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New sticky for beginners. Hopefully this will cut down on repeat questions (such as mine!)

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Thanks to rdm magic for the idea of a sticky thread for beginners.  If anyone has something to add, just post below.  I'll try to keep it up to date with advice.  I'm not sure who the mods are on this board, but if someone could contact them maybe we can get this thread stickied.


 

*Note 1:  

Most of the links below are to chefknivestogo.com.  This is purely to show a place to find the knives, this is not the only store out there, although it is a good place with an owner who a lot of people on this board seem to like.

 

***Note 2:

"It's tempting to cut to the chase and identify specific hardware recommendations, but as long as the hardware is good enough to not be an obstacle, sharpening and knife skills are more important. Emphasis on sharpening.

Getting back to hardware, the most important thing is to think about your particular needs and desires, think about things in a pragmatic way, cognizant that not only is there no one best choice for anyone, there's probably no single best choice for you. The goal is having fun while cooking well." -BDL

 

Cliffs:  Don't stress too much about equipment choice.  Get something and get cutting.

 

Sharpening tutorials:

 

http://www.youtube.com/user/JKnifeImports

 

http://www.chefknivestogo.com/vitu.html

 

 

Best lower budget/beginner supplies (for home use):

 

 

Necessary Items:

 

Chef's Knife/Gyuto: If you're not sure of what size to get, get a 240mm.  It's pretty standard, and while it seems big to some, almost all older members here recommend it.

 

Richmond Artifex: $70-$90

http://www.chefknivestogo.com/riar.html

 

Tojiro DP: $70-$130

http://www.chefknivestogo.com/tojirodpseries.html

 

Fujiwara FKM: $80-$100

http://www.chefknivestogo.com/fufkmse.html

 

Kagayaki Carbonext:  For someone looking to spend a bit more who already knows how to sharpen.  $105-$145  

http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/KAGAYAKICarboNextSeries.html

 

 

Stones: Used to grind away a small amount of metal on the blade, creating a new, sharp edge.

 

Imanishi Combo Stone (1k/6k): Lowest budget, good for beginner/home use.  $55 

http://www.chefknivestogo.com/imtwosi1kst.html

 

5 Piece Sharpening Set: Middle budget, highly recommended for beginner/home use.  $140

http://www.chefknivestogo.com/3pcstoneset.html

 

Naniwa 1k and 3k:  In between the two sets above.  $76 

http://www.chefknivestogo.com/na10grsust1c.html and http://www.chefknivestogo.com/superstone2.html

 

 

Honing Rod: Used to re-align a bent edge.  Keeps a knife performing well between sharpenings.

 

Idahone 12": Just get it. $30 

http://www.chefknivestogo.com/sharpeningrod.html

 

 

Cutting Board: Used as a base to cut on

 

Wood board: End grain is best if you can afford it. There are tons available, find one.

 

 

Optional Items:

 

Flattening Plate:  Used to keep your stones flat and level after a few sharpening sessions.

 

Diamond Stone Flattening Plate:  Highly recommended, low cost plate.  Drywall screen attached to a piece of glass is an alternative, but wears out quickly.  $25  

http://www.chefknivestogo.com/140grdistflp.html

 

 


Edited by goodell - 11/30/12 at 1:21pm
post #2 of 4

This reflects my generic, beginner's advice, pretty much -- but a few qualifications: 

 

First:  This is a list for people on a budget, who are looking to get into their "first, good, non-German knife," and "first good sharpening kit." It is not a list of all the good stuff, or even a list of stuff I'd recommend for people willing to spend more for a "really good knife," people who already know how to sharpen, and all sorts of other permutations. 

 

Still, that particular group -- "first, good, non-German, chef's knife," + "first good sharpening kit" -- is one whose members come along very frequently.  So, yes, thank you.

 

Second:  Just as much as the Artifex and Tojiro DP, the Fujiwara FKM belongs on the short list of sub $100, "first, good, non-German, chef's knife" knives; and for those who can go over $100 AND already sharpen, the Kagayaki CarboNext deserves serious consideration. 

 

Third:  This list is very CKtG centric.  I'm a huge fan of CKtG, Mark, and Richmond knives (together and separately -- to the extent they are separable), but CKtG is not the only game in town. 

 

Fourth: You need an adequate sized, good quality WOOD board.  Your board is as much a part of maintenance as sharpening or steeling; and as much a part of prep as pots and pans.

 

Fifth and Most Important:  It's tempting to cut to the chase and identify specific hardware recommendations, but as long as the hardware is good enough to not be an obstacle, sharpening and knife skills are more important.  Emphasis on sharpening. 

 

Getting back to hardware, the most important thing is to think about your particular needs and desires, think about things in a pragmatic way, cognizant that not only is there no one best choice for anyone, there's probably no single best choice for you.  The goal is having fun while cooking well. 

 

BDL


Edited by boar_d_laze - 11/30/12 at 12:16pm
post #3 of 4

BDL; write it up if you don't mind. I know you don't like pointing people to knives, but everyone here comes almost totally for YOUR advice, and recommendations. I know personally I'd have never gotten a nogent if not for you; I wouldn't even have considered it.

It would save you time if nothing else, it must get very boring typing up 'get an artifex and the 5 piece sharpening set' for the millionth time ;)

post #4 of 4
Sharpening should be expanded to include those that are willing to learn to freehand (waterstones), to have guide (EP), and to resort to not learning (chef's choice/minosharp).
Also should add Chad Ward's book and website, and post on BDL's site that has a discussion on carbon and stainless knives.
Boards should include the standard disclaimer, "bamboo is not wood, don't use glass/metal, wood boards need tlc (need oiling from time to time)"
Also the standard but not always common sense "dry after washing and NO dishwasher"
I might just link to previous threads detailing some of CT users journey into their first j-knife (too lazy to dig it up on my mobile right now....maybe when I get to a desktop....)
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