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 Post subject: Knife and flattener question
PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 7:45 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:18 pm
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Location: Madison Wisconsin
Hi Mark,

What is the difference between white and blue steels in real world applications?

The knife types - Deba / Funayuki / Bunka / Usuba can you tell me a bit more about them, and when would use them please? And why they are suited for that task compared to say the gyuto or nakiri please? I like the form, they do seem good, but from some of what have read, i.e. the Funayuki some sites were saying was thinner and not really recommended unless had a lot of time using knives, since was easy to break.


About myself - right handed, home cook, do a lot of veg, some meat, no deboning / breaking stuff down. Fiance only eats fish, so when do buy meat, its in small portions usually done by the butcher. Looking for durability and ease of use, as well something that is amazing at what it does and lasts a long time.


Knives looking at right now would be to complement / replace the ones I have

Still waiting for the Kahetsu 210 from you, which should be a big help to what I have.

Have a santoku and a nakiri from Masakage - not sure if its the VG-10 line or the Carbon, have a feeling its the VG-10. Just been having a lot of problems with those two for staying sharp. Was getting about 3 hrs of decent cutting then they would go dull.

Looking at getting either one - two knives, budget $500, after that will not be able to get any knives for awhile, so want to get the best choice.

Looking at these knives.

Was debating the 240 mm Kono HD2, but since have the Kahetsu coming, think that might be to much of the same thing.

Konosuke Fujiyama Gyuto in a 240mm, Really like the profile of this knife, I don't know a lot about the different types of metals, just don't want to make the wrong choice. Just get confused when people hype blue #2, then white and back and forth. So appreciate your input.

http://www.chefknivestogo.com/suhokaus21.html The Susin Inox Honyaki Usuba

A Takeda Nakiri or Gyuto.

Fujiwara Nashiji 165mm Nakiri
Shiro Kamo R-2 Nakiri
Kono Nakiri - Either the Fujiyama or the HD2


if theres a different knife, or knife type that should be looking at, would be interested in your thoughts.


Also lastly, what would you recommend for flattening the EP - Shapton Glass stones? Heard good things of the Atomo plates, just not sure what size to get.


Thanks again



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 Post subject: Re: Deba / Funayuki / Bunka / Usuba
PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 8:03 pm 
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Location: Madison Wisconsin
Hitachi makes both the white and blue paper steels. They call them this because the steel is wrapped in different color paper and it doesn't mean that the steel is that color which some people confuse. I just watched the guy Shun has representing their blue steel line and he makes that mistake on his videos. http://youtu.be/WrWPqrCqHcM

So basically all these steels are just slightly different formulas with very small differences in the elements used to make the steel. Blue steels are made to have a little better wear resistance and are a little harder to sharpen because of this. White #2 is the most popular carbon steel for kitchen knives in Japan mostly because it has a very nice combination of ease of sharpening, the ability to put an acute edge on the knife made with this steel and it holds an edge reasonably well. I love sharpening knives made with white #2 steel. Like buttaaa... :)

For a knife I encourage you to try different makers and different steels. Your list of candidates is good. It might be nice to try something other than aogami super (even though I love that steel) simply because you have one on the way. Try the Shiro Kamo. It's a very nice looking blade and Kamo-san is makes great knives and he's little known in the USA. R-2 steel is very wear resistant so it will hold an edge a very long time. I think you'll really like his nakiri.
http://www.chefknivestogo.com/kamo2.html

For flattening your stones you can use a wide variety of plates. The Atomas work well as do the DMTs. I like this little plate since it has two grits (use the rougher side for stone flattening) and you can put it on the edge pro for quick metal removal on knives that need a lot of work: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/dmt2x6diplfo.html

If you want a larger plate to do regular size stones the Atoma 140 is a good choice: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/at14dipl.html



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 Post subject: Re: Knife and flattener question
PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 3:58 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2012 5:13 pm
Posts: 2957
Location: CT
I would go with the Kono HD 180mm Nakiri; I like longer nakiri's typically. HD2 is a nice steel with great edge holding and a nakiri is fun for veggies! Plus with the HD2 steel, it wouldn't be as reactive with acidic foods. The 210mm Kohetsu is an awesome all around knife in 210mm. If you aren't slicing lots of meat and stuff, you may not need a 240mm or suji.

I would look at a petty for the smaller tasks maybe. Maybe the Harayuki petty (western handled and powder stainless) or the Kamo R2 petty. I would do a stainless petty since some fruits and veggies can be acidic and eat away a sharp edge.


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 Post subject: Re: Knife and flattener question
PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 7:38 am 
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Location: NE
Deba is a single bevel knife used for breaking down fish and cutting through small bones. It is sharpened on the face side only and the back side is concave. Not necessary if you're not breaking down whole fish. Although, if you eat a lot of sushi/sashimi, yanagiba are fun to use.

Funayuki can be a gyuto profile, petty knife. They are double bevel, vary in length and can be as long as 270mm (that I have seen).. The longer length could still be different from a gyuto with shorter height or thinner, more pointed tips. (These are essentially gyutos IMO)

Banno Bunka are like short utility knives that are double bevel with a very fine tip. Very versatile; can be used for push cutting, fine detail work, and can be very thin. Like a santoku but better. Not good for rocking motion.

Usuba is single bevel and used for vegetables. I prefer it for katsuramaki (paper thin vegetable sheets). It can have a rounded tip (kama gata) or a flat tip (edo gata). Different from nakiri. Nakiri is double bevel, usuba is single bevel.

240 gyuto is the smallest size I prefer to use, I guess it depends on the type of prep you'll be doing and the size of the items. 210mm may be enough length for your usage.
I find a gyuto can do anything a nakiri can, and for me is not necessary. If you're looking for a nakiri, choose Mark's recommendations.

I second Taz's suggestion of a petty knife, 120mm-150mm. They're nice because they don't require a lot of work space and are better suited for small jobs.

Atoma plates are good for flattening stones. The full size may be easier to ensure flatness; if EP stones are your only stones and not flattening full size bricks, you may be able to get by with the 6" atoma.


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