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.
I would like some suggestions on knives for my comfort ...
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The best handles for me are a simple octagonal handle or a barrel handle like on a Chinese cleaver. YMMV
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.
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.
Edited by Benuser - 8/10/16 at 12:03pm
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
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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.