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 Post subject: Re: Inexpensive Gyuto opions...
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 11:17 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 18, 2013 5:44 pm
Posts: 633
With the holidays coming and being busy since last week, I haven't had much time to use the Yamashins other than playing with them a bit. I do plan on using them over the Thanksgiving holiday though, and I will have a much better idea of how they will perform overall for me. Lots of onion, bellpepper, potato, celery, and carrot cutting coming up. :)

I almost exclusively use a pinch grip and never chop. I push cut taller ingredients like onion halves, rock cut with stuff like celery or green onions, and use the tip to make strips of stuff like bellpepper. I'm very easy on a knife edge as I am a slow, deliberate cutter.

I love the flatter profile of a santoku after using a cheap Farberware for years. The flat blade works well for my style of cutting and the slight curve in the end facilitates my low level rocking. lol I have been looking at gyutos (which seem almost like longer santokus with a more curved tip and less abrupt drop angle at the front of the spine) with a flat edge at the back but a little curve at the front for rocking. I also like the flatter back as I also mince herbs and garlic with it as well. I'm not too worried about a sweet spot at the tip for chopping since I don't chop. I would just like a thin tip since I do use it to cut and when dealing with onions.

While my Yamashins are VERY light to me, I would like a medium weight knife. Something with a decent backbone but still have a good cutting geometry similar to what a Goko appears to offer. I don't have to have an ultralight laser, but I also don't need a machete. lol A good balance would be what I am looking for.

I have been paying a lot of attention to the talk of balance points when watching Shaun and Jason's vids. I would like the balance point around the pinch grip area (can be just before or after) as I would like a nimble knife when removing veins from a pepper or disassembling tomatoes for chopping. A balance point at the handle would probably be fine as well and keep the knife quick. So far I haven't seen any that are majorly blade heavy like a cleaver would be, so I haven't been terribly worried about it.

My cutting board is definitely large enough for a 240mm gyuto. At least I hope an 18" x 16" board is... lol It should fit comfortably when laying corner to corner on the board. I am used to using a 7" santoku and 8" chef's, so a transition to a 9.5" blade should not be a huge jump, but a 210mm also wouldn't be a detriment as I have never needed a larger knife. The largest diameter food I cut is probably a bellpepper and I only cook for two. ;)

I have put away my Farberware santoku, but I will be keeping my 8" Forschner's Fibrox chef's knife available as a beater, so whatever I get doesn't have to be the stoutest knife ever. lol

Hopefully after Thanksgiving I will know a bit better what I want as far as an edge or grind is concerned. It's just hard to judge when coming from the knives I am used to using. I'll try to be objective when judging the Yamashin's performance and see what I would like to improve on, even if they blow anything I have out of the water. I may have to pull out my santoku for a side by side and see exactly how each is different versus what I think is different, if that makes sense. Sometimes something can seem to be better just because you think it is better. In reality it may not be. I do know one thing for sure though... the steel on my santoku can't take anywhere near the edge that is on the Yamashin knives. I've tried! lol

I'll "report" my findings in a few days and try to list the things I feel could be improved on. :D


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 Post subject: Re: Inexpensive Gyuto opions...
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 11:52 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2012 4:17 am
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Get's kinda fun after awhile doesn't it! :mrgreen:



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 Post subject: Re: Inexpensive Gyuto opions...
PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 4:53 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2012 5:13 pm
Posts: 2925
Location: CT
The Goko and Anryu Hammered have nearly an identical edge profile; the Goko is taller and with a pointier tip IIRC. Cutting performance is very close with both and food slides off the sides easily on both. Both are a medium weight workhorse type knife, a bit thicker behind the edge than my beloved AS Laser and Tanaka Sekiso but with great convex grinds. Haven't use the Masakage Yuki, or the others yet.


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 Post subject: Re: Inexpensive Gyuto opions...
PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 2:50 pm 

Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2013 12:25 pm
Posts: 360
+1 to Taz575. I have a Goko and Anryu 240 and they are both very impressive knives. I recently bought the Tanaka Sekiso on Tim's recommendation and it is alittle thinner behind the edge. Great convexing blade. The Tanaka's blade is not stainless clad like the Goko or Anryu so the blade is a it more reactive and gets a nice bluish patina on the Damascus finish. All three knives have great blade geometry and convexing, they release starchy potatoes very well with little sticking. They are awesome performing middle weights that take and hold wicked sharp edges.They are similar in performance but they different enough that I bought all three!


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 Post subject: Re: Inexpensive Gyuto opions...
PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 8:28 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2013 6:00 pm
Posts: 2476
Hey Def - just noticed the Richmond Laser AS 210 and 240 are back in stock - with even nicer handles this time :-). http://www.chefknivestogo.com/rilaaosu21gy1.html

Just sayin'


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 Post subject: Re: Inexpensive Gyuto opions...
PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 9:17 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 18, 2013 5:44 pm
Posts: 633
Geez, thanks Steve... as if the site already didn't make it hard as is! Jerk... :P lol

In all honesty I really appreciate the help, options, and input you and everyone else have given.

I'm finding that I like the look of the plain sided stainless clad knives with the carbon cores (like the AS Lasers and AS Kohetsus) almost as much as the rougher, more rustic clad finishes. The "hamon" effect and the contrast of the edge to the rest of the blade after it patinas adds a LOT of character to the blade. I think if I were to get a mono-steel it would HAVE to be a carbon blade simply because it would patina. The stainless, regardless of how good the steel is, just look like knives... lol

I'm guessing if I was a professional cook/chef, I would worry more about function over form, but as a home cook form does seem to play a larger part provided it doesn't hamper the function. ;)

I'm still looking forward to being able to spend some quality time with my Yamashins though and see what I think about their performance. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Inexpensive Gyuto opions...
PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 10:00 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2013 6:00 pm
Posts: 2476
It totally get what you're saying. Enjoy those Yamashins - give 'em a workout!

I just couldn't resist the Laser AS plug :-).


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 Post subject: Re: Inexpensive Gyuto opions...
PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2013 6:51 am 

Joined: Mon Nov 18, 2013 5:44 pm
Posts: 633
Well, now that Thanksgiving is done and I have gotten to use my knives a bit, I know a bit better about what I would like in a gyuto.

The Yamashin santoku was a very good performer, had VERY little reactivity... after quite a few onions, tomatoes, potatoes, etc. you have to really look to see any change in the exposed steel due to patina. It still looks almost new. That really impressed me for a carbon steel.

The edge itself was fine as well. The ootb edge was very usable after cleaning it with the strop, and it is still just as sharp as when I started with no noticeable change. So even if the edge isn't the best ever, if it is usable ootb then it will be fine. Even if not I can make it sharp. ;) lol

The length was fine as well and I didn't find myself wishing for a longer knife, so I think a 210mm gyuto should suit me just fine, but I'm still not opposed to a 240mm. I just don't believe I will be kicking myself if I don't get a longer one.

The weight of the Yamashin santoku was fine as well. I got used to the lighter weight (than what I am used to) pretty easily. It balances just behind the pinch, so it moves like I want it to.

The one thing I did find myself wanting was a thinner blade behind the edge. I noticed the width when cutting through onions mainly. It didn't go through as easily as I would have liked. Potatoes showed it a little as well, but it didn't seem as bad. I think my Forschner chef's and Farberware santoku are a little thinner behind their edges. I could be wrong, but they seem to take less effort when processing onions and don't resist quite as much. I think when I sharpen my Yamashins I may try my hand at thinning them a little as well.

So with that in mind, I think I would like something mid-weight with a decent spine, but still thin behind the edge. The smooth korouchi finish gave me no issues whatsoever, so a similar smooth finish would be desirable as well. I would also love it if the steel (in the case of a carbon steel) was as non-reactive as the white #1 Yamashin uses in their knives on the site. I don't know what they did with it, but I'm impressed. lol I like a good patina, so it doesn't have to be almost stainless, I just don't want it leaving dark cuts in onions and potatoes like my chinese cleaver does. Having a balance point around the pinch grip would also be a plus.

So yeah, the Yamashins were good performers with really only one aspect I would change... and it is an aspect I can change. lol So all in all I'm happy with them. :)

Right now I'm thinking that if I can't go more expensive I would probably get the Buho 210mm gyuto. I'm still waiting for Melampus to tell me about the blade. lol ;) From his pic it looks pretty thin by the edge, especially with the partial concave on the back side, and it is a beautiful knife.

If I can go more expensive, I'm going for a Goko! lol I think Shaun said in one of his vids the Goko was a workhorse that performs like a laser. I really love the idea of a strong knife that still performs very well. Even if I get the Buho (or something else) first, I will eventually own a Goko! I can't explain it, but it is one of those items that calls to me... and it will be mine! lol ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Inexpensive Gyuto opions...
PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2013 4:29 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2013 6:00 pm
Posts: 2476
Def - I really dig your posts, lots of great information there! My recommendation is to save up so you can really upgrade. Sounds like the Goko is your knife - a great choice. IMO the Buho is too close to what you have already. Why not take those dollars and add enough to get the Goko - even if you must wait for a bit. The wait WILL be worth it.

You'll have to trust us here, but going up the food chain a few notches is absolutely worth doing! The other nice thing about the Goko 210 is that it's less money for the performance than some other similarly styled knives.


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 Post subject: Re: Inexpensive Gyuto opions...
PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2013 10:17 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 18, 2013 5:44 pm
Posts: 633
Yeah, I'm thinking you're right Steve. I have been looking at the Gokos when I had decided to go with the Yamashin knives. My only problem is patience... I want one now! LOL

But yeah, even if it isn't the best knife in the world, the Goko is the one I want and from what I have seen and read versus what I find that I want, I don't think I'll be disappointed.

A little off topic, but I took my Yamashin santoku to my 1k stone today. It didn't really need it, but I decided to go ahead and try thinning the blade a little. I didn't plan on doing it all in one go, but I figure if I do it a little more every time I sharpen it will eventually get to exactly where I want it. I only did the left side as that is where the bevel is, the right side is completely flat to the edge bevel itself. I also sharpened the edge, and holy cow! I have read and seen vids about how easy white #1 is to sharpen, but after a little work I had the small chips that were in the edge gone and it seems to be a LOT sharper than it was out of the box. That's very impressive, as it really wasn't bad ootb! lol So now a very usable edge is a freakin' razor. All it took was a 1k stone and a couple of balsa strops I made with two different compounds to smooth out the "teeth". I also didn't mess up the finish as much as I thought I would. It isn't mirror polished, but the only highly visible scratches are from the factory grind. The cladding is now pretty much blended with the blade so it is hard to tell where one ends and the other begins. The biggest difference is that the korouchi on the left side starts a little higher than it used to and you can see the low spots in the metal by the blade. The low spots should be gone after a few more thinning sessions, but for now I am anxious to cook supper and see how it performs! :)


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