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 Post subject: Which Entry Level Knife?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2014 3:40 am 

Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2013 1:52 am
Posts: 7
I'm looking to give an entry level gyuto as a wedding gift (last minute idea and I'm running out of time!). It must be ambidextrous, and I'm looking for something around the $100 price point. Stainless is preferred, but not essential, and if a carbon knife at this price point stands above the stainless competition, then it would be worth considering. I have personal experience with the Fujiwara FKM and Tojiro DP, and prefer the Fujiwara over the DP so I did not bother listing the DP. I am leaning towards the FKM, but the Kohetsu Blue #2 really caught my eye and I'd love more feedback on that one. Any feedback on these knives would be very helpful.

My current considerations listed by preference:

1. Kohetsu Blue #2 210
2. Fujiwara FKM 210
3. Masazumi 210
4. Murata Buho 210
5. Yamashin White #1


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 Post subject: Re: Which Entry Level Knife?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2014 4:35 am 

Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2014 7:15 am
Posts: 1112
Location: Raleigh, NC
That's quite a few carbon knives! The biggest draw for most of us to the Kohetsu in Blue #2 is ease of sharpening and an excellent edge. If the recipient is someone who isn't going to pick up sharpening, you lose a lot of that.

Of the five I would take the Fujiwara first, then the Kohetsu. The Murata Buho is out of stock and I would definitely skip the Yamashin as it would need way too much care for someone entering fine kitchen knives. If you want carbon, the Kohetsu is in B#2 and is clad, both elements I would consider bring it over top of the more stately Masazumi.


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 Post subject: Re: Which Entry Level Knife?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2014 9:28 am 

Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2013 4:24 pm
Posts: 297
Actually I think the Kohetsu would be ideal for someone who doesn't sharpen but can strop. The Kohetsu takes an edge easily but also allows you to maintain that edge with few swipes on a strop. Stropping is much easier and more forgiving than sharpening with a stone. See thread in sharpening on poor mans strop.

I have the tojiro dp and the Kohetsu blue #2. The Kohetsu is head and shoulders better than the tojiro in edge taking, profile and grind. Fit and finish is not great cos there's a gap between the handle and the tang where they meet cos the tang tapers just a little before the handle ends. Handle is utilitarian but in no way detracts from the quality of the blade.

In use the Kohetsu is pure joy. The blade slices so easily and smoothly your brain can't reconcile seeing the knife passing through produce and how little effort it takes to make the cut.


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 Post subject: Re: Which Entry Level Knife?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2014 12:57 pm 

Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2013 1:52 am
Posts: 7
At the moment it looks like it is between the FKM and Kohetsu Blue. How big of a difference will there be between the amount of time these two knives hold an edge? Also, are there any knives someone feels I should have added to the list?


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 Post subject: Re: Which Entry Level Knife?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2014 1:06 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:36 pm
Posts: 2794
How much difference in edge retention is a very difficult thing to answer. How often is it used, how does the user use said knife, how is it sharpened, etc.?!?!

However, I will say that the difference will be easily noticeable. The Fujiwara is a good knife with decent steel. The Kohetsu is a good knife, with great steel that is known for it's edge retention.



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 Post subject: Re: Which Entry Level Knife?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2014 1:24 pm 

Joined: Wed May 16, 2012 1:49 am
Posts: 305
Location: Amstelveen, The Netherlands
The Fujiwara is strongly right-biased.


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 Post subject: Re: Which Entry Level Knife?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2014 1:45 pm 

Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2013 1:52 am
Posts: 7
True about the right handed bias, but I'm thinking that someone who typically uses low quality knives will probably not notice it that much (I have it and tried cutting with my left, although I realize that isn't quite the same) as the generally quality upgrade will still make it seem very nice. But you are right, it isn't optimal. I was concerned more for the handle, as a D handle to my mind isn't very forgiving when you switch hands.

The use is home kitchen, mostly vegetable prep and some, but not a lot meat prep. The couple cook for themselves often, but are not chefs and do not aspire to be, so the knife will see regular, but not demanding use. For their purposes, a Nakiri or Santoku would actually be other reasonable options, but my bias favors the Gyuto. Anyway, my main concern for the Kohetsu vs Fujiwara is how well the Carbon of the Kohetsu will retain its sharpness in regular use without maintenance beyond cleaning and wiping the blade down after each use. Would it be comparable to the Fujiwara stainless? If so, it is probably my first choice.

Once again, anything else I should consider? Nakiri and Santoku knives could be part of the discussion, but they would need a strong recommendation.


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 Post subject: Re: Which Entry Level Knife?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2014 3:47 pm 

Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2014 7:15 am
Posts: 1112
Location: Raleigh, NC
The Kohetsu will have more durability, though not so much as a PM knife. But the Fujiwara can be honed easily and effectively with a normal steel that would be useless with or even damage a Kohetsu. For the average person who has a knife sharpened by a pro twice a year, if ever, and knife ownership practices we can't speak to, a carbon steel knife is a chancy gift.


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 Post subject: Re: Which Entry Level Knife?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2014 6:06 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2013 4:24 pm
Posts: 297
Yeah don't recommend steeling the Kohetsu. I use a cardboard strop made from the core of kitchen towel rolls. Have not had to put it to stone in over a month. Just stropping keeps it hair splitting sharp. Stropping is so much easier than sharpening with a stone and anyone can do it. See poormans strop thread.

That aside the Kohetsu blue is about 70/30 or higher right biased or at least mine is. I can see a bigger grind on the right side which is very obvious. However, if you're not comfortable doing it yourself and you want it evened out I'm sure you could opt for the sharpening option and ask that Josh even out the edge. I'm ok with it cos I'm right handed.


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 Post subject: Re: Which Entry Level Knife?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2014 7:55 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2013 6:00 pm
Posts: 2334
As a lefty, I have no steering issues at all with the Kohetsu B #2 210 Gyuto.


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