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Knife for my mother.

Mon Jun 03, 2013 2:22 pm

Hi Mark, I'd like to buy a knife for my mother. She's complaining that her knives are too hard to sharpen and she doesn't want to let my dad try because he grinds them down to toothpicks. I've learned how to use Japanese sharpening stones so I'd like to start her afresh with a decent Utility Knife that isn't too hard to sharpen and stay sharp. Can you recommend a few knives....I don't mind spending $$$ on a quality knife but for comparison purposes could you break a few knives down into three price categories? She uses her favourite knife (6 inch) for general purpose meat cutting, de-skinning fish and vegetables. Thanks in advance....P.S. Any word on the availability of the Pierre Rodrigue Mid Tech 240mm Gyuto ? Many thanks, Eddie.

Re: Knife for my mother.

Mon Jun 03, 2013 2:41 pm

6" is about 150 mm -- do you have a photo of what she uses today? Does she use the knife freehand, "chopping" on a board, or both?

There are a few knife shapes that might work out well and narrowing things down a bit would help.

The petty knife tends to be narrower, like a Western paring knife. The santoku is taller and was originally a Japanese home cook's general-purpose knife. The funayuki was originally a general-purpose boatman's knife but the name is coming to be used to describe a knife that is tall enough to work well on a board, as well as having a tip that is nimble for fine work.

For some examples:

There isn't a "funayuki" page yet, but a few shorter examples would be:

Re: Knife for my mother.

Mon Jun 03, 2013 3:00 pm

I'm going to assume we're wanting a 150mm petty.

Three price categories:

Sub $50:



The Richmond has better steel, but the Fujiwara has a better handle

Sub $100:


Stainless clad carbon in a great knife. Handle is okay....barely. But the blade is great

Sub $150:


A lot like the Goko above, but nicer handle, nicer grind....more famous maker.


Nearly stainless, will have very good fit & finish, great steel.....really a nice knife.
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