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JohnnyChance
09-17-2011, 06:48 AM
I work in western kitchens, but do break down whole fish and would like a yanagi for butchering, skinning and portioning. I am leaning towards 270mm. Not looking to spend a ton, as I won't be using it a ton, but don't mind buying something mid range. Suggestions? Or comments on the ones below? Anything else I should look at?

Yoshihiro in White #2 from Jon, $210 (http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/kitchen-knives-by-type/yanagiba/yoshihiro-270mm-white-2-yanagiba.html)

Masamoto Kasumi in White #1 at Korin, $230 (http://korin.com/Shiro-ko-Kasumi-Yanagi_2?sc=7&category=17257)

Masamoto Hon Kasumi in White #1 at Korin, $311 (http://korin.com/Shiro-ko-Hongasumi-Yanagi_2?sc=7&category=17255)

Mizuno Hon Kasumi in White #2 from Koki, $267 (http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/HonKasumiSeries.html#WIDTH: 400px; HEIGHT: 174px)

Mizuno Hontanren in Blue #2 from Koki, $310 (http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/HontanrenSeries.html#WIDTH: 400px; HEIGHT: 148px)

Monzaburo Hon Kasumi in White #2 at A Frames, $214 (http://yhst-27988581933240.stores.yahoo.net/monzaburo-yanagiba-white-ii-steel-hongasumi-270mm-blade--kn270.html)

I don't really have a preference between White and Blue, or One and Two. I would prefer a saya and a decent handle. I might get it rehandled at some point, so it doesn't have to be perfect. I guess I would prefer to stay closer to $200, if I went over $300, I would be tempted to go a little higher and get the Shige Kasumi from A Frames for $385. Is the Masamoto Hon Kasumi worth the extra $80 over the lower Kasumi line? Korin is kinda local, so I can check these out in person.

Thanks.

oivind_dahle
09-17-2011, 07:04 AM
Go trademarked - Lots of people who got yanagibas and don't know how to use em :)

Salty dog
09-17-2011, 09:43 AM
The only two I can speak of are the Mizuno white #2 and Masamoto KS. I'd recommend either. The Miz's fit and finish isn't spectacular but I like the steel. I prefer their blue dx but the white gets real sharp easily. And for fish the edge isn't going to take that much of a pounding.

However I prefer to use a different knife for the skinning. Not much flex in a yanagi and the bevel kinda works against you.

EdipisReks
09-17-2011, 10:44 AM
i would suggest giving a 300mm a good amount of consideration, unless your kitchen is cramped. i have a Yoshihiro 300mm White #2, and it has done everything i've asked of it. admittedly i haven't asked that much of it, but i lent it to one of the sushi chefs at the Japanese restaurant a friend of mine hosts at for a week, after said chef's knife kit was stolen out of his car, and he gave it a pretty good work out with fine results. he was (and is again) an Aritsugu user, for what it's worth.

ecchef
09-17-2011, 11:15 AM
I wouldn't use a yanagiba for the butchering part. That's deba work for sure.

Eamon Burke
09-17-2011, 12:40 PM
I was totally unaware of this until a few weeks ago(as I have never done it) but a Deba is actually a butchery/fillet knife. A Yanagi seems only intended to cut raw fish meat that's got no bones or skin or anything.

I've never filleted a fish with a deba myself, so I can't comment on whether or not it works better. I like the moderate flex a gyuto offers.

JohnnyChance
09-17-2011, 01:55 PM
I have a deba. I use it to do all the major butchering, and then basically once the filet is off the fish, I want a yanagi to do the rest.

Darkhoek
09-17-2011, 02:04 PM
I wouldn't use a yanagiba for the butchering part. That's deba work for sure.

+1 I'd go for a 270mm Mioroshi Deba. That way you get the length you want , the power to break down fish bones and the sharpness you are after.

DarKHOeK

phan1
09-18-2011, 12:10 AM
Just so you know, the Masamoto is not white #1; it's white #2. You're never going to find a white #1 knife for less than $400. :) I would recommend the Yoshihiro from Jon, as it's cheap (so you can get your feet wet) and Jon is great to deal with. I'm sure Jon sells them cause they make great entry level knives and they probably don't need too much re-profiling work. I would NOT get the Monzaburo, as from what I've seen they're similar to Aritsugu: a royal pain in the butt to shape and profile. It's not worth the pain and suffering. I would recommend the Masamoto Kasumi as a 2nd option. Many people have said they can't tell the difference between their kasumi and honkasumi lines.

phan1
09-18-2011, 12:21 AM
Oh, and I would recommend 300mm over 270mm. If you can go to Korin and look at them, they really feel like two different animals. Much more pronounced than, say, a 24cm gyuto vs 27cm gyuto. 300mm is always the standard in yanagiba, so I think if you're going to get one, at least get what people view as the standard in yanagiba. You might be using it for sushi work one day!

And for what it's worth, as a sushi worker, I don't use my yanagi to finish off my fillet of fish. I don't use it for any prep at all, whether it be prepping fish or whatnot. It's strictly an on-the-line-during-service type of knife for cutting fish for sushi and sashimi. I sometimes use it to skin fish (flounder in particular is a biatch to skin and I often screw it up without a deadly sharp and narrow knife), but that's about it. But don't let that deter you from getting one yourself. They're amazing tools and worth buying simply out of curiosity as long as you're not paying anything outrageous.

JohnnyChance
09-18-2011, 12:38 AM
Thanks Phan. I wasn't sure which white steel the Masamoto was, the Korin website is pretty vague. I am going to be in the city in a couple weeks and will try to get to Korin while I am there. I will probably get either the Masamoto Kasumi or Yoshihiro from Jon when he gets back from vacation.

geezr
09-18-2011, 02:40 AM
I work in western kitchens, but do break down whole fish and would like a yanagi for butchering, skinning and portioning. I am leaning towards 270mm. Not looking to spend a ton, as I won't be using it a ton, but don't mind buying something mid range. Suggestions? Or comments on the ones below? Anything else I should look at?.................
I would prefer a saya and a decent handle. I might get it rehandled at some point, so it doesn't have to be perfect.

Thanks.

< for butchering, skinning and portioning.>
consider the Yoshihiro 210mm White #2 Mioroshi Deba with Ho Wood Octagon Handle and Saya that Jon has for $250 ? http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/kitchen-knives/yoshihiro/yoshihiro-210mm-white-2-mioroshi-deba.html

sachem allison
09-18-2011, 03:11 AM
Thanks Phan. I wasn't sure which white steel the Masamoto was, the Korin website is pretty vague. I am going to be in the city in a couple weeks and will try to get to Korin while I am there. I will probably get either the Masamoto Kasumi or Yoshihiro from Jon when he gets back from vacation.
If you are going to be in town I recommend the Japanese Culinary Center. They have an amazing selection of knives at very reasonable prices.

Japanese Culinary Center

711 Third Ave. NYC, NY 10017
(Entrance on 45th St. between Second and Third avenues)

Tel. 212.661.3333

Fax. 212.661.3335

Email. JCC@nymtc.com

JohnnyChance
09-18-2011, 03:36 AM
Thanks Sachem, I knew there was another place but I had forgotten the name.

And thanks for including their fax number, haha.

bieniek
09-18-2011, 11:18 AM
I cannot agree with the fellow members about the size of the knife.
I think 300 is so called standard, but hey, are You standard?
Its just about the preference, and it would be good for you to check for yourself.
Definitely 300 gives you a lot more space in terms of comfort, much more than the 3cm itself. Its also heavier, so slicing feels somehow different. Better? I would be very careful about saying that, but i like the feeling.

Now, the 270. It just feels different. But how? Lighter, faster, more connected with hand... Hard to describe, but for me I can use it both at home and at work, so its more versatile, where 300 is just too big for my tight home-kitchen.

So maybe wiser would be 270? To start with?
Think also, do you make enough fish to constantly use it at work, or will it get some action at home?

I have the masamoto kasumi 300 and im very satisfied, I love the profile and the balance between the tip and flatness. Its great cutter and it really gets oh-boy an edge.
However the blade wasnt completely straight when it came and also the heel was overgrown. FF way worse than kichikuni 270 from ebay, but definitely better edge. [and its the same price range]

Rottman
09-18-2011, 12:10 PM
Most yanagibas are measured from machi, so a 300 most likely has a bladelength like a 285 western suji.

Citizen Snips
09-18-2011, 12:23 PM
am i the only one who prefers my yanagi for skinning??

i think it works wonders and find the bevel is helpful in most cases. i wouldn't mind getting a 270mm suji for doing things with a lot of pin-bones or large belly bones.

ecchef
09-18-2011, 12:55 PM
If you are going to be in town I recommend the Japanese Culinary Center. They have an amazing selection of knives at very reasonable prices.

Japanese Culinary Center

711 Third Ave. NYC, NY 10017
(Entrance on 45th St. between Second and Third avenues)

Tel. 212.661.3333

Fax. 212.661.3335

Email. JCC@nymtc.com

+1. They are the retail outlet for NY Mutual Trading Co., who just happen to be hosting a show on Oct. 8. Lots of knives, stones & other goodies & samples. Wish I could go again this year.

Register here (free): http://www.nymtc.com/

They carry Tsukiji Masamoto as well. It's worth the trip. :thumbsup:

tk59
09-18-2011, 02:05 PM
am i the only one who prefers my yanagi for skinning??

i think it works wonders and find the bevel is helpful in most cases. i wouldn't mind getting a 270mm suji for doing things with a lot of pin-bones or large belly bones.
I've only used a yanagiba a few times for skinning but I thought there was a lot less resistance than a suji-a much smoother cut.

echerub
09-18-2011, 10:57 PM
I skin with my yanagi. I can't do it cleanly with a double-bevel knife, but I find it easy-schmeasy with a single-bevel.

phan1
09-18-2011, 11:14 PM
Yeah, I use it to skin and that's the only fish prep I do with yanagi. Some fish are really hard to skin and yanagi does a good job of it. The motion I use (for a right hander) is ura side flat on my board going from left to right. Flounder and spanish mackeral particularly are difficult IMO.

Mattias504
09-19-2011, 12:07 AM
Just throwing it out there. I have a Konosuke fujiyama blue steel yanagi that is friggin awesome. One of my favorite to use. Reasonable price, too.