Switch to full style
We encourage you to post your questions about kitchen knives here. We can give you help choosing a knife.
Post a reply

Set of knives for new job

Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:07 pm

Hi Mark,

I am moving to a new job in January at a very high end kitchen and need to upgrade my work knives to something suitable for high precision work in fine dining.

My old work knives were middle of the road german ones that I could keep reasonably sharp with a steel, but at home I have a number of different knives in different steels, a few carbon, lots of VG-10, a couple of hiromoto AS and a Konosuke HD which I absolutely adore but has a custom handle so I want to keep it at home where I can baby it.

I'm looking for steel suggestions as much as brand really. I'll give you as much info as I can:

- I'm comfortable sharpening with stones and have a setup that goes up to 10k grit.
- The steel needs to be totally non-reactive in terms of imparting flavor onto product.
- It needs to get extremely sharp and stay that way, but won't be used for too much bulk prep (restaurant is only 80 covers).
- I like thinner knives (particularly in a petty which I use a lot for fine work, garnish etc) as precision will be extremely important.
- I'd prefer a wa handle but I'm open to western.
- Chip resistant.
- Responsive to a few passes over a strop or fine steel to perk up the edge during the day.
- Around $300-350 for a 150mm petty and 210 or 240 gyuto.

Honestly if I could afford it I'd just get a set of konosuke HDs, as I'm totally in love with the one I have, but they are a bit out of my price range for work knives.

The chef I'll be working for apparently uses one of the japanese styled henckels lines made with powdered steel and recommended them, but they have always seemed very pricey.

I don't know if I would be better off with a semi-stainless or a high-hardness stainless that may be a little tougher and easier to restore a workable edge with stropping.

Would really appreciate some advice.

Thanks!

Re: Set of knives for new job

Fri Nov 30, 2012 8:49 am

Richmond Laser 210mm gyuto and 150mm Petty would work, but for $370. Or an Addict 2 and Laser petty for $330. Takayuki Grand Chef or the Sakai Takayuki Hammered Damascus with AEB-L core would also fit in your budget.

Re: Set of knives for new job

Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:03 pm

Ha....taz beat me to it....I was thinking the Laser's too.

Another good option would be the TKC gyuto and a Laser petty. The TKC is western handled though....but others a great fit to your requirements.

Your "needs to get extremely sharp and stay that way" bit is tough too. AEB-L (as a stainless) takes as fine of an edge as I've found. However, it won't hold it as well as some of the powdered steels. Again however....I've found most powdered steels take a great edge, loose that initial sharpness a tiny really quick, but then stay sharp for a long time. Non-powdered steels loose the edge more linearly.

CPM154 is a good choice....as would be AEB-L based on your requests. Others would be great too, ZDP-189, Cowry-X, M390....but I don't think you're going to be able to hit your budget with those steels with what I'm aware is available.

Re: Set of knives for new job

Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:20 pm

watercrawl wrote: ...others would be great too, ZDP-189, Cowry-X, M390....but I don't think you're going to be able to hit your budget with those steels with what I'm aware is available.

Image

Re: Set of knives for new job

Fri Nov 30, 2012 5:35 pm

Thanks for the feedback :)

I was looking at the TKC line as a possibility, I know they are classed as semi-stainless but are they stainless enough to have no issues with flavour transfer or discolouration? I can't afford to have any of the iron smell you sometimes get with high carbon steels when cutting high acid product (I've even had that with my hiro AS despite it being mostly clad), and I'd prefer if the blades didn't patina as I don't want them to look dirty to my collegues/boss who may not be into knives and know what it actually is. My Kono HD is still sparkling but I do baby it like crazy so I don't really know how semi-stainless steels react to being worked hard.

I was also considering the ryusen blazen line as my understanding is that they are fully stainless and the hard PM core should stay sharp, but I don't know much about them.

Alternatively I just noticed the stainless HH line from konosuke, and although it pushes the budget a bit I do love the HD I have now so they may be serious contenders. I think you can get the sakai yusuke ones with increased hardness too but I don't know how they compare. Has anyone been able to compare these to any of the Richmond knives? Also at that price point they are so close to the HDs would I just be better off getting those?

I'm probably willing to push the budget a little for the perfect knife, but with so many options I'm really having trouble figuring out what that is :S

Thanks again.

Re: Set of knives for new job

Fri Nov 30, 2012 7:10 pm

They are not wa-handled, but I would suggest that you consider the Akifusa gyuto and petty. The edge retention of the SRS-15 PM steel is good enough that you likely won't need to touch up the edge during your shift.

There is a review here: http://zknives.com/knives/kitchen/ktknv ... g240.shtml
Post a reply