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View Full Version : Some advice from the experienced "flippers" among you?



Chefdog
02-13-2013, 02:48 PM
This is the position I'm in now and I'm a little conflicted as to the best way to proceed. I'm going to finally give a fair attempt at using a wa-handled knife because it just seems that all the best blades out there are wa knives. Ive used yo-handled knives since I started cooking professionally 15 years ago, and therefore a wa handle just feels really strange, but i want to give myself a month with one and see what happens. I have, sitting on my desk still in the box, a beautiful Yoshikane gyuto just waiting to make its first cut.
So, here's the question for those of you who've turned over a lot of knives in your search for "the one." Should I go ahead and use the Yoshi for a while to determine whether or not I want to go with a wa-handled gyuto? Or sell it now while its still new, buy something "better" (Gengetsu, Heiji etc), and avoid having to sell it later and then buy another one?

I realize that the Yoshi is quite a good knife, but after reading all the comments on how incredibly well some of these other knives cut, I can't help but want to try one. I just don't know if I should test the waters with the Yoshi, or dive in the deep end with a Heiji or Gengetsu???

All Opinions, experiences and advice appreciated. :dontknow:

Pensacola Tiger
02-13-2013, 03:16 PM
Ah, avoiding dilemmas like this are what passarounds are for.

Which Yoshikane? One of Maxim's "deals of the day" or something else?

WiscoNole
02-13-2013, 03:16 PM
Are we supposed to pretend that you're going to be satisfied with only one wa-gyuto? ;) :knife:

mainaman
02-13-2013, 03:18 PM
I realize that the Yoshi is quite a good knife, but after reading all the comments on how incredibly well some of these other knives cut, I can't help but want to try one. I just don't know if I should test the waters with the Yoshi, or dive in the deep end with a Heiji or Gengetsu???

All Opinions, experiences and advice appreciated. :dontknow:the definition of cutting incredibly well is very broad and depends on the user, the knife , the edge on the knife. My advise is to try knives, reading reviews gives insight but does not equal in hand experience.

EdipisReks
02-13-2013, 03:23 PM
use the Yoshikane. a knife in the hand is worth two in the mail.

Chefdog
02-13-2013, 03:35 PM
Ah, avoiding dilemmas like this are what passarounds are for.

Which Yoshikane? One of Maxim's "deals of the day" or something else?
240 SKD Kasumi from maksim.


Are we supposed to pretend that you're going to be satisfied with only one wa-gyuto? ;) :knife:
For now...


use the Yoshikane. a knife in the hand is worth two in the mail.
What about after the FedEx man comes and goes?

Deckhand
02-13-2013, 04:03 PM
This may or may not be of any use to you. I had some western handled misono ux10's. They have all been sold.I was extremely fortunate to test a few different lengths of wa handled knives from Pensacola Tiger for the feel of different lengths. One was a Sakai wa gyuto in 270mm. It just felt right and still does. It felt like a natural extension of me. It was like the sky parted. He allowed me to buy it, and I will never ever sell it. Love how it feels. I went to KKF get together and some of the knives I got to pick up felt incredible. For me it is about feel. Depending on where you live maybe there is a place you can get some different ones in hand. If when you pick it up it feels great use it. If you don't like how it feels. Maybe look for something else. I now this all sounds ethereal, but I hope it helps.

Chefdog
02-13-2013, 04:49 PM
This may or may not be of any use to you. I had some western handled misono ux10's. They have all been sold.I was extremely fortunate to test a few different lengths of wa handled knives from Pensacola Tiger for the feel of different lengths. One was a Sakai wa gyuto in 270mm. It just felt right and still does. It felt like a natural extension of me. It was like the sky parted. He allowed me to buy it, and I will never ever sell it. Love how it feels. I went to KKF get together and some of the knives I got to pick up felt incredible. For me it is about feel. Depending on where you live maybe there is a place you can get some different ones in hand. If when you pick it up it feels great use it. If you don't like how it feels. Maybe look for something else. I now this all sounds ethereal, but I hope it helps.

It's more about getting used to wa vs yo than one particular knife vs another. I'm so used to pinching right up against that concave section of bolster on a yo-handled knife and having the heel directly below that, that when I grab a wa-handled knife it feels really awkward. The lack of taper at the ferrule and the length of the machi put everything just far enough out of my comfort zone that I feel like a baby holding a knife for the first time. :slaphead:

labor of love
02-13-2013, 04:54 PM
chefdog, i sent you a pm, in regards to what you can do with that gyuto if it doesnt work out for you:wink:

Timthebeaver
02-13-2013, 05:18 PM
Why do you think that a Gengetsu, or Heiji for that matter - will be "better" than your yoshikane?

The hekler
02-13-2013, 05:42 PM
Start using it immediately and get on a couple wait lists for some of the custom makers here this way buy the time you realize you love and and really want some higher quality pieces you won't have to wait as long to get them.

Chefdog
02-13-2013, 06:10 PM
Why do you think that a Gengetsu, or Heiji for that matter - will be "better" than your yoshikane?
Solely based on what has been said by others who've had their hands on a much broader sampling of knives than I have.

Timthebeaver
02-13-2013, 06:19 PM
Having owned a few gyutos I rate the Zensho-Yoshikane SKD very highly. Having a knife and not using it, and comparing it to other knives you have not used seems bonkers to me (no disrespect intended).

mainaman
02-13-2013, 06:20 PM
Solely based on what has been said by others who've had their hands on a much broader sampling of knives than I have.
that is what I meant when I said it ain't the same as you trying them, their experiences are their experiences. Some like Heiji but no Gengetsu, some like Gengetsu bt no Heiji, then there are alot that like Sigefusa, many like Yoshikane, then there is Masamoto, Takeda etc. Just have to go trough a bunch to get the idea. It ain't cheap but lightly used knives resell for @ a great value.
As far as your yo vs wa handle, I too came from yo handle to wa, and I find wa handles a lot more comfortable, they allow more freedom in the grip IMO.

EdipisReks
02-13-2013, 06:23 PM
i've owned a Kitaeji Yoshikane in V2, and i own a Gengetsu and two Heijis. the Gengetsu and the Heijis are better cutters, for me, but the Yoshikane was a really nice knife, and was made as well as the Heijis (the Gengetsu doesn't have quite the attention to detail that the Yoshi and the Heijis have, but is otherwise excellent). i personally just wish it had been fatter or thinner, it was in the same middle ground as the Hontanren Mizunos. a lot of people like that middle ground, and the Yoshikane definitely held its edge about as well as any non-honyaki carbon i've used, and wasn't quite as chip prone as my Heijis. it also wasn't as thin behind the edge as my Heijis, but it was nicely thin behind the edge.

Timthebeaver
02-13-2013, 06:27 PM
that is what I meant when I said it ain't the same as you trying them, their experiences are their experiences. Some like Heiji but no Gengetsu, some like Gengetsu bt no Heiji, then there are alot that like Sigefusa, many like Yoshikane, then there is Masamoto, Takeda etc. Just have to go trough a bunch to get the idea. It ain't cheap but lightly used knives resell for @ a great value.
As far as your yo vs wa handle, I too came from yo handle to wa, and I find wa handles a lot more comfortable, they allow more freedom in the grip IMO.


+1

What matters is that you are comfortable with the knife. I like my Sugimoto gyuto a lot. That probably puts me in the minority here.

Chefdog
02-13-2013, 06:45 PM
Thanks for all the replies guys. I think what I was attempting, evidently unsuccessfully, to get at was not Yoshikane vs Heiji/Gengetsu/etc, but the cost/benefit of experimenting with an affordable knife and later upgrading, or just buying the high end knife right off the bat.

labor of love
02-13-2013, 07:22 PM
you could just keep the yoshikane and use it for the things its good at, while purchasing another gyuto that maybe better suited for other things. diversify!

don
02-13-2013, 07:31 PM
Thanks for all the replies guys. I think what I was attempting, evidently unsuccessfully, to get at was not Yoshikane vs Heiji/Gengetsu/etc, but the cost/benefit of experimenting with an affordable knife and later upgrading, or just buying the high end knife right off the bat.

Cost/benefit of experimenting depends on you. Do you like to experiment? Are your tastes very particular? Do you know what you already want?

I like using different knives, and there is definitely a cost to it. If you are active on BST, it's much less expensive (but Maksim's Deal of the Day is a bargain). And if you get on a pass around, it's even less expensive.

Based on your questions, looks like The hekler and labor of love's recommendation is good. Use the Yoshikane while on the wait list for your ultimate knife. Though if you're me, you'd continue to acquire along the way :P

EdipisReks
02-13-2013, 08:11 PM
Thanks for all the replies guys. I think what I was attempting, evidently unsuccessfully, to get at was not Yoshikane vs Heiji/Gengetsu/etc, but the cost/benefit of experimenting with an affordable knife and later upgrading, or just buying the high end knife right off the bat.

i very much wish i had waited on buying a Shig, as i was not ready to really take care of it, even though i was pretty decent at sharpening by that point. not that i'm saying this is your case, but wa knives, especially forged handmade wa knives, tend to be rather different from typical yo knives in construction and what they need to stay in tip-top form.

mhlee
02-13-2013, 08:29 PM
Thanks for all the replies guys. I think what I was attempting, evidently unsuccessfully, to get at was not Yoshikane vs Heiji/Gengetsu/etc, but the cost/benefit of experimenting with an affordable knife and later upgrading, or just buying the high end knife right off the bat.

Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that the higher end knife will necessarily be a better knife for you. If you can specify what in a knife you're looking for - handle aside - members here could probably direct you toward a knife that may be a better fit than the Yoshikane.

If you happen to have a favorite, "I will never sell/give away knife" currently and are looking for a similar wa-handled knife, please tell us. Because like western handled knives, wa-handled knives can vary so much as far as profile, geometry, thinness behind the edge, thickness at the spine, stiffness, edge retention, taper, etc. Again, if you have an idea of characteristics that you're looking for, members here could tell you whether the Yoshikane is a good fit for what you like, or if another knife is a better fit.

Personally speaking, I've tried several knives in the $200 to $400 range and the more expensive knives have not necessarily been better fits for me than less expensive knives.

Chefdog
02-13-2013, 08:31 PM
Again, thanks for all the advice guys. It looks like you've steered me towards getting acquainted with the Yoshi. I'm gonna bring it in to work with me tomorrow and give it a shot. I'm hoping that a few days with it and Ill forget all about the handle.
Thanks for the guidance.

EdipisReks
02-13-2013, 08:43 PM
wa is so much better than yo, i don't think you'll have much of an issue, after you get acquainted.

Deckhand
02-13-2013, 09:13 PM
It's more about getting used to wa vs yo than one particular knife vs another. I'm so used to pinching right up against that concave section of bolster on a yo-handled knife and having the heel directly below that, that when I grab a wa-handled knife it feels really awkward. The lack of taper at the ferrule and the length of the machi put everything just far enough out of my comfort zone that I feel like a baby holding a knife for the first time. :slaphead:

Since,it is you literally just you trying to get used to a wa handle. You might as well use it. There will always be time for other knives, and reselling in the marketplace you can usually get most of your money back. It is worth the experience.

turbochef422
02-13-2013, 10:51 PM
Use it because you can always re sell it. I thought I would like the blade height of a takeda because that's what I was used to and found out I love cutting with a masamoto which is the complete opposite of what I expected. Definitely buy and sell (or keep) a few before you make up your mind. You never know what's gonna feel "right"

brainsausage
02-13-2013, 11:19 PM
Use it because you can always re sell it. I thought I would like the blade height of a takeda because that's what I was used to and found out I love cutting with a masamoto which is the complete opposite of what I expected. Definitely buy and sell (or keep) a few before you make up your mind. You never know what's gonna feel "right"

+1

I craved a Takeda for years, and once I actually used one I realized it wasn't to my tastes at all. Just didn't feel right. I never would have thought I'd enjoy my Kato as much as I do, but as stated above it just takes handling lots of knives to figure out what truly feels right in your hand. Another reason I love the passarounds...

Chefdog
02-14-2013, 01:11 AM
FWIW:
Here's the gyutos that have come and gone in the last year and a half (all 240's):
TKC- too curvy, high tip, didn't like the profile
Addict 2- too light, too tall, a pain on the stones- 1st wa, lasted a month of sporadic use
Konosuke HD- gave an appreciation of what a thin knife can do, but ultimately felt a little too delicate for my taste, 2nd attempt at a wa handle,
Yoshihiro- This was another attempt at a wa handle, but right out of the box it just wasn't for me, so I sold it to a friend, who really likes it. I never really gave this one a shot.

What I kept (for now):
Hattori FH- this is actually in the BST now. I like this knife, it's thin enough, but relatively stiff and doesn't need babying, takes a nice edge (although I might be migrating away from stainless), has a profile that I like, but the very flat grind can be annoying with its poor food release. It's a very good knife, but I don't like to hang onto stuff that won't be used. Although if it doesn't sell, I'll probably just put it in the block at home.
Suien VC- Got this from Jon a few weeks ago and am very happy with it. I like how easy the carbon is to grind despite being fairly hard. It's allowed me to start experimenting with my sharpening a little more since its so easy to move the steel around. I've been slowly thinning and convexing the front, and I really like to way it releases potatoes, onion, etc. It's stiff, pretty flat on the edge, unreactive, and again, thin enough to cut well, but feels substantial in the hand.
Yoshikane- TBD

So, that's where I stand. I think writing it all down actually helped me identify what I will look for when I start using the Yoshi, so thanks to whoever suggested it.