After much research on the CKTG website and on this forum, after looking at videos, after looking at specs, after looking at reviews, after more research, after really thinking about what I wanted, after probably over-analyzing the heck out of it....
I finally ordered my 2nd J-Knife - a Masakage Yuki 210 Gyuoto
I was just about ready to pull the trigger yesterday when I pulled up the 240 Yuki Gyuto page and saw that Mark had just posted a video on this knife. That sealed the deal. I must have procured one of the last 210's - just saw they are now out of stock.
I have an Artifex 210 AEB-L Gyuoto that I have been using to hone my sharpening skills on the Edge Pro Apex with Shapton GS stones. I love the Artifex, but after sharpening a friend's hand made carbon steel wa handled knives (a story for another time), I knew that a hand forged carbon knife was in my future
For anyone that is trying to decipher all this great information and make a sound decision on their first, or their next knife, here is my reasoning behind making this choice:Background:
I consider myself an advanced home cook (probably still only have about 5% of the knowledge and skills that real pro chefs like Melampus and others here possess).
I'm left-handed with medium sized hands.
My counter space is a bit limited for a 240mm to be my regular knife. (Have a 10" Victorinox chefs knife to tackle larger, tougher jobs).
I cook a lot for my family and friends and via the Artifex I learned just how more enjoyable a really, really sharp well designed knife can make food prep duties and cooking in general.Needs/Requirements and Wants
(OK mostly wants):
210mm Gyuto with ambidextrous handle or something I could sand down if needed (on cheaper knives).
A little taller blade than the Artifex with a profile for mostly push cutting for also rocking for parsley, herbs, etc.
Good all around cutting performance with some convex and thinness behind the edge and good non-stick properties. (Thanks Knife Fanatic!)
High quality carbon steel, Wa handle, medium to light weight, hand forged or at least a lot of character (rustic or otherwise).
Something I can't wait to pull out of the knife drawer and use/admire the craftsmanship for years to come.
Mark has repeatedly recommended the Masakage Yuki line in the forums and the more I looked at them the more they grew on me. Once I went to the Masakage web site and learned about their processes and philosophy, this just added to the list of pluses.I seriously considered the following knives, first choice to last:
#1: Masakage Yuki Gyuto 210 - At the upper end of my price range, but great steel, great profile, nice handle, stainless cladding that has character, and it looks so damn cool! Mark really likes this knife and that carries a lot of weight for me.
#2: Tanaka Sekiso Damascus 210 Gyuto - Great performer, less expensive, and Shaun loves his 240, but based on reviews I thought the extra $$ for #1 would also get me a much nicer handle.
#3: Upcoming Richmond Laser Aogami Super 210 (Based on video review of 240 model) - Really, really tempting.
#4: Tanaka Kurouchi 210 Wa-Gyuto - Very good performing knife at a very reasonable price. This was my #1 for a while before I decided to kick my budget and quality up a few notches.
#5: Goko Gyuto 210 - This would probably have been #2 or #1 if I had larger hands (bigger handle on this one).
#6: Moritaka Supreme Gyuto 210 - Blade profile seems a bit flat for my requirements.
I know this post is a bit long winded, but hopefully this information might help other in their decision making process. Thanks to Mark and Shaun for the videos and forum posts. Thanks to Tim in CT, Mel, Adam, and many others for all the great info in these forums.
I can't wait to try this thing out!
P.S. Mark - the list of retailers on Masakage's website does not include CKTG! You need to be on that list (at the top