You can only pick four... What will it be!?

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Jul 16, 2022
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Hey all!

I used to be a chef and worked in kitchens for years. About 6 years ago I switched to an office job. Sometimes I still fantasize about what knives I would pick if I had to fill my knife roll and work in a pro environment again.

So I thought, Let's make a topic about this! :D

Here's the rules:
1) You're only allowed to pick four knives! Make sure you can do as many tasks as possible with the kit you choose.
2) It's got to be knives that you have in your collection! (Only exception for people who don't own four knives, they can choose their dream knives)
3) Write a little bit about each knife. Why you chose it and what tasks you will use it for.
4) No bashing on peoples picks. Everyone is allowed to have their own preferences.
5) Have fun! :upsidedownspin:

I'll kick off with mine:

Victorinox bird beak paring knife
- For peeling and opening stuff. Especially great when peeling bags of potatoes. Eventhough you might have a little more waste than a peeler, you save an incredible amount of time. It's slightly flexible and easy to touch up with a honing rod. Cheap but great!

Takamura R2 Migaki Petty 150mm
- Great for shalots, garlic, and cutting fruits like oranges. It's stainless so won't react on acidic foods. You can use it in hand or on the board. Great for detail work. Takes a mean edge and holds it well. Nice handle too.

Tojiro DP3 VG10 Gyuto 180mm
- For the not so delicate tasks. It's not so thin behind the edge and not that chippy. Breaking down chicken or fish. Cutting cheeses etc.

Moritaka AS Gyuto 240mm
- A little more maintenance, especially since mine has the KU removed. But it's a great knife for a pro environment. The long flat spot makes chopping up cases of vegies a breeze. Can still rock, so herbs are no problem. It's also great for slicing meats or fish because of it's length. Food release is decent on mine. Not as good as ootb, but I hated those wedgie shoulders, so thinned it and convexed the shoulders. Takes a screaming sharp edge and edge retention is good enough.

Looking forward to what you guys come up with!
1. Gyuto (Munetoshi 270)

Fun knife. Period.

2. Gyuto (HSC Z-wear 260)

Love this thing. Great balance of edge retention, durability and sharpenability.

3. Gyuto (HSC 52100 230)

My "line"/small stuff knife.

4. Beater Gyuto (Mercer Millennia. Not actually called a Gyuto by the manufacturer but whatever)

Cheap. Ugly. Cheap. Durable. Cheap.
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1. Gyuto (Munetoshi 270)
2. Gyuto (HSC Z-wear 260)
3. Gyuto (HSC 52100 230)
4. Beater Gyuto (Mercer Millennia. Not actually called a Gyuto by the manufacturer but whatever)
Not a pro. But if I were to pick four knives, I'd go with

Sukenari Hap40 165 petty -- holds its edge forever, tough, versatile.
Takamura red handle 180 -- incredibly versatile, low maintenance
Misono Dragon 270 -- an extension of my hand; gets stuff done
Ashi Ginga 300 suji in white no. 2 -- big enough for just about anything, nice balance of flex and firm.
From my current collection:
1. Ashi ginga 180mm W2 gyuto, for small tasks/light butchery and deboning. Not a true beater, but tougher than it looks, stainless would be better for this role probably.
2. Takeda AS 240mm gyuto, super thin and good for chopping soft things quickly
3. Kagekiyo 240mm B1 gyuto, my perfect middleweight
4. Mazaki 240mm KU gyuto, workhorse
1) Eddworks 250 AEB-L

Fantastic do-it-all blade. Thick spine, a little more robust at the heel but tapers drastically to a laser front and tip. It will drop through an onion or a butternut. 60 mm heel makes it big enough to scoop off board like a rectangle. Tough steel with good edge retention, easy to sharpen. Incredibly versatile.

2) Okubo 180 nakiri

Thicc convex workhorse, just falls through stuff. Excellent food release. Struggled between this or my 170 Shindo nakiri. I just prefer rectangles for smaller knives over a santoku or gyuto.

3) Okahide 140 sabaki

If a petty and a butcher knife had a baby...this is it. It has replaced everything else for cleaning small game, trimming briskets/pork butts/ribs/other BBQ cuts. Small enough to get in and work around but has enough length to double as a petty. Thick spine with some meat behind the edge so it can knick bones without chipping, but it still cuts very well. I don't really use petty or paring knives as a home cook. So this sees more use and can get pressed into service for those tasks.

4) Toadfish Pro-Edition oyster knife

Because I'd rather use a 250 to cut bread than a goddamned screwdriver to shuck oysters. Plus this the best one I've ever used.
1) Migoto white 1 240

Goldilocks. Feels robust but cuts like a laser. The 240 is good for me at home (closer to 230) but would probably want the 270 for pro. My do it all knife.

2) Gesshin Ginga 180 stainless gyuto

Surprisingly durable, versatile, and my favorite stainless to sharpen. Not a pro, but good line knife?

3) Shi.Han AEBL 165 petty

Not cheap enough to be a beater, but built to be treated like one.

4) Vic 8” chef

True beater
Just four? Hmmm, tough one, so many possible variations. I suppose I’d go with a French, kurouchi, carbon theme, choosing the Yanick’s below, minus the smaller sujihiki—utilitarian, functional, don’t need to be babied.
Typically I like to have a yanagi and deba in the roll, but I’ll happily make do with 4 Yanick’s—petty, nakiri, gyuto, sujihiki.
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Here's another, fancier set. I'd take more modest knives to a stage, but, in the spirit..., I have a 150 stainless Ashi Ginga petty that's tough and fine; a 210 S. Tanaka R2 petty that would serve as a line knife; a 240 Ktip Sukenari gyuto in Hap40 that's tough and has that angry, forever edge; and a 270 KS that doubles as a suji.
1. Victorinox 10" bread knife because what are you going to do, not eat bread?

2. Masahiro VC Suji 270x40. Righty grind, good, tough carbon steel. I reach for it. I make steaks so I can cut with this. I've made my peanut butter and jellies with this.

3. @HSC /// Knives 230x53 CruWear. Could do it all by itself.

4. Moriya Munimitus 210x37 suji. Gentle righty convex Ginsan utility do-it-all without reactivity and is the best stainless on the stones that I've scrubbed - carbon-like. Fruit & acids fear this. The last thing they see before the smoothie blender.

*I'm as unprofessional as it gets.
Not a pro.

My choice would vary in relation to whether these were the four I liked best as opposed to the four that are most practical. I'll go with four I like best:

Takakura 210 gyuto R2 - cuts well and great value for money..

Kotetsu Battleship 195 R2 - ultimate laser.

Shiro Kamo Aogami 2 165 Nakiri - as sharp and thin behind the edge as the Kotetsu

And, for a bit of heft, a Matsubaru Aogami 2 210mm tall gyuto.
What I consider my main work kit
Kanehide TK 240
Kanehide 180 petty
Ashi Ginga 210 sujipetty
Ashi Ginga 270 sujihiki

If I wanted to go vintage
Ontario Old Hickory Chef 12"
Ontario Old Hickory Chef 10"
Forgecraft Slicer 8"
Forgecraft Boner 6"

If I wanted to go show-off
HSC Gyuto 270
Shi.han Gyuto 250
HSC Petty 160
HSC Paring 90

In no case would I ever take a bread knife.