Author Topic: Japanese Kitchen knives  (Read 1311 times)

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Offline Bob Marino

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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.
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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

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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.
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Offline tjbnwi

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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

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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.

Online rvieceli

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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

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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.
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Offline Bob Marino

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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.
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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

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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.
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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]


Online GoingMyWay

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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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Online Cheese

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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

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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

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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?
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Offline Tinker

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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
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