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 Post subject: Re: How to spend $300 on knives?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 1:55 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2014 9:57 pm
Posts: 72
Location: Central Illinois
Many thanks to all who responded to my request. Sorry I have not responded, but I was traveling and had problems getting Tapatalk to work with the forum. I can use my Sharpmaker and strop for the short term, but this purchase will give me an excuse to go back to hand sharpening. I will need to replace my Arkansas stones with Japanese water stones, but I already have a flattening stone, jig, and bevel gauge. I thought I might use a petty as a pairing knife, but the smallest seems to be around 120 mm so I will buy a pairing knife later down the road as I like about an 80 mm blade for pairing. Anyone use a smaller petty to replace a traditional pairing knife?

The Sakai looks interesting as does the Koetsu. The later is one I started looking at early into all of this. What is the major difference between a Gyotu and a Santoku? It looks like the later has a more Wharncliff like blade profile. Are they interchangeable in general?

Again, thanks for all the input.


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 Post subject: Re: How to spend $300 on knives?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 1:59 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2013 11:21 pm
Posts: 553
Location: Minneapolis, MN
I use the Richmond Laser AS 120mm in place of a tradition paring knife.
And for poultry work


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 Post subject: Re: How to spend $300 on knives?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 3:34 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2013 12:07 am
Posts: 371
I can't use a 120mm as a paring knife... too long for me. I prefer my paring knives between 80-90mm.


As far as the santoku vs gyuto, basically they do the same tasks, but the tip shape on a gyuto allows it to be is slightly more versatile. Mel highlighted this pretty well a little while (I have been digging up his old posts a lot lately, hopefully he doesn't mind) :|

Melampus wrote: "The Santoku was designed to slice, dice, and mince - yes the 3 virtues, but it is a short stocky profile that has not near the nimbleness of a gyuto. It's sheepfoot does not allow the precision you can execute tip-work with as is afforded by the Gyuto. The profile & length does not really lend itself to those of whom rock-cut and to a lesser extent glide-cut; nor can it simply process as much. A Santoku is versatile, yes... that's what it sets out to do, but a Gyuto has less steel to flick around allowing a higher level of precision... for the capable. The margin for error is larger with the Santoku as it is short & broad & easy to control, but with that comes a sacrifice in potential precision. You can be as precise with both, but at said precision the Gyuto's design performs more efficiently... thus more quickly. The Santoku is effectively a compromise of performance for versatility.

For example, cut the top & bottom off a melon or citrus or apple or potato, and stand it up. Now push cutting from the tip or pull cutting from the heel, as you curve the broad face of a Santoku around the radius it is going to fight itself as the broad flat face cant fit in the contour of the radius well. A tapered tip has effectively less surface area that allows itself into said radius more efficiently. Do they both execute the same task? Yes. Do they both create the exact same product? Pretty much. I mean, I will argue that the shearing effect of the broad faced Santoku will upset the food item more so than the thinner faced & therefore smoother transitioning Gyuto, but yes, they still will produce the same cut. One more efficiently than the other though...

Lets analogize, shall we.?! Just think about trying to direct an 8'x4' plywood board in a pool. It will rotate, but with that much surface area it creates additional friction, thus it transitions less efficiently. Can it rotate on the same axis as a 2"x4"? Absolutely, but it will require much more force to do so... at least, at the same speed. The triangulation of the Gyuto allows that nimble action of the 2"x4" at the tip while employing the broad face of the 8'x4' transitioning into the heel so as to track true through broader cuts. You get the best of both worlds with a Gyuto. A Santoku is theoretically a hybrid of a Nakiri & a Gyuto, but if you're any good with a Gyuto you have no need to sacrifice."


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 Post subject: Re: How to spend $300 on knives?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 6:38 am 
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Posts: 3317
Location: USA... mostly.
MARK <> Why would I mind you quoting me? I've said it before, "love me or hate me... I'm just here to help." I'm glad my words had, have, and will continue to do so. Honestly, I read OP's last post, and was ready to copy & paste that exact passage as it's exhausting repeating myself over & over year after year. I am a STRONG advocate of that search button. Very few questions haven't been answered ad nauseum.

CRAIG <> I, similar to Mark, have no use for a 120 petty as a paring knife. I mean "poultry work" like MILLER references... great. Portioning fruits, turning mature artichokes, cutting small items... ok, but a 120 petty is basically a useless knife.. to me. I enjoy the precision afforded by 75mm parers, but they are limiting & 95mm is the size... for me. With this size, I can efficiently hull strawberries, tourné mushrooms, peel fruit, etc., but still do larger things like turning artichokes and mild boning duties. It's just the most versatile size... for me. I work most often with a 95 parer, 150 petty, & 240 gyuto at my station. Sometimes a 95 parer, 210 gyuto, & 270 gyuto is the setup.

The Shun parer is an awesome parer. Not my favorite, but I have one. It's coincidental to hear the Tojiro parer profile get kicked around a bit. I was studying it before I recommended it, and said to myself, "that's one badass looking paring profile!" I may buy one soon for testing. I have said before that I think paring knives are the hardest fit, and this has some similarities to my favorite parer. I do like how the heel extends out & forward off tang centerline. It allows a clear rotation in paring/turning capacities creating some distance from the tang, and I strongly prefer the flat profile... a belly helps me in no way while paring.. maybe a slight radius coming into the tip. I like the look of the knife. Never used the straight petty.

As for the other recommendations, they are absolutely great knives, but personally, I think they're overkill for you. This just seems like a KISS scenario to me. Tojiro's WILL BLOW YOUR MIND in contrast to what you have. They are stainless. They aren't too hard (brittle). They are easy to learn to sharpen on. They perform quite well, and will transition you beautifully into a realm you can't fathom... as you can't know what you don't know.

IMO, you can get all the pretty pretty bling bling later, and/or deal with carbon later. The Tojiro DPs are workhorses that can take the abuse of a newbie. It's cliche that they're a great introduction to JKs because... guess what.. they're a great introduction to JKs. I'm done trying to reinvent the wheel; I stick with what works.

Anything you choose @CKTG is going to be a quality product, but I suggest not buying too high a quality to start. I don't care that you collect pocket knives; Japanese cutlery is a new paradigm for you. Jump in slow & methodically or jump in excitedly ahead of the bell... let's see which way your rabbit hole goes.



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 Post subject: Re: How to spend $300 on knives?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 10:12 am 

Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2013 4:24 pm
Posts: 274
You might want to consider the tojiro 3 piece set also which also includes a 6 inch utility/petty knife:

http://www.chefknivestogo.com/tojiro3pcset.html

I have the 210 gyuto and bought separate parer and petty but going on the quality an feel of my gyuto the other pieces here won't dissapoint.


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 Post subject: Re: How to spend $300 on knives?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 4:32 pm 
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Posts: 371
Mel - Darn you and your articulation... you are correct though. The reason I don't like sheep foot profiles for paring isn't the flat profile per say, but the lack of radius at the tip. I find I have to fight the knife less to make curved cuts with a radius tip. Similar to your Santoku vs gyuto analogy on a smaller scale. A knife I have to fight when doing small detail work annoys me fairly quickly.


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 Post subject: Re: How to spend $300 on knives?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 6:02 pm 
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CRAIG <> As for my choosing the 2-piece in my recommendation instead of the 3-piece RAYONG added, the petty can be a nice addition in a residence but at least in my reco... it's over budget.

MARK <> Everyone has their preference. The parer I've settled in to has enough taper on the spine side that I can get that smooth transition in curves as there is not a lot of blade face to fight me. Retaining the flat profile though drives the tip in rotations... I like that aggression. Most boohoo the Tamahagane line as, let's be honest, they're nothing special, but I don't want a special parer. I want a knife I can beat the piss out of scraping bone for suprêmes or to french racks. I want a nice parer with some stiffness & heft yet thin behind the edge, capable of a razor's edge with decent retention, and a profile as I describe before. The warikomi VG-5 Tamahagane San Tsubame answered that call for me... perfectly. Perfectly. I love that parer. I thinned the shoulders out a bit, and its been a love affair for the last 3 years...

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