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Mar 24, 2011 03:48 PM

Easily sharpened knives

I love my Hiromoto AS, it takes an edge so easily and is pretty forgiving.

Any lines similar, but cheaper? Doesn't need to be cladded.

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  1. What size and knife type are you looking for? And there's only one or two brands I can think of, that use AS or blue steel, but with even less quality on construction.

    1. Hiromoto AS is pretty cheap for a good quality knife :) $120 for a 8" knife.

      Seriously, there are plenty easily sharpened knives, but you don't really just mean "easily sharpened", right? Otherwise, a Dexter-Russell knife is easily sharpened. Any Aogami steel knife (super or not) are very easy to sharpen, take a great edge and hold that edge. Shirogami steel knives are even easier to sharpen, but their edges may not last as long because of oxidization.

      So I will guess Tanaka and Dojo are two cheaper alternative brands, but their fits and finish are not as good. Japanesewoodworker also offers the Tosagata brand of knives which are cheap and made of Aogami steel. Yet, the fits and finish and geometry are not very good.

      Rumor has it that the CarboNext knives are good competitors of Aogami knives, but I am not sure. If the rumor is true, then these knives are a tad cheaper.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

        Chem's right about the Carbonext.They get allot of love on the various knife forums but they seem to have a hard time keeping them in stock.

        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

          Dojo petty, Tanaka deba, and Watanabe nakiri. Sound good?

          1. re: jaykayen

            :) Who are you buying these for? Your kids? Yeah, actually your selection sounds good. cowboy has a Dojo paring knife which he likes a lot (i know it is not petty, but..). My Tanaka Nakiri is made of good steel and really take and hold a good edge. It is a bit thicker than I like, but that should not be a problem for a Deba. Watanabe high end nakiri is considered one of very best, so I presume the lower end ones are not too bad either. Cowboy actually has sharpened the lower end Watanabe Nakiri, so he can probably tell you more, but I remember he said good things about it.

            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

              Too young and poor to have kids. Figure I can always pass them on to my friends/relatives if I I don't like one.

        2. Chem went and mentioned almost everything that came to my mind.

          In terms of sharpenability/dollar, its really hard to beat the tosagata knives. They take and hold fantastic edges for a knives costing under $50. There are the usual reservations about geometry and fit and finish though.

          The Carbonext line isn't really much cheaper than Hiromotos. A lot of the line cooks on the-scattered-mess-that-was-once-knifeforums have said that they actually have better edge retention than Hiromoto AS (which is pretty damn impressive), and I'd tend to believe them. They also say that the Hiromoto can take a *slightly* finer edge, but the difference has no practical bearing on a gyuto that's used like one.

          CCK carbon cleavers take and hold a very good edge for the money. Obviously, quite a different shape than gyutos. Not quite as good edge retention or quite as fine an edge as the Hiromoto, but still damn good for the money.

          Chem mentioned the Tanaka, but he didn't mention the Watanabe nakiri, which also sharpens quite well and may not have the f&f issues of the Tanaka or the Tosagatas.

          If you're not interested in retention (or especially thin geometry) - shop ebay for older carbon Sabatiers. They take great edges, and are even easier to sharpen than Hiromotos since they're soft and not very wear resistant. Edge retention isn't even in the same league, though. You can sometimes get one of these pretty cheap if you pounce at the right time. I even have an 8 inch stainless older Sab that easily takes a very nice edge, but doesn't hold it very well. Got it for like $35.

          1 Reply
          1. re: cowboyardee

            Thanks, I'll check some of those out. I forgot about the Watanabe nakiri. Have a CCK small cleaver already, it's quite fun to use, but you're right, not as fine of an edge.