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need help deciding whether i need a knife?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Hello all,

I am new here and i read a couple of threads about choosing a knife and realised that the basics come with 2 knives, a 8 - 10 " knife (chef knife) and a 4" knife. However, i am not sure if i would need to invest in these two knives or not. here is something about myself that could help you give me help smile.gif:

I LOVE food and more than all i love cooking and experimenting with flavors and food. I never take a recipe the way it is and love to put my touch on it [flavor wise] however, so far i have been using the crappiest type of knives the market has to offer the (10 for 5$) type. Most of my cooking is with lamb, beef, chicken and ofcourse veggies (onions, potatoes, tomatos, parsely, garlic and ginger, etc..). I want a knife able to cut slices from as thin as a philly cheese steak piece of meat is to anything large (chops, steak and such).

However, i dont have too many chances to cook as im only home thrice every 8 days and whenever im home i would like to make something even if its just salsa dip for nachos. What are your recommendations? do i need to get a chef's knife? im really motivated about taking cooking to the next level and i dont mind learning sharpening and honing at home. I read about several brands here and liked what i read about both MAC and Richmond knives (ill have to order both internationally since both are non existent in the market at the country i reside in)

Any Ideas? Thanks in advance smile.gif
post #2 of 28
Welcome aboard! A chef's knife is not what it says: it's just the knife that allows you to perform almost every cutting task. So, indeed, you need one. The best reasonably prized chef's knives come today from Japan and are called gyutos. A good size is necessary to perform well their different tasks. Get a 240mm which is more or less the standard.
The Richmonds are made for CKTG who charge a lot for overseas shipping. Their Artifex line is interesting for locals who want to get a cheap project knife they can work on. The MACs are only distributed locally and largely overpriced for a slightly outdated product.
Better have a look at japanesechefsknife.com
Serious guys who offer a worldwide flat shipping rate of $7.
I would suggest a mid-price stainless 240mm gyuto. Hiromoto G3 and Misono 440 come in mind.
post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benuser View Post

Welcome aboard! A chef's knife is not what it says: it's just the knife that allows you to perform almost every cutting task. So, indeed, you need one. The best reasonably prized chef's knives come today from Japan and are called gyutos. A good size is necessary to perform well their different tasks. Get a 240mm which is more or less the standard.

The Richmonds are made for CKTG who charge a lot for overseas shipping. Their Artifex line is interesting for locals who want to get a cheap project knife they can work on. The MACs are only distributed locally and largely overpriced for a slightly outdated product.

Better have a look at japanesechefsknife.com

Serious guys who offer a worldwide flat shipping rate of $7.

I would suggest a mid-price stainless 240mm gyuto. Hiromoto G3 and Misono 440 come in mind.

 



Ah thanks for the advice man biggrin.gif really appreciate it. Im looking at these two knives now and great that these do actually ship to my country. YAY ME. however the misano is 40 or 50 $ more expensive than the hiromoto, any idea why that is? and wouldnt a 210mm be enough? or since im buying i should go all the way for the 240mm?

what about the smaller knife ? what size is the most appropriate (used for cutting fruits and smaller veggies such as garlic)? thanks for your feedback biggrin.gif highly appreciated
post #4 of 28
If you're using it only at home, a 210 should do very well. Probably you will ever add an unexpensive 270mm slicer with that.
The Misono has both an excellent Fit&Finish and a price policy that leads to that gap. The Hiromoto's steel is a bit better, as is its edge out of the box.
post #5 of 28

If all you're doing is cutting fruits and smaller veggies; you might want to consider a Nakiri or Usuba. The Nakiri is like a gyuto with just the flat spot, and a blunted tip. The Usuba is more dominant hand dependent. Both will allow you more space on the cutting surface, but are not ideal for rock chopping.

post #6 of 28
An usuba is a highly specialized single bevel knife, certainly inappropriate for general tasks a nakiri may very well perform. Curiously, most people I know do have a nakiri besides their chef's knive, love it a lot ... and barely use it.
Edited by Benuser - 10/1/14 at 1:05am
post #7 of 28

Yeah, me too!  I have a nice little Tanaka nakiri in Blue #2 but I rarely take it out of the case.

"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
Reply
"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
Reply
post #8 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benuser View Post

An usuba is a highly specialized single bevel knife, certainly inappropriate for general tasks a nakiri may very well perform. Curiously, most people I know do have a nakiri besides their chef's knive, love it a lot ... and barely use it.

Would i find these from the same source you gave? the japanesechefsknife? cuz ive been searching and i cant find it :S. its called a parring knife right?

post #9 of 28

A chefs knife or gyuto should be your top priority before you look at specialized vegetable knives.  Usuba is used for specific japanese techniques and also is single bevel.  It's not a good place to start.

post #10 of 28
Thread Starter 

Oh i was thinking of getting both at the same time to decrease shipping costs [one shipment rather than many]... what about the honing/sharpening tool?

post #11 of 28
Has nothing to do with a paring knife. A paring knife is more or less a small petty, something like a peeler. A nakiri is a very common knife, has superficially the form of a light cleaver where is was derived from, has a double bevel. A usuba looks apparently about the same, is single-bevelled though, so it has a left concave face.
post #12 of 28
Nakiri is redundant so I don't have one. My gyuto handles those tasks. I'm not cutting paper thin daikon or anything so I dont have usuba.
post #13 of 28
About sharpening: get a medium and a fine stone. You may get a combo 1-4k with JCK.
post #14 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by MillionsKnives View Post

Nakiri is redundant so I don't have one. My gyuto handles those tasks. I'm not cutting paper thin daikon or anything so I dont have usuba.


It's like the hook at the end of a wa handle: some have a use for it and some don't (I wouldn't on a Nakiri but do on a gyuto). I ordered one after I was dicing 4 gallons of tomatoes a day, and the tip of the gyuto would spear and slice any tomatoes that were too close on the cutting board (the tip was getting in the way). The nakiri allows me to put more tomatoes on the board at a time and eliminate how often I have to gather more tomatoes. I know many here prefer Chinese cleavers for veg, and I failed to mention that.  

post #15 of 28

That's a very specific and compelling use case for getting a nakiri.  I have a lot of different knife styles and each one was purchased to fill a specific need.  OP should get the knives for their needs and preferences which are completely different than anybody else's.

post #16 of 28
Thread Starter 

Yea i decided to go for a gyuto now and as i progress if i ever find myself needing something else ill look into it more. Now im just trying to figure out 210mm vs 240mm and about the 60/40 vs 50/50.... i dont really understand the difference in the balance or what its consequence would be but just looking hard at it before paying the $$

post #17 of 28

1)  Length - This has nothing to do with your physical size (except the handle, maybe).  When I read that people need a 300mm because they are 7' tall, I just laugh.  You should choose a knife appropriate to your workspace size, elbow room, board size,  size of the items you cut.  Ex.  Cutting a head of cabbage or a big melon, you would want a longer knife.  A longer knife needs less 'pumping' of the handle.  If you're cutting the same item with two different length knives, the longer one needs to lift the heel up less.  Not everyone has space, skill, or need for it.  Also look for thickness and weight specs as you shop.  Longer knives that are thin and light are still manageable.  I would say 240mm is a normal size.  210 is on the short side for some tasks.

 

2)  Asymmetry -  All japanese knives are asymmetric to some extent.  You didn't say if you were left handed or not.  You'll notice in usage that it's designed to have food fall off one way or the other.  You'll also need to sharpen the sides at different angles on each side to maintain the factory bevel.  You can either learn to 'click' it on the stone to find the bevel or use a magic marker.

 

Not sure what you meant by balance.

post #18 of 28
Thread Starter 

Oh by balance i meant the asymmetry you spoke about eh (60/40) never knew that meant to which side the object will fall when cut. I am right handed so i wont need any special orders. and i plan on using the website given by benuser. 

 

The two knife im looking at now are the following:

 

 TJ-20G3

 Gyuto 240mm
(9.4 inch)

Cutting edge length: 240mm Total Length: 370mm  Blade Thickness: 2.4mm
Blade Width: 50mm
Handle Length:123mm
Total Weight: 218g

 the 210mm is sold out [these are Hiromoto Gingami No.3)

 

And this (these are Misono 440 series)

 

-Gyuto 210mm          Total Length:345mm   BladeThickness:2mm     Total Weight:163g 
(8.2 inch)  

 

-Gyuto 240mm          
(9.4 inch)  

 

 

the Misono 440 series has no specs but is about 40 $ more expensive than the hiromoto which makes it the more confusing for me lol.

post #19 of 28

Edge asymmetry is just one part of it.  What happens behind the edge is important too. Convexing, secondary bevel, and even the finish of the blade might have a part in whether food sticks or falls off.  In any case, neither of the ones you mentioned have a lot of asymmetry one way or the other.

post #20 of 28
Both are fairly asymmetric (70/30 or more). Reasonable angle values are 12 degree right, 16 or more left. Retailers often advertise moderate asymmetry values in order not to scare potential customers.
The Hiromoto comes with a 10/15 (R/L) mini-bevel. I prefer a slightly more obtuse one. The Misono comes with an overly convexed edge by buffering. It will take a bit of work -- and steel -- to put a straight edge on it.
post #21 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benuser View Post

Both are fairly asymmetric (70/30 or more). Reasonable angle values are 12 degree right, 16 or more left. Retailers often advertise moderate asymmetry values in order not to scare potential customers.
The Hiromoto comes with a 10/15 (R/L) mini-bevel. I prefer a slightly more obtuse one. The Misono comes with an overly convexed edge by buffering. It will take a bit of work -- and steel -- to put a straight edge on it.

 

Damn im back to square 0 !! LOL. Just to make sure im on the right track, the angles you mentioned are for sharpening purposes right? is there a different knife within the same price range that you would recommend? i find extremely inexperienced every time i read a reply :( but its great that im learning some stuff now

post #22 of 28

There's nothing wrong with asymmetry.  You should just be aware of it when sharpening.  Did you say where you were located?  Is JCK your only vendor option?

post #23 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MillionsKnives View Post
 

There's nothing wrong with asymmetry.  You should just be aware of it when sharpening.  Did you say where you were located?  Is JCK your only vendor option?

i live in the UAE , country where dubai is located if you dont know where that is [Middle east]. Im not sure of the vendors here but im sure that i never heard of the good brands and never seen a knife 150$+ in price here [yet].

post #24 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benuser View Post

Both are fairly asymmetric (70/30 or more). Reasonable angle values are 12 degree right, 16 or more left. Retailers often advertise moderate asymmetry values in order not to scare potential customers.
The Hiromoto comes with a 10/15 (R/L) mini-bevel. I prefer a slightly more obtuse one. The Misono comes with an overly convexed edge by buffering. It will take a bit of work -- and steel -- to put a straight edge on it.

Btw what about the "Hiromoto Tenmi-Jyuraku Aogami Super Series" ? the 210 or 240 mm but as a series is it better than the G3?

post #25 of 28
Hiromoto AS is a carbon steel knife with a stainless clad. Aogami Super is a remarkable carbon steel, and Hiromoto keeps it hardness reasonable, so it won't be too brittle. Carbon steel gets much sharper than stainless, sharpens much easier, but requires some discipline in use. Wipe off immediately after use, don't let it stay wet and dirty or it will dull and eventually rust. As only a small part of the carbon core is exposed, its maintenance is so much lighter than with a full carbon blade. The Hiromoto AS are amongst my own favourites.
post #26 of 28

The Hiromoto AS is great knife, but it is a smidgen thicker than I generally prefer.  That's what lead me to sell mine when I started to get into thinner knives like the Kononsukes.

"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
Reply
"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
Reply
post #27 of 28
Recent Hiromotos I've seen were ground much thinner than previous ones, and have now got thinned at the left side as well, with a much larger part of the core disclosed.
post #28 of 28
Hiro270.jpg

Left face of a 270mm after one day of use. Older batches had some 2-3mm free core, with recent ones it's three times larger.
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