View Full Version : Testosterone - does size matter

09-27-2011, 04:34 AM
Been reading on forums, watching youtube etc. and I see a pattern - or at least think I do. As some women would say: the longer/bigger the better :spiteful:

I have seen youtube movies with people using knifes which they could not handle what so ever ... 260, 270 +++. I have read statements where people call 210 a girly knife and so on.

For years I played golf. The testosterone level were kind of the same. Many needed a huge driver and aimed to hit the ball 400 yards ... if they pulled it off they would tell everybody on the course. Funny thing was that they forgot to tell that they missed the 2 feet put on the same hole :O

I use knifes that will fit the task I'm doing. Could be a 120 petty for prepwork like mushrooms, a 180 for chopping cucumbers, carrots etc, a 210 as an alrounder and so on. Yes I have a 260 but this is in my knifeblock most of the time to be honest.

As I see it smaller knifes gives more control, better results, saves time and are a joy to use, especially when you handle a knife 100's of times on a 12 hour shift.

I will admit that I made a custom order for a 240. Was told this would be a great size for me (usually I'm using 210-220 girly size). I trust the advice I got and I'm sure the 240 will come in handy. Might be akward in the beginning but again ... I can practice 160 hours a month so I will be comfy in a short period of time.

Does size really matter? Well I will let others decide :tooth:

09-27-2011, 05:19 AM
I use whatever is comfortable for me, not what popular convention dictates. One of my favorite work knives is a 210 gyuto, simply because it's easier to carry around the kitchen.

09-27-2011, 06:51 AM
Depends on the task, your space, and to some degree hand size. I have larger hands and can't stand the smaller handles on 210's, even 240's can have to small a handle for me. Once you get up to the 270's the handle beefs up a bit and they feel good :)

Traditional handles for me work out better as I can get a grip on just about any knife with that style handle, and long as the handle is thick enough.

09-27-2011, 06:57 AM
I use only 210mm and 150mm at work, I have also 270mm but they are usually not used that often.

09-27-2011, 07:01 AM
Knife size depends on the task, but generally I find bigger knives are just much more efficient than 210s or 180s, which is easier on your hands and wrists over long shifts. I use 240s all the time and my next gyuto will probably be a 270. I use a 210 petty as well all the time which I find more useful than a 120 or 150

Eamon Burke
09-27-2011, 08:09 AM
At work, I need a bigger knife. It means less cuts to do the same job on things--more edge to slice with, splitting heads of romaine without catching the heel, more space to keep the chopped product off my hand and out of the way. At home, I use whatever is appropriate for my board and counter space. It's a priority issue--at work, the food take priority, so I find workspace big enough for the food and knives to match. At home, my living space takes priority, so I'll cope with a few extra cuts to do the same job. More time to play with the knife anyways.

I've also noticed that women tend to rationalize that they need whichever knife is the smallest possible and still get the job done. If they are cutting a tomato, they want a 5" knife with a toothy edge. It's like how my wife picks driving lanes, it doesn't make sense to my man-brain.

09-27-2011, 09:53 AM
Size is a funny thing. After working with a 240 for a few days, you can never imagine going back to 210. I guess its the same way with 270, but I have no intention of finding out. I find myself grabbing for a lot of different knives and sizes, but for Gyuto I love 240 for a size :)

09-27-2011, 10:36 AM
I've worked next to a person who used a 180 santoku all day and another who uses a 300 gyuto.
I think that if I had only one gyuto in my roll the ideal would be between 250-260 effective edge length. That doesn't mean I haven't shown up to work wielding only a 210 petty and been ok, although i wasn't cutting watermelons that day :)

09-27-2011, 10:48 AM
I can't imagine trying to break down beef primals with a 180mm. Or a 210mm for that matter. A 270mm is the smallest I can go professionally, otherwise I'm going in and out of my kit like a jackass every time I need to change tasks. The new culinary school graduates who show up and are constantly swapping knives all day make me wanna gouge my eyes out. Less time organizing your Messermeister knife roll and adjusting your sleeves, good sir, and please actually cut something.

mr drinky
09-27-2011, 10:52 AM
My size preference has been all over the place these days, but it is also seasonal for me. During the summer I find that I use a lot of different knives and often smaller ones. I eat a lot of fruit and rarely use a 240+ for fruit unless it is something big like a pine apple or mellon. And when grilling, I often do thicker cuts or whole cuts for meat and veggies which require less knife work.

When fall rolls around and I use a lot of root veggies in my cooking, the 240+ knives rule.

My summer favorites were my 200mm Carter and a Pierre petty (I think it is 150mm).

And then there are some quirky preferences, for instance, I only segment oranges using my DT ITK 270.


09-27-2011, 11:22 AM
A nice, light 240 is the most comfortable all around knife for what I do but I do break out the 270's for large objects or large amounts of material. My second most used knife used to be a 150 petty until I discovered a 210 petty/suji is even better. I still use 150 petty's occasionally. I don't really see any reason for a 210 gyuto since (as mentioned before) there is hardly enough room to cut things without getting your cutting hand into the food and larger handles are more comfy.

09-27-2011, 11:38 AM
I don't have a single knife over 240 mm (including my slicer). I guess I just don't have a need for anything longer.

09-27-2011, 01:03 PM
Long time ago, I was using 6" Global utility as my main kitchen knife, and 8" chef's knife as a slicer. I thought things were good :)
Then I've decided to learn more about kitchen knives and discovered japanese kitchen knives, 240mm Akifusa became primary blade and I thought things were much, much better.
Then, I've tried 270mm gyuto, and things got even better. Occasionally, I go back to 240mm, but it's not as comfy as 270.
Anyway, I guess #1 is personal preference, but there is also very simple physics and mechanics involved with blade length. Longer blade means longer cutting edge, less movement with arm, especially not rising elbow too high for different types of cutting, i.e. less fatigue. I guess it depends on several other factors, person's build, height of the board, etc, but in my kitchen, for me 270 provides the best configuration.

09-27-2011, 04:19 PM
i'm just an enthusiastic home cook, but i like having around 240mm of edge length in a main knife. the 240mm Yoshikane and Shig wa-gyutos have 240 mm of edge, and the 270 Mizuno has about 250. they work well for me. i've used longer and shorter, but they have deficiencies for me (catching tips in the board with some 270 and 300mm gyutos, and getting my hands into the food too much with 210s). i don't find myself using smaller knives very often, though i do grab a paring knife for appropriate tasks.

09-28-2011, 12:55 AM
I remember taking a 300 knife to work once and people said it was a beast and that I would probably get tired. The funny thing is that there is less movement involved, since basically all you have to do is move the wrist. I guess you could call it fulcrum cutting or something, the thing is so long that no horizontal movement is needed.

I think all knives have a place but for sure no doubt about it, longer knives are waaaaay more fun to use IME.

Salty dog
09-30-2011, 06:18 AM

09-30-2011, 06:31 AM
Right, most people can handle rockingmotions with larger knifes AND of course I agree with your angle issue. When I started this thread it was because many ppl on utube diced onions using the tip, the heel etc. Knife used were 270 if not more and it looked more as a potent thing (ie. long knife) than a need for it. I guess many would benefit from smaller knifes especially if you are a home chef. If you are doing tons of prep work each day, I completely agree with you ;)

Nice knifes by the way :D

09-30-2011, 06:33 AM
Salty makes a lot of good movies :)
He got a lot of experience and a lot of knives.
However the dude still haven't got a Burke :P

09-30-2011, 06:35 AM
lol , bbbbbbburke is in tha house :D

NO ChoP!
09-30-2011, 09:30 AM
I like longer blades because the weight is moved forward, and the length adds a finesse touch to the tip. The lightest pivot manipulates the food in a way a short knife can't.

10-01-2011, 12:01 AM
It all comes down to workspace availability and personal preference. In culinary school, a 210 is usually the go to knife for me cause the space allocated for you is freaking tiny. Also the size of the chopping board makes a difference.. I am uncomfortable using a longer knife on one of those tiny 24x20 poly boards.. Personally, I use a 240 for my regular mise-en-place with a 210 for use on the line during service. And I use a 180 scimitar for all my deboning/filleting tasks cause i find it more 'agile'..