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 Post subject: Masakage Shimo 240 Gyuto
PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2014 8:45 pm 

Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2014 6:45 am
Posts: 127
Good morning all,

I finally had a chance to test out my new knives from CKtG. I warn you in advance my reviews of any product are not short so get out now if you want short and to the point. The first would be the Masakage Shimo 240 Gyuto. Other than a Shun BB1506 Serrated blade, with the weight in the western style handle, this would be my first experience with Japanese Steel and Wa type Handles. I am now almost 59 years old so there are not that many things which make me giddy in life but my newly re-found passion for kitchen knives had me feeling like a kid on the first morning of Christmas or Chanukah. The knife came in a fairly simple box with the blade wrapped in a newspaper as I understand many new Japanese knives are. Sliding the knife from the wrapping brought back the memories of opening a G.I. Joe. This is not a simple elegant knife rather it is a strikingly beautiful knife where the blade is the first and last item one notices. The handle is the frame while the blade is the art.

Upon handling and holding the knife it felt like just the right combination of heft and dexterity. I have worked with tools of all sorts all my life so this is more of a feeling than it is an explainable or definable, in words, experience. I have to admit, I was worried about not purchasing a 270 but I am very happy with the 240 length especially since I have been using a 8 inch chefs knife for so long. The blade, measured in straight lines rather than along the curve, is 10.25 inches from the end of the collar to the tip and 9.625 from the heel to the tip. The height of the blade was exactly 2 inches at its widest point. Balance point was about 1.75 inches from the heel and about 2.25 inches from the edge of the collar. This was a bit further forward than I expected and perhaps a ton more forward than I am used to (My German knives are weighted in the handle) but I am liking the feel with a pinch grip. Fit and finish were outstanding. The handle had a very slight yellow tint which contrasted nicely with the darker collar. All the transitions were smooth and even. I especially like the look of the heel of the blade where there is a very generous curve and sweep which gives the blade an even more elegant and refined appearance while still making me feel the design was created for better utility.

I did my initial OOTB testing on the light white, lightly waxy feeling , paper the boxes were wrapped in and found the blade cut beautifully across the entire blade using a swiping motion. WOW.. very cool

My test products used were vine ripened tomatoes, maui onions, red onions and a red Fuji type apple (I am senile so I forgot to write down what apple it actually was). I was not preparing a meal so these items went into the trash.

Results:

Tomato: After my first slice, where I was a bit off kilter probably due to over excitement, I was able to make wafer thin and regular thickness slices along the tip half of the blade without excess sticking. I did not get the free floating feeling I was hoping for as the half sliced tomato did slip a bit on the cutting board when I free handed my cuts but perhaps only an inch or less of movement per cut. On this portion of the test I was not cutting into the board so I used a fairly smooth PVC cutting board. I will check again on my edge grain boards which have a higher degree of holding power. As I moved towards the handle/wider part of the blade the sticking did increase slightly as expected but I did find this portion of the blade with a bit more tooth which grabbed the skin just a bit better but overall I loved the knife as the results exceeded anything I have used previously.

Maui Onion: Since I am new to this Japanese Steel game I have watched a ton of the review videos found on this site.
I have watched on a few of the knives where the tip section easily and apparently with no effort slipped through the portion of the onion up to the core prior to chopping. This was not the case with this knife though it did not take a great deal of effort. Perhaps my imagination got the best of me regarding a Gyuto effortlessly cutting through a rather hard Maui onion. Fortunately my imagination became reality on the chopping sections of the test as this portion was as effortless as I had hoped. Chopping was a piece of cake all along the blade. I took my time as I probably need to get a bit more confidence with these new feeling and longer length knives.

Red Onion: This was a slightly softer version of the Maui onion but the results were similar to the Maui though again I could really tell where there was a bit more tooth to the blade. Again, very happy with the results as I am now coming back down to the reality where the knives do not, on their own, jump off the counter and cut the product without some sort of help from me.

Apple: Here is where I am a bit confused as, with this very crisp and slightly under ripe apple, it took a fair amount of effort to cut through the thicker portions just outside and around the core of the apple. Perhaps my expectations and or technique needs to be adjusted as this product has always been one of the tougher items to easily cut thicker sections. Perhaps it is the thicker cross section of a Gyuto which is more similar to my western Chefs knives which makes the process require a bit more effort. I did make cuts, alternating back and forth, between my newly Apex sharpened (500 thru 8000 Shapton stones with a couple of horse butt strop polishing strokes) 4 star Henckles and this Shimo with the edge possibly going to the 4 Star but I attribute this to my additional sharpening of the German steel. I do not pare with this size and shape knife normally but I figured what the heck. In this department the knife performed great as the thicker cross sections were not an issue when skinning this apple but the weight forward aspect of the knife took a bit of getting used to especially since I was now not using it for the process it was intended for.

As a note:My buddy who is a big time restauranteur/chef, came over to pick up some fresh, center cut, tuna loins at the same time I was testing these new knives and sharpening a few of my old blades. He is used to his German knives so when I gave him the go ahead to use my new steel the only thing which came out of his mouth was a gasp as to how sharp and easy to slice these Japanese blades were. Of course I let him use my new Kono Suji HH but that is for another review.

In conclusion: The key here is I am a Newbie to this wonderful world of Japanese Steel so my results might be different from the professionals out there. All in all I LOVE this knife, in part, due to the beauty of the blade and the joy it gives me when I pull it out of its holder. I do look forward to my testing of other knives and perhaps even purchasing one more Gyuto to have when there is a second hand in the kitchen. I will probably pick up, from this site, a different smith's 270 to compare with. As of now my comparison is to my German knives where in almost every category for chef knives the Masakage Shimo 240 Gyuto is the clear winner.

FOD


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 Post subject: Re: Masakage Shimo 240 Gyuto
PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2014 1:05 am 

Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2014 7:15 am
Posts: 665
Location: Raleigh, NC
Excellent review. It only makes me want a Masakage even more.

As you sharpen and maintain your own knives you will find they match and exceed the out of the box edge easily, particularly with Japanese knives which the smith often expected the buyer to sharpen. Your tap chopped onion is out there.

The newspaper your knife was wrapped in is traditionally from the day it was made. It's neat to know your knife's birthday.


Last edited by Lepus on Fri May 09, 2014 2:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Masakage Shimo 240 Gyuto
PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2014 2:21 am 

Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2014 2:20 am
Posts: 90
great review. i have the 210mm shimo and its one of my favorite knives.


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 Post subject: Re: Masakage Shimo 240 Gyuto
PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2014 5:38 pm 

Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2014 6:45 am
Posts: 127
The newspaper your knife was wrapped in is traditionally from the day it was made. It's neat to know your knife's birthday.[/quote]

Thank you for this information. Great to know


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 Post subject: Re: Masakage Shimo 240 Gyuto
PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2014 6:23 pm 

Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:21 pm
Posts: 427
I ought to have one on Tuesday if all goes well. I can't wait. I might even get to use it on a shift...hopefully he needs lots of stuff cut.


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 Post subject: Re: Masakage Shimo 240 Gyuto
PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2014 7:12 pm 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 6:20 am
Posts: 1291
Great write up! Welcome to the rabbit hole :)

I agree with Lepus, the first time you put your own edge on this guy you will get reintroduced all over again.

I do not have this knife but based on the specs it looks to be a mid weight knife. With knives like this there is usually a shoulder where the convex grind turns up and flattens out. It is usually the geometry of that shoulder, its location, height, radius, etc that can cause wedging like you are describing. Try eyeballing the grind by looking a the choil (the heel portion) straight on with a plain well lit background. You can even use straight edges along the side of the blade to take your eyes out of the equation. Many J-knives are not necessarily symmetrical either. All part of the fun....

:D


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 Post subject: Re: Masakage Shimo 240 Gyuto
PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2014 8:07 pm 

Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2014 6:45 am
Posts: 127
Many J-knives are not necessarily symmetrical either. All part of the fun....


What do you mean by a J-knife? Thank you


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 Post subject: Re: Masakage Shimo 240 Gyuto
PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2014 8:10 pm 
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Forum short hand for Japanese Knife.


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 Post subject: Re: Masakage Shimo 240 Gyuto
PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2014 8:48 pm 

Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2014 6:45 am
Posts: 127
Thank you


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 Post subject: Re: Masakage Shimo 240 Gyuto
PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2014 10:06 pm 
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Actually, JK, is more oft used... to get you ahead of the next abbreviation.



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