I believe I have watched every video on the Chef Knives to Go website. I have likewise sought out and watched a few dozen Youtube videos, and I spent a fair amount of time using Wikepedia and the list of "Knife Types" to try and determine the exact use for each knife type. Admittedly, there is a lot to comprehend, and the overlaps, criss crossing of information, and etc. have my head spinning.
We are vegetarians; we eat all types. We cut them up raw and unskinned for juicing. We also steam, bake, or boil them. We don't eat gluten which rules out cutting loafs of bread. And, we buy our fish at the store so it has already been cleaned. We do buy shrimp, but that is the only shell that we tackle, and it certainly does not pose a major obstacle like a bone (or even a lobster or crab shell). Therefore, I thought a 240mm Wa-Gyuto would cover our needs completely. Foolishly, I read and viewed a lot more material, and the Nakiri blade entered the intrigue list. Further efforts unearthed owner enthusiasm for a Petty knife.
Based on our described diet, should I look behind curtain number one, two, or three?
franzb69 wrote:...the gyuto will do everything that you nakiri can and more. it's redundant. best choice is to get 1 petty (150mm) 1 gyuto (240 mm) 1 paring (90mm) with those, you will be able to get practically do everything you need...
I am curious. How does one separate the uses for a 150mm petty and a 90mm paring knife?
Could we be covered with just the Gyuto and Petty recognizing that some compromises would arise, but one of these two knives could get the job done? My thinking is to be able to spend more $$$ on fewer knives once we establish our budget. This raises yet another interesting inquiry. How would you suggest the $$$ allocation (% wise) per knife style?
90 to 95% of your tasks will be handled by the gyuto, so that's where most of your budget should be spent. If you have a gyuto, the nakiri isn't needed. That leaves a paring knife to buy. A $5 Victorinox is more than adequate. Hold off on the petty, or any other knives, until you find a task you need to do that the gyuto or the paring knife can't handle. I've found that a 150 petty is one of the least used knives in my kit - too long for in-hnad use and not tall enough for board use.
I was hoping your recommendation would match my expectations to allocate 90% or more of the $$$ toward the 240mm Wa-Gyuto.
I am so pleased that you pointed out that a petty knife is unnecessary (for me). I was expecting that to be the case. I just watched a very nice Youtube video where the chef demo'd a Gyuto style knife and a Paring knife. His demo matched your advice/opinion exactly. He showed each knife tackling a range of chores near or on the cutting board that left me thinking there was nothing else to be done (at least for us).
My only reason for considering both a Nakiri and a Wa-Gyuto was that I *thought* that the Nakiri was a vegetable specialist with a straight down chopping technique. And, the Wa-Gyuto exceled as a slicing knife (either a locomotive motion (point to heel) or a pull back slicing motion). That led me to think that the Nakiri was ideal for root vegetables and the Gyuto was ideal for softer vegetables and fruits: though both could handle all chores if needed. And, the Paring knife is the prep knife for coring, minor peeling, and detaching bits from their stocks (i.e. broccoli heads).
Do I have this wrong? Do you still feel that the Wa-Gyuto can do it all?
As you can see, I am all for buying the fewest number of blades thus allowing me to spend the majority of the $$$ on the Gyuto knife. Unless your thoughts change or someone else makes a convincing argument for the addition of a Nakiri knife to this minimalist kitchen set-up, I will focus on a two knife purchase plan: a 240mm Wa-Gyuto and a small Paring knife.
Jeff B ... Sorry, I posted before seeing your reply. Thank you! You make a great point that my wife and I might prefer a different knife. If we can keep this to a two knife purchase (240mm Gyuto and a Paring knife), I would definitely buy the smaller paring blade to best fit her hands. Compared to what we own right now, a chain saw and a hatchet would be an improvement.
His Nakiri technique is different than I would ever use a Wa-Gyuto. Hence, I thought, perhaps, there was a need/justification to own both a Wa-Gyuto and a Nakiri: one for "chopping" and one for slicing. Of course, I am thrilled to own just the Gyuto and a Paring. Less is more for me because the budget will simply allocate more $$$ toward a Wa-Gyuto.