Official kitchen knife thread

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alan weinberg
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#1 Post by alan weinberg » November 27th, 2013, 11:42 am

anybody own one? Been on wait list five years and just ordered/confirmed for KD-30L. Stoked.
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#2 Post by Michael S. Monie » November 27th, 2013, 11:49 am

5 years? Are you getting a knife or a sword?
Fly on, Little Wing.

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#3 Post by CWun » November 27th, 2013, 11:51 am

Not yet. I usually browse japanesechefsknife.com and occasionally knife forums in the kitchen section. Hattori has a good reputation. I see you got the petty size. Wow $480. cheaper than a Kramer I suppose. If I were to buy another knife (I really... must...resist....) I'd get a petty size. Please report back. I'm curious what you think of the fit and finish as well as any detailed touches.

Is Cowry the powdered steel? I haven't had much good luck with powdered steel. It microchips too easily but that could just be the producer and poor metallurgic process.

The chefs knife I tend to reach for the most often, is my Hiromoto Aogami Super 240mm gyuto.
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#4 Post by CWun » November 27th, 2013, 11:52 am

Michael S. Monie wrote:5 years? Are you getting a knife or a sword?
Hattori is one of those old school Japanese artisan knife makers. Health, age, and demand makes it a long wait.
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#5 Post by Carlos Delpin » November 27th, 2013, 12:05 pm

Alan:

You will be thrilled. My go to is a KD 33 and it is amazing. Took me a while to learn how to sharpen correctly but that is all on me. Enjoy!

CD

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#6 Post by alan weinberg » November 27th, 2013, 12:18 pm

Hattori is 73 and in poor health, has cut back production severely. I pretty much forgot I was on the wait list! They notified me recently. japanesechefsknife is indeed the site.

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#7 Post by alan weinberg » November 27th, 2013, 12:20 pm

Michael S. Monie wrote:5 years? Are you getting a knife or a sword?
my wife may use it like a sword and gut me when she sees the purchase.

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#8 Post by mattcitrang » November 27th, 2013, 12:24 pm

Beautiful knives. Enjoy it.

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#9 Post by T3rry D3an » November 27th, 2013, 3:34 pm

Having used the Hattori HD and the Hattori FH, I mus say that I prefer the FH. Now the KD is another animal entirely, often with a fancier/heavier handle, leading to a more substantial feel in hand. It's a beautiful knife that should sharpen up well. I recommend learning how to hand-sharpen first (preferably on other knives that are easier to sharpen) and then later on sharpening the KD on your own. Otherwise, japaneseknifesharpening.com would be a great place to sharpen your knife for you.

What a great purchase! Treat your Hattori well!

(Personally, I use a Konosuke HD - a very different knife than the Hattori KD).

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#10 Post by Jeremy Holmes » November 27th, 2013, 3:58 pm

alan weinberg wrote: Been on wait list five years and just ordered/confirmed for KD-30L. Stoked.
I still only get a postcard from them!
ITB

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#11 Post by Karr!ng M o a n » November 27th, 2013, 5:44 pm

That's a nice pick up Alan. Those KD knives are beautiful, and I have always wanted one. I've been on the wait list for maybe 3-4 years, but I more or less gave up hope after Hattori became ill.

I've instead support the amazing American kitchen knife makers and put my money towards them now: (Ealy, Rader, Burke, Tsourkan, Ingoglia, Marr, Martell, HHH, Devin Thomas, Carter, Fowler, Rodrigue from Canada). A lot of those wait times can be around 2 years though, so it still takes time.

k.

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#12 Post by Jerry Hey » November 28th, 2013, 10:09 pm

It does look pretty awesome and much cheaper than Kramer's....

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#13 Post by dteng » November 29th, 2013, 7:23 am

CWun wrote: Hattori has a good reputation. I see you got the petty size. Wow $480..
At first I thought you were teasing Alan, and then saw it is actually called petty. newhere
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#14 Post by Karr!ng M o a n » November 29th, 2013, 7:37 am

Jerry Hey wrote:It does look pretty awesome and much cheaper than Kramer's....
Yeah, considering Kramer knives auction on eBay for 10k+, I'd certainly say so. There aren't many knives that make KDs look like a bargain, but Kramer is one of them.

k.

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#15 Post by JKim » November 29th, 2013, 7:59 am

Wow, I had no idea about the world of knives. Interesting stuff. Think I'm gonna do more research and see if the wife wants something better than what she can find at W-S or Sur la Table. Some of the prices are eye popping, need to readjust what I think is expensive.
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#16 Post by Karr!ng M o a n » November 29th, 2013, 8:34 am

JKim wrote:Wow, I had no idea about the world of knives. Interesting stuff. Think I'm gonna do more research and see if the wife wants something better than what she can find at W-S or Sur la Table. Some of the prices are eye popping, need to readjust what I think is expensive.
Yeah, it can be addicting. I think I have about 30 kitchen knives and most of them have been custom made or customized in some way.

The American custom makers right now are top notch. For non-American knives, probably one of -- if not the best vendors -- is Japanese Knife Imports out of LA. Custom knives usually run in the $400-2,500 range for a chef's knife depending upon maker. Knives from Japan are usually a bit cheaper, but they can get crazy expensive too.

Here is just one of my custom knives.

k.
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#17 Post by alan weinberg » November 29th, 2013, 9:27 am

KM: that is one gorgeous blade.

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#18 Post by Nick Gangas » November 29th, 2013, 5:12 pm

Is there a resource to define all the Japanese knife terms ?

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#19 Post by CWun » November 29th, 2013, 5:52 pm

JKim wrote:Wow, I had no idea about the world of knives. Interesting stuff. Think I'm gonna do more research and see if the wife wants something better than what she can find at W-S or Sur la Table. Some of the prices are eye popping, need to readjust what I think is expensive.
Some of the stuff at SurLaTable is decent, and they let you try out knives on carrots and stuff so you get a real feel for the knife. In fact I use the 8" Zwilling Bob Kramer carbon steel chef knife quite a bit. For $350 it's a bit pricey for a production line knife, but the handle, balance, and blade quality fits great for me and will tie me over until I get off the Kramer waitlist.

But yeah...if you go to japanesechefsknife.com you can spend hours thinking about all the knives you "need" at reasonable prices.
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#20 Post by alan weinberg » November 29th, 2013, 6:11 pm

some of those Kramer knives are crazy--$9000 auction price. What do the wait list knives cost and how long on the list to get a knife?

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#21 Post by Karr!ng M o a n » November 29th, 2013, 7:04 pm

Nick Gangas wrote:Is there a resource to define all the Japanese knife terms ?
I'm not sure if you have to be a forum member to view these posts, but here is one glossary with various terms.

http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showt ... nife+terms

zknives also has a list of different types of J-knives and terms.

http://zknives.com/knives/kitchen/misc/ ... ndex.shtml

http://zknives.com/knives/kitchen/misc/ ... erms.shtml

k.

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#22 Post by CWun » November 29th, 2013, 8:12 pm

alan weinberg wrote:some of those Kramer knives are crazy--$9000 auction price. What do the wait list knives cost and how long on the list to get a knife?
Waitlist knives are custom. So it depends. The cost is by per inch of steel, damascus or not, and handle. So estimate of $300-700 per inch. Waitlist is by lottery and I haven't heard anything in the past few years.

A year ago, he was selling some "ready made" customs (no customizing). 10" carbon steel, no damascus, maple burl handle was $3450. 8" damascus was $5000.
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#23 Post by Karr!ng M o a n » November 29th, 2013, 9:04 pm

Though Kramer makes some awesome knives, they are simply not worth the price IMO. You could get 2-3 custom knives made in half the time from an ABS mastersmith for the roughly same price.

Get on a Bill Burke and Michael Rader wait list instead. Great knives, less money, less wait.

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#24 Post by Rick.T » November 29th, 2013, 9:24 pm

Beautiful knives you got K-M; I really like that Damascus blade. Have you ever checked out Ed Caffreys work?

http://www.caffreyknives.net
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#25 Post by Karr!ng M o a n » November 29th, 2013, 9:43 pm

Rick.T wrote:Beautiful knives you got K-M; I really like that Damascus blade. Have you ever checked out Ed Caffreys work?

http://www.caffreyknives.net
Those last two weren't mine, just examples. Sorry for the confusion.

Here is a handle lineup of some of my knives though.

k.
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#26 Post by Russell Faulkner » November 29th, 2013, 9:48 pm

Quite beautiful items.

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#27 Post by CWun » November 29th, 2013, 10:04 pm

Karr!ng M o a n wrote:Though Kramer makes some awesome knives, they are simply not worth the price IMO. You could get 2-3 custom knives made in half the time from an ABS mastersmith for the roughly same price.

Get on a Bill Burke and Michael Rader wait list instead. Great knives, less money, less wait.

k.
Which ABS smiths would you recommend for kitchen knives?
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#28 Post by Karr!ng M o a n » November 29th, 2013, 10:44 pm

The ABS smiths that have the most experience with kitchen knives are probably Kramer, Rader, and Bill Burke. Aaron Wilburn is another one that is coming up though, but he just got his ABS certification and hasn't done as much with kitchen cutlery. Kramers aren't possible to get really. Bill Burkes wait is about 2 years, Rader 1-1.5 years, and Wilburn probably less.

Just under the ABS makers are several very high quality makers. Devin Thomas, Randy Haas (HHH Knives), Butch Harner, Delbert Ealy, Stefan Fowler, and Pierre Rodrigue (out of Canada).

After that you have some extremely good boutique makers that will make very nice knives for reasonable prices. Adam Marr, Mario Ingoglia, Marko Tsourkan, Don Nguyen, and J. M. Jones among others. These are the best value. I love my Marr, Ingoglia, and Tsourkan. All three rank in my top knives.

With that said, kitchen knives are actually more difficult to make correctly than hunters or folders. The steel type, heat treatment, bevel angles, grind, taper, balance etc affect how a knife cuts and releases food. A lot of knife makers who use to make hunters started making kitchen knives in the last five years when the collector market dropped off and kitchen knives took off. They often made fairly crappy knives.

Anyhow, there are a lot of fine domestic makers now. I even have hand-forged damascus spoons, damascus cufflinks, and cocktail stirrers.

k.

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#29 Post by JKim » November 30th, 2013, 8:49 am

Karr!ng M o a n wrote:The ABS smiths that have the most experience with kitchen knives are probably Kramer, Rader, and Bill Burke. Aaron Wilburn is another one that is coming up though, but he just got his ABS certification and hasn't done as much with kitchen cutlery. Kramers aren't possible to get really. Bill Burkes wait is about 2 years, Rader 1-1.5 years, and Wilburn probably less.

Just under the ABS makers are several very high quality makers. Devin Thomas, Randy Haas (HHH Knives), Butch Harner, Delbert Ealy, Stefan Fowler, and Pierre Rodrigue (out of Canada).

After that you have some extremely good boutique makers that will make very nice knives for reasonable prices. Adam Marr, Mario Ingoglia, Marko Tsourkan, Don Nguyen, and J. M. Jones among others. These are the best value. I love my Marr, Ingoglia, and Tsourkan. All three rank in my top knives.

With that said, kitchen knives are actually more difficult to make correctly than hunters or folders. The steel type, heat treatment, bevel angles, grind, taper, balance etc affect how a knife cuts and releases food. A lot of knife makers who use to make hunters started making kitchen knives in the last five years when the collector market dropped off and kitchen knives took off. They often made fairly crappy knives.

Anyhow, there are a lot of fine domestic makers now. I even have hand-forged damascus spoons, damascus cufflinks, and cocktail stirrers.

k.
Great info Karring. Just wondering as I'm a noob in this area, but do you use all the kitchen knives in the picture above? I was thinking maybe 2 or 3 at the most for general purpose. Actually, at those prices, thinking just 1. Don't need another expensive hobby and since my wife does the majority of cooking, it'll be up to her.
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#30 Post by Karr!ng M o a n » November 30th, 2013, 12:14 pm

JKim wrote:Great info Karring. Just wondering as I'm a noob in this area, but do you use all the kitchen knives in the picture above? I was thinking maybe 2 or 3 at the most for general purpose. Actually, at those prices, thinking just 1. Don't need another expensive hobby and since my wife does the majority of cooking, it'll be up to her.
I use a surprising amount of knives daily/weekly. The Japanese use knives for specific purposes. A honesuki for breaking down poultry, a nakiri for veggies, deba for breaking down fish, a petty for utility small item cutting, a gyuto for versatile prep work, and a sujihiki for slicing proteins. Of course one could use a gyuto chef's knife for most of it, but that isn't as much fun ;)

Certain knives work better for certain tasks and if you cook a lot, you use them a lot. But it is also part of a whole process of learning to keep knives sharp, cut precisely, and prepare food more efficiently. I have one knife that I use always for charcuterie and another knife that is the best for onions. It just naturally occurs.

With that said, I could definitely get by on a few knives, but just as drinking a few wines all the time gets boring, a few knives don't do it for me either.

k.

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#31 Post by CWun » November 30th, 2013, 1:18 pm

Cool. I was looking at Devin Thomas and Wilburn about a year ago, but couldn't bring myself to pony up the dough for a full custom. Maybe this year after the yearly bonus.
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#32 Post by W. Leonard » November 30th, 2013, 1:20 pm

No one going to mention Murray Carter?
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#33 Post by CWun » November 30th, 2013, 1:31 pm

JKim wrote:
Great info Karring. Just wondering as I'm a noob in this area, but do you use all the kitchen knives in the picture above? I was thinking maybe 2 or 3 at the most for general purpose. Actually, at those prices, thinking just 1. Don't need another expensive hobby and since my wife does the majority of cooking, it'll be up to her.
Definitely the standard response is one can get by with a 8-10" chefs knife (you can tell who are the Japanese fanatics because they always say Gyuto) and a paring knife (or a petty knife). Some tasks, such as slicing fish for sushi or sashimi, would definitely be better with a sujihiki lets say.

It's definitely more fun to use more knives, however if you have a lot of prep to bang out, that's a lot of knives you're going to be washing and drying for each task. Most of the pretty knives aren't stainless, so rust will form or a patina will form really quickly.

I'm lazy, so I'll use at most two knives in a prep session. I did own quite a lot of knives, but that's because it took me a lot of trial and error to find the knives that fit my hands, balance, and cutting needs.
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#34 Post by Karr!ng M o a n » November 30th, 2013, 4:31 pm

W. Leonard wrote:No one going to mention Murray Carter?
I have two Murray Carter knives and love them. He no longer does custom work though, so you have to monitor his site and be quick. It is better to find Carter knives in the secondary market on one of the knife forums. I just used a carter a couple of hours ago.

k.

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#35 Post by W. Leonard » November 30th, 2013, 4:35 pm

Karr!ng M o a n wrote:
W. Leonard wrote:No one going to mention Murray Carter?
I have two Murray Carter knives and love them. He no longer does custom work though, so you have to monitor his site and be quick. It is better to find Carter knives in the secondary market on one of the knife forums. I just used a carter a couple of hours ago.

k.
I have a nakiri, thinking about a 6 3/4 in Funayaki sounds like I should go for it?
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#36 Post by Karr!ng M o a n » November 30th, 2013, 4:43 pm

CWun wrote:It's definitely more fun to use more knives, however if you have a lot of prep to bang out, that's a lot of knives you're going to be washing and drying for each task. Most of the pretty knives aren't stainless, so rust will form or a patina will form really quickly.

I'm lazy, so I'll use at most two knives in a prep session. I did own quite a lot of knives, but that's because it took me a lot of trial and error to find the knives that fit my hands, balance, and cutting needs.
This is true, and I have definitely been lazy in my life. If you want a stainless knife with low-maintenance care, Mario Ingoglia is top notch, Devin Thomas does stainless damascus and AEB-L blades (but it is expensive), and Pierre Rodrigue does a lot of stainless knives too in CPM 154.

If you want an excellent deal on a knife right now, look at HHH knives (Randy Haas). He is doing a mid-tech (semi-custom) knife for $240. He may even have a deal coming this Monday. He made the damascus knife of mine up thread with meteorite.

http://www.hhhcustomknives.com/240mm-ae ... e-pre-buy/

k.
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#37 Post by Karr!ng M o a n » November 30th, 2013, 4:47 pm

W. Leonard wrote:
Karr!ng M o a n wrote:
W. Leonard wrote:No one going to mention Murray Carter?
I have two Murray Carter knives and love them. He no longer does custom work though, so you have to monitor his site and be quick. It is better to find Carter knives in the secondary market on one of the knife forums. I just used a carter a couple of hours ago.

k.
I have a nakiri, thinking about a 6 3/4 in Funayaki sounds like I should go for it?
I have a nakiri and a Funayuki (200mm). The HG Funayuki is one of my favorites, and is wicked thin. I also got mine rehandled for some bling.

k.

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#38 Post by CWun » November 30th, 2013, 5:59 pm

Karr!ng M o a n wrote:
CWun wrote:It's definitely more fun to use more knives, however if you have a lot of prep to bang out, that's a lot of knives you're going to be washing and drying for each task. Most of the pretty knives aren't stainless, so rust will form or a patina will form really quickly.

I'm lazy, so I'll use at most two knives in a prep session. I did own quite a lot of knives, but that's because it took me a lot of trial and error to find the knives that fit my hands, balance, and cutting needs.
This is true, and I have definitely been lazy in my life. If you want a stainless knife with low-maintenance care, Mario Ingoglia is top notch, Devin Thomas does stainless damascus and AEB-L blades (but it is expensive), and Pierre Rodrigue does a lot of stainless knives too in CPM 154.

If you want an excellent deal on a knife right now, look at HHH knives (Randy Haas). He is doing a mid-tech (semi-custom) knife for $240. He may even have a deal coming this Monday. He made the damascus knife of mine up thread with meteorite.

http://www.hhhcustomknives.com/240mm-ae ... e-pre-buy/

k.
Crap I think I might "have" to get it.
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#39 Post by Nick Gangas » November 30th, 2013, 6:06 pm

Karr!ng M o a n wrote:
Nick Gangas wrote:Is there a resource to define all the Japanese knife terms ?
I'm not sure if you have to be a forum member to view these posts, but here is one glossary with various terms.

http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showt ... nife+terms

zknives also has a list of different types of J-knives and terms.

http://zknives.com/knives/kitchen/misc/ ... ndex.shtml

http://zknives.com/knives/kitchen/misc/ ... erms.shtml

k.
Thanks for this. So would you ever do stainless or is Damascus the way to go ?

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#40 Post by alan weinberg » November 30th, 2013, 6:30 pm

are Shun knives any good?

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#41 Post by CWun » November 30th, 2013, 7:05 pm

Karr!ng M o a n wrote:......

If you want an excellent deal on a knife right now, look at HHH knives (Randy Haas). He is doing a mid-tech (semi-custom) knife for $240. He may even have a deal coming this Monday. He made the damascus knife of mine up thread with meteorite.

http://www.hhhcustomknives.com/240mm-ae ... e-pre-buy/

k.
Ok. I gave in and bought one. [soap.gif]
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#42 Post by Karr!ng M o a n » November 30th, 2013, 7:13 pm

Nick Gangas wrote:
Karr!ng M o a n wrote:
Nick Gangas wrote:Is there a resource to define all the Japanese knife terms ?
I'm not sure if you have to be a forum member to view these posts, but here is one glossary with various terms.

http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showt ... nife+terms

zknives also has a list of different types of J-knives and terms.

http://zknives.com/knives/kitchen/misc/ ... ndex.shtml

http://zknives.com/knives/kitchen/misc/ ... erms.shtml

k.
Thanks for this. So would you ever do stainless or is Damascus the way to go ?
You can do a stainless damascus (Devin Thomas does it but it is spendy), but usually not so much. It is just your preference at the end of the day. Stainless is easy to care for, but a lot of knife geeks like the higher carbon, non-stainless as many of these steels are easier to sharpen and keep an edge. A knife in CPM 154 or AEB-L stainless steel are good steel options. Randy Haas (HHH), Devin Thomas, Pierre Rodrigue, and Mario Ingoglia all do knives in these steels, and maybe Adam Marr too. If you write any one of them, they will put you in a wait list. Ingoglia does awesome knives for the price. I couldn't recommend him more -- but honestly, I have knives from all of them and they are all better than anything you will get at W-S or SLT.

k.

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#43 Post by CWun » November 30th, 2013, 7:13 pm

alan weinberg wrote:are Shun knives any good?
In general, at retail pricing I think they are not worth the price. At clearance pricing they might be okay values, but I'd rather get a knife from japanesechefsknife.com. I really like the Hiromoto Aogami Super lineup for the price and they are usually top sellers on that website.

If you want to handle them first, at Sur La table you can try all the Shuns out and find the one that best fits your hand.
In terms of knives found at a Sur La Table, I think you get some decent value from the Zwilling Bob Kramer Carbon Steel chef's knife; it gets frequent use in my rotation.
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#44 Post by Karr!ng M o a n » November 30th, 2013, 7:29 pm

Just keep in mind that most (though not all) damascus is 'grabby'. You sacrifice cutting efficiency for beauty -- and I am fine with that. Devin Thomas damascus is really really good and less grabby. Other boutique stuff has more 'stiction' (i.e., food release problems). It is the nature of mixing metal.

k.

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#45 Post by R. Gaston » December 1st, 2013, 3:38 pm

This has been a very interesting thread. I want to get a new knife for the holidays. My budget is set at $200. What's my best options? I am very green in this area so any help would be a great help.
Ryan

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#46 Post by R. Gaston » December 1st, 2013, 3:44 pm

Actually after looking on the HHH site..maybe the 240 MM gyuto for $220 is the one..
Ryan

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#47 Post by CWun » December 1st, 2013, 4:39 pm

R. Gaston wrote:Actually after looking on the HHH site..maybe the 240 MM gyuto for $220 is the one..
if you do, sign up for a kitchen knife forums username
and after you order, post on the HHH sub forum in the cybermonday deal thread that you ordered. you'll get free shipping refund, and entry to a $100 gift cert.

it sounds like he really needs to sell through his estimated inventory.
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#48 Post by Michael S. Monie » December 9th, 2013, 6:57 am

Any thoughts on the Masahiro line in regard to utility?
Fly on, Little Wing.

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#49 Post by CWun » December 9th, 2013, 10:52 am

Michael S. Monie wrote:Any thoughts on the Masahiro line in regard to utility?
Which masahiro lineup from which website?

I don't have experience with their products, but after a brief look at their products I'd skip buying them from Williams Sonoma and would skip buying their stainless steel stuff unless you absolutely needed stainless. Not sure what virgin carbon steel they use in their other lines.

It also depends on what you plan to do, your willingness to sharpen, etc...
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#50 Post by Michael S. Monie » December 9th, 2013, 10:57 am

CWun wrote:
Michael S. Monie wrote:Any thoughts on the Masahiro line in regard to utility?
Which masahiro lineup from which website?

I don't have experience with their products, but after a brief look at their products I'd skip buying them from Williams Sonoma and would skip buying their stainless steel stuff unless you absolutely needed stainless. Not sure what virgin carbon steel they use in their other lines.

It also depends on what you plan to do, your willingness to sharpen, etc...
http://www.knifemerchant.com/products.a ... uctLine=44
Fly on, Little Wing.

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