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Step up from a Shun.

Thu Dec 13, 2012 3:17 pm

Hello,

I'm looking for a new kitchen knife. I was looking at the Shun Fuji Chef or something simular. Right now I have a 6" chef knife and a Santuko but I wanted to get a bit higher grade knive for everyday use in my home kitchen. Can you recommend some good sharp multi purpose kitchen knives . My price rannge is a bit flexible but I would rather stay below $500.

Regards,
Mike

Re: Step up from a Shun.

Thu Dec 13, 2012 10:17 pm

Here are a couple that would be really fun to use and much more unique than the Shun you have. All of these are hand made knives from small blacksmiths.

http://www.chefknivestogo.com/funa21gyocha.html

http://www.chefknivestogo.com/taassala24gy.html

http://www.chefknivestogo.com/kagigy21.html

Re: Step up from a Shun.

Fri Dec 14, 2012 5:54 pm

Hi Mark,

You can absolutely post to the forum.

Q: Are you right handed?
A: I'm right handed.

Q: Do you know how to sharpen?
A: Not sure if I really know how to sharpen. I have a Gatco sharpening system I use for my hunting knives and kitchen knives but I also take my kitchen knives to a local sharpener every couple of years. I've used a stone in past for pocket knives.

Q: Do you like to rock the knife or push cut primarily?
A: I think I primary push cut but I rock the knife as well.

Q: Do you want a stainless knife?
A: I handwash my knives but don't know enough if I want stainless versus some other material.

Q: Do you want to get a western handled knife or Japanese handle?
A: I think I want to try a Japanese handle.

Q: How much did you want to spend?
A: Under $500. $200 range is easy to budget but for a quality knife to last a lifetime I'm willing to spend more.


Regards,
Mike

Re: Step up from a Shun.

Sat Dec 15, 2012 3:31 pm

All three suggestions look good. I really like the look of the Takeda but I'm not sure about the 240mm length. Is the 240mm length more difficult to learn to work with, for a novice, than the 210mm length?

I'm curious about the different metal choices. White #1 vs #2 vs Aogami super steel. Is there a link or post that will help describe the differences?

Re: Step up from a Shun.

Sat Dec 15, 2012 3:38 pm

Aogami Super generally tends to be the better of those steels; holds an edge well, sharpens fairly easily and takes a wicked edge. White will take a bit finer of an edge than Blue, but the Blue will hold a slightly less sharp edge for longer than the White steels, and have a hair more resistance to staining. Of course, this is assuming a spot on heat treating that is correct for each steel, how the knife is going to be used (sushi vs chefs knife, etc) and the geometry. The #'s mean the carbon content, #1 has the highest, #2 is lower, #3 etc is lower still. Between White and Blue, most people can't tell the difference. Aogami Super is a nice steel, but generally costs more.

All of those are nice steels and since they are carbon, will react to foods being cut until a good patina sets in. If you use them, wash and thoroughly dry them and you won't have rust issues. I dry with a regular towel, and then a paper towel to make sure no moisture is left on the blade.

I like a 240mm and find it more useful, but I do use a 210 occasionally when I am not cutting as much or the stuff being cut is smaller. Takeda's normal 240mm gyuto's are very tall, though!

Re: Step up from a Shun.

Sat Dec 15, 2012 4:26 pm

White #1, #2, #3 Blue #1 #2 and Aogami Super are all made by Hitachi steel mill and are popular steels for knives. As Tim said there are slight differences in carbon content so as you move from white to blue you get a little more carbon for better hardness but also less toughness. The trick is to get a knife that is a good blend of hardness so it will hold an edge and toughness so it won't chip or crack and is more durable. For example glass is super hard but has no toughness so it's a bad choice for a kitchen knife. Lead is very tough but also makes a bad knife since it won't hold an edge (and it's toxic).

The 240mm size is a little big for people that don't like to use a knife often but it's ideal for people that love to cook. The more you work with the knife the more you will appreciate the larger size. That said, we sell more 210s than 240s to my customers.

Re: Step up from a Shun.

Sat Dec 15, 2012 7:48 pm

What do you get with the higher priced knives? For example: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/moritaka9.html over the http://www.chefknivestogo.com/taassala24gy.html. Fit and finish may vary but do the two perform the same?

Re: Step up from a Shun.

Mon Dec 17, 2012 12:24 am

Takedas knives will typically be made better IMHO. They're ground better being the most noticeable.

Re: Step up from a Shun.

Wed Dec 19, 2012 2:11 am

Takeda's knives are made more slowly and with a little greater care. His shop has 3-4 guys and the only produce about 7-8 knives a day. Moritaka's shop is more prolific which is partly why their knives are less money. They're both good but I like Takeda's gyutos better (tall and thin) and I like Mortakas sujis better (thicker and stiffer and not bendable).
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