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 Post subject: Buying my husband the best knife you've got.
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:21 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:18 pm
Posts: 7688
Location: Madison Wisconsin
Hi Mark,

I'm wondering if you could please help me, I'm looking to buy a good set of knives for my husband for christmas.
I would like to purchase the best quality knives for a home kitchen, we love to cook and I am trying to research the best set for our use and I feel like all that I see are brand-recommended websites and I'm starting to get confused on what I should be looking for. I'm not 100% concerned about the price, as if there is a must have set, I can either buy a smaller set now and expand later. So that being said, I want to know what the "top of the line" and best buy for us can be.

I want something with a very sharp edge (my husband constantly complains that our current set is too dull, and I know we will need to start sharpening more frequently...but I don't want to end up with a set that he will be unhappy with).

Can you possibly recommend something for us?

Thanks!
Aimee



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 Post subject: Re: Buying my husband the best knife you've got.
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 9:34 pm 
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You can be assured that any of the knives in the Konosuke Fujiyama series will be outstanding. If you don't like the traditional Japanese handles then you may want to look at Konosuke Ginsan series. These knives have premium steel and a grind that is second-to-none, they are truly the top of the bar in my opinion. Many of us in the knife community will recommend you get a few good knives instead of a big set; it is much easier to add on later and have great knives now. Both of series of these knives have great steel and nice and thin behind the edge, meaning better performance and much faster resharpening.



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 Post subject: Re: Buying my husband the best knife you've got.
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:00 pm 

Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2012 11:52 pm
Posts: 18
I am a rookie of sorts with these guys but I do have some knives and sharpening equipment that I purchased from these guys.

First off, the customer service from CKTG is absolutely superb so proceed with confidence.

A few other comments on what you will hear shortly.

You need to decide carbon or stainless.. These board members like big knives. You may want to pull out a tape measure.

The Japanese knives they sell get very sharp. Note that some are beveled asymmetrically. Again, they get very sharp. Shave your arm sharp off my edge pro and I am an amateur with it..

These knives have specific purposes and shapes.

Welcome to a whole new world of knives.


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 Post subject: Re: Buying my husband the best knife you've got.
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:27 pm 
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I'd reckon we're wanting a stainless set of knives....correct me if I'm wrong on that.

Second, I'd recommend ditching the thought of a "set". You really only need a few knives and limiting them to all being of the same brand/model is....well, limiting. :)

Start with a really great chef's knife.

A couple of options:

Konosuke HD wa-gyuto:

http://www.chefknivestogo.com/kohd240gynew.html

or the Kikuichi TKC if you fancy a western handle:

http://www.chefknivestogo.com/ictkcgy21.html

I recommended both a 210mm gyuto and a 240mm....pick which one you want based on your comfort level.

Either of these two knives are awesome performance knives. Not much glitz, not much glamour....but they get sharp, stay sharp, and are great performers.

If you want fancier, prettier, etc. that can be done too it just kind of depends on what you're after.

Past a great chef's knife (gyuto), pick up a nice bread knife:

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

A good 6" utility knife (petty):

http://www.chefknivestogo.com/topakn12.html

A good paring knife:

http://www.chefknivestogo.com/riar80pakn.html

And perhaps a good slicing knife:

http://www.chefknivestogo.com/riar27su.html

Any of the above can be changed based on your wants/desires/budget but it gives you a good starting point.

Then buy a knife block (sans knives) or magnetic knife rack and you're set:

http://www.chefknivestogo.com/21mamaknra.html

http://www.chefknivestogo.com/ri15slmaknbl.html



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 Post subject: Re: Buying my husband the best knife you've got.
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:44 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:18 pm
Posts: 7688
Location: Madison Wisconsin
Hi Mark,
Thanks so much for getting back to me so quickly!
Answers are below:

Is he right handed?Yes - we both are.
Does he or you know how to sharpen? No - not yet.
Does he like to rock the knife or push cut primarily? I do most of the chopping, I would say I rock the knife, but I don't think that is proper, is it? so I probably need to brush up on the skills as well.
Do you think he wants a stainless knife? I dont think he knows what he wants. I would say that whatever is the easiest to take care of and won't tarnish or discolor easily....
Do you want to get a western handled knife or Japanese handle? I am torn. I've been researching both - and i really don't know what I would prefer...I know that there is a difference from an aesthetic standpoint, but is one better than the other? We have a really crappy Chicago Cutlery set and that is really the only set of knives we've ever had...so open to suggestion here.


How much did you want to spend? Give me a wild guess for a Chef knife only. I was thinking $500 all in for the entire gift...so I had been researching the "sets" from most kitchen stores...I haven't priced single knives yet, so i'm not sure.


Would it be easier to talk through this on the phone? I can probably give you a call tomorrow to discuss if there are a ton more questions / details I should think through.

Thanks!
Aimee



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 Post subject: Re: Buying my husband the best knife you've got.
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:02 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:18 pm
Posts: 7688
Location: Madison Wisconsin
Ok Aimee,

Here are some of my recommendations for you. Feel free to blow me off and do what you want. :)

First think of getting just 1 or 2 knives. Try getting 1 really good chef knife/gyuto since that is what you are going to use the most. I have a drawer full of knives and a full magnetic set of them and I really only use multiple gyutos and a bread knife and occasionally a small paring knife and that's about it. So get a good gyuto and maybe a paring knife. You can get more later.

I'm going to assume you want a stainless 210mm (8 inch) gyuto or 240mm (9.4 inch) gyuto. Here are a few good ones that won't break you and are awesome knives with great cutting ability.

My Richmond Damascus is made by Yoshikane and they make great knives. This one has a custom handle and it's a unique and beautiful piece and would make a great gift:
http://www.chefknivestogo.com/rida210gycuh.html

Throw your whole budget into this knife and then stand in your kitchen and admire it. This is like buying a BMW. It's the best freaking waste of money you will spend in your kitchen. I'm a jaded 10 year vet in the kitchen knife business and this knife keeps me up at night. I plan on stealing one after Christmas and I only usually steal 1 or 2 knives out of my inventory every year. :
http://www.chefknivestogo.com/kowasi24ho.html

If you want a really beautiful western handled knife this hand made knife by Tanaka is beautiful and perfoms great. It's a looker and I think you would enjoy using it.
http://www.chefknivestogo.com/tanakaguyoto.html

If you want to get a paring knife go cheap and get the Fujiwara stainless. It's good and you don't want to spend a ton of your remaining money on a knife you won't use nearly as much as the above:
http://www.chefknivestogo.com/fufkmpe12.html

Same with a bread knife. I use mine everyday but this inexpensive one by Tojiro is our best selling knife on the site and it out performs most bread knives that are double or triple the price:
Play the videos on the page to get a feel for this great knife:
http://www.chefknivestogo.com/toitkbrkn.html

Feel free to ask me more questions. I'm sure others will chime in.



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 Post subject: Re: Buying my husband the best knife you've got.
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 2:30 am 

Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:50 pm
Posts: 3
Thanks everyone for your posts!


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 Post subject: Re: Buying my husband the best knife you've got.
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 2:34 am 

Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:50 pm
Posts: 3
I have a few more questions!

So, I'm trying to get over the fact that I don't recognize the brands you recommended...I had been researching more "name brand" mainstream collections by shun and wusthof ikon. Can you explain to me why the recommended knives are better?

Also, how do I sharpen? Is there a sharpener you recommend?

One more...what about steak knives? Any recommendations?

Thanks in advance!
I really appreciate all your help!

Aimee


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 Post subject: Re: Buying my husband the best knife you've got.
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 4:43 am 
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Joined: Fri May 04, 2012 2:48 pm
Posts: 155
Location: Alberta, Canada
Welcome to the forum Aimee, Most name brand knives, the typical German, French, and some of the American names don't get as much love from many knife enthusiasts, simply because, they are mass produced, out of good steel mind you, with average geometry, average edge holding, and average looks. They will be just fine for the average user. However... There are a few of us who prefer to go for the extra, or superior profile, geometry, and edge holding. Here are a couple analogies. The average man would be happy with a 6 cylinder Ford Mustang, but the few in the know, would hold out for the Shelby Cobra. A woman would do just fine with a purse/bag from WalMart, and again, some would hold out for a Prada, Armani, Gucci what have you... The knives Mark and the others are recommending are, for what its worth, better knives. Better steel, geometry, and edge holding, built by hand by craftsmen who know what makes a great knife, and do just that.

My two cents...

Pierre



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 Post subject: Re: Buying my husband the best knife you've got.
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 11:43 am 

Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2012 11:52 pm
Posts: 18
More from the rookie..

These knives are generally made in smaller quantities by actual people you can identify by name. Lots of "romance" if you will.

Many of them are superb values. Unbelievable really. Remember, you aren't paying for a lot of extraneous marketing/middleman markups.

Sharpening is part of the fun. There are many professional sharpeners on here with expertise beyond what most folks will ever acquire. You can "cheat" if you will by using a "machine" system. I use Edge Pro products.

I came across Edge Pro on a boating forum as a way to sharpen my fishing knives which is a continual problem. While learning how to use it, I pulled out some L6 (old saw blade) kitchen knives that we could never get sharp to practice on. Voila! They are now back in use and pretty darn sharp.

Videos all over the web on this and other sharpening systems. Great way to while away these longer winter evenings. You will either fall asleep faster or be up all night watching them. Haha..


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