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Looking for a Gyuto, and possibly a petty.

Mon Jun 24, 2013 5:26 am

Hey there,

Backstory is, since leaving school I've been working in a cafe as a kitchenhand doing prep, plating and have been getting much more interested in food and cooking generally, and am saving to go do a culinary course; And so am finally looking to get my own knife. I don't think I'll take the knife(s) i end up with into work at this stage, mainly because the ones they have there are passable, and make for a good incentive and practice for my sharpening skills. Admittedly all they have is a seriously dished finishing stone, but hey... gotta start somewhere, right? Also I really need a knife for home, as the place I'm renting only has a shitty serrated unmentionable that is... well... just that!

Anyway. I'm looking for a Gyuto and possibly a paring knife as I get more into cooking at home, and also some sharpening accessories.

So, Running through the list and any additional stuff:
I'm Right handed, after a Gyuto and maybe a petty/paring knife. Size wise, i guess towards the shorter end on the Gyuto, (210-240) as the knives I've been using at work are mostly shorter, and though I've heard bigger ends up being better as you warm to it, It seems a little intimidating at this point to jump right in the deep end.

As for Carbon v stainless, I'm not really fussed. I'm not sure how much work a carbon ends up being, but I tend to take good care of my things, so if there's one that fits the bill I'd be up for it. (perhaps with a few tips as to care/patina/rust etc.) As for style, I'm definitely after something that I find attractive (as that makes up some of my ongoing satisfaction with a purchase : ;) )so I'd lean towards a Japanese style handle, and the only japanese handled blade i've tried (a shun) was quite comfortable (aside: i have large hands with shorter fingers).

How much do i want to spend? This, i think, is variable. For the both of them, something in the region of $400-450 would feel reasonable, and i'd suspect the large share would end up on the Gyuto. Though if there's something that just happens pushes it a little out of that price range, (notably something that looks gorgeous 8-) )I'd definitely consider it. As for sharpening, I do know how to do it, (the videos were great by the way, Mark!) but am still definitely an amateur (3-4 months), and have only sharpened the likes of Victorinox's and no japanese knives.

Anyway, thanks in advance for your time, and hit back with any questions or suggestions, as they'll be greatly appreciated!

[Edit: I live in Australia, If that changes anything!]

Re: Looking for a Gyuto, and possibly a petty.

Mon Jun 24, 2013 7:43 am

With a budget that large, there are a ton of really great knives to choose from.

One of my new favorites:


and my favorite parer:


Without further information on what you like/dislike this is a good starting point of a couple of great knives. Like I said, though, with a budget like that, there are A LOT of good knives to choose from.

Re: Looking for a Gyuto, and possibly a petty.

Mon Jun 24, 2013 9:01 am

If you like knives that are thin and maneuverable, the Konosuke HD or White #2 knives are a delight. They aren't forgiving of rough handling -- think more X-Acto knife than WWII-issue survival knife. I don't think you can get both in under $400 though.

http://www.chefknivestogo.com/kohd240gynew.html (240 mm gyuto "funayuki" profile -- a little flatter, a little narrower tip)
http://www.chefknivestogo.com/kohdwa151.html (150 mm petty)
http://www.chefknivestogo.com/kowh2pe15.html (same petty as above, but in White #2)

I can't say that they look impressive from a distance, but once you have a Konosuke in hand, you'll understand why people love them. Part of me is hesitant to recommend them, as they are sort of "second" knives -- they may feel very strange coming from German knives; fragile edges, silly light, no real "edge" to sharpen (it's a small fraction of a mm).

Re: Looking for a Gyuto, and possibly a petty.

Mon Jun 24, 2013 11:44 pm

Thanks for the replies guys!

I've only heard good things about the Konosuke HD's and i suspect the white #2's must be quite similar. Are they overly fragile? or just requiring that you dont throw them around? I do definitely prefer a thinner, lighter knife (bigger, heavier ones can seem unwieldy for me). But that being said I almost certainly won't have handled something as sophisticated as any of the knives on CKTG.

I too am cautious to jump into something awesomely sharp/refined, for the fear that I might not be quite at that level. Just so i get a sense myself, How do the various steels and Rockwell hardness combine to balance Fragility, Strength and durability? My understanding of it is that the harder the steel, the better it can take and hold an edge, but the more fragile it is (liable to chip, etc). The main Steel's I've been seeing are Blue #2, Aogami Supersteel, and the White #'s 1 and 2. What are the main differences in their properties and how does it translate to a knife? (there might be a table somewhere that i've missed, and apologies if i have!)

I guess I'd probably lean towards something at least a little forgiving. (I'm still no expert with my technique, though i am careful and thoughtful when cutting)and something to really allow me to build refinement in my sharpening whilst still allowing for where i am on the learning curve. (room for growth, but not prohibitive for where I'm at)

Also, what are the pros and cons for a taller blade? say something in the region of 40mm vs 50mm? Or is it just personal preference?

Cheers -Bonds

Re: Looking for a Gyuto, and possibly a petty.

Tue Jun 25, 2013 5:55 am

I love my HD 240 gyuto and HD 180 wa petty. The pros of HD gyuto are easily googled and are as true today as they were three years ago when this knife became popular.

Sharpens and de-burrs easily
Takes and maintains an acute edge
Semi stainless doesn't tend to react with even acidic foods
Tough sturdy cutter even though it's a thin, nimble laser
Excellent fit and finish

Profile is subjective so it's up to you whether or not you like it. It's a bit blade heavy so it's ideal for a pinch grip. Mine has a coke bottle custom handle so I can't comment on the wa that came with it. I do like the HD petty wa.

So far, for the money it's the best gyuto I've tried but I'm selling it to pay for a semi-custom knife and if you're interested PM me.

Re: Looking for a Gyuto, and possibly a petty.

Tue Jun 25, 2013 7:06 am

Tall versus narrow gyuto's is purely subjective. I own, use and make many variations of height in a gyuto....I don't really favor one over the other.

The Konosuke knives are really great....they're very thin though, so just know what you're getting.

Re: Looking for a Gyuto, and possibly a petty.

Tue Jun 25, 2013 8:21 am

On the different metals, and know that I'm not a knife maker or even hard-core knife nut, my functional opinion is

Any reputable, high-end knife maker that caters to performance of the knife will select a steel and hardening that is appropriate for the task that the knife is intended for.

As a consumer that is looking for a solid, functional knife, that doesn't need to prep hundreds of anything in a day, I feel that the choices in the same price class come down to feel first (thin, thick, flexible, stiff, heavy, light, balance, handle,...), then stains-less vs. need to keep it clean or it will stain. It is something of a continuum from something like a "fully stainless" steel, through a semi-stainless (like the HD), hybrids like a stainless clad carbon core (edge will degrade from "rust" but the sides still look nice), to the knives that will "rust" in varying degrees all over.

I can't get too worked up with the latest and greatest in steels any more, at least as far as home use goes. I don't mind sharpening my knives once every couple weeks. Having some super-hard magic steel in the knife mainly just makes me smile. Its only really tangible benefit is that it lets me stretch sharpening time out to a month or more -- basically until I physically damage an edge as opposed to it physically or chemically wearing down. All of this is predicated on home use, in contrast to a production setting when I might otherwise need to sharpen every day, and perhaps touch up the edge during the day.

From what I understand, in very, very broad terms, "white" ("shiro-") tends to take and hold a great edge, and tends to be a little more chip-resistant than "blue" ("ao-") steels. The blue steels tend to take and hold a hair better edge than the white steels, but the edges tend to be a little more fragile. It is not that a "#2" is inferior to a "#1" steel within a given type; it is that it has a different composition and, as a result, different behavior. The "Super" or the "#1" tend to be more on the hard, sharp, fragile edge than the #2, for example. Often, one type of knife is made mainly in one steel "family" and another type in a different family, depending on their use. The colors, as far as I know, have nothing to do with the color of the steel; I understand that it is the color of the wrapper when the piece of steel comes from the mill.

Re: Looking for a Gyuto, and possibly a petty.

Tue Jun 25, 2013 11:31 pm

Thanks for that breakdown Jeff! A really helpful layman's description of their characteristics.

On the back of that and also what I've seen around here, I think I might just got for a Gyuto to start, and can pick up a petty a little later, and have narrowed myself down to a Konosuke of some sort.

I guess the contenders are the HD2 (http://www.chefknivestogo.com/kohdkigy24we.html ;There is also a The flatter, Funayaki version) and Fujiyama(http://www.chefknivestogo.com/konosuke9.html) iterations. And i guess it just comes down mostly to whether i want to go with a semi-stainless or the White #2. The other question is size and fit, being 210 vs 240 (one of each is out of stock i believe, funnily); And also that the Fujiyama is very slightly heavier, taller and wider. Also, I'd be looking at getting one of the Ebony handled versions, as i find it balances out the polished edge much better, and frankly i just think it looks awesomer :).

I guess as this is the first knife that i'll be really calling my own, I'm kind've looking to enjoy building a relationship with the thing (as whack as that probably sounds) and the romantic in me leans towards the carbon steel, hand forged version. (just seems to have more character, y'know?) Would be keen to hear opinions or comparisons between the two.

Thanks again for all the help so far!

Re: Looking for a Gyuto, and possibly a petty.

Wed Jun 26, 2013 7:22 am

Well, I certainly think you have to get the Fujiyama now. :)

They are so freaking nice. I regret selling mine all the time.

Re: Looking for a Gyuto, and possibly a petty.

Wed Jun 26, 2013 4:01 pm

Hehe. Yeah I think That's what I'll do :).

Recommendations for stones anyone? Also what special care for use and cleaning is recommended for a carbon steel blade? Oh and what's the deal with sharpening rods/steels?
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