We encourage you to post your questions about kitchen knives here. We can give you help choosing a knife.
Mon Apr 22, 2013 8:44 am
organik wrote:thanks for the stone info everyone. i just found out that at my work (a country club) has someone come once a year to professionally sharpen everyones knives. Should i be skeptical about someone doing this with a nice japanese knife?
You'd be MUCH better off learning and sharpening your knives on your own!
Mon Apr 22, 2013 3:05 pm
Mon Apr 22, 2013 6:24 pm
Do not let a "professional sharpener" touch your Japanese knives unless you know that he specifically does those and has a good reputation.
The difference between the "average" Japanese knife and a "Laser" Japanese knife is pretty noticeable, but in all, coming from German knives they will all feel light to you.
Mon Apr 22, 2013 6:26 pm
And they will all be a lot thinner right?
Mon Apr 22, 2013 6:27 pm
Most will be... be careful using absolutes (e.g., "all").
I haven't said anything in this regard yet as this thread has labored on & on, but bear in mind, the CKTG website does list a lot of the answers to your questions. Obviously, it doesn't answer them for you like we do, but it might behoove you to study specific items as you can really learn a lot if you put your own time and energy into it. A lot of the dimensions are listed so as to help you in your decision process. It really helps narrowing down what you actually want to buy by looking at listed dimensions and studying profile photos.
Mon Apr 22, 2013 7:11 pm
I've got a 7" Nogent Sabatier chef's which I bought as an ersatz deba for medium-small fish. It works just fine for that. As it happens, it's damn near perfect to micro brunois shallots for mignonette. But those two things aside, it's a lot more toy than useful knife. If I were still cooking professionally, it wouldn't make my roll. Luckily for all concerned, you're not me.
Given everything you've written about size, tasks, versatility, it seems you either want a santoku or something very similar.
Tue Apr 23, 2013 10:55 pm
I've got to agree that a modestly priced santoku is a great introduction into Japanese knives. Once you understand how the sharpness of the edge works for you and what a does-it-all knife doesn't do for you, you can be in a much better place to decide what to add to your collection.
When I met my wife, she was using ChefMate serrated knives. The first thing that I bought for her was an inexpensive santoku, which she resisted until she saw how easily it worked. My Japanese isn't what it once was, but, as I understand it santoku roughly translates to "three virtues" -- able to prepare fish, vegetables, and meats -- basically a home-use knife. It does a decent job on all three, but not exceptional for any of them. She now primarily uses a 300 mm gyuto (a Japanese version of a 12" chef's knife), as well as a petty knife, around 150 mm (6") as I recall.
We also occasionally use the throw-away-priced Victorinox 40600 3 1/4" paring knife that we get through a restaurant supply house for about $3 each. We just haven't come across anything exciting in that small a size; the Shun paring knife is pretty, but it has to be the least-used knife of anything that we own.
Do not, under any circumstances, entrust a good knife to anyone that "comes by once a year" or "is always at the farmers' market" or what have you. People used to sharpening European-style knives often use overly aggressive sharpening techniques that can basically ruin a good knife, Japanese or otherwise. Even with people that claim to know how to sharpen Japanese knives, I've had them basically ruined. Invest in a good moderate and fine waterstone, or a good combo stone, and learn how to sharpen them yourself. It's pretty therapeutic, sort of like rocking in a rocking chair, once you get the feel for it. I'd also stay away from a knife steel, even the ceramic ones. They often do more harm than good, especially on Japanese knives.
Fri May 17, 2013 12:35 pm
There's a lot of Shun-bashing on this forum and I understand why, from it being a "yuppy" brand to the notion that it can't hammer nails all day. And while I wouldn't buy a Shun at retail cost because you can get comparable and better knives for less money on this site for example, I think Shun makes a good knife that can be practical. I own an 8" Ken Onion Shun that I bought on this site for 40% off. This design gets folks particularly riled up for a number of reasons, especially with the notion that the blade is too curved for all methods of cutting. I cook professionally and I like it because of its grip ergonomics and I think it can withstand some use. I'm not obsessed with knives. For me, they can be works of art but they are ultimately tools. Don't get me wrong, I have my obsessions within the culinary world, but it's just not knives. Do I use the KO Shun all the time? No, but I like it just fine and use it often.
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