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What knife brands/lines have thin blades?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

I went through quite a lot of brands of western style chef knives and they all have the same problem, at least for me. They are all way too thick and don't fit my cutting style overall. I do not need the curved blade of a classic western knife. What I am looking for is a thin (Japanese?) knife, to cut meat and vegetables, of course no bones. 

Unfortunately, these types of knives are extremely inaccessible in my country which means online order, which means I have to be damn sure that is the knife I want, so I turn to you. 

post #2 of 28

Any other preferences or requirements, to help narrow this down? There are many J-knives online so it will help to specify as much as you can. Price range, size, stainless/non-stainless, even aesthetics.

post #3 of 28
Where do you live? What knife will get replaced, what will be its usage, what kind of maintenance do you have in mind?
Most Japanese knives -- even with a Western handle -- have a rather flat profile, quite similar to the original French ones, or even a bit flatter with a lower tip.
post #4 of 28
Thread Starter 

I started with Tescoma, local brand, nothing fancy. Then Zepter, another local one (serrated steel. Sold as universal, but good for vegetables, but that is about it. Sad, considering how expensive they are). It was followed by a Wusthof classic 8" COOK'S KNIFE - 4582 (first one I had complete freedom over choosing), which I since gifted away. It lasted for quite some time, it is still in perfect shape, returns to me for sharpening every once in a while. But just like all the others, it is way too thick and the famed finger-guard just bugs me. 

I am currently using a knife that is nearly twice as old as I am, of god knows what brand and origin. It went through three generations of our family. It is thin stainless steel, definitely not forged, can be razor sharp, hold the extreme edge for a day or two, then remains average for a long time before actually dulling.

However, by the time it came to me, the blade was smaller height than the handle, which makes it difficult to use for anything apart from cutting meat (It used to be sharpened on a Sander with Cabinet Stand), anything else you have to do with front half of the blade and under angle since you cannot go flat with it. Try chopping 5kg of onions like that... 



Price: up to 500 USD 

material: stainless, but I wouldn't mind carbon steel, I take care of my toys. 

length: 8" or longer 

handle: I assume German knife grip (no idea if it is called that in English) cannot be used on a round handle? 

aesthetics: Who doesn't like a nice Damascus pattern, but that is not important. 

preferences: rather a lightweight than the classic German heavy-weight. 

post #5 of 28
Hattori FH
Misono Swedish
JCK Syogeki 'Deep Impact'
Ryusen Blazen

Yes, I'm thinking handle grip will end up being somewhat different with the more rounded Japanese 'wa' handles.
post #6 of 28
Just an addition: Robert Herder Solingen 1922 series, crazy thin behind the edge. C75 carbon, 60Rc. €130.
post #7 of 28
Thread Starter 

The Robert Herder looks great, but that would be one of the examples of knives I cannot get here. I live in Czech Republic and no shop I found ships to us. Ironically, to ship the Japanese ones from foody518 's post is not a problem. 

Out of the offered version the JCK Syogeki 'Deep Impact' speaks the most to me, but they are all sold out now. So sad. 


What do we think about SAZANAMI Damascus Series SZD-7 Gyuto 210mm? 

One more question: If I vere to go with something like: JCK Yanagiba 300mm, is there some special trick to sharpening them, or you just go one side and then only align the edge from the other? (It would be a secondary blade, but I always wanted to try single bevel knife)

Edited by CeeStorm - 5/3/16 at 10:48am
post #8 of 28

Yeah, oddly enough JCK seems to be quite good about international shipping.

Ahh...didn't realize. Sorry to bring up a sold out item.


Sazanami looks alright. No personal experience. It's probably about average price for VG-10 'Damascus' patterned knives. Here's another one of the type. 


Sharpening single beveled knives is a different technique that just halving what you do for a double beveled knife.


Unless you do delicate slicing on boneless raw fish, a yanagiba's strength is really not maximized. A western slicer or sujihiki has greater versatility, especially if you risk hitting bone or even the cutting board. Also it seems like yanagiba edge refinement wants for stones above 6000 grit JIS scale. I'd hold off on getting a yanagiba probably. You'll get free international shipping from JCK anytime if you order just a yanagiba anyways (don't want to get a super cheap one).

post #9 of 28
Couldn't agree more. Single bevels are very specialised instruments in Japanese kitchen. Steer as crazy when used in common Western kitchen.
They have to be "opened" after delivery: a big operation to even out high and low spots on the right side. After that, daily maintenance should be quite simple, I have been told.

About the JCK Syogeki: ask Mr Iwahara,
when they come in stock again. The 210mm gyuto I have is a crazy performer. Mr Iwahara is a very serious guy, highly recommended.

I've asked about delivery in your country. This is about the Herder 1922 chef's knife. I expect them to answer tomorrow, and will let you know.

I don't like VG-10 with a faux-Damascus cladding. It doesn't contribute to performance, and is in most cases a bit thick behind the edge. VG-10 is a great steel when really well heat-treated, which is too rare. Rather difficult sharpening otherwise. The Hattori FH is the good exception.
post #10 of 28
I've tried one of his carbons in a passaround. If you like forward pinch gripping, it might be interesting.
post #11 of 28
A slicer by Robert Herder, 1922 series. The distal taper is even more pronounced, tip almost fragile, like with French blades of that time.
Please be aware of the big price differences between their sites.
post #12 of 28

Ooh, bookmarking that one. That is not at all a bad price for a handmade knife. I hope he doesn't have a wait time on orders...

Do you know if the blade profile of knife used in that EU/UK passaround is his default profile? It seems like the picture he has of the 9 1/2 " knife on his website has a much fatter (wider) looking tip.


I may have to blow 400 USD on one of those knives by the year's end... :eek: 

post #13 of 28
I wondered as well about that photo. No, profile is rather Misono-like. French, but no long straight flat section, gently curved all over, if that makes sense. You better wait for the fall of the Pound Sterling after the referendum on leaving the European Union, though. (Just a joke).
post #14 of 28
Herder 1922 Trancherard.€109.
post #15 of 28

Thank goodness! Yes, the continuous gentle curve makes sense. The two Gesshin/JKI knives have that quality as well and I tend to like it. Thanks for putting something else on my 'knives to go get' list :bounce:


I'll keep an eye on the conversion rates...

post #16 of 28

@Benuser what is your approach to dealing with the full fingerguards? Very coarse sandpaper? Grinding motions with the bottom of the fingerguard perpendicular to the abrasive surface?

post #17 of 28

As always, it depends. On older ones as the Sheffield above I want the fingerguard to flush with the relief bevel. My Herders are new, though, and I'm a few mm from having to decide. As their fingerguard is an arc I may postpone any decision by just rounding it a bit. I don't want to defigurate a lovely Jugendstil design.
post #18 of 28

But this is the way to have it flush with the blade.
post #19 of 28
post #20 of 28
Thread Starter 


Originally Posted by Benuser View Post
Haven't yet to decide...

Cannot not notice the carbon is in a great shape, light patina but no rust. Is that only from quick cleaning after use or are you using rust eraser? Also, I've read in several places that the patina might change taste of cut food. Any truth to that? 


Forward pinch gripping, that is exactly what I meant by the German grip. Didn't occur to me just to describe it. And yes, it is my jam. Just fits right... If the Herder shipping works out, it won. Especially since it is so "low cost." If it doesn't fit, it won't hurt as much as blowing 300+ on a single blade. 

post #21 of 28
@CeeStorm: and its affiliates de, fr, do send to the Czech Republic. Make sure to verify prices between the sites.
Edited by Benuser - 5/4/16 at 6:49am
post #22 of 28
The patina comes from only cleaning the very edge immediately, and waiting a bit before rinsing with very hot water.
Patina protects against rust and is relatively stable once installed. It hinders taste and smell transfer that may occur with pristine carbon steel.
That being said, the Herders aren't very reactive. Nothing to worry about.
post #23 of 28
Good clarification. German grip can sometimes imply a strong grip on the handle as opposed to the blade.

On more reactive carbon steel blades I might worry about cutting pineapple. Funky smell and taste may emerge, but I'm thinking of a knife much more reactive than the Herder probably is.

Onions may slightly discolor where the knife contacts. Patina helps mitigate taste/smell transfer, to my experience.
post #24 of 28
Thread Starter 

Well, I was just told that kinvesandtools cannot ship to Czech Republic, when asking them about how one does actually order from here. 

But on a completely different note, while hunting down other possibilities (the brands you guys provided opened magical internet doors into pages that Google regularly cannot find), I discovered Akifusa Gyuto 9 1/2" at 220USD (near 300 with shipping) and I think I am in love. Looks great and by the reviews I've seen, it is thin behind the edge. Japanese style with western handle, made from SRS-15 powdered steel. 

Anyone know of any reason this could be a bad idea? 

post #25 of 28

Akifusa is well regarded.   The only thing I would say is SRS-15 and other PM steels are hardened quite a bit.   This is great for edge retention as long as your technique is good.  Edge retention isn't so great when you chip your knife.   As a first japanese knife I would recommend a basic carbon or stainless steel in a more moderate hardness range.

post #26 of 28
What sharpening equipment are you using?
post #27 of 28
Thread Starter 

Chroma Type 301 P-35 1000/3500 and Taidea 600, both with a dressing stone. For every-day realignment of the blade classic steel, no idea about the maker. It is, just as the family knife, a heritage. Still works great. 

EDIT: A normal steel knife: TOJIRO 300mm gyuto VG-10 steel. 

Edited by CeeStorm - 5/11/16 at 3:06pm
post #28 of 28

I got a 7" MAC at a yard sale (bargain) it has a chip... but that's not really a problem. it's the original 7" with a round nose and a fully hole so you can hang it on a nail.

REAL thin steel , sharpens fast and holds the edge rather well. not exotic steel but good.  The blade has some flex like a slicer.  it weighs almost nothing. There's a angle to the handle that's handy in a small knife. I have several good knives and I am frankly surprised how often I use this.


I also have a 7" Kershaw (made by Shun) it has a VG-7 core, VG-10 minus the Cobalt.. but I got it WAY cheap. It can get VERY sharp.  I got my MAC after I retired as a Pro cook, but the Kershaw was REAL nice when I wanted a light,sharp,quick knife.   I'd loan it to another cook.. and....they'd get a happy face. Never used any knife that sharp.  It does NOT flex like the even slimmer MAC.  I got into making Sushi rolls and the MAC is the Go-To for Slicing.


To get PERFORMANCE from ANY knife.. you need to know how to SHARPEN.  A very THIN blade..... is a plus in terms of very sharp and easy to sharpen.  The Mac may not be ELITE steel but it is so THIN it will sharp up very well.

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