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New Member alert - Fujiwara ot Tojiro?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I have been doing lots of reading here but this is my first post. I got this itch to get a few Japanese style knifes, I don't cook everyday and when I do it is mostly recipie development. I do not want or need to spend a ton, my old knives are OK nothing special but I learned how to put a decent edge on them and keep them sharp which IMO is more important that an expensive dull knife. It looks like the Tojiro or Fujiwara give pretty good bang for the buck so I am looking for opinion on them or some pros and cons. I am thinking a 240 chef style, a bread, a slicer and a petty. There could be a 5th like maybe a Nakiri or Santoku but those would certainly not be for need only want. Stainless would be a plus but not an absolute need

Thanks In advance!

Mike

  

post #2 of 11

I really love my tojiro I also bought a bread knife and a petty,personally Ilike a smaller blade for a pairing knife but I'm happy with it, they do make a birdsbeak which I thoght was too expensive. I bought the set, chef and petty, at chef knives to go 120 bucks I'm happy with it. The bread knife is much sharper than I thought it would be. I coudn't tell you about the fujiwara except that tojiro may be a little harder steel.

post #3 of 11

Tojiro DP and Fujiwara FKM are both good, entry-level lines.  They are entry-level though. 

 

The Tojiro DP is a san-mai (three layer laminated) knife with a VG-10 core.  VG-10 is a prestige knife alloy, but I think the knife community is coming back to earth on it.  It's good, but not the greatest thing ever.  Tojiro DPs have fairly good fit and finish, and their gyutos have fairly good profiles.  They take a good edge (great compared to any European), and hold it well.  As Japanese knives go, they are stiff, robust and sturdy.  The handles are on the large side for Japanese knives, and many people consider them blocky.  Some people don't like the feel of san-mai knives in the cut or on the board, they consider it "dead" or at least overly damped. -- and I'm one of them.  It's a minority reaction though, and probably won't apply to you -- at least not for a long time.

 

The Fujiwara FKM is an even better deal than the Tojiro DP.  It's performance and edge qualities are equal to the Torjiro's.  However, the alloy is more down to earth, the construction "mono-steel," the blades more flexible, and the handle more slender.  Fujiwara quality control can be all over the map and a lot of very sloppy knives get through.  If you decide on an FKM, you may want to have the retailer visually inspect before shipping.  

 

Both lines are very good value.  I think most people in your shoes would find it difficult to find much difference.  Hard to say, and harder still to say if it's important, but I think the Fujiwara is getting the best buzz as THE entry level Japanese knife in the knife community.  Between those two, Fujiwara would be my choice.

 

BDL 

 

Fujiwara doesn't have a bread knife; but the Tojiro DP is supposed to be excellent. So, for that matter is the 10.5" Forschner.

post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 

I like the look of the handle on the Fuji but the lack of a bread has my matching OCD going off. This should not be this big of a deal but for some reason it is

Mike

 

post #5 of 11

Mike,

 

Whether "matching" makes sense from the perspective of pure practicality or not, you're spending serious money and should get happiness from it.  There are going to be some tradeoffs, yes.  When it comes to assigning them value no one can do a better job than you.  In the meantime, we'll try and provide you enough helpful information for you to make good decisions. 

 

If all that's holding you back from buying a set of DPs is the handle shape, you can round them off with sandpaper.  You would not be the first. 

 

Understand also that I'm coloring within the borders you're providing; helping you analyze what you say you want, and not analyzing the broader market of available knives.  My generic advice is to go a step up with the most used knife (chef's/gyuto usual) compared to the others.  But you seem to have a fairly good idea of what you want; plus, there's the whole "matching set" thing.  If it's important to you, it's important to me. 

 

I consider sharpening to be the most important aspect of using knives productively.  Depending on which stones you're using now, you might want to consider a better set.  The Fujiwaras and especially the Tojioros will do better on quality water stones, than almost any oil stone.

 

BDL

post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 

I have some stones now and I have decent technique so my results have been good, not up to what some very good sharpeners do but better than my friends. So if I remove some of the boarders, matching is not the end of the owrld is there another knife in that price range or close I should be considering?

thanks for the feedback,

Mike

post #7 of 11

The biggest thing I noticed when switching from European to Japanese knives is the difference in weight, with J-knives being much, much lighter.  At times I love the lightweight feel, at other times it leaves me wanting more heft.  Last night I was making some sweet potato fries and my Carbonext, which is quite light (similar to a fujiwara) felt me wishing I had a smidge more heft.  The fuji is going to be 30-50 grams lighter than the Tojiro (at least based on the 210mm fuji being 30 grams lighter than the 210mm Tojiro).

 

A lot of knife nuts focus first on the steel and how hard it is, how well it holds an edge, how screaming sharp they can get it, etc...  Which IMO doesn't need to be a top-top priority for most who are more interested in having a sharp knife to prepare meals and cook with.  So I wouldn't make a big deal out of the steel properties if I were you, based on how you plan to use the knife.

 

For me, light vs. heft is close to the top of the priority list, as a home cook.  I'm not chopping cases of onions at a time so super light isn't something that interests me (not that either of this knives are super light or super thin).  As of today, despite the crappy graphics, I'd probably rather have a MAC pro than this Carbonext because I think the MAC might strike a better balance of j-knife thin but with some heft to it- for my personal tastes.  That said, I'm committed to trying the Carbonext for a while first though, maybe up to a year, to just see if over time I get use to the very light feel of it.  If not, I'll put it on ebay.

post #8 of 11

Maybe the lower priced Kagayaki (at Japanese Chefs Knife aka JCK), but they don't make a matching bread knife.  If I'm not mistaken the bottom of the line Togiharu (at Korin, aka Korin) has priced itself out of competition.  But you'll have to check.

 

All of these knives are entry level; all have some likelihood for F&F issues out of the box.  The Tojiro DP has a reputation for coming sharp OOTB; the Fujiwara does as well, but also has a reputation for a more variable OOTB edge.  You have to pay extra for a good edge for the Togiharu.  JCK has an optional sharpening service, but not many people have been happy with it. 

  

BDL  

 

PS.  H/T Jon Broida for catching an error in the unedited version of this post.


Edited by boar_d_laze - 11/19/11 at 6:51am
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by boar_d_laze View Post

Maybe the lower priced Kagayaki (at Japanese Knife Sharpening), but they don't make a matching bread knife.  If I'm not mistaken the bottom of the line Togiharu (at Korin) has priced itself out of competition.  But you'll have to check.

 

BDL  



japanesechefsknives not japaneseknifesharpening

post #10 of 11

Oops.  Careless error.  Mark will be disappointed but maybe Dave will appreciate the extra business.  Or, I could just edit and fix...

 

BDL

post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by boar_d_laze View Post

Oops.  Careless error.  Mark will be disappointed but maybe Dave will appreciate the extra business.  Or, I could just edit and fix...

 

BDL


May as well share the wealth LOL

 

Big Stogie I can understand the idea of matching things up symmetrically etc but if you do your missing out on what the other brand or brands are like, and also if you would prefer one over the other.

 

Since I own both brands, and went through similar comparison you are here about a year ago I can comfortably advise that either the Tojiro DP or Fujiwara FKM will make excellent first Japanese knife purchases.

 

Though I do not agree with the weight being an issue as the additional sharpness over any heavy knife I have owned (especially after being used a bit) makes up for any weight difference I do understand the need to have a heavier "chopper" western style knife for certain foods, and am actually looking for a good deal on one myself for those odd times when they are a better choice etc.

 

Also will add to the great info BDL has offered already that the handle on the Tojiro is not as bad as it may sound when your using it as most grips do not include much of the handle, and their smaller knifes though still a bit boxy or maybe better to say more squared off are not as uncomfortable to me as it actually seems to help with grip when wet.

 

Some things I have learned from owning both of these brands is that I really want to add some higher end Japanese knives to my arsenal as if these are entry level I can not wait to move up, I do not miss my old Henkels Pro S one little bit, you really can get a knife razor sharp and expect it to stay that way for a good while, a sharp thin blade and do some amazing things and do average things with a lot less effort, and that I wish I had found these products sooner as everything about the experience has been positive.

 

You may want to either scroll down or search for a thread I started about a year ago (titled something like is a Tojiro DP a good entry knife) as I really drove the guys here a little nuts with searching out so much information and making so many comparisons in my attempt to make the right choice. It was a little tough as I was looking more towards value than anything else, and really had no experience with J knives, but there is a ton of information on these brands in that thread.

 

Lastly just to reinforce what was said already you do want to invest in some waterstones for sharpening the Tojiros and even the Fujiwara as these will produce great results (even though I have messed around with oil stones on the Fuji, and it was OK, but not as good as with the waterstone).

 

I am confident which ever you decide you will be happy as these both are a good amount of bang for the buck.

 

Good luck with you decision :)

 

 

"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
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