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Which Gyuto?

Fri Apr 19, 2013 3:49 pm

1. Are you right handed?
Right handed.
2. What type of knife are you interested in (gyuto, nakiri etc..)
3. What size knife are you looking for?
4. Do you prefer carbon or stainless steel?
No preference.
5. Do you prefer a western handle or a Japanese handle?
I have never used a Japanese style handle, and I am willing to give them a try, but I am a vegetarian and prefer to buy a knife that does not have a ferrule made out of water buffalo (or any other animal products). I also have smallish hands.
6. How much did you want to spend?
7. Do you know how to sharpen?
Yes—I am a novice and need to really take my time with it, but can get the job done.

I am a little overwhelmed and would like to know which knives carried by CKTG I should be looking at. Any recommendations are appreciated.

Re: Which Gyuto?

Sat Apr 20, 2013 9:52 am

Some of the knives have a Resin (Plastic) ferrule, but it looks like Buffalo Horn. Lots of choices like many in the Richmond lineup, Goko, Tojiro, etc.

Since you want easy to sharpen, I would look at a Richmond Addict 2 (AEB-L for Stainless, 52100 for Carbon), Artifex 240mm in AEB-L, something along those lines maybe?

Re: Which Gyuto?

Sat Apr 20, 2013 10:49 am

+1 For the Richmond lines and Goko.

Re: Which Gyuto?

Sat Apr 20, 2013 11:56 am

+1 more with the Richmond Addict recommendation. If your budget extends to ~$200, as good as it is for the price, you can do much better than an Artifex.

Just looking at some yo-gyuto possibilities...

Western handled stainless knives you might like:
  • MAC Pro;
  • Masamoto VG; and
  • Sakai Takayuki Grand Chef
All three are excellent choices for a first, really good stainless knife.

The Grand Chef takes a slightly better edge than either of the other two, but not so much that anyone but a really dedicated sharpener would notice. It isn't quite as comfortable and doesn't handle as well the other two, and even though the differences are small I'd put it third on the list.

Between MAC and Masamoto, I would choose the Masamoto over the MAC for myself because the Masamoto profile suits my already-set-in-concrete action; but recommend the MAC far more often for its better quality control, better factory support, better OOTB edge (important to many people) and because its profile is just fine if you aren't stuck with my personal history.

If you buy from CKtG you have Mark to lean on, and factory post-sale support becomes much less of an issue. Nevertheless, worth repeating that MAC USA (in the person of Harold) is outstanding in that respect.

When it gets right down to it, the easy-care advantages of stainless steel make it worth its disadvantages vis a vis carbon for most users. Not for me though, and maybe not for you.

Western handled carbon:
  • Masamoto HC; and
  • Misono Sweden
Each of these has better edge taking and holding qualities than the stainless knives. However, they're carbon, and require that you care for them accordingly. The Masamoto is not terribly reactive as carbon knives go, but the Misono is. There are ways of dealing with reactivity which don't require some, but not much, extra care. However, be advised that you need to take care of carbon knives immediately. Procrastination will be punished.

The Misono is a spectacularly good knife, but the Masamoto is so close to perfect it's boring -- damn near.

If you decide on a Masamoto HC -- or any Masamoto western handled knife -- make sure to have Mark check to make sure that the handle is not cracked, and fits smoothly around the tang without gaps or swelling.

Western handled semi-stainless:
  • Kikuichi TKC
Great knife. Everyone loves it. If you don't want to deal with carbon's drawbacks but want the benefits, it's probably the best overall yo-gyuto in your price range.


Re: Which Gyuto?

Sat Apr 20, 2013 12:57 pm

Thanks for the replies. Seems like I am near the end of over analyzing and close to making a purchase!

  • Goko: I am a little concerned about the handle on the Goko because of my small ‘girly-man’ hands. It looks like a really nice knife, but I do not think that it is for me

  • Richmond Addict: I really like the fact that the Richmond is made in the USA. Can you confirm that the ferrule is plastic? If so, is plastic going to last? Does it look cheap?

  • Richmond Artifex: I think this is a great budget knife, but I am willing to pay a little more to get a better finished knife.

  • Masamoto HC: Out of stock

  • Misono Sweden: Out of stock

  • MAC Pro; Masamoto VG; Sakai Takayuki Grand Chef: All seem like they are really good knives. Thanks for calling out the differences.

  • Kikuichi: To be 100% honest I have been considering a similar knife from another vendor. Clearly there is better customer service here, and the Kikuichi has a better finish. Any other differences that I am missing?

Thanks again. Seems like there are a lot of great options. Almost too many...

Re: Which Gyuto?

Sat Apr 20, 2013 1:04 pm

Addict handle is a pakkawood/dymondwood ferrule and rosewood handle. Nicer than plastic!

Re: Which Gyuto?

Sat Apr 20, 2013 8:43 pm

Presumably you're asking to compare the Kikuichi to the Kagayaki CarboNext (at JCK). The obvious differences are just as you supposed. Better F&F and more reliable post-sale customer service for the Kikuich. Another, not as obvious, is that the Kagayaki frequently (not always, maybe not even mostly, but frequently) ships with a really lousy edge; so bad that it may need substantial re-profiling before a good edge can be established.

The follow up question is whether the Kikuichi is worth the extra money. If you aren't already a good sharpener, and don't have access to one (JCK's extra-cost sharpening service is absofrikkinlutely worthless), yes it certainly is. Otherwise, it largely depends on how much you value F&F and how willing you are to take a chance that you won't uncover some problem with the knife after using it for a few weeks. What price angst?

As to the "not in stock" thing, don't let a couple of weeks of waiting balk you out of a knife you're going to use for years. You've lived without a Misono Sweden or a Masamoto HC for this long, will another 20 days make that much difference? Take a deep breath, padwan. At least Mark you should call and ask when a shipment he expects.


Re: Which Gyuto?

Sat Apr 20, 2013 11:50 pm

FLAPPER <> Everyone knows what I'm going to say, but I have to... be aware (or beware) the Addict is a very tall knife. 55mm tall is something to really get used to if you're not already, and at that height it is a big knife overall. As you mention you have small hands, this may be something to consider. Don't misunderstand me, the Addict is liked and sells well, but for me... never.

Re: Which Gyuto?

Sun Apr 21, 2013 5:34 am

Thanks. I am still leaning towards the Addict. I will have to measure out 55mm and compare it to the height of what I have used in the past before I buy. Hopefully I will have time to do this later this evening.

As for the JCK vs the Kikuichi, I said above “… but I am willing to pay a little more to get a better finished knife”. I am not sure why that would not apply here also. Although, it is ever so slightly above my budget, and while I can certainly afford to pay more, I am not sure that I want to.

Good point about out of stock items. Waiting a couple of weeks to get a knife that I will have for years is not a big deal. I think the reason I dismissed these options so quickly is because it seems to make my decision a lot easier.
Based on your comments and my own research this is my current thinking:
    1. Addict
    2. Masamoto HC or VG
    3. Kikuichi

Thanks again!!

Re: Which Gyuto?

Sun Apr 21, 2013 7:31 am

FLAPPER <> Kikuichi... hands down in my book.
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