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Looking for advice on picking up my first Sujihiki - Page 2

post #31 of 190
Thread Starter 
suji finally made it past customs today!!

only bad thing... get the distinct feeling that maybe i should have got a 300mm... this 270mm feels like maybe its a teensy bit short...
post #32 of 190

It sure is a beautiful knife.  Why are you thinking it seems short? (Already?) -- are you using it as a slicer on ham or roast beef or... are you using as an all-around "chef's knife"?

 

I have a short "suji" (210mm) which is my petty knife.  I love it as much as any kitchen knife I've ever used.  I have been made curious about a 300mm suji because of BDL's posts; I'm wondering if you're actually finding the 270 short already, or just thinking it might be.

 

And I'm wondering if the usage of a longer suji as a gyuto/chef's is idiosyncratrically BDL, or if it would make sense to try for the rest of us.  (So this last question is really for BDL, not ruscal -- BDL? And supposing one cooks very differently -- i.e., primarily vegetarian? Apart from the insanity that is wanting every length of every style in every steel... I know you love your 300mm suji, but as you often say about knives you would use vs recommend -- do you think this is "recommendable" or just you?)


Edited by Wagstaff - 8/19/11 at 6:32pm
post #33 of 190

More me.  You need to be very comfortable "coming over the top" with your grip in order to avoid busting your knuckles.  A gyuto's more practical if for no other reason than it doesn't take nearly as much thought.  If I were still catering or working the line, and/or if I didn't get so much encouragement from you guys, I wouldn't fool around nearly as much. 

 

So you see, it's your fault.

 

BDL

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post #34 of 190

Happy to take the blame, for one!  And even though you've talked about a 6" slicer as a petty... it's YOUR fault I'm using a 210mm suji as one (Ok, 75% your fault).  The books all seem to say "chef's and parer".  Which is where I started. Not no mo'.

post #35 of 190

Swapping a parer, utility and a boning knife for a petty is a paradigm shift, isn't it?  It's three, three, three knives in one.

 

BDL

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post #36 of 190

It totally is... though I haven't given up the parer completely.  Still core strawberries the old way (like I do that every day...)

post #37 of 190
Thread Starter 

when i first started exploring real knowledge on kitchen knives the longest knife i had was a 16cm global cooks knife.

 

one of my first "proper" purchases was to get a 240mm western handled gyuto. at first it seemed massive. but studying little clips on youtube i started to understand some technique and pretty soon found i was using the whole blade for veggie prep and suddenly didn't notice the size as being so outrageous.

 

i guess i was expecting the suji to feel super long first time i took it out of the box. like when you're a kid and your mom buys you new shoes and it takes a couple of months to grow into them.

 

but it didn't. i don't know if it feels short per say, but it certainly doesn't feel as long as i was expecting it to. i'm not sure if that means i shoulda got a longer blade or whether i got the perfect length. like you say i guess the proof will be in the pudding once i've had the chance to put some time into using the thing.

 

one thing i will say. ITS SUCH A PRETTY KNIFE!! i'm seriously considering buying a 240mm gyuto and a 150mm petty from the same supplier with the same steel and handle finish. means i'd probably retire my Tojiro DP santuko from misc prep duty and downgrade my Masamoto VG to take that job. i'd end up with 2 x 240mm gyuto's - a western and a japanese handle version, 2 x 150mm pettys - a western and a japanese handle version, this japanese handle 270mm suji, and a western handle bread knife.

 

feel a bit like a knife-aholic....

post #38 of 190

Ruscal,  Beautiful knife.  I'm curious with the ebony handle, where is the balance point?

 

 

post #39 of 190
Quote:
Originally Posted by ruscal View Post

[...]

i guess i was expecting the suji to feel super long first time i took it out of the box. like when you're a kid and your mom buys you new shoes and it takes a couple of months to grow into them.

 

but it didn't. i don't know if it feels short per say, but it certainly doesn't feel as long as i was expecting it to. i'm not sure if that means i shoulda got a longer blade or whether i got the perfect length. like you say i guess the proof will be in the pudding once i've had the chance to put some time into using the thing.

 

[...] i'm seriously considering buying a 240mm gyuto [...]

 

feel a bit like a knife-aholic....


yes, knife-aholic.  Me too (and it's kind of dumb for me, given that I'd do better to learn to cook better than worry about the next knife).  Of course can't afford to truly indulge.  But I will say... my second gyuto was a 270mm.  So I'll encourage your addiction by saying, especially with your response to the new suji, you might want a 270mm instead of another 240mm gyuto. It doesn't make a much of a difference as from 210 to 240, or from 270 to 300, perhaps (as BDL says).  But it seems to make plenty-enough difference to me.  And you're wanting to move in that direction anyway, from what you've said.

 

Of course then you'll REALLY want the 300mm suji, because it'll feel like you "should" maybe.  Sorry about that.  I don't mean to push you to spend still more.  But I bet you have the knife-craze in your eyes without my pushing, anyway.  (I do... and totallly didn't earn it with advanced cooking skills.  Still, I cooked with family members this weekend -- those who make better food than I -- and was appalled at their inefficient use of knives, and they were happy to learn  how to stand, how to hold the knife, how to hold less tension, oh, everywhere, while cutting. So I suppose the interest in the tools did lead somewhere good).

post #40 of 190
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by angrybob View Post

Ruscal,  Beautiful knife.  I'm curious with the ebony handle, where is the balance point?

 

 


the balance point is about 1cm above the handle. so if you pinch the blade with your thumb and forefinger when you cut, then you're roughly pinching the balance point

 

post #41 of 190
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wagstaff View Post




yes, knife-aholic.  Me too (and it's kind of dumb for me, given that I'd do better to learn to cook better than worry about the next knife).  Of course can't afford to truly indulge.  But I will say... my second gyuto was a 270mm.  So I'll encourage your addiction by saying, especially with your response to the new suji, you might want a 270mm instead of another 240mm gyuto. It doesn't make a much of a difference as from 210 to 240, or from 270 to 300, perhaps (as BDL says).  But it seems to make plenty-enough difference to me.  And you're wanting to move in that direction anyway, from what you've said.

 

Of course then you'll REALLY want the 300mm suji, because it'll feel like you "should" maybe.  Sorry about that.  I don't mean to push you to spend still more.  But I bet you have the knife-craze in your eyes without my pushing, anyway.  (I do... and totallly didn't earn it with advanced cooking skills.  Still, I cooked with family members this weekend -- those who make better food than I -- and was appalled at their inefficient use of knives, and they were happy to learn  how to stand, how to hold the knife, how to hold less tension, oh, everywhere, while cutting. So I suppose the interest in the tools did lead somewhere good).


nice to meet a fellow sufferer..! smile.gif

 

tbh i'm not sure i'm ready to handle the jump from 240mm gyuto to 270mm gyuto yet... the 240 still feels plenty big enough...

 

i'm gonna try real hard to live with these knives for a few months before spending a shed load more money trying to guess what i may or may not like 6 months from now...

 

chances of that happening? slim. i've already emailed Kosuke to get some prices... dang it!

 

post #42 of 190

That a 270 doesn't feel "long" is part of the magic of a Konosuke.  The knives cut and point with such ease, are so very light and agile, you don't get the negatives you associate with length.  Plus 270 isn't really that long for a slicer/suji.  

 

It's easy to get sold on the HDs isn't it?  Didn't take much time for you to decide to go for the gyuto.

 

The best reason to go 240 over 270 is a small worker space.  If you have room on your board for the larger knife, it will probably make you happier in the end.  Learning to point that extra 30cm is all in the grip and your posture.  We can set you up so it only takes a few days before you're more comfortable and faster with the 270 than you ever were with a 210. 

 

The real companion to a laser is still something heavy duty.  A Konosuke gyuto can handle just about anything the VG can and vice versa. Your VG will probably end up as another good choice, rather than playing a separate role.  At least so it is with my Sab. 

 

We do a fair amount of big meat partly because some of the places we buy don't have great butchers, and partly as a consequence of how much 'q we do.  My current favorite heavy duty knife is a Forschner 10" Cimeter (review soon).   Now that's a companion to the Konosukes which does tons of things you don't want them to try.  I've always liked Forschners for everything but chef's and slicers, loved their butchers' series, and the cimeter is just one more of many good reasons to retain the prejudice.  

 

BDL 

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post #43 of 190

Having used a 10" Western chef's knife of one stripe or other before "converting" (mostly)... I don't see the 270mm gyuto as feeling "long" at all.  I have a 240mm CarboNext (which I both like and don't, for reasons beyond its length -- but I now wish was a 270mm knife). Moving to a 270mm (non-laser, even!) Yoshihiro, though, the extra length seems flat out better, even on a 12" deep board, in most every regard.  And a 270mm "laser" a la a Konosuke would "feel" even easier to point -- that "magic" BDL writes of. 

 

For me, it seems the 210mm petty and the 270 gyuto are the magic pair, a 240mm now seems like a strange compromise. (Mind you, I'm still VERY attached to the 10" French knife).

 

I'm going to get a deeper board, that will make the longer knives even more comfortable.  And yes, the wa-handled numbers make for a slightly shorter knife than the yo-handled.  So my yo- 240mm CN is slightly shorter than my familiar 10" Sab.  And my wa-handled  Yoshi is only slightly longer than the Sab.

 

I think the 210mm petty (wa-handle, suji-shaped) and the 270 wa-gyuto, are the "perfect pair" for what I do.

 

I think the Forschner Cimiter is an appealing idea -- but at this point I'm only cooking meat very occasionally for guests.  And I "want' a 300mm suji because of silly addiction and being an avid BDL reader.  But I can't figure out if that's really just silly, given the MANY differences in skill level and food-product being cooked.  (Or I think I have figured out it IS just silly. But not as silly as wanting 5 different 270mm gyutos because of different steels, and wanting more trad Japanese knives just because I want to learn to use them, no matter how inappropriate to what I cook 99% of the time.  Hello, my name is Wagstaff, and I'm a knife-aholic...)

 

 

post #44 of 190
Thread Starter 

had a good month at work pay wise so i just ordered some new knives from Konosuke...

 

i went for the 240mm gyuto and the 150mm petty

 

i know i wanted a longer suji than the 270mm i ordered, but this was my first suji. i have a couple of gyutos and a few pettys so i'm more confident about what size i want for these.

 

can't wait to use these new knives. bit of a wait though - i need to wait 3-4 weeks for them to make the handles as they're currently out of stock.

 

well worth the wait in my opinion though.

 

its funny. i started this adventure looking for the perfect 8 knives. and now i've basically ended up with just 3 knives - but with western and japanese handle versions of each (if you can accept a japanese handled suji vs a western handled bread knife).

 

so yeah - thats these konosuke wa-handled 270mm suji, 240mm gyuto, and 150mm petty. verses my western handled mac 270mm bread, 240mm masamoto vg gyuto, and 150mm togiharu G-1.

 

now i just need to get rid of a tonne of global knives. i see a nice impromptu present in my sisters future....

 

thanks again for all the advice guys.

post #45 of 190

Did you go ebony again? Pics when you can!  You really "traded up".  I'm envious.

post #46 of 190
Thread Starter 
ebony handle with the silver ring - yup

soon as Kosuke sends me pics i'll upload em here
post #47 of 190

Wow, that is such a beautifull knife eek.gif I really love the handle choice!  

post #48 of 190

It really is... I always loved ebony.  (Played classical guitar for a long time and love the fingerboards!); I like lighter more though.  Knives I'm lusting after -- a couple of lines have burnt chestnut, which I think is really pretty indeed.

 

Matching ebony-handles on konosuke HD... you'll have better AND prettier knives than anyone you know, probably!

post #49 of 190
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wagstaff View Post

It really is... I always loved ebony.  (Played classical guitar for a long time and love the fingerboards!); I like lighter more though.  Knives I'm lusting after -- a couple of lines have burnt chestnut, which I think is really pretty indeed.

 

Matching ebony-handles on konosuke HD... you'll have better AND prettier knives than anyone you know, probably!


Indeed, my fingerboard is ebony as well (back and sides rosewood, which I really love as well, although I prefer black/ebony handles for knives). 

 

Seeing these knives made me start doubting the Masamoto's as these are soo pretty... but are lasers... (excellent knives, but maybe not so much for beginners). Im going to think it through. I feel if go for the Masamoto's i'll want something like this in the future.... ending up with the same collection as Ruscal...

post #50 of 190
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoostBaksteen View Post




Indeed, my fingerboard is ebony as well (back and sides rosewood, which I really love as well, although I prefer black/ebony handles for knives). 

 

Seeing these knives made me start doubting the Masamoto's as these are soo pretty... but are lasers... (excellent knives, but maybe not so much for beginners). Im going to think it through. I feel if go for the Masamoto's i'll want something like this in the future.... ending up with the same collection as Ruscal...

What do you play, Joost?

 

That's getting too far afield.  OK... part of the appeal of the ebony is tactile sensation, which you have with a fingerboard.  The rosewood is not touching your hands (except left hand thumb) and there it's presumably lacquered and not providing the same sort of relationship. So ebony to touch... even if the rosewood is prettier (maybe or maybe not).  But looking back over the posts to check out the relative weight... for knives I'd go with the lighter (weight, not color) wood, myself.  So long as we're going extreme...  and basic ho-wood looks more like the guitar top, too (German spruce, in my case -- much "blonder" than cedar soundboards).

 

Seriously, I'd be pretty thrilled with a set of Konosuke HDs whatever handle option, finally.
 

 

post #51 of 190

I play steelstring acoustic (the martin guitar mentioned, with cedar top), as well as electric (epiphone LP and a semi home-build (warmoth) strat), utilizing all for blues and rock with some home-build tube amps :) (sorry for the off-topic, we'll continue in PM :D)

 

Regarding the weight of the handle; with the ebony handle Ruscal had the balance point about where you hold the knife with a pinch grip. With using a lighter handle it would be tip-heavy. Isn't the balance better with the ebony handle?

 

(I think i'll kidnap my dad's very tip-heavy 5$ wa-sujihiki tonight, sharpen it and try it out to experience the feel)
 

PS: if i'm hijacking the thread too much let me know!

 

 

post #52 of 190

Threads drift... I think we're good (all the earlier posts are here, and the natural terminal point to the original -- till ruscal gets his knives or some pics! -- has been reached). But yeah, PM is fine for guitar talk.

 

Yes, japanese knives are blade-heavy; they're light, though, and balance is not a goal.

 

I sort of think of balance is a bit like speed in guitar playing.  It's sold to people as important because you can TELL that much without having to know anything else.  That is, it might be important to some, it might be relevant, but it's also just a lowest-common-denominator that makes people feel expert.  (I know that Shawn Lane is faster than McLaughlin, I KNOW m guitar! Or... I know this knife is better balanced!)

 

That's maybe wrong. I'm fine with being wrong if it is, and fine apologizing to those who know why balance is important to them (sorry!).   But to me, balance is not an issue on a light knife, esp a pinch-gripped light knife.

 

Sorry if I'm wrong about hijacking -- I'll be the first to ooh and aah when there's more news, ruscal!  And BTW, I'll bet your sister will be blown away by the Globals when that transfer happens.


Edited by Wagstaff - 9/1/11 at 6:37am
post #53 of 190
Thread Starter 

so... i'm still waiting for my new konosuke's to be delivered (240mm gyuto & 150mm petty)

 

and while i was waiting i ordered another knife. a 210mm petty from ashi hamano. i went for the 61HRC stainless option. again with ebony and a silver ring.

 

i really need to stop spending money on knives soon...

post #54 of 190

I have the 210mm Gesshin Ginga petty -- which is made by Ashi Hamono.  I suppose the higher hardness option makes our blades the same; mine doesn't have the fancy handle.  It's a wonderful knife.  I'd love to hear what you think of the stainless vs. the Kono HD, both in terms of use and sharpening!  I hope you get the Konosuke knives soon.... something to play with to distract you from buying more! And now I really want to see a pic of that Ashi.

post #55 of 190
Thread Starter 

Wagstaff - yes i think mine will basically be a gesshin ginga as well - at least it'll have the same steel. if i was in the US i'd probably have bought from JKI, but i'm in the UK and didn't want to pay 2 sets of import charges... so here's a question for you: what do you use your 210mm petty for? i can see the logic in having it, but curious as to someone's actual experience using it. you use it along with a gyuto right? can you give any examples of how you use the 2 knives in combo during food prep?

post #56 of 190

Hi ruscal -- Originally, I got it because I cook unusually frequently with winter squashes or sweet potatoes or other things that tended to stick to the cook's knives; the blade profile has a lot less surface area for these things to stick.  But I also didn't have a Konosuke gyuto, so while my other knives are thin, they're not lasers. Turns out the laser is the knife that doesn't wedge and make carrots go skittering at all, and can go through a kabocha most easily (which was a revelation, I'd been using a tank of a Wusthof, my ersatz "chef de chef", for such scary things before).

 

The big surprise to me... I found I use it in place of any paring task at this point, with the one exception that I'm not comfortable coring strawberries with it. As BDL teaches, it's a parer, utility, and boning knife in one! (I'm an avid student, even if my cuisine is less demanding -- for one, I don't do much in the way of boning or portioning, never for myself alone and that's the vast majority of my cooking). It's on this thread that he wrote how a petty is "three, three, three knives in one!"  Even if my petty might be longer than what he was suggesting.  More on that in moment.

 

My preferred larger knife is either a 10" cook's knife or 270mm gyuto; sometimes it's just wanting to use something smaller for a variety of purposes. The 210mm as a petty....  It's actually fine for peeling in hand (!), and it's fine for cutting smaller amounts of food and only slightly more awkward than a gyuto such as dicing onions or cleaning peppers, or yes, mincing herbs. Really it's not necessarily the first choice for those tasks, but one of those "it's in hand already" things, and it's easy if doing smaller amounts. My pinch is slightly 'over the top' in those instances and I can work slightly off the board if I'm really worried about knuckle clearance.  Depending on the particular moment -- that is, what-all is being prepped in what order, and especially if prepping larger amounts, the cook's knife is used because of knuckle clearance and because it's quicker work and easier/safer for the "claw" hand. (Y'know, the usual reasons it's designed the way it is!)  And it's definitely easier to get more precise julienne or dice and such with the cook's, when that matters.  (It matters often to me because I'm not that *good* at it, so like to practice even where it's not important for the finished product.  I'm still a weak enough technician that I find it fun to make meals based on what I want to practice cutting. My priorities are all screwed up.  Ashamed to say it, but I came at this as a knifenut before foodie.  It's a little pathetic, really).

 

I have a couple of 6" knives, too, which can be used for most petty knife purposes; I had them before the 210mm wa-petty.  But I had them in the block at the time I started out with the more standard, book-learned concept of a "chef's knife and paring knife cover almost everything", so didn't use them to their full potential out of ignorance.  Paired with the cook's knife, they'd be pretty perfect, too, for lots of folks; but a couple of things -- where I started this post, with winter squashes and potatoes and such -- "wanted" the newer, longer knife.  And once using that, I've found fewer reasons to put it down. It's just the most versatile thing for me.

 

 

(Very long answer for such a simple one.  Forgive me -- like Blaise Pascal and Mark Twain, I'd have written a shorter letter but I didn't have the time).


Edited by Wagstaff - 10/1/11 at 8:51am
post #57 of 190

EDIT - double post somehow.  Speaking of writing too much...

post #58 of 190
Thread Starter 

forgiven! i like long posts. i can read a weirdly long amount about knives without getting bored. either means i'm very boring or you're very interesting. lets go with you being interesting - i think thats better for both of us.

 

i can imagine using the 210mm petty for preparing fruit, chicken, fish, beef filet, and small veg. like it'd be perfect for making breakfast.

 

i like this youtube link on cutting technique: http://youtu.be/veE0E79dEEc

 

what i'd like to get is a bunch of videos like this to help me work out which knife i should be using for which job. do you have any youtube links or dvd's that you'd recommend?

 

 

post #59 of 190

Hi ruscal -- yes, that's a good video; I have the book, and the DVD (which is about 20 minutes) from which that video was lifted.  I think Weinstein is a good teacher, though adjustment to his tip-down bias has to be made when using knives with less belly than the Wusthofs he uses.  (It's not hard).

 

Other videos -- search youtube for Devin Thomas Forum Prototype for a fun one -- no narrative explanation, so it's not so much instructional in intent as a knife-demo, but I like that one a lot.

 

And more what you're asking for -- these are very short and efficient, so need watching more than once. They have the same annoying intro to each, so if you watch a bunch of them in sequence it might drive you a bit crazy, but otherwise I think the best and best-organized set of knife instruction videos I've found is here:  http://www.stellaculinary.com/knife-skill-video-techniques-hd

post #60 of 190

And I just found this today -- I love that he's using a longer petty for "everything", which is a way better answer my typing.  He uses a "pointer" grip (or whatever it's called) which.... I  had sort of thought was "wrong" but clearly I have MUCH to learn.  And it makes perfect sense for knuckle clearance -- "over the top" more than trying to pinch that way. He's also mostly working off the edge of the board with his cutting hand. Lots of what I do with the 210mm petty is in a forlorn attempt to look something like the less-fancy parts of this:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YKRnv0aq-8&feature=related

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