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Japanese Knives – What to Buy?

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249 replies to this topic

#241 ahpadt

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 01:08 PM

First get the whetstones or jigs and learn to sharpen your existing knives. They can achieve new life and sharpness. Then once you have that under your belt and still want a new knife you will be better able to maintain it.

It doesn't matter what knife it is except maybe serrated. They all need sharpening on a somewhat regular basis

 

Probably a good idea. Should I just get a 1000 grit? Are there any major differences from brand to brand? My local store sells MinoSharp and a few other brands.



#242 Dakki

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 01:27 PM

IMO a 1K/3K combi waterstone is probably the best starter. Much finer than that is pointless for stainless, and 3K to 8K is a natural step up for carbon steel (and about the finest you can usefully sharpen at in a kitchen knife) if you go that way, while a 300 or 400 grit is a natural step down from 1K and excellent grits for repairs.

 

There are differences between brands but they not really that significant starting out. A lot of it comes down to personal preference, which is informed by personal experience.


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#243 dcarch

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 08:19 PM

But if you are cheap like me:

 

A D-2 steel blank for $20.00

 

With a few hand tools and a grinder, shaped it to look like a knife.

 

Sent it out to be hardened and cryo tempered for $20.00

 

Sharpened it on a belt sander and stones to razor sharp and glued some scales for the handle.

 

I got myself a 330mm yanagiba for $40.00.

 

As you know, D-2 makes a very nice knife and keeps a razor edge for a long time.

 

 

dcarch



#244 ahpadt

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 12:08 PM

IMO a 1K/3K combi waterstone is probably the best starter. Much finer than that is pointless for stainless, and 3K to 8K is a natural step up for carbon steel (and about the finest you can usefully sharpen at in a kitchen knife) if you go that way, while a 300 or 400 grit is a natural step down from 1K and excellent grits for repairs.

 

There are differences between brands but they not really that significant starting out. A lot of it comes down to personal preference, which is informed by personal experience.

 

Unfortunately I havent had much luck in finding a 1k/3k combi stone. I've had a look around the web and my local kitchen supplier. The only thing I found on the web was a couple of noname stones. Also being an electronics enthusiast, I am very sceptical about 'brandless' items. Do you have a specfic combistone or brand to recommend that is somewhat easily available? I am located in the UK.



#245 irodguy

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 08:38 PM

I own many Japanese knives.  I just purchased one recently on a recommendation from a friend.  http://www.amazon.co...0_26725410_item

 

I must say the Zhen is very well balanced with a very reasonable weight.   It a great Usaba at a really good price.


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#246 gfron1

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Posted 12 September 2014 - 11:26 AM

You know what I want?  The process of picking a knife is overwhelming, so I want a website, like travel sites, that you put in your preferred items, and they search the internet for the options and best pricing. The problem right now is if you don't know all of the manufacturers and terminology then you're out of luck, or some sites will say white #1 while others will say the Japanese term for the same steel.  I'm not going to do that site, but my descriptors would be:

 

Handle shape

Handle material

Style (with a diagram of what that style is)

Blade material (with a quick pop-up of characteristics of that material)

Length

Manufacturing process (handmade, stamped, etc)

 

What else am I missing?  The point is that someone could take a 10% commission if they could help make the connection happen.


Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#247 Smithy

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Posted 12 September 2014 - 12:20 PM

Weight of the finished product

Some measure of balance - I don't know whether or how that's quantified for knives, but it's an important aspect for the user

Warranty?

 

This is a good idea, gfron1.  There should be some enterprising genius hanging out here who could start up such a web site.


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#248 gfron1

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Posted 12 September 2014 - 12:39 PM

Yeah that weight balance thing is probably not measurable unless the knife is in your hand.  I always though Globals were weighted well until I got my Fujiwara.  But most of us don't have access to a store with great knives.


Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#249 jayt90

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Posted 12 September 2014 - 01:54 PM

gfron, you could add to your list:

 

the playoff of brittleness vs strength or sharpness,

 

the strength of the blade-handle junction

 

the geometry of the edge, and the tapering of the design

 

ease of sharpening and maintaining the edge.

 

 

There are some some surprisingly inexpensive carbon steel blades from  CCK, Leigh Valley and from Japan that meet all my requirements (although the sharpest will show a few nicks after 10 years).

 

I suspect there are a lot of mid field players making large profits on knives that appear fashionable.

 

 

 


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#250 Hassouni

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Posted 12 September 2014 - 04:03 PM

You know what I want?  The process of picking a knife is overwhelming, so I want a website, like travel sites, that you put in your preferred items, and they search the internet for the options and best pricing. The problem right now is if you don't know all of the manufacturers and terminology then you're out of luck, or some sites will say white #1 while others will say the Japanese term for the same steel.  I'm not going to do that site, but my descriptors would be:

 

Handle shape

Handle material

Style (with a diagram of what that style is)

Blade material (with a quick pop-up of characteristics of that material)

Length

Manufacturing process (handmade, stamped, etc)

 

What else am I missing?  The point is that someone could take a 10% commission if they could help make the connection happen.

 

The chef knives to go forum has people that will make you very concrete recs if you can define what you want based on those parameters


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