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Similar handle to Katana?

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 

First post!

 

Thought I'd start with a question that I hope has a simple answer. 

 

Im looking to replace my main knife and I've done a lot of reading, holding and all round searching. I've ordered a set of Sabers from Costco that I like but I'm not a big fan of the handles but the knives themselves are pretty nice. I've tried the Ikea Slitbar Damascus and it's impressive but the handle is worse than the Sabers (it cuts very well though).  Of all of the knives that I've handled, I like the feel of the Calphalon Katana the best but I'm hoping to get something a bit better for the money. Or even just better. 

 

The transition from handle to blade is phenomenal with the pinch grip. I can't really justify the cost of the Shun Reserve (which I loved even more) but anything in a similar construction would be great. 

 

 Any recommendations? It looks like the Tojiro Senkou could be right but I haven't handled one.  Thoughts? Would love to hear it. 

post #2 of 35
Thread Starter 

Okay, my post yesterday was a bit disjointed thanks to the iPad's inability to interact with the forum nicely.

 

I've done some more research and it appears that what I'm looking for is a "graduated bolster" (is that the right term?) like in the Katana design. Similar (albeit less pronounced) styles seem to be found in the Tojiro Senkou and Flash series and the Ken Onion. Even more reading has led me to believe that none of the above are "good value"...at all.

 

I'm shying away from the Shun Reserve because, as much as it felt like a light saber (i.e. perfect) in my hand, I can't justify the cost. So I guess I'll start looking at the JCK Kagayaki, MAC, DP, and a few others that have been heavily recommended. Shipping to Canada is always a concern, so that narrows down the field sometimes as well.

 

I'm a decent home cook and adore cooking (probably should have chosen that over law...but should have chosen firefighting over all else, but that's for another tale!). I'm no small fry but my hands aren't that big. I'm 6' but I only wear a M or M/L cadet golf glove. I won't be self-sharpening at this stage in the game (there are a few local decent sharpeners to whom I would take the knives on, probably, a semi-annual basis). I know it's the best way to take care of them but I've got to be realistic with myself and the amount of time that I have to dedicate to knife care (not much).

 

I'll be looking at the standard groupings with:

 

- a 210 or 240mm chef/gyuto - I've been using a 9" "Charles Meniere" chef for a few years but it doesn't hold an edge well, hone up well, or even sharpen that well...I did only spend $9 on it, so that's something. Sometimes I find it a touch too long so I've been enjoying the 8" Saber that I've been using over the last two weeks...but I'd miss that extra length on occasion

 

- a good bread knife (we often go for a nice crusty french loaf)...probably the Tojiro ITK or maybe MAC Superior

 

- a 8" to 10" carving knife - I have a 10" (I think) Calphalon Contemporary now that I use regularly (I like to make big hunks of meat, like roasts and turkeys, etc) and have enjoyed but would glady consider an upgrade - I like a thinly shaved roast!

 

- a 6"'ish utility - again, I have a Calphalon Contemporary but am ready to upgrade - I use it a lot for all of the little quick stuff like cutting the cheese and hacking off a hunk of sausage, etc

 

- paring - I've been using some little Cuisinart job that's done well and fits nicely in my hand compared to so many of the parers that I've held that seem to be made for babies. Just because the blade got smaller, it doesn't mean that my hand shrunk...

 

Anyhow, just thought of some stuff that hopefully helped my previous post make a bit more sense. If anyone has any thoughts, I'd love to hear them!

post #3 of 35
If you have not already please check out the link in my signature as I believe you may benefit from my experience when first learning about j knives.

Everything may not apply to you but since I nearly drove the members off the deep end while I was trying to research all the new info there is plenty of good info relating to many different entry level Knives, waterstones, and sharpening.

Don't worry I am sure like myself you will have even more questions when your done lol.

There are also options beyond freehand sharpening, and also less expensive ones than sending them out and maybe you will prefer some place in between.

Also do not let the low cost or just entry level discourage you as they all were and are seriously superior to any of the Henckels or similar higher cost German knives IMHO. Unless you have a desire or need for something more expensive or even better performing etc you can save a serious amount of cash on your initial purchase that could also be used for sharpening or even the purchase of different equipment.

Also much as sharpening is a subject of its own I think that 1) it is not as hard or takes as long as it can be well just intimidating initially and 2) there seems to more importance to having your knife sharp and sharpened properly than the actual knife choice 3) there are some elec sharpeners that many find good or acceptable etc and also 4) IMO there is more importance to getting the whole sharpening thing right that somehow increases with higher end knives etc.

Hope that helps.

 

"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...

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"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 #4 of 35

Hand size doesn't have that much to do with handle preferences, assuming you have a decent grip.  More about handles and grip in a bit.

 

If you want to do a good job without dealing with the learning curve that is freehand sharpening, there are three excellent tool and jig systems which make the process a lot simpler.  These are the two Edge Pro systems and the Wicked Edge.  We can go into more detail if you like.

 

There may be more than one good, home-use electric knife sharpening systems, but the only ones I know of are the various Chef's Choice electrics.  These will give you an adequate edge without doing any harm to your knives -- as long as you follow the instructions and use the machines correctly.  They are incredibly easy and convenient to use.

 

You might also consider the Minosharp 3 stage as an alternative to Chef's Choice. 

 

Sharpening services usually aren't a good choice -- if for no other reason than you're without your best knives during the turn around period.  In addition, most ordinary services take a "one size fits all" mentality which won't serve exotic knives; and frequently use machines which don't suit the particular knife.  Many services, Sur La Tables for instance, use the same Chef's Choice machines you can buy yourself.

 

Getting back to handles...

 

Unfortunately, most of the impressions you gain with a brief in-store try out don't hold when you get the knife home and start using it for longer periods, day after day. 

 

There are some injury and ergonomic issues which do make a difference in terms of which handles will and won't work, but ordinary hand size isn't one of them.  There's no reason you shouldn't be able to use any of the wide range of ordinary handles.  If anything, your smaller hands give you more versatility.

 

One of the biggest issues in grip is sharpness.  They seem disparate, but there you go.  Why?  Because a dull knife requires more effort and a stronger (i.e., tighter) grip.  On the other hand a soft grip is more comfortable and provides significantly more agility.

 

The MAC Superior is a great bread knife, and my first recommendation if price isn't in the equation.  If price is important, the Forschner 10.25" wavy edged bread is very nearly as good.  I've never used the Tojiro but have heard nothing but good things.

 

Paring knives get abused and used up usually quickly.  Consequently, the best choice for many people is something which can be both easily sharpened and thrown away after a couple of years without regret.  Take those things together and you get Forschner.  

 

For most people moving up to a very good knife, I usually recommend a Japanese knife at or near the top of their price range... but there are exceptions.  While I have a few favorites which I recommend most often -- especially the MAC Pro -- there are a lot of great knives out there.  If you don't think the MAC will suit, there's no reason you shouldn't find something more appealing. 

 

For a lot of reasons, I'm not a big fan of Shun chef's knives for that same group of most people... but again, there are exceptions.

 

As to the rest... it really comes down to how much you're willing to spend and how far you're willing to go regarding sharpening -- and in your case, how willing you are to let go of your preconceptions regarding your own grip.  

 

What do you think?

 

BDL

What were we talking about?
 
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What were we talking about?
 
http://www.cookfoodgood.com
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post #5 of 35
Thread Starter 

Very helpful and a discussion that I hope to engage in later today. I'm off to drive up to Whistler to meet a client for 30 seconds (seriously...2+ hour snowy drive each way to witness a document) but hope to address the issues and questions that you've raised later as I find the discussion here extraordinarily helpful.

 

Thank you in advance!

post #6 of 35
Thread Starter 

First off - thank you both very much for your thoughts and comments and I'll do my best to address the questions so that we can properly discuss the issues. Still no time to write a full response, but I will say this:

 

I held one of these in my hand today:

 

http://www.paulsfinest.com/MCUSTA-Zanmai-Pro-Chef-Knife-Gyuto-240mm-9.4-inch-VG10-32-layer-Damascus-Quince-wood-handle.html

 

MCUSTA Zanmai

MCUSTA Zanmai Pro Chef Knife (Gyuto), 240mm (9.4-inch), VG10, 32-layer Damascus, Quince wood handle

 

It was phenomenal. Light, comfortable in a pinch grip, beautiful profile, nice looking handle, gorgeous blade with great F&F. Is anyone familiar with it? I don't see it on any of the common sites so maybe it's not widely available in the US?

 

I also held the MAC MTH-80 and...honestly...wasn't impressed. I didn't like the profile, just not to my tastes maybe? I'm sure it would do a wonderful job and slice and dice exceptionally well, but I'd prefer to like the feel than not. Also, it just felt...small. Like...large utility knife small. Just not what I was expecting. 

 

Lenny - thanks for your link - sounds like you were after something similar to me. Good value and good quality and willing to pay a bit more if it's worth it but not willing to break the bank if there's no gain from it. I'm definitely going to read through the extensive responses (like I did last night with Imaya's post on looking for good knives to start her new job and there was a crapton of helpful posts in there). 

 

 

One question that I have - I've noticed several comments that lead me to believe that the Damascus blades generally aren't that well regarded or, perhaps, just are unnecessary? Too thick or something along those lines? They're beautiful, so that's an attraction (not anywhere near my most important consideration but still kinda nice if available), but if there's something that makes them less than ideal, I'd like to know to help decision making.

 

 

Also, I'm re-thinking learning to freehand. We have a few exceptional knife sharpeners in town and a few piss poor ones, but a bit of research leads me to believe that I'm intelligent and capable enough to probably do a decent job myself. I'm willing to commit to learning to do it properly. If I spend $200 on a knife, I want it to be handled properly and cared for appropriately. 

 

 

As for grip and handle preconceptions, I don't really have any. I know that there are some handles that, when I've handled them (hardy har), I haven't liked the feel but am confident that I could work with them - I'd just rather like the feel all of the time and I think that the best indication of that is to like it out of the gates. Not liking it out of the gates is an indication that, in the long run, I won't like it then either. I guess that's a preconception but, unless I'm wrong somehow, a reasonable one. I know that I don't like the "classic" boxy western handles on things like Wusthof Classics or the Sabers but that's more to do with the transition from handle to blade and bolsters, although in the IKEA Slitbar (I know it's IKEA, but by all reports, a pretty good knife for the price - just not the best necessarily) it's bolster free and I don't like the feel in the pinch grip at all. I just want to enjoy using something that I spend a bucket on.

 

 

To the price consideration question - I'm basically willing to go up to about $200 for my main knife but would much rather spend less if I can. The above posted Mcusta is $200 and SEEMS nice enough that the price difference would be worth it. One of those things where maybe it's a $150 knife but it looks nicer so the extra is kinda worth the vanity cost...but only kinda. What I do know is that to get a MAC Pro to me in Canada will probably be something close to the same price after shipping and duties.

 

All of this being said, I'm taking a knife skills course on Friday but I honestly don't think that will change my opinion much (but you never know). 

 

 

I guess it wasn't as short of a post as I thought, but more of one that I came back to regularly to write more...hah. 


Edited by Deputy - 1/17/12 at 6:36pm
post #7 of 35
Thread Starter 

Also, I'll be in Honolulu in February, so could grab something there if there's a good retailer around. I have a feeling HI gets left out of the "good store" pot a lot of the time, though.

post #8 of 35

You could try Shirokiya in the Ala Moana Shopping Center - on the second floor of the store.  They used to have a fair selection of J knives and I bought some MAC knives there 8 years ago or so.  They have renovated since then, so I don't know what they carry now.  Executive Chef in Ward Warehouse also carries some J knives.  If you go to Chinatown, you can buy CCK and other cleavers at some of the small stores there.  I bought a couple nice CCK Bone Cutter cleavers at a small store on the Diamond Head side of Mauna Kea Street last year.  They had lots of different brands and models in the case.  Too bad you will miss the Chinese New Year's festivities there.  Lots of street food and activities.  There is Williams Sonoma in Ala Moana of course, but they carry the usual stuff.

post #9 of 35
Thread Starter 

Thanks - very helpful!

 

Only one problem that I just thought of...I'm only taking a carry-on so getting a 10" knife or a big cleaver home may be....ahem...difficult.

post #10 of 35

Could you ship them home?  I don't know how much of a hassle customs will be, but you could buy them in Hawaii and mail them home.

post #11 of 35

Deputy you raise some more good questions.

 

First I know my old thread from 2010 is a bit long but sometimes that is what makes the journey interesting, and I manage to make my way to decisions I was happy with that were well within my budget on  a product that I really knew pretty much nothing about (I do not include any of the time I had spent using the various German knives I did in the past as there is just no comparison etc).

 

That out of the way I want to be sure you know that what worked for me may be different than what works for you etc, and though I have been completely satisfied with both the Tojiro DP and Fujiwara FKM and they were an absolute value I can not seem to duplicate and allowed me to learn my way into J knives so that I could be more comfortable with purchasing a more expensive knife. Basically it allowed me to get my feet wet without going all in, and to be able to have a base point of some understanding that I could use to try to better understand the opinions, advice and discussion on the higher end products when the time was right.

 

I was actually able to make the decision on my next knife (a Konosuke HD 240mm gyuto that I absolutely love so far) a whole lot easier and faster to figure out. It was still a process but not nearly as long etc.

 

Sorry but you picked another one I have no experience with, but I can tell you that many who do not like the Damascus knives base their view on it being "clad" and how they feel that effects it's feeling, and it seems even more are just not in favor of the idea of putting appearance first and seem to shy away. I am sure there are other reasons too, but I actually like the look, and almost purchased one recently (hattori HD), but decided to go with the semi stainless mono steel for many reasons.

 

I do not think there would be any harm if you went in that direction, but just be sure the one you pick is well regarded in its performance so that you will be as happy when using it as looking at it etc. :)

 

I agree with your new assessment on freehand sharpening, but also see no problem with the alternates BDL recommended as many seem to be very happy with them. This is an entire subject of it' own and you will really need to do some reading on sharpening before you make any decisions on this. If you do buy a knife that has a reasonably good edge OOTB you will also have a little time to get this part organized too.

 

Far as handle and grip are concerned I know some of it is just preference, and some function, but I found there are times when the handle really does not matter as much as it may appear. Remember much of this can be splitting hairs and if your not using your knife constantly like you would if working a long shift etc some things that are important to some may not be as important or need to be as high on your requirement list for you.

 

The Tojiro DP series is said to have a large and boxy handle, and while this is completely true for some knives in the line it has not been an issue for me (I have a santoku, and use a friends gyuto often) and the smaller knives actually seem to have a small boxy handle that I found very acceptable for the price on my 120mm petty, and it actually works very well for things you hold in your hand to cut or peel etc.

 

Consider that as much as I am more than happy with my new knife that has the Japanese handle and find the weight amazing etc I am not 100% sure I would find this handle my preference for other knives such as a slicer or petty where you actually hold the handle, but this is an area I need to do some research so it is only speculation for now and I am going to have to wait a while before buying anything else lol.

 

I know the difficult part is trying to make a decision on something you can not actually test, and holding one in your hand really doesn't count as you really need to use one before you can have any real idea on what your getting into. So do not discount the ones you can not hold in the local store (or in HI you lucky $#@$@) as it may not work to your advantage.

 

Also once over the $150 mark there are a whole lot of very good performers and lookers to consider, and for me at least it was just too congested for my first J knife purchase and along with the price a big part of my decision to stay in the lower cost area where there are a whole lot less standouts to consider.

 

 

 

 

 

"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 35
Thread Starter 

Thanks Pohaku - I've thought about that but then I've also thought of the smarter idea of sending it home in a friend's checked baggage (a bunch of us are going for a wedding - I'll be there for all of three days).

 

Lenny - very helpful again and thanks I read through the entire thread of yours and found it educational and helpful. 

 

I spoke with Paul at Paul's Finest today (Canadian e-tailer for the Zanmai above) and he wasn't a fan of the quince handle as, being real hardwood, it's subject to more problems than other pakkawood handles and he's had problems with it. Nice enough blade, but not really the best choice.

 

Now I'm looking at some of the previously discussed options and others that are available from a Canadian e-tailer (the whole customs/duty thing is often a bigger problem than it's worth and doesn't end up saving any money). Notably, I'm eyeing the Sakai Tayayuki Grand Cheff (will read some more on that) ($170 or $200 with dimples) and, if I want to stretch the budget and break the bank, the Misono UX10 ($300) that I don't need and probably isn't worth the price as it seems to be overrated. Then again, maybe I'll simplify and just order it all from CKTG and get a Masamoto VG 240 ($180...when it comes back in stock), a Tojiro ITK bread ($60), a Tojiro 170mm Santoku ($70) for my wife to use (she's very small and is intimidated by an 8" knife so the shorter Santoku will do her better), and a Forschner paring or two. Also, an as yet undetermined utility knife in the 6" range, which is something I actually use quite a bit...I'll probably buy that later and just continue using what I've got.

 

Unless a handle to blade transition is outright terrible looking, I don't think I'll make an issue of it. While it's nice to have something that has a fancy handle like the Katana, I'd rather have an upper end knife (not upper upper - but compared to other styles commonly available).

 

Man, serious knife buying is a real challenge!

post #13 of 35
Thread Starter 

Ah, when it came down to it...JCK had it made with their shipping. Hattori HD 240mm on it's way. The rest can wait. It has a great combination of excellent reviews (that I found) and a great aesthetic, which I like...it's not critical but is always a nice touch. I didn't feel inclined towards the FH series and thought the Kagayaki's had too many negative comments on them comparatively (although a hell of a good price). 

 

I think I'll be happy.

post #14 of 35

 

Quote:
Man, serious knife buying is a real challenge!

Your not kidding, but you did make it look a lot easier than I had smile.gif

 

 

 

Quote:
I'd rather have an upper end knife (not upper upper - but compared to other styles commonly available).

 

I know you meant rather than being concerned with handle "bling" etc but it is not too uncommon for members on some of the sites with more enthusiasts to see $500 plus knives often, and if you try just a little you will have no problem finding $1000-3000 ones as well.

 

I think the trick to this for the home cook at least is to find a price range they are comfortable with, work their way through finding info that will allow them to choose a few knives that will fit their needs and then shorten that list based on real life reviews that will help to learn what really fits them best and then try and make a final decision. I know well that it is harder than that, but hope the idea gets through.

 

 

Quote:
(the whole customs/duty thing is often a bigger problem than it's worth and doesn't end up saving any money).

 

Seems you all have a problem with the whole import thing (you need to work on your govt to subsidize imports as well as they do exports lol) but at least you know what your up against instead of how so many of our taxes here are hidden as various fees and just worked into consumer pricing.  Still every time I have shipped a product to CA in the past I sort of feel for the buyer when they are paying so high of a percentage of the product cost just on shipping and tariffs.

 

 

Quote:

Ah, when it came down to it...JCK had it made with their shipping. Hattori HD 240mm on it's way. The rest can wait. It has a great combination of excellent reviews (that I found) and a great aesthetic, which I like...it's not critical but is always a nice touch. I didn't feel inclined towards the FH series and thought the Kagayaki's had too many negative comments on them comparatively (although a hell of a good price). 

 

I think I'll be happy.

I think you will be happy as well, and that exact knife was my second choice for my most recent purchase. It may not be as highly regarded as the FH or KH series, but is also less expensive, has the more decorative appearance, has a handle that looks good and is liked by most, gets great fit and finish reviews, still is one of the better blades done in VG10 (Which I do like, and was all the rave when it was new not too long ago)  and well carries the Hattori name and much of what is associated with it.

 

Actually I think chances are that you would have been happy with most all of your initial choices, and if you mix and match the other knives when you add them later you will even be able to compare the different blades or steels. I think that is a good thing because it removes some of the mystery and allows one to have a better understanding of what else is available, and also gives you some insight into reviews and discussions in the future when your ready for yet another buy.

 

Hope you enjoy it, and be sure to follow up with a post on what you think, and any questions or input on sharpening 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 #15 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LennyD View Post

 

Your not kidding, but you did make it look a lot easier than I had smile.gif

 

Thanks to people like you who have had the questions answered already, it took a lot more reading than asking for someone who comes after. 

 

 

I know you meant rather than being concerned with handle "bling" etc but it is not too uncommon for members on some of the sites with more enthusiasts to see $500 plus knives often, and if you try just a little you will have no problem finding $1000-3000 ones as well.

 

 

Yes, this is stupid for most of us - completely unnecessary but I can understand how if you have the money and love the product, it's easy to fall into that.

 

 

I think the trick to this for the home cook at least is to find a price range they are comfortable with, work their way through finding info that will allow them to choose a few knives that will fit their needs and then shorten that list based on real life reviews that will help to learn what really fits them best and then try and make a final decision. I know well that it is harder than that, but hope the idea gets through.

 

+1

 

 

Seems you all have a problem with the whole import thing (you need to work on your govt to subsidize imports as well as they do exports lol) but at least you know what your up against instead of how so many of our taxes here are hidden as various fees and just worked into consumer pricing.  Still every time I have shipped a product to CA in the past I sort of feel for the buyer when they are paying so high of a percentage of the product cost just on shipping and tariffs.

 

I've done a fair amount of online ordering and sometimes it bites me in the ass and sometimes it's alright. Often I just get stuff shipped to Blaine, WA and run over the border to pick it up (it's only 45 minutes away) but I find it more and more difficult to find the time for that. I like how FCK does it so I went with that approach...$7 for shipping is great. It's just a matter of getting through Customs now and whatever they'll charge me.

 

I think you will be happy as well, and that exact knife was my second choice for my most recent purchase. It may not be as highly regarded as the FH or KH series, but is also less expensive, has the more decorative appearance, has a handle that looks good and is liked by most, gets great fit and finish reviews, still is one of the better blades done in VG10 (Which I do like, and was all the rave when it was new not too long ago)  and well carries the Hattori name and much of what is associated with it.

 

Yeah, I'm pretty confident that it'll work out well. No matter what, it's a great knife on a very long continuum - maybe not the absolute best value for the dollar if, as you say, you split hairs but it really gives me everything that I wanted in an excellent blade. 

 

Actually I think chances are that you would have been happy with most all of your initial choices, and if you mix and match the other knives when you add them later you will even be able to compare the different blades or steels. I think that is a good thing because it removes some of the mystery and allows one to have a better understanding of what else is available, and also gives you some insight into reviews and discussions in the future when your ready for yet another buy.

 

I ended up also adding a Kagayaki KV-2 (VG-10) 150mm petty as well. As you said, any of the initial choices are good - they're all better than what I would have had otherwise. Now, I'll probably add the Tojiro DP Damascus 165mm Santoku (for my tiny little wife...or maybe I'll just get her a Rachael Ray Furi and she'd probably be perfectly happy), Tojiro ITK Bread, and an Idahone ceramic honing rod from CKTG in a month or so after I've had some time with these new ones to get a feel for what I do and don't want. At least now I can rest in knowing that I don't feel like I need more. I'll hold on to my current slicer (Calphalon Contemporary - has served me well for awhile at least) and will probably just end up mostly using my Hattori anyhow...maybe a Suji down the road, if I feel it's needed.  

 

Hope you enjoy it, and be sure to follow up with a post on what you think, and any questions or input on sharpening etc.

 

Will do!

 

Thanks again for everyone's help. Kagayaki and Hattori...not a bad start to using some nice knives.
 

 

post #16 of 35

Glad I was able to help make the decision a little easier. It was a tough decision last year, and the one this year though not as bad was still a bit stressful since this time one gyuto ended up costing more than everything did last year and even the ones I gave out as gifts too lol, but somehow I am justifying it :)

 

In a way this is really not too bad except for the really more expensive hand made knives, and is one of the least expensive hobbies I have had in a long time, but also some of the smallest items too, but then I guess knives don't use race gas, and except for the most extreme cutters you wont ever need a $500 helmet lol.gif

 

There I go justifying the cost again :D

 

Enjoy your new purchase, and be sure to post up your thoughts etc, but also when time comes to sharpen the two very different VG10 knives I would be curious to what difference you find as well.

 

"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...

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"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 #17 of 35
Thread Starter 

Oh yeah, helmets are crazy expensive. I used to have a bike and decided I couldn't justify the cost of all of the equipment that it took to ride in rainy Vancouver weather. Also, very hard to carry golf clubs on a bike...

 

 

I've expanded my purchase a bit further, rounding out what I needed with:

 

Tojiro DP Damascus Santoku (165mm) - for my wife

Forschner Fibrox 10" Bread (CKTG was sold out of the ITK and then I realized that, given how often I cut bread, this would probably work just frickin' fine)

Forschner Rosewood 3.25" paring knife

Forschner Fibrox Paring Knives Set (3" paring, 3" serrated paring, 2.5" bird's beak) - I wanted a bird's but didn't want to spend a lot on it and this group was only $13 - wanted multiple parers as it's what my wife likes to use the most

Idahone 10" Ceramic Rod

Super Eraser

LamsonSharp Kinfe Safe Set (handy little 4-pack of blade guards that should provide good protection for whenever I take my knives with me, which is more often than you'd think)

 

That should do me just fine and dandy for awhile.

 

I started a cooking course tonight with a Knife Skills class and really enjoyed it. Used a kinda dull Forschner 8" for the first half of class until I ran down and got my knives (still have the Costco Sabers and the IKEA Slitbar) out of the car...couldn't stand the Forschner anymore (because it was dull, not because of the feel...actually felt really nice for the price). Using that Forschner was one of the reasons that I just ordered all of these other ones - it made me realize that the Bread would be perfectly fine and there was no need to blow a bunch of money that wasn't necessary on some Japanese bread knife when I barely use one as it is. I'd rather save that $$ for a nice Suji when I'm ready.

 

I've started a new thread asking for a recommendation for stones or sharpening gadgets based on my purchases and would love to hear what anyone has to recommend. 

 

Thanks again!

post #18 of 35
Thread Starter 

Well, they've arrived from JCK! (very quickly and duty free - right on!)

 

Impressions (haven't used them - just looking at them) is that they're gorgeous. They came nicely packed in boxes with blade covers on. The F&F seems to be excellent (I looked them over pretty closely and they look great to me). The handles are both really nice and the Hattori has a surprising deep, beautiful brown tone to the pakkawood handle. I also love the styling of the script used to write his name on the blade (crucial to the functionality of the tool, of course!). 

 

Pics:

 

As shipped in covers:

 

As shipped Hattori HD-08 and Kagayaki KV-2

 

Together:

900x600px-LL-8fac171b_IMG_1174Medium.jpeg

 

HD-08:

LL

 

KV-2:

 

LL

 

HD-08 Handle:

 

LL

post #19 of 35
Thread Starter 

Made dinner tonight finally since they arrived...some simple prep (diced onions, some 'julienned'* veg, chopped garlic, cubed sweet potatoes, chopped fresh herbs, sliced tomato, etc).

 

Hattori was great but NOT as sharp as I'd hoped it would be OOTB. Not bad and much sharper than anything else I've probably ever cut with, but could surely use some improvement. The Kagayaki is definitely noticeably sharper, but I didn't use it for prep tonight at all, so can't say much more than that.

 

 

 

 

 

*I use the term a bit loosely because I prefer to think of my cooking more as "rustic" than fine french technique in terms of the measurements of my julienning! 

post #20 of 35

Great to hear you enjoyed using the new "toys" :)

 

Now just wait until you start getting into the sharpening etc as this is where the fun starts lol

Quote:

*I use the term a bit loosely because I prefer to think of my cooking more as "rustic" than fine french technique in terms of the measurements of my julienning!

Something that has stayed with me for too many years is what I was told by the senior owner when I started my first job in the kitchen as trainee etc and that was "just try and make it all the same size and we will figure out what that works out to be later" :)  Seemed really weird at the time as you would have thought precision would have been more of a target etc, but I later realized that the precision was in being consistent in the size when I was later shown to break down many pounds of carrots to what I was told would be "half the size of the previous mess" by the junior owner :)

 

I am not sure if either really knew what the truly proper french cuts were, but they were sticklers for what they thought was the proper size, and it worked for them etc. plus being the "new kid" back then getting it right seemed to keep the frying pans and such from flying in my direction :D  yes the junior made Gorden Ramsey seem like a pacifist lol.

 

So at home and years away from a pro kitchen I figure julienne can be almost whatever I think it to be, and figure you should not worry too much or take out a caliper to measure your cuts, but then again that could be fun too.

 

"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 #21 of 35
Thread Starter 

Yeah, I know what you mean. For me, for now, I'm confident that I could take the time to ensure a fine set of precisely sized julienned pieces...but you know what? As long as they're pretty close to the same size, they all poop out the same.

post #22 of 35
Thread Starter 

Picked up my CKTG order today. Tojiro DP Damascus Santoku is sharp as can be out of the box; however, the handle is a bit whack. Big, boxy, and not nicely finished at all (looks like it could be a used knife up to about 10 years old...but for the really sharp edges of the handle...not rounded at all). I can see why they're less expensive...a lot less time spent on the fit and finish really shows. That being said, it's as sharp or sharper than anything else I've got so far. 

 

The parers are what you'd expect. Doubt I'll use them often but will be glad that they're there. Same with the bread knife. Should work well for when I need a bread knife.

 

The Idahone is nice. I took the HD to it and it seemed better immediately. My wife will also appreciate the reduction of the "steeling" sound. 

 

The Saber bag mentioned in another thread is nice, too. It'll be largely unused but I'll be glad I have it when I want it.

 

Overall, all good.

post #23 of 35
Thread Starter 

So my wife was chopping some green onions with her old Farberware pink handled 4" santoku that's so dull, it could be a demo knife at Ikea...I handed her the Tojiro and said "here, is this size okay?" 

 

She put it down on the onions and it started cutting through them without her even putting any pressure or moving the blade. She was pretty impressed with that as she quickly realized that her previous knife was literally only good for bludgeoning and tearing. I then watched her cut the onions with a reasonable level of fear that she may slice off her finger as she doesn't "claw" at all (then again, it wasn't like the knife was even near her hand) and told her as much, but that never goes over well. 

 

As to the fit and finish on the handle, here are a couple of pics to show what I mean:

 

Tojiro DP Damascus 165mm Santoku:

 

IMG_1178 (Medium).JPG

 

Handle (notice the very "unrounded"...obtuse may be a better word...edges particularly at the tail):

 

IMG_1181 (Medium).JPGIMG_1182 (Medium).JPGIMG_1183 (Medium).JPG

 

 


None of that detracts from the performance of the knife, which, thus far (all 4 hours that I had had it, at that point), is wonderful. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the knife to the right person (someone specifically looking for a shorter santoku, like my wife, even after having tried larger knives and not enjoying their use and someone who isn't as concerned with looks as with performance and value).

 

Just for S's & G's, here's my old "Charles Meniere" 9" chef that I've been using for the past five years:

 

2007_0102Image0009 - knife (Medium).JPG

 

It's always served me well and had a nice feel for a $9 knife, but I'm not sad to set it aside except for learning to sharpen with it.

 

 

post #24 of 35

I've seen that mixture of fear and a grin on people who are using a sharp knife for the first time in memory.  It's really fun, and I'm trying to remember how my facial muscles felt when I had that experience.

post #25 of 35
Thread Starter 

Yeah, she was pretty impressed...I was, too. I'm 98% sure it came sharper OOtB than my Hattori. I think the Kagayaki's probably the sharpest, though (which is odd, given what I've read about them not coming very sharp). She kind of yelped and said "Holy ****, it's cutting through the onions and I haven't even put any pressure on it yet!" Pretty slick.

 

What's the deal with re-working the handle to improve the feel? I wouldn't mind going at it with some sandpaper and softening the edges, but then I'm assuming I'd have to treat the handle to prevent it from being susceptible to water damage etc after that. Does anyone know an appropriate method for doing that?

 

Thanks again everyone for all of the advice! It's a real joy to work with these.

post #26 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wagstaff View Post

I've seen that mixture of fear and a grin on people who are using a sharp knife for the first time in memory.  It's really fun, and I'm trying to remember how my facial muscles felt when I had that experience.



Have to say I love that look biggrin.gif

 

It is amazing to see and also hear, but I can not deny having a stupid grin myself a few time also.

 

 

 

 

Quote:
She put it down on the onions and it started cutting through them without her even putting any pressure or moving the blade. She was pretty impressed with that as she quickly realized that her previous knife was literally only good for bludgeoning and tearing. I then watched her cut the onions with a reasonable level of fear that she may slice off her finger as she doesn't "claw" at all (then again, it wasn't like the knife was even near her hand) and told her as much, but that never goes over well.

 

A couple thoughts.

 

One please try and find a way to help the wife create safe knife handling skills. I know it is hard to get this accomplished sometimes (with all the man v woman things so many get into sometimes lol) but as much as cuts and injury are part of "job hazard" for pro's and home cooks alike I would hate to hear something went bad etc. My wife is actually scared of most of my knives except the petty (guess the smaller size makes it less intimidating) but after learning real fast just how well it will remove skin after taking off a paper thin piece of her hand she was much more cautious and almost let me teach her some basics (yes only almost as that ended with something about my thinking I know everything lol), but now respects the little one as well.

 

One of the people I have given two or three Tojiro's too also has her own way of doing things, but did not cut herself until almost a year of using them, and thankfully it was just a deep slice that supposedly did not need stitches. Really odd thing is that I ended up being the one to suffer a serious cut, but was not even when using the knife, and just a result of it's falling from my being sloppy and allowing a too crowded board and my Fujiwara just somehow caught the inside of the pinky finger on my cutting hand and also managed to cut into an artery (did not sever it thankfully, and missed the tendon, but still took a bunch of stitches) and within the two seconds it took me to cover it with a towel the entire area looked like something from a b rated horror flick.

 

So be careful!

 

Also keep in mind that if yours was of similar sharpness OOTB as mine were there is lots of room for improvement. Would be interesting to learn what your wife's reply would be when you let her know that you just learned that the knife that was starting to cut under its own weight is not half as sharp as it can be.

 

 

Quote:
As to the fit and finish on the handle, here are a couple of pics to show what I mean:

 

Deputy I am going to straight up honest here as something just does not seem right there. Unless there is something with the picture that is making the handle look like a scratched up mess or something. The handle on my Tojiro DP santoku has a similar shape (that doesn't bother me as I do not hold it by the handle though) but looks to be in better condition and it has been being used for over a year.

 

Not sure what you paid, or if it would be worth it to exchange etc and most likely not worth the effort especially if your going to try and improve the ergo of the handle. I have not done this myself with the Tojiro, but have with a couple hunting type knives in the past, and that is to use a combo of a rotary barrel sander and long 1-2" wide piece of sandpaper to smooth out and reshape the handle.

 

The ones I did had a totally different handle material and I do not know if the color on the Tojiro handle goes through it all or if it is just stained etc, but maybe someone else can clarify this so you will know what to prepare for etc. I do like to mess with or modify things at times, but this just did not seem to have enough positive potential for the job to make sense so I just left the Tojiro alone. You may feel differently about yours (especially if you let the handle on the Hattori set the bar as that one has a really nice looking handle) and if the color goes fully through may even consider just rounding off some of the hard corners,, and removing those scratches.

 

Also the blade on that one looks really nice for a entry level knife, and wonder if the factory edge is similar to the DP series?

 

 

 

"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 #27 of 35
Thread Starter 

Yeah, we're going to work on the knife skills thing. She knows, as well; however, it was more of an issue that she was holding the green onion by the bulb while chopping the the tips (not good technique, but also not dangerous to her hand). I'm not justifying it as much as defining the moment rationally. It should still be an automatic thing to hold the left hand in the claw regardless of what's happening...sort of like putting on a seat belt.

 

Definitely looking forward to the "room for improvement" part of that blade - it'll be awfully slick.

 

There's nothing wrong with the picture, that's legitimately what it looks like. In fact, the pictures don't really show the imperfections all that well. That being said, I don't ordinarily gaze at my handles in loving awe (except maybe on the Hattori blushing.gif), so I'm not too worried about the prettiness (or lack thereof, in this case), as it's not worth it to me to go back to Blaine, WA (a 35 minute trip w no border line up) to pay to ship it back to Mark and to have to go back again to get a new one once it arrives. I don't want to be that guy. I'd just like to round out the tail of the handle a bit as those edges are sharper than some of my old knives. 

 

I think I paid $80. I'm sure it should be similar to the DP as it IS a DP...just in a Damascus clad styling (I just picked it because it was the shortest in that length at around that price).

post #28 of 35

There are plenty of youtube vids showing the off-hand claw, I'm sure you know. Chad Ward's has the advantage of being accessible enough that it may avoid the whole "know it all" issue.  "Hi honey, look what I learned from this nice dude..."  : 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wq0FH2IGPAw&feature=plcp&context=C34384dcUDOEgsToPDskLeVQ9M-uAITTnQm9MLZR2I

post #29 of 35
Thread Starter 

That's a good one - thanks Wag.

post #30 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wagstaff View Post

There are plenty of youtube vids showing the off-hand claw, I'm sure you know. Chad Ward's has the advantage of being accessible enough that it may avoid the whole "know it all" issue.  "Hi honey, look what I learned from this nice dude..."  : 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wq0FH2IGPAw&feature=plcp&context=C34384dcUDOEgsToPDskLeVQ9M-uAITTnQm9MLZR2I

Interesting thought there.

Somehow it just seems I will never get the hang of remembering the whole psychology part of those things 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
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