Switch to full style
We encourage you to post your questions about kitchen knives here. We can give you help choosing a knife.
Post a reply

240mm Gyuto: Kanehiro/Hiromoto/Richmond/Kikuichi

Wed Feb 05, 2014 8:12 pm

Hi all! It seems that like many in this forum, I came here wanting to upgrade my knife and got sucked into the vortex! I’m looking for a 240mm workhorse Gyuto (it’ll be my first for this style) that is capable of handling pretty much all veggie prep in the kitchen, but (importantly) can get extremely sharp, slice extremely thinly and retain its edge well, won’t wedge, and doesn’t have issues with food sticking to it. I’ve never used a wa-style handle to it, but am open to the concept. I'm left-handed, but would prefer an ambidextrous knife. My sharpening skills are limited, but I have acquired water stones and have other knives to practice on.

After a lot of research, I’d more or less settled on the following knife:

Kanehiro 240mm Wa-Gyuto
Aogami super steel clad in stainless steel
Wa-style handle

It had good reviews and seemed to fulfill all my criteria. Then I saw on its description that it was a “wa-handled equivalent of the popular Hiromoto knives.” The version it was referring to seemed to be this one:

Hiromoto Gyuto 240mm Gyuto
Aogami super clad in stainless steel
Western handle

Now it appears this isn’t strictly true, as it’s made by a different blacksmith, but I read decent things about this knife. Of course, the glaring difference is the price. It’s almost literally half the price of the Kanehiro. Now I don’t object to spending money on a good knife, but if I can get a comparable knife for such a drastically lower price, it would definitely merit consideration, despite the fact that I seem to have latched on to the Kanehiro for some reason.

This lower-price-yet-still-good gyuto now made me begin my investigations anew, and I turned up two other knives, also western-handled, one with an even lower price point, and one in the middle. Respectively:

Richmond Artifex 240mm Gyuto
AEB-L Steel
Western handle

Kikuichi Performance TKC 240mm Gyuto
Semi-stainless steel
Western handle

Both of them have great reviews, and it’s difficult for me to find what objective differences I might encounter. Furthermore, I liked the idea of the Aogami, but am seeing great things about the AEB-L, and no complaints about the semi-stainless in the Kikuichi.

Now, I’m thoroughly overwhelmed and am having a great deal of trouble deciding. I’m sure that it’s hard to go “wrong,” but I’d also like to get a knife that I’m going to be happy with for a very long time. Essentially, I’d appreciate some input from the community on how my experience might differ between the four of them.

Thank you so much!

- Walker

Re: 240mm Gyuto: Kanehiro/Hiromoto/Richmond/Kikuichi

Wed Feb 05, 2014 8:50 pm

If you're looking for just a beater knife that will still take an awesome edge I would look into Fujiwara knives. Inexpensive comes in both SS and Carbon.


Great workhorse knives but I would recommend you learn how to sharpen as someone who works prep that's what I would go for if fellow staff had sticky fingers.

It really depends on how much you want to spend.

Re: 240mm Gyuto: Kanehiro/Hiromoto/Richmond/Kikuichi

Wed Feb 05, 2014 8:59 pm

Walker - that's a great post and shows you've done some serious research. The two best performing knives on your list are the Kanehiro and the Kikuichi. Many experienced users here, including Adam Marr (a knife maker) very highly recommend the TKC as a superb Western handled Gyuto. It's not a laser and it's not a thick bladed knife either. It's just a good medium weight blade with great semi stainless steel and flat out works great ITK. It's also a mono steel blade - no cladding or layers.

The Kanehiro AS is another amazing performer that is very different from the TKC. It's a Wa handled stainless clad blade with an Aogami Blue Super (Aoniko) core steel. It's hand forged & hand made. Melampus - a highly skilled chef with over 20 years of experience has touted the great characteristics of Kanehiro's AS steel. He can elaborate on this. Do a couple searched on his name and Kanehiro AS and you should find some great info.

The Kanehiro will exhibit a more weight forward balance versus the Kikuichi. This is normally a result of the lighter Wa handles versus Western full tang handles. I still use Yo (Western handled) knives, but I now prefer Wa style knives. If you pinch grip, Wa's are great and help move the balance point near or slightly in front of your pinch point on the blade.

They're both top flight Gyutos of very different styles.

Others can kick their expertise.

Re: 240mm Gyuto: Kanehiro/Hiromoto/Richmond/Kikuichi

Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:14 pm

Great post! Love all the detail. I have limited experience with that lineup. I will tell you I think the Artifex is out of its element with that lineup.

Re: 240mm Gyuto: Kanehiro/Hiromoto/Richmond/Kikuichi

Sat Feb 08, 2014 12:53 am

Thanks for all your comments so far!

@Lunatic: I looked into that knife, but it seemed like there wore more quality-control issues than with the others...that being said, I'm sure I wouldn't be entirely disappointed with it, given that the comments were mostly positive otherwise.

@SteveG: Thanks for the breakdown between the Kanehiro vs. the Kikuichi. I think I need to go try out a wa handle somewhere to give me a sense of how that will feel.

@cedarhouse: Thanks for your input. Your comment about the Artifex confirms my intuition, especially given the price difference. I guess the difficulty is that you have knives at very different price points, both with fantastic reviews, both appearing to cut well, both with good comments about their materials, etc. It's kindof hard to tell whether these are relative to their price points, or whether they're absolute, since it makes them sound so similar in quality.

Anyways, this is all useful so far, and any other folks who can chime in with further clarifications would be very much appreciated!

- Walker

Re: 240mm Gyuto: Kanehiro/Hiromoto/Richmond/Kikuichi

Sat Feb 08, 2014 1:41 am

I have never held a Kanehiro, but pound for pound the Hiro rocks it out. It is a great workhorse. I might splurge a little and have one of Marks guys thin it.

Re: 240mm Gyuto: Kanehiro/Hiromoto/Richmond/Kikuichi

Sat Feb 08, 2014 3:14 am

I have the Kanehiro, Sautee has the Keek, we go back & forth, it's all personal preference as to weight and feel in the hand, I prefer the beefiness of my Kane to his "lady like" keek. As far as the Handle goes, this was my first Wa and I am never going back. Every knife I have gotten since, and the brass here can attest, has had a Wa Handle.
The Kanehiro does take a little longer to get an edge back on it as opposed to the TKC, thats where sautee goofs on me, saying I need to arrive 30mins early to allow for stone time. But I snap back when he puts his on the stones more frequently than I do. With the tasks I use my 240 for, I average about once a month on the stones, where as, he goes every coupla weeks.
I just purchased my fifth knife from here and received it this week, it was the Konosuke Fujiyama Blue #2 190mm Bunka and in the words of Steve G "A top flight!" piece of craftsmanship. My chef gave it a test drive and went to order one for himself right after he put it down, and *poof*, out of stock. I'm glad I went with my instinct on that one when I seen it in the new arrivals.
I look at it as trial and error, working in a kitchen is a lifestyle choice for me, If you happen to purchase a knife that isn't to your liking, just choose another. Out of the 5 I have purchased, the two prep work horses are My Kanehiro and Konosuke, I toggle between my Masakage Yuki Bunka and my Teriyasu Fujiwara Santoko during service, both outstanding blades in their own right.

Re: 240mm Gyuto: Kanehiro/Hiromoto/Richmond/Kikuichi

Sat Feb 08, 2014 10:07 am

Walker, is this for a home or pro environment? If for home, once you learn how to sharpen and strop, edge retention is not as much of an issue for most people. The steels in these are so easy to maintain and sharpen it's going to blow your mind!

Not to muddy the waters, but here are some less $ options than the Kane that should met all your requirements for a home kitchen.

Richmond AS Laser 240 Gyuto: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/rilaaosu24gy.html.

Masakage Yuki 240 Gyuto: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/mayugy24.html.

@FingerCots, great comparison from the trenches! That Kono Bunka looks sweet - I love just opening a box with a Kono Fujiyama in it :-).

Re: 240mm Gyuto: Kanehiro/Hiromoto/Richmond/Kikuichi

Sat Feb 08, 2014 11:15 am

I'll muddy the waters some more as well, because I completed my long search just a few weeks ago. Although, I essentially went through price escalation over a few months :lol: I wanted a 240 with a carbon steel edge, mixed on whether the cladding could be reactive, or whether I wanted a rustic look or not. I ended up with a Konosuke Fujiyama Blue #2, but here are two others that haven't been mentioned above, but were pretty much in the running the whole time, at a much lower price point:

Moritaka KS 250: [link]http://www.chefknivestogo.com/moritakagyuto.html[\link]

Kohetsu AS 240: [link]http://www.chefknivestogo.com/rikoaosu24gy.html[\link]

I think aesthetics start playing a role in the decision making too with the availability of all these great knives. Pretty much everything that's been described here will give you a good, long-lasting, wicked sharp edge with a little time on the stones.

Re: 240mm Gyuto: Kanehiro/Hiromoto/Richmond/Kikuichi

Sat Feb 08, 2014 12:21 pm

I like the Kohetsu for you as well. Same steel and cladding as the Hiromoto and similar price but with a nice wa handle so it's light and fun to use. We have western handled versions coming in the future but they're not done yet.
Post a reply