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Next knife advice (nakiri, petty, workhorse gyuto)

Tue Oct 23, 2012 5:59 pm

Since acquiring my first Japanese knife last winter--210mm Konosuke White #2 wa-gyuto--I've been steadily amassing a supply of sharpening tools and am finally feeling eager to add to my knife collection.

The main reasons for wanting another knife (as if I needed to justify that decision here!) are:

1) the Konosuke, while amazingly thin, light and laserlike, feels dainty for some tasks, and I find that for many chopping tasks I continue to reach for my Victorinox 8". So I'm looking for something more substantial, though ideally not too much less thrilling to cut with.

2) I'd like to explore another steel, just for curiosity, and am leaning towards stainless for peace of mind (in spite of forming good habits for my White #2, I do find it a bit stressful to keep after the knife, even though I allow a natural patina to have its way).

3) I'm interested in another shape. A 240mm gyuto has obvious appeal, but I'm also interested in a nakiri (I love their looks) and a petty.

So here are my questions:

Main question: If you were to start over and get something to complement your 210mm gyuto, what would it be?

Sub questions:
-what is your favorite stainless 240mm workhorse gyuto under $150? How does cutting with it compare to a laser, if you have both? How does it sharpen compared to white #2, if you can make the comparison? (I'm leaning towards a 240mm Artifex, FYI)

-do you often reach for your nakiri, if you own one? (And which do you own?) I hear some people say there's nothing they do well that a gyuto doesn't do better, so I'm wondering if there are reasons to acquire one beyond looks.

-do you often reach for your petty, if you own one? (And which do you own?) What do you use it for?

Sorry for all the questions, but thanks in advance to anyone willing to tackle them!

Re: Next knife advice (nakiri, petty, workhorse gyuto)

Tue Oct 23, 2012 8:53 pm

consider a gyuto, something that's not laser like. a custom artifex maybe? a fujiwara?

what kind of handles are you looking for in your next gyuto? western? wa?

i only see petty knives for smaller tasks or when my work area is cramped, when having to work with a lot of stuff and people around you buzzing by.

Re: Next knife advice (nakiri, petty, workhorse gyuto)

Wed Oct 24, 2012 7:42 am

Something to complement a 210mm gyuto....probably depends on what else I needed a knife for.

I would need a paring knife...so that's probably where I'd start.

If you already have a paring knife, then a long slicer would be my third knife....something in the 270mm range is ideal for me.

Sub $150, stainless gyuto....Richmond Addict or Tojiro DP. Hiromoto AS is slightly more, not stainless but stainless clad, and probably still my favorite recommendation in this price range.

I would take the Addict over the DP just for the steel....I am a huge AEB-L fan.

I reach for a nakiri regularly. I do plan it's use out though....if there is anything I'll need the tip of a gyuto for, I don't grab the nakiri. I have a Butch Harner nakiri.

Yes, I reach for my 150mm and my 210mm petty's all the time. The 210mm is almost my gyuto replacement at times. I use it for dang near everything. The 150mm petty I use for sandwich stuff mostly, or when I just need to cut one or two things.

Re: Next knife advice (nakiri, petty, workhorse gyuto)

Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:59 am

Adam, do you mean the Artifex? The Addict is in 52100 or CPM-154 and the Artifex is in AEB-L unless Mark changed the steel in the Addict?

I just used my 240mm Artifex today to slice down the roast pork :)

I own 3 Nakiri's currently and use them on veggies, but I've been using my Tanaka gyuto instead lately since it does so well on them. If I have a lot of veg prep to do, I will break out the Nakiri (saves the edge on the gyuto). If it's one or two things, I just use a gyuto. A 150mm petty is a nice thing to have, too.

Re: Next knife advice (nakiri, petty, workhorse gyuto)

Wed Oct 24, 2012 10:20 am

Oh, dangit...yes Artifex. Thanks for the catch!

Re: Next knife advice (nakiri, petty, workhorse gyuto)

Wed Oct 24, 2012 1:34 pm

Thanks, all, for your feedback.

It sounds like in the fullness of time I will have to acquire petty, nakiri & a slicer. But since my most pressing desire is phasing out the 210 Konosuke for heavier-duty prep, I think another sturdier gyuto may be the place to start.

I'm leaning heavily towards the 240 Artifex (though also keeping my eye on the Suisin Inox 240 and the Hiromoto AS 240...) @franzb69: these are all western-handle knives, though I'm not really partial to any handle type.

Thanks again!

Re: Next knife advice (nakiri, petty, workhorse gyuto)

Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:13 pm

I've not used the Hiromoto or Suisin Inox but can second the enthusiasm for the AEB-L used in the Artifex line. I picked up the 210 just to try out Mark's line, and was thoroughly impressed with the quality of that steel. Took the box edge to 5k and a quick strop. Made coq au vin, and after aggressively cutting (I was in a hurry) a bunch of mushrooms, carrots, onions, slicing bacon and deboning the chicken, it was still shaving my arm, though just barely. A few passes on the strop and it was back to beautiful.

Re: Next knife advice (nakiri, petty, workhorse gyuto)

Thu Oct 25, 2012 3:17 pm

Great to hear.

Ok, one last question: is 240mm ever too much knife? Have only ever used 8" knives, and my 210 gyuto often feels small. But then in some pictures the 240 Artifex looks giant!

Re: Next knife advice (nakiri, petty, workhorse gyuto)

Thu Oct 25, 2012 6:52 pm

240 mm is about 9 1/2 inches. Are you experienced and comfortable with a 10 in Chef's knife? What kind of tasks are you using the knife for? How big are your cutting boards.My knife size in commercial kitchens was 10 inches for most jobs. I had lots of space. Although I'm quite comfortable with a big knife of 240 to 270mm, at home, even with ample space, I lean towards a 6 and 8 inch chef (gyuto), petty knife and paring knife for most tasks. Personal preference.

Re: Next knife advice (nakiri, petty, workhorse gyuto)

Thu Oct 25, 2012 8:42 pm

I've got a 12 x 18 maple board, which does tend to get a little cramped. Never did try out a 10" chef's knife, but have been intrigued by 240mm gyutos as they seem to be the most popular size on the website... Are there any situations where the larger knife does things an 8" knife doesn't, or does them better?
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