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Knife transition suggestions

Discussion in 'The Kitchen Knife' started by Fabio Fullin, Jul 8, 2015.

  1. Hard times, not much money, but I feel the need to. I need to get myself a new knife set. I have a lot of stainless steel knives and a few globals which I wanna get rid of. I don't have much, but I have a lot of passion. I'm looking for some good traditional japanese knives, not really expensive but also good. But seems like I am not experienced enough to understand which knife could be good for a non traditional japanese knife user but someone's who is in transition between western style knives and oriental style knives. So I'm asking you to express your opinion on which knife I should start with. A list of the best knives which to start with would be really appreciated, explaining why of the decision and personal feeling on each knife.
    Thank you for your help.

  2. Fabio, you could probably get a much better answer if you specify how you are going to use new knives. While western knives are tend to be more or less universal knives, in Japan they got 100500 knives for every task you could imagine. Usuba? There are several variations of them. Deba? Yanagiba? Udon Kiri? They all are very different and probably not that usable if you are cooking western food mostly. So I'll just make an assumption that you are looking for something universal and that's gyuto. A good chef knife is probably the most important thing in any knife kit, so let's start with guyto.

    You've already used some other knives and probably know what length is best for you. Let's assume it's in the 210-270mm range.
    Next you'll need to decide what you prefer in terms of geometry. Heavy workhorse? Laser or something in between?
    Can you live with reactive cladding or require stainless?
    And probably the most important question is how much you are willing to spend? No need to spend tons of cache, but the more you can spend — the more options there'll be.

    Just to throw some suggestions, have a look at Itinomonn series from JNS. They are available in both stainless and carbon cladding and are good cutters. Toshihiro Wakui makes some really good cutters as well. There are lots of different options from JCK, but I'm not sure how troublesome it could be to order knives from outside of EU for you. I'm sure there would be way more options once you specify what you are looking for.
  3. thanks a lot for your reply, Anton. Yes, as you said, I forgot to mention which type of knife I was aiming to. My main purpose is to make a transition from stainless to carbon. The gyuto is a must for me, as it's the knife I use more at work. But also, debas and usubas always got me, and I wanted to give 'em a try as I feel really comfortable with kataba style knives. My budget isn't really high. I mean, I can save and get a really good one or go on and bring 3 ok quality knives. The problem is that as I don't know the feeling with such knives I don't really know if to spend a lot or not. I should try them first, but I have no possibilities here where I live... For that matter I was asking to you here in order to get an idea.
  4. Don't have much to add other than you don't need to spend much on a carbon gyuto. It's more about how you sharpen it than how much money you spend. I would stay away from cheap single bevels though.
  5. Brad Gibson

    Brad Gibson Founding Member

    i doubt you need an usuba or deba. unless you are chopping off fish heads daily you would probably be better off just using your gyuto to butcher fish. an usuba is a knife that is really meant for only cutting vegetables and primarily katsuramuki which is a technique only used in the sushi bar. if you work in a western kitchen i would suggest buying a line knife type. a short sujihiki in the 210-240mm range. its a great knife for butchering, slicing proteins, cutting veggies... etc. a great knife to keep on your station during work for anything that pops up and is more easily stashed out of the way than a gyuto is.

    itinomon is a great option for a gyuto or suji, I would also recommend checking out the kochi line from JKI. Jon won't sell a product he wont stand behind and he has an insane amount of knife knowledge to share with you concerning any questions you might have. Hell, I would recommend any line from Jon at japanese knife imports to be your first pick.
  6. cheflarge

    cheflarge Founding Member

    What Brad said!!! :like :jump :cool1
  7. That was a really great post Brad.
  8. wow! thanks for your reply, Brad! Think I'm gonna follow your instructions ;)
  9. Jim

    Jim Old Curmudgeon Founding Member

    JKI Is Japanese Knife Imports. Jon is a vendor here and you can contact him directly and he can sort you out.

    Great post Brad!
  10. Wagner the Wehrwolf

    Wagner the Wehrwolf Founding Member

    Being in Italy consider contacting Maxim. Is he still around? I bought a short suji like thing from him that makes a great line knife. No frills, great edge and that was about it. Made it very affordable.

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