Be very clear, in that, purchasing a Takeda Gyuto is analogous to purchasing a 200mm quasi-cleaver with a 40mm pointed tip tacked on the end of it. You have to WANT a VERY VERY TALL knife to buy a Takeda Gyuto. As for your question, "Any tips on buying takedas?"
, you can ask Mark to cherry pick the shortest, but it will still be stupid silly tall. That said... maybe you like working with cleavers, but I'm pretty sure you're used to a Western chefs knife. If so, the potential shock to your cutting style must not be ignored when considering a Takeda Gyuto.
While comparing and contrasting a Masakage<--link
to the Takeda<--link
stated, "It is also a little shorter."
In fact, the Takeda is MUCH
taller averaging around 58mm tall. These are two very different knives. IMO his Gyutos are way too tall, and his Sasanohas too short. That said, I am but one man, and Takedas are top sellers on the menu.
His AS takes a fantastic edge,..
...and exhibited good retention even at acute angles, but there is this intangible about the feel of his Gyuto I dislike. Honestly, it is a conundrum to me as there is an undeniable magic when the knife is in hand, but as soon as I cut with it, I am underwhelmed. For me, I don't like the grind geometry, I don't like how it cuts food; it is laser thin, but has a fraction of the cutting power of thinner lighter knives like the Konosuke HD/W#2 or a Suisin IH, for example, and the Gyutos are RIDICULOUSLY tall. I'm simply not a fan of his Gyutos.
Even though our opinion on Takedas differ, ADAM MARR's
post spoke many words of wisdom. We absolutely concur on the Kikuichi TKC<--link
As for Yo-handled knives, this has got to be my favorite. It is truly a perfect ITK profile extremely adept at rocking, pushing, pulling, walking, & machine gunning. The semi-stainless steel is the best of both worlds... especially ITK. The grind is consistent & functionally effective. F&F are well above average. I find the handle to be a bit small, but take that with a grain of salt as I have huge hands & I'm used to Wa's. Umberto,
raises some good points, as well. As I reference earlier, we don't know what you've used for 7 years... it does matter. No, you don't wanna replicate it, but you do have a style that has matured from its characteristics; those characteristics are pertinent.
He also recommends a stainless-clad blade of which will ease your maintenance requirements drastically. When you get in the shit and the weeds are overhead sometimes you just don't have time to wipe. A laminated blade helps a lot. Not to say if you get a full carbon or even a SS-clad one & it oxidizes too far in service you cant just polish it out afterward, but wiping a whole blade IS more time consuming. That said... the Takeda do come SS-clad<--link
, and even the classics have a very sturdy Kurouchi that act like a SS-cladding.
Furthermore, he talks about overall budget & allocating properly for sharpening equipment. When he says, "You don't have to spend 400$ to get a great knife."
He is absolutely, correct. You can get a lot of knife for less & still get yourself the sharpening equipment you need because your knife... any knife, will transform into a butter knife after a week ITK. This set<--link
runs $190, allowing you $210 for a knife. The Goko<--link
Adam suggests is well within this budget. The Kohetsu<--link
Umberto suggests is within budget, as well. Though as much as I love the knife,..
...I would not recommend it, or any laser, for most professional kitchens. I am not saying there are not professional environments in which lasers can't be utilized, but simply be aware they do not stand up well to abuse... by you or others. People often borrow others knives, usually w/o permission, and if they have no idea what they are dealing with, damage is likely. You get weeded and torque that edge a bit too much, damage is likely. On and on... you get the point, and though I need not digress, I will show you an example of what happens when someone borrows a knife w/o a clue as to what they're using. http://www.chefknivestogoforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1281&hilit=kanji%20ID
Personally, I know so little about your cutting style or specific things you are looking for in a knife that it's really difficult to recommend a knife in good faith. Off the cuff & on the premise of my proposed budget allocation, I'd like to see you up the ante another $30, and procure a Kaneshige Anryu<--link
. This is the blacksmith behind the Masakages BBC
It's one of my most favorite knives on the menu; albeit no light-weight. That heft, still much lighter than the Germans you're presumably used to, helps with cutting power though. The geometry on the Aoniko is robust yet still it carries very small shoulders. This blade just falls through food, and is a looker, too... if you're into that kinda thing.
We really just know so little about where you are, what you like, and what you need.