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 Post subject: Help Choosing 2 Knives
PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 1:03 am 

Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2012 12:48 am
Posts: 15
Other than a paring knife, I would like to have two high quality Japanese knives for slicing meat, vegetables and fruit. I am looking for knives that are very sharp and hold an edge. Unfortunately I’m a left-hander. If anyone has any recommendations I will be in your debt.

Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: Help Choosing 2 Knives
PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 2:09 pm 

Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2012 12:44 pm
Posts: 86
I am a pure ametuer and new to Japanese cutlery. That being said you will have to pay a serious premium for left-handed blades with wa handles and asymetrical edges. You might be better off going with the Western-style version of the Japanese blades. Same steel just a 50/50 bevel and a wester-style handle that works for either hand. Once you decide which way to go you can better make the decision as to waht you want/need based on your particular circumstances. Hope this helps.


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 Post subject: Re: Help Choosing 2 Knives
PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 3:15 pm 

Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2012 12:48 am
Posts: 15
Thanks Redstickboy,
I noticed that some offer octagonal handles and 50/50 bevels. Any recommendations on Knife styles/sizes, also make/model that have worked well or might be best relative to my initial question of slicing meat,vegetables and fruit? I decided to stay away from German knives that never get really sharp or hold an edge. Hope to finally get knives that are REALLY knives.


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 Post subject: Re: Help Choosing 2 Knives
PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 4:09 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2012 5:13 pm
Posts: 2722
Location: CT
Lots of good choices out there! Single bevel knives are more specialized in their tasks, so for what you need, they wouldn't be a good choice anyway.

I would look for a Gyuto, which is a chefs type knife and a good all around knife. A 210mm is a 8.25" blade, 240mm is a 9.5" blade; these are the two most common. The 210mm is OK, but I prefer a 240mm myself and will be getting a 270 in the future. Richmond Artifex, Laser, Addict 2, or Remedy, Fujiwara FKH (carbon steel) or FKS (Stainless Steel), Hiromoto AS, Konosuke, Kikuichi Elite Carbon (one of my first Japanese knives), Tojiro, etc will all be much lighter than the German style knives and take and hold a much sharper edge. 240mm gyuto, even a Western style handle with Bolster, will still be much lighter weight wise than a 8" German Chefs knife.

Most Japanese knives are ground slightly asymetrical to put the cutting edge closer to one side of the knife for more precise cuts. I believe that any of the gyuto's I listed above will be able to be used fairly easily by a lefty without extensive modifications or anything. Mark will be able to confirm, but the Artifex and Addict 2, Hiromoto AS, Kikuichi Elite Carbon and Fujiwara I have seen/played with and I know those shouldn't be an issue!

For the second knife, since you mention veggies, I would look at a Nakiri. It is designed to slice veggies and does this very well. I have a Fujiwara Terayasu Nashiji Nakiri with white steel, a Tanaka Blue Kurouchi and a Tojiro White #2 Nakiri. All work very well and cut peppers, onions, mushrooms, potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, etc very well. If you will be cutting a lot of acidic veggies, I would look at a Stainless version perhaps so you will have less issues with the carbon reacting to the food, or at least a carbon core, stainless clad version. These are double bevel knives, so they shouldn't present any issues to a lefty.

http://www.chefknivestogo.com/kostna18.html
http://www.chefknivestogo.com/dojousuba165mm.html
http://www.chefknivestogo.com/takuna16.html

Or you could get a 150mm petty as a second knife. It's like a long paring knife, short chefs knife with a 6" blade that works well for finer cutting tasks.

http://www.chefknivestogo.com/higi15pe.html
http://www.chefknivestogo.com/fufkmpe15.html

If it were me, I would get a 210 or 240 Artifex, Fujiwara FKS 150mm petty and a Dojo Nakiri. The Nakiri has a Blue steel edge, but stainless cladding, and the others are stainless and are a very good bang for the buck!! Then the 5 piece sharpening set up will allow you to properly sharpen these knives fairly easily.


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 Post subject: Re: Help Choosing 2 Knives
PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:01 pm 

Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2012 12:48 am
Posts: 15
Thank you so much for your detailed reply. Many good choices to pick from.


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 Post subject: Re: Help Choosing 2 Knives
PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 10:46 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2012 5:13 pm
Posts: 2722
Location: CT
If it comes with a D shaped handle, you can knock off the handle and flip it over and re install it usually to make it a little more comfy for a lefty. I prefer a Western shape or an oval Wa handle over the octagon or D Wa handles.

Whats your budget like? I would recommend the 5 piece sharpening kit from CKTG, it will cover most knives and give you sick edges on them! I have that set except for the 500 grit stone that I picked up over the years and really enjoy the Beston 1200 and Rika 5K.


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 Post subject: Re: Help Choosing 2 Knives
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 5:46 am 

Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2012 9:23 pm
Posts: 205
Richmond Artifex 210 mm gyuto, with saya. As Taz points out, you need sharpening stones and he Chef Knives to Go set that he refers to is a good solution. Once you get used to the Artifex, you can decide what your second knife will be.



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WickedSharp
Zen in the Art of Knife Sharpening
“If one really wants to be master of an art, technical knowledge of it is not enough. One has to transcend technique so that the art becomes an ‘artless art’ growing out of the Unconscious.” Eugen Herrigel
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 Post subject: Re: Help Choosing 2 Knives
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 2:37 pm 

Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2012 12:48 am
Posts: 15
Thanks Taz & Wicked,
I'll get the 5 piece sharpening Kit and buy the Richmond Artifex 210 first. I appreciate all your help.


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