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Which Masamoto Gyuto

Tue Apr 16, 2013 4:33 pm

Hello and thank you for your answer,

your shipping policy and offering sounds very good.
maybe you can help me with one last question i googled on for weeks now: I'm not sure which Gyuto to choose.

Depending on reviews from knifeforums and youtube-clips my favourites would be from Masamoto. But with would be the best one for me, the HC, CT or VG? So because I think you have a lot of experience. Which one of these would you recommend the most for an ambitious homecook? I'm looking for my new "workhorse" in the kitchen. It's not my first japanese knife and I don't terribly mind carbon but a less reactive carbon blade would be a plus (maybe the CT-line is less reactive than the HC?). The achievable sharpness and Edge retention would be important factors, but the blade should not be too reactive (I read something like that about the HC and that maybe the edge retention of the CT line is superior or at minimum comparable).
Or would you recommend instead for example a Richmond Ultimatum 245mm (for example in 19c27)?

I would appreciate your oppinion very much.

Re: Which Masamoto Gyuto

Tue Apr 16, 2013 4:34 pm

Get the masamoto VG. It's a great knife and you will enjoy it.

Re: Which Masamoto Gyuto

Tue Apr 16, 2013 6:01 pm

I like the edge the carbon takes, but if you aren't already a carbon knife owner/fan, I'd recommend to just stick with the VG stainless series. It's good stainless and takes a steep edge, I wonder why more culinary school students don't get recommended these knives. Tough, stainless, and much better than any German knife IMO. :)

Re: Which Masamoto Gyuto

Tue Apr 16, 2013 8:10 pm

JOHN DOE <> I'd listen to these guys... if I were you.

Re: Which Masamoto Gyuto

Thu Apr 18, 2013 9:43 am

The HC has the best edge qualities. Its alloy is much better and slightly less reactive than the CT's. Neither alloy is very reactive as those things go. A good example of a highly reactive carbon gyuto -- and a very good knife in its own right -- is the Misono Sweden.

Not all carbon steels are equal. Some are excellent, some very good, some good, and some "meh." Reactivity aside, when it comes to other properties, like strength/toughness, heat-treatment, edge taking, edge holding, etc., the HC's alloy is very good, and the Misono Sweden is too. The CT is okay. Unless you're on a serious budget AND want to experience the joys of carbon for yourself, a meh alloy to avoid is SK (Fujiwara FKH, e.g.)

Carbon steels don't require much more care than stainless steels, but carbon steels require that care RIGHT NOW!. If you're not the type of person who's willing to rinse and wipe a knife several times during prep, and is sufficiently organized to rinse and wipe the knife EVERY TIME before leaving the kitchen, carbon's neediness will drive you nuts.

The Masamoto VG is a very, very nice, mass-produced, stainless, western-handled gyuto. It easily has the best profile in that highly-populated and very popular group of knives. The VG's edge taking and edge holding properties are nowhere near the HC's.

If you buy any Masamoto yo-gyuto (western-handled chef's knife) make sure you have the retailer check the handle for fit and cracks before shipping. This used to be a huge issue with Masamoto yo knives, is something they took care of, and problems hardly ever happen anymore... but it never hurts to check.

The Ultimatum is an altogether different kettle of fish. Even though it shares the Sabatier profile, don't make the mistake of thinking of it as a less expensive version of the Masamoto KS. Where the Masamoto KS is a welter, the Ultimatum in AEB-L, 52100 and Bohler 390 is a light-heavy; and in (expensive but wonderful!) HD is a middle.

The more I use my Ultimatum, the more I like it. A really great knife, but not for everyone -- at least not as their go-to gyuto.

Without quite being a "mighty gyuto" the Ultimatum is stout enough to do anything an ordinary European chef's knife would do -- split the occasional chicken, portion spare ribs, etc. While I still occasionally reach for my carbon Sabatier, it's out of nostalgia. As a practical matter, when I want a robust chef's, it's my 52100 Ultimatum (better edge retention). However, most of the time I don't need something quite so robust and most of those times go with something much lighter.

If you want an Ultimatum, the 52100, 390 and HD versions are each better -- in their own ways -- than AEB-L.


Re: Which Masamoto Gyuto

Thu Apr 18, 2013 10:47 am

Is the HC as thin of a knife grind wise as the VG is?? I got to play with a VG and it's crazy thin, but I really prefer carbon.

Re: Which Masamoto Gyuto

Thu Apr 18, 2013 7:49 pm

Masamoto grinds aren't perfectly consistent, so it's possible that a given exemplar of an HC might be thicker or thinner than a given examplar of a VG. As someone who's used (and sharpened) a lot of samples of each type but never measured them, my impression is that the HC might be slightly thinner... But so what?

The HC takes a finer edge, holds a polish longer, and holds a steeper angle, so it feels sharper than the VG. And that's where the rubber meets the road.

In its class, of medium weight, mass-produced, carbon yo-gyuto the HC is as close to a perfect knife as you'll find. If you've decided on a Masamoto yo-gyuto, it's the way to go.


Re: Which Masamoto Gyuto

Thu Apr 18, 2013 9:02 pm

Thanks BDL! I LOVE carbon steels, but wasn't sure of how thick the carbon Masamoto's were. I am looking for a laser type gyuto to try as most of mine are on the thicker side and I want something to compare it to. I totally hear you on the Carbon edge!!!
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