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Tue Dec 17, 2013 2:58 pm
Doing some last minute Xmas shopping and need a stainless Santoku rec as a gift for my sister-in-law for use at home. Her current Twin 8" chef is barely adequate ever since she used a Global Santoku for prepping Turkey day dinner a few weeks back. The caveat is that she & my brother eat a fair amount of smaller bony fish like sardines & mackerel fresh from the farmer's market fishmonger, so any Santoku i get would need to be able to cut through soft bones without chipping. I was looking at well-known brands like Mac's Pro or Misono's 440 but their razor edges seem fragile & more suited to veggies, herbs & filets.
Should I be looking at softer steel Santoku's from German (or American) companies? like maybe Wusthof's Ikon? I'm trying to keep it under $150.
And no, she's not the type of cook who's motivated to using & washing a separate Deba.
Thanks in advance for any tips.
Tue Dec 17, 2013 3:39 pm
I would suggest a Fujiwara FKM, Richmond Artifex, Tojiro DP, or Josaku AUS-8A Santoku. They are all stainless, and not too hard & brittle. If you sharpen, you might want to put a more robust edge on it before they use the knife. What I mean by that is either a higher angle on the edge bevel (say 18 degrees) or adding a micro bevel at maybe 20 degrees or so to the existing edge bevel. A micro bevel is just that - a very small bevel on the very end of the main edge bevel. It can help strengthen the edge with out as much performance penalty as making the entire edge bevel more obtuse.
You could also just let them use the knife as is, and see if they get some chipping on the edge (hopefully smaller ones). If so, then perform the aforementioned edge treatment.
The Richmond Artifex and Josaku AUS-8A are thicker at the edge than the other two models, which might make them a bit more robust OOTB. IMO the Josaku OOTB edge is just OK and should be sharpened anyway before seeing serious use.
It's all about balance & compromise, the Fujiwara & Tojiro are the best OOTB performers in this group of 4 knives, since they are thinner at the edge. This will also make them less robust. Hope this helps. Please ask more questions if needed.
Tue Dec 17, 2013 6:35 pm
The masamoto would be my choice for you. The steel is good but not too hard. Well made and in your price range with good stainless. http://www.chefknivestogo.com/masamoto- ... knife.html
Tue Dec 17, 2013 10:04 pm
Good call Mark! I should have thought of the Masamoto.
Tue Dec 17, 2013 11:49 pm
thanks for the quick reply!
Would you say the edge on the Masamoto VG Moly is more forgiving of fish bones than the others? I'd rather give up a keener sharper edge for one that doesn't chip, mainly since my sister-in-law is a non-foodie home cook that would be more perturbed of a "damaged" jagged blade than an edge that rolled. To give you an idea, she was more than satisfied with the level of sharpness of out-of-the-box Global's.
And unfortunately i live too far away to service her knives. She uses a knife hobbyist/tool guy to sharpen every 3 or 4 months. I'm not sure of his level of expertise (especially in regards to hand-sharpening with water stones) but I think she mentioned that he did work at a Japanese craft/woodworking store some time ago.
Wed Dec 18, 2013 6:54 am
She'll love it. The knife is sharp out of the box. It shaves.
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