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Thread: Japanese Kitchen Knives

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    Little Bear richmondesi's Avatar
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    Default Japanese Kitchen Knives

    I know nothing about kitchen knives, a byproduct of my wife doing 99.976% of the cooking during our 10 year marriage. So, I'm starting to get more involved in the kitchen, and with my obsession with quality sharp blades is leaving me wanting something a little better.

    I know some of you guys are experts in this area too, so I figured I'd start here asking for help instead of joining a knife forum.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!

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    Member p1zz4b0x's Avatar
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    My experience with Japanese cutlery is limited to the Misono UX10 line. However, I have been very pleased with performance and balance. Edge retention is awesome, that asymmetric edge can easily be honed to tree-top some arm hair. They come scary-sharp right out of the box as well. Once you use a blade as thin and sharp as you tend you find with Japanese cutlery you will have issues with the eruo stuff. If it takes effort to cut anything with one it is likely you are doing it wrong.

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    The Great & Powerful Oz onimaru55's Avatar
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    Hey Paul, J- knives are pretty job specific so if you know exactly what your goals are in the kitchen, the knife guys here will be better able to guide you but I know So from Japan-Tool highly recommends the Santoku style for general work. Could be a good starting point ?
    Those in the room who believe in telekinesis, raise my hand.

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    Little Bear richmondesi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onimaru55 View Post
    Hey Paul, J- knives are pretty job specific so if you know exactly what your goals are in the kitchen, the knife guys here will be better able to guide you but I know So from Japan-Tool highly recommends the Santoku style for general work. Could be a good starting point ?
    Thanks, yeah, I'm thinking general work to start off...

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    Member KingsRam's Avatar
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    There are 3 knives that are a must have IMHO. A paring knife, a boning knife and an 8" Chef's Knife. I use the Shun Classic knives and they are fantastic and a reasonable price. I believe traditional Japanese knives are single bevel, which may be a drawback.

    Link to my favs:
    KAI USA : Shun Products

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    I used Nakayamas for my house mainaman's Avatar
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    for starters get something western style.
    Misono UX10 is cool knife but it has nasty burr from what I hear is kind of hard to deal with.
    Cool entry level knives, all stainless by the way as I think that is how one needs to start.

    Gyuto (chef knife)

    Tojiro DP,
    Fujiwara FKM
    Togiharu
    Masamoto Vg10

    those are the more popular ones with very reasonable price point.

    If you want to go for the big boys then

    Tadatsuna INOX
    Suisin INOX Honyaki
    Misono Tanrenjo Swedish Stainless
    Konosuke HD

    Those are all very thin and really great knives, but they are more expensive.

    I consider carbon knives to be for more advanced users because they require more maintenance due to contact with acidic foods.
    But there are some great offerings out there;
    Konosuke white #2 steel

    Moritaka in Aogami Super
    Masamoto
    Miszuno Tanrenjo
    and many others

    If you want more specialized knives then you can jump into traditional knives.
    Yanagiba for sushi
    Deba for filleting fish and breaking down chicken
    Usuba for cutting veggies

    And then there are the Chinese Cleavers...

    Pretty much be careful because the AD with Japanese knives is just as easy to acquire.


    A good place to look up for knives is Chef knives to go, Mark is a great guy and will help you with any questions you might have.

    PS.
    Shun , and Global are not the best you can get in terms of geometry, steel, and performance.
    Stefan

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    Little Bear richmondesi's Avatar
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    Thanks, Stefan.

    I pretty much figured that about the potential for ADs, and I have no interest in that. So, I'm more likely to get really nice quality ones, learn to sharpen them to their potential and never read about them online

    There are some really beautiful knives out there.

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    Senior Member heirkb's Avatar
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    Hmm...I wouldn't mind a Tojiro Gyuto and a Maestro Wu Chinese Cleaver to get me started.

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    I used Nakayamas for my house mainaman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by richmondesi View Post
    Thanks, Stefan.

    I pretty much figured that about the potential for ADs, and I have no interest in that. So, I'm more likely to get really nice quality ones, learn to sharpen them to their potential and never read about them online

    There are some really beautiful knives out there.
    For me an optimal set of knives is:

    Gyuto in w/e steel you prefer.
    Petty they are just indispensable when dealing with small cutting tasks.
    If you like to make sushi yanagiba is a must, also Deba.
    Ynagiba can be used to slice other meats too.
    Deba can break down fish and poultry easy.

    A substitute to some extent for yanagi is the western version sujihiki, but I personally think yanagi is way to beautiful of a knife to not prefer to sujihiki.
    Stefan

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    Little Bear richmondesi's Avatar
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    ok... so we have a list of styles, what about makers?

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