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Knife Questions

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I'm looking at buying a three piece set of knives for work and I have used other people knives for far too long and the ones I own are no longer suitable for 50+ hours a week of use. The specific set I am looking at is the Togiharu Inox Steel Three Pieces Set - Gyutou, Sujihiki, & Petty Knife.

Inox steel is simply a synonym for stainless steel but they're still calling these knives high carbon. Should I still be concerned about the reactivity of these knives with acidic foods as well as meats?

Also. Do I need to do anything special as far as knife care, sharpening, storage, etc.

Some of the main reasons I want these are for breaking down/ trimming (all the following are boneless) beef shoulder, poultry, swordfish, salmon as well as of course prepping many many vegetables and the like. (Onions are my biggest concern for reactivity)

If anyone can help me out by answering some or all of these questions and give me some more info or even reviews for these specific knives that would be exceptionally helpful.
post #2 of 8

preface:  there are thousands of individual opinions and experiences - if you're looking for something "everyone agrees is best" - could be a problematic quest.....

"high carbon" used in conjunction with "stainless steel" is meant to imply the metal is "harder" than "typical" el'cheepo stainless steel knives.  stainless blades are often criticized for being 'too soft' making them (a) easy to sharpen but (b) not holding an edge 'as long' and (c) not taking as sharp an edge.

"takes a sharper edge" is one of the "pros" for plain old fashion "carbon steel" knives - the non-stainless kind....

otoh, you'll see comments about the super-hard alloys requiring a waterstone approach and 'a long time' to sharpen and 'some skill required'


can't directly speak to Japanese type knives; been using Wuesthof German clunkers for decades.

pretty much any of the "stainless" is going to be very resistant to reactivity, etc., with minor care.

carbon steel knives are much more reactive and will acquire a "patina" - I've been using the Wuesthof Classic (stainless, 'high carbon') types for decades on onions and the like on a daily basis and reactivity has never been an issue.


for vegetable prep, I'd suggest you look at a santuko style.  the flatter "belly" is superior in that use to a chef style, imho.
but do note, the Japanese gyutou typically has a flatter belly than European styles, for openers.

>> knives for work  . . .
add to your considerations the question of 'will it be there when I get back?' and replacement cost.....  obviously an issue that is highly dependent on 'situations' - but it is known to be a issue in cases.

>>anything special?
any knife on the market will need sharpening.  it's a 'learn' or 'pay' thing - and finding a really expert sharpening service can be tricky.

storage - yes.  get some blade guards and/or something to protect the edges when not in use.  tossing them in the junk drawer is not recommended.

post #3 of 8

I personally haven't used a Togiharu Inox knife, so what I have here is mostly a bit of conjecture, based on what I can find online.


Togiharu knives mostly seem to be available from Korin.  There doesn't seem to be a huge amount of public feedback from forums or from other online reviews.  


"Inox" is, as you said, a term for "stainless" and is in fact a fairly generically tossed-about word.  Personally, I consider "Inox" to be the type of trigger word where I have to start digging to get any actual information.  However, Korin does list the Togiharu Inox as being AUS-8, so that's a starting point.


According to BDL, another AUS-8 series of knives is the Fujiwara FKM line.  Those knives are well known and extensively reviewed and discussed.  The general viewpoint is that the steel in the Fujiwara FKM knives is not as hard as VG-10 knives, but is tougher and less likely to chip than VG-10.  Quite a few chefs like the FKM series knives for their toughness.


You mentioned the triple combination set from Korin of the (210 mm) Gyuto, (270 mm) Sujihiki and (150 mm) Petty set.  If for price alone, I would suggest you might want to glance at the comparable Fujiwara FKM knives at Chef Knives To Go.  The Korin price for the Togiharu set is $345, while the cumulative CKTG prices for the comparable individual Fujiwara FKM knives is $210.  


With the Fujiwara FKM's you also have the option of changing any of the choices at CKTG (after all,with the Fujiwara FKM knives you are looking at buying open stock anyway).  Instead of getting just a 210 mm gyuto, you could buy a 240 mm or 270 mm gyuto. Especially with a gyuto, you should consider a 240 mm or 270 mm blade length. 


Dillbert is right about concern for "situations".  More expensive knives do have a sad propensity to "walk away".


AUS-8 is not a particularly reactive steel.  You should not have too much problem with something like onions.


Sharpening will pretty much be the same as with any Japanese quality stainless steel knife.  Read the posts and threads on ChefTalk.  Specifically, invest in a 12 inch Idahone honing rod ($30).  The Beston 500-Bester 1200-Suehiro Rika 5000 set from CKTG ($140) is well known and a good starting point.


Hope that helps



Galley Swiller

post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
That very helpful! Thanks to both of you! I totally get the concern for the length. But those are actually exactly what I need as far as that goes. I considered suisin knives of comparable size but I'm gonna pay $50+ per knife more. AUS8 is ideal I think. I considered AUS 10 but I think since I'll be usin each one for a specific purpose and only the petty will actually be with me during service. I slightly softer blade is better. (I could be wrong)

As far as them walking off. I do not think that is a concern in my workplace. We are not a huge restaurant/caterer and if something walked off. We'd easily be able to figure out who it was.

Any more feedback for me guys?
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
One final question, what exactly is the "initial western sharpening" and should I get it? (In reference to
post #6 of 8
I've been told in Japan knives are sold unsharpened. The customer or the end reseller is expected to deal with it.
For export the Japanese makers will put an edge on their blades. That's all you may say about it, there is an edge. Generally made by the youngest apprentice within a few seconds on a wheel. After that some buffering for burr removal and that's it.
Korin offers a decent waterstone sharpening for free. Have it. It a good starting point for your own sharpening.
Edited by Benuser - 11/15/13 at 6:51am
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
post #8 of 8
You're most welcome!
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