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once again looking for a great knife

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

hey! cooks and food lovers from all over, I'm in need of some help! so what's better than "cheftalk"
 i'm from Copenhagen Danmark and i've just landed a great job opportunity at Noma! long story short i need new knives.
I'm tired of german knives and of course I was thinking about JCKs. 
I'm a decent sharpener no handles preferences, right handed with good knife skills! but still i need a great workhorse so lasers are a no go, these knives are going to get an intense work load of 15 hours a day for 5 days a week, can't deal with chips ;)
 any help please? 
thanks in advance guys 

post #2 of 27

Are you okay with carbon steel?  What is your budget?

post #3 of 27

Workhorse is as you described, something you work with all day.  Not to be confused with a 'beater', a knife that you abuse :D


If you want a knife that is still thin behind the edge for good cutting, but has some heft to it, I very much recommend the itinomonn from japanesenaturalstones.  Maksim is in Denmark and a great guy to know for all things knife related.  There are stainless clad carbon and stainless clad semi stainless options.


A couple other lines here,  Toyama is a bit more expensive.  Munetoshi and Toshihirosaku are newer.  Here's some reviews and comparisons on those



If you are concerned on chipping definitely put on a microbevel as shown here.  It really helps!  And CONGRATULATIONS on the new job!  


post #4 of 27

I'm not so familiar with what JCK is offering right now but anything in Swedish 19C27, or Ginsan, or aus-10 would be something to look at.  The Carbonext is also a consideration, great steel, inexpensive but the grind I hear can use a little TLC.


Japanese Nataural Stones is in your neck of the woods, I'd definitely have you look there.  I got to try Millions Itonomon stainless, and that is one great knife.  Millions himself would likely try to convince you go a cleaver here, and I wouldn't have a problem with the ones he uses.  Another consideration for you.


Some of the harder steels and even lasers aren't necessarily out of the question here.  Microbevels really do work.

post #5 of 27
Congratulations on Noma!!!

Japanese Chefs Knife has a Hiromoto Gingami 270mm gyuto still, I believe. As well as Sukenari Ginsan and the Fu Rin Ka Zan Swedish line, for fine grained stainless options. Tanaka Nashiji VG-10, no frills knife at a good price. Hopefully should be able to ship to you, although I don't know about customs fees.

Maksim's offerings listed above would be fantastic.
post #6 of 27
Thread Starter 

millions thanks for the help and wowww if micro bevels really helps! I'm definitely up for carbon, a secret?(carbon's all i want) and budget mmm around 300 to 500 $ tops! 
Don't know why but lately all i think about is carbon steel, i mean don't get me wrong i do have a life. Carbon isn't all i think about, you know sometimes I even sleep ;)
foody518 cheers for your suggestion but a 270 is out of the conversation 240 is the top i can actually do.  Lately i tried some konosuke and i fell in love but then reality hit me hard and i started to look at how thin they are and maybe a bit to light for my taste. But hey..I do come from a life of german knives usage! was it what took me away from those beautiful cutting machine?? 

post #7 of 27
You're not alone there. Konosuke and other lasers are too light for me. They go exactly where you point them, but a heavier knife gives you more control. A flick of the wrist will point the laser in a different direction. It takes more energy to move a heavier knife, so your control is finer when you need small consistent cuts (as you should at Noma!). Heavier knives can cut as well as lasers, but the thicker spine makes them more comfortable to hold. Since it goes from thin to thicker, the edge can convex too and help with food release. As long as it is thin near the edge it will cut well without wedging.

Another consideration with every laser I have seen is the heel height is very short. I like 50+ mm for knuckle clearance. Short heeled knives mean you have to work with your handle hand further off the board to not hit your knuckles. You have less useful cutting board space and it is less effecient. I kind of went all the way with this and I love chuka bocho.

In terms of pure performance I think there is a plateau high end knives somewhere between $300 and 500. More expensive is not necessarily better performance. If I were you, I would stick to under $300 and spend the rest on sharpening stones. To really get the most out of these types of knives you want at least a medium and fine grained japanese water stone: 1000 and 6000 range. Lightly stropping a few times on the 6000 grit should get you through a shift, no more honing rods required! How often you need to really sharpen depends on usage, how hard you hit the board, the produce, etc. It sounds like you work some LONG days there 15 hours?!
post #8 of 27

Ahaha, comments got held up in the que I guess as there were none when I posted.  Skimmed the comment and missed the part about Noma, the "foraging chef."  That is exciting.

post #9 of 27
Thread Starter 

i believe you definitely  right i need some water stones!  I came to hate steels!  I was looking at a Yoshiaki fujiwara too bad it is of course out of stock!!  about the hours...very very very long but we get to do what we love so much so it isn't that bad at all at the end of the day! great forum thank you very much man!

post #10 of 27
Thread Starter 

Rick it is not all about is also about foraging..and foraging and yes, why not...foraging! :)

post #11 of 27

Things go in and out of stock, such is the nature of small batch artisan hand crafted goods.    Contact Maksim for sure, he can tell you when shipments are expected and it is very possible some stuff is in stock but the website is not updated yet because he was on vacation.  He just went on a trip to Japan and he usually comes back with new goodies. 


This might be the one you're looking for.  Similar to the Kato but a few hundred less expensive

Edited by MillionsKnives - 7/12/16 at 6:07am
post #12 of 27
Also Maksim's JNS synthetic stones should be considered especially with respect your location.
post #13 of 27
Thread Starter 

i was thinking about a 800 grit, 1000, 6000 and 10000 too much? 

post #14 of 27
Dont get 10k or 800. 10k is for single bevel and razors. 800 is not that different from 1000 and not coarse enough for thinning or chip repairs.

200 or 300 for repairs and thinning, set a bevel fast IF you know what you're doing
1000 normal sharpening
6000 finishing stone

1000 could be 1500 or 2000. 6000 could be 5000. Just approximate guide

Don't use the coarse stone until you are confident in detecting and removing a burr. Carbon steel sharpens away pretty fast. You can always remove metal, but you can't replace it.
Edited by MillionsKnives - 7/12/16 at 9:49am
post #15 of 27
Thread Starter 

Will do sir will do...this is all very different from the german knives's world...

post #16 of 27
Didn't realize at first that you were looking for carbon steels the FW-4 Wa Gyuto at the bottom of this page is clad white steel.
Misono Swedish also at JCK is monosteel carbon.
JCK Deep Impact is stainless clad, AS core.
All 3 available in 240mm size.

Itinomonn, Munetoshi, Toshihirosaku, and Toyama at JNS are great offerings

I don't think anything listed above would be considered lasers but most all are respectably to very thin behind the edge where it counts.
post #17 of 27

I'd contact Maxim and put dibs on an Itinomman.  They seem to come in pretty regular like.

post #18 of 27

First, congratulation on landing a job on Noma! One of the best (and expensive!!!) dining experiences I ever had.


I can recommend the Akifusa PM series. Great out of the box sharpness and keeps an edge like nothing I've ever used before. sell them with both oriental and western handles,

post #19 of 27
Thread Starter 

Hey Jah thanks man...thinking of dining here again?

post #20 of 27
Thread Starter 

looking at it right now. Do you thing they can actually fall in the 'workhorse' category?
thanks in advance

post #21 of 27
Akifusa on the left. Doesn't look too thin

It's at HRC 64-65 which is real hard but that type of powder steel can handle it. It's not carbon steel if that is still a requirement
post #22 of 27
Thread Starter 

definitely not too thin at all! did you have the chance to use the AS?

post #23 of 27
Originally Posted by KitchenLife View Post

Hey Jah thanks man...thinking of dining here again?

I would love to, but the cost and waiting list is a bit intimidating

Had the best dish I have ever eaten there, slowly grilled cauliflower with pine oil...fanfluffingtastic 😍
post #24 of 27

About the Akifusa. I guess it needs a bit of love.
post #25 of 27

No experience on any of the akifusas, just wanted to show what it looks like.  I have a few other carbon steel knife recommendations you might consider


These two direct from blacksmiths themselves


Watanabe -


Heiji -



Or this one from yu kurosaki


All are on the good cutter but substantial feeling category

post #26 of 27
Originally Posted by KitchenLife View Post

looking at it right now. Do you thing they can actually fall in the 'workhorse' category?

thanks in advance

Well, i dont use it proffesionally, but it has seen daily use for about a year and have not yet had to put the blade to the stones. Touching up with a ceramic rod every now and then seems to keep it at 90%, which is more then enough for me.
post #27 of 27
Take care. Any knife only maintained with a rod or a jig system quickly gets thick behind the edge. Gradually you lose performance. Don't let it get too far or you can't solve it by stones only. So I would suggest thinning a bit at every sharpening.
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