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What Comes After a MAC?

Sun Mar 31, 2013 3:48 am

I have the MAC Mighty Pro Chef's in 8.5-inch, which I like very much. But having been seriously bitten by the Japanese knife bug, I was wondering what might I get next. I'm interested in the Masamoto VG, the TKC and Ultimatum -- all in 240mm. Is the Masamoto a worthy step up, or a sideways move? Is the TKC that much better a knife than the MAC or Masamoto? I've read the positive reviews on the Ultimatum, but have never used a wa-handled knife before. I'm looking for a good all-rounder but fear a laser might be too thin (otherwise I'd include the Konosuke HD in the mix).

What started all this was my original plan to get a MAC utility and bread knife to complement the chefs. But the PKF-60's handle was way too short for me, the MAC Pro's handle just barely okay -- so that put the brakes to the plan and got me to looking around. The pro's here say that the MAC is a good entry into the J-knife continuum as well as a long-termer. In my case it got me to wondering what else is available rather than staying the course.

Any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks.

Re: What Comes After a MAC?

Mon Apr 01, 2013 1:59 pm

The Masamoto VG isn't a big enough step up IMHO.

The TKC and Ultimatum are though...for sure. Worth is in the eye of the beholder, but those two knives are much better performers than the Mac, so they're worth it to me.

Re: What Comes After a MAC?

Mon Apr 01, 2013 6:13 pm

TKC was Mark's original suggestion. Guess I should listen to you guys. Thanks.

Re: What Comes After a MAC?

Tue Apr 02, 2013 3:08 am

I just upgraded my Mighty Mac and you could go a couple routes. I love my Takeda AS Gyuto... and I also just purchased the Konesuke HD... Both are a huge step up from my Mac which was my first Japanese knife as well...

Re: What Comes After a MAC?

Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:29 am

I like the Kono but am concerned a laser might be too thin (hard to say since I've never used one). I'll give the Takeda a look-see and reconsider the HD. Thanks.

Re: What Comes After a MAC?

Tue Apr 02, 2013 1:11 pm

A laser isn't going to be so much more delicate that you can't use it like a knife should be used. I don't use mine any differently than I use any other knife except the most heavy duty one's like bone cleavers and western deba's and the like.

People seem to have this sense that a "laser" knife is a delicate flower that must be cuddled daily....not true at all.

Re: What Comes After a MAC?

Tue Apr 02, 2013 2:01 pm

Adam,

Is the Richmond Laser the best laser on the site? I would assume so, but I wanted to ask... Does it matter steels?...

All this talk about it has gotten me way too curious that I think I will need to try and get one when it comes back into stock...

Re: What Comes After a MAC?

Tue Apr 02, 2013 2:49 pm

Best?!?!?! Eye of the beholder kind of thing... :)

It also matters what you consider a "laser" and what you want in a knife.

For me, I LOVE AEB-L and I really like the Richmond Laser profile, grind, F&F, etc. So, yes, it's the best "laser" on Mark's site....in my humble opinion. :)

Steel matters a lot to me. I'm not a steel snob per say.....but....I am a knife maker, and I've been using high end kitchen cutlery for a lot of years. In that time and through my knife making, I've developed preferences and I can tell the difference between a lot of steels. When I tell people to stop focusing on the steel used, it's typically because it shouldn't be your main focus. Grind, HT, profile, handle comfort, etc. all matter more than the steel UNLESS you're after a very specific trait in a knife. Almost all of the steels used in high end cutlery are at bare minimum very good...will take a great edge, and hold it better than any soft steel junk most people are used to.

Re: What Comes After a MAC?

Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:36 pm

Adam Marr wrote:A laser isn't going to be so much more delicate that you can't use it like a knife should be used. . .

How would a non-laser like the TKC compare in cutting ability and all-around usage (minus the chicken-, bluefin-, butternut squash-dismembering ability) to the Kono HD? I admit to having let the thinness aspect of the laser give me undue pause. How light is too light? (Eye of the beholder kinda thing?) I have gotten use to the MAC's weight and stiffness (though the handle could be a skosh longer).

Re: What Comes After a MAC?

Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:59 pm

They're going to be quite similar.

They both have great geometry. Given both at the same time, you could probably notice a very slight cutting advantage in hard products like potatoes with the HD....but maybe not too. Depends on how well you try and pay attention. We're splitting some pretty fine frog hairs here. :)

The "How light is too light" question....yeah, eye of the beholder. Some like weight, some like light weight.....others like everything in between. I don't cook professionally, so weight never seemed to matter to me much as I'm not using them for 10 hours a night.

The Mac is not going to be nothing like these knives really. Completely different species. Unless you use your knives as bone breakers, can openers, or mall ninja weapons.....either would be great.
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