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Knife Recommendations

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hello All,  New Member here.   And Yes I have used the search feature and have read numerous threads already.  I did three years of culinary classes in high school but decided against cooking as a career being that it is more of a hobby. ( High school was a long time ago)  I am in the market for new knives and have read numerous recommendations such as find one that fits your hand best and don't buy blocked sets all the way to the types of steel etc. etc.  I was hoping to maybe get a little clarity on some things and also a few recommendations.  I currently use a chefs knife, a utility slicer and a bread knife.  All the other knives I own rarely get used except my pairing knife during mango season here in florida!  

 

I have read that most block sets leave you with a less then desirable chefs knife?  Is this true even when buying a set of say a Shun classic or premier.  (Meaning a good quality knife even if bought separate?)   

 

I am a recreational chef but do enjoy fine things such as good knives that cut well.  What would be the consensus on the best knife for the buck?  My budget for knives would be around the 500-600 range?  I appreciate any feedback.  

 

 

 

Thank You,  Justin

post #2 of 6

You've got a good start on things in knowing what knives you need- your core set is most people's core set. Your budget will get you pretty far, too. Very nice gyutos can be had for $200-250, and petties and bread knives are less. The key thing is to get a knife that works with your workflow in the kitchen and cutting style, and then learn how to sharpen it yourself.

Do you like to rock chop a lot? Is wiping down a knife frequently and cleaning it before you sit down to eat something you won't mind doing, or are you more of a "leave it on the board and wash it later" kind of cook? Do you like Western or Japanese handles? Got a nice cutting board already?


 

As far as a sort of generic recomendation based on guesses to the answers to these questions to get you started, you might look at:


 

Gesshin Ginga gyuto, $250

carbon, wa handle

http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/gesshin-ginga-240mm-white-2-wa-gyuto.html


 

stainless, Western handle

http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/gesshin-ginga-240mm-stainless-gyuto.html


 

Tanaka 150mm petty, $75 or so

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Japanese-petty-knife-Damascus-VG10-steel-150mm-SHIGEKI-TANAKA-knife-/251489973933

 

A set of three water stones, $150:

http://www.japaneseknifesharpeningstore.com/Dave-Martell-s-Core-Set-of-Sharpening-Stones-p/set1dmcore.htm


 

Michigan Maple block cutting board, $65

 

 


 

That puts you at $540. You could add a Victorinox paring knife for another $8, and some drywall screen to flatten the waterstones for $15 or so. And that probably leaves you room for a fresh new but-not-too expensive bread knife if you need one. But it sort of all depends on what you need and want.


 

Shun's aren't bad, they're just overpriced for what they are.

 

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DenverVeggieNut View Post
 

You've got a good start on things in knowing what knives you need- your core set is most people's core set. Your budget will get you pretty far, too. Very nice gyutos can be had for $200-250, and petties and bread knives are less. The key thing is to get a knife that works with your workflow in the kitchen and cutting style, and then learn how to sharpen it yourself.

Do you like to rock chop a lot? Is wiping down a knife frequently and cleaning it before you sit down to eat something you won't mind doing, or are you more of a "leave it on the board and wash it later" kind of cook? Do you like Western or Japanese handles? Got a nice cutting board already?


 

As far as a sort of generic recomendation based on guesses to the answers to these questions to get you started, you might look at:


 

Gesshin Ginga gyuto, $250

carbon, wa handle

http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/gesshin-ginga-240mm-white-2-wa-gyuto.html


 

stainless, Western handle

http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/gesshin-ginga-240mm-stainless-gyuto.html


 

Tanaka 150mm petty, $75 or so

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Japanese-petty-knife-Damascus-VG10-steel-150mm-SHIGEKI-TANAKA-knife-/251489973933

 

A set of three water stones, $150:

http://www.japaneseknifesharpeningstore.com/Dave-Martell-s-Core-Set-of-Sharpening-Stones-p/set1dmcore.htm


 

Michigan Maple block cutting board, $65

http://www.amazon.com/Michigan-Maple-Block-AGA02418-Cutting/dp/B0040EDQRG/


 

That puts you at $540. You could add a Victorinox paring knife for another $8, and some drywall screen to flatten the waterstones for $15 or so. And that probably leaves you room for a fresh new but-not-too expensive bread knife if you need one. But it sort of all depends on what you need and want.


 

Shun's aren't bad, they're just overpriced for what they are.

 

I appreciate the feedback.  I do rock chopping quite a bit and cross chopping.  I do not mind wiping it down and cleaning before I eat.  I have a nice cutting board and I feel like the western handles fit me better. 

post #4 of 6

Good info, thanks! I'm sure others will chime in with more detailed information and specific recommendations, but I'd just like to reiterate my excitement about the experience you have ahead for yourself for sharpening, whatever knife you get. Learning to put your own edge on is a great skill, and will serve you well going forward...

post #5 of 6

If you are interested in carbon, I would highly recommend the Misono Swedish Steel.  I have had the 240mm (about $170) over a year and a half (used professionally) and am very happy with it.  I let it develop a natural patina, which happens very quick for me.  I'll use a rust eraser every so often, usually every couple months when I thin it and take off half the patina anyway.  I'll use it for everything now, mostly veg tho (entremetier haha).  I use it on acidic fruits and onions all the time and don't have a problem.  I also have a habit of constantly rinsing and wiping my knife, even before using carbon.  It's just more sanitary.  There was only one time I had it rust.  I left it on a back prep table during service and when I was looking for it at the end of the night I had found someone first moved it then someone put a water bath on top of it.  It had spots of rust and pitting, but it still works just fine.  It holds a good edge, too.  A few months ago I lowered the angles on it and got it super sharp and still held its edge about as long.  I try to sharpen once a week up to 8k and use a polished steel the first couple days then switch to a messermeister ceramic.  The ceramic can keep it going up to two weeks when I get lazy haha, although I try not to do that.  It comes nicely sharpened ootb, but can be made sharper of course.  At least in my experience it is one of the lightest and thinest western handled 240mm gyutos I've held.  It also has a very nice flat profile.

 

The Masamoto HC is also very good, and supposed to be a little better providing you can sharpen it well enough.  It may be a bit thiner than the Misono, but about the same weight.  Really hard to notice a difference.

 

The Gesshins are all very nice, and may actually be my next knife haha.

 

Don't have many recommendations on stainless knives.  I have a 440 Misono petty and like it, but I think most of the stainless Misonos are overpriced for most knives.  The moly line petty may be worth a look tho.

 

I don't like Shun.  They are fine knives, but very expensive for what they are.  You can get equal or better for less.  Also, they have a much more rounded profile, which some like, but I don't.

 

For pairing knives and bread knives, cheaper is probably better.  I use forschner for both and they work just fine.  At least for a pro, pairing knives tend to go missing rather quickly so it's not worth spending much on them.

 

Whatever knives you choose leave room in the budget for stones.  Not much of an expert on types/brands here, but I'm sure someone else knows.  You can get a 1000/6000 stone for well under $100 and would be more than adequate.  A stone flattener is probably like $15-20.  A good steel is also important.  Anything grooved or diamond is bad and just files away the edge and making lots of coarse "teeth" and chips.  The best are either smooth/polished steels or ceramic and used properly, of course.

 

Good luck with your search, and once you get proficient at sharpening, any knife will work great.

post #6 of 6
A few remarks about the Misono Dragon. I love mine a lot and for home use it's a great knife. In a professional environment though, especially when dealing with poly boards, you will notice a rapid deterioration of its edge. So you will need subterfuges like microbevelling. For a much better edge retention look for the Hiromoto AS, and give it a rather conservative edge. The AS stays bitey whatever edge you put on it, is not as reactive once a patina installed -- which is about immediately -- and the stainless clad makes daily life much easier. F&F are not on par with the Misonos, but nothing you can't solve with a few grades of sandpaper. If you need a workhorse get the 270mm as long as it's available. Check JCK, japanesechefsknife.com
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