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Ready to buy a chefs knife....

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

First let me say this is the most friendly, non judgmental and informative sight I have found while trying to make my decision. BDL I always find myself spending extra time reading your posts and I compliment you on the effort you put into helping everyone. That being said..I am in the market for a Japanese Chefs knife to be followed by a petty and bread knife in the near future.(as so many of you have recommended these as a basic set)  I am a home chef, probably somewhat above novice and someone who is getting more into knives and cooking and have gotten tired of the dull ones I have been using for years. I don't find cleaning a chore and am ready to spend around $200 give or take to get a good knife that will last me a long time. After over a week of internet overload and bleary eyed searching I have decided that it's time for a decision! I want a 240 mm. My narrowed down list follows.

 

1. Misono sweden steel series. Ok I admit it..I like the dragon

 

2. Masamoto HC series.

 

3. Masamato VG series.

 

I know I will need to grow into all these choices but I am ready to learn. Will probably take them to be sharpened to begin with, but look forward to learning to sharpen later. That being said I would guess good edge retention would be at the top of my list and I wonder with my skill set will I really notice a difference in any of these. Keeping in mind I want to progress as time go's on.. I really look forward to any of your comments or suggestions.

 

Thanks,

 

Dennis

post #2 of 14

the dragon isn't just for show. it's pretty bad ass.

 

i have the HC, a used one at that. it's my latest knife purchase and i currently like it. not love it though. will pretty much move on to the misono swedish steel eventually.

post #3 of 14
Years ago I narrowed my choice between the Misono and the HC. In these days there were a lot of reports about very serious F&F issues with the HC. You really had to pick a good one and, even then, accept some minor issues. For me that wasn't acceptable at this price point. Not so sure Masamoto has changed its QC since.
The Misono is a great knife, with an exceptional F&F if that matters. For a relative novice it might be interesting to know it comes with a great edge, which is far from common, and sharpening it is very, very easy.
The Masamoto VG is no longer made of VG-10. The handle is POM, no pakka wood. The price is twice what I would pay.
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your input!!! After a little more searching I think I might be getting a little afraid of the Misono Swedish. Depending on which site you look at the retention comments run from bad to "you just look at it and it rusts" I don't mind keeping up with my knife but I don't want it to be a full time job. Perhaps I can get a dragon engraved on the Masamoto if I really cant live without it.
 

post #5 of 14
Edge retention and reactivity are different notions, although they may be somewhat related.
OOTB, the Misono is extremely reactive. So you will have to force a patina or use a inhibitor as backing soda. But so you have to with every carbon, with the Misono it is just more urgent. See it as a more pressing need.
After a few months of proper care reactivity declines, again as with all carbons.
Low reactivity can be found with Aogami Super steel by Hitachi. It is used by Hiromoto in their clad series, with a soft stainless cladding which leaves just a few millimeters core steel exposed. Carbon performance with stainless ease of maintenance. Some users prefer a monosteel though because of the better feeling, which gets damped by the cladding.
post #6 of 14

I think that, given your intention to have your knife sharpened for you, the level of edge retention in question isn't huge here. What I mean is, I generally use a range of reasonably high-end carbons (Masamoto KS, for example), which by any standard has good to great edge retention. But I still sharpen these bad boys regularly, at home on fine bench stones, because what gets retained is a pretty-darn-good edge, not a superb one. And once you've experienced a great knife with a superb edge, everything else seems mediocre.

 

My advice, if you're serious about a great knife, is to buy a King 1k/6k combi stone, which is cheap and great, and has great feedback (which means you can really feel what you're doing). Don't panic: the odds of your seriously screwing up a gyuto are small if you have half a brain, and if you have enough hand-eye coordination to use a decent knife you've got more than enough to sharpen one. Get the Masamoto HC — my (admittedly limited) experience and a lot of reading suggests that the Misono Swedish is going to react too rapidly for a carbon neophyte, and you just can't really beat Masamoto as a go-to company, if you can afford it. Once you learn to get that 6k edge consistently on the knife, you'll never look back.

 

In fact, if you do this, I cheerfully predict that we will hear from you about buying more knives and stones. Watch out: it's an addiction. Think of the King as a gateway drug.

post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks Chris!

                     Really appreciate it! After hours upon hours of searching the internet with visions of BDL posts dancing in my head I begin to suspected for some time I was prone to addiction. I should have known considering who long it took me to decide on my cookware and I wont even go into my surround sound system. Deep in my heart I knew the HC was my knife and you confirmed it for me. I ordered it today. That being done I spent the rest of my spare time today researching wet stones and watching you tube videos on sharpening. Thanks a lot by the way..ha ha You had me hooked at "anyone with half a brain" which my wife often says to me. On to researching a petty and a bread knife. I go confident in the fact that I will be able to pass down to my daughter a really great and blazing sharp knife!!! Thanks again...

 

Dennis

post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by followthesun View Post

Thanks Chris!

                     Really appreciate it! After hours upon hours of searching the internet with visions of BDL posts dancing in my head I begin to suspected for some time I was prone to addiction. I should have known considering who long it took me to decide on my cookware and I wont even go into my surround sound system. Deep in my heart I knew the HC was my knife and you confirmed it for me. I ordered it today. That being done I spent the rest of my spare time today researching wet stones and watching you tube videos on sharpening. Thanks a lot by the way..ha ha You had me hooked at "anyone with half a brain" which my wife often says to me. On to researching a petty and a bread knife. I go confident in the fact that I will be able to pass down to my daughter a really great and blazing sharp knife!!! Thanks again...

 

Dennis

No worries.

 

I do feel strongly one thing here, which I want to repeat for you and anyone reading the thread later.

 

To actually screw up a knife badly, so nobody but a serious pro can fix it, is hard to do. If you want to, you'll need to chip it hard, then grind the chip badly, then chip the same region again. And it must be in a major part of the blade. Beyond that, what can you really do?

 

Let's suppose you grind really unevenly, OK? And then you learn, and say, uh oh, better fix that. What is required? Grind evenly, patiently starting low and working your way up. What you learn is WAY bigger than what you lose. (Nota bene: this is NOT entirely true with single-beveled Japanese knives, which is a subject for a quite different discussion.)

 

What if you break off the tip? Frankly, this isn't likely to happen by bad sharpening. A funny-shaped tip is more plausible, like a bird-beak on a yanagiba. OK, so when you lose your temper with it, grind it to the right shape on a coarse stone, and resolve not to do that again. Again, what you gain is bigger than what you lose.

 

The big exception is this: what if you have a knife that is so awful to grind that it sucks to fix something? Answer: as the Jewish doctor said, "so don't do that." That is, don't buy a knife that you will hate sharpening, if you are not an expert.

 

Result: if you're not an expert, don't buy irritating knives. If you are an expert, and decide to buy irritating knives, I hope to God you have a good reason for it, because I don't see it.

post #9 of 14

hi,

my toosense.

IMHO, go find a couple ok carbon steel knives to practice on before trying to sharpen $200 one.  You can get a new Old Hickory slicer or butcher knife for about $10.  They are solid high carbon steel and are fairly easy to sharpen.  Practice, get your technique down, then try it on the $200 knife.  Heck, you may fall in love with the Old Hickory like lots of folks and the fancy import may become a drawer queen.

another place to look is ebay.  saw a vintage Sabitier 4star elephant 9" chef's knife sell for less than $30.

again, just the two cents of a tired old sailor, glad to be home from the sea

scott

Scott just a tired old sailor glad to be home from the sea
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Scott just a tired old sailor glad to be home from the sea
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post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 

Scott, Thanks from the left coast! Appreciate your good advice. I plan on hitting a few "used" outlets this weekend to search for sharping victims.

 

Thanks,

 

Dennis.

post #11 of 14

Ditto on thanking Scott  regard that suggestion. A few days ago I  ordered a new 8" Old Hickory 1095 carbon slicer - for 6.99 on Ebay, plus $5 for shipping ; so under $12 shipped. I figure it will give me some good training wheels and be a fun acquisition to boot.
 

post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 

Got another question. I have my chefs and bread knives selected so I am on to the petty. I think I am going to get a 150. A lot of posters seen to recommend going with a less costly petty and that staying with the same brand does not matter that much. Guess my question is should I and does it? I am currently looking at the Hiromoto G3 or AS but am very open to suggestions. My theory is to save a little on the bread (Tojiro 270mm ITK) as well as the petty and get a good set of wet stones. Sound reasoning?

post #13 of 14

If you're planning on using your petty as a bar knife, to peel or supreme citrus, or anything else which means a lot of acid, do yourself a favor and get a stainless knife.

 

BDL

post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 

Just received my knives this afternoon and wanted to thank all of you for your help and advice!! Very excited to take these for a test drive!!! I am excited to say the least.

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