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View Full Version : Can a gyuto be too flat?



Dave Martell
03-26-2011, 09:38 PM
I know that we all have our preferences, some like a gyuto to be almost dead flat (contact patch of 3-4"), others prefer some rock in the belly (contact patch of 1-2"), and then others like something in between.

I know the drawbacks of having both too much belly as well as a dead clunk flat profile but what I'm wondering is can a gyuto be too flat on the curve to the tip whereas to prevent the knife from cutting some food stuffs like say a thick carrot? Have you ever had a knife make you wish for more belly, or more specifically more curve towards the tip, and if so why?

AMP01
03-27-2011, 12:41 AM
I have grown accustomed to a larger flat spot since I got into Gyuto's compared to the rock-chop of a western.

For me all flat with no belly is not good. Mostly flat with some slight belly is Great !!

Cheers,

Andrew

UglyJoe
03-27-2011, 12:52 AM
I think it has something to do with overall cutting length, as well. A 270 gives you more room for a 3-4" flat at the heel, and is one of the reasons I prefer this length and geometry. It's long enough for chopping julienne of most veg you might need to julienne with the flat spot, yet still allows a rocking motion when needed, as well as enough curve such that you can use the tip for slicing on the board. This is one of the reasons why I think the Mizuno 270 is the perfect gyuto. It does everything; I can chop, rock, julienne, slice, the whole 9 yards.

When you move to a 240 of necessity you have to give up one of those things, in my opinion, and this is the reason 270s are more versatile.

bishamon
03-27-2011, 01:31 AM
All flat plus long knife equals jamming the nose into the board at some point. I ordered my kiritsuke with a little more curve for this reason. Unless all you do is perfectly parallel thrust or push cutting you need some curve. 3-5" of flat blade is good.

UglyJoe
03-27-2011, 01:34 AM
To clarify/specify a little bit - For the average male 5'10" - 6'2", there is a certain radius that feels right from the hand down near the board at full contact to the hand and arm as high as can be "comfortable" with just the tip on the board. It's not that you can't get your hand higher off the board, or closer to the board, but there is a comfort zone that you want to be in. Most of us prefer a gyuto that at least allows for some precision work with the tip (I like to mince garlic with mine, particularly), and you need at least a small flatish space near the tip to do this. Then, within the framework of that average male size, you need approximately 125-145 mm from the tip down the length of the edge in order to allow for the proper rock, so that the knife can be used to rock when needed, but also so that the knife can be used for slicing with the tip on the board and the knife angled up from the board at just the right angle as to be comfortable and still work (this is probably the second or third most used motion that I use when cutting, btw). Once you incorporate that correct curvature to that part of the blade, it only allows for a certain length of flat real estate to work with back to the heel. On a 240 that translates out to about 100-120 mm or just at 4-4.75 inches or so, ideally, and on a 270 that translates to 130-150 or 5.25-6 inches or so. Most pros (and most home cooks like me of average size who like to chop to julienne) will tell you that that extra inch of dead flat makes chopping a much easier process, from onion to leafy herb to potato to squash, etc., etc. It's one of the reasons why I think 270s are really popular on the boards, and maybe not so popular for the general population, as your average internet user who gets into knives, sharpening, and extended discussion with people he doesn't usually know personally is probably most likely to be a male of average height, while your average knife purchaser (at least in the States) who DOESN'T get too much into sharpening and especially not into going on forums to talk about it is probably a female of smaller stature that leads to needing a smaller knife... ergo people on the forums TEND to suggest and prefer 270s while the average population tends to buy 210s-240s.

Eamon Burke
03-27-2011, 01:45 AM
Can a gyuto be too flat?

Not as long as it tapers up to a tip in any shape or form, I don't think so. I like it really flat. The times when you are hacking up lots of things very thinly and you look down and there is that accordion of food stuck together from that tiny part of the blade not making contact...makes me want to use a dedicated vegetable knife every time.

Abattoir
03-27-2011, 04:04 AM
that accordion of food stuck together from that tiny part of the blade not making contact...

I'll second this statement for sure. I've got one knife thats ever so slightly over ground at the heel and gets me every time.

As of late I've come to really really really use my 240 suji as my general purpose knife. I use the first 3-4" of my knife 80% of the time anyway so a suji makes the most sense.

I guess what I'm trying to get at is that a slightly curved tip and a flat belly get me by.

DrNaka
03-27-2011, 05:11 AM
I think a gyuto which is almost dead flat is called santoku and not gyuto in Japan.

apicius9
03-27-2011, 06:28 AM
I think a gyuto which is almost dead flat is called santoku and not gyuto in Japan.


:thumbsup: :razz:

Dave Martell
03-27-2011, 10:00 AM
Great insights gentleman. :thumbsup:

mikemac
03-27-2011, 10:54 AM
...can a gyuto be too flat on the curve to the tip...?

Yes - a gyuto / blade can seem too flat, but modifying your cutting sytle is the simple solution.
Best example I can think of is switching from a german style chefs to a french/gyuto style chefs. Thats changing from a rock chop to a sliding push cut.
But IMHO, a much worse issue is too much belly, and where that belly is located
You can fix a blade thats too flat. Kind of tough to add metal to a blade that has too much belly

Vertigo
03-27-2011, 11:33 AM
I like a little bit of curve at the end for slicing, but otherwise 5-6 inches dead flat. The classic French chef's pattern on Sabatiers is just about perfect for me.

Cadillac J
03-27-2011, 05:02 PM
Not in my experience at all...I love a flatter profile for push-cutting on all my gyuto/suji, as I do not rock my knife ever.

Takeda kirtsuke-shaped gyuto is about as flat as it can get, and I never ran into any problems with it..so I don't think the lack of a belly hinders ability at all.
http://i55.tinypic.com/11likpx.jpg

EdipisReks
03-27-2011, 05:45 PM
i would have said that too flat was possible before i completely change my cutting motion. now i really like having a long flat spot completely in contact with the board.

Dave Martell
03-27-2011, 06:22 PM
So this is coming back to a matter or preference for cutting technique used?

EdipisReks
03-27-2011, 06:36 PM
So this is coming back to a matter or preference for cutting technique used?

i would think so.

so_sleepy
03-27-2011, 07:08 PM
So this is coming back to a matter or preference for cutting technique used?

The two go together. If you prefer to push cut, you will seek flat profiled blades. If you prefer a flat profile, you will adopt a push cut technique.

Andy777
03-27-2011, 08:30 PM
Not in my experience at all...I love a flatter profile for push-cutting on all my gyuto/suji, as I do not rock my knife ever.

Takeda kirtsuke-shaped gyuto is about as flat as it can get, and I never ran into any problems with it..so I don't think the lack of a belly hinders ability at all.
http://i55.tinypic.com/11likpx.jpg

Oh man that thing is badass. I had one but much smaller that I sold. I have forgotten how much I love Takeda's knives. :jumpy:

Anyway enough ogling, I was going to post before I even saw that picture that Takeda's gyutos used to be very very flat, then we (Americans) all cried and would demand more belly so he changed them to suit us better.

I personally fall on the side of more flat versus more curve. I don't really rock when I cut so I like to have as much of the edge hit the board at once as possible. I do not like however a 100% dead flat edge, I find it too jarring. I need a little bit of curve toward the tip to compensate for the fact that the edge doesn't hit the board at the exact same angle each time I do a push cut. A great way to ruin a perfectly good knife is to have too much belly.

Pensacola Tiger
03-27-2011, 08:52 PM
Andy, while your drooling over that kiritsuke/gyuto, take a gander at this Takeda, one with a special profile:

http://i758.photobucket.com/albums/xx226/Pensacola_Tiger/Pensacola%20Tigers%20Knives/IMG_0859.jpg

Andy777
03-27-2011, 10:56 PM
Andy, while your drooling over that kiritsuke/gyuto, take a gander at this Takeda, one with a special profile:

http://i758.photobucket.com/albums/xx226/Pensacola_Tiger/Pensacola%20Tigers%20Knives/IMG_0859.jpg

Yup, badass too. :eek2:

Is that not as wide as his usual? I prefer my gyutos less wide. That one looks just right. :thumbsup:

Pensacola Tiger
03-27-2011, 11:19 PM
Yup, badass too. :eek2:

Is that not as wide as his usual? I prefer my gyutos less wide. That one looks just right. :thumbsup:

No, he made a special run that were significantly narrower. You're right, it is "just right".

Andy777
03-28-2011, 12:41 AM
I thought it looked extra badass compared to his standard "big santoku". Thanks for sharing. - Thanks also to Cadillac, I'm loving the Takeda knife porn in this thread. :jumping2:

BertMor
03-28-2011, 04:48 PM
I need some belly. yes I can push cut most things instead of rocking, but after 20 yrs in the kitchen somethings just can't be unlearned. Two of those are mincing parsley and garlic. No mater how much I try, I need to rock. Hence a belly. And I think everyone's estimate of contact patches are way off. The flat area on 270 is probably close to 6 inches (4 inches of curve) And on the curved part is probably around 1/8 to 1/4 inch. If you think I'm wrong break out a ruler and measure. :razz::

Cadillac J
03-28-2011, 09:19 PM
Andy, while your drooling over that kiritsuke/gyuto, take a gander at this Takeda, one with a special profile:

http://i758.photobucket.com/albums/xx226/Pensacola_Tiger/Pensacola%20Tigers%20Knives/IMG_0859.jpg

I was really happy to see they made a special run of narrow/flat gyutos. Man, I was about to sell my Takeda kiritsuke-gyuto a month ago, but I've found a new love for it. Just got done using it and it literally just makes push-cutting so much fun and holds its tin foil edge for such a long time!

Pensacola Tiger
03-28-2011, 09:38 PM
I was really happy to see they made a special run of narrow/flat gyutos. Man, I was about to sell my Takeda kiritsuke-gyuto a month ago, but I've found a new love for it. Just got done using it and it literally just makes push-cutting so much fun and holds its tin foil edge for such a long time!

I almost bought one like yours. The idea of having a unique shape appealed to me. But when this one showed up, I was glad I waited.

rysara
03-29-2011, 01:12 AM
Is that a reprofiled takeda?

jcsiii
03-29-2011, 03:42 AM
Hi guys,

I absolutely love flat gyuto's. I have a "beater" knife that I keep near by for chopping but most of my mise during the day is cutting and dicing. A flatter gyuto is better for this and faster IMO. The perfect knife for me would be 80% flat with a slight curve at the tip.

Pensacola Tiger
03-29-2011, 04:30 AM
Is that a reprofiled takeda?

No, it was forged with a special profile by Shosui Takeda.

Cadillac J
03-29-2011, 03:34 PM
The perfect knife for me would be 80% flat with a slight curve at the tip.

Glad to see you over here!

This profile sounds right up my alley...I wish they made more knives for us A-cup fans.