We encourage you to post your questions about kitchen knives here. We can give you help choosing a knife.
Wed Jan 16, 2013 4:31 am
As for the fish, how big are we talking? Are you breaking it down from whole fish into portions yourself, just portioning, skinning, etc? A 150mm-180mm petty may work well for that if you aren't breaking it down yourself, depending on the size of the fish you encounter.
A good 210-240mm gyuto would work well for veggies and you can also use the petty for more precise cutting. You may look for a "laser" type gyuto, which is thinner than normal gyuto's if you are doing a lot of hard root veggies since they may slice better with less resistance with the thinner blade. Personally, I prefer carbon steels for the edge they can take, but there are some other Stainless steels that really perform at a very high level. AEB-L, S35VN, M390, CPM 154, etc all fall into that category. If you are cutting acidic foods, the stainless steel won't react as much to the food and will hold an edge longer where the acidic foods can eat away at a carbon steel edge.
Wed Jan 16, 2013 4:33 am
This gift is going to a couple who, like us, will use the knife daily. They are not chef level cooks, but they certainly place great importance on the kitchen, on food preparation, and on food presentation as key features of every gathering. We have time on our side to make a well researched, well informed selection. A few more visits to their home will allow me /us to assess their present knife collection with more care so we are sure not to buy something that is not unique to their kitchen.
Wed Jan 16, 2013 4:43 am
Our fish purchases are store bought, cleaned and merely needing slicing. Veggies range all over the place. A gyuto appears to be the perfect choice. I suspect it will see the majority of our use. I do think stainless steel would better suit our expected use. You raise a very good point about hard root veggies. Perhaps a specific blade for that category might make sense. I still have lots to research and read to better familiarize myself with blade variations, blade length, blade thickness, and blade edge and type. I know almost nothing at this juncture which is actually exciting in that I am eager to pursue a new area of interest.
Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:27 pm
Mr. Itou knives made from R2 steel are available in a variety of handle material. They sell out quickly.http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/page3.html
Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:32 pm
as of this moment, they're all sold out
Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:46 pm
If the knives are going to be used, before too long you'll have to come up with a method of sharpening them. Especially when you're talking about this significant an investment. Not sure if you're inclined to sharpen them yourself (this would also apply to your gift recipients), or have someone else do it.
Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:48 pm
Unfortunately, I do not have the hand eye coordination that is needed to sharpen knives - especially of this level. However, my wife has the skill set to learn wetstone sharpening; she is a professional clay/hydrocal sculptor and 2D artist. I have no doubt that she will master the technique in short time. Therefore, we do plan to buy wetstones. The recipients are on their own. I assume they out-source their knife sharpening.
To this point for our own interest, I was looking at the DMT Dia-Sharp stones versus true Japanese wetstones. Are the DMT metal/diamond Dia-Sharp applicable to this level of Japanese knives? Or, is it essential to buy and use true Japanese wetstones?
BTW, is it wetstones or whetstones?
Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:56 pm
Essential is a rough word.
No, technically. Many people use the DMT plates on Japanese knives.
However, I wouldn't recommend it as the best approach.
Wed Jan 16, 2013 3:15 pm
Might you elaborate on why you would shy away from the DMT plates.
I am also looking at the Shapton glass stones. It is early in my education process, however these came with a strong endorsment.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8wx4M1Mk28
Wed Jan 16, 2013 3:33 pm
DMT plates remove metal VERY quickly, but can tend to leave very deep scratches, especially when new. The waterstones tend to remove material quickly (a little slower than diamonds), but leave a much smoother finish and are available in a much wider variety of grits, sizes, hardnesses, etc.
Lots of really nice stones out there in the market!!
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