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Choosing between two knives

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hi!

Well, Im about to buy a new knife for myself, but I cant decide which one is better so can anyone help me?

 

Links:
 

http://www.knivesandtools.co.uk/en/pt/-eden-susumi-sg2-chef-s-knife-20-cm.htm

 

or

 

http://www.richmondcookshop.co.uk/product_info.php?products_id=2332

 

I really like the Eden knife more, but style isnt most important when buying knife, all does is texture and material.Really hoping to get some help!:)

post #2 of 13

Since both of the shops you are referencing are in the UK, I will presume that you are also in the UK and I will proceed accordingly.

 

First, just to let you know, I am not a fan of damascus.  The faces of the blade will soon be scratched up and then you will no longer have a knife which will be as "pretty" as when you first bought it.  Refinishing the face of the blade will be difficult, since the procedure involves re-etching the surface of the blade.  Bummer.

 

I'm also noticing that both knives are 20 centimeters, which for me is a tad short.  For a professional, a 240 mm or a 270 mm might work more efficiently, especially when you need to cut/chop more up.  Personally, I prefer the 240 mm, though I have on occasion used a 270 mm.

 

Both knives seem to me to be somewhat low in height if they are going to be used as a chef knife, even if they both have traditional Japanese style handles.  With either, you may find yourself rapping your knuckles on your cutting board.

 
Just on specs between those two knives, I am a bit more impressed by the Eden Knife, which uses an SG2 powdered steel core for the edge.  That's raised to a harder Rockwell Hardness level and in my book would make it significantly better than VG-10 used by the Shun.  However, I'm not too familiar with Eden Knives, but since they have purchased the knives from some Japanese source, I would probably give them the benefit of the doubt about overall quality.  Whether or not the SG2 would be prone to chipping, I don't know.  Too many variables in heat treatment and quality control are just not known.
 
With SG2 steel for the core, you definitely will need a Japanese whetstone set: 1K medium, 3K to 5K fine and 8K+ for polishing. However, whatever knife you end up with, DO NOT USE A EUROPEAN "SHARPENING STEEL" WITH THAT KNIFE.  BOTH "STEEL" AND KNIFE WILL VERY QUICKLY BE SIGNIFICANTLY DAMAGED!
 

Looking at the knivesandtools.co.uk site, I also note that the same knife is offered in a 230 mm length for 199 pounds.  That length may be more efficient for production chopping and slicing.

 

If you are willing to look at a monosteel western-handled knive, you might also want to look at the MAC "Mighty" Professional 240 mm, which is offered in the UK by Continental Chef Supplies, with the following web page for the MAC:  http://www.chefs.net/prodpage.asp?productid=161  The 270 mm MAC Pro is at the following web page:    http://www.chefs.net/prodpage.asp?productid=141

 

My reaction in comparing the MAC to the two knives you list is that the MAC is better than the Shun, but the MAC and the Eden Susumi would be completely different knives, for which a comparison would be interesting.

 

Hope that helps.

 

 

Galley Swiller

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thankyou very much for your answer.Well, I need a professional knife to work in restaurant.Anyways Im interested of oval handgrip which I have tested and its comfortable for me.I respect your suggestion about MAC knife, which seems very good to me, but Im a bit worried about handgrip.Can you suggest me any other knives what are good for cooks?Thanks

post #4 of 13

Mind you, my knowledge of what is available in the UK is limited.  I also have a vague awareness that the local authorities in the UK somewhat look upon long knives as potential "weapons", so I don't have all of the local nuances.

 

A bit more information about you would be useful.  

 

What knives are you currently using?  

 

Are you using a pinch grip?  

 

Relatively speaking, how big do you think your hands are?  

 

What types of foods are you expecting to prepare and cook?  

 

How good are your freehand sharpening skills with stones?

 

The answers to the above probably will give a better reply.

 

 

Galley Swiller

post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hmm...well I can order a knife everywhere if they can send it to europe.

 

What knives are you currently using?  At the moment Im using Sagaform EDGE brand knife.

 

Are you using a pinch grip?  No

 

Relatively speaking, how big do you think your hands are?  I have big hands.

 

What types of foods are you expecting to prepare and cook?  A La Carte

 

How good are your freehand sharpening skills with stones? None

 

The answers to the above probably will give a better reply.

post #6 of 13

Starting out with your current knives, I've done a quick look-up - and the Sagaform Edge knives definitely are not the height of Western Civilization in cutlery.  With 4116 steel and a hardness of 53 to 55 Rockwell C hardness, that's a description of mediocrity.  An 8 inch blade is also nothing to look to as a significant standard.   Virtually ANY of the knives discussed will be a big improvement.  For that matter, the 53 pound IKEA damascus Slitbar with a VG-10 core would also be an improvement, though it's nowhere as good as the aforementioned knives (just be sure it's the damascus Slitbar - there's another Slitbar Chef's Knife which is a lower grade).

 

Since you have larger hands, there should not be a problem with either a western handle or a Japanese handle (there was a significant discussion this month about someone who had small hands and major problems with the available knives).

 

Many of the cooks and chefs here use the pinch grip and believe it helps in the control of the knife.  It also makes it much less relevant as to whether you are using a western or Japanese handle.

 

By "a la carte", I am presuming you mean whatever a customer orders.  I will interpret that as general western-style cooking, including "meat and potatoes".

 

The one real change here is to strongly suggest you learn how to sharpen using water stones.  More than anything else, that will make a significant difference.  In fact, if I were looking at your budget and deciding between spending 200 pounds and getting one quality chef's knife, or paying 53 pounds plus VAT for the IKEA Slitbar, and spending the rest on good quality water stones (at least 20 cm long and 5 cm wide), I would do the latter.  All knives get progressively duller with use.  That's true of expensive and inexpensive knives alike.  Buying an expensive knife will sooner or later be just another disappointment if you can't keep it sharp.

 

With a VG-10 steel core knife, you will need to use a progression of 3 stones, 1K for restoration of an edge, 3K to 5K for reducing the bead and for edge polishing and final bead abrasion.

 

While it is from an American internet retailer, you might consider the following kit from Chef Knives To Go, which has the Beston 500, the Bester 1200 and the Suehiro Rika 5000 stones, along with a 20X loupe magnifier and a felt deburring stone, which is offered for $139.95 (about 86 pounds).   http://www.chefknivestogo.com/3pcstoneset.html  You will also need a stone flattener, to remove the inevitable dishing.  A good one is an inexpensive diamond plate, also available from CKTG for $29.95 (slightly over 18 pounds)  http://www.chefknivestogo.com/140grdistflp.html  Shipping and import duties will of course be extra.

 

You should also read the following post by Chad Ward  http://www.its.caltech.edu/~gbelford/KnifeMaintenance&Sharpening-Chad_Ward.html

 

It's a distillation of his 2006 book, An Edge In The Kitchen, which is worthwhile to read by itself, though the price information is hopelessly out of date.  I've generally recommended that American participants to this forum go to their local public library and read it there, or through an interlibrary loan program, but I don't know what the procedures are like in the UK.

 

You can also watch videos about sharpening.  Jon Broida of Japanese Knife Imports does excellent on-line videos and you can also watch Bob Kramer and Murray Carter.  CKTG also offers a number of informational videos on sharpening.

 

Hope that helps

 

 

Galley Swiller


Edited by Galley Swiller - 9/13/14 at 6:56pm
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks for answer,yes I will learn how to use waterstones.But if my max budget would be high up to 200 pounds and I buy stones separately, so which knife you do recommend?

post #8 of 13

Between the three knives discussed, I would be prone to recommend the MAC, if only because I use it and can compare it to the (theoretical) attributes of the other knives.

 

The Shun has a VG-10 core.  Even with (and with my prejudice against) Damascus, I would still pick a plain monosteel MAC Pro.  The other issue is Kai's heat treatment of Shun's VG-10 core blades.  There are just too many reports of chipping of the edge, more so than with such ordinary workhorse knives as the Tojiro DP, which also uses a VG-10 core (but with a 3-layer san-mai construction).  Pass on the Shun.  If you really want a VG-10 cutting edge, go for a Tojiro DP.

 

The Eden Susumi SG2 Damascus is a puzzle.  SG2 steel certainly has a sexy reputation, as a powdered steel.  However, it requires precise heat treatment, to avoid becoming so brittle as to become extremely chippy.  Hence, the problem of provenance.  Eden Knives is a proprietary brand name used by a European marketing firm.  The knives are imported from a Japanese source which is not identified.  There is little to no forum discussion of comparisons of Eden Susumi SG2 knives with other knives by experienced users.  SG2 steel also has an iffy reputation concerning sharpening, with a number of users saying that their SG2 knives are much harder to sharpen.

 

Another issue to me is the possible narrowness of the above 2 blades and problems with rapping your knuckles on the cutting board.  Of course, that might be me and my poor eyesight in squinting at the photos.  It might be that the photographers were trying to make the knives sexy by making them look narrow.  However, a knife I just bought (the MAC Superior Fillet knife) is a narrow blade and with it, I just barely have enough room to avoid slamming my fingers against the cutting board, when I use a pinch grip.

 

And yet another issue is that many Japanese knives simply do not come very sharp when shipped.  This is actually part of the Japanese Cutlery and Culinary culture.  In Japan, it is expected that the purchaser of a knife will want to sharpen the knife personally, so as to put the type of desired edge onto the blade.  Obviously, for experienced Japanese chefs, that's not a problem.  But for western chefs, who are not trained to the knife-sharpening skills of the Japanese cooks, it can be a problem.

 

In the case of the MAC "Mighty" Professional, it's also a case of "the Devil you know, against the Devil you don't know".  One highly knowledgeable former participant on this forum, "Boar de Laze" (aka "BDL") described the MAC Pro as one of the best stainless knives for an introduction to Japanese knives.  It's a relatively stiff blade (more akin to the feel of Western knives than other Japanese knives), a well-designed profile close to the classic Sabatier-style French blades, "good enough" sharp out of the box (though it could use some refinement sharpening) and with what is arguably one of the most comfortable handles available (MAC has spent a lot of time, energy and research money on getting a comfortable handle).

 

The MAC Pro is in fact good enough to be a benchmark against which other knives can be compared.  Which is why I brought the MAC into the discussion.  That does not mean that there aren't other really good knives available in your price range, including in the UK.

 

Hope that helps.

 

 

Galley Swiller

post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 

Well, I decided to buy MAC and try it out.Review is very good to that knife.Which one you suggest more?

 

This one?

http://www.chefs.net/prodpage.asp?productid=161

 

or

 

This one?

http://www.chefs.net/prodpage.asp?productid=141

post #10 of 13

Your choice should depend upon how comfortable you would feel with either of the two lengths and upon how much slicing/chopping/cutting you feel you are likely to be doing at a busy session.  

 

If you have never used a 10.75 inch (270 mm) blade, you may find it awkward at first, but you probably can grow into finding it useful.  That was the case for me, though I find that the 9.5 inch (240 mm) is the length I personally prefer.

 

A longer blade, during very busy sessions, will simply give you the ability to slice/cut/chop more food in less time.

 

Your call.

 

 

Galley Swiller

post #11 of 13

Boy Macs in the US are considerably less expensive than the site you point to, as a final point perhaps there might be better deals you can find in the UK.

 

 

Rick

post #12 of 13

MAC International apparently restricts international retail sales.  MAC KNIFE USA and the various US retailers (such as Chef Knives To Go, or any other US retailers of MAC Knives) that are served by MAC KNIFE USA cannot sell to any retail customer in Britain.

 

Since the OP referred to UK websites in his first post, I had to make the assumption that he was in Britain, and thus (as far as MAC knives were concerned) would have to order from an authorized British MAC Knife Importer/Distributor/Retailer.  I noted the issue of where the OP might be (in Britain) in my first post and have not to this point been told otherwise.

 

 

Galley Swiller

post #13 of 13

Yeah did a search and the site you pointed out apparently has the best deals for UK.

 

 

Rick

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