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View Full Version : Yoshiaki Fujiwara-Kato 240mm review



mainaman
08-24-2012, 01:20 AM
Today I received my 240mm Kato gyuto from Maksim
http://www.japanesenaturalstones.com/Kato-Yoshiaki-Fujiwara-240mm-Gyuto-p/588.htm

I did a little sharpening and a little testing and decided to post a mini review, that I will add to a few times as time goes on.

#1. First impression OOTB, great looking knife, the profile is not like any other gyuto I can think of and I like it.
I really like the burned chestnut handle, my first one and I am really impressed, very nice feel to it and the looks is great. Definitely feels better more solid than Ho wood handle. Nice rounded spine, the choil not so much but I am fine with that it does not bother me. The kanji is killer IMO, deep and large symbols, I like that a lot.

#2. Sharpness OOTB was decent but not great, the edge was the maker's edge not sharpened by Maksim.

#3. The knife according to the specs is ~270g so pretty heavy if you go by the number, however in hand it feels solid but not heavy, kind of weird but that how I feel it.

Performance:
I compared cutting to 240mm Shigefusa that was finished pretty high on naturals against the Kato edge OOTB.
I tested only on apple, the Kato cut noticeably better than the Shig :wow:, the Shige had harder time cutting trough and needed more effort to finish the cut.
The knife is pretty thick by the common definitions here, but the grind somehow is really really good and makes the cutting rather easy without wedging.

Second test was after I sharpened the knife on the JNS 3k (aoto).
I cut a bunch of celery, and again the Kato cut noticeably better. Both knives cut the celery easy only the Kato felt a lot better while cutting. For once again the grind just makes cutting entirely different experience, but I also realized that the knife has very very good feedback. I guess it is the steel and the whole knife construction, but you can feel the board while cutting, sort of live feeling that the Shigefusa or Moritaka(my beater gyuto) do not provide. The feeling is as if the knife sinks in the board, only it does not and the feeling is not sticky. I think I have seen honyaki described as similar feeling.
The cladding did not show any signs of reaction after cutting and I did not feel any of the smell typical for carbon knives cutting acidic good.

I was worried a bit that the weight will be a bit much for me, I do not like heavy knives or too light for that matter, but as I mentioned above the knife feels solid and not heavy.

So far that is all I got, I'll add a few more times as I get to cut some more, but from initial impressions I have to say it is a really good knife really worth looking into IMO.

chinacats
08-24-2012, 01:59 AM
Thanks for the review, let us know how it goes as you get a chance to use it more.

maxim
08-24-2012, 10:45 AM
Thanks Stefan for nice review :)
I am much more confident now in my observation with that knife

Johnny.B.Good
08-24-2012, 10:28 PM
Nice review.

These sound like special knives...

mainaman
08-24-2012, 10:52 PM
Nice review.

These sound like special knives...Definitely great cutting performance and feel.

maxim
08-25-2012, 06:26 PM
I also noticed today that it holds edge much longer then any of my other carbon knives. After 1 week without sharpening it still cut tomato skin like new :knife:
Let us know how you experience it

mainaman
08-26-2012, 12:45 PM
Today I did some more cutting with the Kato.
I did compare to Shigefusa on yellow squash, cabbage, carrots, onions.
The Kato came on top for performance, the noticeable difference being it cuts much more effortlessly the carrots and squash, so it performs better on items that are more prone to wedging. I really like that knife.

mainaman
08-29-2012, 12:11 AM
Some notes on sharpening the knife.
When I received the knife I used it for a few test with the edge OOTB, then sharpened it a bit on the 3k JNS Aoto.
Today decided to sharpen the knife a bit more to see how ti will turn out not that it needed any sharpening from the previous time.
So I used the 3k JNS and the 6k JNS, I am very impressed by the steel. Easy to sharpen, no wire edge and very hard, harder than Shigefusa for sure.
The bevels are very narrow which is another sign of a very thin behind the edge geometry. After the 6k stone I did not see any wire edge again.
Next time I will put it on natural stones to see how it behaves, but I must say I am very impressed by this knife on all levels.

bieniek
08-29-2012, 03:11 PM
Thanks for that, nice read.

Im not crazy, it seems...

Anyways I think its kinda funny more and more folks here think real japanese knife is paper thin. But if you look at the fujiwara - i mean not yoshiaki[also] but teruyasu, or shigefusa, Heiji, they are all thickish. Ad those are the real small producers.

mainaman
08-29-2012, 03:45 PM
Thanks for that, nice read.

Im not crazy, it seems...

Anyways I think its kinda funny more and more folks here think real japanese knife is paper thin. But if you look at the fujiwara - i mean not yoshiaki[also] but teruyasu, or shigefusa, Heiji, they are all thickish. Ad those are the real small producers.
I agree, if I were to order another Shigefusa now I'd go for thicker than their stock not thinner.

heirkb
08-29-2012, 06:03 PM
I agree, if I were to order another Shigefusa now I'd go for thicker than their stock not thinner.

You know, I was wondering the same about Heiji. I think asking for thinner than stock might actually not allow them to create this same type of geometry, but I could be wrong.

mainaman
08-29-2012, 06:07 PM
You know, I was wondering the same about Heiji. I think asking for thinner than stock might actually not allow them to create this same type of geometry, but I could be wrong.
my opinion too

picopox
09-26-2012, 04:27 PM
Any more updates to this knife? Kind of interested in hearing more about it as you use it more.

mainaman
09-26-2012, 04:49 PM
Any more updates to this knife? Kind of interested in hearing more about it as you use it more.
The only update I can give is that it is awesome.
Light patina but not reactive at all, cuts super, still have not had to sharpen since last time I did so ~3 weeks a go.
Get one while they available

markenki
09-27-2012, 02:22 AM
Get one while they available
All the gyutos are gone (for now). There were still three left earlier today.

picopox
09-27-2012, 12:05 PM
Well that's good. I hope there are more reviews about this. Meanwhile...gathering funds...

mainaman
09-27-2012, 12:19 PM
Well that's good. I hope there are more reviews about this. Meanwhile...gathering funds...Frankly I do not understand what more reviews are needed. A pro chef made a big review, I am home cook and made a review. Another member also did a review, if I am not wrong he is a chef too.
If a pro says it performs then it performs. I know hard to judge by words, but for what it is worth I like it better than Shigefusa and I am a big Shigefusa fan.

Cutty Sharp
09-27-2012, 12:30 PM
Frankly I do not understand what more reviews are needed. A pro chef made a big review, I am home cook and made a review. Another member also did a review, if I am not wrong he is a chef too.
If a pro says it performs then it performs. I know hard to judge by words, but for what it is worth I like it better than Shigefusa and I am a big Shigefusa fan.

Mainaman - I remember someone selling off their 24 cm Shige gyuto recently (went in a flash). Was it you? Another member seemed to think it was. If so, that would be a big statement.

picopox
09-27-2012, 12:35 PM
Frankly I do not understand what more reviews are needed. A pro chef made a big review, I am home cook and made a review. Another member also did a review, if I am not wrong he is a chef too.
If a pro says it performs then it performs. I know hard to judge by words, but for what it is worth I like it better than Shigefusa and I am a big Shigefusa fan.

No no no please don't misunderstand. Pro reviews are awesome, I trust you completely. I think I just like to read reviews in general :D

mainaman
09-27-2012, 12:54 PM
No no no please don't misunderstand. Pro reviews are awesome, I trust you completely. I think I just like to read reviews in general :D
Yes I did sell my Shige gyuto and also suji, and plan on getting Kato suji as soon as I have the money.
I also have a 180mm Kato petty, cuts superbly as well.

mainaman
09-27-2012, 12:57 PM
No no no please don't misunderstand. Pro reviews are awesome, I trust you completely. I think I just like to read reviews in general :D
No problem picopx, reviews are nice but the proof is in the pudding as they say.

Cutty Sharp
09-27-2012, 01:46 PM
Yes I did sell my Shige gyuto and also suji, and plan on getting Kato suji as soon as I have the money.
I also have a 180mm Kato petty, cuts superbly as well.

I'm hoping to get one in some form in the future. Thanks for all the feedback on the two you have.

mpukas
09-27-2012, 04:52 PM
Frankly I do not understand what more reviews are needed.

Got any pics of your knife?

mainaman
09-27-2012, 04:59 PM
Got any pics of your knife?
There you go
http://i49.tinypic.com/f1b3ox.jpg
http://i49.tinypic.com/25q8490.jpg

Together with Kato petty

http://i49.tinypic.com/30az2ig.jpg

mhlee
09-27-2012, 05:12 PM
There you go
http://i49.tinypic.com/f1b3ox.jpg
http://i49.tinypic.com/25q8490.jpg

Together with Kato petty

http://i49.tinypic.com/30az2ig.jpg

When I saw these pictures, I thought to myself, "MAN! NICE RAZORS!" rather than "NICE KNIVES!" :ohmy:

The knives do look great though. Thanks for the pics! :coolphotos:

bieniek
09-27-2012, 05:36 PM
hehe

When I look at the shape of the blade of kato, I think its so... hehe so ponderous and twatt'y...

No wonder people have hard time believing it cuts so well.

picopox
09-27-2012, 06:01 PM
When I saw these pictures, I thought to myself, "MAN! NICE RAZORS!" rather than "NICE KNIVES!" :ohmy:

The knives do look great though. Thanks for the pics! :coolphotos:

That's exactly what I thought haha

heirkb
09-27-2012, 06:04 PM
Frankly I do not understand what more reviews are needed. A pro chef made a big review, I am home cook and made a review. Another member also did a review, if I am not wrong he is a chef too.
If a pro says it performs then it performs. I know hard to judge by words, but for what it is worth I like it better than Shigefusa and I am a big Shigefusa fan.

Honestly, the reason I'm not sure yet is that I didn't love my Shig all that much. I also recently found a few knives that undoubtedly cut better than my Heijis (a Tilman and a Marko). Neither one of those is a laser, but they're not thick either. I'm wondering if the thick knives can win me back.

scott6452
09-27-2012, 06:57 PM
Honestly, the reason I'm not sure yet is that I didn't love my Shig all that much. I also recently found a few knives that undoubtedly cut better than my Heijis (a Tilman and a Marko). Neither one of those is a laser, but they're not thick either. I'm wondering if the thick knives can win me back.

I completely agree! Not too sure if it gives the maker so much more freedom with grind on a thicker knife? The two things that confirmed this were 1. The 5mm Kato and 2. The 2mm ultimatum m390 that is the worst cutter I own!

mainaman
09-27-2012, 07:45 PM
That's exactly what I thought haha
He he you guys..
I'll post pics of the ones that are mine (in the razor thread) when I am done fixing them.

heirkb
09-27-2012, 07:49 PM
Wow just noticed the razors. Tons of Japanese blades, a Puma (?)...nice!

mainaman
09-27-2012, 07:58 PM
Wow just noticed the razors. Tons of Japanese blades, a Puma (?)...nice!
There are 2 Pumas actually both mine, a bunch of Japanese blades and a few western ones that I am working on for someone.

chinacats
09-28-2012, 01:33 AM
There you go
http://i49.tinypic.com/f1b3ox.jpg
http://i49.tinypic.com/25q8490.jpg

Together with Kato petty

http://i49.tinypic.com/30az2ig.jpg

Not sure if it is me, the photos or actually the profile, but it does look 'different.'

markenki
09-28-2012, 01:41 AM
Not sure if it is me, the photos or actually the profile, but it does look 'different.'
Different from?

mainaman
09-28-2012, 06:57 AM
Different from?
+1

mpukas
09-29-2012, 04:46 PM
There you go

Thanks for the pics.

Yeah, I agree w/ the above post - not sure if it's the pic, but it does look "different". Different from what? Different from most all other Japanese knives I've owned and looked at. Yours being a 240, and bieniek's beign a 270 (I think) yours does look a bit pudgy in the pics. Not that that's a bad thing, just an observation.

I'm also not convinced of the thick knives. My Heiji is a good cutter, but not as good as my Yusuke KS clone, which has a better convex grind and is 1/2 as fat. The Heiji is not really convex - it's got wide hamaguri bevels, but the blade face above the bevels is dead flat. Sticktion + wedging. Do these Kato's have a convex face above the bevel?

Nice razors, btw. I have no idea what's what in there, but it's intriguing!!!

mainaman
09-29-2012, 05:05 PM
Thanks for the pics.

Yeah, I agree w/ the above post - not sure if it's the pic, but it does look "different". Different from what? Different from most all other Japanese knives I've owned and looked at. I can agree it somehow looks different it also cuts a lot better than anything I have tried so far.


I'm also not convinced of the thick knives. My Heiji is a good cutter, but not as good as my Yusuke KS clone, which has a better convex grind and is 1/2 as fat. The Heiji is not really convex - it's got wide hamaguri bevels, but the blade face above the bevels is dead flat. Sticktion + wedging. Do these Kato's have a convex face above the bevel? no flats on the sides of this knife, again you gotta try it to understand what we mean by it cuts like nothing else I have tried. There is no wedging that I have experienced yet, apples, potatoes, squash no wedging. The steel is just really good, very hard and holds edge teally long, unlike any other knife I have owned.

wsfarrell
10-02-2012, 03:49 PM
My Kato 240 arrived yesterday. I tested it on some large carrots against a 240 Shigefusa, Konosuke HD, and Devin Thomas ITK. I was really really really skeptical that a knife this thick would outcut a Shig, but it did. Not by much, though: If the Kato is 100, the Shigefusa is 97.5, the Kono 93 and the DT 91. Those numbers are totally subjective, and will change as I cut more stuff, but I'm impressed.

Sighting along the blade profile from the heel, it looks exceedingly thin near the edge, almost hollow ground, though I'm not experienced enough to be sure. Maybe Maxim has some clues as to how these are produced?

Von blewitt
10-02-2012, 06:43 PM
My Kato 240 arrived yesterday. I tested it on some large carrots against a 240 Shigefusa, Konosuke HD, and Devin Thomas ITK. I was really really really skeptical that a knife this thick would outcut a Shig, but it did. Not by much, though: If the Kato is 100, the Shigefusa is 97.5, the Kono 93 and the DT 91. Those numbers are totally subjective, and will change as I cut more stuff, but I'm impressed.

Sighting along the blade profile from the heel, it looks exceedingly thin near the edge, almost hollow ground, though I'm not experienced enough to be sure. Maybe Maxim has some clues as to how these are produced?

I've had my 270 kato gyuto for about a month, and yesterday received the 240 shig I bought from the BST section. I must say that although they cut differently I find it hard to separate them. The kato glides through food more easily but I feel like the shig offers more feedback. I'm glad to have both!

mainaman
10-02-2012, 06:57 PM
I've had my 270 kato gyuto for about a month, and yesterday received the 240 shig I bought from the BST section. I must say that although they cut differently I find it hard to separate them. The kato glides through food more easily but I feel like the shig offers more feedback. I'm glad to have both!
Max told me the Kato are more hand made than Shigefusa.

bieniek
10-03-2012, 05:20 AM
but I feel like the shig offers more feedback.

funny you say that cause for me its other way around :)
I feel like the shig is a little "not present" when cutting

maxim
10-03-2012, 06:01 AM
When skepticism pass it will be very different knife 😄
Kato grind is very convex from the spine to the edge


My Kato 240 arrived yesterday. I tested it on some large carrots against a 240 Shigefusa, Konosuke HD, and Devin Thomas ITK. I was really really really skeptical that a knife this thick would outcut a Shig, but it did. Not by much, though: If the Kato is 100, the Shigefusa is 97.5, the Kono 93 and the DT 91. Those numbers are totally subjective, and will change as I cut more stuff, but I'm impressed.

Sighting along the blade profile from the heel, it looks exceedingly thin near the edge, almost hollow ground, though I'm not experienced enough to be sure. Maybe Maxim has some clues as to how these are produced?

mainaman
10-03-2012, 07:11 AM
funny you say that cause for me its other way around :)
I feel like the shig is a little "not present" when cutting
same for me, no way Shigefusa offers more feedback , but to each their own.