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Purpose Specific

Tue Aug 13, 2013 1:08 pm

I'll be making the rewarding jump from the one-size-fits-all western philosophy to purpose specific blades in the kitchen - I've been bragging up and down about the benefits to my wife so I'm going to need to walk the talk, so to speak, at some point this year.

We have the traditional block of Wusthofs sitting on the counter, chefs, couple pettys, bread, shears. Shame on me for not learning my way around the kitchen earlier in life, but having an extremely competent wife in this area has made me a little lazy (correction, very lazy). Anyway, now that I've completely spoiled her over the years with freshly honed edges I think she's open to my future plans for my toys, errrr.. I mean her kitchen tools, excuse me.

240mm Gyuto, 130mm Petty, Nakiri (we love our veggies), and a Deba (some fish, mostly chicken and beef, no bone chopping really). So what do you think Gents, with these 4 blades will I be on the right track?


Re: Purpose Specific

Tue Aug 13, 2013 1:33 pm

Josh - My first thought is to ask you to consider which knife you will use the most and plan your strategy around that. My philosophy would be to make the most used knife my nicest knife. If the Nakiri is that knife, then what is your intended use for the 240 Gyuto (just laying out a scenario here)? Will the 240 get frequent or occasional use, and for what tasks?

On the Deba, are you talking about a Western Deba or a traditional single beveled model?

If you really like Nakiri's, then 240 Gyuto, 130 petty, Nakiri seems like a good, versatile triple threat ITK...IMHO. I've never used a Deba, Western or otherwise so I'm not really qualified as to whether this would be a good addition to your lineup.

This sounds exciting - new knives :-) :-).

Re: Purpose Specific

Tue Aug 13, 2013 1:53 pm

All valid questions Steve, it's most likely going to be a matter of obtaining the tools then experimenting with the best applications. Of course I'm just trying to make the best decisions out of the gate. Up to this point, we've been using an 8" Chef's for just about anything, in conjunction with a 5" Petty. I've read alot of people commenting that the learning curve from a 210mm to 240mm can happen quickly, so I figured I'd add a little length by going with the 240mm. I've admired the Deba for some time now and liked the idea of having a traditional blade, so I was thinking classic single bevel Deba. We don't do a ton of chopping, mostly just breaking down steak, chicken and the occasional salmon. We do process alot of veggies, whether for salad or for juicing, so a super thin Nakiri that I can keep finished at a higher grit is an attractive option.

That's what I'm most looking forward to is having different blades with different grit finishes for their applications, verses having to compromise between high grit for veggies vs a little tooth for protein.


Re: Purpose Specific

Tue Aug 13, 2013 2:02 pm

After using a 210, 240 and 270 gyuto for several months I find a 240 to be the most versatile for the home kitchen. It is the best combination of length and nimble. Both of the others still have there place but the 240 gets the nod most often. I would say in the long run you will have two or more gyutos like most of us. I have four and they all get used.
Last edited by Jeff B on Tue Aug 13, 2013 2:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Purpose Specific

Tue Aug 13, 2013 2:03 pm

JOSH <> I would be asking her... not us. ;)

Hon-Debas, especially, & Nakiris are not the most normal feeling profiles for a Westerner... especially for the small hands of a woman. She could love them, but I'd explain them & ask if she's interested.

What is it about those 2 or 3 130mm petties you are gravitating towards?

Re: Purpose Specific

Tue Aug 13, 2013 2:30 pm

There are those that say a nakiri is like the back 2/3 of a gyuto, so there is some overlap there. A gyuto is more versatile, so I'd urge you to focus more of your budget on that. Then again, there are some folks who adore their nakiris and have multiples. It's hard to predict which kind of person you'll be. I've tried a couple, but have yet to be converted.

True, there aren't that many 130mm petties. Maybe a 150 and then an inexpensive parer if you want something really small.

I've never used a deba, so can't comment (and will say that the deba is a bit of an unusual knife for the starting set that you're talking about). But you know more about your needs and what you're interested in, so I will ask how you see yourself cutting fish, meat, poultry. And also ask what you are asking the deba to do, that your other knives won't. Answering these questions may help others guide you in making a better decision.

Re: Purpose Specific

Tue Aug 13, 2013 2:34 pm

Mel- Ha! you're right, she really should be my focal point here. The good news is that I've explained the various functions of the task specific blades (many times) and she is actually fired up to use them. If nothing else, I'll start taking over the knife work! The reason I was considering one smaller Petty was simply because she's accustomed to using a small petty already, so I was considering a 130mm or 150mm.

Jeff - thanks for the feedback on the Gyuto. I'm really leaning towards the 240mm.


Re: Purpose Specific

Tue Aug 13, 2013 3:17 pm

Josh - As Melampus stated, you want at least one knife your wife will really enjoy using. I'm not knocking the Nakiri at all, but a 210 Gyuto is a more versatile tool. Maybe give some thought to a 210 for her and a 240 for you. Just as you are using your current 8" chefs for most tasks, a good Gyuto will be just as versatile (for most things), but it'll be thinner, lighter, and more agile. I have more knives than I need, but it's really nice to grab a Gyuto from the drawer that kicks A** and just knock out my prep on almost everything (large & small)

I've played with one Nakiri, and they are different...typically a very flat blade profile. If you are anywhere near a Sur-L-T, see if they have any Nakiri's/Santoku's you can both try out - that is, if you haven't used a Nakiri.

You'll have some choices in a 130-135mm petty, but you'll have many more options for a 150mm petty. I have a 130 (Moritaka) and 2 150's. I find the 150's are more versatile in that they can tackle somewhat larger ingredients than my 130. Also, petty's with a taller blade height are more versatile than shorter models, IMO.

Re: Purpose Specific

Wed Aug 14, 2013 12:54 am

Josh - Trust me I've brought sooo many knives home thinking I'll use them like I do at work, but I keep coming to the conclusion that the 240mm gyuto and a 130mm petty is all I really need. I cook maybe once or twice a week at home and for me the 240 is the best length for use at home with the smaller cutting board and overall counter space. For work however, I only use 270s, anything smaller and I feel like I'm being held back production wise. My gf only uses a Hattori santoku I got her and loves it for it's size. Along with a good bread knife, those are my two cents worth, oh and keep the knives sharp. It's all about personal preference and hopefully you'll find yours...good luck!

Re: Purpose Specific

Wed Aug 14, 2013 4:22 am

Thank you all for the valuable insight, I really appreciate it. I think it's safe to say that the 240 Gyuto and Petty will be a good start.

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