Knife recommendation for first Japanese knife

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Nitesh
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Knife recommendation for first Japanese knife

Post by Nitesh »

Hi all,

New here and looking for recommendation for my first Japanese knife, ideally a beater around $150, first time shopping and zero knowledge about steels.

1)Pro or home cook? Home. i have roomates and while i will keep this away in my shelf hidden away they might use it sometimes, so cheaper towards $150

2)What kind of knife do you want? (Gyuto, Santoku, Petty, Paring, Sujihiki, etc.). Gyuto

3) What size knife do you want? 240 mm (though can settle for 210mm)

4)How much do you want to spend? ~$150

5) Do you prefer all stainless, stainless clad over reactive carbon, or all reactive carbon construction? any is fine

6)Do you prefer Western or Japanese handle? Japanese

7)What are your main knife/knives now? Victorinox 8" chef knife with several cheap local petty knives

8)Are your knife skills excellent, good, fair? fair

9)What cutting techniques do you prefer? Are you a rocker, chopper or push/pull cutter? chopper

10)Do you know how to sharpen? No but looking to learn and would like to order one stone to start, with the knife, hopefully want to keep total below $200.

These are some that I have shortlisted though feel free to suggest different ones:
Kohetsu Blue #2 (both 210 and 240 mm)
Enjin EK8 Togatta Gyuto 240mm
Nishida White #1 Kurouchi Gyuto 210mm
Yoshimitsu Fugen White #1 Gyuto 240mm

Thanks!
Radar53
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Re: Knife recommendation for first Japanese knife

Post by Radar53 »

Hi Nitesh and welcome to our forum.

This is what came to mind from me
Harukaze G3 Nashiji Gyuto 240mm here https://www.chefknivestogo.com/harukaze240.html

I have this and it's a very good knife. Well balanced with an edge profile that should work well for you. Great steel, easy to sharpen, takes and holds a really good edge plus it's one of the "best bang for your buck" knives on the site.

First up for a stone I would suggest this;
Cerax 1k/3k combo here https://www.chefknivestogo.com/ceraxcombo1k3k.html

A good stone to get started on and you can then bookend it with other stones as you need coarser & finer stones. I would get the knife sharpened by CKtG on purchase here https://www.chefknivestogo.com/inshse.html Then you'll have a reference as to how sharp they can get.

HTH
Cheers Grant

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zekepa
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Re: Knife recommendation for first Japanese knife

Post by zekepa »

I’m assuming that you are a younger person. I say that because you mention having roommates’. I read just recently that when one of the members takes a knife with them when visiting family or has guest over they make sure it has a Japanese handle so that if looks and feels different than knives the others are probably used to using, the result is they tend to handle it with more care as they are unfamiliar with knives of this type.. This little bit of human nature could work to your advantage in regards to your roommates.

Having the ability to sharpen a knife is a skill I wish I had worked on much earlier in my life. It’s really not that difficult just takes some practice. Regardless of what knife you have weather from Walmart or an expensive custom it won’t cut well if it is dull.

There really are not any bad knives on this site. CKTG has some economical entry-level knives at low cost (I won’t call them cheap as to me that implies low quality) that will perform better than more expensive knives. I have a couple of the entry level VG-10 knives.

I joined the site about a year ago because I decided I wanted to learn how to freehand sharpen, that also lead me to wanting better knives as trying to sharpen cheap stainless knives from Walmart can get very frustrating. IMO a decent quality steel makes it easier to learn to sharpen.

If it was my $200 I would spend more of it on sharpening equipment (longer term investment for sharp knives) than on my first knife.
Check out these sharpening stone sets. https://www.chefknivestogo.com/shstse.html
This is a good starter set but is currently not in stock. https://www.chefknivestogo.com/ckshset.html

An inexpensive carbon steel knife with a Japanese handle that will get really sharp. https://www.chefknivestogo.com/dalespstkn.html

Stainless mono steel knife
This is one of the first knives I bought from the site. I like it well enough that when it went on sale I bought a second on in case I need a gift for someone at some point. It doesn’t have the look of a Japanese knife but it does perform well. I didn’t find it difficult to sharpen.
Artifex II BD1N Gyuto 210mm
https://www.chefknivestogo.com/riariigy21.html

If you decide to put more $$ towards the knife take a look at these.
These are basically the same knife with one having a little nicer handle for an extra $10. I have this knife in a 180mm. To me they have I consider a classic simple Japanese look. The 180mm I have performs well, I find it pretty strait forward to sharpen
https://www.chefknivestogo.com/harukaze240.html
https://www.chefknivestogo.com/yagisahaengy.html

If going this route I would consider a Cerax 1k/3k combo stone. https://www.chefknivestogo.com/ceraxcombo1k3k.html
and a diamond plate to be able to flatten it. https://www.chefknivestogo.com/140grdistflp.html
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stevem627
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Re: Knife recommendation for first Japanese knife

Post by stevem627 »

I agree this fits what you want. It’s well designed and easy to care for since it’s stainless. The steel gets very sharp and is easy to sharpen.

Also, I just read the single review posted on this knife and it said the handle came off. I think that is quite unusual and an east fix. I have the nakiri (and will be getting the kiritsuke) and there is no problem with the fit and finish on it. I wish more owners of the knives in this line would post a review on each knife’s page.

https://www.chefknivestogo.com/yagisahaengy.html
Nitesh
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Re: Knife recommendation for first Japanese knife

Post by Nitesh »

Thanks for all the great suggestions! I like the idea of wa handle being different enough that others won't pick it up.

Looking through replies here and previous posts I have decided to go with Harukaze 240 as it seem to be a well regarded first/ beginner knife.

Slowly going through sharpening forum to try to decide if I go with combo stone and diamond plate that Zepaka suggested to start with or go with the set that he suggested. Will be above the budget I decided with combo but the stones should last long time as I keep adding knives over time.
janetimps
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Re: Knife recommendation for first Japanese knife

Post by janetimps »

I remember looking at the Misonos before I got the Wusthofs and the 440 was over $200 which is why I didn't buy it. But, since its come down in price, I added it to my list.
trancher
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Re: Knife recommendation for first Japanese knife

Post by trancher »

Nitesh wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 10:32 am Thanks for all the great suggestions! I like the idea of wa handle being different enough that others won't pick it up.

Looking through replies here and previous posts I have decided to go with Harukaze 240 as it seem to be a well regarded first/ beginner knife.

Slowly going through sharpening forum to try to decide if I go with combo stone and diamond plate that Zepaka suggested to start with or go with the set that he suggested. Will be above the budget I decided with combo but the stones should last long time as I keep adding knives over time.
A fine choice. Enjoy, man!

You'll get a kick out of that knife when you start cutting with it.

See you later on at the rabbit hole. ;)
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