Author Topic: Japanese Kitchen knives  (Read 5962 times)

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Offline Bob Marino

  • Posts: 3253
Japanese Kitchen knives
« on: April 22, 2019, 08:12 PM »
 
 I have had a set of Classic Wusthof for quite a while, but my wife ended up chipping the Chef's knife beyond repair - well, still usable but with a heavy chip mid blade, soooooooooo I went to Williams Sonoma and bought a Shun Prestige Chef's knife. I'm pretty familiar with kitchen knives as well as being careful with them.
 
 This knife is in a whole different category of sharp. It sliced through whole uncooked potatoes like nothing. In this case the old saying  "like a hot knife through butter" is literal. Within a few minutes of chopping leeks and potatoes I knicked my left hand twice, drew a little blood - never felt a thing - the actual tip/point of the blade simply "touched" my hand. Lesson learned.

 These Japanese knives are just so insanely sharp, there may be a handling adjustment needed until you get used to cutting with them. Worth a look.
Former Festool  Dealer since 2002; user well before that!

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 8567
Re: Japanese Kitchen knives
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2019, 08:47 PM »
I’ve owned and used Wusthof knives for over 40 years, always been a big fan. Then about 8-9 years ago I picked up a Shun Premier 7” Santoku from Sur La Table.

What a difference, what a huge difference. The blade is a lot thinner and they’re sharpened on a different angle than Wusthof. I think they also hold an edge 3-4 times longer but they are more delicate because of the thinness of the blade.  I steel them every time I use them and the edge never goes away.

Interestingly enough, I prefer using the Shun paring knife for slicing tomatoes rather than using the Wusthof tomato knife.

Offline Bob Marino

  • Posts: 3253
Re: Japanese Kitchen knives
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2019, 08:54 PM »
I’ve owned and used Wusthof knives for over 40 years, always been a big fan. Then about 8-9 years ago I picked up a Shun Premier 7” Santoku from Sur La Table.

What a difference, what a huge difference. The blade is a lot thinner and they’re sharpened on a different angle than Wusthof. I think they also hold an edge 3-4 times longer but they are more delicate because of the thinness of the blade.  I steel them every time I use them and the edge never goes away.

Interestingly enough, I prefer using the Shun paring knife for slicing tomatoes rather than using the Wusthof tomato knife.

 Last year I bought the Shun Fuji Santoku, but for some reason I prefer the Chef knife. Mine is sharp but the chef is way sharper.
Former Festool  Dealer since 2002; user well before that!

Offline tjbnwi

  • Posts: 6404
  • No longer in Cedar Tucky Indiana
Re: Japanese Kitchen knives
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2019, 10:36 PM »
Be careful around bones it’s Japanese knifes, what makes them so sharp also makes the susceptible to chipping against bones.

Tom

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 8567
Re: Japanese Kitchen knives
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2019, 11:37 PM »
Be careful around bones it’s Japanese knifes, what makes them so sharp also makes the susceptible to chipping against bones.

Tom’s got this one right. Because of the extremely thin profile of the blade and because of its hardness, the Shun knives around bones are a no no. My preferred knife for this environment is a Wusthof flexible filet/boning knife. It’s the thickness of the Shun but flexible, has a different grind and will withstand encounters with bone because it has a slightly less hardness level. Works great for removing the skin from salmon.

Offline rvieceli

  • Posts: 1446
Re: Japanese Kitchen knives
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2019, 06:52 AM »
Be vary careful Bob, if you thought that Festool was an expensive slippery slope, getting into the Japanese knife world is daunting indeed.

While the high production houses like Shun and Global make great knives, the real deal is in the limited production runs of the small producers by a master knife maker. Layers of Damascus steel among other things.

Here is one my favorite places to get Japanese knives. They have an online shop and their main shop is in one of my favorite cities, New Orleans LA they have recently opened a shop in Nashville TN

http://couteliernola.com/

Ron

Offline Bob Marino

  • Posts: 3253
Re: Japanese Kitchen knives
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2019, 07:44 AM »
Be careful around bones it’s Japanese knifes, what makes them so sharp also makes the susceptible to chipping against bones.

Tom’s got this one right. Because of the extremely thin profile of the blade and because of its hardness, the Shun knives around bones are a no no. My preferred knife for this environment is a Wusthof flexible filet/boning knife. It’s the thickness of the Shun but flexible, has a different grind and will withstand encounters with bone because it has a slightly less hardness level. Works great for removing the skin from salmon.
 

 Yep, harder, sharper. thinner and that means (generally) more brittle.

 I bought a nice (butcher type) knife from Garret Wade a couple of months ago. Apparently, they found a supply of old but  never used French kitchen knives and are/were selling them at fantastic prices - nothing fancy, but sharp, well made, professional kitchen knives. Mine is very good at filleting. At those prices, for sure worth a look.
Former Festool  Dealer since 2002; user well before that!

Offline Bob Marino

  • Posts: 3253
Re: Japanese Kitchen knives
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2019, 07:49 AM »
Be vary careful Bob, if you thought that Festool was an expensive slippery slope, getting into the Japanese knife world is daunting indeed.

While the high production houses like Shun and Global make great knives, the real deal is in the limited production runs of the small producers by a master knife maker. Layers of Damascus steel among other things.

Here is one my favorite places to get Japanese knives. They have an online shop and their main shop is in one of my favorite cities, New Orleans LA they have recently opened a shop in Nashville TN

http://couteliernola.com/

Ron

 Hey Ron,
 
 Oh, I'm very aware of way high prices for the limited production runs or more low production knives. And it can be a slippery slope, unless you are mindful. Right now, I have all my bases covered and will concentrate on keeping all my knives sharp, but those knives sure are nice looking.
Former Festool  Dealer since 2002; user well before that!

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 8567
Re: Japanese Kitchen knives
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2019, 09:28 AM »
Right now, I have all my bases covered and will concentrate on keeping all my knives sharp, but those knives sure are nice looking.

Hey Bob that's what got me looking at the Shun Premier line in the first place. Shun has been available locally for a long time but most of their knife lines have weird shaped blades and handles. After using Wüsthof for so long and developing knife skills that worked with the European blade shape and handle style, I didn't want or feel the need to change. The Premier line was literally the crack in the veneer.

Having used and owned just about every Wüsthof produced, I've settled on this small selection of knives that gets me through 99.9% of the cutting tasks. It's so nice to go from a clunky knife block that holds 20+ knives to a small wall mounted one that only holds 8.  [big grin]

Paring.....Santoku.....Carving.....Bread.....Flexible Boning.....Decorating.....Fork.....Steel


Offline Bob Marino

  • Posts: 3253
Re: Japanese Kitchen knives
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2019, 09:43 AM »
Right now, I have all my bases covered and will concentrate on keeping all my knives sharp, but those knives sure are nice looking.

Hey Bob that's what got me looking at the Shun Premier line in the first place. Shun has been available locally for a long time but most of their knife lines have weird shaped blades and handles. After using Wüsthof for so long and developing knife skills that worked with the European blade shape and handle style, I didn't want or feel the need to change. The Premier line was literally the crack in the veneer.

Having used and owned just about every Wüsthof produced, I've settled on this small selection of knives that gets me through 99.9% of the cutting tasks. It's so nice to go from a clunky knife block that holds 20+ knives to a small wall mounted one that only holds 8.  [big grin]

Paring.....Santoku.....Carving.....Bread.....Flexible Boning.....Decorating.....Fork.....Steel

(Attachment Link)

 Very nice blades but what are you doing with the Wusthof's?
 The Premier Chef was what the guy at WS recommended an easy move from the Wustohof.
Former Festool  Dealer since 2002; user well before that!

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 8567
Re: Japanese Kitchen knives
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2019, 10:07 AM »
Very nice blades but what are you doing with the Wusthof's?
The Premier Chef was what the guy at WS recommended an easy move from the Wustohof.

I don't know Bob...that's the conundrum.  [tongue]  Not only do I have them in black, I also have about 6-8 of them in white.

I prefer the Premier Santoku to the Wüsthof Chef. When I used the Wüsthof Chef I always found myself choking up on the handle whereas I use a more conventional grip on the Santoku.  I haven't tried the Premier Chef because I have no issues with what I have.

You make an interesting point though...maybe I should try the Chef at WS. [smile]


Offline GoingMyWay

  • Posts: 1220
Re: Japanese Kitchen knives
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2019, 10:10 AM »
I've got all Global knives.  They too were insanely sharp out of the box.  As I mentioned in my Sharpening Kitchen Cutlery post, I use the Worksharp Ken Onion Edition to sharpen my knives.  Though I'm not able to get it as crazy sharp as it was when brand new.

I've been wanting to try/get a Shun for awhile, but I've kinda got OCD and don't want to have 1 knife of a different brand.  I really could/should get a Global Chef's knife.  We only have a Santoku knife that we use as our main knife.  A brand new knife would also give me the opportunity to do some inspection with some of my gadgets I got that might help me understand how it's been sharpened from the factory.
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Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 8567
Re: Japanese Kitchen knives
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2019, 10:33 AM »
Here's an interesting video on using a Shun steel.



I've been wanting to try/get a Shun for awhile, but I've kinda got OCD and don't want to have 1 knife of a different brand. 

I've always had a serious medical condition of feeling the need to have all of my handles match. [smile]  That's the reason I invested so heavily in Wüsthof over the years. Using the Shun kind of alleviated the normal angst I feel.  [cool]

Now if that same treatment could be applied to the green tools downstairs...or even my sock drawer.  [wink]




Offline rmhinden

  • Posts: 456
Re: Japanese Kitchen knives
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2019, 10:37 AM »
I've got all Global knives.  They too were insanely sharp out of the box.  As I mentioned in my Sharpening Kitchen Cutlery post, I use the Worksharp Ken Onion Edition to sharpen my knives.  Though I'm not able to get it as crazy sharp as it was when brand new.

We have also been using Global knives for the last ten years or so.   Have about six of them.  I use the MinoSharp 3 Sharpener (has three wheels: rough, medium, and super-fine) to keep them sharp.   Easy to use.

Bob

Offline Bob Marino

  • Posts: 3253
Re: Japanese Kitchen knives
« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2019, 11:28 AM »
Right now, I have all my bases covered and will concentrate on keeping all my knives sharp, but those knives sure are nice looking.

Hey Bob that's what got me looking at the Shun Premier line in the first place. Shun has been available locally for a long time but most of their knife lines have weird shaped blades and handles. After using Wüsthof for so long and developing knife skills that worked with the European blade shape and handle style, I didn't want or feel the need to change. The Premier line was literally the crack in the veneer.

Having used and owned just about every Wüsthof produced, I've settled on this small selection of knives that gets me through 99.9% of the cutting tasks. It's so nice to go from a clunky knife block that holds 20+ knives to a small wall mounted one that only holds 8.  [big grin]

Paring.....Santoku.....Carving.....Bread.....Flexible Boning.....Decorating.....Fork.....Steel

(Attachment Link)

Were you curious about their other lines?
Former Festool  Dealer since 2002; user well before that!

Offline Tinker

  • Posts: 3762
Re: Japanese Kitchen knives
« Reply #15 on: April 25, 2019, 01:28 PM »
Our ex-son in law was a gourmet chef/caterer. He evidently was used to Wustoff cutlery and wanted a Japanese knife. I went to W&S and looked over the Shun line and bought one that I would want for myself. (I don't remember what the name of the knife) He was all excited and was showing our daughter how to chop veggies. He was not used to the feel and almost immediately chopped the end of a finger. I then went to a sewing store where my wife goes for her sewing supplies and bought five thimbles for him.
Tinker
Wayne H. Tinker

Offline Bob Marino

  • Posts: 3253
Re: Japanese Kitchen knives
« Reply #16 on: July 20, 2019, 08:10 AM »
Our ex-son in law was a gourmet chef/caterer. He evidently was used to Wusthof cutlery and wanted a Japanese knife. I went to W&S and looked over the Shun line and bought one that I would want for myself. (I don't remember what the name of the knife) He was all excited and was showing our daughter how to chop veggies. He was not used to the feel and almost immediately chopped the end of a finger. I then went to a sewing store where my wife goes for her sewing supplies and bought five thimbles for him.
Tinker

 When I bought my Shun Chef's knife as well a a 3 pack of super cheap but super sharp Wusthof paring knives, I did not take proper heed to myself and cut my hand (very slightly) twice y just having the tip touch my finger. So with that in mind I was very careful with those scalpel  sharp Wusthof  paring knives and warned my wife to be super careful, well 3 cuts later she has a new respect for those knives.
Former Festool  Dealer since 2002; user well before that!

Offline tjbnwi

  • Posts: 6404
  • No longer in Cedar Tucky Indiana
Re: Japanese Kitchen knives
« Reply #17 on: July 20, 2019, 09:05 AM »
I use Schmidt Brother knives. My daughters are vegetarians, they use Shun knifes. I'll put my Schmidt Brothers up against them any day.

For the record, my wife will not touch my knives, I've been away from home for over a year. The knives have gone untouched.

Tom

Offline GoingMyWay

  • Posts: 1220
Re: Japanese Kitchen knives
« Reply #18 on: December 10, 2020, 10:46 AM »
I had been considering getting a Japanese Nakiri vegetable knife after seeing it used on some cooking shows.  I liked that the wider blade makes transferring ingredients from the cutting board to the bowl or pot easier.   I ultimately decided to get a Chinese CCK cleaver so we can try to pretend to be like Martin Yan with his lightning fast chopping skills (and also trying to seemingly liquefy garlic and ginger by smashing them with the cleaver).



I bought a tiger wood stand to store the cleaver since it wouldn't fit into a knife block and I didn't want it banging around in a kitchen drawer.  Now the cleaver sits out on the counter behind the cutting board.  It's become my wife's go to knife.  I jokingly tell her we can throw away all of our Global knives since the cleaver can do just about everything all those other knives could do.

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Offline demographic

  • Posts: 689
Re: Japanese Kitchen knives
« Reply #19 on: December 10, 2020, 01:15 PM »
My lovely wife bought me one of these Ryusen Santukos a few years ago.
The edge steel is very hard, not for eejits to sharpen with odd contraptions but it holds a great edge as long as no berk cuts against a plate or something else hard.


The only knife I've used with as good edge retention is my Fallkniven U2 and the Global knife I was gifted by an old girlfriend many yeats ago, although good isn't  a patch on the Santuko.

Offline hdv

  • Posts: 327
Re: Japanese Kitchen knives
« Reply #20 on: December 10, 2020, 04:56 PM »
Biggest mistake I ever made in my life was to give away my Miyabi Birchwood knives!  [eek]



A very good friend of mine, who at the time was having a very bad period in his life, saw me using the Nakiri and wanted to try it out. After warning him about its sharpness and showing him the proper technique to hold and cut with the knife he proceeded to cut of about 5 mm of the knuckle (tissue and cartilage) of the first digit on his left index finger. He still can't bend that finger properly anymore. Weirdly though, he still fell in love with those knifes and I gave them to him. That is a couple of years ago and I still pine for those knives. Just writing this makes me think I should be buying another set in the near future. In these unsure times I am not sure about spending that kind of money on kitchen knives though.  [scared]

Offline GoingMyWay

  • Posts: 1220
Re: Japanese Kitchen knives
« Reply #21 on: December 10, 2020, 05:09 PM »
Wow that's such a nice looking knife I might not want to use it for fear of ruining it or messing it up.

Did you give your friend the knives because you felt bad about him cutting himself so badly or because he was having a bad period in his life?

That was a very nice gift to give in either case!
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Offline hdv

  • Posts: 327
Re: Japanese Kitchen knives
« Reply #22 on: December 10, 2020, 05:23 PM »
He was having a seriously bad time and I've known him for over 30 years. He was less lucky in life than I am and does not have the means to get his hands on such knives. A few days after the incident (his finger was still in bandages) he was at my home again and I gave them as a present to him. He was and still is over the moon about those knives! And, I am happy to say, he hasn't cut himself with them after that anymore (as far as I know  [wink] ). I never regretted giving them to him. You should have seen his face. But I do regret not having them myself anymore!!!!

Offline Tinker

  • Posts: 3762
Re: Japanese Kitchen knives
« Reply #23 on: December 11, 2020, 05:15 AM »
My wife, as many of you know,is from Germany. For  many years, while our kids were growing up, she made all of our bread the old fashioned way. She cut her bread the same way she learned from her mother. She would put a loaf against her chest and saw away. I would go out of my head when she did that.

I always kept my knives sharpened so I could shave with them. After couple of rounds of "explaining" the falacy of cutting bread against her chest, I bought a serated bread knife from the hardware store and showed her how to use that. Once she used that knife, she found out that she could not only saw thru the bread against a cutting board, but it kept me a whole lot quieter. She still does not cut straight, but I have learned to not be quite so noisy about her methods of cutting bread.
Tinker
Wayne H. Tinker

Offline hdv

  • Posts: 327
Re: Japanese Kitchen knives
« Reply #24 on: December 11, 2020, 07:03 AM »
Ha!  [big grin]  Having lived for a few years in Germany myself, I do recognise that strange cutting habit! I never understood it, but I have seen it being done like that many times. Especially in the older generation.

Offline Tinker

  • Posts: 3762
Re: Japanese Kitchen knives
« Reply #25 on: December 11, 2020, 10:03 AM »
My MIL lived to 93 and until 90 (the last time I visited her in Germany) she was still cutting bread that way.
Wayne H. Tinker

Offline GoingMyWay

  • Posts: 1220
Re: Japanese Kitchen knives
« Reply #26 on: December 11, 2020, 10:19 AM »
I watched the movie Fatso a couple of weeks ago and noticed that was how Dom DeLuise cut the bread: https://youtu.be/VjOOqjplprk?t=1806.  I thought that might have been done just for the movie, but then I discovered that Dom DeLuise was actually quite the cook, who even had his own cooking mini series.  He peeled his eggplant in the same manner: https://youtu.be/Q-B8_-CTImg?t=1438.  I had never seen this technique before, especially not with such a big knife!

I'm always impressed when I see older cooks who cut most vegetables with a small paring knife toward their finger directly over the pot, which pretty much eliminates the need to even have a cutting board:  https://youtu.be/7gCvNw_HYjk?t=72
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Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 8567
Re: Japanese Kitchen knives
« Reply #27 on: December 11, 2020, 07:57 PM »
I had been considering getting a Japanese Nakiri vegetable knife after seeing it used on some cooking shows.  I liked that the wider blade makes transferring ingredients from the cutting board to the bowl or pot easier.   I ultimately decided to get a Chinese CCK cleaver so we can try to pretend to be like Martin Yan with his lightning fast chopping skills (and also trying to seemingly liquefy garlic and ginger by smashing them with the cleaver).

It's become my wife's go to knife.  I jokingly tell her we can throw away all of our Global knives since the cleaver can do just about everything all those other knives could do.

Over 40+ years ago I purchased this Wusthof Chinese cleaver. At that point I already owned a complete selection of Wusthof knives, however, this cleaver became my go-to knife for 80% of my cutting tasks. As you mentioned, this is fantastic at transferring ingredients to the pan/bowl.

So for the last 30+ years, my cutting utensils have been this Wusthof cleaver, a serrated bread knife, a filet knife and a paring knife. That's really all I needed. Check out the thinness of the blade.






Then about 8-10 years ago I picked up a Shun Premier 7" Santoku knife. This knife is noticeably sharper than the Wusthof and it holds an edge longer because the steel is harder. The Shun has now replaced the Wusthof cleaver.

Here's an edge photo of a Wusthof 8" Chef and the Shun 7" Santoku.




The only issue is because the steel is harder and thinner in the Shun knives vs Wusthof, small edge chipping can be an issue. I exclusively use an Epicurean cutting board (wood pulp matrix and it can be washed in the dishwasher) to minimize the damage and I never use a different cutting surface. I also don't chop but rather slice the vegetables to minimize damage.

This photo looks worse than it really is as these are very tiny chips and the blade is still extremely sharp.



Offline demographic

  • Posts: 689
Re: Japanese Kitchen knives
« Reply #28 on: December 12, 2020, 01:59 AM »
One habit I've developed with decent knives is after I've cut the veg up and I want to scrape them off the chopping board and into a pan/salad bowl/whatever I use the spine of the blade instead of the edge.
Its dead simple to do and keeps the edge of the blade in better condition.


Or out it this way, you wouldnt use a cabinet scraper with such an acute angle and expect it to last.

Obviously I don't use one of those dodgy glass chopping boards either and nor do I cut against plates, thats just basic common sense.

Offline GoingMyWay

  • Posts: 1220
Re: Japanese Kitchen knives
« Reply #29 on: December 12, 2020, 08:39 AM »
I had been considering getting a Japanese Nakiri vegetable knife after seeing it used on some cooking shows.  I liked that the wider blade makes transferring ingredients from the cutting board to the bowl or pot easier.   I ultimately decided to get a Chinese CCK cleaver so we can try to pretend to be like Martin Yan with his lightning fast chopping skills (and also trying to seemingly liquefy garlic and ginger by smashing them with the cleaver).

It's become my wife's go to knife.  I jokingly tell her we can throw away all of our Global knives since the cleaver can do just about everything all those other knives could do.

Over 40+ years ago I purchased this Wusthof Chinese cleaver. At that point I already owned a complete selection of Wusthof knives, however, this cleaver became my go-to knife for 80% of my cutting tasks. As you mentioned, this is fantastic at transferring ingredients to the pan/bowl.

So for the last 30+ years, my cutting utensils have been this Wusthof cleaver, a serrated bread knife, a filet knife and a paring knife. That's really all I needed. Check out the thinness of the blade.

(Attachment Link)

(Attachment Link)


Then about 8-10 years ago I picked up a Shun Premier 7" Santoku knife. This knife is noticeably sharper than the Wusthof and it holds an edge longer because the steel is harder. The Shun has now replaced the Wusthof cleaver.

Here's an edge photo of a Wusthof 8" Chef and the Shun 7" Santoku.

(Attachment Link)


The only issue is because the steel is harder and thinner in the Shun knives vs Wusthof, small edge chipping can be an issue. I exclusively use an Epicurean cutting board (wood pulp matrix and it can be washed in the dishwasher) to minimize the damage and I never use a different cutting surface. I also don't chop but rather slice the vegetables to minimize damage.

This photo looks worse than it really is as these are very tiny chips and the blade is still extremely sharp.

(Attachment Link)

The CCK cleaver is also very thin.  It should definitely not be confused with a more traditional Western Cleaver that's used for chopping bones.  The Chinese cleaver is really just a Chinese chef's knife.  I learned that the Chinese cleaver was used in the past to slice things very thin, but I think that's been mostly replaced with a mandolin.  I was able to hold the cleaver parallel to the cutting board and make extremely thin onion slices (I think even thinner than the Benriner mandoline, but obviously much much slower).

I read on some knife forums that these CCK Chinese cleavers usually sell for $30 in Hong Kong (I wish I had known about this last year when we were on vacation in Hong Kong and Taiwan).  These are very simple utilitarian cutting instruments that work well.  Lots of people have found out about these CCK cleavers (and other similar variants) so there's a lot of demand for them and now they're being sold online for a lot more than $30.   I paid $90 for mine.

One habit I've developed with decent knives is after I've cut the veg up and I want to scrape them off the chopping board and into a pan/salad bowl/whatever I use the spine of the blade instead of the edge.
Its dead simple to do and keeps the edge of the blade in better condition.


Or out it this way, you wouldnt use a cabinet scraper with such an acute angle and expect it to last.

Obviously I don't use one of those dodgy glass chopping boards either and nor do I cut against plates, thats just basic common sense.

That's a very good point about trying to avoid scraping ingredients with the edge side of the blade.  That isn't great for the knife as it tends to roll the edge.  Based on my own observations and personal experience it seems most people are guilty of scraping with the edge side.

My wife hand washes the cleaver and our Global knives, but then she lays the longer knives edge side down against the metal drying rack.  That explains where some of those shiny spots on the blade edge come from.  In a perfect world you'd immediately wash and dry the knife and put it back into the knife block, but I don't think many people do that unless they have a very high end expensive/custom knife.  The good news is that I'm able to sharpen the knives myself so I have no concern/fear when the knife hits a bone by mistake or occasionally cutting on a plate or having the edge bang against the metal drying rack.  I find it more convenient and less stressful to be able to just use the knife and not have to be overly concerned about babying it and worrying about dulling the knife. 

You are absolutely right though - using a little common sense when it comes to the knives will reduce the frequency of sharpenings and possibly avoid a big chip that will require a lot of the knife to be ground away to fix.

Inquiring Minds Want to Know

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Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 8567
Re: Japanese Kitchen knives
« Reply #30 on: December 12, 2020, 09:19 AM »

My wife hand washes the cleaver and our Global knives, but then she lays the longer knives edge side down against the metal drying rack.  That explains where some of those shiny spots on the blade edge come from.  In a perfect world you'd immediately wash and dry the knife and put it back into the knife block, but I don't think many people do that unless they have a very high end expensive/custom knife.  The good news is that I'm able to sharpen the knives myself so I have no concern/fear when the knife hits a bone by mistake or occasionally cutting on a plate or having the edge bang against the metal drying rack.  I find it more convenient and less stressful to be able to just use the knife and not have to be overly concerned about babying it and worrying about dulling the knife. 

You are absolutely right though - using a little common sense when it comes to the knives will reduce the frequency of sharpenings and possibly avoid a big chip that will require a lot of the knife to be ground away to fix.

Interesting...just found this on the Shun website:

Without proper knife technique, micro chipping can be the downside of very hard stainless steel. A cook who is unfamiliar with the hardness of Japanese knives and is used to strongly chopping down with a knife against a cutting board, may indeed chip the knife. The damage will be even more pronounced when cutting against ceramic, glass or marble (please don’t!). Micro chips in the blade edge can also occur if a spot of rust develops on the extremely thin edge, too.

The good news is that with a gliding cut, the proper cutting surface, and making sure the knife is thoroughly dry before storing, the chances of chipping are reduced enormously. What’s more, micro chips can easily be sharpened out. Our Warranty Service Department will be happy to help you with that.

Shun knives are also sharpened at a 16º angle.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2020, 09:21 AM by Cheese »

Offline Tinker

  • Posts: 3762
Re: Japanese Kitchen knives
« Reply #31 on: December 13, 2020, 05:14 AM »
I have noticed cutting boards mentioned lately. I have made several cutting boards and very sharp knives that i have put handle scales on. I came across this article years ago and include with any gift.  I don't know where it came from, but I have it in my records for immediate printing.
 
Why Wood Cutting Boards are Better than Plastic or Glass
As I mentioned above, we were required to use plastic cutting boards when catering.  In Plastic and Wooden Cutting Boards by Dean O. Cliver, Ph.D of UC Davis, they noted that “the U.S. Department of Agriculture told us they had no scientific evidence to support their recommendation that plastic, rather than wooden cutting boards”.
The problem is that while it may seem like plastic is non-porous and can’t absorb liquids, with use the surface becomes knife-scarred.  This rough surface is exceptionally difficult to clean, even with bleach or running through the dishwasher.  Wood, by contrast, shows the ability to halt the growth of and kill bacteria applied to its surface.  Both new and used wooden cutting boards maintain this ability equally well.
In a study conducted at the University of Wisconsin (also by Dr. Cliver), they tested bacteria known to produce food poisoning – Salmonella, Listeria and enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli. These bacteria were placed on cutting boards made from seven different species of trees and four types of plastic. All the wooden boards consistently outperformed the plastic.
The scientists found that three minutes after contaminating a board that 99.9 percent of the bacteria on wooden boards had died, while none of the bacteria died on plastic. Bacterial numbers actually increased on plastic cutting boards held overnight at room temperature, but the scientists could not recover any bacteria from wooden boards treated the same way.
Dr. Cliver also discusses a case-control study of sporadic salmonellosis in Plastic and Wooden Cutting Boards:
 
Basically, wood cutting boards kill bacteria.  They can’t figure out exactly how, but they know that it’s true.  Old or new, wood cutting boards add an extra line of defense to your kitchen.  Bamboo may have similar properties, but the only test data I was able to find about antimicrobial properties of bamboo focused on bamboo cloth.  Read Bamboo – is it Antimicrobial?
Additionally:
•   Wood cutting boards protect your knives and don’t dull them like ceramic or glass cutting boards.
•   Wood is completely biodegradable and renewable.
•   Wood cutting boards may support small business.  Check out your local farmers markets and craft fairs for handmade products.
How to Care for Your Wood Cutting Board
Wash boards after each use in warm, soapy water.  If you have chunks of food stuck on the surface, use a knife or kitchen scraper to remove most of it before washing.  Do not leave boards to soak!  Do not wash wooden cutting boards in the dishwasher.  They will absorb water, and this could trash your cutting board. Dry thoroughly before storing.  I prefer air drying in the dish rack.
To remove odors, rub down with half a lemon or spritz with some vinegar.  This will also help sanitize the board.
Wood cutting boards should be regularly seasoned with a good quality cutting board oil.  You can find them in most hardware stores.  Mineral oil is typically used, since it does not go rancid.  Do not use vegetable oil or olive oil.  There are oil blends such as Block Bros. Block Oil that are made with shelf stable edible oils.  To season, start with a clean, dry cutting board.  Coat entire surface with a layer of oil and rub it in.  Let set to absorb in warm, dry area for 12 to 24 hours.  Buff to remove any oil that may not have been absorbed.

Tinker
Wayne H. Tinker

Offline GoingMyWay

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Re: Japanese Kitchen knives
« Reply #32 on: December 14, 2020, 10:36 AM »
Knife Grinders from Australia has done a lot of testing showing how different cutting boards effect edge retention.  Their testing was obviously not how a person uses a knife in real life, but nevertheless I still found it fascinating that their testing showed that a knife edge could actually get sharper depending on the type of cutting board that was used.  That's completely counterintuitive to me.  Their results also show that an end grain cutting board doesn't necessarily keep an edge sharper longer than a long grain cutting board either.

Here's their video: (audio is rather low and hard to hear).

and a link to their PDF: http://knifegrinders.com.au/SET/Chopping_Boards.pdf.
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Offline demographic

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Re: Japanese Kitchen knives
« Reply #33 on: December 15, 2020, 01:21 PM »
Well, I've just ordered this for my daughter.
She's buying her first house and I'm getting her something I know she'll appreciate and look after.
Santuko.

Offline hdv

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Re: Japanese Kitchen knives
« Reply #34 on: December 15, 2020, 01:40 PM »
Great job! I am sure she'll be very glad with such a nice gift! A Santoku is a nice multi-purpose knife.  [thumbs up]

I remember the first time I got a real good knife. The only problem was that after getting it I just "needed" to replace all my other knives as well. Oh wait, the other problem was trying to explain to my friends why there really was no chance they could borrow my good knives.  [embarassed] Some still don't understand...  [tongue]

It can become a bit of an addiction. Just reading about Cheese's Chinese Chef's knife made me look on the internet for good deals...  [scared] Thanks Cheese...   [blink]

Ah well, who am I writing this to? Here on the FOG we know all about really expen..... ehrrr necessary tools!  [wink]

[Edit] That should have read "GoingMyWay's Chinese Chef's Knife" of course...
« Last Edit: December 15, 2020, 03:05 PM by hdv »

Offline GoingMyWay

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Re: Japanese Kitchen knives
« Reply #35 on: December 15, 2020, 02:58 PM »
The Santoku is a good all around knife.  That's been our primary knife prior to getting the Chinese cleaver.  I still feel more comfortable using the Santoku as I'm most familiar with it.
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Offline threesixright

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Re: Japanese Kitchen knives
« Reply #36 on: December 15, 2020, 04:33 PM »
Anybody mentioned this?

https://japanesechefsknife.com


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Offline rvieceli

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Re: Japanese Kitchen knives
« Reply #37 on: December 15, 2020, 04:56 PM »
I'll post these folks again. They have a wonderful shop and selection in New Orleans as well as one in Nashville. They are real small business people just trying to stay afloat. Plus they are nice folks. Like many small businesses the COVID stuff is really hitting them hard with all the restaurant and bar closures and restrictions. So if you are interested in Japanese and other quality knives take a look at their website. I'm not affiliated with them in any way just a satisfied customer. you can also follow them on Instagram.

https://couteliernola.com/

https://www.instagram.com/couteliernola/

Ron

Offline SGreenberg

  • Posts: 24
Re: Japanese Kitchen knives
« Reply #38 on: December 15, 2020, 05:30 PM »
Here's another great shop. I've bought knives and sharpening stones there. They have a couple Youtube videos about sharpening that are very helpful too. Looks like they have a sale on now too:

https://www.korin.com

Offline Bert Vanderveen

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Re: Japanese Kitchen knives
« Reply #39 on: December 16, 2020, 08:57 AM »
When you give someone a knife do NOT forget to ask for a copper coin in return. Seriously — the consequences could be dire if you don’t.


Well, once I got my first Global knife, 20 years plus ago, I got rid of the Wusthofs and other western style knifes, except the very cheap 'mighty' little Mühle (Windmill) all purpose pairing knife, for which I always have a replacement around because they tend to disappear along with potato peelings and such. Apart from that my kitchen is a Global only shop.


And I DID ask the recipients of those discarded knives for a five cent coin.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2021, 06:38 AM by Bert Vanderveen »
Cheers, Bert Vanderveen

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Offline mike_aa

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Re: Japanese Kitchen knives
« Reply #40 on: February 12, 2021, 04:33 PM »
I have a question for all you Japanese knife aficionados.  I'm thinking of purchasing a Santoku style knife and, based on mentions here, I've been considering the Global, Korin, and Miyabi brands.  Then at Woodcraft, I spotted this Santoku knife made by Kumagoro.  It's supposedly Damascus steel and on sale for half price at $99.  Have any of you heard about this maker and is it worth the $99? 

Thanks, Mike A.


Offline SRSemenza

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Re: Japanese Kitchen knives
« Reply #41 on: February 13, 2021, 10:54 PM »
I have a question for all you Japanese knife aficionados.  I'm thinking of purchasing a Santoku style knife and, based on mentions here, I've been considering the Global, Korin, and Miyabi brands.  Then at Woodcraft, I spotted this Santoku knife made by Kumagoro.  It's supposedly Damascus steel and on sale for half price at $99.  Have any of you heard about this maker and is it worth the $99? 

Thanks, Mike A.

   Here is a little input. My son is a chef and has just done a bunch research and buying of Japanese knives. He said there are several things about the one on sale that are a bit odd for a santoku. Not that it is necessarily bad but maybe not the norm. He suggested going to the chefknivestogo.com site and forum. They have a big selection and a lot of knowledge of all very good knives.  He suspects that you can find the same or better for about the same price.

Seth

Offline mike_aa

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Re: Japanese Kitchen knives
« Reply #42 on: February 14, 2021, 10:22 PM »
@SRSemenza  Hi Seth, Thanks for the response and thank your son for me!  That WoodCraft offering did look a little sketchy so I'm glad your son weighed in on it.  I took a quick look at that chef's site he recommended and I was surprised to see some lower-priced offerings that had rave reviews.  I guess I have more research to do! 

The only issue is it seems the more I look, the more confused I get!  Although I'm pretty much set on trying the Santoku, I'm also thinking the Nakiri or Gyutu might work well, too.  This can become a rabbit hole real fast!   [eek]

Thanks, Mike A.

Offline Cheese

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Re: Japanese Kitchen knives
« Reply #43 on: February 14, 2021, 10:46 PM »
Hey Mike, FWIW...I'd highly recommend the Santoku style knife. I've used Wusthof chef style knives for the last 30 years, however, once I purchased the Shun Santoku style knife about 10 years ago, I'll never go back to the traditional style knife. There's just a huge difference and ease of use with the Santoku.

Offline mike_aa

  • Posts: 1225
Re: Japanese Kitchen knives
« Reply #44 on: February 15, 2021, 01:35 PM »
@Cheese  Like you, I have been using chef's knives for awhile.  The ones I have are from the long discontinued Marks Exaktor line.  They're nicely balanced, pretty sharp, and have been working fine for me, but based on what I've read here and in other threads, it looks like the Santoku would be much better.  So I am really sold on the Santoku style and had my eye on a nice looking Korin or a Myabi.  I also saw some from Global that looked good, too.  But then I saw that the Nakiri style kind of works well with vegetables (like a cleaver) with a chopping action so I was also considering that.  When I went to the website Seth recommended, it looked like there were a good number that were under $100, but had really good reviews.  Maybe I should get both styles and get the less expensive Nakiri style to try out.  See what you guys did to me by posting all this good info here!   [scared]  [big grin]