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Need Help Choosing New Japanese Knife!!!

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hello Everyone!

I am new to this site, and still relatively new to to the cooking industry, but I have been searching through a bunch of forum topics to see which new knife I should get.  I will briefly give a background of what I do, just in case its relative to what knife is right for me. 

 

I have around 2 years experience in the culinary industry.  I work in a pretty small kitchen and since the place is so small we do not have many employees which means I am doing a lot of prep work on multiple stations, cutting meats, vegetables, etc.  But my primary prep work is with vegetables.  We also work on plastic cutting boards (if that effects the decision any)

 

I currently have a MAC Pro (Santoku 6.5 inch, riveted).  I absolutely love it and use it for pretty much everything.  I chose that because I feel like I have more control with a smaller knife then but I do realize that it has its limitations to an 8 inch chefs knife or bigger.  I sharpen it with the ceramic wheel sharpener that most MAC vendors sell with the knives.  Before that I had some starter Mercer knives.  I like the Japanese style knives (like MAC) because i feel that they are really well balanced, razor sharp, and I like how light they are as opposed to other knives like Wusthof. Even the styles of Global seem heavy to me.

 

I am pretty confident in my knife skills but by no means are they perfect.  I do not push cut, and I occasionally rock my knife when i cut herbs.  I also use a pinch grip.  I do not think I grip too hard but then again I'm not sure.  I am also going to invest in getting an Edge Pro Apex sharpener. I have absolutely no experience in sharpening knives but i do want to learn.  I am not so confident in my skills in freehand sharpening. 

 

I have been looking at all sorts of Japanese knives and have found myself most interested in:

 

Konosuke HD (western style grip)

Kagayaki Carbonext

Masamoto VG-10

 

I also have questions about these "laser" style knives.  How durable are they? If I lack knife skills is there a possibility that they can break or chip?  Are they cutting styles different then that of a MAC pro knife. 

 

I just want a knife that is comfortable, light, and quick.  Any help would be greatly appreciated!

post #2 of 4
Quote:

Originally Posted by Munguia91 View Post

 

I also have questions about these "laser" style knives.  How durable are they? If I lack knife skills is there a possibility that they can break or chip? 

 

Re. Durability of lasers: that's an excellent question. I've recently bought two Wa Konosuke gyutos, and am still wondering the same thing!  All I can tell you is that in the past couple of months of regular home use (a few hours per week), I have experienced no problems.  My knife skills are decent, but not exceptional.  I do a mix of push cutting, "guillotine and glide", rock-chopping, draw cutting, etc... depending on the particular task.

 

Because Konosukes are expensive, I've been careful with them and have so far been unwilling to push their limits.  They are very thin near the edge, and even though they are made from good steel that thinness has made me more cautious.  I have heavier Euro-style chefs knives to fall back on if the job calls for extra ruggedness.  But I have only felt like I've needed a different or heavier knife a couple of times, e.g. portioning a whole chicken.

 

There have been forum references to some blade damage that occurred when a Kono was used to cut up a chicken... bones and all... but I've never seen any details.  On the other hand there are plenty of YouTube videos showing lasers being used by speed-chopping-knife-wizards... and with seemingly great abandon.

 

Like the original poster, I'm curious about longer-term experience with the ruggedness and durability (or lack thereof) of lasers.  Is our caution warranted?

post #3 of 4

I should point out that despite my curiosity re. 'laser' durability, I have been delighted with the Konosuke gyutos.  I would certainly have never bought a second one (a funayuki gyuto) if I had not been very happy with the first one.  They really do cut better than anything I've ever used before.

post #4 of 4

Konosuke for sure!

 

I love the HD line. Any of those knives will only chip if used incorrectly or sharpened to an overly acute edge. I use my kono for 90% of work, but keep a double sided deba or a 8 inch fibrox for the dirty tasks (butternut squash skinning, chopping fish bones, lobsters). 

 

I am sure that my kono could do those jobs in a pinch - but i plan to keep this knife as long as possible, so i shall baby it. 

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