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Re: 3 Most common knives to own?

Wed May 07, 2014 3:38 pm

I always use my gyuto 240, sometimes the 210, and my 85 parer, then a 150 petty

Re: 3 Most common knives to own?

Wed May 07, 2014 5:08 pm

1. Are you right handed? Yes
2. What type of knife are you interested in (gyuto, nakiri etc..) Consider me a marshan as far as that goes. The names in parentheses aren't my language...
3. What size knife are you looking for? A "utility size" something that works in most situations.
4. Do you prefer carbon or stainless steel? Not sure what the strengths and weaknesses are of either option.
5. Do you prefer a western handle or a Japanese handle? Again uncertain.
6. How much did you want to spend? I can afford to spend up to $200-$250 (I realize this limits me somewhat)
7. Do you know how to sharpen? Nope.
8. Do you have a dedicated cutting board? What size is it and what it is made of? We have been given a cutting board that was hand made out of what looks to be several different kinds of wood. It looks somewhat similar to this: http://www.furstwoodworks.com/wp-conten ... 1-12-2.JPG

We're also registered for this one - http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/p ... d=10929856 but it hasn't been purchased yet so I'd be happy to change it at your suggestion.

My fiance also registered for this one though i don't think I'll use it much if at all given it's shape - http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/p ... d=10929856

9. If not, do you plan to buy a new board to go with your new knives? What is the budget? I'd say the budget for the cutting board is around $50

Re: 3 Most common knives to own?

Wed May 07, 2014 5:54 pm

Honesty, $200-250 places you right in a sweet spot as far as decent knives go. Much higher gets you into very specialized equipment most people wouldn't appreciate.

Bread Knife:
$60 Tojiro ITK
$70 Artifex
Both top notch bread knives.

$99 Kohetsu Blue#2: This is a carbon steel knife clad in stainless steel. It will sharpen easily and has good geometry. But it does need to be wiped between cuts. Otherwise the carbon steel will rust in minutes.
$115 Tanaka Ginsan: Stainless steel, which won't rust, with a Japanese handle. Out of stock.
$78 Fujiwara FKM: My favorite of the starter Japanese knives. It's stainless with a western handle, good geometry, good price.

Add the paring or petty of your choice.

Re: 3 Most common knives to own?

Wed May 07, 2014 7:28 pm

Ok so I attempted to do some homework - which for me and cooking means finding a part of a good eats episode where Alton Brown tells me what he thinks - so this is a tell me where I’m wrong so far sort of post.

General Types and Techniques - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KY42QGD0DQ
Sharpening - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRUYAgrsoLw
“Shun Training Video” - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVCM5BfeA8c
And a full episode on the topic that rehashes most of the above in “American slicer” - http://www.tubeplus.me/player/961172/Go ... Slicer/%22

He pushes shun knives the whole time through no doubt due to an endorsement but the other educational bits are useful to a neophyte like myself.

Claims he makes that I’m interested in your thoughts on:
1. Sharpening is “best left to the professionals”
2. VG10 steel keeps a sharp blade longer than anything else (he doesn’t say that exactly but I’m exaggerating to provoke a reaction) - I’m particularly interested in your thoughts on the best type of steel for the job
3. 410 steel is “even more stain resistant” - and a great outer shell layer to the shun knives
4. His strongest recommendations in the way of cutting boards are for polyethylene cutting board, and a rock maple cutting board - do you agree?

Lepus - thanks for the specific recommendations and links. Super helpful.

Given all the suggestions made thus far - wasn't expecting this many awesome responses - I think I'm interested in a 150mm Petty, a 210 mm Gyuto, two cutting boards (one wood one plastic), and a honing steel.

If others would be willing to provide specific recommendations that would be fantastic.

Re: 3 Most common knives to own?

Wed May 07, 2014 7:38 pm

You are probably not going to hear a lot of love about the Shun knives here. They are actually not bad knives by any means. Personally, I don't like the feel of the handles. They are quite handle heavy...but some people like that. As far as the steel goes. It's not bad steel. What you will hear most people say...."They are decent knives but there are a lot of other knives that can be purchased for the same or less money out there"

Re: 3 Most common knives to own?

Wed May 07, 2014 7:56 pm

Alton Brown selling out to my least favorite knife company is one thing I hate to remember, but the information you find in those videos (and the Good Eats episode based around it) is solid at the base and easy to understand. The man is a font of good information.

1: I disagree about sharpening being only for professionals. Unlike some here, though, I think it's okay to rely on a sharpener for the majority of the heavy lifting. Getting good at sharpening takes some time and quite a few dull knives. It's complicated and, if you're not drawn to it, you're not going to do it frequently or well. In that case, you're going to be better off having it done by a pro. It's well inside the reach of a home cook, though.
2: VG-10 is decent. It's a bit chippy and not the easiest to sharpen, but decent. The Tojiro DP line uses it to good effect for much less than Shun. I like AEB-L, Sweedish Stainless, and the powdered metal steels a bit better.
3: The outer shell is somewhat immaterial. I'm sure 410 is fine.
4: Most everyone else here will tell you to avoid the poly boards. I think they're fine. I've used end grain cutting boards and cheap-o bamboo and poly boards and, while the end grain board treats your knife best, I don't find the effect that notable. Sticking with wood or plastic is important, though; anything else will damage blade immediately.

Re: 3 Most common knives to own?

Wed May 07, 2014 8:21 pm

Ok I am an Alton Brown fan, but not of his opinions on knives.

1) No! Most "pro" sharpeners are volume operations and while they make most knives sharper than they were, few are going to get knives as sharp as they are capable of being. Worse yet, because many of the operations use belt sanders they remove more metal than is necessary as a consequence the lifespan of the knife is shortened. There are good sharpeners out there but they are not necessarily widely or conveniently available. Here are a few on this forum who you can ship your knives to to have them worked on: sharpener-s-corner-f19.html. Most of these guys will happily advise you in the "sharpening" section of the forum on how to get started yourself.

2) VG10 is a widely available quality steel. It does have a reputation for being chippy so I don't know that I would sing its praises for edge retention, but my Tojiro DP in VG10 has given me no problems at all. If you want a steel that will need less sharpening look at a Powdered Metallurgy (PM) steel like SG-2/R2 or HAP40. PM steel keep their edges well but in exchange are a bit more challenging to sharpen. The Kohetsu Blue #2 will keep its edge fairly well and is comparatively easy to sharpen. The Ginsan steel listed above is made by Hitachi, just like the Blue #2, and is well thought of. Any of these three would be preferable to me over VG10.

3) Many Japanese knives use a high hardness core steel for the edge and a softer cladding layer which may or may not be stainless. The Kohetsu Blue #2, for example is carbon core (it will react and discolor) with a stainless cladding (I do not know what steel they use in the cadding). The Tanaka Ginsan is a stainless core with what I believe to be a stainless cladding layer (need confirmation here). So this is not a unique Shun thing, but they make a deal out of it.

4) Maple, cherry, and walnut are the most common used in cutting boards. Be careful of exotics some will wear your edges. There has been a spirited debate for example regarding weather teak is bad, or only some teak is bad :). Bamboo is pretty crap but mostly because they use so much glue and the glue is so hard that the boards dull the edges. Plastic boards of all types are hard wearing on edges but they can be bleached and the disinfected. That said, there is some debate as to whether or not plastics are more sanitary as wood has natural antimicrobial properties. I do use plastic boards for raw proteins mostly because I use different boards for raw protein than I do for produce. Ultimately, if it is in your means, a high quality end grain cutting board like those from the boardsmith or lone star artisans is ideal, an edge grain cutting board like most Boos boards is next, followed by bamboo and plastics in what ever order you prefer. Of note, if you can sharpen yourself and you are not paying to have someone grind your knives away with power tools, resharpening a dulled blade from a poor quality cutting board becomes a non-issue.

5) This about Shuns: "They are decent knives but there are a lot of other knives (of similar or greater quality) that can be purchased for the same or less money out there"

*Lepus beat me to it :D

Re: 3 Most common knives to own?

Wed May 07, 2014 8:23 pm

BTW, just to throw a wrench in the works, my first three knives were all gyutos. :D

So my recommendation if you have a budget for three knives is either dump it all on one killer knife, or get three different knives and see what rings your bell, or get one really nice knife and one entry kurouchi, carbon steel knife to play with, or...

Re: 3 Most common knives to own?

Wed May 07, 2014 8:30 pm

Knowing your overall budget...I would tend to fall where cedarhouse does. Get one nice chefs knife in the $150-$200 range. Then spend the balance on something more simple.

Re: 3 Most common knives to own?

Wed May 07, 2014 11:59 pm

This forum is filled with awesome people and awesome information. THANKS FOR THE GREAT HELP!

So did some more homework given the feedback about steel core types - and it looks like HAP40 is the new shiny toy on the market at least in the way of edge retention. I think that's a really important quality for me.

Given the feedback on sharpening - I buy it doesn't have to be left entirely to the professionals but I don't think I'm the sort to spend the time honing that skill, I'd rather ship it to someone on sharpener-s-corner-f19.html and pay them to do it right, rather than learn on a $200 knife.

Essentially, I think my ideal knife is one that arrives very sharp, stays that way and requires minimal maintenance. Differences in weight distribution, how if feels in my hand, geometry, and looks of the knife are not important to me.

At the moment I'm thinking the Kohetsu HAP40 Gyuto 210mm is what I'm going to go with - sharpener-s-corner-f19.html

I'm thinking a good way to ask some of my other questions is by comparing knives to cars (I know cars far better).

1. Is the Kohetsu HAP40 Gyuto 210mm more of the Tesla of it's category or the Ferrari?

2. What would be the toyota camry/honda civic of the Gyuto 210mm category (incredibly quality, very maintenance, very reliable, very reasonable price)

3. What are the camry/tesla/ferrari of the petty 150mm category?

4. Finally - What do I need to properly protect the Kohetsu HAP40 Gyuto 210mm if that's what I go with? I don't think there is a saya for this knife that I see. Can someone point me to some trustworthy basic information on how I maintain a nice knife?

It tells you something about me to know that I drive a toyota camry.
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