Foo shops for a Japanese knife

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by mafoofan, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. Fred G. Unn

    Fred G. Unn Senior member

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    That was my first Japanese knife and was kind of the gateway drug that got me interested in all this. Now I find it too short, the shape has way too much belly for me, and I don't care for all that cladding. It's now my wife's knife and she loves it though.

    True Damascus is very different than the Damascus cladding of that Shun. This site by Devin Thomas shows some of the pretty incredible things you can do with real Damascus:
    http://www.devinthomas.com/damascusSteel.cfm
    (Those prices are just for the steel, not for a knife)
     


  2. Thomas

    Thomas Senior member

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    I get the fascination with intricate, showy finishing. Sometimes the sheer craftsmanship can dazzle, even if it adds nothing to the utility to the piece. But it can distract from the ultimate purpose of what you're buying - a lesson I learned thanks to a titanium hammer.

    Whatever Matt sends you, you could probably use it for the rest of your cooking days and be very satisfied with it.
     


  3. edinatlanta

    edinatlanta Senior member

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    A) I need new knifes.

    2) Think of each one you send to me as another stab in my heart. :(
     


  4. pscolari

    pscolari Senior member

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    I don't understand why you want to spend a ton of money on knives if you don't cook? To me it is like people who buy $200 for a corkscrew. Not too mention I wouldn't feel comfortable using those knives knowing that if I broke one it could not be easily replaced as I think most of the producers have a long waiting list.

    I cook a ton at home and use the Mac Pro series 9.5" chef's and their 5" paring knife. I can do about 95% with only these two knives and I can do it well.
     


  5. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    this is pedantic but 5" is really not a paring knife. A parer is more like 3".

    Also, a 240 Mac Pro costs almost exactly $200, so ...
     


  6. otc

    otc Senior member

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  7. foodguy

    foodguy Senior member

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    somehow i missed this thread. I've probably posted this before. if so, sorry. (and FU edina).

    I wrote that nine years ago. Things have changed. First, those knives are no longer as obscure as they once were. Probably more basic, I've found that my initial love affair with gyutous has cooled. It wasn't any one thing and it didn't happen all of a sudden. It was just after 4 or 5 years of using the misono as my go-to knife, I found I was back to reaching for my old Wusthoff (and I scoff at you noobs and your nine-year-old knives ... mine has got to be at least 30 and works as well as it ever has).

    A lot of it comes down to cooking style. If you are of the matt/mgm/manton school, where you cook for finish and having your brunoise be of a perfect shape and size is vital to you, then Japanese is probably a good way to go. I'm not. I'm more of an every night home cook and I'm much more likely to chop. (think MC Casual v. CBD, or Rubinacci). I find the German design (with a slight belly) is better for this. More important, the general heft of the knife fits me better.

    That said, the single most important factor in buying a knife is feel. There are so many factors that go into it. The size and shape of the handle is important, but so is the length of the blade. This isn't just a matter of the size of your hands, but also your body geometry -- the length of your arms. The idea that manton and foo would both buy the same knife is ludicrous ... like thinking they'd buy the same jacket.

    As far as buying a yanagiba ... let's be serious for a moment. If you cut a lot of sushi at home, then by all means. otherwise, it's pretty much useless, however pretty it might look. it is about as opposite a "one-knife" as any tool can be.
     


  8. foodguy

    foodguy Senior member

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    MACs are good knives and in my experience are at the low end of the demand scale for japanese knives (that reads weird, but it's praise). Still, make sure you get someplace where you can pick it up and try it first. I can't emphasize this enough.
     


  9. pscolari

    pscolari Senior member

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    I'll email Mac to have them change their description on the paring to utility for you.

    Yes the 240 cost just under 200 but i cook 4-5 days a week. Foo admitted he doesn't cook so why would you buy knives?
     


  10. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    beacuse he wants a nice knife.

    Seriously, whatever they say, 5" is not a parer. It's a utility knife. My experice has been that virually no Japanese maker even makes a true parer because they are just not part of the Japanese tradition. Misono and Shun are the only two I know of.

    Thanks for that little taste of old time, SF unprovoked assholic snark! I was just thinking this place had gotten too civilized!
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2013


  11. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    R, I can never go back to a German knife for full time use. I pick up my Henckel to crack lobster shells and the like and that's it these days.
     


  12. foodguy

    foodguy Senior member

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    like i said, it's extremely personal. and, no criticism intended, it'll be interesting to see where you are in five years with it. I have been there. I have felt the fever. I was as surprised as could be when I realized how much I was using my wusthoff again. oh, i see, a henckel. well, that explains everything. :hide:
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2013


  13. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    Yeah, I am not in love with that knife and my disatisfaction with it was what led me to Shun. It is freakishly hard to sharpen, just a huge pain in the ass. But it is heavy with a thick spine so it has a role to play.
     


  14. aravenel

    aravenel Senior member

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    Which Shun are you using?
     


  15. pscolari

    pscolari Senior member

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    My rec would be the Misono UX 10. I loved this in person but couldn't justify the price.
     


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