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First Japanese knife purchase

Tue Dec 03, 2013 3:21 pm

In the market for my first Japanese kitchen knife

I have a Messismester Elite which is awkward and cumbersome.

Is the Muruyoshu a good choice? What recommendations would you have for me in the Santoku Style?

I am open to recommendations of Japanese knives.


Re: First Japanese knife purchase

Tue Dec 03, 2013 3:43 pm

Which messermeister elite knife is it? Is it the length, weight, blade shape, or some mix that you find awkward and cumbersome? The balance point maybe?

I'll let someone that knows more recommend an actual knife, but hopefully some of the answers to these questions can prevent them from recommending a knife just as awkward and cumbersome for you. ;)

I will say that I love the santoku blade shape, and you are definitely in the right place for Japanese knife recommendations. :)

Edit: I had a look at the Maruyoshi santoku, and my that is a beautiful blade! lol It has VG10 which is a good stainless steel. Other than that I know nothing about it... lol

Re: First Japanese knife purchase

Tue Dec 03, 2013 4:22 pm

You are correct , what type of knife I have would help.....

"Elite Santoku"

Re: First Japanese knife purchase

Tue Dec 03, 2013 5:29 pm

And how much do you want to spend?
Do you know how to sharpen?
Or do you maybe consider starting it since you read everywhere on here that is's easy and fun and rewarding? (that's what I heard :))

Re: First Japanese knife purchase

Tue Dec 03, 2013 5:32 pm

From the looks of the Messermeister the handles seem to be very similar to Japanese western style handles only the back is more hooked.

They also look like they would be a similar weight to a Japanese santoku with western handles. If your current knife is too heavy, maybe a wa (traditional Japanese) handle would be good as knives with those tend to be lighter. The handle would be oval-ish (sometimes "D" shaped) or octagonal and have a slight taper from butt to blade. There would be no real curves to the blade whatsoever like a western handle has.

Do you know if your current Messer santoku has a 5" or 7" blade? Is it long or short enough for you? Is the blade too tall or too short from spine to edge?

The Messer santokus look very similar in size and shape to a LOT of santoku knives, so it is possible whatever santoku is recommended could feel just as awkward and cumbersome. Maybe a different blade type would be good? What is it used for primarily? If you use it for everything like I use my santoku, you might like a gyuto, which is kind of the Japanese take on a western style chef's knife, only better. ;) It has more of a point and can be gotten in shorter lengths like a santoku, but still retains a flat heel area towards the back in most cases and more of a belly towards the front than a santoku offers.

Re: First Japanese knife purchase

Tue Dec 03, 2013 9:38 pm

I would like to spend $200.00 for the knife. I will at a later date start sharpening knives but lack the skills to do my own. sometime soon.
Rewarding? that slurrey looks gross to me.

I have a 7 inch Messer and I don't feel i have control of the front 2 or 3 inches. I love using a paring knife but making stews, omelets and stir fry requires a bit more knife than a steak knife cutting vegetables….thus the Messer

Re: First Japanese knife purchase

Tue Dec 03, 2013 10:42 pm

The slurry is essentially just mud. It helps to polish the blade while you sharpen. I think the Shapton glass stones don't make a whole lot of it though if you want to avoid it anyway. Just splash some water on it, sharpen, no muss, no fuss. ;)

Re: First Japanese knife purchase

Wed Dec 04, 2013 8:46 am

Bill - I'm going to recommend the Kohetsu AS Santoku 180: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/koaosusa18.html. It's super light, nimble, a great performer, and a great value as well. You'll need to care for the carbon steel edge (it's stainless clad) by wiping the knife periodically as you switch between products when cutting and then wash and dry well before storing it.
It's really not that hard at all once you get in the basic habit. As you use the knife, the edge will build up a patina, or layer of oxidation that will help protect the edge steel from corroding, but you still won't want to let it sit with moisture on it. It's easy - use, wipe, wash, dry, put away :-). This is good practice for any knives, not just carbon steel. It takes like 60 seconds after you're done using it to do this.

And to add, yes the Shapton Glass stones don't build much slurry, and you can easily just add some water to wash it away during sharpening.

Re: First Japanese knife purchase

Wed Dec 04, 2013 9:22 am

Yeah, washing and drying a knife is good to do regardless of steel... not all stainless will do it but I have seen some that will actually get rust spots, discolor, or have some pitting occur if put away wet. Stainless does not always mean stain proof, just that it stains less. :)

Re: First Japanese knife purchase

Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:20 am

Thank you to all in my quest in purchasing a Japanese kitchen knife.
I have narrowed the search to a Kohetsu santoku (thanks Steve) I like the weight and the peppers. onions, mushroom tomatoes and celery can be processed rather quickly. For carrots and potatoes I will rely on the sharpness of the knife.
Does anyone know when to wipe clean the knife? Is it between the progression from vegetable to vegetable or when the task is completed?
I am also reviewing the Sharpton sharpening stones upon this groups recommendation.
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