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View Full Version : Gyuto under $200 for Newbie



sparetire55
08-07-2013, 04:30 AM
Background info: I have been researching what knife to get for my first "real" Chef's knife for about 4 months now. At first I was fairly set on a Global G-17, but then doing some more research I learned that I could get better quality for cheaper. I then settled on a Tojiro DP, then read another few recommendations from another forum (not mentioning any names) and settled with a Richmond Artifex.

I literally was about to purchase the Artifex tonight from CKTG when I stumbled upon this forum and saw how their quality fluctuates drastically. Now I'm stuck between: Tojiro DP, Fujiwara FKM, CarboNext KC-7, Kagayaki KV-7, a Gesshin Stainless, or just wait, save, and get a good ol' Victorinox to hold me over and practice sharpening/knife skills on.

With that being said:

LOCATION
What country are you in?
USA


KNIFE TYPE
What type of knife are you interested in (e.g., chef’s knife, slicer, boning knife, utility knife, bread knife, paring knife, cleaver)?
Chef's

Are you right or left handed?
Right

Are you interested in a Western handle (e.g., classic Wusthof handle) or Japanese handle?
My first knife, so no real preference. Probably Western for simplicity.

What length of knife (blade) are you interested in (in inches or millimeters)?
At least 10" or 240mm, I'm only 5'5" with med/large sized hands, but don't want to be stuck wishing I had a longer knife.

Do you require a stainless knife? (Yes or no)
Stainless preferred

What is your absolute maximum budget for your knife?
$200, but I have NO sharpening materials either.


KNIFE USE
Do you primarily intend to use this knife at home or a professional environment?
Home

What are the main tasks you primarily intend to use the knife for (e.g., slicing vegetables, chopping vegetables, mincing vegetables, slicing meats, cutting down poultry, breaking poultry bones, filleting fish, trimming meats, etc.)? (Please identify as many tasks as you would like.)
Slicing, chopping, mincing veggies and meats. Probably no boning or filleting with it though.

What knife, if any, are you replacing?
6" Pampered Chef Chef's Knife... (recently married, it's my wifes, I swear!)

Do you have a particular grip that you primarily use? (Please click on this LINK for the common types of grips.)
Pinch, the occasional Point

What cutting motions do you primarily use? (Please click on this LINK for types of cutting motions and identify the two or three most common cutting motions, in order of most used to least used.)
Rock, Slice, Walk

What improvements do you want from your current knife? If you are not replacing a knife, please identify as many characteristics identified below in parentheses that you would like this knife to have.)
Comfort, a bit heavier, better handle material, better handle shape
Easier to sharpen, better edge retention, less wedging

KNIFE MAINTENANCE
Do you use a bamboo, wood, rubber, or synthetic cutting board? (Yes or no.)
Wood (not endgrain) and synthetic

Do you sharpen your own knives? (Yes or no.)
No

If not, are you interested in learning how to sharpen your knives? (Yes or no.)
Yes, but not if I will ruin a $150 knife.

Are you interested in purchasing sharpening products for your knives? (Yes or no.)
Yes


TLDR; What are your recommendations for a 240+mm gyuto, for med-lrg hands, first time sharpener with no sharpening equipment, for under $200?

Thanks!

joetbn
08-07-2013, 05:17 AM
For under $200 total budget I would spend around $100 on the knife and the rest on stones, if you must have stainless get a Fujiwara FKM for $85, but especially if you are new to sharpening I would strongly consider carbon steel FKH series, it will be easier to sharpen to a nice edge than any stainless in that price range. Carbonext seems like a nice compromise between carbon and stainless, but it is a bit pricier, and from what I hear the fit, finish, and out of box sharpness are maybe not as good as the Fujiwara, but with a good sharpening would out perform the Fujiwara. Spend the rest of the money on a medium and a fine grit stone. I have the Bester 1200 and a Rika 5K stone, and they are great. I would also consider the Gesshin 1200 and Gesshin 5K splash and go stone. Also consider getting Dave's sharpening DVD, it helped me a lot.

Matus
08-07-2013, 07:10 AM
I do not have enough experience with knives to give you a recommendatiomn, but with the stone you could consider some 1k and 6k combination stone - I have used Bester 1000/6000 and it was nice, but also King 1000 & 6000 stones (there is a combination stone available too), or similar are prefectly fine. I would just avoid getting some no-name stones.

What am I trying to say is (given your budget) that getting 2 decent stones would be good solution. Sure - something Gesshin (or Naniwa Chosera) stones would be a step up, but you will not get 2 stones (or the 1000/6000 combination stone) within $100. Still - you may want to contact Jon from JKI (http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/) as he is very helpful and knowledgeable (first hand experience). He may even help find you a "complete" solution :)

Sharpening DVD is something I can really recommend (I got one from http://www.cartercutlery.com/ - really graet), but it will eat into your budget.

Seb
08-07-2013, 08:16 AM
Fujiwara FKM really is a fantastic product. You can't go wrong.

berko
08-07-2013, 08:20 AM
+1 fkm

chinacats
08-07-2013, 11:06 AM
get the victorinox and a few stones...you can save the rest of the cash and get something nice once you figure out the sharpening. Avoid the artifex for sure. Otherwise, recommendations above for fujiwara are solid.

Lefty
08-07-2013, 11:16 AM
Fujiwara and a King Combo Stone. Then, run away, and never look back. Wait...how much savings do you have? :D

toddnmd
08-07-2013, 12:14 PM
Or decide if you can have a separate budget for a combo stone or stones, and get a better knife.

Chefdog
08-07-2013, 12:55 PM
I say go for CarboNext and a combo stone.

stereo.pete
08-07-2013, 01:07 PM
Fujiwara + 1000, that's what I started with and I love mine. I went the carbon route for the ease of sharpening as well as the increased sharpness.

Here's a pic of her all gussied up with a beautiful patina made from blood.

http://imageshack.us/a/img834/2937/38v7.jpg

rdpx
08-07-2013, 01:17 PM
I was in a very similar position to you and I bought a CarboNext after advice here and I love it. I have since bought a Misono Swedish Sujihiki, which was a lot dearer, and think I actually prefer the CarboNext.

Combi stone is fine I think. I would suggest 1000/6000 or something similar.

The only other one in your list that I would even consider over the CN is the Gesshin (Uraku?). I have never seen one but they seem to come highly recommended. But still, I would say get the CarboNext. If it helps, I was expecting it to look pretty dull from all the online photos, and when it arrived I was amazed by how nice it was.

Robert

Lefty
08-07-2013, 01:20 PM
Good insight, Robert.

smilesenpai
08-07-2013, 01:22 PM
I too am looking a Gyuto also ask im sick of my Shun's massive belly. Just stumbled on JCK. Their brand is having a sale and the KG-7 (gyuto 240mm) is at $115.00 from $154.00, with a HRc 60.

Benuser
08-07-2013, 01:39 PM
I have since bought a Misono Swedish Sujihiki, which was a lot dearer, and think I actually prefer the CarboNext.

Robert
Why do you tend to prefer the CN over the Misono Swedish - apart from price, reactivity and dragon?

stevenStefano
08-07-2013, 02:28 PM
I really like the Carbonext, it has performed as well as knives I have that cost 2 or 3 times more

bkdc
08-07-2013, 02:37 PM
I really like the Carbonext, it has performed as well as knives I have that cost 2 or 3 times more

+1. My #1 recommendation for a newbie J-knife. A great deal at 130 clams. People say it's boring, but it's an awesome performer. Thin, hard enough, tough, and a fabulous value. I prefer it over my Ginga which has a better fit and finish and costs significantly more.

mhlee
08-07-2013, 03:14 PM
+1. My #1 recommendation for a newbie J-knife. A great deal at 130 clams. People say it's boring, but it's an awesome performer. Thin, hard enough, tough, and a fabulous value. I prefer it over my Ginga which has a better fit and finish and costs significantly more.

You prefer the CarboNext's performance over the Ginga? Do you have a Gesshin Ginga or a Ashi Hamono Ginga?

bkdc
08-07-2013, 03:19 PM
I have an Ashi Ginga at HRC 61. Nice and thin and a great performer too. I just like how the semistainless behaves. My GF's mother now owns my CarboNext. She loves it. She sharpened her German knife down to bluntness over 10 years, and it is a revelation for her.

keithsaltydog
08-07-2013, 04:02 PM
Suisin Inox is another capable blade in your price range

James
08-07-2013, 04:20 PM
Hiro g3 is also another great one

rdpx
08-07-2013, 07:23 PM
Why do you tend to prefer the CN over the Misono Swedish - apart from price, reactivity and dragon?

I actually love the reactivity on the Misono. It is currently all kinds of blues and purples from slicing a roast recently.

I think it is probably more a gyuto over suji preference to be honest [use and also I find gyutos easier to charpen for some reason], although I do think the understated kanji on the CN looks nicer.

$115 for a Carbonext is a steal.

Benuser
08-07-2013, 08:01 PM
I actually love the reactivity on the Misono. It is currently all kinds of blues and purples from slicing a roast recently.

I think it is probably more a gyuto over suji preference to be honest [use and also I find gyutos easier to charpen for some reason], although I do think the understated kanji on the CN looks nicer.

$115 for a Carbonext is a steal.

sharpening a sujihiki, meant for roasts, is very simple. Almost no worry about geometry, have a sharp, relatively coarse edge, that's it, My gyuto gets a full progression, though.

rdpx
08-07-2013, 08:20 PM
sharpening a sujihiki, meant for roasts, is very simple. Almost no worry about geometry, have a sharp, relatively coarse edge, that's it, My gyuto gets a full progression, though.

i just like making it like a razor

;)

Benuser
08-07-2013, 08:34 PM
i just like making it like a razor

;)
good idea, just add a few very light final strokes with a 1k or so.

easy13
08-07-2013, 11:09 PM
Togiharu Inox 240 with a free initial sharpening and a King 1000/6000 combo stone from Korin

K-Fed
08-07-2013, 11:42 PM
I too like the fkm as a starter knife a lot. I've bought a few for co workers as gifts, but I would like to say that metal master has the 240mm tanaka ginsanko gyuto "on sale" ,its only 6% off but that puts it at 122 and change and it is a great knife as long as you don't mind so so handles. That would be what I would get knowing the quality of mr tanaka's treatment of the steel.

sparetire55
08-08-2013, 12:34 AM
Wow! In less than 24 hours y'all have astounded me with the amount of information you have given. Thank you so much!
So from what I gather there are basically 2 main recommendations:

Carbonext
Pros: Easier to sharpen, holds edge well, amazing knife for the money
Cons: Not sure if I like the look of Patina, may require sharpening OOTB, carbon which means being more aware of what the knife is laying on/in and for how long. I'm fine with it, but I'm not sure how my wife will do.

Fujiwara FKM
Pros: Only $85, Holds edge well, also great value for money, stainless
Cons: Harder to sharpen, edge easier to chip?

I'm leaning towards the Fujiwara atm, just to have a guaranteed decent starting edge. I may have to wait until Christmas to get my sharpening stones which also pushes me toward the Fujiwara for a half decent edge OOTB.

Is the cutting performance of the Carbonext, Gesshin, and Tanaka Ginsanko worth the price difference over the Fujiwara? As a beginner at knife skills in the kitchen, would I even notice a difference between them?

K-Fed
08-08-2013, 01:07 AM
If you like the look and price of the fujiwara I'd say go for it. It is really hard to beat for the price sharpens up honestly quite easily as far as stainless goes. It isn't very chippy either, it isn't the hardest of steels but it does perform well and also responds well to light steeling on a very finely grooved steel or ceramic honing rod.

kartman35
08-08-2013, 02:26 AM
Carbonext
Pros: Easier to sharpen, holds edge well, amazing knife for the money
Cons: Not sure if I like the look of Patina, may require sharpening OOTB, carbon which means being more aware of what the knife is laying on/in and for how long. I'm fine with it, but I'm not sure how my wife will do.



Just so you understand that the Carbonext is semi-stainless, not "carbon" and is not as prone to rust the way a true carbon (ie <1% chromium blade) will be. It will patina however.

labor of love
08-08-2013, 02:28 AM
i wouldnt mind checking out a suisin inox western. if i was on the market for stainless western, thats what i would get. they just look good.

berko
08-08-2013, 06:36 AM
fujiwara fkm is easy to sharpen and doesnt chip imo.

Seb
08-08-2013, 08:30 AM
Fujiwara FKM +1

Benuser
08-08-2013, 09:11 AM
I'm leaning towards the Fujiwara atm, just to have a guaranteed decent starting edge. I may have to wait until Christmas to get my sharpening stones which also pushes me toward the Fujiwara for a half decent edge OOTB.

Nobody can guarantee a decent OOTB edge. With production knives in general, the factory edge is in the best cases a draft. With the Fujiwaras, the edge is unpredictable. May be usable, may be not.
I would add that factory edges tend to be very weak due to buffering.
So, the first thing one does with a brand new Japanese blade is sharpening it, or having the retailer doing it.

mhlee
08-08-2013, 09:51 AM
i wouldnt mind checking out a suisin inox western. if i was on the market for stainless western, thats what i would get. they just look good.

I've written this time and time again - the Suisin Inox Western is a superior performing knife to the CarboNext. I compared a CarboNext (regular sharpening) to a borrowed Suisin Inox Western over several days. Cutting performance, comfort, balance, fit and finish are all better with the Suisin.

daveb
08-08-2013, 11:13 AM
Don't know that there is a better value than Suisin Western for 1st J Knife - esp for home user. They are available from two of the supporting retailers here, both of which will provide initial sharpening.

Timthebeaver
08-08-2013, 01:46 PM
Don't know that there is a better value than Suisin Western for 1st J Knife - esp for home user. They are available from two of the supporting retailers here, both of which will provide initial sharpening.

I think this is the solution - get a knife with a great edge (i.e. sharpened by a pro) as a reference point. Look at all the advice to buy an Artifex etc. (not on this forum to be fair). The simple fact is newcomers (which we all were once) to J-knives (by definition) are incapable of installing a great edge or (particularly) thinning a knife correctly. Personally, I don't think I could thin an Artifex to a high standard.

mhlee
08-08-2013, 02:43 PM
I think this is the solution - get a knife with a great edge (i.e. sharpened by a pro) as a reference point. Look at all the advice to buy an Artifex etc. (not on this forum to be fair). The simple fact is newcomers (which we all were once) to J-knives (by definition) are incapable of installing a great edge or (particularly) thinning a knife correctly. Personally, I don't think I could thin an Artifex to a high standard.

I agree that there is no point for a person who is new to non-German knives to buy a knife that needs ANY work out of the box.

Spend a little extra money and buy a knife that is ready to go. Buy an inexpensive edge guard (I like the magnetic ones best for the price) to protect your knife. I would not recommend the plastic edge guards - they scratch your knives and can ruin a fresh, fine edge.

rdpx
08-08-2013, 03:00 PM
I'm leaning towards the Fujiwara atm, just to have a guaranteed decent starting edge. I may have to wait until Christmas to get my sharpening stones which also pushes me toward the Fujiwara for a half decent edge OOTB.


The OOTB edge on my CN was way sharper than anything I had used before.

I think you are going to probably like any knife that has been recommended here.

smilesenpai
08-08-2013, 10:18 PM
Is it best to keep away from no name knives? I see some that just say "VG-10 Hammered Damascus Gyuto" from echefknife and appear good bang for the dollar.

So hand made knives are much better. What is a handmade with the same specifications as what sparetire55 asks for?

panda
08-09-2013, 04:29 AM
Mac pro, and a king 1000.

Kriegs
08-09-2013, 04:55 AM
suisin

Timthebeaver
08-09-2013, 05:27 AM
Is it best to keep away from no name knives? I see some that just say "VG-10 Hammered Damascus Gyuto" from echefknife and appear good bang for the dollar.

So hand made knives are much better. What is a handmade with the same specifications as what sparetire55 asks for?

This isn't really "no-name", it's a Yoshihiro. The blade is OEM and offered by many companies.

aser
08-09-2013, 06:02 AM
I'll vouch for Yoshihiro, not talked about much with all these new lines popping up in the last few years.

I have their blue 2 hongasumi yanagi and a 270mm stainless gyuto. The gyuto has become my main work gyuto, it's far less renown than my other knives but still remain my go to. It sharpens really well for a stainless. I use this way more than my hd or my recently sold ux10.

Not a fan of the Suisin inox steel, found it dulled easily and wasn't very enjoyable to sharpen. This is based on using/sharpening a coworker's knife over a period of a year.

sparetire55
08-10-2013, 08:38 PM
So Suisin uses the Inox blend of metal in that knife right? Isn't that the same metal composition that is in a Victorinox, just it's forged instead of stamped?

berko
08-10-2013, 08:54 PM
no. inox is just short for "inoxidable".

mc2442
08-11-2013, 01:30 AM
I have not personally used Suisin, but have sharpened a couple of the ones I have given as gifts. I think I have given 4 to date, and have all been very well received. Heard a lot of praise, although they were gifts, lol. Sharpens easily and well.

steelcity
08-12-2013, 07:44 PM
I have a Suisin Inox western that I bought as my first gyuto. It sharpens easily on my 1K/6K combo stone and will get pretty sharp. The handle is comfortable but it's not the most eye catching handle.