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Good choises of knifes and sharpening tools? A great gyuoto(JCK Hattpro FH), and cheaper gift knifes (Tojiro DP and Victorinox)

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Looking for a good knife for myself, as I have become hooked on having a good knife, after I got a Spyderco sharpmaker. I hav just been using a western style 8in chef's knife (Sarek Duka X50CrMoV15), and a cheap 7in santoku. 


I like both, the Chef's knife because it's longer and feels sturdier (heavier), and the santoku because it is light and for some reason it takes on a sharper edge (both done with the sharpmaker). 


I would like to buy myself a nice high quality gyuto 240mm knife for christmas.


Also, I have some friends and parents who might get some knives as presents as well.

Thinking of both something in the lower price range (all victornox), and something a little bit more expencive to get a really good chefs knife.

But I can/will expect my friends & family not to take really good care of them, I will probably just be picking them up once a year for sharpening..


I have been reading alot on knives the last week, trying to find some good knives that are great and good value, and feel that I have narrowed all the choices to this shopping list:


For myself:

-JCK Hattori FH 240mm 255usd 

Also considored Blazen, Hattori HD, Misono UX10, and more.


Perheps also these, as they seem good value to obtain a "complete" set, and also look good and similar:

-Fujiwara FKM Petty 120 or 150  (40-44usd) - which one should I choose?

-Tojiro bread knife 60usd 




Option 1, very cheap:

-Victorinox 4-piece fibrox 70usd, containing:


Option 2: Great knives, all the same look:

-Tojiro DP 2-pc start knife set, 100usd, including: 

-Tojiro bread knife


Option 3: Most bang for the buck:

-Fujiwara FKM 240mm 75usd

-Victorinox bread knife (8in Fibrox bread knife, 23usd,  or 10 in fibrox serrated 28usd??)



Sharpening equipment (as I have understood I shouldn't use the spyderco sharpmaker on japanese knives, especially 70/30 knives):


-JCK Special Combination Whetstone 1000 & 4000, 65usd

-HandAmerica balsa strop set, 86usd:

  • Hone Base

  • 2 Balsa Strops

  • 1 Micron Diamond Spray 2oz

  • .25 Micron Diamond Spray 2oz

-Bark Tanned Bovine Magnetic pad

-Idahone 12" Ceramic Rod


EDIT: If the Edge Pro is recommended instead, please give me a hint of which kit/stones I would need.

By the way, I don't mind doing some extra steps of fine sharpening/polishing, that's why I also listed the balsa strop set with the bovine leather to finish. 


Sorry about the long post, but perhaps someone has some comments or suggestions before I start ordering?

post #2 of 5

What's your real price range for each knife or set?


Hattori FH: 

A very good knife in every respect, and probably the best piece of VG10 you can buy.  However, for whatever reasons, people who buy them tend to outgrow them and move on to other knives -- usually lasers -- within a couple of years. 


Spyderco Sharpmaker:

The Sharpmaker is great for "tuning up" pocket knives which already have a desired set and bevel.  A Sharpmaker will do 70/30 and most other degrees of asymmetry as well as anything else.  The reasons not to use the Sharpmaker on Japanese kitchen knives are because it's not a really good sharpener for anything which is going to take more than a few strokes, and is especially problematic for long blades.  At the end of the day, the Sharpmaker works better as a  good (but short) set of "steels" than it does as an actual sharpener.  A Chef's Choice electric sharpener or a MinoSharp Plus3 pull through are actually better sharpeners -- at least so long as you want to sharpen your knives at their angles. 



Either EP Essential Set, Kit 3, or Full Monty.  In addition to my other sharpening kits, I have (and like) an EP Apex Full Monty.  I also have complete water stone, oil stone, and stropping kits.  Bench stones (in your case, they'd be synthetic water stones) are at least as good as an EP, once you learn to use them.  If you don't want to go through a rather protracted learning process, and can afford an EP -- it's probably the best choice.  But ask lots of questions before buying. 


JCK Stones:

No.  There are much better stones for the money. 



Choose a petty long enough to function as a boning knife.  I suggest (and use) 150mm. 


Gift Set:

Fujiwara FKM chef's plus Tojiro ITK bread. 



post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks for a good answer!


Hattori FH: 

I would like to ask about a good laser now, but I would guess they are more expencive, and I don't want to browse the web one more week. Anyway, I would probably need and want something new in a couple of years anyway?



I have the diamond and super fine rods as well, but as for length, and probably hard japanees knifes there are better options I guess. 

But perhaps the most important thing (?): angles. You mentioned asymmetrical knives can be sharpened on it. This partially answers another question I forgot to ask, what angels are on the mentioned knives? 


I was also unshure if a 70/30 knife had for example 15* + 15* degrees, or some lets say 10* on one side or 20* on the other, but I think you answered it, that it's the same angel, just that the center/tip is not in the middle of the blade. 

(Another factor is if there was a second bevel or micro bevel with a greater angle). 


By the way, I have sharpened all my knives with the spyderco at 15+15=30 degrees (no second or micro bevel at 20+20=40 degrees). 


As for the stones, I would'nt mind learning (I love spending time sharpening to get amazing results), but at the same time, would I risk doing a bad job on my new gyuoto? (of course I could practise on some old knives, but still..). But which stone(s) whould you recommend, that can be bought at the same shop as some of the knives (see below)?


Since the last post, I surfed some more on sharpeners, and found the wicked edge, which to me seems much even better than the EP (without having read reviews yet), and I really want one, and could afford one just for the fun of getting super sharp knives in an easy, safe and fast way. 


This now seems the most likely shoppinglist (still not shure about the gifts though):

  • Hattori FH 240mm
  • Fujiwara FKM Petty 150mm
  • Fujiwara FKM 210mm (gift)
  • Idahone 12" (perhaps 2x for gift?)
  • Tojiro bread knife (for myself + gift?)
  • Wicked edge pro set  (perhaps later)
  • ? 2 nice stones to start with or instead of wicked edge + Leather strop of some kind..
  • ? Victorinox bread knife (gift?)
  • ? Victorinox 4-pc (gift?)



Where to order?


As for the different knives and sharpening equipment, I would like to make it from not too many stores, due to extra shipping costs (and the time to place the extra orders). 


Starting at chefknivestogo as they have some of the knives, and the idahone (which I can't find for example at Cutleryandmore), but the problem is they won't ship Tojiro outside US, don't have the FKM 210 (gift) in stock, don't have the wicked edge pro 1 in the selection (well it is also out of stock from wickededge directly), 


Cutleryandmore have Tojiro and Victorinox (not decided for gifts yet) at good prices. No Idahone, but they have the Black MAC which is a bit more expencive. 


JapaneseChefKnives have the Hattori FH (does anyone else?) and Fujiwara FKMs. 



Would you not go for the Tojiro 2-piece kit for 99 usd? Seems like a very good deal, but it's perhaps due to the blade shape(s)?

Edited by Zaknife - 11/26/12 at 10:46am
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

I have received these knives now: 



  • Hattori FH 240mm
  • Fujiwara FKM Petty 150mm
  • Fujiwara FKM 210mm (2x gifts)
  • Idahone 12" (3x)
  • Tojiro ITK bread knife (for myself)

But the Hattori is not as sharp as I might had expected (haven't tested the Fkm's yet. The Toojiro ITK is really sharp though, but handle finish not as good as expected with small scratching marks from just moving in the box). It will not slice a soft (some days old) skinned cherry tomato, like mye cheap santoku which I have sharpened with the sharpmaker. I think I will be ordering the wicked edge sometime in the future, but until then, I'm considoring using to use the sharpmaker to either touch up or reprofile the knives. This brings me to my question:

What edge angles do the Hattori FH and the Fujiwara FKM knives come with? (15+15=30, or 16+16, or something else?) Will the sharpmakers 30 degrees work?

post #5 of 5

Nearly all Japanese chef's knives come from the factory with 15* edge angles, and your Hattori and Fujiwaras are no exception. 


FWIW, you're probably getting 16* from descriptions of Shun knives.  Shun ships knives with nominally 16* edge angles, but one degree makes no practical difference and any decent 15* sharpener will work just fine.  Some other Japanese made knives ship with edge angles different enough from 15* to make a difference, but you're not asking about any of them so let's just leave it at that.


The Sharpmaker's 30* setting refers to 30* of included angle, which -- because the edge bevels are equal -- means 15* edge angles.


The Spyderco Sharpmaker is pretty good for maintaining pocket knives, but is marginal for longer kitchen knives; especially when it comes to actual sharpening.  It's really acts more like a hone; and despite what they say and you think, it doesn't really help you maintain angles very well -- it just kind of turns things on their side -- and the short length of the sticks make it even worse.  Even a Chef's Choice Model 316 electric or MinoSharp Plus3 will do a substantially better job.  And of course, decent set of bench stones (if used with a modicum of skill), an EP Apex or Wicked Edge, will do much better than the CC or MS.  If you can afford to buy something better, you should -- and ASAP.   If you want advice regarding sharpening choices you know where to get it.


In the meantime, using a Sharpmaker won't hurt anything.  You'll at least true and scuff the edge up enough to make for some micro-serration so it will at least function as a saw. 



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