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Re: Ken Onion, Masamoto HC or Konosuke?

Tue Jul 23, 2013 11:19 am

As far as Shun goes, I like the Premier and Onion more on the base that I wanted them for years. After handling an Onion, I bought the Global GS-38 paring knife as I really did not like the Shun. The Shun Onion is essentially my dream knife that when I dug a little further I found most people who owned Shun as well as mid/high end Japanese pieces of steel said the Shun was a sub-par performer in every class. Now having read thing and thing after about Konosuke, I think my dream knife should have and now can be that.

From what everyone says, I'm willing to go for the Eastern streamlined grip, especially if the knife is a lot lighter. It sounds like it is easy to adapt and the handle is well-suited to precision slicing, plus there has to be a reason it's so popular...

Everyone is saying 240mm...is there a big advantage over 210mm? I've always used an 8 in chef knife as I feel I have more control over a 9 inch, but that's possibly partly because the Wustoff is so damned heavy. If you think 240 is better for an all-purpose chef knife, I’ll consider that as I would prefer to keep the ability to do virtually everything with either a 9mm paring knife or a large chef knife, with occasional usage of a serrated bread & tomato knife. I personally like the control I have with an 8 inch, but again I think some of my hesitation to move to 9 inch is based off of handling heavier knives...having another inch of working room is nice, but I would not want to lose any control for it.

I like the Kikuichi Performance TKC, 240mm Gyuto, Kono white#2, Richmond Laser, and Tanaka Sekiso gyuto, plus other Konos. Given the odds of being able to hold these in-person in the exact form I want is low, I think I would like to go for a Konosuke…and I’ll spend closer to $300+/- if need be.

From what has been said here and my own browsing, I’ve taken a liking to…
Konosuke White #2 Wa-Gyuto 210/240mm…at $177 for the 210mm and $238 for the 240mm, this seems like the best workhorse v. costs
Konosuke HH Stainless Wa-Gyuto 210/240mm…this one like the above
Konosuke HD Wa-Gyuto Ho 210/240mm…this one also like the above seems to be a workhorse

Kono Tsuchime 240 SKD/210
Kono Fuji #2 Gyuto 240 Ebony/210

I absolutely love how the Fuji and SKD look (not too concerned about the hardness), and I really like the blade design on the Fuji as it appears to have a hollowed taper. One advantage with the HH line is that they have both numerous 210 and 240 mm Gyutos in stock, where as most others are largely out of stock… (only the Fuji 210 is in stock between that and the SKDs).

It sounds like all of those listed are really popular, and so I should probably be flexible based on what is and is not in stock as I assume production turnaround isn't very fast. Would any from the above probably be a reasonably good choice?

Re: Ken Onion, Masamoto HC or Konosuke?

Tue Jul 23, 2013 12:26 pm

A 240mm has a big advantage and given only one knife size, I'd pick that size.

I also have a 210mm and 270mm that I use regularly.

240mm has enough length to rock easily, and a long enough flat section to do some nice push cutting.

None of the knives you listed would be what we consider a "workhorse" knife. They are all lasers....very thin/light. A workhorse is something we typically consider a bit thicker.

The others are out of stock because they're better knives. :)

Re: Ken Onion, Masamoto HC or Konosuke?

Tue Jul 23, 2013 3:06 pm

I got a Kono Funy HD 240about a year and a half ago. "Getting used to" the wa handle was a total non-issue. And I prefer them now.

Konos tend to run short, so a 240 won't really be 240. And lasers feel shorter than they actually are, compared to thicker and heavier knives.

You'll be fine on both counts.

Re: Ken Onion, Masamoto HC or Konosuke?

Tue Jul 23, 2013 4:28 pm

Well I guess when I say 'workhorse' I mean workhorse in the sense of home usage in the sense that I'll use it for anything I am not using a paring knife for...I know absolutely nothing as far as professional goes.

Re: Ken Onion, Masamoto HC or Konosuke?

Tue Jul 23, 2013 4:31 pm

ZAC <> Has nothing to do with a professional kitchen or not. A "workhorse" is a knife that you unabashedly use on basically anything in reason. You should not, w/o great care, use a laser on any & everything. But... I understand your point.

If you've never used a laser like a Suisin IH or a Kono HD/White#2, they are delicate blades. That doesn't mean I don't cut through pineapples, corn cobs, butternut squash, etc., but it does mean you better be careful with your risks if you don't know how.

Re: Ken Onion, Masamoto HC or Konosuke?

Tue Jul 23, 2013 5:51 pm

I can't say that I look at 'workhorse' in the same sense as that and I apologize if my personal impression contradicts a generally accepted term (my knowledge in the field of kitchen knives is minimal hence I greatly appreciate the insight from the experts here)...I look at precision cutting instruments as tools made for specific applications, which means that they can be used in a fashion to harm them. To me, a workhorse would be a knife that can perform many different functions and, when cared for and used correctly, gives decades of service. I have a Chris Reeve Sebenza that is a unique blade and was about $600...it's arguably the finest folder ever made, but some people complain about them and it is usually when they use it in a fashion it was not intended to be used in.

As with all of my knives, my kitchen knives aren't used with hard backings. I generally use bamboo or cork cutting boards, and sometimes fabric ones. Cleaning is done by hand-only, and things like water, acidic fruits, residue, etc. never sit on the blade. They will be used every day, but not abused. I eat a variety of fruits and vegetables and meats. Generally with meats, I use a paring knife to trim and that's about it unless it involves making strips or something...at no point would it go through bone, and probably gristle once in a blue moon if I were to miss it. Most of the fruits and vegetables I commonly eat are relatively soft. I like being able to rock as I grow fresh herbs and make them fresh for every meal. So I'll chop, slice, dice, mince, etc...

Are there common things lasers are not good for cutting through? or is choosing a laser a bad idea for someone looking for a single larger chef knife to multi-task? I thought a knew what I was going to do but.... :(

Re: Ken Onion, Masamoto HC or Konosuke?

Tue Jul 23, 2013 6:01 pm

ZAC <> I have no time now to reply, but I'm sorry if I came off as arguing semantics... I was not. Just short on time in that reply... as I am now.

From what you process and how you respect your knives, a laser is still appropriate, but you have to respect it as a laser.

Re: Ken Onion, Masamoto HC or Konosuke?

Tue Jul 23, 2013 6:45 pm

I was given a Ken onion santuko for my birthday 6months ago. Used to cut some paper to see how sharp it was. Never picked it up again. Too heavy and uncomfortable handle.

Re: Ken Onion, Masamoto HC or Konosuke?

Tue Jul 23, 2013 8:58 pm

It wasn't about semantics as it was ensuring that purchasing a laser at 240mm size is appropriate for what I am doing and will hold up well. The last thing I want to do is spend $300 on a knife that doesn't work well for me. I appreciate everyone's input.

Re: Ken Onion, Masamoto HC or Konosuke?

Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:21 pm

I wouldn't use a "laser" on anything that is going to put sideways or twisting stress on the blade or edge, either directly or because of abruptly striking the cutting board beneath, for example when a hard squash splits open. Somewhere recently in the forums is a photo of the results of trying to cut through a corn cob. I'd also avoid things like popping apart joints and frozen food. A cheap Victorinox with a decent edge on it is a much better sacrificial tool for coarse work.

You might want to consider a hardwood board over bamboo. At least in my opinion, bamboo isn't terribly gentle on knife edges.
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