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Mothers Day Knife Help

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hey guys!

My mom is remodeling her kitchen and I'd like to gift her some new knives to compliment the remodel for Mother's Day.

I've been reading for the last two days everything I can about knives but still feel as though I'm unsure of what it is I want/need.
I was initially looking at sets like the Victorinox Forged and Wusthof Classic but was convinced otherwise. 

My mom really only needs 4 knives (Chef, Paring, Utility, and Bread). I'd also like to get a Block for proper storage and was looking at the Shun Bamboo block. 

From everything I read on these forums, this seems like a good brand but I'm not entirely knowledgeable about them. 
What do you guys think? Are there any other recommendations you guys have?

My budget is 400 max but preferably between 250 and 300. 
I don't mind buying different brands for each different type of knife (best in class) but I think my mom would like them to look the same. I chose Tojiro because I read some great things about their knives so I thought this would be the best all around set of 4. 

I also like the look of Shun however I think getting 4 Shun blades would take me out of the 400 dollar price range. 

Thank you so much for your help :)

post #2 of 13

Tojiro knives are solid and very good for the price. My one concern for them as a gift is that the fit and finish can be spotty. For example, mine had horizontal scuff marks on the blade when I got it new. Nothing that detracts from their performance, but maybe a little risky for a gift.


I've gotten a Kanetsugu Pro-M for a friend that came in with better fit and finish and ground thinly to be a good cutter. Not as good a steel as in the Tojiro, but it fit my intentions and requirements better as a gift in that setting. Misono Moly is probably about on par with the Kanetsugu Pro-M as well.


Another option that should keep you in the price range would be to consider Japanese Knife Imports Gesshin Stainless or Gonbei AUS-10 lines. You should not experience any fit and finish issues which can take on extra importance for gifts. The Gesshin Bread knife is probably a bit stronger at very cleanly cutting softer breads than very very crusty ones, but manages the latter fine.


Last thought for now - Do you or does your mom have a maintenance/sharpening plan in place for these knives? It would not be ideal to get nice knives and not have a way to bring them back to good performance when they inevitably get some use and the edge starts degrading.

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

I'm not too concerned with fit and finish because my mom does an insane amount of cooking so I know that fit and finish won't last that long anyway (not that she won't take care of them) but she's also more about the functionality of the knife than she is about the blemishes it may have. 

Would you say that the Kanetsugu Pro-M is a better knife in general? or just fit and finish? (As in the same with the other ones)

She doesn't have a plan in place for maintenance, but I'll help her with that too. Back in Russia, my dad used to make/sharpen his own knives because he used to be a bootmaker so he needed knives for cutting rubber. He knows about sharpening as well as the plethora of tutorials on the internet/guides.

I appreciate the prompt reply, thank you!

post #4 of 13

Qualifier - I'm comparing a 210 mm Tojiro DP to a 180 mm Kanetsugu Pro-M.

The Kanetsugu was a thinner knife overall and ground pretty well behind the edge to highlight that thinness. Fit and finish was good which was a priority for giving a gift to someone used to Western knives, that tend to look nice and clean even if they can't actually cut all that well...

The Tojiro, with its higher hardness and greater carbon content steel, should have better edge retention which can result in less frequent need for touch ups and maintenance. The grind is fine, certainly not chunky, although I've recently thinned it just a touch to make it slip through dense foods more easily. It has decent durability.

The two knives have different strengths. I think the Tojiro might be able to hold up to a bit more hard usage as long as it's not sharpened at too acute an angle. If potentially suspect F&F is not a problem I'd say it's definitely still there as a good gift candidate. To an extent, between the two I feel like you're kind of weighting additional thinness vs what feels like a bit more durability.

If you will have someone in the family who can sharpen, I'd recommend budgeting for at least one whetstone. Something roughly in the 1000-2000 grit JIS range can keep the new knives going for quite a while.

post #5 of 13

That set would make a very nice (and useful) Mother's Day gift. She'll be thrilled and many here have reported good results with that brand/model of knife. The price is a bargain... almost cheap.


The only other concern is storage, which you can do as simple as knife guards or a block. Sharpening equipment might be something else to think about if your Mom doesn't have that covered already.

post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 

Awesome! Thank you for that reply and recommendation on the whet stone. 
I think i'm going to go with the Tojiro just because it's in a very friendly price range. I think if she loves it, it would be a good entry level into some higher end japanese made knives. It also conveniently comes in a set of 4(the four most important). 

Thanks everyone!

I might use her old block instead of spending money on a new one and spend that money on some sharpening tools. Is the whetstone all I need, or should I get one that she can take care of by herself as well. 

post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 

Can you guys point me please to a good whetstone. 

My dad said the longer the better.

post #8 of 13

You could maybe get a fine ceramic rod like the Idahone, but I like stropping on stones (edge trailing motions across the whole length of the edge) to make that same stone money go farther :) This as a touch up option between proper sharpenings. Most of your commonly found 'user friendly' gadgets are going to ruin the edge from a good stone sharpening. perhaps something like this for splash and go convenience.

And to keep the stone flat after usage and also for initial stone flattening. A cheaper option for flattening is to use rub the stone against really coarse sandpaper or drywall screen on a smooth hard backing.

post #9 of 13
post #10 of 13
if you are buying from the link you posted, look at this for a ceramic gone option. This is what I use and I'm quite happy. plus it is very affordable. You'll still need stones, though, for sharpening.
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 

What's the purpose of the ceramic rod if you have the stones?

post #12 of 13

In my opinion, there isn't much of one for a home user that has pretty accessible stones (either soaking all the time, or splash and go). I bought a ceramic rod just for kicks, but honestly since I committed to learning how to sharpen on waterstones, I find angle holding for hitting the knife edge easier on a stone than against a honing rod.

Edited by foody518 - 5/1/16 at 9:09pm
post #13 of 13
Foodie is right on. Somewhat redundant but good for a quick hone if the stones aren't immediately accessible or you don't have time to soak them.
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