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Merry Christmas!

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hi Guys, My name'a Jake. I'm a 25 year old engineer in the Royal Air Force. I'm due out soon and have been working evening and weekends in a kitchen to get some experience as I would like to become a chef when I leave the military!


I am looking at purchasing a knife up to a max of £150. The head chef and sous chef there both use Global and swear by them but I'm not convinced. Don't get me wrong they're good but I'm not sold on one myself. I have been using the 17cm Santoku (my favourite), the 20cm chefs, and the 23cm slicer. I find the handles hurt after prepping for anything longer than 30 minutes and I find I bottom out on the board (my hand is hitting the board before the knife has made a full stroke) which I find extremely annoying and a waste of time.


I believe my knife skills are acceptable (I keep up with the other chefs), I can sharpen blades, I have a average size hands, I like the handles and weight of German knives but the sharpness of the Japanese variants although I know that sharpness is down to me and how I maintain my knife.


Here's the problem though. I live on an island called Benbecula in The Outer Hebrides in the UK (google it!) I have no possible way of getting to or trying various brands and types. I am looking for some advice on specific brands and types of knives that sound like they would suit what I am looking for. This will be my first knife which I hope to will be my best pal for many years to come.


At the moment I'm just after a good all rounder which will get me through most of the normal routine tasks of a Commis chef and at home. I was originally swung towards a bog standard 20cm chefs knife but I do feel comfortable with something bigger - 23cm. I really do apologise for bothering you guys but I've been researching for weeks now and have got absolutely nowhere! The hardest problem I've found is finding a supplier that provides to the UK!!!


Thanks Jake

post #2 of 5
If you are willing to sharpen your knives on stones by yourself -- this is really a first condition -- you may have a look at the Misono, Hiromoto, JCK Kagayaki, Fujiwara, and other series with JCK,
They send with a flat world wide shipping rate of $7 and will advanteagously fill in the custom declaration form.
My first idea would be: have a good, but not too expensive 240mm gyuto with an acceptable level of Fit&Finish. The Fujiwara carbon would be my first choice if budget is restrained and carbon steel does not offend. And get two sharpening stones, or one double one: one medium coarse, and one medium fine. E.g. the JCK 1k/4k.
post #3 of 5

I'm going to have to start out by stating my limitations on my advice to you.  I'm definitely not an expert on availability of cutlery in Britain - or, for that matter, shipping, VAT, import procedures or other non culinary issues.  And whatever advice I might give should be taken through that prism.


I'm going to assume that being in the Outer Hebrides means you will only be shopping on-line.  For a British source of knives, you might want to look at Japanese Knife Company in London.  While selection is less than some other on-line sources, you definitely won't have importation problems.  For a source in the EEU, you might want to consider Korin France.  Other sources further afield can include the usual suspects of Japanese Knife Imports (in Los Angeles), Chef Knives To Go (Madison, Wisconsin) and Japanese Chef Knives (in Japan), though you would be well advised to send an inquiry email to Jon Broida (JKI) and Mark Richmond (CKTG) about their shipping policies to Britain, and you might need to check online about any import problems that other British purchasers may have encountered..


As for size, I agree with Benuser and would suggest that a 240 mm gyuto to be a useful size. I have several gyuto's, in blade lengths of 210 mm, 240 mm and 270 mm, and I can attest to Boar-d-Laze's opinion that the 210 mm gyuto, used in a pinch grip, feels somewhat smallish, while the 240 mm and 270 mm size gyuto blades are more medium length.  Personally, I will reach for the 240 mm gyuto for most general prep.


Galley Swiller

post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Okay so I've been looking on and I think I'm going to give the JCK Kayagaki VG-10 (ES) 240mm Gyuto a blast! $7 shipping is pretty darn cheap. Have also added the 2 in 1 sharpening stone you advised Benuser. Thanks for your advise guys been of great help!
post #5 of 5
Thanks for the feedback!
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