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Looking for a good "first" knife. - Page 2

post #31 of 74

Correction: Yoshihiro is just a brand made by a variety of craftsmen.  Jon says that Gesshin Uraku is ordered through and made directly by the craftsmen.  Yoshihiro is not involved at all.

post #32 of 74
My "first" chef's knife was a 7" MAC knife. Eleven years and many makes and styles of knives later, the MAC is still my go-to knife (I also have a 5" version). Don't remember what I paid for it though.
post #33 of 74
Thread Starter 
Ok, so I got together with some friends to check out the recommended knives, and then some, and one of them explains a bit more about the Japanese metals and what they mean by yellow #3, white #1, etc... I just wanted a second opinion since I'm close to choosing a new knife. Is it really as straightforward as saying:

- White #1 (most carbon, usually considered the best white steel, most expensive white steel, sharpens extremely well, most brittle of the whites)
- White #2 (a bit less carbon than white #1, still sharpens well, still a good steel)
- White #3 (a bit less carbon than white #2, still pretty decent, resists chipping best among whites)

- Blue super steel (high carbon, high wear resistance and great edge retention in exchange for being more brittle, harder to sharpen than white steels and won't take as keen an edge)
- Blue #1
- Blue #2 (least corrosion resistance, least edge retention, easiest to sharpen of the blue steels, greatest toughness of the blues)

This is pretty much how my friend explained it to me earlier. Not that I'm doubting my friend but I'm certain it isn't as straightforward as he makes it out to be. I'm no expert on metals and knife making, I barely even know my way around it, but I'm fairly sure some of the details above may or may not be correct depending on how the metal was treated during the actual making of the knife, or even how the knife is treated by the owner in terms of usage, maintenance, sharpening, etc...

So I just wanted a second opinion so I can clear this up before making my final decision. Thanks again in advance for all your help guys (and girls)
post #34 of 74

I don't know about the corrosion bit, but yeh, I'd say that sums it up pretty well.


I've been fascinated for quite a while with the CPM super alloys but I got to say though that I wonder if the ideal setup at this time might be a White steel #1 knife accompanied by a strop loaded with 0.5-1 micron diamond for touchup.




post #35 of 74
Thread Starter 
I see. So in a kitchen where I'll be spending hours and hours cutting fruits, vegetables, and meats, which would you guys say is better? White's sharp, keen edge and ease of sharpening to contrast it's relatively short lived edge, or blue's edge retention despite being relatively harder to sharpen and not having a keen an edge as the white?

I probably already know the answer but I just wanna hear other opinions to see if it matches up and all that.
post #36 of 74
For a double bevel, it doesn't matter as much to me as on a yanagiba. Other than tomato skin, nothing you're cutting with it requires crazy sharpness. Geometry and thinness will be the difference in performance you're looking for.

As far as carbon steels, I like V2 a lot. Sharpens easy like white but less reactive and better edge holding.
post #37 of 74
Thread Starter 
By geometry do you mean the angle of the edge?
post #38 of 74

In terms of perceived sharpness [and food stiction also] the cross section profile is what to look at, the section of the blade seen perpendicular to the face if you cut the blade up in sections from edge to spine.


The edge profile shows what is actually contacting the board, also in consideration of what/how much is contacting as you raise and lower the blade as it remains in contact with the board.


Geometry includes both these considerations.




post #39 of 74
Yeah more than the edge. You, the end user, can sharpen the edge at any angle you like easily. Im talking about the first 1cm or so above the edge. Is it flat? Convexed? Thin? Fat? The rest of the blade matters too, but that area behind the edge is real important, and takes more work to change.
post #40 of 74
Thread Starter 
So when they say to 'thin' the blade when i sharpen, does that mean i have to shave off some of the metal along the rest of the knife? Or is it just the area immediately behind the edge?

Also, what does it mean when they say 40/60 or 30/70 bevel?
post #41 of 74
When thinning as a part of a normal sharpening procedure I start at the lowest angle I can handle. With a well maintained blade that will remove some steel at perhaps 1mm behind the edge. With a thicker, neglected blade that might be much further.
The proportion 70/30 is an indication of how much the edge is off-centered, normally to the left, allowing both thinner slices and a better product release.
post #42 of 74
Thread Starter 
Oh wow. I learned more about knives these past few days than I thought it would when I first asked for advice. So how do you get the edge off center? Do I just shave off more metal on one side? And if I'm right handed, do I shave off more from the right side of the blade, the side away from my body, or the left, the side closer to me?
post #43 of 74
Originally Posted by LeiCiel View Post

Oh wow. I learned more about knives these past few days than I thought it would when I first asked for advice. So how do you get the edge off center? Do I just shave off more metal on one side? And if I'm right handed, do I shave off more from the right side of the blade, the side away from my body, or the left, the side closer to me?

As for asymmetry,  it seems that this is a rather confusing issue for many. Part of the confusion stems from the fact that many of the ways that we describe these asymmetries are gross oversimplifications. For example the ratios like 50/50 or 60/40 don't really describe anything of substance. Is it the ratio of the percentage of sharpening on each side?  Is it a ratio of the angles on each side?  In reality it's neither. No craftsman in Japan it's there and measures angles or ratios. What really matters is the way that the knife cuts. The asymmetry deals with two main issues-thinness behind the edge and steering. The more asymmetrical a knife is, assuming the angles are equal, the thinner the knife is behind the edge. However, the more asymmetrical the knife is, the more likely it is to steer.   It's also important to keep in mind that the angles are not always equal. When figuring out asymmetry for any given knife,  the first thing that you want to do is cut with the knife. When you cut with a knife, you want to assess whether it is steering to the right or to the left, and how easily it moves through the food. If you notice that your knife is steering to one direction or the other, you want to create more surface area on the side that it is steering towards, so that the knife cuts straight. This can be done by adjusting the angle (either more or less acute) and/or adjusting the amount of time spent sharpening on each side. If you notice that the knife is wedging in food as it goes through, this may mean that you need to sharpen at a more acute angle, or that you need to thin behind the edge. Some of this can also be dealt with through adjusting asymmetry, as  previously mentioned. Does that make sense?

post #44 of 74
Duh ... never mind. My post is a perfect example of the idea that you should read the original post before commenting.

It would be nice if we could delete own posts.


"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.


"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

post #45 of 74
Thread Starter 
That makes a lot of sense, thanks for clearing that up for me.
post #46 of 74

I picked up one of those Hiromoto knives and it was very sharp out of the box.  I'm new to this so just ordered a combo 400/1200 stone (got a #5000 for fathers day).  I've been really pleased with the knife and have been chopping stuff for a week. :bounce:

post #47 of 74
Which Hiromoto did you got?
post #48 of 74

From the other thread, the AUS-10 currently up on JCK

post #49 of 74

As Million said Hiromoto AUS-10 Stainless Steel Gyuto 240mm.  It was $110 with $7 shipping.  I got two and sent one to my daughter in PA for her birthday. 

post #50 of 74
I've used the Aus-10 a few hours on crappy poly boards. It holds its edge like an excellent AEB-L. In fact, comparable to a Haburn AEB-L 62.5Rc I've used recently under the same circumstances.
post #51 of 74

This is great news Ben as I've nothing to compare it to besides my Shun santoku and that old Henkels set which I have to steel constantly.  I've been cutting mostly veggies with mine, had a blast with a tomato yesterday on my 1' butcher block board.  So fast and sharp I didn't even notice the tiny amount of skin I removed off a knuckle until I was done.:D  I'm now waiting on my 400/1200 stone but don't think I'll need to use that anytime soon.

post #52 of 74
The Hiromoto Aus-10 doesn't come with a workable edge. The edge is far too thin and won't hold. The end user is expected to put his own edge on it. The factory edge is made to make that home sharpening very fast, as it is sharpened on both sides at some 6 degree. Any edge you put yourself on it will be some kind of microbevel. I would suggest an edge of some 10 degree on the right bevel, and 15 on the left, convex the right side by removing the -- very small shoulder -- and see how that works for you.
As for stones, you will need a finer stone for stropping, deburring and maintenance, think 3-5k or so.
post #53 of 74

Thanks Benuser, I didn't realize the edge won't hold.  I just ordered the 400/1200 and have a #5000.  This is what Koki said:



Your Hiromoto Gyuto has Double bevel edge 60/40 to 70/30.


For sharpening face side of blade edge (right side of blade edge), we recommend the sharpening angle approximate 10 to 12’.

For sharpening opposite side blade edge (Left sider of blade edge), we recommend the sharpening angle approximate 15’.

If total sharpening strokes are considered as 100%, you sharpen face side of blade edge more for 70%, you sharpen opposite side of blade edge for 30%.

So perhaps he's already set the edge for me properly?  In any case, I've got the stones coming but will practice on some of my older knives first.

post #54 of 74

I don't think he sharpens at all past what mr nagao at hiromoto did already.  The reason is if he sharpens, then he might scratch and customers will complain.  Not worth it.  It's just general advice.

post #55 of 74
You should ask Mr Koki Iwahara whether it has been sharpened or not. Perhaps mine was meant for the Japanese market where it is common to let the end-customer sharpen the blade, or the reseller to do it for him.
Or you may see at which angle the edge bites into leather or cardboard. If it is at the same angle on both sides it hasn't been sharpened and you got the same factory edge I did, which is not meant for actual use -- and isn't too well deburred, by the way.
post #56 of 74
MillionsKnives is perfectly right. Stone sharpening is only when ordered so and may cause some scratches. A so sharpened knife can't be returned.
Edited by Benuser - 6/23/15 at 1:09pm
post #57 of 74

All makes sense guys, thanks for the additional info.  All I know is the thing is damn sharp and cuts great.  My eyes aren't what they used to be so without a magnifying glass, I'm not going to be able to tell anything about the edges.  As soon as my new stone gets here I'll get to work.  Now I just have to get a visual on what's 12 degrees vs 15.  I've read through a bunch of threads (don't believe in wasting time asking the a questions that's already been answered 100) and think I have a few clues.  I'll probably just cut some wood to use as a visual guide for the angles.  Now I just have to figure out how to avoid splashing water all over the place.

post #58 of 74

Benuser, what's the purpose of sharpening with asymmetric angles instead of asymmetric percentage at the same angle? Does it conform more to the Hiromoto's factory edge?

post #59 of 74
When Hiromoto delivers an end user edge, it's asymmetric. Expect 10 degree right side, 15 left. Very common with asymmetric blades. The reason is you want to balance friction. The edge is off-centered to the left, the left bevel is very small, so will offer less friction than the large right bevel.
That will cause left-side steering, your knife will turn clock-wise. Simply because the right bevel will cause more friction than the -- smaller-- left one.
To compensate you may: thin behind the edge on the right side; make the left bevel straight and keep a bit of a shoulder; have the angle much greater at the left side. Probably you will need all of these together.
Look for steering. It's quite individual, when you're used to Japanese knives you will probably compensate by holding slightly turned clockwise, increasing the left-side friction.
Edited by Benuser - 6/23/15 at 4:33pm
post #60 of 74

Hey Benuser, can I send you my knife to sharpen?  It sounds so complicated.

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