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 Post subject: Masakage Yuki 240mm Gytuo
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 1:41 am 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 6:20 am
Posts: 2301
I recently submitted a request for knife recs: long-post-for-a-new-knife-t8014.html.

The short version of the story is I listed knives I have used, what I did and didn't like about them, and a list of knives I have considered buying or at the very least would like to try. Nmiller PMed me out of the blue to offer to lend me his Masakage Yuki 240mm gyuto. I would like to say thank you to nmiller for the kind offer, it is a reminder of why I value this community!

The knife I am reviewing is the Masakage Yuki 240mm gyuto listed at CKTG here: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/mayugy24.html.


Ok so the Yuki is pretty hashed over. Don't know what I can add really. Let's start with a brief recap of what has been covered:

The Yuki is very thin behind the edge. Thin enough that more novice users should beware of possible edge damage with poor technique. The FnF is outstanding and the overall value of the knife, in a bang for the buck sense, is high. The Yuki occupies a populous niche with a number of other knives with similar attributes. The attributes: Hitachi carbon steel cores, stainless steel cladding, high levels of FnF, handmade and characterful, and all hovering around ~$200. The usual suspects: Goko Wt#1, Anryu Hammered, Itto-Ryu, and the Richmond Laser AS. If you are willing to compromise some of the attributes the list grows considerably with additions like the Tanaka Sekiso, the Kurosaki Megumi, a number of Ginsan offerings, etc, etc.

The most common comparison seems to be the Anryu Hammered. I am a huge fan of the Anryu and the Yuki matched it in pretty much every capacity. As reported the Yuki is thinner and performs a bit better as a result. Otherwise, very similar.

But enough with what has been said, what immediately seemed evident to me despite not having been talked about much, is the obvious and very apropos comparison to the Kanehiro AS. Both the Yuki and Kanehiro are made by Hiroshi Kato and both wear nashiji finished. The knives are different but I think it would be a mistake to oversell the differences, so going forwards each comparison between these knives should be read as marginal and relative.

The two most obvious differences are the core steel and price. The Kanehiro AS uses AogamiSuper so on paper edge retention should be better but edge taking may suffer. The Yuki is Wt#2 so edge taking is excellent but edge retention may suffer. I am a home cook so these differences are pretty academic. The price on the other hand is a substantive difference. The Kanehiro is ~$320 vs the Yuki at ~$230. So the Kanehiro is the "better" knife and the Yuki is the budget offering? No, not at all. In my limited use the Kanehiro had a thinner, better performing grind. But the Yuki had a nicer more refined aesthetic. The swept back heel and red pakka wood ferrule really make the Yuki stand out. The handle construction and install was also better for the Yuki. Coupled with better edge taking properties I would actually consider the two knives a wash, objectively.

Therein lies the conundrum, our needs for knives are not objective, they are formulated based on our preferences, uses, experience, etc, etc. For me, I own the Kanehiro and am borrowing the Yuki, I kinda wonder if I might be better off having inverted that arrangement. As a home cook the better edge retention of the Kanehiro is pretty useless. The Yuki does not perform quite as well as the Kanehiro but it is nicer looking and cheaper. On the other hand, I own the Kanehiro, the cost is already sunk, and I do think it outperforms the Yuki. And I am generally predisposed to favor performance over aesthetics....generally.


Specs:
Masakage Yuki:
height: 50mm+
length: 239mm (I believe this has had a tip repair so this probably was longer when new)
weight: 6.5oz

Kanehiro:
height: 50mm
length: 243mm
weight: 6.7oz

Anryu:
height: 53mm+
length: 242mm
weight: 6.9oz


From top to bottom, Kanehiro, Yuki, Anryu; not the Kanehiro has a more continuous sweep while the Yuki has a longer flat with a pronounced belly:

Image


From left to right, Kanehiro, Yuki, Anryu; largely in order of thickness behind the edge:

Image


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 Post subject: Re: Masakage Yuki 240mm Gytuo
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 1:58 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2012 4:17 am
Posts: 4741
Great comparison and review Ryan! Great read, really makes you think. Love to see knives side by side to get a glimps of the differences and also similarities. One very small characteristic I will mention about a couple of the knives you are comparing is the transition from the emoto to the choil. I find the curve of the Yuki and the Anyru more comfortable with a pinch grip than the style of Kanehiro. Just one preference of mine that I never would have looked at when starting out.



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 Post subject: Re: Masakage Yuki 240mm Gytuo
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 3:01 am 

Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2014 4:41 pm
Posts: 29
thats a very nice comparison and review, cedar!! Something ive wanted to see for the longest time


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 Post subject: Re: Masakage Yuki 240mm Gytuo
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 11:27 am 

Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2014 3:13 pm
Posts: 94
Location: Sweden
Great post! Always nice to see a comparison and a side-by-side profile photo. One of the reasons the Gyuto 240 is my favorite "knife class" is that there is so much variation. Also, I like what you're writing about prize vs some of the knife attributes, for example core steel. I have as well started to think of aogami super as overkill for my home cooking. Especially since it's more expensive and a bit more difficult to sharpen (for me at least).

One more comment: Is it just me or does the tip of that Yuki look a bit "snub-nosed"? In other pictures I've seen it looks more pointy.


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 Post subject: Re: Masakage Yuki 240mm Gytuo
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 11:52 am 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 6:20 am
Posts: 2301
Jeff, yea I agree about the rounded choil but it is not a big to me probably because I am only a lowly home cook. Obviously ergonomics matter more the more milage you are putting in. I do think it looks cool though ;)

Hell, no problem, thanks for the kind words

Limpet, funny, I keep thinking I should branch out from 240mm's and I just keep finding new things I want to try. As far as the tip, I think the Yuki has had a bit of a tip repair, I cannot tell how drastic though.


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 Post subject: Re: Masakage Yuki 240mm Gytuo
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 2:25 pm 

Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 6:46 am
Posts: 268
Location: Lake of the Ozarks, MO
great review! seeing as all 3 perform great which knife feels best in your hand while just holding and while using?


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 Post subject: Re: Masakage Yuki 240mm Gytuo
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 4:01 pm 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 6:20 am
Posts: 2301
That is a tough one BWM...

The Kanehiro performed best. They all feel very nice. I think the Anryu has a special place for me but I don't think that everyone would share that assessment.

If a noob were looking the Anryu would be the best pick. Someone looking for the best, probably the Kanehiro. The Yuki splits the difference. The Yuki is probably the best "value".

....just kinda BSing here, they are all excellent knives.


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 Post subject: Re: Masakage Yuki 240mm Gytuo
PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2014 6:49 am 

Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:03 am
Posts: 239
Thanks a lot, cedarhouse! Great review. And great photographs! They really add value.

I've got a quetion. The Yuki indeed seems very thin behind the edge. But it also seems to have a bit strange shoulders pretty close to the edge. Or is it just me who thinks this? Doesn't this affect cutting performance?


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 Post subject: Re: Masakage Yuki 240mm Gytuo
PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2014 2:17 pm 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 6:20 am
Posts: 2301
I have used a few knives with grinds like this. In my experience those "shoulders" can cause wedging, the Yuki was pretty good about it though.

If you check out my review on the Itto-Ryu (itto-ryu-240mm-hammered-t7416.html) I complain specifically about that problem. I think a lot of users prefer the wedging the shoulders cause in exchange for more thinness at the edge vs the wedging of an overall thicker blade. I actually prefer a slightly thicker blade that wedges in a more linear, predictable way, to a thin knife with a shoulder the wedges all the sudden and without warning...but that's just me. The Yuki has a really nice balance of the two.

Not sure if that addresses your question Mark, but let me know if I can clarify anything.


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 Post subject: Re: Masakage Yuki 240mm Gytuo
PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 7:58 am 

Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2014 5:25 am
Posts: 102
I love my Yuki :)


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