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Another gyuto recommendation...

Sun Feb 02, 2014 4:32 pm

I've been sifting through all of the threads about gyutos and have learned a lot but am now looking for a recommendation. I bought my first Japanese knives from Mark last month - a Kohetsu Santoku and a Tanaka Nakiri. I was looking for something smallish and nimble and also was curious about the nakiri style. I like both knives very much but am now looking for something bigger and more versatile, so am concentrating on a 210 gyuto. A shorter 240 might also work.

Notes: home cook only, prefer a Wa handle, right-handed, no preference on steel type, I can sharpen (on stones) and am improving, tend to push/pull cut with some chopping, very little rocking cutting.

Based on my limited experience so far, I think for this purchase I'd like something a little heavier rather than lighter and something thin behind the edge but not a laser. Price range is $150-$250 or so. I also would really like a hand-made knife. So here's the list in no particular order:

1. Anryu Hammered 210 (lots of great recommendations on this one)
2. Kajihara Damascus 210 (a little heavy but I'm intrigued by the design and grind)
3. Masakage Mizu 210
4. Masakage Shimo 210
5. Masakage Yuki 210
6. Tanaka Damascus 210
7. Sakai Takayuki Damascus 210
8. Kikuichi Swedish Warikomi Damascus 210

Any and all recommendations are most appreciated. Lastly, I am very intrigued by the KS style knives. Would this be a nice compliment to a 210? There seem to be 3 on the site: Masamoto KS, Moritaka KS and Takumi Ikeda 250 Damascus. Thoughts?

Re: Another gyuto recommendation...

Sun Feb 02, 2014 5:43 pm

Wow what a selection of knives you've got there the Masakages are nice knives I have a 240 Yuki and the grind and F&F are on point!

Second performance wise I would have to say the Tanaka while the F&F might not be great it performs great

The Takumi looks cool I would want that if i had the dough

Re: Another gyuto recommendation...

Sun Feb 02, 2014 5:59 pm

Well, you have a very good selection of options there. The way I see it the last two are in a very different category, being full stainless. I believe the Warikomi is one of the thinnest and lightest knives on the site--definitely in the laser category, so if you are looking for something with a bit more mass that would not be my pick. The Takayuki is also pretty thin as I recall.

Any of the first 6 is probably closer to what I hear you saying you want. I haven't handled them all but by specs the Kajihara is the heaviest of those, definitely on the weightier side. It still cuts great but the spine thickness is noticeable. I was also intrigued by the design and grind, and I am happy to own one. Fantastic craftsmanship, but the jury is still out for me on how exactly to recommend it to people. It is a bit of a brute--a nicely-crafted, refined brute, with all the contradictions that may entail.

Re: Another gyuto recommendation...

Sun Feb 02, 2014 8:56 pm

Totoro - Really nice list you have there! Based on your stated preferences, IMO these are most suitable:

#1
#5
#6 - great performer for the money. Fully reactive blade. No stainless.
#4 - probably the thinnest and best pure performer of these four. Fully reactive blade.

I would go with the Anryu based on all factors including price. It fits your criteria perfectly. The Yuki is a very similar knife.

Re: Another gyuto recommendation...

Sun Feb 02, 2014 10:27 pm

Is there a reason you want to stick to a 210 gyuto? In your post you say you'd like something bigger, but at 210, you're only going up like 30mm?

Here's a couple of the 240's for fun.

http://www.chefknivestogo.com/yawh1gy24.html
http://www.chefknivestogo.com/koadhd24wa.html
http://www.chefknivestogo.com/moritaka8.html
http://www.chefknivestogo.com/koki24.html

If it were me, I think I'd go for the Konosuke, cause I really like the white buffalo horn ferrule.

Re: Another gyuto recommendation...

Sun Feb 02, 2014 10:40 pm

Big supporter of the Anryu Hammered. My second pick would be the Goko Wt #1, only because it is my second favorite right now. While I have not used them, based on reviews etc, I think Steve's list is spot on. Steve's list pretty much mirrors what I personally would look to buy.

As far as the KS profile, I don't know that I am a huge fan. It does great, delicate tip work, and push cuts/chops beautifully, but I prefer a bit more rock cutting ability. I only really rock cut when mincing, but it is an easier chore with any of my other gyutos. Additionally, and I don't know if this is a KS thing or just an Ikeda thing, but my Anryu, Goko, and Kohetsu all have better preforming grinds, IMO.

Re: Another gyuto recommendation...

Mon Feb 03, 2014 3:39 am

I have a mizu petty and it was nice to see the time they spent on fit and finish. OOTB was fairly sharp. I don't take my knives crazy sharp on stones, so it didn't need much work when I got it. Really nice knife. My first masakage

Re: Another gyuto recommendation...

Mon Feb 03, 2014 5:51 am

I second Desol. You will not regret going up to 240mm. It is a great size. I hardly ever say "I wish my knife was a little smaller, but I do say "I wish this knife was a little bigger." especially when using a 7in-8in knife.

Re: Another gyuto recommendation...

Mon Feb 03, 2014 7:44 am

I would say the Tanaka Sekiso, but in 240mm flavor. The Anryu is very close to the Tanaka Sekiso, but the Tanaka edges it out in cutting performance because the grind on the Sekiso goes higher up the blade and it a bit thinner behind the edge. The Richmond AS Laser edges out the Sekiso in some softer foods, but the Sekiso does better in harder/taller foods and is a better all around knife. The Kikuichi Damascus stainless does well in softer foods, around on par with the AS Laser, but doesn't do as well in firmer foods or taller foods. The Sekiso cuts everything very well. I haven't tried the Masakage's yet, but I have yet to find a knife that compares to the Tanaka Sekiso as an all around knife cutting performance wise. It combines the cutting ability of the laser class knives with the extra weight and convexing on the workhorse knives to be incredibly smooth cutting a variety of foods. Edge retention is excellent, too. I acid etch mine and have little issues with reactivity. I have had a chance to play with Aaron's Kono Fujiyama Blue Gyuto and Funayuki in 240mm size and the Sekiso cuts as well as those do in my limited testing, even after I thin the Kono Fujiyama's.

The Anryu and Goko SS clad blades are both in the workhorse category, and going head to head, the Tanaka Sekiso and Richmond AS Laser out cut both since they are a bit thinner behind the edge, even in stuff like sweet potatoes and carrots.

Re: Another gyuto recommendation...

Mon Feb 03, 2014 8:07 am

Few more that I somehow missed... (right in ~ $250)

http://www.chefknivestogo.com/kohdwa24.html
http://www.chefknivestogo.com/ko24wa.html
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