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Another " Which knife question"

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I am a home user who has a particular interest in knifes and loves to cook. I find a good knife makes cooking just that much more enjoyable.

 

About a year ago I purchased a 27cm MAC Pro as my first really good chefs knife.

I really do like this knife but to my surprise it probably doesn't hold an edge as long as I would like.I have a 1000, 3000, 6000, 8000 stone kit. Recently I decided to send it away for a professional sharpen. It came back razor sharp (could cut hairs off my arm with ease), and within 3 days use, its still very sharp, but not razor!!

I hone it before and after use on a MAC ceramic rod.

 

So I thought I might add a second knife to my collection ( I wanted to do this anyway regardless of the MACs edge retention)

 

Now its such a common question on this forum it almost seems stupid, but I am someone who likes to research and get a 'all encompassing' idea of whats out there.

 

Normally people give very specific advice based on specific requests. But I wanted to firstly ask: what are the top 10 or so Japanese knife brands ( i.e. fit and finish, edge retention, sharpenability)- overall winners ANY price range. I wanted to see whats at the very top (even if I cannot afford it).

 

Then a little mot more of a specific question. Ill probably grab another chefs knife/ deba knife as a second knife. Maybe a little shorter this time seeing I already have the 27cm MAC. Some brands I have come across I would love comments on:

 

1. Masamoto-- Seems to be an overall favourite on this forum, and often debated better than Masahiro in other threads.

2. Masahiro- 

3. Kikkuichi-- Don't know much about these? But they have a few strong endorsers?

4. Misono--One japanese knife review website reckons Misono is the overall best Japanese knife?

5. Miyabi

 

I do realise each company probably has winners and knifes that aren't so good, but as a rule- are any of these better overall quality, edge retention, sharpen ability?

 

At this stage I guess I am considering one of the top three. Id particularly love to know from that list ( and any other brand) which knifes are " a step above' the MAC PRO?

 

Finally, my MAC is a 50/50 15% (I think) bevel. What happens with sharpening a 70/30 bevel? 

 

Thanks for any input


Edited by hellofellow - 5/4/15 at 5:11pm
post #2 of 8

Those are all quality knives, but not in my top ten.  From what I know, those are all BRANDS, not makers.  They are made by a number of craftsmen to some specification.  One person makes the knife, one person makes, the handle, someone else sharpens etc.  This can be true even if it is a hand forged knife.

 

For not much more, I'm looking at knives where I know what master craftsman hand forged it.  It's mostly when you go to American makers and customs that you really have a big price jump.

 

About asymmetry, have a read here by Dave Martell:

 

http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php/5656-Asymmetry-%E2%80%93-The-REAL-DEAL

 

It's not just the edge bevel that's asymmetric.  The grind is either left or right handed.  Say for a right handed knife, the left side is flat and the right side is more convex for food release reasons.

post #3 of 8

They still have Hiromoto 270's in AUS-10 and Ginsan. http://japanesechefsknife.com/Hiromoto.html#HiromotoR  I believe both these have better edge retention than the knives you point out, especially the Ginsan which is about the same as Sandvicks most wear resistant stainless 19C27.

 

But really the steel of your Mac is not that far behind these 2, and probably also better edge retention than your list.  Better you keep it and use your fine stones for touchup instead of the rod.  Use stropping motions on the dry stone, or if your stones don't like that then use them as a splash'n go.  I keep crappy German stainless razor sharp for extended periods using an Arkansas translucent stone for touch up (edge-leading stokes with the arks), stropping with waterstones will accomplish the same.

 

Benuser, can you offer some fine points here?

 

 

Rick

post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks for this guys.

 

Ill have a look at the asymmetrical bevel thread now.

 

So far Hiromoto and Ginsan have been put out there as suggestions above the MAC.

 

What other brands or makers*/master craftsmen are there that are really "up there " in the knife world, and probably overall better quality than my list?

 

Thanks 

post #5 of 8
We expect far too much. The very pleasant sharp feeling of an edge coming from the stones won't last. And isn't needed for most kitchen work.
A few suggestions though.
Don't use the rod. It is an emergency tool. It helps to redress a failing edge but fatigues the steel a bit more. Better use a much finer medium as Cr2O3, leather, denim, cardboard or newspaper. It won't last either, but causes less damage.
Better have the failing steel abraded on your finest stone. If it doesn't work within a few strokes go to the first coarser one. Just a very light stroke along the edge as with deburring. I use dry stones for it.
Consider a single sided microbevel of some 30 degree. It will diminish the fresh from the stones feeling but last much longer.
Have the edge aggressively thinned. A thinner edge will require less force and last longer. Great in combination with a microbevel.
And, again: you're handling a kitchen knife, not a razor.
post #6 of 8

Benuser said it well about expecting too much.

 

If I can cut 0.5mm slices of celery and <1mm slices of onion that is all I require, and I can keep my go-to knife here sharp enough to do that for up to 3 months of daily use with just touchups, and this knife is nothing special.  As Benuser has recommended the knife is very thin at the edge, I start out at about 12deg/side and essentially microbevel with the touch-ups.

 

The Mac is a very solid mid-level gyuto.  But if you really just want a new gyuto:

 

Since we are now hearing FF issues with the remainng Hiromoto stock, I will no longer recommend them, just like I stopped recommending Richmond and some other knives sold by CKTG when hearing of quality issues with them.

 

The TKC is interesting as its semi-stainless will get sharper and get there easier than the MAC.

 

If you can tolerate a 240 since you already have a very decent 270, I am now a big fan of the Geshin Kagero.  The SRS-15 PM steel gets sharper than most any stainless, holds its edge significantly better, sharpens easy enough and is fairly tough for an RC 64 steel.  Very good grind, not much belly but profile not as flat as the MAC and many others, but something you could probably adjust to.  For a stainless, non-beater home kitchen knife, steel-wise it's hard to beat.

 

 

Rick

 

 

Rick

post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benuser View Post

We expect far too much. The very pleasant sharp feeling of an edge coming from the stones won't last. And isn't needed for most kitchen work.
A few suggestions though.
Don't use the rod. It is an emergency tool. It helps to redress a failing edge but fatigues the steel a bit more. Better use a much finer medium as Cr2O3, leather, denim, cardboard or newspaper. It won't last either, but causes less damage.
Better have the failing steel abraded on your finest stone. If it doesn't work within a few strokes go to the first coarser one. Just a very light stroke along the edge as with deburring. I use dry stones for it.
Consider a single sided microbevel of some 30 degree. It will diminish the fresh from the stones feeling but last much longer.
Have the edge aggressively thinned. A thinner edge will require less force and last longer. Great in combination with a microbevel.
And, again: you're handling a kitchen knife, not a razor.

Can't agree more with the conclusion!

 

I've recently stopped using ceramic rod for "everyday steeling" and using a smooth steel.  That seems to be a better solution for my (non-Japanese) carbon steel blades and my (sorry) Shun VG-10s.

post #8 of 8
I hit my desosser (yellow handle henckels int'l) and my fabrication slicer (TI sab) on the ceramic rod pretty often, but really only because those knives get banged up pretty bad by virtue of their application... And also because if I didn't I simply wouldn't use my Idahone at all... Tried it once on my MAC, wasn't for me. The edge really degraded. Tried my tojiro once before I knew better. TBH I'm pretty sure my tojiro abraded the hone more than vice versa.
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