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Help with a knife decision.

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
So I thought I'd pick up a Japanese knife about 8 months ago, and I was pretty much decided on a Tojiro $80 or so knife.
Ended up putting the spare cash to an investment elsewhere and I'm finally prepping on actually purchasing a new knife,
or at least I think I am.

I ended up picking up a 7" Shun Chef Knife for crazy cheap just to test drive a quality J-knife and sell it later.
7" is just way too small as I became used to 8" and I'm looking to go to probably 240mm.

While the blade was crazy sharp out of the box, looked beautiful, and felt solid; I had some caveats with it.
I currently use a 8" Forschner Fibrox which has been serving me quite nicely for a good amount of time now, just to give some reference to where I'm coming from.

The blade height was way too low. I'm unsure if this is because of the blade being so small (7"), or if that is something with some J-Knives.
It was borderline unworkable in some cases as my knuckles would be pretty much near the board even using my usual pinch grip.
That just sort of made me shy away on a knife purchase.


Anyways I wondered if it is common for Japanese Knives to have such a short blade in terms of height, and also had a question about Carbon/White steel knives. At $80 for a 240mm knife the ITK line is looking quite appealing. I'm fine with the upkeep of being sure they are cleaned to prevent staining and all, but I'm worried about sharpening. Here is my current stone:
http://www.cutleryandmore.com/tojiro/1000-3000-grit-combination-water-stone-base-p117827

Also two knives in question:

http://www.chefknivestogo.com/toshitk24wa.html

http://www.chefknivestogo.com/toitkkigy24.html

The tip on the Kiritsuke is interesting, but I'm unsure if it would be unwieldy doing things like horizontal slices in onions.
Granted even after the time I've spent sharpening on a stone I still have some issues with sharpening the tip area, and that blade's form factor would essentially eliminate that as well. Still, opinions?
I am a beginner in the world of cooking.  If you have any tips, feel free to send them my way.  Advice is always appreciated.

 
 
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I am a beginner in the world of cooking.  If you have any tips, feel free to send them my way.  Advice is always appreciated.

 
 
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post #2 of 17

7 inches is too short.

 

Also, the general opinion that I've gained from these forums, and others in relation to the ITK range is to run away. There are QC issues, the handles are cheap, and there are F&F issues. If you're willing to regrind the knife, and rehandle it then maybe it would be okay, but you can still do better.

 

What is your budget?

post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 

Like I said, I knew 7" was going to be too short, but I didn't expect it to be that short in terms of blade height as well.

 

I would say the max I could spend is $80 and that is counting any possible tax/shipping costs.

It isn't as much as I can't afford/save for a more expensive knife, but it is the fact I can't really justify spending much more.

Opinions on the DP line as well? http://www.cutleryandmore.com/tojiro-zen/chefs-knife-p117808

 

Looking at the knife it appears to be a generally short blade again, which would kill the chances of me using it effectively.  

Unsure though.

I am a beginner in the world of cooking.  If you have any tips, feel free to send them my way.  Advice is always appreciated.

 
 
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I am a beginner in the world of cooking.  If you have any tips, feel free to send them my way.  Advice is always appreciated.

 
 
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post #4 of 17
That price range has three common recommendations for a gyuto, Richmond Artifex, Tojiro DP and Fujiwara FKM (in no particular order). Take a look at these three.

The Tojiro 240mm is 49.5 mm at the heel, the FKM 51.5mm at the heel, and the Artifex 46.5mm at the heel. The tojiro handles are a bit squarish though...
The numbers above are pulled from various sources, and of course there are variations between same knives. My own FKM is 49mm
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wubu View Post

That price range has three common recommendations for a gyuto, Richmond Artifex, Tojiro DP and Fujiwara FKM (in no particular order). Take a look at these three.
The Tojiro 240mm is 49.5 mm at the heel, the FKM 51.5mm at the heel, and the Artifex 46.5mm at the heel. The tojiro handles are a bit squarish though...
The numbers above are pulled from various sources, and of course there are variations between same knives. My own FKM is 49mm

 

I'm not crazy for the handles on either, but since I've yet to hold them I can't quite judge by that.  

The Shun DM0760 was that small knife.  I can find the overall height measurement for it though.  

 

Any ideas?

I am a beginner in the world of cooking.  If you have any tips, feel free to send them my way.  Advice is always appreciated.

 
 
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I am a beginner in the world of cooking.  If you have any tips, feel free to send them my way.  Advice is always appreciated.

 
 
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post #6 of 17

CKtG sells the DM0760, providing you don't still have the knife you could message Mark and ask him. My 220mm Forschner chefs measures 43mm at the heel, and I have no problems with knuckles hitting, I guess that any of the J-Knives listed would be okay. FWIW, out of the 3 choices personally I'd go for the Fujiwara.

post #7 of 17

As measured from edge to spine at the chin, "tall" knives are called wide, while "short" knives are called narrow.

 

A 7" chef's knife is too short to be nearly as useful as a 10" knife, so by all means get a new knife. 

 

But understand that your problems with finger clearance lie with your grip and not the width of the blade.  If you use a good pinch grip, you'll rotate your hand enough to keep your knuckles off the board.  If you add "coming over the top" and controlling the handle with your finger tips only, you can chop with a paring knife or slicer; things I do all the time.  On the other hand, if you use a "tennis" grip, you can mash your piddies on the board with anything narrower than a Chinese "cleaver." 

 

Chinese style knives are very good for a lot of people (not me, though).  Have you tried one? 

 

BDL

post #8 of 17

Having used both the Tojiro HD and Fujiwara FKM gyuto I do not think of either of them to narrow blades.

 

Now though I have not owned one I do see that Shun has several different lines and all kinds of odd profiles and even a few less odd ones and it could be part of the problem is the actual size of the one you own as well as which series it is and if it is one of the narrower profiles.

 

Actually the more I thought about the OP's concerns the more I was sure that both choices should provide plenty of clearance unless there is some combination of very large hands and unusual grip of the knife.

 

One thing to also keep in mind is that if purchased at the "right price" you can likely pick up either of them inexpensively enough that it is not much of an investment (both are less than what dept stores get for similar sized Henckels and Wustof) get to find out for yourself, and ultimately if you not happy sell it for about or more than you paid. It amazes me what knives sell for on eBay lol.

 

"love my country" but "fear my government"  Something is just wrong with this

 

 

 

Looking for info on entry level J-knives? Need help on finding the most bang for your buck? Hope you enjoy learning from the info here, I know I did!

http://www.cheftalk.com/t/63213/tojiro-dp-f-809-240mm-g...

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"love my country" but "fear my government"  Something is just wrong with this

 

 

 

Looking for info on entry level J-knives? Need help on finding the most bang for your buck? Hope you enjoy learning from the info here, I know I did!

http://www.cheftalk.com/t/63213/tojiro-dp-f-809-240mm-g...

Reply
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 

My current knife is an 8".  The 7" was once again just one purchased to test drive a good knife that I just so happened to get cheaply.

Also I'm unsure what a Chinese knife is exactly, so would you mind linking one?

 

So out of the Richmond, Tojiro DP/Zen, and Fujiwara, what would be the best choice in your opinion?

I am a beginner in the world of cooking.  If you have any tips, feel free to send them my way.  Advice is always appreciated.

 
 
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I am a beginner in the world of cooking.  If you have any tips, feel free to send them my way.  Advice is always appreciated.

 
 
Reply
post #10 of 17
A solid accurate recommendation would need some input from you to be developed properly.

I know first hand the DP &FKM are great values, and hear similar things about the other (though I have no first hand experience with that one).

The info needed is in reference to your preferences , styles and techniques etc. As though they may all be good values they are also very different too

When I read your request for a pick between I thought of my own similar comparison of the FKM and DP a few years back and just how damn confusing and difficult it was to choose between two products I had never even held and had to decide based on spec's and reviews etc.

In the end I did decide to go with both, but for different knives so I could be able to directly compare them etc and also had an advantage due to gifting the one I decided against for the gyuto to a friend. So I got the FKM 240 and a family member the DP210 gyutos.

It is a very close race between them, and though I'm sure now that I would have been very happy with either I also can appreciate everything that the more experienced members were trying to get through my thick skull lol, and fully understand the differences and what I prefer between the two as well.

While you decide what is important to you in a knife etc etc etc think about these few things.

Both knives are SS and will also can get razor sharp. I do mean nearly effortless cutting if sharpened right. The VG10 steel on the DP is a bit harder, nicer, and high tech than the Moly steel on the FKM, and does offer slightly or more so of an advantage in edge retention (I was an immediate fan of VG10 after owning one) but it is also just as more a pain to sharpen and can get micro chips a bit easier (I guess harder is a trade off in this price range)

The FKM steel though softer and not as exotic of a steel is still well beyond my previous Germans and also can get wicked sharp as well, but it is easier to sharpen, and does need to be sharpened again sooner as well.

I have read all the various reports on F&F that seem to vary etc but both were good and the FKM definitely was better.

All that is important etc but where it gets difficult to explain is how they are different in feel and use. The DP seems to be more of a workhorse and its down falls like the boxy handle and just sort of a feel of having more heft seem better suited to a pro coming from a German knife than the FKM which feels more nimble and comfortable in your hand (likely a result of a slightly thinner lighter blade and better profile combined with being slightly thinner behind the edge and a 70/30 grind etc).

I think it comes down to which of the strengths and weakness of both fit you better.

If I was not fond of sharpening and working with the knife the DP would likely be a better choice but if feel profile and the handle were more important the FKM may be the better choice.

Now if Tojiro would duplicate the FKM in their steel or if Fujiwara would make the FKM in VG10 the answer would be simple smile.gif

 

"love my country" but "fear my government"  Something is just wrong with this

 

 

 

Looking for info on entry level J-knives? Need help on finding the most bang for your buck? Hope you enjoy learning from the info here, I know I did!

http://www.cheftalk.com/t/63213/tojiro-dp-f-809-240mm-g...

Reply

 

"love my country" but "fear my government"  Something is just wrong with this

 

 

 

Looking for info on entry level J-knives? Need help on finding the most bang for your buck? Hope you enjoy learning from the info here, I know I did!

http://www.cheftalk.com/t/63213/tojiro-dp-f-809-240mm-g...

Reply
post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thank you for the very well thought out post, Lenny.

 

I now see the Fujiwara is $83 for a 240mm, and I have to admit that makes it pretty tempting.  I'm unsure how I would handle a 9.5" knife, 

but I'm quite comfortable with my current 8" and at times saw the use in a larger blade.  I don't dislike sharpening, and I sharpened my current knife last night.

Granted I dont' fully understand the idea of bur, as I'm more of a stroke counter and check the blades sharpness at the end.

 

Does the Fujiwara ship with a good edge out of box in most cases?  I hear a lot of people mention how good of an edge the DP Series has out of box, so I wondered.

So with the Fujiwara having a decent price advantage in the 240mm pricing over the Tojiro it is most likely my pick.

 

Still thinking it over.

I am a beginner in the world of cooking.  If you have any tips, feel free to send them my way.  Advice is always appreciated.

 
 
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I am a beginner in the world of cooking.  If you have any tips, feel free to send them my way.  Advice is always appreciated.

 
 
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post #12 of 17
Honestly I'm pretty sure at $83 it's not only still a bargain, but also the smallest price increase on any of the knives I purchased previously.

Heck the purchase price itself is about what my Konosuke HD gyuto went up in price since last year lmao.

I understand your concern on the longer length, and if you draw out a line that is 1.4" you can see it is not going to be much different, but having that extra length make many things a whole lot easier and even faster.

There are times even as a now 100% home based cook etc that I think hmmmmmm wouldn't that have been easier if I had gone with the 270 mm smile.gif

An additional benefit you may also see is that depending on what profile knife your most used to you may find that the profile allows for getting more edge into the cut than the more bellied knives.

The factory as I remember was not as sharp as the Tojiro, but much beyond that of the Henckels I had before, but it's been a while lol.

Somewhere on here (maybe the link in my sig near the end) I commented and likely compared the OOTB sharpness when I first got it.

 

"love my country" but "fear my government"  Something is just wrong with this

 

 

 

Looking for info on entry level J-knives? Need help on finding the most bang for your buck? Hope you enjoy learning from the info here, I know I did!

http://www.cheftalk.com/t/63213/tojiro-dp-f-809-240mm-g...

Reply

 

"love my country" but "fear my government"  Something is just wrong with this

 

 

 

Looking for info on entry level J-knives? Need help on finding the most bang for your buck? Hope you enjoy learning from the info here, I know I did!

http://www.cheftalk.com/t/63213/tojiro-dp-f-809-240mm-g...

Reply
post #13 of 17

I just barely bought a Fujiwara FKM 240mm gyuto from Mark as a christmas present for a family member. It's a great knife and I'd recommend it. I brought it into work to test drive it. All the other cooks really liked how it felt too.  

 

Before this one I had bought a FKM 270 Sujihiki. I really love that knife!

 

I'm thinking I might pick up the 210mm for myself as it's about the same weight as my 8" Wustie gourmet (a lightweight, thin, flat, japanese "style") and the 270 FKM Sujihiki. I tend to like lighter knives. The 240 gyuto, I felt was too heavy for me and I tend to only need short knives at work. But I still think the world of the 240 FKM Gyuto. 

post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LennyD View Post

Honestly I'm pretty sure at $83 it's not only still a bargain, but also the smallest price increase on any of the knives I purchased previously.
Heck the purchase price itself is about what my Konosuke HD gyuto went up in price since last year lmao.
I understand your concern on the longer length, and if you draw out a line that is 1.4" you can see it is not going to be much different, but having that extra length make many things a whole lot easier and even faster.
There are times even as a now 100% home based cook etc that I think hmmmmmm wouldn't that have been easier if I had gone with the 270 mm smile.gif
An additional benefit you may also see is that depending on what profile knife your most used to you may find that the profile allows for getting more edge into the cut than the more bellied knives.
The factory as I remember was not as sharp as the Tojiro, but much beyond that of the Henckels I had before, but it's been a while lol.
Somewhere on here (maybe the link in my sig near the end) I commented and likely compared the OOTB sharpness when I first got it.

 

Okay, read through that thread a good bit.  You did end up talking about the OOTB of both knives separately in that thread there.  You state that the Tojiro ships with a great edge,

much like what many others have been saying.  The Fujiwara shipped with an edge you defined as "okay" and one that sharpening it out of box was pretty much needed for it to be "great" in the cutting department.  

 

So that gives more food for thought.  I'm not terrible at sharpening, I just don't really have knowledge.  I've yet to understand the whole "burr" thing, and I've never honed a knife before.

While I can get my Forschner quite sharp, I really only go by feel, sound and stroke counting.  Also don't own a honing rod, although that will probably change in the future.

 

My biggest peeve really is that the price difference between going to a 240mm from 210mm is only a few bucks on the Fujiwara, but on the Tojiro DP it is $20.

One other thing about my grip and all while using a Chef Knife.  If I recall correctly when I was first learning how to use a Chef Knife I referred to BDL's little image guide,

and FreeCulinarySchool.com (which has now been going by the name StellaCulinary for a while I think).  Both BDL and FSC pretty much had the same advice on grip,

so I sort of doubt how much I deviated away from it since then.

I am a beginner in the world of cooking.  If you have any tips, feel free to send them my way.  Advice is always appreciated.

 
 
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I am a beginner in the world of cooking.  If you have any tips, feel free to send them my way.  Advice is always appreciated.

 
 
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post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 

Also, Vic; I see.  I really can't imagine what it is like using a 270mm knife.  I don't even think my current board would be very accommadating of something like that. XD

I am a beginner in the world of cooking.  If you have any tips, feel free to send them my way.  Advice is always appreciated.

 
 
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I am a beginner in the world of cooking.  If you have any tips, feel free to send them my way.  Advice is always appreciated.

 
 
Reply
post #16 of 17

I'm not saying you should get the 270 Sujihiki. I'm just saying I really like that one and that's mainly the reason I bought the same brand of gyuto. (I use the suji mostly to portion fish steaks but sometimes use it as my chefs. BTW... Using it on a short cutting board is easy, you just adjust your grip angle.)  

About the edge... The fujiwaras come pretty sharp ootb... compared to germans and other "pedestrian" brands. But, they could use a good sharpening right away to "optimize" their edge. I found that I was able to put a considerably better edge on the suji right away. Sharpening them is easy though. Don't worry. Honing is easy too. Buy a decent honing rod and watch a few videos from some experts and you'll pick it up in no time. 

post #17 of 17
Onepiece I'm reading your words and really do "feel your pain" etc.

Not sure if you got the same feeling reading my old thread, but trust me it was there lol.

I know for at least making the right decision is important and also fulfilling just as much as making a bad choice can be a total bummer and a let down too. I know I stressed over this way too much (in hindsight of course lol) but now am sure it would have been OK if i decided just the opposite too (I had originally picked up the FKM gyuto and the DP petty and santoku).

The thing is I'm pretty sure even my own advice would not have been enough for me at that time, and I only hope it is helpful for you.

All that said I'm sure either would be a good choice, and only remaining thought I have is that you could try and choose based on which of these two are more important to you.

If blade steel, hardness, edge retention etc are more important than profile, feel, and ease of sharpening then pull the trigger on the DP, and if the other way around then go for the FKM.

If you really want more input on the one you didn't get you can always order an inexpensive petty in the same line to have something to compare etc.

It worked for me, and I didn't have to wonder or worry what I missed.

Hope that helps!

 

"love my country" but "fear my government"  Something is just wrong with this

 

 

 

Looking for info on entry level J-knives? Need help on finding the most bang for your buck? Hope you enjoy learning from the info here, I know I did!

http://www.cheftalk.com/t/63213/tojiro-dp-f-809-240mm-g...

Reply

 

"love my country" but "fear my government"  Something is just wrong with this

 

 

 

Looking for info on entry level J-knives? Need help on finding the most bang for your buck? Hope you enjoy learning from the info here, I know I did!

http://www.cheftalk.com/t/63213/tojiro-dp-f-809-240mm-g...

Reply
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