Perhaps my three best gyutos are Shigefusa, Kato & Devin Thomas. I do not know the steel of any of these. I bought them because of reputation and recommendations. Not knowing the steel didn't affect my ability to learn how they perform and sharpen and my own experience has backed up that information.
To Jon's point of dealing with what the customer needs rather than what type of steel they want and the car analogy: Do you really need to know if a car has 4, 6 or 8 cylinders, or do you need to know how much power it has, it's efficiency/gas mileage and it's reliability? If Jon were selling used cars and I went in and I said I want a V8, I might miss out on 6 cylinder that has comparable power, less weight, better efficiency, etc. Preconceived notions aren't always a good thing.
Originally Posted by JohnnyChance
This is a crazy topic but I think a lot of good posts have been made.
JC post above pretty much sums up how I feel.
I personally agree with those here... I tried to pick steel that I wanted then learned just rely on the maker if they actually cared to sell me a knife for me rather then just take my money and run.
For years I passed on Butch's knives because I thought I hated cpm-154 in a kitchen knife but figured it would be more useful in a edc... my chef knife is my edc most days so in turn I stupidly ignored all the glowing posts about his grinds and useful designs. Plus the longer I waited the less his knives were available and prices kept going up.
Years later I had the chance to buy a knife from mario and despite the cpm-154 all the talk of his grind had me enthralled. I have since found that maybe Butch isnt a fool for making knives out of that steel and maybe I should just learn to express my intentions and preconceived needs then let the maker blow me away with something that was more then I intended. If you cant guess I love the knife from mario and honestly for knives in that price range his knife is outstanding.
I can certainly understand and respect those who want to know the steel. Honestly I dont think its a big deal but this seems more an argument about why all information isnt free and available not an intimate discussion of does it really matter if Jon tells this one particular products steel. Not to mention it somewhat is a claim we know how to run Jon's business better then him and maybe we do but Jon imo has built up a stellar reputation of going out of his way to please a customer and until I hear or see otherwise I'll assume his decisions to be in my best interests and his best interests :)
either way nobody is perfect so feel free to question away maybe Jon will say ok enough is enough the mystery steel is.... and soon we should have this same thread to determine what the "mystery carbon" is
anyway carry on goodluck
funny thing is, i never met a young cook or home cook with an entry level japanese knife who had any idea what type of steel it was made of. the uraku line is an explicitly entry-level, workhorse line, the people buying these knives likely don't care about steel type, they just want a decent knife and i'm sure appreciate good customer service when they are new to the whole thing especially.
Ok so I think I opened up a can of worms here and I certainly wasn't trying to. I bought the uraku gyuto as a foray into a wa-handle knife as I've worked solely with western handle j-knives thus far. I've been cooking professionally for 8 years and it was time to try something new, this knife has performed above my expectations, considering the price point and I'm continually surprised by it, no disrespect to Jon, I know he only sells quality products. I was only looking for a little more information on the steel type after a knife savvy co-worker asked me what it was made out of and I honestly couldn't tell him. No I don't think not knowing the steel would prevent me from buying a knife as I use this forum and others like it to learn about prospective purchases before I take the plunge, however I do think it would be nice to know. Now does me not knowing make my knife less sharp? No. Does it make me less likely to recommend this knife to a peer? No. I simply wanted to know out of curiosity.
Do you cook professionally? Because I do. An example for me is when guest ask me for the recipes of our food, no unfortunately I am not will to give out all of that information. To be honest, I won't even give a list of the ingredients in some of our dishes. Just because someone is buying dinner doesn't mean you have to give them a list of every single ingredient or the recipe to the dish. Maybe other do it different but not where I work.
I used to love knowing steel types! I thought it was the most important thing about a knife. But an artifax AEB-L and a Devin AEB-L... Same steel type used in both knives... Or just save the money and buy the artifax if you must try an AEB-L knife. They make the knives, research the steels, work with the steels, test out new steels.... Why do they "need" to give you and the rest of the world including their competitors the types of steel they are using. Hell, look at Devin, he was making great knives in 52100 and AEB-L when I first got on his list. Then, many other makers started using AEB-L and some vendors started carrying new lines of Japanese knives made with AEB-L. I can personally tell you that I have used knives with AEB-L that were absolute garbage but at the same time I can tell you Devin's AEB-L gave me a new love for stainless after not purchasing a stainless knife for a very long time. He then went and did tons of testing on other types of and I have owned 3 and tried 2 others. They were all fantastic knives. I liked some more than others. In the end of the day, why does the type of steel matter? The knives cut and performed great. Just my 2 cents. Luckily, there are TONS of other makers out there that do list their steel types and if you want many of the brands mentioned do make some knives that they tell you the steel type. So, if it's that big of a deal, buy elsewhere?
It could be that if John lists what the steel is, then the maker would be relieved cause there is only 1 maker with that steel? Or some other way of finding out in a similar manner I say good for John.
Originally Posted by JohnnyChance
I don't get it.
So you're buyin a knife and steel is the center of argument.
If you're a newbie you will not know how that steel might be different and not really care.
If you're a pro you'll know that knowing the kind of steel will not tell you if he knife is intrinsically good or bad because of ht, skills, geometry, etc.
So what's the problem in telling what steel you're using?
I would still only buy from knowledgeable and respected sellers.
Read the posts of makers and vendors.
Originally Posted by ChiliPepper