Suisin INOX 240 gyuto
my first professional knife, just finished a year with it in a very busy kitchen, thought i'd share some details.
obviously, it's on the entry level side for japanese steel ($144 @ Korin) so i'm not going to nerd out too much on specs and geometry here. suffice it to say, the knife has great fit and finish for the price, is very chip resistant, reasonably well balanced, and easy enough to sharpen. on the downside, the steel is really lacking in soul, it keeps clean, but rarely wants to take a wicked edge and why bother because it will lose it in no time.
it was a great first knife for me (and could be for many others) because i had to sharpen it daily, which taught me a lot. i recently bought a masamoto VG petty and as far as steel comparisons go the masamoto feels much nicer to sharpen, takes and edge faster, and holds it longer. even though the petty is stain resistant, the metal feels more 'alive' and responsive than the suisin ever did. i used to finish the suisin on a 4k stone but have experimented in the last month stopping at 1k and found a nice trade off in edge retention vs an incrementally better edge.
bottom line, great beater knife as an intro to japanese steel and those looking for something low price, low maintenance.
I have given a couple as gifts, but have not used them. For the home cook, how is the edge retention? One of the gifts has me sharpen for him every so often....still factory edge on the other. Figure I would let him use it and then compare whatever edge I can put on it.
i'd say at home, the edge retention would be fine for the average cook. for me at work a nice edge would be gone before the night was over, but then you're talking maybe a whole fish, 16 qt of sliced scallions and a whole bunch of other prep later. i will say, for all the abuse that knife saw, it never chipped. the thing i found sometimes was frustrating was the wire edge could be a pain to remove when sharpening, i thought it was just me, but jon broida said he had similar issues with their inox honyaki knives, so maybe it's a suisin thing.