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mamster

Kitchen Knives: Preferences, Tips, General Care

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I only one word to say with regard to that knife: Ebay.

Use the money to buy a Tojiro DP Gyuto (chef) for $60 for the 240mm size. Best bang for the buck with Japanese knives. I guarantee you will not be sorry. Koki, the owner, has the best customer service. You can get your knife shipped for $7 and get it in about a week from Japan. I can't say enough about this place.

Bob


My Photography: Bob Worthington Photography

 

My music: Coronado Big Band
 

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It all comes down to this people. Can you shave with your knife? I can shave with any Japanese knife in my bag. I could never do that with a german made knife. All my knives are balanced perfectly and all have wood handles. Ive converted 3 people at work to buying the knives i have and trust me it didn't take much convincing. So take all those glabals and german things and throw them away. Do yourself a favor and go to korin or korin online and buy a real knife!!!!! :smile:

I recently purchased a Hattori utility knife and a sashimi knife. They are sharp, beautiful knives but I find myself using them for precision cuts and still go back to my Wusthofs for everyday cooking and chopping.

The grip of the hattori seems a bit small for my hand (may fit a petit person) and while the damascus blade is pretty to look at, it feels a bit flimzy when I am cutting through a high density item. In the Japanese knife category I like the feel of the Kershaws.


Edited by percyn (log)

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I use the Wustof 10 Inch Wide Classic, which is normally a special order item unless you get it from Amazon or have a very good kitchen store near you that carries the entire Wusthof line. If you have large hands, its a very good knife with a heavy blade. Totally no-nonsense, battle worthy and restaurant kitchen quality chef's knife.

My weapon of choice for cutting mise is a Grand Prix Extra Broad 10" Chef's, also by Wusthof. All my knives are GPs and I won't put any another brand/mark into my roll... period. That's personal preference talking; I've got large, beefy, hands and the GPs are the very best fit. Shun/Kershaw's (you've seen Alton Brown using 'em) conversely, don't work... while the Damascus steel is praiseworthy they are way too small.

Another talking point: Most people think they can get by with one supreme, high-dollar, top of the line, knife for 70% (or more) of all cutting work. That's just plain wrong (and unsafe) in my book. Always have the right tool available for the job. I don't fabricate any meats, poultry or fish with my behemoth. I pack a flexible fillet knife for fish and a boning knife for the livestock and fowl.

Just some thoughts,

Chris


Edited by C_Ruark (log)

"There's something very Khmer Rouge about Alice Waters that has become unrealistic." - Bourdain; interviewed on dcist.com

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I recently purchased a Hattori utility knife and a sashimi knife. They are sharp, beautiful knives but I find myself using them for precision cuts and still go back to my Wusthofs for everyday cooking and chopping.

The grip of the hattori seems a bit small for my hand (may fit a petit person) and while the damascus blade is pretty to look at, it feels a bit flimzy when I am cutting through a high density item. In the Japanese knife category I like the feel of the Kershaws.

Of course you still go back to your Wusthofs for everyday cooking and chopping. A 6 inch petty knife is not the right knife for that. A Gyuto is the Japanese equivalent to the Chef's knife. I do 90% of my work with a 270mm (10.75") Gyuto. Yes, 90%. I can break down big cuts of meat and I can easily and quickly mince a clove of garlic with this knife. So big or little, I use a Gyuto. I have a 270mm Hattori Gyuto (among others) and it's not flimsy at all. Matter of fact, it's currently the go-to knife in my block. I don't have the same petty knife you have so I can't comment on it except that you shouldn't judge a whole line of knives based on a petty that was made for delicate work. Small knife, smaller handle. My Hattori Gyuto has a good sized handle that's extremely comfortable. Other brands like the Misono UX10 line has pretty beefy handles.

Japanese blades are forged to a higher HRC (60-64) than Euro(55-59) knives making them harder, thinner and lighter. Because of the higher HRC, they are more brittle than Euro knives making them a bit more prone to chipping if you cut bone or try to cut frozen food. So, don't do that with a Gyuto. Use something else like a Western Deba: a double beveled thick/heavy knife with Gyuto profile. If I need to break down a chicken, I use a Honesuki: a Japanese boning knife. I have a 3" paring knife, my wife uses a Watanabe Santoku and sometimes one of my 240mm Gyuto's if she needs the length. My point is that there's a Japanese knife for every job. Also, Japanese knives don't need to be sharpened as often because they hold their edge better and longer than softer Euro knives.

I used to have a couple of henckles and Wusthof's that I used for a long time because I was told they were the shit. Then I bought my first Gyuto last September...a Kikuichi Stainless. I promptly gave those used POS knives away to a friend of my wifes (whom I don't like that much because I would never give them to someone I did like) and I've never looked back. I've converted several friends one who was a diehard Henckles user. It didn't have to say much either. I just had them cut up some veggies. Japanese knives need to be tried out before one can make a sound decision. Making a decision based on what you're heard and not seen is irresponsible. Shun's, while good knives, they do not represent what Japanese knives are all about.

Kershaw Shun knives are good knives with VG-10 blades. They have nice handles but they are different than standard western handles. Most Japanese knives use the same western style handles that are on Euro knives. They have knives with traditional handles on western style knives but it's not common. Traditional handles are most prevelent on traditional knives. Take a look at THIS site. They have a huge selection of western style knives at the cheapest prices you will find. The best brands IMHO are Hattori HD, Tojiro Powdered Steel and DP, Misono UX10, Ryusen, Hiromoto and Masamoto VG10.

I hope this is helpful in understanding a little bit of what Japanese knives are.

Cheers,

Bob


My Photography: Bob Worthington Photography

 

My music: Coronado Big Band
 

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yeah, what he said. i think one of the reasons i'm so fond of my misono is because the handle feels just like my old wusthof. the blade, of course, is completely different. it really feels like cutting with a laser compared to the germans. i can use it to fine-mince garlic, something i always had to use a paring knife for in the past. i've beenusing gyutos for a year and about the only time i pull out my old wusthof is for something really heavy duty (the other day, i had to peel and chop a mess of garlic--something i usually do by slapping the clove hard with the side of the blade; that was the first time in ages i've used my wusthoff).

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I'm hoping someone can provide insight to someone newly minted into the fine-knife world. I know Christmas is barely a week away, but I am lookign to get a very good Chef's knife as a gift...first, looking at Henckels and Wustofs and finally, after reading a few boards on eGullet, drooling over the Japanese ones (www.japanesechefsknife.com)....I had my sights set on the Hattori HD Gyuko 270mm knife mentioned above, but having never actually handled the knife before, I'm a little nervous about having it rush-shipped over here in time for Christmas. Also, I was searchign aroudn for US vendors and came across www.korin.com, located in NYC. after speaking with them, I was informed that Hattori Ichiro knives are "fakes" and not as good as real Hattoris. Ichiros are the variety sold on the former website..does anyone know anythign about this? It seemed quite improbable that they were the same because of the great discrepancy in price (~110 from japan, ~870 from korin)...??

Any thoughts? Can anyone suggest a hands-down beautiful and highly functional chef's knife...i am partial to Japanese ones. On a slightly unrelated note, does anyone store their knives on wall magnets? Is that just an aesthetic thing that's not so functional as say, a block? this may sound like a dumb question, but...is it safe?

I recently purchased a Hattori utility knife and a sashimi knife. They are sharp, beautiful knives but I find myself using them for precision cuts and still go back to my Wusthofs for everyday cooking and chopping.

The grip of the hattori seems a bit small for my hand (may fit a petit person) and while the damascus blade is pretty to look at, it feels a bit flimzy when I am cutting through a high density item. In the Japanese knife category I like the feel of the Kershaws.

Of course you still go back to your Wusthofs for everyday cooking and chopping. A 6 inch petty knife is not the right knife for that. A Gyuto is the Japanese equivalent to the Chef's knife. I do 90% of my work with a 270mm (10.75") Gyuto. Yes, 90%. I can break down big cuts of meat and I can easily and quickly mince a clove of garlic with this knife. So big or little, I use a Gyuto. I have a 270mm Hattori Gyuto (among others) and it's not flimsy at all. Matter of fact, it's currently the go-to knife in my block. I don't have the same petty knife you have so I can't comment on it except that you shouldn't judge a whole line of knives based on a petty that was made for delicate work. Small knife, smaller handle. My Hattori Gyuto has a good sized handle that's extremely comfortable. Other brands like the Misono UX10 line has pretty beefy handles.

Japanese blades are forged to a higher HRC (60-64) than Euro(55-59) knives making them harder, thinner and lighter. Because of the higher HRC, they are more brittle than Euro knives making them a bit more prone to chipping if you cut bone or try to cut frozen food. So, don't do that with a Gyuto. Use something else like a Western Deba: a double beveled thick/heavy knife with Gyuto profile. If I need to break down a chicken, I use a Honesuki: a Japanese boning knife. I have a 3" paring knife, my wife uses a Watanabe Santoku and sometimes one of my 240mm Gyuto's if she needs the length. My point is that there's a Japanese knife for every job. Also, Japanese knives don't need to be sharpened as often because they hold their edge better and longer than softer Euro knives.

I used to have a couple of henckles and Wusthof's that I used for a long time because I was told they were the shit. Then I bought my first Gyuto last September...a Kikuichi Stainless. I promptly gave those used POS knives away to a friend of my wifes (whom I don't like that much because I would never give them to someone I did like) and I've never looked back. I've converted several friends one who was a diehard Henckles user. It didn't have to say much either. I just had them cut up some veggies. Japanese knives need to be tried out before one can make a sound decision. Making a decision based on what you're heard and not seen is irresponsible. Shun's, while good knives, they do not represent what Japanese knives are all about.

Kershaw Shun knives are good knives with VG-10 blades. They have nice handles but they are different than standard western handles. Most Japanese knives use the same western style handles that are on Euro knives. They have knives with traditional handles on western style knives but it's not common. Traditional handles are most prevelent on traditional knives. Take a look at THIS site. They have a huge selection of western style knives at the cheapest prices you will find. The best brands IMHO are Hattori HD, Tojiro Powdered Steel and DP, Misono UX10, Ryusen, Hiromoto and Masamoto VG10.

I hope this is helpful in understanding a little bit of what Japanese knives are.

Cheers,

Bob

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There has been a lot of discussion of these knives on boards for kitchen knife talk. The Hattori HD (and are you sure you are looking at the right page because the 270 MM is $190 not $110) is manufactured by Ryusen. I have the Ryusen branded version (240mm) which is available at japanwoodworker.com and I love it. While it may not be a real $1000 Hattori, that does not mean it is not worth owning. That would be sort of like saying you should walk until you can afford a Ferrari. If you look at the Ittosai knives on Korin's site you will notice the similarity to the Hattori HD, and Ryusen: the general consensus is that this is the same knife.

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For me it`s always been Victorinox.

I got my first set in 1987, the meat fork and the long and now very thin carver still remain. Over the years i have tried to get into other knifes but they have always disappointed me, one way or an other. Global in particular, i have a few globals for home use. they snap too easy ( i`ve gone through 3 that way ) and they are really uncomfortable if your using them for longer than 5 minutes.

Gustav are probably the second best for me, my long serving palete knife is a Gustav. Its now on its last legs. It looks like some one has taken a bite out of one side of it and it`s missing a rivet. But to throw it away would too much for me to bare, and i can`t seem to find anywhere that sells them over here in Canada. Incidently i was persuaded not to buy that palete knife by a salesman way back in 1988, as he thought it be too expensive for a young commis.

This is what i refer to as my 'working set ' as i`ve got at least triple this in storage back in England, and as yet have not plucked up courage to get them all through Canadian customs.

blades.jpg

people say i have big knives, but i do have huge hands, and small knives are for girls

Our local Knife man ( a perpetually giggling Japanese chap ) gets a great edge on our Blades thrice a year, he even honed one of my "pastry" knifes, that was getting a bit dull, to a point where it has no more serration, and has become an excelent slicer for terrines and such.

oh and ...

sharp.jpg

A diamond steel for honing , and my wet stone


tt

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I'm hoping someone can provide insight to someone newly minted into the fine-knife world. I know Christmas is barely a week away, but I am lookign to get a very good Chef's knife as a gift...first, looking at Henckels and Wustofs and finally, after reading a few boards on eGullet, drooling over the Japanese ones (www.japanesechefsknife.com)....I had my sights set on the Hattori HD Gyuko 270mm knife mentioned above, but having never actually handled the knife before, I'm a little nervous about having it rush-shipped over here in time for Christmas. Also, I was searchign aroudn for US vendors and came across www.korin.com, located in NYC. after speaking with them, I was informed that Hattori Ichiro knives are "fakes" and not as good as real Hattoris. Ichiros are the variety sold on the former website..does anyone know anythign about this? It seemed quite improbable that they were the same because of the great discrepancy in price (~110 from japan, ~870 from korin)...??

Any thoughts? Can anyone suggest a hands-down beautiful and highly functional chef's knife...i am partial to Japanese ones.  On a slightly unrelated note, does anyone store their knives on wall magnets? Is that just an aesthetic thing that's not so functional as say, a block? this may sound like a dumb question, but...is it safe?

It really ticks me off when knife vendors trash certain knives as "fake". I heard the same thing from a different vendor about the Damascus steel on a Kasumi knife being "fake". Good grief!

There are two lines of Hattori knives, the HD and the KD. The HD is made by Ryusen and sent to Hattori for finishing. IT IS A WONDERFUL KNIFE! I have one and would HIGHLY recommend it. The KD costs closer to $1000. It looks like a work of art in steel but you won't cut anything better with it for that much money.

As far as the wall magnets vs. a knife block - I always recommend to anyone who has the possibility of young kids in the kitchen to use the knife block. Or better yet get the plastic sleeves to protect the blades and store them in the drawer.


*****

"Did you see what Julia Child did to that chicken?" ... Howard Borden on "Bob Newhart"

*****

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Hi, im planning in getting rid of my very old set of knives and I have been doing a little bit of research around.

After all the reading and suggestions i ended up with a big mess in my head.

The brands i liked the most are global, which i tried and think they are nice but a little bit light, and chroma, but couldnt find anyone around with a set of it to try them off. Anyone who owns/tried them could type a few lines telling how they perform?

Also if anyone wants to recommend some other brands, and the reasons, they are very well welcome.

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I don't use any one make, but rather different makes for different knives and uses.

My chef's knife is an Eberhard Schaaf. I like the heft and balance, the edge is the finest I have come across. It just suits my hand.

Because I do a good deal of butchery, I depend on my F. Dick cleaver as well - it has held up to countless lamb, duck, pork, guinea hen, beef breakdowns.

My flexible boning knife is a no-name. Served me well for over 5 years running, and that through heavy production. Generally, I buy one or two high quality knives - usually, my chef's and paring or utility knife; for specialty knives, I burn through low end knives that will take but not hold an edge, although as I've said, my flexible boning knife, which likely saw as much work as my chef's, has stood the test of time and use.


Edited by paul o' vendange (log)

-Paul

 

Remplis ton verre vuide; Vuide ton verre plein. Je ne puis suffrir dans ta main...un verre ni vuide ni plein. ~ Rabelais

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I agree with Paul. I have a lot of knives but have never purchased a set. I have Global, Furi, F. Dick, Wusthoff,

Check this thread about knives.

You should go into a shop that sells good knives and feel how the handles fit your hand, and also how they balance because a knive that is not "fitted" properly will cause your hand and arm to tire much faster than one that fits you well. Think about how you will use the knife, because different types of blades are held differently and therefore balance differently.

A heavy chef's knife is held so differently from a thin-bladed slicing knife (as you would use for salmon) that the shape and girth of the handle are not at all alike.

This is also true for paring knives of various shapes and sizes.

If you scroll down the list of topics, all having to do with knives, you will find extensive discussions on choosing knives, finding knives and who likes what.

Knives are a very personal item, what works for one person will be totally inappropriate for another.

I have fairly large hands for a woman and use some knives that have heftier handles that would be uncomfortable for many women to use.

I have a friend who has huge hands and has to wrap the handles of his knives in rubber tape so he can grasp them efficiently. (6'8" wears a size 16 shoe)

His business partner is 5'7" and has hands smaller than mine. Needless to say, they have completely separate knife collections.

Take your time looking and feeling. Good knives are a significant investment and can last for more than one lifetime if properly maintained.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

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if you want something with a nice heavy handle go for the victorinox. I have the higher end chef's knife 8'' and I have no clue what its official name is. Its alot more than the victorinoxs with the plastic handles. Its a little harder to find than a wustoff, henckels, globe, etc. Their pairing knives and steak knives are also great, because their handles are alot bigger/longer than similar knives making it much easier to hold.


BEARS, BEETS, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA

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Thanks for all the suggestion guys, but still looking for comments about Chroma knives. Seems like few ppl have/use them. But i heard they were pretty good. Anyone?

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Thanks for all the suggestion guys, but still looking for comments about Chroma knives. Seems like few ppl have/use them. But i heard they were pretty good. Anyone?

If I'm not mistaken, I think Jose Andres uses the Porsche ones by Chroma.


We''ve opened Pazzta 920, a fresh pasta stall in the Boqueria Market. follow the thread here.

My blog, the Adventures of A Silly Disciple.

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Like most here, for a number of years, I have purchased knives (never in a set) from a number of of the usual suspects - F. Dick, Wusthof, Global, et al. On an individual basis, they all have their pros and cons. Over the past few years, I've become partial to the Shun knives from Kerhaw for no other reason than they seem to work best for me - perform well, maintain a very sharp edge, and I find them comfortable to use.

Speaking of Shun, is anyone familiar with the Ken Onion 8" chefs knife? It's a beautiful looking piece and I've read some good reviews. Unfortunately, I have not been able to locate a retail store that has them in stock to check out the knife in person.

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Speaking of Shun, is anyone familiar with the Ken Onion 8" chefs knife? It's a beautiful looking piece and I've read some good reviews. Unfortunately, I have not been able to locate a retail store that has them in stock to check out the knife in person.

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I have a set of the Porche's by Chroma, and to be honest, I only ever use them when I am in front of an audience that I want to impress (read: hot girl). They look sexy, but they are bulky, the handle is awkward, and when you set them down, they flip blade side up, which is made possible by the flan ended handle. Their blades aren't anything much more than a henkle or wustoff to be honest. Since I don't use them often enough to warrant sharpening, I would think it safe to assume the same level of work as one of the German brands. I just recently orderd an economical Japanese knife from Korin, if you click the link to the knife discussion upthread, it gives the link there. The Tojiro DP is what I think it is called, and for $55 including shipping, you can't beat it with a sock full of quarters.


Tonyy13

Owner, Big Wheel Provisions

tony_adams@mac.com

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Tony, you got a great buy. The Tojiro DP is one of the best-bang-for-the-buck knives out there.

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You're welcome for the links above. You will be amazed at the wealth of info on KF and FF. A few more words and another link to check out. Korin has a wide variety of knives and it's truely a sight to behold in person BUT!! Their prices are on the high end. Someone's got to pay that Manhattan lease payment I guess. The website below has more affordable as well as high-end knives and will have the best prices guaranteed!!!

Depending on your budget, the best (not necessarily expensive either) brands to consider are Hiromoto AS and Hiromoto carbon steel, Tojiro DP stainless and Powder Steel (also stainless), Misono UX10 and Swedish carbon steel with cool looking dragon engraving, Ryusen Blazen and Hattori HD. Best bangs are the Tojiro DP for stainless and the Hiromoto for carbon. I personally would take the latter over the DP without hesitation.

http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/products.html can not only get you a knife at the best price, it will ship it from Japan for $7. In most cases you will have your knife in about 4-5 days. I actually got a knife from them in 3 days...ordered it Sunday night, had it in my hands on Wednesday. Plus they have the BEST customer service of any on-line retailer I've ever dealt with. Also good to know is that if you don't see a knife you're looking for, send Koki an email as ask if he can get it. I've bought two knives from him that were not on his website.

Cheers


Edited by Octaveman (log)

My Photography: Bob Worthington Photography

 

My music: Coronado Big Band
 

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