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Re: Transitioning from European to Japanese Knives!

Sat Feb 15, 2014 2:04 am

Excellent post, very nicely done.

Re: Transitioning from European to Japanese Knives!

Sat Feb 15, 2014 2:52 am

Fantastic post! I'm sending this out to a couple of friends that have been interested in jumping into Japanese kitchen knives. I'll assign your post as their reading homework.

Re: Transitioning from European to Japanese Knives!

Sat Feb 15, 2014 3:58 am

Great post!

I'd like to suggest some changes, not because there's anything wrong with it but because I think it can be improved so that even someone who is completely unfamiliar with "knife talk" can understand what you're saying.


Clarify that you're talking about "typical" J-chefs/gyutos and that there are appropriate Japanese-made knives for the heavy-duty, "beater" tasks.

Clarify that there are different shapes of general-purpose J-knives, ranging from adaptations of French/chef's knife (gyuto) through hybrids (santoku) through traditional Japanese (nakiri), etc.

Explain "German" vs "French" -style chef's knives and how they relate to gyutos.

The paragraphs on sharpening could be expanded. Someone who isn't already into waterstones might not understand what all this talk of 1K/2K etc. means. Or hotlink to an article on waterstones?

Some illustrations could explain the difference between "wa" vs. "Western" handles to someone who isn't familiar with the terminology. Maybe include pics of octagonal, oval, etc. handles.

Carbon vs. stainless - a big deal for me. Some Western knives are indeed carbon but I think many people curious about upgrading to a J-knife will be coming from German-style stainless, and will be scared off from carbon if they don't understand how simple it is to care for (or conversely, once they understand they might decide carbon is just not for them).

Re: Transitioning from European to Japanese Knives!

Sat Feb 15, 2014 4:06 am

Dakki
I'm currently working on the different shapes of / uses of knifes.

A few of us decided we needed a newbie guide.

Re: Transitioning from European to Japanese Knives!

Sat Feb 15, 2014 4:17 am

A very nice article indeed. Saves a lot of time browsing the forums as you have concisely put all the information in this single post.

Re: Transitioning from European to Japanese Knives!

Sat Feb 15, 2014 4:44 am

Yeah, this is just a quick piece to cover many of the common questions that we get and have to explain to people when transitioning. We are currently putting together a glossary of various terms, blade shapes/uses, steels, grinds, handles, sharpening, etc. that cover the other areas more fully, including various pictures and illustrations. Sharpening stones are often labeled as 1K, 2K and "K" is universal for thousand, so most people will understand that I think.

As for the "beater", that gets into a lot more about technique, sharpening variances, steel selection, etc to cover for a newbie and involves particular knives that most do not get to start out. For a newbie, not to treat the Japanese knives as "beaters" is the best advise and will lessen the chance that they majorly chip/snap their new knife. I have seen Nakiri's used as bone cleavers before because the "look like a cleaver".

Re: Transitioning from European to Japanese Knives!

Sat Feb 15, 2014 6:56 am

EDIT: Geez, it sounds like I'm arguing but I'm not.

Re: Transitioning from European to Japanese Knives!

Sat Feb 15, 2014 8:17 am

Not to me Dakki! Just wanted to explain for you, we will go more in depth with the other stuff we are working on :) There is so much to each topic, I just wanted to hit a few of the common things I have come across/explained to people making the transition.

Re: Transitioning from European to Japanese Knives!

Sat Feb 15, 2014 12:16 pm

Well done Tim! You really put a lot of great information in this post. Really defines what J knifes are all about. Looking forward to your glossary when you get it done!

Re: Transitioning from European to Japanese Knives!

Tue Feb 18, 2014 3:42 pm

Quite thorough, thanks for this!
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