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buying a knife need some suggestions

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

I'm buying my first decent knife and wanted some comments and suggestions. I'm a home cook, I hardly ever cut through bone, shellfish etc. Mostly chopping and dicing vegetables.

 

I'm getting a Wusthof Classic 8-Inch Cook's Knife from Amazon and im up in the air between the Tojiro DP Gyutou - 8.2" (21cm)   Vs  Misono ux10 gyutou 8.2"  (very large price difference)

 

What im concerned about is keeping them sharp. I know nothing about sharping knives. I'm assuming the type of metal determines how its sharpened.  Can anyone point me to a good sharpening stone. I know I need two grits

 

is something like this a waste of money? http://amzn.com/B003TWNZ08 

 

Would this be better? http://amzn.com/B001DT1X9O 

post #2 of 14

I flagged your post for an admin to move it to the knife forum.  More people will comment there.

 

Is a pull through sharpener a waste of money? Yes.  It's okay for junk steel knives which take more effort to sharpen than they are worth.  Don't use it on anything nice.  That's not sharpening, that's ripping chunks of metal out with a rough stone.  A few uses of that pull through and you have a nice fat knife that wedges in foods.  Well... a wusthof is already a fat wedge monster..

 

King stones are okay, they just dish on the fast side and they are small, 2x7" instead of 3x8" usually found on more expensive stones.  Sharpening a wusthof on it will take you roughly FOREVER.  I can tell you that from personal experience. 

post #3 of 14
I have the tojiro DP and I love it.

I just have some cheap stones I picked up at a supply store. No idea the make Even one you get at a hardware store can put an edge back and keep it sharp. A steel or ceramic honing rod will help also.
post #4 of 14

One thing I learned is, never buy a really good knife till you learn how to sharpen it correctly.  

post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by MillionsKnives View Post
 

Is a pull through sharpener a waste of money? Yes.  It's okay for junk steel knives which take more effort to sharpen than they are worth.  Don't use it on anything nice.  

I am by no means an expert, but I own a small pull through sharpener. This one in fact. 

 

When you get lazy and you don't want to spend 45 minutes treating your blade, the pull through can be helpful. It touches up the blade, and then I go to it on a stone. The angle seems to be right, and it saves a bit of time. I don't use it habitually though. Once in a blue moon if the blade is dinged up.

 

I wouldn't feel bad about using a drag through once and a while for a wustof or heckles or any other commercially available blades. Some of the more eclectic ones would be better sharpened with a stone, but anybody with that kind of knife (should) already know how to use stones. 

 

Asking someone who is a novice to learn to use a stone(s) can be a daunting task. 

post #6 of 14

Keeping the angle right when using stones isn't easy. You need muscle memory and good and consistent technique to keep the angle right and consistent from side to side and honing to honing. This is why they make holders for chisels and kitchen knives to aid in achieving the precise angle. I've even seen professionals use a stone as well as a sharpening steel incorrectly. Japanese knives, as the experts here will tell you, have different angles than a western chef's knife. 

 

Anybody can hone a knife, but doing it correctly is difficult and requires practice and focus. A knife can be sharp, but have the angles totally wrong, and will need shaping/honing more often while ruining the longevity of good knife. 

post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 

Well, I can just accept that I'll never be able to properly sharpen a good knife without practice. And i'm assuming most cheap knives wouldn't be good candidates to practice on ...

 

What is the suggestion here, don't buy a good knife because I cant sharpen it properly? Or buy a good knife and try to learn? Or buy a good knife and pay every month or so to have it professionally sharpened by someone else?

post #8 of 14

Well not all pull-thru's are complete crap.  The Mino Sharp 3 can be had for about $40 on ebay or amazon, it uses a set of 3 ceramic wheels and will give a decent (though not acceptable to many of us) 15deg/side edge.  I have no idea how long they hold up but I can't imagine a home cook getting less than a year out of one.  Hand sharpening is much better, and your Tojiro/Misono/decent Japanese knife really deserve better.

 

But I don't think I'd try sharpening a full bolster edge-fatty-pig like a wusty classic with the MS, you'd likely wear it out just getting your first decent edge on that knife.  If you ask me, better not having that knife at all.  Wusty Pro and Victorinox/Forschener  are a couple that will make fine beaters to go along with your Tojiro or Misono, etc.  I know for certain that the Vic has a decently thin edge, and many NSF knives do also.

 

 

Rick


Edited by Rick Alan - 4/18/15 at 11:37am
post #9 of 14

How often you cook, what you cook, and how you treat your knives (glass cutting boards anyone?) will have a direct impact on how often you need to sharpen your blade. It also depends if you use different blades for different tasks. You'll need a chef's knife or similar, paring knife, and maybe a heavy cleaver if you do bones and meat. A lot. I know others that use the cleaver like the chinese do. For everything.

 

You might get away with sharpening your knife once a week, month, or six. YMMV. I know many people who are good enough to use stones but take their knives to be professionally dressed once a year. One reason for this is because like me, many people have more than one knife, and the thought of spending an afternoon on all of them just doesn't sound like fun. 

 

Here is a selection of stones : http://www.jbprince.com/cutlery/stones-and-steels-stones.asp?viewall=1

 

Sharpening steel will also help in keeping your edge, and I suggest you buy one of those as well. It basically reshapes the blade after use (or before, if you will) and keeps it straight. Learn how to use it because you can easily mess up a nice edge. Just remember that you don't use it like the actor that plays a butcher on TV. 

 

I'll also suggest spending some time looking at previous threads. There is an industrial sized kitchen full of experts here at chef talk. There are many threads on this and related subjects with information that will boggle your mind. 

 

Have fun!!!

post #10 of 14

I'd definitely go with the "cheap knife and learn how to sharpen it first" route. I own more than 60 knives myself, the majority of them of the rougher workhorse variety (Wüsthof Classic and below, down to $3 Walmart knives) and even affordable knives can take a decent edge and teach you about sharpening. Invest in a decent set of stones (1x400, 1x1000, 1x3000 grit) and look up youtube videos about sharpening (from korin or japanesknifeimports).

 

As for knives, the Wüsthof SIlverpoint series and the IKEA Slitbar series are quite nice for what they cost. I have never had a Dexter Russel but they seem quite decent too.

 

if you need more info you migt want to read a bit in www.kitchenknifeforums.com .

post #11 of 14

Additional thought - handle shape. You can get the best steel, but if your handle sucks, it will be no fun to use. I strongly prefer rounded handles on the bigger knives, but that is a matter of what works best for you.

post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Hyneman View Post
 

The upper end chefs I know have a whole collection of knives and carry them in some kind of roll-up or suitcase.  Of course the restaurant provides knives, but they treat them as back-ups.  I don't think they are doing that as a fashion statement nor status symbol.   I think knives matter, (and thus bobtheman was correct to inquire.)

I have a knife roll myself. Not a pro, but whenever I go cooking at some friend's place (or at my parents'), I bring my own knives. Can't stand to murder food with the crap blades people usually have.

post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeneMachine View Post
 

Additional thought - handle shape. You can get the best steel, but if your handle sucks, it will be no fun to use. I strongly prefer rounded handles on the bigger knives, but that is a matter of what works best for you.

I received a pair of matching knives as a gift from someone that doesn't really know about kitchen knives. Apparently it came from a place that makes hunting knives, etc. The blade looks like I should use it to field dress a deer. Its a well made knife, but I had to file down the butt right at the handle because I was cutting my fingers while gripping it. Great point, the handle needs to be to your liking. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeneMachine View Post
 

I have a knife roll myself. Not a pro, but whenever I go cooking at some friend's place (or at my parents'), I bring my own knives. Can't stand to murder food with the crap blades people usually have.

Great idea, but I have to fly to see my mother. I'm thinking of leaving good knives in a locked box. 

post #14 of 14

But for the home chef priorities are not always with the handle, as with myself.  I am very adaptable to handle shape and size, particularly as I am not doing several hour-long prep sessions as a rule.  I'm more turned on about alloy and HT, along with edge profiles, along the length and cross-section as well.  I'm looking for a good flat spot toward the back end, a point that drops below the handle and thinness at the edge and tip.  Very much not your typical German of today.

 

 

Rick

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