View Full Version : Advantages of wa vs western

04-10-2013, 04:09 PM
I can only imagine that this has been discussed at length, but in looking for a new gyuto I am contemplating both. So far, in feeling these knives the western handles feel much better, but that is based on 25 years of history, so I take it with a grain of salt. I guess my question is not which you like more, which is something I am also happy to know, but what the two styles offer that is different and perhaps better as far as performance.


El Pescador
04-10-2013, 04:11 PM
Really only advantage with wa vs. western is you can change the handle on a wa to suit you moods.

04-10-2013, 04:17 PM
Wa handled-knives tend to be lighter. The flip side is that they also tend to be more front-heavy, which then becomes a matter of preference.

04-10-2013, 05:07 PM
+1 to being lighter.

Also, consider that wa handles tend to be longer. In my experience, well thought out wa handled knives are more balanced because the weight of the blade is offset by the length of the handle, rather than having more weight in the handle itself.

And, because wa handles, in particular, octagonal handles, are evenly shaped, which makes, in my opinion, using different grips easier because you're not dealing with or forced into a certain grip based on the handle shape.

El Pescador
04-10-2013, 05:28 PM
Then there is the follow up question about Wa handles: What are the advantages/disadvantages of the various shapes such as oval, octagon, semi octagon, D-shaped and tapered/non-tapered ferrules?

04-10-2013, 06:01 PM
I wouldn't really say each has an advantage or disadvantage really, it's just a case of what you prefer. I like Western better myself

04-10-2013, 06:53 PM
i personally can not go back to western handles.

04-10-2013, 07:07 PM
I honestly oscillate btwn the two. I would have sworn I was wa to the death until one day last year I used a ux10 gyuto for a day and just thought 'gee that's nice...' Now my next gyuto will be western. That said, single bevel knives have to be wa, or its just weird.

04-10-2013, 07:09 PM
after I get through the first pound of product, I don't notice any difference between the two (assuming the same balance point)...it's 100% aesthetics for me...which means Wa-....for me :)

labor of love
04-10-2013, 10:56 PM
I wish there were more bolster free westerns out there. I prefer Wa handle gyutos mainly because of the distribution of weight feels nicer. The added weight from bolsters just seem to slow me down.

04-10-2013, 11:29 PM
I think most of the decent gyuto-inspired westerns are bolsterless, yeah?

in any case, I forgot makers other than henckels/wustoff put full bolsters on...ick.

labor of love
04-10-2013, 11:52 PM
i wasnt referring to full bolsters but rather the bolsters you see on western handle gyutos such as gesshin ginga and konosuke hd. the kono westerns are 50 grams heavier and the ginga westerns are 70 grams heavier than the Wa versions in the 270mm gyuto size(my favorite gyuto length). im sure some of the weight can be attributed to heavier wood in western handles but most of it is because of the bolster.

04-11-2013, 12:04 AM
ah...just the weight distribution...that's what I get for multi-tasking. :slaphead:

04-11-2013, 12:12 AM
Westerns also tend to be heavier if they have a full tang...give me a rat tail any day as I prefer a bit blade heavy.


04-11-2013, 12:36 AM
i personally can not go back to western handles.