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 Post subject: Re: Daughter graduating from Hampshire College
PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 5:05 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2012 12:20 am
Posts: 570
I left that in by accident...



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 Post subject: Re: Daughter graduating from Hampshire College
PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 5:08 am 

Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2014 9:11 pm
Posts: 220
Location: San Diego
There are no accidents, only negligent inclusions. George Carlin reference.


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 Post subject: Re: Daughter graduating from Hampshire College
PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 5:19 am 
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I forgot to wink... ;)



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 Post subject: Re: Daughter graduating from Hampshire College
PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 6:42 am 

Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2014 7:15 am
Posts: 1077
Location: Raleigh, NC
This has gotten horribly off topic. Suffice to say, for the OP, I'm confident you've got some good advice in here. If any of these ideas tickle your fancy, we can certainly expend on it. The hypothetical knife kit is something we love.

One addition to the list: a bench knife. I use bench knives in a professional kitchen to scrape and portion products. They're safer when scooping chopped vegetables and they're nearly indestructible. I use mine to crush garlic and smash fine pastes, too, to save the knife edge.

I re-read this thread with an eye to sharpening suggestions. I don't know how much time or effort you or she put into knife sharpening, but the knives we are suggesting strictly necessitate sharpening by a skilled individual or using a slightly more complex mechanical system (look to the Edge Pro for an example). This is not usually a pastime well loved by young academics, Salem aside. If your daughter is the sort who will sit and learn a sometimes frustrating new manual skill, please stick to the aforementioned stones. If not, I would highly suggest you find a skilled knife sharpening service she could use every few months. No matter how fine or well made, all knives dull and all dull knives are the same.


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 Post subject: Re: Daughter graduating from Hampshire College
PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 12:12 pm 

Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2012 1:36 pm
Posts: 266
Location: NY, NY; New Haven, CT
Lepus wrote:This has gotten horribly off topic. Suffice to say, for the OP, I'm confident you've got some good advice in here. If any of these ideas tickle your fancy, we can certainly expend on it. The hypothetical knife kit is something we love.

One addition to the list: a bench knife. I use bench knives in a professional kitchen to scrape and portion products. They're safer when scooping chopped vegetables and they're nearly indestructible. I use mine to crush garlic and smash fine pastes, too, to save the knife edge.

[...] This is not usually a pastime well loved by young academics, Salem aside. If your daughter is the sort who will sit and learn a sometimes frustrating new manual skill, please stick to the aforementioned stones. [...]


Absolutely. :) I use a bench scraper (what's I'd call a pastry scraper—I assume it's the same thing) ALL THE TIME. It has also taken me some time to learn how to sharpen, mostly because I don't have dozens of knives and they stay sharp a long time. I do think, however, that the daughter in question will probably get into this if she also falls for the incredible sense of sharpness promised by these knives. My point it just to say three stones would be enough (say, a 1k/5k combo and two Shapton Pros, 1k and 4k or so), which is an investment, but basically equivalent to one of the smaller knives. I've been using a $22 1k/6k stone I bought on Amazon for three years to learn on. It is terrible. It also still gets my knives sharper than any I have every used in my life, and that is with my low skill level (but admittedly good knives)...then again, I don't hang out with chefs, so perhaps this isn't saying much. :) Of course, I really, really, really can't wait to get some decent stones...but not enough that I've stopped buying more knives instead. :)

To get us back on track, take these with a grain of salt (I have not personally used some of them), but also note that more than a few have already been recommended—my list is just to consolidate, extend, and re-focus. Most are fully stainless, some have carbon edges that are stainless-clad and basically low maintenance for any experienced knife-user with a bar towel and a sink:

240 Gyutos (all light lasers):
Konosuke HD or HH, and – my personal recommendation is for the Funayuki-gyuto http://www.chefknivestogo.com/kohd240gynew.html
Suisin Inox Hanyuki
http://www.chefknivestogo.com/suinhowa24.html
Sakai Takauki Damascus Ginsan 3
http://www.chefknivestogo.com/sata24wa.html
[Or, if they ever get back in stock, you may consider these for 240 or 210...I know I would!]:
http://www.chefknivestogo.com/kosi3.html

210 Gyutos (some more robust options, and shorter):
Masakage Yuki
http://www.chefknivestogo.com/mayugy21.html
Masakage Koishi
http://www.chefknivestogo.com/makogy21.html
Sakai Takauki Damascus Ginsan 3
http://www.chefknivestogo.com/satagiwa21.html
Konosuke HD or HH
http://www.chefknivestogo.com/kohd21wa.html

Mid-size petty (for veggie art and/or small fruits); these include shorter and taller heights:
Kikuichi Damascus (Wa and or Western...Wa has better steel and board feel, in my opinion)
http://www.chefknivestogo.com/kiswwadape15.html
http://www.chefknivestogo.com/kikuichi-damascus.html
Richmond AS laser:
http://www.chefknivestogo.com/riaosulape16.html
Konosuke HH or HD:
http://www.chefknivestogo.com/kohh15pe.html
Masakage Yuki:
http://www.chefknivestogo.com/mayupe15.html
Hiromoto:
http://www.chefknivestogo.com/hiromoto.html

Small-size petty (for very detailed work in the hands...here, I think size of handle and feel in hand are more important than steel per se):
Kikuichi Damascus
http://www.chefknivestogo.com/kidapakn80.html
Shun Classic
http://www.chefknivestogo.com/kepakn31.html
Wusthof Classic
http://www.chefknivestogo.com/wusparknif.html

Sujihikis and a break knife, for kicks:
Tojiro DP Bread:
http://www.chefknivestogo.com/toitkbrkn.html
Konosuke Suji:
http://www.chefknivestogo.com/kohdwa27.html
Masakage Kiri:
http://www.chefknivestogo.com/masakagekiri2.html

Sayas for all larger knives!!

Stones, etc:
Combo Stone:
http://www.chefknivestogo.com/imtwosi1kst.html
Shapton Set:
http://www.chefknivestogo.com/shpro2pcset1.html
DMT Extra Extra Coarse:
http://www.chefknivestogo.com/dmtextracoarse.html
Stone Holder:
http://www.chefknivestogo.com/nastho.html
Basic Magnifier:
http://www.chefknivestogo.com/20xloupe.html

While I would never claim these to be the "best" choices, or the most varied or nuanced, these are all great knives based on personal experience and/or ample research/feedback from others. Getting most of these would provide a lifetime of home kitchen use with terrific variety, or a few decades of use if she picked favorites right away. :) If I did anything "custom" (beyond some of the "commercial" customs listed above), I would consider the above suggestion to get a leather knife bag. I would also consider "custom" handles, especially for out-of-stock items. For example, you may find some out-of-stock knives in this section, with even nicer handles and more elegant designs (but the same primo steel: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/cosh.html

Again, good luck!



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Ownership experience: Konosuke, Masamoto, Tojiro, Wusthof, Henckels, etc.
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 Post subject: Re: Daughter graduating from Hampshire College
PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 3:46 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2014 9:57 pm
Posts: 133
Location: Central Illinois
I found this thread an interesting read. It is nice to see what people recommend for a 'complete' set of nieces at a higher end price point. Making notes for my own purchases. That said, I wonder if some of this might be a a step ahead. If I read the OPs post correctly, his daughter is going to graduate school, been there done that, and is interested in a nicer set of knives than the ones she currently has to work with at present. The OP mentioned that rusting would not be acceptable and, given that time will be in short supply for her as graduate student, I wonder about some of the recommended semi-stainless knives. They might represent more care than she has time for. I know that Shun knives do not get much love on the site, but they would be a step up from what she has. In addition, they are stainless and come with a lifetime warranty. I have not owned a Shun, but have owned knives from Shun's sister companies of Kershaw and Zero Tolerance and can say that they stand behind their product bar none. If she had problems with a knife, I am sure KAI would take care of her. In addition, she could send the knives into KAI and get them sharpened for free once a year for as long as she owned the knife. Value is a perceived concept and things like warranty service often get overlooked. I wonder if she had problems with one of the knives from a smaller suppler, how would she get it repaired, or what kind of warranty is even offered. In addition, she has already expressed an interest in Shun's product. Just some thoughts.


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 Post subject: Re: Daughter graduating from Hampshire College
PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 4:27 pm 

Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2012 1:36 pm
Posts: 266
Location: NY, NY; New Haven, CT
All good points, Craig_uw. It is very difficult to deal with warranties in Europe, however, due to shipping/customs on all sent packages (it costs a bundle!). I own several semi-stainless knives and, like most people on the forum, have never experienced the slightest issue with rust. Semi-stainless usually refers to the fact that the blade may discolor a bit if left soaking in reactive foods (which is harmless and does not affect performance), but that there is enough chromium in the blade to prevent rust with normal use. Some people love Shuns, of course (although some Shuns also use reactive, non-stainless cores, such as their premiere Blue Steel line). But many of us that prefer other knives prefer them due to the fundamental differences in geometry and the heat-treat of the steel—it isn't a matter of brands or warranty, but specific and significant physical differences that the many "labels" Shun now offers still fail to provide. Of course, that doesn't mean she wouldn't like them! But it does suggest that some of us – like myself – have personally tried and compared them to other brands and found them inferior for the price. Finally, while not everyone is in to sharpening, my impression is that lots of people who get into nicer knives enjoy sharpening themselves as part of the trade. My response here is mostly to provide our original poster a counterpoint to your specific ideas. I think they are entirely relevant, and may in fact be just what is needed in this tread. But it is also to instill confidence in the fact that some of us have previously considered the points you raise in our own varied histories, we just fail to mention it (I used to use top-line Henckels and Wusthofs, which also carry lifetime warrantees and that many people think are the current gold standard according to wedding registries, and I also hesitated when purchasing my first semi-stainless, only to realize it was virtually bulletproof for anyone who takes care of his or her knives by not letting them sit dirty or wet after cooking/prep and washes them by hand). Make no mistake: I think it is great you have a product and service you like and value, and I think it is very important to the quality of the forum that you share your opinions, especially if they go against the grain!



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Ownership experience: Konosuke, Masamoto, Tojiro, Wusthof, Henckels, etc.
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 Post subject: Re: Daughter graduating from Hampshire College
PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 2:08 pm 

Joined: Wed May 02, 2012 12:22 am
Posts: 101
I'm a home cook who has interned at a fine dining restaurant and, at a minimum, always carried the following in my kit. It should do well for someone traveling:

Pastry scraper
Stainless fish spatula
Fish and plating tweezers
Tongs 12"
Thermapen (expensive but worth every penny)
Bicycling sweat skull cap (lots of options and brands including one with flames)
Herb scissors
Black sharpie
Small towels

A cotton chef's jacket with my first name on it.
black and white checkered chef's pants
Good quality clogs for standing long periods (I like Sanita the best)

I'll leave the knives and stones to the others, but after years of owning some of the best out there, I'm focusing on the knives I use the most:

240 gyuto (Marko Tsourkan, but used a Konosuke HD for years)
180 petty (150 would suffice) (Konosuke HD)
paring knife (forgot the brand)
270 sujihiki (gyuto would suffice, but this gets the nicest clean cuts when slicing) (Kanamasa)

1K stone
6k stone for touch up

400 stone is necessary, but used only once a year or so. Same with flattening plate.


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