It is currently Sat Oct 25, 2014 10:07 pm



Welcome
Welcome to chefknivestogo

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest, which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community, you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content, and access many other special features. In addition, registered members also see less advertisements. Registration is fast, simple, and absolutely free, so please, join our community today!





 Page 1 of 2 [ 14 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: New Member--Japanese Newbie
PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2014 7:22 pm 

Joined: Tue May 27, 2014 7:03 pm
Posts: 4
I am interested in building a collection of practical japanese kitchen knives. I have lots of the usual german knives now--20 plus years old. 90% of the time I grab the large chef knife.

I am right handed, have no real skill with knives but get what I want done reasonably well. I am neutral on handle, having not used a japanese style handle before. I am open to SS or carbon but would probably prefer stainless. Looks, fit and finish are important to me, but I do not like too much bling (e.g. William Sonoma Shun type stuff is over the top to me). I can sharpen ok--that is, I can get the old henkels to barely shave if I work at it. But all I have is a King combo stone now. I kind of enjoy it and trust I will get better with some new stones and practice. I am ok on budget, just do not want to be disappointed. I have seen lots of knives on this site that interest me--Masamoto, Konosuke, Takeda, Richmond. I just want to get started and will probably get more eventually. Right now I am looking at the Konosuke Fujiyama Blue no.2. Maybe 270 Gy. Would welcome comment. I am also unclear on whether I would prefer a 50 50 bevel vs other--mainly, is it harder to sharpen?

Have mercy on my newness, please. :?

Kind regards

Jc


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Member--Japanese Newbie
PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2014 8:41 pm 
Forum Moderator

Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2013 6:00 pm
Posts: 2401
Hi JC - lots of questions there :-).

Thanks for the background info. Without knowing more about your situation and/or specific preferences, you did mention probably preferring stainless - at least to start. I'm going to recommend either a full stainless knife or a carbon steel knife clad with stainless. On a stainless clad carbon blade, only the core carbon steel exposed at the edge area will be reactive, the stainless cladding will not. You mentioned the Konosuke Fujiyama Blue #2 - a fantastic knife, but it's an reactive cladding carbon steel blade, in other words, the entire blade is reactive.

Japanese knives with Japanese style handles (Wa handles) often exhibit a more blade forward balance point than Western (Yo) handled knives. I might suggest you start with a middle weight 240 Gyuto for a Wa handled version, or a light weight 270 model.

I'll also recommend that we get you set up with some nicer quality water stones. They will cut steel faster and generally outperform your King combo stone, increasing your confidence and success. Really good stones definitely make things easier.

Some recommendations:

Kohetsu AS 270mm Gyuto: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/koaosu27gy.html. A light, nimble 270 with a great Aogami Super carbon steel core - stainless clad.

Maskage Koishi 240mm Gyuto: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/makogy24.html. A bad ass stainless clad, AS cored blade. These are usually a little over 240mm in length - right up your alley. Solid middle weight with some heft to the blade.

Kaneihiro Ginsan 240mm Gyuto: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/kagigy24.html. An all stainless high performance knife with understated classic looks.

Richmond AS Laser 240mm Gyuto: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/rilaaosu24gy.html. OOS at the moment. Mark usually gets a few in at a time and you must jump on one to get one. Really nice stainless clad, AS core knife.

I'll come up with more - these are just off the top of my head as suggestions.

Ask more questions - give us as much info as possible :-).


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Member--Japanese Newbie
PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2014 8:55 pm 

Joined: Tue May 27, 2014 7:03 pm
Posts: 4
Hi, very helpful. My current go to knife is a 10 inch Henckels 4 star. It does not have a particularly big belly, but is pretty useless when chopping. (or I am). I am fairly tall, and strong and have a tendency to muscle through things (something I am hoping to change/learn not to do). I think the stainless clad sounds like a great idea. Definitely up for some stones. 2 or 3 really good ones. I do not want to get stone envy later!
I think a gyuto is a must and am leaning toward 270 but expect I would eventually have two so it is ok either way. I would like a second knife for slicing and really sharp work and fish--could that be the laser?
Also, I still need something for when I am being cruel to it, splitting ribs, etc--Can these do that or should I look for something along that line.
I virtually never use a paring or smaller knife (maybe that is not a good thing?)
Again, definitely want lifetime quality, but I assume all of these are in that range if taken care of.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Member--Japanese Newbie
PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2014 9:14 pm 
Forum Moderator

Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2013 6:00 pm
Posts: 2401
JC, you'll get out your softer steel Henckels (or knives like it) for rougher duty. You won't want to use these on bone, frozen foods or other rough duty. The steel is harder and the edges are usually thinner, resulting in a less forgiving blade. They are fabulous for their intended purpose. Use them within those parameters and you'll get many years of faithful service.

If you want something really mean for going through bone - the CCK bone chopper is a beast :-) http://www.chefknivestogo.com/cckbonechopper.html

You could use a thinner, more laser style knife as a slicer. If you keep your knife(s) sharp, you won't need to muscle through most product. With proper technique, you'll let the knife do most of the work.

The Richmond Laser 270mm AEB-L Gyuto: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/rila27gy.html is another nice choice for a thinner, laser style Gyuto. It's full stainless, made from easy to sharpen AEB-L steel.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Member--Japanese Newbie
PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2014 9:34 pm 

Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2014 6:45 am
Posts: 135
Yo Cricket,

I have just begun going through what you are about to embark upon. This site has been a key to my obtaining more information in a month or two than I could have in years of flipping around the internet. The great folks on this site have been nothing but helpful. To date I have purchased one SS Konosuke HH 270 Sujahiki, a Masakage Shimo 240 Gyuto, a Masakage 150 Shimo Petty and now have on its way a new Konosuke Blue #2 270 Gyuto CKtG just got in. I have been asking about this particular Fuji knife since I started here and cannot wait to try it out.

As you will discover sharpening any knife is the key to everything knife related. I am going through a very fast learning curve digesting as many video's and how to learning tools I can get a-hold of. These will help you to at least have a starting knowledge of what it takes but it will be up to you to get as much info as you can and then jump into the deep end regarding sharpening. Take your time.

Like you, I have been using my Henckles 4 stars for decades and they have been fine however, there is nothing like Japanese Steel or Stainless steel when properly sharpened. With that said, each J-knife or any knife I now own seems to have its own personality and feel. I can see why now there are so many different Smith's making so many different kinds of blades, using so many different kinds of steels. Very much individual and very, very subjective.

My suggestion, if you can stand it, is to ask the questions, order a knife or two (I highly recommend a Gyuto to start, especially one on the thinner side), get used to sharpening either on the Edge Pro or by hand (Use your old Henckles as a testing ground) and then make some decisions after you have asked some more questions and lapped up as much info as you can stand. You might consider getting your sharpening stones and a Strop or two out of the way as you can get your German Steel pretty darn sharp though once you go J knife you probably will not go back. You might, however, relegate you German steel to guests in your kitchen because you may become very protective of your Japananese Blades. Perhaps purchase one Steel knife and one SS knife to see how you feel about patina and the knife care which prevents it or enhances it.

One of the items I felt was very interesting and a bit intimidating at first is deciding if you want a "Laser" thin type of blade or something more substantial in the hands. Your German Steel feels substantial but it is important to get used to the idea of lighter weight not necessarily being a bad thing and based on what I read and now have experienced is generally highly regarded and appreciated for both the home cook and in many cases the professional maven.

For me looks were almost as important as functionality (I wanted both) so if that applies to you then make sure you note it. I would not be completely afraid of the reactive nature of these knives though you will not be able to lay them in the sink or wait for the house keeper to clean them after or during use. A good lightly damp cloth at your work area will keep things fine even with higher acidic foods. I am a bit more anal and have a dry cloth next to me as well. Depending on the product you may need to wipe more or less but it is a good habit to get into. Then learn to properly wash, properly dry and properly store your knife. It probably took more time to type this than to properly clean your knife so do not get too worried. However, if you still have a lot of concern about patina, rust, etc. then stick with the Stainless knives as there are a ton of great ones out there. Again, I have asked more questions than I care to admit but the members of this board have been amazing in their responses. Very best of luck and welcome.

P.S. this stuff can become very addictive as most everyone here will attest.

Jamie

Jamie


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Member--Japanese Newbie
PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2014 10:30 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:22 am
Posts: 733
Jamie has been paying attention. :lol:


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Member--Japanese Newbie
PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2014 11:16 pm 

Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2014 2:28 am
Posts: 259
For slicing and fish applications, a good sujihiki might be what you are looking for. Konosuke makes some phenomenal SS suji's, (as well as every knife they make.) I dont know what you have currently, but since you are looking into next level cutlery, you might also want to look into a really nice cutting board. No sense in putting crappy tires on a Ferrari.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Member--Japanese Newbie
PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2014 1:36 am 

Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2014 6:45 am
Posts: 135
Tall Dark and Swarfy wrote:Jamie has been paying attention. :lol:

:D


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Member--Japanese Newbie
PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2014 4:21 am 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 6:20 am
Posts: 1841
A few thoughts:

1) I agree with much of what has been said here. I particularly like fish's suggestion to just get started. It is a bit overwhelming to get into a whole new world of cutlery without a common point of reference. So step one is buy a knife, step two get addicted, step three come back and ask what to get next based on what you learn from your first knife. Your first knife should be a high probability home run so that while your next pick can be more personalized, you still enjoy the first knife.

2) 240mm gyuto in order from lightest to heaviest: The Kono HD2 (http://www.chefknivestogo.com/kohdwa24.html); Kohetsu AS (http://www.chefknivestogo.com/rikoaosu24gy.html); Anryu Hammered (http://www.chefknivestogo.com/kaanasgy24.html).

The Kono is a benchmark knife, every j-knife nut should own one. They are on the laser side so some care should be taken to use good technique. The HD series is also semi-stainless so while they don't need to be babied, they should be kept clean and dry.

The Kohetsu is just a raw value knife. Performance per dollar is very high, this is an easy layup of a pick.

The Anryu is much more characterful and more of a true middle weight knife. The Anryu would in many ways be a more natural progression from what you are using now. The Masakage Yuki is often also mentioned in this role but I cannot vouch for it as I do not own one.

3) Use the Henckles for abuse duty. Also use them to practice sharpening, just be aware that the steels you are looking at here will reward you for taking the time to put a 6000 grit edge or higher on the knife, your Henckles will likely perform worse if you go much past 2000, so don't go too far.

4) Many Japanese knives are asymmetrically ground, the grind is the cross sectional shape of the entire blade. As a righty most all knives will work fine for you.

As far as asymmetry at the bevel, the final taper to the edge, there are a few schools of thought.

One, you should learn to follow the bevel as it comes from the manufacturer, they put it there for a reason. If you agree with this then asymmetry can make sharpening a bit more of a hassle.

Second, the manufacturer put the bevel on by hand so asymmetry may not have even been on purpose, besides the manufacturer expects you to put your own bevel on the knife. In this case, what do you care, your going to do what you want when you sharpen anyway, its your knife.

Third, the bevel is a small piece of real estate. It is unlikely that they exact specs on the bevel have a whole lot to do with knife behavior. Besides, adjusting the bevel geometry is relatively easy since there is so little total material involved. In this case, consider sharpening as you see fit, then adjusting your practices with time to learn how best to maximize you experience with the knife.

So should you worry about bevel symmetry when choosing a knife? Which scenario sounds more compelling to you?

5) Stones:

I like to stick to a 2x-3x progression, so 1k, 2k, 4k, etc, or 1k, 3k, 9k, etc. Some people will do 1k to 6k and it is not a problem, but I get impatient trying to polish out 1k scratchs with a 6k stone. You can mix the progression up a bit too, so 1k, 2k, 6k, for example.

As far as which stones to consider, the Shapton Pros and Shapton Glass are very highly regarded and I like the stones I have from those two lines. I also use the Nubatama Ume Speckled 1k and 2k stones and I like them as well.


Hope this helps :) Have fun!


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Member--Japanese Newbie
PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2014 4:38 pm 

Joined: Tue May 27, 2014 7:03 pm
Posts: 4
Hi,

Those all look good.

I like these two although any would probably be fine:

Maskage Koishi 240mm Gyuto: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/makogy24.html. A bad ass stainless clad, AS cored blade. These are usually a little over 240mm in length - right up your alley. Solid middle weight with some heft to the blade.

Kaneihiro Ginsan 240mm Gyuto: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/kagigy24.html. An all stainless high performance knife with understated classic looks.

Plus the Richmond Laser 270 in AEB.

If I went for 2 of the 3 which would you like?


Offline
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
 Page 1 of 2 [ 14 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  


suspicion-preferred