I just received the Takayuki Damascus 240 Gyoto (the Yamatsuka version) and thought I'd do a write up. I've only used it once so my impressions may change over time.
Mr. Knife Fanatic did a great video review of this knife so there's a lot of information about all the specs in his review. Overall, I think the video does a great job of conveying what this knife is like but you can only get a good sense by using it. Since the video covers so much, I think I will organize this post by things that the video conveys well and things that only were apparent after using the knife.
Things about the knife that the video conveys well:
- Fantastic grind
- Beautiful damascus finish
- Laser-like performance through ingredients
- Great convex profile but very thin behind the edge. Hopefully this will give you some idea of the profile.
- Very good non-stick properties
Things about the knife that I did not realize until I used the knife:
- The handle is a bit oversized. I like the larger handle but didn't expect it. Below is a picture of the Takayuki handle (above) compared to a Konosuke handle (below):
- The overall fit and finish is great but the choil is a bit sharp and wasn't ground down. It hasn't bothered me in usage but it's a surprising oversight at the price point. I'm not sure if you can tell from the image below:
- The handle is a basic ho wood octagonal with buffalo horn ferule and the fit and finish is very even and tight. But the handle material doesn't seem to be well polished or sealed so the surface of the wood feels slightly rough, especially after it gets wet. That raises the wood a little. I would prefer a nicer wood handle at this price point. In addition, I'd prefer a heavier wood for the handle to move the balance point back a little.
- The knife is a bit blade heavy. I think that was in the video but it felt a little more blade heavy than I expected. I got used to it very quickly when using it and didn't even notice much but I think I'd prefer to have a balance point a little closer to the pinch grip, which I believe would also make the knife feel a little more nimble.
- The knife feels heavier than I expected in the best possible way. Based on the video, I kind of expected a more laser-like feel to the knife. The knife does laser through ingredients but it doesn't feel like a laser. The knife is a mid-weight knife but feels heavier to me than other knives of similar weight. I believe it's the way that the weight is distributed. It's a little blade heavy and has a great convex in the middle part of the blade before getting very thin behind the edge. So it feels like there is more weight that is in the blade and lower down in the blade. It's a feel that I wasn't expecting but I really love it. It doesn't make the knife feel slow or unbalanced. The balance is terrific. It's hard to describe. Maybe another way to describe it is that the knife feels like the steel is denser than the steel in other knives. To use a car analogy, I think this knife is a bit like a BMW M3. It's not a lightweight car and has a good deal of heft but it also handles very well and is nimble. A Lotus might be very lightweight and nimble like a laser but the M3 manages to handle very well despite weighing much more.
- The grind and damascus finish are every bit as good as Mr. Knife Fanatic described. Here are two pictures of the damascus finish:
- A few surprising things that I wouldn't expect at this price point - i.e., sharp choil and ordinary (but well done) handle. Here's a photo of the pretty generic (but well done) handle:
- The OOTB edge is pretty good. I'd give it a 7. I haven't handled a Masakage or T-F but I don't think this edge is up there with that type of OOTB edge.
- I love this knife. It is well worth the money. I have an Anryu hammered as well, which I like a lot, and this does feel twice as good in my opinion.