I am a Chef in training and am in need of a new knife, I need something that can handle a heavy amount of abuse, such as prep work, and still hold a sharp edge for precise, thin slices (The jobs that the chefs give me range from prep, breaking down chickens, slicing raw fish and meat, working the line and anything in between). The Executive Chef where I work recommended the Masamoto VG, the Sous recommended the Kikuichi TKC. other suggestions are welcome, the most important qualities are 240mm, stainless/semi-stainless, ability to hold an edge for a long period of time ( I like sharpening on my whetstone but not every week), and a somewhat subtle belly, definitely a "French" profile. My budget is $250. along with that I'll need a good honing steel. my overall budget is about $300. hopefully there exists such a knife!
Yet Another Knife Question for BDL
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Hey Andrew, welcome to CT. Unfortunately BDL hasn't been active on this site since 2013.
Those recommendations are good knives but at this point in time kind of overpriced. They either used to occupy a lower price range than currently, or there are just so many other options that compete with those knives but for less $.
Longer edge retention as a priority can tend to mean harder steel knives which can run more brittle. Usually not the best combination with which to run on a honing rod. If you have the space to pull out a fine stone or a strop that may be a better touch up option.
The Gesshin Kagero 240mm is a stainless knife with that has positive feedback with regards to very good edge retention, and should be right in your price range. They should be restocked fairly soon.
I must be using the wrong terminology, by edge retention I mean the knifes ability to hold the edge its sharpened to for a long period of time. right now I'm using a blue steel #2 gyuto which needs resharpening every couple of days, I need something that'll last over a week. some people are telling me the masamoto and kikuichi can break down chickens, prep root vegetables and slice fish (with honing) and not need to be resharpened for a few weeks give or take. others are saying there is no such knife at all. I enjoy using my whetstones, but I prefer not having to take them out every couple of days. personally I find it hard to believe there is no "jack-of-all-trades" knife, having the durability to handle heavy prep and the precision to cut meat and fish is a must, at least for me.
in addition I just don't have the time between work and family to be sharpening my knives as often as I currently need to, in 4 months I've seen the sous sharpen his Kikuichi twice, I've never seen the exec sharpen his masamoto, granted he uses his knives less frequently than the sous. That is an important quality to me
There is always high demand for our professional line cooks and culinary students for a good quality, durable knife at an affordable price. The Tojiro MVS series is actually called the "Color Series" by Tojiro and is a great choice for these customers. These knives use Molybdenum Vanadium steel with Tojiro's typical good grinds and nice sharpness out of the box. The handles are super durable elastomeric resin handle with antibacterial finishing.
In order, from $25 to $65.
@AndrewHandgis I think you are still in the german mindset that a chefs knife should be an ALL purpose knife. It is not. It is a many purpose knife but if you try to use it for everything expect to sharpen more. Some tasks are tough and you should get a beater knife. A performance race car and a beat up pickup truck aren't meant to do the same tasks
Get a cheap carbon steel meat cleaver for $30 to break down chickens if you are going through the backbone. Have a separate knife if you are doing sashimi. Do you see where I'm going with this? If you restrict your gyuto to veg and boneless meat the edge will last longer.
I have other advice
1) You don't need to do full on sharpening every time. You can strop a couple times on a splash and go finishing stone before each shift. Takes at most 30 seconds. When it fails you will need to go back down to medium grit stones.
2) Your bevel angle matters. If you sharpen at 10 degrees a side, you can't expect the edge to last long. If you do sharpen super acute, use a microbevel it really helps with edge retention
3) Since you're on blue #2 carbon steel if you cut anything acidic it will dull your edge too so clean often when you cut acid things (including onions)
MillionKnives is right. You can't expect a knife to do everything from breaking down a chicken to thinly slicing fish and then expect it to last for weeks without sharpening. No knife I know can stand up to that. That's why chefs have a knife roll-different knives for different jobs. My butchering knives get put to stones on a regular basis while my slicing knives get honed regularly but don't often see a stone, because the work they do doesn't do much damage to the edge. It's not just about the quality of the knife but the task that it is used for. Doesn't matter how good a knife is, but if it is regularly used to break down chicken and fish, where it will regularly come in contact with bone it will need to be sharpened on a regular basis, even if it is the best steel in the world.
There's nothing much to add to what Millions said and Pete said. But if you really do want ultimate edge retention and relative ease of sharpening too then get a Geshin Kagero, with a 40deg inclusive microbevel you'll go a month and maybe 2 without sharpening, or even touch up. Reserve the blue 2 for your fine slicing as it takes a bit of a keener edge.