I have never purchased a kitchen knife in my life... not even once... not even a single knife. I always used my Mom's at home, and when I had my own place, she gave some of hers' or I borrowed my friends'. For some reason, "buying my own knives" had never occurred to me.
Now, we own JKI and sometimes receive great knives as gifts (*note* often with just MY name engraved, not Jon's), and Jonathan is constantly "testing" new ones. This even put me farther from buying my own.
The day before yesterday, I suddenly decided, "it's time for a change! I"m buying one (or two)!"
Jon has a nerdy (or call it "professional") point of view on knives, and I have very normal person's point of view. I think choosing "right" knives for myself will give me a more well round view into our friends'/customers' thoughts when they are picking out their knives.
So... here's what I have been doing, and I thought you might enjoy being a part of my knife shopping.
Just like a regular walk-in customer, I formally enter JKI.
SARA "Hi... do you have knives?"
Jonathan tries to take an active part in my process of choosing a knife, but I'm a big girl and already know what I'm supposed to do when it comes to picking up the right knives for someone (this time, for myself).
(FYI: AS A JOKE) The first thing I look is, of course, the prize of our store.... the most expensive knife in the shop. Yes, that would be Hinoura-san's 270mm beautiful wa-gyuto.
Sara: "May I please take a look at this knife" (it wasn't really a question because this store is also mine)
See the bitterness in my face:
Giving up on this prized knife was sad, but I quickly resumed the pursuit of my own knives.
The first step- this time a serious one - is to ask myself a few simple questions:
"What types of knives do I want?" I want 240mm wa-gyuto and 150mm wa-petty. Thanks to being at JKI all day long, this question was really easy for me. As first knives, I needed something simple and good at multitasking.
I know some Chinese cleaver loyalists out there are kind of angry with me for not picking this one:
The next questions is "which ones from JKI?" I know I want carbon steel for my wa-gyuto, and ideally I want White #2 steel. It might not have the best edge retention, but I'm a home cook, and my priority is an ease of sharpening over crazy edge retention (I will let you know if I apprentice to a sushi chef, then my choice of steel will be different).
Immediately I associate myself with our customers on the little details....
Sara: "I want colored buffalo horn! They are pretty!"
"Yes, I know... the look of the knife is not what I'm supposed to be focusing on"
Right now, I already have a very solid idea what my knives will be. Can you guess what the two knives will be?
I will update you again on this topic when I finalize my decision!
PS. I "forgot" to ask myself what my budget was for the knives. My bad!