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First time buyer, looking to take first steps.

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

I have been reading as much as possible on this forum over the last few days to try to figure out "the right questions" before looking for any answers. I am an avid home cook with a careful nature and pride in taking care of nice things.

I was thinking of buying a first upgrade to the ~60 pound (GBP) knife set I was given a few years ago. They serve me well day to day and I intend to keep the equivalent knives for rougher work such as large root vegetables and the occasional chicken carcass.

I am looking for a gyuto of between 8 and 10 inches for a rough maximum of £170. I am prepared to buy a pair of whetstones (say 8k and 2k although I do not know what a good pair/set comprises in terms of grit) and I have steady hands and am keen to learn how to maintain a good knife.

I mostly chop vegetables and occasionally chicken breast and fish (I got into cutting my own sashimi every now and then). I use a pinch grip most of the time so wa handles are fine and I prefer a light blade with a fairly central balance point. I also have no particular attachment to German style blade bellies. Non stainless steel is ok and if anything preferred as I am prepared to wash gently, dry thoroughly and potentially oil the blades after use although the oil thing maybe a minor inconvenience.

My cutting area is quite large and I own a small 10-12 by 7 inch softwood board and a larger 60x40cm soft plastic board which I might replace for cherry or something similar.

The cherry on top would be the Damascus style finish as I do find it rather lovely. I will not likely notice the "numbness" described by some advanced users of cladding. This is by no means essential as I would rather get a better quality and better value knife for the money rather than going the shun route of overpaying for the sake of a pattern and marketing. Handle material is also somewhat irrelevant as I am not a snob about whether or not it is some fancy wood.

As an aside, when I registered on here earlier, the bit where you describe your user capacity had "home cook", "cook at home" and "at home cool". Call me a fool but aren't they the same?

Thanks for reading and hi again to everyone! This session like a great place to learn.

post #2 of 7

Welcome to ChefTalk!


I imagine you've been looking around at various sites a bit. Were you looking more for specific recommendations and suggestions, or feedback and critique of some of the things you may have found?


I don't know what the best sites are for European buyers, but I'll try and start the list. 



Not laser thin, but thin behind the edge, amazing cutter. Stainless clad carbon which would cut down on the maintenance a lot vs pure carbon (fyi unless you live in an incredibly humid area there should not be a need to oil after every use, only longer term storage. Just make sure to wash well and dry thoroughly with a towel/cloth, and then leave to air dry for at least a few minutes so the residual moisture on the blade evaporates before storing it away). I have the 270mm in a burnt chestnut handle, and in my personal opinion, the pictures didn't do it justice. Really excellent blade.



The 240 and 270 mm gyutos are well within your price range I believe (unless the 170GBP is also to include the 2 whetstones?). And the dragon engraving starts at the 240mm gyuto length :D It's a fun knife, very comfortable Western handle. Fully reactive though, and has somewhat of a reputation of being more reactive than people expect, almost necessitating forcing a patina/using a baking soda scrub cleaning regimen.



Hiromoto G-3 270mm gyuto still in stock. Fully stainless, monosteel knife.



Another full stainless. I keep wanting to get one of the FuRinKaZan knives to give em a try but then something else catches my eye or goes on sale XD



If you think you can dig the rustic aesthetic. I'm liking the look a bit more than I thought I would on my Kurouchi knives :) fully reactive knife



Here's a flashy one for you :bounce:. I have a stainless Tanaka (I think this one is carbon core with carbon cladding?) that I enjoy a lot as a fun smaller knife. 10/10 would buy another Tanaka knife if I wasn't already spending money like crazy on other knives and stones. The Knivesandstones rehandles look great, too.



Stainless clad carbon. Very unique look, good fit and finish.


If ordering from Canada is okay, Knifewear is on the tail end of their February Masakage sale. Great prices for really fun knives. I have no clue what is the deal with cuttingedgeknives prices, but Knifewear's are MUCH cheaper.


On the stones, I think 2k and 8k are a bit high for a beginner. The 2k might work if it's one of the faster cutting ones, like the Naniwa Chosera/Professional 2k. But I think you should consider stones in the 1k range as well. You don't want to be confused or frustrated by the time it takes to generate a burr when starting out with sharpening.

I also don't know if 8k range is a good choice for a first finishing stone. Seems like a lot of stones run harder feeling as you go up the grits. The two 8k's I've got feel acceptably smooth but much more unyielding than my 3-5k stones (they are also all different makers which could be a confounding factor). I know I trashed a couple of edges the first few times I was trying out my first 8k stone just from how different the feedback and general feel of the stone was compared to my soft 3-5k fine stone (Suehiro Rika 5k). It'll depend a little on the knife you get, but a 5-6k edge would certainly serve you well, and my personal opinion is that there are a few more options that tend towards being feedback friendly as well as cheaper than your choices in the 8k range.


I haven't really perceived the numbness/dampness in a negative way, or much at all. And a lot of the awesome knives out there are clad :D


Definitely mainly use your bigger board or get a nice upgrade. Cherry is excellent :thumb:


Please chime back in. And enjoy the journey!

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hello again! Thanks for such a fast response. I am resisting the urge to go too fast when making a choice. So it seems something like 1k and 4 or 5k stones are a good starting point.

I liked the look of the Tanaka (obvious reason) as well as the kasumi and the Furinkazan. I live middle to north of the uk so humidity is rarely an issue. The kitchen is enclosed however so I might have to store it low down or in another room.

Going to wait and see if a few other comments pop up before moving forward just to get several angles and take advantage of the breadth of advice and knowledge here.

post #4 of 7

Any of the ones listed are good value.  I think you can pick whatever calls out to you.  About carbon knives and reactivity - it's not only washing and drying when you are done cutting.  You should even clean and dry in between ingredients.  If you cut something acidic like onions, you have to be even faster.  Just have a kitchen towel on you at all times.   It's a different way of working and people who don't "get' it will end up complaining about rust spots.



I don't do it exactly that way, because my prep space is near the sink so I just rinse the knife tip down and then dry with my towel. 


All the vendors mentioned by @foody518 have free worldwide shipping.  You will probably end up paying VAT though.

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the video, I will watch it when I get home! I am curious if people ever sharpen bread knives. It seems like a somewhat cumbersome or awkward task.

post #6 of 7

Indeed it is awkward generally to sharpen that kind of shape. There was a quick thread on it just this week.


post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Ah that makes sense! Thanks. I'll leave the thread going for another week or so unless the replies tail off then probably make a decision about a pair of stones and the knife that wins me over.
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