View Full Version : Shiro Kamo Gyuto - any opinions?

01-07-2012, 05:07 AM
Hi everyone

Noob here. I bought myself my first japanese knife this week. I started out searching for a santoku, then realised I preferred a gyuto for starting. I wanted a carbon steel knife, a traditional one. After much reading around I'd narrowed my selection to these makers:

Shirou Kamo Shirogami 245mm
Moritaka Aogami 240mm
Takamura Hana 210mm
Shosui Takeda 240mm

This selection is based on what my local seller has on offer. I was able to take a look at all these and then decided to buy the Shirou Kamo for it's looks and feeling. It feels great though I expect it needs to be sharper. Still working on this. :)

I've been using the forum search to find any opinions on Shirou Kamo's work but could not find anything. Is he not known in US or are his knives not up to your standards?

Here's a pic of the knife:


Any opinions on the knife or the maker?

Cheers, Val.

01-07-2012, 06:01 AM
Congrats to this knife. Sirou Kamo has a great reputation in Germany and his knives are often recommended, especially if you are looking for thin blades with a nice profile. I personally don't like these damascus-laminated knifes, but all in all I think you have a very good knife there.

01-07-2012, 10:57 AM
I haven't heard of Shirou Kamo, but it looks like you have a nice gyuto there :) Profile seems seems nice. If you're happy with the feel of it and are going to spend some time practicing putting a nice edge on it, I think you're off to a great start :)

Eamon Burke
01-07-2012, 11:18 AM
Judging by it's appearance, and the fact that it is laminated VG-10 (http://www.ironchefknives.com.au/damascus-steel-chef-knife-gyuto-240mm-g-209-by-shiro-kamo?manufacturer_id=26), it looks to be a rebranded knife--made in a factory, sold without a handle or logo, and finished and re-sold through a variety of places. That doesn't make it garbage by any means(I use a VG-10 knife at work from time to time, and often at home), but I've never heard of an individual blade smith making a VG-10 knife.

Shiro Kamo is indeed a maker from Takefu, according to this website (http://www.essenschneiden.de/diverse.htm), but his knives are kasumi carbon steel in Blue #2 and White #2.

01-07-2012, 12:30 PM
Thank you all for the answers! :)

Now I'm slightly confused: According to my seller (you find him here, german only: http://www.japanische-kochmesser.ch/) this is a shirogami steel knife. That's white paper steel, is it not? Shirou Kamo is supposed to be an individual blade smith using white and blue steel combinations. I'm aware that he also produces VG-10 steel knives, but this should not be one of them.

Why do you say it's VG-10 laminated and factory produced? If that is the case, I payed for the wrong knife! :(


01-07-2012, 12:54 PM
Hmmm... the VG-10 blade on the first link sure looks like the one in Val's photo...

That's no guarantee that the one Val's got is VG-10 though. I have 2 Tanaka gyutos, for example, one VG10 core and the other blue 2 core. Looking at the blade portion alone (because the handles were a bit different) when they were both shiny & new, I'd have been hard pressed to tell which one was which.

Eamon Burke
01-07-2012, 01:22 PM
Is it stainless? White steel isn't stainless.

It just looks exactly like the picture of the one I found online that's listed as vg10, and shown with no handle.

01-07-2012, 01:30 PM
If it develops a patina on the cutting edge real quick, then it isn't stainless!! :2cents:

01-07-2012, 01:50 PM
Well that swiss site definitely says it's white 2. And I've got a whole bunch of those tanakas, so yeah, I could see that there are a couple different lines of these guys. As for whether everything was done in house ... don't know. I could see it going either way. But I'm also not sure about the Tanakas either, and yet they cut great regardless, so I don't think the question of whether the lamination was done in house should color your judgement if you're just looking for a great performing knife.

01-07-2012, 02:14 PM
Thanks for further answering my noob inquiries. It's definitely not stainless! Get's all kind of funky colours when I use it on avocados for instance.

After some further reading I found out: Shiro Kanou has several different lines of knives:

Aogami 2 (which I wanted but was on back order)
Shirogami 2 (which I supposedly got, here's the direct link (http://www.japanische-kochmesser.ch/Japanische-Damast-Messer/Shirou-Kamo-Shirogami-2:::108_254.html))

Several sites claim he's a „Dento-Kogei-shi“ title and is a member of Takefu Knife Village Association. I hope it's not a hoax.

Anyway the knife is extremely sharp for my very limited understanding. I hope it's good base material to take it further by sharpening, when I get better at this.

Again, thanks for your answers, all! :)


01-07-2012, 02:15 PM
If that's white 2, you got a SWEET knife! If it's VG10, you still got a sweet knife...I'm just partial to carbon.

Eamon Burke
01-07-2012, 03:52 PM
Nice. White steel is a good thing--doesn't hold an edge as long as Blue #2, but it is easier to sharpen. Great for a blade early in your j-knife experience!

01-08-2012, 04:47 AM
Thanks guys! I wonder, why are some here not so interested in damascus knives? Does it affect sharpness?


01-08-2012, 11:30 AM
The Damascus cladding is a matter of looks and preference. Some like it, some folks really love it, and for others it's a non-factor. It doesn't have any effect on the edge, cutting performance, or "sharpenability".

01-08-2012, 11:36 AM

Also, there is a difference between a damascus knife, and a damascus cladded knife. You will find people way more interested in the first; not so much in the second.

01-08-2012, 12:53 PM

Also, there is a difference between a damascus knife, and a damascus cladded knife. You will find people way more interested in the first; not so much in the second.

Ok, I did not know this. There's a lot to learn for me, I realize.


02-04-2015, 03:06 PM
Just ordered a 240 gyuto from newly available AS line. appears to be thick knife thin behind the edge with large bevels and a pretty flat profile.

02-04-2015, 03:32 PM
Thanks guys! I wonder, why are some here not so interested in damascus knives? Does it affect sharpness?


I don't care for "Damascus" for the same reasons that I don't care for gaudy custom handles: I'm not into bling! It's all personal preference, in the end. I prefer the aesthetic referred to as "shibui," which is more about nuance and subtle beauty mixed with functionality.


02-07-2015, 12:37 PM
put the knife to use for one full day, glad to say i came away pleased. the steel feels wonderful on the stones. profile is nice, a very slight curve all the way through which gives about 3" of flat spot at any which point in the action.
ku finish is nice matte/powdery feeling, not the glazed looking type.
handle is fine, i'd say about same as stock takeda handle.

heres a choil shot:

even though it was a risk trying a brand new line with nothing to go on; i pulled the trigger because it is tall, mine is almost 55mm at the heel, thick spine thin behind the edge style of blade that i enjoy, and made of san mai AS steel which is my favorite type, plus i prefer KU over kasumi. in other words, it's a sweet knife at a very attractive price point.

02-08-2015, 03:36 AM
Val, just for your information, it is a bit misleading to think of Takefu knife "village" as an actual village. It is basically a workers co-operative small factory, with an outlet attached to it, and another small building in which they do knife making demonstrations (or you can make a small knife their as a tourist experience) and an upstairs room for teaching schoolchildren about Japanese knives and knife skills.

I have spent a considerable amount of time there. They do hand forge a lot of knives and they also use stamped blades. Most knives are passed around for different batch processes, rather than being artisan made beginning to end.


02-08-2015, 02:11 PM
I am owning a 240mm as aswell and it s a good knife
Tall and a bit overlenght those are the two things I love. The handle was a bit crap so I changed with a coccobolo and pakka wood ferrule.
Recommended for everyone likes big knife