Im just now looking at your post again & g-d do I see why I was so pissed my text was erased. Damn, you’ve got a lot to cover there!
First… sorry about my pause. Ive been in transition from Ohio to Florida with no time to relax on the board. Alas, I am home… for a minute.
Second… my referencing my professional experience was solely to qualify my love for said knife. I do apologize if it came across as ostentatious, but to me, at least, I like to know the perspective of which an opinion is based upon. My opinion might not matter to a weekend warrior; as would his, not matter to me.
I did quickly want to address your “labor of love & long hour” comment. Currently, I am amid a contract dispute regarding my overtime hours, and that is the reason my total is so fresh on my mind.
It may have seemed like an unnecessary ejaculation of information, but again it was referencing how much I use knives, not how cool it is to have worked the hours, I have. In fact, I find it rather disgusting, really. Over 22 years, I have worked 60, 70, 80, sometimes even 90 hour weeks, but this year I haven’t put in a week under 65 & have booked numerous 115+ hour weeks. I am a perfectionist. I touch everything… twice.. thrice. It is not out of love I clock consecutive 117 hour weeks… it is out of demand. But even with inhumane demands thrust upon, I retain extraordinary standards. This is why I excel, and thus, why my clients call me back. This is also why I will die young… w/o a family.
“On to other topics”… as BDD
You mention you are looking for a “workhorse of a knife.” Then you go on to explain your tasks of which I’m assuming you are expecting said workhorse to perform. Now, I’m not going to bull-shiite you & tell you I haven’t, don’t, or won’t breakdown chickens, tenders or salmon with a Gyuto, but it is clearly not what I reach for. When you have to - you do, but I hope you a have a boning knife in your kit or on the way.
I’m sure you understand, the Japanese make most knives for a specific purpose. Now, loosely “Gyuto” translates to “cow sword” while “Funayuki” loosely translates to “go on a boat.” The Funayuki is traditionally designed in a less bulky & more tapered fashion to be more utilitarian on a FISH
ing boat. The tip third of the blade is typically more narrow then a Gyuto’s, and is more effective in a boning capacity. Therefore, to process everything you list, in my opinion a Funayuki is your best profile to work with, BUT I also believe my “go-to knife,” the Kono HD240 Funa is not something I’d suggest to you as a workhorse on the line, and to address another question of yours: yes, it holds an awesome edge. In fact, Konosuke is upgrading to a second generation HD steel that is purported to improve edge retention. I can usually get away with, during heavy use, just touching her up with a 5,000 Rika or 6,000 King every other day. The edge degrades slowly with this vigilant a method, but I’ll pull out all the stones (1200, 3000, 5/6000, 8,000) about every 10 – 15 days for a fresh polished bevel.
To pick back up the thread, I feel it is not an “on-the-line workhorse” because it is a “laser.” I prefer some heft as an on-the-line workhorse - a knife that’s not so delicate. I want a knife with some backbone, and a laser doesn’t have it for me in this regard. Again, this is semantics so who knows if what I’m saying means the same to you.?! Yes, my Kono Funa is my workhorse, but as a recommendation to 3-year chef de partie, I would not recommend the Kono HD as your everyday tool. I sharpen to pretty acute angles, and on a laser, I experience micro-chipping. I could thicken the edge up & set a more appropriate bevel to general duty, but honestly, I prefer the sharp as Shiite edge a keen bevel offers and I just touch up often.
To address the Takeda, quickly. THIS IS A HUGE KNIFE. Not a bad thing, but it is what it is. Does your style fit.?! This gyuto has a belly to rock & it has a huge face to push cut, as well, but I think of it is almost a modified Santoku… very cleaver-esque.
Elsewhere, you query about carbon steel in a professional kitchen. Look, I’m not a huge advocate of carbon in a super busy environment, as personally while amid that, I don’t want to expend those valuable seconds on that level of care. While implementing stainless, I can wipe hastily. While implementing carbon, I wipe with a clean wet towel & then with a clean dry towel… the sheer real estate alone that takes up in a kitchen is excessive in most environments. You don’t have to go two-step, but even still with one towel, I focus more on a complete wipe so hasty & superficial are no longer acceptable… to me. Overall, it’s not the big deal it’s played out to be. I mean with the steels that are available now, a stainless option is my choice, but I have carbons, as well. Wiping is a pain-in-the-azz, but you already wipe if you have good habits. It’s in which to the extent you wipe that becomes the difference. Honestly, just force a patina, and roll with it if you go down that road. I like a patina; I don’t mind the look, I appreciate decreased food reactivity & I like the oxidation protection it offers. I’m much more pragmatic, then most; I don’t care what a knife looks like… only how it performs. If you want a shiny knife, polish it all the time. When you don’t wipe well, polish it out… voila.
On that note, my recommendation to you is, in fact, a carbon blade, but laminated carbon. I’m all for you going with the Kanehiro. This type of cladding is known as Warikomi whereas the carbon core is encapsulated by a stainless sheathing that wraps over the spine, as well. This construction offers you the benefits of carbon steel with the ease of stainless, too. The Kanehiro, leaves quite a bit carbon exposed, but it is dramatically easier to maintain than a honyaki carbon. My Kanehiro is arguably my favorite knife, and undoubtedly the sharpest steel in my kit. I have other AOS, but metallurgically speaking, Kato-San nailed the temper better then any other… IMO. The Kanehiro, by virtue of its construction, has the aforementioned heft I recommend, as well. Mine weighs in at 155 grams, and the Kanehiro is a big 210. My cutting edge is @212mm, but overall blade length is @222mm. It is still dramatically lighter and thinner then a European, but no laser for sure. 210 grams is what a smaller 200mm Wusthof Avantgarde Chef's I have hanging around here weighs in at, and that blade doesn’t even have a full bolster like most Germans. For a few more examples, my Suisin INOX wa-gyutos, which are old/used, weigh in at 117 grams on the 210 & 183 grams on the 270, and my Konosuke 240HD Funayuki weighs in at 135 grams.
Another thing I love about the Kanehiro, is it offers a 49mm chin to spine height, and has a not so radical belly, too. So you can rock & push cut both equally well, by riding the line between, for my taste, too short like the Suisins @42mm tall, and too crazy-out-of-proportion cleaver-esque, for my taste, like the Takeda @55+.
Somewhere back there I missed my segue to HRC. My sweet spot is Rc 62-63. That’s me. I think in there offers me the best edge retention, endurance to environment & ability to take to a stone. I have Moritaka @ Rc 65-66, and honestly its just too brittle for an on-the-line workhorse. I can literally hear mine in AOS creak with the slightest of lateral movements on the board. I have ceramic Kyocera Kyotops that are lord knows how hard, and again the brittle nature is not conducive to #1: the knives’ safety & #2: good feedback - in a crazy busy environment. My AEB-L Suisins & Kono HDs are in that Rc 61 range, albeit different steels & blacksmiths, and I adore them all with there ability to endure a busy environment and take/hold an edge. My Tojiro VG-10 @ Rc 60 is getting to that line where you really have to start becoming not so care-free with what & how you cut. My Misono 440 in 16Chrome-Moly @ Rc59 is a great steel. My VG-10 Ryusen, I suspect is around Rc 61 as it takes and holds an awesome edge. My Tamahaganes in VG-5 are @ Rc 59, and they truly astonish me with their ability to take a beating in a rough environment while still taking an acute edge and holding it for much longer than you’d expect.
It all comes down to YOUR style, and what fits you…
And regarding your Henkels, Mark has 3 companies on his site that can professionally thin your bolster w/o altering the knife's temper & get you some more life out of your knife.
Hope you get something out of that...