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Old 08-14-2010, 12:06 PM   #21
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Hahah I like the girl analogy. What's that Hattori HD like?

Ok, so here's what I'm going to do. The Shun is on ebay right now with 6 hours left. My max bid is $136.52. I wouldn't mind winning it, but if someone else wants it, well, maybe I can retract my bid if someone else really wants it. I wouldn't mind ordering one of the knives mentioned here.
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Old 08-14-2010, 11:11 PM   #22
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(for some reason I can't edit my posts)

Okay, well I won the Shun Elite for a grand total of $130. Not too bad. Now, if the ergonomics are good, would it still be worth trying out a Kanetsune (and saving some scrill) or Hattori HD? Would I appreciate the performance of the blade better?

Thanks
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Old 08-15-2010, 12:27 AM   #23
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Well, duh- more knives is always better than less! At $130 you didn't do bad at all. It's a good knife. It's still worth checking out a "real" Japanese knife, though!

NOTE: Japanese knives fall into two rough catagories- Traditional and Western. Tradition knives are mostly single beveled (kind of a chisel grind) in patterns unlike anything you see in Western cooking. These include the yanagi-ba, kiritsuke, usubu and deba. Western knives are basically their take on European-type patterns. These include the gyuto (similar to a chef's knife), sujihiki (kind of like a carving/slicing knife) and the ubiquitous santoku.

For most tasks you're gonna wanna stick with the Western knives, although it can be fun to play with a yanagibi.
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Old 08-15-2010, 01:36 AM   #24
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The single bevel knives require a slightly different technique to a double bevel knife. Basically the knife tends to want to take the path of least resistance and if you don't allow for this your strokes will tend to fall to the flat side of the knife. Think of a single bevel knife as an aeroplane wing.

Having said that IMO the Nakiri (double bevel) and Usaba (single bevel) are the best vegetable knives in existence and you can have my Usaba when you you pry it from my cold dead fingers.
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Old 08-18-2010, 11:28 AM   #25
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Hattori FH 210mm: This one is actually about $27 more than the Shun Elite but blows it out of the water. This is a Rolls Royce-type knife, with immaculate fit and finish. Every detail has been very well thought out and the ergonomics are as closed to perfect as I've ever experienced in a knife. In fact, it was my favorite stainless gyuto until I got the Ichimonji TKC. It's probably the most beautiful knife I've ever personally owned or used. The steel is VG-10, and while it's technically not supposed to be as good as SG-2, Hattori San is recognized as one of the most skilled masters at heat treating that steel. All in all this is an awe-inspiring knife. Price: $227.
You just had to remind me about this knife didn't you Rob? Well thanks to you I am $227 poorer.
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Old 08-18-2010, 02:18 PM   #26
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Another update...

So I had a gift card and coupon to BB&B. Got the Global (and the paring knife for like $80).

Holy smokes is this sharp. I didn't so much have to cut carrots as just THINK about cutting carrots and I had nice thin slices before me.

But the ergonomics suck. I find the handle too thin, the lightness is a bad thing for me, and the balance is awful. With a pinch grip, there is clearly more weight in the handle. Was this designed for the Yuppie Grip?

So off to ebay the Global goes (without the paring knife. That thing is amazing). The Shun Elite is coming in a week or so so I'll be testing that out as well. If that proves to be not to my liking I think I'm going to go with the Kanetsune (the pretty girl at the bar) and resell the Shun on ebay. If that should fail, then it will be the Hattori FH. :D

I'm starting to realize that I really don't want a knife that's too pretty for fear of scratching it. Ughhhhh

Anyway, I know the Global came out of the box razor sharp. I hear that some of these knives need a going over before they should be used. Can someone please elaborate on that?
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Old 08-18-2010, 02:32 PM   #27
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Anyway, I know the Global came out of the box razor sharp. I hear that some of these knives need a going over before they should be used. Can someone please elaborate on that?
Some knives do not come sharpened so that you can put your angle of choice on it when you get it. If it is sharp out of the box then you can start using it right away without doing anything extra to it.

I scratched up my Tojiro pretty bad the first time I sharpened it. I was upset with myself for a short while until I told myself it cuts just as well scratched as it does in pristine condition. Now I do not mind the mess I made of it. I will never be so careless again, but in the end it really did not matter to me.

As you have found out, a knife is only good if it is comfortable to use. you could have the worlds sharpest knife, but if it does not feel good in your hand it will stay in the block and you will reach for something else. Good thing you knew to give up on the Global when it did not fit you right.
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Old 08-18-2010, 02:41 PM   #28
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Yeah it's not such a bad thing that I'm going through a couple knives to find the right one. At this quality it should last the better part of forever if I take care of it.

Just messing around with my camera phone and Youtube. I tried to illustrate how the knife feels...

http://www.youtube.com/v/b8bFODNP9y4?
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Old 08-18-2010, 02:44 PM   #29
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Yep I see what you mean about the balance.
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Old 08-19-2010, 07:53 AM   #30
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Quote:
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I'm starting to realize that I really don't want a knife that's too pretty for fear of scratching it. Ughhhhh

Okay, I gotta tackle this one first. I love knives, in an almost-unseemly way! But a knife is still a tool. Do you think
a carpenter ever left his best hammer in the toolbox because he didn't want to scratch it! Naw, tools are meant to be used. It's natural to want to spare "the Precious" but that's not what you bought if for. The purpose of a knife is to cut. Sometimes that involves a ding or scratch. Think of them as badges of honor.

The other side of that is not wanting to use the knife because it will get dull. Well that's like not ever wearing your clothes to keep them clean. Sure, they're clean- but what good are they hanging in the closet? Same for the knife. Use that bad boy! When it gets dull, deal with it then. This is the Interweb! There are many solutions, just a few keystrokes away.


Quote:
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Anyway, I know the Global came out of the box razor sharp. I hear that some of these knives need a going over before they should be used. Can someone please elaborate on that?

I can! Most people's understanding of sharp is pretty limited. As sharp as your new knife is, it's probably far below the standard that I apply to anyone I sharpen for. Most new knives, even expensive ones, are generally finished on belts. Sometimes waterstone-wheels. A 1k to 2k finish would be pretty good for a factory job. And there's no telling how even the bevels will be. I usually finish to an 8k Shapton or a 10k Naniwa Chocera, if it's a good knife. Occasionally I'll use the 15k Shap. I also have the ability to use tapes up to the quivalent of 100,000k! And I take my time and smooth things out. I'll even the bevel, sand the spine if the scales don't meet, and round the spine a bit.

Also, as I've alluded to elsewhere, not all makers do an equal job sharpening. Aritsugu makes incredible knives but they come basically unsharped. They not for novices. In Japan it's generally assumed that the end user will put the kind of edge on they want. In the West we generally want it ready to go out of the box.
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Old 08-26-2010, 12:40 AM   #31
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Okay, shoot. I sit here with a Shun Elite in one hand and a Global in the other. ....And a Hattori FH in the mail. 1) I am a financial idiot. :P 2) See number one. If anyone needs a Global or Shun Elite chef's knife, hahha, PM me. :D
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Old 08-26-2010, 12:59 AM   #32
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Congrats! As they say, nothing exceeds like excess! You really should hang on to all three long enough to give them all a good tryout- take the time to compare them all and see which you prefer. Of those three I'd take the Hattori any day of the week and twice on Sunday, but you may feel differently.

But one thing's for certain- between those three, you'll have one to please just about anyone.
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Old 08-26-2010, 02:32 AM   #33
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Some people say crack is addictive, but they weren't interested in knives.
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Old 10-25-2010, 04:40 PM   #34
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For meat, IMO it's best to get a Chinese cleaver. The weight helps stabilizing and getting all the way through without dragging.

VG10 is easier to sharpen but the amount of wear is noticeable compared to powdered steel. I used to slice beef at a chinese restaurant semi-frozen (we process them when they arrive, it's easier to get consistent thickness and get through them quicker when they're like that), and I had to put the vg10 blades to 300 grits stone every 6 weeks or so, versus powdered steel just 1000 grits once a while to get rid of the out of control burr. Ceramic steel worked better straightening powdered steel blades.

IMHO shun classic and kaji are all overpriced. Any well sharpened vg10 blade will perform the same. The damascus surface is only for look, and certainly not scratch free.

Shun elites are solid, and exactly the way I like my multipurpose knives to be. (brieto/global/tojiro paper thin blades are better for fragile vegetables of course). The stainless shell of the shun elites add some useful weight and stability, and it's easy to keep the stainless surfaces clean.

I like the powdered steel blades for vegetable, the thin profiles help making cuts clean, tomato and bell peppers especially. They're all pretty similar, differences mainly in handle.

Honestly, Tojiro DP are probably equal to shun elite. Quality of tojiro's powdered steel is pretty much the same as brieto and global, cheaper just because it's a smaller/newer brand (and some people dislike western handles). Again, the damascus surface is annoying, IMHO trying to look cute but lacking the class, and bringing down overall value of the knife. Look like a cheap a$$ shun classic while the quality might be much higher.
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Old 10-25-2010, 05:22 PM   #35
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The Tojiro DP now uses VG-10 for the hagane. At the relative price of the DP and the Shun I do consider the DP to be a better knife.
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