So here is the Goko White #1 Gyuto that I got from Mark's forum sale this month. I'll put up some pictures and comparative thoughts.
The finish, in person, is excellent: upscale yet rustic--a beautiful melding of elegance and a down-to-business functional aesthetic. It is much more interesting and nuanced than seems to come through in photographs.
Here are the measurements from mine: 245mm on the edge, 52mm tall. I don't have its weight or calipered spine measurements, but I'd call the width around 3mm out of the handle.
Note that the fit-and-finish is not as spotless as on the Kajihara I posted about recently: the epoxy job around the tang-handle junction is slightly rough, with some gaps and spillover in other areas. I also noticed that this particular knife has a slight depression in the hagane right where the blade comes out of the handle. It looked like it might have had a spot of rust in it when I recieved it so I cleaned it out with BKF and a tooth pick and will keep an eye on it.
The chestnut handle actually has a great feel in the hand, and seems like it would remain grippy even while wet. The plastic ferrule is well fitted and doesn't feel too cheap--of course a natural material would be preferred, but I will be in no rush to replace the handle. Note that the junction between handle and ferrule is not smooth, however. And though the handle is slightly larger in diameter than some others, it somehow feels simultaneously less substantial, maybe due to the density or grain of the wood compared to a rosewood/ebony combination (my only wa-handled comparison).
I eased choil and spine, which were a little sharp OOTB. But speaking of the choil, here it is:
As you can see, the knife is fairly thin (more on that in a moment) with most of its width achieved by the bottom of the finish. The grind seems functional, with a good amount of convexity to it. It is worth noting however that the sort of rustic aesthetic is preserved in the grind and sharpening job. The out-of-the-box edge was fantastic, unprecedented in my experience, but less clean that many other knives I have seen, with a less smooth surface of the grind and more scratching at intervals along the edge.
Though the knife has a relatively tame line between hagane and jigane, I am sure it will look quite nice with a patina.
The profile is appropriate for a knife of this height, with a decent flat spot and a nice curve into the tip. I don't rock much but this would certainly be better for rocking than the Kajihara.
It is worth noting that the white #1 steel in the Goko was not very reactive; only garlic affected it, and gave the tip a brassy yellow sheen. I did not notice any issues with onions during a night of home use. As far as cutting goes, the performance was interesting, and not quite what I expected. The blade exhibited almost no sticking on potatoes or onions. Food just falls off the finish. So far so good. But I was surprised to find that the out-of-the-box performance was about even with that of the Kajihara, despite the latter's much thicker spine and less refined, though still sharp, OOTB edge. That knife has been my go-to for the past week, and sharpened up to 5K the Kajihara's lead has only increased. The Goko exhibits slightly less sticking, and cuts through onions just slightly easier, but seems to wedge more seriously and more often in taller ingredients (dicing potatoes in this case), and actually feels a bit thicker behind the edge in the way that it cuts.
At the forum special price the knife was a steal, and I think it is a good deal at full price if you are interested in a product that has some rustic flair without a full lacquer kurouchi finish. But after looking at and feeling its edge, I expected the Goko would cut more effortlessly than I experienced. I don't want to be too hard on the Goko, because I like it. I'm just a bit perplexed by how it felt. I expected it to be more of a "laser" than the Kajihara, but, subjectively, that wasn't the case. The difference is small in absolute terms, but still perceptible.