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As many of you are probably aware by the number of forums crammed with razor-sharp-knife-addicts, japanese knives are quite trendy among chefs... from the 3-star chef to the not-so-money-conscious home cook (precisely the kind of cook that will afford MC^^).

The point of my post is not to start a philosophical debate on whether or not there are good european- or american-style knives, nor to say all knives with a "japan style" label are excellent. Yet I must confess that from the day I cut my first veggie with a quality japanese knife, it changed both my food prep experience AND my appreciation of the final product. What I would be very interested in is knowing from MC's arsenal of analysis techniques how big a difference a knife can make:

- on the effort required to cut

- on the surface of the cut

- on the qualities of the end-product (water loss, visual aspect, taste, ...)

- ...

For instance, the hardest japanese knives are non-stainless, and they easily impart an iron oxide taste to the food, especially when acidic, when they are not carefully wiped every 20 seconds. So in my opinion the advantage -other than sheer cutting power- of an aoko honyaki usuba over a ginsako or swedish stainless usuba is debatable...

Any thoughts ?


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For me its all about comfort. If the knife does not feel right, then I am not going to use it even though it may be the sharpest and long living knife in my set. With that said, I prefer Japanese knives for their balance, style and most importantly, they fit may hand. When I buy a knife, I usually have a shape in mind, but when I pick it up, it should feel right in the hand, if it doesn't then it goes back in the case. The only one that I bought site unseen was my sin Watanabe Kuro-uchi Guto 180mm. It maybe the best knife I have ever bought along with a great maker.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi Berto...

The question that you're asking is very interesting. I can't reply to that but I saw that you have the idea of Jap Knives made exclusively with non stainless steel (high carbon steel) but they work now some modern alloys that are 100% stainless and others semi/inox and they have the same capacity of taking an scary edge and the edge retention is just as awesome as with the high carbon steel.

Take a look, this is my favourite knife, you get the frightening edge of a high carbon blade, is ultra light, has great fit and finish, is made with traditional methods by a family dedicated to the trade since many generations ago... And you don't have to break the bank to get one, I'm talking about the Konosuke HD wa gyuto http://www.chefknivestogo.com/kohd27wa.html it gets slightly stained but doesn't look "rusty" and it doesn't impart any kind of smell or flavor to the food, this same brand has the HH series wich is SS. Or give a try to the Gesshins http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/kitchen-knives-by-type/gyuto/gesshin-ginga-240mm-stainless-wa-gyuto.html

Both are top notch and perform like knives that cost several times that price tag.

Or if you're more into western style but want Japanese performance get a Mac knife, very affordable and has the best of both worlds. Looks a bit like a German knife and performs like a Jap.

P.S. BTW, both vendors that I recomended are true gentlemen and are extremely commited with their products and with the customers.

Best regards from México.


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