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One step up from Tojiro DP and Fujiwara

Thu Jan 23, 2014 9:18 am

I have noticed that folks typically recommend the Tojiro DP and Fujiwara FKM (among others) as good value, reasonable cost, entry level Japanese knife lines. I was wondering what you would consider a few brands that represent the next level in terms of cost (say $80-$140 in a Gyuto), performance, durability, and finish? I am interested in those brands that offer stainless, right handed, and western grip.

Thanks in advance!

Re: One step up from Tojiro DP and Fujiwara

Thu Jan 23, 2014 9:36 am

This one is tough IMHO. I don't feel like you're going to see a marked improvement in a knife's performance until you about double the cost of the Fujiwara FKM or Tojiro DP amongst stainless knives except for the rare special sale or what not.

The Artifex series of knives that use AEB-L would offer a step up in steel in my opinion.....but it really needs a good thinning before that capability shines through.

There is the Tanaka Ginsan that should be a step up.....but I've never seen it to comment specifically.

Past that, a knife like the TKC is a great, great step up from those. But it's over $200.

The Takayuki Grand Chef is a nice step up, but $190

Re: One step up from Tojiro DP and Fujiwara

Thu Jan 23, 2014 9:47 am


Even though I don't know how it cuts, I am sure the Sakai Takayuki hammered finish line of knives would be a step up from Fujiwara FKM and Tojiro DP just from looks and fit and finish alone: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/satahachkn21.html

I have no reason to think that it would not cut as well if not better than the other two as well though.

Another option which is a decent knife but quite a bit plainer looking is the Misono 440 gyuto: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/mi440gy21.html

No frills and I think a proprietary steel to Misono, but it and the UX10 series are pretty popular.

The thing about Tojiro DP gyutos is that they actually cut very well, and if the Fujiwara FKM line is thinner then they have to potential to be even better cutters. The only real issue with something like the Tojiro DP seems to be the fit and finish. Honestly if you raise the top end of the budget, and not even a lot really (maybe $10~$20 or so), you start getting into some really nice knives for the money that aren't really entry level knives. Better steels, better grinds, better everything.

Now on the other hand, you can still get a very nice knife for the money with the Richmond Artifex gyuto: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/riar21.html

It has a very nice stainless steel however it is not as thin behind the edge out of the box as the Fujiwara FKM or Tojiro DP. With the better steel it has the ability to take and hold a better edge than either of the other two knives using VG10. Plus you can choose the "With Finish Sharpening" option in the drop down box when you buy it and Mark will have his sharpening guy give it a nice hand finished edge. I'm not 100% sure but I think he may even thin it a little for you. If so the knife has just become a big step above the Tojiro and Fujiwara while still being in your budget. If you want to learn how to sharpen yourself, I would definitely say get it regardless of if you choose the finish sharpening or not.

What length of gyuto do you want? I've linked to 210mm which is kind of "safe" ground, but pretty much any of these can be had in 240mm versions as well if you prefer.

Edit: Adam just confirmed what I was thinking. For the money it is hard to beat the Tojiro DP or Fujiwara FKM. That is why they are so highly recommended. You can get better of course, but you will be spending quite a bit more or having to do a bit of work yourself on the knife (in the case of the Artifex).

Re: One step up from Tojiro DP and Fujiwara

Thu Jan 23, 2014 12:02 pm

I haven't handled enough knives to say for sure but when doing my own research I found the next real step up seemed to be around the $180 level. There are some interesting choices in terms of carbon-steel, wa-handled, kurouchi-finished knives in the price range you speak of, but not a lot of western-handled stainless knives that will be better than what you have.

There is the Suisin Inox Western, which will not be better steel or necessarily better geometry, but is likely better in fit and finish and perhaps in appearance depending on your tastes. AEB-L steel does get a lot of praise though, so if I had to suggest something, with the caveat that I haven't used an Artifex, I'd think DefMunky's suggestion to buy one and have it thinned might be a good thought.

Re: One step up from Tojiro DP and Fujiwara

Thu Jan 23, 2014 12:53 pm

I really like the Masamoto VG 210 Gyuto: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/masamoto- ... 210mm.html. It's not going to outperform the Fujiwara FKM or Tojiro DP by that much, but it's got a little taller blade than the other two. The handles are also bulletproof. I like the material better than the wood handles on the FKM.

Is it $80 nicer than the other two? Tough call. If I had my choice between these three, it's the Masamoto for me, for sure.

Re: One step up from Tojiro DP and Fujiwara

Thu Jan 23, 2014 1:20 pm

Hiromoto 210mm Gyuto, hands down.


This is definitely the best no-frills Yo-Gyuto at your price range.
Aogami Super core is known for having insane edge retention without compromising sharpness and the stainless cladding makes this an awesome low-maintenance kitchen workhorse.

Re: One step up from Tojiro DP and Fujiwara

Thu Jan 23, 2014 1:53 pm

Hiromoto would be....but it's not stainless per the OP's requested specs.

Re: One step up from Tojiro DP and Fujiwara

Thu Jan 23, 2014 2:08 pm

Suisin Inox Gyuto 210mm - http://www.chefknivestogo.com/suisingyuto2.html
Masazumi 210mm Gyuto - http://www.chefknivestogo.com/masazumi3.html

Re: One step up from Tojiro DP and Fujiwara

Thu Jan 23, 2014 2:26 pm

How could I forget the Suisin Inox?!?!

The blade looks plain, but the handles look awesome! I love the two-tone approach they take with the pakka wood handles as opposed to straight black like many other manufacturers do. I also have no doubt it would be a good performer for the money. It was a knife I considered myself as well before I decided I mainly wanted to go with carbon steel blades. Fit and finish of a Suisin should be very good as well.
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