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Cookware

Slicer for bread, or bread knife for slicing?

Eiron | Jan 29, 201008:20 AM    

For decades I've been using a very light & thin 9" serrated bread knife. I've been ready to buy a 9" Shun scalloped bread knife for the past week, but, for a variety of reasons, haven't yet pulled the trigger. Last night I was thinking I should add a decent slicer to my new collection of Japanese knives, & like one particular 9-1/2” (240mm) sujihiki. But we really don't eat enough prep-heavy meats to need a dedicated slicer.

Then I realized that this nice slicer could actually perform bread duties as well. If I can use one knife for both tasks I think I'd prefer that over having two separate, dedicated knives. We do consume a fair amount of baked goods, but small-ish artisan loaves will be the primary casualty. I'd use this knife primarily for bread all year long & maybe three or four times a year for meat slicing. The breads I enjoy are NOT airy & crusty, preferring instead to gnaw my way thru dense, chewy loaves.

The sujihiki is lighter & longer than the Shun, its straight edge would allow me to sharpen it whenever needed, & I should be able to get it sharper than the factory edge of the Shun. But, its molybdenum/vanadium blade (58-59 HRC) may require more frequent sharpening & it’s a little more expensive knife to buy ($36 difference).

The Shun’s VG-10 blade may stay sharper longer in the recessions of the scallops, but will probably dull faster on the crowns of them. Kershaw will sharpen it for free as often as I want to send it to them, but I won’t be able to (easily) improve the edge sharpness over what they provide.

I'm NOT looking for a longer knife. I do have an 8-1/4" (210mm) gyuto & love the length for food prep. (No, I'm not interested in getting a longer gyuto, either.) I'm only looking at the 9" Shun or the 9-1/2" sujihiki.

Opinions? Will the 9" scalloped bread knife be good for infrequent meat slicing, or should I get the 9-1/2" sujihiki & use it mostly for bread slicing?

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