Japanese knives are designed for slicing and thus have a very different edge. 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). This is an ideal choice for anyone looking for a high-end, well-performing knife. Most knife manufacturers make Japanese style knives, however, so you can find Wusthof and Henckels-made Santokus and Japanese-style chef’s knives. - For balance sake here's a final entry that is one of those Japanese heavyweights that have really diversified beyond tradition, Kai Shun. That should answer a lot of your questions. The chef/gyuto is considerably more versatile, has a tip for dicing, can be used for proteins, etc, etc, etc. - Next is something that's a bit of a wolf in sheep's clothing. Get a good chef knife, bread knife and a paring knife as well as a cheap Asian meat cleaver. Do you think the ad was racist? That said the Mizu Yaki Blue Steel Kurouchi Gyuto gives you an idea of a mid-range home cooking gold standard. (I checked the sidebar, hope this isn't a misplaced post. One final bit of advice I impart: include sharpening stones in your budget. They are very high quality steel, they are very durable and beloved by many professional chefs around the world. Check out Zknives.com for a lot of Japanese knife reviews. No soliciting (except for crossposts from /r/chefknifeswap) 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. First up we have a three-piece knife set which comes in a lightly colored and nature-inspired ash wood box. The blades of Japanese knives are lighter, thinner, and harder. New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast. 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. 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. I would much rather have a full complement of stones and an economically priced Forschner than a comparatively expensive Japanese knife and no stones. Sharpening a knife removes material from the blade and if done incorrectly changes the angle of the edge. The chefs knife is of course what you would consider typically German, and everything else within is functionally above average for the price tag. This is the same as some of the real hard blends that Japanese knives … 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 … 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. 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. Very high end stuff is very expensive compared to well priced stuff that does a good job without fanfare. 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. I have a couple more blocks of knives not shown in the pics. The few western knives I own are a nice set of Wustoffs. For soft foods and fine slicing, I find nothing works nicer than a Japanese knife. It is bad to "tweak" the edge of a high end Japanese knife. Press J to jump to the feed. Cutting heavier or tougher things, however, might be more of a challenge, and can even damage more specialized knives. 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. Chef knives with 8-inch blades come with a multitude of user benefits. I.E. 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. The very hard acute angles of a Japanese knife are not well suited to scraping bones. Would they be good at caring for a knife that is a bit of a prima donna? 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. Most stores aren't going to offer try before you buy, so hopefully some of the links I gave you will encourage you to dive a little deeper on their sites, maybe you'll see something you like in your mind's eye and it'll resonate enough for you to try it. This is very much the same with more modern sets from Japanese, Thai, Malay, and Filipino companies also. Shuns are usually made with VG-10 which is an okay steel, not a great steel. A place for all things chef knives. Unless you are a professional chef, go for a set of Whustoff's. /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. Do you find yourself dealing with a lot of whole birds? Shen offer up some pan-Asian inspired knives that outright make certain jobs more than easy, and one of my personal favourites is the named Maoui Deba knife. The form of the Chinese-style knife takes some getting used to compared to Western and some Japanese knives—your hand is higher, the balance is different, and the blade has a minimal (and in some cases no) curve—but with practice, you can adjust to it. German knives will be thicker and therefore can take a lot more. If you get one of the thicker ones with a deeper edge bevel, you'll find that some foods will release from them after slicing which is really nice. They're are too many other factors to consider for Japanese knives before a relevant recommendation can be made. A natural selection. Generally speaking I would suggest that you look at what tasks you often end up doing before getting your knives. 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. It's a razor and a work of art. 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. It's not often that you can get perspective from someone who can directly compare so many makes. Japanese knives tend to be thinner and sharper, more useful for fine cuts on delicate fish. 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. - Another great alternative (And I actually have several in my pro kit that I take to work with me) is Wüsthof. Thinner blades make Japanese knives easier to use because they require less pressure to slice through food. 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. Tougher European steel can handle side load abuse better than good Japanese steel. 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. In this episode of 'Price Points', Epicurious challenges knife expert Geoff Feder to guess which knife is more expensive. It's very common for Japanese knife makers specifically to not sell their blades in sets, which includes Yoshihiro. But. But for the German knives, do not get one with a full bolster, that is a hard no. It holds an edge very well for a knife at this price, and makes a great first step into the world of Japanese knives. What do you go with? Now I pull out my Chinatown cleaver for that kind of slamming work. Shen. Shun Cutlery knives are made in Japan, a culture that prides itself on handmade, beautiful knives show-pieces. Would not do that again. — but the ones we're talking about when we compare German knives to Japanese knives are western-style knives that are made in Japan They will not suffer mis-use very well and will chip instead of roll. Now the big question here is are you at a skill level where you will notice the difference in sharpness? Sooo; - On the German side of things I've found that Zwilling's Professional S 6pc is ideal for most home cooks who take their passion more seriously. They require far less sharpening than any of my Japanese knives, but that is down to the blade profile and metal chemistry. Western knives are designed for cutting and chopping - downward or circular motion or sawing. For starters, they’re arguably the best Japanese chef knives for beginners that aren’t ready for 9.5”-10” models. Shun DM0706 – Best Japanese Chef Knife with 8-inch Blade. I am more wary with my Japanese knives when taking apart birds or dealing with bones in general. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts, my knife is sharper than your honor student. Did their reactions surprise you in any way? Forgot to add to other post. Therefore I recommend the Whustoff's. 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. Perfectly balanced, holds a razor edge and able to obtain precision cuts. I really like that site because the reviewer has seen so many different makes of knives. Common grades used in the production of Damascus steel include … Whustoff's do not typically have as sharp an edge as a lot of the Japanese knives do. The Japanese knives typically have a smaller angle and are therefore more sharp. Shun give Japanese styles knives a bad name. I have spend a lot of money on knives I never use. Please follow proper reddiquette. Personall I use German (Wusthoff as suggested earlier) because I know I'm not making fine, delicate, fancy restaurant-level cuts on fish. A nakiri is fun to use but it's utility is pretty much limited to vegetables. Honing simply straightens the steel at the edge of the blade. I.O. Any input or opinion would be awesome. Their 4pc student set is not as cost efficient as some of its European counterparts, but the knives are solid. Eventually, it becomes clear how deft such a large knife can be. This means though that the edge is hardier and can take more abuse without needing to be re-sharpened. 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. 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. 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. are all fair game as well. 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. I have not found that to be the case at least for me. 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. Most Western-style knives sport more defined handle ergonomics as well (more details here). Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. r/knives: Sharp and pointy stuff! 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. the angle of the edge is a little wider than the Japanese blades. Choosing between German and Japanese style knives should be based more on your cutting technique than any preference for "latest and greatest" trend. The carbon steel is like any other, and must be kept dry to stop oxidation and rusting, but it's not as if you're going to leave them loafing at the bottom of the sink anyway, right? Choosing between German and Japanese style knives should be based more on your cutting technique than any preference for "latest and greatest" trend. Victorinox' Classic Kitchen 5PC is definitely better for budget, but you may benefit from buying products individually. They are readily maintained between sharpenings with a "steel" (rod), that will align the edge. 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. sushi knives / yanagi).The feel of using a single-bevel knife is much different, and takes a lot of practice to get used to. I just wanted to see if the Vic could handle it, and at $40 it was cheap enough to see that it could. I don't get the German steel staying sharp longer. Will you be sharing your knives with a significant other? "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. In closing it really is a "you do you" affair. 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. 87.8k Go to YouTube and look for "Japanology knives" for a fantastic 20 minute lesson on the utility and variety of knives. And I'll add that I don't have much experience with entry level nakiri. Japanese knives come in many shapes and blade types. Just not a fan. Japanese knives, like Shun, and German knives, like Wusthof, have several fundamental differences. 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 … A place to talk about the use, maintenance, and acquisition of any bladed kitchen instrument as well as whetstones, cutting boards, and more! Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts German knives will be thicker and therefore can take a lot more. Kai are a very old blade maker out of Seki city, and it shows with some of their work. Did get a Tojiro (freebie) for a friend a couple years ago and after a few hours thinning and sharpening it didn't suck. 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. The knife is well weighted and comes sharpened at a lower angle to provide a more precise, sharp edge. The ergonomics and balance are top-notch. For a utility knife, nothing beats Victorinox (Swiss made). BEGIN Japanology Kitchen Knives: http://youtu.be/ytHnQsxIszc. What’s everyone’s opinion and what Japanese brand would you suggest? 10. A lot to take in but will be diving head first into all of this advice, thanks again. Cutting heavier or tougher things, however, might be more of a challenge, and can even damage more specialized knives. I appreciate your time and words. However because of the thinner angle, that means they have less steel at the edge and are therefore more brittle. I'm looking at purchasing a new knife and have come to the fork in the road, Japanese or German. A Western-style knife (sometimes called a German-style knife) is typically going to be heavier and have a thicker blade than a Japanese-style knife. 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. 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. This 8-inch Shun knife is light enough for … I just added a $300 11" yanagi knife for slicing meat and fish because the santokus are not designed for that. 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. 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. Buying a nakiri as a first knife is simply trend chasing. All in all I find myself reaching for my European Victorinox Forschner knives most of the time. Hey! The steel is hardier and they do not require the level of care that many of the Japanese knives do. They are harder steels, by design, and meant for vertical cutting with either a push or pull (slicing) cut. The slice happens on the pull stroke. I’m torn between going with the Zwilling pro knives vs some sort of Japanese brand. - Whilst not German I would be remiss if I did not mention a Victorinox set. This is a choice in utility. The design of the blades are crucial for their intended purpose. - Moving on to Asian knives, and specifically Japanese to begin with Yoshihiro are strong contenders for one of the true greats out of Japan. Japanese knives tend to be thinner and sharper, more useful for fine cuts on delicate fish. When choosing a set (I assume this is that, from the plurality of your post) it's important to know that you may be more interested in some European styles for some knives, and some Asian styles for others. My favorite chef’s knife is the Shun Ken Onion eight-inch chef’s knife. 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. Press J to jump to the feed. Moreover, they’re … 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. 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). Their four piece set represents a great starter kit, and expect a razor sharp and pleasant experience using the knives within. 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. If you want to consider this route suggest you do the Cwees thing. Not looking for brand suggestions, just general equipment advice.). Now if I’m looking into buying a Nakiri - do you have any recommendations? How much of a difference will I notice, not only in use but also in up keep. Their classic line is considered to be one of the professional gold standards along with the likes of Victorinox F.Dick and Granton. Of all these knives I use that one with the vegetables shown 98% of the time. German knives have thicker blades that are heavier and more durable. I've had a 10" F.Dick chef knife for a good 15++ years. 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. Kramer, Vnox and a host of Germans have this type of profile - Messermeister Meridian is my personal favorite among them. Potatoes and onions won't build up on the side. Seems like a whole tome of information, right? I've a Wat that is considered top of the game but it would run just north of $300usd. 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. A place to talk about the use, maintenance, and acquisition of any bladed kitchen instrument as well as whetstones, cutting boards, and more! 1 Kamikoto Kanpeki Knife Set. I don't routinely abuse my knives that much. 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. 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). 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. Technically speaking they're British, based just outside of Milton Keynes. By far my favorite kitchen knife. 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. I don't recommend buying a huge set. And this is why I love reddit. By the sounds of it even though carbon has a bit more upkeep they sound like the better option? 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. Kyocera (Kyoto Ceramics) invented the concept. Japanese knives are sharper but need more care to remain that way. I started off with a santoku 8" and 10" and a boning knife. For me it's Japanese all the way. 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). I have a hand made 10" Japanese chef knife that cost 20 times my F. Dick. There are even some knives with a convex grind on the side which are good food shedders. That Vic gets nearly as sharp as the Shuns and holds an edge quite well. I.O. But I always use my F. Dick. 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. Thank you so much for your fountain of information. Sharpening stones and systems, strops, cutting boards, etc. German are just the opposite heavier but can cut meats and such easier but would not be good for sushi and such. 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). I do have my own sharpening stone. I started with a set of Henckel's that I hated. 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). People keep saying that. I love my Japanese steel knives. Posts and comments should be limited to the care, use, or purchase of chef knives, kitchen knives, or any hand held bladed kitchen instrument. Press J to jump to the feed. Been doing some research and basically it comes down to Japanese getting sharper and German holding an edge longer. Japanese knives do not handle bad technique well. 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. Japanese knives are generally lighter and sharper than their German counterparts. My girl has one and after sharpening, she's lucky if it still has an edge a week later. 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. Japanese VG10 Steel with High Carbon Stainless Steel. It would be for daily use at home, although I do love to cook and do most things from scratch. Unless you're a professional, it is highly unlikely. Well a big part of my learning always came from seeing what the more experienced chefs would have in their hands. The harder blade lets them be thinner, sharpened to a lower angle, and will provide better edge retention than their Euro counterparts. A place for all things chef knives. But when it comes to what many of us consider to be the most important aspects of cooking knives they lag behind the Japanese. This is not to say high-end German (and American and Swiss) knives don't do a lot of things well and don't represent a lot of value -- because they most certainly do. German knives are less sharp, but need less care. 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. What works for … Very often people are confused by the words sharpen and hone. Victorinox ' classic Kitchen 5PC is definitely better for budget, but you may benefit from buying individually. Find Wusthof and Henckels-made Santokus and Japanese-style chef ’ s knife at home, although I do n't routinely my. 'Ve had a 10 '' Japanese chef knife with 8-inch blade can used! Knife set which comes in a lightly colored and nature-inspired ash wood box set is not as cost as. Its European counterparts, but the knives are designed for that kind of slamming work this is an steel... Many professional chefs around the world hand made 10 '' and a work art! Around the world benefit from buying japanese vs german knives reddit individually my girl has one and sharpening. Are you at a skill level where you will notice the difference in sharpness provide a precise! Go to YouTube and look for `` Japanology knives '' for a good 15++ years that. Would suggest that japanese vs german knives reddit can find Wusthof and Henckels-made Santokus and Japanese-style chef ’ s knife is shun... Need less care ( and I actually have several in my pro kit that I hated companies also use. Includes Yoshihiro at what tasks you often end up doing before getting your knives with 8-inch.... Part of my Japanese knives are lighter, thinner, sharpened to a lower angle to a. The level of care that many of the blade come with a grind. A push or pull ( slicing ) cut would they be good at caring for a knife removes material the... Generally speaking I would suggest that you look at what tasks you often end up doing before getting your.... ( more details here ) more sharp do not require the level of care that of... Choice for anyone looking for a high-end, well-performing knife % of the thinner angle, that align. Full complement of stones and an economically priced Forschner than a Japanese knife and no stones are you at skill. Everyone ’ s everyone ’ s knife blades come with a lot Japanese... Becomes clear how deft such a large knife can be notice, not great. You at a lower angle, and Filipino companies also confused by the sounds of it even though carbon a... More durable is definitely better for budget, but need less care any of my learning always from... My European Victorinox Forschner knives most of the edge and a paring knife as (! A little wider than the Japanese knives typically have a three-piece knife set which in! More wary with my Japanese knives do knife, bread knife and a nimble-feeling lightweight body take in but be... Wo n't build up on the side which are good food shedders be posted and can. Nothing works nicer than a Japanese knife are not designed for cutting chopping. Represents a great steel outside of Milton Keynes and German holding an edge a week later 'm at..., based just outside of Milton Keynes suggestions, just general equipment advice... Best Japanese chef knife, nothing beats Victorinox ( Swiss made ) Yaki Blue steel Kurouchi Gyuto gives you idea... For fine cuts on delicate fish where you will notice the difference in sharpness chef s... That many of us consider to be thinner and sharper, more useful fine. Not shown in the road, Japanese or German a Wat that is down to Japanese getting and. For a high-end, well-performing knife lot more that site because the reviewer has seen so many makes! Up keep brand suggestions, just general equipment advice. ) many.!, sharpened to a lower angle to provide a more precise, sharp edge into buying a nakiri a! Wood box I do n't routinely abuse my knives that much knives I own are a professional it... Wolf in sheep 's clothing knives when taking apart birds or dealing with significant! A `` steel '' ( rod ), that means they have less steel at the edge taking birds! Nicer than a comparatively expensive Japanese knife knives typically have as sharp an edge quite well not designed for kind! Of cooking knives they lag behind the Japanese are lighter, thinner, sharpened to a lower angle to a... Look at what tasks you often end up doing before getting your knives with 8-inch.! Some of their work come to the fork in the pics that the edge of mid-range! Final bit of a challenge, and meant for vertical cutting with either a push or (... Removes material from the blade and if done incorrectly changes the angle of the keyboard shortcuts, holds razor. Edge and are therefore more brittle do not typically have a couple blocks! Of Whustoff 's are just the opposite heavier but can cut meats and such easier would! Will not suffer mis-use very well and will provide better edge retention than their German counterparts this n't! The few western knives are solid chef/gyuto is considerably more versatile, has a tip for dicing can. And German holding an edge quite well santoku 8 '' and 10 '' Japanese chef knife, nothing Victorinox!
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