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Old 11-13-2011, 08:44 AM   #1
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Henckels miyabi for a lefty?

Hi,
I want to buy a set of heckels miyabi 7000 MC knives, can anyone tell me if the d-shaped handel is problomatic for lefties?
I would also appreciate general opinions on the line (if you have a negative opinion please reccomend a replacement in a similar price range).
Also, is the Wusthof Ikon classic in the same league as miyabi?
Thanks,
Mark

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Old 11-14-2011, 12:01 AM   #2
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You'd just have to try one and see. Is there any way you can arrange to try a left handed Shun Classic? The 'D' handles of both are very similar. It certainly would be different, and not designed to be held that way.

As for the Wusthof Ikon, no- it's not in the same galaxy as the Miyabi. Although it's does have very good ergonomics.

First off, what draws you to the Miyabi? Is it the technology or the shape/Japanese pattern? Certainly it uses very good steel, although I know nothing about the quality of the heat treatment. Certainly it's hardened to a very high RC but that's just one spec, and not necessarily all that important in and of itself. The talk is that MC66 is another word for ZDP; it this is true they're using a very high end steel. It would be unusual to see ZDP in such an inexpensive knife.

If you're drawn to the shape there are hundreds of true Wa handled Japanese knives out there.

Give us some details and we can probably advise you better. I could rattle off a list of knives I'd rather have but what I like and what you like may be very different.
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Old 11-14-2011, 04:52 PM   #3
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Hey,
Thanks for the quick responses.

First off i'll point out that I have zero experience with proffesional knives, i just enjoy cooking and decided to invest in a set. my knowledge is based solely on research i did on the net over the past week.

What attracts me to miyabi is the jappanese style, the material and the price.
I like the jappanese style because to my understanding they are sharpened to a 12-16 degree angle making them sharper, put that together with a steel tough enough to hold that edge and it seems to have a clear advantage over german knives with wider angles.

The reason i am leaning toward the miyabi is because it seems to fit that description at the best price.

As for the handle, unfortunately i can't try out any knives because there is no store in my area selling them... In any case assuming im not too picky, do you think the D-shaped handle (although to me it seems somewhat oval) will really be uncomfortable (i have relatively large hands do you think that may help deal with the shape?)?

Thanks,
Mark
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Old 11-14-2011, 08:49 PM   #4
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Your fingers are meant to wrap around the "D", using it with the "wrong" hang isn't impossible but it's not ideal. I haven't used those new Miyabis so I don't know how the handle will be.

But I will say that they're a knife made in Japan for the West, and basically just branded for Henckels. If you simply like a Wa-styled handle and don't need it to actually be Japanese there some other options. I'm a big fan of The Richmond Addict. It's patterned on the Japanese style, it's thin and the steel is good. The nice thing is that the octagonal handle is ambidextrous.

Of course, the good news is there are hundreds of real Japanese knives out there! That link to CKtG is a good one, check out the selection of J-knives they have. I don't think there's a better selection available anywhere. Great service, too.

There are a lot of things to consider when selecting a knife. As a professional chef I know very well what I want in a knife. For example, I like a very flat profile with very little belly. You could call that a Japanese or French shape. German chef knives have more curve to the blade, and this is more ideally suited to "rock chopping" where you do your work with the heel of the knife. Most home cooks tend to prefer the latter shape but that's almost completely due to the the fact that it's what they've seen the most. You can easily adjust your style.

Another thing to consider is what type of cutting surface you'll be working on. Those thin, hard edges on J-knives are more prone to chipping than a German knife is. So if you want a Japanese knife you really should get a proper end grain wooden board.

FWIW every knife I own is Japanese. They're not really any more difficult to work with, just a little different.
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Old 11-14-2011, 08:59 PM   #5
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OP, have you thought of Shun knives at all? The price can be daunting, BUT, there are lots to be had via ebay and discount online kitchen places.
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Old 11-14-2011, 09:03 PM   #6
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Some of my favorites, FWIW.

Kikuichi TKC - Very good steel. Good profile. Takes a wicked edge. Nearly stainless.

Tojiro DP - Great steel & build quality for the price (it's VG-10, same as a Shun but cheaper). Very sharp OOtB. Handles a little blocky but they're a great value.

Moritaka - Superior steel. Very thin & light. Incredibly sharp. These aren't stainless, though.

Kagayaki CarboNext - This is essentially the same knife as the Kikuichi but branded differently. I keep several of these in my knife case for work. Great edge retention.

Akifusa - This is an incredible knife, one of my all-time favorites. It's laminated with a core of powdered steel @ 64 RC. Great profile, insane edge retention.
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Old 11-14-2011, 09:32 PM   #7
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I would second Rob's suggestion of Tojiro DP and CKTG. I ordered 4 DP's from them on a Saturday afternoon and received confirmation that same day. The DP has good fit and finish, and the steel is good. You don't get the blade pattern with the DP, but if it is important to you, the Damascus version is a few bucks more. No difference in cutting quality, just looks.
If I were you and I was buying blind, I would purchase only 1 or 2 knives. Especially since you have a new Henkels set, and being left handed. There may not be a need for a complete set. I find a Nakiri to be a very useful knife, and they are not generally available in sets. A Gyoto, Hakiri, and a Petty would suffice for 90% of the kitchen chores

I am also left handed, and the Tojiro works just fine.
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Old 11-16-2011, 05:44 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Babcock View Post
Some of my favorites, FWIW.

Kikuichi TKC - Very good steel. Good profile. Takes a wicked edge. Nearly stainless.

Tojiro DP - Great steel & build quality for the price (it's VG-10, same as a Shun but cheaper). Very sharp OOtB. Handles a little blocky but they're a great value.

Moritaka - Superior steel. Very thin & light. Incredibly sharp. These aren't stainless, though.

Kagayaki CarboNext - This is essentially the same knife as the Kikuichi but branded differently. I keep several of these in my knife case for work. Great edge retention.

Akifusa - This is an incredible knife, one of my all-time favorites. It's laminated with a core of powdered steel @ 64 RC. Great profile, insane edge retention.
Unfortunately i lack the experience and knowledge to really figure out which of the knives you reccomended is best and i'm getting lost in the vast amount of brands i am seeing.

My budget is $650-$730 and i want the following knives: chefs 9"-11" (can i count on it to double as a slicer for roast?), santoku 7", utility 5"-6" a paring knife 3"-4.5" and a block to hold them.

would you be able to pick out for me the knives i listed above (not nessesarily all from the same company) giving the the chefs knife the largest share of the budget and then the santoku, utility and paring knife in that order?

My main concern is edge retention and material durability, the knives will be for home use only and i want them to last a good 20 years assuming i take care of them.
Also, i like the style of the knives you linked and i like picking up new techniques so the knives should be japanese style.

I really appreciate the help you are giving me.
Thanks,
Mark
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Old 11-16-2011, 09:39 AM   #9
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Based on your budget and desires, here's what I would do. I would purchase a Nakiri, which I find more useful than a Santoku, A Gyuto of whichever size you would think you prefer. If you already have a Henkels set, you should have some idea whether a larger or smaller chef.s knife would suit you better. A petty. I prefer a small one. My personal preference is the DP as the best bang for the buck. Any of the knives Rob recommends would serve you well for years. Those 3 will perform 99% of the tasks in the kitchen. Get some storage device, a block, magnetic device, or something else, With a block, I would get one with as many wide slots as possible.

If you are left handed, by all means get unbiased or left handed knives.

Save the rest of your budget for the wants or sharpening equipment.

Assuming DP, you are out around $200 @ CKTG. More for other brands. You have what you need in the home kitchen, and the wants can build from there.
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Old 11-16-2011, 10:00 AM   #10
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Something to think about...The Chefs knife and the Santoku perform much of the same tasks. Same as the utility and paring. Why is it you want all 4? You could most likely just get a chefs and paring and save a few bucks without really losing any functionality.
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