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Posts by DenverVeggieNut

Kartman speaks the truth. I've got the set listed (I also got mine from CKTG, minus the diamond plate). Very nice stones, but Mark at CKTG didn't originate that particular combination, Dave Martell did. I've heard a lot of great word-of-mouth about the service at JKI and how good the stones are in their 3-stone set.  The Beston/Bester/Rika is a very nice (and what I've been using for years), but were I to do it again, I'd just call Jon at JKI and tell him my needs. I still...
I just put a dish towel on the counter and put the stone on that to sharpen. The stones (Bester/Beston/Rika) stay in a bin of water all the time. I change the water and rinse the stones every few weeks to keep biologicals at bay. When I sharpen, I keep the bin at hand to have water to splash or rinse the stones as I go. In between sharpenings, I use a balsa strop with 1 micron CBN, mounted on another piece of wood to which I've added little rubber feet.
One good option: Ashi Hamono ginga in 240mm. I picked up one of these direct from Ashi a couple of months ago and it is quite nice. I got the stainless version with wa handle. The size is quite manageable... the 240 is an actual 232 on the blade, and it is very light, so it is quite easy to deal with. It ran me $170 plus $20 shipping from Japan. They take paypal. http://www.ashihamono.com/en.html
Popularity is no guarantee of greatness. Shuns (and in a different way, the popular German knives) have a good distribution network and effective advertising. Most (other) Japanese knives don't. It doesn't mean Shuns are bad knives. If you love the handles and the look, like a good bit of belly to the profile, and don't mind a few chips in the blade over time, then why not? But there are LOTS of other choices available via online purchase. Limiting your knife purchases to...
Sweet!
I've got the same three-stone set as you have at work and really like it. I follow the stones up (and do touch-ups) with CBN on balsa.   As upgrades from the set, you might consider Gesshin stones. You could get the Gesshin 400 + 2000 + 4000 ($245), or Gesshin 400 + 2000 + 6000 ($305). I hear they're quite nice, but the Beston/Bester/Rika set is really well-chosen. I feel no need to upgrade, and don't know if I'd necessarily spring for the Gesshins over that set if for...
I had 'em switched- thanks for the correction! I'll bet the FKH takes a nice edge.
Here's some food for thought: Fujiwara FKH, $83, stainless, yo handle: http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/FKHSeries.html I have one of these in a 150mm petty. Nice enough for the money, and much nicer than the usual German knives, but not quite as nice as the ones below, as you'd expect given the price.   Carbonext, $128 in 240mm, $100 in 210mm, semi-stainless steel, yo handle: http://japanesechefsknife.com/KAGAYAKICarboNextSeries.html No personal experience, but I...
Jack- I don't have any experience with any of those three knives, but I would like to volunteer that the type of procedure by which a knife is made should be pretty far down on the list of characteristics you use to choose between knives. Even steel type isn't critical. More important are profile (flat spot or not, rounded edge, pointy at the tip or less so, blade height at heel, etc.), and grind (thin behind the edge? good food release?). Also- you mention edge retention....
There are tons of good knives in your price range. I would suggest you give Jon at Japanese Knife Imports a call (after he gets back from Japan on November 12). He's got a great selection and can steer you to something that will fit your needs. http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/
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