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First Time Poster: Need recommendation for a chef/gyuto knife in the $200 range and santoku knife around $150...Thanks for your help!

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

Hey Folks - I am looking to get a chef/gyuto knife in the 210-240 mm size.  I want to spend around $150-200.


I am also looking to get a santoku knife in the 180 mm size.  I want to spend around $150.  As you can see, I'm willing to put a little more money in the chef/gyuto knife.


I'll probably need to get a decent sharpening system/stones.  I usually take mine to a knife sharpener that my restaurant tenant recommended.  I also use the worxs ken onion electric knife sharpener for my outdoor tools, camp/EDC/utility knives but I am real hesitant about using it to sharpen expensive kitchen knives that are supposed to be super razor sharp.


I currently use a set of Wusthof Classic 12 piece knife set but I want to build my own set with some knife individual pieces.  Ultimately, I would like to get about 5 altogether.  chef/gyuto large size, chef/gyuto medium size, santoku, utility knife in the 160 mm size and a cleaver or heavy chopper.


I'm just a home cook enthusiast but I like working with nice tools.  


Thanks for your input.

post #2 of 24

A few questions -


Why a large and medium gyuto and a santoku? Do you have clearly laid out different usages for all 3 knives?


What is your budget for stones?


You didn't really give any input for what you want in these knives, and that price range is pretty saturated with choices. Can you give some preferences or requirements besides price range?

post #3 of 24

Cant give a recommendation as I am in the same boat. The Mercer MX3 Series is striking out at me but I wish I had more details or reviews, oh and money :lol:.

post #4 of 24

I don't think kalk is asking for 3 knives, but having a largish santoku and a 210 gyuto is not the best idea, so make it a 240 gyuto and a 180 santoku if you want 2 knives, where than santoku would be your "very sharp" knife for fine/delicate slicing.


Along with those a nice 6" petty you can use for everything from boning chicken to slicing a lemon to slicing up small stuff, along with a cheap little parer you can leave on the counter handy for opening packaging, cutting the foil cap off wine bottles, sectioning the skin of an orange for peeling, etc, etc, etc.


Myself I have a 10" chefs for general chopping, cubing, and splitting, and a 210 laser for fine slicing.

A very nice petty for fine work on small stuff.

Several very old utility-sized stainless knives that didn't cost me and which I relegate specific tasks to just for the heck of it.

A 240 slicer that used to be my goto and which I know use as a bread knife.

And an old stainless 7" butcher knife for working around bone, which I don't do a whole lot of.


The wustie utility would likely do for the butcher/boning knife, the 8" chefs for a not so great general beater (and that bolster will require some effort to grind back), keep the bread knife, the remaining small stuff would be too thick for my tastes to use for anything, and not at all worth the effort to thin unless you have a belt sander and time to waste.  As for the block, it may or may not hold a 240, though I wouldn't worry about that as blocks are cheap and there are other storage options.


Make some decisions on the above before asking us about particular brands, and if you want to try carbon or stick with stainless.


Our cleaver expert should recommend you there, and stones should be discussed after we know what you'll have for knives.


In the end we hope to see a high wow-factor response from you.  That's why we take the time.





Edited by Rick Alan - 2/5/16 at 8:06am
post #5 of 24

Step #1 - where are you located?

post #6 of 24

Try here


I always see some knife reviews there so you should also see the price comparison and your price range.

post #7 of 24

You're probably going to get better advice here than on that website.

post #8 of 24

I like chefknivestogo, cutleryandmore, webstaurant, and amazon to an extent. Cheftalk is good because you can have conversation with reviewer or users, Youtube can be helpful to an extent as well.

post #9 of 24

I would disregard any "____ best knives" articles or lists by default

post #10 of 24
Are...are they doing this ranking on the factory edge? What's the point of that?
post #11 of 24

No intentional offense meant to Payton29 who is still learning, but it's the same mindless reviewing that overnight made Bob Kramer's knives the No.1 fetch in kitchen cutlery.  A completely senseless comparison between mediocre European knives and a custom, meticulously tempered and ground, expertly honed one-off.  Last auctioned Kramer went for $44K, and a plain carbon Kramer going for around $8K now.  Shows you the power [to mislead] of vacuously ignorant and otherwise challenged "experts."

post #12 of 24

Yeah but it's so balanced and full tang!  Oh and don't forget to send your Kramer to "professionals" for sharpening once a year.

post #13 of 24
Originally Posted by Rick Alan View Post

Shows you the power [to mislead] of vacuously ignorant and otherwise challenged "experts."


The internet has allowed for a proliferation of these. There are undoubtedly people with more knowledge than me that I can glean useful info from, as long as I consider the source, but none that are more expert in "me" than myself.


Knives and their selection are a hugely personal process for a ton of reasons. What is the best knife for me, may not be the best knife for Daniel Humm or Seiji Yamamoto, but they are not using my knife, I am.


The best knife for me is not determined by price nor accolades garnered, but by an understanding of me, my work habits, and my practices, and my philosophies. I am far more expert on "me and knives" than when I first started in the business, but this has happened through multiple hours of use on a daily basis for years. I am now at a point were I am a much better informed and prepared consumer when it comes to knife selection for me.


This learning process was strengthened more by use and hands on, rather than by reading and opinions. For me it was, use a knife. Care for a knife. Learn about me, about the knife, and about the symbiotic relationship. Grow from this. Repeat if necessary... For me it was necessary and is still occurring. :~)

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
post #14 of 24

Yes a lot of people feel the same way.  It's easier for me in most respects, because most knives with a French-ish profile, thin and keen edge and good retention feel pretty much the same to me.


Handles matter a lot to many, for me the only handles I cannot stand are the likes of Victorinox/Fibrox, where the handle is just too bulbous up front.  But that's not a deal-breaker so long as it can be easily fixed with a Dremel and 5/8" drum sander.


It may not suite everyone here but my philosophy centers around a compliant form of "usage" through what I would term "adaptive mechanics."  Indulge me, I'm an engineer, I can't help it.  I wrote a paper on this, 26 years ago now, in relation to sports training.  No ball teams stepped up to make me rich but a whole lot of people did a bad job plagiarizing me.  The jist of it showed that in terms of general skills and abilities consideration of properly trained usage, and what that actually entailed that everyone seemed to be missing, was far more important than any consideration of genetics.  Anyway...


For me to use a pinch grip firstly requires that I be able to put my index and thumb comfortably on the blade and the middle finger at the heel/bolster.  This is really impossible to achieve comfortably with the afore mentioned knives as they force the pinch well forward.  I refuse to tolerate that, though I could.  My ring and pinky fingers, the power fingers, simlpy need to be able to get a good purchase on the handle.  Handles that curve downward a bit at the rear work best for this, but it's not a real big issue except where you're going for absolute peak performance.


That's the mechanics part.  For the motor control part the trick is to maintain a relaxed grip, this meaning that the only muscles used at any particular time, and the force they generate, are to be only those muscle that contribute to the desired action, and only that force which is needed.


All right then of course you need an effective and efficient means of incorporating all the right responses.  I'll condense it to its essence, "Whatever the mind's eye can clearly concieve, the body can achieve."  It's a matter of using mental imagery, or what is sometime called Mental Imaging technique.  You can google that and find some information, I recall one of the early books on the subject was called Peak Performance, not to be confused with books on management skills by the same name.

post #15 of 24

  Would buying the Victorinox Fibrovox 8" Chef just for having a beater be a good idea if you have similar albeit prettier or more comfortable knifes? I used to have "beater" guitars for traveling and then one that rarely left home. I mean I only have Mercer Genesis, but it's sentimental and I keep it sharp, and unless I hide or wrap it, I catch people in the house cutting on plates, marble counter, using improper technique etc.

post #16 of 24
I have a Vic that is essentially my beater knife. It's a 10" Rosewood (I think you can still get them to your door for $45) and I did take a dremel to the handle for a perfect fit, well I also thinned it considerably, mostly at the tip. I don't spend a whole lot of time with it, but the time I do spend with it is so much better for the improvements.

The answer to your question is a yes, you could also consider a Tojiro DP in the price range.
post #17 of 24

I don't get the feeling the Tojiro will hold up as well to usage on plates (presumably ceramic?) and marble counter tops. It certainly tends towards chipping as opposed to deforming/blunting.

post #18 of 24
Originally Posted by foody518 View Post

I don't get the feeling the Tojiro will hold up as well to usage on plates (presumably ceramic?) and marble counter tops. It certainly tends towards chipping as opposed to deforming/blunting.




Try a cold chisel I think


Or a cheap bread knife.


Serrated steak knives are what the women in my house have been trained to use exclusively, and who do make ceramic plates and marble countertops their cutting boards.  Haven't lost a good knife yet.

post #19 of 24
Thread Starter 

I decided to get a set of three Hattori knives (just ordered them two days ago):


Hattori Forums FH-3 Petty 150mm 

Hattori Forums FH-7 Gyuto 240mm 

Hattori Forums FH-13 Sujihiki 270mm 


Now I need to decide on how to keep them nice and sharp.

post #20 of 24

Nice! Which handles did you go with?

post #21 of 24
Thread Starter 
I chose the black linen micarta...I was originally going to choose the cocobolola wood but in the long run I think the black linen will hold up.

These are the first Japanese knives I've bought...hope these are legit and work out.
post #22 of 24

Nice! I've got the cocobolo gyuto on my list for maybe later this year...

Black linen micarta will hold up well, and the FH is pretty legit.

post #23 of 24
Hi I'm a home cook but looking for a Christmas gift for a new professional chef... recommendations for a moderately priced great value 8" chefs knife please??
I don't want to waste money on a bad knife 😬
post #24 of 24
@supermommyy you'd probably be better off starting a new thread with more details about your exact situation and budget
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