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Old 12-05-2010, 11:48 PM   #1
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Another Assistance Request - knife info please

I am not a professional chef but an amateur that enjoys cooking at home 2-3 times a week. For the last 10 years I have been using a block set of Chicago Cutlery Knives that have been ok but I am ready to get something better. Right now I would like to get a Chef's Knife and cutting board. I will probably also get my parents the same knife as a Christmas gift. They currently have a similar setup to me. I have been doing a lot of research trying to figure out what to buy. I have read countless threads here and elsewhere. Went to some local cutlery and kitchen stores but most only carry the larger mainstream brands. I think I want a Japanese Knife and the most that I want to spend is $275 for the knife. I really love banding and mottling look of the Damascus knives but not at the cost of getting a lesser knife. The knives that I am looking at are as follows. Several of which were recommended here in other threads.

Kikuichi Gold Elite Damascus Gyuto 240mm $260

Kikuichi TKC Gyuto 240mm $168

Hattori FH-7 Gyuto 240mm $255 (Currently Sold Out. Still says I can add to cart though)

Hattori HD-8 Gyuto 240mm $191

Misono UX 10 Chef Knife 240mm $223

Shun Elite 10" Chef's Knife $240 (Can get 20% off at local BBB but currently out of stock)

I love the look of the Gold Elite and the HD. Whichever knife that I choose I will probably keep forever. Next year I will probably pick up a paring knife. Preferably of the same brand. Any input or suggestions for cutting boards or knives would be greatly appreciated.

BTW, as far as cutting boards go, I want a 20"x15" board. My thinking for this size is that I can put it over the sink while I am using it but still have it small enough that I can rinse it off in my sink.

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Old 12-06-2010, 03:16 AM   #2
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I'll talk chopping boards and let other talk J-knives.
- End grain is what you want. End grain is less likely to split and warp.
- Bigger is better, and 20"x15"x1.5" is a good size.
- Avoid bamboo, bamboo itself has some fine qualities but some makers use glues and solvents that are very scary.
- I really don't think manufacturer is that important - just get something of the right size and end grain wood and the rest will fall into place.
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Old 12-06-2010, 05:25 AM   #3
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Welcome to DC, green1. It looks like you're on the right track! All the knives you listed are fine pieces. I've written extensively about my favorites from that list; you may wish to do a search for a little more info. While it's hard to make a firm recommendation without a little more info (eg what type of foods do you cook, how comfortable are you with sharpening, etc) I would say the TKC is my favorite of the ones you listed, followed by the FH-7. BTW, the standard micarta handled FHs might be temporarily sold out, but the same knife is available with two different types of wood handles...they're just not listed in the same spot.

Now if the FH was available in the same steel as the TKC, then it would be a very close contest! Overall I feel the TKC has a little better geometry and much better steel from an edge-retention point of view. Still they're both good knives. The Hattori HD is a very fine knife but I don't personally like it as well as the FH.

The Shun wouldn't be in the running for me. It simply has too much "belly"- that is to say, there's to much curvature from the heel to the tip. It's what we call a German profile. The other knives on your list are more French in shape. A Japanese gyuto is a sort of interpretation of the French chef's knife and typically has little belly.

The Kikuichi Elite Damascus is a parallel move from the HD; the differences are mostly cosmetic. The Kikuichi has a Tsuchime (hammered) finish were the Hattori has a suminagashi pattern. Both are the same steel. If you really prefer the Tsuchime style it can be had much cheaper than the Kikuichi for a comparable knife.
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Old 12-07-2010, 11:48 AM   #4
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Thanks your responses. I almost bought a bamboo cutting board. The board I am now looking at is a 20x15x2.25 end grain maple. But I cannot find it with a juice groove. I kind of wanted a reversible board with a juice groove on one side. I did see one with edge grain in the size I want. Is edge grain ok to use with good knives? Also, is one wood type better than others?

As far as knives go, it am planning to purchase an edge pro system (thanks to your reviews). I have never sharpened my own knives before but I am looking forward to being able to sharpen them whenever I want. Also, is the Chicago Cutlery sharpening steel that came with my block set ok to use on the knives that I am looking at until I have money to get a different one?

I went to JCK and they do not have any of the Hattori FH in Wood or Linen Micarta. I e-mailed Koki and he said that they are not making any more wood handled knives and the Micarta ones should be available at the end of December. I think I am going to get my parents the Hattori HD. For myself, I am going to wait until the end of December and think about it for a while. I will either get the Kikuichi TKC or the FH. The reason that I am leaning toward the FH is that I like the curvature of the handle.

I have another question regarding knives. My father loves to trout fish and has been using a cheap fillet knife to clean fish for as long as I can remember. I would like to get him a nice knife for cleaning fish for his birthday. Is this what you would use a boning knife for? Again I was thinking something Japanese.

BTW, can anyone tell me how to change the description (Assistant Cook) under my profile id?
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Old 12-07-2010, 02:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by green1 View Post
BTW, can anyone tell me how to change the description (Assistant Cook) under my profile id?
Your description will change automatically, as you post more.
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Old 12-07-2010, 05:11 PM   #6
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Does anyone here know anything about the Devin Thomas Gyuto? Mark at CKtG highly recommends them but it sounds like they are very hard to get and cost $310.
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Old 12-07-2010, 05:26 PM   #7
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Amongst other things the selection of a filleting knife depends on the size of the fish and one's preference for the stiffness of the blade. With an extremely sharp knife care must be taken not to shave off some bone along with the meat. For many people a Dexter brand is entirely adequate.
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Old 12-07-2010, 05:48 PM   #8
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Does anyone here know anything about the Devin Thomas Gyuto? Mark at CKtG highly recommends them but it sounds like they are very hard to get and cost $310.
The Devin Thomas "ITK" Gyuto was designed with input of the members of KnifeForums.com to be the "ultimate" affordable gyuto. It was created with a profile that would fit an existing saya and incorporates the features that most members wanted- eg distal taper, a keen edge, good geometry, Wa-handle, etc. It's available in AEB-L (a high end stainless widely used for straight razors) and carbon steel, depending on what your preferences. The knives are semi-handmade and finished by Devin in his shop. They're hard to get because they're popular and his production capability is limited.

As of last night there were still some 240mm knives available in AEB-L. I would love to nab one but I just bought a 300mm CarboNext last week.
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Old 12-07-2010, 10:08 PM   #9
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As of this morning they were all sold out. Mark said that he got 5 in and they sold out immediately. These cost a little more than I want to spend. Sounds like they are nice knives though.
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Old 12-08-2010, 12:34 AM   #10
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As of this morning they were all sold out. Mark said that he got 5 in and they sold out immediately. These cost a little more than I want to spend. Sounds like they are nice knives though.
Yeah, I didn't think that last one or two would last long. Honestly I'd have bought it if I hadn't bought a different one last week! Mark had reserved me one out of the very first batch but I was a little strapped for cash so I told him to sell it and I'd get one out of another batch. Little did I realize that every subsequent batch would sell out within 20 minutes!

Never fear- the other knives on your list are great options.
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