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Which gyuto/santuko to buy?

Wed Jun 20, 2012 9:47 am

I've posted this same question to a different forum. I hope that's not a forum "don't".

I want to buy a good ($200 or less) chef's knife/santoku. I know nothing! I love to cook but have got along for 30 years with crappy knives. suddenly, I want a good one, and i want it to be pretty (sorry. . .I know it's silly, but still. . .). At first I thought. . ."what's the big deal? Go to Williams-Sanoma and buy a knife." I'd never even heard of a gyuto before two weeks ago. I began researcing forums/reviews, etc., and now I'm so confused I don't know what to buy. Please someone help!!

Here's some info about me: I have a small kitchen, small surfaces, small cutting boards. I, too, am small and have small hands. I want a knife (after researching, I think I want a santoku, despite the majority of what i read telling me the gyutos/chef's knives are the only way to go). I am NOT an expert knife user. I want an all-purpose knife for cutting vegies, fruits and meat/chicken. I would not be using this knife for de-boning. I'm not in the kitchen hours every day, but I do enjoy cooking, and often cook for foodie friends. Despite never having an issue with my crappy knives, I now want a "good" one. This much I know: I prefer a Japanese knife, really sharp, one that is easy to use, keeps its edge, is pretty to look at (sorry), and has a traditional handle. I know nothing about sharpening, but I know I can learn.

After reading . . I can't even remember where, I thought I would buy an Akifusa gyuto; but then I changed my mind and decided on a Yoshikane. In both cases, the reviews/postings were from 5 - 6 years ago; nothing more recent. If I buy a santuko (my current preference) I want a 7" blade; if it's a gyuto, 8". I once had a 240mm heavy, cheap chef's knife and HATED the length. But like I said, I'm no expert.

Yesterday, I held W-S's Shun Hiro and Shun Edo santoku knives (7") and LOVED the feel, the design and the lightness of both; especially the Edo. But I don't want to pay $250. Besides, I looked on Amazon at reviews of the Shun (Shun in general, no specific knife) and the negative reviews gave me pause). I also held the Global which I did not like. I'm not even clear why.

I'm sorry if this is the same old question posted yet again. Thanks for any suggestions you can give me.

Re: Which gyuto/santuko to buy?

Wed Jun 20, 2012 11:43 am

Pretty as in blade, handle or both?? You can get some really awesome wood handles added on to a knife, especially a Japanese style Wa handle, pretty easily or as an upgrade later on! If you would consider a Western style handle, but no metal bolster, check out the Artifex! They are thin, light weight and nimble. You may be able to get one with a nice piece of a stabilized Burl wood handle in your budget, too. I have an Artifex at home and find myself using it more and more, even though I like a 240mm carbon gyuto better usually!

Here is a nice Wa handle 210mm gyuto with a Damascus blade:

Re: Which gyuto/santuko to buy?

Thu Jun 21, 2012 12:38 am

Now I get why may like gyutos. I do as well however I have a Carter Santoku that I just love. Many Santokus have less belly yet at still tall blades at a shorter length.
Ok to help with give you a better suggestion can you give us a sense of what you see as a pretty.

Check out the first three knives on the thread. These are knife lines Mark is bringing to the store.
Now I get why may like gyutos. I do as well however I have a Carter Santoku that I just love.

A you wanting a stainless knife?
Would you be ok with a clad stainless?
Could you take care of a all non-stainless?

Re: Which gyuto/santuko to buy?

Thu Jun 21, 2012 6:30 am

210mm Richmond Artifex?

Re: Which gyuto/santuko to buy?

Thu Jun 21, 2012 10:28 am

Thanks for the responses. I think I'll buy the Iazuma Santuko from Japanesechefsknives.com. But before I pull the trigger, what do you think of the Hammer Stahl santuko? They're currently offering a "2 for 1" deal until the end of June: http://www.hammerstahl.com/foodandwine I checked a couple reviews of Hammer Stahl, and wasn't that impressed, but thought I'd ask you all before I purchase the Iazuma. Does anyone have any knowledge of their knives?

Since the Iazuma is such a reasonable $$, I figure I can save some money and put it toward a good gyuto in the future. These forums have convinced me the gyuto is a "must have" even for the amateur cook.

Re: Which gyuto/santuko to buy?

Thu Jun 21, 2012 11:46 am

Personally I have no experience with them so cannot comment. Below is a link to information on the steel and on that page are reviews of knives with that steel.


Here is a review of a similar knife that you are looking at.

http://zknives.com/knives/kitchen/ktknv ... kgrt.shtml

Personally I would buy a Kanehiro Santoku and if your didn't like the handle have Mark upgrade it with one of the many wood workers he uses. It will cut circles around what you are looking.


Re: Which gyuto/santuko to buy?

Thu Jun 21, 2012 1:59 pm

I did it!! I bought the Inazuma. . .only, under all the pressure, I bought the Gyuto (210) instead of the santuko. It was $128. Hope I'm not sorry!! Thanks for all the advice; I really appreciate it.

Re: Which gyuto/santuko to buy?

Thu Jun 21, 2012 3:05 pm

Enjoy and let us know how you like it.

Re: Which gyuto/santuko to buy?

Thu Jun 21, 2012 3:35 pm

Come back and show us a picture when you get it!

Re: Which gyuto/santuko to buy?

Fri Jun 22, 2012 4:42 pm

Would have picked the artifex but I am a little bias I hope she gets what she want and the customer service is as good as marks. Peace bullman
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