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What else do I need to know?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

J Knife noob here.  I started off getting online a few weeks ago to figure out which German knife set I wanted.  And I finish up here today ready to start my collection with two J knives that cost more than the set I wanted.  :rolleyes:   There is some intense knowledge here on this forum and thanks to you all I didn't make the mistake of purchasing that set.

 

I am just a home cook and avid griller and smoker (Big Green Egg) and I like to have nice tools when I cook, work, etc.  Of course I like to have the best tools but can't always afford them! 

 

I spent two weeks reading ad nauseam through threads here so I didn't have to make another "which knife do I buy" thread.  :)  I think I've done my homework sufficiently and have decided on the following for now:

 

Masamoto VG Gyutou - 270mm

Masamoto VG Petty - 120mm

 

Mac Black Ceramic Honing Rod - 10.5"

Naniwa SS - maybe 400, 1000, & 5000 (not using the 400 until I know what I'm doing down the road some time)

 

 

Literally all I know about knives, sharpening, etc is from this forum and some linked pages in the forum threads.  I knew zero two weeks ago and obviously I'm still pretty much clueless.  So my question is - what else do I need to know?  Is there anything I'm not considering?  Am I making any large mistakes in my purchases?  Overlooking anything?  etc...

 

Thanks for all the knowledge and time.  This is a great forum.  I'm really looking forward to getting my hands on these fabulous tools.  :)

post #2 of 18

270mm is fun to use, but how big is your cutting board at home?  I use a 20x20" end grain beast, and I think 270mm would be wasted on smaller boards.

post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MillionsKnives View Post
 

270mm is fun to use, but how big is your cutting board at home?  I use a 20x20" end grain beast, and I think 270mm would be wasted on smaller boards.


I don't have a quality board yet.  I thought I would leave that decision out of the thread because it muddied up the conversation with less important details.  But I guess I was wrong about that!

 

I currently have about 10 tabs open right now looking at boards.  :)  Mostly BoardsSmith and Catskill.  I was thinking I should go cheaper (Catskill) on this purchase so I can keep my knife choices better.  And I'm not sure of other quality brands.  And regarding knife size - I originally thought I wanted 240mm but the more I read it seemed the more commonly owned gyutou size around here is 270mm.  So I bumped my plan up to that size.  What size board would you suggest for the 270mm?  And am I overdoing it with that size knife?

post #4 of 18

I use a cutting board made by Boardsmith and really like it.

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
Reply

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
Reply
post #5 of 18

A lot of users who get into the knife forum are pro or were pro at some point.  The 270mm knives have a longer flat area near the heel which helps when prepping massive quantities of vegatables.  I'm a home cook like you.  My sweet spot is a 240mm gyuto.

 

How big of a gyuto do you need? I don't know.  I would recommend considering

-What size knife are you used to?

-What grip are you using?  I do a pinch grip, which makes a 240mm (9.4") gyuto more like 8".

-How big is your board?

-How much elbow space do you have around you when you cook?  Big kitchen vs galley kitchen will definitely change your answer.

-How big are the things you will cut the most?  When I slice a brisket or bacon, I want a real long knife so I can get it in one cut.  Then again, I have a slicer for this.

-What type of knife cuts do you use? Push, pull, rock, chop.  You should check that the knife you want to buy matches up to your style.  Ex. I mostly push cut, so I like a flat profile.  If you like to rock, then you want something more round.


Edited by MillionsKnives - 5/28/14 at 7:36pm
post #6 of 18

Also, I got the 20x20x3" catskill from amazon.  However heavy you think it is, double that.

 

Whatever board you get, you'll want to pick up some mineral oil.  You can buy a gallon from a tack and saddle store (horse supply)  for about $20.  I mix mine with beeswax. It's cheaper to make your own mixture than to buy the conditioner.

post #7 of 18

If you read the reviews on amazon you will find that those cheap end-grain boards tend to split after little use, and often come in a poor state to begin with.  Boardsmith is highly regarded around here.

 

Aside from being a bit lunatic here as in I cut most things I need in-hand, my SO is nuts when it comes to décor and won't allow me a big board.  I have a small wood one I do actual cutting on, and a black 14x18 plastic one that I mostly just dump onto, they both fit unobtrusively atop the microwave along with a kettle,  This simply wouldn't do so well if I were cooking for a large family, but mainly I'm just cooking for 2.

 

As some might guess my go-to knife is a 9" slicer, a 270 chef is nice and I wouldn't consider less than 240 for that knife considering what I use it for, but I would go 150 on the petty/utilty blade, anything smaller is in the category of steak knife/parer to me. Have fun!

 

Rick

post #8 of 18
I would concur with MillionsKnives caution over the 270mm knife. That's a lot of knife.
I don't know what size knives you are used to.
If you were looking to get a german knife set then you were probably looking at 8 inch tops.
A 270mm was my introduction to j knives, along with a nakiri, and I must admit that it doesn't get much use. I'm far happier with a 240mm, which is still plenty of knife.
I'm not saying don't get a 270mm, but be aware of the size of it.
You could always get a 270mm and a 240mm smile.gif
post #9 of 18
I prefer a 270mm. I stays much closer to the board. Less lifting. With a slightly forward balance point as with most J-knives, the extra weight is very helpful with "guillotine and glide".

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=zq37b1wG-yo&gl=NL&client=mv-google&hl=nl&guid=
post #10 of 18

I'm happy with the Catskill.  It seems well made.  The people who let it split are probably not maintaining it properly.  I was kicking around the idea of making my own, and by the time it splits, if ever, I probably will.  I could never justify spending nearly 3 times as much on a cutting board.

 

Here's a video on how to make an end grain board:

 

http://www.thewoodwhisperer.com/videos/how-to-make-a-butcher-block-cutting-board/

 

Once you learn about the construction, you'll realize splitting is from where the wood glue joins them together.  At the end of the day, wood glue is wood glue, no matter how much you pay for the board.  When you put the clamps on, any excess gets squeezed out anyway.

post #11 of 18
I wouldn't go for the Masamoto VG. Don't like the POM handles at this price point. Heavily overpriced, I think, especially with their lacking QC and resulting unpredictable F&F.
Better have a look at the HiromotoG3 or AS, or the Misono 440.
post #12 of 18
I think a 270 is a litle much for a first and only Gyuto. I am fairly large, and I have a 240 and 210. Mostly I use the 240. I bought my son a 270 and he thinks it is too large. He stands 6' 10" and is an athlete. I'd go for a 240 if I were you.
Quote:
Originally Posted by YEM88 View Post


I don't have a quality board yet.  I thought I would leave that decision out of the thread because it muddied up the conversation with less important details.  But I guess I was wrong about that!

I currently have about 10 tabs open right now looking at boards.  smile.gif  Mostly BoardsSmith and Catskill.  I was thinking I should go cheaper (Catskill) on this purchase so I can keep my knife choices better.  And I'm not sure of other quality brands.  And regarding knife size - I originally thought I wanted 240mm but the more I read it seemed the more commonly owned gyutou size around here is 270mm.  So I bumped my plan up to that size.  What size board would you suggest for the 270mm?  And am I overdoing it with that size knife?
Quote:
Originally Posted by YEM88 View Post


I don't have a quality board yet.  I thought I would leave that decision out of the thread because it muddied up the conversation with less important details.  But I guess I was wrong about that!

I currently have about 10 tabs open right now looking at boards.  smile.gif  Mostly BoardsSmith and Catskill.  I was thinking I should go cheaper (Catskill) on this purchase so I can keep my knife choices better.  And I'm not sure of other quality brands.  And regarding knife size - I originally thought I wanted 240mm but the more I read it seemed the more commonly owned gyutou size around here is 270mm.  So I bumped my plan up to that size.  What size board would you suggest for the 270mm?  And am I overdoing it with that size knife?
[/quote
post #13 of 18

I have a Catskill board and there is nothing wrong with it.  Gets cleaned with cheap vodka and oiled.  I have a generous island for prep, but if I just had counter space a 270 might be too much knife.  I hardly use my 270's anymore come to think of it. 

post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 

OK I will probably drop the size to the 240mm.  That is probably sound advice. 

 

I am having Korin perform an initial sharpening.  They want to leave the Gyutou asymetrical at 70/30, as it comes from the manufacturer (but sharpened via their "Initial Western Sharpening").  Should I be ok with this?  Would 60/40 be better?  I am going to be sharpening myself on stones, but I don't know how to do that yet.  Just some reading around here.  Will 70/30 make my upkeep more difficult?

post #15 of 18

Well, first you should understand what they are talking about with 70/30 bevels

 

http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php/5656-Asymmetry-%E2%80%93-The-REAL-DEAL?p=93152&viewfull=1#post93152

 

There was a post where BDL says Korin does initial sharpening of 70/30, but other retailers do 50/50.  Is it more upkeep? No, you have to sharpen either way.  Is the sharpening technique going to be different? Yes.  Basically the right side will need to be sharpened at a more acute angle.

 

Here's that other post if you haven't read it already http://www.cheftalk.com/t/61403/newbie-to-knives-interested-in-japanese-knives

post #16 of 18
In addition only:
The proportion 70/30 reflects how much the edge is off-centered, for right-handed to the left side. This will result in a large bevel at the right side, and a small one at the left. Such a blade will steer to the left where it encounters less friction. To balance the friction the angle at the left side may be increased, the bevel made flat instead of convex, the right side may be thinned behind the edge.
As far as angles are concerned, common figures are between 10 and 15 degree at the right side and 15 to 22 degree at the left.
I would first stick with Korin's edge and see if steering occurs. This is quite individual as people tend to compensate for steering, some more, some less.
post #17 of 18


All you have to know, is how to use it. All these people spending hundreds on a knife to me is a waste. I have the same knives(all German makes) that I had 25 years ago and some older I took care of them and they are still great."" It' not so much as in the knife as in the hand and the head.""

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post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by ED BUCHANAN View Post
 


All you have to know, is how to use it. All these people spending hundreds on a knife to me is a waste. I have the same knives(all German makes) that I had 25 years ago and some older I took care of them and they are still great."" It' not so much as in the knife as in the hand and the head.""


...and in how to sharpen and, if need be, thin.  Once I learned to thin, my Victorinoxs' and Henckels gotten during the '70s work better than ever!

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
Reply

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
Reply
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