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View Full Version : New Gyuto Advice Please.



subtle70
04-30-2013, 03:55 PM
Hi all, newbie here probably asking the same old question. I'm an ex pro chef looking to replace a 240mm gyuto i've had for over 20 years. The brand has long since rubbed off the knife and i genuinely can't remember what make it was. The knife i buy will be a working knife, being used every day. I use this knife for 90% of my knife work.
I'm not worried about it being made of damascus steel or being sharp enough to slice atoms, just a well made knife which sharpens nicely and can retain an edge for more than 5 mins!
It needs a reasonable size handle (western) as i have large hands and i'm probably looking for stainless steel though open to suggestions.
At the moment i'm considering -

Hiromoto Tenmi-Jyuraku Gingami No.3 Series
Kanetsugu Saiun Damascus Series (Has a nice large looking handle but wondering how it feels in hand)

Any opinions on these or better suggestions?
Thanks in advance for any help.

Justin0505
04-30-2013, 04:34 PM
http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php/10987-Possible-Lamson-Collaboration-Line-of-Knives

Not, stainless, but 01 is petty fantastic and not annoyingly reactive... and the handle should be very good.

echerub
05-01-2013, 09:34 AM
The Hiromoto Gingami line has always garnered good feedback from folks, though I admit I have not used it myself.

The Suisin HD line is worth considering, though that's not western-handled.

The Sakai Yusuke stainless knives with harder heat treatment seems to be getting good attention lately too.

Sorry, not much firsthand experience with a lot of stainless lines so I have to leave it to the others to give you more detailed suggestions :)

Dusty
05-01-2013, 09:37 AM
I haven't used one, but if I was to buy a knife tomorrow with the demands that you mention, I would buy a gesshin Kagero from Japanese knife imports.

rdpx
05-01-2013, 09:43 AM
Maybe you could post a photo of your 20 yr old gyuto?

Chefdog
05-01-2013, 09:54 AM
Masamoto VG?
CarboNext?

El Pescador
05-01-2013, 10:02 AM
Masamoto VG?
CarboNext?

+1 on the Masamoto. The handle is large for a Japanese knife. Another knife to consider would be the Hattori KF sold by Japanese Chef Knives. Great handle, and a good stainless steel.

Chefdog
05-01-2013, 10:05 AM
Masahiro tend to have larger handles IME.
Not sure about the handle of the CarboNext, but thought it deserves a mention for the value.

dannynyc
05-01-2013, 11:02 AM
The Hiromoto Gingami line has always garnered good feedback from folks, though I admit I have not used it myself.

The Suisin HD line is worth considering, though that's not western-handled.

The Sakai Yusuke stainless knives with harder heat treatment seems to be getting good attention lately too.

Sorry, not much firsthand experience with a lot of stainless lines so I have to leave it to the others to give you more detailed suggestions :)

Suisin HD? Did you mean Konosuke?

echerub
05-01-2013, 11:34 AM
Oops. Yes, Kono :)

jayhay
05-01-2013, 12:48 PM
If you can do just over $200, I'd recommend a Gesshin Kagero from Japanese Knife Imports. It's a lot of knife for the money. Steel gets incredibly sharp and edge retention is amazing. Cuts an onion like butter. Really natural profile too. I just bought one for myself after using a coworkers. It made prep fun for he first time in a LONG time. I'm really excited to get mine. Spine and choil are nicely rounded too. The only thing to nit pick would be the F&F on the handle, could be better. But in all, for around $200, if westerns are cool, you can't do better.

Good luck with the new buy!

dannynyc
05-01-2013, 06:24 PM
Figured.

mhlee
05-01-2013, 06:46 PM
Masahiro tend to have larger handles IME.
Not sure about the handle of the CarboNext, but thought it deserves a mention for the value.

I have a 240 CarboNext. The handle feels about the same, or maybe a touch larger, than the 240 Suisin Western Inox that I tried.

It's definitely got a larger handle than the 210 Gesshin Kagero, although I really liked the balance and feel of the Kagero. I also prefer the balance and feel of the 240 Suisin Western Inox. The CarboNext is definitely a blade heavy knife.

rdpx
05-01-2013, 08:30 PM
Have you considered the Hiromoto AS? [Tenmi Jyuraku Aogami Super Series ]

The CarboNext is a great knife, but since I bought one I do always wonder what the AS would have been like, and they are an endangered species as well by all accounts as the maker is getting close to retirement.

Robert

Benuser
05-01-2013, 08:42 PM
Have you considered the Hiromoto AS? [Tenmi Jyuraku Aogami Super Series ]

The CarboNext is a great knife, but since I bought one I do always wonder what the AS would have been like, and they are an endangered species as well by all accounts as the maker is getting close to retirement.

Robert
Good idea. As the OP has maintained his gyuto for twenty years, the Hiromoto won't be a problem, really.

subtle70
05-02-2013, 11:54 AM
Maybe you could post a photo of your 20 yr old gyuto?

No problem.
http://i260.photobucket.com/albums/ii36/subtle70/2013-05-02152812.jpg (http://s260.photobucket.com/user/subtle70/media/2013-05-02152812.jpg.html)
I'm from the UK but back in 90/91 i was working in the US and my whole knife roll was stolen from the locker room of the hotel i was working in and this was one of the knives i bought to replace them. I don't remember if it was American or a European brand but it lasted pretty well. It's got to a point now though where it just won't take any sort of edge and while i'm sure something could be done to revive it i decided i just fancy something new.

subtle70
05-02-2013, 12:04 PM
Thanks for all the replys so far, i have gone off the Hiromoto since i saw a review where someone specifically mentioned that they found the handle a little small for their hand. I find myself being drawn towards the Kanetsugu Saiun, the more i see it the more i like the look of the handle and frankly i don't think i'd go far wrong if i bought any of the knives mentioned here. I'm sure they are all excellent compared to the average high street knives and i don't think i'd have any trouble passing it on if it didn't suit me for any reason.

rdpx
05-02-2013, 12:31 PM
No problem.
http://i260.photobucket.com/albums/ii36/subtle70/2013-05-02152812.jpg (http://s260.photobucket.com/user/subtle70/media/2013-05-02152812.jpg.html)
I'm from the UK but back in 90/91 i was working in the US and my whole knife roll was stolen from the locker room of the hotel i was working in and this was one of the knives i bought to replace them. I don't remember if it was American or a European brand but it lasted pretty well. It's got to a point now though where it just won't take any sort of edge and while i'm sure something could be done to revive it i decided i just fancy something new.

Hi subtle -

Nice photo, thanks!

I think most people here will now want to know how you have been sharpening your knife. If you take that one to some waterstones you should be able to put a really good edge back onto it, but I totally get the "just fancy something new" thing. The advice that is going to come will be that if you are going to get a japanese knife (which I strongly advise you do as they are mostly rather amazing) you will need to get some waterstones and learn how to use them. Its not that difficult, and they don't need to be that expensive but finding decent priced ones in UK is possible but not that easy - where in UK are you? Once you decide on a knife and decide how much you can spend on stones you can practise on your old knife before you play with the new one. You may need a low grit stone to start off the old knife, but if money is an object you could get a combination 1000/4000 stone or similar which will be fine for you to learn on with your new knife (at least in my limited experience this is so).

Being in UK means that unless you are happy to pay import duties (I think they are around 40%?) you are a little limited in where you get the knife from. Japanese Chefs Knife seems to get knives to us here with no issues, and there is also the Korin France site, which is not too bad pricewise. It looks like you have already found JCK.

http://japanesechefsknife.com/

http://www.korin-france.fr/

A site member sells very very good japanese knives from Denmark, but the budget rises there!

http://www.japanesenaturalstones.com/

I have not used or seen or heard anything about the Kanetsugu Damascus you mention, but to my very limited knowledge I would have thought you could get a much better knife for your $167. Others may correct me but you might find it easier to sell on a non-damascus knife. [Really good damascus tends to be very expensive]

[[---EDIT---I just noticed they only have that gyuto in 200mm---]]

What is your top budget?

I ended up with a CarboNext that I am very pleased with. The handle is not greatly different from the Sabatier I had before. At first it seemed a little small but now it feels perfect and the old Sab (looks like yours might be a sabatier?) handle now feels clumsy. The semi-stainless is fine for me.

If you want Stainless did you look at the MISONO knives on JCK?

~ Robert

Benuser
05-02-2013, 01:01 PM
I tend to agree with Robert about the old one's origin: it's a traditional French knife. As long as the finger guard is not reduced you just can't sharpen it. I guess it will further need some serious thinning.
Both operations can best be performed with a belt sander. Don't try this on stones.

rdpx
05-02-2013, 01:33 PM
Both operations can best be performed with a belt sander. Don't try this on stones.

It might need a lot of work to make it as good as it can be, but could he not just use it as is to practise sharpening with stones?

Benuser
05-02-2013, 02:04 PM
I don't think so. Levelling the finger guard with a relief bevel would damage the stone, making grooves.
If it was a carbon blade, coarse sandpaper would be an realistic option. The stainless is very abrasion resistant. It would take weeks rather than hours. You can't do a lot at once: a moment of inadvertance may seriously damage the blade.

DSChief
05-02-2013, 02:17 PM
you can knock down the bolster with a dremel using 1/2 in sanding bands, taking an inch or so down to be flush with the blade. then you can lay
the whole length of the knife flat on the stone to thin . I'm in the process of doing this to a 12" 4 star Sab & a 10" Dexter Russell.
a few more sessions on the stones to set a good edge then some 1000 & 1500 grit Wet/Dry sanding to pretty them up again.


https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-mIvOAcPe6k4/UX2tFyx6_1I/AAAAAAAABbQ/1EDNce2u_ks/s912/DSC_0029.JPG

rdpx
05-02-2013, 02:35 PM
I don't think so. Levelling the finger guard with a relief bevel would damage the stone, making grooves.
If it was a carbon blade, coarse sandpaper would be an realistic option. The stainless is very abrasion resistant. It would take weeks rather than hours. You can't do a lot at once: a moment of inadvertance may seriously damage the blade.

I had no problems sharpening my old Sabatier with an identical bolster, though I left about 1cm from the heel untouched.

mhlee
05-02-2013, 02:49 PM
No problem.
http://i260.photobucket.com/albums/ii36/subtle70/2013-05-02152812.jpg (http://s260.photobucket.com/user/subtle70/media/2013-05-02152812.jpg.html)
I'm from the UK but back in 90/91 i was working in the US and my whole knife roll was stolen from the locker room of the hotel i was working in and this was one of the knives i bought to replace them. I don't remember if it was American or a European brand but it lasted pretty well. It's got to a point now though where it just won't take any sort of edge and while i'm sure something could be done to revive it i decided i just fancy something new.

When you say "it won't take any sort of edge", are you talking about using sharpening stones or a steel?

If that's the knife in its current state, it looks like the knife has never seen stones. The grinding on the finger guard appears to be original - it looks like it's got the original taper with no rough grind marks. The edge also goes right to the bottom of the finger guard. If this knife had been sharpened previously without grinding down the finger guard, the edge would rise up from the bottom of the finger guard. That's not the case here.

Also, if that knife had been sharpened previously, the finger guard would have had to been ground down somewhere, and the shape would not be the way it is now. A good sharpener would have ground down the finger guard at an angle so it's tapered from very thin at the edge so you could do multiple sharpenings without having to regrind the finger guard. But that finger guard looks like it hasn't been touched. However, the finger guard will likely have to be ground down if this knife is sharpened because the fatigued steel may literally just chip off the edge if you sharpen it on stones in my experience.

The bevel looks ok. The profile hasn't been messed with and looks close to original. So, it likely needs only a little thinning as well because it simply hasn't been sharpened much, if at all.

And, no, I wouldn't try grinding down a finger guard on regular stones. A diamond plate, yes; but stones, you'll likely (1) groove the crap out of a coarse stone if you don't use the entire surface, and (2) it'll take forever. There's a lot of steel there. I've partially ground down a finger guard on an Atoma 140. Even then, it still takes a long time.

If you don't want to sharpen it yourself on stones, take it to someone who will and is reputable. That knife looks fine to me. It just needs a spa treatment.

mhlee
05-02-2013, 02:50 PM
you can knock down the bolster with a dremel using 1/2 in sanding bands, taking an inch or so down to be flush with the blade. then you can lay
the whole length of the knife flat on the stone to thin . I'm in the process of doing this to a 12" 4 star Sab & a 10" Dexter Russell.
a few more sessions on the stones to set a good edge then some 1000 & 1500 grit Wet/Dry sanding to pretty them up again.


https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-mIvOAcPe6k4/UX2tFyx6_1I/AAAAAAAABbQ/1EDNce2u_ks/s912/DSC_0029.JPG

Compare these pictures to the picture the OP or Thread Starter posted. The finger guards on these knives show obvious grinding. The OP/Thread Starter's doesn't if the picture he provided is of the knife in its current state.

rdpx
05-02-2013, 03:25 PM
Is everyone really trying to say that it is not possible to sharpen a knife with a finger guard to a usable standard without grinding off the finger guard? I might be misinterpreting, but that seems to be the general tone I am getting here.

I just don't believe this at all. You can't go RIGHT DOWN to the heel, which is admittedly not ideal, especially when held to the standards of many on here, but you can certainly sharpen the rest of the knife with no problems at all.

OP is going to be struck dumb by a japanese edge after 20 years of sharpening with a steel, if that is what has been happening! Kitchen Joy awaits you, subtle70!!!

:knife:

chinacats
05-02-2013, 04:38 PM
Is everyone really trying to say that it is not possible to sharpen a knife with a finger guard to a usable standard without grinding off the finger guard? I might be misinterpreting, but that seems to be the general tone I am getting here.

I just don't believe this at all. You can't go RIGHT DOWN to the heel, which is admittedly not ideal, especially when held to the standards of many on here, but you can certainly sharpen the rest of the knife with no problems at all.

OP is going to be struck dumb by a japanese edge after 20 years of sharpening with a steel, if that is what has been happening! Kitchen Joy awaits you, subtle70!!!

:knife:

The problem becomes that the knife no longer can be used in the flat section because it won't be able to make flush contact with the board and you get accordion cuts. The edge will have a frown when viewed from the side profile.

To the OP, beautiful knife. You should buy a waterstone with your new purchase as whatever you buy will likely not respond so well to a steel hone which I suspect is what you've been using.

Cheers!

rdpx
05-02-2013, 04:49 PM
The problem becomes that the knife no longer can be used in the flat section because it won't be able to make flush contact with the board and you get accordion cuts. The edge will have a frown when viewed from the side profile.

I can see how that might become a problem, but it has not happened yet with my Sabatier as it has a curve up to the heel like in the OPs photo. Looks to me like that could be sharpened a good few times before the finger guard starts becoming an issue.

mhlee
05-02-2013, 06:13 PM
The problem becomes that the knife no longer can be used in the flat section because it won't be able to make flush contact with the board and you get accordion cuts. The edge will have a frown when viewed from the side profile.

To the OP, beautiful knife. You should buy a waterstone with your new purchase as whatever you buy will likely not respond so well to a steel hone which I suspect is what you've been using.

Cheers!

+1

This is exactly what happens. The edge becomes concave right before the finger guard.

Sharpen your Sab a few times, then give the finger guard a go on your stones, and then tell us how it goes. Like I said, I've personally tried grinding finger guards (on stainless Henckels and a carbon Sabatier) on an Atoma which is 140 and diamond. It can be done, but it's no fun, takes at least 30 minutes (tapering the sides of the finger guards requires the most amount of work) and will significantly shorten the life of the Atoma. And, I disagree with Benuser on this. Neither carbon nor stainless finger guards should be ground down on a stone. It's way too time consuming to do this right on a stone. (If you want to half-ass it and just grind the bottom of the finger guard, then it won't take much time.)

And, depending on how fatigued the steel is, you may only get one sharpening out of it before you have to grind the finger guard. I sharpened about a dozen Henckels that hadn't been sharpened in probably a decade. The finger guard had to be ground down twice because the edge just crumbled on a King 1200 stone. I lost at least 1 mm along the edge. On a new knife, if you lose 2 mm, it's time to grind the finger guard.

rdpx
05-02-2013, 07:49 PM
And, I disagree with Benuser on this. Neither carbon nor stainless finger guards should be ground down on a stone.

I think you meant that you agree with Benuser on that?

Finger guard or not, it seems like that knife is perhaps an ideal one to practise using stones with, no? [I am talking about learning the technique/motion here]

~ Robert

mhlee
05-02-2013, 08:08 PM
I think you meant that you agree with Benuser on that?

Finger guard or not, it seems like that knife is perhaps an ideal one to practise using stones with, no? [I am talking about learning the technique/motion here]

Not exactly. He said sandpaper is an option as well. In my experience, this is either a grinder or grinding stone job unless you're willing to take a lot of time to do this. Like I explained before, one needs to properly taper the finger guard. DS Chief's pictures show how the finger guard has to be tapered.

And, no. As I clearly said above, I think he may only get one sharpening out of this knife, depending on how fatigued the steel is. And then he'll have to grind down the finger guard.

If the finger guard is not properly ground down, you cannot sharpen the heel (or even reach the heel), and if you try to sharpen the heel with an unground finger guard, you can chip your stone (not good), not reach the last inch of the knife (not good), or you'll have to change the angle at the heel to avoid the finger guard (not good). What you don't seem to understand is that the finger guard has to be at the bevel of the edge or curved up so it does not interfere with sharpening the edge at the heel. If the finger guard is above the bevel, i.e. curved up, it will not interfere with sharpening the heel. You can take full strokes back and forth through the heel.

If it is right at the heel, it has to be tapered to be the same angle of the bevel or a lower angle so you can sharpen the edge so the finger guard does not clip the stone. However, if the finger guard is tapered at a steeper angle, you cannot sharpen the heel without hitting the stone. You will clip the stone with the finger guard and then you'll get the concave edge, uneven bevel, etc.

Sharpen your Sab a few times to the point you start hitting the finger guard on your stone, you'll see exactly what I mean. Ultimately, there is no way getting around eventually having to grind down the finger guard on these types of knives. That's why, IMO, these are not ideal knives to practice sharpening on.

The best knives to sharpen on are cheap stainless or carbon knives without finger guards, that have relatively flat profiles and wide bevels. I would never recommend a knife with a finger guard as a practice knife. You'll always need to eventually grind the finger guard down.

rdpx
05-02-2013, 08:51 PM
I am not sure that you understand what I was suggesting.

As I think I said already, when I got my japanese knife I practised to get the technique a bit on my knackered old sabatier. I found it very useful as I would have been worried to go right at my shiny new knife with stones. After spending a bit of time on the Sabatier I felt confident that I was at least not going to ruin the new CarboNext.

Because it worked for me personally, I would recommend this approach. TBH I would have been happy practising the technique on a butter knife.

~ Robert

mhlee
05-02-2013, 09:30 PM
Finger guard or not, it seems like that knife is perhaps an ideal one to practise using stones with, no? [I am talking about learning the technique/motion here]

~ Robert

Then next time, maybe you should choose your words more carefully because this is not an "ideal one" to practice with. You can practice sharpening with any damn, friggin' knife. But this knife with a finger guard is not "ideal."

rdpx
05-02-2013, 09:38 PM
Then next time, maybe you should rephrase what you wrote because this is not an "ideal one" to practice with. You can practice sharpening with any damn, friggin' knife. But this knife with a finger guard is not "ideal."

Nice language buddy!

He has a knife he is tired of. Everyone seems to say it needs some serious work. Therefore it is IDEAL to practise with, as if he ruins it it needed serious work anyway. I think that is ideal because that is exactly what I did and it worked like a charm. You don't agree. There is no drama here, Michael.

Mrmnms
05-02-2013, 09:43 PM
Isn't this supposed to be a kind and gentle thread about large, western handled knife recommendations for this gentleman?

Mrmnms
05-02-2013, 10:28 PM
The forum vendors are VERY helpful and gracious . If you contact them regarding large handled western Gyutos , I am sure they will have great recommendations. Korin has at least 2 lines with good size handles, and Jon Broida of JKI is wise and generous with advice. I can't imagine him recommending anything that wasn't a great value. I just finished trying out one of Geshins for a week. Outstanding .

Benuser
05-02-2013, 11:27 PM
To the OP: don't touch the Sab before someone took care of the finger guard. You most certainly would damage the nice profile that has survived twenty years of steeling - quite remarkable, by the way.
Robert is right to suggest a practice knife, but please, not this one in its present condition.
As a practice knife I would suggest any small carbon steel knife, e.g. an Opinel 'au carbone', or anything by Robert Herder, Solingen, with
edenwebshops.co.uk

rdpx
05-03-2013, 08:48 PM
I think the OP has been scared off.

Benuser
05-03-2013, 10:59 PM
I think the OP has been scared off.
Not so sure. The OP got a variety of points of view.

rdpx
05-04-2013, 07:56 AM
Not so sure. The OP got a variety of points of view.

True enough, but most of them were about something that he had not asked!

Benuser
05-04-2013, 08:47 AM
Imagine a doctor only answering his patient's question!

Mrmnms
05-04-2013, 11:10 AM
More like asking about an eye exam and the doctors insist on talking about your flat feet :D

panda
05-04-2013, 02:50 PM
+1 masamoto vg, the handle is huge and the blade is awesome. great cutter, edge lasts and easy to sharpen.

subtle70
05-04-2013, 02:53 PM
Ok, i'm back. Not been around much last few days so missed all this excitment. Thanks for all views and comments. My old knife was put on stones once i think but only lightly as i didn't really know what i was doing. Other than that it was just steeled. I will try and get an edge put back on it as it's still useful for getting through bones if nothing else once the new knife arrives.
I ordered the Kanetsugu Saiun 230mm gyutu, must have been the last one as the sold out sign went up shortly afterwards on JCK. I have ordered a ceramic steel, (controversial? I don't know) for light use and will buy some stones shortly, though i'm assuming it shouldn't need grinding for some time.
Thanks for the pms also, all much appreciated.

Johnny.B.Good
05-04-2013, 02:56 PM
Welcome to the forum. Hope you're pleased with your new knife!