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 Post subject: Recommendation for my first gyuto
PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 1:37 pm 

Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2014 6:33 pm
Posts: 8
I'm a home cook and want a really nice knife for my B-day. The wife has put a limit of $270 (maybe I can push that up slightly). I'm looking for something that is really nice/unique looking yet versatile in the kitchen. Moreover, I want to be able to make 80% of my meals with just one knife, specifically, I want to use it for slicing meat (for stir fry) and prepping general vegetables.

I currently use an el-cheapo 8" chef's knife with a fairly thin edge and am looking for something with those characteristics.

1. Are you right handed? Right
2. What type of knife are you interested in (gyuto, nakiri etc..) Gyuto
3. What size knife are you looking for? 210 or a short 240
4. Do you prefer carbon or stainless steel? Prefer a carbon edge
5. Do you prefer a western handle or a Japanese handle? Never used a Japanese handle but willing to try it on my first JK
6. How much did you want to spend? $270 but up to $300
7. Do you know how to sharpen? Yes

I've been on the CKTG site, reading their forums, and these four knives have peaked my interests:

Kohetsu Blue #2 Nashiju: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/kobl2nagy21.html
Anryu Hammered: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/anhagy21.html#.U7Gnj_ldV8E
Masakage Shimo: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/mashgy21.html
Kurosaki Megumi: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/kumegy21.html

Outsiders:
Kanehiro Wa-Gyuto: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/kawa21.html
Masakage Kioshi: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/makogy21.html

I really like the look of the Masakage for the curved choil/heel. Any suggestions/comments/recommendations are more than welcomed. Thank you.


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendation for my first gyuto
PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 1:53 pm 

Joined: Thu May 29, 2014 8:38 pm
Posts: 1341
The Shimo is an awesome all around performer. It definitely punches above its weight class, but as a heads up, the iron cladding is pretty reactive. For what it's worth, the Megumi is made by the same smith and the cladding (even if it is iron) looks like it has a more polished finish vs. the Shimo's matte damascus and, as such, may be less reactive and might be the better choice from a maintenance perspective. That's just a hunch though. The Anryu gets a whole lotta love from some guys who know there stuff and have a feeling you definitely can't go wrong with that blade either.



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 Post subject: Re: Recommendation for my first gyuto
PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 2:29 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2013 6:00 pm
Posts: 2391
Newbie,

I've got an email to Mark asking about the Megumi cladding. I do have the Megumi 210 and Anryu Hammered 210 right now for video reviews. I'm going to be testing them this evening. I'll give you thoughts later tonight or tomorrow between those two. We'll see if the Megumi warrants it's higher price tag vs. the Anryu Hammered ;-). I have a Masakage Yuki 210 that I'll put up against these two as well.


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendation for my first gyuto
PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 4:39 pm 

Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2014 6:33 pm
Posts: 8
Thank you SteveG.


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendation for my first gyuto
PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 7:04 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 06, 2013 6:15 am
Posts: 56
Great to see this thread! I just ordered a Megumi but hadn't thought too much about the reactive cladding. I'd been looking at the Anryu myself for a few months before the Megumi appeared on the site..


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendation for my first gyuto
PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 1:57 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2013 6:00 pm
Posts: 2391
OK Newbie and Jeff,

I did a bunch of knife testing last evening - hey, it's a tough job, but someone's got to do it :-).

Funny story on the Megumi 210 Gyuto: I really wanted to determine if the cladding was reactive so,

I cut a few onions - no patina (even on the edge), nothin'
I let it sit in chopped onions for a while - nothin'.
Cut Lotus Root and let it sit for a while - nothin'.
Let it sit w/Mango juice on it - nothin'.

No patina anywhere, even on the edge. I started thinking - "you know, either this has some kind of magic lacquer finish on it, or it's stainless Damascus over Ginsan or something. I better double check with Mark." So I check my email before going to bed and Mark sent me a reply saying he was wrong and the maker said they were stainless Damascus over a VG-10 core :-).

With that, on to the comparison. The Magumi and Anyru Hammered 210 are VERY similar knives, both in cutting performance, edge profiles and general feel. There's not much in it between them, discounting the core steel differences. The Anryu had a slightly thinner tip with more distal taper and it's tip went through onions a bit better. The Magumi seemed to wedge less and slice a bit better in the main portion of the blade. I couldn't really discern any profile differences on the board when rock chopping. The Anryu Hammered balance point is closer to the handle than the Magumi, actually slightly behind my pinch grip point on the blade. As a result, the Anryu felt a little more nimble, but the Magumi had a bit more chopping power. We're not talking huge differences, though.

I could be happy using either one. The Magumi had a better OOTB edge, so much so, that I sharpened the Anyru on a Shapton Pro 1.5K, Rika 5K, bovine strop sequence to try and minimize edge differences between the two.

Keep in mind that these knives are so close in performance that variances in geometry, profile, grind from knife to knife could have changed my results a bit if I had two different samples of each to compare.

My Yuki actually fared worse than both of these in tip thinness/distal taper and the ability to glide through onions. It also showed more wedging in my tests slicing through a few products including Lotus root, despite being thinner at the edge. The Yuki had the most blade forward balance of the three. It also had the flattest edge profile and a longer flat spot at the heel. I could not get as high when rocking before digging the tip into the cutting board with the Yuki versus the other two knives. Granted, I did bend the tip and had to grind a couple of mm's off the tip (via the spine) on my Yuki, but I wouldn't think this would have a huge effect on rocking height.

Overall, I believe the balance point differences are mainly due to handle weights and lengths. It's splitting hairs a bit, but to me, the Megumi had the best overall performance, followed by the Anryu, followed by the Yuki. If you like a thinner tip, get the Anryu. Want an all stainless version of the Anryu? Get the Megumi. These two have me rethinking where the Yuki sits in the food chain on stainless clad, hand hammered, refined rustic Gyutos ;-).


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendation for my first gyuto
PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 2:04 pm 

Joined: Thu May 29, 2014 8:38 pm
Posts: 1341
Great comparo Steve! Love to see more stuff like this.



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 Post subject: Re: Recommendation for my first gyuto
PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 4:27 pm 

Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2014 6:33 pm
Posts: 8
I really much appreciate the help and love the site! As I was deliberating on knives, the wife slashed my JK money. In the end, I ordered the 210mm Kohetsu Aogamoi Super Gyuto (http://www.chefknivestogo.com/rikoaosu21gy.html). After using it for a few weeks now, I absolutely love it. Here are some of my first impressions on my JK:

  • Knife is much lighter than expected.
  • Because of the weight, it actually felt smaller than my old western 8" chef knife. I would recommend getting a 240mm JK for newbies
  • Wish the handle was a bit bigger around. I don't have huge hands but do like something bigger to hold on to. I use a hybrid pinch grip.
  • A very good knife for cutting meats. I used it for chicken, beef, pork, and fish. This knife is awesome for deboning chicken thighs and slicing protein for stir fry.
  • Knife was so sharp, the wife cut herself the first time she used it. :P

Thanks guys!


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendation for my first gyuto
PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 5:41 pm 

Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2014 8:57 pm
Posts: 600
Glad to hear you are enjoying it, and your experience speaks to the age-old 210/240 question. I think a lot of people come to the same conclusion you did. If the handle really bothers you, you could have it re-handled at some point with something a bit larger in diameter. It would mean investing more money in the knife but if it would make it better to use it is something to consider.


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendation for my first gyuto
PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 5:42 pm 

Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2014 2:16 pm
Posts: 29
Location: New Mexico
Good to hear!


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