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Which Japanese knife??? Please Help

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
hey everybody, so I'm brand new to the site and to j knives, but I have been reading thread after thread for a few hour now trying to learn all I can.

i have a few knives I've been interested in but not sure which one to get and that's why I'm here.

I'm going to be using this knife daily at work. and I do have a whetstone but not that confident with my sharpening skills.

the size is going to be 240mm gyuto

so the knives are
Masamoto VG or possibly HC but not sure
Hattori HD
Konosuke HD
Kikuichi TKC or Kagayaki carbonext
hiromoto AS
if there are other knives you guys suggest please let me know, I would like to buy this ASAP.

my price range is about 200$ and I know a couple of these knives are above it.
and for the handle I think I prefer western style but that's because I've never tried the Japanese one.
Thanks!
Edited by ewrd - 7/9/12 at 1:27am
post #2 of 15

As an owner of a TKC, its a hell of a knife, love it, but its not  a "line knife" and I dont care what others will tell you. It will rip through prep, hold a damn sharp edge and is light and nimble but it goes in my bag once service starts. Im not saying the TKC is fragile but during a shift cooking you don't use your knife that much and may have to leave it unattended where it can be knocked over, grabbed by someone else to use quickly and possibly improperly or even "misplace" it. Also, during a shift you may have to leave your knife wet or dirty on your board to quickly help someone, run a plate or any of the various kitchen occurrences and though the TKC is semi stain resistant and quite sturdy at that, after a while that can take a toll. I like using mid priced 210mm gyuto (kaizen/Gekko) for my line knife or even a longer petty (Moritaka 150mm). I guess what I just said can also apply to the Konosuke HD since the two are often compared and you said you wanted a Western Handle. All the other knives you listed are fitting for a full day of both prep/line work at the price point you are looking at and are commonly seen in a bunch of kitchens along with the Togiharu Inox. Of those the Masamotos are a solid choice and well regarded along with the Hattori HD, I cant speak for the Hiromoto AS because I've never tried but it would seem to be of equivalent quality of the others.

post #3 of 15

Start by learning to sharpen well, or at least making a commitment to it.  Until you do, a $200 knife is a waste of money. 

 

I really like "lasers" like the Konosuke (whether HD, HH, or Shirogami) but am loathe to recommend anything that thin to someone who works the line unless (s)he has very good skills.  They will bind in the cut unless held very square; and bind badly if you hold them too tightly.  Getting out of square and death-gripping the handle are very common under pressure.  I'm not saying that's true of you, but would like to hear from you one way or the other.

 

Off of your list, everything else being equal, and doing some reading between the lines... the Masamoto VG is probably your best choice overall, while the Kagayaki CarboNext and MAC Pro (even though not on your list) are probably the most bang for the buck. 

 

But any dull knife is a dull knife, so don't waste your money until you've got sharpening figured out.

 

  • What stone do you have now? 
  • How often do you sharpen? 
  • Can you take the time to describe how you sharpen?  It will help me figure out how well you sharpen, which could make a difference for the recommendations which may follow. 

 

  • How tightly to you hold your chef's knife? 
  • Do you "pinch" and "crab?" Regarding the crab,
  • Do you "cut and retreat?"
  • Are your skills good enough to "speed chop" the basic cuts?  For instance, can you "coin" a carrot at garnish quality size and consistency?
  • Do you cut a lot of julienne or brunoise at work?

 

  • What's your current favorite chef's knife? 
  • When you chop, do you rock the knife on the belly at all? Or,
  • Do you consistently use a straight up and down "push cut?"
  • What size is most comfortable for you? 
  • How big is the board at your station? 
  • How do you currently safeguard your knives from others in the kitchen?  Or is it not an issue?

 

  • Have you ever used a carbon (not-stainless or semi-stainless) knife like the Masamoto HC before?
  • What makes you think you can keep up with its neediness on the line?

 

BDL


Edited by boar_d_laze - 7/11/12 at 3:00pm
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post #4 of 15
post #5 of 15

About that Masmoto -- don't buy a carbon knife just because it's at such a good price.  If it's a knife you can't live with, it's not a good deal.  But if you can live with carbon in a professional environment, and everything else is right and correct, don't hesitate. 

 

BDL

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post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
thanks BDL and ez13 for the advice, after a lot more research and talking to mark from cktg I ended up getting a fujiwara fkm 240 gyuto and a tojiro 90mm petty, hopefully I'll get used to the extra inch on the gyuto. since i haven't been sharpening my messermeister a lot so im not that good at sharpening. so after I get better at sharpening I'll probably purchase a more higher end knife.. I currently have a naniwa 1000/3000 stone.
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
I started watching marks sharpening tutorials and have been liking that way of sharpening then the waymy chef at school showed me months ago.
post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by ewrd View Post


the size is going to be 240mm gyuto
so the knives are
Masamoto VG or possibly HC but not sure
Hattori HD
Konosuke HD
Kikuichi TKC or Kagayaki carbonext
hiromoto AS
if there are other knives you guys suggest please let me know, I would like to buy this ASAP.
my price range is about 200$ and I know a couple of these knives are above it.
and for the handle I think I prefer western style but that's because I've never tried the Japanese one.
Thanks!


Well, I guess I'll be the dissenter, here.  My CarboNext is my most-used knife on the the line during service.  It's much tougher than most of my knives. 

 

All of the knives you list are good ones.  I'm a big fan of both the TKC and the CarboNext.  They take a good edge and hold it well.  The CN is definitely not all that stainless.  It took awhile but I'm getting a lot of patina.  It doesn't really want to rust though.  These knives are not lasers by any means but not all that thick, either.  F'n'F is ranges from just okay to pretty nice.  The CN doesn't really have a very good edge OOTB, though.

 

The Konosuke HD is a really nice knife.  Very very thin (by my standards) and very light.  Great if you want  a Wa but not as robust as some.

 

The Hattori HD is just okay, IMOHO.  A bit overpriced if you ask me.  I'm basically "over" VG-10, although this is a good example of that steel.  I'm not impressed by the edge retention nor the maximum level of sharpness.

 

The Hiromoto AS is a very nice knife.  The Aogami core will take a very good edge and the knife is attractive.  F'n'F ranges from average to very good.  The AS is a bit thick and heavy, especially compared to the Konosukes.  It's a bit heavier than either the TKC or the CN.

 

Over the last couple years I sold my TKC and my Hiro AS's.  I loved the TKC but the CN is virtually (although not absolutely) the same, and I was able to sell the TKC for full retail to fund another knife purchase.  Mine was an "original", not the Kikuichi version, though.  As for the Hiro AS, it was a nice knife but I prefer Moritakas.  They're thinner and I personally think they take a better edge.

 

Currently my Moritaka KS is the knife I use the most (alongside my Nubatama).  I'm not sure I'd recommend Moritaka to a relative nOOb, though, as there can be some minor issues with them.  Richmond knives are really good for the money IMOHO.

 

Of the ones you list I think the Kagayaki CN is about your best bet.  It's a great blade.  It's forgiving enough if you don't baby it yet it's good enough that you won't outgrow it.  But BDL is right- you'll have to address sharpening sooner rather than later.

"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
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"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
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post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
I was going to purchase the CN but after reading some post saying that it doesn't come sharp I decided to got the fujiwara and ill practice sharpening before I buy it.
I'm not sure if I remember correctly but I saw a post about how the CN and the TKC is supposedly the same knife?

thank you all for the helpful advice.
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by ewrd View Post

I was going to purchase the CN but after reading some post saying that it doesn't come sharp I decided to got the fujiwara and ill practice sharpening before I buy it.
I'm not sure if I remember correctly but I saw a post about how the CN and the TKC is supposedly the same knife?
thank you all for the helpful advice.

 

Initially the two were the same knife, made in the same factories and branded differently.  Over time the two lines diverged.  Now they have substantial differences in the bolsters, for instance.  I think it's best to consider them cousins now, not siblings.

 

I imagine you'll be happy with the Fujiwara, although from what I've heard their entry level knives aren't reliably sharp OOTB.  Let me say one more thing about OOTB sharpness- it's really relative to your expectations.  I don't think any "civilian" (ie inexperienced purchaser that doesn't have a professional culinary background) would object to the sharpness of a CarboNext, Tojiro ITK, etc.  I am a chef and sometime-pro-sharpener, so my idea of sharp almost certainly differs from yours.

 

That said, the Fujiwara should be good.  The only Fujiwara I've ever sharpened or cut with was a much more expensive White #1.  It was outstanding.  Hopefully racing improves the breed, so to speak. ;-)

"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
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post #11 of 15
Quote:

Originally Posted by Phaedrus View Post

 

Initially the two were the same knife, made in the same factories and branded differently. 

 

I'm not sure I ever knew that. Intersting tidbit of info. I think the only knife I ever bought where OOTB sharpness was note worthy was the Ikkanshi-Tads I have. They were truly wicked sharp for a factory edge.

The Masamoto Mano linked is a nice buy and the scuttle is that Masamoto is raising prices soon.

 

 

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 #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phaedrus View Post

 

Initially the two were the same knife, made in the same factories and branded differently.  Over time the two lines diverged.  Now they have substantial differences in the bolsters, for instance.  I think it's best to consider them cousins now, not siblings.

 

I imagine you'll be happy with the Fujiwara, although from what I've heard their entry level knives aren't reliably sharp OOTB.  Let me say one more thing about OOTB sharpness- it's really relative to your expectations.  I don't think any "civilian" (ie inexperienced purchaser that doesn't have a professional culinary background) would object to the sharpness of a CarboNext, Tojiro ITK, etc.  I am a chef and sometime-pro-sharpener, so my idea of sharp almost certainly differs from yours.

 

That said, the Fujiwara should be good.  The only Fujiwara I've ever sharpened or cut with was a much more expensive White #1.  It was outstanding.  Hopefully racing improves the breed, so to speak. ;-)

those fujiwaras are different companies... fujiwara kanefusa is the less expensive one that makes the basic carbon and stainless western handled knives (based in seki) and fujiwara teruyasu makes the expensive stainless clad white #1 and stainless clad blue super ones with both western and wa handles (based in tokyo)

post #13 of 15

Ah, good to know, John.  I figured it was just a lower line.  Guess that's kind of like "Smith" or "Jones" in America!  I know there are lots of Tanakas, too.

"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
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post #14 of 15

I was under the impression that carbon steel was not NSF approved and therefore not permitted in a professional kitchen.
 

post #15 of 15
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