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Knife Virgin needs help

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hello all I'm a home cook looking to take my cooking to the next level. Cooking has been a hobby of mine for years but recently i have wanted to learn proper techniques and cooking practices. I have been reading a lot about this and one thing has become abundantly clear to me, which is that i need a new knife. i have been using my mom's 7" santoku from henkles which is horribly dull probably has never been sharpened.


since i am ready to step into the world of knives i'd like some help in choosing my first knife. from what i have read i definitely want a japanese knife. i was looking at shun and instantly fell in love with their limited edition chef knife that won best knife at the blade show, BUT that is mostly because i read shun knives are razor sharp and that knife is amazingly beautiful.


from what i read here shun is mostly a gateway knife to better japanese brands, and from BDL's posts i gather ikkanshi tadatsuna is the way to go.


i'd like to hear from you guys regarding the knife type, size, and brand i should get as i know not of the pros and cons, and i have mostly been looking at santoku and western chef knifves. any help is appreciated and my budget is $500 although i prefer to keep it at around $300.


again thanks guys

post #2 of 8
Things for you to consider:

1. Sharpen moms knife. Be a good son

2. Read the many posts that read just like yours. This is a weekly question and good answers are there for anodyne with a little incentive.

3. Opinions are like a- holes. Everyone has one and some stink.

4. Did you learn to drive a car using a Ferrari or a Ford?
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by BrianShaw View Post

Things for you to consider:

1. Sharpen moms knife. Be a good son

2. Read the many posts that read just like yours. This is a weekly question and good answers are there for anodyne with a little incentive.

3. Opinions are like a- holes. Everyone has one and some stink.

4. Did you learn to drive a car using a Ferrari or a Ford?

1. i am definitely going to when i buy a whetstone for the knife i am going to buy for myself (lol) BUT i still want a nice japanese blade

2. you are right and i don't know if you read my post fully but i have been scouring the forums, i guess you can call it my insecurity about my first buy that i need a more personal response sorry :/

3. i know this better then a lot of people i sift through the responses looking for the diamonds in the rough, BDL seems to bring insight into situations like this wish he was around, but i wish him the best of luck with his cookbook.

4. a pontiac technically but a lambo was the second car i drove lol (in a auction lot), you are 100% right that i shouldn't get one but i have been using dull blades for so long i want real quality in my hands and figured it would be nice to have a good knife that will last a long time (especially since it is a graduation present)

post #4 of 8
You should get a nice knife. There are many options. If you live in a major metropolitan area suggest you find a well-stocked knife or kitchen shop and put as many as you can in your hand before making final decision.

But don't wait to get mom's knife sharpened.
post #5 of 8

You would most likely seriously damage a Tadatsuna with your first use of it.  The knife is thin, especially at the edge, and the steel hard.  I'd hesitate to say it is the best, or even very close to it, but the price isn't bad at all.  What you can get for $1500 won't seem all that much better to you.

But like many good knives it's out of stock on this site at the moment.


Go ahead and have it or anything like it gifted to you, by all means.  But leave it in the nice little box it comes in and continue to use your mothers knife until you have become familiar with the considerations of using such a knife as a Tadastuna, including how to effectively sharpen it.


There are more sturdy knives that may be just as desirable to you, but even these I would leave in their little box for a while.  You don't want to be too cavalier with an easily damaged item that's around $300, or even $150.  especially one that can so easily give you a nasty cut.  You don't really have any experience at this time with sharp knives, of any kind.


You have to understand that it would not be a bright idea to sharpen a Tadatsuna on a Chef's Choice electric, much less a carbide pull-through.  So as was suggested start by getting a stone, viewing some video tutorials, and getting your mother's knife sharp.  You'll likely get yourself into enough trouble just starting there.





Edited by Rick Alan - 8/26/15 at 6:45pm
post #6 of 8
I have the 240 Tadatsuna white 2 and to be honest I'm not all that keen on it, and yes, I read BDLs review on it too.
It's nice and light and nimble, but I get a sense of fragility with it that I don't with my other knives.

Another option would be a Tanaka blue 2, I have one of these and prefer it to the Tadatsuna.
Metalmaster is where I got mine
A more recent option is
Although they are out of stock at the moment. The prices here are in aud which convert to USD quite well at the moment, in favour of the USD.

A knife I picked up recently is
And a damn fine knife it is too. I'm taking quite a liking to it.

I also have a 210 Takamura Hana R2, this is the best cutting knife of those listed here. If they made a 240 version I'd buy it in a heartbeat, I prefer 240-260 myself.

These are just some options from the very limited selection that I've used, and they all have their differences.
There are very, very many that I have yet to try, and as stated above, everyone has an opinion, unfortunately everyone has their own preferences.

If you get a chance to handle some different knives, then all the better, but you never really know until you're using them day in day out in the kitchen.

And as stated by everyone above, get confident and consistent with the sharpening stones first smile.gif

Happy shopping
post #7 of 8

@kevpenbanc, when you say you like the Takamura over the Tanaka as a cutter are you referring to the grind and such, or do you feel it takes a better edge also?





post #8 of 8
For me it definately takes a better edge, no question.
I don't know if the Takamura Hana is classed as a laser, but it certainly feels like it, or maybe (probably) it's the grind. It goes through food better than anything I have other than a 270 Tanaka R2 that I picked up recently.
The Tanaka R2 is also the only knife I have that can match the Takamura for sharpness. Maybe a freshly sharpened white 2 usaba I have is also comparable, but that R2 steel does seem to be impressive.
It really is disappointing that they don't go bigger than 210.
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