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Buying a professional chef knife

My wife and I are going to Seattle this weekend and i want to buy professional chef knife. I went to House of Knife on Granville St and the lady was pushing me to get the Wusthof Classic 8" what do you think ?
I have done some research on line on quality of the steel/stainless steel of pro knifes and found that the sky the limit on cost of these pro knife. I would like to set a $200 limit on my purchase.

What do you use?
How much was it?
What was it made of?

give you input please

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  1. I'm a big fan of Japanese knives. I use a 10'' wood-handled, high-carbon damasked one which I bought from a knife-maker in Kamagura 10 years ago. I think it was around $300. Prices are not unreasonable online for example: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/japanes...
    Get the nicest you can afford. It will last a lifetime and you will get pleasure anytime you use it (or look at it, for that matter).

    2 Replies
    1. re: jcolvin

      so you say a high carbon percentage in the knife is better, because theWusthof Classic 8" only has a 0.5% carbon in it

      1. re: ukjason

        high carbon knives are typically more expensive but hold their edges and sharpen better. My knife looks very similar to this: http://ep.yimg.com/ca/I/chefknivestog... http://www.chefknivestogo.com/hachkn1...

    2. Wusthof Classic -

      Pros:
      - sturdy (doesn't chip easily)
      - heavy (if you like heavy knives)
      - fully stainless
      - consistent quality
      - can be used with most sharpening gizmos on the market, and pro knife sharpeners will be well familiar with it
      - A little easier to chop with a rocking motion than Japanese knives, if that's how you're already well experienced at cutting things
      - Almost everybody seems to find it comfortable.

      Cons
      - Edge retention is poor compared to most Japanese knives
      - Doesn't cut as easily or smoothly as Japanese knives
      - Full length bolster hinders sharpening and eventually leads to a step in the heel of the knife, so that parts of the knife don't cut all the way through food on a cutting board
      - Pronounced curvature of the blade functionally shortens the knife - a Japanese knife can be both longer and easier to handle at the same time. It also makes the knife not function as well for slicing as blade with more gentle curvature
      - Even if you really like the knife, both Mundial and Mercer are making almost the exact same chefs knife for a fraction of the price

      Personally, I much prefer Japanese knives. But I sharpen my own knives by hand and Japanese knives reward the effort more. I think if you're gonna spend upward of $100 on a knife, you should go Japanese. If you stick with German options, there's no reason to spend a whole lot.

      Finally, the quality of your knife is less important than the quality (and regularity) of your knife maintenance and sharpening. If you don't have a sharpening strategy in mind, you should look into one.

      35 Replies
      1. re: cowboyardee

        Thank you for your input.
        This is the knife I use the most now, is this more western(german) or japanese ?

         
        1. re: ukjason

          It's made in the German style - though honestly, because of the angle, I can't even tell for sure whether it's a standard German chefs knife or a German-made santoku or what. Looks like it may need a little reprofiling near the heel too, but it's hard to tell because of the angle.

          If you like German knives (like yours), look into Mercer and Mundial's offerings. They're very much like the Wusthof Classic but cheaper. Or if you want to spend a little more, the Messermeister Meridian Elite is a nice German chefs knife for about $90, but it doesn't have the stupid full length bolster that the others do.

          1. re: cowboyardee

            its a hampton forge 8inch slicer here another pic

             
            1. re: ukjason

              Gotcha. The Hampton Forge stuff tends to feel very much like the other German-style knives I listed (BTW, I say 'German style' to indicate the style in which the knife is made - the actual manufacturer can be German or American or Chinese, etc). But the steel quality isn't so good. Nothing wrong with a slicer, but if you want to use a knife like a professional, you'll need one with more of a heel so your knuckles aren't mashing the cutting board.

              Incidentally, I forgot to mention - Victorinox/forschner makes an excellent knife from a performance vs price standpoint. I'm talking about their stamped fibrox and rosewood handle lines. They sharpen well and cut a little better than most German style knives. They're very popular in pro kitchens. But they have a distinct institutional feel to em... they're not flashy or expensive-feeling at all.

              1. re: cowboyardee

                Go Forschner! :-D

                The Rosewood line is worlds away from the Fibrox line for avoiding that institutional look & feel. No, they're not going to give you a hand-made feel, but they're much, much nicer to hold & manuever than a chubby plastic "ergonomic" NFS knife.

                IMO, of course... :-)

                Obviously, they'll sharpen the same as the Fibrox line, since the blade portion is made of the same material & in the same way.

                1. re: Eiron

                  You are finally standing up for your Forchner/Victorinox Rosewood. Good to see you back.

                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    Ok, I'll stand up for Thiers Issard carbon steel, full tang or Nogent, light enough to wield a longer blade with the same effort. I like 10" blades so much better for Chef's knives. Of course my use of Japanese knives has been scant; so my view is not saying French is better, only that after nearly 40 years li still love this knife.

                    1. re: tim irvine

                      Tim,

                      A year ago or so, I looked into Sabatier after your suggestion for The Best Things, but I got confused. Which line do you think make more sense? The Sabatier Carbon Steel French Pattern Knives:
                      http://thebestthings.com/knives/sabat...

                      or the Sabatier Nogent Carbon Steel Collection of Historical Knives:
                      http://thebestthings.com/knives/sabat...

                      I suppose the historical knives have more historical and sentimental value, but really .... would a steel made from 60 years ago as good as the new one Thiers-Issard making? I would think the new one is better.

                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                        Chem, I have this Sabatier Nogent Ebony Paring Knife 2 3/4" but the blade is just shy of 2 1/2" long. I can't really get a measurement that makes sense for it to be 2 3/4" but mine is early to mid 70s so things may have changed somewhere.

                        I also have this one too, Sabatier Paring Knife 3 3/8" Stylet from the Carbon Steel line but the handle is a black plastic of some sort and same time frame.

                        Although they look similar to their counterparts in the Carbon Steel line, the Nogents are very different in their construction, weight and balance. The Nogent paring knife I have weighs 1 ounce. The center balance point is about 1 inch up the handle from the where the ferule meets the handle. The blade is set in the handle and held in place by the ferule and not bolsters. Not sure how deep it goes into the handle. How different the steel is I really couldn't say. I have a carbon steel version of the utility and yatagan. I honestly thought they were all of the same line until the past year when I really looked at the Nogent and discovered it was a different line. The markings are only on the handles and are the same for both lines that I own.

                        1. re: SanityRemoved

                          Thanks Sanity. Which of your Sabatier knives do you like better? Or would you say the difference is small?

                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                            The shorter Nogent with its triangular blade I could see being a great knife for decorative garnish work i.e. fluting mushrooms. I've yet to take that plunge but its weight and balance seem well suited to the job and the knife fatigue level would be very low.

                            The stylet has that very slight inward curve to the blade which makes it nice for peeling.

                            The yatagan is a very nice slicer and the utility sees the most action but like you have observed usually requires end of board work.

                        2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                          The Nogents are very light and have a very pointed blade, perfect for fluting a mushroom (which i'du likely never do) or other fine work. It seems to me that the weight difference is such that a 12" Nogent would be about as easy to wield as my 10" French pattern Chef's knife. I find the 10" Chef's knife pretty optimal in that it has enough substance to do heavy jobs, like cubing a roast for stew. I'd guess folks who are rockers or like the feel of henkels or wusthof will prefer the French pattern and folks who like lighter knives and are more slicers would like either. Of course I am late jumping back in and SanityRemoved has already said it better than I.

                          1. re: tim irvine

                            Thanks Tim. So you think the Nogents are lighter. It claims the Nogents are made steel more than 60 years ago:

                            "Remember, while these Sabatier knives are recently ground, the forgings they are made from are all more than 60 years old "

                            This is cool in the sense that these have some historical value. This is not so cool because these steels may not be as good as the modern. I will think about which one to get. I actually like the Nogents design, but the French Pattern offers the craving knife, would be something new.

                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                              When my dad died almost 10 years ago, the first thing I grabbed was the Elephant **** Sabatiers. I should have grabbed the Vita-mix and early Cuisinart too but I kick myself monthly over those. Point being is those knives were already close to 30 years old and the Nogent was 50 forging wise. Still my favorite knives and I know once I get back to using stones this next year they will be even more impressive.

                              Chem, if you decide to get one of the carbon steel or Nogents and hate it, let me know I'd definitely buy it from you.

                              Tim, the one Sabatier that I don't have that I want is the Chef's knife, I left out that I also have a Sabatier boning knife which I love.

                              I don't have any Japanese knives yet but for a western style knife I think the carbon steel and Nogent Elephant **** Sabatiers have the most character akin to Japanese knives.

                              1. re: SanityRemoved

                                Sanity,

                                I think I am leaning toward the modern French pattern carbon steel Sabatier from The Best Thing:

                                http://thebestthings.com/knives/sabat...

                                The reason is that I don't find craving knives from the Nogent series.

                                The Yatagan looks like a nice craving knife. I like the curved point tip, but it looks to be short at only 8" long. You own one, right? Do you find the length to be a problem? Or do you like the 10" slicing knife is better for craving?

                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                  Chem,

                                  I like the carbon steel Yatagan. Mine measures 7 3/4" in blade length. I will give it a good workout this Thanksgiving to refresh my memory on larger tasks.

                                  Besides the Sabatiers you don't see the Yatagan style carving knives very often these days. Not sure if slicers took a more dominant role later in the 20th century and resulted in less yatagan style carvers being sold. I think it's a pretty versatile knife, certainly better for breaking down poultry at the table than a slicer.

                                  I have an old LF&C Universal carving knife with 9" blade similar to this:

                                  http://www.ebay.com/itm/L-F-C-Univers...

                                  the blade curves in what was called a beef carver style in old product literature.
                                  But I don't have a true slicer.

                                  1. re: SanityRemoved

                                    Sanity,

                                    I have little doubt that the Yatagan length is good enough for a small roast and a chicken. I am told that it is better to have a long craving knife to reduce/minimize the numbers of back and forth stroke on a big roast, which can tear the meat.

                                    Actually Dexter-Russell has a huge array of knives which some looks like the Yatagan knife and the Universal knife.

                                    Here:

                                    http://www.dexter-russell.com/Item_de...

                                    http://www.dexter-russell.com/Item_de...

                                    :)

                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                      That Dexter is my favorite looking carver. I don't have a burning need for one but if I did.......

                                      Jim

                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                        Thanks Chem, kind of embarrassing when I have the Dexter-Russell catalog sitting on the desk and didn't open it up.

                                        Where the yatagan differs significantly is that the clip point begins at the mid point of the blade rather than 1/3 of the way from the tip.

                                  2. re: SanityRemoved

                                    a few years back, lee valley tools had a small lot of vintage sabatier (with the elephant logo) knives for sale.
                                    i was too slow on the draw, and unable to get a chef's knife, but was able to score a few others.
                                    i am ignorant compared to you knife mavens here, but i really, really dig those old sabatier knives.
                                    i send them out for sharpening, something i've subsequently regretted, as the elephant logo was ground off on all them.

                                    1. re: linus

                                      "i send them out for sharpening, something i've subsequently regretted, as the elephant logo was ground off on all them"

                                      Yikes! How in the world did they manage to do that?!? I would've been REALLY upset if that happened to my nice knives!

                                      1. re: Eiron

                                        i have no idea. maybe they used a belt sander to sharpen them.
                                        the knives still work fine, and there's nothing i could do about it.

                                        1. re: linus

                                          Belt sander or grinding wheel or whatever the person may have used.... that person made a mistake. Grinding should be the edge, not the entire face of the blade. The fact that person took the entire logo off is just weird. It is almost like someone took off your BMW logo while changing your car tires. Ok, not that bad, but the point is that the logo is not that close to the knife edge, just like your BMW logo is not that close to the tires.

                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                            hey man, i dont disagree with you. but what was i to do? i guess i could have bitched and asked for a refund on the sharpening, but that wouldnt have put the cute lil pachyderm back on the blades.
                                            i tried to be zen about the whole thing. at least the knives were sharp. i still use them. no, i dont take my knives there any more.

                                            1. re: linus

                                              linus,

                                              I totally dig it. You were caught in a tough corner. I think that dude had some bad history with elephants, ya know...

                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                i have worse horror stories about sending my knives out to be sharpened by supposed experts, believe me.
                                                yes, i need to learn to do it myself, no doubt about it. i've tried, but it hasn't worked very well.
                                                i should buy a new stone and have at it.

                                  3. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                    Chem, you are clearly way up the curve from me on metallurgy, but I find the old Nogents to be very nice metal. I believe they are what Julia used. I have the French pattern (full tang) carving knife and it is the only Thiers Issard knife I don't give an 11. I do notice that each of those old blades really does have a unique character. SanityRemoved, the boning knife is the one I don't have. Glad to know it is a fine knife. I shall relay that to the Birthday Moose!

                                    1. re: tim irvine

                                      "I have the French pattern (full tang) carving knife and it is the only Thiers Issard knife I don't give an 11."

                                      Ouch, I was looking exactly at the French pattern carving knife and now you said that is the only not to get. Can you briefly elaborate your dislike of the craving knife? Too short? Too flexible? Thanks in advance.

                                2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                  Chem, I have the 12 inch Nogent, and it is a great knife indeed. Nothing breaks down a full size brisket like this thing, or cuts though wheels of cheese, quite like this beauty. I don't know if the 60 plus year old steel is better or worse, because I can't tell the difference. Carbon steel is still carbon steel, you have to baby it or it rusts.

                                3. re: tim irvine

                                  I love my French knives, but they do take more work to manitain than a stainless steel knife. I have a Thiers Issard 8" chef's knife, but I also have 2 German pattern chef knives, plus my Victronix kit knife.

                                  The forged bolster is not a problem, and if the knife is ever sharpered to a point where the bolster extends beyond the blade it is a easy 3 minute procedure to have it ground even with the knife edge. I have 2 German knives that I bought in college and neither have been sharperened far enough that the forged bolster is a problem despite daily use.

                                  A lot of the choice depends on your cutting style. Are you a chopper who use vertical motions or to you prefer long slicing motions when disessembling foods? If you chop you'll want a blade with more curve to the blade that the Germans have.

                                  1. re: Kelli2006

                                    I have better than average knife skills, its just i have all ways had knife block sets you know the $80 - 150 type now its time for a pro knife.

                                    1. re: ukjason

                                      Hi Ukjason,

                                      A few additional thoughts:
                                      - that current knife of yours is still a decent knife. Once you sharpen it up, it will take on a totally new life and you'll fall in love with it all over again. And it will be your "go to" for your less delicate kitchen work.
                                      - You live in Vancouver ... GREAT TOWN. Therefore, you have a Chinatown. I promise you that for $15-25 that there will be all sorts of pretty decent blades to fill out your collection. My single bevel Japanese slicer was $14 from an asian market, and is scary sharp. Unless I'm actually slicing fish or roasts that I stay away from it!

                                      Please take a trip down there and check out what they have. The Japanese are very fanatical about quality and have much higher expectations for "standard kitchenware" than we do. This is not limited to kitchen stuff. It's how they are about everything that they make. So check out the "made in Japan" knives and don't let the price fool you. If it's made there, it will be worth your consideration, especially if you need an inexpensive cleaver, utility knife, or slicer ...

                                      - Size matters. Bigger isn't always better. Your wife may disagree, but that's another topic. In my personal experience, I'm happiest with a Santoku or Chef's knife that is 6.5 - 7", and perhaps 7.5 at most. I have owned one really long 10" chef's knife, and while I'm quite tall (2 meters), I found it just too darn unwieldy for me, even when choking up on the blade, which is how I hold my knives. Just something to think about, as well as whether your wife needs to like it or just you ... who does all the cooking?

                                      Bear in mind that you won't need too much length because the blade will be so gosh-darn SHARP that it will cut cleanly and thoroughly with very little added pressure beyond the knife itself.

                                      1. re: jkling17

                                        Thank you for you're reply.
                                        Well, in my house i do all the cooking, and lucky for my wife i love to cook. I will one day got to china town and take a look, but the knife that i'm getting once i chosen one is my Christmas present from my wife. I just wanna have one kick ass knife in my collection.
                                        ps. i will sharpen all my knife with my new stone once she buy me that too (guess i better tell her she buying that too)

                                    2. re: Kelli2006

                                      Straighter knives don't necessitate that you use a long slicing motion. You can still rock chop (though it takes more practice). You can also cut with a gentle forward pushing motion. Or a straight up and down chop, depending on the food you're cutting. A long slicing motion is good for meat, bread, and a few other things, but it's far from the only way to use a knife that doesn't curve too much.

                                4. re: Eiron

                                  I use (and love) the fat, white, Fibrox handle on my Dexter.

                      2. Keep in mind that House of Knives is a Wusthof dealer, so that's what they'll be most familiar with & most likely to recommend.
                        cowboyardee has a lot of good advice for you to follow, especially the comment regarding your current & future sharpening regimen.
                        I, too, prefer Japanese knives over Euro style.

                        21 Replies
                        1. re: Eiron

                          I'm gonna go japanese, one I need find one that feels comfortable in my hand. My only problem is i live in Vancouver Canada and I might be paying more here. I'm only in Seattle for the night hopefully I can find one in that time.
                          I like the look of this one http://www.chefknivestogo.com/hachkn1..., but i will have to cap my price at $300.

                          1. re: ukjason

                            Hi ukjason,

                            I have a lot of knives, including Japanese and German models. My favorite chef knife is the Victorinox, which, I think, is called Forschner in the States. Why is it my favorite? The steel is less hard than that of the super Japanese knives. That means that it is easier to sharpen. Don't forget that buying a knife is one thing, keeping it in good condition is another.

                            1. re: bcc

                              I don't really find vg 10 (the steel used in the knife the OP is considering) harder to sharpen than the steel they use on Victorinoxes. Reasons for this are a little complicated. And if you sharpen with a Chefs Choice electric sharpener or an Accusharp, then yeah - a forschner/victorinox works better with those sharpeners. Also, VG 10 is definitely more prone to chipping than the Victorinox steel.

                              To UKjason - the knife you are considering is a nice blade. It's long though - about 10.5 inches. I like long knives myself, but I figured I'd point it out.
                              If you like that one, there are several similar options to consider. It's a common style - decorative damascus cladding, VG 10 core, fairly straight profile, fairly thin grind. The Kanetsune is very similar and a little more affordable. Here's the 8 inch.
                              http://www.chefknivestogo.com/kagy21....

                              The Ittosai gyuto is also very similar...
                              http://korin.com/HOT-GY?sc=7&cate...

                              ...which is reputed to be the exact same knife as the Hattori HD gyuto.
                              http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/HDS...

                              They're very nice knives and are much loved by the people who buy em. You're paying a little bit extra for looks with these particular knives, but there's nothing wrong with that as long as you understand that's what you're doing.

                              1. re: cowboyardee

                                i also looking in to Misono UX10

                                1. re: ukjason

                                  Ha - that opens up the door to a lot of other similar knives.

                                  The Misono UX10 shares a lot of similarities with other great knives. The unique things about it are
                                  1) Its stylish angled bolster and bold lettering. And...
                                  2) its steel. Which, frankly, isn't up to par for what they're charging for it.

                                  The CarboNext series has a similar look, a better grind, and probably better steel. It is also more affordable. It is just shy of stainless though.
                                  http://japanesechefsknife.com/KAGAYAK...

                                  The Kikuichi TKC is fully stainless, with a great grind and excellent steel. Well worth consideration.
                                  http://www.chefknivestogo.com/kikuich...

                                  1. re: cowboyardee

                                    thank you very much

                                    I love this web site, so many people with great ideas and very knowledgeable people as well.

                                    Thank you alllll

                                    1. re: cowboyardee

                                      I when to Vancouver only true Japanese knife store and looked at his one http://japanesechefsknife.com/KAGAYAK... KC-5
                                      And it was nice peace, but after holding so japanese wood handle i kind of like it.

                                      I do like the Taukasa210mm Gyuto but the price was a bit too high

                                      1. re: ukjason

                                        They look like very nice knives indeed. Please note the information on the asymetrical bevel. If you were planning to do freehand sharpening, this adds complexity to that ...

                                        1. re: ukjason

                                          So your Vancouver store also sell the CarboNext knife? I thought the CarboNext knife is kind of branded under JapaneseChefsknife. Anyway, cowboyardee, Eiron and I have played with a CarboNext Santoku, so we have hands-on experience on it.

                                          One thing you need to know is that it is not a true stainless steel knife, but it is very close -- almost stainless. It has an interesting edge retention. It cannot take on a extremely fine edge. When I sharpen the CarbonNext knife to a 10 degree each side edge, it cannot hold it for more than one cooking session. However, when I sharpen it at a 15 degree edge, it can hold it much longer than any of my VG-10 steel knife.

                                          It is slightly asymetrical, but I have more or less convert it to 50/50.

                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                            So you guys are well educated in knife, so for a Japanese knife would you go for carbon steel or stainless steel.

                                            if carbon steel
                                            White steel, blue steel ?

                                            1. re: ukjason

                                              I think if you are running a busy professional kitchen, a stainless steel is better. On the other hand, carbon steel is for you if you are a sushi chef. For home use, I think it really depends what you value the most. Stainless steel is much more inert than carbon steel. Carbon steel is easier to sharpen. Dollar for dollar, carbon steel blade can get sharper than stainless steel blade.

                                              For carbon steel, I pick blue steel. Blue steel is slightly more inert than white steel. White steel can rust really fast, so it take extra caution. However, white steel is slightly cheaper, and white steel is slightly easier to sharpen.

                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                I was going to reply as well but then I saw that Chemical took all my ideas and said them better that I would have. :-)

                                                I use a mix of carbon and ss. My primary blade is a very traditional Japanese Santoku and so is high carbon. It happens to be a white steel core. I can't speak at all as to white vs blue steel. I personally think that it's not worth getting all hung up on that aspect.

                                                Find a Japanese knife that you really like and don't worry about the little things. I'm sure that you'll take good care of it regardless.

                                              2. re: ukjason

                                                For cutting onions I always use stainless

                                              3. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                the one i tried in vancouver is a Sakai takayuki
                                                http://www.paulsfinest.com/Sakai-Taka...

                                        2. re: cowboyardee

                                          Just a side note regarding CBAD's suggestion for Kanetsune:
                                          I bought both the 8" KC-102 and KC-202 models, & used both until I sold the 202 to a friend. The fit/finish was better on the plastic-handled 202 model, but the weight, balance, comfort/feel was much better for me on the wood-handled 102 model.
                                          http://japan-blades.com/chef-knives/w...

                                          It appears as though they've taken a big jump in price (up from $167 to $241!!), & as much as I like my Kanetsune, I don't know that I'd recommend one at this price. I'd more readily buy a Miyabi Birchwood 8" gyuto (does SLT still sell these? I can't get their website to take any actions).

                                          Anyway, just an aside...

                                      2. re: ukjason

                                        "My only problem is i live in Vancouver Canada and I might be paying more here."

                                        Hey ukjason.As a fellow Canadian(Toronto)I feel your pain..You will pay more,no way around it(shipping,duty,taxes)

                                        After a quick Google search,I found this Vancouver Japanese knife purveyor

                                        www.santoku-office.com

                                        Or you could check out Knifewear from Calgary.

                                        www.knifewear.com

                                        1. re: petek

                                          Thanks i too just found the santoku-office.com and i'm going tomorrow to take a look see.

                                          I have been noticing a lot of tv chef using Misono UX10

                                          1. re: ukjason

                                            "Misono UX10"

                                            Great knife, but too expensive given the recent price hike (People, the price hike is still there, right?)

                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                              "Great knife, but too expensive given the recent price hike"
                                              Agree with Chem..you can get a way better knife for less.Just because a tv chef uses one, doesn't mean they're good..I have heard good things about the Misono Swedish Steel line though.

                                            2. re: ukjason

                                              I have a UX10 gyuto (240 mm) and like it, but do keep in mind that it's not the easiest knife to sharpen (I've heard this from others as well). The price has definitely gone up - mine was ~ $180 in 2007; looks like it's around $330 for the same size from most of the online places. The smaller ones are a bit more affordable, but still expensive. The 440 series is within the OP's price range.

                                          2. re: ukjason

                                            Shiki also looks ok. A fellow poster bought it and like it and found it to be very beautiful.

                                            http://japanesechefsknife.com/SHIKITs...

                                        2. Most folks are familiar with the Wusthof Classic. Biggest question of all is what did you think about it?

                                          Depending your pros and cons it gives a baseline to suggest others to consider.

                                          cowboyardee had a lot of good info to chew on.

                                          Did the more pronounced "belly" feel like a positive thing compared to your slicer?

                                          "Finally, the quality of your knife is less important that the quality (and regularity) of your knife maintenance and sharpening. If you don't have a sharpening strategy in mind, you should look into one."

                                          That is a critical thing right there.

                                          Jim

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: knifesavers

                                            Thanks jim

                                            The wusthof classic did feel a bit heavy and thick on the back end, the curve blade had it's bonuses.

                                            My slicer that i wanna replace has a flatter blade so i think a japanese style might suit me more

                                            1. re: ukjason

                                              Sounds like going with a J knife is the right path.

                                              Mine are in the pic. I have used the Wusthof Grand Prix for about 15 years. Feels like part of my arm. I got the Grand Prix II on sale and despised it. The handle doesn't fit my hand worth a damn.
                                              In the center is my newest an F Dick Premier plus. The handle feels perfect in my hand and is a 9" and has a flatter profile than the original Wusthof.

                                              For carbon steel light goodness I have a Robinson 8" that is about 1/3 lighter than the Germans. 6.5 ounces versus 9.5

                                              Jim

                                               
                                          2. Let me answer your question first:
                                            I use several knives, but the one I like the most (not used the most) is a $40 carbon steel Chinese style slicer cleaver (CCK KF 1303). The second knife I like the most is a ~$270 Aogami (blue) carbon steel core Japanese style nakiri (Watanabe Nakiri).
                                            You have gotten some excellent advices here. One thing which cowboyardee mentioned cannot be overstated: 'the quality of your knife is less important than the quality (and regularity) of your knife maintenance and sharpening'

                                            If you want a typical Chef’s knife under $50, I say a Victorinox/Forchner or a Dexter-Russell stamp knife.

                                            If you want something under $100, I suggest a Messermeister for German style or a Tojiro DP for Japanese style:

                                            http://www.amazon.com/Messermeister-M...

                                            http://www.amazon.com/Messermeister-M...

                                            http://www.chefknivestogo.com/tojiro-...

                                            If you want something under $200 like you first stated, then you have many choices out there. If $200 is your budge, then I would buy a <$150 knife and spend $50 on sharpening tools.

                                            I like Japanese style knives for the same reasons as cowboy and Eiron.

                                            Three good questions for you to think about:
                                            Do I like Western style knives or Japanese style knives?
                                            Would I want a stainless steel knife or a carbon steel knife?
                                            How will I sharpen the new knife?

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                              Thank you for your input.
                                              I am going to try and put as many japanese knife in my had to feel them out before I buy. I like your budget idea to spend on a sharpening tool

                                              1. re: ukjason

                                                ukjason,

                                                One last thing -- do not simply rely on how a knife feels in your hand. It can be misleading. Even if you think comfort is very important to you, you want to feel the knife when it is cutting, when it is in action. I bet if you hold the knives you have at home, they all feel good in the hand, but they may not live up to your expectation when you cut with them.

                                                Think of it like cars. To test a car, you don't simply want to know how it feels when you sit in it idle. You want to feel it when you drive it.

                                                1. re: ukjason

                                                  Hi I see that no one has mentioned a European shaped Japanese knife made by an American company in Japan. Al Mar knives are better known for self defense. The late Al Mar
                                                  was a knife maker in Oregon. His lines of knives have some of the best looking consumer available, above that are the custom made and art knives.This is a link to a web page showing an 8" chefs knife with a Damascus blade and Cocobolo handle.

                                                  http://www.bladeauthority.com/product...

                                                  I have no connection to this site in fact it was the first one that came up in the search. I have three Al Mar pocket knives and they show really fine workmanship.

                                                  1. re: MrKeith7

                                                    There's an (overly?)exhaustive discussion of japanese knives here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/766557

                                              2. I like my Wusthof 8" Ikon. I love my Shun Ken Onion Santoku and am buying a 6" chefs knife next month. I sell knives and have a lot of experience of experience with them. The Ken Onion line from Shun will be my only knife puechases.

                                                1. It appears that you are talking about expensive knives,
                                                  not "pro" knives. Real restaurant cooks use such comparatively
                                                  inexpensive knives as Victorinox and Dexter-russell.

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: mpalmer6c

                                                    "Real restaurant cooks use such comparatively

                                                    inexpensive knives as Victorinox and Dexter-russell."

                                                    That's kind of generalizing it a bit don't you think?It's like saying all mechanics only use Snap-on tools or the best guitarists play only Gibson's etc etc..

                                                    Pros use many different brands of knives,from inexpensive D-R's and Nellas to high end customs and Japanese.

                                                    From what I've seen here in Toronto,MAC knives are the #1 choice for pro cooks.

                                                    1. re: petek

                                                      I have only known 1 person that used mac in toronto, most people i knew used global :P But I do like mac and they are reasonably priced and I know people that have them but don't use them at work. Every single restaurant has had nella knives including the one i'm at now though i'm in barrie for the time being, but again I only use them to hack lobster claws

                                                    2. re: mpalmer6c

                                                      yeah, I sell restaurant knives too. My Ken Onion is beyond compare and as i said, I have a lot of chefs who own it and love it. They just don't let anyone else use their knives. If you are willing to share Victoriaknox is hard to beat and I have some who swear by the KAI non-stick knives. They cost $9.99

                                                      1. re: mpalmer6c

                                                        Most restaurants have their own set of Victorinox or similar, but I only use them to crack lobster claws and cut lobsters in half. Every other application of a knife I use my significantly more expensive knives because they are much sharper and I know how they feel and react much better. Most people I know in the industry have at least one of their own knives at work to do the bulk of the work and the finesse work, and the hacking and chopping is left to the restaurant's set.

                                                      2. My thoughts in many ways will mirror or complement Chemical. The feel of the knife is important, for suire. But, the look of it may well also be important to you. If you prefer a western style look, then I'd suggest that you consider the MAC Chef's or Santoku. Chances are that you will be able to get "hands-on" on the MAC line in that store that you'll visit. Global has excellent blades but many people don't like the feel of the handles. The MAC Santoku is about $65 at Amazon, but they have models that are $100 or more as well. Unless you two really fall in love with something special, I would recommend that you keep your budget around $100 or less. There's no reason that you can't get a GREAT knife for that kind of money. My favorite knife is under $50.

                                                        I prefer my Japanese blade for MOST of the stuff that I do in the kitchen. It's just a simple $40 Santoku from japanesewoodworker.com. But it also has that very traditional Japanese look and feel, with dual bevels (some japanese blades are single bevel - edge on only one side of the blade). This look may or may not be to your liking. The handle may or may not be comfortable to you (or for one of you).

                                                        I also own lots of other knives. One of them is a Wusthof Santoku and I like to use it here and there for more sturdy work, where I don't want to risk the edge of my Japanese blades - or my Munidal Futura. But for really sturdy work I just use my chinese cleaver most of the time. It was like $10-15 in chinatown, is stainless, and takes a really good edge with DMT (see below).

                                                        For your first really good knife I would have to recommend that you go with a Japanese knife, regardless of whether the styling is western or Japanese. For your money you will simply get better steel, that has a much higher hardness rating, and better edge geometry. All steel is "hard" per se but the heat treatments that the Japanese use will very often give you a Rockwell 61-63. That is very hard and it means is that your edges will last longer.

                                                        The other really important consideration, is that you will need to keep them sharp. You will be well-advised to get this early on. It's a lot easier to simply maintain an edge than to re-sharpen one that has been abused. I personally own and use the DMT Aligner. It's quick, easy and really gets the job done. I'd recommend the Aligner deluxe, and also the xx-fine (8000) stone. This will really be all you need. Just use LIGHT or no pressure, lots of water and let the diamonds do their magic. Amazon.com has the best prices on this stuff.

                                                        Finally, just so that I'm not missing something, and I apologize if this is already obvious. Please only use wood or plastic cutting boards. The wrong cutting surface will dull your knives quickly. And store your knife in a sheath or block.

                                                        Best of luck to you!

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: jkling17

                                                          Thank you for your in depth insight on this topic, I have a lot of thing to put in to factor when i do by my knife.
                                                          p.s I only use wood cutting boards

                                                        2. I would rely on what America's Test Kitchen says about chef's knives. They've never steered me wrong before.

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: njmarshall55

                                                            ATK has its place, but the way they tested chefs knives is kind of flawed. They used only the factory edge, never resharpening, relied on testers who mainly know how to rock chop, tested only a small sample of popular knives (and did not review most of the recommendations on this thread), and also didn't test edge retention.

                                                            That said, their recommendation of Forschner/Victorinox knives is a good one. But I get the impression that UKJason is looking for something a little more special.

                                                            1. re: njmarshall55

                                                              The editor lives on a different planet. I avoid those mags like the plague

                                                            2. here are my 4 choices
                                                              1. http://www.paulsfinest.com/Sakai-Taka...

                                                              2. http://japanesechefsknife.com/KAGAYAK...

                                                              3. http://www.chefknivestogo.com/kikuich...

                                                              4. http://www.chefknivestogo.com/hachkn8...

                                                              6 Replies
                                                              1. re: ukjason

                                                                They all look very very nice. Of that list, I would choose the Kagayaki, mostly because it looks really cool, might be a bit easier to care for and the price is reasonable.

                                                                All that aside you should still consider the MAC line. They are routinely regarded as excellent by pretty much everyone. I only own one but need to send it back since they shipped me the wrong model. The only thing that I've done with it is shred some paper, which it does extremely well.

                                                                You may find this of interest:
                                                                http://www.cookingforengineers.com/ar....

                                                                1. re: ukjason

                                                                  The first knife is carbon steel. I love carbon steel, and almost all of my knives are carbon, but you should know that it's not stainless, and as such you'll have to be more careful with it - wash immediately after use. I don't have any experience with that particular knife though. Incidentally, if you like carbon steel knives, then I could come up with more recommendations yet. But I'll hold off for now - I've done that a couple times to you already.

                                                                  The carbonext is a great knife and an even better value. Here are a couple threads where Chem and I reviewed a santoku in that series.
                                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/810866
                                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/785892

                                                                  The Kikuichi TKC is another great knife. A lot of the knife forum guys who've tried it have proclaimed it their favorite stainless gyuto, better than more expensive knives. I don't think I've ever seen a bad review.

                                                                  Also not familiar with the Maruyoshi. It looks like a good deal on one of the VG 10, damascus clad style of gyutos I mentioned above.

                                                                  Basically, they all look like good choices. I can personally vouch for the CarboNext and the Kikuichi TKC.

                                                                  1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                    Thank you once again i will be in Seattle this weekend and ill see if i can find one of the 4 i mention.

                                                                    Do some of the on-line knife dealers have a sale on black friday or cyber monday? ( I live in Vancouver Canada so we don't have theses sail days )

                                                                  2. re: ukjason

                                                                    ukjason,

                                                                    I will pretty much repeat what cowboy and jkling have said. They provide some really good and honest advises. The first knife you have listed is a carbon steel knife. It looks to be a very good knife. However, if you have never used a carbon steel knife before, then I would start off with a cheaper one just in case. Both JCK CarboNext (option 2) and Kikuichi TKC (option 3) are semi-stainless steel. They are not as inert as a stainless steel knife, but very close. Your last one (option 4) is a real stainless steel VG-10 core knife.

                                                                    Based on the conversation we have here, you sound like a person who really cares for knives and is willing to learn and adapt. As such, I think option 2, 3 and 4 are all viable choices for you. If you don't have a strong preference, then I recommend the following strategy:

                                                                    Get CarboNext because it is only $105 for a 210 mm gyuto. It is the a good value knife. Then, you can spend your next $50 on sharpening tools. On top of that you can get a ~$50 carbon steel knife like -- for examples:

                                                                    Tanaka blue steel Nakiri (~$50) -- I own this knife. It is a good value knife:
                                                                    http://www.chefknivestogo.com/tanakak...

                                                                    Tojiro Shirogami (white steel) Nakiri ($50) -- I don't own this knife, but I have owned two other Tojiro knives. Tojiro has a good reputation for value knives:
                                                                    http://www.chefknivestogo.com/toshna1...

                                                                    Various Tosagata carbon steel knives (I don't own any, but heard good things):
                                                                    http://www.japanwoodworker.com/dept.a...

                                                                    Finally, the infamous CCK 1303 Chinese slicer (~$40) (I own this, and I really like it):
                                                                    http://www.chefknivestogo.com/cckclea...

                                                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                      Thank you for your input.
                                                                      I was going yo china town in my city tomorrow to look at cleavers but the cck 1330 looks great (but i was looking for something that could cut bone)

                                                                      1. re: ukjason

                                                                        :) If you are looking for a real meat cleaver, then there will be plenty in your local Chinatown. For meat cleaver, there is no need to spend too much. The CCK 1303 is really a detail oriented slicer. Good luck.

                                                                  3. I sell knives and Wusthof's are among my own collection and knives I sell. The knife my husband and I reach for most often is the Shun Ken Onion Santoku, with cullens. It has balance like no other, it makes you grip the knife properly and fits both of our hands perfectly. Yes it is $200 and I am going to buy a 6" next month as a Christmas gift to our kitchen. Best knife I have ever owned and many chefs who shop with me own the knife on a 10" blade. Totally fabulous life time knife! You have to hold it, get the grip right, thumb up on the bolster and you will be in knife heaven

                                                                    16 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Candy

                                                                      no thanks, most people here believe a Japanese knife is a better choice

                                                                      1. re: ukjason

                                                                        :D

                                                                        I don't think Candy is trying to sell you knives. She is just saying that she has experience in kitchen knives because of her profession.

                                                                        As for Japanese knives or European knives, I think that really depends on the individual needs and individual style. Personally, I think more people will like Japanese style knives if they try it. This is also one of the reasons why I think it is a good idea for you to not spend all $200 on a knife -- rather spend some of the money on the sharpening tools. This is because the sharpening stone will bring out the best your knives can offer. Moreoever, your sharpening stone will be useful no matter which direction you be heading toward. Let's it be European knives or Japanese knives, stainless steel or carbon steel, yanagiba or craving knife...your stone will be useful for all of them.

                                                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                          ok maybe that was not that nice to say to her/him, to each there own on their choice of knifes.

                                                                          Today i went to chinatown in my city (Vancouver) and picked up a $17 cleaver, cheep.

                                                                          1. re: ukjason

                                                                            Cool. Free feel to write a knife review for this knife. We are always interested in reviews of good knives as well as bad knives.

                                                                            Don't worry. Candy is a cool gal. She does not hold any grudges.

                                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                              "We are always interested in reviews of good knives as well as bad knives."
                                                                              ________
                                                                              Very much agreed.

                                                                              There are some really great cheap Chinese cleavers out there. Problem is mostly sorting out the great from the rest since there seems to be an endless variety to sort through and it's often hard to find the same cleaver in two different Chinatowns.

                                                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                I dont have time to do a full review here some picture

                                                                                the company is called Shibazi kitchen wear, its a stainless steel #1 5Cr 15MoV

                                                                                 
                                                                                 
                                                                                 
                                                                                 
                                                                                1. re: ukjason

                                                                                  I did crush and chop a garlic, and i do have say it had good balance and feels natural in you hand. It came sharpen for right hand only may be 80/20 blade

                                                                                  1. re: ukjason

                                                                                    Enjoy it in good health! May bunches of scallions flee from you in terror from this day forward!

                                                                                    If you have any large asian food markets nearby, see if you can squeeze in a visit to one. They may have an interesting selection of Japanese knives. This was certainly true for me - all the way out here. Since you have such a diverse asian population in Vancouver, I can only guess that this would also be the case for you, hopefully that much more so!

                                                                                  2. re: ukjason

                                                                                    ukjason,

                                                                                    I have transferred my response from here to your other post.

                                                                                    “I did crush and chop a garlic”

                                                                                    For regular work, I will use a thinner blade knife. You will get tire soon for using that knife.

                                                                                     
                                                                                     
                                                                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                      Thank you your input is as always platinum. After i get my japanese knife gyuto I may look in to chinese cleaver carbon steal slicer(just because their cheap). Guest I should get a sharpening stone.

                                                                                  3. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                    >Don't worry. Candy is a cool gal. She does not hold any grudges.

                                                                                    That's good, especially since she has access to so many knives. :)

                                                                                  4. re: ukjason

                                                                                    That's awesome! You'll love it for tough work like prepping winter squash and summer melons. Was there anything else of interest - anything Japanese?

                                                                                    Some here may not agree with what I'm about to say but feel free to hit the back of it with a scrap of wood or hammer to help drive it through a really solid melon :-) This is a LOT safer than taking a serious whack at it freehand. I assume that you want to keep your fingers as much as I do ...

                                                                                    1. re: jkling17

                                                                                      "...but feel free to hit the back of it with a scrap of wood or hammer to help drive it through a really solid melon :-) This is a LOT safer than taking a serious whack at it freehand."

                                                                                      I hate this, but I have to agree. :)

                                                                                      It is ok to use the hand to tap on the back of the cleaver as well. As for using hammer, it is slightly better if it is rubber hammer. If not, use a cloth and wrap around the hammer. This will prevent direct metal-to-metal collision between the hammer and knife spine.

                                                                                      It is ok to take a serious whack too, but your other hand should not be anywhere remotely close to the food.

                                                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                        I am embarrassed to admit that I keep a scrap piece of 2x4 around for this sole function :-) This post is inner monologue, right? Gosh ... I mean ... I didn't actually just put that on the Internet, where it will live on forever, right? right? uh ... uh oh ...

                                                                                        1. re: jkling17

                                                                                          No need to be embarrassed - it's very sound advice - I use a rubber mallet and I use it gently - a 2nd or 3rd hit is OK - 7 dollars at a Home Depot. I've watched professionals at T&T use a mallet. If it's good enough for them then it's good enough for me...

                                                                                          and
                                                                                          @Chem
                                                                                          I don't think serious whacks are OK - when things go well one has lucked out ;)

                                                                                          1. re: rosetown

                                                                                            ....we all can't be like Bobby Flay opening a can with a chef's knife on Iron Chef America. :)

                                                                            2. Dam it so much for buying a Japanese chef knife in Seattle, but i did get some good cheese. trader joe's tomorrow yeah.

                                                                              34 Replies
                                                                              1. re: ukjason

                                                                                :D You went out for knives and got some cheese?

                                                                                You didn't get one because it is so expensive or because you cannot find one? Unless you are planning to buy a Shun, Global or Mac (Westernized Japanese knives), you will probably have problems finding Japanese knives in the major stores.

                                                                                So here are my suggestions

                                                                                1) Visit the infamous and trusted Epicurean Edge store at Kirkland, WA. It is not in Seattle, WA, but you may find it to be a realistic choice.

                                                                                107 Central Way
                                                                                Kirkland WA 98033

                                                                                http://www.epicedge.com/shopdisplaypr...

                                                                                http://s3-media2.px.yelpcdn.com/bphot...

                                                                                http://s3-media1.px.yelpcdn.com/bphot...

                                                                                2) Go to Japantown of Seattle. You may find some really good Japanese knives there, but you probably need to know where to look for

                                                                                3) Consider buying online. I have been buying online.

                                                                                I think you should able to get a decent Japanese chef's knife for $100-$150, which is not much more than a Henckels or a Wusthof.

                                                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                  I dont have time to go to kirtland. I will probably buy one online or in vancouver at the only true Japanese knife store.

                                                                                  maybe this one
                                                                                  http://www.paulsfinest.com/Sakai-Taka.... its only $135

                                                                                  1. re: ukjason

                                                                                    ukjason,

                                                                                    I am assuming you live in US because you wrote you were searching knives in Seattle. Paul from PaulFinest is a great guy. I had the pleasure knowing him from CHOWHOUND and have benefited from his knowledge (he used to visit here). One major problem for you is that Paul does not sell knives outside of Canada.

                                                                                    “USA/International: sorry, I do not ship outside Canada at this time……”

                                                                                    http://www.paulsfinest.com/Shipping-i...

                                                                                    In addition, the link you have pointed to is a Canadian $175 knife which is about US $172. Maybe you mean a different knife. Good luck.

                                                                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                      ukjason lives in Vancouver.Pay attention Chem... :P
                                                                                      paulsfinest has some great deals,too bad he doesn't offer free shipping.

                                                                                      1. re: petek

                                                                                        Oh. :) Thanks, Pete. ukjason is only visiting Seattle. Got it. Paul is a cool guy.

                                                                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                          You know I'm just breakin' your cajones Chem :D.With so many posts it's easy to lose track.

                                                                                          1. re: petek

                                                                                            The problem is that new (knife) people often come at the same time. Take Dave and you for example. You two more or less popped up at CHOWHOUND the same time. It took me awhile to distinguish your two Canadians. :)

                                                                                            Last week or so, ukjason and jkling17 appeared together. With all those "j" and "k", it is kill'in me. :P

                                                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                              Ha! But you're a rocket scientist..you should be able to wade through all this confusing information :)

                                                                                              1. re: petek

                                                                                                ;) Scientists are known to be absent minded.

                                                                                                Anyway, jkling17 was wondering the usefulness of a honing steel in professional kitchen. You are in the food industry, right? You may able to answer him on that. Here is the post:

                                                                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8167...

                                                                                                I was going to reply that honing steel is useful for soft to medium strength kitchen knives, but pretty useless and possibly harmful for hard steel knives. So a professional chefs who use hard steel knives, like la2tokyto and you, a honing steel may not be very useful.

                                                                                                So how do you feel about honing steel in your professional line of work?

                                                                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                  'So how do you feel about honing steel in your professional line of work?"
                                                                                                  _______________________________________________________________
                                                                                                  I don't use a regular steel on my J-knives,but I've been considering a borosilicate or ceramic rod for quick touch ups.right now at work I use a piece of cardboard,loaded with some green crayon or an old phone book...

                                                                                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                    I steel my henckel pro santoku and paring knife but have not done anything to utility or miyabi yet, i am planning on eventually getting a strop setup for them but am still researching that :P

                                                                                                  2. re: petek

                                                                                                    Petek~Dave5440 ,, yes yes I see the similarity!!!!

                                                                                                    1. re: Dave5440

                                                                                                      Ha!!!

                                                                                                      1. re: Dave5440

                                                                                                        :D

                                                                                                        I don't know. You two look very similar to me:

                                                                                                        http://images.wikia.com/southpark/ima...

                                                                                                        :P

                                                                                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                          What do you mean by that eh???

                                                                                                          1. re: petek

                                                                                                            All Canadians look the same to me. :)

                                                                                                            (am I going to get trouble for saying that?)

                                                                                                          2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                            Hehe good one!!!!

                                                                                                          3. re: Dave5440

                                                                                                            I confuse myself with you because my name is also Dave and I am also from Canada and I also have a Miyabi :P

                                                                                                            1. re: TeRReT

                                                                                                              Yes apparently we all look alike regardless of our names. I wasn't aware your name is dave it doesn;t show up in your profile which miyabi?

                                                                                                              1. re: Dave5440

                                                                                                                TeRRet wrote: "I know the 5000 and 7000 series miyabi, I've got the 7000mcd santoku but thats a great price on these knives, very tempting"

                                                                                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8080...

                                                                                                                This is getting weird. Two Canadians who named Dave owning Miyabi knife and talking to each other on CHOWHOUND. I think the only difference is that one of you want to get more Miyabi and the other does not.

                                                                                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                  Funny chem , I do like the lines but want a wood hande,,,you have memory I only wish for,,,I think you should be called Chem 2000 from now on

                                                                                                                  1. re: Dave5440

                                                                                                                    "you have memory I only wish for"

                                                                                                                    Right.... except I confuse people.

                                                                                                                    "I do like the lines but want a wood hande"

                                                                                                                    Do you mean any wood handle? Or do you mean specifically the Japanese Wa wood handle?

                                                                                                                    Miyabi Birchwood knives have wood handles.

                                                                                                                    http://www.surlatable.com/product/PRO...

                                                                                                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                      Were is this post i started going, but I like it.

                                                                                                                      Well, i'm back home from Seattle, no knife, lots of cheese, 90% of christmas shopping done. And I could not evan find a descent chopping board.

                                                                                                                      I think its time to shop online and just have to live with the shipping charges. Unless its from that Calgary store were i have to spend $200 or more fore free shipping.

                                                                                                                      1. re: ukjason

                                                                                                                        Seattle is famous for cheese?

                                                                                                                        Shopping online is not bad. On the other hand, there may be decent knife stores which carry Japanese knives in your area. I just don't know.

                                                                                                                        Sometime you cannot worry too much about shipping charge. Free shipping is never free. If a store offers you free shipping, then it is charging you up front. Ultimately, it is what you pay at the end.

                                                                                                                        Now, one thing you may already know. Japanesechefsknife charges a relatively low shipping cost. It only put $7 as the shipping cost for sending me a CarboNext knife from Japan to USA. Of course, the real fee is not $7. I looked at the shipping package and noticed that ~$18 was the real shipping charge. This means Koki from Japanesechefsknife simply absorbed the $11 into each knives. Read this highlighted comment:

                                                                                                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7858...

                                                                                                                        1. re: ukjason

                                                                                                                          LOL. So that big trip and everything and all you have to show for it is a cleaver from your local Chinatown :-)

                                                                                                                          Heh. Ah that's ok. Between www.chefknivestogo.com and japanwoodworker.com, you'll easily get a great deal on some super steel. For anywhere from $50-100 there are loads of pretty amazing quality knives.

                                                                                                                          And you also have that one really good local store, to check out the feel of various knives before you place an order.

                                                                                                                        2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                          Do you mean any wood handle? Or do you mean specifically the Japanese Wa wood handle?

                                                                                                                          Yes I mean Wa handles, I thought you'd remember :(
                                                                                                                          The birchwood looks good and I can live with that type of handle as well(doesn't look like a d shape) but not a big fan of the damascus anymore, maybe for a show knife. I ended up scratching the hell out of mine sharpening it.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Dave5440

                                                                                                                            "Yes I mean Wa handles, I thought you'd remember :("

                                                                                                                            :) I do remember you said you like wa wood handle. A perference which I don't fully understand. Hey, but many people like wa wood handle too. Don't get me wrong. I don't hate wa wood handle, but I like it because it is the traditional handle for Japanese knives. I like it for "nostalgic" reason. But you, I remember like the wa wood handle for its feel and its function. I always feel that wa wood handle takes extra care because my wa wood handle can absorb water. In addition, it can absorb the metal fine from knife sharpening if not careful.

                                                                                                                            As for the Damascus pattern comment, yeah, it is easy to scratch the blade, especially you like to sharpen at low angle -- which increases the chance of scratching the side.

                                                                                                                            Dave Martell demonstrated that it is possible to resurface the Damascus patter. So it can be done -- not that I can do it.

                                                                                                                            http://www.japaneseknifesharpening.co...

                                                                                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                              I always feel that wa wood handle takes extra care because my wa wood handle can absorb water. In addition, it can absorb the metal fine from knife sharpening if not careful.

                                                                                                                              Thats true but I don't do any extra care and it seems fine, plus it's easy and cheap to re handle, the authenticity also appeals to me as well. My project knife I had to sand to get the colour back.
                                                                                                                              And who doesn't like the feel of good wood!!!

                                                                                                  3. re: ukjason

                                                                                                    ukjason

                                                                                                    I have only read to this point so far in the thread, but I am also a Vancouverite and I wholeheartedly suggest going to Epicurean Edge. They have a great selection and the store owner is super nice and extremely knowledgeable. I picked up a Ryusen VG-10 from them and it is a beautiful piece. They have a huge selection.

                                                                                                    Here is the knife I grabbed http://www.epicedge.com/shopexd.asp?i...

                                                                                                    I also picked up this knife last march and it is a beautiful little toy which was decently priced http://www.epicedge.com/shopexd.asp?i...

                                                                                                    As for online retailers chefknivestogo I have used and it is great, but I have an uncle in Portland so I shipped it to him and avoided the cross border shipping.

                                                                                                    I have a lot of Macs too and they are a very solid choice as well. You can find them at Ming Wo (Chinatown location only), and the kitchen store in the Cambie mall beside VGH (cant remember the name). There is also a knife sharpening store on West Boulevard called the Sharpening House that carries a pretty decent supply of Tojiro knives, which are also a great choice for your first entry into the japanese knife market (more western style though).

                                                                                                    I hope this helps

                                                                                                    1. re: pony boy

                                                                                                      I did not have time to go to Kirtland, but i regret it. I have been to the cambie mall by vgh but nothing i wanted was there. There is a place on 1118 homer Santoku equipment office which sells just japanese knife. Very nice guy and the teaches a class how to sharpen you knife too.

                                                                                                      www.santoku-office.com

                                                                                                      1. re: ukjason

                                                                                                        Yeah I have seen his website, but have yet to go. I have sort of maxed out my knife block and the only knives i am interested in a re way out of my price range now (I am a lefty and I want a yanagiba and that eqauls big $$) so I am trying to avoid purchasing any more knives. If you ever are heading to Seattle I recommend the slight detour to Kirkland. Epicurean Edge is a knife lovers paradise.

                                                                                                        Good luck with your knife hunt, and hopefully one day we Canadians wont have to pay so much more for these goods than our American brethren do :)

                                                                                                        I

                                                                                                        1. re: pony boy

                                                                                                          "one day we Canadians wont have to pay so much more for these goods than our American brethren do"

                                                                                                          I think we have a few threads which discuss on this topic. :D Why? why? why? Who knows....

                                                                                                          1. re: pony boy

                                                                                                            Ok I'm confused. If you ordered an X knife from chefknivestogo.com or japanwoodworker.com - do you really pay so much more than us? What is extra? VAT? what percentage? I'd really like to know.

                                                                                                            1. re: jkling17

                                                                                                              Hey jkling

                                                                                                              There are two reasons that it can cost more, first is the extra cost in shipping. Many websites operate out of the states so we often dont qualify for the free shipping deals that a lot of sites have, and it can cost more to ship to Canada. Now it that item were something heavy like a couch it could make a difference, however in the case of a knife it really isnt a deal breaker.

                                                                                                              he second reason for the extra cost is the duty that has to be paid on the item. Even though we have a free trade agreement together we still have to pay duties on goods purchased from the states, but not made in the USA. I dont know exactly what it is for knives, but it can add some extra $$ to the bottom line.

                                                                                                              In the end, many times the costs still remain lower than purchasing the same good up in Canada, and that is why many Canadians still shop on US online retail sites. Of course many Canadians have their ways to get around some of this like having US mailboxes, or mailing them to a friend/relative who live in the states. The fact that mine lives in Oregon just helps that much more with no state sales tax :)

                                                                                                              My issue is more to do with the overall extra costs before sales tax that Canadians are paying on retail goods.

                                                                                                2. so im down to two knife
                                                                                                  1. http://japanesechefsknife.com/KAGAYAK...
                                                                                                  2. http://www.paulsfinest.com/Sakai-Taka...

                                                                                                  Do i pay the extra $60 for #2 or not? but this is a gift from my wife.

                                                                                                  49 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: ukjason

                                                                                                    Oh, a gift from your wife. :) You are a lucky man.

                                                                                                    Ok, both knives are good. I don't think you will be unhappy with either one. If you really want to narrow down, then it is all about knowing yourself, and knowing your own preference.

                                                                                                    Both CarboNext and Aogami #2 are carbon steel. However, CarboNext is nearly stainless, while Aogami can rust if not careful. Do you care for the near-stainless feature?

                                                                                                    In my experience, Aogami can take on a low angle without collapsing. Botrh CarboNext and Aogami #2 have no trouble holding their cutting edge at 15°. However, when sharpened at 10°, my Aogami knife has no problem holding that edge, while my CarboNext knife cannot. Will you need to bring your cutting edge angle below 15°?

                                                                                                    These are some of the questions worth thinking about.

                                                                                                    Edited: If you absolutely cannot make up your mind, get the cheaper one. This will save you $60 for something else. Maybe a sharpening stone, maybe another knife, maybe another cutting board....etc.

                                                                                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                      "Edited: If you absolutely cannot make up your mind, get the cheaper one. This will save you $60 for something else. Maybe a sharpening stone, maybe another knife, maybe another cutting board....etc."

                                                                                                      Great point, but it is a gift from my wife. No money out of my pocket

                                                                                                      1. re: ukjason

                                                                                                        Still, if it is cheaper, then you can get her to buy you the knife and a waterstone or the knife and another less expensive knife. You literally can get another knife with $60, maybe a CarboNext petty knife ($66) or a Fujiwara FKM petty knife for ($40-44).

                                                                                                        don't know your argeement with your wife, but you may able to convince her to get you another knife with the price of the CarboNext, whereas you may not to do so with the Aogami-2 knife.

                                                                                                        1. re: ukjason

                                                                                                          "Great point, but it is a gift from my wife. No money out of my pocket"

                                                                                                          well if that's the case,get her to spring for one of these... :D

                                                                                                          http://knifewear.com/knife-family.asp...

                                                                                                          1. re: petek

                                                                                                            I only have $200 for my gift

                                                                                                        2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                          KAGAYAKI CarboNext (ES) Series gyuto has sold out, do you konw where else i can get one.

                                                                                                          1. re: ukjason

                                                                                                            ukjason,

                                                                                                            I've just checked the website, and all three gyutos are all there. Now, the "ES Version" of the 210 mm gyuto is sold out, but the regular version is still here.

                                                                                                            You can email Koki from Japanesechefsknife to find out the number of knives he still has. I won't wait too long to decide. CarboNext has a bad habit of going out of stock. At one point, I waited and then the knife went out of stock. I had to wait for a month or two before I get my CarboNext Santoku.

                                                                                                            No, I don't know where else you can get another -- if it sells out. The CarboNext is JapaneseChefsknife's branded knives. I am sure someone makes the knives, but as to who, I don't know. Therefore I won't know where to get the replacement for. It is possible, but I don't know.

                                                                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                              just got a email and Koki said the KAGAYAKI CarboNext (ES) Series gyuto 210mm in 3 days

                                                                                                              1. re: ukjason

                                                                                                                Oh, it sounds like you have placed an order for the CarboNext gyuto 210 mm. Yes, Koki is pretty go at shipping, and the Japanese EMS shipping is fast. However, I forgot one thing..... The Canadian shipping. According to Dave5440, he has had experience that his knife traveled fast from Japan to Canada, but very slow within Canada. I hope this does not happen to you.

                                                                                                                Since the CarboNext is only ~$US 112 (with shipping), were you able to convince your wife to get something extra?

                                                                                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                  AT the japanese knife store here in Vancouver if you buy a knife or a ceramic stone, you get owner will give you a lesson on sharpening. So i might just do that.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                    He will email me when the new batch of carbonnext gyuto 210mm coming in. Then I will place my order.

                                                                                                                    1. re: ukjason

                                                                                                                      ukjason,

                                                                                                                      I believe the CarboNext 210 mm gyuto is in stock. Attached is the screenshot of the current JCK website. Or are you trying to get the "ES" version? The ES series is just knives hand sharpened by a professional knife sharpener. The steel is the same.

                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                        so the regular one come unsharpened.

                                                                                                                        1. re: ukjason

                                                                                                                          "so the regular one come unsharpened."

                                                                                                                          The regular one has a factory sharpened edge. It is probably just as sharp if not sharper than most of the knives on the market.

                                                                                                                          The ES knives has been hand sharpened the knife using waterstone by a professional knife sharpner to give you that "extra" sharpeness, which is why it is called Extra Sharpeness (ES).

                                                                                                                          Now, I am not saying this CarboNext is better than your other choice (Aogami-2). Have you decided that you are getting the CarboNext over the Aogami-2? I am just saying that you don't need to get the ES version if you don't want to.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                            Both knife I know will be very good, on one hand the carbonnext is just above a stainless steel grade knife with a better no rusting capability, and at $109 is a great deal. The other is made from the high-end Hitachi Yasugi-works Blue-2 steel which is a very pure high carbon steel, which will require the same if not more care for this blade, plus a price diff $60. So for my first pro knife do I go all out and get the second blue -2 steel, or will i get buyer remorse if i get the first one.
                                                                                                                            Ps. I could let my wife buy my the second one and I could treat my self to a petty carbonnext knife and good sharpening stone.

                                                                                                                            Decisions decisions !!!!!!!!!

                                                                                                                            1. re: ukjason

                                                                                                                              :) I think you will like either knife, but you will have some level of buyer's remorse no matter what. There is a good chance that you may continue to seek out better knives, better sharpening stone, better whatever. Next thing you know, you will wonder if you should have gotten a Aogami Super steel (as opposed to Aogami-2) or you will question about the infamous powdered steel....

                                                                                                                              The two knives definitely have several differences. As mentioned, the major difference I saw was:

                                                                                                                              1) CarboNext is much more corrosion resistant than YSS Aogami-2 steel knife. Will you sharpen your knife at a very acute 10 degree angle? I don't know.

                                                                                                                              2) Aogami-2 can take on a sharper edge angle than CarboNext

                                                                                                                              1. re: ukjason

                                                                                                                                IMO, if you're already wondering about buyer's remorse, then the only choice is the Sakai Takayuki. You already know (but may not be willing to admit) that it's the one you REALLY want.

                                                                                                                                :-)

                                                                                                                                1. re: Eiron

                                                                                                                                  "the only choice is the Sakai Takayuki"

                                                                                                                                  I don't know. You really think he will be satisfied with Sakai Takayuki and never seek for another knife. Maybe the Aogami SUPER instead of Aogami-2 (blue SUPER vs blue-2)

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                    LOL - well, we're talking about the two knives he narrowed it down to, right? Are you now suggesting a third knife? Is that knife even in his budget? :-D

                                                                                                                                    I don't own any blue steel knives, so I can't make that call. But I can determine from ukjason's comments that he will always wonder "what if?", if he buys the Carbonext.

                                                                                                                                    Uh, IMO, of course....

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Eiron

                                                                                                                                      it's in my budget, remember the main knife will be gift from wife.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: ukjason

                                                                                                                                        OK, now I'm confused! ukjason, are you saying that you ARE considering a "super blue" knife as well as a "#2 blue" knife? I thought you were just looking at either the Carbonext or the Sakai Takayuki (#2 blue?). Between those two, go for the one you won't wonder "what if?" about, later on.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Eiron

                                                                                                                                          :P

                                                                                                                                          Your point is well taken. I am just saying that buyer remorse can come from all sort of directions.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                            Well, of course! Wasn't there a reference you made one time to a Ferrari? Oh, & let's not forget Heidi & Tyra! Oh, wait, those were "never haves," weren't they? :-P

                                                                                                                                            I would still love to get a Shiki damascus burl wood knife. AND a Miyabi birchwood knife. The Shikis are very pretty & nicely styled. And the Miyabis are nicely weighted, balanced & profiled. But I'm still making (slow) progress on my knifemaker's grinder, & that's keeping me from buying the nicer knives I'd like to own. :-/

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Eiron

                                                                                                                                              "Wasn't there a reference you made one time to a Ferrari....forget Heidi & Tyra!"

                                                                                                                                              I was drunk. You cannot take a drunken statement against me. Not fair :D

                                                                                                                                              Of course, those are "never haves" :P Do you think I will have buyer's remorse with Heidi or Tyra?

                                                                                                                                              Hey buddy, which knife is your next one to get? Is it really the Shiki damascus and Miyabi Birchwood?

                                                                                                                                              I think my next one to get is an usuba (haven't decided the brand) and a Sabatier carbon steel craving knife.....who knows..... maybe I should get a natural waterstone. :P

                                                                                                                                              Let us know when you start your knife production. It is tough to do both knifemaking and being a broadway star. As much as you think Bob Kramer business is lucrative, I seriously doubt it can measure up to the movie stars.

                                                                                                                                          2. re: Eiron

                                                                                                                                            Sakai Takayuki Aonikou Blue-2 Carbon Steel or the carbonnext es are my choices for my gift knife. A petty knife and a good stone would be a nice companion with it.
                                                                                                                                            Those two I would pay for.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: ukjason

                                                                                                                                              OK, that's what I thought. Let's review an earlier comment you made:
                                                                                                                                              "... The other is made from the high-end Hitachi Yasugi-works Blue-2 steel which is a very pure high carbon steel, which will require the same if not more care for this blade, ..."
                                                                                                                                              Having used Chem's Carbonext, I can tell you that it's pretty care-free for any rust worries. I'm sure the Blue-2 knife will be much more of a concern, but I'm also expecting that you'll be extra attentive to it since you're spending this much effort to pick it out.

                                                                                                                                              "... So for my first pro knife do I go all out and get the second blue -2 steel, or will i get buyer remorse if i get the first one."
                                                                                                                                              I still think that if you're already worried about buyer's remorse, then you shouldn't hesitate any longer. Get the Sakai Takayuki knife.

                                                                                                                                              "I could let my wife buy my the second one and I could treat my self to a petty carbonnext knife and good sharpening stone."
                                                                                                                                              I think this is an excellent idea, & what you should do. You've obviously thought a lot about this purchase. From my own agonizing over my first purchase, I can say that this makes the most sense to me.

                                                                                                                                              Here's what I finally ended up with:
                                                                                                                                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/687113

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Eiron

                                                                                                                                                Man, that was almost two years ago since you got your Kanetsune. Was it in that thread that I talked about Heidi and Tyra? :) Maybe it was another post. Anyway, how did your small grinding wheel worked out? Have you used it much since then?

                                                                                                                                                I have used both Aogami and CarboNext, and have good opinions for both steels. I think I have said all my experience about them.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                  I know, hard to believe, isn't it? Time flies when you're having rum... :-D

                                                                                                                                                  I used it a couple of times to repair some chisels, but for anything else I've been using the 1x42 belt grinder. As I mentioned in the other thread, the stone's not very stable. I did buy a better power supply for it (it will allow the motor to generate more torque), but until I make a more stable holder for the stone I won't use it for anything.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Eiron

                                                                                                                                                    I am trying to learn scotch (whisky), but that is another topic.

                                                                                                                                                    You have broken the curse, right? You didn't buy any knife after your initial Kanetsune. I am still looking for an usuba, as you know. For me it is "the chicken or the eggs" regarding usuba. I want an usuba to learn and practice Katsuramuki (I can do alittle, but not good), but I don't want to get an usuba way than my knife skill.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                      A good 1 minute video showing an incredibly sharp knife in competent hands, demonstrating Katsuramuki. Absolutely astounding.!!

                                                                                                                                                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eC7EUa...

                                                                                                                                                      Scotch, like wine, deserves it's own board on Chowhound, IMO. :)

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: rosetown

                                                                                                                                                        rosetown,

                                                                                                                                                        Are you trying to make me feel bad? :D Wonderful video.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                          Again Chem your are way too fast :D. One minute later I edited my post but it was already too late.
                                                                                                                                                          No, not trying to make you feel bad. It's just that a one minute video, shows the value of a great knife with the best of sharpening, in the hands of a skilled individual.

                                                                                                                                                          And Scotch is good!!!

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: rosetown

                                                                                                                                                            Scotch is awesome, but I have only started. One bottle of Johnny Walker Black. One bottle of Dalmore 12. I don't want to spend too much before I know what I am doing. I guess that is also true for the knife too.

                                                                                                                                                            I know many young Japanese chefs struggle to get good Japanese knives including a good usuba. It seems wasteful for me to get a very expensive knife if I don't have the skill to wield it and the knowledge to appreciate it.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                              Still, I've been lustfully eyeing a usaba from knifeware - only a 20 minute drive from me. I've never visited, mostly out of fear - if you get my meaning. :D But man, I want one!!

                                                                                                                                                              http://knifewear.com/

                                                                                                                                                              edit: Chem yet another edit :D

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: rosetown

                                                                                                                                                                :) I don't reply that quick. Sometime I do, but a lot of time I don't.

                                                                                                                                                                Yeah, knifewear looks like a real cool store with good selection. I don't think there are any cool knife stores near where I live. I know what you mean. We knife lovers always live in fear. :D

                                                                                                                                                                What scotch do you drink? Macallan?

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                                  Macallan, yes - mostly single malts - I always buy something I've never tried before.

                                                                                                                                                                  Still, at the moment, I'm sipping a Lou Tou Brand, Peking Ginseng Fine Brandy. Sort of reminiscent of Hungarian and Czech bitters.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: rosetown

                                                                                                                                                                    +10 for macallan 12 year or 18 year is evan better.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: rosetown

                                                                                                                                                                      "I always buy something I've never tried before."

                                                                                                                                                                      Same here. This is why I bought Dalmore. I have tried Macallan a few times before and wanted something different. Peking Ginseng Brandy, huh? That should give you some ginseng medicinal effects :D

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                                        As we type I'm drinking crown royal, not as good macallan but good enough

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                                          I'm on a Speyside kick currently... I'm really liking a 12yr Cragganmore right now.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mateo21

                                                                                                                                                                            You guys know way more than I do. :)

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mateo21

                                                                                                                                                                              Before chowhound, rightly declares Scotch off topic in this board, and for those following this thread with an interest in Scotch, below is a link to the spirits board search with the keyword Scotch.
                                                                                                                                                                              I never knew this board existed.
                                                                                                                                                                              Edit: I forgot the link - here it is.

                                                                                                                                                                              http://www.chow.com/search?query=scot...

                                                                                                                                                                              Edit again: the link above is not returning the same results that one gets when in that board and searches 'Scotch'. Go figure??

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: rosetown

                                                                                                                                                                                It is not unrelated if you say something about knife and then something about Scotch. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                I have to tell you that to me Johnny Walker Black is like Tojiro DP. It is a good standard (for me) to measure against other thing. I often compare different knife to Tojiro DP (or Shun Classic). Why? Because many people have experienced those and I can easily related my experience to other. For example, my Watanabe knife can hold an edge longer than Tojiro DP, just like my Dalmore 12 year appears to have more bit than my Johnny Walker Black

                                                                                                                                                                                P.S.: I almost asked for the link... then I refresh and see the link.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                                                  Refresh again - I edited a second time. :D

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                                                    I love the humour in your post.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Duane

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Eiron

                                                                                                                                                          Well, I'm HVAC technician who loves to cook. I know this process is taking me a long time to choose, but that how I am lots of research before I pull the trigger. That why i love this web site, with great people like your self and chem to help with your own experience and insight.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ukjason

                                                                                                                                                            Oh wow. We put in a dual ductless Fujitsu heat pump system this year and they are AMAZING. If you haven't gotten certified on these yet - DO IT. They are VASTLY superior to traditional cooling and heating. And very efficient. During the worst heat of this summer - which was truly brutal - we only spent an extra $150 on AC. Fantastic!

                                                                                                                                                            And now that the cold weather has set in the heat pump mode is just amazing. They operate at close to 100% efficiency even at like 32 F. One of the best purchases I've ever made. Only $5000 installed for a dual 12K system with 36k compressor.

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Eiron

                                                                                                                                                    "But I can determine from ukjason's comments that he will always wonder "what if?", if he buys the Carbonext. "

                                                                                                                                                    I know. But I also wonder if he will also wonder about Aogami Super (blue super) later or whatever other knives :)

                                                                                                                                                    ukjason, please don't read below. This is just between Eiron and me, not related to your purchase. :P

                                                                                                                                                    Here are a few reasonably priced Aogami super steel knife.

                                                                                                                                                    First, the one loved by many including our cowboyardee is the Hiromoto 210 mm Aogami Super (AS) gyuto for $135:
                                                                                                                                                    http://japanesechefsknife.com/TenmiJy...

                                                                                                                                                    Second, the one loved by our Petek, the Moritaka 210 mm Aogami Super gyuto for $179:
                                                                                                                                                    http://www.chefknivestogo.com/moritak...

                                                                                                                                                    Moritaka 210 mm Aogami#2 gyuto is$112:
                                                                                                                                                    http://www.chefknivestogo.com/moao2gy...

                                                                                                                                                    JCK Kagayaki 210 mm Aogami Super Damascus pattern gyuto is $232 (slightly over his budge).
                                                                                                                                                    http://japanesechefsknife.com/images/...

                                                                                                                                                    Eiron, are you going to write a short review for your CarboNext? :P

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                      Chem, yeah, I'm really sorry about the long delay. I am still planning on writing that.

                                                                                                                                                      No, make that, "I WILL write that!" Along with the chef's impressions & a picture or two. :-)

                                                                                                                        2. I agree with the lady, Wusthof is the way to go. My boyfriend bought himself I think it was a 10 inch Chef's knife and I'm not sure how much it was. Definitely under $200 and I highly recommend it!

                                                                                                                          1. ...restaurant supply store...

                                                                                                                            1. ...i have a wh8 and a japanese8 heavier, v different feel, forged from single piece of steel; be certain your wife holds the knife before purchase; i've purchased a chef6 for one of my grandchildren but would never purchase a chef for an adult unless he/she were present to test; for inexpensive knives and other inexpensive kitchen items i'd follow ina garten's suggestions...btw i like chef6 also but, though overlapping, functions not the same; i am v aware that knife etc preferences are not dictated and are personal choices; but cleavers, serrated, chef6 are not traditional chef's knives chef8s are

                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                              1. re: cbjones1943

                                                                                                                                Wow,.... a lot of abbreviations....

                                                                                                                              2. I prefer the Wusthof Ikon because it doesn't have the full bolster. The handle is also quite comfortable.

                                                                                                                                1. Well, it is official i have ordered(well my wife ordered for me) the carbonnext 210mm gyuto.

                                                                                                                                  http://japanesechefsknife.com/KAGAYAK...

                                                                                                                                  12 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: ukjason

                                                                                                                                    Congratulations! Is it my imagination or are these now on sale, at pretty good prices? Naturally we look forward to a full review, with tests done with chives, potatoes, onions and ... TOMATOES!

                                                                                                                                    Did you also come to a decision on what type of sharpening system you'll go with?

                                                                                                                                    1. re: jkling17

                                                                                                                                      J

                                                                                                                                      Not really on sale. They are about the same prices I bought my knives 6 months ago. I remember my CarboNext santoku was $100. However, I can totally see the price may go up in the near future because CarboNext has been getting pretty good reviews from various knife forums.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                        I made it. I am poster #200. Ha ha.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                          Yes you did it

                                                                                                                                          1. re: ukjason

                                                                                                                                            ukjason,

                                                                                                                                            If you have any questions about your CarboNext, please feel free to post them here. cowboyardee, Eiron, I and possibly others have some hands-on experience with the steel and may able to provide additional information. Congratulation on the new knife.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                              what sharping stone would you suggest i get for this knife ?

                                                                                                                                              1. re: ukjason

                                                                                                                                                My suggestion for this knife (as well as any knives) is to get a waterstone in the range of 800-1200 grit. This the important part. The exact brand is minor detail.

                                                                                                                                                Currently my 1000 grit stone is the Bester 1000 grit:

                                                                                                                                                http://www.chefknivestogo.com/bester1...

                                                                                                                                                and I think I paid quiet a bit less than the listed price. My first stone was a combination stone:

                                                                                                                                                http://www.amazon.com/Woodstock-Steel...

                                                                                                                                                It was a good stone, but in hindsight I think it would have been better to get a single stone, as opposed to a combination stone.

                                                                                                                                                A ~1000 grit stone can do wonder to your knife and it is very versatile. If you later desire to polish your knife edge to a finer edge, then you can always buy some higher grid stones in the future. I would keep it simple and inexpensive by focusing on a ~1000 grit stone (800-1200 range).

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                  Do you use a sink bridge with your stone.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ukjason

                                                                                                                                                    No, I don't. I do have an inexpensive stone holder:

                                                                                                                                                    http://www.amazon.com/Steelex-D1091-S...

                                                                                                                                                    Neither is necessary. Many people just place the stone on wet towel. I started off this way.

                                                                                                                                                    Some people like the convenience and cleanness of using a sink bridge to sharpen above a kitchen sink, while other like the freedom of sharpening on any surface and any distance from the table edge at any angle.

                                                                                                                                      2. re: jkling17

                                                                                                                                        stone for sure, a ceramic

                                                                                                                                        1. re: ukjason

                                                                                                                                          now i have to look for one, here we go again.

                                                                                                                                      3. re: ukjason

                                                                                                                                        A fine choice. Hope you have many years of enjoyment from it.

                                                                                                                                      4. I use an 8" Russell with a rosewood handle. I bought it in Seattle at Puget Consumers Co-op (PCC) ca. 1978. I don't remember what I paid, but it was probably under $40. A good thing, because it's hard to find a Russell today. I don't know what I would get if I needed to replace it, but possibly a Lamson, which is about $135.

                                                                                                                                        I've never thought the high-end German knives were worth it. They are more of a status symbol, in my opinion.

                                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                          $40 in 1978 has about the same purchasing power as $150 of today.

                                                                                                                                          :)

                                                                                                                                          http://www.westegg.com/inflation/infl...

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                            It must have been less than that, then. Who remembers?

                                                                                                                                          2. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                            Russel is half of Dexter Russell. Their Traditonal line is likely similar to your old one.

                                                                                                                                            I recently picked up a Russell Green River 12" chef at the swap meet..

                                                                                                                                            Jim

                                                                                                                                            1. re: knifesavers

                                                                                                                                              The D-R has an inferior handle. I wouldn't want it for my chef's knife.

                                                                                                                                          3. I think I should have my knife earlier than christmas. Just so i can use it for christmas eve dinner or on December 17 for no reason in particular.

                                                                                                                                            21 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: ukjason

                                                                                                                                              If nothing goes wrong, you should have it before the month of December.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                Don't think the wife will let me have it before December. We were some post back talking about petty knife, think i gonna get one from my local japanese knife store( the only true one in Vancouver) just to support local business.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: ukjason

                                                                                                                                                  LOL. Good luck with that!!! Regarding a petty - I have to assume that you already own some sort of Petty knife. So my humble recommendation is just to sharpen the heck out of what you already have. It'll give you a whole new world of respect for your current tool.

                                                                                                                                                  My petty knife is nothing special at all - it's just a <$10 Mundial. But it's now seriously razor sharp. I can quite literally shave with it, if I'm so inclined but I really prefer my Gilette!

                                                                                                                                                  The only reason that I bought yet one more "petty" knife is because it's really a 4.5" mini santoku for Amy to use for her prep, when she uses the kitchen. I personally don't see a reason to get a special petty knife for myself. But I do get a burning desire for all sorts of primary knives and cleavers :-)

                                                                                                                                                  Just my 2 cents. Good luck selling your wife on getting hands on before the holidays!

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ukjason

                                                                                                                                                    ukjason,

                                                                                                                                                    "Don't think the wife will let me have it before December."

                                                                                                                                                    :) Then get it on Dec 1st.

                                                                                                                                                    About petty knives, wait to see what you like and dislike about your CarboNext gyuto. This will give you additional information on what to look for.

                                                                                                                                                    Somewhat related, have you see this video from Salty? What do you think of this Mizuno stainless knife? Guess, we cannot underestimate a knife because it is made of stainless steel.

                                                                                                                                                    A lot of people say "cut tomatoes by the weight of the knife", but this term has mostly been exaggerated or abused. Not this time:

                                                                                                                                                    http://youtu.be/ZszGC92iYr0

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                      pretty impressive stuff, wonder if he sharpened it him self or that was factory. My guess he sharpened it just before the demo.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ukjason

                                                                                                                                                        Immediately beforehand. In some of his videos, you can see the edge fading during the course of a single tomato. That degree of sharpness doesn't last through a vigorous prep session.

                                                                                                                                                        I think he's said he usually takes an edge up to 8000 grit (Japanese scale) and then a series of strops for his tomato videos.

                                                                                                                                                        I've never seen a factory edge taken to that level. Though it's reputed that Murray Carter's knives come with a heck of a sharp edge on em, and I'm sure there are probably a couple other custom makers who are real perfectionists about their final sharpening.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                                          I wonder (and this might be a dumb question) if you could get a knife evan sharper than that demo video?

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ukjason

                                                                                                                                                            I'm sure plenty of people get their straight razors sharper than that. Helps that the edge angle is super acute and the design of the thing makes it so that there's no guesswork as to whether you're at the right angle.

                                                                                                                                                            Basically, the potential sharpness of a knife is limited by the angle of its edge and the grain size of its steel. For example, a very acute knife made of Hitachi white carbon steel can theoretically get pretty damn sharp (an Edgepro or similar device can help, but isn't strictly necessary).

                                                                                                                                                            Two issues though:
                                                                                                                                                            1) It can get tricky to measure sharpness after a certain point. Sure, you could get a knife a little sharper, but how would you know? There are a lot of tests (the toilet paper test, shaving hairs, splitting free-hanging hairs, various elaborate tests with various kinds of paper), but most of them don't show much more than push-cutting through tomato skin. You don't happen to have an electron microscope handy, do you?

                                                                                                                                                            2) For kitchen knives, that kind of sharpness is more of a way to exercise your sharpening skills than it is a practical way to maintain your knives - like I said, it just doesn't last on a cutting board.

                                                                                                                                                            OTOH you can get a kitchen knife 95% as sharp as that and keep it there without too much trouble.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                                              I remember seeing this discovery channel show once when this science guy had had a pin to such a tip, that the tip was not visible to the naked eye. the only way you could see it was with a electron microscope. i wonder is someone done that with a knife edge. gonna check google LOL

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ukjason

                                                                                                                                                                ukjason,

                                                                                                                                                                I agree with cowboyardee. I think you can get it sharper, but at the same time, the extra sharpness does not last on a real cutting board. Do you remember I have mentioned that the CarboNext knife cannot hold up a 10° edge as an Aogami (blue) steel knife can? Well, I can create a 10° on either knives, but the CarboNext knife steel cannot hold that angle for long. After one cooking session, the edge is gone. Meanwhile, my Aogami knife can remain sharp enough to push cut paper after a week worth of home kitchen usage -- possibly two weeks. This is why I wrote my Aogami knife is a sharper knife than my CarboNext. It is not technically correct, but practically correct. My CarboNext cannot hold a 10° edge for real life applications.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                                  now you're making me regret my choice of knife :(

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ukjason

                                                                                                                                                                    No need to regret. They all have their advantages and disadvantages.

                                                                                                                                                                    Yes, the CarboNext knife cannot hold an angle as acute as an Aogami knife, but it is much easier to take care of. Ask Petek when he stops by. Petek works in the restaurant/cratering business and he loves his Aogami knives, especially those traditional looking ones like the Moritaka:

                                                                                                                                                                    http://www.paulsfinest.com/Moritaka-K...

                                                                                                                                                                    However, he prefers a semi-stainless for work. Here read the next few exchanges between Petek and me:

                                                                                                                                                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8159...

                                                                                                                                                                    In addition, your CarboNext knife will comfortably hold the 15° angle, which is the same angle as Shun knives, and noticeably lower than most German knives. Your 15° angle CarboNext will be sharper than most knives in the market, and it is possibly the sharpest knife among what your friends have.

                                                                                                                                                                    Trust me, your CarboNext is not a wasteful purchase. Here are my reasons. First, it is an easy knife to take care. Second, unless you start sharpening your own knives, it is a moot point to talk about a custom 10° angle anyway. Third, even if you start to move toward a 10° angle laser knife, you probably will still need the 15° CarboNext knife for significant amount of tasks.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                                      I am going nut for a knife and maybe too much, so what i need to do is wait for my knife, Once I get my first pro knife with some good use out of it, then I can decide if I want a better grade of steel.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ukjason

                                                                                                                                                                        My feeling is that the differences in the steel between various high-end knives is of no importance, unless you are a professional sushi chef. The feel of the knife is what matters — the weight, balance, and shape. Just my bias.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ukjason

                                                                                                                                                                          Hi Jason,

                                                                                                                                                                          Well perhaps there's a middle ground that would help you. It seems that you have decided to go with a whetston/waterstone for sharpening, correct? Unlike a guided system, you'll need significant practice with it on your current knives, so that you can be GOOD with it - and BEFORE you get your expensive precision professional Japanese blade ...

                                                                                                                                                                          And yes, I am in sales ...

                                                                                                                                                                          On the brighter side ... if this works, you'll find yourself happily occupied for many hours, and shredding newsprint, instead of torturing yourself here with us :-)

                                                                                                                                                                          And ... you'll be thrilled at how amazing your current knives can be, all over again.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: jkling17

                                                                                                                                                                            Torturing is my middle name, i will probably get a stone before I get my Japanese's magic blade. my only concern is the JCK 1000/4000 stone combo, is it good or is better to get individual stone

                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                                          I like Cowboyardee message in the like you sent me

                                                                                                                                                                          "deciding you like the looks of one line of knives, and then having to remind yourself that none of the individual knives in that line are something that you actually need to buy. It hasn't happened yet, but I'm a little worried that some day I'm going to get a little tipsy or else just cracked out from insomnia and switching between night shifts and normal-people-hours... and in a moment of weakness wind up pulling the trigger on purchasing several of the knives that I really like but have no real use for."

                                                                                                                                                                          Funny shit its happens to us all

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ukjason

                                                                                                                                                                            :)

                                                                                                                                                                            At this stage, my goal is to get an usuba which suits me for learning Katsuramuki rotary cutting. I can do a little, but I want to get good at it. I want an usuba which is good enough for me to learn, but not too good which becomes wasteful in my hands. It is like learning Scotch or beer or anything in life. There is no point to buy a $200+ Scotch if I am starting, but it is also a bad idea to learn from a very crappy Scotch.

                                                                                                                                                                            Sometime I see interesting new knives and get excited, like this line of hand forged white steel knives:

                                                                                                                                                                            http://japanesechefsknife.com/Furinka...

                                                                                                                                                                            Then I have to remind myself to stay focus for my usuba. We all have our demons to battle. :P

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                                              funny you put that last link, I was just looking at this:

                                                                                                                                                                              http://japanesechefsknife.com/Page3.html

                                                                                                                                                                              And think, what going on here and why are they all sold out. To me these people demons are stronger that yours and mine.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                                            clem

                                                                                                                                                                            have you heard anything about JCK whetstone
                                                                                                                                                                            http://japanesechefsknife.com/WhetSto...

                                                                                                                                                                            Just because I'm buying their knife maybe i should use their stone, kinda liking the 1000/4000 combo.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ukjason

                                                                                                                                                                              ukjason,

                                                                                                                                                                              No, I have not used or heard much about the JCK stone. I like the fact that it is a 1000/4000 combination and not a 1000/6000. 1000 --> 6000 is too big of a jump in my opinion. I also like the fact that it claims that it can handle very hard steel knives: "This is the All-Mighty whetstone for all kinds of the blade steels (R2, ZDP-189, Cowry-X, Aogami Super, VG-10, Gingami No.3 etc. ) and for a home use to pro-chefs." Dave5440 can tell you more about his experience. Many stones are good for 99% (figurative speaking) of the knives, but they cannot handle extreme hard steel knives.

                                                                                                                                                                              I prefer individual stones because they last longer. In addition, you get to design your "jump steps". Currently, I have a Bester 1000, Naniwa Super 2000, and Naniwa Super 5000. So I jump do the 1000 -> 2000 -> 5000 steps. Most of the time I only put knives through 2000 -> 5000 because I sharpen my knives before they get very dull so a 2000 grit stone is enough to handle them.

                                                                                                                                                                              Dave Martell (considered to be one of the very best knife sharpener in US) mention this in the first 25 second of this video:

                                                                                                                                                                              http://youtu.be/MezIEKGk9T0

                                                                                                                                                                              You may want to start another post for the stone purchase. The reason is that this post get pretty long and many people have a tendency to ignore long post.

                                                                                                                                                    2. 12 more days till my new knife, i can see it under my christmas tree all raped up.

                                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ukjason

                                                                                                                                                        You have way more self-control than I do....

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ukjason

                                                                                                                                                          Sometimes, spelling is important.....

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: will47

                                                                                                                                                            :) Shhhh.... I saw that too....

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                              Reminds me of a story that I heard once about a man named Jack, a mule, and a comma...

                                                                                                                                                        2. Two more day to go

                                                                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ukjason

                                                                                                                                                            The CarboNext right? You have good patience.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                              got a new chopping board and stone for it

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ukjason

                                                                                                                                                                Yes, those (chopping board and stone) are not part of the gift, right?

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                                  I got my knife, and I'm happy as a mofo.
                                                                                                                                                                  My first thought: light weight well balance supper sharp. Not had a chance to cut any food with it just paper. I will give a more indepth report later in the week when I have more time to use it.

                                                                                                                                                                  "Yes, those (chopping board and stone) are not part of the gift, right?"

                                                                                                                                                                  I manage to squeeze in the chopping board too but the stone on me.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ukjason

                                                                                                                                                                    "I will give a more indepth report later in the week when I have more time to use it."

                                                                                                                                                                    Looking forward to read it.

                                                                                                                                                                    "I manage to squeeze in the chopping board too but the stone on me."

                                                                                                                                                                    Good job.

                                                                                                                                                          2. While in Seattle you should have gone here http://www.epicureanedge.com/

                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jeffreyem

                                                                                                                                                              I had no time and i should had made some.

                                                                                                                                                            2. Here are some general tips I have as a professional chef for you.
                                                                                                                                                              Tips:
                                                                                                                                                              - Get the longest blade length you can handle that feels good in your hand. The will help with having more blade to do large jobs, especially when properly holding the knife in a "pinch grip" or "chef's Grip".
                                                                                                                                                              - Hold the knife in your hand, ask the salesperson if you can try using it in a rocking motion on a cutting board
                                                                                                                                                              - Look for a knife that is well balanced. Handle weight=blade weight. The knife should balance over your pointer finger and not fall one way or the other when you have your pointer finger at the base of the blade or just other side of the bolster on the blade/edge side
                                                                                                                                                              -Stainless or Carbon steel? Its up to you really. I would personally look for something stainless with a higher carbon percentage. Also check out Micro Carbide steel knives (Heckel/Miyabi's Morimoto Japanese Line) they stay sharp for long periods of time with every day use and are quite easy to sharpen. Messermeister make some really nice bolsterless chef knives in the meridian elite line as well.

                                                                                                                                                              1. I use a 40-year-old Sabatier Chef au Ritz carbon steel knife, 9.5" blade. It holds its edge very well and sharpens up easily with a Chef's Choice blade sharpener. It was recommended in the original Cooks' Catalog of 1974 and apparently isn't made any more. And "Sabatier" is not an exclusive brand name and is no guarantee of quality. But I can certainly recommend a carbon steel blade of that size, unless you'd find it unwieldy, or unless you'd prefer the convenience of stainless steel, easier to take care of but harder to sharpen.

                                                                                                                                                                Cooks Illustrated/America's Test Kitchen has recommended the Forschner Victorinox Fibrox 8" Chef's Knife for years and say they use it in their own kitchens. 10" and 12" blades are also available. Its stamped stainless steel blade may not be the very best quality, but it's easy to care for and at $40 (less at many vendors) it's good value for money.

                                                                                                                                                                1. Julia Childs hated stainless-steel knives for a good reason. They just don't work well. Carbon is so superior.
                                                                                                                                                                  Those expensive Wustoff/Henkels are popular because they spend a fortune on advertising, and because hygiene-obsessed Americans wanted a their knives to be shiny all the time. Heck, you can even throw them in the dishwasher, provided they don't have wooden handles.
                                                                                                                                                                  The main problem is the over time, and after many sharpenings, the blade gets ground or worn off so that the return, sometimes called a finger guard (the fat part of the blade by the handle), prevents the cutting edge from fully contacting the working surface. Your knife will have an edge like a very elongated "s", with a concave curve in front of the handle.
                                                                                                                                                                  If you want bomb-proof shiny stainless, get down to the restaurant-supply store and get a fairly cheap, stamped stainless chefs knife. Most have a white plastic handle, no return, a much narrower spine, and perform better than department-store German knives. And you can throw them in the dishwasher!