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ar11
06-05-2013, 02:50 PM
I'm looking for a knife as a gift for my wife. Keep in mind she's petite, 5'0" small hands


What type of knife(s) do you think you want? Gyuto 210 or 240. Japanese handles. Would love a supersteel with great edge retention and hardness. I plan on doing the maintenance

Why is it being purchased? What, if anything, are you replacing? Gift for my wife, to replace the Kai Commanche chef's knife

What do you like and dislike about these qualities of your knives already?
Aesthetics- Want something beautiful for the kitchen, hot pink kai looks like a toy
Edge Quality/Retention- Kai came pretty sharp out of the box but retention obviously isn't that great
Ease of Use - Would like something agile but tall enough for moving food
Comfort- Wife has small hands so looking for something comfy

What grip do you use? Not sure what she uses

What kind of cutting motion do you use? Chops and slices

Where do you store them? IKEA knife block (need to get a new one)

Have you ever oiled a handle? I've oiled a gunstock not sure if thats the same thing

What kind of cutting board(s) do you use? Large Bamboo board

For edge maintenance, do you use a strop, honing rod, pull through/other, or nothing? Just bought a Spyderco sharpmaker. Will probably get other stones or wickededge down the line

Have they ever been sharpened? I just started sharpening a few of the knives

What is your budget? $500 Max, but would love something $200-$350

What do you cook and how often? Thai/Chinese food

Special requests(Country of origin/type of wood/etc)?
Japanese with Japanese Handles

Mucho Bocho
06-05-2013, 03:14 PM
You'll get a lot of recomendations if you're willing to spend $500. Which would be a waste of money, if you buy one knife. Sounds like your wife will like Wa handles (japanese handles). There are hundreds of choices.

I'd suggest a 210mm Gyuto by Yusuke. Can be found on ebay. I think you could get one for about $175. It will easy to sharpen, lite to handle, screaming sharp and will have a small handle. Spend the rest of your money on a few bench stones and a course on how to sharpen knives. Remember, you can own a $32,000 bob Kramer but if its not sharp, it won't bring you any enjoyment.

Dream Burls
06-05-2013, 03:46 PM
Just a word of caution about buying the wife a knife for a present, especially if it's a major like an anniversary or birthday. I did that once for Christmas and while she liked them she was not thrilled about getting (her word, not mine) "hardware" for a gift. She compared it to getting a toaster. I know, I know, we at KKF put knives on a pedestal (and rightly so), but make sure your wife feels the same way or you might be wishing you bought her a piece of jewelry instead.

Marko Tsourkan
06-05-2013, 04:00 PM
180mm chef in AEB-L.

ar11
06-05-2013, 05:18 PM
Just a word of caution about buying the wife a knife for a present, especially if it's a major like an anniversary or birthday. I did that once for Christmas and while she liked them she was not thrilled about getting (her word, not mine) "hardware" for a gift. She compared it to getting a toaster. I know, I know, we at KKF put knives on a pedestal (and rightly so), but make sure your wife feels the same way or you might be wishing you bought her a piece of jewelry instead.

I hear ya! after many anniversaries I've learned the rule is ask them what they want, and then get that EXACTLY what they said. Surprises are usually a dud. Actually this knife would be a gift "just because", i got an unexpected bonus the other day and decided to upgrade our crap knives since she does some awesome cooking.

thx for suggestions guys keep em coming

Korin_Mari
06-05-2013, 05:56 PM
As someone who is 4"10, anything bigger than 210mm might be a struggle to use. My main knife is 210mm and it's honestly the perfect size. 180mm works if everything if portioned for you, but for the occasional melon or cabbage something a little bigger is easier. Granted I've met female cooks my height using 270mm, but you know for non-cooks.

Lucretia
06-05-2013, 08:35 PM
My eyes skipped right over the "knife" in the title--had me worried there for a minute! :D

I primarily use my 180s. The proportions just feel better for my short and stumpy self. My 210s tend to spend more time in the drawer unless there's a big roast or melon to go after. Except for the Tanaka SG2 ironwood I got recently--just incredibly comfortable for smaller & shorter types, although it probably doesn't have the height you're looking for. What about a Yoshikane SLD? And (let me get under cover before the stones start flying) if having a tall knife is important to you, how about the 180 SLD santoku? I don't have the santoku, but I really like the petty--very lightweight, comfy for small hands, and knock down gorgeous. A little pricey, though.

cclin
06-05-2013, 10:33 PM
My eyes skipped right over the "knife" in the title--had me worried there for a minute! :D

I primarily use my 180s. The proportions just feel better for my short and stumpy self. My 210s tend to spend more time in the drawer unless there's a big roast or melon to go after. Except for the Tanaka SG2 ironwood I got recently--just incredibly comfortable for smaller & shorter types, although it probably doesn't have the height you're looking for. What about a Yoshikane SLD? And (let me get under cover before the stones start flying) if having a tall knife is important to you, how about the 180 SLD santoku? I don't have the santoku, but I really like the petty--very lightweight, comfy for small hands, and knock down gorgeous. A little pricey, though.
I'll second Lucretia's suggestion! I know lots KKF members dislike Santoku; however, I'm fine with santoku's profile & it is most popular knife in Japan household. Santoku is very nimble for small space or woman use. moreover, I also like my Yoshikane SLD 240mm gyuto very much, I think yoshikane SLD santoku or 180mm gyuto is great for home cook.

mr drinky
06-05-2013, 10:45 PM
My wife like's santokus, nakiris, and the occasional petty.

k.

Mingooch
06-05-2013, 10:47 PM
Bought my wife the ZDP-189 santoku@JCK, she loves it. Edge can get very sharp, lasts a long time, fun knife for sure.

don
06-06-2013, 04:17 AM
My wife like's santokus, nakiris, and the occasional petty.
Those are the wife's knives too.

Though I have a fondness for santokus as well. I like the blade height.

Von blewitt
06-06-2013, 04:41 AM
I got my girlfriend a 210mm Heiji santoku in semi stainless, she loves it, I like it a lot as well

schanop
06-06-2013, 04:47 AM
Hail to Heiji Semi Stainless Santoku 210mm ..

Love mine.

Von blewitt
06-06-2013, 05:07 AM
I wish mine was kuro-kitaeji :)

Benuser
06-06-2013, 05:27 AM
If you're looking for a santoku, make sure it's not deadly flat nor too short. The Hiromoto 190 has a nice little curve. From the pic I would say that's equally true for that Misono Swedish, but I never handled that one.
If I compare the 180 santoku and gyuto I would say the santoku has a much larger contact area with the board, and too much of the gyuto is lost with the curve.


http://www.misono-hamono.com/SWEDEN/santoku.html

eaglerock
06-06-2013, 06:09 AM
yes i would go for 180 ss santoku :D

Benuser
06-06-2013, 07:03 AM
Here the stainless Misono 440 series.

http://www.misono-hamono.com/440/gyutou.html

daddy yo yo
06-06-2013, 09:16 AM
my experience: instead of a knife you better get her a pair of shoes, she'll be happier with those! :biggrin:

topic-related: i wouldn't recommend anything bigger than 190mm. a santoku could be fine. i actually prefer gyutos but i also have a hiromoto santoku in 190mm in use which i do like. the handle is quite slim, so it should be good for small hands... and i recently bought a sabatier knife for my mother in law, rather short one, petty-esque i would say... she loves that... the bigger knives are smth that men prefer, i guess?! :scratchhead:

Marko Tsourkan
06-06-2013, 09:58 AM
I have been giving 180mm gyutos as gift to relatives and female friends. All have been received very favorably. Most seems to transition from rocking to push cutting rather quickly, the height (37-38mm) offers enough clearance, and the pointy tip allows for tip work.

I never understood the fad for a santoku. Too flat a profile, not easy to work with the tip. I wonder if people like it for the name more than function. There is guy in Washington state who named his "Japanese" line of knives, Santoku Line. :D

180mm gyuto in AEB-L with a custom heat treatment will offer you the top notch sharpness and edge retention, ease of maintenance (touch ups on 8K diamond plate between sharpening can extend time between sharpening to a several months), plus being stainless is a great thing for folks who are not used to carbon knives.

In general, I like to keep things simple. I don't see the point of super wear resistant steels for a home kitchen. Simple but good steels (suitable for kitchen knives), practical profiles (all lengh of the knife - tip, middle, heel, can be used effectively) ease of maintenance and ease of sharpening that results in a long life of a knife - is my philosophy.

M

ar11
06-06-2013, 10:19 AM
Thanks for all the suggestions, will definitely look into santoku. We actually have a Shun Santoku she likes to use, which is nice and sharp but I'm less than impressed with their VG10 as it's chipped and rolled easily. For those that primarily use Santoku's do you find the lack of tip to be an issue?? - thats the main reason I was thinking of a gyuto because I actually really like the height of Santokus for transfer. We have our chopping board on the island and she has to pivot 180 to get the food onto the stove.

Also can I get some brand recs since im new not sure what the most popular brands are? Going to check out Yusuke, Gesshin, Misono, and Masamoto so far

franzb69
06-06-2013, 10:36 AM
i'm with marko. you get the length of a santoku and the versatility of a gyuto.

mkmk
06-06-2013, 11:33 AM
I have been giving 180mm gyutos as gift to relatives and female friends. All have been received very favorably. Most seems to transition from rocking to push cutting rather quickly, the height (37-38mm) offers enough clearance, and the pointy tip allows for tip work.

I never understood the fad for a santoku. Too flat a profile, not easy to work with the tip. I wonder if people like it for the name more than function. There is guy in Washington state who named his "Japanese" line of knives, Santoku Line. :D

180mm gyuto in AEB-L with a custom heat treatment will offer you the top notch sharpness and edge retention, ease of maintenance (touch ups on 8K diamond plate between sharpening can extend time between sharpening to a several months), plus being stainless is a great thing for folks who are not used to carbon knives.

In general, I like to keep things simple. I don't see the point of super wear resistant steels for a home kitchen. Simple but good steels (suitable for kitchen knives), practical profiles (all lengh of the knife - tip, middle, heel, can be used effectively) ease of maintenance and ease of sharpening that results in a long life of a knife - is my philosophy.

M

This sounds fantastic. I've been looking for something to wean my wife off her 6" Wusthof chef for months. I've considered a range of deeper 150-160mm petties (Asai, Masakage, both around 34mm), a Carter Funayuki, and some smaller gyutos -- but the petties are really not great on a board, the perfect Carter is a bit scarce, and most of the shorter gyutos are still too blocky/fat. 38mm is really perfect, and I'd rather stick with a good stainless for this one.

In a Western handle, Hattori has made a 150mmx35mm gyuto, though I haven't seen them available anytime recently. There's also an Akifusa 180mmx39mm gyuto with a nice slim profile and good steel. I think an Akifusa is at the top of my list, though now that I know Marko can do a custom....

;)

mhlee
06-06-2013, 11:53 AM
How many people who are recommending santokus, have actually used them (besides the members who clearly wrote that they or their wife/partner have used them)? I'm curious because I've used a few and don't think there's any advantage to getting a santoku over a gyuto. Personally, I think the worst design characteristic of the santoku is the tip; you can't see it very well.

I would recommend a Carter Funayuki since the OP is willing to pay up to $300. They are short at that price, but they flat out cut. I gave one to my ex and it made cooking so much more enjoyable for her. It's light, stiff, feels durable when used, great for cutting everything, a good height and needs only minimal maintenance. The White #1 also sharpens up quickly, although it doesn't keep an edge that long.

Salty dog
06-06-2013, 12:01 PM
My wife picked out the prettiest one. Mr. Itou 180 gyuto. Stainless.

Marko Tsourkan
06-06-2013, 12:13 PM
I am 5'10" and use 180mm gyuto every day when I cook for myself only. When I cook a for several people, I use 225mm gyuto for all prep work. Rarely I reach for 240mm or 270mm these days. I find 180mm just a perfect knife for small cutting task (Thanks to Steve Cipcich for enlightening me on this).

I don't want to sound overly opinionated, but from a maker's perspective and heavy home user (and I use my knives and know how to evaluate them), santoku is a product of marketing, rather than design - height, profile, tip all are off. It's basically a nakiri with a dropped spine and slightly raised tip. Gyuto's tip positioned much higher, and the resulting profile therefore is different. On thing you can't do with santoku is to rock cut effectively, while you can do it even with a flat-profile gyuto.

Anyway, take my advice for whatever it is worth.

M

Salty dog
06-06-2013, 01:01 PM
People still eat tilapia.

Justin0505
06-06-2013, 01:15 PM
The lines between santoku and gyuto profiles have really been blured.
In the sense of the original sabtoku designes, what you're saying may ne true, but I have seen plenty of santokus with profiles of that work fine and where perhaps even designed for rock chopping (the op's shun being one of them).
I've also seen plenty of gyutos with very flat dead spots near the heel that make the dreaded "clunk" if you bring the heal all the way down.

I think that you are over generalizing.
I also think that low tips can be just as easy to use if not easier.

ar11
06-06-2013, 03:37 PM
http://www.kitchen-knife.jp/pro/gyuto.htm

Found this Watanabe 180mm Gyuto - any good? comes out to around $220 shipped to US. Seems to fit the profile of what I'm looking for and what people are recommending.

Mucho Bocho
06-06-2013, 06:01 PM
Word Marko!

Many people on this forum certainly value and appreciate your advice and of course KNIVES.

eaglerock
06-06-2013, 07:00 PM
if it was for my self i would take the gyuto but for some strange reason the ladies really like the santoku knives :scratchhead:

Von blewitt
06-06-2013, 07:26 PM
What about this one?
Heiji semi stainless 190mm Gyuto, comes in on Budget too
http://www.japan-tool.com/zc/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=4&products_id=121

franzb69
06-06-2013, 11:01 PM
some strange reason the ladies really like the santoku knives

probably afraid of the pointy end. feels threatening. at least that's how some ladies i've talked to about them feel.

Lucretia
06-07-2013, 12:11 AM
probably afraid of the pointy end. feels threatening. at least that's how some ladies i've talked to about them feel.

Ummmm...not necessarily. Having the extra height along the length of the knife is very handy for transferring food from point A to point B. And the rounded nose is a nice place to rest your hand if you want to rock chop--which some santokus do just fine. The length and balance feel very nice on mine--some of the big gyutos make me feel like a freaking fiddler crab. Is a santoku the end-all, be-all knife for every situation in the ultimate scheme of things? Well, no. But neither is the gyuto. Like any other knife, it depends on what's comfortable and what's important to you as the person using it. I have both gyutos and santokus and like them both. Luckily I don't have to settle for a just one kind of knife.

ar11, if you live anywhere near a knife store, I'd advise going there with your wife and handling some things and see what she likes and is comfortable with. What you like, are comfortable with, and is something you can maintain in a manner that keeps you happy is what's important. And if you decide later you want something different, sell the one you don't like and get another.

Here's a comparison of some tips. At least one of them is a santoku. At least one is a gyuto.

15961

franzb69
06-07-2013, 01:37 AM
well you're the exception to the ones i've talked to about the topic. =D

Justin0505
06-07-2013, 02:23 AM
Another great post Lucretia, well said and good advice. That picture is awesome and really illustrates the point(s).

Mrmnms
06-07-2013, 03:59 AM
Ummmm...not necessarily. Having the extra height along the length of the knife is very handy for transferring food from point A to point B. And the rounded nose is a nice place to rest your hand if you want to rock chop--which some santokus do just fine. The length and balance feel very nice on mine--some of the big gyutos make me feel like a freaking fiddler crab. Is a santoku the end-all, be-all knife for every situation in the ultimate scheme of things? Well, no. But neither is the gyuto. Like any other knife, it depends on what's comfortable and what's important to you as the person using it. I have both gyutos and santokus and like them both. Luckily I don't have to settle for a just one kind of knife.

ar11, if you live anywhere near a knife store, I'd advise going there with your wife and handling some things and see what she likes and is comfortable with. What you like, are comfortable with, and is something you can maintain in a manner that keeps you happy is what's important. And if you decide later you want something different, sell the one you don't like and get another.

Here's a comparison of some tips. At least one of them is a santoku. At least one is a gyuto.

15961

Perfect post. Enough said.

Benuser
06-13-2013, 05:52 PM
Have a look here.

http://www.misono-hamono.com/SWEDEN/santoku.html

With a santoku, a relatively larger part of the edge is being used with slicing. With a gyuto, a larger part of the edge is lost in the curve towards the higher tip.
In my humble home kitchen, a 190mm santoku feels all right, a 210mm gyuto a little too short. For tip work or where a narrow section is needed, I have other knives. Of course, if I want 'all in one', I take a 240mm gyuto. But a not too small santoku and a petty make a great combination.

Sara@JKI
06-15-2013, 04:20 PM
I'm really liking my 240mm white #2 wa-gyuto and 150mm stainless wa-petty :) 240mm is manageable and i think leaning how to work with this knife made cooking more efficient. I found that thin and light japanese knives feel great, and not as intimidating.... :) ! If it is a thicker and heavier 240mm chef knife, I might not even lift it up.

ar11
06-15-2013, 05:18 PM
Thanks for again for all the recommendations. I really wanted this knife to be a surprise for my wife, but based on feedback might be good for her to go hands on if we have time. JKI is about an hour away if we can manage the drive thru LA traffic

Benuser
06-15-2013, 05:56 PM
That seems a great idea, sure Jon will guide you both thru the process. Some guidance is useful as the very first impression with a new knife is often a very wrong one, just a comparison with what we are used to. I happened to dislike a new knife because its balance point was moved some 1/2" to what I was used to. After two days of short use I had adapted my grip, and since it has become a favourite.

JBroida
06-15-2013, 06:14 PM
Thanks for again for all the recommendations. I really wanted this knife to be a surprise for my wife, but based on feedback might be good for her to go hands on if we have time. JKI is about an hour away if we can manage the drive thru LA traffic

weekends are better traffic-wise ;)

Chef Doom
06-24-2013, 04:43 AM
How many people who are recommending santokus, have actually used them (besides the members who clearly wrote that they or their wife/partner have used them)? I'm curious because I've used a few and don't think there's any advantage to getting a santoku over a gyuto. Personally, I think the worst design characteristic of the santoku is the tip; you can't see it very well.


My thoughts exactly. I actually spent a year or two with an inexpensive santoku. The profile wasn't for me and I would never purchase one again. I don't know why they are popular in Japan or what highly budgeted marketing was involved but the reason why they became popular in the U.S.A is because Rachael Ray started heavily promoting them. I think Martha Stewart did for a while also.

Somewhere along the line the Julia Child wannabes became the Rachel Ray wannabes.

NO ChoP!
06-24-2013, 09:38 AM
My wife is a huge fan of Kyocera ceramics. They just seem less intimidating to her. They have blunt tips, and are extremely light and nimble. They are quite sharp, and if you purchase a sharpener are easy to keep that way.

Their $25 peeler is hard to match; very comfortable and great profile, too. We have three; plus a chef, santoku, nakiri, serrated slicer and sashimi slicer.

Also, she doesn't get lectured for leaving them wet in the sink.

Chef Doom
06-24-2013, 03:08 PM
Before my time, men weren't even allowed in the kitchen except to get a beer, and when the wife took solo missions to visit sick relatives or newly born nieces and nephews. Now we hear "less intimidating" and similar crap when it comes to santokus and other knives. Women need to go back to having a old hickory in the drawer that has gained years of patina.

NO ChoP!
06-24-2013, 04:46 PM
http://www.kitchen-knife.jp/pro/gyuto.htm

Found this Watanabe 180mm Gyuto - any good? comes out to around $220 shipped to US. Seems to fit the profile of what I'm looking for and what people are recommending.

I like it...gets wicked sharp; isn't overly reactive, and is nicely thin behind the edge. It's actually a little santoku'esque....

16331

Here it is minus the kurouchi, and with some Mike Henry shoes....

Lucretia
06-24-2013, 05:13 PM
Oh, boo hoo hoo, I'm a woman with a couple santokus I like, so I must be intimidated by knives. :sad0:


16332

Chef Doom
06-25-2013, 12:32 AM
Those santokus are obviously pale from a lack of light exposure. The real question is....how long did they get used before they were forever put away in the drawer??? :D

Lucretia
06-25-2013, 11:07 AM
The santokus actually get used on a regular basis. Hubby in particular uses the Ryusen. It's a nice, versatile knife, good for small things and sometimes the stainless (sg2) is a plus.

Mike9
06-25-2013, 11:13 AM
I kept a Shun santoku for my wife to use. She's happy ergo my knives are happy.

Lefty
06-25-2013, 11:14 AM
The funny thing is, Lucretia has some of the nicest knives of the whole group. I don't have anything that touches the Rader, or Burke.

Lucretia
06-25-2013, 02:06 PM
Thanks, Lefty! I do like my purty knives!

How comfortable a knife feels in your hand is such a personal thing, and one of the most important things, IMO. Trying it in person is the best way to find out what's most comfortable to you (or your spouse). I've looked at knives that were wonderful on paper, then when I picked them up it was Eeeeuuuuwww! They may have been fantastic knives for someone, but not for me. And knives that might be fun for a home cook chopping up an onion and a potato or 2 might not work for a professional.

When I'm trying to decide which knife to use for a particular meal, I make a decision based on which one will do the best job and be the most comfortable for the required prep--and it varies considerably, even between gyutos of the same length. And then make a final decision based on my mood. Little black dress and pearls, the Shige. Brass bra and winged helmet, it's gotta be the Rader.

:viking:

Chef Doom
06-25-2013, 08:49 PM
Your knives are pretty nice actually.

Minus the santokus.

I just....I just can't admit defeat. EVER! :spin chair:

Mrmnms
06-25-2013, 09:07 PM
No one has ever cooked a meal for me in a winged helmet, let alone a brass bra. I still take out a very sharp Santoku just because I'm in the mood. Let your wife pick her own knife after you narrow down some choices.

WiscoNole
06-26-2013, 01:09 AM
For someone her size, I would go with a 180mm gyuto. There are plenty of options that are aesthetically pleasing, enough so that it will be seen as a sincere gift.

Lefty
06-26-2013, 08:19 AM
The way I did it made the most sense to me. I introduced my wife to many different styles, very casually. I'd go, "oh, check out this new knife Murray just sent me". She'd go, "meh", or "ooh, pretty!". I'd take note. Then, I'd watch to see what she'd grab when making a snack, or dinner. I'd make a mental note. After about two years of trying to figure out what was best for her, Pierre sent over a carbon damascus parer that she loved. However, the carbon blade was a deal breaker. So, I hit Pierre up and ordered one of the tougher stainless "damascus" blades he had laying around, and we ordered some pink scales (when I fell head over heels for her, she was wearing hot pink pants and rainbow toe socks, to give you an idea of what she's like). I then said, "Pierre wants to make you a knife." Do you like this handle or this handle better? She chose and agreed that it was fun picking out the materials. When all was said and done, she got her first custom knife, from a good friend, and it really is perfect for her. Every time she goes, "Tom, when was the last time you sharpened my knife?", I get a little tingle of joy.

Long story short, get her in on the decision, make it fun, and if she's not into it, she's not into it. Don't force it. Believe it or not, they really are just knives....

daddy yo yo
06-26-2013, 08:47 AM
when I fell head over heels for her, she was wearing hot pink pantshot pink pants, or pink hot pants??? :D

Seb
07-04-2013, 08:49 AM
I see a santoku essentially as a cut-down (or sawed-off) 240mm gyuto - just the front end and the hind end, with the middle bit missing, matched with the handle from a 210mm-sized gyuto. Works for me when I feel like using a short knife with a wide blade/clearance. There are times though when I want to do tip work and that's when I reach for a 210mm suji or gyuto.

kiso
07-06-2013, 01:13 PM
Wondering what the end result was for the OP. Looking to get my mom a new knife. As she gets older I'm think a smaller, nimbler knife may be preferable to something too big like a 240 gyuto.

Brad Gibson
07-06-2013, 03:27 PM
My mom just got the Kramer zwilling 8" carbon chefs knife. She loves the thing. She's never had a carbon knife before so that's a new one for her. Now I just have to get her some stones and maybe I can get her addicted too!

http://i1313.photobucket.com/albums/t548/BradGibson2/image_zps692f39ab.jpg (http://s1313.photobucket.com/user/BradGibson2/media/image_zps692f39ab.jpg.html)

She even forced the patina! I found this smoking deal for this knife at 160 brand new on the bay.

Mrmnms
07-06-2013, 03:35 PM
Mom's patina is pretty cool

bikehunter
07-06-2013, 08:28 PM
but the reason why they became popular in the U.S.A is because Rachael Ray started heavily promoting them. I think Martha Stewart did for a while also.

Somewhere along the line the Julia Child wannabes became the Rachel Ray wannabes.

In the world of cooking, when in doubt blame it on Rachael.

ar11
07-21-2013, 01:05 PM
Just to update got my wife a Sakai Yusuke 210MM SS XtraHard Xtrathick Flat Profile. At first she wasn't overly excited because it was a lot bigger than the Shun 5.5inch santoku she usually uses. Also because of my indecision also picked up a Tanaka Blue #2 190mm off the bay as well.

Initial impressions of the Yusuke - Wrapping! So excellent I took a photo of the wrapped box because i was so impressed. They must have wrapping ninjas because it was folded so perfectly and precisely. Makes you think what's inside the box must be special. To my expectation, fit and finish was what everyone has been raving about. Smoothed edges, good grind, wrapped handle, knife straight as an arrow, nothing you probably haven't heard before. Definitely very sharp, I took it to a piece of paper was making nice curved slow push cuts. Picked up a big bag of carrots and started slicing away. Sharpest knife i've used, made a different sound than im used to when going thru the veggies. Very good food release so far, I'll have to try some potatoes later.

Initial impressions of Tanaka Blue #2 - nice looking blade, but came with two small chips on the bottom :( I guess they can be sharpened out but still bummer. Everything I've read about these was pretty accurate, fit n finish is bad, especially after opening the yusuke first. Handle sucks, the black paint on the ferrule started coming off on my fingers. Blade bends slightly to the right at the tip. This is definitely a knife that needs pimpage, in the next few week will probably take a dremel to it, sand it, and acid wash it. It cut well, liked the overall profile for the size, but could use some thinning as most people say.

At $70 I wasn't too bummed about the fit and finish of the Tanaka, but then I looked at the Shun and questioned the value. Even though KKF may look unfavorably on Shun knives, Kai understands from a business pov what will sell. For less than $100 stacked next to the tanaka, fit a finish is waaaaay better. Also the Santoku is really thin, making it an excellent cutter out of the box. Only reason I wanted to go beyond Shun is the crap VG10 they use, which has cracked/rolled/chipped easily.

Cutting carrots with all three, in order of best cutting feel Yusuke>Shun>Tanaka. I do think that tanaka has a lot more potential, as it wasn't that sharp to begin with. So back to my wife - after she test drove all three knives, she was thoroughly impressed with the yusuke. We'll see how it fares going forward.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-efUpVufgJRY/UewCNvx0Q_I/AAAAAAAAFDg/tmDLH9E0_zk/w1005-h659-no/DSC03441.jpg

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-ixfqeNuRaz4/UewCaATF5zI/AAAAAAAAFDw/7ZZx5La0UJ4/w1005-h668-no/DSC03445.jpg

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-7w_NOukf51c/UewClZtbX1I/AAAAAAAAFD4/6LWRQbw8QeA/w1005-h668-no/DSC03448.jpg

don
07-22-2013, 03:12 AM
Congrats on the Sakai Yusuke 210mm, and thanks for the update and pictures. Sorry to hear that the Tanaka Blue was so rough, sounds rougher than what others have received (though my 240mm was slightly bent too).

franzb69
07-22-2013, 05:39 AM
all i can say is... wow what a knife.

just wow.

Mucho Bocho
07-22-2013, 10:36 AM
AR, I love that littly puppy and have had mine for about two weeks now. Yusuke only produces a few of these knives a year int aht steel and profile.