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Knives - Global G2 vs GF33

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I have been intending to replace my 25+ year old Wusthof chefs knife with something newer and lighter.  I have always liked Globals and I assumed that when I got around to it I would just get a G2.  I've used one and like it, they're everywhere (i.e. easy to find in shops) and relatively cheap.


However my friend has a GF33 and it seems really nice... Wifey also liked it a lot which is important!


The problem with the GF33 is that they don't seem very common so I haven't yet found one in a shop.  I'd really like to compare them side by side.  They're a lot more expensive than the G2, and also there aren't any Global knife blocks that include the GF33 - for the same price as a GF33 Global have a set of 3 knives that includes the G2.


The G2 is so popular - any thoughts and advice on the G2 vs the GF33?

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I might not be the best person to comment, since I've never owned a Global knife, but the general consensus on the net seems to be they're Japanese knives for people who don't want a Japanese knife. For less money you could get a Tojiro DP 210 (or even 240) gyutou, which is pretty universally praised as a great starter J-knife. Other options exist too, Fujiwara, Tadafusa, etc, all of which are regarded pretty well.


If you want really light, look for a wa-gyutou (aka Japanese style chef's knife), as they're significantly lighter than the standard Western-style ones (which are themselves much lighter than German/French style knives) due to the different handle/tang configuration. Personally, I used a Tojiro DP 240 as my only knife for about 6 years, and it was a night and day difference compared to the German style knives I was using. I've since switched to a more expensive carbon steel wa-gyutou, and I really like the additional lightness, but the Tojiro is great, it's absurdly thin and gets very sharp if you know how to sharpen decently.


I suggest you check out this thread: http://forums.egullet.org/topic/112332-japanese-knives-–-what-to-buy/


As for Globals, if you're dead set on one, the two models don't seem to be drastically different in price, so I'd say see what steel each is made of, how hard each one is, what the weight is, the thickness of the blade (measured at the spine)etc. I'd prefer a harder, easy to sharpen steel, than a softer, harder to sharpen one, but that's just me. I will say the GF-33 appears to have a different profile - the G2 is much more German looking, which is great if you rock cut a lot, but the GF-33 is more French/Japanese looking which is better for draw/thrust cuts and slicing, which is how I cut.

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I concur with Hassouni that Globals are considered by most knife geeks to be Euro knives, made in Japan.  I personally don't like the metal handle or the rocker profile - I used one for a lot of prep once and that was enough.


That said, if you like them you are not alone.  They have their fans just like any other major brand and I have a chef friend that would not have anything else..


A brief look at their offerings suggests to me that the G16 is more Japanese knife-like than the 33 or 2.  Looks like WS, SLT and the usual suspects carry them, can you try them out before you buy?

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Thanks for your input, it has helped me think a bit more about what advice I am asking for.


I chose my current "good" knife when I was 15, and as you might expect when you ask a 15 yo guy what knife they want, I simply chose the biggest I could see.  So I have had a 26cm Wusthof since then.  In practise it has always been slightly too long.  The weight has never been a problem, but the length of the whole knife is about 40cm.


For a few years I had a housemate with a G2 and basically really liked it.  I would always reach for the G2 over my much longer Wusthof.  Ever since then I have intended to get one, just never got around to it.


Here in Australia it's not easy to find a wide range of knives on display.  Wusthofs and Globals are very easy to find - anything beyond that requires a long trip to a specialty store, and many brands are only available by mail order, but I wouldn't buy a knife without seeing and and holding it myself.  I'd love to find a shop that stocks Tojiro knives, if anyone can let me know where abouts in Sydney I will go...


So it isn't that I desperately want a Japanese knife, it's that I don't want another Wusthof and as I'm limited by what is stocked by the local shopping mall and department stores the best alternative is Global.  I like them and they're only for casual home cooking, so I'm not looking for something specifically Japanese (FWIW this shop is around the corner from where I work and it's kinda out of my league).


The GF33 felt like a really nice knife but I'm worried that it isn't much smaller than my current 26cm Wusthof.  Perhaps the GF32 - it's a bit shorter - is what I should be thinking of, but I haven't seen one.


I'm asking for advice and feedback simply because I haven't yet found a shop where I can see, hold and compare these knives side-by-side.

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If you are used to European knives but want a Japanese-ish shorter knife, take a look at the Australian made Furi knives.  I had one, (santoku) didn't love it, but thought is nice enough.  My son loved it. They make chef style knives too. http://furiglobal.com/au/products

Edited by Norm Matthews (log)
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I have a few globals.  I got them at BB&B over 10 years ago.  G-4, G-5, GS5.  my modest collection of knives were stolen,


I also go at BB&B two Henckels  8" and 6 " chef's knives.  they gave me 20 % off each one, and they were about 1/2 the price they are now.


I used to sharpen my knives by hand on a series of quality japanese water stones, to the 'white stone'  which might have been 1000 grit.


it was difficult for me to get a really good edge by hand on the Globals.   The is a knife-forum, and I asked about this there.  im no metallurgist 


but the buzz there was that global steel was 'sticky'   :huh:


I then got the EdgePro system.  now my globals are use for 95 % of my knife work.


10 + years ago is was difficult to find and import similarly priced Japanese knives from Japan.


although w my sharpening system Id not give up the Globals, at twice what I paid for them Id look around.


this doesn't really answer your question, but at least in my hands pre-EP the globals were difficult to sharpen  not now.


BTW  the Henckels are still on my MagneticBar, but at the very far end.  can't remember when I used them last.


I was going to get a Nakiri and Gyoto from Japan, at 200 / knife.  fortunately Im allergic to PayPal so I tossed and turned for


6 months and have gone w/o these two beautiful knives.  Im doing fine now, BTW


there are soooooo  many fine knives these days your best bet is to take your time and get the knife in your hand before you buy


or be able to return for a full refund.   and think about how you plan to sharpen your new knives which is very important.

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If you are used to European knives but want a Japanese-ish shorter knife, take a look at the Australian made Furi knives.  I had one, (santoku) didn't love it, but thought is nice enough.

Furi's advertising says "Engineered in Australia", but the knives are made in China. I've also used them and not loved them.


ChrisZ, re your original question - G2 or GF33? - you answered it yourself in the first line of your post: "I have been intending to replace my 25+ year old Wusthof chefs knife with something newer and lighter."


If you want lighter (and cheaper), choosing between those two, it's the G2. The GF33 is 50% thicker and a lot heavier.

Hong Kong Dave

O que nao mata engorda.

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The problem with Globals is that their peculiar alloy makes them very difficult to sharpen properly, while offering no advantages over the better alternatives. A knife is only as good as your sharpening job, and you need to be a master sharpener to get a decent edge on a global. By decent edge I mean something that a reasonably skilled sharpener can achieve on good steel using Japanese waterstones; a lot of chefs spend their whole careers using sub-decent edges. But these days there's no reason to. 


If you talk to Dave Martel at japenesknifesharpening.com, he can go into detail about global's steel. The short answer is that he doesn't have the inclination to mess with it anymore. If you send him a Global, he'll sharpen it on belt sander the way he does European knives. He reserves the waterstones for knives made out of the better Japanese and Swedish steels. 


Questions of knives come up on eGullet often. It's really impossible to make a recommendation without knowing someone's commitment to sharpening, and to modifying their cutting techniques for a high performance knife. For many cooks, a jack-of-all-trades Western chef's knife is going to remain the best choice. They are versatile, nearly indestructible, and can be maintained on a steel with very little skill or effort. Others want to go all-in and are willing to relearn everything. For them the highest performance knives are a reasonable choice, although it can make sense start with an inexpensive version so you don't have to be nervous about making mistakes. And there's a whole world of knives between those extremes.

Notes from the underbelly

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here are the three Globals i use all the time :




sorry for the glare and the fuzz.  those little iPod cameras don't seem to work so well after a few double espresso's   :huh:


Id look at your question this way :  have you used a very light, but razor sharp knife ?  on that fits your hand and it the appropriate


length for the 'job at hand ?'   ( i have a tendency to pick the knife that a bit too short for the job, having the better one right next to it   :blink: )


once I got used to 'light', I can't go back to 'heavier'  thats w a very sharp edge, 


the two G's at the top are 7"  measured at the blade's edge.


no matter what you pick, if you enjoy a 'really really really good' knife  you have to enjoy the sharpening process, what ever system you choose


its that sharpening process that makes the RRR good knife extraordinary.


should you get the chance, go over to knifeforum.com and follow the EP threads.


they are Mind Numbing over there.    :laugh:


and no, I don't use the Bird's Eye Maple cutting board w these knives. its for cutting bread and making coffee.

Edited by rotuts (log)
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