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Wed Mar 12, 2014 11:29 am
Randy - In your situation, I'd probably go with the Artifex SAB 52100 for your main Gyuto, then a 210 stainless Gyuto for you and your wife to share. The Goko 210 stainless Damascus Gyuto: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/goda21gy.html
that's on sale right now is thin, light and has a Wa handle for some variety in your knife selections.
My wife and I both use a Tojiro DP 210 Gyuto and I love it - it's a lot of knife for the money. The Fujiwara FKM 210 Gyuto is another popular entry level Western stainless Gyuto. A lot has been written about these two knifes. In a nutshell, the Fujiwara is a little lighter, has a slightly smaller handle, and has a more pointed tip shape. F&F on both is very good, although IMO they can both use a just a little rounding of the sharp edges on the choil and spine area to make them more comfortable. It's an easy 10 minute job (if that) with 220/400 grit sandpaper. A lot of Japanese knives need this extra treatment OOTB - it's not unusual at all. The Artifex knives are typically very nicely finished on the spine/choil/neck area.
A 150mm (6") Petty/Utility knife and a 90mm (3.5") paring knife would round out your kit nicely. If you don't use a paring knife very much, you might be able to just make do with any parers that you already own, or purchase an inexpensive one for occasional use.
If M390 steel intrigues you, this Takamura R-2 150 Petty/Utility: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/takamura2.html
might be just the ticket. R-2 is a very good powdered metallurgy steel. It's on sale now as well.
Wed Mar 12, 2014 12:13 pm
Randy.. What knife does your wife use currently? Specifically, the size and shape. I might be unique but lets just say we have a 16 knife mega block of German knives in my house. My wife uses only one knife for everything, its a little over 4 inches. My 2 cents.. if she does more than 80% of her cutting with one knife then you need to replace that specific knife. Measure it, take a picture and post it on the forum. Start a new thread with pic and measurements and ask the the experts on the forum.
Get yourself the Gyuto you want.
Use both for a month or two. Then comeback to forum and get a third, a fourth, a fifth etc. With 2 months of experience on your new knives you will know better what you like and dislike.
Wed Mar 12, 2014 12:21 pm
" I might be unique but lets just say we have a 16 knife mega block of German knives in my house. My wife uses only one knife for everything, its a little over 4 inches."
Ain't that the truth
I wonder if there is a corollary between that and my wife consistently wanting to overload the dish washer, the clothes washer, her luggage, and trying to carry more than is humanly possible in order to make one trip between the car and the house
Actually - I married a good woman, her go to knife is our Tojiro DP 210 Gyuto. The 4" knife comes out for cheese, smaller fruit, and the like.
We have this good friend, though, she and her boyfriend use this crazy little 4" or 5" Santoku for everything. Drives me nuts!! I did sharpen it for them to make things a little easier.
Wed Mar 12, 2014 12:53 pm
I'm a good boyfriends / fiance / domestic partner
I left my other half my Takamura
I MISS IT ALREADY!!!
Fri Mar 28, 2014 12:48 pm
I have tried posting this review a couple times but I did not seem to get it to post. Hopefully there will not be multiple posts showing up! Firstly, I would like to say how impressed I am with the communication with CKTG regarding my recent purchases, as well as the community for their great and enthusiastic assistance. As an adult, kitchen knives have always interested me but I never had any high-end knives (read "more than $25", save the Henkels Pro Chef my wife and I got for our wedding many years ago. Up to now it has been Victornox. Neither of us our in the industry. We cook for fun and enjoyment, sometimes with success other times not so much! My original post indicated my preference was to get some knives that use some of the more "higher-end" steels. Sharpness was one of my main concerns, as I put it "function over form". "Fit and Finish" was not something I was concerned with nor all that familiar with.
In my mind, great steel from a reputable knife maker should make a great knife, albeit the expensive exotic woods, hand craftsmanship, and fine appointments. To my mind, given similar steel and decent design there should not be significant performance difference from a $500 knife and a $100 knife. My intent on the four knives I ordered were knives that will perform closely to knives costing hundreds more and that will last many years with proper care. Perhaps that is a wrong assumption. I don't know. To note, every knife I recieved is WAY sharper than any knife I have ever used, save one my Japanese stone sharpener showed me in a lesson on using stones. I am truly amazed with all the knives. To contine, I apologize if some of my comments and observations are naive or uninformed, so please feel free to educate me with your comments. Also, I have very little usage with these knives beyond initial observations and some cutting, so I will update at a future date.
First a couple questions then some VERY initial comments. What are the edge angles of the SAB 52100 and Goko Gyuto? Also, the Tojiro site says edge is 9-12 degrees...what does that mean?
Richmond SAB 52100 250mm Chef
I have always loved carbon steel. The first carbon knive I ever had was an Opinal I used backpacking. It still remains the sharpest knife I have ever had...probably a soft HC. Recently I was trying some knives...Shun, Henkels (Japanese grind), Global, and a Bob Kramer Sur La Table model. I was amazed at how much easier the Kramer cut through carrots. All the knives were sharp but the Kramer shined. So when I saw the Richmond 52100 series I wanted the SAB 250mm. My first observations is that it seems so much lighter than the Kramer, although I have not compared specs. Keep in mind that my idea of a very good knife is based on German-forged steel knives with big bolsters. The feel and performance of Sabatier-style knives may just be unfamiliar to me. Also, the knives I purchased are very different from my experiences with mostly western-style knives I have typically been using over the years. What dissapointed me a little bit about the Richmond is how easily it scratches and mars. Just one time on and off the magnetic holder and the knife has scratches I can feel with my fingernail, along with surface scratches from a sponge. The deeper scratches look black for some reason. I have since replaced the metal holder with all wood magnetic holders. I know knives will scratch but it seems as if the Richmond 52100 is very fragile, which surprises me for a chef's knife of this size. Perhaps I am comparing apples with oranges but the Kramer steel seemed more "solid". Is it fair to compare a $350 knife with a $99 knife? Fit and Finish seem good. Very sharp but would probably benefit from some stropping or honing on a stone.
Richmond Artifex 240mm AEB-L Gyuto
Similar performance with the SAB but not as "touchy" with its blade. I am most interested in the AEB-L steel performance. Fit and Finish seem good. Very sharp but would probably benefit from some stropping or honing on a stone.
Goko Damascus Gyuto 240mm VG-10
I do believe that this knife clearly shows me what a "Laser" is! It is very thin and the sharpest of the lot, easily killing in the "tomato test", although it does have a dead spot that needs touch up. My wife loves the Damscus design which I assume is etched on by machine. I am not used to shiny plastic so the ferrule appeared a bit cheap to me, although that may be my ignorance. The chestnut handle seems a bit smooth and slippery.
Tojiro DP Nakiri 165mm
The Tojiro most closely matched the western-style knives I am used to. It was the most uniformly sharpest tip to heel. Some misfitting where blade connects to handle, but not very noticeable. Very nice quality for a mass production knife. I think my wife may use this one the most.
Thanks For Your Comments, Randy
Fri Mar 28, 2014 1:48 pm
Randy - thanks for the update. That's a nice variety of knives you acquired. First off, don't worry too much about exact edge bevel angles. Most Japanese knives are sharpened to about the 15 degree per side range, some more obtuse, some more acute. If you put the knife on the counter with the edge down/spine up perfectly perpendicular to level, then if you were to visualize putting a straight edge about 15 degrees out of the side of the knife at the spine & pointing at the edge, that's roughly what a 15 edge bevel on that side means. If the left and right sides of the edge had 15 degree bevels, this would be a 30 degree inclusive edge. Just add up the two sides.
I would just paint the edge bevel on both sides w/Sharpie and do a few light strokes on a high grit stone to see where you're taking off the marker. Adjust your angle until you hit all of edge bevel, especially right at the edge of the edge. This will closely match the OOTB angle. If you don't like the factory angles, then adjust your sharpening angle accordingly to create a more acute or obtuse edge bevel. Steeper bevels (more acute, less degrees) generally cut better, but sacrifice durability, with more obtuse bevels generally doing just the opposite. You may need to learn what your knives "like". Some knives/steels will take steeper edges than others w/o degrading too quickly (ballpark, say 10 DPS). Knives like the Goko Damascus that are pretty thin at the edge, could probably work well with a more conservative edge bevel, say 15 DPS (degrees per side) and still cut well, since the edge itself is thinner.
It's hard for most people to hold a really specific angle when free hand sharpening anyway. You'll probably develop a comfort zone on sharpening, as far as what angle normally feel s good when sharpening. For me that's about 15-ish degrees and it works for most of my knives. I just work off of that to sharpen at a steeper or shallower angle when needed.
Sat Mar 29, 2014 1:45 pm
I haven't had any scratches from my metal knife magnet on the sab and haven't had any moments where I feel like its a fragile knife. I'm curious, are there any other things that make it seem fragile to you because I feel like this thing can take a beating.
Sat Mar 29, 2014 3:23 pm
I'll post a picture as soon as I can to show the scratches. My comment re: fragile is based on what I "perceive"as a metal that is easily marred, maybe unjustly so. Second is my comparison to my Henkels Pro Chef which is built like a tank. I may be using this comparison in an unknowledgeable manner, if so I apologize. Every review of the SAB by those much more knowledgeable than me have been overwhelmingly positive and that tells me I am off base. I do feel the SAB is a very good knife, and every knife I have has scratches eventually, just not so easily.
Sat Mar 29, 2014 7:46 pm
Im not asking for you to be on the defensive, im curious because its a new purchase of mine and want to know if I should look out for something. Its often hard to show someone's tone while typing, my apologies if it came out wrong.
Sat Mar 29, 2014 11:31 pm
Oh...not at all taken offensively or defensively. I just find the more I learn about knives the more I realize how interesting the art and science of knife making is. I think my tone was one of concern of not wanting
to present a negative review but just to understand the idiosyncrasies of the different steels. I had a chance to use the SAB today preparing a dinner for three. I was amazed. It was so much fun to use such a sharp and capable knife. It sliced an onion so easily I could have sliced onions all night! Anyone thinking of getting this knife will not be disappointed.
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