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New Knife

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 

Hi, I want to get a new knife. Previously I've only had cheap knives, in the shape of a Victorinox and a Sabatier.

This time I'm looking for something better, with a budget of around £150, or about $200.

My only real preference is that it is 10 inches, but anything from 8-10 would be okay.

I was looking at a Shun 10 inch cooks knife, but as I'm left handed I'm having a lot of trouble finding somewhere I can order it from in the UK. I've also looked at Tojiro, but I'm struggling to find much out about these, and a Wusthof Ikon, but I'm not really sure where my cash would be best spent.

 

Hopefully you people can help me.

post #2 of 40

If you need International freight my first thought always runs to selecting some thing from Koki at JCK. The Kagayaki or JCK originals in the flavor that suits you isn't a bad way to fly and Koki's fee for International freight is hard to beat.

I haven't even seen one in person but one that has peaked my interest in this price range lately is the Suien VC 270mm Gyuto that Jon is selling at JKI.

 

Dave

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I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
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post #3 of 40
Thread Starter 

The only thing I'm concerned about with ordering from another country is if I have to return the knife. 

I'd like to look at other brands, such as the Kagayaki or Suien, but my real problem is that the only way I can judge 'quality' of a knife is to look at the price, and I know from other things that this isn't always a good way to judge.

After looking a little more, I'm considering a Tojiro DP Wa-Gyuto 240mm. Opinions?

Thanks for the advice so far

post #4 of 40
It's not just free freight, He'll likely have to pay at Customs inbound to the UK as well. Add that to the budget if shopping internationally.
post #5 of 40

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rdm magic View Post

After looking a little more, I'm considering a Tojiro DP Wa-Gyuto 240mm.

 

Here that knife sells for about 1/2 your stated budget. I'm not a fan of the profile which resembles more of a miroshi and the handle is like a broom stick. FWIW I would say the same about the Mizuno @ JCK.  Personally I wouldn't spend a moment worrying about returns but I can understand wanting to find a dealer in the UK. Does Amazon or eBay offer you more options?

 

 

Dave

I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
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post #6 of 40

You might keep in mind that the Tojiro has a D-shaped handle. I'm a lefty, too. I bought a Tojiro ITK 120mm petty recently. Also D-shaped handle. Not as massively "handed" as the Shuns, though. It wasn't too hard to whittle the Tojiro handle into a more neutral shape, but I'm not sure I'd want to mess with that with a more expensive gyuto. The ferrule is a bit D-shaped on the Tojiro ITK, as well. It isn't a deal-breaker for me, and I like the steel a lot (different than the DP, though, no experience with that one), but for a leftie gyuto, I might look elsewhere. Not sure where though- it seems like wa-gyutos are scarce on the ground in the around-$100 range.

 

Is your Sabatier one of the stainless ones, or carbon steel?

post #7 of 40
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckFat View Post

 

 

Here that knife sells for about 1/2 your stated budget. I'm not a fan of the profile which resembles more of a miroshi and the handle is like a broom stick. FWIW I would say the same about the Mizuno @ JCK.  Personally I wouldn't spend a moment worrying about returns but I can understand wanting to find a dealer in the UK. Does Amazon or eBay offer you more options?

 

 

Dave

 

Amazon doesn't have much other than the brands you'd expect (Shun, Wusthof, Global really big brands) and you can't buy/sell knifes on eBay anymore.

 

Given that I'm almost a brand new knife user (in terms of working as a chef), and I have little to no preference of my knife, am I better getting a 210mm, or a 240mm one? I use a 220mm at the moment, but as I said I don't have a 'soft spot' for any length because I haven't used any for long enough. 

 

Would you say the handle on the Tojiro is poor quality or not?

 


Edited by rdm magic - 4/19/12 at 1:29pm
post #8 of 40

I am not a fan of the handle on the WA Tojiro but it's hard to complain a lot at that price point. I probably use 240mm the most at home.

 

Dave

I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
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post #9 of 40

tojiro dp knives sharpen up easier than other vg10 knives Ive sharpened. the steel is a step ahead of shun and miyabi. 

post #10 of 40

Originally Posted by kitchen beast View Post

tojiro dp knives sharpen up easier than other vg10 knives Ive sharpened. the steel is a step ahead of shun and miyabi. 

 

I don't take issue with your experiences, but mine are different. "Alla time same same" for me.

 

To the OP:

 

Length:  At least 240, as long as you've got the room to use it.  If you find the length intimidating, you need to work on your grip and posture.  With the right technique and a little practice, a 240, 270 and even a 300 will automatically follow your eyes.  If you do a lot of point work, you could make a case for a 210, but if you're using your chef's as a chef's 240 or 270 are better. 

 

As a lefty, I HATE the Tojiro's "D" handle.  I'd look to something else. 

 

Assuming you can sharpen pretty well, you might want to think about something like the Kagayaki VG-10 or CarboNext.  JCK is pretty good about keeping custom duties down.  Try e-mailing and asking them. 

 

BDL

 

 

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post #11 of 40

Ive sharpened over dozen different shuns  and 5 or so miyabis also for my coworkers many many times. It might not be noticeable the first time or so but the burr development/ removal is way less stubborn on Tojiro DP. But yes, my vote is for the carbonext.

post #12 of 40
Thread Starter 

Thought I'd post an update.

I'm still considering the Tojiro 240mm DP wu-gyuto, along with the MAC pro 9.5" mighty chefs knife, although that is a little more than I'd like to spend once shipping is accounted for.

I'm also looking at the Carbonext due to this thread, but it doesn't appeal to me aesthetically too much.

CKtG also has a Shun Premier 8 inch on sale, which I'm seriously considering as I heard that they have a much rounder handle than other Shuns, and at the price I'm tempted. I'm just weary of the fact that quite a few reviews say that it is fragile and not really made for heavy usage, but I don't know if there is any truth to those statements, anyone able to tell me weather the Premier line is good from Shun?

post #13 of 40

Well if your used to using Sabatiers and Victorinox then maybe the carbonext or the mac pro would be better suited for you due ease of sharpening and lighter weight. The tojiro dp is a little handle heavy and has a boxy feel to it. Some people dont like the feel of the dp handle, but I like it. I work with a guy who has a shun premier. Its a decent knife as far as shuns go I guess. But the Mac Pro and Carbonext are way better options. Just forget about that silly bling bling factor shun has going on and purchase more boring looking carbonext,tojiro or mac. All your other options outside of shun will perform better. And the better your knife performs the more fun and enjoyment youll have ultimately.

post #14 of 40

The Carbonext, Kagayaki (JCK) WA Gyuto or even the Mac would be much better options than the Shun IMO. Bear in mind I'm not much of a Mac Fan but that's a much better choice than a dressed up Shun.

 

Dave

I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
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post #15 of 40
Thread Starter 

I've emailed JCK about his Kagayaki, to see what it works out after shipping etc.

I was only drawn to that particular Shun because it was reduced so much, but I guess thats quite worrying when I think that really, there isn't a reason for a knife to be on sale other than the fact its a bad knife.

If I were to get a Shun (which after this thread, I seriously doubt I ever will), I'd get the left hand 10 inch chefs knife. But I probably will opt for something else now, as I feel that a lot of the price of Shun is branding.

I've also decided to almost dispense with a budget, as much as I can. After thinking about it, I'll hopefully be keeping the knife for a number of years, and using it for +4 hours per day. I figure that I'm better of buying the best knife that I can now, rather than having to replace it in the future.

Obviously I don't want to just splash out cash for no reason, but if there is genuine advantage in spending more, I am willing to.

post #16 of 40

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rdm magic View Post

 

I've also decided to almost dispense with a budget, as much as I can. After thinking about it, I'll hopefully be keeping the knife for a number of years, and using it for +4 hours per day. I figure that I'm better of buying the best knife that I can now, rather than having to replace it in the future.

 

A wise decision.

A knife is a tool that should last you a life time if cared for. Spending a little more up front if you can is far better than having saved a little and regretting it well in to the future or worse yet needing to spend even more on a replacement. Any of us who have lamented a purchase like this understand that it can be a hard choice.

The Shun's you were looking at may be on some sort of close out as I seem to recall them being deeply discounted on Amazon as well.

 

 

Dave

I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
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post #17 of 40

Well guy's, I just bought 3 Tojiro's direct from Japan, a 170mm DP Santuko, a 240mm DP Gyuto, and a 270mm DP Sujihiki, these knives are sharp as and very well finished, except for the very end of the handles which for some reason they have left very sharp angled-will fix that presently, I'm in Australia and these knives got to me in three days, I did notice that these knives only had Kanji on one side and no English print on the other, must be Japanese local issue, they cost me aud$240 delivered, here is a site you may want to peruse--

http://global.rakuten.com/en/search?pf=&pt=&f=0&fs=0&vm=2&sm=0&st=&tl=558944&k=chef+knife

 

btw. here is the shops url-- looks to be a local hardware store--the owner was as helpful as he could be, but his limited English was a bit of a hassle, but he did come through ok., the knives came very well packaged. This is not a plug, but I did get mine from this store.

 

http://item.rakuten.co.jp/nishimurakanamono/10002663/


Edited by saxien - 4/24/12 at 7:53am
post #18 of 40
Thread Starter 

Saxien, have you ever had/used Tojiros before? Are they genuine? Even though I'm not totally sold on the idea, I'll probably get something for those prices.

post #19 of 40
Thread Starter 

I'm still looking, and reading the threads on here. I saw someone mention the Fijuwara FKH carbon series. 
Would someone be able to give me an idea of the 'extra maintenance' that carbon knives need? 
If I say that I have no preference to knives at the moment as I have almost no experience with them, so am developing my tastes as it were, would the FKH be better than a Tojiro DP?

post #20 of 40
The FKH is often discussed on knife fora as a carbon that is particularly reactive and "stinky". While I'm all for carbon blades, the rep of that particular line is that you'll be put off of them by it. Note, this is not the voice of pers onal experience, just that of some mild research. If I were buying a budget gyuto, I'd consider the stainless FKM. If carbon, I'd look outside Fujiwara.
post #21 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdm magic View Post

I'm still looking, and reading the threads on here. I saw someone mention the Fijuwara FKH carbon series. 
Would someone be able to give me an idea of the 'extra maintenance' that carbon knives need? 
If I say that I have no preference to knives at the moment as I have almost no experience with them, so am developing my tastes as it were, would the FKH be better than a Tojiro DP?


What some consider to be extra maintenance is what some people would do anyway.  Clean and wipe your blade before, and after each use.  Rinse and wipe between cutting different items.  Don't leave it in the sink, don't leave it laying on the counter wet, don't put it in the dishwasher (nor any other knife), do put a smile on your face when you realize how sharp you can make it and how well it cuts:>)

 

Cheers


Edited by chinacats - 5/7/12 at 7:01pm
post #22 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wagstaff View Post

The FKH is often discussed on knife fora as a carbon that is particularly reactive and "stinky". While I'm all for carbon blades, the rep of that particular line is that you'll be put off of them by it. Note, this is not the voice of pers onal experience, just that of some mild research. If I were buying a budget gyuto, I'd consider the stainless FKM. If carbon, I'd look outside Fujiwara.

 

What would you be looking at, in terms of a carbon? The carbonext?

 

Looking at what Chinacats said, most of the maintenance is just what I normally do, one thing Ive wondered though is just how 'easy' these rust. If I leave it slightly wet for 20 mins is it going to begin rusting? Is putting a forced patina on a carbon a good thing to do in terms of reducing the 'issues' with carbon (the smell, imparting some taste on the food)?

post #23 of 40
The CarboNext isn't "carbon." It's semi-stainless. Still, a lot of people like it and it has the reputation of being a lot of knife for the money. It also has the reputation of frequently arriving with either no edge or a very bad one. For that reason, I suggest continuing to look elsewhere unless you're already a good sharpener.

BDL
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post #24 of 40

Quote:

Originally Posted by rdm magic View Post

 

What would you be looking at, in terms of a carbon? The carbonext?

 

Looking at what Chinacats said, most of the maintenance is just what I normally do, one thing Ive wondered though is just how 'easy' these rust. If I leave it slightly wet for 20 mins is it going to begin rusting? Is putting a forced patina on a carbon a good thing to do in terms of reducing the 'issues' with carbon (the smell, imparting some taste on the food)?

 

The Carbonext has a solid reputation. There's no reason to avoid that knife. OOb edge sharpness should never be a primary factor but in either event I've never received any thing from Koki with a poor edge. The Carbonext is a great option at that price point.

As far as forcing a patina that depends on the knife and the view of the owner. Here is a Masamoto that I never found the need to do that with. There are some carbon knives you may want to avoid for your first knife because they are highly reactive but you will have to look at those on a case by case basis. What chinacats said about maintenance was spot on.

The Masamoto carbon options may be some thing you want to look at but a similar gyuto as the carbonext will be roughly 70% more. The JCK originals are an excellent value.

Suisin makes some great value carbon knives as well that are right in your price point if you can find a dealer with reasonable freight.

 

Dave

 

             Masamoto KS-1.jpg


Edited by DuckFat - 5/8/12 at 9:25am
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
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post #25 of 40
Quote:
OOb edge sharpness should never be a primary factor but in either event I've never received any thing from Koki with a poor edge. The Carbonext is a great option at that price point.
Not everyone is as good a sharpener as you are. Some people need a knife which they can use while they learn to sharpen, and as a sufficiently well-profiled factory edge to use as a guide for future sharpening -- at least until they're skills have evolved to the point where they can do their own profiling. Secondly, while you may never have received anything with a poor edge from Koki, a LOT of other people have. Both the regular CarboNext and the CarboNext purchased with Koki's extra sharpening service are notorious.

My impression, gained from regularly reading four forums (KF, KKF, Fred's, and this one) is that about half the CarboNexts, whether purchased with or without extra sharpening, come with really lousy edges. While that may not be important for you or me, it is for a great many.

On the other hand, I completely agree with you (Dave) about patinas. I've been using Sabatier carbons for more than forty years and have always cleaned them with baking soda as soon as they show any staining. This keeps the knives with the dull, grey glow typical of well maintained steel. To my eye, it's the most attractive finish; and it's certainly just as efficient. FWIW, I found the baking soda regimen handled a Misono Sweden -- which is about as highly reactive as good knives get -- very well

Something seldom discussed is that patinas are not forever and need maintenance and regular renewal; not as often as keeping the knife polished, but still...

Also, just to clear up some confusion: A kurouchi finish is not a patina. But, buyers should be aware that the kurouchi finish is far from eternal and wears off rather quickly.

BDL
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post #26 of 40

Freds forum is virtually DOA as well as KF. I check into those forums and weeks go by with not much new. KKF I read quite often and I just haven't seen these complaints of the carbonext. I just went to KKF and did a search and the only "complaint" I saw was dulling when working with acidic foods. Not that this is something that's going to be restricted to semi-stainless or specific to that knife. I did see a lot of happy users of that knife and found it being suggested to new buyers more than once. But hey different threads on the Internet can really take a different turn. I really don't think the Carbonext is notorious for being much other than a good value and there's a lot of happy carbonext users on KKF.

OOB sharpness is just sillyness. Irrespective of where your sharpening skills are most want to learn to sharpen and the OP is a culinary student so a knife like the Carbonext is a good option.

Some very expensive knives come with less than stellar edges. Either way your going to have to sharpen a knife eventually no matter where you buy it or what brand it is.

 

Dave

I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
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post #27 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckFat View Post


 

             Masamoto KS-1.jpg

 

 

Sweet knife!!!

thumb.gif

post #28 of 40

Choices, choices, choices

 

Considering from where you are starting my suggestion would be for the Fujiwara stainless. While most folks would call this a starter knife it's still worlds above what your getting out of your Forschners. It also has the advantage of being relatively easy to sharpen. I would caution you to be careful with harder steels as your first knife. They are more difficult to sharpen and you might get more frustrated.

 

I have a number of young cooks who own gyuto's w/ much harder steel and they are forever complaining about the poor edge retention. When I sharpen them they get a good edge with decent retention. I'm not the best sharpener but I get how its works and I'm careful with the basics ie: angles, even pressure, flattened stones, etc. Most of these cooks have bought second knives in more basic stainless or carbon for this reason.

 

The point here is that hardness, overly acute angles, magical steel formulation, mythic Swedish virgin steel dont amount to a hill of beans if it aint sharp!

 

I use my Fujis everyday, both carbon and stainless, in a busy working kitchen with no problems.

 

Food for thought.

 

Stay sharp my friend

post #29 of 40
Thread Starter 

I yesterday used someone at works 250mm knife. It was still a Forschner, but it was 30mm longer than mine and quite a bit heavier (mine is a slim blade, his was a deep one).

I didn't really like the extra length, because I was catching things with the end that I wouldn't normally catch. Is that just because I'm not used to the extra length or I'm not a very tidy worker, and will get accustomed to, or should I begin looking for a 210mm gyuto? I have no problem using a 210mm, other than the fact that it seems shorter than anyone recommends, and that a 240mm is marginally more expensive and it seems like a waste not to upgrade if there isn't a reason.

 

When I made this thread I had no idea it would be so difficult to decide what knife to get! Thanks for everyones advice though

post #30 of 40

rdm You already know I'm an advocate of spending a bit more but I'm in total agreement with Wagstaff in avoiding the Fujiwara. I'd look closely at Suisin, Masamoto and Misono if you want carbon.

There's nothing wrong with 210mm if that's your preference, At work 240 and 270 saw far more use for me and at home I often grab a 180.

Use what feels right to you. Once you get used to a longer blade you won't find it wasted real estate.

 

Dave

I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
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