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Gyuto recommendation

Wed May 16, 2012 9:28 pm

Hi there,

I need some advice regarding the purchase of a new gyuto. I'm just getting into high-end cutlery. I grew up in a household where sharp knives were avoided on grounds of being too dangerous, and where glass cutting boards were used. I'm a resident physician in surgery, so I pick up both information and motor skills pretty quickly, but clearly with those beginnings, I have a lot to learn.

This will not be my first "good knife" but I certainly don't have much of a collection, nor much of a basis for comparison. I'm right-handed. I know how to sharpen using water stones, but I have not had much practice and I don't own a set of my own. I'd be perfectly happy sending my knives out for professional sharpening every so often, if I could rely on them to hold that sharpening for a reasonable amount of time (I'm looking in the general direction of the Richmonds here).

Anyhow, I've picked out 4 knives that I like for my go-to gyuto (210 or 240mm? Haven't decided that yet either) for general purpose every day stuff in the kitchen. I'd like to buy this once and keep it forever, if possible, but I understand also that given my current budget of "not very much," I may not be able to get some of the stuff you guys (and now me, too) salivate over. Here are the four I found:

1) The Richmond Addict 2.
Pros: best on this list, most likely.
Cons: Price; is the difference in effectiveness, edge-holding, etc. worth more than double the price of the Artifex to a relative novice?

2) The Richmond Artifex.
Pros: Amazing value, and from what I read, very very good steel.
Cons: Possible wait due to stocking issues (not a huge deal for me, but still a con), and question whether Addict would be a better choice despite costing more.

3) Tojiro DP.
Pros: From what I read, this is the standard for "getting started in Asian knives." The steel is also purportedly pretty good (VG-10).
Cons: Artifex is arguably better steel, and is $10 cheaper.

4) Fujiwara FKH carbon
Pro: Carbon. Gorgeous patina, apparently a good knife for learning to sharpen, which is something I'd eventually like to do.
Con: Carbon, and all the care and worry that goes along with that.

5) Anything else you'd recommend?

Thanks so much for your time and for maintaining this excellent forum and excellent shop.

--Andrew
Durham NC

Re: Gyuto recommendation

Wed May 16, 2012 9:58 pm

I'm astonished at how good the Richmond Knives are, especially for the price. I now have the Addict 2 in CPM154, and in 52100 carbon. You might want to look at my "Initial Impressions of the Addict 2" post in Customer reviews. You can't go wrong with the Addict 2. As important as the knife is the sharpening stones. If you don't have quality stones, you will probably want to budget for the Shapton Glass 1K and 4K stones, and a honing kit.

For Shapton Stones got to http://www.chefknivestogo.com/sh2pcstset.html

For a good stropping kit go to http://www.chefknivestogo.com/habastset.html

As to length of knife, go to Youtube and watch Salty's excellent short video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zq37b1wG-yo&feature=plcp

Re: Gyuto recommendation

Thu May 17, 2012 12:21 am

Re: Gyuto recommendation

Thu May 17, 2012 12:24 am

Re: Gyuto recommendation

Fri May 18, 2012 4:45 am

Thanks for your posts, Wicked. I've now made my way through most of Salty's videos (and PCCkitchen's videos, as well as the whole sharpening series on this site, etc etc).

Got a chance to use a friend's knives today and I'm really sold on the 240s over the 210s now, both because of that video and because they seem to fit my (huge) hands better. I don't feel like I lose a whole lot of dexterity with the slightly longer blade. I kind of want to try a 270, but my friend didn't have one.

Anyway, I'm still undecided on what to buy, and I have a few more questions:

1. The Artifex 240 isn't out yet, though I think that'd probably be the perfect knife for me--any ETA on those?
2. The CPM154 steel on the Addict 2 scares me a bit, since my sharpening skills are not great and it sounds like that particular steel is maybe not the easiest place to start. Should I be as worried as I am about sharpening the CPM154 steel? (As a side note, I saw there's a $20 tune-up sharpening available on the drop-down box, and if I get the CPM154 Addict, I'm totally planning to do that.)
3. Is AEB-L considerably easier to sharpen than CPM154?
4. Any ETA on the AEB-L Addicts? I read somewhere on a forum that they were in the works.
5. Regarding both the Addict 52100 and the Fujiwara, is a carbon steel knife is the right place to start for a novice for (not particularly hardcore) home kitchen use only?

Thanks again for your help!
--Andrew

Re: Gyuto recommendation

Fri May 18, 2012 5:50 am

I'm glad you are taking the time to think things through. I agree that as a general purpose knife the 240mm is most useful, and a good place to start. I'll answer your questions in turn.

1. The Artifex 240 isn't out yet, though I think that'd probably be the perfect knife for me--any ETA on those?

I don't know when they will be available, but all of the Richmond knives have been so popular that I know that Richmond is doing everything possible to get make them available as soon as possible.

2. The CPM154 steel on the Addict 2 scares me a bit, since my sharpening skills are not great and it sounds like that particular steel is maybe not the easiest place to start. Should I be as worried as I am about sharpening the CPM154 steel? (As a side note, I saw there's a $20 tune-up sharpening available on the drop-down box, and if I get the CPM154 Addict, I'm totally planning to do that.)

CPM154 should scare you a bit, if you don't know how to sharpen. It is a beautiful stainless steel that holds and edge for a long time. Its just really difficult to sharpen. I have other CPM154 knives, and did not have the sharpening stones to do a good job sharpening CPM154, so I didn't like it much. I do like the Addict 2 in CPM154. If you go with the CPM154, as you say, you pay for the $20 sharpening, but make sure you order the Shapton Glass stones in 320, 1,000, and 4,000 grit. Also, Richmond knives provides one free sharpening for the price of postage. If you are going to use the knife for occasional home use, it might actually be a good choice, because you could easily go a year or two, maybe more, before you need a complete resharpening, as opposed to a few swipes on a honing rode, or a light sharpening on the Shapton 4K


3. Is AEB-L considerably easier to sharpen than CPM154?

YES.

4. Any ETA on the AEB-L Addicts? I read somewhere on a forum that they were in the works.

Although he hasn't said so, I do believe that if Richmond could, he would snap his fingers and have his entire line suddenly appear in AEB-L. Again, I think he's moving as quickly as possible on that. The only Richmond Knives gyuto currently available in AEB-L is the Laser, and I have to tell you, even though I prefer heavier and thicker knives, I can't helping loving the Laser. You can't go wrong by purchasing a 240mm Richmond Laser. It is a fantastic knife.

5. Regarding both the Addict 52100 and the Fujiwara, is a carbon steel knife is the right place to start for a novice for (not particularly hardcore) home kitchen use only?

Carbon steel is the best place for a beginner to start because you learn how to sharpen and care for a knife when you start with carbon. Based on your questions, the following setup would be what I would purchase to get started (remember, you have to sharpen all steel, whether carbon or stainless):

1) Purchase a carbon steel Tojiro Shirogami ITK 240mm Wa-Gyuto for $79.00 from Chef Knives to Go, available here: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/toshitk24wa.html

2) Purchase the Shapton Glass three stone set from Chef Knives to Go, available here: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/sh3pcset1k4k.html

3) Purchase the DMT Extra Extra Course Diamond Plate to use primarily as a lapping plate (and very rough stone if needed), available here: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/dmtextracoarse.html

4) Purchase the DMT non skid Mat to place the Shaptons on while sharpening, available here: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/dmtnonskidmat.html

5) Purchase a bottle of camellia oil, available here: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/tsoilst1.html

6) Purchase Murray Carter's Blade Sharpening Fundamentals", available here: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/blshfubymuca.html

You would then be set up to learn how to sharpen and care for your new 240mm gyuto. When you figure out how to sharpen, your New Tojiro Shirogami ITK gyuto will be the sharpest knife you've ever worked with. If you decide to move up to a more expensive knife, then you already have the basic sharpening tools and skills that you need to care for your knives.
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