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Looking to buy a knife - $250 budget

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hey all,


I'm looking to buy a knife. Preferably a Chef's knife. I'd like one that I don't need to sharpen very often. I really like the hammered look and right now, I'm looking at Shun's Premier Chef's knife.


I think they have them from 7" and up to 10". 


What do you think of the Shun Premier series? would you suggest a different one? And what size would you suggest?

post #2 of 12
What will it replace, what will it be used for and how do you maintain your knives so far?
post #3 of 12

Other than the knife itself, you can extend time between sharpening with

-good technique

-proper storage

-quality end grain cutting board

-touch ups, honing, stropping etc.

post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 

This will be my first real knife.

post #5 of 12

Are you going to be sending these back to Shun for the "free" sharpening.  If so then you can likely find a local service that will do a better job, and also do some needed thinning, and make up the difference in postage.


You will still need something for touch up, a Shun steel, or any conventional ribbed steel, will just ruin your edge, so you will need something running anywhere from stopping on cardboard/newspaper to an Idahone.


Of course Shun is not the only knife to consider, recent posts are full of options and their particular idiosyncrasies.




post #6 of 12
As long as the OP does not offer any more information about the use he's going to make, just generalities. What one really needs are a chef's knife, a peeler, perhaps a petty, perhaps a slicer, perhaps a bread knife. A good board and two waterstones, grits JIS800-1200 and 3000-4000 A sharpening novice best starts with a carbon blade, or a stainless clad carbon core. For the chef's knife I would consider any middle of the road 240mm yo-gyuto. Look for Misono Swedish Carbon, Fujiwara FKH, Hiromoto AS, Masahiro Virgin Carbon, Kagayaki Aogami#2. Consider buying from a retailer who offers initial stone sharpening.
post #7 of 12

For the past 2 years an 8 inch Shun Premier has been my "go to" chef knife.  Light, sharp, good looking, and very effective when used correctly.  At home that is, for me, the most comfortable length but every once in a while I wish it were 10 inches.  For size ask yourself two questions:  What am I comfortable wielding, and how big (or small) is my cutting board.  Those questions will help you decide whether 8 or 10 inch is best answer.  7 inch chef knife is little more than a novelty item.  Keeping one sharp with a ceramic hone is easy and effective.  Sending back to Shun (or any other outside sharpening service) means you'll need a backup knife of some sort.  I sent mine to Perfect Sharpening (Sacramento, CA) when I dropped it and bent the tip.  They were the authorized sharpening place during that period when Kershaw/Shun stopped free sharpening, I believe.  They did a wonderful repair and sharpening, but the shipping was waaay more than expected.  Shipping isn't as inexpensive as it once was!

post #8 of 12
Keeping sharp with a ceramic hone? With soft carbons perhaps, with hard stainless I've seen a lot of wire edges being generated.
post #9 of 12

What can I say?  It keeps my knives blazingly sharp, which allows me to cut all the veg, proteins, and herbs I need to cook with.  It allows allows me to cut my fingers too... which doesn't happen often but when it does I often see the blood long before I feel the pain of the laceration.  :lol:

post #10 of 12

AEB-L stainless isn't a bad steel to start with, plenty of good options here too.  The OP in another post bought this one which I think is particularly good for a newbie because it has a very slight curve to the flat spot, a little easier to sharpen while still having a somewhat functionally flat profile. Sharp looking knife, middle of the road price, good geometry.




post #11 of 12

Ginsanko is another alternative to AEB-L - I love Tanaka's blue steel damascus gyutos, but this one in Ginsan looks like an excellent knife from an excellent maker.


post #12 of 12

I have that same G3 knife in 210 mm. Man, i do regret not buying the 240 mm!

Fine blade, easy to sharpen, a special white-silver color.

Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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