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Knife recommendation

Thu Apr 24, 2014 1:49 pm

The point of this knife is to introduce me into Japanese style handle and carbon steel. After i get done practicing sharpening on my garbage knife, this knife will be used so i can get practice with sharpening carbon steel. The end game is to get lots of practice sharpening and more of a direction when choosing a good quality 210-240mm gyuto ($150-$200 range).

1. Are you right handed? yes
2. What type of knife are you interested in (gyuto, nakiri etc..) petty
3. What size knife are you looking for? 120-150mm (leaning 150 since i think i would use it in more situations)
4. Do you prefer carbon or stainless steel? carbon
5. Do you prefer a western handle or a Japanese handle? Japanese
6. How much did you want to spend? around $50
7. Do you know how to sharpen? working on it

since there is a lot of firsts for me in this knife i don't think dropping a load of cash is wise, hence why i am going with a smaller size/style knife.
this is pretty much all i found that fit the bill. I do realize i may be asking a lot at that price point.
http://www.chefknivestogo.com/toshitk15pe.html Tojrio Shirogami ITK (bad remarks on the handle being cheap, which is one of the things i am trying out)

Thanks for your help

Re: Knife recommendation

Thu Apr 24, 2014 2:14 pm

Yeah, if you stick with those requirements, that's it I believe for choices.

Another good intro to carbon, albeit having a western handle:


It's not nearly as reactive as the cladding on that Tojiro.

Re: Knife recommendation

Thu Apr 24, 2014 6:51 pm

Andrew, what about the Yamashin Funayuki? http://www.chefknivestogo.com/yawh1fu16.html

It's taller than the petty (which is also a great suggestion). A taller blade might make it a little easier to hold a consistent angle on the stones.

Re: Knife recommendation

Thu Apr 24, 2014 7:03 pm

I have the Tojiro and I have learned a lot from it, just be aware it is not a flawless knife. The knife has OK fit and finish, OK grind, the handle is OK but the ferrule is cheap plastic, and most importantly, the ITK is very reactive even compared to other carbon steel knives.

Since this is a "test" knife for you, this is perfect. Just know that if you find it too reactive, that is kinda a thing with the ITKs. The other heads up, the petty has a proportionately smaller handle, so the handle to blade size is the same from the petty to their gyuto. So just know, if you have biggish hands, the ITK handle is small.

Re: Knife recommendation

Thu Apr 24, 2014 11:25 pm

+1 with what cedar house said.

I will also add that I have the 120 Itk petty. I call it my project knife, because it is the least refined (by far) of the dozen or so J knives I have purchased. The spine and choil were nearly as sharp as the blade (I am joking, but you get the point). I will be flattering and call the kuruochi finish rustic. The handle is very pedestrian. The cladding between white steel blade and kuruouchi is very reactive - my most reactive blade by a mile.

But if you are willing to spend the time to round the spine and choil, spruce up the handle or replace it, and do a little work on the edge, it is a very capable knife. The edge is capable of getting (and staying) quite sharp.

Kind of a get-what-you-pay-for knife with a decent upside. I tried forcing a patina with a couple different mediums and found they sticking it into a rare NY strip for 10 min or so worked the best.

Hope any of the info helps.

Re: Knife recommendation

Fri Apr 25, 2014 1:20 am

thanks for the reassurance on the Tojiro, these are the downsides i figured.

interesting suggestion with the Yamashin Funayuki. Anyone able to comment on the fit and finish or handle style/feel? Taking into account shipping it only amounts to $15 more for the Yamashin and if the handle is a noticeable upgrade it might be worth it.

Re: Knife recommendation

Fri Apr 25, 2014 1:49 am

Andrew, the F&F on the Yamashin is pretty rustic, maybe slightly better the the Tojiro ITK. I like the KU finish much better on the Yamashin. The Fujiwara FKH will be the most refined with good F&F and very sharp edge OOTB (at least based on the 210 Gyuto I had recently).

You might even want to try the Fujiwara FKH 210 Gyuto: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/fujiwara210.html. It's a bit more $, but free shipping, and you get a nice versatile 210 Gyuto out of the deal. You can use a good sharp 210 Gyuto for most everyday prep tasks.

Re: Knife recommendation

Fri Apr 25, 2014 1:17 pm

i do kind of like the rustic look on the Yamashin/Tojiro. I really would like to try a knife with a Japanese style handle which is steering me away from the Fujiwara.

Re: Knife recommendation

Fri Apr 25, 2014 2:23 pm

My personal preference would be the Yamashin over the Tojiro ITK.

Re: Knife recommendation

Fri Apr 25, 2014 3:39 pm

SteveG wrote:My personal preference would be the Yamashin over the Tojiro ITK.

+1 The ITK is just to overly reactive, definitely a garbage knife. No reason to have to hate a knife while learning. You will enjoy the Yasmin more and it is SO easy to sharpen.
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