I've been reading the awesome knowledge on this forum for some days know; and I think i'm ready to buy my first good knives and all the according gear. I'm nearly done in my choices but I think I could use a little extra help on certain matters. I'm sorry for the rather long post that is about to come, but I'm pretty sure that in order to help me make coherent choices you'll need the big picture.
Here are the key facts that I understood through all the posts I've read so far and that explains how I've narrowed my choices.
- I'll have to learn how to sharpen and spend some money on stones.
- I'll have to spend money on a decent cutting board otherwise my knives won't be decent for a really long time...
- There is no point in spending too much money on a petty, these knives doesn't last as long as bigger ones regarding their use.
- I should spend as much as I can afford on my chef-like knife.
- Based on the chef-like knife that'll choose, I might need to buy an heavy duties knife.
- Still, as long as I'm not able to sharpen well there is no point in spending 200$ or more on a knife.
- When you still have a long way to go, you probably don't want to buy super-thin or carbon knives.
- If I do improve my skills, there is some chances that the knives that I'm about to buy won't be the last one.
As for me...
- I don't think I have a preference between wa/yo handles, i'll probably have to buy both in order to understand the difference regarding usability.
- I don't have significant small or big hands.
- I probably don't know what a light knife is.
- I don't mind the extra care that a semi-stainless knife might require (if that does).
- I'll have to buy a board and find a solution to safeguard the knives so there is no particular issues regarding those matter.
- I am a home cooker.
- I don't have any sharpen skill and don't have any stones at all, but i'll learn.
- I don't know that much about knives and i'm pretty sure I dont really know how to use them properly.
- I don't have any budget issues, I just don't really like spending money on things I cannot really appreciat/take care of.
- I will spend the necessary budget regarding sharpening gear.
- I live in France, so for that matter, it means I probably won't have access to all of the Web sites available to you guys (or at least that the shipping to France should be taken into account).
- For what's it worth, i've got two rather old and simple "Ikea 365+" knives : a 200mm Chef and a 150mm kind of Santoku. I have no clues about what their alloy could be.
So for the knives, here are my thoughts. Any advice/comment would be great.
Petty 150 mm : My first choice would be a Fujiwara FKM - Petty 150 mm (44$). Since we're talking about a petty, I think I have to stay in the lowest price range possible. The Tojiro is supposed to have a wider handle; and I don't think I really need it.The Artiflex is less sexy and not really as well priced when you take into account shipping to France (~35$, if i'm not misunderstanding on chefknivestogo).
Guyto 240 mm : I'm still hesitating for that one...
- Does I have to keep it under 100$ ? And then it will probably be a FKM again; but honestly I would be happy to change.
- Is there a point in going around 150$ for a beginner provided the fact that i've still to learn the way of sharpening ? If so, the Gesshin Uraku (155$) and Aritsugu A (165$) seems to have nice style, a wa handle (let's try it) and good reviews in this price-range. If shipping to France costs too much for these two ? How does the Kanetsugu Pro M (123$) and Kagayaki CarboNext (128$) compare ? If I understand well the Aritsugu A and CarboNext may cause me trouble if the initial sharpening isn't good enough... My preference would go for the Gesshin Uraku if my actual skills and the shipping considerations allows it (still have to check that).
- Is there even a point for a beginner to go as far as a Masomoto VG (196$) or a Richmond Addict 2 (190$) ? Last one might cost even more provided that I live in France (~35$).
- Finally, does all of these knives in the list requires an heavy duty task buddy in order to perform gently ? I don't really mind if they do, it's just that it would be better to know!
Some knives that i thought off but find less interesting for different reasons than the ones above : Misono Stainless Molybdenum Steel Series, Kanetsugu Pro M Series, JCK - Kagayaki KG3, Hiromoto Tenmi-Jyuraku Gingami No.3 Series, Kikuichi TKC, MAC Pro.
Heavy Duty Knife : does a 10" Victorinox Cimeter does the trick ?
Bread : a 10.25" Victorinox Bread Rosewood and it's done.
Slicer : do I really need that right now ? I'm not even sure when I'll be using that...
Sharpening & Honing Gear
Medium/Coarse and Medium Fine Combo : A good beginner combo seems to be composed of a Bester 1200 and Suehiro Rika 5000; but then again shipping counts provided the fact that I didn't find a way to get a Rika in the European shops. So basically, this combo is worth 148$ (98$ + 50$ when buying on chefknivestogo and shipping to France. FYI, I can get a Naniwa SS 1000 + 3000 20mm Combo for around 124$ in France. And there is even some availability for the 10mm version regarding the Naniwa SS 3000 (the combo goes down 116$). While a Bester 1200+ Naniwa SS 3000 20 mm would cost 145$.
So basically how does these three combination compare provided their prices ?
Naniwa SS 1000/Naniwa SS 3000 - 124$ (or SS 3000 in 10mm - 116$)
Bester/Naniwa SS 3000 - 145$
Bester/Rika - 148$
Note : Since I don't really have any budget issue I am not sure that i really need to give a though at King Stones.
Flatten : I still have to find a way to flatten or buy the cheap diamond stone at CKtG if I choose a Bester/Rika combo.
Honing Rod : Idahone 12" "fine" rod looks like the preferred solution around here (and the way i'll go if I choose the Bester/Rika combo). But here again, does anyone know by any chance an alternative for European people ? Are there any other good options (I remember reading about MAC and Victorinox) ? The references i've seen so far in France are Kyocera, Zwilling and a generic one made by edenwebshop/knivesandtools (http://www.edenwebshops.co.uk/en/pt/-eden-quality-ceramic-sharpening-rod.htm
Coarse : Guess that could wait a little...
I'll still have to think about that, it seems we don't have the same brand available out there. And I need to know what are the good makers in order to buy a good board right ?
So here I am, that's pretty much it; thanks a lot for reading me so far.