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Taking my knives to the next level...

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

I need some advice on upgrading/replacing a couple of knives.  Home use.  I have an Edge Pro, so I'm on top of the sharpening issue.

 

What I currently have:

 

Victorinox paring    [rarely use]

Al Mar Ultra 4.5" utility    [love for small jobs]

Victorinox 6" boning     [used frequently for things like cutting apart ribs and chickens]

MAC Superior Santoku 6.5"   [love the thinness, dislike everything else about it]

MAC Pro 8" chef   [my fave, but I wish it were longer and thin like the santoku]

Victorinox 10" chef   [use a lot, but I wish it were better]

Victorinox 10.5" bread

 

I love the mix I have, and with a birthday coming up I have the opportunity to improve it a bit.  I would like to add a suji and I would like the replace the 10" Victorinox.   Budget in the 200 or 250 range for each knife, but not a hard and fast budget.  (I'll probably ask for one for the birthday and save the other for xmas)  F&F is important, western handle. I'd like the blade to be thin like the santoku.  (I'll use the Victorinox for anything rough).   I'm thinking of the Hattori FH with the cocobolo handle for a 270 suji  http://japanesechefsknife.com/SPECIALS.html#FH SP   and a Shiki Damascus with the quince burl handle for a 240 gyoto.  http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/SHIKIDamascusSeries.html

 

Are these two roughly the same quality?  How do these compare to the MAC pro and ultimate?  Is the blade a little thinner than the MAC pro?  Are there others I should consider that are a step up from what I have?  It's hard to find info on the Shiki... would I be better off with the Hattori for both? (but the burl handle on the Shiki is SOOO nice!)

 

Any thoughts and advice would be greatly appreciated!

 

And I wanted to thank you all (esp BDL), since the choices I've made to date (which overall I'm extremely happy with) are due to a year's worth of lurking and reading old posts.thumb.gif


Edited by Wile E Coyote - 3/4/12 at 12:48pm
post #2 of 12

Hey Wile,

 

I have that very suji and had the benefit of really using it for its intended purpose (from my perspective, at least) for the first time when I did a roast a week or two ago. It just sings through meat. I was cutting roast so thin that the deli counter would have been jealous.

 

(yes, I'm exaggerating - but it was pretty great)

 

I can't tell you that it's better than any other knife other than a Calphalon Contemporary 10" slicer as it's the only frame of reference that I have, but I can tell you that I'm very happy with it, plus it's very pretty....so that's nice, too. 

 

I'm not even telling you to validate my purchase in my own mind as I could admit if I was disappointed with the blade (like I'm a bit disappointed in the my Hattori HD 240 gyuto and not because of anything wrong with the knife but because I just enjoy using my Moritaka Deluxe 270 more so the HD that I bought first has ended up being potentially slightly redundant...they're onto something with the wa handles). 

 

Good luck with whatever you decide.

post #3 of 12

Deputy, thanks for the data points. I think my next knife will be a suji.

post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by SameGuy View Post

Deputy, thanks for the data points. I think my next knife will be a suji.



As someone who likes to roast up big hunks of animal flesh...it's a knife right up my alley. The length is beautiful for the long slices from a big roast, the thinness of the blade made fine slicing a snap, and it just looks nice when you whip it out at the table to carve the roast.

 

Doooooo it.

post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the input... the suji is top on my list!

post #6 of 12

Each knife in your current set of chef's has major issues.  

 

Unless you use your suji as your go-to all-round prep knife, getting a gyuto/chef's you really like should be your first priority.  Even though I enjoy showing off to myself (sadly, no one else cares) and frequently use my suji/slicers for general prep -- if I needed to get a better suji and a better gyuto, I'd get the gyuto first.  Give it even a little thought, and I'm sure you'll agree.   

 

BDL


Edited by boar_d_laze - 3/11/12 at 7:52am
post #7 of 12
I agree a gyuto is a better multipurpose knife. I use my suji for slicing fish and when I need the extra length for slicing large roasts, any where I want a slice in one pull

You can't lay on the beach and drink rum all day unless you start in the morning

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You can't lay on the beach and drink rum all day unless you start in the morning

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post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thank you, you are correct and I have been pondering the gyoto all weekend. 

 

My thought process:  I like thin, I like the 10" length, I want a yo handle, I'm not averse to carbon but ultra-reactive I'd probably find annoying.  I love the look of cocobolo wood or that quince burl, much prefer those over the black paka or the resins, but if I get something with the handle I prefer and it's on the thick side I will be dissatisfied and will eventually want something else.  So back to reading and reading and reading...

 

and now, after deciding that my first priority in my preferences is thin, I'm looking at the Konosuke HD gyuto with the western handle.  I'm not sure on length, I keep going back and forth between 240 and 270.  From what I've read, the general consensus is that the 270 is rather long for a home cook.  Couple that with my height (or lack thereof, at 5'2'), high counters, and a 2" cutting board on top of that and the 270 may be a bit awkward.

 

Any thoughts?  Am I on the right track? 

 

Thanks so much!

post #9 of 12

Setting aside the "petite cooks need shorter knives" myth, a 240mm Konosuke HD gyuto is an optimal choice for all of your other reasons, and some other practical considerations.  

 

Let's talk sharpening!

 

BDL

post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks, BDL.  It's funny, I do have a strong preference for the larger knives, but my 6'4" husband reaches for the santoku every time.  confused.gif  I'm betting that it's the thinness he likes in it as well.

 

On sharpening, I have an Edge Pro with a good variety of stones: 120, 320, 220, 600, 1000, 5K chosera, 10K chosera.  I haven't played with it a lot, mainly just with the Victoronix.  I'm new to sharpening, and trying to learn to see/feel the burr and get my skills up before doing a lot with the j knives.  I saw the one-handed tomato slicing video, so that's my ultimate goal.

 

Thanks!

 

edited to add the 320 stone


Edited by Wile E Coyote - 3/14/12 at 5:06am
post #11 of 12


Originally Posted by Wile E Coyote View Post

It's funny, I do have a strong preference for the larger knives, but my 6'4" husband reaches for the santoku every time.  confused.gif  I'm betting that it's the thinness he likes in it as well.

 

People often prefer short knives because they can't control long knives' points.  Usually it's their grip.  Everything else being equal, thin "acts" sharper than thicker, so maybe...  We should ask.

 

On sharpening, I have an Edge Pro with a good variety of stones: 120, 220, 600, 1000, 5K chosera, 10K chosera.  I haven't played with it a lot, mainly just with the Victoronix.  I'm new to sharpening, and trying to learn to see/feel the burr and get my skills up before doing a lot with the j knives.  I saw the one-handed tomato slicing video, so that's my ultimate goal.

 

Speaking of asking... we can talk about learning how to feel the burr if you want.  Learning shouldn't take long -- especially if you're using the magic marker trick, as EP recommends.

 

BDL

post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:

People often prefer short knives because they can't control long knives' points. Usually it's their grip. Everything else being equal, thin "acts" sharper than thicker, so maybe... We should ask.

 His grip isn't as good as it should be, at least on the santoku.  He grips the larger knives much better, though... I had to learn the pinch grip, whereas he just naturally grabbed the larger knives that way.  The santoku he holds differently.  I'll chat with him about it.

 

I'd love some advice on feeling the burr.  I do use magic marker.  I suspect it's there, and I'm just not recognizing it.  Should I pull out the magnifying glass?

 

Another thing that I'm uncertain about is what grit to start with.  Obviously, the 120 is only if I want to completely re-edge something, which would be unusual.  The Victorinox I've done the 220 -320-600, but I don't know that the 220 is really necessary except on the boning knife which I beat up pretty regularly.  I've gone over the J knives quickly with the 1K once, but stopped because I wasn't really confident with what I was doing.  How do you tell where to start?  And even if I go by a general rule for my knives, what if I sharpen my husband's hunting knives or a friend's knives?

 

Thanks so much for your help!

 

 

 

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