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