Shopping Japan Knives

Joined
May 7, 2021
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1
Hello
I am newbie but would like to buy some knives from Japan. This question has been posted lots of times I know.
It would be nice to have a overview of some knife-makers and their characteristics. Been reading lots of threads but really. If you have a link of a thread which gives some hints please post it.
Thank you very much for your answer.
 
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SVTFreak

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Mar 8, 2011
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4,890
I’m in a similar boat. I just retire my old cheapo knives and invested in a good set. After much research, I chose yaxell mon series knives. I got an 8” chef, 6” santuko, 4.5” santuko, 6” utility and 4.5” paring. I LOVE them. They are thin, and pretty hard but not impossible to sharpen. I touched them up on an Arkansas oil stone once but I did invest in shapton glass 500 and 2k to sharpen them. They stay sharp a good while and not too bad to sharpen up. I do keep a 9” custom w2 chefs knife for more aggressive work that is softer. That Mon’s have g10 handles, feel great to me, and have a western style grip while maintaining the thin edge and ricasso. They are vg10 core with a layer on each side. The steel lamination look is cool, and vg10 is a proven ste. The best part, they don’t break the bank. I find they are perfect for my cooking for the family, hobbyist cooking that I do.
 
Joined
May 1, 2010
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japanesechefsknife.com and chefknivestogo have a lot of Japanese brands and information on the different knife styles. Lots of steel choices like VG10, Blue, White, etc. I'm a big fan of Takeshi Saji's R2 knives like the Bunka.
 
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chefknivestogo.com has information on the smiths on their website. Also you can go to their forum, chefknivestogoforums.com and discuss the knives there.
 

Taz

Joined
Apr 28, 1999
Messages
1,219
Chef Knives To Go is where I get most of my Japanese blades. Japanese Knife Imports, Japanese Chefs Knife, Epicurean Edge, HidaTool, Japanese Natural Stones, Korin all have good blades. Many makers also sell on Ebay as well directly from Japan. CKTG has a lot of info about their smiths as well, which is pretty cool! There are a ton of places with the Japanese blades. If you think VG-10 is a nice steel, try some HAP40, R2/SG2, Aogami Super, etc!
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2021
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This forum is great for some things,, but not kitchen knives. Go to kitchen knife forums .com.
 
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Jan 26, 2021
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BTW, Shigefusa, Kato, Kramer, Rader, Carter, etc. Are the superstars, subjectively speaking.
 
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3 3tc_te72
OP- if you are new to J-knives, and in the US, Chefknivestogo, MTC, Bernal Cutlery, are good sources. Also JapaneseChefKnives.com in Seki will ship knives to you from Japan quick and clean.
As mentioned if you want to learn about J-Knives, KKF is the place to go. The only drawback there is that the majority of the members are very "hardcore" and may be well above the level for a newcomer. To a newcomer I often recommend a $100 Tojiro. Many KKF members will recommend a $600 Honyaki or Shig.
There are few if any one stop sources to "learn everything" about J-knives, the subject is too vast.
But you can always post any specific questions here.
 
Joined
May 18, 2021
Messages
2
Hello
I am newbie but would like to buy some knives from Japan. This question has been posted lots of times I know.
It would be nice to have a overview of some knife-makers and their characteristics. Been reading lots of threads but really. If you have a link of a thread which gives some hints please post it.
Thank you very much for your answer.

Man, honestly, it's really hard. There are so many knife makers, and honestly, in a lot of ways it's hard to go wrong, because of that.

I personally really enjoy the Mac line. They aren't stupid expensive--though definitely not cheap either, hold an edge well, have a good balance in my opinion.
I first bought a Tojiro 8" chef, and paring knife, and the chef basically never gets used much anymore.

You can get into much more boutique knifes--Takamura (almost never in stock), Takeda (leaning towards as my next one--in the $400 range) and then you Carter (big $$$$$). There is a guy I love out of California, Jodie, who does amazing work under his brand, Pie, that are pricey, but for the craftsmanship it's honestly not a bad deal. The knife I got from him cut as good as the Carter, and was about 1/4 the price.

I would say the best things to kind of figure out (it's hard again, because of options) is:
-Steel choice (if it matters to you), especially stainless vs. non-stainless
-Length: My wife and mom prefer the 6", while I personally love the 9"ish range. You'll find a lot of options in either 8" or 10"
-Handle shape: Western vs. D. I kinda like the D-shape better, but it all depends on how you hold the knife.
-There really are a slew of good options some high end steels, for not crazy money.
 
Joined
May 18, 2021
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Man, honestly, it's really hard. There are so many knife makers, and honestly, in a lot of ways it's hard to go wrong, because of that.

I personally really enjoy the Mac line. They aren't stupid expensive--though definitely not cheap either, hold an edge well, have a good balance in my opinion.
I first bought a Tojiro 8" chef, and paring knife, and the chef basically never gets used much anymore.

You can get into much more boutique knifes--Takamura (almost never in stock), Takeda (leaning towards as my next one--in the $400 range) and then you Carter (big $$$$$). There is a guy I love out of California, Jodie, who does amazing work under his brand, Pie, that are pricey, but for the craftsmanship it's honestly not a bad deal. The knife I got from him cut as good as the Carter, and was about 1/4 the price.

I would say the best things to kind of figure out (it's hard again, because of options) is:
-Steel choice (if it matters to you), especially stainless vs. non-stainless
-Length: My wife and mom prefer the 6", while I personally love the 9"ish range. You'll find a lot of options in either 8" or 10"
-Handle shape: Western vs. D. I kinda like the D-shape better, but it all depends on how you hold the knife.
-There really are a slew of good options some high end steels, for not crazy money.

Also, as many have pointed out, CKTG is great, they're very responsive too if you ask them questions btw, and yes, most of the chef knife forums, like kkt, and cheftalk are excellent, but they are very hardcore.
There is a guy on cheftalk who I haven't seen post in years, but you can search for him, Boar_d_Laze. Seems to be super knowledgeable--as in knows more about knives than I will ever know, and has posted more info on knives than you will probably ever want to read.
 

Don Adelfson

Platinum Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2001
Messages
579
Concur the kitchen knife forums are intense. There was way too much to learn, but I hit on this site https://japanesechefsknife.com and now I know just enough to not make any major mistakes. Quality Japanese kitchen knives are semi to very expensive; and, IMO, mostly worth the price. One other thing...if your wife, girlfriend, partner is not on board with high end knife care it might produce some stress.
 

Skywalker31

Basic Member
Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Messages
519
One other thing...if your wife, girlfriend, partner is not on board with high end knife care it might produce some stress.

I used to have this issue, but once we got the "no sharp knives in the dishwasher" straightened out I started seeing everything else as an extra opportunity to practice sharpening. Silver linings. Or maybe diamond/CBN linings.

We'll see if I can keep the same upbeat attitude if anything is ever seriously damaged/broken....hey, opportunity to buy a new knife, right?! :p
 
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