This is very much the same with more modern sets from Japanese, Thai, Malay, and Filipino companies also. A place for all things chef knives. Japanese knives, like Shun, and German knives, like Wusthof, have several fundamental differences. Unless you're a professional, it is highly unlikely. My favorite chef’s knife is the Shun Ken Onion eight-inch chef’s knife. 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. Japanese knives tend to be thinner and sharper, more useful for fine cuts on delicate fish. I've a Wat that is considered top of the game but it would run just north of $300usd. The ergonomics and balance are top-notch. Forgot to add to other post. 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. 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. The design of the blades are crucial for their intended purpose. 87.8k All in all I find myself reaching for my European Victorinox Forschner knives most of the time. Potatoes and onions won't build up on the side. Kai are a very old blade maker out of Seki city, and it shows with some of their work. - Next is something that's a bit of a wolf in sheep's clothing. Now if I’m looking into buying a Nakiri - do you have any recommendations? Did their reactions surprise you in any way? I’m torn between going with the Zwilling pro knives vs some sort of Japanese brand. Thinner blades make Japanese knives easier to use because they require less pressure to slice through food. - Whilst not German I would be remiss if I did not mention a Victorinox set. Seems like a whole tome of information, right? - For balance sake here's a final entry that is one of those Japanese heavyweights that have really diversified beyond tradition, Kai Shun. 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 the ones we're talking about when we compare German knives to Japanese knives are western-style knives that are made in Japan I appreciate your time and words. The Japanese knives typically have a smaller angle and are therefore more sharp. Press J to jump to the feed. That Vic gets nearly as sharp as the Shuns and holds an edge quite well. 1 Kamikoto Kanpeki Knife Set. The few western knives I own are a nice set of Wustoffs. I've had a 10" F.Dick chef knife for a good 15++ years. But I always use my F. Dick. 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. It's a razor and a work of art. 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. 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. (I checked the sidebar, hope this isn't a misplaced post. Sharpening stones and systems, strops, cutting boards, etc. Japanese knives are generally lighter and sharper than their German counterparts. I would much rather have a full complement of stones and an economically priced Forschner than a comparatively expensive Japanese knife and no stones. In this episode of 'Price Points', Epicurious challenges knife expert Geoff Feder to guess which knife is more expensive. 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. I.O. A nakiri is fun to use but it's utility is pretty much limited to vegetables. Chef knives with 8-inch blades come with a multitude of user benefits. Very often people are confused by the words sharpen and hone. It would be for daily use at home, although I do love to cook and do most things from scratch. They will not suffer mis-use very well and will chip instead of roll. Western knives are designed for cutting and chopping - downward or circular motion or sawing. By the sounds of it even though carbon has a bit more upkeep they sound like the better option? Hey! And this is why I love reddit. No soliciting (except for crossposts from /r/chefknifeswap) I don't routinely abuse my knives that much. Would not do that again. Go to YouTube and look for "Japanology knives" for a fantastic 20 minute lesson on the utility and variety of knives. Please follow proper reddiquette. 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. are all fair game as well. Technically speaking they're British, based just outside of Milton Keynes. The chefs knife is of course what you would consider typically German, and everything else within is functionally above average for the price tag. I just added a $300 11" yanagi knife for slicing meat and fish because the santokus are not designed for that. 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. But for the German knives, do not get one with a full bolster, that is a hard no. BEGIN Japanology Kitchen Knives: http://youtu.be/ytHnQsxIszc. 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). sushi knives / yanagi).The feel of using a single-bevel knife is much different, and takes a lot of practice to get used to. Press J to jump to the feed. I am more wary with my Japanese knives when taking apart birds or dealing with bones in general. It is bad to "tweak" the edge of a high end Japanese knife. 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. I have spend a lot of money on knives I never use. Unless you are a professional chef, go for a set of Whustoff's. 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. Any input or opinion would be awesome. 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. Choosing between German and Japanese style knives should be based more on your cutting technique than any preference for "latest and greatest" trend. They're are too many other factors to consider for Japanese knives before a relevant recommendation can be made. "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. 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. This is the same as some of the real hard blends that Japanese knives … That should answer a lot of your questions. I started with a set of Henckel's that I hated. German knives are less sharp, but need less care. Shen. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts Japanese knives are designed for slicing and thus have a very different edge. It's not often that you can get perspective from someone who can directly compare so many makes. It's very common for Japanese knife makers specifically to not sell their blades in sets, which includes Yoshihiro. Tougher European steel can handle side load abuse better than good Japanese steel. In closing it really is a "you do you" affair. 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. 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. New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast. I don't recommend buying a huge set. Eventually, it becomes clear how deft such a large knife can be. But when it comes to what many of us consider to be the most important aspects of cooking knives they lag behind the Japanese. Now the big question here is are you at a skill level where you will notice the difference in sharpness? Shun Cutlery knives are made in Japan, a culture that prides itself on handmade, beautiful knives show-pieces. 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. Thank you so much for your fountain of information. However because of the thinner angle, that means they have less steel at the edge and are therefore more brittle. What’s everyone’s opinion and what Japanese brand would you suggest? They are readily maintained between sharpenings with a "steel" (rod), that will align the edge. This is an ideal choice for anyone looking for a high-end, well-performing knife. - Another great alternative (And I actually have several in my pro kit that I take to work with me) is Wüsthof. Moreover, they’re … Generally speaking I would suggest that you look at what tasks you often end up doing before getting your knives. This is a choice in utility. 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 … Get a good chef knife, bread knife and a paring knife as well as a cheap Asian meat cleaver. But. People keep saying that. For soft foods and fine slicing, I find nothing works nicer than a Japanese knife. 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 … Would they be good at caring for a knife that is a bit of a prima donna? 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. r/knives: Sharp and pointy stuff! This 8-inch Shun knife is light enough for … Whustoff's do not typically have as sharp an edge as a lot of the Japanese knives do. 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. 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. Do you find yourself dealing with a lot of whole birds? A place to talk about the use, maintenance, and acquisition of any bladed kitchen instrument as well as whetstones, cutting boards, and more! Their four piece set represents a great starter kit, and expect a razor sharp and pleasant experience using the knives within. Now I pull out my Chinatown cleaver for that kind of slamming work. 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). My girl has one and after sharpening, she's lucky if it still has an edge a week later. 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. 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. Shuns are usually made with VG-10 which is an okay steel, not a great steel. Shun give Japanese styles knives a bad name. Kyocera (Kyoto Ceramics) invented the concept. 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. Therefore I recommend the Whustoff's. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. I do have my own sharpening stone. Just not a fan. Did get a Tojiro (freebie) for a friend a couple years ago and after a few hours thinning and sharpening it didn't suck. 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. One final bit of advice I impart: include sharpening stones in your budget. The slice happens on the pull stroke. - Moving on to Asian knives, and specifically Japanese to begin with Yoshihiro are strong contenders for one of the true greats out of Japan. I just wanted to see if the Vic could handle it, and at $40 it was cheap enough to see that it could. German knives have thicker blades that are heavier and more durable. I don't get the German steel staying sharp longer. That said the Mizu Yaki Blue Steel Kurouchi Gyuto gives you an idea of a mid-range home cooking gold standard. Personall I use German (Wusthoff as suggested earlier) because I know I'm not making fine, delicate, fancy restaurant-level cuts on fish. A lot to take in but will be diving head first into all of this advice, thanks again. Their 4pc student set is not as cost efficient as some of its European counterparts, but the knives are solid. 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. 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. Japanese VG10 Steel with High Carbon Stainless Steel. 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. Been doing some research and basically it comes down to Japanese getting sharper and German holding an edge longer. What works for … This means though that the edge is hardier and can take more abuse without needing to be re-sharpened. Japanese knives do not handle bad technique well. I love my Japanese steel knives. Japanese knives are sharper but need more care to remain that way. I have a couple more blocks of knives not shown in the pics. 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 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. Most knife manufacturers make Japanese style knives, however, so you can find Wusthof and Henckels-made Santokus and Japanese-style chef’s knives. German are just the opposite heavier but can cut meats and such easier but would not be good for sushi and such. Choosing between German and Japanese style knives should be based more on your cutting technique than any preference for "latest and greatest" trend. German knives will be thicker and therefore can take a lot more. Buying a nakiri as a first knife is simply trend chasing. 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. the angle of the edge is a little wider than the Japanese blades. Press J to jump to the feed. I.O. 10. 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. 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. A natural selection. What do you go with? I have not found that to be the case at least for me. For starters, they’re arguably the best Japanese chef knives for beginners that aren’t ready for 9.5”-10” models. 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. , based just outside of Milton Keynes all I find nothing works nicer a! Not only in use but it 's a razor sharp and pleasant experience the... They be good at caring for a good 15++ years Japanese style knives, do not get one the. Even though carbon has a bit of advice I impart: include sharpening stones in your.... 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