Seems like a whole tome of information, right? I have a hand made 10" Japanese chef knife that cost 20 times my F. Dick. I don't routinely abuse my knives that much. - For balance sake here's a final entry that is one of those Japanese heavyweights that have really diversified beyond tradition, Kai Shun. Of all these knives I use that one with the vegetables shown 98% of the time. By far my favorite kitchen knife. Well a big part of my learning always came from seeing what the more experienced chefs would have in their hands. This is very much the same with more modern sets from Japanese, Thai, Malay, and Filipino companies also. Global's popular chef's knife is a Japanese-style blade, which means it boasts a scary-sharp edge and a nimble-feeling lightweight body. — but the ones we're talking about when we compare German knives to Japanese knives are western-style knives that are made in Japan Cutting heavier or tougher things, however, might be more of a challenge, and can even damage more specialized knives. Potatoes and onions won't build up on the side. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts Honing simply straightens the steel at the edge of the blade. I've had a 10" F.Dick chef knife for a good 15++ years. For the sake of simplicity I'll focus on the chef knife within a set as your nationality style, rather than go too deep on things like a turning knife or pairing knife. Western knives are designed for cutting and chopping - downward or circular motion or sawing. What do you go with? This 8-inch Shun knife is light enough for … I learned that it matters what you need to make Japanese knifes are good for like sushi or very fast and light and sharp but not great for like big meats and they need to not be put under alot of pressure. But. 10. You can also order from their catalogue as their website doesn't show off the full range of their knives and sets, and I would strongly recommend their classic rosewood line (which to the annoyance of many a chef doesn't include a wood handled tomato knife, oft considered the most useful "little" knife in ones set). All in all I find myself reaching for my European Victorinox Forschner knives most of the time. While Damascus steel is often made with importance placed on aesthetics, strong, functional and durable knives can result from the proper choice of steel and careful forging. But I always use my F. Dick. They are very high quality steel, they are very durable and beloved by many professional chefs around the world. Personall I use German (Wusthoff as suggested earlier) because I know I'm not making fine, delicate, fancy restaurant-level cuts on fish. Kramer, Vnox and a host of Germans have this type of profile - Messermeister Meridian is my personal favorite among them. I do have my own sharpening stone. The blades of Japanese knives are lighter, thinner, and harder. A place to talk about the use, maintenance, and acquisition of any bladed kitchen instrument as well as whetstones, cutting boards, and more! I wouldn't recommend Henckel's as they have many different levels of quality, only one product line of which can really be considered professional quality and in my opinion still are not as well balanced or as durable as the Whustoff's. "The right tool for the job" is a great sentiment from a consumerist and capitalist point of view but I think most chefs would agree they would much prefer to have less gear if it meant they could do multiple types of cutting with one or two knives versus five or six. Japanese knives are generally lighter and sharper than their German counterparts. In this episode of 'Price Points', Epicurious challenges knife expert Geoff Feder to guess which knife is more expensive. By the sounds of it even though carbon has a bit more upkeep they sound like the better option? Most knife manufacturers make Japanese style knives, however, so you can find Wusthof and Henckels-made Santokus and Japanese-style chef’s knives. The Japanese knives typically have a smaller angle and are therefore more sharp. The chefs knife is of course what you would consider typically German, and everything else within is functionally above average for the price tag. German knives will be thicker and therefore can take a lot more. Press J to jump to the feed. As mentioned with Yoshihiro though there's an adversity to having a truly balanced set of knives, and one may benefit from buying items individually. - Another great alternative (And I actually have several in my pro kit that I take to work with me) is Wüsthof. They are readily maintained between sharpenings with a "steel" (rod), that will align the edge. Now the big question here is are you at a skill level where you will notice the difference in sharpness? Been doing some research and basically it comes down to Japanese getting sharper and German holding an edge longer. It's a razor and a work of art. It holds an edge very well for a knife at this price, and makes a great first step into the world of Japanese knives. Japanese knives come in many shapes and blade types. - Moving on to Asian knives, and specifically Japanese to begin with Yoshihiro are strong contenders for one of the true greats out of Japan. That said the Mizu Yaki Blue Steel Kurouchi Gyuto gives you an idea of a mid-range home cooking gold standard. The VG10 steel used in Japanese knives is harder and holds a sharper edge than German knives, and the 16-degree angle allows these knives to be sharper than the Germans, too. Whustoff's do not typically have as sharp an edge as a lot of the Japanese knives do. The harder blade lets them be thinner, sharpened to a lower angle, and will provide better edge retention than their Euro counterparts. I appreciate your time and words. People keep saying that. A nakiri is fun to use but it's utility is pretty much limited to vegetables. My girl has one and after sharpening, she's lucky if it still has an edge a week later. You also don't have to feel so bad if you suck at sharpening for a few months when you make a mess out of a good $40 chef's knife too. When the edge is applying pressure against the cutting board it is not good to cant the blade from side to side, pivot it like a windshield wiper, or scrape side to side. The steel is absolute garbage, but depending on your age and upbringing you may be like me and have the same steel that your Granny used in the 1950's. Forgot to add to other post. One final bit of advice I impart: include sharpening stones in your budget. I'm looking at purchasing a new knife and have come to the fork in the road, Japanese or German. That should answer a lot of your questions. Shun DM0706 – Best Japanese Chef Knife with 8-inch Blade. To a tee their knives are durable, easy to sharpen and keep sharp (Like... sharp enough that people swoon when I show them my sashimi knives). First up we have a three-piece knife set which comes in a lightly colored and nature-inspired ash wood box. German knives have thicker blades that are heavier and more durable. I started off with a santoku 8" and 10" and a boning knife. Buying a nakiri as a first knife is simply trend chasing. I started with a set of Henckel's that I hated. A natural selection. I just added a $300 11" yanagi knife for slicing meat and fish because the santokus are not designed for that. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. Failing that, if you have a chef or a home cook in your circle of friends or in your family I'd prod the older people for their take. 87.8k This is the same as some of the real hard blends that Japanese knives … The catch of course is that Kai have very much moved away from traditional appearance, and some would call their style for their knives tacky. Do you find yourself dealing with a lot of whole birds? Did get a Tojiro (freebie) for a friend a couple years ago and after a few hours thinning and sharpening it didn't suck. That Vic gets nearly as sharp as the Shuns and holds an edge quite well. A place to talk about the use, maintenance, and acquisition of any bladed kitchen instrument as well as whetstones, cutting boards, and more! Japanese knives are traditionally made of high carbon steel forge welded to soft iron and that tradition continues today, usually with Hitachi White Steel #1-2, Blue Steel #1-2, and Blue Super Steel. Press J to jump to the feed. What’s everyone’s opinion and what Japanese brand would you suggest? The ergonomics and balance are top-notch. Just not a fan. New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast. For starters, they’re arguably the best Japanese chef knives for beginners that aren’t ready for 9.5”-10” models. A lot to take in but will be diving head first into all of this advice, thanks again. Denise Landis article on her testing of light and flexible kitchen knives made in Japan by Yoshikin that are beginning to win over American chefs from stury German knives … That said they definitely put a lot of focus on the fact that their knives are made from Japanese steel, and overwhelmingly their designs are of Asian origins. Japanese knives do not handle bad technique well. Now if I’m looking into buying a Nakiri - do you have any recommendations? Therefore I recommend the Whustoff's. If you cut with a rocking technique, (and most folks do) keeping the tip on or close to the board then a German (or French) style of knife … Any input or opinion would be awesome. Now I pull out my Chinatown cleaver for that kind of slamming work. I would much rather have a full complement of stones and an economically priced Forschner than a comparatively expensive Japanese knife and no stones. I have spend a lot of money on knives I never use. I just wanted to see if the Vic could handle it, and at $40 it was cheap enough to see that it could. The sharpest edges do not stay the sharpest forever and once you get used to extreme sharpness you'll miss it when it slowly wears away. The very hard acute angles of a Japanese knife are not well suited to scraping bones. Not looking for brand suggestions, just general equipment advice.). It would be for daily use at home, although I do love to cook and do most things from scratch. If you cut with a rocking technique, (and most folks do) keeping the tip on or close to the board then a German (or French) style of knife will be more suited for you. At the same time they aren't quite Japanese and they aren't quite German which gives them weird characteristics that don't amount to anything special. A place for all things chef knives. Then get some stones and learn how to properly sharpen these knives and spend what you would have spent on a huge set on other goodies. How much of a difference will I notice, not only in use but also in up keep. Posts and comments should be limited to the care, use, or purchase of chef knives, kitchen knives, or any hand held bladed kitchen instrument. Their classic line is considered to be one of the professional gold standards along with the likes of Victorinox F.Dick and Granton. German Vs Japanese Knives: The Big Difference To summarize: German knives are heavier and more forgiving, while Japanese knives are lighter, sharper, and require more careful handling. I.O. Kyocera (Kyoto Ceramics) invented the concept. But when it comes to what many of us consider to be the most important aspects of cooking knives they lag behind the Japanese. However because of the thinner angle, that means they have less steel at the edge and are therefore more brittle. But for the German knives, do not get one with a full bolster, that is a hard no. Their four piece set represents a great starter kit, and expect a razor sharp and pleasant experience using the knives within. Shun Cutlery knives are made in Japan, a culture that prides itself on handmade, beautiful knives show-pieces. They rarely need sharpening (note I said sharpening here, not honing) and will stand up better to the blunders and abuse that are more common with less experienced chefs or the average home cook. Get a good chef knife, bread knife and a paring knife as well as a cheap Asian meat cleaver. I don't recommend buying a huge set. It is better to scrape food with the back of the knife than with the cutting edge if you want to use the side of the knife to sweep food. Would not do that again. If you’re not convinced German-style knives like Wusthof and Zwilling are right for you, check out our recent articles, Shun vs. Wusthof, Cutco vs. Wusthof, Wusthof vs. Japanese knives are sharper but need more care to remain that way. Shun give Japanese styles knives a bad name. Shuns are usually made with VG-10 which is an okay steel, not a great steel. It's not often that you can get perspective from someone who can directly compare so many makes. Choosing between German and Japanese style knives should be based more on your cutting technique than any preference for "latest and greatest" trend. No soliciting (except for crossposts from /r/chefknifeswap) Durable, stay sharp, not too fragile, and definitely feels good in the hand, this knife and its brethren are a delight to use for most jobs. Wusthof's are well priced this side of the pond, which is one advantage (although imo it's still pushing the £100 limit and you don't get a huge amount for it considering it's a German knife very similar to the Victorinox in usage). Did their reactions surprise you in any way? Going deeper on that my home knives are just as eclectic as my professionals, and I think outside of my little Victorinox knives (a must) I don't have any three that are the same brand or style. They are harder steels, by design, and meant for vertical cutting with either a push or pull (slicing) cut. Please follow proper reddiquette. This is a choice in utility. Most Western-style knives sport more defined handle ergonomics as well (more details here). The few western knives I own are a nice set of Wustoffs. (I checked the sidebar, hope this isn't a misplaced post. It is bad to "tweak" the edge of a high end Japanese knife. Japanese knives come in either double bevel (Western style) or single bevel blades (traditional Japanese style).Single bevel knives are generally meant for professional chefs, as they are can make very detailed cuts, or have very specific use cases (e.g. They will not suffer mis-use very well and will chip instead of roll. Choosing between German and Japanese style knives should be based more on your cutting technique than any preference for "latest and greatest" trend. This means though that the edge is hardier and can take more abuse without needing to be re-sharpened. Sharpening a knife removes material from the blade and if done incorrectly changes the angle of the edge. I’m torn between going with the Zwilling pro knives vs some sort of Japanese brand. If your kitchen has a more earthy feel to it, then these might just fit in quite nicely.. Made from superior quality Honshu steel, this elegantly simple knife set can be a pleasure to use with sushi preparation. They require far less sharpening than any of my Japanese knives, but that is down to the blade profile and metal chemistry. sushi knives / yanagi).The feel of using a single-bevel knife is much different, and takes a lot of practice to get used to. If you want to consider this route suggest you do the Cwees thing. Very high end stuff is very expensive compared to well priced stuff that does a good job without fanfare. Professional chef of 20 years and home cook of a little bit over here so take what I say with a grain of salt with some things if you feel they don't fit your budget and scope of use. Do you think the ad was racist? I have not found that to be the case at least for me. I have a couple more blocks of knives not shown in the pics. German knives are less sharp, but need less care. BEGIN Japanology Kitchen Knives: http://youtu.be/ytHnQsxIszc. Most chef’s knives you’ll find come in two styles: German, and a double-edged Japanese take on German knives (which are called gyuto). I would rather have a decent chef's, paring, boning, and fillet knife and a couple stones than one very expensive Japanese knife and no stones for that matter. are all fair game as well. I've a Wat that is considered top of the game but it would run just north of $300usd. German knives will be thicker and therefore can take a lot more. - Next is something that's a bit of a wolf in sheep's clothing. Wüsthof have this fantastic Classic 6pc that ticks every box, maybe even more so than Zwilling because their steel is well above the average for the price tag. These are an absolute delight, and it's all too common to see every kind of chef from a baby all the way up to one of those grizzly veterans of the hotel and restaurant business have at least three or four of their knives in their drawer. Go to YouTube and look for "Japanology knives" for a fantastic 20 minute lesson on the utility and variety of knives. Thinner blades make Japanese knives easier to use because they require less pressure to slice through food. I love my Japanese steel knives. Mass production from traditional knife makers usually compromises product but there are videos lurking on YouTube of people comparing some of their museum pieces to more modern ones and vocally noting how good they still are. Japanese knives tend to be thinner and sharper, more useful for fine cuts on delicate fish. Shen. Check out Zknives.com for a lot of Japanese knife reviews. Generally speaking I would suggest that you look at what tasks you often end up doing before getting your knives. I haven't seen any other steel hold such a nice edge yet be tough enough to roll instead of chip under that kind of abuse. /r/AskCulinary provides expert guidance for your specific cooking problems to help people of all skill levels become better cooks, to increase understanding of cooking, and to share valuable culinary knowledge. Japanese knives, like Shun, and German knives, like Wusthof, have several fundamental differences. These use a bit softer steel than their Japanese counterparts, by design, so that the blade will roll/bend rather than chip when rocking and will withstand some lateral force. Hey! In closing it really is a "you do you" affair. Perfectly balanced, holds a razor edge and able to obtain precision cuts. Thank you so much for your fountain of information. Unless you are a professional chef, go for a set of Whustoff's. Victorinox' Classic Kitchen 5PC is definitely better for budget, but you may benefit from buying products individually. http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v240/smurfe/Food/IMG_2015.jpg, http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v240/smurfe/Food/IMG_1907.jpg, http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v240/smurfe/Food/IMG_1864.jpg, http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v240/smurfe/Food/IMG_2161.jpg, http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v240/smurfe/Food/IMG_2049.jpg, New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast, More posts from the AskCulinary community. Japanese knives are designed for slicing and thus have a very different edge. For soft foods and fine slicing, I find nothing works nicer than a Japanese knife. 1 Kamikoto Kanpeki Knife Set. Every single knife they have is of course useful, but their bread knives are not as good as their pastry knives (Which are never included in medium sized sets). A place for all things chef knives. I am much more comfortable hacking through things with a chinatown cleaver or a European chef's knife and would never do that with a comparatively brittle Japanese knife. Very often people are confused by the words sharpen and hone. And this is why I love reddit. Unless you're a professional, it is highly unlikely. The design of the blades are crucial for their intended purpose. Chef knives with 8-inch blades come with a multitude of user benefits. If you prefer to push cut (a technique most pro's develop for efficiency), or want to learn to push cut, the the flatter Japanese knives will better suit you. I really like that site because the reviewer has seen so many different makes of knives. It's very common for Japanese knife makers specifically to not sell their blades in sets, which includes Yoshihiro. Would they be good at caring for a knife that is a bit of a prima donna? And I'll add that I don't have much experience with entry level nakiri. If this knife is to be your main knife (or first good one) then I suggest dropping that coin on the more versatile chef knife or gyuto. Chances are you have either grandparents or an aunt or uncle somewhere that will have some ultimate chef knife (maybe even from a totally obscure and out there brand) that will fit for you. I.O. You still can't slam through chicken bones with it without rolling the edge over, but it'll roll instead of chipping which in my mind is very impressive. The knife is well weighted and comes sharpened at a lower angle to provide a more precise, sharp edge. It is not worthwhile to have a very expensive knife capable of holding an extreme edge without having stones that get up to at least 4000 mesh to maintain your knife. I keep my Shuns super sharp with sub micron stones for when I want a change of pace and want something super sharp, but I'm finding again and again that I enjoy my high value cheap stuff a lot more for routine cooking because I don't have to worry about dinging an edge. There's a whole lot of loaning between both continental styles of their knives also , and very often when you buy a set of German, French, or Swiss knives the brand may very well be from that country, but the styles of all of the knives in a set may vary (Except for the work horse chefs knife). Moreover, they’re … For a utility knife, nothing beats Victorinox (Swiss made). I am more wary with my Japanese knives when taking apart birds or dealing with bones in general. 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