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Noob looking for first chef knife

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I've recently began searching for a chef knife for myself, one that hopefully will last me a very long time. I should probably begin by saying I'm a noob and I don't know that much about knives, but I'd like to buy a chef's knife with very good edge retention and good hardness so I don't have to sharpen or hone it that often.



For reference I'm currently using a Fiskars Functional Form Cook's Knife 20cm and a Fiskars Roll Sharper to sharpen my knives, and I also have a Nakiri bōchō carbon steel knife, unknown maker - I haven't used the Roll Sharper on this knife. I like the edge on the nakiri knife better, but I use the Fiskars knife more as I don't want to damage the japanese one and so I don't have to worry about cleaning and drying the knife immediately after use.


I've been doing a bit of research, reading this and that and I've come across posts comparing Wüsthof and Shun, which seem to be all the rage now and I was wondering if there are any other options I could look into?

I'm interested in a 20-24cm (8-10") chef knife with very good edge retention and hardness so I don't have to sharpen the knife so often, as I'm guessing I don't really have the right tools for this job [yet], I'm guessing the Rolls Sharper isn't very good for top-of-the-line stuff. From what I can tell the Shun's aren't as good for left-handers (like myself) because of that D shape in the handle. Would the Roll Sharper work with any of the knives, would it damage a Japanese angled knife ?


What I'm looking for is:

  • Stainless or semi-stainless
  • High HRC scale and very good edge retention
  • Suitable for left-handed use
  • 20-24cm (8-10")
  • Up to 120€  (150$) for knife and maybe sharpening and honing tools, but looking for best bang for the buck.


Any advice would be very helpful, thank you.

post #2 of 9

I have a Yoshihiro 240mm gyuto for sale in the trading post.  Excellent knife for right or left hand.

post #3 of 9

I am a recently beginning apprentice chef, I use Global, a chef I work with uses a Global & Shun mixture, and my head chef uses Victorinox.

It is all really up to you when buying knives, as the different handles make a huge difference in the long run. I personally can't use any knives other than Global, otherwise my hand fatigues greatly in a short amount of time. Try going to specialty knife stores and try out some knives. I would personally suggest the 3 brands I stated above. Although Global and Shun can be quite expensive, Victorinox is quite cheap, but they are quality knives.

post #4 of 9

Your knife choices will depend to some extent on your location.  Where do you live?


It will also depend on your budget and your ability to sharpen.  How much time and money are you willing to invest in sharpening?


Shun are available with left-handed D handles.  There may or not be a  premium charged for left handed handles; it depends from whom you order.  However, there are much better knives for the same money.  They are an idea who time has passed.  I recommend that you buy neither.


Many of Forschners special purpose knives -- their butchering knives in particular -- are very good.  While their chef's knives are very good for the money, in the greater scheme they are only mediocre.  As to the chef's knives -- again -- can't recommend them.  




PS.  To Nathan:  If Globals are the only knives you can hold comfortably, there's something wrong with your grip -- you're quite likely squeezing the handle too tightly. 

post #5 of 9

These may not be available in most stores, but if you can find one online they're awesome for the money.  One of the guys I work with uses one as his main knife.


It doesn't hold an edge as long as my wustofs or globals, but its still a great knife.

post #6 of 9

It's not that I grip too tightly, I just find that my hands fatigue less with a Global knife during long prep times (2-3 hours is long for me).

post #7 of 9
Originally Posted by Nathan Kreider View Post

It's not that I grip too tightly, I just find that my hands fatigue less with a Global knife during long prep times (2-3 hours is long for me).


Why do you think that is?



post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thank you all for the replies, sorry I've been away for a while.


I've since ordered a Japanese knife, KAGAYAKI ES Gyuto 240mm which by default has a 70/30 bevel but for a small price (it was quite small, I was expecting more than 3$ for a left-handed version) they were able to change it to a 50/50 bevel. Hopefully I've made a/the right choice, I'm currently waiting for the knife to arrive.


From what I understand the steel is VG-1 (V-Gold no. 1 ??) with a HRc of 60, so hopefully I won't have to sharpen it that often.


Although my first knife hasn't arrived yet I'm already looking for a second one - I'm very keen on the Tojiro DP Damascus - just because of the looks and for the steel, VG-10, although I have to admit I don't really know the differences between VG-1 and VG-10. The wallet doesn't really agree with me, but I really like the damascus idea :)

I had a look at Global knives too but from what I've read they don't keep their edge that long so I thought it would be best to avoid them, as I'd like to have to sharpen the knife as seldom as possible, I don't really trust my sharpening skills.

I also had a look at Victorinox and I don't really remember why I didn't go with them, maybe because I thought it may be similar to my Fiskars, altough this review speaks highly of them (best value), and I also have some Victorinox swiss army knives that I really like.


To answer some of the questions: I live in Eastern Europe, I don't really know how to sharpen and I don't have any tools [yet], but I'm willing to buy some sharpening stones if required, as I assume there aren't a lot of people around me that can sharpen a Japanese knife correctly (I'm guessing it's a different thing because of the difference in edge angles, am I right ?)

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

Is there a good sharpening kit or some sharpening stones usable by noobs that I could look into to keep my knives in good condition ?

Something that will work with both european and japanese steels, different angles, kitchen knives as well as swiss knives, leatherman tools, etc ?


A while ago I've read up on Spyderco Triangle Sharpmaker and that seemed to be a good match for swiss knives, leatherman tools but I'm not sure if it's a good match for different kitchen knives.

Would that kit be a good idea for me or should I look into some wet sharpening stones ?

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