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Looking for some japanese knife info

post #1 of 80
Thread Starter 
Hello all. The stickied knife thread was immensely useful, and has helped me quite a bit, but I really need some more info.

I am an unemployed non-professional cook, with a minimal amount of formal training, looking for culinary work, but currently host small to medium sized group dinners every couple of weeks, and I have yet to get my hands on my own (preferably 8", 10" feel a bit long for me) chefs knife. I am currently using a santoku, boning, and parring knives for most of my knife work, but am unsatisfied with these. I do pinch grip, and I currently own and use a steel but have little experience sharpening my own knives, and would likely get a cheaper quality spare chefs knife to practice with (as well as I need one for some light informal teaching, and for when people assist me in cooking anyway. I would certainly take suggestions for a $50 or less competent 8" chefs knife to learn sharpening on.). I am experienced and skilled enough not to do anything particularly stupid to ruin my knives. I am looking for one that I may potentially use daily, or one I may use only every couple of weeks, or potentially one for each. Aesthetic quality is of some value due to my often open cooking environment for groups.

I have limited experience with professional knives, but find myself enamored by Japanese knives. I find the Shun to feel very natural and comfortable, with a good weight and sharpness. I have tried Global, but just don't find them comfortable, the weighting feels very unnatural to me. I don't feel I need the heft of German style knives, so am not looking for one of those in my chefs knife, and just own one Wusthof parring knife.

So, with all that information listed, on to my questions. I would most definitely at this point prefer a Japanese knife, and so as such I would appreciate a bit of a run down on the attributes of some of the better (quality, not just price, obviously) Japanese knives. How it feels in my hand will be the decider, but I want to make the most informed decision possible for my main chefs knife. Budget wise I would be fine spending 100-150$, but would prefer keep it under 200, so 8" knives around this range if anyone would be able to give me a good description that might help me decide between them (brand and model as fitting) would be immensely appreciated, with my particular needs in mind.

Also, there is a Shun facility very local to me that apparently offers to sharpen my knives for me should I purchase from them. Does anyone have experience or opinions on whether having them sharpen my knives is ideal/a good idea?


Sorry for the long post, I believe in informed questions. Thank you all in advance!
post #2 of 80
You have mail.
post #3 of 80
Thread Starter 
Appreciated, though as it stands I appear to be looking to get a backup/starting western style chefs knife such as a Wusthof or Forschner, that I should be able to maintain through a honing steel, which I can learn sharpening on. Then, or still, perhaps a Shun, which I can have sharpened for free by the manufacturer locally, unless I am given some good suggestions for other brands that I can go and try my hand on. I am am going to find a supplier locally with some MAC knives, as far as I read these can be maintained fairly well for my volume of usage with the resources at hand.
post #4 of 80
No prob. Good luck to you in your studies. Ask us a lot of questions.:lips:
post #5 of 80
Thread Starter 
Aye. Luckily the posts around here have helped teach me a huge amount about what is out there, and what I want. I would like to know the details about the japanese style brands and models at ~150$ and less in 8 and 10" chefs knives, so that I know what brands to go looking after, which once I am able to drive in a few days I will be actively searching after (surgery yesterday, currently on 4 different medicines). Many of threads around here have detailed some of these brands, so that I see myself at the aforementioned position of likely needing to learn how to sharpen a knife properly so that I don't end up with a knife I can't maintain, or one that is prohibitively expensive because I can't sink 400$ into both knife and sharpening stones for now.
post #6 of 80
I'm going to beat BDL to it:

1. Carbon or stainless?
2. Sharpening plan and budget?

Off the cuff, I'd recommend a King 1000/250-grit combo waterstone, a Togiharu 8" INOX chef's knife, plus a piece of heavy float glass and a pack of wet/dry 400-grit sandpaper from your local hardware store. Grand total should be around $125.

But that assumes (a) you want stainless, and (b) you're going to learn how to sharpen freehand.
post #7 of 80
Thread Starter 
As far as metal type, I'm still quite new at learning the knife game, and am open to suggestions there. I don't mind spending time to maintain my blades, after having learned how to properly do so. I have an old set of not particularly impressive kitchen knives that I can practice sharpening on, which have probably been needing to be sharpened for 20 years.

Budget as mentioned would preferably total under 200$, landing me with a preferably mid-high quality knife to fit my aforementioned needs. Based on the information rendered I would then head off to the numerous kitchen supply stores and see how the promising models felt.
post #8 of 80
Carbon steel rusts and requires maintenance that stainless needs a lot less. To oversimplify a very complicated issue, for a given price you generally get more value in a carbon knife than a stainless one, but there are enough exceptions that I wouldn't push anyone on it. I think the most crucial question about carbon steel is whether you are absolutely always going to be the only one every touching the knife in question. If you leave it damp and it rusts, it's your own silly fault, and you can polish and stuff to punish yourself and then not do it again. But if somebody else does it, it's incredibly infuriating, and in the long run it does damage the knife.

As to budget, I meant how much budget for sharpening equipment. If the grand total is to be under $200, and ideally less, I think I'd hold to my current recommendations and just not be bothered if you decide you want a more expensive knife; I would not recommend more expensive sharpening stones at this point.

The business of going to a kitchen store and seeing how things feel doesn't work, I'm afraid, for two reasons. First, essentially none of the really good Japanese knives -- expensive or inexpensive -- will turn up in such a store. Second, quality Japanese knives feel so wildly different from their German counterparts, because they weigh so much less, that you can't seriously compare them without actually cutting a fair bit. For example, my wife has an old 6" Wusthof Trident Grand Prix chef's knife, and I now use a Masamoto that measures 282mm (almost precisely 11"). The Wusthof weighs noticeably more than the Masamoto! I just checked specifications, and apparently the 6" Wusthof weighs 5 1/2 oz., so the Masamoto must be about 5 oz.; since the 10" Wusthof is 10 oz., this means it weighs precisely twice as much as the Masamoto. Clearly you can't compare these knives by holding them in your hand: they're so different as to make comparison meaningless in that "how does it feel?" context.
post #9 of 80
I'm with you 75% of the way. The problem then is where to start. Certainly in our circles of friends we have acquaintances with Euro, Sino and/or Nipponese cutting implements.

Sooner or later you have to make your first slice or chop.
post #10 of 80
Thread Starter 
I will be the only one handling these knives. They wont even be kept in my kitchen because I don't trust those around me with them. All my knives are either sitting here in front of me on my desk in safe containers, or likewise in the garage. I have four-five classes to go for my undergrad work, which may take up to a year depending on scheduling (philosophy major, it gets hard to schedule in the end), and will likely remain unemployed during this time and just cooking/hosting group dinners. Once I do get out I will be seeking a culinary position again, but we'll deal with that when I get to it (be that seeing if there is a chance my knives would be borrowed, chance of being stolen, if I should bring a work set instead, etc.).

I certainly have no problem spending that much cash on the sharpening stones, that seems quite reasonable, and I can get practice with that whole old knife set I have sitting around that is dulled completely. Are those stones fine to use on stainless steel?

While there will always be attributes of how the knife feels you can really only truly tell after a bit of extended use, there is still a lot to be said for feeling them in store as to how comfortable they are. The global for example I only had to pick up and grip and found myself not liking the weight balance. It feels wrong in my hand. I did get a chance to use the shun for a couple of hours and found that very comfortable, and at least that particular kitchen supply store has vegetables on hand so that I can take a few to do some slicing, at least. I don't want to order something I cant either hold in person, or return.

So given this and the above, are there any other Japanese knives you are able to tell me about that seem to fit my needs?


I really appreciate the help Chris.
post #11 of 80
Chris and I both have advanced dregrees in philosophy, btw. So you're in bad company.

BDL
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post #12 of 80
Then in theory, at least, you have the option of buying carbon steel. You have to decide how obsessive-compulsive you are: carbon does require more maintenance. It's not a lot, but it's got to be done every single time, or else. As I say, on the whole you get a little more bang for your buck with carbon.
I should hope not: that combo stone is only $25. Yes, you can use it on anything, but you will quickly learn something about different kinds of steels as you sharpen. You will need to flatten it: wet the sandpaper and stick it on the float glass, and then put the stone on the paper and grind it around in as random motions as you can, shifting grips often to keep it even all over. By the time the medium side of the stone has worn just about to nothing, you'll know a lot about sharpening and what you like, and then you can invest in a more expensive stone, but that will probably be a couple years or more.
I don't agree with you, but you're the one buying, not me. So you're limited to what you can find in a shop -- a dramatic limitation.
Unless you live in a city that has a fancy (expensive) specialty cutlery shop stocking high-end Japanese knives, no. You probably want Shuns. What else is there? You don't like Globals -- fair enough -- and little else is going to turn up in any shop other than the various Germans, especially Wusthof and Henckels, and they weigh a ton and IMO are irritating and overpriced. If you're lucky enough to find a shop that stocks a range of Japanese brands, go ahead and look. But the only shops like this in the US that I know of are in New York, and I believe in the Seattle area. There might be one in the LA area somewhere -- BDL would probably know. Other than that it's all online shopping. You might see if there is a large restaurant supply store in your area: they may stock a wider range of things, but it's hard to predict.

If you're limited to what's in a store, don't worry about the carbon/stainless issue: you'll find stainless only, probably.
post #13 of 80
Thread Starter 
I had looked through some of the product catalogs of some of my local kitchen supply stores and had thought had seen a greater selection than this, but aye all I'm mostly seeing are Shun, Global, and limited Masahiro. This is indeed a very considerable limitation, and I don't want to be that held back from getting a high quality knife, and one that I can maintain personally, but I want to ensure that it is very comfortable in my hand. So at this point I'm not quite sure what to do. What happens if I purchase a knife online and end up being unsatisfied with how it feels in my hand, or based off my comfort with the balance and feel of Shun, and my primary use of pinch grip are you able to make some likely fitting suggestions of those that are not in my local stores? Obviously I'm really new to the knife game, being used to using mostly non-professional knives, and a limited selection of pro-grade. I'm just rather lost as to how to ensure I will get something that satisfies my needs and personal tastes (naturally hard when you don't have much of a developed personal taste).
post #14 of 80
I'm not the guy to answer this, really -- I bought my knives in Japan. I think the thing to do is to buy from a relatively large outfit like Korin or Epicurean Edge or the like, where they have a clearly-stated returns policy. If you have questions about that policy, ask before you buy. Don't buy knives on ebay or similar, even if the prices are lower; many of those folks are very honest and great to deal with, but you don't want to take that chance.

Beyond this, I leave it to the many other posters here who've bought such knives in the U.S.
post #15 of 80
In terms of handle comfort, some knives are notoriously good. The three "Ms" by way of example: MAC, Masamoto, and Misono. If you like Wusthof classic at all, you're going to love those. Some knives have known peculiarities. For instance, Hiromoto handles are narrow. Togiharu handles a bit short. Glestain is awkward for big hands. Etc. The more specific you are about which knives are under consideration, the more specific we can be about issues.

People who talk about "balance," generally don't know much about knives or how to use them. Unless the knives are specifically balanced, like Gude Viking or Global, the balance point changes with the length of the knife.

Rat tail knives are more balance forward than full tang knives. Longer knives are more balance forward than shorter knives. German profile knives, because of their bolster design, are slightly more balance neutral (balanced at or just in front of the finger guard) than French knives. Knives with finger guards (most European and American which actually have bolsters) tend to be more neutral than knives without bolsters or without finger guards.

Japanese manufactured knives are almost always considerably lighter than their western manufactured counterparts, this tends to make them feel less balanced. In the store, the balance seems important. However, over even a short time (a couple of meals at most) weight matters a lot more; and the imbalance, such as it is, begins to feel natural.

I suggest contacting MAC through MAC USA. They have a pretty good distribution system and you may be able to find one you can wave around and pretend to cut with -- if that's important to you. (MAC also has excellent customer service and a great guarantee. The MAC Pro should be on your short list.)

Some others: Masamoto VG; Togiharu G-1 (slightly more affordable clone of the Masamoto, F&F and handle suffer a bit by comparison); Misono Moly (great handle, okay steel); Misono UX-10 (great looks, great ergonomics, maybe too expensive); Hiromoto G3 (great stainless); Hiromoto AS (excellent carbon core, surrounded by stainless); and the Hattori forum knife (same review as the Misono UX-10).

I'll need a signed waiver before I get into a discussion of carbons. Basically you want to look at Misono Sweden, Kikuichi Elite, Thiers Issard **** Elephant Sabatier, K-Sabatier, Masamoto CT, Masamoto HC (would probably be my first choice if I were starting over, but expensive), "Nogent" Sabatier, "Massif" Sabatier, and "Canadian" Sabatier. For the record, I own a bunch of Sabatiers -- most of them pretty old.

Shun are not bad knives, and neither are Masahiro. But they aren't in the same league as the other Japanese knives manufactured. That said, they're much better than Wusthof or almost any other western knife -- at least in blade quality. I'm going to paste a link to something I just wrote in another thread that goes into some detail about Shun, Wusthof Classic and their ilk: http://www.cheftalk.com/forums/cooki...tml#post278180

If, after all that, you're still at all interested in Wusthof, you might want to take a look at the "Le Cordon Bleu" Wusties at Cutlery and More. The LCBs preceded the Ikon lines, use the same steel (X50CrMoV15), the same cut down bolsters no finger guard on the choil, and are ground to the same 15* bevel (Classics are ground to 20*). They seem to have been discontinued, although they're still on Wusthof's website they aren't available from very many retailers. Cutlery and More has a few shapes and lengths, and have them at a very good price. They may be the best deal going in German knives.

Hope this helps,
BDL
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post #16 of 80
Thread Starter 
Thanks BDL, that does help quite a bit. It is important to me to handle them in person before there is no turning back, but this has been in part because of things like the Shun feeling very comfortable and the global feeling very off, both in grip and balance (whether this would actually matter or not) and having a general dislike of the heft of German knives. This looks, however, like if I can expect to get used to most Japanese knives that aren't specifically unusual that I can probably deal with purchasing one without handling it first, I just don't want any unpleasant surprises like I may have gotten if I'd purchased a global online.

If that doesn't sound like complete nonsense to you, at least. If I don't have to expect there being a chance of not being comfortable with the knife I purchase then I will focus more on the quality of the knife and go from there.

Will start looking through those, and try to find some specific info on them, but I need to pass out again (still recovering from surgery, has me napping every hour or so).


Thanks all for the great info and suggestions.
post #17 of 80
My thoughts and prayers to you. My wife had some surgery that was dicey. She's fine now, we dodged a bullet. But her resistance is down.

Take good care of yourself.
post #18 of 80
Thread Starter 
Much appreciated BDL, but worry not. I'm young and it was just a minor oral surgery, it just has me pretty wiped out sleeping through most of the day. If I'm up more than an hour or so it makes my ears and eyes feel as if I've been using them nonstop for 30 hours. Funny thing is the day I came home I was feeling fine, went to a party.

Glad to hear about your wife though. I wish her well in getting back to health.


I am however, getting back in bed before being able to say anything particularly constructive. I have somewhere I need to go tonight, so need to rest up for it.
post #19 of 80
I'd like to relate a humorous comment my friends and I make on this topic.

After reading some Japanese sword and polishing history books, we glean sharpening ideas, procedures and tools from the literature. Something as simple as nagura and water makes our edges sharper. In many cases we are baffled.

Playfully, we comment, "After 1,000 years of Japanese cutlery expertise, it looks like they finally got it right..."

To many newbs seeing real-deal Japanese cutlery for the first time they comment on how odd the stuff looks. No question, a katana does not look like a European saber, a nakiri has a blunt nose, the blade blanks look like metal plywood, the handles are faceted, the bevels are like mirrors, etc.

But in the hands of a pro, a properly prepared gyuto will slice through a rolled grass mat like dicing a stalk of celery.

Many of my clients have gone "all Japanese." One client who pours concrete for a living bought an Emerson, did a little reading on the "odd ball" shape, then acquired a Japanese petite knife--made the mistake of letting his mother use it--and now he makes my house payments.

He has a yellow ribbon on his pick-up truck, but if I want to sell him a knife, it had better be Japanese.

Those who polish Japanese edges refer to the craft as "the curse." You cannot sharpen those edges without outright awe and respect. Once exposed, you love the edge, the knife, the history, and the performance.

I usually tell a newb who is thinking of a upgrade to buy a good quality gyuto and a smaller Yaxell Ran paring knife. The newb can easily make this transaction for under 200 dollars. On many knives I offer "life sharp."

After all these years, and numerous clients, I have never taken one of these knives back or replaced them with a Euro knife. In many cases the client sits at my kitchen table when I sharpen his knife, enjoys a little cappuccino, and then obliquely asks if I have other knives for sale. Any Japanese knives.

Gee, after 1,000 years...
post #20 of 80
Thread Starter 
There really is a special allure to Japanese blades and their style. I have actually always been a knife and sword enthusiast, and do own a few Samurai blades.

I know many of the responses you guys give have been said repeatedly on other threads, and forums so I have searched through a lot of that and have gained a lot of info, but feel compelled to ask explicitly. Are you, BDL, and any others, able to describe some of those Japanese knives you listed, what the attributes and qualities of them are that may motivate me to buy one over the other, including how easy/hard maintaining them is, and if any of them permit steels (and what type) to hone them.

My sharpening stone is in the mail, and I have a set of knives crying out to be sharpened, and in a couple of weeks after my next paycheck I will be in the position to buy my new gyuto if I have found one I believe will be right for me.
post #21 of 80
On that we agree. I truly believe that Japanese knives achieve that allure for the same reason that people like the Bat-Mobile.

"Things that are dangerous are exciting. And things that are truly fun must be dangerous."

Yikes, you can get a kitchen knife at K-Mart, drag it through that grinding thingie on the back of a can-opener and actually cook dinner. Why does anyone need a Japanese knife? In truth, no one "needs" such a knife.

However, a Japanese knife is a precise instrument forged by years of expertise and refinement. It is quirky, demanding, ridiculously sharp, usually expensive and dangerous to a careless newb. Why would anyone want that?

Well, if you watch my bike wind out third gear on an acceleration ramp, no one has to explain "go fast" to you. Japanese knives provide the same adrenaline rush, a condition you can feel just watching a proficient chef at his calling.

As you know, I sharpened a test mule and took it with me to a Japanese restaurant with a small party of friends. We ate by a grill "in the round" while the chef juggled condiment shakers and lit an onion pyramid aflame.

Before the chef made his first cut with my knife, he grinned and twirled it through his fingers.

That my friends, was worth the entire cost of the dinner!
post #22 of 80
Al,

My answer is, "yes."

I need some help from you in terms of narrowing down what you want, how much you're willing to spend, how much time and money you're willing to spend on sharpening tools and learning to sharpen, what your knives skills are like, whether you plan on spending time on your skills, whether you're interested in carbon (as opposed to stainless), whether you're interested in western or Japanese handles, etc.

The more you tell me about you, the better I can narrow down the selection of the knives I know something about to the point where I can give you useful information. There's no sense in talking about the myriad virtues of a Ikkanshi Tadatsuna shiro-ko wa-gyuto if you're not willing to spend more than $300, aren't interested in carbon steel, aren't interested in a Japanese handle, and aren't interested in climibng a fairly steep sharpening mountain.

That said, I've written quite a bit about several stainless knives in the economic sweetspot around $200 for a western handled gyuto. These include MAC Pro, Masamoto VG, Hiromoto G no. 3, Hiromoto AS, Sakai Takayuki Grand Cheff, and Togiharu G-1.

If you're amenable to carbon, the list includes: Masamoto CT, Misono Sweden, Kikuichi Elite and five lines of Sabatier carbons (what you give up in hardness you get back in other attributes).

If you can spend a little more you might also consider the Misono UX-10, Ikkanshi Tadatsuna western series, and the Masamato HC (expensive carbon).

That's something like eighteen knives. You can easily see why I wouldn't want to compare and contrast all of them if you can help me edit the list a little... well... a lot.

Anyway, let me know more about you and we'll get into specifics.

BDL
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post #23 of 80
Thread Starter 
Aye, tourist. When it comes down to it, a big part of why I want such a nice knife is that it is fun. It is a Pleasure to use a superior knife instead of something from the average bed bath and beyond knife section. They are artisans tools and have many benefits, but you can never deny the sheer enjoyment that can come from them. The fact that I can have fun shopping carrots and not be a madman by necessity.


So back to my particular situation. I'd like to keep the knife budget below 200, with a preference of 100-150 but if I find something worth taking it closer to 200 I certainly will. I am in the position and hold the will to perform extra maintenance as necessary to keep up my blade, so more upkeep time is not a deterrent on blade material. I would be open to having a carbon blade, but have no real experience with them so take that as you will. I treat my knives excellently, and will be the only one using them so proper maintenance will be enforced.

My knife skills are good, but I am not at this time a professional cook. I've had some formal training with my knife work, but my current knife demands aren't from a professional atmosphere either. My sharpening skills don't exist yet, but I have some 10 very dull knives of various type, and some good suggestions on sharpening books, and as a currently unemployed individual I have the time and dedication to learn and learn well.

This is part of the reason I'd love to get more experience in store to get my basic understanding more well rounded; I don't know my preference for grip style. Today I was actually feeling well and got out of the house, so soon I can certainly get a better hold on knife handle styles...if any of the Japanese style knives in the area have anything besides western style handles. As mentioned the local supply stores only hold three Japanese brands on location at the moment that I have seen.

I'd prefer not spend a crazy amount on sharpening equipment for the time, especially as for the foreseeable future I wont be doing a large yield of cooking. I have the sharpening stone in the mail that was suggested earlier by Chris. I'd be willing to extend my sharpening resources somewhat, but it really depends on what that entails, and depends on how much the knife itself will cost. I wouldn't be willing to invest another 100 into sharpening equipment at this time.


I appreciate your time very much BDL. I know this can take quite a bit of time, so I'm certainly happy to narrow down as much as possible.
post #24 of 80
I don't mean to rain on your parade, but I think you're going about this badly. Specifically, I think if you approach the issue this way you're going to end up unhappy.

Relatively "traditional" Japanese chefs generally use carbon steel knives, and sharpen them every day. One can get romantic about this, but you shouldn't: it's a crucial task in a professional kitchen, but it's a means to an end, not blade-worship. The knives that matter most, that need to be sharpest and of highest quality, are those that cut food that is not thereafter processed in any major way, e.g. by heat. The less processing that happens after the cut, the more crucial the knife is. Thus a fish-slicer (yanagiba) is an object that receives a kind of fetishism, because you slice the fish and serve immediately, and in sushi places you often do this in front of the guest. The old-fashioned vegetable knife (usuba) very often produces material unprocessed before serving, so again it's a big deal, but it's not quite so direct a connection between cut and table, and thus it's a little lower down, as it were. As for butchering fish, done with a deba, all you care about is that it does its job: ugly as sin makes no difference, and you treat the knife kind of the way a professional baker might treat his Hobart stand-mixer: essential, loved, cared for, but still a honking big thing you shove in the corner.

In this scale, the gyuto doesn't figure at all. These Western knives are used for things that get cooked, especially meat. What's more, in high-end Japanese cooking even today meat is not handled with the kind of precision and delicacy that one sees in a really excellent Western restaurant. They cut it in cubes or slices or whatever, and that's about it.

So when you go to buy knives, you have to realize that if you're focusing on a gyuto, which you almost certainly ought to be, you're getting a bargain price for a knife that's really no big deal, almost an afterthought. I have a Masamoto KS, 270mm. In carbon gyutos, one could argue for it being the best standard-production knife there is, and certainly nobody would object to its being put in the top 10. It cost me a packet: about $260, in Japan, and would cost you about $325 I believe. It is indeed a lovely knife, the finest kitchen implement of any kind I have ever owned. A pleasure to sharpen, takes a terrifying edge easily and holds it, beautifully balanced. For me, it's a thing of beauty: that irregular gray patina looks, if you'll pardon the over-elaborate metaphor, like the eyes of the creepy-attractive contract killer in your favorite movie of the type. It looks like "I kill, and I like it, and that's all there is." I like that -- very, very cool.

But if I wanted a comparable usuba, I'd be looking at $500, give or take. Possibly more, if I thought "comparable" meant honyaki. And for a comparable honyaki yanagiba, the sky's the limit -- I could easily spend over $1000.

If you want the elegant brilliance of the sword-maker in your kitchen, a gyuto isn't the place to look. They're wonderful knives, and I wish more people bought them, but they're not the ultimate in the knife-maker's art. If that's what you're looking for, start saving your pennies and buy a knife... that will be totally useless to you. You and I cannot really appreciate the difference between a $150 yanagiba and a $1000 one, assuming the prices are fairly set. We can't sharpen or cut at that kind of level. And I'm saying nothing at all about a set of knives I have handled in which each of the four knives cost roughly what a Honda Civic costs. What do I know? They're very pretty, yes. And? I mean, what's the difference between those and the $1000 "cheapies"? You've got to be a very high-end specialist to tell the difference, and I remain somewhat uncertain as to whether there really is one at a functional level.

In short, what you want is a knife that will serve you wonderfully. The knife you want is surely Japanese, and will set you back a packet of change. But don't associate it with swords and art and all that: you're just setting yourself up to start slavering after something you can't afford and wouldn't be able to appreciate.
post #25 of 80
Well, let's try pinning it down a bit. Go to Japan Woodworker and see if you can find a knife close to the size, shape and style you are going to need. No need to narrow it down to the final choice, just point us in the right direction.
post #26 of 80
Thread Starter 
As I've said...I am looking for a good and functional knife. As far as aesthetics go I don't want something that is literally ugly because I do cook and host group dinners regularly, and I do want to enjoy having it, but I am not looking for a samurai cooking knife. I appreciate the tool I am looking for as an evolution of an artisans craft of more than a thousand years, and it is designed for an artisan. I'm not going to sacrifice getting an excellent tool for something with Damascus like cladding because its pretty.



I will take a look over at that site and see what more I can do to narrow the field, but need to grab dinner first.

EDIT:
So with a bit of time re-browsing for handles in mind and some thought to it, the handle below is probably more of what I'm looking for and will be comfortable. I have never worked with the hex handles, but don't imagine I'd like those too much. Without handling various styles I cant really say more as far as the handle goes without it completely arbitrary or aesthetic. Also, to recap I'm looking for an 8-9" gyuto/chefs knife style, and prefer the lighter weight of the Japanese style. I have no preference concerning bolsters or finger guards. Is there any other info I can try to provide?

post #27 of 80
Go to the Chef (gyuto) knife section and look at the 7.5 inch damascus gyuto, part number 11.625.180 and the price is about 160 bucks.

It's a place to start.
post #28 of 80
Thread Starter 
Didn't see your post before editing my previous one.

Anything in particular about that knife I should be looking at? As in to compare it to what I think I want/need, specific attributes about it that I may like, etc? ( I do love the spelling error in their description though).
post #29 of 80
Well, I didn't mean that this knife was the be all, end all. I just meant to offer the example as a starting point.

That model is of average length, average price, etc. My guess is that you want 'better,' but we have to begin at some level.

Having said that, that "average" model would be a tremendous upgrade for most home food hobbyists. I sharpen that range of products all of the time, and the edges get very spooky.
post #30 of 80
Thread Starter 
Aye, I get that, I just mean I'm not sure whether you were kinda holding it up like 'how about this' or asking me if there were certain attributes about it I liked. Is this knife a suggestion?
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