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Questions on new equipment?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hey guys, 
 

I'm a culinary student and I've been looking around the site for a week or two now. You all seem very knowledgeable, but there are a few topics I haven't been able to find answers for.

 

1. Is the Masamoto Virgin Carbon Steel Gyutou worth it?

Is there anything I should know before buying it? So far I know that the carbon steel will tarnish, but I'm dedicated to looking after it, oiling it during storage. etc. And is the carbon steel that much of an advantage in terms of sharpness of the VG?
 

Also, I'm currently using a 8" Victorinox knife, would jumping to the 10.5" be that much of a difference? or would a 9.4" be more comfortable?

2. With the new knife purchase I'm looking to find a decent case for my knifes. Something that locks (don't want my knives stolen), something with enough room for a 8 PC knife set plus various small wares. and something that isn't overly bulky (I'll be doing a lot of subway travel next year, and carrying a big, bulky toolbox might be tiresome.

 

3 Is the Edge Pro Apex worth the money? and will the stage 1 do? or is it worth the money for the stage 2/3? Or is it better to just learn by hand on a waterstone?

 

If there's any other suggestions for someone who is starting to upgrade knives, and their kit in general?

I really appreciate it

post #2 of 14
Thread Starter 

Sorry, I probably should mention a little bit more about myself, and what I want.


I'm going to school. and working in a professional kitchen. so these knives will be used a decent amount. I would like to know if the Masamoto will stand up, and last for 5 to 10 or maybe even 20 years.

 

I'm looking to spend roughly 200-300 on the chef knife, and i'm hoping to find a good case for no more than $150 if possible. If not then whatever amount is the better case.


I am leaning towards a yo handle. as I am very familiar with it. But is a wa handle that much better?
 

post #3 of 14

The larger knives tend to be more efficient but a bit awkward initially. It's one of those cases where you learn the tool that offers the most performance over what feels comfortable at first. Think tennis where you learn the grips and swings. It's not necessarily instinctual but it yields the best results in the end.

 

As to the rest, I have no opinion. You're talking about a good class of knives where individual preference is more important than performance differences.

post #4 of 14

With stones you can thin, polish, and repair blades, all of which, if possible, would be very difficult with the EdgePro.  You would just be using the EdgePro stones like regular stones.  Might want to keep that in mind.  There is also no rush to decide -- in most major cities there will be a number of knife sharpening places.  Ask around and you can find some place good.  Several in New York will charge $2-6 per knife, so if you want to keep your knives sharp in the meanwhile as you figure it out you can do that.  "Which knife is right" is a pesonal thing and really should be decided upon after you've handled the knives.


 

 

 

post #5 of 14

I don't see how it's any harder to repair or polish on edge pro over other stones. Thinning would be more of a hassle, true, but that's a fairly advanced technique for a beginner to concern themselves with.

post #6 of 14

I agree with you that it can be done.  However, the EdgePro stones are smaller than the most popular stone sizes, which will in and of itself make these tasks more troublesome and time consuming.  As for thinning -- since he's a student looking at a culinary career, the likelihood of his wanting to thin some blades are much higher than any home cook.  I am just mentioning some things for consideration -- the decision, obviously, will always be his and his alone. in the end.


 

post #7 of 14

But the jig and tapes make polishing easy for even a novice. And for repair, the focused reworking of the jig is also advantageous to any novice.

post #8 of 14

Yes, but only for knives with small, uniform bevels.  For thicker knives or ones with non-uniform bevels from heel to tip, the EdgePro cuts a secondary bevel and you end up blending it by hand.  Yes that is an issue only with certain knives, but I think it is something to consider before dropping $250-$350 on an EdgePro setup.  There are some limitations that should be considered.  Also, since he's just starting the course, what he will cook for a living is as yet unknown, so it is in my opinion that all these factors be considered before making such an investment.


 

post #9 of 14

Oh and for repair -- I was thinking about tip repair.  Grinding from the back of the knife.  That you would just have to do by hand.  I guess you can do most of it on a driveway or something though.

 

I'm not trying to argue with you Phatch -- I am relatively new to the game.  But I have taken some of my knives to be sharpened by a place that uses a jig just to see how my hand sharpening compared, and I feel that there are some limitations to the jigs.  I have also purchased a pair of used yanagi on eBay because I would like the challenge of sharpening and polishing these things, and I just don't see how a jig can sharpen and polish these properly -- the bevel changes width and angle over the length of the blade and I don't see how a jig can accommodate that.


 

post #10 of 14

Oh certainly. I much prefer freehand myself. But the edge pro can do surprising things.

post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info guys. Im thinking I might as well learn to freehand. Especially since the many benefits of when you do learn. Roughly how steep.is the learning curve?

Unfortuneatly I dont have any where in the area selling the Masamoto hc. Or really any carbon steel knives for that matter. How similar would it be to the masamoto vg? Which is the closest knife i could find in the area.

Secondly any advice on knife cases? Preferably locking. I have looked and only found a handfull which are pretty pricey, or fairly small in size..
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info guys. Im thinking I might as well learn to freehand. Especially since the many benefits of when you do learn. Roughly how steep.is the learning curve?

Unfortuneatly I dont have any where in the area selling the Masamoto hc. Or really any carbon steel knives for that matter. How similar would it be to the masamoto vg? Which is the closest knife i could find in the area.

Secondly any advice on knife cases? Preferably locking. I have looked and only found a handfull which are pretty pricey, or fairly small in size..
post #13 of 14

Sorry -- I don't own that knife, and I don't own any knife cases, so I don't have any advice on either.  If no one here has these answers for you, maybe browse a few more knife forums.  There are a bunch (though the same thirty or forty people seem to populate most of them).

 

For learning sharpening, the learning curve is not all that bad -- with a little study (online videos) and lots of practice, you will in all likelihood have a better edge than the Wusthof/Henckels factory edge inside of three to six months.  Better than most Japanese factory edges, I would say maybe three months after that.

 

My personal recommendation is to watch the instructional videos at chefknivestogo.com -- those are well made, in a good pace, and very informational (many YouTube videos just show a guy sharpening without explaining what is being done or why).  There are a lot of guys who sharpen better than Mark online (sorry Mark), but I find those videos the most instructional, especially for beginners.  Once you have a good grasp of the basics, you can absorb a lot more from just watching other videos.  There is no limit -- one of the guys who used to post a lot here, BDL, said he has his knives so sharp that he put one on a chicken to answer the phone and when he came back the knife had slid off and cut most of the way through a wing.  And he still said there were people better than him at sharpening.

 

Basically you can go as far as you want, but if you're good with your hands, it should only take a couple of months, probably less than the length of most cooking courses, to get your knives much sharper than any German factory edge.  If you start before you go to school, you will in all likelihood have the sharpest knives in your class.

post #14 of 14

Oh yeah one more thing -- while initially learning freehand sharpening, you may scrape up the side of your knife here and there.  So you might want to practice on a crappy knife for a while and get a bit more confident about the angles before taking your Ikons or whatever new knife you buy to the stones.  If you don't have any old/cheap knives lying around, Bed Bath & Beyond has a $9.99 forged 8" chef from Farberware that would do well for practice.

 

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