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First Chef Knife - Left Handed

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hi all, 

So recently I had the opportunity to try a friend's Shun knife (I think it was Premier?) and it was amazing how well it cut. I've been using cheap knives my entire life and sawed my way through onions, and tomatoes while crushing them with the dull edge of my knife that was losing its rivets on the handle - without thinking about how a good knife makes everything so much easier. Naturally, I wanted to move to something a bit better and was lucky to find this forum. 

 

As you may have noticed I am left handed, but I presume I have been using "right handed knives" my entire life, as I haven't ever used a left-handed knife I was wondering if this is a critical factor when selecting a new knife for myself. My budget is set to $50-80 but I can be convinced to spend up to ~$100ish if it is truly worth the investment (I don't think I'll be buying a new knife after this one). Some of the knives that I've been looking at include: 

 

Tojiro DP Gyuto 210mm 

Shun Sora Chef's 8" knife

Victorinox Fibrox 8" - I heard this knife is the budget go-to but I'm not really a fan of the design to be honest (I'm a sucker for design, it's probably not a good thing haha...)

Fujiwara FKM No. 9W Gyuto 210mm 

Ikea Slitbar 8" 

Mac HB-85 Chef Series Chef Knife 

Richmond Artifex 210mm Gyuto

 

Most of my cooking environment involves relatively common household food tasks, it's just that I do a lot of it and would like something that wouldn't make something like finely dicing onions such as struggle - also I live in Toronto, Canada if that eliminates any potential options. 

Any guidance on whether these knives are suitable for the left-handed home chef and which one of them are worth looking into would be mucho appreciated! 

 

Cheers!

post #2 of 4

Most blades will suite a lefty, even if it is asymmetrically biased to a righty, single-bevels the exception of course.

 

Of your picks the Tojiro and FKM are the goto's here for entry level Japanese knives.  I didn't know MAC offered anything in that price range so the HB-85 looks very interesting, though I know nothing about it.

 

Just up from there are the Geshin stainless and Geshin Gonbei (you can bet on a very decent grind, overall quality and FF),  Misono ux10, Goko makes some decent stuff; Carbonext is very good semi-stainless, but the FF and grind are not so good as others;  the leftover aus-10 series from Hiromoto appear to be a decent snatch also, they can be had from japanesechefsknife.com for $7 shipping.

 

I'd steer clear of the Artifex, terribly thick grind and there have been a lot of quality control issues with the US made part of the Richmond line.

 

It's also a crapshoot with the slitbar.  A number of us also have concerns about the Soro considering its brazed construction and Shun's rep for thick grinds and poor QC, the Tojiro is a much better VG-10 option here.

 

 

Rick


Edited by Rick Alan - 5/15/15 at 2:21pm
post #3 of 4
A kitchen knife usually has both sides ground slightly differently. A strictly symmetric blade would wedge terribly. The most common solution is having one side a bit more convex, the other side a bit flatter. With Japanese double-bevelled blades this is more pronounced than with European knives, but these still have some more convexity on the right face, which allows better food release when used by right-handed.
With European blades the edge is strictly in the middle, with Japanese knives it is more or less off-centered. This allows both easier cutting and better food release, but again, only for the right-handed.
You may recenter an edge, but you still have the flat side where food should not stick.
Some Japanese makers produce blades with an inversed geometry: left side convexed, right side flat, edge off-centered to the right.
This is by far the best solution, especially with a chef's knife.
You may get them by special order with some makers. Masahiro has them standard in their Virgin Carbon series.
The reason most retailers don't mention this possibility is due to the premium the makers will charge for.
post #4 of 4
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