.
And yes I already have european chef knives and wanted to change it up
 

Neutri

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Thank you for the suggestion. I came across his knives but it says that his f&f can be rough? So you think that Munetoshi White steel would be better than a Kamo AS or a Moritaka AS?

It's at the very high end of my budget, I'll keep it in mind and browse some other website to see if there is better prices thank you!
 

Neutri

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As for the bunka, I may if my budget is too small for a 240mm knife. Did you have anything in mind?
 

MrHiggins

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And for the petty I found Fu-Rin-Ka-Zan White Steel No.1 Series Petty made by TF. I'd have prefered a japanese style handle but apparently the Nashiji ordered directly can be rough. I also looked at Takamura Chromax petty but it's semi-stainless so I don't know if it will patina and it also has a western handle. I don't really mind it because these two artisans are reputable and I prioritize that over the handle.
View attachment 207684
In short for both knives, I'm open to suggestions. I know my budget is small but I'm still hoping I can get what I'm looking for.
Thank you very much for reading and taking the time to help a newbie :)
I own this knife and liked it enough to get another one for my mom for Christmas. It's my wife's favorite knife. It basically lives on our cutting board and is used for everything from opening packages to slicing cheeses and fruit. Great little knife.
 

Neutri

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Are you talking about the Fu Rin Ka Zan or the Takamura?
 
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You should 100% buy this if you think you can handle a knife with reactive cladding (honestly, not that much different than caring for a carbon/stainless clad knife). Amazing price. Mazaki knives are fantastic.

 

Neutri

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yeah I saw that, it's just a little too expensive for me :/ I'll still contact the seller though. thank you :)
 

Jovidah

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Why the specific 'requirement' for carbon?
And more broadly... why the 'need'; what do you already have and why are you looking to upgrade / what are you hoping to get out of it?
 

Jovidah

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It's complicated a bit by the OP living in France. That also applies to store-bought; there's the issue of potential customs lottery.
 

Neutri

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I want to experience having a carbon steel knife that i can care for? Doesn't really make much sense, I just want something new compared to the stainless steel I have currently. And from what I gather, carbon knives are sharper and easier sharpened (which i wanna learn).
I have cheap European type knives that you can get in any store.
For what I'm hoping to get out of it, I want to up my cooking game and obviously have pretty knives that can last a long time. I enjoy looking at those knives and I don't even have one yet :)
 

Neutri

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I've never taken care of a knife before, so I'm also I'll ruin the knife If i do buy it. And for the budget, It's true my max is 250 but I was more looking to buy one closer to 200 aha which, from the few sells I see on the forums, was the price a couple years ago
 

Neutri

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what's the OP? And what lottery? Sorry I'm really new to all this
 

Jovidah

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I want to experience having a carbon steel knife that i can care for? Doesn't really make much sense, I just want something new compared to the stainless steel I have currently. And from what I gather, carbon knives are sharper and easier sharpened (which i wanna learn).
I have cheap European type knives that you can get in any store.
For what I'm hoping to get out of it, I want to up my cooking game and obviously have pretty knives that can last a long time. I enjoy looking at those knives and I don't even have one yet :)
I think it's often somewhat overstated how much 'better' carbon is. Carbon's main virtue is that it's easier to sharpen, which is especially useful for people who want to practise sharpening. Although you could get that same experience from a cheap carbon knife bought in Europe for 50 bucks.
The idea that they get a lot sharper is IMO somewhat overstated; for kitchen use the difference is negligible when comparing it to quality (semi)stainless steels.
There's also tradeoffs; reactivity might result in a pretty blue patina if you cut the right things, but it might also just turn into ugly brown smudging, brown onions, and be an outright nuisance - especially in iron-clad knives.

Also keep in mind that there's a limit to how much better knives will actually improve your cooking game; a sharp knife will help, but you can get just about any knife sharp, it doesn't have to be an expensive one.

Not that I want to discourage you - but you should be wary of having unrealistic expectations. If you just want to functionally improve your knifegame to become a better cook you don't 'need' to go for a carbon knife.

I've never taken care of a knife before, so I'm also I'll ruin the knife If i do buy it. And for the budget, It's true my max is 250 but I was more looking to buy one closer to 200 aha which, from the few sells I see on the forums, was the price a couple years ago
Honestly it's hard to truly ruin a knife...although you're likely to ruin the aesthethics when you practise sharpening (and thinning) on it.
what's the OP? And what lottery? Sorry I'm really new to all this
OP = Original Poster / thread starter... in this case you. With customs lottery I meant that any knife imported from outside the EU will incure customs fees and extra VAT charged before it gets to you. Unless you're somehow lucky and it slips through. Hence why it's a bit of a lottery; sometimes you get hit by customs, sometimes you don't, but it's worth keeping in mind when buying abroad.
 

Neutri

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I see, thank you for your insights! I know I don't have to, but I'd like to so I have different kind of knives (steel-wise I mean). I also want to get one (the petty is for my partner) just for my personal satisfaction of owning a quality knife. I chose carbon because it's something I don't have and I want to experiment having one. That's all there is to it. I know there are lots of stainless steel knives or Takamura Chromax's knives that are amazing, but it's just a whim of mine. I might get semi-stainless or stainless steels knives later on.

Yeah I use my cheap knives as training knives aha


Oh I didn't know for the customs. Thanks for the warning. Does it applies also for private transactions between non-professionals?
 
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could this be an option?

Stepping away from the k-tip requirement saves you €40
 

Neutri

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Oh nice. Thanks for the suggestion, I'll think about it :)
 
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Another awesome option in your price range. My first gyuto was a Wakui, fantastic knife for the price

 

Infrared

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AT5760

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Both of the knives that you identified in your research are usually thought of as a good value that prioritizes good grind/heat treat over a fancy finish. I'd say go with them and then come back for more recommendations when you decide you want knives 3, 4, 5, and so on.
 
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