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Best "Under 100 bucks" professional knife ?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hi guys...

 

I'm working in the kitchen  in the new restaurant doing a lot of prep and teaching new cooks how I like perfect juliennes, diced onions and so on, and all of them by the first time are having an experience with really sharp knives (My mac and a the Tojiro santoku), that are not only sharp, but they keep the edge much longer  thatn their generic knives and some forchners, and they are experiencing it first hand and on a daily basis, and now everybody want a knife with such qualities, they can see the differences and now they want a better knife

 

The problem is that we're talking about people with not so high income, and when I told them that to get a Mac they have to spend almost 200 USD (The cost of the knife + S&H to México) it was discouraging for some of them (The students I'm sure that are going to get very soon a fancy one and I'm not concerned about those guys in this department) but talking to the rest of the guys (whom happen to be my "pirate crew" always ready to unclogg a pipe, working an extra shift, or getting into the exhaust duct to clean it without flinching and  just saying "yes chef"), they setted up a limit of 100 Bucks (I'll pay and arrange the S&H for them) for a great knife .

 

So, with a limit of 100 USD and forgetting about blue carbon like this Tojiro, what do you suggest. They now know how different a western blade feels compared to a Japanese, and they liked the Japanese better. The knives will be 24 Cms for most of thems, and the girls want a 21. They don't mind about wa or yo handle.

 

All your suggestions will be very appreciated. I have no clue on what to get with that budget. In my particular case I'll go for a Tojiro, but I see that they want something "shiny" and not rusty.I'm talking about Gyutos that are going to be used for prep.

 

Thanks in advance.

Luis

 

P.S. The sharpening is covered, they already have a 1000/6000 stone, a stone holder, Idahone "fine" rods, corks, and a pencil and 100 sheets of sandpaper to flatten and chamfer the stone.

post #2 of 17

In that price bracket, it seems your two main choices are the Fujiwara FKM Stainless or the Tojiro DP.  The Fujiwaras look to be a little less expensive than the Tojiros at CKtG.  I have the Tojiro and it's a perfectly fine knife.  I've never used a Fujiwara.  If you are buying a bunch, you could see if they would give you a bulk price.

post #3 of 17

How many knives are you looking to purchase?

 

You might try contacting Harold at http://www.macknife.com/kitchen/index.php?option=com_contact&view=contact&id=1&Itemid=32, they might have a volume purchase arrangement that could solve your problem, especially if you're looking at five or more knives.

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #4 of 17

Fujiwara and Tojiro are recommended over and over and over and over and over at that price range.  I don't think you (or your students) could go wrong with either.

 

One's a little flatter profile, but a smidge softer, and nice and thin (Fujiwara).

The other is a little heavier with a harder VG10 steel (Tojiro).

 

Again, can't go wrong with either IMO.

post #5 of 17

MAC Chef and/or Superior series might do very well for you with a discount on the longer knives.  MAC Original (which they might call Classic, I don't know) could do nicely for you as well, and are already within budget. 

 

These "lower" line MAC are very much oriented towards the working pro who just wants a knife, but isn't terribly interested in kinves... if you get my drift.  Not fancy, no bolsters, easy maintenance, reliable F&F, great US support (I'm not sure how that would work in Mexico, good bang for the buck. 

 

Those knives are not instead of Tojiro or Fujiwara, but "as well."  Could be fun having an all MAC kitchen.

 

BDL 

post #6 of 17

Luis, likely a separate subject, but for students on a budget a couple of options are a Kai knife or a MUI.

 

The 8 inch MUI at $20 is X50crMov15 steel which is used in German steel (Forschner, Wustoff, etc.).

 

http://www.cutleryandmore.com/miu-france/forged-chefs-knife-p116868

 

http://www.chefsresource.com/kai-2000st-chefs-knife-9.html


I just ordered the MUI for my home because I want to keep my 10 inch Chef's in my knife roll for work only.

I'll put a convex edge on it with my belt sander and see how it performs.

post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hi guys...

 

Thank you all for your replies, a of them are very helpfull. I still don't know how many knives we're going to purchase, something like 5-8, some of the cooks like the knives but are not willing to spend the money but some others are very enthusiastic. And since what they are experiencing is the japanese, they are more into Japs than any other knife, I think that they are going to be happy with the Fujiwara BC looks like a Mac, wich most of them find very cool , the Mac's (Clasic) , and on the other hand the Tojiros have a 24Cm Wa-Gyuto wich they like too because of it's traditional look.

I'm going to show them the different choices to see what they want to get.

 

Thanks a lot, and once they get ready to order, I'll keep you posted and I'll start asking questions on "lasers" because definetely I want one! thumb.gif

post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luis J View Post

Hi guys...

 

Thank you all for your replies, a of them are very helpfull. I still don't know how many knives we're going to purchase, something like 5-8, some of the cooks like the knives but are not willing to spend the money but some others are very enthusiastic. And since what they are experiencing is the japanese, they are more into Japs than any other knife, I think that they are going to be happy with the Fujiwara BC looks like a Mac, wich most of them find very cool , the Mac's (Clasic) , and on the other hand the Tojiros have a 24Cm Wa-Gyuto wich they like too because of it's traditional look.

I'm going to show them the different choices to see what they want to get.

 

Thanks a lot, and once they get ready to order, I'll keep you posted and I'll start asking questions on "lasers" because definetely I want one! thumb.gif


Luis I have to admit it has been a lot of fun to watch your experience with J knives, and was also great to have professional comparison to my personal experiences.

 

What is real;y interesting is that these experiences though from different ends of the spectrum are considerably more similar than not. I guess there may just be a normal progression to the world of superior knives :)

 

One thing to keep in mind while debating your purchase is that just like you your various cooks will very likely want to move up at some point. I understand the economics of your or their situation, but the desire will most likely still be there, and you have already set the bar with your current Mac pro.

 

Just my .02 but from my experience with both the initial choices for quality low cost etc I would likely sway slightly more towards the Tojiro DP due to its better edge holding, and the fact that the major complaints (I dont share all BTW) can be corrected with a little effort. Handles can be sanded down, rough edges sanded smooth to reduce discomfort or blisters etc.

 

Lastly  we have to look at this as partially an addiction of sorts. I say that because I started out just looking to learn how to better keep my old Henckels pro s knives sharp longer, found myself selling those off in favor of a small few entry level Japanese knives (Tojior, Fujiwara, and one KAI bread knife which at $10 USD was my overall best value purchase) and now a year later am looking at buying a singe Gyuto that will cost more or about the same than all the ones I have now combined.

 

Maybe addiction is a little much, and it could just be that having knives that perform so well, sharpen so well, and have such great edge retention has just rejuvenated my interest in cooking again, and unless I somehow stop this progression may even end up cooking professional again.

 

That's a lot to say about a knife now isn't it?

 

 

 

 

"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 #9 of 17

One other thought.

 

Have the members here ever considered a "group buy"?

 

I have been involved with things like this on other non knife forums and they have worked (though some with better results that others lol).

 

"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 #10 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hi Lenny...

 

You're right, the bar has been setted up very high for my fellow cooks with the Mac, wich for most of them is absolutely out of his economic reach (I have a few just grad chefs educated in Barcelona and another in France, but those are the exception, not the rule) but they are very happy with the Tojiro shirogami ( I took that one to my kitchen and the call it "Excalibur" ) and as the days pass, they are learning to appreciate the knife more for his performance than for it's looks. Now when I a laquered duck is ordered, all my cooks that are trained to carve it on the dining room want to go, just for having the chance of fooling around with "excalibur".

 

But now that I'm asking them when to place the order and giving them the choices, seems like not all the originally enthusiasts are willing to walk the talk. Seems like a "group buy" is not going to be very do-able. Anyway, I'm thinking about a Konosuke HD 24 for me, and whenever I'm placing the order I'm going to ask them who is still on and proceed to buy, I think that at least 2 or 3 are going to take the plunge, and it's going to be their loss if they don't.

 

Thanks for all the advice to everyone!

 

P.S. BTW... Today the Tojiro got his first victim, one of the girls in my staff lost a piece of her fingertip (Nail attached) eek.gif for being slopy while chopping scallions I gave her some hard time because that kind of cut is originated for a bad technique and lack of focus on the taskmad.gif, and a couple minutes later I sent her to the hospital. Nothing too bad of an injury, but too much bleeding for just a band-aid. I guess that she's never going to forget the lesson, or at least ... I hope so, when she came back to give me the doctor's report, she told me that now she's afraid of my knife and that she's going to keep her pink and dull  Pure comachi wich can take and edge but can't retain it for a couple tomatoesrolleyes.gif.

post #11 of 17

Luis I really do not know all that much about your economy down there except what I have heard from some of the people I have met from there, and they seem to have been in similar or worse financial conditions than what you describe your "do all" guys to be in, and therefore can understand you issue with having them stand up to the task of making such a large investment etc.

 

Wish I had a idea to offer, but sadly do not.

 

I am seriously shopping for a Konosuke myself so very curious which steel and handle you considering? Seems they are also short on stock at CKTG right now as well so choices are limited (especially at 240mm at the moment). I had really wanted to try a wa handled knife and was considering it, but found two issues for me. One is that the light colored handles do nothing for me esthetically plus there out of stock anyhow, and the the darker ones just seem to be too much of an up charge.

 

I want to really be sure to make the right choice as I know I will be catching heat for spending that much on a knife etc.

 

As far as your cook with the missing finger tip is concerned OUCH. No matter how many times I see, hear or have a knife related injury etc it just makes a little piece in the back of my brain cringe. Never chopped off much myself, but have had a couple nasty slices (they are very different with sharper knives BTW) and thankfully only made a trip to the ER once (hopefully last too) but seen some pretty horrible ones in the past.

 

You are correct about it making a lasting impression, and I think it sinks into the minds of the others around to see as well, but I am sure some of the members who are still working full time are seeing it all too often too.

 

Maybe try to explain just how much more damage there could have been if had been using lots of force like is needed with a dull knife. Still I can understand the cause of wanting to use something else immediately after 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 #12 of 17

Luis, the Tojiro you linked is flat 'effing amazing!  It's soooo much better than you could possibly believe a $60 could be.  It takes an incredible edge yet it's so easy to sharpen.  Although mine was decent OOtB I sharpened it right away, all Japanese natural stones.  BTW, very shortly CKtG will have the same knife available in a 240 mm version (there's already a listing for it, you can get on the email list).  Mark claims he's working on getting a version with a Kiritsuke shape (!) eek.gif

"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 #13 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hi Lenny and Phaedrus... Lenny, I think that I'm getting the basic Konosuke HD, no fancy stuff, I already think that the knife has it's own beauty w/out the fancy handles, wich of course I like a lot but this time I'm going to pass on that, I think that it's already good money for a knife and besides, along with it I'm getting another stone (I have the 1200 bester, the 6000 Takenoko wich are more than enough for a Mac and the tojiros, but now with a konosuke, I may add another finer stone to try to get the best out of the new knife, I don't know if a 10000 grit is a good idea) so, my xmas budget for self-gifts is done. Now my real dilemma is what lenght to get, I like the 27, but sometimes I find myself helping/teaching cooks on their stations wich are "sandwich refrigerated units" like this in the pic, with narrow cutting surfaces, and that is a bit small to handle a 27, so I may get the 24, I don't know, I'm going to sleep over it

 

 

TSSU-48-15M-B_TRU_LR.png

 

And on the "cutting yourself bad in the kitchen" I think that it's almost a necessary evil, 99% of us have some kind of scars on our hands because we got an ugly cut at the begining of our careers, and it's always for being sloppy, not handling the knives with enough care, missplacing them, or just plain stupidity (A cook that slipped the knife in a full sink and another one getting his hand there and instead of finding a pan, his hand gets the sour surprise of a knife blade, speed chopping competitions, using the knife as openers, and the list goes on a and on with lots of noobie nonsense ) but after that , you get the lesson and from that day, knives got the respect that they deserve, but usually is something that you learn by -painfull- experience. (I got scars from all the examples that I'm mentioning, some of them my fault, some of them somebody else fault, and the very bad one was from using the knife as a bottle opener).

 

And back to the Tojiro... Yeah Phaedrus, is such a wonderfull knife, it gets very sharp in a couple of minutes, retains the edge for a long time, and has it's own "beauty". And is such a bargain! I use the santoku, wich is too small, but anytime that I have the chance of using it, I enjoy it, and is the knife that I don't mind to borrow to my staff and they seem to enjoy it too. I'll be absolutely IN for the 24. That is going to be a cool knife and one that I'll use as a battlehorse.

 

Best regards!

 

 

post #14 of 17

Luis I have a space issue myself (I guess I could change it, but a long story) so I know where your coming from. That actually looks like a nice work center since most everything is right there, and just my humble opinion but a small extension on the side that would allow a slightly larger working area would be great if the area the cart is used would allow it. Funny that even though I have not been in the business in a long while I still have a couple friends who are and find it weird that you see things differently when not directly involved etc (looking from the outside in) and get heat every so often for sharing my thoughts.

 

Have to agree with the battle scars of being a cook, and I had my share of cuts, burns, and other casualties, but thankfully nothing too serious, and oddly my worst cut was long after I left a professional kitchen and was not even cutting anything at the time, but just like most others just another dumb mistake (damn I hate those).

 

Back to the Tojiro ITK as this knife just keeps setting off the value driven part of my brain (even though they seem to get a higher price every time they are back in stock lol, sorry Mark that just drives me nuts lol) as it is just too inexpensive not to own one IMHO. Only thing I am needing to do before getting one (well besides raising the cash) is to find some information on them.

 

Not that the info is not out there, but I have not had a chance to actually try and find it yet (been busy with the Konosuke buy). I was really interested to hear how it stacked up with other white steel knives. I know most are more expensive and some a whole lot more expensive, but very curious to know how it compares etc.

 

It would be my first real carbon in the kitchen and really just need to decide on which style/type would make the most sense.

 

"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 #15 of 17

Luis,

 

Mark appears to have a new Richmond Artifex knife out which looks like it might fit your needs for your staff:

 

http://www.chefknivestogo.com/riar21.html

 

Apparently designed and priced for workers in the  food service industry.  Looks very interesting.  Priced right.

post #16 of 17

I expect the Artifex will be a good knife and a good deal.  AEB-L is a great steel and so far Lamson has nailed the HT on all the other models.  The scales will be simple but the profile looks good.  I intend to get one to try out before long even though I don't really need one.

"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 #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pohaku View Post

Luis,

 

Mark appears to have a new Richmond Artifex knife out which looks like it might fit your needs for your staff:

 

http://www.chefknivestogo.com/riar21.html

 

Apparently designed and priced for workers in the  food service industry.  Looks very interesting.  Priced right.



Thanks for the info Pohaku... I'll take a look, seems like an interesting knife for the price thumb.gif

 

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