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New knife set for newbie - general advice

Sun Jan 20, 2013 7:44 pm

I would like to get started with Japanese knives and finally get rid of my cheap german set. My wife and I are just home cooks, but we feel limited by the knives at times. My only experience with Japanese knives are very briefly trying out globals and shuns at friend's homes.

I've tried to do as much homework as possible and decided that my starter "set" needs to have a paring knife, bread knife, and a 210mm or 240mm gyuto, and I can grow as needed after that.

For the Bread/paring, I have tentatively decided on:

-Tojiro 270mm ITK Bread Knife
-Richmond Artifex 80mm Paring Knife

I want to make sure I make the right call on the gyuto since it will be my "main" knife. I'd like to try a Japanese handle. I have no experience sharpening knifes, but I can watch youtube videos and learn. I would want the fit and finish to be good out of the box. My target is $150-200 for the Gyuto, but if there is a perfect blade for me for $250 I'd take a look.

I am "undecided" on stainless vs carbon. I am not concerned with patinas and extra care while washing to maintain a carbon blade, but since I have never used a whetstone, I would not want to get a knife that requires difficult/extra sharpening out of the box to use properly.

I understand that my criteria covers perhaps several dozen knives, so any advice on narrowing down the list would be appreciated.

Thanks for your time/help.

Re: New knife set for newbie - general advice

Sun Jan 20, 2013 8:47 pm

I have been using a Tojiro dp 210mm gyuto for a few months now on a professional basis. Its stainless, and it takes me about 20 minutes a week to maintain an edge using quite an array of stones and strops that I don't need. I think a 1k and a 4-7k stone would be plenty for life.

I also own the ITK bread knife, and if you want the best bread knife in the market, go for it. Its not really necessary, because the gyuto can cut through bread too.

To conclude, buy all you can because knives are a great hobby/collectors piece. People make em. We might as well enjoy them.

Re: New knife set for newbie - general advice

Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:15 am

The Goko knives are very nice...but they're rustic so the F&F is not that of a polished knife:


But they have a lot of character. :)

Otherwise a good full carbon option is the Tanaka knives:


A very nice stainless option is the Richmond Laser:


Re: New knife set for newbie - general advice

Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:47 am

The Richmond Artifex is a very good knife at an excellent price made from a good metal (AEB-L)
easy to sharpen and holds an edge well. http://www.chefknivestogo.com/riar24gy.html
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