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recommendations for a second knife

Sat Sep 01, 2012 4:17 am

Hello friends,
a few months ago I purchased a Tojiro Shirogami nakiri. Back then I said I would come back after a few months and ask for recommendations for another knife based on the experiences with the nakiri. Here I am now!

here is the things I liked about the Tojiro Shirogami nakiri:

1- it takes a arm hair popping edge very easily. very easy to sharpen on my Norton Synthetic stones. I also used my softer Ozuku stone and touched it up with great success. Overall I really like the steel
2- The handle feels great
3- the shape is very easy to sharpen. it is not hard to hone near the heel and it does not have a smile.

What I did not like:

1-after a short while I noticed that the knife is warped. it is very hard (or impossible) to see, but when I put it on a flat water stone I can feel on one side the knife is not sticking the stone properly. I am not sure what made this happen. I dropped it once from 3 feet to carpet floor and I never chopped anything harder than a potato. the warp is very subtle and I dont think it affects the performance, but it did arise concerns

2- the edge that the steel takes is great but the edge retention could be better. I don't have serious complaints with this one though.
3- I love cutting tomatoes and grapefruits with this knife because of the clean slicing when I pull the knife towards myself as I cut. However It lacks any heft and it is somewhat hard to cut onions or potatoes with it even when the edge is extremely sharp. especially with the onions I feel that a heavier knife would be better.
4- I still use German knife and rocking motion to mince garlic and ginger, it is so much easier than trying to chop it with the large flat edge of the nakiri.


What do you guys think? what knife should be next?

Thanks
Dan

Re: recommendations for a second knife

Sat Sep 01, 2012 9:10 am

DAN <> I think you might consider utilizing a sheet of glass to determine, if in fact, you're knife is bent.  Your stone may not be true.  If it is bent, in fact, it is not uncommon, and can be corrected easily by bending it back or hammering it out.  

Regarding your next knife: I imagine your German Chef's knife provides the heft you feel your Nakiri lacks so how about expanding your profile repertoire with a versatile and useful petty.  Takeda offers a really nice 90 or 140 in reactive AOS http://www.chefknivestogo.com/tasmpe90as.html / http://www.chefknivestogo.com/tabape.html .  If you want to try a laser, Mark makes a 150 in stainless AEB-L... http://www.chefknivestogo.com/rila15pe.html .  Konosuke makes a super thin/light 120 in semi-stainless tool steel... http://www.chefknivestogo.com/kohdwape12.html

Re: recommendations for a second knife

Sat Sep 01, 2012 12:53 pm

1-after a short while I noticed that the knife is warped. it is very hard (or impossible) to see, but when I put it on a flat water stone I can feel on one side the knife is not sticking the stone properly. I am not sure what made this happen. I dropped it once from 3 feet to carpet floor and I never chopped anything harder than a potato. the warp is very subtle and I dont think it affects the performance, but it did arise concerns

>>>two things. one is that hand forged knife tend to have non-linear taper. they are thick at the tang for strength and taper quick into the spine, and then slowly to the tip. so when you lay it on a flat (make sure it is a true flat surface), it will rock, even it's a truly STRAIGHT knife. you should check it with naked eye. carter has a vid on youtube on how to do this. I use a good ruler. the edge should be flush with the ruler. and the spine should have gaps that are equal on either side. The other thing is why knife can warp and even months after you buy it. The hardening process freeze the hagane(hard steel) in its expanded state. So with a san mai (clad) knife, your core stays expanded while the shigane (soft steel) contracts. This create a lot of tension. So the best makers will store their hardened and straightened knife for months before straighten them again and then grind and ship. The nice thing is you can easily hammer it straight as the hagane is protected from breakage. Use lightest force possible and do it at your own risk.
3- I love cutting tomatoes and grapefruits with this knife because of the clean slicing when I pull the knife towards myself as I cut. However It lacks any heft and it is somewhat hard to cut onions or potatoes with it even when the edge is extremely sharp. especially with the onions I feel that a heavier knife would be better.
>>> they come with a lacquer coating to protect them from rust. The coating increases friction before worn off.
4- I still use German knife and rocking motion to mince garlic and ginger, it is so much easier than trying to chop it with the large flat edge of the nakiri.
>>> garlic and ginger are not free chopped with straight edge knives. You hold them with your left hand. Watching youtube may help.

Re: recommendations for a second knife

Sat Sep 01, 2012 12:57 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hnmHKI97UU

Re: recommendations for a second knife

Sat Sep 01, 2012 2:22 pm

I would go for a 210 or 240mm gyuto. It will feel more like your chefs knife, be longer, able to rock chop herbs, etc. If you want a sweet gyuto, look at the Tanaka Sekiso series. I have a 240 and it's awesome. Heavier blade, but it's got a nice convex grind to it that glides through foods.

I find that my nakiri's go thru potatoes, onions, etc very well, not sure what you are experiencing here?? Maybe it's the friction from the taller foods?? Potatoes and onions are dense and usually tall. Many gyuto's will wedge and be harder to get through those foods from what I have seen. A laser gyuto will go through those foods maybe a little better than the nakiri?

Re: recommendations for a second knife

Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:15 am

@Victoon: Thanks for the video, I did try to hold with my left hand but chopping small things finely I still prefer the rocking motion.
I don't know about the lacquere but I have messed around with the surface alot (polish, renaissance wax, etc) I doubt if there is anything on it to increase friction significantly.

@taz575: I don't know what makes my knife stall in the onion. If I insert the knife half way and lose the momentum, then it becomes hard to try to cut it all the way.
Thanks for the recommendation, I was thinking of a large gyuto myself but I wanted to go with Richmond artifex.

Re: recommendations for a second knife

Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:26 am

Maybe strip the surface bare? I put Ren Wax on some wooden handles and they have a different reel and don't feel as slick as before.

A laser will slip thru foods nicely. Maybe try the 240mm Artifex. Mark should have some nice rehandled ones in a few weeks :)
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