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specific knife search help required, please and thank you (also open to recommendations)

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hi After spending a few days reading and reviewing knives and getting lossed in knife land. My gf and i decided to come to this forum for help as we found great information on here.

We are looking to invest in a few great quality knives that will last us 20+ years. In our looking around we found we both really desired a japanese knife (or set of a few knives) I will list down some of the items we are looking for and perhaps we could with your help be directed towards what's best for us. i will not ask what is the best knife to buy because after looking around i realized that;s not a fair question. Instead I will list what we are looking for.


1) Japanese Stainless 

2) HRC 58-60  (I don't want to go above 60 for fear of too brittle and lower than 58 so it can hold a decent edge

3) looking ideally if possible for something with an edge angle of 16-18 degrees

4) something that will hold an edge for a good amount of time better than your avg henckel/cutco etc

5) we decided we would like to be able to sharpen it ourselves and so therefore something not overly difficult to care for i don't mind putting some time in to take care of a quality knife i would probably still send them out to be pro sharpened every 2-3 years if i had to

6)visually we like a damascus pattern and or Japanese writing on the blade ( i know it's silly but just trying to narrow the search)

7)Black handle (she just loves a black handle haha)

8)also western style blades i guess u call them or shapes (sorry for lack of lingo)



i hope that helps? i tried to be descriptive and not just ask a general question. we are looking to get about 4 knives a Chefs knife, a Santoku, 4-5 inch utility, and pairing knife. we are at home cooks and just want a beautiful and quality Japanese stainless that we can enjoy cooking with for many years to come. kind of hoping to buy once and love forever. 


Would really appreciate any recs you guys have here as well. and hope to be guided in the right direction and make the right buy for us.

these knives will be our every day prep knives for chicken, red meat, vegetables, fruits, etc 

post #2 of 17

I think many would agree that the best bang for your buck atm are the following.  




JCK - Carbonext, 270mm $144

CKTG - Tojiro DP, 270mm $129



"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold





"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold


post #3 of 17
If you don't know how to sharpen I would consider staying away from the carbonext. It's a great knife but seems to be too inconsistent out of the box. I would also make sure you want a 270mm knife. As a home cook I don't need it, ever. A 240mm does all I need and I've had large amounts of prep for dinner parties, BBQ etc. that being said, if you are comfortable with a 270 and you have the space go for it. It's hard to give recommendations without knowing budget. What's the total? Are you set on a santoku? Is this knife for your girlfriend? When you say western style blade, do you mean handle type? Also you mentioned keeping your own knives sharp, are planning to learn to hand sharpen? Jig system? Is this budget separate? There are many wonderful japanese knives at all price levels, a little more information is needed to help narrow it down
post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 

I'm willing to spend for a good lifetime set. so I am not overly concerned with budget. that being said I would say 175$ for a knife would be top budget. As for size I was thinking 210mm what's that about 8 inch chefs knife? The reason we are looking at a Santoku and a chefs knife, is because we both want to be able to prepare stuff at the same time (one cutting meat, one cutting veggie etc, so having two 6-8 inch versatile knives was where that idea came from).


western style blade I mean we are not a fan of the flatter Japanese traditional blade shapes that we have seen, We like a western handle but also a D shape works well too for us.


I would for sure be planning on educating myself on how to sharpen a knife and buy the right product (s) to do so. not sure yet or haven't looked up too much knife sharpening information. So as of yet not sure how much time it involes, or how often it is to be done so tips on that are welcome or links etc. but willing to put the time in if i must. Plus i feel it will help me bond with my knives more :). As for sharpening if stones or whetsand do require practice and skill then i would say perhaps its best if I used one of those manual sharpening devices, that you pull blades through ( a quality one of course that is made or designed for my knife and the metal in it). 


hope this helps narrow it down.


also thank you for the Tojiro rec, just checking those out now

post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 

knives we have looked at thus far just for FYI.


Miyabi 5000Dp series          ( i think the edge is 18-24 degrees?)                                     

global                                (not sure on the handles haven't held one yet)

MAC   pro                          ( is ultimate significantly better for us)

tojiro DP                             (what is combined edge angle>? is 50/50 i see debate here on some posts ive read)

post #6 of 17

I've got a Fujiwara FKM petty that I like, and I've heard good things about the chef's knife in that same series. Black handle, nice fit and finish, kanji on the blade. 


Where did the OP say he wanted a 270mm chef's knife? Did I miss something?


Whether you choose Fujiwara or Carbonext or Tojiro or something else, that is less important than how you sharpen the knives. With a little practice, you can get knives quite sharp with water stones, and you don't have to fool around with sending them out to be sharpened (and that's also good, because most of your usual sharpening outfits use a belt sander, with a good chance of doing more harm than good). So, figure in either a combination stone or a couple of water stones, something like this:

or, for separate stone:



I've got a three-stone set, and it works great:


But, if money is an issue to start with, you can just get the 1200 and the 5000 stones and save the coarse one for later. You won't need it starting out; it doesn't come into play unless you want to re-set a bevel or repair chips or something.

Hope this helps!

post #7 of 17
Originally Posted by justin82 View Post

MAC   pro                          ( is ultimate significantly better for us)


I have a MAC pro and love it. I did a hands on trial of at least 30 minutes comparing the differences between the pro and the ultimate, during which time I cut vegetables, etc., and my choice was the pro.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
post #8 of 17

Here is another link to a three stone sharpening set. It also comes with a nagura for prepping the 6000 grit stone.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thank you for all the sharpening links and info , its appreciated

post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 

I have heard really good stuff about MAC pro models, and it continues to pour in. definitely looking into these.

post #11 of 17
Consider as well the Hiromoto G3 -- the better steel -- and Misono 440 -- the better Fit&Finish.
And have a basic carbon for sharpening practice.
post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
I think I have it narrowed down to a
Drum roll please...

Mac pro


Masamoto vg

Please share insight. If you have some.
Also question. What are the pros or cons to the sharpening process of these
post #13 of 17

I already stated that I love my MAC pro, as to the sharpening process; I use it in a professional environment and for well over 90% of my work. I put it on sharpening stones once a week for a total time expenditure of about 2 minutes. In between sharpenings, I don't use a steel, sacrilege to some I'm sure, but the edge lasts a week and I can still thin slice a tomato no problem.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
post #14 of 17
If those are your 2 I don't think you can go wrong with either. The masa has a reputation for a little less reliable F&F so make sure you ask your retailer to pick a good one if you go that route. I haven't owned a masa but you mentioned not liking the japanese profile as much. Not that the masa is flat but it looks like there is less of an upsweep in the tip when compared to the Mac. Ie looks like the Mac has more the profile I think you are looking for. Someone else will correct me if I'm mistaken. A Mac was my first j knife and I still enjoy using it. Comes very sharp oob, is stiff which made it an easy transition from other knives and for a home cook the edge retention was great. It responded very well to a ceramic hone. The steels are going to be similar so don't get caught up in which one is better, they will both be a big upgrade from what you are used to.

As far as sharpening goes that is really an entirely separate discussion. You asked about combined angle (or included angle) this is simple the sum of the angles on both sides of the knife. So if your knife is sharpened at 15 deg each side the included angle is 30. I like benuser's idea of picking up a cheap carbon and practicing if you are going to hand sharpen. The Mac or masa aren't difficult to sharpen but carbon is easier and it would allow you to learn things like what a burr feels like and how to deburr before you begin on your new knives.

As far as santokus go I don't use one so I don't have too many opinions on them but the hiromoto that benuser mentioned looks like a quality knife at a reasonable price. You can also check out cktg to see what's available.
post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 
Anyone aware if there is anything performance wise very similar and comparable to the mac pro and masamoto vg that has the asthetic appeal of lets say a hattori hd or miyabi 5000mcd?
post #16 of 17
The faux damascus makes blades unnecessary thick. So no, they won't ever be equal in performance. And after a few months they look far from appealing. With normal blades sandpaper, ScotchBrite and a little stone mud will do to remove inevitable scratches. Your faux damascus though has to got sent out for polishing and reetching. Good luck. You won't do that twice a year.
post #17 of 17



Left picture; If you want something that will last forever and... will give you pleasure forever too, go for the Hattori FH. Perfectly made, very light. The handles are a pleasure to hold and... women like them too. That's a set I bought for my daughter some years ago. I wouldn't buy so much knives again. I would go for a good chef (the 240 mm is spec-ta-cu-lar), a santoku (many women love to work with it, but also men) and a slicer (the 270 mm is breathtaking!).

That would be it. Leaves room to buy other stuff later on (*).


On the right; Hattori Damascus. After a long pauze, I started reusing the knife and whatever critique like "chippy", "faux Damascus" etc. don't bother me at all!  I can only say that this knife is a total pleasure to work with. I'm able to sharpen this thing to such a surprising edge that it will beat a lot of other fancy knives, but this can be said of any knife that's been sharpened well. This knife is very thin in the edge area but it's quite heavy compared to the FH series. I want to emphasis the fact that more "mass" gives you better cutting power!

But, it is true, you treat this Hattori with respect to avoid unwanted "chippy" frustration. Scratches? Find yourself some 1500 and 2000 grit sandpaper in car painting shops and gently rub them out. All knives need to be pampered if you like them and if you want to take care for them.



(*) Speaking of keeping room for buying other stuff later on. Do yourself a big favor and buy something really stunning whenever you can. You need to have one to know how much joy such knife can give even if you don't use it frequently. My ultimate suggestion; never buy a knife for technical specifications only.  

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