Shigefusa vs Gihei ZDP
Hey Folks! New to the site and I hope you can give me insight to my dilemma. For me cooking is way more than a hobby..It is my passion...And having a great knife or 5 is critical ;-) While I was a poor struggling University student 15+ years ago?? I bought my first Henckels 4 and 5 star knives....don't judge me yet :scared4: At that time of my life they were what I knew to be quality knives. Honestly the selection was extremely limited and they served their purpose reasonably well. I have since added more of the same and also a Kyocera Ceramic(Ming Tsai) shortly after they came on the scene. The ceramic I loved(light and razor sharp), but was so brittle that little chips formed along the edge with everyday use....the Henckels are just heavy and clunky. I was in a local store today trying to decide between the 210mm Shigefusa Gyoto and the 200mm Gihei ZDP Gyoto. Instantly I fell in love with beauty and balance of the Shigefusa..but the knife guy mentioned that the Gihei is an even harder carbon(longer edge retention)...so hard apparently that it can't even be forged by hand as it becomes too brittle during that process. Thoughts? I need help. Thanks in advance.
Sounds like he doesn't know much about forging, but that might not matter anyway.
ZDP knives are sold for their wear resistance and high hardness after they've been heat treated, but that is only one aspect of knife performance and does not seem to especially impress folks who sharpen frequently. In fact, some will dislike steels like that because they are harder to sharpen well, and even the hardest knives will need sharpening from time to time.
Geometry is often regarded as the most important characteristic, as it determines (via cross sectional geometry) the cutting ability of the knife, and (via profile) usability, comfort, and versatility. Never just treat it as a randomly shaped sharp piece of metal...a knife that is extremely slick going through paper may get horribly stuck the first time you try to cut a raw carrot.
For what it's worth, I've never used either knife, and Gihei is a relative unknown on this forum (at least one user has had really good luck with one, though). Shigefusa is well regarded, with perhaps the greatest downside being the chemical reactivity of the knife.
FWIW, I don't find my Shig more reactive than my other J knife, but others seem to find differently.
How hard is the Gihei? And if it's not hand forged then what, stock removal? Either way, I would be worried that an extremely hard blade would be very 'chippy'. So the chippiness may outweigh edge retention. But having not used one I don't know.
Just buy the Shig. Trust me.
I don't have any experience or familiarity with he Gihei. I do own both a Shig and knife made of ZDP-189. Hard to compare as he knives are very different. Shig gyutos are fantastic knives, and not more reactive than others with similar steel. Well worth it. ZDP-189 is harder to sharpen, but I've not found it chippy.