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rgruby

Japanese Knives – What to Buy?

305 posts in this topic

The rather popular Tojiro DP is Swedish Carbon core and SS clad,with western handle. Some Japanese country style blades have carbon core and iron clad,and those are always asian handle and mostly single bevel (except Nakiri)

One often overlooked thing is that acidic foods will degrade the edge on a carbon knife,possibly contributing to some chipping.  For the Tojiro,the edge is Carbon,so even though the sides are stainless it won't get used on acidic foods. We have Mexican dishes often so Peppers and onions..I'll use one of my SS blades.

Actually, the description of the Tojiro DP is innacurate and always has been. The core is a high carbon stainless. It is not a true carbon steel core and will not form a patina. So feel free to use it on acidic foods. Even so, any degridation of the steel from acidic foods will be so unnoticable in daily use that sharpening your blade will remove more metal than the acid will. Also, unless you store your knives in salt water or in lemon juice, chips that occur in a blade are not due to using it on acidic food. There are so many factors that can significantly contribute to chipping but using your knife to cut lemons or any other acidic food is not one of them. But you don't have to take my word for it. You'll see soon enough.


Edited by Octaveman (log)

My Photography: Bob Worthington Photography

 

My music: Coronado Big Band
 

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Any knife with a core,whether a Carbon core, VG 10 whatever won't usually be a single edge as that would not give much cladding on the flat side or the usual concave.

Um, not correct if I understand you correctly. Pretty much ALL single bevel (edge) construction of Japanese knives have a carbon steel edge with a softer steel laminate that is typically iron. There is even stainless "cored" single bevel blades laminated with a softer SS too. The softer laminated steel does come over the top to the back side as seen in this picture. Unless the blade is using one steel type, this type of construction is for all single-beveled blades.

gallery_22252_4789_32016.jpg


My Photography: Bob Worthington Photography

 

My music: Coronado Big Band
 

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Until you can get good results on the stones,don't worry about a strop. I don't even have an 8000 waterstone,and pretty much any of my knives are sharpest in the kitchen. My low $ Deba is much sharper than the house knives can get.....and the house knives only get decent if I sharpen them.

I agree. I've seen knive's from makers that were sharpened to 2,000 grit and they were extremely sharp. If it's not sharp by then, it never will be. There really isn't much need for higher grits to "sharpen" an edge. The higher grits are reserved for polishing. They of course refine the edge further over an edge sharpened to 2k but unless you're a very profient hand sharpener, the edge could become less durable. Remember, hand sharpening is 90% skill and 10% equipment.


My Photography: Bob Worthington Photography

 

My music: Coronado Big Band
 

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Hi,

Been looking at investing (since they ain't cheap) in a Japanese hand-forged chef's knife. I already own some Global, Furi and Wusthof-Trident but like the look of these Japanese knives. The two I have looked at are made by Hattori and Kasumi. Any one have any experience with these? Anyone have any other recommendations? Or opinions on these Japanese forged (folded steel) chef's knives?

Thanks,

Aun

I personally like my Misono ux-10 for my chef's knife(I don't use though to chop chicken bones, I use a house knife) also for as sashimi knives go I love Inox they're beautiful knife, you can find a decent one for around $200-300.00.


"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"

Oscar Wilde

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With a copy of Japanese Kitchen Knives: Essential Techniques and Recipes arriving in my mailbox today I'm going to be looking into purchasing some traditional Japanese knives to compliment the Petty, Gyuto and Nakiri I already have.

I definately will need a Deba and a Yanagiba - possibly an Usuba as well anthough some Usuba tasks can certainly be accomplished with the Nakiri.

These seem to be fairly well regarded by some on KF but I'm hoping as always that Bob and others on EG will have some good ideas.

I don't need to buy them all at once and would like to keep under $150 each (seems like a challenge for a Deba).

Thanks


Jon

--formerly known as 6ppc--

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I definately will need a Deba

Western yo-deba or Japanese wa-deba, single or double beveled?

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I definately will need a Deba

Western yo-deba or Japanese wa-deba, single or double beveled?

Traditional single beveled wa-deba


Jon

--formerly known as 6ppc--

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I definately will need a Deba

Western yo-deba or Japanese wa-deba, single or double beveled?

A Yo Deba is really just a fat, brutish chef's knife. It's not for any traditional Japanese techniques. A Wa Deba is traditional and for butchering and filleting fish, although it's also sometimes used to mince herbs and to to a few non-fish butchering tasks.

You can get a great one for under $80 at Epicurian Edge. It's their house brand, called (confusingly) Hon Kasumi (it's not a hon kasumi style knife). I've heard from pros who use this knife butchering in restaurants ... it gets a big thumbs up.

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I definately will need a Deba

Western yo-deba or Japanese wa-deba, single or double beveled?

A Yo Deba is really just a fat, brutish chef's knife. It's not for any traditional Japanese techniques. A Wa Deba is traditional and for butchering and filleting fish, although it's also sometimes used to mince herbs and to to a few non-fish butchering tasks.

You can get a great one for under $80 at Epicurian Edge. It's their house brand, called (confusingly) Hon Kasumi (it's not a hon kasumi style knife). I've heard from pros who use this knife butchering in restaurants ... it gets a big thumbs up.

Thanks Paul - I linked to that one in my initial post. At under $80 it certainly does seem to be well priced


Jon

--formerly known as 6ppc--

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You can get great traditional knives in all the shapes for reasonable prices. The real trick is developing your cutting and sharpening techniques.

All these knives will require a ton of hand work out of the box to flatten the bevels and polish the edges. If you've never done it, there's a lot of oportunity to completely jack up the knife ways that are difficult or impossible to repair. So I'd put at least as much attention into learning these skills as you put into chosing the knives.

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You can get great traditional knives in all the shapes for reasonable prices. The real trick is developing your cutting and sharpening techniques.

All these knives will require a ton of hand work out of the box to flatten the bevels and polish the edges. If you've never done it, there's a lot of oportunity to completely jack up the knife ways that are difficult or impossible to repair. So I'd put at least as much attention into learning these skills as you put into chosing the knives.

Absolutely which is also why I'd rather not go towards high end knives at this time, I know I'm going to have to develop a higher skill level with the waterstones than needed for my western style Japanese knives. I don't think I'll manage to ruin any knives in the process but acknowledge the possibility that some risk of that is part of the learning curve.

What I'm looking for is other suggestions beyond the ones at Epicurian Edge. All of the Debas I saw at jck were well north of $200 which is more than I care to risk until my sharpening skills have become more developed.


Edited by 6ppc (log)

Jon

--formerly known as 6ppc--

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I've heard nothing but good things on the Hon Kasumi knives at EE.  I say go for it.

OK Bob - I'll probably go there real soon now.

--edit I think your wife has one of these how did that work out?


Edited by 6ppc (log)

Jon

--formerly known as 6ppc--

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Another possibility is the kasumi grade house brand deba sold by Korin, but I don't think this is as good a value.

A bigger question is what length to get. This is a subject of some contention. I'd be inclined to get a 180mm, but I know some people advocate getting a longer (more expensive) one, and putting a back bevel on the few inches of the blade closest to the heel, for chopping through bones.

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Another possibility is the kasumi grade house brand deba sold by Korin, but I don't think this is as good a value.

A bigger question is what length to get. This is a subject of some contention. I'd be inclined to get a 180mm, but I know some people advocate getting a longer (more expensive) one, and putting a back bevel on the few inches of the blade closest to the heel, for chopping through bones.

I'm leaning towards 180 mm, I have a throw away SS deba that size that I've managed to significantly improve while practicing on the stones. Definitely want carbon steel.


Jon

--formerly known as 6ppc--

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I ordered the ones from EE just now. This will be fun.


Jon

--formerly known as 6ppc--

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180 deba should be great. Have fun and let us know how it's going

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180 deba should be great.  Have fun and let us know how it's going

Can do although there would have to be threads re: "Japanese Knife Techniques for the inept", "Single Bevel Knife Sharpening" and "waterstones - what was I thinking?" to do this any degree of justice.

Good times.... :)


Jon

--formerly known as 6ppc--

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Can do although there would have to be threads re: "Japanese Knife Techniques for the inept", "Single Bevel Knife Sharpening" and "waterstones - what was I thinking?" to do this any degree of justice.

I wish we could find a teacher with Japanese and Western fine dining experience to update the EGCI knife skills course. That article is seriously long in the tooth.

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I wish we could find a teacher with Japanese and Western fine dining experience to update the EGCI knife skills course. That article is seriously long in the tooth.

Or a separate Japanese knife skills course might be even better, since the existing course seems to contain a unified body of knowledge covering the major French knife techniques. I'd be interested to read a Japanese knife skills course and follow along.

Meanwhile, here's a great series of demos I found demonstrating Japanese fish butchering--

http://www.suisan.n-nourin.jp/oh/osakana/e...okery/main.html

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I wish we could find a teacher with Japanese and Western fine dining experience to update the EGCI knife skills course. That article is seriously long in the tooth.

Barring that the book I referenced upthread is a good start IMHO $20 well spent.

I wish we could find a teacher with Japanese and Western fine dining experience to update the EGCI knife skills course. That article is seriously long in the tooth.

Or a separate Japanese knife skills course might be even better, since the existing course seems to contain a unified body of knowledge covering the major French knife techniques. I'd be interested to read a Japanese knife skills course and follow along.

Meanwhile, here's a great series of demos I found demonstrating Japanese fish butchering--

http://www.suisan.n-nourin.jp/oh/osakana/e...okery/main.html

Those demos are a great find. Thanks!

I received the knives from EE today- thanks Bob for the nudge. They are sharp right out of the box and the reverse on each knife shows evidence that someone took the time to flatten the backs.


Jon

--formerly known as 6ppc--

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Here are some other videos. Some are supposed to be instructional, others just for fun. They all show good technique and are worth mimicking.

Itasan18's deba techniques. (this guy has mad skillz and puts up new videos all the time ... worth subscribing on youtube. Scroll down for demos of various fish.

KCMA's technique videos. (these are great demonstrations of Japanese knife technique with a gyuto)

, of Top Chef fame (showing tip chopping, forward push cutting, and usu-zukuri on a flank steak with a gyuto, and also some basic cleaver techniques)

making lunch with / worshipping his mizuno gyuto. He does a surprising amount of what looks like rock-chopping, but if you look closely you can see that the front of the blad is just kissing the cutting board.
Edited by paulraphael (log)

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Itasan is indeed awesome.

He makes it look so easy.
Edited by 6ppc (log)

Jon

--formerly known as 6ppc--

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