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 Post subject: Please guide me on my first Gyuto!
PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2015 8:54 am 

Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2015 8:01 am
Posts: 10
Hello experienced knife enthusiasts and cooks/chefs. I am here to ask for some assistance in selecting my first cooks knife (Gyuto).

Allow me to answer these basic questions first;

1. Are you right handed? - Yes
2. What type of knife are you interested in (gyuto, nakiri etc..) - Gyuto
3. What size knife are you looking for? - 240mm
4. Do you prefer carbon or stainless steel? - Stainless, for the ease of use (not worrying about constant moisture control)
5. Do you prefer a western handle or a Japanese handle? - I would prefer a Wa handle
6. How much did you want to spend? - A MAX ceiling of $200, hopefully less so i can purchase some accompanying stones
7. Do you know how to sharpen? - I do not, however, it is on my list of learnings and i wish to begin immediately

I'm a 26 y/o uni student from the coast of Australia. I'm a simple home cook with no formal training. When i was a child i was introduced into the world of cooking by a lovely Italian chef, who is a friend of the family. His passion for food has been engraved into me it seems.

I am at the stage where i no longer wish to use shitty frying pans and cheap cookware. It is time to invest into some basics that i can look after and be proud of. I have done quite a bit of reading in the last few days on the knife subject. I come to you in need of advice, hoping you can guide me with your many years of experience.

This is what i want:
240mm chefs knife, i wish to use this tool to do most of the work required in the kitchen. This would include all vegetable chopping including hard pumpkins, fish prep (through bones if i needed to), occasional whole chicken prep (debone). Obviously the knife needs some heft to withstand the demands. At the end of the day i would also like the knife to be aesthetically pleasing, it doesn't need to have a hammered damascus finish but who doesn't enjoy working with beautiful tools.

knives recommended by the great "BDL" include:
http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/kit ... gyuto.html
Tojiro DP stainless 240mm - I've heard this has a hefty spine but i'm not sold on the aesthetics.


Thanks for taking the time to read through my post, I am very open to suggestions.


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 Post subject: Re: Please guide me on my first Gyuto!
PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2015 11:19 am 

Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2014 6:39 pm
Posts: 221
First off, use a boning knife like a honesuki to debone stuff, a gyuto is the wrong shape and too long to be used for that and you will most likely end up chipping the blade unless your technique is very good. Same thing for the fish bones, get a knife designed for it like a deba, the right tool for the right job and all that. In the mean time use a cheap knife for the boning and fish bones.

Now, on to knife recommendations:

Richmond GT Artifex Wa-Gyuto 240mm: This is basically a Fujiwara FKM with a Wa handle added on and rebranded with the Richmond line. The Fujiwara FKM is an outstanding knife for the money and the GT is much the same, the handles are custom made and are of better quality than most japanese ones on knives below the $250 mark, so this knife is a real steal(or steel? :lol:) for the money.

Tanaka Ginsan Gyuto 240mm: The is my most strongly recommended knife for your price range. Tanaka knives are some of the best deals on the site and Ginsan is a great steel, it takes a very nice edge with good edge retention and is fairly easy to sharpen for a stainless steel. The fit and finish is a bit rough, you might want to take some sandpaper to the spine and choil to even things out and the handle is nothing to write home about but the blade itself is impeccable, especially for the low price.


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 Post subject: Re: Please guide me on my first Gyuto!
PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2015 11:47 am 

Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2015 8:01 am
Posts: 10
Thanks for the reply. I was wondering whether i needed a different tool for those jobs, i was under the impression a "german chefs knife" for instance would be used for similar tasks. Use the right tool for the job resonates with me, i appreciate the advice.

The Tanaka is a knife i've recently come across also and am pleased you've also mentioned it.

Could you also advise me on a particular sharpening stone system, i'm thinking a combination stone of 1000/6000 or similar.


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 Post subject: Re: Please guide me on my first Gyuto!
PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2015 4:13 pm 

Joined: Tue May 27, 2014 2:24 am
Posts: 956
Location: Texas
240, wa, heft, stainless, Sukenari all the way. Crazy good knives if you like beefy cutters.

http://www.chefknivestogo.com/sugi240gy.html

I highly second radishes notion against using a gyuto for bones. I'd advise getting a 150mm petty. They're great for breaking down chickens and double up as a nice veggie prep knife for in hand work and on the board. Still, no going through bones or the like. They make it incredibly easy to navigate popped joints and such.

Tanaka makes great knives but they are pretty light. Sturdy for how light they are, but light nonetheless. They clean up quite nice, just be ready for some OOTB work.


Last edited by Jsgillis86 on Mon Jan 05, 2015 4:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Please guide me on my first Gyuto!
PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2015 4:23 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2014 6:39 pm
Posts: 221
The reason a German chef's knife can be used for jobs like that is because the steel used in them is fairly soft, so instead of chipping the blade the edge simply gets bent or rolled over, but at the same time that means that the softer steel cannot take nearly as sharp of an edge and it's edge dulls very quickly. Hard steel knives like the Japanese ones can be made much sharper and can hold that sharp edge much longer but at the cost of being somewhat more brittle and therefore unsuitable for cutting very hard things like bones or frozen foods.

For sharpening stones I like to go with individual stones instead of combo stones. I'm a fan of the Shapton Pro stones which are very hard, cut metal quickly and last a long time. The Shapton Pro 1500 is in stock and would be an OK place to start. 1500 grit will put a good, toothy edge on your knives, the 5k stone is a good place to go after that and it would refine your edge to be a little less toothy but sharper and longer lasting. Ideally I would go with a 1k-2k-5k progression along with a 220 or 320 grit stone for repairs but the 1k is out of stock and the 2k is a little high to start with, you could wait for the 1k to come back into stock and get that when it does. Other good stones are the Shapton Glass, Nubatama and Chosera stones, but the Nubatamas and Choseras are a good bit more expensive than the Shaptons.


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 Post subject: Re: Please guide me on my first Gyuto!
PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2015 6:25 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2013 6:00 pm
Posts: 3391
+1 on the Sukenari Ginsan 240 recommendation. That's a good knife - not too thick, not too thin.


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 Post subject: Re: Please guide me on my first Gyuto!
PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2015 6:59 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2014 9:05 pm
Posts: 387
The Sukenari is a good pick. Other BDL picks are the Masamoto VG or the Mac Pro. Both are great low maintenance, high performance knives.


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 Post subject: Re: Please guide me on my first Gyuto!
PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2015 7:58 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2012 5:24 am
Posts: 462
I have a Gesshin Uraku 240 Stainless Gyuto. It was my first upgrade from a Tojiro ITK 210, Tosa 170 Santoku, and Richmond Artifex

While i have since upgraded to many other gyutos, I still use it often and like it very much. Great knife at a great price.

Mowgs


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 Post subject: Re: Please guide me on my first Gyuto!
PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2015 8:10 pm 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 6:20 am
Posts: 2958
I have not used the Tanaka Ginsan specifically, but I like the Tanakas I have used. They are known as great values but are often a bit rough in the fit and finish department.

The Sukenari Ginsan is a good pick. It is on the beefier side as Japanese cutlery goes, but I really liked the profile when I got to test drive it.

I also like the Shapton Pro recs. There are other great stones, but few stone lines are as consistently good and cost effective across the line as the Shapton Pros. A 220, 1k, 5k plus a diamond flattening plate would get almost any job done you need. To keep the initial investment low, the 1500 would be a good one stone solution until you are prepared to invest in additional stones.

I am going to disagree with Radish on one thing, as a home cook, I have moved away from task specific knives. A honesuke or other boning knife is fun and more efficient than a gyuto, but it is only like 15% more efficient. Since as a home cook you will only be preping one or two chickens at a time, it is just as fast to use your gyuto then wash it and move on plus then you can save some cash for a better gyuto or additional stones. Now you should not cut through bone with a gyuto, you want to separate the chicken at the joints, but frankly you would want to use a boning knife the same way. If you want to go through bone the hard way, get a cleaver, or some serious shears, or a really cheap knife from the discount store.


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 Post subject: Re: Please guide me on my first Gyuto!
PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2015 3:17 am 

Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2015 8:01 am
Posts: 10
Thanks for responding. I should probably clear up, it was poor wording from me, i did not mean to specifically cut through bones but as you say "through the joint". A little careless and perhaps showing my level.

The Sukenari looks wonderful, and the extra heft would surely prolong the knifes edge. I only have basic knife skills but a great appetite to learn. I'm sure this knife will allow me to grow into it and make use of its features in the future.

Regarding the stones:
I was able to find - Shapton Pro blue #1500 and Shapton Pro cyan #5000 for about $90USD
http://www.toolsfromjapan.com/store/ind ... pping_cart

Is this what i am looking for? Also, do i just sharpen on a flat surface like a benchtop with a wet cloth underneath the stone or is something more particular needed.


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