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First Knife (I bet you guys are tired of this thread)

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

copied from kitchen knife forums for more exposure.


What country are you in?

What type of knife are you interested in (e.g., chef’s knife, slicer, boning knife, utility knife, bread knife, paring knife, cleaver)?
Chef's Knife (Gyuto)


Are you right or left handed?


Are you interested in a Western handle (e.g., classic Wusthof handle) or Japanese handle?
Not sure, aesthetically I prefer Japanese handles, but I've only ever used western handles.


What length of knife (blade) are you interested in (in inches or millimeters)?
240mm or 270mm, leaning towards 240. 


Do you require a stainless knife? (Yes or no)
not sure that I require it, but maybe prefer it


What is your absolute maximum budget for your knife?
Ideally under $150, could stretch up to $200

Do you primarily intend to use this knife at home or a professional environment?
Both, but far more use professionally.


What are the main tasks you primarily intend to use the knife for (e.g., slicing vegetables, chopping vegetables, mincing vegetables, slicing meats, cutting down poultry, breaking poultry bones, filleting fish, trimming meats, etc.)? (Please identify as many tasks as you would like.)
Slicing and finely dicing veggies, slicing boneless chicken and fish. slicing fruit as small as grapes to as large as pineapples.  


What knife, if any, are you replacing?
house knives aka my first knife


Do you have a particular grip that you primarily use? (Please click on this LINK for the common types of grips.)
pinch grip


What cutting motions do you primarily use? (Please click on this LINK for types of cutting motions and identify the two or three most common cutting motions, in order of most used to least used.)

almost entirely push cutting, the occasional rock and walk for herbs.


What improvements do you want from your current knife? If you are not replacing a knife, please identify as many characteristics identified below in parentheses that you would like this knife to have.)

Better aesthetics (e.g., a certain type of finish; layered/Damascus or other pattern of steel; different handle color/pattern/shape/wood; better scratch resistance; better stain resistance)?

Comfort (e.g., lighter/heavier knife; better handle material; better handle shape; rounded spine/choil of the knife; improved balance)?

Ease of Use (e.g., ability to use the knife right out of the box; smoother rock chopping, push cutting, or slicing motion; less wedging; better food release; less reactivity with food; easier to sharpen)?

Edge Retention (i.e., length of time you want the edge to last without sharpening)?

Since this is my first knife pretty much all of the above. The house knives are pathetic even after they get sharpened. Ultimately looking to improve sharpness and edge retention, but comfort is always a factor too. Aesthetics are secondary though always appreciated.

Do you use a bamboo, wood, rubber, or synthetic cutting board? (Yes or no.)
varies, rubber and synthetics at work, bamboo and maple at home. 


Do you sharpen your own knives? (Yes or no.)
I am going to start.


If not, are you interested in learning how to sharpen your knives? (Yes or no.)


Are you interested in purchasing sharpening products for your knives? (Yes or no.)
yes, this is not included in my blade budget. Looking for advice on what to start with and how much I can expect to spend. 

My two biggest questions are western vs japanese handle and 240 vs 270. I realize these are mostly personal preference and I plan to go to a local knife shop to check these out in person, but it's always nice to hear from enthusiasts. After doing some preliminary research I am looking at the tojiro dp series and various richmond series. People seem to say that the tojiro's are a great steel for the price, but they don't have the japanese handle (which I'm not even 100% sold on yet besides aesthetics). Also, I am the type of person who prefers to buy high end once and buy it for life, so if you can make a good argument for buying a much nicer knife ($300+) I am willing to hear you out. I really like the aesthetics of the knives at this price level (damascus), but most people seem to recommend starting cheap to see what you like. After using big heavy western style knives for almost a year now, I have a pretty good idea of what I like (lighter, sharper, Japanese aesthetics), but obviously I don't have any real experience with the alternatives. 

post #2 of 4
Most Japanese chef's knives are asymmetric. The edge is off-centered, the blade's right face is convexed, the left one is flatter. As you are a left-handed, you may consider a truly adapted blade instead of one with a neutralized edge as most retailers offer, or a laser where these geometry questions are less critical. Most makers produce left-handed versions on special order. Expect a premium of some 25%. This retailer has them in stock:

post #3 of 4
Check out this little video about different kitchen kniveshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66v4Q_4-O9M
post #4 of 4
Most japo companies carry knives with German and Japanese handles. Plastic impregnated rosewood(most German standards) is stronger and easier to replace than Japanese handles which are almost entirely for aesthetics. You can always switch your the angle of your bevel at the cost of a couple mm for a lefty or whatever's comfortable. If you want an all purpose gyoto go for the 240, the larger knife might get a little unwieldy when slicing grapes etc.. Also if your really commited to the push style you might want to consider a santoku.
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