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 Post subject: Suggestions for getting a good value knife or two.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:39 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 1:18 pm
Posts: 10864
Location: Madison Wisconsin
Hello Mark,

Everywhere I go on the kitchen knife forums one name continuously pops up with regards to good information great prices for kitchen knives so I had to take a look. The selection was mind boggling and took me a few days to go through the lists and find some entry level Japanese knives. I have grown up on poor quality stamped steel western knives with their soft steel and poor edge retention so I thought I need an upgrade. I'm looking between the Tojiro ITK Shirogami -either the Wa-Gyuto 210mm or the santoku-, the respected counterparts in the Tojiro DP series, or the same knives in the Fujiwara FKH or FKM series. I'm not as much concerned about the petina that may form as I tend to baby my knives but I don't know enough about these knives to know which knives are easier to sharpen and which hold a better edge. I would probably be looking for a santoku and a gyuto. I'ld eventually look to replace some other kitchen essentials like a fillet knife with say a smallish deba style blade (I fillet around a 1000 fish a winter and edge retention is a big issue with my fillet knives) a petty or two from 8-15cm.

For maintaining my knives I have some oil stones, I'm not sure on the grains, but I don't think I have anything past 1000 (hard to tell as they weren't marked) a diamond sharpening steel which seems to do more harm than hone, and a dickoron classic sapphire oval. I would like to get into whetstones but I don't exactly have a trust fund to spend on natural Japanese stones or high finishing Chosera stones either. I do place a high premium on a sharp knife and enjoy getting the knife to a hair popping edge if there was a happy medium that I could use to sharpen and maintain knives I'm up for suggestions.

Based on my descriptions what would you recommend for me?

Thank you for your time,


Mark Richmond
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 Post subject: Re: Suggestions for getting a good value knife or two.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 10:09 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:13 am
Posts: 3173
Location: CT
Tojiro has a 155mm stainless DP Deba for around $48 on CKTG. I have one for inshore species (fluke, stripers, blackfish), but I haven't gotten to use it yet. I would check out that Deba. I prefer carbon, but with fishing stuff, I went back to stainless for easier maintenance. Tojiro Shirogami or Tanaka KU finish 165mm Deba's are $80 if you want a Carbon steel Deba without breaking the bank! What size/types of fish are you breaking down?

The gyuto and Santoku are redundant. I would get an Artifex 210mm; it will hold an edge better than the Tojiro DP series (Vg-10 steel) and sharpens easier. 150mm petty I would get the new Artifex petty, or the Fujiwara SS or Carbon 150mm petty; these are around $50 or less.

For sharpening:

The Artifex 210mm and 150mm petty are around $130 for the pair. Stone set is around $140. If you want a finer stone than the Rika 5K, I would look at the Shobu San for $80, Ozuku Asagi Koppa for $70 or the Jyunsyou Koppa for $50. I like a J Nat for finishing off the edges; they tend to give the edge some bite due to the variation of the natural particles in the stone. The Shobu San does a really nice job de burring steels, even M390 and leaves a nice edge. The Ozuka is a bit harder stone, and leaves less bite than the Shobu, but a slightly smoother, more refined edge. If you just want a strop to deburr, get one of the leather pads, or a piece of Micarta knife handle material and sand it with 80 or 100 grit sandpaper and strop on that. The Micarta when sanded will have a fuzzy surface and works to deburr the edge like felt or leather does.

 Post subject: Re: Suggestions for getting a good value knife or two.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 12:53 pm 

Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2012 12:44 pm
Posts: 1
The for the most part I break down smaller fish in the winter, small trout size around 18 inches. During the summer it's on to sokeye salmon, and in the fall coho salmon.

For the most part I was looking for a santoku and gyuto to see which was more natural for me to use. I grew up on Western knives so I imagine the gyuto would be something I would imidiately gravitate towards but I would like to become proficient using both styles of knife.

I'll check out the suggestions you've posted. thanks for the input.

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