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Inexpensive Gyuto opions...

Mon Nov 25, 2013 11:00 am

In about a month, I want to get a gyuto to round out my current set of knives. I recently bought a Yamashin white #1 Santoku and Ko Bocho. I want a different steel to play with, so white #1 is out, though I love the look and feel of the Yamashins. lol

I am right handed and have no preference of carbon over stainless or vice versa. I just don't want an extremely reactive carbon that I have to maintain while I use it (the white#1 in the Yamashins has been VERY nice!) and if I go stainless I want something easy to sharpen that can take a mean edge.

For the length I think I want to stay around 210-240mm. I am used to an 8" chef's knife but I don't think a 240mm would be hard to get used to. My board is 18" by 16" so either should fit just fine.

I use a pinch grip almost exclusively when cutting, so handle type is not really important. I like the looks of wa handles but that or western style is fine. I also like the looks of the kurouchi finishes, but again it isn't a necessity. If it does have one though I think I would like it to be a smooth one, not rough.

I rarely if ever chop, with most of my cutting being push cutting on taller ingredients and rocking on shorter stuff. When making strips (like with bellpeppers) I tend to put the point on the board and pull the knife through so I would like a sharp point. I am no speed demon. lol I am a very deliberate cutter and my edges will not take a lot of abuse. I also use an end grain cutting board for veggies and a cheap, replaceable poly board I toss in the dishwasher for meats. I do disassemble bell peppers, jalapenos, and poblano peppers, so a nimble knife would be good when de-veining. I am a home cook that only has to cook for two people and occasionally (i.e. VERY rarely) a group.

For sharpening, I have a cheap $30 250/1k King combo stone. My Japanese knives will likely never see the 250 grit (unless that get some serious damage! lol), as it is for re-profiling/fixing some of my cheaper knives if needed. I am planning on getting better stones and some higher grit stones, but this one is pretty much one I bought to learn how to use water stones with. I am used to natural stones like Arkansas whetstones and diamond stones, I have never used a Japanese water stone until now. I am also used to free hand sharpening bigger angles and am trying to get used to the lower angles found in Japanese knives. It isn't an easy proposition to get your muscle memory to change and bring the back of the blade lower to the stone and keep it there. lol I am also a big believer in stropping (I use cow leather and compound, sometimes paper and/or newsprint as well), so that is how the edge will be finished for the time being.

I am trying to stay in the $100-ish range, with ~$120 being the top end. I would love to get my hands on a Goko, Kohetsu, Masakage Mizu, etc. but those are a little out of my range right now. lol

Some of the knives I have been looking at are the Richmond Artifex stuff with the AEB-L steel, Tojiro DP with VG10 (not to mention the nice $100 set with the paring knife!), up to the Suisin Inox and Tanaka kurouchi at the higher end of my price range. The Tanaka is a little outside, but I might be able to swing it. lol

I have seen a lot of knives I like on the site, I just don't know anything about them really. lol I want something relatively thin (doesn't have to be in the "laser" category), light to medium weight (5~7oz maybe but I am not opposed to a heavier knife if it performs well), is easy to sharpen, takes a nice edge, and has decent edge retention without being extremely chippy, like say I have a random piece of kosher salt on the board. lol The knife will likely never see a bone or hard winter squash. A carrot will probably be the most demanding veggie it has to cut.

So, all in all, I am mainly concerned with performance, low reactivity in the case of carbon steel, and ease of sharpening. Fit and finish is not a make or break thing for me, especially in this price range, but I know some are better than others. And I want to try something different than white #1 since I already have two knives with that steel.

Any and all recommendations to this Japanese knife noob are welcome, as long as it falls in my price range! LOL Actually, even then it is welcome, I'm just more likely not going to buy it if it costs too much. :P ;) Think more nice family car or sedan than Camaro or Caddilac. I do drive a Murano after all. lol

Re: Inexpensive Gyuto opions...

Mon Nov 25, 2013 11:16 am

DEF <> I apologize for not having the time to delve into this... I'm slammed right now, but I have one word: BUHO <-- link

IF YOU'RE RIGHTY although I suspect a lefty could be comfortable with it... this knife is offering the edge potential of a kata-ha (w/o the steering issues!), but in an asymmetric semi-concave grind. Amazing edge potential, but like I said... it doesnt have the steering issues in a Gyuto. The unilateral hollow grind has a bit of a wedgy feel, but not so bad. I will talk more about the knife when I have time... whenever that finally comes!

Re: Inexpensive Gyuto opions...

Mon Nov 25, 2013 11:35 am

That knife is gorgeous! lol

With all of my perusing I don't think I have seen that one yet. I could be wrong, but in the pic looking at the back of the blade showing the geometry, it looks like a left handed knife. I always thought the concave went on the "back" of the knife and the bevel to the "front" relative to the hand it was made for. Also, when sharpening this type of profile is there any special attention needed for the concave side, or do you just sharpen the beveled side?

That is an awesome looking knife for the price. I can't believe I missed it!

One of the best things about CKtG is the selection of knives, and one of the worst things is the selection of knives. LOL Too many to choose from no matter what your price range is. ;)

Edit: Ah, looking at the video on the page I HAVE seen this knife! lol I remember seeing the vid recently on YouTube when searching "210mm gyuto". Of course I didn't write down anything (like a noob lol) to investigate further.

Re: Inexpensive Gyuto opions...

Mon Nov 25, 2013 2:46 pm

DefMunky - you should take a look at the Kaneshige Stainless 240 Wa-Gyuto: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/kast24wa.html. I just did a detailed post on it in the "Customer Reviews" forum. See what you think.

IMO a 240 would serve you well, since you have shorter knives for smaller product or for more delicate work. It wouldn't take much for you to grind down the left side edge bevel a bit to get the edge back to 50/50 on your 1K stone (see my post). Great knife for the money!

Re: Inexpensive Gyuto opions...

Mon Nov 25, 2013 2:58 pm

Cool, I'll have to read your review! I have looked at it, I just haven't really found any info on it yet and there were no reviews or usage vids on the page. The quick looks are fine but don't really "tell" me anything about the knife.

I don't mind asymmetrical grinds, so 50/50 isn't absolutely necessary. I just need to know how to take care of it if it isn't a 50/50. lol

I'm off to read your review! :)

Edit: LOL! It just hit me... are you the Steve that does the quick looks??? If so, I'm sorry if I came of dismissive about the quick look vids. I just like to see a knife cutting is all, no disrespect or anything was intended! If not the apology still stands to the Steve that does the vids. ;)

Another Edit: After seeing the first part of the review, you ARE the "Quick Look" Steve! LOL Now to finish the review written by the guy I probably offended in the first part of this over-edited post... lol

Re: Inexpensive Gyuto opions...

Mon Nov 25, 2013 3:25 pm

Sorry for the double post, but I read your review. It definitely sounds like it will be a contender for sure. The weight is around what I am looking for and a knife I won't have to baby would be very nice. That being said, the semi-convex edge of the Murata Buho still has me intrigued. lol The korouchi style blade is also a little more interesting, but the hand-engraved kanji on the Kaneshige adds a lot to the "cool" factor for me. lol Looks aren't everything to me, but they are something I consider. ;)

Re: Inexpensive Gyuto opions...

Mon Nov 25, 2013 4:45 pm

DefMunky - no problem on the comment :-). I totally understand about the Quick Look videos. They don't show actual cutting performance/evaluation on product like Shaun's videos do. Mark just wanted to create something to give people a better look and sometimes more detailed specs, etc. on the products. I imagine a lot of people sometimes have narrowed it down to a few choices and they might get enough info to make a final decision off the Quick Looks, combined with the forum advice.

On to other things...the Kanji on the Kaneshige is pretty cool, but it's not a really deep chiseled effect like on the Masakage or other knives. It's done very nicely however. Definitely cooler than stamped Kanji. It's funny - I keep looking for things to cut where I can bring out the Kaneshige to hammer on some product - it just feels like I can't hurt the thing :-). I know I can, if I use it incorrectly, but you know what I mean. It really is a workhorse - a great blend of heft and performance at a good price.

Re: Inexpensive Gyuto opions...

Mon Nov 25, 2013 5:03 pm

DefMunky wrote:In about a month, I want to get a gyuto to round out my current set of knives. I recently bought a Yamashin white #1 Santoku and Ko Bocho. I want a different steel to play with, so white #1 is out, though I love the look and feel of the Yamashins. I am trying to stay in the $100-ish range, with ~$120 being the top end. I would love to get my hands on a Goko, Kohetsu, Masakage Mizu, etc. but those are a little out of my range right now.

Maybe you could wait and save a little longer and step up your price range a bit. And if White #1 is out, you can rule out the Goko.
Last edited by Jeff B on Mon Nov 25, 2013 5:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Re: Inexpensive Gyuto opions...

Mon Nov 25, 2013 5:05 pm

Jeff has a great point - when you get to the 150-200 range, your options are greatly expanded.

Re: Inexpensive Gyuto opions...

Mon Nov 25, 2013 5:30 pm

lol, yeah, I forgot about the Goko being white #1. I might eventually make an exception in its case, as I was looking at it when I bought the knives I have now and I love the looks of it. Like I told my wife, the Yamashins might be my first Japanese knives, but they most certainly are not my last!

This is more or less going to be a Christmas present to myself. The price limit isn't too hard and set, it just depends on what my wife will accept me spending on a single knife. LOL $100 is pretty easy to slide by. I have already spent about $200+ on my birthday stuff this month (Knives, water stone, holder, and new cutting board), and don't want to go overboard. Plus the last thing I need is to be chased around with my own knives. ;) Maybe I'll wait and see how much what she wants costs... maybe I can get a little leverage for price expansion from that. Muahaha... *twirls mustache*
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