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 Post subject: New Knives for Home Use only
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:27 am 

Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:10 am
Posts: 6
Hi Everyone

My girlfriend and I are looking to purchase couple of good knives to use in the kitchen at home. I am right handed but my partner is left handed so ambidextrous is preferable.

At this stage we are looking for a 240mm Gyuto, a Nakiri and a bread knife.

Our budget is at about $180 - $200 for each - and after reading quite a few of these posts, I'm really liking the look of the Masakage Yuki and the Goko's (even though neither offer a matching bread knife).

I have a few questions:

1. For beginners like us, do we need all three of these types of knife, or should we just get a Gyuto?

2. Would the two brands above be a good starting point, or should we be looking at others?

3. In terms of maintenance, are we best off just buying a honing steel to maintain the edge, and get the knives professionally sharpened when necessary?

We look forward to your feedback....

Thanks

Michael


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 Post subject: Re: New Knives for Home Use only
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 12:50 pm 

Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:29 am
Posts: 624
Location: Philippines
tojiro itk bread knife

you'd wanna get your first combo stones like a king 1k/6k stone.


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 Post subject: Re: New Knives for Home Use only
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:31 pm 
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Both of the knives you listed are good knives, no need to look elsewhere. However, do not that both are asymetrically ground for a righty. It can be an issue when a lefty cuts with them....most lefty's get used to rather quickly though.

A gyuto can do everything a nakiri can do, but a nakiri cannot do everything a paring knife can. :) I try to always recommend a gyuto, a paring knife, and a bread knife as the first three.

The knives you're looking at need waterstones....not a honing steel. A ceramic honing rod can be used effectively on these (like the Idahone) but you really should try some stones. Just getting on 1,000 grit stone will do wonders.



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 Post subject: Re: New Knives for Home Use only
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:15 pm 
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MICHAEL <>
    1. As usual, I agree w/Adam - in that a pairer is IMO a better choice then the Nakiri. I will add the Nakiri is a love/hate kinda thing for a Westerner, and you never know... maybe you/your GF resonate w/it. Regardless, unarguably redundant in a set of 3 if you're trying to create the most versatility; I don't care what anyone says. A bread knife is a great choice as it cuts bread like a straight edge can not, and can double duty with fruits & other limited slicing duties.

    2. Both brands you are looking at are reactive cores. The stainless cladding makes the maintenance MUCH easier, but make no mistake... these are still reactive steel edges & require attention that self-proclaimed "beginners" might not want. You never know so I'm raising the point. You might want fully stainless... its an option.

    I will say of the two laminated knives you mention, I would recommend the Goko @Rc60 as opposed to the less forgiving Masakage. For a "beginner" @home, a Masakage @Rc62 will endure less abuse then the softer Goko.

    You never specify Wa or Yo although both your choices are Wa. The Masamoto VG is an awesome stainless Yo for your application http://www.chefknivestogo.com/masamoto-chef-knife.html as is the MAC Pro http://www.chefknivestogo.com/macprmichkn9.html. The Tamahagane has sort of a hybrid handle, and the listed VG5 I find to be dramatically less chippy then VG-10 http://www.chefknivestogo.com/tasantschkn1.html. I say "listed" as some speculate the Masa & MAC are VG5, as well.

    3. I concur w/Franz & Adam, in my own ways: if you get a 1K stone, you might as well get the 1k/6k combo. Mark has the King in 800/6k & the Imanishi & Shun stones in 1k/6k. Stones can be found elsewhere in varying ranges... Tojiro has 1k/3k @$50, Norton has a 1k/4k @$70. Messermeister has a two stone combo set, 400/1k & 2k/5k @$80.

    Regarding the steel... how about a strop.?! http://www.chefknivestogo.com/haamstkit.html It will teach you how to sharpen w/o grinding precious metal off on stones, it will hone your edges back into working order quickly after mild deformation, and they will refine the edges you create on the stones... once you evolve to that stage. ;)



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 Post subject: Re: New Knives for Home Use only
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 1:59 am 
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I'd recommend getting the gyuto, nakiri and petty. Get the bread knife at wallmart.

You will love the nakiri...and your better-half will too. There's a reason the Japanese created the Usuba...and there's a reason chef's in Japan use it on a regular basis. The reason is, you can move through vegetables, accurately, at light speed. It makes the gyuto look clumsy.

Westerners love gyutos...it's a preference. Have you ever chopped a clove of garlic with a machete? I haven't used my 240 twin henckel in 6 months. Rarely.......maybe for some bigger stuff, like lettuce, cabbage, meat, etc.
Have you seen Takeda's catalog? It lists gyuto exactly as what i've found it useful for, cabbage and meat...and it's true.
http://shop.niimi.okayama.jp/kajiya/eshop/index.html

I'd recommend the Moritaka #2 Aogami series. Blue steel is a joy to sharpen(+ it gets very sharp).
http://www.chefknivestogo.com/mosuse.html

I third the 1k/6k waterstone. When you're beginning with carbon, sharpening is the most important thing to learn...and the knives need to be cleaned and dried after use.



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 Post subject: Re: New Knives for Home Use only
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 8:44 am 

Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:10 am
Posts: 6
Thank you all for your advice and input.

In relation to the pairing knife - do you have any suggestions? Is a paring knife the same as a 'petty' or has my naivety got the better of me again? Also, any other suggestions for bread knives?

In relation to the reactive core - would you suggest we steer clear all together or do you think if we maintain the knives well, we should be ok?

In relation to the handle - we don't really have a preference and I'd say we will just eventually get comfortable with the handle we select. I'm thinking the balde is more important than the handle. Would you all agree?

Lastly, are there any other strop sets that you would suggest - that one appears to be out of stock.....

Thanks again. I look forward to your responses!

Michael


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 Post subject: Re: New Knives for Home Use only
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:32 am 

Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:15 am
Posts: 90
As Franz wrote: tojiro itk bread knife

The Tojiro ITK bread knife is a very popular bread knife


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 Post subject: Re: New Knives for Home Use only
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 2:10 pm 
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Typically a "petty" refers to a knife 120mm to 150mm in length. There are some 180mm and 210mm petty's...but they're kind of rare.

A parer is typically something in the 80mm range.

http://www.chefknivestogo.com/riar80pakn.html

I like the Dojo parer too, but it's out of stock at the moment.

If you spend any amount of time thinking about care of a knife, the carbon core, stainless clad knives should be fine. Simple stuff, wipe them down clean and dry before you leave them. Even if not perfectly clean, you'll be fine. Just don't leave wet or with food particles on the carbon core.....which is only like 1/2" wide maybe.

Yes, the blade is more important. Some could care less what handle they have because they pinch grip the blade and the handle does little of nothing. The only knife I have a big affinity towards handle comfort is on a parer. It has to be the right size for me.

Either wait for that strop to come back into stock (it's that good) or get a high grit stone and strop with that.



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 Post subject: Re: New Knives for Home Use only
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 8:50 pm 
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MICHAEL <>

    1a: Paring knives do just that... pare. You can not efficiently pare a pear, hull a strawberry, turn an artichoke, etc. w/a Nakiri, Gyuto, or bread knife... or do a myriad of other small tasks.. period. A paring knife is a no brainer, and that is why it is consensus. A paring knife is also a very personal thing. As are all knives, but there is something unique about the intimate dynamic of small tasks that makes a paring knife really have to fit. My long winded point is a paring knife is a quest. Again, as are all knives, but most Chefs - worth their salt - agree with me on this one. My search has been running over two decades, and although Im content with my current go-to, it has its limitations. All knives do, but you're trying to create a versatile set here in 3 knives. The Japanese have a knife for everything, but honestly, it can create a huge knife set & that's not what you're shooting for here. Compromise is key here. You can go to http://www.chefknivestogo.com/paring-knives.html to see a choice of Mark's parers. 75-95mm is the typical parer; 95 a compromise to versatility, 75 a compromise to precision. I have an Asai damascaus 75mm that is, for me, too tall @heel as the cutting edge extends too far out from the handle centerline). I have a vintage French carbon 75mm that is, for me, too thin/delicate for an everyday parer & it's a mini honesuki profile; great for fruit carvings, but a narrow forte. I have a 75mm Kasumi that is much like the Frenchy in its delicate nature, just not an everyday workhorse parer. All of those 75's are great for precision work, but not everyday machines... for me. I have countless 95's that are all pretty much alike: one group are the, lets call it, Victorinox type with a thin circumference handle & blade that pretty much continues straight there from, and then, let's call it, german type with a larger handle & full or half bolstered blades. I prefer the 95 as I can pare a more broad range of products with them efficiently. With a 95, I can hull a strawberry with the tip as quickly as I can turn an artichoke at the heel; a 75 doesn't have enough heel to do so though the closer tip will hull a strawberry more easily. I also find @95mm it allows usage as a limited petty; its the best compromise of length Ive found for me. I've tried using the 120mm petty length, but it compromises out too much of the paring ability. The 95mm I use everyday for the last two seasons, unless testing alternates, is a Tamahagane San Tsubame Micarta. It has a relatively larger handle & surprisingly, I like the curved heel of the handle as it digs into the palm of my hand when Im rotating around the handle for precision work allowing a more secure grip. I like the VG5 steel in this application as it is capable of getting a screaming sharp edge off the stones, but retains a durable working edge well after that wears off. As I mentioned before I find it less chippy then VG10 & @Rc59, I find the Tamahagane really durable for the treatment a parer is sometimes subject to. For instance, I often use her to french chicken breasts; the bone to cutting edge contact can be a bit much for acutely sharpened brittle steel, and I dont have the time nor interest in backing out my bevels just for one task. I also like the thickness of the San Tsubame as it offers a solid feeling when having to torque the blade. I have used the Shun classic http://www.chefknivestogo.com/kepakn31.html briefly & liked its ergonomics, but didnt have nearly long enough with her to form an opinion. I like the height @ the heel in relation to handle centerline & I like the handle, albeit dramatically different than the Tamahagane. I imagine at some point I will pick one up for a month of testing.

    side note: I respectfully disagree with the premise of Desol's statement solely as it is a blanket statement, "You will love the nakiri...and your better-half will too."

    More accurately could read, "You might love the nakiri, and your better-half might, too."


    1b: As for the bread knives, the consensus is the Tojiro @$70 is a rockstar. I've never used one to comment, but I can say that if you want to save some coin in this arena... the Forschner http://www.chefknivestogo.com/fowabrkn10.html @$32 is one damn reliable knife, and far better then any garbage you could procure at Walmart.

    2: As Adam states, if you're conscious of it & put effort into it... you will be fine, but do you want to put effort into the care of your knives while amid cooking? Maybe you do; I don't know, but I am alerting you to the facts. Care after you're done, is one thing, but wiping during use is something you have to get used to... and its a major annoyance to many. If you get some harmful oxidation, its easy enough to polish out, but do you want to add a step to your cooking responsibilities while you have three pots going, two items in the oven, one on the grill & mise en place for a salad on your board? That is the question. I'm not for or against; I'm just sharing w/you. I have reactive, stainless-clad & stainless cutlery, and use both everyday... every.. day.

    3: The blade is most important, but almost any blade is handled in both Wa or Yo. If you go Wa, it takes getting used... period. If you want to get used to something - you want to go through the acclimation whereas it just feels strange in the beginning, by all means go Wa, but if you want to get quality steel that feels "normal" in your hand as you have most probably held Yo handled knives your entire life then go Yo. I'm not for or against; I'm just sharing with you. I use predominantly all Wa handled knives, but have plenty Yo, as well (e.g., parers, Gokujo, Western Deba, germans).

    4: I strongly suggest you submit in the drop down to be updated when the strop set is back in stock. Anything worth having is worth waiting for...




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 Post subject: Re: New Knives for Home Use only
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 10:23 pm 
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"side note: I respectfully disagree with the premise of Desol's statement solely as it is a blanket statement, "You will love the nakiri...and your better-half will too." "More accurately could read, "You might love the nakiri, and your better-half might, too."

Agreed. Personally, i do NOT like prepping small vegetables with a machete...having personally discovered the reasoning behind the creation and use of the Usuba/Nakiri. There really isn't a grey area between the Gyuto and the Usuba, even tho many westerners choose to believe that 'there is'. There isn't. I would offer my opinion, that in the kitchen, the Usuba is in fact a far more important knife than the Gyuto. (unless of course, your restaurant solely deals in meat and cabbage)

At first i was pining over my carbon knives; i cleaned them religiously during cooking as i didn't like seeing them 'tarnish'. Now i simply wash and dry them after use. There's usually little rust or patina that forms, and it is quickly removed with hot water and a rag or a plastic scrubby. At some point, i refresh the knife on the 6k anyway...which removes everything.

Owning the Usuba/Nakiri is a great learning experience. Mostly, because it results in more enjoyment while cooking! :)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFbMpLmCGSo



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