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This seems to be a popular topic - New Knives!!

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

History - I love to cook.  I'm not terribly adventurous, more of a recipe follower but it's still a lot of fun. however, it's more often than not just for my 3 person family.

 

Equipment - ummm, yeah....i bought some freaking Ronco knives about 10 years ago.  needless to say, I don't use any of them except when I really want to hack into something.

                 - I thought I was really going uptown when I bought a Henkel's premio 8" chef's knife

 

wants - I have $350 in gift cards to Bed Bath and Beyond and I'm looking for suggestions on the best knives that I can get there.  I have my eyes on the Global's and Shun's which don't seem overly popular here.  I'm sure whichever one I get, with my limited experience, will blow my mind.

 

I like the handle better on the Shun, the Global seems like if my hands got messy they would slip all over the place.

 

I'm not opposed to blowing the whole $350 on 1 or 2 knives so if that ridiculous looking ken onion thing is actually a good knife then let me know.  I'm just kind of looking for the best knives I can get at BBB

 

In hindsight I wish that I had asked for cash instead of GC's because the Mac seems to be universally loved.

 

 

thank you

post #2 of 22

Welcome to CT!  If you're looking for knives and have the store credit at BBB, then the Shuns are a no-brainer.  While most of us here aren't big Shun fans, they are at least well made.  Fit & finish is good and they're reasonably sharp OOtB.   But the big selling point is that they're by far the best you can find at BBB.  You may as well get something useful with the gift card.  While Shuns aren't the ne plus ultra of knives they're not bad.

"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
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"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
Reply
post #3 of 22

If you can use your gift card online you'll likely find wider selection of knives @ the BBB online store. As far as newbieness goes- what do you plan on sharpening with (figure I'd save BDL from asking the question). Highly recomend the Victorinox rosewood 10" chef which is available on the web site. This is an entry level knife but as sharp as I can get anything @ this point freehand.  I also have a 6" version that I use as a petty and has completely suplanted my paring knife.


Edited by the-boy-nurse - 1/12/11 at 10:20am
Nurses, we're here to get our gloves dirty, and wash our hands frequently.
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Nurses, we're here to get our gloves dirty, and wash our hands frequently.
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post #4 of 22

I notice that there are two other Japanese made options on the BBB website. Tamahagane and Masahiro. Anyone have any experience with either?

 

As far as Shun vs. Global, I would go with the one that feels the best in your hand. For me it was Global.

"We make our food; thereafter, our food makes us." - Winston Churchill (with a slight modification)
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"We make our food; thereafter, our food makes us." - Winston Churchill (with a slight modification)
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post #5 of 22

D'oh!blushing.gif  It never occurred to me to check their website.  I've never seen the Tamahagane knives in person, so anything I can say would be a guess.  But they're attractive, and the profile looks more usable than a Shun (a bit less belly).  VG-5 is a good steel.  If it were my gift card I wouldn't be too afraid to try one.  But the Masahiros are really nice knives, IMO.  The handles are comfortable although not particularly attractive.  They're heavily differentially bevelled-  IIRC their website says 70/30 or 80/20.  They cut very, very well and are extremely thin for "mainstream" J-knives.  Aside from maybe picking up a petty by Tamahagane just to try it out, of the ones listed I'd be most inclined to go with the Masahiros.  They're very nice for the price.  Bear in mind, though, that they're not "mighty" knives- you wouldn't want to use them for super heavy duty tasks.  And I'd suggest that if you don't already have one, spend some of that gift card on a decent cutting board.  The best would be end grain hardwood, followed by edge grain, then poly way below that.

"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
Reply
"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
Reply
post #6 of 22

boarcephus:

I'm a Lamson-Sharp guy, but I like the Kasumi cutlery, which seems better than the Tamahagane cutlery.

Forschner Fibrox

Forschner Rosewood


Edited by TheUnknownCook - 1/13/11 at 11:07am
Buttercup: You mock my pain!
Man in Black: Life is pain, Highness! Anyone who says differently is selling something. -- The Princess Bride
Miracle Max: Sonny, true love is the greatest thing, in the world-except for a nice MLT - mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich, where the mutton is nice and lean...
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Buttercup: You mock my pain!
Man in Black: Life is pain, Highness! Anyone who says differently is selling something. -- The Princess Bride
Miracle Max: Sonny, true love is the greatest thing, in the world-except for a nice MLT - mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich, where the mutton is nice and lean...
Reply
post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 

Wow, That's embarrassing!  It never occured to me to look at all of the open stock knives. BBB carries a lot more brands than I thought.  I will certainly be picking up a Victorinox 10" blade.  I've actually been wanting one for a while because I've heard they are an astounding knife for the price.  Can anyone tell me the difference between the fibrox and rosewood handles?  are the blades different or are they just different handles?

 

the masahiro's look kick freaking butt!  I'll probably never get permission from the budget queen to blow so much on a knife so I might as well get the super expensive one out of the way.  Anyone currently using the masahiro 8 or 10''? 

post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 

In reply to tBN, I really don't know where to start with sharpening equipment.  I do realize that it would be a shame to have that beautiful masahiro or kasumi and not be able to even steel it.  any suggestions here?

post #9 of 22

There's nothing different between the fibrox and rosewood Forschners, apart from the handle. The fibrox feels a bit bulky and very cheap, but you can throw it in the dishwasher if you want to. The rosewood actually has a pretty nice handle on it. I have an 8" rosewood chef's. It's not going to take the sharpest edge, but the fact that it has a much thinner blade than anything else in it's price range will make it "act" sharper.

"We make our food; thereafter, our food makes us." - Winston Churchill (with a slight modification)
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"We make our food; thereafter, our food makes us." - Winston Churchill (with a slight modification)
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post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by boarcephus View Post

In reply to tBN, I really don't know where to start with sharpening equipment.  I do realize that it would be a shame to have that beautiful masahiro or kasumi and not be able to even steel it.  any suggestions here?


This is an endless source of debate, but yes, I have some suggestions.

 

"Steeling" (i.e. honing on a rod) is not ideal when the grind of the edge is strongly asymmetrical, as apparently is the case with the Masahiro knives. If this is going to be your chef's knife, i.e. your go-to knife for 90% of the work in your kitchen, I wouldn't worry about a steel. But you are going to have to learn how to sharpen.

 

Fortunately, despite all the mystique surrounding sharpening, it's not at all difficult to teach yourself to put a good, serviceable edge on a decent knife. If you search eGullet, Chad Ward has a good article on the process, which will give you all the information you need -- and quite a bit more. He also wrote a book called An Edge In the Kitchen which covers more thoroughly but is more accessible, so I'd highly recommend that one.

 

For initially learning to sharpen and get an edge you like, you just need a few basic skills:

  • How to find an existing angle on an edge so you can follow it -- place the edge on the stone, the spine flat down, and raise the spine, looking closely, until the edge just clicks down;
  • How to rub the knife, held at this angle, against the stone -- much debated, this one, but the easy way is to have the point about 2/3 of the way pointed away from you, the edge aiming at your left hip (if you're a righty), then grind forward and back. When you've got the burr you want, shift up the knife and do it again (this is called "sectioning");
  • How to raise and identify a burr -- for starters, take a really cheap knife, lay it on the stone tilted at about a 45 degree angle, and grind strongly about 10 times, forward and back, then pick up the knife, put your thumb on the flat of the side that was up, and gently slide your thumb down the flat and across the side of the edge itself. Feel that rough burr? You don't want a burr that strong when you're really sharpening, but that's what a burr is, so now you know. When you've raised a just-identifiable burr on one side of one section of a knife, you're done and can move on to the next section or side.

If this seems like a lot, it quickly becomes automatic, even trivial. Soon you will be kvetching at yourself about slight unevenness, irregular polish levels, and worrying about whether the profiling is exactly right on your knife. At that point you are truly doomed, as most of us here are.

 

For purchasing, I would suggest a King 1000/6000 combination stone. Kings are cheap, consistent, easy to use, neither especially fast nor especially slow, and readily available. Your Masahiro will be able to take more that a 6000 level of polish, but initially you won't be able to get good results with a higher-grit stone, nor should you start by shelling out good money for such a thing. Start by working on a good 1000 edge: once you can produce that fairly consistently, to your own satisfaction, you can start playing with putting on the 6000 polish. Ultimately, you will want better stones than this, chances are, but this is a truly excellent entry-level stone. Some people think that the two halves of the combination stone are too thin, but I think that by the time you wear one side away to nothing, you will be quite comfortable with and knowledgeable about sharpening and will have a good idea what you do and do not like, and can pick stones to match.

 

The only other things you need are a little pack of drywall screen (costs about $10 at a hardware store and will last more or less forever) and a sheet of float glass. Lay the glass down, and lay the screen on top of it, held by duct tape or whatever you like. Take your new stone and use a pencil to mark a rough hash pattern on the face. Now put this face on the screen and grind around in irregular strokes and sweeps until all the pencil disappears. The surface is now flat, and you're ready to go. You don't need to do this especially often, but each time you take out the stone, sight along the surface against a light, and if you see dishing -- a concavity forming in the surface -- get out the glass and screen.

 

To use the stone, start by putting it in a biggish basin of room-temperature or cold water. It'll start to sizzle like soda as the air is driven out of the stone. Wait until this sizzling stops completely, which takes about half an hour or so with these stones. Dampen a dishcloth, fold it neatly, and lay it on the counter next to your sink. Pull the stone out of the water, lightly shake (don't rub) off the water on its surface, and lay it on the dishcloth so it is perpendicular to the line of the counter. You are now ready to sharpen.

 

You know what? It's fun. Trust me. I'm not a fanatic like some folks here, but I assure you that with a good knife like this, sharpening is very satisfying.

post #11 of 22

Boarcephus- Sorry for the delayed response- but flu season is upon us, duty calls. As to sharpening equipment, please note I do not have a Japenese knife nor have I ever (I do bump around websites and drool howerer). My sharpening experience is mostly in hand planes and chisels which can be jigged up and bevel angle locked in. I'm new to freehanding so take my opinion with a salt lick. From what I've read if you have a japanese knife waterstones are absolutely the way to go. If however you end up with the forschner a Norton combistone might be a good option. From what I've read European steel responds well to the oilstones and and you don't have to flatten them as often. The Norton IB8 is a good place to start and then once you've mastered that hit a arkansas surgical black. You will need a steel for the foschner. The one I have seen recommended and therefore own is the 12" ceramic Idahone. Length of steel is related to length of blade. If you get the 10" blade, you'll need a 12" steel,  If 8" then 10". Keep in mind the purpose of the steel is to true the blade not sharpen it. If you're taking the Japanese jump all oilstone bets are off- get a waterstone.

Nurses, we're here to get our gloves dirty, and wash our hands frequently.
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Nurses, we're here to get our gloves dirty, and wash our hands frequently.
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post #12 of 22

A small update to my previous remarks about a King combination stone. I have never bought anything J-knife related in the US, so I get a little confused about prices. Turns out the combination stones are MUCH more expensive. So I retract that recommendation. Buy Japan's #1 stone, the King 1000. When and if you decide to get cute, ask the gang here about 5000 or 6000-grit polishing stones. But before you do this, be sure you're comfortable with your 1000 grinding, which will produce a wickedly sharp edge if you do it right.

post #13 of 22

Not sure if BBB will price match, but C&M has a three piece starter on the Masahiro for $279 if you choose to go that way it is worth a shot etc.

 

Also I think one of the few regrets I may have being a noob with J knives is that I may have been better off going with the King combo stone as I was originally looking to buy before doing tons of research. Not that I do not like the Shapton glass stone and Arashiyama 6K that I ended up getting as their both proving to be very nice and do test my abilities and will provide a much better finish than I am currently able to achieve, but rather for $41 one could get a good intro into sharpening and have both the 1000 and 6000 grits available to learn on without a large investment. Sure the single 1000 is under $30, but for $22 more you get to experiment with two very different finishes and will also be able to get a feel for what your getting into before laying out any more serious $$$.

 

Either way you decide I am pretty sure you will find the performance a big improvement,. and just do not let sharpening scare you off as much as it does take some time to improve to where one would like to be it really is little more than scraping a piece of steel on a rock and nothing to be afraid of of.

 

 

"love my country" but "fear my government"  Something is just wrong with this

 

 

 

Looking for info on entry level J-knives? Need help on finding the most bang for your buck? Hope you enjoy learning from the info here, I know I did!

http://www.cheftalk.com/t/63213/tojiro-dp-f-809-240mm-g...

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"love my country" but "fear my government"  Something is just wrong with this

 

 

 

Looking for info on entry level J-knives? Need help on finding the most bang for your buck? Hope you enjoy learning from the info here, I know I did!

http://www.cheftalk.com/t/63213/tojiro-dp-f-809-240mm-g...

Reply
post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 

I talked to store manager at BBB and he said he would consider the C&M offer and match it for the Masahiro knives.  If he was unable to match he said he could at least wave the shipping costs and give me one of those nifty 20% off coupons.

 

I'm still having a hard time deciding between the Kasumi or Masahiro. (also read some good pub on the Shun Elite if anyone has an opinion please share!)

 

Though my wife rarely uses my knives she IS left handed and the 80/20 with the Masahiro will present a problem there.  Looks my little boy is going to be a southpaw too, so if he wants to learn anything from pops, well...  also a bit concerned about the whole honing/sharpening issue.  My workload is going to be pretty minimal to be honest, I cook quite a bit but it's not for a ton of people.  Will I be better off having a knife that I only need to sharpen once a year and otherwise just hone?  Am I understanding correctly that I should only use a stone with the Masahiro's?

 

it does appear that I may be able to get a decent price on the Masahiro's though.  $279 for the set of 3 is pretty nice, and will allow me to buy a sharpening stone (King Combo 1000/6000) and an end grain cutting board. 

 

I could do something similar with the Kasumi's but obviously only get one or maybe two knives and add in the 12" idahone.

 

I'd also love some insight into the benefits/differences of VG-10 and MBS-26.

 

 

Thank you All for your thoughts and opinions.  The wealth of knowledge here is really outstanding

post #15 of 22

If the person you spoke with at BBB does not come through with the 20% coupon I am pretty sure you can access one from signing up at their website. If your signed up already just do it again with another email addy.

 

I can not offer much on the left handed issue as I just don't have any experience with using right handed knives left handed etc, but I do know that the similar asymmetric edge on my Fujiwara has been a pleasure to work with so far. Guess you will have to weigh that one out.

 

There is a good amount of information here on sharpening as well, and your choice for a stone was exactly the same as my initial choice. I ended up going with more expensive stones that I am very happy with, but still wonder if getting the less expensive combo stone would have been a better first step into whetstones and sharpening.

 

Also since I did drive some of the guys here a bit nuts on sharpening questions in my thread on the Tojiro DP gyuto you may find some helpful information there, or at least come up with new questions while you wait for others with more experience than I do chime in here.

 

Take it from where it comes as I have only had my three knives for just under a month but I really like the VG10 steel on my Tojiros. Now I am not familiar with the MBS26 so I can not compare to it, but I am already finding that the steel in the Tojiro's does keep an edge longer than the steel used in the Fujiwara I have. The VG10 steel is also harder and little more demanding or harder to sharpen, but also in my case seems to not be needing to be sharpened as often.

 

In fairness to the Fujiwara it also takes a really sharp edge, and is also a bit easier to sharpen. That can also relate to getting a better result from sharpening due to what seems to be just a slightly lower hardness which allows you to remove just a bit more material than the same effort would if it was the harder VG10. I do not know if the steel your comparing to would be the same, but it also very well could be so I hope someone who knows for sure can help figure that one out for you.

 

One last thing if your like me and many of the others I have read on the net you will find that your so impressed with the increased performance of your new knives that the very idea that you can improve on them or the cutting edge from sharpening will change your mind of wanting to put off sharpening for long periods of time because you will also be finding as your sharpening skills improve you will want to improve those edges as well.

 

Oh and have fun because your in for an experience :)

 

"love my country" but "fear my government"  Something is just wrong with this

 

 

 

Looking for info on entry level J-knives? Need help on finding the most bang for your buck? Hope you enjoy learning from the info here, I know I did!

http://www.cheftalk.com/t/63213/tojiro-dp-f-809-240mm-g...

Reply

 

"love my country" but "fear my government"  Something is just wrong with this

 

 

 

Looking for info on entry level J-knives? Need help on finding the most bang for your buck? Hope you enjoy learning from the info here, I know I did!

http://www.cheftalk.com/t/63213/tojiro-dp-f-809-240mm-g...

Reply
post #16 of 22
Thread Starter 

Well, a month later I think I've decided what I'll be buying.

 

Going with

 

10" Kasumi Chef         http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?SKU=16646440&RN=392&KSKU=119829&

 

3" Kasumi Paring        http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?SKU=16646237&RN=392&KSKU=119829&

 

5.5" Kasumi utility       http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?SKU=16646296&RN=392&KSKU=119829&

 

King Combi Stone

 

idahone steel

 

John Boos 18" x 18"     http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?SKU=14153543

  

I'm actually a little torn on the cutting board.  This is a beautiful board but dang it's expensive.  I'm aware that end grain is better but will I really notice a huge difference if I got a nice edge grain board?  My usage really won't be all that extensive

post #17 of 22

I understand that The Boardsmith endgrain boards are cheaper and at least equal quality -- many think much superior. I haven't convinced the wife to let me buy one yet, so I can't speak from personal experience.

post #18 of 22

I just bought a new edge grain Boos board - it's my second one. I got it before I learned about end grain being better for steel sedges, especially for Japanese steel. If I had learned about that before I bought the new board, I would have gone w/ boardsmith.

 

I don't think you need to get a 4" thick board. I think if your going to spend that kind of money, get a bigger, thinner end grain board. My new board is 18 x 24 x 2 1/4. My other is 15 x 20 x 1 1/2. My new one makes the old one seem small, even though it's not. If you have the room for it. Larger boards makes it easier on your prep. But saying that, 18 x 18 is pretty good sized... My vote is always for reversible boards - unless you do a lot of meat/bbq carving and really need an edge groove to keep juices from running onto the counter.

post #19 of 22
Thread Starter 

I got the knives yesterday and holy crap are they sharp out of box.  easily shaved arm hair, probably would do face but I'm not going there. 

 

after a good wash I diced up everything I could find in the house.  Good times.  compared every slice with my old henckles knife and the difference in cleanliness of cut was just amazing.

 

I'm a little underwhelmed in the handle but I'm sure I'll get used to it.  the rivets kind of get in the way on the paring knife, right in the first knuckle of my middle finger.  annoying.  Would anyone have a recommendation for a way to make them a little bit closer to flush with the handle?  they are perfect on the chef knife but oh well.

 

I'm actually pretty excited about the Honesuki/utility knife.  that thing is just fun to use.

 

 

Also got my first casualty...I'm not use to  having a bolsterless knife so while cleaning I butted the heel of the knife against my right thumb and  *slice* woops

 

didn't even know it cut me until I had blood seeping out, very sharp, lol.

 

thanks for everyone's advice.  looking forward to building a great collection over the coming years.

post #20 of 22

Glad you like 'em, Boarcephus!  The slight mismatch between the rivets and scales is a common F&F problem with J-knives.  You can fix it easily with a bit of sandpaper.  I generally use mylar abrasive sheets from 3M, but I think wet dry sandpaper in a variety of grits would work, too.  You really won't have to remove very much metal to get things flush most of the time.

 

Just be careful with those things!lol.gif

"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
Reply
"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
Reply
post #21 of 22
Thread Starter 

Ok, I'm having a dilemma here folks.

 

I just got my Victorinox Forschner chef's knife today (I bought it in addition to the Kasumi's because it's cheap and I've heard such great things).

 

Well, I'm having a hard time seeing $150 worth of difference in these knives.  The Vic even outperformed my Kasumi in some regards.  fluidity of cut being number 1

 

I'm aware that some of you accomplished sharpeners go ahead and give your new knives a good working over right out of the box.  Is it possible the Kasumi's need that?

 

 

The Kasumi's are beautiful but it's only my wife and I that are going to be primarily looking at them.  Should I return them or chalk this up to a learning experience since I plan on building a nice collection of various brands of knives anyway? Keep in mind this was gift card money so it's not really like I'm "out"

post #22 of 22

I do have a few beaters that pretty much occupy the junk drawer...but all my real knives are Japanese.  Most of them required sharpening before their first use.  Newer Tojiro knives are serviceable OOtB, as are Shuns & most Hattoris.  Most of the rest I sharpen before using.  The Victorinox has the virtue of being thin and relatively sharp right from the package.  You'll see the problem with that knife in a week or two if you cook for a living, maybe a month or two at home.  The problem is that the knife is pretty soft and won't hold that initial edge thru much use.  The restaurant where I work uses those as house knives.  They will take a pretty decent edge but aren't hard enough nor tough enough to hold it for very long.  I compensate by occasionally taking 'em home and convexing them on a belt grinder- that does extend the life a bit.  But ultimately you get what you pay for steel-wise.

"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
Reply
"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
Reply
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