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We had knife blocks in our last 2 homes. never again. Magnetic timber strips are the way to go IMHO. Take up no space, convenient, easy to keep things clean etc. Here's our current kitchen. Next knife

I went the cheap option and got the Furi set with the sharpener. Thanks for all that offered advice.

You do it yourself and it's dead easy. You have to have a whetstone, preferably two cheapo* double whetstones with the angle guide that they come with for beginners. Double stones will have 1000 grade

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I have a bit of a penchant for knives.  I have many more than I can ever use.  My most expensive knife is hand made damacus and is very serious money. It was  made at Torquay near you.  Have a look this link.


 

https://www.metalmonkeyknives.com.au/collections/available-knives

 


I have couple of early Furi knives.  They are in the cupboard and will stay there! 

 

If the black thing is the sharpner it will probably do more damage than good.  For sharpening there are many options.  Eze Laps are worth a try and or a good wet stone.

 

Kiwi Brand Knives come in various types.  Amazingly inexpensive.  Wooden handles and they keep a great edge and are easy to sharpen.  My Furi do not hold an edge well in my experience.  Kiwi may not be as “fancy” as some but they are great to use.  I have given them to friends.  One said to me last night that is all she uses now.  Your local $2 shop will have some but not the whole range.  Search online.

 

You can make a great knife block out of two bits of old red gum paling fence posts glued together dressed, sanded and the slots cut.  I have some it you want some.

John

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I have one of these and several slightly cheaper knives and one good double grade whetstone. No block but a magnetic strip. Requires  a bit of work to keep them in tip top shape but they're beautiful things.

 

Miyabi

 

If you heed Gordon Ramsey then he reckons you only need 3 knives in a kitchen, not sure about that but apart from a bread knife we basically use three knifes most if the time.

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57 minutes ago, rantan said:

Definitely.

Great knives and a really good package price, especially with the sharpener, which is a must.

+1 on the Furi, had some for years now and the diamond sharpening fingers are very good for a quick sharpen.

 

Cannot go wrong for the money, oh and easy to clean also!!

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16 hours ago, Luc said:

If you heed Gordon Ramsey then he reckons you only need 3 knives in a kitchen, not sure about that but apart from a bread knife we basically use three knifes most if the time.

 

I agree, I have a magnetic knife block with 6 knives, only use 3 of them. 

kasumi_magnetic_knife_block-2_1.1530063942.jpg.24c821bd716844371f37be9d7ac9b688.jpg

 

As for the bread knife, you only need a cheapie (I went an expensive one, no need really).  Japanese knives are great, but very difficult to find anyone who can sharpen them to their full potential.  For this reason my next set will have Western blades.

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I have some early Furi knives and I think the steel has been improved since then, but the handles are the best I've ever used. I still use them for casual tasks.

The trick with good knives is to strop them as soon as they lose their razor edge. Rockstead makes some of the best pocket and hunting knives on the planet and here are their maintenance instructions. I find it works well.

https://www.rockstead.jp/maintenance/

 

@Kaynin:

High quality Japanese blade steel is very hard and can only be successfully sharpened by hand using many grades of  diamond abrasives and care. Most commercial places won't do that. That's why I learned to do it myself. I prefer the thin Japanese blades to the thicker western style.

Edited by GregWormald
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We use a set of Globals as our 'basics' kit. Then a 17cm Baccarat Santoku for delicate stuff (think gravalax or tataki), a Baccarat CuisinePro boning knife, a long Mundial bread knife for those big loaves (the Global is only about 15cm) and an 18cm Chef's Toolbox Fusion for when bones need to be broken. Keeping them all sharp with a MinoSharp 3 (wet, wheel-based thingy).

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7 minutes ago, Cloth Ears said:

We use a set of Globals as our 'basics' kit. Then a 17cm Baccarat Santoku for delicate stuff (think gravalax or tataki), a Baccarat CuisinePro boning knife, a long Mundial bread knife for those big loaves (the Global is only about 15cm) and an 18cm Chef's Toolbox Fusion for when bones need to be broken. Keeping them all sharp with a MinoSharp 3 (wet, wheel-based thingy).


Are these effective ??

 

https://www.kitchenwarehouse.com.au/Global-MinoSharp-3-Ceramic-Water-Sharpener

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1 minute ago, Yamaha_man said:

 

Yes effective to use regularly (every use or so) and they'll do a good job - but you'll still need to get them sharpened properly often because they will dull over time no matter what.

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1 hour ago, Yamaha_man said:

I don't know that particular one, but many similar ones are pretty poor. A single decent Japanese water stone costs more than that so I have my doubts.

 

Honestly, IMO your best bet is the denim strop and then a serious sharp when the strop won't do. If you treat the knives well then a year or two between sharpenings is possible. The included Furi sharpener would do if you are careful with its use. The Furi designer is an Adelaide engineer and he had some excellent help along the way.

 

I sharpened a knife for a guy who brought his only good knife to the local butcher and asked about sharpening. The butcher is a knife aficionado and wasn't prepared to even recommend the professional who does his working knives. I persuaded the man (with the butcher's help) to let me do it and he emailed me later that it was the best the knife (a high end Japanese that he bought while on a visit to Japan) had ever been. The knife had been quite dull, was of very hard steel (Japanese "white") and the job took me well over half an hour even with diamond hones and lapping paste. 

 

BTW—The best cutting boards are end grain wood—both easy on the edge and naturally self-disinfecting. There are a few on the Kitchen Warehouse web site. I've been using one like this:

https://www.kitchenwarehouse.com.au/Davis-Waddell-Food-Prep-Acacia-Wood-End-Grain-Cutting-Board-50x35x4cm-Natural

for years now, and remain very pleased.

The Furi one on bronx looks OK too, although it's a bit small for my tastes. YMMV.

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8 hours ago, Kaynin said:

very difficult to find anyone who can sharpen them to their full potential.

You do it yourself and it's dead easy. You have to have a whetstone, preferably two cheapo* double whetstones with the angle guide that they come with for beginners. Double stones will have 1000 grade+6000 grade for instance and that's not too bad. If you have a honing steel(butchers use em, you know what it is) preferably diamond, then your good to go.

You put the stone under a dripping tap in your sink and you work the knife in a firm curving motion that resembles a J. You can eith flip it over each time or do what a lot of people(me included) do and you work one side till you can feel a slight burr under your thumb.

 

Flip it over and do the same thing till you build a burr on that side.

 

Turn the stone to the fine grade now and rub the burr off and work the stone till the burr reappears(doesn't take long) and do the same with the other side. A quick rub of both sides to take the fine burr off and then grab your honing steel.

 

5 to 10 strops of the steel and a final wipe of the blade... Done. Good for a couple of months of domestic use or longer. just do what your butcher does every time he picks a knife up...hone it on your steel.

 

*Good whetstones which I'd love to own are exxy in the extreme and a full set will set you back $700-1000 and of course rather than buy those which will last a lifetime and can be passed down to those who come after you...I'd rather spend $700-1000 on a heap of vinyl or some tubes or.....

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I am also a bit of a knife nut - my advice quality over quantity the - two like the below are probably all you need just add a $20 bread knife. These are much sharper than the Global / Furi and made from harder steel that will hold an edge, ( FYI the hammers edge stops food sticking)  

 

https://www.kazsknifeonline.com.au/collections/japanese-knife-sets/products/2-knife-set-jikko-vg10-damascus-gyuto-21cm-and-petty-13-5cm

 

Add a 1000/6000 Whetstone and go to youtube for lessons

 

https://www.kitchenware.com.au/shun-classic-whetstone-300-1000-1.html?gclid=CjwKCAiAxp-ABhALEiwAXm6Iydd2iuXn8bsYICY0cmtzh2hqOTdIJWhG_X09QkiYc0_y4F8wjz8a5RoCkHQQAvD_BwE

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On 19/01/2021 at 4:55 PM, Yamaha_man said:
On 19/01/2021 at 4:57 PM, Kaynin said:

Yes effective to use regularly (every use or so) and they'll do a good job - but you'll still need to get them sharpened properly often because they will dull over time no matter what.

On 19/01/2021 at 6:11 PM, GregWormald said:

I don't know that particular one, but many similar ones are pretty poor. A single decent Japanese water stone costs more than that so I have my doubts.

 

They are effective in keeping a consistent edge, as long as you do it regularly. I wouldn't recommend them for any of the fancy knives (anything over $1000), but for standard steel, they work pretty well. Of course, we get most of them sharpened every year or two, and for the first few months, simply keeping the blades really clean (i.e. the strop is one way, sharpening steel is another) also keeps them sharp. After that, the fine ceramic wheel works effectively again for another few months, as long as you use water.

Buying a single decent Japanese water stone is lovely - IF you know how to use it properly. I don't, so I stick with what's usable to me and also effective.

 

I knew a guy in Darwin who loved his fancy knives. And his Damascus steel collection was beautiful to see. But he crossed himself if it was suggested that he actually use them. His best was a very smooth knife from somewhere in Japan, made by a man who also used to make proper katanas and wakizashi(?). Beautiful and polished to a high shine. I only have ever had knife envy once...

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44 minutes ago, Cloth Ears said:

 

 

They are effective in keeping a consistent edge, as long as you do it regularly. I wouldn't recommend them for any of the fancy knives (anything over $1000), but for standard steel, they work pretty well. Of course, we get most of them sharpened every year or two, and for the first few months, simply keeping the blades really clean (i.e. the strop is one way, sharpening steel is another) also keeps them sharp. After that, the fine ceramic wheel works effectively again for another few months, as long as you use water.

Buying a single decent Japanese water stone is lovely - IF you know how to use it properly. I don't, so I stick with what's usable to me and also effective.

 

I knew a guy in Darwin who loved his fancy knives. And his Damascus steel collection was beautiful to see. But he crossed himself if it was suggested that he actually use them. His best was a very smooth knife from somewhere in Japan, made by a man who also used to make proper katanas and wakizashi(?). Beautiful and polished to a high shine. I only have ever had knife envy once...


 

Yeah, as the sharpening angle of Japanese knives are different to Western blades, you really have to know what you’re doing.  In my experience people who sharpen professionally get it wrong.

 

spot on with the sharpening wheel, always use it wet.  I use mine once every few uses, then get a pro sharpen when they dull, usually 4-6 months.

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I would recommend the Big Chop Knife Block. Not cheap at $175 but made using Tasmanian woods and they look sensational. While you are at it get a minoSharp plus 3 ceramic knife sharpener. Knives are very expensive so don't go cheap.Razor sharp knives....way to go!

Cheers

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On 18/01/2021 at 3:57 PM, Yamaha_man said:

We have Furi's and they blow our other flash knives away when it comes to holding an edge.

 

We keep them on the wall on a magnet strip, I touch them up occasionally with an electric sharpener until the shave the hairs off my arm and then put them back on the magnet strip (sans arm hair). 

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Going back to my commercial cooking days the knives of choice were Trident. Excellent but needed alot of attention to keep them at their finest.

These days I can see the appeal of the Japanese style blades as they are so much easier to keep sharp.

But regardless the best value item for me has been a Diamond encrusted steel. They work wonders with the new style blades.

I have no favourite as I've only ever had one which was nameless when I bought it.

Here's a few to peruse.

 

https://www.google.com/search?q=diamond+sharpening+steel+review&rlz=1C1CHBF_en-GBAU902AU902&oq=diamond+sharpening+steel&aqs=chrome.1.69i57j0l2j0i395l3j0i22i30i395l2.12004j1j15&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

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2 hours ago, joz said:

Going back to my commercial cooking days the knives of choice were Trident. Excellent but needed alot of attention to keep them at their finest.

These days I can see the appeal of the Japanese style blades as they are so much easier to keep sharp.

But regardless the best value item for me has been a Diamond encrusted steel. They work wonders with the new style blades.

That's what I meant for keeping the edge clean. Got an old Trident one from a long time back and it works wonders for honing the edge. I'm not sure if they actually make the edge sharper, but it certainly removes anything left there after cleaning (soap residue, etc.)

 

I realised that this might be what's happening when I found out that (horror of horrors) I was throwing out perfectly sharp facial razors, just because they got a bit dirty. Admittedly, now I don't need them so much, because of the beard, but my last razor (some 3 or 4 blade thing) lasted for over 6 months. And the current blades I use (for smoothing under the chin and on the cheek bones) are still sharp after 2 years...

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48 minutes ago, Cloth Ears said:

That's what I meant for keeping the edge clean. Got an old Trident one from a long time back and it works wonders for honing the edge. I'm not sure if they actually make the edge sharper, but it certainly removes anything left there after cleaning (soap residue, etc.)

 

I realised that this might be what's happening when I found out that (horror of horrors) I was throwing out perfectly sharp facial razors, just because they got a bit dirty. Admittedly, now I don't need them so much, because of the beard, but my last razor (some 3 or 4 blade thing) lasted for over 6 months. And the current blades I use (for smoothing under the chin and on the cheek bones) are still sharp after 2 years...

What do you clean a razor with???

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Knife blocks with the bamboo straws are great,will fit any size knife.Wetstones for sharpening are more efficient and grind away less

steel than diamond sharpeners.Furi and Global are good there are better if you want to pay more,some japanese knives will corode

if not kept oiled,best not to put good knives in the dishwasher seems to ruin the steel and wont keep an edge.

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Washing good knives is best done holding it in one hand and brushing with a soft brush in hot or soapy water (the Furis are stainless) with the other. Dry carefully. Putting then in the sink is asking for trouble, both for the knife and your fingers.

 

(A friend was trying out my Furi 8" and washed it carelessly, cutting her wrist. Fortunately it wasn't serious but her husband freaked and didn't want her to have sharp knives after that. She prevailed.:))

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We had knife blocks in our last 2 homes. never again. Magnetic timber strips are the way to go IMHO. Take up no space, convenient, easy to keep things clean etc. Here's our current kitchen. Next knife I buy will be a custom made jobby from a local guy. Anthony Bourdain has a page in his book on knives. Reckons Global are the go - softer and easier to keep an edge on.

 

image.thumb.jpeg.3398698ed78f6ed2686756b4d097d5bc.jpeg

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On 22/01/2021 at 6:31 PM, Yamaha_man said:

What do you clean a razor with???

Just run it (both sides) under very hot water at some pressure during and after use. You will see when it's clear of any leftover debris.  I only shave twice a week these days but a Bic 3 blade lasts  12 months or longer.  Better than the Gilette contours I used to use.

 

I use a Baccarat chef's knife with a Scanpan tungsten / ceramic sharpener / honer. I only need the one knife. 

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On 22/01/2021 at 6:31 PM, Yamaha_man said:

What do you clean a razor with???

 

1 hour ago, lemarquis said:

Just run it (both sides) under very hot water at some pressure during and after use. You will see when it's clear of any leftover debris.  I only shave twice a week these days but a Bic 3 blade lasts  12 months or longer.  Better than the Gilette contours I used to use.

 

I use a Baccarat chef's knife with a Scanpan tungsten / ceramic sharpener / honer. I only need the one knife. 

Ditto. And every 3 months or so, I use an old toothbrush while it's under the hot water.

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Great info here on knives :) 

 

I started out with a Furi set.  Good starting point and 13 years later, they're still in good nick.  The Furi sharpening system is Ok, but you need to carefully angle the blade when sharpening otherwise it will chip off the cutting edge. 

Whetstones are the way to go with a 1000 and a 5000 grit to refine the edge.   I have a Miyabi birchwood set now, cant really confirm if the damascus pattern is true from folding or stamping.  Very sharp knives but need lots of care to keep thier edge sharp, so i sharpen them once every 2-3 months using 2 whetstones.   

 

As others have said, be very careful when handling these Japanese knives... 

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Great advice here, thanks.

when I said knife block I actually meant a set of knives. 
Leaning towards the magnetic holder. 

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36 minutes ago, Yamaha_man said:

Leaning towards the magnetic holder. 

Good man.

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1 hour ago, Yamaha_man said:

Leaning towards the magnetic holder. 

I bought a new much longer magnetic holder when I bought a couple of good Japanese blades. After putting it up I thought I might as well get all my knives up and ready for use. Then I had to put the smaller one back up alongside the longer one! It was amazing what I found sitting in the drawer not being used.:lol:

I even found my original carbon steel Sabatier and a hand made coconut cleaver!

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I seem to have gotten more into kitchen knives over the last year or so, thanks covid, it's as bad on the wallet as getting into listening to music.  🙄  So a journey...

 

I initially bought some Furi knives, as they seemed a reasonably priced upgrade (on my supermarket bought chefs knife I've been using for years :lol:).  However the blade thickness of them just doesn't seem to work for me.  I haven't been able to get use to that, slicing stuff seems harder than it should be.  Plus they're a bit heavy for my liking.  However the handle is comfortable even using a couple of different grips, so that's a good thing.  I haven't used them enough to comment on the sharpness longevity though. 

 

Got a couple of Yaxell Mon knives which I liked more.  The blades were thinner, which seem to work better for me.  Plus sharp AF.  Although they seem to need a sharpen now, tomatoes are proving difficult... :rofl:  However did just pick up a Victorinox serrated steak knife for a few bucks which does that job really well, so all my spending has proved pointless.

 

But upgradeitis is real no matter what you're talking about, so got a Tojiro, which I like almost more than my Yaxell, even if it's cheaper and not meant to be as good.  I don't know, the handle and blade profile feel better or something?  Got a Furiwara petty knife.  It's pretty good.  Very handy for lunches and small stuff when a full size chefs knife seems excessive.  And recently got a Japanese stainless steel clad carbon steel chefs knife with a wa style handle in the larger 240mm blade size which is pretty cool.   Still figuring out if  I can use a knife that size regularly, but it's certainly nice to use.  And looks cooler than everything else ha.  Will be interesting to see how carbon compares to stainless long term.

 

The problem with Japanese type styles and steels though is the 'restrictions' you seem to have.  You can't cut with bone.  You can't chop nuts.  You can't twist on the chopping board.  They're sharper, but more prone to damage.  You still need to have a beater knife around.

 

I also bought a whetstone, which on first use on one of my Kiwi knives made it blunter than it already was.  :lol:  Oh, yeah, Kiwi knives are pretty awesome too.  But it's going to take a while to get sharpening via a stone down pat.

 

And then there's the whole chopping board usage.  Don't use glass, don't use plastic, don't use bamboo!  More things to play with buy.  

 

Well, ****, this was a ramble.  But I think it turns out knives are a personal thing as to what works best for you?   Although some steels are better than others for sure.  But yeah, you don't really need to spend a lot.  A combination of Kiwi and Victorinox knives would probably do it for $50.  Haha.

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5 hours ago, MrBurns84 said:

<snip>I have a Miyabi birchwood set now, cant really confirm if the damascus pattern is true from folding or stamping. 

Most modern Japanese blades are not true damascus (made form wootz steel folded many times) but are 'pattern welded' steel (maybe up to 125 layers) as the outside of a san mai sandwich with something like VG10 on the inside. The VG10 can be quite hard, takes a good edge and is stainless. The outside steels are usually softer to protect the VG10 which can crack or shatter.

 

The Miyabis are this.

 

'Stamped' damascus has only one steel and the pattern is just stamped on. Cheap, but may be pretty.

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11 hours ago, Monk said:

And then there's the whole chopping board usage.  Don't use glass, don't use plastic, don't use bamboo!  More things to play with buy. 

Regarding bamboo, not strictly true.

If it's all made of "cut across the grain", then there's no more issue than with a wood board.

If you have one made of lengths of bamboo, then it's good for carrying around cheese and biscuits.

  

13 hours ago, Yamaha_man said:

Great advice here, thanks.

when I said knife block I actually meant a set of knives. 
Leaning towards the magnetic holder. 

We've actually got one of those plastic straw ones. If you're not careful, then they're good for blunting your edge. If you are careful, then your knives will stay just as sharp as they will in free air.

 

Edited by Cloth Ears
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On 23/01/2021 at 8:43 PM, Peter the Greek said:

We had knife blocks in our last 2 homes. never again. Magnetic timber strips are the way to go IMHO. Take up no space, convenient, easy to keep things clean etc. Here's our current kitchen. Next knife I buy will be a custom made jobby from a local guy. Anthony Bourdain has a page in his book on knives. Reckons Global are the go - softer and easier to keep an edge on.

 

image.thumb.jpeg.3398698ed78f6ed2686756b4d097d5bc.jpeg

I spy  a handful of Tridents there, Classics and Grand Prix?

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3 hours ago, joz said:

I spy  a handful of Tridents there, Classics and Grand Prix?

 

Shun and Henckel and some old [shudder] Mundials - I hack the pumpkin with those. I also have a set of F-Dick butchers knives I use for field dressing. They're good, they keep a great edge. I'd really like this guy to make me one....or several....but at close to a grand each that aint happening.

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On 18/01/2021 at 3:43 PM, Assisi said:

I have a bit of a penchant for knives.  I have many more than I can ever use.  My most expensive knife is hand made damacus and is very serious money. It was  made at Torquay near you.  Have a look this link.


 

https://www.metalmonkeyknives.com.au/collections/available-knives

 


I have couple of early Furi knives.  They are in the cupboard and will stay there! 

 

If the black thing is the sharpner it will probably do more damage than good.  For sharpening there are many options.  Eze Laps are worth a try and or a good wet stone.

 

Kiwi Brand Knives come in various types.  Amazingly inexpensive.  Wooden handles and they keep a great edge and are easy to sharpen.  My Furi do not hold an edge well in my experience.  Kiwi may not be as “fancy” as some but they are great to use.  I have given them to friends.  One said to me last night that is all she uses now.  Your local $2 shop will have some but not the whole range.  Search online.

 

You can make a great knife block out of two bits of old red gum paling fence posts glued together dressed, sanded and the slots cut.  I have some it you want some.

John

 

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My mother gave me 3 Kiwi  knives awhile ago, I came across them at the back of a draw and have been using the Bunka lately. I’ve got to say it’s not bad at all, given it one run with a steel and it’s pretty sharp. Been thinking about dropping some money on an expensive Japanese Gyuto, don’t know if it’s worth it now!

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Funny you should mention... Picked up a few Kiwi knives myself after reading this thread. Bought a large chef's knife and 2 smaller ones for less than $30 incl shipping on ebay.. They certainly are very sharp and did a great job of dicing up a pork shoulder. The smaller ones are also handy for cutting open large packages :)

 

Certainly worth a try.

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I've had a set of Global knives for over 20 years now and have them up on a magnetic strip which I've installed on an angle because the wall next to our kitchen prep area is pretty small. I have a 2 wet wheel sharpener and a diamond "steel" an old boarder left behind. I can get them reasonably sharp myself but recently bought a Leatherman Surge multi tool and holly f&*k that thing is amazingly sharp straight out of the box. The bread knife is just about out of serrated edge now, but I would like to get all of them professionally sharpened.

 

Any recommendations for Melbourne Eastern suburbs???

 

26238FCF-D0BE-4505-AA87-65B6679E824A_1_105_c.jpeg.dbe9d7f17b0412644935e905f558174f.jpeg

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