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new to ChefTalk, looking for a new knife

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hi all! I'm Michael and new to this forum; stumbled across it searching for info on knives. I've only just found this place and have done some looking at older threads, so please bear with me as I get to know my way around and what has already been discussed!

 

I've been a serious home cook for 20+ years since college, and a private chef for the past couple. I've gotten by with an ad hoc collection of knives. For the past 8 years or so, a Wusthof 12" Classic has been my main knife. I got it at a cutlery store close-out - I wasn't really looking for a knife that big, but it's certainly awesome! Now that I'm doing more and more cooking, it's time to move on...

 

I'm not 100% certain I want to go to Japanese steel. I do have some sharpening skills, but not with Japanese water stones. Mostly I've sharpened my knives w/ inexpensive oil stones, ceramic rods and a steel. I can set a pretty sharp edge on most of my knives, especially the 12". I've been happy w/ German steel up until now, but I'm realizing a sharper knife may be to my liking - and definitely lighter!

 

What I like about German steel is the all-purpose durability and ease of maintenance and sharpening. I'm intrigued by the harder Japanese steel and steeper edge angles, and the sharpness they can achieve.

 

Completely on the fence about handle style of riveted western vs round/D-shaped Japanese (Wa?).

 

At the moment I'm looking to upgrade my main chef's knife, with a few others to follow, like a paring knife, 6" slicing/utility knife, etc.

  • I'm leaning towards a riveted handle; doesn't necessarily have to be western though, and this is not a deal killer
  • A knife with some heft and not too fragile, too light, too bendy or whippy
  • something hard, but not impossible to sharpen, not like a 65RC; maybe something like 61-64?
  • a 10" / 270mm
  • I'm not too attached to any brand, but I would like to get as many knives from the same company/line for consistency (plus I'm finicky like that)
  • I do have some sharpening skills, and I'm not opposed to getting into some good Japanese water stones and new tourniquets
  • I like stainless for the ease of care, but do not have to have it - would be nice bonus if other factors are there

 

Brands I've considered (I've read some posts by DBL that have been extremely informative - thanks in advance!);

  • Shun - not opposed to them, but not at all attached; I've fondled a coupe and haven't been overly impressed
  • Shun Elite - I've actually ordered a couple and are on their way. I got them because I heard Shun is discontinuing the line. They may not stay with me...
  • Moritaka (recommended by Mark @ CKTG) - actually have a 270 kiritsuke/gyuto on order (not Damascus) - like the shape and length, and the AS Steel is intriguing... very excited about this one!
  • Takeda (recommended by Mark @ CKTG) - more positive reviews than any other knife on his site! But not in stock...
  • MAC Ultimate
  • Kasumi - seem like very well made, I like the handle and it's riveted; good line of knives; not sure how hefty/durable they are?
  • Morimoto Miyabi 600 MC - I'm not really a Henkels fan, and although I am a fan of Morimoto, I'm not a fan of celebrity chef stuff; these knives seem pretty cool, but I wonder if the high price tag is worth it?

 

There are many other good knife makers out there, I know, and I'm just getting my feet wet in the Japanese steel world. Thanks in advance for any help and opinions! Cheers!!! mpp

post #2 of 15

BDL will probably be along soon to give you advice -- betcha he plumps for the MAC -- but I do have two remarks here about your general questions.

 

1. Handles

It doesn't matter much, really. There are only a couple of good grips to use, and none of them really gets into the handle, so it ends up being largely aesthetic. I switched from Western to Japanese-style handles when I was in Japan, and was very surprised to find that I barely noticed. The one place I for one would hold out for the Western handle no matter what is with a paring/petty knife, because one is often holding that really by the handle, up off the board, and Japanese handles can twist on you a hair more easily. Since you don't seem to have much of a preference, I'd suggest dropping this from the equation.

 

2. Durability

With double-beveled knives, there are, among Japanese knives, basically three types: garbage, good, and "laser." You don't want the first, obviously. The "laser" thing refers to knives that are ludicrously thin, almost anorexic. That has some advantages, but durability isn't one of them. Otherwise, if you get a good knife, sharpen it appropriately, and use it appropriately, durability is far less of an issue than you think. (Everyone has this confusion, initially, it's not just you.) Frankly, these knives are quite tough -- they just don't seem like they could be, because they're so light. That's an illusion.

 

There are some techniques about which you will need to be mildly careful, which may or may not mean changing your arsenal. If you mince piles of herbs in the classic French manner, holding the tip down and guillotine-ing up and down with the handle, rotating the knife around the curve of the tip as you go, you may find a problem: specifically, the curve of the tip will embed itself in the board and then, as you rotate, will pick up micro-chips. There are three solutions: stop using this method, use a much tougher knife for this one technique, or learn a very light touch. In general, I think the third is the right answer, because I do not think most people should plan to make dramatic changes in technique to suit new equipment, but should rather buy equipment that suits their technique (assuming, of course, that the technique in question is basically decent). But personally I've actually completely changed all my technique, from soup to nuts, to suit wildly different equipment than I used to use. So, whatever.

 

You must be very careful around bone, but principally for the same reason. It's not hitting bone that will screw up these knives -- they're tough -- it's twisting. What these knives really don't like is crosswise force at the edge.

 

My recommendation would be to keep that Wustie as your chef de chef, i.e. your brutality knife, then buy a 270mm gyuto. A decent petty knife to back that up and you're in business.

 

But I'll let BDL tell you which brands....

post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the info, CL!

 

As you described, that's how I do most of my chopping/slicing - tip on the board w/ a rocking motion. I use a rotating slicing action for most of this type of work, not a straight up-and-down chopping like a paper cutter - the knife cuts better when a slicing motion is added to the chopping motion. Since I'm used to such a big heavy knife, I know I'll have to change some of my techniques/habits w/ J-steel. I know the J-steel doesn't like twisting, but didn't know about the edge micro-chipping from a tip down rocking motion - I will take extra care on that! Just not sure I want to radically change all of my techniques. Someday I'll put a laser in my kit, and for that, sure, I'll use it appropriately.

 

A couple of concerns re: handles. First is durability of construction. When I see a handle with a full tang and rivets, I think that it will never become loose. I can't imagine though, that a traditional Japanese handle of good craftsmanship will ever come loose, despite the rattlings in my head. The other concern is with the grip - with my 12" W, if I grab it too for forward of the handle the base of my index finger will hit a squared off part of the knife where it transitions into the spine, and if I have a big job to do w/ lots of cutting/chopping/slicing I'll get a blister. Maybe in part due to poor technique. Or that it a large heavy knife that needs a lot of force. I'm concerned w/ J-knife handle and a pinch grip that I'll be getting more of the same issue. Maybe I should just change my technique to suit the tool... Thanks again! mpp

post #4 of 15

I just wrote a long reply which my stupid mousepad-bug managed to delete for me ;P But in short, any of the knife brands you've picked out manufactures truely good knives. And on the handle side of things, picking out the right for you is impossible for us. You have to go out and try the knives yourself for that

 

And im pretty sure you'll adapt your technique to the new lightness and  sharpness of a knife pretty fast.

post #5 of 15

Handles: don't sweat it. If the handle is seated right, it won't come off, and you're talking about good manufacturers who aren't going to sell you mis-seated handles. Whether you'll like the handles is another matter.

 

Technique: these knives are a great deal tougher than you'd think. Don't agonize. Don't change your technique immediately, just think "light touch, light touch, light touch." If you still get microchipping, then, yes, start thinking about what you want to do -- change technique, change knives, or what?

 

Blister: a chef acquaintance of mine in Kyoto, a guy who basically scored 2.9 Michelin stars (they actually told him he was right on the edge of three and ought to push just that little bit harder for next time around), told me that the true mark of a kaiseki chef is a callus on the middle finger in between the lowest two knuckles (i.e. the part closest to the hand). That's because when you hold an usuba correctly -- which every kaiseki chef does about half of his life -- that part of the finger is jammed hard up against the knife. You're not using an usuba, fortunately, but perhaps the principle is worth considering.

post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 

Here's a brief update;

 

I got the Shun Elite chef knife in, along with a couple others, and didn't like it. There are some nice features about it, but more features about it that I didn't like it enough to keep it. Basically, I thought the handle design was a little clunky; however, I did like the bolster design in how it was curved for the fingers and it was one piece of the outer layers of steel, rather than being two separate pieces welded onto each side of the blade. The shape of the chef's knife was as BDL describes - an awkward version of a German style blade w/ too much curve for my taste on the bottom edge. I've come to the conclusion  that Shun knives are over-hyped over-expensive Japanese-style knives designed for mass market appeal. Not bad knives at all, but not what I'm looking for.

 

I've since order the Hattori Forum JCK FH 270 gyuto from JCK and the Blazen 270 gyuto from EE. Very excited about both, but will only be able to keep one. I'm leaning towards the FH due to the handle design, but I'll in person soon. Very excited!

 

In the meantime, I've been playing w/ a Moritaka 270 kiritsuke from CKTG. It's san-mai construction w/ AS steel. First impression are - WOWWWWWW!!!!! I'm so not used to a knife like this! It's nearly polar opposite the 12" W I've been using and have become accustomed to. It's so much sharper and lighter, and the shape and handle are completely new to me. It was sharp OOTB, but I lightly put it on a fine oil stone I have and a few light passes on my new MAC black ceramic steel and the edge is quite good - will cut hair but not give a close shave. I'm going through a big learning curve on using a knife like this - I love it so much, and am willing to change and adopt some new techniques suited to this type of knife.

 

One of the biggest differences is the handle - I've never used a Wa handle before, and it's interested. Overall I think I prefer a western handle (which is why I'm really looking forward to the Hattori FH). Since the Moritaka kirit is lighter and nimbler, I don't have to grip it so hard, which is nice. I'm just not used to holding the knife so far up on the handle to get a pinch grip on the blade with the thumb and fore finger, and it feels a bit awkward but at the same time it feels like what it most practical.

post #7 of 15

The Hattori FH is a beautiful knife with near perfect ergonomics.  I think you'll like it very much.  The Blazen will almost certainly exhibit superior edge retention vs the Hattori.  I have to agree with you re the Shun Elite...just not worth it.  The fit and finish is great and the knife is well made but the design is all "wrong."  The Moritaka "kiritsuke" is an interesting one; it's not a true Kiritsuke (they're double beveled) but shaped like one with a 50/50 edge.  While I haven't used that one I did get to spend some time using a 270mm Moritaka gyuto and I fell in love with it.  It was thin, light & beautiful and the Aogami core takes a superb edge.  If you work diligently on sharpening it will give you an edge that's quite likely to be superior to anything you've ever seen before.

"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 #8 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the feedback Phaedrus! I realize the Moritaka kiritsuke is not a true kiritsuke since it's got a double bevel, but that's fine by me. It's a fun knife to have! It's so light and nimble.

 

I got the Blazen 270 gyuto in the mail today. I never in a million years expected it to be so beautiful! All of the on-line pics just don't do it justice. It's truly stunning in person!

 

Why do you say the Blazen will have better edge retention than the Hattori? Is it because of the SG2 steel being harder than the VG-10 steel?

 

Even in the last few days of waiting delivery of the SS knifes and playing around w/ the carbon Moritaka, I'm not really interested in SS anymore. The more I read and learn, it seems real blade fanatics are fans of carbon steel, and I'm starting to see why. Maintenance is not an issue for me - I have always meticulously cleaned and cared for my knives; I'm more interested in the performance of the blade's ability to take and hold an edge, and how it feels in my hand.

 

Saying that, I'm now thinking I want a carbon steel knife w/ a western handle. I use a pinch grip, but hold my thumb and forefinger around the bolster, not on the blade. I'm a little awkward using the wa handle on the Moritaka. When I picked up the Blazen today it felt familiar and comfortable. I'm not opposed to adapting to a wa handle, this is just where I'm at at the moment... and that may change again in a few days...

post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 

So here's a couple questions about steels and knives;

 

Any recommendations on a 270 gyuto carbon w/a  western handle? That's somewhat reasonable, say under $400? So far I'm come up with the Hiromoto Tenmi Jyuraku Aogami Super Series f/ JCK. The CarboNext isn't hard enough... I'm looking for something hard now...

 

I'm confused about Aogami Super Steel and it's hardness. Some inconsistencies from site to site and maker to maker. I know there are different grades with different hardnesses. For instance; Mark @ CKTG states that the Moritaka knives (both the kuroichi and Damascus) knives are made from the high end AS w/ a hardness of 65. JCK says the Hiromoto AS are HRC62-63. On zknives.com, he states that Aogami Super is HRC61, Aogami 1 & 2 seem to both be HRC65 with 1 having better wear resistance and 2 being tougher. Can anyone shed some light?

 

I think I'm willing to give up on the western handle in order to get something like AS HRC65 at a reasonable price... the Moritaka knives are very nice, super sharp, hard steel, and they offer several different styles and sizes that I'm looking for, without breaking the bank...

post #10 of 15

There is no single inherent hardness level for any given steel.  Nearly all have a relatively wide hardness range to which they can be taken by varying temperatures and quench.  Obviously there are tradeoffs to be made; too hard and a steel may be brittle, or fragile.  Aogami seems to be pretty successful at fulfilling it's role when hardened up til at least 64 RC.  That said, I don't think there's any reason to get overly obsessed with the number listed.  Hardness is a factor in the performance of a steel but hardly the only one- maybe not even the most important.

"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 #11 of 15

Was reading on your concerns with HRC ratings and wanted to comment as I had let this become an overwhelming thought for myself as well.

 

A few things I learned in relation to hardness is that not every single knife of the same model will have exactly the same hardness (should be close, but it can vary), not every mfg gets the same performance from a similar HRC rating because how they harden and the actual steel used can have a larger effect on performance than the actual hardness etc

 

Something that is also confusing is that it is seeming to be difficult to compare "specs" on J knives because there are so many factors involved it just does not seem to work. An example is how moly steel blades that are slightly softer than say VG10 can not only often be easier to sharpen "properly" but also more forgiving in respect to micro chipping. They may not be as hard, and not hold an edge as long, but still get razor sharp, and will stay that way a long time, but you will not have as many concerns with chipping from unintentional or even intentional twisting on the board.

 

It also is seeming to be that everything here is just like most things in life in that there are trade offs. Too soft has it share of problems and benefits, and so does too hard as well. Another poster had made a great point about the best all around blade may very well be one with a mid graded HRC as it would still have enough hardness to take a good edge while not having as strong of a concern for chipping etc.  The more time I spend with my new J knives the more I am understanding this.

 

I am very interested in your thoughts on the Hattori when you receive it as that model is currently on my short list for when I upgrade or add to the collection so please let us know what you think.

 

"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 #12 of 15


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by carvingtool View Post

Thanks for the feedback Phaedrus! I realize the Moritaka kiritsuke is not a true kiritsuke since it's got a double bevel, but that's fine by me. It's a fun knife to have! It's so light and nimble.

 

I got the Blazen 270 gyuto in the mail today. I never in a million years expected it to be so beautiful! All of the on-line pics just don't do it justice. It's truly stunning in person!

 

Why do you say the Blazen will have better edge retention than the Hattori? Is it because of the SG2 steel being harder than the VG-10 steel?

 

Even in the last few days of waiting delivery of the SS knifes and playing around w/ the carbon Moritaka, I'm not really interested in SS anymore. The more I read and learn, it seems real blade fanatics are fans of carbon steel, and I'm starting to see why. Maintenance is not an issue for me - I have always meticulously cleaned and cared for my knives; I'm more interested in the performance of the blade's ability to take and hold an edge, and how it feels in my hand.

 

Saying that, I'm now thinking I want a carbon steel knife w/ a western handle. I use a pinch grip, but hold my thumb and forefinger around the bolster, not on the blade. I'm a little awkward using the wa handle on the Moritaka. When I picked up the Blazen today it felt familiar and comfortable. I'm not opposed to adapting to a wa handle, this is just where I'm at at the moment... and that may change again in a few days...



Hmmm so if your not happy with that Hattori is there a chance I could buy it from you at a great discount :D

 

Also have been discussing and considering carbons on another site myself. I am not really sure I need the added benefit any more than $200+ Hattori, but every time I see any of you praising the carbons it just raises my curiosity etc.

 

Sounds like you already found your preference in handles, and that can help you to narrow down future decisions as it cuts the herd pretty much almost in half. When I was going through this about a month and a half ago I did the same as it was just too much with all the different steels, profiles, designs, price levels and the like.

 

 

Quote:
In the meantime, I've been playing w/ a Moritaka 270 kiritsuke from CKTG. It's san-mai construction w/ AS steel. First impression are - WOWWWWWW!!!!! I'm so not used to a knife like this! It's nearly polar opposite the 12" W I've been using and have become accustomed to. It's so much sharper and lighter, and the shape and handle are completely new to me. It was sharp OOTB, but I lightly put it on a fine oil stone I have and a few light passes on my new MAC black ceramic steel and the edge is quite good - will cut hair but not give a close shave. I'm going through a big learning curve on using a knife like this - I love it so much, and am willing to change and adopt some new techniques suited to this type of knife.

It is funny as I can feel the excitement in your words and I am still feeling that way nearly every time I use my new knives or discuss the improved sharpness and performance of J knives (and mine are not even on the same level as yours) but from what you wrote here I just wanted to let you know that it sounds like your moritaka can get much sharper than it is now. Yes just think of that!!

 

The others here were great in helping me to better understand properly sharpening J knives, and I am sure they will be a big help for you as well. Just be prepared to be surprising yourself with what you thought was sharp in the past, and the edge you will be able to produce in the future, and then improve on that etc.

 

Sounds like you are getting in enough very different knives to allow yourself to be able to get a feel for the different styles, profiles, steels etc and this is a great thing because it allows to compare and really know your happy with your final decisions.

 

Looking forward to hearing your comparisons etc.

 

"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 #13 of 15

Carving Tool --

 

You've got a lot of good questions -- some of which are very general interest.  

 

There are a lot of very good choices at far less than the top of your price range, and the knives get better still (although a fewer on the ground) as you approach it. 

 

I doubt you'd realize any practical advantages at RCH 65 as opposed to 60-61; but am interested in what you think they might be.  I smell  "teaching moment," one useful for a lot of people who lurk here.  

 

There is no "right" hardness for Aogami Super; and you can't trust manufacturers to report the numbers in a way which allows valid comparison.  61-62ish is pretty good for most AS knives.

 

As long as he's using something good, the knife maker has a lot more to do with the quality of the knife than the particular alloy.  If you're looking for carbon, there's no need to restrict yourself to AS.  There are great knives made in both whites, all three blues, and at least one of the Swedish carbons -- not to mention the tool steels.  In fact, if you're looking for something very hard and tough you might want to consider one of the wa-handled, tsuchime, Yoshikane knives -- even though it's semi-stainless and not carbon. 

 

You really have to figure out whether you're going yo or wa.  There are plenty of great knives either way.  For yo-carbon, the Masamoto HC (probably V2C steel) is very good; The Tadatsuna White #2 is still better -- and might well be the very best carbon yo-gyuto at any price; and the Misono Sweden is just a step below but a heckuva lot cheaper.  For wa-carbon, the Masamoto KS is as good as a gyuto gets.  Takeda is very good and so is Moritaka.  But, if you like lasers, the Tadatsuna White #2, and the Konoskue White #2 are also excellent. 

 

Setting you up with the knife which best matches your desires shouldn't be too difficult.

 

BDL

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What were we talking about?
 
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post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hey BDL - thanks for jumping in on this thread. I've read a lot of you replies in other threads, and I really appreciate your input!

 

Here's an update... and it got long winded...

 

After more time w/ the Moritaka 270 kiritsuke, I now realize it's not a true replacement for a gyuto/chef's knife. I also realize it's not a true kiritsuke since it's 50/50 bevel, more of a western-gyuto-styled kiritsuke. It doesn't have much of a curve to the blade edge, therefore it's not very good for any type of rocking motion. It's got a little curve at the tip, so the handle can be lifted off the board w/ the tip down a little bit, but lift the handle too high and the tip bites into the board. I'm getting used to using a blade w/ such a straight edge, but I'm finding it's got it's niche. Still love it though!

 

Needless to say, I've been obsessing over knives for some time now... researching and reading more trying to get a hold on who makes what with what for what price...

 

I received the Hattori FH - still in the box, unused. First impressions are it's extremely well made and BEAUTIFUL! I've run the knife on the board for a couple of light passes along side the Blazen, and I can immediately tell the difference between a single steel blade and a san-mai blade - I much prefer the liveliness and feed-back of the single steel blade. Not that I dislike the san-mai blades, maybe it's the after using German steel for so long the FH feels more familiar. Regardless, I'm now leaning towards a single-steel blade, and that narrows my search down even more. As I understand it, from BDL and others on the internets, Hattori makes VG-10 as good as it can get.

 

The Blazen feels a little bit like a German knife, but with less feed back - it's feels large and solid with a handle that you can take a firm grip on. The FH feels lighter and nimbler in the hand - more precise. I really appreciate the shape of the FH blade - it shows that a lot of thought went into it's design. On the Blazen, the back end of the blade it perfectly flat, while on the FH the heel has a very slight upward curve. This gives each knife a very different feel on the board in a push-cut; the Blazen feel has more of an abrupt transition from the downward slicing motion to the forward forward motion; the FH seems to be smoother due the upward curve in the heel. Both are beautiful, but very different.

 

Maybe the only thing I don't like about the FH is that it's got a lot of sharp corners. The steel bolster has flat edges as opposed to the inward curving edges on the Blaze; the top of the spine and choil are dead square right angles, where as the Blazen is very nicely rounded. Not a deal breaker to me, but I can see after a long cutting session those edge could raises some blisters. The crisp edges show off the precision and quality of fabrication, but honestly do not seem practical to me.

 

I've also come to realize that the ultimate hardness is not the ultimate factor in the blade; how the maker works with the steel has more to do with the knife's performance. From what I've read, it  seems that White Steel will take a sharper edge than Blue steel, but Blue Steel will retain it's edge better. The reason I'm drawn to Aogami Super Steel is edge retention and resistance to chipping for it's hardness. I'm still not too clear on who uses what steel, particularly when blue steel is discussed. As far as I understand, there is Blue #1, Blue #2 and Blue Super; who uses what is sometimes a mystery to me as some sellers/makers simply refer to the steel as Blue. White steel seems to be more clearly defined.

 

After having used the Moritaka AS blade for it's first dinner party, the benefits of stainless are more apparent than ever. I was very careful to wipe the blade after each use and not leave it wet or with acid on it. Still, it had faint rust on it rather quickly. That came off with a light scrubbing so it doesn't seem to be a big deal. But if I'm cooking for clients and cranking along, I'm not going to have the time or mind set to wipe and dry the blade after every cutting job. That's not to say that I'm ruling out carbon over stainless, but stainless is now more in the picture.

 

Handles I'm still up in the air on, but I really like the feel of the FH. I guess I'm more interested in the blade performance regardless of the handle - I'll happily use either if the blade is what I want. BDL's recommendations have really caught my attention - the Masamoto KS looks like it's simply magnificent, and the Konosuke HD and Tadatsuna White #2 are intriguing options as well because they are (I believe) single steel blades. I'm more inclined to have one of these over the Blazen. I can't seem to find a Tadatsuna White Steel #2 w/ a yo-handle...  If I could drop the coin, I think I'd go for a honyaki AS knife, not sure from who... maybe this Monzaburo? If Hattori ever does the Forum designed knives in Cowry-X that could be orgasmic!

 

 

Quote:
 There are a lot of very good choices at far less than the top of your price range, and the knives get better still (although a fewer on the ground) as you approach it. 

 

OK - I'm all ears!

 

Thanks for listening and contributing - Cheers! mpp

post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 

Alright, I'm thinking about a wa-laser and a yo-workhorse...

 

The workhorse should have hard steel that holds an edge very well, hence why I went w/ the Blazen w/ SG2 steel, and why I've since been drawn to AS steel. Stain-resistant steel would be good because it'll be my primary knife during cooking jobs and I won't always have time to wipe the blade dry between cutting tasks.

 

The hand-hammered Yoshikane comes in both yo and wa handles - hard SKD tool steel @ HRC 64. Why didn't I consider this one before???!!! But the specs for the blade with each handle are slightly different - the yo handle blade isn't as tall as the wa handle. Maybe that's just slight irregularities from knife to knife? The weight difference between the two handles seems significant, so are the two even comparable?

 

What about the Hiromoto Tenmi Jyuraku AS knives? Appealing to me for the AS steel clad w/ stainless and yo handle...

 

So how does the Blazen compare to the Yoshikane and Hiromoto? SG2 steel to SKD steel to  AS steel - durability, ability to take an edge, edge retention? Design and function? In pics the Yoshikane and Hiromoto appear to have a very flat profiles...

 

 

 

The laser doesn't have to have such hard steel to hold an edge as well, but would be good to have - the harder the better. This knife prolly won't see as much use as the work horse, more of my fun-at-home and specialty cutting knife.

 

For a laser I'm all over the place... Top contender is the Masamoto KS - read nothing but good things about it, and it's solid white #2 (and I love the variety of blade types and lengths offered in this line!). From there it's the Konosuke fujiyama white #2 or HD - really appreciate BDL's in-depth review of the HD; Tadatsuna white #2; Suisin Inox Honyaki; Mizuno Tanrenjo Akitada Hontanren (blue #2)...

 

I'm slightly OCD about knives... can you tell?   wink.gif

 

Cheers!   biggrin.gif

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