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 Post subject: Upgrading my Henckels set
PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 1:56 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:18 pm
Posts: 7773
Location: Madison Wisconsin
Hello,

I would like to buy a few knives to start upgrading my old Henkel set. I have never owned a Japanese knife, but I have had the chance to use a few and definitely like the quality and feel better than the German knives. I do all the cooking at home (and have taken a few cooking classes), so I appreciate a nice knife. But I am definitely not a professional ! J I am enjoying the sharpening stones you recommended.

It would be great if you could recommend a few nice knives to start with. I would probably like a knife to replace my chef’s knife and santoku, and then would maybe like a recommendation on a gyuto as well. I saw the Shun Shora; don’t know if that would be a good one. I get a little confused on all the metal choices and which ones would be “high maintenance” and which ones would not.

Thanks! Looking forward to getting some new knives!

Scott



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Mark Richmond
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 Post subject: Re: Upgrading my Henckels set
PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 2:01 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:18 pm
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Location: Madison Wisconsin
Hi Scott,

I'll be happy to help and I'm sure some of my forum participants will give you some helpful advice as well.

First, please answer a few questions.

Do you prefer stainless steel or carbon steel? Most prefer stainless but carbon steels can be fun and are usually easy to sharpen.

Do you want a Japanese handle (we call them wa handles) or a western type handle like your Henckels?

Do you have a price range for the chef knife (Japanese makers call chef knives gyutos) ?



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 Post subject: Re: Upgrading my Henckels set
PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 2:06 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:36 pm
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A gyuto is, for all rights and purposes, a chef's knife. So replacing your chef's knife with a Japanese equivalent, would be replacing it with a gyuto.



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 Post subject: Re: Upgrading my Henckels set
PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 5:26 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 18, 2013 5:16 pm
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Thanks for the help! Here are a few answers to your questions:

1. Do you prefer stainless steel or carbon steel? Most prefer stainless but carbon steels can be fun and are usually easy to sharpen.
- This is where I could use some help. Not sure what the tradeoffs are. I am not looking for either in particular, but do not want a knife that has to be sharpened after each use or is "high maintenance". I have a Bester sharpening stone (1000), and enjoy sharpening and getting better all the time. I have been reading your forums about blue steel versus white steel, etc. - kind of confusing.

2. Do you want a Japanese handle (we call them wa handles) or a western type handle like your Henckels?
- again, not going to be much help here. Is there any benefit to either? I have always has western handles, but I must say that I like the look of the wa handles. I would probably like to see a recommendation for both.

3. Do you have a price range for the chef knife (Japanese makers call chef knives gyutos) ?[/quote]
- probably looking to keep each knife under $200. But if we could recommend a "value" knife here and there, would not be horrible either. In the end, I want solid knives. If they cost $200/ea, then I will just spread out the purchase over time.

Thanks again!


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 Post subject: Re: Upgrading my Henckels set
PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 8:14 pm 
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Carbon steel used to be a better general steel category for cutlery because it took a better edge, held it longer, and was easier to sharpen. The same is not necessarily true today. Steels like AEB-L, CPM154, etc. are great stainless steels.

Today, personally, I wouldn't pick based on carbon versus stainless alone. If I wanted a carbon knife, it would be because I wanted to try that particular carbon.....or because I wanted a knife that developed a patina. Same holds true to pick a stainless except that I would want a knife that didn't develop a patina.

wa versus western is entirely personal. Some, like me, enjoy both. Others develop strong preferences for one over the other.

A couple of my favorites:

Kikuichi TKC:

http://www.chefknivestogo.com/ic24gy.html

Incredible semi-stainless steel knife with a western handle. Not crazy thin, but still very thin.

Kohetsu AS 240mm:

http://www.chefknivestogo.com/rikoaosu24gy.html

Carbon steel core, clad in stainless....very thin knife, wa handled.

Fujiwara makes good budget knives in both stainless and carbon:

http://www.chefknivestogo.com/fujiwara-knives.html

Hope that helps a bit. Let us know if you have any further questions.



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 Post subject: Re: Upgrading my Henckels set
PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 10:32 pm 
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Location: Madison Wisconsin
Try the Kohetsu. It's thin, light, shaves out of the box and uses great steel. It's also in your price range. After using your Henckels for all these years the knife will freak you out.
http://www.chefknivestogo.com/rikoaosu24gy.html



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 Post subject: Re: Upgrading my Henckels set
PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 11:22 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 18, 2013 5:16 pm
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Thank you. Will check them out.

Also, any thoughts on a Santoku knife?


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 Post subject: Re: Upgrading my Henckels set
PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 11:35 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 18, 2013 5:44 pm
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Kohetsu also has a santoku. It would most likely have the same qualities Mark mentioned for the gyuto.

As for the handles, if you use a pinch grip you might not really care about the shape overall. If you use more of a hammer grip the shape might be a concern. I love the traditional look of the wa handles and use a pinch grip so that is what I went with when I ordered my knives.

According to the tracking, my knives are waiting for me at my house... can't wait to get home to play with them! lol If there is one thing that might be better than getting a new knife it is the anticipation of getting said knife. ;)


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