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 Post subject: Itto Ryu 240mm Hammered
PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 10:58 pm 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 6:20 am
Posts: 2104
This review covers the Itto-Ryu 240mm gyuto included in the platinum member pass around. The product page can be seen here: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/ithagy240.html

Again, thanks to Mark for making these knives available to the forum for review.

Disclaimer: this review is based on a single meal prep for a home user so please take this with a grain of salt. Since the itinerary for this pass around gives me five days with five knives I hope to dedicate one night to each knife. Accordingly edge retention is outside the scope of this review and I do not plan to sharpen the knives.


The Itto-Ryu has received a lot of press recently for punching well above its price point. In particular the proponents of the Itto-Ryu see it as the Goko killer. Overall the hype has merit. The knife delivers a high level of performance, at or near what the Goko offers, at a moderately lower price.

The Itto-Ryu is a heavy middle weight knife that feels very substantial in the hand. Its grind leaves the blade thicker than the Goko ~4mm from the edge but thinner than the Goko ~1mm behind the edge. The result is the Itto-Ryu performs better in shorter and softer ingredients where wedging is less of a problem. But the Goko uses its breadth at the edge and lack of a shoulder to out perform the Itto-Ryu in taller, firmer ingredients. At first the Itto-Ryu was wowing me but the second I cut into an onion the knife's ability to wedge reared its head.

The Itto-Ryu's performance is actually aided by its fit-and-finish a very smooth frosted finish on the blade road presents less drag than the grind marks on the Goko so slicing is easier.

Overall fit and finish is OK. The hammer marks are very attractive as is the KU type finish over the hammering. Those aspects compare favorably with the Anryu Hammered. The frosted finish on the blade road is also very attractive. The choil area is eased and the spine is nicely radiused. Unfortunately there are some aspects that I found less appealing. There are grind marks in the finish that detract from the well done hammering and KU finish. The Itto-Ryu shares the awful Goko chestnut handle but has poorer install with practically no space between the heel and the handle. The angle at which the machi and heel meet is very...rustic. Normally this type of unevenness has a sort of wabi-sabi appeal but here it looks a bit lazy.

The short version of the story, IMHO, is the Itto-Ryu trades a modestly lower level of fit and finish for a modest price savings over the Goko. The Itto-Ryu trades tit-for-tat some performance advantages for others vis-a-vis the Goko so here it is a draw. For me personally I think I would ante up the extra $30 for the Goko but I don't mind the extra girth behind the edge. For other users the Itto-Ryu may leave extra cash in their pocket and deliver a more satisfying performer, but that is subjective.


Side by side with the Goko, the Itto-Ryu is on top:

Image


Choil shot side by side with the Goko, Itto-Ryu is on the left:

Image


I don't plan to use this knife again but I think I may do an additional entry on it later in the week. This knife begs comparison with a few other knives...we'll see if I have time.


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 Post subject: Re: Itto Ryu 240mm Hammered
PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 12:07 am 

Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2012 11:01 pm
Posts: 472
Location: ATL
Nice writeup Cedar.


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 Post subject: Re: Itto Ryu 240mm Hammered
PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 12:12 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2012 4:17 am
Posts: 4610
Another great review Ryan!



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 Post subject: Re: Itto Ryu 240mm Hammered
PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 12:27 am 

Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2014 8:57 pm
Posts: 600
Great review, thanks for providing your comparative thoughts between these two oft-compared knives. The lack of a shoulder on the Goko is an advantage, and maybe it would be the more solid performer all around with a little work just behind the edge. Wouldn't want to ruin the character of the knife but I am finding that useful on mine.

Do you have any observations that point to the Itto-Ryu cladding being stainless or reactive, in practice?


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 Post subject: Re: Itto Ryu 240mm Hammered
PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 1:19 am 

Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:58 pm
Posts: 190
Interesting. Thanks so much for the review and the pics. I have the Itto-Ryu 210 and I've been a big fan. Seeing the choil shot in your review explains some of the differences in how I see my knife performing... The grind on my 210 is MUCH thinner behind the edge from what I can see. Very thin. I do agree that there is a distinct shoulder on the grind, but in my case I haven't experienced much wedging. I've found that shoulder to move ingredients out of the way nicely. The grind starts high enough on the blade that in most cases the blade is well through the food before it might have a chance to get stuck.

As with all hand-made things there are inevitable differences from one knife to the next.

I know you only get one night with each knife, but sometimes those initial impressions are just as valuable as a more well-seasoned review. Thanks for your post!

PS @estayton- As far as I can tell the cladding on the Itto is stainless. I haven't seen any reaction at all while the core steel has turned a blue-black color.


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 Post subject: Re: Itto Ryu 240mm Hammered
PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 1:32 am 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 6:20 am
Posts: 2104
Thanks for the kind words guys!

estayton, that choil comparison was a big eye opener for me. Can't say for sure about cladding but I had not observable discoloration on the cladding. The core steel was pretty reactive, more so than the Goko.

btm, for me personally I find I am drawn to knives with more continuous grinds rather than being very thin behind the edge then having a shoulder higher up. I think psychologically I prefer a linear increase in resistance in taller ingredients. Shoulders give a sudden increase in resistance when you get to them. That is why I hesitate to say one is better than the other, I think this is just one of those subjective things.


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 Post subject: Re: Itto Ryu 240mm Hammered
PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 4:20 am 

Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2014 8:57 pm
Posts: 600
btm wrote: As far as I can tell the cladding on the Itto is stainless. I haven't seen any reaction at all while the core steel has turned a blue-black color.

cedarhouse wrote: Can't say for sure about cladding but I had not observable discoloration on the cladding. The core steel was pretty reactive, more so than the Goko.


It seems likely it is stainless then. Good to know in terms of referring it to others that at least in practice reactivity is minimal to none.

And Cedar, I feel the same way about gradual resistance. I seem to prefer a knife that takes slightly more work overall but very clearly telegraphs when it is getting stuck and the amount of effort required to push through. Abruptly stopping when effort is otherwise very low is highly annoying to me. It is not only shoulders that seem to do this in my experience, but I can see that they would be a major factor.


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 Post subject: Re: Itto Ryu 240mm Hammered
PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2014 10:58 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2013 4:24 pm
Posts: 310
Thanks for the review, much appreciated.


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