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Old 11-18-2010, 09:29 PM   #11
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As non-Japanese knives go I think Messermeisters are pretty nice. Not nearly as nice as the Tojiro, and probably at least as expensive or more so, but not bad for what they are. I have to be honest- while I have a few Euro-type knives still kicking around the house as beater knives, everything in my work knife case is Japanese. Just sayin'!
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Old 11-18-2010, 10:01 PM   #12
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That is what I thought you would say and I'm still in agreement. I was just hoping to go with the edgemaker pro system because it looks so user friendly. I'm just glad I didn't buy it like I almost did last night. I know the Apex is a lot more expensive than the Lansky, but it looks a lot better too. Just one question about that. It comes with a 200 and 300 grit stones, but won't I need something more than that (e.g 600)? I guess I will have a couple of month to try the knives out before I need to sharpen it.

I think I'm going to get the Tojiro through Chef Knives to Go. I was looking at them and Cutlery and More, but since I have a recommendation for them then that is where I will go.
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Old 11-18-2010, 10:04 PM   #13
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Rob, you also mentioned something about the 240mm possibly having a bigger handle than the 210mm. So do you think it is worth the extra $20 to get the longer blade and thicker handle?

Also what do you think about the Tojiro Pro Sharpener they sell at Chef Knives to Go? Would this be a good alternative since it is designed for their own knives?
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Old 11-18-2010, 10:32 PM   #14
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I've never used that sharpener. It appears to use ceramic or diamond coated wheels, so it should be a lot better than the "rippers" like the Accu-Sharp. It would probably keep a usable edge on your knife, but then the EdgeMaker Pro probably would too is you stuck mostly to the yellow honer and used a light touch.

IMOHO a 240mm is 1000x more practical than a 210mm. Again, it comes down to preference but J-knives are so much lighter and more agile in the hand that most people can go up one size beyond the one they normally prefer and get great results. A longer knife can process more food at once with less passes, which saves time. It also makes it easier to get clean slices of larger items (eg slicing rustic breads, cutting prime rib, etc). Obviously it comes down to how you use a knife but unless you have a tiny cutting board and a very cramped kitchen you'll be better off in the long run with the 240. I used to have a couple 210's but I eventually sold them all off. Now I use 240's and 270's for most stuff.
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Old 11-19-2010, 12:08 AM   #15
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Having a 240 and 210 Gyuto and a Santoku, I can tell you that the 240 will do anything that the other two will do, but the reverse is not true. A 210 will barely go through a cantaloupe, for example, the Santuko not at all. A 240 will.
As for handles, I believe that if your knife is sharp, you will automatically use a pinch grip, and the handle design becomes only mildly important. At least, that is the way it worked for me. My knives all have a balance point around an inch into the blade, and the pinky wraps around the handle. Don't know if that is the correct way, but it is the natural way for me. I have a theory that the difference in size and weight of handles on various sizes of knives is to maintain the balance point. With the old Forschners, the handle was important.
An alternative to sharpening at home is to avail yourself of a sharpener who knows what he is doing. This is not the guy at the flea market with the grinder. At the very least, it might be a good idea to have your knives sharpened once, otherwise you do not have a benchmark to work toward.
I am not a knife expert, and all above is just observation. Where I differ from Rob and Buzz, and the other knife guys, they are right.
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Old 11-19-2010, 07:29 AM   #16
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Well said, Jim. When you experience and edge like that, the handle fades from consideration. It still needs to have one, of course, and ornamentation comes into consideration (fancy wood, engraving, etc). But you don't need a big mechanical advantage to muscle a 2 mm thin razor of a blade through your food.
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Old 11-19-2010, 06:17 PM   #17
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Okay so let's talk about the Edge Pro Apex. Which version should I get and what additional stones will I need for it. It looks like there are 4 different options, but to keep the price down I would prefer to buy the cheapest one that has the most usable components. Then I can just buy any additional stones I need for my knives.

I've always been one who prefers to pay for just what I need instead of what I don't. Hence the reason why you guys talked me out of a block set!
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Old 11-19-2010, 06:52 PM   #18
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Let me add this question as well. I'm trying to convince my wife to let me get a new bread knife, but she is failing to see the value of this knife. What other uses are there for a bread knife? She thinks if you are only cutting bread with it there is no reason to spend a lot of money on a good one.

If I can convince her to let me get one would you go slightly cheaper here and go with the Forshner or stick with the Tojiro line?
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Old 11-19-2010, 11:11 PM   #19
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Ya' gotta pick your battles. I use my bread knives very little. Even for bread I normally use a gyuto. If it were trying to make my case to the CEO/wife I'd stick with a cheap bread knife like the Kershaw Pure Komachi or Wasabi and concentrate on selling her on the Edge Pro Apex. I prefer the Kershaw knives because their serrations are scalloped instead of the more common "saw tooth" jagged pattern. That means they can be sharpened fairly easily; it's a real pain to sharpen the other kind.

As far as the Edge Pro Apex goes, there are several options, each with it's own merits. I'm not sure if you're looking at CKtG or at Ben Dale's official company web page; each has slightly different versions. At CKtG, Mark takes the basic unit and customizes them with custom Naniwa Chocera stones from Japan.

I'm not sure how to advise you there- it all depends how far "down the rabbit hole" you wanna go! FWIW I will tell you I have 30 custom stones from Shapton, Naniwa & DMT, plus a couple 'one-ofs' cut especially for me. That said, the stock stones you get right from EP are very good.

I think for doing Japanese knives, and if you decide to go with the stock/OEM stones from Edge Pro, you'll need (at a minimum) the 220, 320 & either 800 or 1,000. You could get the most basic kit with 2 stones and add the one for another $12 or so. But I'd go a little higher. The next step up includes a very, very good Idahone ceramic rod- definitely worth the money. As you get proficient with the Apex you'll almost certainly want to go higher than the 1,000 stone you get from Ben. That stone is roughly the equivalent to a 4k-5k Japanese stone. Here you'll have to decide for yourself. I know many professional chefs and cooks that don't go any higher than 5k. However, I always go up to at least 10k, and usually higher. You can try it out pretty cheap by buying a tape blank and some high grit tapes from EP. So I guess if you were going with the stock EP stuff I'd probably recommend the Apex 4 Kit from CKtG. CKtG is an authorized dealer for EP and you get free shipping. That kit will give you every standard stone they make plus the standard tapes, all for $230. Can you go cheaper? Sure. Even the basic kit + the 1,000 stone would serve you well. If you like it (and you will) you can add stones over time.

Now, if it's in your budget, I would absolutely recommend the EP Apex Custom Chocera Kit. Yeah, I realize it's not cheap. It costs $275, but you get 5 custom made Naniwa Chocera synthetic water stones. Again, no knock on the standard stones, but in my opinion the Choceras are the best synthetics on the market, at any price. At least the best I've seen or used. The edge you get off the 10k Chocera is pure magic!

Of course, you can always start with the basic kit and purchase custom stones over time. CKtG sells most of them for around $30 each; Jende sells a much thicker EP version for slightly more.

Have I totally confused you yet?
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Old 11-20-2010, 04:53 AM   #20
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Sorry- correcting that last link. Here is the custom Chocera version. Sorry for any confusion.
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