Japanese knife (or German)

Discussion in 'Kitchen Appliances, Cookware, Cookbooks & Recipes' started by jj1985jj, Apr 13, 2019.

  1. jj1985jj

    jj1985jj New Member

    Hi. So im looking at spending a little bit of money...maybe £200 of 2-3 knives. Was very close to purchasing some Dalsrong knives from Amazon but a few reviews were very negative online, despite Amazons high reviews.
    Are these really bad option? im a keen home cook at best but want something to last me. In my uneducated culinary experience i've hard japanese knives are the best but people often suggest 'wusthof', a german brand. I have 3-4 thomas sabo which so far am unimpressed with. Any advice is much appreciated. Such confusing world of knives out there!!!!
  2. SatNavSaysStraightOn

    SatNavSaysStraightOn (Site Owner) Staff Member Recipe Challenge Judge

    NSW, Australia
    If you're going to spend that amount on 2-3 knives , I'd seriously recommend finding a shop that sells them where you can get hands on and hold them. Yes there are decent knives out there that you can purchase on the likes of Amazon, but nothing beats hands on when parting with £100 a knife and I have a couple of knives that are more than that and get used everyday because they feel so good and the weighting is ideal for me.

    Mine are German knives I think, not the Japanese Global knives which are now enough, but I prefer wooden handles to metal ones and also find the weighting (balance) much better.
    I'll add a link to them in a minute. I've just got to find it .

    Here we go. It's an olive wood handle knife . Amazon do so it. Obviously there is a range of them in different sizes etc.

    Where are you in the UK ? I used to live there and know of several good cooking shops in England, from Surrey through to Cheshire.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
  3. rascal

    rascal Über Member

    My big and used on big cuts of meat is German as well, bought from harrods about 20 years ago, from memory I paid $120 way back then. My day to day knife is a cheapy one. No more than $10. But it just handles real well. I use about 4 different knives I use. One for boning or fish filleting. Another light weight knife for cutting salads etc.

  4. Shermie

    Shermie Über Member

    Brighton, MA.
    Chinese Cleaver.jpg
    I have Several French knives, in fact, lots of them, but I always use my beloved Chinese cleaver for chopping, slicing & normal prepping. I've gotten much too used to it!! Serves me well. I'm spoiled!! Hah!! :wink:
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019
  5. ElizabethB

    ElizabethB Über Member

    Lafayette, LA. US
    I have a Japanese chef knife and a boning/filet knife
    My next purchase will be a Japanese paring knife.
    I shop www.chefknivestogo.com
    Excellent quality.
    My 3 brothers are also knife snobs and they buy their Japanese knives from chefknivestogo.
    #1 Brother (2 years younger) makes hunting and utility knives. Works of art
    He has lots of $$$$ invested in professional grade sharpening equipment
    When I got my first Japanese knife he gave me a horse butt strop. I treat it with a 5 micron diamond paste. While slicing, dicing and chopping I stop and strop my knife.
    #1 Brother lives in Colorado. Once a year I send my knives to him for a professional sharpening. I use a Spyderco sharpener for maintenance
    Having used Very good German knives I have to say that Japanese knives are much better. My knife snob brothers agree
    BTW my Honey Bear is not allowed to use my Japanese knives
    #1 he does not hold them properly #2 he put my chef knife in the dishwasher.
    I am very understanding about my Old Man's quirks
    I rarely lose my temper
    I blew my stack when he put my knife in the dishwasher
    Poor baby did not know what hit him
    Recently he was helping me in the kitchen slicing and dicing. I handed him my chef knife. You would think I had handed him a snake. "oh no. I am not touching that. " LMAO.
    Sorry I ramble. @SatNavSaysStraightOn has a good suggestion. Visit a high end knife shop
    Try both German and Japanese knives. In my mind there is no comparison. Japanese knives are superior. I am partial to a stainless clad carbon blade
    Damascus steel is also very fine
    To get fine quality Japanese blades you may need to do what I have done - Start with a premium chef knife then save your money for additional purchases. My second knife would be a boning filet knife then a paring knife. I plan to order a paring knife soon.
    Do not forget a strop and diamond paste. Also a spyderco sharpener
    5 micron diamond paste is $60 for a small tube
    I have had mine for 5 years and still have 1/3 tube
  6. zuludog

    zuludog Active Member

    The problem with choosing knives of that sort of quality is that there are so many, and you can go round & round, and on & on for ages, but sooner or later you have to settle on something, sure in the knowledge that whatever you get, a few weeks later you'll wish you'd got something else

    If you're going to spend that sort of money, I wouldn't buy them straight off the Net, I would try them first, either in a shop, or try a friend's or colleague's
    And the most expensive isn't necessarily the best for you, as long as you do get some sort of decent quality

    For example, Global are excellent knives, but I don't like the steel handles or the way they feel/handle/balance
    And I'm not keen on the simple handles on Japanese knives, I prefer the shaped western style, especially if they are slightly fatter and a bit shaped & moulded

    Decent knives that I own and like are - Wusthoff, especially the Grand Prix 11; various Sabatiers & Swibo

    But I have settled on Henkels Zwilling Twin Pollux. You can always find better but these are good enough, and I like the way they feel & balance. They have a uniquely shaped handle that I like, but it is made from plastic with a shiny finish. I dull this with medium abrasive paper to give a matt finish, and that's just about right for me

    Knives are measured by the length of the blade, with the handle an extra. A usual combination would be - a 3 to 4" vegetable or paring knife; a 5 to 6" general purpose knife; and an 8 or 10" knife, all chef's/cook style

    If you have any money to spare you might consider a santoku style as well
    I assume you will have a decent sharpening steel and a chopping board that won't blunt the blade

    Places to buy - Nisbetts and other catering suppliers; large department stores; TKMAXX have a fair selection, and often have the Twin Pollux at a discount
  7. zuludog

    zuludog Active Member

    Another couple of comments for you -

    If you're going to buy several items at the same time, it's worth shopping around for offers, discounts, and trying a bit of genteel haggling

    Such is the current level of fuss, bother, and paranoia about knives that it is becoming increasingly difficult & complicated to buy knives by mail order, so you'd probably be better off buying them in person anyway

    Don't chuck them in a drawer! Get some sort of knife rack, block, or holder

    Notwithstanding what I've said about trying first, here are some websites for you -


    Huh! Such is the wonder of the Net that if you click on the zwilling link it will come up in German, and will not translate
    But if you enter it directly into Google you get the English version
    It's worth it, as they have sevaral styles at reasonable prices for the quality

    Or Surf away!
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019
  8. ElizabethB

    ElizabethB Über Member

    Lafayette, LA. US
    Knives are like lovers. You live with them, you use them, your talents are enhanced by them. Your knives should fit you like a lover. The handle and the tine should fit your hand and provide you with a perfect pinch grip. The balance of the blade weight should fit your needs. I was in a near fatal accident in '04. I have metal plates and screws in both of my fore arm bones and lots of nerve damage. My chef knife is slightly blade heavy. The blade does a lot of the work. My brothers prefer knives that are balanced or slightly handle heavy.
    My chef knife is relatively small- 8 1/2" blade
    Perfect for my hand
    2 years ago I gave step son a beautiful Japanese chef knife
    The blade on his knife is 10 1/2". Much too large for me but it suits his hand
    Knives and lovers- very personal, individual decisions.
    rascal and morning glory like this.
  9. Shermie

    Shermie Über Member

    Brighton, MA.
    Orange Tool Box..jpg
    I keep all my cutlery in this orange tool box when not in use that way, I know where everything is & I don't have to look all over God's creation to find them. I HATE that with a pure passion something fierce!!! :mad::headshake:
    mitchieline and ElizabethB like this.
  10. morning glory

    morning glory Obsessive cook Staff Member

    A lovely piece of prose @ElizabethB and very true.
    ElizabethB and Shermie like this.
  11. CraigC

    CraigC Über Member

    SE Florida
    It doesn't matter how much you spend, if it doesn't feel right in your hand, it is useless.:facepalm:I'll never understand purchasing a knife without trying it first.:banghead:
    Shermie and zuludog like this.
  12. zuludog

    zuludog Active Member

    I found that when I was looking for some new, decent knives
    Global are very good, but I don't like the way they feel/handle/balance

    My preferred choice is Henkels Zwilling Twin Pollux or Wusthof Grand Prix 11 - but of course they might not suit everyone
  13. Shermie

    Shermie Über Member

    Brighton, MA.

    But most places won't let you do that unless they have a demo stand in the store. Then you can ask.
  14. rascal

    rascal Über Member

    Your descriptions are very intriguing. I'm not a very good knife?? Too rough around the edges?? Lmao.

  15. Master Cutler

    Master Cutler Active Member

    Mansfield UK
    I have a range of knives ranging from some well worn 45 year old wooden handled knives I use for skinning and boning fish to some newer Sabatier fruit and veg knives, and a selection of Japanese meat knives. I keep them sharp with either a wet stone or a knife steel. 2019-05-11_07h05_29.png
    TodayInTheKitchen likes this.

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