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Gyuto and cleaver help

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hello all,

I have been stalking this forum for awhile now trying to educate myself and am ready to pose a couple of questions to this august group of experts.

I am a home cook looking to upgrade my knife collection. I have my eye on the Gengetsu 210mm stainless from JKI. That size because I don't have a lot of room in my kitchen but also don't really need the industrial size blade. Stainless because I am clueless about carbon care. And that style because I think it looks badass.

Here is my question: I have no idea about sharpening and really don't intend to learn ( just being honest - please don't kick me!). I can hone a knife competently. Fortunately I live in NYC and have access to good professional sharpeners who can do the job for about $5. But I would like your views on whether I am a fool for looking at this kind of knife without the requisite sharpening skills. In other words, am I going to ruin this thing if I only bring it for a pro sharpening say every 6 months or so?

I would also like to buy a cleaver for breaking down chickens and cutting through pork rib bones. I am looking at the cck cleavers because i hear good things and think they look cool, but can't get a feel for which are up to that task (as opposed to being veggie cutters). I know cck cleavers are mostly carbon and am ok with that because it would get less frequent use and i think it would be a good entry knife to try with carbon. The lil rhino looks cool, but not sure if its up to the task, the bone crusher has the right name, but I'm not sure if I need such a massive chopper? Anyone have thoughts on this?

Thanks so much in advance.

post #2 of 5
I don't think u are a fool at all for considering that knife. Although I would recommend you find someone that is familiar with sharpening Japanese knives. I'm always a little skeptical of $5 dollar sharpenings. It's worth spending a little more for a better job. If u have any questions about the specific knife reach out to Jon at jki, I have never spoken to him but I have heard nothing but good things. He also may recommend you maintain with a strop. If u are going to use a honing rod I would recommend a ceramic rod over steel due to the hardness of Japanese knives. Make sure u use very light pressure.
As far as the cck cleavers the ones I'm familiar with are not for chopping through bone. I have the 1303 and it is very thin and for veg prep. If u want one for bone work make sure u buy appropriately.
post #3 of 5

for what its worth, the gengetsu is not well suited to the use of honing rods... a finishing stone or a strop would be far better.  If you insist on using a rod, a smooth glass or smooth ceramic rod would be the best (but i still dont like them).  Use one with exceedingly light pressure.

post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys.  Any idea as to a strop that would be appropriate?

post #5 of 5
Pete, I would call or email Jon he is likely to give u the best answer for that knife. You will get a million answers on what to use for a strop as it is a very personal preference. I personally just use a finishing stone for stropping but some people prefer more traditional strops like leather, some people use cardboard, newsprint, jeans etc. I'm not familiar with anything but a finishing stone so I wouldn't want to point you in the wrong direction
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