PDA

View Full Version : home cook workhorse Wa-gyuto <$400



David88
12-02-2012, 08:34 PM
Hello there,

My name is Dave from Sydney.

I am in the market for a wa-gyuto to arrive by christmas. I have only recently begun researching japanese knives and could use some guidance. I apologise for all the length of this enquiry, I will try to give you as much information as I can.


The maximum i wish to spend is $400 but if there was an option slightly higher i may be able to stretch it.

I am only a home cook however I want a nice piece to replace my current chef knife and to keep for a long time. I think 240mm would be perfect length for me. I am concerned about chipping and damage and I like some weight to a knife so I would not like to go down the laser path. I really want a tough all rounder that can take the abuse that may be inflicted by an untrained cook.


I am relatively inexperienced with waterstone sharpening but I intend on picking it up before the knife arrives. I have a 1000 and 6000 stone and intend on purchasing a ceramic rod. I will also have the knife occasionally touched up professionally. I want the knife to be sharp out of the box and ready to use without any additional work.


Aesthetically I do not like damascus patterns unless it is very mild. I would like some flash to the knife though and I particularly like one with a visible Harmon wave. I also like the look of polished blades but am happy with plain finish. I am not a fan of the black finish. I do not mind a knife that will patina but I do not intend on wiping the knife constantly so perhaps a semi stainless or stainless clad is a good option? As I said before a Wa handle is preferred and I am right handed. I would also like a saya with this knife.



With all the above points I am thinking that a knife with Aogami super steel (so i do not need to sharpen as often) core and a stainless or semi stainless cladding would be ideal for me. Are there any drawbacks with a san-mai style knife? I have read people saying that they feel bad to use however I am only a home cook so will I notice the difference?

Of course the knowledgable members of this forum will know better what types of steel will suite my requirements.



I was hoping that someone would be able to give me a list of suggestions that would be suitable for me. I have emailed some online stores and awaiting reply.

Thank you for your help, I look forward to contributing to this forum in due course.

Kind regards

Dave

Von blewitt
12-02-2012, 08:56 PM
G'day Dave, good to have more Aussies here.
You will get lots of opinions here and have lots to choose from, most of which will suit your needs, so it will just be a matter of choosing the one you like.
My recommendation will be http://www.japanesenaturalstones.com/URLrewrite.asp?404;http://www.japanesenaturalstones.com:80/Zensho-Yoshikane-SKD-Kasumi-Gyuto-240-mm-p/613.htm
Yoshikane SKD gyuto from Maksim at Japanese natural stones. I have bought plenty of stuff from him and it always arrives within a week. You can chat with him through his website ( he is usually online after 5pm our time) and he is very helpful. Only thing I see against it for you is, I'm not sure it comes with a saya

Good luck with the search

mc2442
12-02-2012, 09:19 PM
Welcome!

As a home cook, I would not be overly concerned with the edge retention as long as you have a decent cutting surface. Just an amateur's observation, but mine last a very long time.

pitonboy
12-02-2012, 09:34 PM
The trusty Hiromoto AS with stainless cladding, aogami super hagane, prominent hamon line and less than $200--what more could you want? Pretty much every one of the regulars here has or has had one of these; cuts well but can be improved with thinning, western or wa handled. Great value and you can buy another knife with your savings.

K-Fed
12-02-2012, 09:38 PM
One of my favorites for pure no frills work horse performance is the kikuichi tkc. Though there are many options within your budget. Sakai yusuke, gesshin ginga, suisin western, konosuke hd or hh, gesshin kagero, are all great knives and worth a look.

bikehunter
12-02-2012, 10:22 PM
Welcome!

EdipisReks
12-02-2012, 10:37 PM
buy cheaper knives and practice sharpening. once you are good at sharpening, then buy a $400 knife.

WiscoNole
12-02-2012, 10:38 PM
Don't be scared off by carbon's extra care requirements. you really don't have to go too nuts on most blades, and after a patina forms (which is beautiful and reflects what you cut and your cutting style, "personalizing" the knife for you) you really don't have to worry about it much at all. I can leave my workhorse, a Masamoto KS 240 mm wa-gyuto, with food on it for 20 minutes without a negative impact. in fact, that's the knife I would recommend. it's not very light or heavy, has an amazing profile, and very good White steel. it also comes with a nice saya. you can get one delivered to Aus in 3 days from japanesechefsknife.com

labor of love
12-02-2012, 10:56 PM
Don't be scared off by carbon's extra care requirements. you really don't have to go too nuts on most blades, and after a patina forms (which is beautiful and reflects what you cut and your cutting style, "personalizing" the knife for you) you really don't have to worry about it much at all. I can leave my workhorse, a Masamoto KS 240 mm wa-gyuto, with food on it for 20 minutes without a negative impact. in fact, that's the knife I would recommend. it's not very light or heavy, has an amazing profile, and very good White steel. it also comes with a nice saya. you can get one delivered to Aus in 3 days from japanesechefsknife.com
theyre actually in stock at the moment also. which seems to be a rarity.

cclin
12-02-2012, 11:02 PM
+1 for Hiromoto AS 240mm gyuto with Dave's thinning, re-handle & etch package! you will end up a nice looking one of kind half custom knife with great cutting performance!! check here (http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php/150-Gallery-Western-Re-Handles)to see what you can do with Hiromoto AS...

JKerr
12-03-2012, 06:43 AM
I'll +1 on what Wisconole said; in regards to carbon blades anyway, I haven't used a Masamoto (yet), so I can't comment on that. But carbon blades are a lot more forgiving than they're made out to be. I remember when I took the plunge on my first carbon (Sabatier) and was hesitant as I was worried about it rusting up on my as soon as I turned my back on it after cutting a tomato. They reality is, they can sit for a long time before anything severe is going to happen and any unsightly discoloration can easy be scrubbed off without damaging the knife.

For example: My main workhorse is a Sugimoto #6 cleaver (white steel, carbon clad). I can happily mince 2 kilos of garlic with it (the boss doesn't believe in Robo Coups, don't ask me why) which probably takes about 30mins, then maybe another 5mins tops while I attend to packing the garlic away and cleaning the bench before my personal affects. If I leave it too long I might get some orange discoloring on the blade which I don't want, but I can easy take it off with a soft scourer and hot water in a few seconds. i like to think I cut an abnormal amount of acid foods in my work place (certainly in my personal experience) and I don't have a problem. It'd be even less of a problem in the home, due to the quantity being cut and hence the amount of time the knife is in reactive foods. Say you're making something like hamburgers:
Peel onion and garlic, bin scraps
finely dice onion, set aside and clean board/knife
chop garlic, set aside, clean board/knife
chop herbs (if you feel so inclined), clean board/knife
chop/mince protein
etc, etc

I find regardless of the knife used, I tend to wipe the the board and knife after each ingredient anyway in the interest of being clean; you're not going to start chopping garlic when there's onion all over your board and still stuck to your knife.

The only problem you may have with a carbon blade is discoloration on the actual food when the knife is new. My sabatier is probably the most reactive knife I've used, and if I bought another to use at work I'd probably force a patina, but I haven't felt the need with most japanese knives I've used (Sugimoto, Shigefusa, Azuma minamoto, Tadatsuna, konosuke etc). If it was a concern, just force the patina.

In regards to sharpening. I think most carbon knives don't have the retention of stainless knives (vague statement, I know), but I think most home cooks would still only sharpen their knives every couples of weeks tops, unless their particularly pedantic, I would probably only touch up my knives once a month before I started in the industry.

JKerr
12-03-2012, 06:47 AM
Oh, also welcome and it's good to see the Australian contingent growing on KKF :D