I have been searching for a good Japanese knife for culinary school--something that will stand up to wear and tear but also still be comfortable for me. I am used to a Shun knife--which is very comfortable for me weight and grip-wise. Any thoughts? Is this a good choice?
Gesshin Uraku Knife--good for a small woman for school?
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Shun makes numerous lines, some better than others. I HATE the shun classic line. They are WAY overpriced relative to their quality so their value is poor. The premier line is pretty good but a bit pricey, but the value is a bit better. I hat shun handles too.
Gesshin Uraku are very good knives at a great value. I don't own one, but I've used a white steel one a few times.. But are you really sure you want that for school?????
I think most of us did better with a knife that had a double bevel profile rather than a right handed or left handed blade. And a western handle and bolster might be better for school too. Not to mention the care needed for this type knife, the odds of it being stolen and the abuse it will endure. For school, I'd definitely want STAINLESS. But for the real world, white, blue, CPM or a Damascus might be worthwhile.
When I went to school I used a Mercer Rules 9 inch that had the inch markings already on it because it helped to have the markings in class and especially when competing. You don't need a high end knife for school. Get a good knife after you decide what type cuisine you're cooking, when you have the time to care for it and when it won't get stolen. Then get a GREAT knife, not just a "great value" one. Give yourself something to aspire to and a reward to yourself for graduation.
I am very surprised that the school said that an 8 inch (200-210mm) was too small, especially for a woman and especialy for a small woman. Most schools would probably say 8 is preferable. Most of the ladies used 8 inch when I went to school. Most even used 7 inch santokus for a most of their work when a gyuto/chefs knife wasn't required for a test.
You might try the Tojiro DPs, the Fujiwara FKM or the "CarboNext" knives sold by japanesechefsknive com. All very solid and much recommended starter knives.
Shuns often get chipped when the angle of the bevel is too steep or when you mince herbs and press the blade too firmly into the cutting board with one hand while "walking it" over teh cutting board with the other. It also happens more often with a new blade because the steel on the edge seems to be a bit brittle from the factory heat treatment. I have heard it gets better after they have been sharpened a few times and the brittle steel is gone.