View Full Version : Essentials of a good Gyuto/Chef's Knife?

Don Nguyen
11-07-2011, 04:12 PM
I recently finished my first knife (which was supposed to be a small chef's knife, but ended up shrinking to a paring knife), and I'm wanting to make some real knives for the kitchen now.

What are some of the essential characteristics of a good gyuto/chef's knife for you? What are common flaws you encounter with many knives that should be considered?

Knuckle clearance?
Handle qualities?
Profile type?
What else?

Pictures would be greatly appreciated too :)

11-07-2011, 06:22 PM
Height, somewhere between 48-60mm tall at the heel, with most being in the low 50s. Knuckle clearance shouldn't be a problem.

Length, anywhere between 210mm and 270mm on the edge, it's all personal preference. 240mm is the standard and would be a good place to start.

Thickness, most knives are under 3mm at the spine above the heel and taper towards the tip. Spine thickness is for rigidity, edge and behind the edge thickness is for cutting ability. Grind/geometry is for both.

Handle, should run along the same plane as the spine. No drooping or angling down towards the cutting board. While this seems ergonomic, it is not. When combined with a spine and edge that run towards each other, when the knife is on the cutting board, the handle should angle up slightly.

Profile, tip should be at or below the bottom of the bolster. Flat section that runs from the heel to 1/3 - 1/2 up the edge of the knife. Spine and edge should not run parallel to each other, they should angle towards one another.

What else? The grind/geometry. You want to convex your blade faces, not grind them flat. Here is a Murray Carter video on sharpening convex edges and blade faces. At first he is talking just about edges, but about 3:50 he also talks and has some good drawings about convex faces.


11-07-2011, 06:57 PM
Here (http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php?1717-gyuto-profile-opinions-wanted/page2) is a good discussion (and pictures) of some tried and true profiles, and what people prefer.

Here are some examples of some of the best work in the world.



Each a little different but they all accomplish the task beautifully. The Masamoto (my fav) is on the bottom and in the middle spine pick.

11-07-2011, 07:06 PM
Dang, Johnny! I guess I'll just +1 you. :)