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Deciding what Chef's knife to purchase

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hello,

I have decided to upgrade my average Scanpan knives and want to get a very good chef's knife for home use.

I have been researching heavily online and think I know what I am after, would would appreciate some advice and opinions.

My budget is up to $200 for the chef's knife.

I am left handed.

I primarily chop vegetables, mince herbs and cut up boneless chicken breast and thighs.

I have an old sharpening stone that I have used my scan pans on after watching numerous 'how to' youtube videos, however with almost unnoticable results - so a new sharpening system is also required.

I held a left handed Shun classic in store - It felt great in my hand, but they let me chop with it, and too much 'pumping' action required due to the curvature.

I like the look and reviews of the Tojiro DP3 Chefs Knife, 24cm, and the Mac Pro 24cm Chefs knife.

 

Do you know if either/both of these are suitable for a lefty?

 

Can you please suggest a sharpening method/equipment for these?

 

And lastly, I haven't been able to find either of these in stores in Australia (Adelaide), are there any aussies out there that know where you see these in store so I can at least hold them before buying??

 

Thank you.

 

 

post #2 of 5

The MAC Pro and Tojiro DP have similar, French profiles.  Shun has a German profile.  The German profile tends to promote "rock chopping," which you associated with "handle pumping."  Interesting use of words, it's how I describe it as well.  On the other hand, the MAC and Tojiro tend to favor the silent French "glide" and/or a more asian style, straight up and down "push cut."

 

I slightly prefer the way the MAC feels on the board and in the hand, but that may because I fine the MAC's handle more comfortable.  Hard to say.  I don't either knife, but have a fair bit of time with MACs and older Tojiros.  I understand that Tojiro has improved the DP's handles since the last time I played with one. 

 

The edge symmetry for both knives is an ambidextrous 50/50.  The handles are ambidextrous as well.  Shuns come with asymmetric handles but symmetric edges... go figure.  To answer your question directly, both the MAC Pro and Tojiro DP are very lefty friendly.  

 

I've always preferred the MAC and still do; but price is usually an important part of the comparison.  Here in the US, MAC prices have gone so high I'm not as happy with the recommendation in terms of value. 

 

The MAC Pro and Tojiro are best sharpened with some sort of water stone system -- either bench stones or a good tool and jig.  A Minosharp Plus3 pull-through (made by Global) is adequate.  Other pull-throughs, including the Fiskar/MAC are less so, because they don't leave enough polish for knives of the quality level. 

 

Because budget is a big part of this, because I don't have enough knowledge about what stones and sharpening systems are available in Oz, it's hard to provide meaningful advice unless you give me more information about how much you're willing to spend and where you're willing to spend it.      

 

Hope this helps,

BDL

post #3 of 5
Use a sharp cleaver, it is for multi-purpose cutting and chopping any culinary ingredient.
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies, appreciate it.

It sounds like I would be happy with the Mac or the Tojiro, either one would certainly be a major upgrade on any knife I have used and great to hear they are lefty friendly.

I'm prepared to spend up to $200 for the chefs knife and plan to look after it well and have it for years (that's not to say I won't get addicted to buying more knives in the next few years!)

I'll see if I can find a local shop with either knife, otherwise think it will be the Mac.

I must say I haven't researched sharpening systems yet so haven't considered a budget for them. The minosharp plus3 looks good, nice and easy to use and less than $50 from Australia with a quick online search.

 

Geronomo - I am keen to try a cleaver, I do enjoy 'chopping' carrots and the like, I think I would enjoy using a big cleaver! That or a Nakiri knife which I've only just discovered whilst researching knives lately.
 

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your help guys, I finally purchased my new knife this week!

I ended up with the Mac Pro 24cm as well as the Minosharp Plus3 pull-through for sharpening.

 

I have only had a chance to slice and chop an onion and potato which I had at home but first impressions are great!
 

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