View Full Version : Another Which Knife Question: The Carbon Edition

12-30-2011, 02:26 AM
Hello all!

So I've been really enjoying my konosuke hd 270 gyuto, but I've been really missing the appeal and "it-factor" of wielding a carbon knife. While I could just go back to my old 240 Hiromoto AS, the sheer girth of the knife bothers me. Especially compared to the anorexic knife I've become accustomed to, it simply feels closer to using a tank to me. I know its a very popular knife and so many people adore it, but I just never found it satisfying. On the other hand, I dont want quite another laser. Definitely nice and thin but just the slightest bit of thickness increase over the HD would be beneficial for me.

Here is what I'm looking for:
-CARBON!...definitely not SK4, I've heard too much about excessive reactivity.
-240, especially on the longer side
-Under $200, I wish that could be extended but I'm a line cook in an urban setting
-Preferably yo handled. I like Wa, but I'm not craving it right now...know what I mean?
-Thin but not totally anorexic
-No big belly, those are the devil to me
-Preferably not a knife only available at CKTG.

So here are the knives I've been thinking about, and I was hoping for a little input from our esteemed expert crowd. I still need to research the dimensions of these knives but I figured I could ask for some personal experiences with the following:

$200 Masamoto HC (hear the steel is less reactive/more durable than the others)
$200 Misono Swedish "Dragon" (has a freaking dragon which I try to not let effect me...but sounds totally awesome)
$150 Masahiro Virgin Carbon (price is nice, know nothing of the steel)
$180 Suien VC (I know practically nothing of this knife, but it seems to meet my criteria...)

12-30-2011, 04:37 AM
I think the Masamot HC is the same as the "Virgin Carbon" line at Korin. That was my first J-knife, I will vouch for it being less reactive than than the misono, and about the same as the masahiro. I had the Masahiro for a while after the Masamoto grew legs. I don't know anything of the suien.

The masahiro is a nice knife for the price, but I would personally pay more for the Masamoto every time if I could afford it. The grind on the masamoto was more even, had better distal, as well as from spine to edge. I remember the Masahiro having more flex and being thinner across the whole length of the spine, not showing much taper. F+F were about the same on both in terms of handle fitting, but everything changes here in Miami with the humidity, and I'm sure it's the same for you, I know the masamoto handle was unaffected, but didn't have the masahiro long enough to say.

I say buy the Masamoto unless you want a dragon on your knife, my 2cents


12-30-2011, 07:20 AM

The Masamoto HC is an incredible knife.

I also own the Misonso Sweden (Dragon) and Masahiro VC and, as good as they are, the HC is noticably better.

12-30-2011, 12:12 PM
Does anyone have confirmation that the Masamoto HC is the same as the "VC" line at Korin? How thin is the masamoto behind the edge? Obviously I could thin it, but just wondering how much would be necessary I suppose.

12-30-2011, 12:58 PM
Regarding the Misono Swedish Carbon gyuto, I have one and the longer I have owned it, the more I like it. It doesn't get used quite as often as some as my other knives, purely because it has to go in a drawer (too long for my rack), but when I do use it, or take it out to play around with it, I am constantly impressed. It gets a great edge, holds it really well, and is a great "heavy cutter".
For a while, I thought Misono had priced themselves out of the game, with the increase last March. However, now that I have had time to digest the new prices, I honestly feel the Swede line is worth every penny, and is one of the best 240 gyutos available for $200.
I just thought i'd tell you my opinion to screw you up a little more ;)

12-30-2011, 01:29 PM
I actually appreciate the input, Lefty, and I will definitely consider it too. The dragon is so freaking cool, but ultimately I would prefer better performance because it will keep me interested in the knife. What would the performance differences be between the Masamoto and the Misono? Edge retention?

It will be used in a pro kitchen environment if that makes any difference.

12-30-2011, 01:37 PM
I have not owned the Misono or used it for an extended period so I cannot speak to performance, what I can say from having spent a few hours with it on different occasions is that it is more reactive than the Masamoto, for me this is important at work, but in the end though they are both carbon and require more attention, and some patina.


12-30-2011, 02:00 PM
Ever so slightly over your budget, but what about this Sakai Takayuki Blue Steel Gyuto. (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Japanese-Sakai-Takayuki-Blue-Steel-Gyuto-Knife-240mm-/230722045988?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item35b81b0824) Great price for blue steel and it seems to fit your criteria.

12-30-2011, 06:17 PM
FYI - Korin has its 15% sale right now so the Masamoto will be less expensive than usual.

12-30-2011, 08:21 PM
The dragon rules!

01-01-2012, 12:23 PM
Thanks for the third option Mr Stefano! That is a good price for blue steel.

I'm also considering going in the opposite direction and trying to save some money. What do you guys know/feel about the Masahiro VC? Someone told me it might be SK-4 but I'm not sure thats true. Also that price is pretty dang awesome. How does it compare to the Masamoto HC?

01-01-2012, 12:53 PM
Oops, got so caught up in looking at the misono and the masamoto I forgot that I had already asked about the Masahiro. Lol

01-01-2012, 03:26 PM
I read third time maybe about the huge reactivity of the Misono, and Im thinking to myself, did i bought wrong swedish ?? I mean, I have carbon parer that gets all the shite jobs in pro environment and it never really got stinkey... Dude working with me have 240 chefs and the edge profile is a winner for me, very very cool, its also crazy thin behind the edge, handle is nice and big and very well fitted.

If you want to save some money, go for the Kanefusa SK4 line, I was thinking of it long time, finally bought a petty and for 40 bucks its best deal ever. Gets crazy sharp easily and altough it will stink for a month or so it never discolorated my onion, from new i just bashed mustard on it straight away.

01-01-2012, 03:48 PM
I've not noticed any difference in reactivity in sk4 vs white no.2. if you like the performance of the HD why not consider the Sakai Yusuke in white no.2 I know it's not a thicker knife but it seems to be an excellent value.

01-01-2012, 06:58 PM
IME, the Masahiro VC is sharper than the Misono and a little bit less reactive too. The Misono has a very narrow blade with very pointy (Somewhat delicate) spear-tip. The Masahiro, like the Masamoto, has a more rounded, sturdy, sheeps-foot-shaped tip and is also somewhat wider.

The other main difference is the Masahiro has a larger, blockier pakkawood handle.

I found that the Misono and Masahiro are both more reactive than the Masamoto HC.

The Sakai Yusuke in White#2 is also a fantastic knife. I have the Wa version which is super-thin. The Yo version will be slightly less thin and has the best fit and finish of any carbon knife. Well worth consideration.

PS: the Masahiro Virgin Carbon is def not SK-4. My feeling is that it is something fairly close to the HC which BDL claims is Takefu V2C.

01-04-2012, 03:04 AM
Is it totally my imagination or does Masahiro not seem to attract much love and attention on these forums? Is it too close to the Masamoto?

I can definitely look into Sakai Yusuke, but I had heard that they are so similar to konosuke that I wouldn't feel like I was really branching out much. Every profile and choil shot I've seen on the Masamoto seems about what I'm looking for--though I'm having trouble finding enough images to compare the Masahiro. I guess what I'm really trying to find out is where the $70 difference between the knives comes into play--superior taper? Noticeably superior edge characteristics?

01-04-2012, 03:50 AM
Has anyone used Susin's Virgin Carbon (on korin) gyuto? I used their petty version and love it. Inexpensive and it takes a nice edge.

01-04-2012, 03:50 AM
Right on all counts.

The Yusuke is very similar to the Konosuke.

The extra $$ for the Masamoto goes into the grind and the steel (or noticeably superior edge characteristics, imo). It would probably also have to be said that a little $ also goes into the Masamoto brand.