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View Full Version : Recommend me a new knife, $400 or so budget



Aphex
03-09-2011, 05:27 PM
I think it's about time i treated myself to a new knife.

Requirements are:

gyuto
at least 240mm at the edge
carbon or stainless
western or wa
$400 budget, maybe a bit more for something real nice

i allready own a suisin honyaki, so i'm not really looking for another lazer.


Yes i know i've just described pretty much most knives in my remit, but this time i'm looking for something a bit special and unique. Also something that will cut through everthing like it's soft butter would be nice.

Vertigo
03-09-2011, 05:56 PM
Get a 270 Masamoto KS gyuto and spend the extra cash on a custom handle.

Pensacola Tiger
03-09-2011, 05:58 PM
If you can find one, a Shigefusa kasumi. Otherwise look at a Yoshikane Tamamoku from AframesTokyo. It's almost, but not quite, the equal of a Shigefusa.

http://yhst-27988581933240.stores.yahoo.net/yoshikane-wa-gyuto-tamamoku-wood-pattern-9-12-inch-240mm-v9122402.html

I bought Bao's a while back, and it's a performer.

http://www.knifeforums.com/forums/showtopic.php?tid/877691/

UglyJoe
03-09-2011, 06:41 PM
If you're not looking for a laser, I can't recommend anything better than the Akitada Hontanren Mizuno, either 240 or 270. Great knife.

EdipisReks
03-09-2011, 06:55 PM
absolutely. i adore my 270 Mizuno blue. mine was much thinner than expected (2.85mm spine and quite thin behind the edge, ymmv on that), and is a great performer. the handle on the Mizuno was really rough and, even after finishing it myself, i still bought a Keller handle for it. it's not a laser (i have a Konosuke 270 white #2 to compare it to), but it cuts great and takes an incredible edge. feels great in the hand. just a great knife.

Cadillac J
03-09-2011, 07:00 PM
Get a 270 Masamoto KS gyuto and spend the extra cash on a custom handle.

Please do this. The KS is probably what I've lusted after the most, yet I don't need another gyuto...so I want to live vicariously through you. Do it!

mainaman
03-09-2011, 07:07 PM
I second Shigefusa or Yoshikane.

Cadillac J
03-09-2011, 07:14 PM
I second Shigefusa or Yoshikane.

How much can you get a 240 Shig wa-gyuto for? Is direct the best way to get one?

Cadillac J
03-09-2011, 07:15 PM
How much can you get a 240 Shig wa-gyuto for? Is direct the best way to get one?

Darkhoek
03-09-2011, 07:18 PM
I second Shigefusa or Yoshikane.

+1 on the Shigefusa. The best cutting performer I have ever tried.
http://***********************/2011/01/great-gyuto-shoot-out.html
http://***********************/2011/01/forcing-patina-on-shigefusa-240-kasumi.html

DARkhOEK

Pensacola Tiger
03-09-2011, 07:19 PM
How much can you get a 240 Shig wa-gyuto for? Is direct the best way to get one?

1. Keep a sharp eye out on the "For Sale" forums. Prices are usually ~$400 and up.

2. Send a PM to Marko Tsourkan and see if you can get in on his next buy, or even if he has one for sale.

mainaman
03-09-2011, 07:28 PM
+1 on the Shigefusa. The best cutting performer I have ever tried.
http://***********************/2011/01/great-gyuto-shoot-out.html
http://***********************/2011/01/forcing-patina-on-shigefusa-240-kasumi.html

DARkhOEK

Yes,
I have tried a few lasers but my Shigefusa beats them all easy.
I got a custom spec one so it is a bit thinner than the standard production.
Also the grind is special and the steel is super easy to sharpen and the sharpest I have seen.
Just a special knife.

maxim
03-09-2011, 07:32 PM
+1 on Shigefusa if you like carbon
or costume Yoshi if you want SS i love his SKD steel :)

Aphex
03-09-2011, 09:58 PM
Thanks for the replys everyone.

It looks like the Shigefusa kasumi is the front runner so far. The problem is it's brilliance is well known, so getting one would be tough

The Masamoto KS with custom handle is an option that i've thought about. While i'm shure this knife would look beautiful, there is a question mark for me about the performance. Can the KS better, or even compete with the my Suisin? I want my next knife to feel like i've stepped up in performance over my Suisin.

The Yoshikane Tamamoku is very intriguing. My knowlege of this knife is next to nothing except for the fact it maybe pretty thick. While i don't really want another lazer, i don't want a fat Wanatabe like knife that wedges on everything. What's the performance on this one like? The V2 steel is a bit of mystery to me too, i think i read somewhere that it's similar to white #2. It's a very pretty knife though.

heldentenor
03-09-2011, 10:11 PM
Umm...how about a Dave Martell? You'd have to buy sight unseen, of course, but if I had the money, there's no doubt that's where it would be going.

UglyJoe
03-09-2011, 10:21 PM
I'm telling you the Mizuno is a beast. I don't think it get's the recognition on a lot of the forums that it deserves. Profile is great. Thick at the spine (comparatively) but the grind is amazing and it is thin at the edge, and the steel can't be beat for toughness. Here is a video of my 270. Notice how nice and long the flat portion is from the heel up. Killer profile. Edge retention is great.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GwK4Nsp2pUM

jaybett
03-09-2011, 10:27 PM
If your willing to spend $400, might as well look at a custom knife.

Dave Martell's custom knife, comes in at $399.99. A Devin knife would be different with its distal taper. While Butch is probably better known for lasers, I'm sure he could make a work horse. I think his handles are underrated. I really like the looks of what Pierre has been producing.

Another person I'd be talking to would be Jon with JKI. He has found some stunning knives.

Jay

jaybett
03-09-2011, 11:26 PM
I'm telling you the Mizuno is a beast. I don't think it get's the recognition on a lot of the forums that it deserves.


Mizuno appeared back in the olden golden days of the forum, which was about six years ago. Back then pioneers, sent makers international post office money orders, and then waited months to get a knife. I don't think I could ever do that.

Andy absolutely loved the steel. Curtis listed the Mizuno as his favorite wa-gyuto. Then JCK picked up Mizuno as a line. Knives were actually cheaper, from JCK, then Mizuno.

People placed their orders. When the knives came in, there were a lot of Oh's. The 240 had less height, then the typical gyuto. It was thicker, then people expected. Some got through with roughly ground choils. One imperfection, posted on the internet, can take the luster off a whole line.

Based on the conversation Curtis had with Andy in a series of PM's, which Curtis later posted as a thread, I ordered a Mizuno. Early on, I didn't see what the big deal was about the Mizuno. Other people might have had the same thoughts.

As I've improved as a sharpener, so has the Mizuno. I can see what got those two excited. It take a very keen edge, and holds it a long time. The steel feels tough, like it could handle most tasks in the kitchen, without a problem. Curtis shared in one of his posts, that he forgot to bring the appropriate knives to break down whole salmons and fillet them, so he used his Mizuno cleaver. It performed better then he thought it would.

Jay

UglyJoe
03-09-2011, 11:48 PM
Yeah, I had read a lot about the F&F on the Mizuno being off in the past. I bought mine about a month ago and the finish on it is pretty much perfect. Fairly standard handle, but nothing rough about it and the F&F on the blade is fantastic. I think a lot of people had been put off by these issues in the past, but as far as my experience goes I can't complain at all. The steel is fantastic, it gets as sharp as my (admittedly stupid cheap) white yanagi, which is saying something, single vs. double bevel and all, and it lasts and lasts. I think a lot of people have been put off by the price as well, as you can score a Shigi for not too much more (if you can find them), and now you have a lot of choices in the custom and semi-custom lines in the same price range. But it is a forged knife, and although there isn't one person finishing it from start to finish, it truly is a handmade piece. I just wish - from my experience - that when we see these threads popping up from time to time about gyutos in the $400ish range more people would hear about and at least give a thought to the Mizuno, which is really an overlooked gem nowadays.

And as for tough steels, I pit avocados with mine without a worry. No chipping. No edge wear (at least, no unreasonable edgewear). I can make a big batch of guac and pico and still pass the tomato test - after the knife has already hit the board a few hundred times. And that's without having tried a microbevel on it yet. I really can't say enough good things about the Mizuno.

mainaman
03-09-2011, 11:50 PM
Interestingly enough the Mizunos did not have that geometry until recently.
Probably the took notice of how traditional smiths make the blades with wide secondary bevels (Heiji, Moritaka) so that geometry is improved.

oivind_dahle
03-10-2011, 02:01 AM
Heiji or Shigefusa

I know Pierre Rodrigues gonna post some pics soon of a Heiji Replica, and you could go custom :)

EdipisReks
03-10-2011, 04:37 AM
the fit and finish on the blade of my Mizuno is beautiful, and it's not amazingly thicker than my Konosuke. i've seen pictures of Mizunos delivered a year ago, and it doesn't look like the same knife. fantastic performer, just a tiny bit of wedging doing some cuts in hard veggies.

JBroida
03-10-2011, 05:02 AM
Heiji or Shigefusa

I know Pierre Rodrigues gonna post some pics soon of a Heiji Replica, and you could go custom :)

as much as i love pierres knievs, a heiji's not a heiji unless its a heiji... know what i mean ;)

Cant wait to see the knife though... Pierre has been getting better every day which kind of makes me regret buying a knife so early in his career... i guess i'll have to get another one soon ;)

jaybett
03-10-2011, 05:26 AM
Interestingly enough the Mizunos did not have that geometry until recently.
Probably the took notice of how traditional smiths make the blades with wide secondary bevels (Heiji, Moritaka) so that geometry is improved.

Out of curiosity, how do you this? Your strainless steel Mizuno appears to have a different profile, then the one made from blue steel. At least in the pictures from JCK, they appear different.

Jay

oivind_dahle
03-10-2011, 06:34 AM
as much as i love pierres knievs, a heiji's not a heiji unless its a heiji... know what i mean ;)

Cant wait to see the knife though... Pierre has been getting better every day which kind of makes me regret buying a knife so early in his career... i guess i'll have to get another one soon ;)

I know ;)

I love the profile and the geometry on the Heiji. My Shigefusa is just awesome. However I wanted a semi stainless or stainless knife like the Heiji. However YOU mr Jonathan DID NOT have semi stainless when I ordered my replica at Pierre ;) Anyway couldnt be more happy with the choice of Pierre, and I really have to thank you for taking part in the making. Pierre is a true gentleman and I have spoken with him very close during this project. However my english is not so good, and its hard for me to use complex english words.

As soon as I have got fundings youre store is up next jon :)

Darkhoek
03-10-2011, 07:03 AM
as much as i love pierres knievs, a heiji's not a heiji unless its a heiji... know what i mean ;)

Cant wait to see the knife though... Pierre has been getting better every day which kind of makes me regret buying a knife so early in his career... i guess i'll have to get another one soon ;)

Well, Pierre has been making some really serious knives for quite some time. He is about to transfer his exeptional skills to the kitchen knife arena and this is starting to look very, very interesting indeed. Word is he has a couple of really spectacular pieces coming that will place him amongst the other great kitchen knife makers. Can't wait to se what he is hiding up his sleeve :)

DarkHOeK

RRLOVER
03-10-2011, 07:03 AM
If you want something unique i would go with Heiji skd12.It totally changed my perspective on knife geometry.The only issue i have with my heiji is that it is to sharp,yes i said to sharp.Even with a soft touch this blade sticks in my cutting board,it's not a big deal but that gives you an idea how thin the edge is.It's a keeper!

mainaman
03-10-2011, 07:30 AM
Out of curiosity, how do you this? Your strainless steel Mizuno appears to have a different profile, then the one made from blue steel. At least in the pictures from JCK, they appear different.

Jay

I am not sure what you mean?
I am just stating that they seem to have changed the geometry of the carbon gyuto, at least the 270mm one.
My stainless was a laser type much like Tadatsuna and Suisin.

THOR
03-10-2011, 08:36 AM
Interestingly enough the Mizunos did not have that geometry until recently.
Probably the took notice of how traditional smiths make the blades with wide secondary bevels (Heiji, Moritaka) so that geometry is improved.

Why would you consider a Mizuno any less traditional than a Heiji or Moritaka?!

The Mizuno is just considered a bit mainstream because it is easily available from Koki. If it was Shigefusa or Heiji's that Koki (or one of the other well known sources) sold - then maybe the Mizuno was the thing people were lusting for?

EdipisReks
03-10-2011, 09:18 AM
Why would you consider a Mizuno any less traditional than a Heiji or Moritaka?!

The Mizuno is just considered a bit mainstream because it is easily available from Koki. If it was Shigefusa or Heiji's that Koki (or one of the other well known sources) sold - then maybe the Mizuno was the thing people were lusting for?

heh, i lusted after the Mizuno a bit before pulling the trigger specifically because it was easily available. a friend of mine has been on the Shigefusa list for quite some time, and i don't have that kind of patience. i'm looking forward to trying his knife next to mine, once he finally receives it (it's a 240 Kitaeji).

mainaman
03-10-2011, 09:27 AM
Why would you consider a Mizuno any less traditional than a Heiji or Moritaka?!

The Mizuno is just considered a bit mainstream because it is easily available from Koki. If it was Shigefusa or Heiji's that Koki (or one of the other well known sources) sold - then maybe the Mizuno was the thing people were lusting for?In my opinion it is not about which knife is more available although the fact that Mizuno is readily available means it is a factory made knife. Shigefusa, Heiji, Moritaka, they have worked out the geometry for best cutting performance that does not require modifications to the knife.From my talks with people that had Mizuno carbon guytos, Mizuno used to have fat convex profile that required thinning to get it to work best, now they have seemingly moved to geometry similar to those traditional smiths, and that makes a difference in performance i bet.

EdipisReks
03-10-2011, 09:32 AM
i know for a fact that my Mizuno was made when i ordered it, because it was delayed a couple times. i don't think that they are factory made the way most people think of factory made knives. whether or not the geometry has changed, i can't speak to. mine has a very good geometry, being just enough thicker than a laser that i don't worry about the edge so much, but i only received mine last month.

THOR
03-10-2011, 12:28 PM
I am pretty sure that my Mizuno is pretty much as handmade and as factory made as my shigefusas and my Heiji (all being 240 gyuto's). When that is said my Mizuno is from 2011. The knives all have their advantages and disadvantages. So I think it is as much a question about preference as it is about quality. I consider these to be very very close in perfomance with the Mizuno being quite a bit cheaper than the other two - at least where I come from.

By the way - I have a 5-6 year old Shigefusa 210 gyuto, and a 1 year old Shigefusa 240 gyuto. It might just be me who got unlucky but the newer 240 is not finished to the same leves as the old one. The choil was black (kurouchi like), the handle was a bit rougher and the edge not at the same level ootb. So the big succes of the Shigefusa knifes might come with a price that is not just measured in $$$. Something that might be worth noting if the OP is looing for a Shigefusa. It could be a good move to look for an "old" one!

UglyJoe
03-10-2011, 12:46 PM
Yeah, I don't think you can call Mizuno a "factory knife". It probably isn't quite finished by hand to the degree that a Shig is, but then nothing is. Mine also took about a week to complete. Mizuno is fast and efficient, but the process is no different (for the most part) than a Shig, Carter, Doi, etc. The work is just split up among more people. Personally I think Mizuno now has a different polisher than they did a few years ago. The way the blades are ground and finished are completely different now (both in terms of style and F&F) than what I've heard or seen of them a year ago or so.

EdipisReks
03-10-2011, 12:54 PM
how thick is your Miz, UglyJoe?

UglyJoe
03-10-2011, 01:15 PM
Let me go look up the measurements real quick.

*UJ brushes through old "other forum" stuff*

Blade length, tip to handle: 276

Edge length: 261

Spine thickness:
@ handle: 3.46
@ choil: 3.20
@ half-way point down the blade: 3.14
@ approximately 1 cm from the tip: 1.80

Thickness at bevel line:
@ choil: 2.12
@ half-way point down the blade: 2.00
@ approximately 1 cm from the tip: 1.10

Thickness at approximately 5 mm from the edge:
@ choil: 0.82
@half-way point down the blade: 0.64
@ approximately 1 cm from the tip: 0.64

Blade height at the choil: 50.90

Weight: 198 g

I got my Miz in late January, early February (can't remember exact date). The 270 is slightly thicker (from other's measurements that I have seen) than the 240. It has a really cool distal taper, as most of the taper happens in the last third of the blade. Taper from spine to edge is slow at first, then it thins really fast from the "shinogi" line to the edge, and is extremely thin behind the edge. Performs great.

I'll eventually get a laser, though it probably won't be a gyuto. A laser suji just makes a lot more sense to me...

EdipisReks
03-10-2011, 01:20 PM
mine is about 3.25 at the handle and 2.85 at the heel. assuming my cheapo calipers are accurate. that's pretty much all i measured. i'd do a complete measurement of mine when I got home, but it's currently in the mail going to a friend to have the handle swapped. mine definitely doesn't feel amazingly thicker than my thinner knives, maybe a tad thicker than my Hattori FH, though the Mizuno has a better geometry and cuts better, imo. i was really expecting it to be thicker than it was. i'm not complaining. :)

mainaman
03-10-2011, 01:44 PM
I am pretty sure that my Mizuno is pretty much as handmade and as factory made as my shigefusas and my Heiji (all being 240 gyuto's). When that is said my Mizuno is from 2011. The knives all have their advantages and disadvantages. So I think it is as much a question about preference as it is about quality. I consider these to be very very close in perfomance with the Mizuno being quite a bit cheaper than the other two - at least where I come from.

By the way - I have a 5-6 year old Shigefusa 210 gyuto, and a 1 year old Shigefusa 240 gyuto. It might just be me who got unlucky but the newer 240 is not finished to the same leves as the old one. The choil was black (kurouchi like), the handle was a bit rougher and the edge not at the same level ootb. So the big succes of the Shigefusa knifes might come with a price that is not just measured in $$$. Something that might be worth noting if the OP is looing for a Shigefusa. It could be a good move to look for an "old" one!

Interesting about your new shigefusa.
Mine is finished superbly, it is also custom made a bit thinner than usual stock, it also has cloudy appearance in the soft iron when polished with natural stones. I got it a few weeks ago.

EdipisReks
03-10-2011, 02:26 PM
correction, i just remoted in to my home system to check my initial use notes, and the thickness over the heel on my Miz is 2.95mm. when i get the knife back i'll do a full measurement. if all the dimensions are .2 mm off of yours, UglyJoe, then i would say that quality control is pretty decent, for a knife manufactured this way. of course, they may also just be basically identical and we measured in slightly different places or in slightly different ways. that's not as much fun as obsessing about it, though. :)

UglyJoe
03-10-2011, 03:36 PM
Hah. Sounds good. You have the 270 as well? I'll have to see the pics with that new Keller handle on it... I think it's gonna look pretty sick...

EdipisReks
03-10-2011, 03:43 PM
yeah, i have a 270, too. i'll definitely post pics once i get the knife back.