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I would like some suggestions on knives for my comfort ...

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

I'm currently a culinary student at a nice community college and I'm looking for some knives that are more comfortable for me personally. I have worked in restaurants for about the past ten years which prompted me to go to school. I found that most restaurants do not have knives I actually like, so I purchased my own kit of rag-tag knives. Currently I have a Wusthof Classic Chef's Anniversary, Torjiro DP Chef's, Tojiro Shirogami Santoku, Tojiro Shirogmai Petty, Tojiro DP Bread, and a Messermiester Elite Boning. I also had a Tojiro Sha Ra Kumono that I accidently broke. As much as I like the current knives I have but none of them feel really comfortable to me (either wieght or handle wise). I loved the Sha Ra Kumono knife with it's light weight and ergonomic handle, but there is only one retailer in the US making them hard to get a hold of. Since I'm pretty short and only have medium sized hands I'm looking something similar. I would like to get a single knife set (or model set) that is light in weight or fairly light, with a nice ergonomical handle that won't cost me an arm or leg. I was looking at the Tojiro Senkou Classic, Global, or somehting like the Michael Symon Chef's knives from Ergo Chef.  Any input is greatly appreciated as the knives I have are good but drive me nuts.

post #2 of 20
Some handles are really terrible, like that "ergonomic" one you want. But for the most part I don't mind most handles. It comes down to dull knives and bad grip technique most of the time if the person has issues with so many different knives and styles of handles..

The best handles for me are a simple octagonal handle or a barrel handle like on a Chinese cleaver. YMMV
post #3 of 20
Could you elaborate about the problems you've encountered so far with ergonomics? I expect you pinch grip. Handles are less relevant in that case. A sharp spine, choil or protruding tang -- the equivalent of shrinking scales, all can be easily fixed with coarse automotive sandpaper on linen.
post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 
I meant I'm look for something with a slightly more ergonomic shape and not a straight handle. I like my Wusthof, but I'm not feeling it on the full weight or bolster. The Tojiro lives are all nice but the straightness of the handle leaves me something to be desired. Yes, I use a pinch-grip, which is why I ask.
post #5 of 20
Can you elaborate on how the straight handles are affecting your pinch grip? contorted wrist, scrunched up elbow, raised shoulder, something else, etc?
post #6 of 20
Also comment on the rest of the situation(it's not always just about the knife): counter height, cutting board height, your height... I know you said "pretty short", which is why some of these ergonomic considerations may be particularly important for you to consider.

Sometimes other aspects of knife work should be considered when a knife is uncomfortable to use. But, sure, some knives just are uncomfortable for some people; it's all so personal.
post #7 of 20

If you look at the ergo handles you'll see that they actually resemble a hammer grip, and they really are for those who essentially use that grip.  

I have some thoughts here, tell me, where do your ring and pinky fingers typically rest on the handle?

post #8 of 20

IMO, the Sha Ra Ku Mono knives you talk about are actually not that bad and I'd kind of like one or 2 just to have for guests to use. I had a friend who had some and even though the steel is not the greatest, it was very similar to a Fujiwara Stainless knife, I thought.


I, personally, think that a Wa handle that is octagonal or D-shape are the best handle types if you do pinch grip, as you should. You should learn to just deal with your Tojiro Shirogami's and learn to love a Wa handle and then the Wa handle will really love you back once you've mastered holding a japanese knife. This is the only true path once you start being a handle snob. 


FWIW, I really like my Tojiro Shirogami in 210mm Gyuto.  It really is a pretty nimble, but thick knife. Sharpens like a dream and stays screaming sharp in the white #2. My favorite steel. 

post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 
I'm sorry you guys let me clarify for you. I meant that I like the feel of the Wusthof handle but not only is the handle sort of bulky but I'm not a fan of big bolsters (full or not) or the heavy weight of the blade.
post #10 of 20
The Wüsthof Ikon have no fingerguard but are still handle heavy. The Cordon Bleu are much lighter and are neutral. For better comfort though you really should consider a Misono. If you get them with Korin you will benefit from the free initial stone sharpening.
post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 
I may just rehandle my Tojiro Shirogami Knives with a nice Wenge Octoganal Was handle instead ...
post #12 of 20

I would advise against spending more on a handle than the knife haha


You can always sand down the tojiro handle to your liking too.  That only costs a couple $ of sandpaper

post #13 of 20
Can't agree more. Had once a very badly finished brand new Hiromoto. Rather exceptional as I had received quite a lot of them in a rather good state. But here: shrunk scales, burrs on the tang, sharp choil and spine. Terrible. I didn't want to send it back because the blade -- a 270 gyuto -- was perfect. I took me perhaps half an hour to get everything silky smooth. Just with sandpaper the end result is better than with a brand new Misono or Ryusen Blazen.
Edited by Benuser - 8/10/16 at 12:03pm
post #14 of 20
Are you confident the wenge octagonal handle will work for your comfort where your existing wa-handles aren't? It's a straight handle. I'm a little apprehensive that fix won't do what you're looking for. And there are better knives than the Tojiro Shirogami onto which to stick a nicer handle...
post #15 of 20

What Osnaps needs actually is a coffin shaped handle. Simple straight taper starting at the front and moving outward outward top to bottom direction, remains narrow in width.  If you just sand down the sides of most Wa handles that is exactly what you will have.


Tojiros have a huge ferrule, if you are handy then remove it and after sanding just wrap with some fiberglass tape and epoxy, or buy a smaller ferrule.

Edited by Rick Alan - 8/10/16 at 4:07pm
post #16 of 20

Tojiro Shirogami has a problem that the wood is bigger than the ferrule and there is a bump it gets real annoying.  You should sand the wood part down so it is flush

post #17 of 20
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone, sorry I haven't been able to reply in a while. The college I'm at is just ridiculous. Anyways, I think I'm just going to keep trying knives until I find something more suited to my tastes. 

post #18 of 20
I suggest you focus on using the lightest chef knife you own, with scary edges, gripping so lightly that you're really only using two fingers. If you focus on grip (i.e. on barely gripping) and have edges to match, you may find that the whole comfort thing vanishes.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
post #19 of 20

It didn't get a proper reply, but going back to my grip question, it is the pinky and ring finger that supply cutting power, and handles that curve downward like the Ikon do facilitate their use.  But it really is a simple matter to keep them in contact with the handle so they are available when you need them.  Of course sharp knives really help as Chris says, but you really need your power fingers in light contact and good position, ready for when they are especially needed.

post #20 of 20

Thanks for the great tips. Have a nice day to all.

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