Ive been cooking for about 4 years in a scratch kitchen with a great chef, ive bought about six lamson knives right from the factory ( I live in western mass). One 7'' sotoku thats my main go to knife, a 8'' french, 6'' fillet, 4'' french, 5'' veggie cleaver and a 6'' utility that never gets used on the fly... My question is, other than my sotoku that is resonable sharp and im proficient in diamond steel sharpening. Is there a better brand or model that would suit my "go to" requirement, and thats from chopping small mushrooms to slicing a 10 oz cut of prime rib evenly on the fly. I just feel there may be a better style or higher quality knife thats more comfortable or hold an edge better?.. Any recommendations would be great.
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LamsonSharp knives.. Opinions and recommendations to a up and coming chef.post #1 of 131/30/11 at 7:06pmThread Starterpost #2 of 131/30/11 at 7:15pm
I'm looking at these right now. From your use-case, you may want to look at the 150mm Pettypost #3 of 131/30/11 at 7:21pmThread Starter
Not that im pro american but from what ive seen and heard from my chefs, japenese knives are great but blade hardness and durability kinda sucks.... And not to mention the diffrent sharpening techniques "single edges blade" I belive its called?post #4 of 131/30/11 at 7:53pm
There are a lot of standard (double-bevel) Japanese blades out there. Japanese knives are very hard and very durable - not sure what experience the critics were having with them. I know that going from a traditional forged knife to a thin Japanese knife is kind of a "culture change" - but I am seeing more and more and more Japanese knives in kitchens and a lot less "new" Western/forged knives.
At the same time - I know there are a lot of cheap 'wannabe' soft-steel stamped "Eastern Style" knives on the market. They are just as crappy as a KitchenAid or other homeless cook's knife. You get what you pay for.
I suggest you look at all the knife threads here, and wait for input from others on this thread. You will get more than enough information from the group here to make a sound and cost-reasonable decision on your next knife. Cheers!
post #5 of 131/30/11 at 8:06pmThread Starter
Thanks for the input.. My critics are moslt likely biased twards old school american knives.. Im open to all options, but I really want to stay in the american knife market or if anyone has gone through this same dillema make me sway my decision to a japenese brand, I may just listen haha... The more i think about it though, I dont really like the feel of traditional "french" knives anymore, my sotoku feels so natural in my hand, as does my ebony stright handle... Where can I go to feel and handle multiple knives in a retail setting???post #6 of 131/30/11 at 8:18pm
You have to look for a "Knife Shop" in your area. A Williams-Sonoma, BB&Beyond, Sur la Table - mostly have common knives; You want to go to a REAL knife shop - One that just sells and sharpens knives. What City/State do you live in? Try a Google Search and see what comes up in your area.post #7 of 131/30/11 at 8:19pm
If you're slicing a lot of rib or portioning other big pieces, there's no substitute for a slicer. 10" is probably a good size. Your santoku is awfully short for the purpose. A 6" petty would be too short as well. While I think a petty is a great knife, it's not a particularly good companion to a santoku.
Most working pros can get by quite well with a 10" chef's, a petty or paring knife, a 10" slicer, and an 8" - 10" bread. If you're both a minimalist and a good sharpener, and don't do a lot of meat work or baking, you don't really need the slicer or the bread. Obviously, this "most" doesn't include a santoku. If you're going to make one your go-to, you'll want to adjust your set accordingly -- santoku, slicer, bread and paring would probably cover everything pretty well. The whole santoku thing never made much sense to me in terms of my own use, so forgive me if I seem a little dim on the subject. Don't get me wrong, I think they're great for those who like them.
I'm not exactly sure what type of knife or knives you're looking at as additions and/or replacements to what you already have. If you're looking for better quality Japanese knives -- better at least that Shun and Global -- you may not be able to find them in a brick and mortar anywhere in New England. If holding the knife before buying is really important to you, you may have to take a trip to New York. I don't think that's really necessary. Assuming your hands and grip aren't all that unusual, it won't be too difficult to set you up with knives you'll find very comfortable. Hand size is one part of the equation, but your grip style is really more important.
The more specific you are in terms of what you want and how much you're willing to spend, the more specific I can be in terms of recommendation.
Ultimately, no knife is going to be better than your ability to sharpen it. There are real limits to how good a job you can do with a diamond rod, not to mention the inevitable damage you do with one. If you want to stick with a diamond hone as your primary sharpener, I suggest buying inexpensive knives. On the other hand, if you're willing to invest the time, effort, and expense it takes to become a good sharpener, the edge a good knife can take and hold will make your work life a lot easier and more pleasant.
FWIW, Lamsonsharp knives are of similar quality to typical good, German made knives. In fact, Lamson uses the same alloy found in many of the higher end Germans, X50CrMoV15 -- and the other Germans don't use anything much different. Lamsons and the Germans are very different from good Japanese knives. Those are much lighter, get much sharper, but won't stand up to anywhere near the same amount of abuse.
BDLpost #8 of 131/30/11 at 11:39pmThread Starter
Thanks for the input.. I have a few questions, First my grip is kind of unique, i have very small hands for my size and full size 10'' blades feel like a sword in my hand. And i tend to grip the first inch or so of the blade with my forefinger and thumb, just due to my small hands.... Also, i know how to use a whetstone and steel rod, but the diamond steel seems to work just right for a quick edge on a regular basis, am I missing something? Whats is the best sharpening technique for longetivity? ...... Im aware no knife just like my santoku is going to be "best" in every situation, I just wondered if there was a better choice than what im already used to.post #9 of 131/30/11 at 11:41pmThread Starterpost #10 of 131/31/11 at 7:25am
Diamond steels are very aggressive; take away a lot of metal (shortening the knife's lifespan); magnify errors because of the small contact patch; and leave a very coarse edge. Coarse edges may seem very efficient, but they are more like sharp saws than sharp, fine edges and will not leave the same, sort of smooth and narrow kerf. They also require more back and forth action.
What's best for "longevity?" It depends. The least amount of pressure on the finest surface is a glib answer, but you have to balance that against your need for absolute (as opposed to relative) sharpness. Good sharpeners are always balancing durability against sharpness. I know that I sharpen mine a little more symmetric and a little more obtuse than some of my friends in order to get some degree of durability and at the expense of a little sharpness. What's right for you is a thing you'll have to find with experience and by finding the "sweet spot" for your knives and sharpening kit.
I can't tell you what's right for you, only help you find and experiment with some of the better alternatives. Sharpening is one of those things that the better you're used to, the more you demand.
Your hand size doesn't have that much to do with your grip. That comes as a surprise to most people, but it's true as does the "fact" that learning to use a longer is very grip and posture dependent but doesn't relate much to hand size. The trick -- such as it is -- is learning to keep the point and spine of the knife on a line with your wrist, forearm and elbow so that the point intuitively goes where your eyes look.
I take it you're using a pinch (at least for chopping with your santoku) and that you're coming up really close to the back of the knife with your back fingers. Is that right? If you don't use too much pressure and are comfortable with a narrow handle that really expands the universe of possibilities for you, since so many of the reasonably priced Japanse made knives have short and narrow handles.
I'm not trying to sell you a 10" chefs in favor of your santoku, but the longer knife is a lot easier (once you've learned to use it) and more productive for the bulk of prep. On the other hand, a santoku doesn't have anything like the same learning curve. Mastering a 10" chef's will take a few weeks and some effort on your part. Whether that's worth it is something for you to answer. Even if it's a good idea for the large majority of pros, even if I think it's the way to go -- Remember: One size very definitely does not fit all; and (if your santoku suits) don't fix what ain't broke.
More than anything else, a "tri-hone" is a way of storing and mounting stones. How good one is depends almost entirely on the stones themselves -- their quality, their appropriatness for the knives, and their size. Some tri-hones, such as the Norton IM-313 are fantastice -- given the right stone selection. Others, are crap. Yet one more thing which "just depends."
BDLpost #11 of 132/8/12 at 3:35pmpost #12 of 132/9/12 at 8:01amDepends what you mean by "great." Also on how much you want to spend. Take a minute, take a few deep breaths. Please try writing about what you want to do and how much you can spend. Tadatsuna makes some nice knives in the $5K range. Is that what you mean?
BDLpost #13 of 132/9/12 at 9:43amQuote:
I was going to express the exact same sentiment. I think I've seen a few that are a bit nicer, though...these may be too entry level for his purposes.
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