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Aussie trying to buy knives online

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I am shopping for a knife set/block and cannot find one that ticks all the boxes. I need suggestions on where to shop

Shops and online stores in Aus don't have the range of knives I'm looking for. International shops either don't export or shipping is expensive.

I want Damascus VG 10 core, stainless exterior, hammer finished Japanese style, western handle knives. (Like a shun premier)

I have looked everywhere online. Sights like;

JKC - the knives I'm interested in are out of stock and they won't garneree stocking in future.

Cutlery and more, good range and prices, but shipping cost are rediculous (AUD$500 for a block)

My price range is AUD$1500 shipping inc,(USD$1050)

Knives that need to be included are

210mm gyoku or chef knife
170mm santoku
210-240mm sujuhiri

Any help will be appreciated thank you

post #2 of 10

Most of what you listed is just cosmetic.    VG-10 core with stainless damascus cladding and some hammer marks is a red flag for a low quality knife in my book.  80% chance you are getting the same OEM knife a lot of people get. It will be fat and wedge in dense root vegetables, and be annoying to de-burr when sharpening. Many manufacturers slap handles on this same blade and rebrand it.  I know because I have one and I've sharpened others. Don't let marketing hype by Shun get you.  VG10 is not a super steel; in the Japanese knife world it is just an average stainless steel except in terms of sharpenability, I would rate it below average.  If you get past looks and want a work knife, pure cutting performance, and easy sharpening (as a chef why wouldn't you want these things), there are a lot better options.


Anyway some sites with free shipping worldwide (with some minimum $):  - this site is australian, free shipping on most knives - free worldwide shipping direct from japan - free worldwide shipping from denmark

post #3 of 10

I would add that a 210mm gyuto and 170mm santoku serve about the same purpose for me.  They are short knives, close in length and purpose.  It might be redundant to have both unless you're just wanting to try out different makers and knives.  For a main knife I would want at least 240mm,  probably 270mm, and for a small knife I'd get a 150mm petty. 


210/240 sujihiki is on the short side.  It would make sense to use as a line knife.  For a dedicated protein slicer,  I want something longer so I can get it all in one smooth cut.  270mm+  recommended.


This is all my opinion based on how I work.  If you are operating in a cramped kitchen, then shorter knives make sense.

post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
The size of the knives is just what I use, I'm small and don't have the greatest control of large knives, I haven't used them often but it just feels better with small. Slicer 240 I think is my size, but if you suggest bigger I can try out larger ones.

And this purchase really is more of a because I want them to look pretty compared to a functional knife. I am phasing out of commercial cooking and more into smaller catering and just wanted a pretty knife set to retire cooking on.

But thank you for the sites with cheap shipping. I appreciate
post #5 of 10

I don't work the same way on the same products, so you would know best what knives you need.    The good news is that shorter knives will cost less

post #6 of 10

Hi skchef,

Apart from Knives and Stones (whom I have ordered from a lot, and highly recommend), there are 2 other retailers which I know of that are Australian and which have the quality of knife which you would interested in.


Chef's Armoury have quite a good range and if you live in Melb or Syd have actual bricks and mortar stores where you can check out the stuff first (radical, I know.. !).


Japanese Chefs Knives Australia is an online store with some good knives, but the founder of the site passed away about a year ago but his wife is carrying on in a diminished capacity and does the fulfillment of the orders.


I'm not sure how committed you are to having a full 'set'/block so each knife looks like the other - that would limit your options. I think that you will find most people on this forum prefer to pick up knives one by one as they go along, and end up with a wide variety. That's certainly the way that I have gone about it, and in terms of homogeneity my collection would be a complete dog's breakfast. That said, you get to experience varieties of steels, makers, configurations of blades etc... which is far, far more important / interesting to me.


The other benefit of buying one knife at a time is not being committed to your initial perceptions of a knife you'd like, because that could change over time. Years ago when I started my knife habit I thought a 210 was perfect for me. More recently I have been grabbing 270 length gyutos because I find I fly through cutting with these now (and I am, like you, not exactly a large person). So following up MiilionsKnives advice, if you got a 210 gyuto or experimented with a 240 one, you might find that a 270 suji woudl actually be a thought later on.


There are also some Canadian online knife vendors I could recommend, but shipping is a killer - but at least the $CAD has taken the same bath the $AUD has undergone so the exchange rate doesn't suck as much as the #AUD-$USD does at the moment.


Good luck,



post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thank you very much fir your detailed answer. It was very helpful.

Did you have a name of the Canadian retailer?

And I have swayed back to JCK, I just will have to wait for the knives to become available.

And yes the AUD being on a down swing does hurt the bank. I wish I made this purchase in 09.
post #8 of 10
Knifewear is a Canadian retailer that stocks a lot of cool stuff
Let JCK recover from the holiday clean out smile.gif
post #9 of 10

As foody518 says, Knifewear have a very decent range, but I have not bought from there. The 2 I have actually bought from are;


1. Tosho Knife Arts

Nice people (? a couple) who held my hand when my order took longer than expected to arrive and I panicked. They have an eclectic range of knives with some interesting makers. My only 'criticism' is that their standard shipping is slow to reach Down Under - but that may well be my fault as I may have opted for cheaper shipping, not having read the 'terms and conditions'. I got a Konosuke KU gyuto from them, lovely knife, and the KU option is custom made for them, I believe.


2. Fine Japanese Kitchen Knives

They have a very nice range, from more affordable stuff to mid-range knives (if you could cal a $500 knife mid-range !). Shipping was fast - ? 1-2 weeks from memory - and I don't remember it being any more exorbitant than anything else I have ordered from that side of the world. I got my Shibata Kotetsu suji from them.


There are no doubt more that I do not know about, and hopefully our Canadian knife cousins will chip in here.


Talking about the $AUD, its a shame that a lot of the Japanese retailers charge in $USD. I don't know what the rationale behind this is (perhaps steel is charged in $USD ??) Fortunately my last purchases from Japan have been directly with knife makers (not many retail directly online, unfortunately, being one- or two-man shows, understandably).


Hope that helps !

post #10 of 10

You can get hammered damascus in Swedish stainless (high-wear 19C27), which is excellent steel, from makers Sakai Takayuky or Kanetsune.  But only in Wa handles.  I believe they are both well made and thin knives, like the Geshin Gonbei which is from JKI.





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