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gyutoguy
07-07-2013, 01:54 AM
My sister in law is getting married. I'd like to get her a couple of Japanese style knives with western handles.

I've narrowed it down to the following:

Richmond Artifex 240mm gyuto, in AEBL
Richmond Artifex 110mm petty, 12C23 sandvik

OR
Tojiro DP gyuto, 240mm
Tojiro DP petty, 110mm (or 120mm, which ever size they make)

OR
Fujiwara FKM gyuto and petty.

The knives are also going to come with a superfine ceramic honing rod and a magnetic wall mount knife rack.

Her current knives are wal-mart 3 dollar specials, with a *shudder* self sharpening knife block. Any of the above would be an enormous upgrade. She is constantly complaining about her knives, so I want to get her a couple of good value knives that will last her many years.

Which of the above do you think would be best? Are there other knives that would be better value? I don't want to spend more than $200 total. So $150 for two knives, and the remaining going to the wall-mount and ceramic rod.

James
07-07-2013, 03:39 AM
either the DP or fujiwara. the richmonds are pretty thick behind the edge. carbonext, hiro g3 are also pretty good

mhlee
07-07-2013, 04:01 AM
Although I haven't tried the knives you've listed, I've compared the Suisin Inox Western to the CarboNext and I preferred the Suisin Inox. I've also seen pictures of the Richmond Artifex and Tojiro DP and from what I've seen, I think the Suisin will be a much better performing knife than either. It's got a nicer grind, better fit and finish than either of those lines; it also feels good in the hand and is a nimble performer. You can get a 240 gyuto and parer from JKI for about $200.

But, of the three you listed, I'd go with the Fujiwara. Enough reputable members that I know have said good things about Fujiwaras.

Dusty
07-07-2013, 09:10 AM
Especially for a gift, the fit and finish of the fujiwara is far better than the DP and worlds apart from the artifex.

I've owned and gifted fujiwaras, owned DP's and handled artifexes (my Latin's not great - artifaeces? i'm not sure). Fujiwaras are a touch softer than the DP's, but still respectable - in this case that's a plus, because they'll respond better the the ceramic rod, and be a bit tougher and less chippy.

FWIW, I find a 150 petty a lot more useful than a 110 or 120.

I've never used a suisin Inox, but you only read good reports about them here.

apicius9
07-07-2013, 09:36 AM
...and handled artifexes (my Latin's not great - artifaeces? i'm not sure)....

That one made me laugh out loud :D Plural should be artifices - not that I remembered, I had to look, 7 years of Latin down the mental drain :( And while I never even saw the knife up close and have nothing against it, I had to laugh out loud a second time when I saw that one of the potential translations is "trickster, cunning deceiver, cheat" :)

Stefan

berko
07-07-2013, 10:48 AM
id go for the fujiwara due to fit and finish issues.

gyutoguy
07-08-2013, 09:26 PM
Thanks guys :) I have A couple of Fujiwaras already, and am very pleased with them. I think I will go with those. :)

chinacats
07-08-2013, 10:57 PM
That one made me laugh out loud :D Plural should be artifices - not that I remembered, I had to look, 7 years of Latin down the mental drain :( And while I never even saw the knife up close and have nothing against it, I had to laugh out loud a second time when I saw that one of the potential translations is "trickster, cunning deceiver, cheat" :)

Stefan

At least the knife is appropriately named...:laugh:

gyutoguy
07-08-2013, 11:31 PM
At least the knife is appropriately named...:laugh:

The artifex is not well received I take it? Whats wrong with it? Anyone know of any reasonably priced gyutos in AEBL that have a nice fit and finish?

GConcept999
07-09-2013, 12:16 AM
I was highly torn between Richmond Artifex and Kagayaki Carbonext, and ended up with the Artifex due to price, and hearing that it has a "Sabatier" profile, I got the Artifex. I have had a bit of trouble sharpening it with my cheapie combination stone. I recently got a more quality set of stones, and am planning to post an update on the stones and knife soon.

[EDIT: another reason for Artifex over Carbonext is that I didn't have a quality set of stones yet, and had the impression that the Artifex would be easier to sharpen, and that the Artifex comes beveled and sharpened out of the box. Being somewhat new to knives, I would have something to work with when learning to sharpen. In hindsight, it would not have mattered, if I started with a set of quality stones, and I feel like I have enough practice sharpening on my Forschner.]

In the process of testing the edge of the Artifex in a pro kitchen after sharpening with the quality stones. Comparing the choil of the Artifex to a 240mm Masamoto VG yo-gyuto, it is a little bit thicker behind the edge (I took some pictures on my camera phone, upload to come).

Look into the Carbonext, but you will need to sharpen it before gifting. Another knife I recently learned about is Korin's Togiharu Moly. Heard it's very Masamoto in blade profile and edge profile, and better fit and finish than Tojiro and Fujiwara.

If staying within budget is very important, think of getting just the gyuto. I would have to say the gyuto is what's used 80%+ in the kitchen, and that would be a lot of knife as a first J-knife. Maybe that'll get your sister-in-law hooked and get some more Japanese knives. I personally would get a higher end gyuto that gets sharper, better F&F, more comfortable; and work with a lesser petty in the meantime with possible upgrade in the future.

James
07-09-2013, 12:53 AM
A bit thicker is an understatement - the knife is ROBUST.

http://i254.photobucket.com/albums/hh102/Taz575/ArtifexBefore1.jpg

GConcept999
07-09-2013, 12:57 AM
The artifex is not well received I take it? Whats wrong with it? Anyone know of any reasonably priced gyutos in AEBL that have a nice fit and finish?

The only other AEB-L knives I know that is sub-$200 is the Sakai Grand Chef.

About the Artifex, it seems like the Richmond lines are less well received in these forums (you can look into that or not, I won't go into detail). The general perception is that the knives are thick behind the edge, and that for the good quality of the steels (ie AEB-L and M390), they need have good heat-treatment, and is usually done in small batches by the craftsman; so they may not be that good for "mass production." Not sure how mass produced Artifices are. I've seen some people comment that Lamson & Goodnow has their heat-tempering down. Who's to really say if Lamson is doing a good job with the AEB-L unless he handles a lot of those knives.

If the heat-treatment on the knife is good, the Artifex is a real bargain, easy to sharpen, can stay sharp, and good profile. Just thin the knife and should be good to go (that's the idea I plan to do next, after testing it with the current edge geometry).

GConcept999
07-09-2013, 01:08 AM
Alright, while we're on the subject, here's a photo, you can be the judge. I don't want to thread-jack.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-5pQWekNyu44/UduLxd53UeI/AAAAAAAAAFU/1xgR8SMbvBY/s800/DSC01241.JPG

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-5pQWekNyu44/UduLxd53UeI/AAAAAAAAAFU/1xgR8SMbvBY/s800/DSC01241.JPG

Oh, this came to mind, FWIW, the choil and spine comes rounded on the Artifex, while the Masamoto does not.

chinacats
07-09-2013, 03:18 AM
Alright, while we're on the subject, here's a photo, you can be the judge. I don't want to thread-jack.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-5pQWekNyu44/UduLxd53UeI/AAAAAAAAAFU/1xgR8SMbvBY/s800/DSC01241.JPG

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-5pQWekNyu44/UduLxd53UeI/AAAAAAAAAFU/1xgR8SMbvBY/s800/DSC01241.JPG

Oh, this came to mind, FWIW, the choil and spine comes rounded on the Artifex, while the Masamoto does not.

You'd lose a lot less steel rounding the Masamoto choil than you would thinning that artifex--that thing is nasty thick behind the edge.

Timthebeaver
07-09-2013, 05:14 AM
The artifex is not well received I take it? Whats wrong with it? Anyone know of any reasonably priced gyutos in AEBL that have a nice fit and finish?

Don't get hung up on AEB-L. Geometry and grind is far more important than the steel.

In short, a poorly ground knife with poor geometry made of super-duper steel = a crap knife.

Also, not all AEB-L (or any other steel for that matter) is equal. The skill of the craftsman working with the steel is far more important.

gyutoguy
07-09-2013, 04:35 PM
Thanks for the pictures and replies everyone! Those pictures really brought the point home. I think I will probably go with the Misono or masomoto gyuto, and get a half-ass paring knife for them. The paring knife will probably get beat to hell anyways, people don't look after them :(

I do want to make sure the knife is stainless or stain resistant, because I know they won't dry/wipe properly between uses.

gyutoguy
07-09-2013, 04:53 PM
A bit thicker is an understatement - the knife is ROBUST.

http://i254.photobucket.com/albums/hh102/Taz575/ArtifexBefore1.jpg

WOW! My tojiro deba that I convexed has less meat behind the edge than that one. Is that an artifex? Looks like a piece of metal with a tiny v-edge bevel

mhlee
07-09-2013, 05:19 PM
Thanks for the pictures and replies everyone! Those pictures really brought the point home. I think I will probably go with the Misono or masomoto gyuto, and get a half-ass paring knife for them. The paring knife will probably get beat to hell anyways, people don't look after them :(

I do want to make sure the knife is stainless or stain resistant, because I know they won't dry/wipe properly between uses.

Why did you decide against the Fujiwaras?

If you're going to go up to a Masamoto VG, there are other good, if not better, options at that price point.

gyutoguy
07-09-2013, 05:26 PM
Why did you decide against the Fujiwaras?

If you're going to go up to a Masamoto VG, there are other good, if not better, options at that price point.

I haven't decided against the Fujiwaras. I really like mine, i'm trying to decide if I want to get them a single really nice gyuto or a nice gyuto and a petty. It's a toss up, because they were asking me about a block of 15 henckles they saw at The Bay (I told them not to buy them, they could do better. Why buy 15 knives, when they will only use 2 of them.). They might see more value in 'more knives' as opposed to one really good knife that will outlast their grand-kids. Me being a bit of a 'knife snob', I'd prefer to get one fantastic knife as a present as opposed to multiple lesser quality ones.

What would you recommend at the masomoto price point that are better? I'm still considering the Fujiwaras (and they might be the best bet, TBH).

mhlee
07-09-2013, 06:04 PM
I haven't decided against the Fujiwaras. I really like mine, i'm trying to decide if I want to get them a single really nice gyuto or a nice gyuto and a petty. It's a toss up, because they were asking me about a block of 15 henckles they saw at The Bay (I told them not to buy them, they could do better. Why buy 15 knives, when they will only use 2 of them.). They might see more value in 'more knives' as opposed to one really good knife that will outlast their grand-kids. Me being a bit of a 'knife snob', I'd prefer to get one fantastic knife as a present as opposed to multiple lesser quality ones.

What would you recommend at the masomoto price point that are better? I'm still considering the Fujiwaras (and they might be the best bet, TBH).

I haven't used the Masamoto, but I've used the CarboNext, Suisin Western Inox, and several other knives in the sub $200 range.

Although this is a wa-handled knife, this is a really nice knife, especially for the price. It's better than the CarboNext in my opinion, comes with a saya, is not a laser but also not thick, with good fit and finish, holds an edge well in my limited experience (I've used a friend's).

http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/kitchen-knives/gesshin-uraku/gesshin-uraku-240mm-stainless-wa-gyuto.html

I gave this exact knife as a wedding gift for a good friend along with the 150 petty: http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/kitchen-knives/gesshin-uraku/gesshin-uraku-150mm-stainless-wa-petty.html

My friend was really happy with these knives.

If you're set on Western handled knives, I would consider the Suisin Inox western line. I've read time and time again that Masamotos have some quality control/fit and finish issues. (I've never bought a Masamoto western handled knife; I own a Masamoto Tsukiji Yanagiba - lots of variation between the knives I saw at the store - and just bought a Masamoto KS that should be on its way shortly.) The Suisin Inox western that I tried was a really nice knife. I would choose it over the CarboNext. It's a well balanced, agile, knife that's not thin, but not thick, and cuts very well. It's noticeably thinner than the CarboNext behind the edge and is fun to use. I can't attest to its edge retention as I did not sharpen it, but the edge it came with was good and over the course of several days of use, the edge held up.

One question that I have is do both people cut and cook? If so, you may want to consider getting two less expensive but good gyutos (a 240 and a 210?) and a cheap petty or parer. I got my friend a 240 (for him) and the 150 (for her) because she didn't like to use a larger knife. But, had he said that she would use a larger knife, I would have gotten something else since they cook together.

Timthebeaver
07-09-2013, 06:42 PM
Misono Molybdenum 210 gyuto is $90. I like the profile of Misono gyutos, good fit and finish. The matching parer is $59.

As good a choice for non-knife nuts as any I reckon.

Togiharu Inox at Korin are tough, take a good edge and are thinner than most western handled knives. 15% off until the end of July too I believe, putting a 210 in the sub-$100 category.

The Suisin western inox knives are in your price bracket and are pretty highly thought of around here.

Timthebeaver
07-09-2013, 06:46 PM
A bit thicker is an understatement - the knife is ROBUST.

http://i254.photobucket.com/albums/hh102/Taz575/ArtifexBefore1.jpg


I love the way these knives are perceived as value leaders. Pathetic grind for a gyuto really, surely cuts like a dog. And before someone chimes in "you can thin it blah blah" - 99% of the people buying these are not going to have anywhere near like the skill required to do the work.

SpikeC
07-09-2013, 07:11 PM
I have a cold chisel that looks like that.

mhlee
07-09-2013, 07:17 PM
Misono Molybdenum 210 gyuto is $90. I like the profile of Misono gyutos, good fit and finish. The matching parer is $59.

As good a choice for non-knife nuts as any I reckon.


I forgot about the Misono Moly line. Misono's are well thought of by many members here (except for the UX10 line which is WAY overpriced). I would imagine that's a good gyuto for the price. Also, if I recall reading here correctly, the fit and finish are good and the out of the box edge is also good.

Timthebeaver
07-09-2013, 07:27 PM
I forgot about the Misono Moly line. Misono's are well thought of by many members here (except for the UX10 line which is WAY overpriced). I would imagine that's a good gyuto for the price. Also, if I recall reading here correctly, the fit and finish are good and the out of the box edge is also good.

I think Misono went "off-the-radar" a bit as they were the first maker to announce a big price hike (around 50% I believe) a couple of years back, even though many have since followed suit. Before this the Moly was pretty popular.

I know Lefty thinks very highly of the Moly. The ones I have seen do have good F&F.

Dusty
07-09-2013, 07:29 PM
There's been a recent price drop following the drop in the yen, the moly and Swedish lines are probably well placed price-wise now.

mhlee
07-09-2013, 07:43 PM
And before someone chimes in "you can thin it blah blah" - 99% of the people buying these are not going to have anywhere near like the skill required to do the work.

+1 I completely agree with this.

I finally thinned my test knife - a Global G-2 - for the first time ever last month after having that knife for 10 years. I had sharpened that knife dozens of times, but never thinned the original bevels.

And, to be honest, while it was a lot easier than I expected, I think that's only because I've been really working on my freehand sharpening now for about two years on a regular (monthly) basis. I feel like it takes practice to know where the shoulder of the bevel is, a light touch, and consistent pressure to abrade the shoulders of edge consistently, and the same skills to blend the edge. (I'm not even sure I did that nice of a job, but I can say that the performance was greatly improved, the bevel was relatively consistent all along the edge, and it looked decent to me.)

It's unreasonable, IMHO, to expect or require a regular user to have to thin a brand new knife to get it to perform well.