View Full Version : Mario 230mm Custom Gyuto

07-29-2012, 01:22 AM
Mario Knife Review

I have watched Mario’s progress as a knife maker with some interest and earlier this year decided to sell off some of my less used knives in order to fund a custom order from him. I wanted a 230mm gyuto with a fairly flat profile and black/red handle of an nontraditional design. I drew up some sketches and sent them along to Mario and within a few months he turned my sketches into a knife. What follows is my overdue review of the knife (more on the reason it is overdue later).

Weights and Measurements:

Weight – 228g
Overall Length – 360mm
Blade Length – 243mm
Cutting Edge Length – 230mm
Handle Length – 117
Blade Height at Heel – 48mm
Blade Height 30mm from tip – 22mm
Spine Thickness at Handle - ~2.75mm
Spine Thickness 30mm from Tip - ~1mm
Thickness ˝ between spine and edge - ~2mm

Fit and Finish:

Fantastic, just what I would expect from a custom. Everything is comfortably rounded and materials for the handle are all tight and well aligned. The attention to F and F detail translates into an extremely comfortable knife to hold.

Blade Shape:

I’ve gradually been moving towards flatter edge profiles and I think this particular profile hits a nice sweet spot between too much and too little belly. It’s a really efficient push cutter with lots of edge to work with at the tip. The height of the blade is perfect for me, not so tall that I feel disconnected from the food when cutting, but not so short that blade geometry suffers (from my experience it takes a certain level of blade height, given a spine thickness over 2.5mm, to facilitate an edge thin enough to fall through food, but not so thin as to be fragile).

Blade Grind:

Mario put a significant convex grind on the blade, more significant than any other knife I own, and I am beginning to appreciate the practical advantage of this type of grind. The knife is very thin at the edge while being fairly robust at the spine. It also appears that the thickness at the spine is also slightly less than the thickness near the middle of the blade. This shape seems to have a positive effect on food stiction. The grind is also very consistent along the length of the blade, after a couple of sharpenings I have yet to detect any high or low spots in the grind.


The handle has a bit of a story behind it. I mentioned earlier that this review was longer in coming than it should have been, and this is due to the fact that the original handle was too wide to comfortably accommodate my pinch grip (due mostly to my ignorance about the thickness added by a spacer). The fit and finish of the handle were excellent, but it was just too wide and so having communicated my plight to Mario he was kind enough to offer to reshape the handle to better fit my hand.

He did just that and although the shape of the handle was changed from wa-estern to a rounded western, I could not be happier about how comfortable the handle feels now and how accommodating Mario was in meeting my requests for the handle (bottom 2 pics are of the slim handle).

Performance and Overall Impression:

There’s a lot to be said about the cutting performance of any knife, but most of what is said will be largely subjective and due as much to the sharpening ability of the user as to the grind/profile of the knife. So I will just say that this knife cuts as well as my DT ITK, meaning it goes through the food I cut with minimal effort, retains its sharpness for longer than my DT, Carter white, yoshihiro white 2, fanatic, or tojiro dps, but is more difficult to sharpen, in the sense that it takes more effort to wear down the steel, than any of those knives and doesn’t keep a super keen freshly sharpened edge for as long as the DT.

The balance point is a little in front of the junction between the handle and blade, putting it almost exactly at my pinch grip point. For me this translates into very comfortable blade control when cutting.

Overall this is the nicest knife I own, with respect to looks and profile, and the best feeling that I’ve held. Mario is an excellent craftsman who obviously takes a lot of pride in his work, and I would not hesitate to recommend him to anyone in the market for a custom.


07-29-2012, 01:29 AM
Pics are missing/broken.

07-29-2012, 02:07 AM
Thanks! That's a very fair review, IMO. The only thing that surprises me is the edge retention and wear resistance observations. I thought Mario's knives had decent edge retention (probably not better than Devin's AEB-L) and were pretty nice and easy to grind.

07-29-2012, 04:08 PM
Pics are missing/broken.

Hmmm shows up fine for me, might have something to do with the links being from my email.

Link to album: https://plus.google.com/photos/101802998453681167903/albums/5770459908011772289?authkey=COaHvaiCwNPv3gE

07-29-2012, 04:16 PM
Thanks! That's a very fair review, IMO. The only thing that surprises me is the edge retention and wear resistance observations. I thought Mario's knives had decent edge retention (probably not better than Devin's AEB-L) and were pretty nice and easy to grind.

I was a bit surprised by this as well. I'm thinking that my cutting technique, which admittedly is amateur at best, is likely messing up the expected results. The DT seems sharper to me at the 15edge/10back bevel that both knives have been sharpened at, and holds a super keen edge longer, but reaches a noticeably dullish stage more quickly than Mario's. At first I thought I might be leaving a wire edge on the DT, but there's none that I could detect in the last couple sharpenings. Wear resistance wise they're pretty close, but Mario's took 10-15more passes per side to set the bevels than the DT.

07-29-2012, 04:56 PM
Access to pics require logging on with a Google account.

07-29-2012, 05:06 PM
Access to pics require logging on with a Google account.

The album link should work without G+ account.

07-29-2012, 06:22 PM
Don't need g+, but a google account, which google links when you sign up for g+. If you have gmail (which not everyone does, or wants to) you have no problems. Its a way to see what patterns are used on clicks to sell advertising.

07-29-2012, 09:29 PM
Thanx for the in depth review and I am happy you like the knife.

07-30-2012, 06:18 AM
Nice review, and a nice looking knife :D
embedded the pics if it helps:





07-30-2012, 02:50 PM
Nice review! It sounds like Mario's knives are currently some of the best bargains in the knife world.

To embed the full-size images, left click on the image to view it full-size, then right-click on it and select "copy image url."
Then, go back to the forum and click on the "insert image" button and paste in the url.