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Looking for a good value carbon gyuto.

Thu May 17, 2012 7:25 pm


I am fairly new to the world of Japanese knives and have done the usual internet research. I am after my first ‘good’ knife and would like to learn how to care for knives. I watched you tutorial videos on sharpening which were excellent. After a fair bit of looking I think I will order the Tojiro Shirogami ITK 240mm Wa-Gyuto. From what I have read it is not necessarily the best knife in that price range but I have a couple of reasons for wanting it:

· It’s ‘carbon steel’ (I understand that generally at the lower priced end of the scale you will get more bang for your buck from carbon over stainless, in addition it will force me to learn good care and maintenance habits before I move to more expensive knives)

· It is relatively cheap but should be a good blade for me to practice sharpening on (i.e. I won’t risk ruining a very expensive blade and I will have fun getting the best edge I can from it - later down the track I could use it to practice more advanced techniques on it like thinning and changing the angle on the edge)

Does that logic seem reasonable to you?

I will also need some sharpening equipment – In your video you recommend the Shaptan 1k stone, do you think I should also order a higher grit stone (5-6k for a more refined edge)?

I have another friend here who will also order a knife and some stones at the same time to save on shipping – do you know roughly what the shipping cost may be?

Looking forward to your advice and placing an order with you!!

Thanks and regards,


Re: Looking for a good value carbon gyuto.

Thu May 17, 2012 7:26 pm

Hi Daniel,

Yes the ITK is a good bang for the buck gyuto and it would make a good knife to practice sharpening. There are a couple others that you might like as well. The Fujiwara Carbon line is a good one in the same price range.

Yes we have a Shapton 1K and 4K set that would be good for you. You can get a good edge on just the 1K but a 4K will improve the edge. You could also skip the 4K and get the 6K. Both will work well.

Kind Regards,
Mark Richmond
(608) 232-1137

Re: Looking for a good value carbon gyuto.

Thu May 17, 2012 7:29 pm

Hi Mark,

Thanks very much for your prompt reply, I had heard of your excellent customer service and it’s nice to experience it firsthand.

More than happy for you to post my question in the forum if you think it may help others – I did browse the forum myself while I was on your site!

I did look at the Fujiwara line as I had read some great things about them but I do prefer the wa handle having used a friends shun a few times. I also do like the look of the ITK which I suppose is a factor, though not a huge one. It is super tempting to blow the budget and jump straight into something like the Konosuke HD but I think that I would be better served to maintain and learn to sharpen something a bit cheaper for a while.

Since you have been so helpful I’ll throw one more question at you that might be a nice one for your forum – what are your thoughts on edge pro/wicked edge systems? Do you think that a beginner is capable of getting a good edge with ‘old fashioned’ stones with some practice or would I be better off canning that and just going with one of the above systems? I might be being old fashioned but I like the idea of free handing with the stones, is it realistic to think that I will be able to get an acceptable result from them or would I be better to fork out for a more foolproof system?

If I go with the stones I would probably only get two to start with so if the 6k isn’t too much of a step up from the 1k then that would be the go!

Thanks again for helping a newbie! I’ll share your advice with my friend and we’ll place an order with you shortly.
Kind regards,


Re: Looking for a good value carbon gyuto.

Thu May 17, 2012 7:36 pm

When I first started to sharpen knives seriously I decided to use the Edge Pro. I was attracted to the ease and assistance the device provided. I mostly switched over to free hand sharpening after this mostly because I think it's fun. If I were entering a sharpening competition I would use the Edge Pro but I can get hair splitting results free handing and that's plenty sharp for me and I enjoy it. There's no right or wrong method. As for the Wicked Edge I have only played with it a short time so I really haven't explored the machine enough to say. I need to sharpen 30-40 knives on it before I can tell exactly what I think but the guys that use it seem to like it.

Re: Looking for a good value carbon gyuto.

Thu May 17, 2012 9:25 pm

If you're looking to blow the budget slightly (not quite as badly as a Konosuke HD), while adding a lot of value for your dollar and sticking with carbon steel, then also worth a look is the 52100 steel version of Mark Richmond's "Addict" knife (under Richmond Knives on the site). People rave about this thing, and Mark is too humble to bring it up himself.

I'm in a similar boat and have received similar recommendations.
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