At work, we used to use this sharpener guy that had a belt sander in the back of his van and he just went round blitzing shit. We did this like once a month or two, which is horrible! He takes off so much material that the blades just become smaller and smaller and smaller. I typically prefer not to let him  anywhere near my knives but couple times I left the blade at work and it got chucked into the lot for sharpening.

Seriously, that really screwed with my knife in many ways. First off, a knife that coulda lasted me a few more years is now causing my knuckles to touch the chopping board when I chop. So I chop at the base of the board, which is just not ideal. Another problem is that the grind the dude uses is super rough, so I still had to refinish. So what’s the point? The last part is the way he ground the blades, they all came out with a very pronounced convex shape, so the blade is basically like fat but with this tight rough bottom edge.

My knife hasn’t been through the guy for half a year but he’s been steadily grinding down the kitchen knives to the point where I can’t call them chef knives anymore. The shapes are just a little, longish now. A change of head chef and I’m holding on hope that we’re not gonna see belt sander dude again.

Long story short, I’m in the market for a new blade and looking to consider an upgrade. My mate recently kopped himself a nice coupla knives from this online retailer and also a stone, fixer and holder. I’ve been using his sharpening set to great effect and now totally realize how awesome it is and how good it cuts with a mirror finished edge and little steeling.

In the future, I’m convinced that I’m gonna splash out for a sharpening system and I’ve got my eye on this fetching set from Shapton. They make 2 types of stones. The pro series is 15mm high and hence can be used longer but the glass stones just look really sexy. Probably gonna go with the Pro for a set that will last me forever. Looking at the 1000, 2000, 4000, 8000, 16000 grit stones plus the diamond fixer. The fixer alone is north of 300 and the 16000 is 100+. The others are under 50 to 80 so more manageable but we’re looking at 6/700 or so. I’m good to use my mate’s set for now!

But with the knife, I’m keen to add something soon. My first option is actually a super budget one, a Tojiro 210mm ITK Shirogami Gyuto from Chefknivestogo. It’s like $50 excl shipping so mad cheap for a 60/61 HRC white steel knife. It even comes with a sexy kurouchi finish. It’s not the most awesome knife ever but I think given the specs and recs online, it’s nigh impossible to find something in the same league for that price. Unfortunately, it’s out of stock.

My requirements for a new knife are mostly totally cosmetic. I just really want a Japanese style handle. I really hate how the Western style handles look. The next most important thing is actually the steel. I’m unsure exactly what I want at this point. I’m considering softer semi/stainless steel versus harder high carbon steel. The former is softer so that means it’s easier to sharpen but edge retention isn’t as great, so you have to sharpen more often. I currently own a Global that has a HRC rated at 56-58 and already find that it ain’t easy to sharpen so maybe the Swedish 58/59 HRC option is a more practical step up. Another benefit is the softer is less prone to chipping, something I’ve found happens sorta often with my Wusthof, that I keep pretty thin. If I did get the White Steel, I’m just afraid I’ll totally mess up a really nice knife chipping it into oblivion or rusting it to shit.

After weeks of internet trawling, I’ve reduced the brands to just 3. Yoshihiro, Sakai Yusuke and Konosuke. All of em come from Seki city, knife central in Japan. They aren’t necessarily the best knife available but they are amongst the best if that counts. I just find that in terms of price versus what I’m getting, these are the best options at the moment. They’re all at or around $200 shipped, the Yoshihiro being $190 plus a sheathe, the Sakai Yusuke at $195 and the Konosuke post $200. All the research I’ve done thus far has shown that most knives from $150 and below just either don’t have the Japanese style handle or just have steels that don’t interest me at all or don’t really offer much of an improvement on my Wusthof. Which is why, I’m either plumping for the $50 Tojiro when it comes back in stock or I go balls out and get something awesome for $200. Pictured below is the Yusuke but the other two look pretty much the same minus the branding.

Actually, I’m also really keen on adding a cleaver for more brutish jobs. A proper canto roast joint cleaver.