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Re: Top 3 Damascus Gyutos.

Fri Jul 26, 2013 3:38 pm

I've been searching for some damascus clad gyuto lately as well, and here's a summary of what I've found:

The Sakai Takayuki Damascus that Melampus linked a few posts up is the the front-runner (for me) from the cktg site.
The Richmond Damascus by Yoshikane seems really nice, but it's OOS and has been for a while.
I asked Mark to look into a Shigeki Tanaka R2 wa damascus, and am awaiting a response.
It's possible Mark might be able to special order something from Konosuke, if you're willing to wait.
There are also a few stainless damascus urrently in stock at Tosho Knife Arts.

Re: Top 3 Damascus Gyutos.

Fri Jul 26, 2013 6:03 pm

Get the Takayuki Damascus wa gyuto. I love this knife. It's hand made in the Sakai way and uses Silver 3 steel with beautiful damascus. The knife is not super thin and it will totally work for you as an every day workhorse kind of knife. Most of the guys here have never seen or used the knife but my pal Salty who's a pretty good pro cook used it and dug it. http://www.chefknivestogo.com/sata24wa.html

If you want to see the knife in action Shaun Fernandez is going to be doing a review soon on this knife with a video on cutting performance.

Re: Top 3 Damascus Gyutos.

Fri Jul 26, 2013 6:06 pm

Vinh, you spilled the beans on the Tanaka R2 Damascus wa-gyuto.... I was going to surprise people with that one. Shigeki is making these for me now and they'll wbe ready late September.

Re: Top 3 Damascus Gyutos.

Fri Jul 26, 2013 8:16 pm

Hah! I can't take responsibility for spilling the beans. I think a Shigeki Tanaka R2 wa-gyuto was requested by a couple of folks on a prior thread where you were soliciting new product ideas.

Re: Top 3 Damascus Gyutos.

Fri Jul 26, 2013 8:53 pm

I just want a knife that is strong enough to be used everyday and that has great edge retention so I'm not having to constantly hone/sharpen it. And I like Damascus for its somewhat non-stick properties.with that being said the price of the knife isn't really an issue for me as long as I get an exceptional product in return

Damascus cladding is decorative and doesn't actually have non-stick properties. That's a fantasy of the people who write Shun ad copy. The best way to keep food from sticking -- other than technique -- is knife geometry; whether thin or convex.

The sweet spot on the price continuum for gyuto performance is the $300 - $400 range. Anything more than $450, the price of a 270mm Suisun Inox Honyaki laser (which I'm not recommending since you seem interested in something more robust) goes for prestige and cosmetics. Not that prestige and cosmetics shouldn't count.

You might say that about $75 of the Suisuin's price is for the name since the unobtainable Masamoto KS, not a laser but another super performer, goes for $375; and -- comparing oranges to oranges -- so do several other uber quality lasers like the Konosuke HD and the Tadatsuna Inox.

A few "can't do better at any price" all-round performers can be found for $200ish. For instance, I'd stack my $200, carbon Ultimatum against anything of its type. But it is definitely "of a type," and something of an ugly ducking to boot. Even though an Ultimatum can be had in M390 -- an incredible alloy for edge holding -- and even though it's only $250, it's not the right knife for everyone; and almost certainly not what you're looking for.

There are a lot of knives with excellent edge retention, but be aware that once you hit the extremes of any one characteristic -- such as edge retention -- there are tradeoffs. For instance, some great edge holding alloys are chip prone, and/or difficult to sharpen.


Re: Top 3 Damascus Gyutos.

Fri Jul 26, 2013 9:43 pm

CHUKE <> Another point I wanted to raise. You answered no, when Mark asked you if you knew how to sharpen. Then a post or 2 later you write, "...so I'm not having to constantly hone/sharpen it."

Do you use a sharpening service; who is doing this sharpening/honing?

Re: Top 3 Damascus Gyutos.

Sat Jul 27, 2013 11:56 am

Melampus -- Great catch! I'd missed that. :oops:


Chuke -- If you're not already a good sharpener, than sharpening should be the starting point instead of knives. It doesn't matter how good, how expensive, what the edge retention characteristics are like -- all knives get dull, and any dull knife is a dull knife.

Dropping a lot of money on a knife you can't keep sharp is a huge mistake. Sadly, so is trusting someone else to sharpen your knife unless that person is a spouse, parent, or works for you in the kitchen. It's one thing to send your knife out for repair or annual thinning, but professional services can't do a good job at routine maintenance if only because the turnaround is too long. Another sad truth is that most professional sharpening services aren't very good. Awful in fact.

If you don't already know how to sharpen, and don't want to master freehand sharpening -- which I presume is why you're not already a sharpener -- you've got a few excellent, easy-learn / easy-use options -- the Edge Pro and the Wicked Edge. Price of entry is $300+. A lot, but it still leaves enough for a GREAT knife.


Re: Top 3 Damascus Gyutos.

Sat Jul 27, 2013 2:10 pm

Well, all other things aside, I got the Sakai Takayuki Damascus in my hands, and wow, what a great feeling knife so far. Perfect 50/50 convex grind and beautifully done damascus pattern. Here's a little picture I took, and there will be a video very shortly. :D I expect this knife to laser through pretty much everything. It was ground extremely well.

Re: Top 3 Damascus Gyutos.

Sun Jul 28, 2013 9:57 am

Still waiting on the video Shaun!!! :P Steel looks nice!

Re: Top 3 Damascus Gyutos.

Mon Jul 29, 2013 1:59 am

I've always had a hard-on for this Takayuki. It was the first knife I ever had my sights on in the CKTG catalog... I ended up with a 240KonoHD Funa instead.
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