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Looking for suggestions for a knife as a weding present for vegetarians

  • m

I want to get a really nice knife to go along with one of my artisen cutting boards for our nephew and his bride to be. They are vegetarians, I don't hold that against them ;) but I also don't know exactly what the best knife would be if you are only cutting vegetables. I personally prefer a western chefs knife, I know many people like the santoku style knife and from reading on here, it appears there are some other styles that might also be very good for just vegetables. I know they don't have a good knife, they're just getting started and neither of them have jobs as rocket scientists or brain surgens, so money is tight for them, so I want to get them something that's really nice, but also very practicle. Something they will have for a very long time and can use and enjoy everyday.

I've looked around a little and have found some interesting knives, but I'm not familiar with many of the Japanese brands. Is Hattori a good brand, and if so, do I go for the Santoku, the Petty, the Guyto, or the Nakiri? Or are there other brands and styles that I should give serious thought to? I'd like to get them something a little out of the ordinary, so the Kitchenaid Santoku is out of the running. Thanks, I know you guys and gals will come through.

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  1. HI,

    I am going to reply by making an assumptions. I'll assume that your nephew and his bride to be are not knife people. By this, I assume that they are not the type that would really get into the differences in steels, forcing a patina on carbon steel, and hand sharpening on water stones. If they are this type, then I recommend a Takeda Nakiri or a similar knife -- http://www.chefknivestogo.com/naboas1... But, assuming that they are not, I am going to assume that they would not want to take the extra care carbon steel requires. They also might not want to take the care that very hard, brittle, steel requires to avoid edge chipping. And they might want to use an electric sharpener, or some other 'easier' method than stones. (Keep in mind that a good set of stones is as much of an investment as the first good knife.) With all this in mind, I would recommend a nice, but readily available, stainless santoku or nakiri. This could be European (any of the nicer Henckels or Wusthof) or Japanese (Shun or MAC). I know this is not a specific recommendation, but I hope it helps guide you a bit.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jljohn

      Thankyou, it's actually more help than you might think as you brought up many very good points that I really hadn't thought about. And your probably right, they are probably not knife people. Just looking for that out of the ordniary gift.

    2. How vegetarians do they go? I think there a few versions. I don't know if there is a knife just for vegetables, but a nakiri style knife is fairly good for vegetables, a santoku is also good for vegetable and a touch more versatile, and a gyuto is most similar to a French Chef's knife.

      Now, those are styles. You can, of course, get a German made Wusthof Santoku or a Henckels Santoku. Conversely, you can get a Japanese made Santoku. That is up to you. They have their advantages. I do like the Japanese made ones due to personal preference.

      Hattori is a very good brand, although some may argue that you can get similar quality at a low price point.

      34 Replies
      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

        Oh, yes, to be a bit more specific.
        If you are interested in Japanese made knives and a bit less generic, then I have two recommendation which are not too expensive:
        (1) Tojiro DP:
        http://www.chefknivestogo.com/todpna1...
        Tojiro is known to be high quality, and reasonably priced.

        (2) Fujiwara FKM
        http://www.chefknivestogo.com/fufkmsa...
        A bit softer than Tojiro DP, so it is easier for people who are not used to Japanese hard steel. In other words, more forgiving, but slightly not as high performance.

        Please also let us know what is a price point you are comfortable. Do you also want the Damascus pattern to look pretty?

        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

          The fujiwara FKM is pretty ideal for this kind of thing. I'd say the difference in performance vs a Tojiro is pretty negligible compared to the difference it makes in terms of non-knife-nuts not having to worry much about chipping. I bought one for my mom a little while back. Very attractive, decent OOTB edge, decent geometry.

          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

            Thanks, Chem and cowboy, those are great suggestions. As far as price point, it's a weding present, I don't give those but once in a lifetime, so anything under a couple of hundred is in the range, no Kramer. It's more important that they have a usefull tool, but I would also like for it to be a bit unique, not somethig that's going to be in every kitchen, so I want it to look good as well as function. The Damascus pattern is attractive and gives the knife a more unique look, but that's not critical. I like cowboys take on the fujiwara FKM as being a) utilitarian and practical and b) attractive with a good edge. A little more flair would be nice though, but certianly not a deal breaker. You guys are great!

            How vegetarian are they? Funny question, I was listening to NPR yesterday and they were talking about vegetarians and how some don't count fish or chicken. I guess if that's the case I'm a vegetarian and don't count fish, chicken, beef or pork. I'm assuming, a just vegetable kind of vegetarian, but I must admit I don't really know for sure.

            1. re: mikie

              I will throw a few more at you.

              Shiki Tsuchime Damascus and Rysen Tsuchime Damascus can be attractive and are under $200 and stainless steel.

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

              If you don't mind going above $200 and have something unique and hand made, then you can go for a Watanabe Nakiri which is considered to be very good by kitchen knife experts on several other forums. I have one:

              http://www.watanabeblade.com/english/...

              It has a carbon steel edge, but it is switched in between by stainless steel. So it is a bit easier to take care of. Nevertheless, I have a feeling that this one is a bit too involved for your nephew and his wife since they have never had good knives before.

              "I was listening to NPR yesterday and they were talking about vegetarians and how some don't count fish or chicken."

              Yes, that is very true. Here is a list of semi-vegetarianism.

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semi-veg...

              1. re: mikie

                Mikie, what you might want to consider is getting the Fujiwara FKM, as the "good special" knife, then choosing some daily, servicable, not afraid to use, knives of different styles, like these:

                http://www.wokshop.com/HTML/products/...

                I have :
                11" length x 2" width, pointed end (0.19 lb) - 3rd photo - $4.95
                7.5" length x 1" width, paring knife (0.09 lb) - 4th photo - $2.95 And they are really workhorses!

                They are not over the top, shave your chin, keep in a safebox knives, but take a good amount of use and perform well. As you can see you could pick up a few other styles for very little more and give then a whole range of knives with one the shining Star, the Fujiwara FKM

                1. re: Quine

                  "They are not over the top, shave your chin, keep in a safebox knives, but take a good amount of use and perform well."
                  ____________
                  I'm thinking you could probably make one of those shave-your-chin sharp if you were so inclined.

                  1. re: cowboyardee

                    LOL, Yes I have done that. :-) Edge holds well.

                    1. re: Quine

                      Kiwi knives (the one you recommended) can definitely be sharpened to the point for shaving arm hair, but I won't describe them as "edge holds well". The edge holds good compared to low grade knives, but not anywhere close to a mid range knives like Tojiro or Fujiwara.

                      Neither Tojiro nor Fujiwara should be considered as "over the top" or "keep in a safebox knives". They are much cheaper than a typical Wusthof or Henckels and they can be used in real professional kitchens as work horse knives.

                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                        Perhaps. The point was more rather than getting one expensive knife for a couple who have none or few, get a good mid-range (and for an inexperienced person an Eighty buck knife is sorta seen as a safebox knife) and also a range of good serviceable, kind to new hands, and not break the bank if they misshapen it knives. A replacement can be had for under $10. Trying to suit the described receivers. And it's a couple, so what might be perfect in one of their hands may not suit the other, so a range of knives is thoughtful.

                        1. re: Quine

                          "...and also a range of good serviceable, kind to new hands, and not break the bank if they misshapen it knives. "

                          If that is the logic, then mikie should NOT get the $60-80 knife to begin with -- with or without $6-10 Kiwi knives.

                          Really, if the concern is that his nephew may destroy the $70 Fujiwara FKM knife during sharpening, then having a couple of Kiwi knives along the gift set will not prevent his nephew from mis-sharpening the Fujiwara knife. It will still happen regardless. Won't it be better to send a knife sharpening DVD or book? On top of that, it is not that easy to ruin a Western design double bevel knife during sharpening.

                          Unless what you are saying is that his nephew should just use the Kiwi knives on the daily basis, and only use the Fujiwara on special occasions. Now, if that is what you meant, then we have the situation of "self fulfilling prophecy". In other words, the Kiwi knives become the very reason why the Fujiwara becomes "the safebox knife". The Kiwi knives prevent the Fujiwara from being used.

                          For what it is worth, mikie is looking for a knife under $200, like the Shiki Tsuchime Damascus and Shiki Premium Damascus. I just fail to see the point of buying someone a $200 knife to only throw in a couple sub $10 knives in the mix. It is like receiving a >$200 All Clad pan and a <$10 Walmart nonstick pan together in the gift box, or receiving a 20 year single malt Macallan Scotch whiskey (>$200) and a Jim Beam Bourbon Red (<$10) together. I think these send some really mixed messages. Mike is also giving his nephew a really good hand made cutting board too. Should he also throw in a few of these $1-2 cutting sheet?
                          http://www.amazon.com/Norpro-Cut-N-Sl...

                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                            While I personally wouldn't buy a $200 knife and thow in some plastic ones, I don't think that is what is being suggested. What I see being suggested is gifting one "good use" knife along with a few practical ones. I don't think this sends mixed messages at all. It says, to me, here are some good solid knives and I've also included a really good one for "special" use. A very expensive "ideal" knife may very well not be either appreciated nor used in the way intended nor as it would be by an experienced chef. Just like gifting a 25 year old bottle of whiskey would be wasted on me, who does not drink whiskey and would not appreciate it nor appreciate the difference between it and a "lesser" whiskey. In the same way, a mid range but very good knife with some "daily use" knives would be a reasonable practical approach for beginning chefs.

                            It's all about knowing your audience and trying to do the right thing for them instead of doing what I would like done for me. Just as I would not gift my SIL with a 200 dollar All Clad pan (not a chef, wouldn't appreciate it, in her hands would be no better than a 50 dollar pan from Target), I wouldn't gift my foodie, cheftastic DH with a 50 dollar pan from Target as he would appreciate and appropriately use the 200 dollar pan.
                            Not everyone is a knife aficionado. The key is in knowing your audience and gifting accordingly instead of gifting as though all are equally proficient and/or appreciative and/or capable when it comes to the gift intended. JMHO.

                            1. re: freia

                              First, it is a bit confusing here. The knife, Fujiwara, is actually $60-70. The $200 is mike's budget for a knife. Most of the knives we have suggested to mike are much less than $200.

                              "Not everyone is a knife aficionado"

                              True. The way I see it is that if I don't think the person can take care or appreciate a $200 knife, then get the $100, if not that, then get $50.... If you look at my exchange with mikie is that I am pushing the price of gift knife down not up which is why the $60-70 Fujiwara was suggested by me.

                              What I don't understand is to give a person a $200 knives along with the a bunch of $5 knives.

                              To use whiskey as an example, if I am buying a friend who is new to whiskey, then I may get him 2 bottles of 10-12 years Scotch of different brands. If I am buying a friend who appreciates Scotch, then I may get him one bottle of a 18 year Scotch. But I just don't see the point of getting a $200 Scotch and then some $8 Jim Beam. If you know the person do not understand Scotch at all, then why get the $200 Scotch? If the person do appreciate great Scotch, then what is the purpose of the $8 Jim Beam? I can see that as being a funny joke, but that is about it.

                              "In the same way, a mid range but very good knife with some "daily use" knives would be a reasonable practical approach for beginning chefs."

                              Again, back to the actual knife being discussed. It is a $70-80 Fujiwara knife. There is no reason why a Fujiwara (much cheaper than Henckels or Wusthof) cannot be a daily use knife. Why would mike need to included a bunch of $5 Kiwi knives along with a $70-80 Fujiwara knife? If that logic is sound, then every Wusthof and Henckels owbers should also need get a bunch of sub-$10 knives. The $5 Kiwi knives are relatively good for their prices, but they are not really that good in absolute term. The steel is soft, the edge does not hold very well...etc. They are not as good as the $25 Dexter-Russell or Victorinoix knives. Again, Kiwi knives are good if your budget is below $10, but once you hit above $25, there are better knives.

                              "Just as I would not gift my SIL with a 200 dollar All Clad pan (not a chef, wouldn't appreciate it, in her hands would be no better than a 50 dollar pan from Target), I wouldn't gift my foodie, cheftastic DH with a 50 dollar pan from Target as he would appreciate and appropriately use the 200 dollar pan."

                              Yes. Either give the person a good $200 pan or a few $10 pans. Try to fit the gift to the audience. There is no need to get a $200 pan and then a few $10 pan and wrap them together in as a single gift.

                              Anyway, at the end, it is mikie's choice, so I will just let him decides, and I will focus on the sub-$200 suggestion.

                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                I think it's important to note, I'm not trying to equip their kitchen, that's neither my objective or my responsibility. I make an attractive cutting board, I put one in the family gift exchange a couple of Christmasses ago and and it was the "dirty santa" exchange, got really cut throat. However, I want to make the gift more than a cutting board, so it seemed a nice knife to go along with the board would be appropriate. I could get a utilitarian knife for $50 or so, but I can aford to spend more and buy something they probably wouldn't purchase for themselves. If they need more knives, well that's an issue they will have to deal with. I like the idea that a gift is something special and something you probably wouldn't splurge on yourself, that's part of what makes a gift special regardless of what you spend on it. I wouldn't spend $50 on a really accurate tire guage, but I thought it was fantastic when my kids bought me one for my birthday.

                                1. re: mikie

                                  I've been on the receiving end of well intentioned gifts that have been "out of my league" so to speak. In particular, electronics. Well meaning DB likes the best and brightest and shiniest of all electronic gear and believes that it is his duty to pass such items on as gifts. I, on the other hand, being a computer and gadget ignormaus aka Luddite, can't use the vast majority of items he gifts to me. Heck, I just bought my first cell phone 3 months ago. Seriously. And I rarely use it. Anyways, a universal remote control that controls all my AV equipment with one button is a great idea, but the reality is that I only want to turn my tv on and off, and my satellite on and off, and my receiver on and off. There are 3 simple buttons. SO even if the fancy remote is awesome, terrific, latest technology, if I have to figure out how to program it through online connections, I just simply won't use it. Well intentioned gift that is wasted on me. This is what I mean about knowing your audience.
                                  I think a great knife that one wouldn't normally buy is a great idea, IF the giftee involved is a chef, appreciates knives, and has the wherewithall to appreciate the significance of the gift. Otherwise, it is really simply wasted.
                                  I returned my fancy remote control. I still use my on/off switches on my old remotes.

                                  1. re: freia

                                    I think if one cooks, one needs a "good" knife and a good cutting board to use it on. Unless the extent of what one cooks only requires a can opener, in which case, it would indeed be wasted, a good knife makes a very poor can opener. However, if you're concerned enough about what you eat that you're a vegetarian, I'll just take a leap of faith that you're not opening a can of pork n beans for dinner. We were married for 10 years before we had even a decent utilitarian knife, so giving someone a good knife has some significance for me, it's something I'm confident anyone who cooks at all can appreciate. It's not a Kramer or something only a knife person could appreciate, just a good solid, nice looking piece of kitchen equipment.

                                    1. re: freia

                                      "I think a great knife that one wouldn't normally buy is a great idea, IF the giftee involved is a chef, appreciates knives, and has the wherewithall to appreciate the significance of the gift. "

                                      I won't say a $70 Fujiwara knife (as the knife being discussed) as an out of the world knife. It is half the price as a Henckels or Wusthof knife. That being said, mikie may be looking for something more than this. More importantly, mikie is making a very special and beautiful cutting board. So if a $70 knife is going to be considered as a "waste" on his nephew and his bride to be, then one has to also question if mikie should make the cutting board -- which would worth more and take more appreciation to use.

                                      Your example of universal remote is different. In your case, one would need extra time and skill to start to use it, where as a 3 simple buttons one requires a swallow learning curve.

                                      The Fuijiwara or Tojiro knife has better blade profile, longer edge retention and better balance than an inexpensive $5 Kiwi knife. It does not take more skill to start to learn to use a $70 Fujirwara knife than a $5 knife. In fact, I would argue less because many of these $5 knives came with chipped and dull edge, and I had to sharpen them before I can use them, whereas the $70 Fujiwara would be ready to go. The wood handle of the Kiwi knife is also not water proofed, whereas the Fujiwara is. By every measures, the $5 Kiwi knife actually takes more efforts and skill to use and care. I own, used, sharpened these $5 knives, so I have a good understanding of these knives.

                                      http://www.chow.com/photos/724050

                                      Everyone can enjoy a knife which is sharper, and hold its edge longer -- without any additional skill. The comparison should be made to a pair of well insulated gloves vs a pair of not-so-well insulated gloves. It takes the same skill to wear the gloves, but one set will keep your hand warmer for longer.

                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                        I think my example stands up well if you consider not the microdetails but the concept I was trying to get across -- mainly, that what seems like a great gift from one person's perspective as they appreciate and use said item is wasted on another that either doesn't care nor can't use the gift in question to its potential. Thus even though it is the latest and greatest, it is a gift given with the giver in mind, not the recipient. That was the concept I was illustrating, not the microdetails of the number of buttons. And not that it was a "waste" but perhaps giving an appropriate gift with the recipient in mind is a solid concept, rather than determining as a gift giver what the recipient "should" have.
                                        Sometimes gift givers get caught up in their own expertise and the gift becomes more about the gifter than the giftee. That was the point of my illustration.

                                        In any event, I was trying to simply say that to give one 80 dollar knife and several less expensive knives as a starter set is perhaps more in keeping with the skill set of the recipients in question. And it was a legitimate response by an earlier poster. And I still stand by that. If the skill set isn't quite there, it doesn't matter how long the edge lasts, or is sharper, if the user doesn't appreciate it. Again, an illustration of how a giver may have certain "must haves" in mind that may not reflect the appreciation level of the recipient. Heck, if the recipient uses a glass cutting board, really, would the expensive knife make a difference after 20 minutes? Not that they are, I again am using an example in a macro sense, not the micro sense (yes, it may take 2 days, not 20 minutes, yes, the edge may last marginally longer on one knife than another in this situation, yes, the OP mentioned a hand made cutting board during this conversation, but that isn't really my point...)
                                        However, I am not the gift giver, so best of luck to mikie! These gift recipients certainly will have a great knife I'm sure.

                                        1. re: freia

                                          "I was trying to simply say that to give one 80 dollar knife and several less expensive knives as a starter set is perhaps more in keeping with the skill set of the recipients in question "

                                          But that is exactly what I was trying to tell you. It actually take more consideration and skill to use these less expensive knives in question. I have used them. I have sharpened them. I own them. You are basing on the assumption that the $5 knives take less skill to use than the $70 knives, but that is not true. Cheaper knives do not equal to easier knives, just like the fact that the cheapest car is not the easiest car to drive and care for. It is my understanding that you do not own them, and somehow got the idea that they are easier to use. They are not.

                                          "If the skill set isn't quite there, it doesn't matter how long the edge lasts, or is sharper, if the user doesn't appreciate it. "

                                          No... I have to disagree. These less expensive knife take more care to use. They will actually go dull much faster, so the user actually need to sharpen the knife much more often. The handle soaks up water fast, so the user has to be very careful to keep water away from it....etc I am surprised that you are discouraging the idea of getting a $70 knife. We are not talking about a $700 knife.

                                          "Heck, if the recipient uses a glass cutting board"

                                          Mikie is giving them a nice cutting board. Like I have said, if you think this $70 knife is too much for the recipient, then wouldn't mike's handcraft cutting board also be a waste too?

                                      2. re: freia

                                        Stupid question-What's DB? I don't think anything on this list is what you mean
                                        http://www.acronymfinder.com/Slang/D_...

                                        1. re: Dave5440

                                          Well in keeping with CH, where DH = Darling Husband,
                                          DW =Darling Wife, you have daughter, son, SO, so DB can either be Darling Brother or Darling Boyfriend. That's what I though, at least.

                                          1. re: Quine

                                            Geesus, all of those are new to me

                                            1. re: Dave5440

                                              yeah, it's pretty much CH specific. MIL=Mother-in-law, which will let you figure out SIL and BIL. :-)

                                              1. re: Quine

                                                DB is dear brother, DH is dear husband, DMIL is dear mother in law...maybe we should start a thread about the use and intention of internet abbreviations LOL!!!! Actually these abbreviations are pretty common on other boards, too, not just CH I think?
                                                :)

                                        2. re: freia

                                          "I think a great knife that one wouldn't normally buy is a great idea, IF the giftee involved is a chef, appreciates knives, and has the wherewithall to appreciate the significance of the gift. Otherwise, it is really simply wasted."

                                          I am not sure I agree with this. Unless one eats out 100%, or has a full-time personal chef, a person who cooks and eats absolutely needs one knife. Most would say that such a person needs three knives (chefs type, paring type, and serrated/bread type). There is no doubt that a good knife makes the cutting aspects of food prep easier and more enjoyable, and a good-looking knife will improve the aesthetic of wherever it is stored (block or magnet). I suppose the real issue is the proposed spread on the spectrum of knives. If the bottom / top of the spectrum are $100 German knife / $400 Japanese, then you might be correct. The difference between such knives may not be fully appreciated by the receiver. But, if we are talking about a $10 chefs knife / $100 German or Japanese knife, then I think that just about anyone who has ever picked up a knife in the kitchen will appreciate it. I believe the real problem in choosing the very high end knife for a non-knife nut is not lack of appreciation. It's a lack of an ability to care for it properly.

                                        3. re: mikie

                                          " However, I want to make the gift more than a cutting board, so it seemed a nice knife to go along with the board would be appropriate."

                                          I agree. I think your thought of making a good cutting board is pretty awesome. Again, I would love to see your beautiful cutting board when you are ready. I think a decent knife is a very good gift because a great cutting board without a decent knife is just meaningless.

                                          How much you want to spend on the knife that is really up to you, but I think the knives suggested by cowboyardee, Eiron...etc are all good knives. One good knife and one great cutting board for the couple is a great idea.

                                          As I have mentioned to freia, these Kiwi knives are very good valued knives considering their prices. I don't regret buying mine, but it actually requires more consideration to use. I wrote a review on the Kiwi knife awhile back.

                                          The blade came chipped. The handle is rough and is not water proof. It soaked up water like a sponge. It is not that comfortable to hold -- not painful, but not comfortable. The blade is semi-soft and cannot hold an edge for long...etc. A bit worse than Dexter-Russell. The blade is very thin, which is both good and bad, but it definitely takes a bit more attention to use this very thin blade yet soft knife. It is a great value knife considering it was less than $10, but they are actually not very friendly to a novice.

                                          1. re: mikie

                                            This topic might be getting more complicated than what you may have anticipated. My tiny bit of advice is to give the couple your handmade cutting board and a decent 8" chef's knife. I'm sure they will appreciate it although I know there are members of my family who would not understand what a fantastic gift you have in mind.

                                            1. re: John E.

                                              but I'm pretty sure you shouldl send ME a handmade cutting board, and I'll let you know if you should give one as a gift.

                                              :D ;D ;D

                                              1. re: sunshine842

                                                I think mikie is the one making a handmade cutting board.

                                                John E., are you also into wood working?

                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                  I've done some woodworking in the past. Now it's more carpentry as we complete an addition to our northern Minnesota cabin in the woods.

                                                  1. re: John E.

                                                    I see. So maybe sunshine was indeed asking you to make a cutting board then. :)

                                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                      actually, Sunshine realized that it was Mikie, and clicked on the wrong "Reply" -- I blame the multitasking.

                          2. re: mikie

                            Hi, mikie: "...but once in a lifetime..."

                            Well, that's a great theory. Tag along with me sometime when the Family Law calendar is called!

                            If I might suggest, how about a one-off, custom knife handled in a wood that means something to them? Something made for them and them only has a certain cachet, don't you think? These can be had for a few hundred, since you're only buying once.

                            Aloha,
                            Kaleo

                            1. re: kaleokahu

                              Hi Kaleo,

                              Yah, I know the odds, but that's really not my problem. "You" get maried as many times as you like, I'm only buying one present. I would likely reconsider if there was a death, but other than that, I'm only good for one weding present. ;)

                              Custom does have that certain cachet, that's why they get the custom cutting board. I will admit I don't know enough about knives to have a custom made knife and have any clue about it. Cachet or no, I think it's beyond my scope.

                      2. As far as vegetables, a serrated tomato knife is really nice to have.

                        1. I think you already have a lot of good suggestions on the knife, so I'll just add a few comments. First off, for vegetarians, I do think a Japanese knife is the way to go. My first thought is a nakiri, but not being "knife people", they may not get it. A santoku might be more familiar and will still be very versatile.

                          Since you are wiling to drop a couple hundred, I would suggest that not all of it go to the knife. You can get a decent knife for much less. You are already getting a cutting board. That is important. You wouldn't want to give them a nice knife and then have them cutting on plate or something. I would suggest that you also include knife storage in your gift, unless you know they have a good storage solution. You wouldn't want them throwing that nice knife in a utensil drawer anymore than you would want them cutting on the wrong surface. In addition, a book on knife technique and/or sharpening might be a good addition to the package. Or a class on same. A whetstone or just the business card of a good professional sharpener wouldn't hurt either.

                          You give a good knife to an uneducated cook, and they have a good knife experience for a few months, but then the knife is dull and they are back to where they started. Give them the means to care for the knife and maintain the edge, and you've created a new "knife person" - that may not mean a big collection of knives and whetstones, but just someone who appreciates their knife, doesn't abuse it, and maintains the edge, whether they do it themselves or outsource it. This goes a long way towards making cooking enjoyable for them.

                          1. OK, so you've got some really good suggestions so far. Is anything ringing with you yet?

                            I know you're giving an exquisite hand-made cutting board, but I don't see any where what amount you want to spend on the knife.

                            Since you admit that they're not knife people, I'd definitely recommend a santoku over a nakiri, & stainless over carbon.

                            My favorite "special" brand is Shiki Premium Damascus in Quice Burl Wood handle:
                            http://japanesechefsknife.com/SHIKIDa...

                            For something unique but a little less expensive AND a little more care-free, I like the Kanetsugu Pro-M Series:
                            http://japanesechefsknife.com/ProMSer...: 401px; HEIGHT: 233px

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: Eiron

                              "For something unique but a little less expensive AND a little more care-free, I like the Kanetsugu Pro-M Series: "

                              That is one of the two series of knives what Koki (Japanesechefsknife owner) recommends for first time Japanese knife user.

                              For first time user, he recommends Kanetsuga Pro-M and Misono Molybdenum Steel Series

                              Eiron,

                              mikie did later specify the amount as "o anything under a couple of hundred is in the range"

                              1. re: Eiron

                                Thanks Eiron, those are really nice, I like the Shiki that you suggested and the one Chem suggested as well, both are well in the price range I have in mind.

                                MeIMM, some good ideas, especially the protection for storage, I'll definately keep that in mind.

                                1. re: Eiron

                                  The Pro-M is another good rec. I think the contoured handles are a nice bonus for people who aren't used to Japanese knives, and like the fujiwara, the steel shouldn't be too chippy.

                                  Another not-super-chippy knife that Mikie could consider is the Glestain.
                                  http://japanesechefsknife.com/HomeKni...
                                  The look is pretty out there, and they're hand-specific, but they're great knives and I don't think I've ever read a bad review.

                                  1. re: cowboyardee

                                    Oh yes, the infamous nonstick knife blade. :)

                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                      I thought those pretty Kuhn-Rikon knives were the infamous non-stick blades.

                                      1. re: cowboyardee

                                        :D It depends on the definition of nonstick.

                                        Maybe nonstick as in cleaning up since the Teflon coating on Kuhn Rikon knives should able to do that, but probably not nonstick as in potato and tomato stick to them.