We encourage you to post your questions about kitchen knives here. We can give you help choosing a knife.
Tue Jun 04, 2013 6:19 pm
Hello all let me start by saying I am a total newb to the higher end knife game. Right now I have a lowly MAC chef series 10" chef knife. I like it a lot but it lacks the heft I need with the lack of a bolster, it is what I have seen described as a laser. I am right handed, willing to spend up to $250 and and in desperate need of some direction. I have been looking at Goko, Masamoto, and Hiromoto all 240mm Gyutos. I am very partial to the Goko because it is larger than most Gyutos which I like. This probably sounds dumb but I have been looking at Henckels Pro; it is one of their newer models with a partial bolster but it has a very aggressive curve which I don't prefer. I am open to any suggestions but I am looking for a bit heavier knife, and no full bolsters as they are difficult to sharpen. If anyone can recommend a good all around workhorse or point me in the right direction it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance for any advice.
Tue Jun 04, 2013 6:23 pm
JW <> To help you, we need a few questions answered so we can tailor a knife recommendation to your specific needs and requirements. When you ask about a knife please include as much as you can but at minimum answer these simple questions:
1. Are you right handed?
2. What type of knife are you interested in (gyuto, nakiri etc..) GYUTO
3. What size knife are you looking for? 240
4. Do you prefer carbon or stainless steel?
5. Do you prefer a western handle or a Japanese handle?
6. How much did you want to spend? $250
7. Do you know how to sharpen?
Tue Jun 04, 2013 6:27 pm
4. No preference at this point
5. No preference at this point
6. Up to $250
7. I know how to sharpen and I use naniwa chosera stones
Tue Jun 04, 2013 6:47 pm
In western handles (yo) you're used to, I'd say your best bet is a Masamoto VG. http://www.chefknivestogo.com/masamoto-chef-knife.html
Hiromoto makes a product that fits in your window nicely, as well. http://www.chefknivestogo.com/histg3gy211.html
The fully stainless Ginsanko steel, is about the same weight as your MAC, is heat treated to the same hardness so you will be familiar with its level of durability, but I do reckon will feel dramatically different in hand. Make note it is slightly shorter, as well.
They also make the same knife in a stainless clad Blue Super Steel. http://www.chefknivestogo.com/higykn24.html
This knife is a bit heftier as it is san mai, and will have a heavier feel with food because of its stiffer nature. It is a bit harder steel, read more brittle, so they will require a bit more respect in regards to chipping, but in turn you have a steel that takes a really sick edge with above average retention. For another $50, if Shaun becomes available, this service really supercharges this knife. http://www.chefknivestogo.com/feuphietandt.html
Tue Jun 04, 2013 7:10 pm
It's been a long time since I've seen a Mac Chef's series chef's knife, but as I recall it was not what I would consider a "laser" knife. It's not that thick at the spine as I recall, but the grind didn't lend itself to that "laser" geometry definition.
The Goko is lighter than your current knife, and certainly doesn't have the heft of a partial bolster. If you're looking for a heavier knife than your current Mac, not sure why you'd want this one. But, it's the best of the bunch in my opinion.
The Hiromoto is slightly heavier, but that's likely due to the partial bolster. I still really like these. Western handle, good steel, good value. There are other knives I'd pick first....like the Goko....in a stainless clad carbon knife....but it's still a really nice knife.
The Masamoto VG is even heavier...which actually kind of surprises me that it's that much heavier than the Hiromoto.
Tue Jun 04, 2013 8:23 pm
Thank you guys so much for all the help. I really like the stainless clad Hiromoto and the Masamoto VG but something about the Goko is calling to me. The real issue is I learned all my knife skills with heavy beater service knives and am just entering the world of sharpening and maintaining my own knives. I started with japanese knives, MAC as I mentioned, and the lack of weight just feels weird but the super fine egdes and the ease of sharpening them has proven to tackle every task I have thrown at them. For my brain it breaks down like this, thin super sharp knife beats produce or protein but it has to be treated gingerly and maintained and properly sharpened; heavier moderatly sharp knife wedges through produce or protein and can handle a bit of abuse. I am basically trying to get you guys to tell me that a light knife like a Goko will perform well enough to where my thinking is invalid or outdated. Basically it is Japanese vs German style, so far Japanese knives have cut the mustard but I am thinking maybe I need both.
Tue Jun 04, 2013 8:27 pm
Maybe I am looking for a hybrid. I just don't want a knife that will stay in my knife roll only to be taken out for that special task and get beaten out by a in house piece of junk that can't even cut a tomato.
Tue Jun 04, 2013 8:39 pm
I don't work in a professional kitchen, but I know enough who do and use Japanese knives exclusively and successfully. So, I know it can be done. Whether it works for you or not only you can answer.
A hard steel Japanese knife can not take the abuse a soft, thick German knife can....but I do not treat my hard, thin Japanese knives gingerly to say the least and I've never had any trouble with them.
People seem to have the premonition that Japanese knives need to be cared for like they're made of glass. They're not....but unlike a German knife, they don't take kindly to being dropped on the quarry tile floor, or used to open cans, or etc. Use it as a knife and you should be fine.
Tue Jun 04, 2013 8:53 pm
I don't work in a professional kitchen either, I work in a corporate restaurant and am by no means a chef. I am just a prep cook in need of a good knife and good advice, so far you guys are really giving it to me. Also I would never use a knife to open a can, even a German one, but would you use a japanese knife to debone a chicken.
Tue Jun 04, 2013 9:25 pm
I use a Japanese knife to debone chickens regularly....but I don't bust through bones with it.
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