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 Post subject: How about a Sujihiki as a first Japanese knife?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2014 3:09 am 

Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2014 11:21 am
Posts: 129
Location: Long Island, NY
Hi. Well not exactly a first.

My wife game me a Kikuichi Warakomi Damascus gold 210 Gyuto as a gift. I'm now ruined forever.... cutting will never be the same.

Looking to upgrade my collection of Henckel 4 star piece by piece. Have multiple 6, 8s and 10 chefs slicers, carving etc., etc. have had luck over the years picking them up at tag sales and there used to be a good sharpener in town. The Henckels have all had the edges reduced to 15*. Also Have a shun utility, dual density utility and parer.

My plan is to learn a little more about better knives and pick up a good 240 Gyuto as my main knife once I'm better educated and have a better idea what I really want. In the meantime the Kikuichi and my trusty Henckels will suffice nicely but would like to start building out a few Japanese knives.

So what about a Sujihiki? Here's my profile;


1. Are you right handed?
>>>Yes.
2. What type of knife are you interested in (gyuto, nakiri etc..)
>>>Not a Gyuto just yet.
>>> Also admit to being a gear head and collector. For me it's equal parts zen and art and utility.
3. What size knife are you looking for?
>>>Depends on the knife type.
4. Do you prefer carbon or stainless steel?
>>>Not sure. Don't own any carbon. Am pretty good about drying and washing my knives though.
5. Do you prefer a western handle or a Japanese handle?
>>>Have not used Japanese handles but want to try one.
Pinch grip. Draw slice. Little bit of rock chop.
6. How much did you want to spend?
>>>About $200.
7. Do you know how to sharpen? No but am jumping in with both feet. Edgepro and freehanding stones on the way.

By the way, am also a home user and I cook an awful lot of boneless meat and fish.

Appreciate everyone's thoughts and advice.



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 Post subject: Re: How about a Sujihiki as a first Japanese knife?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2014 12:51 pm 

Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2012 11:01 pm
Posts: 389
Location: ATL
Two things that I think you should consider as part of your selection process when choosing a suji.

When slicing meat do you want the ability to not have to wipe the knife after each mini session or would you like the flexibility to set the knife on the board and possibly wipe it less frequently?

What are the food types you will be slicing most frequently or are targeting with this knife? You mention boneless meat and fish above. Do you use your slicer frequently on the fish?

I went through my suji selection process for quite some time with the above two questions at the top of my decision making process before finally deciding on what I felt was a great choice for me.

I decided on the Richmond AS 270 based on the desire for flexibility in wiping the blade during dinner and used mostly on cooked chunks of meat, so my preference was for a more substantial blade in terms of thickness. YMMV.


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 Post subject: Re: How about a Sujihiki as a first Japanese knife?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2014 1:43 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2012 5:24 am
Posts: 294
Are you looking for a thin/flexible suji? Or something a bit more stiff/stout?

Mowgs


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 Post subject: Re: How about a Sujihiki as a first Japanese knife?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2014 7:18 pm 

Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2014 11:21 am
Posts: 129
Location: Long Island, NY
Truthfully right now I'm trying to decide if a Sujihiki is right for me. Believe I'm looking for a single knife to slice, filet and do some chopping. See myself using it on already boned chicken and various cuts of beef; vegetables when I'm too lazy to get out my chefs knives. Don't see myself using it to filet fish but can see my self using it to make precise slices.

The other thing that has me a little bit confused is simultaneously I'll be using it learn knife sharpening once I progress far enough on my training knives.



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 Post subject: Re: How about a Sujihiki as a first Japanese knife?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2014 8:13 pm 

Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2012 11:01 pm
Posts: 389
Location: ATL
A gyuto will make a much better slicer than a suji will a chopper.


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 Post subject: Re: How about a Sujihiki as a first Japanese knife?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 1:47 am 

Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2014 11:21 am
Posts: 129
Location: Long Island, NY
Thanks. I see your point. Maybe I need to rethink things. I have a couple of conflicting wants.

- Want and will eventually get a serious 240 Gyuto. Not ready for that yet. Figuring it will be expensive and am fine working with the Kikuichi 210 wife gave me for a while.
- Also want something with a Japanese handle to try.
- Also need something different from my Henckels as develop my knife sharpening skills.

Probably over thinking matters and should leave it alone for a while.



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 Post subject: Re: How about a Sujihiki as a first Japanese knife?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 3:18 am 
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Joined: Mon May 19, 2014 1:52 am
Posts: 355
Location: Philly
I much rather slice with a 240 Gyuto then chop, mince, cut carrots/potatoes etc with a Sujihiki as well.

Here are 3 choices at 240mm:
Konosuke HH Funayuki Gyuto 240mm - $235
Sakai Takayuki Damascus Wa-Gyuto 240mm - $180
Richmond Addict 2 AEBL 240mm Gyuto - $170

I assumed you wanted stainless and the Konosuke is a little outside your price point of $200 but I put it on the list. The next 2 come under 200 and maybe you could add the Idahone ceramic rod until you are able to buy your sharpening stones. You need something to help the edge until you get stones/strops.

Personally in the home environment I would only buy a Sujihiki if I was say slicing a lot of cooked meat every week, talking like 3 or 4 roasts of 5lbs every week. If not I rather have both a 210 and 240 Gyuto, a really good pairing knife, a 150-160mm petty knife and and relatively ok serrated bread knife something under $50-60.

The Gyuto is your all purpose knife. It can do anything. Sure specialized knives can perform its intended task better but fail when you use it for an unintended task. Where as your gyuto will get by doing anything.



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 Post subject: Re: How about a Sujihiki as a first Japanese knife?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 6:14 am 

Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2014 7:15 am
Posts: 1077
Location: Raleigh, NC
If your goal is to try nice Japanese knives, you might seriously consider picking up a nakiri. They're usually not as costly and they're very easy to sharpen. And everyone needs to cut fruit and veg.

I don't think there's anything wrong with picking up a sujihiki, either, considering you already have a very decent gyuto and plan to build up to a better one. I keep a 270mm sujihiki and a 240mm gyuto on the magnetic strip any time I'm prepping or doing a five course meal and I use the sujihiki just as much as the gyuto. It's surprisingly good at dicing an onion.


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 Post subject: Re: How about a Sujihiki as a first Japanese knife?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 12:34 pm 

Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2012 11:01 pm
Posts: 389
Location: ATL
Lepus makes a good suggestion. If you are itching to add something to the collection and not ready to pick up your ultimate 240, how are you on a nice ~150mm petty or really step out with a nakiri? Your budget allows for a nice broad selection in either. Picking up a petty with different characteristics than your Kikuichi will give you another chance to fine tune your preferences before settling on your 240. Lately I've been using my petty A LOT when I only have a couple of items to prep or dice/chop/slice.


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 Post subject: Re: How about a Sujihiki as a first Japanese knife?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 2:06 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2013 6:00 pm
Posts: 2279
Rob, as you can see, you have many ways to proceed. I'm going to go outside the box a bit with some suggestions.

First, you mentioned getting an EP and free hand stones. I highly recommend starting with the EP and learning to create nice edges with that system. You'll get a feel for how clean edge bevels should look, how the stones grind the steel, how fast, how the tip area is tackled, etc. You'll also get a feel for what SHARP is really like. This will make the transition to free hand sharpening much easier IMO, plus you get some stupid sharp knives on the EP - win, win :-).

Second, getting a knife with a nice carbon steel cutting edge will make learning to sharpen even easier IMO. Good carbon steel normally sharpens quite easily and it just wants to get sharp fast - hard to explain until you start sharpening a variety of steels, especially lower quality SS. Carbon steel is especially nice when learning to free hand because it usually takes less time to sharpen, increasing your confidence - that's a big deal IMO.

Two ways I'd recommend going for a carbon starter experience would be either getting a smaller, inexpensive knife like the Yamashin White #1 Funayuki or going for a great performing but not too expensive 240 like the Kohetsu Blue #2 240 Gyuto: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/kobl2gy24.html. The Yamashin has a nice flat edge profile and being shorter, it'll be a little easier to learn with on the EP. The 240 is much more versatile and would make a really nice slicer as well. I normally use a 240 Gyuto to slice chicken, beef, pork and the like and don't bother to drag out the 270 Suji unless I have larger items to slice. A good, reasonably thin Gyuto works great for slicing. The Kohetsu I mentioned is a heck of a performer - it's not a Wa handle, but the blade is awesome and the steel is very easy to sharpen.


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