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Buying Japanese Knives
In a few weeks I'll be in Japan. Fuck yeh. Ever since this sushi class a few months ago I have had serious wannnt lust for some Japanese knives.

Has anyone bought them? Any suggestions about what to look for? Bonus points if you bought them in Japan/can tell me the best place to go. Mega super bonus points if the purchase ends up being just like that scene in Kill Bill.

My rough plan is to get a cleaver style deba, a multipurpose santoku and a have-fun-getting-through-customs sashimi blade.

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i own a santoku but its not japanese though... my fav. all rounder blade in the kitchen...
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You don't need to actually go to Japan to buy knives from Japan! We have got some from here that are awesome!

http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/
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ive seen some for sale down the fisdh markets.
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If your in Tokyo maybe check out the Kappabashi Dogugai area. It's an area full of kitchenware shops which I'm sure will have some knive putchasing opportunities.

On an unrelated note, check out the food floor of the Isetan shopping center in Shinjuku...foodie heaven!
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Just buy Japanese knives in Australia, they aren't that hard to find.

I love my Shun knives, I have 6 of them now.
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I got some of these for my birthday. I love them as they're one piece. No joins. And sharp. ooh la la.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_(cutlery)

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Bizzy

You don't need to actually go to Japan to buy knives from Japan! We have got some from here that are awesome!

http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/


Thanks for that.

I want the knives as a souvenir of my trip. That site has some good brands to look out for when I'm there.


Quote:

Originally Posted by marksound

If your in Tokyo maybe check out the Kappabashi Dogugai area. It's an area full of kitchenware shops which I'm sure will have some knive putchasing opportunities.

On an unrelated note, check out the food floor of the Isetan shopping center in Shinjuku...foodie heaven!

Excellent suggestions. Thank you.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by krafty_x

I got some of these for my birthday. I love them as they're one piece. No joins. And sharp. ooh la la.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_(cutlery)

k_x oxo

actually they originate as two pieces. The blade is welded to the handle (i own a set )
i love them but they have nothing on a hatori hanso knife
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Quote:

Originally Posted by NismoR31

actually they originate as two pieces. The blade is welded to the handle (i own a set )
i love them but they have nothing on a hatori hanso knife

The GSF series has no welds.



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Quote:

Originally Posted by NismoR31

actually they originate as two pieces. The blade is welded to the handle (i own a set )
i love them but they have nothing on a hatori hanso knife

Agreed, I love my Globals, they're brilliant to use and a a lovely piece of industrial design... but those hand-made Japanese damascus steeel things are art.

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^mmmm all this talk of meat is getting me excited.

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if you're going to japan get yourself some ceramic knives - kyocera is the brand that you'll see over there
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Nick Vidal

if you're going to japan get yourself some ceramic knives - kyocera is the brand that you'll see over there

why not just buy them here? you can get them out here too
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Those damascus blades are what I'm talking about. I'm hoping to pick up something like that with wooden handles.

Thankfully those blades aren't all that much more expensive than the normal looking ones.

Really looking forward to some paper thin red snapper sashimi with sesame. mmm
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Quote:

Originally Posted by NismoR31

why not just buy them here? you can get them out here too

they're cheaper over there but mainly they have a lot bigger range and brands
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Quote:

Originally Posted by SpaceMonkey

Agreed, I love my Globals, they're brilliant to use and a a lovely piece of industrial design... but those hand-made Japanese damascus steeel things are art.

Wow, tacky.

Maybe its just my aversion against opal, maybe its the photo composition, but yeah, tacky.
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It's abalone shell, not opal. And yeah the photo composition's not the best, but you can get them with plain wood handles if thats more your thing.

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^mmmm all this talk of meat is getting me excited.

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I've seen a lot of those Japanese knives in Australia before. Have you seen the Chefs Armoury Australia website? They have some seriously razor sharp knives...

http://www.chefsarmoury.com
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i sat in awe and watched an old man crafting knives in a little kyoto back alley last year... the prices matched how impressed i was. i'm talking $100 for something the size of a butter knife
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Hey there old thread. How you doin?

I got some really nice knives, didn't cost me all that much in the end. Picked up two around Kappabashi and another at Tokyo fish markets. I should take a photo of them maybe.
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any reason you want japanese knives?

what bout german. Wusthof are the business
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Gah, I still need a good knife! The shops are so intimidating though.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by krafty_x

I got some of these for my birthday. I love them as they're one piece. No joins. And sharp. ooh la la.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_(cutlery)

k_x oxo

Hmmm, was just about to post the question, "What's the difference between Jap knives and other sharp knives?", then discovered from your post that my set of Global knives are in fact Japanese anyway.

Well, even still, what is so good about Japanese knives?

I know that mine are so sharp that on the first day I used them I sliced through a fingernail - was a bit careless after a lifetime of using blunt knives that just bounced off my nails.

Now I swear by a nice sharp knife or two, and always sharpen my knives before using them. I have a couple of mates who've bought those V-slicer/mandolin things and think they're great, but once you've got a sharp knife and a bit of technique you can cut up pretty much anything quickly and easily...

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Japanese knives are better, imo, than (for instance) German chef's knives for two reasons :

(1) Sharper
(2) The Blades are a work of art.

Point 1 is due to the process that has Point 2 as a side effect.

My Shun knives (I almost have the whole set now) are made in the same way as Samurai swords. The blades are folded and folded and folded again to make a very light very strong material that can take an extremely sharp edge.



http://www.theage.com.au/news/epicur...e#contentSwap2

Quote:

Dennis Koorey, director of Chef's Hat in South Melbourne, says Japanese knives are fast becoming the most popular style on the market. "Aesthetically they are beautiful and they are the sharpest knives you can buy," he says. This trend is so pervasive internationally that Zwilling Henckel, a German maker of top-end knives, has bought a Japanese manufacturer and will make Japanese knives under its brand.

Koorey says Shun are the best knives money can buy now. Made by KAI Corporation, a modern incarnation of samurai sword makers, Shun knives carry the legendary Damascus pattern, which develops as the layers of carbon steel and high-carbon stainless steel are folded up to 52 times.

The origin of the pattern seems to be lost in history, but one of the more romantic stories has it that swords made in Damascus carried this wavy pattern in the steel and were so sharp they could cut a silk scarf in half as it fell to the ground.

German knives are usually drop forged, heavier, and can't take the same angle of edge for the cutting blade.

When comparing knives like Global and Shun :
- Shun is slightly heavier, sharper, and has an offset handle grip
- So it is highly dependent on how comfortable they feel in your hand. I personally don't like the balance or grip of the Globals.
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Last edited by dbb618: 19-Sep-08 at 06:40am

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Quote:

Originally Posted by dbb618

I personally don't like the balance or grip of the Globals.

Shun

Global

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Originally Posted by Anon, SameSame forum, "Beautiful Genitalia" thread

And I can honestly say I have never slagged off cocks. Because I don't think they are ugly or pointless, Nor do I think vaginas are stunning to look at, but comparing them to a toasted cheese sandwich, joke or not is offensive to ME.

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but they can't be sharper than Kiwi brand knifes, and they are much cheaper
although I still want a Japanesse knife, just because they are so beautiful.
Oh I bought a couple of ceramic knifes recently, to satisfy my curiosity, they are okay, still prefer to use the Kiwi
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In general I find the handles on most chefs knives to be a bit too small, but the globals handles are fucking tiny.

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my latest Shun addition -> carving knife set

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Quote:

Originally Posted by dbb618


I love my Shun knives, I have 6 of them now.

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Wet Cardboard

Those damascus blades are what I'm talking about. I'm hoping to pick up something like that with wooden handles.

Thankfully those blades aren't all that much more expensive than the normal looking ones.

Really looking forward to some paper thin red snapper sashimi with sesame. mmm

One thing to remember with those knives is that you take extra good care of them and sharpen them properly (we use a wet stone).

They are such beautiful knives! I am very lucky that I ge to use them at home!
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I bought my kitchen knife from the tskiji fish markets in tokyo. They have heaps of little shops with kitchen ware all around there. Very cool. You can also have super fresh sushi from the biggest fish market in the northern hemiphere while you're there

I also got my sister to bring back a smaller kitchen knife when she was last over there cause I loved the first one I got so much.

They are AWESOME sharp.
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Man, I have no knife sharpening skills, will I need them if I get a fancy knife?
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you can always get someone else to sharpen them, or practice sharpening a crappy knife first
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Quote:

Originally Posted by dbb618

Japanese knives are better, imo, than (for instance) German chef's knives for two reasons :

(1) Sharper
(2) The Blades are a work of art.

Point 1 is due to the process that has Point 2 as a side effect.

My Shun knives (I almost have the whole set now) are made in the same way as Samurai swords. The blades are folded and folded and folded again to make a very light very strong material that can take an extremely sharp edge.



http://www.theage.com.au/news/epicur...e#contentSwap2



German knives are usually drop forged, heavier, and can't take the same angle of edge for the cutting blade.

When comparing knives like Global and Shun :
- Shun is slightly heavier, sharper, and has an offset handle grip
- So it is highly dependent on how comfortable they feel in your hand. I personally don't like the balance or grip of the Globals.

That Knife looks awesome i'd almost hang that on the wall.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Oblivia

Man, I have no knife sharpening skills, will I need them if I get a fancy knife?

you're in Japan, surely you could find a 10 year short course that will give you an introduction to the basics
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Quote:

Originally Posted by WINGZ

That Knife looks awesome i'd almost hang that on the wall.

I bought one for my brother in law ... he won't let anyone else touch it, and he has built a little display unit for it on the kitchen wall where everyone can see it
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I love the mokume gane effect on the handles. I recently was given some new knives but they have nothing on the ones in this thread.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by horst



but they can't be sharper than Kiwi brand knifes, and they are much cheaper
although I still want a Japanesse knife, just because they are so beautiful.
Oh I bought a couple of ceramic knifes recently, to satisfy my curiosity, they are okay, still prefer to use the Kiwi


those kiwi knives rule. so sharp. so cheap
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Oblivia

Man, I have no knife sharpening skills, will I need them if I get a fancy knife?

Nah you don't need anything fancy. I use one of the knife sharpening blocks. It's basically a brick of aluminium oxide with one side being smooth and one rough. You can pick them up at most homewares stores and it's what the dude who sold me my knife in japan was using, except his was a huge stone.

I've tried using a sharpening steel but you don't get the same edge and it's more difficult to do.
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Yes the knife sharpening blocks are the best especially the Japanese waterstones. If you are going to buy a knife sharpening stone, I would recommend buying a nakato waterstone. I bought one from Chefs Armoury for $48.
They also have instructions on how to sharpen on the "Knife Sharpening Advice" page on their website:

http://www.chefsarmoury.com/

I also bought this unbelievable damascus Japanese knife which is on the Chefs Armoury homepage. It has a rustic damascus hammered finish. I bought it for the appearance but didn't think that it would perform as well as it does. Definately one of the best knives I've ever bought. I use it in the kitchen everyday and I sharpen it on a waterstone once a week for about 5 mins and it's just like new everytime. I think I am starting to get addicted to buying Japanese knives.

Last edited by serenity2088: 25-Sep-08 at 09:23pm

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hmmm i wonder if anyone works for/owns chef's armoury around here?
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plenty of 'how to sharpen knives' clips on youtube

actually ..plenty of how to anything you damn want clips on youtube
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Quote:

Originally Posted by NismoR31

hmmm i wonder if anyone works for/owns chef's armoury around here?

we're working on it...
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Hey just wondering if anyone has been to Kyoto and Osaka before? I'm going for Christmas and wanted to find some cool places to go to. Any tips?

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Quote:

Originally Posted by serenity2088

Hey just wondering if anyone has been to Kyoto and Osaka before? I'm going for Christmas and wanted to find some cool places to go to. Any tips?

You could go here http://www.inthemix.com.au/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=28
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Awwww at first glance i thought this thread was about Buying Japanese Wives. Maybe if i have cool Japanese knives i can get some Japanese wives..
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It doesn't matter how expensive or how good the knife is that you purchase. If you don't look after it and sharpen and refine the edge then its usless.

I work as a chef and I use global. I like them because they are lighter.
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