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Thread: Left hand or right hand knife?

  1. #1
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    Left hand or right hand knife?

    I've been given a gyuto that's convex on the right hand (when cutting with it) and straight on the left hand. Is this a left hand or right hand knife? And why?

  2. #2
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    Technically it is a right-handed knife, but unless it steers when you use it, it is effectively an ambidextrous one.

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    Can you tell me why it's technically right-handed, Pensacola? Should it steer more in one direction than the other?

    Or is it that onion rings/potatoe slices drop off at the right and not at the left?

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    If you had to really nit-pic, it's RH as it [vaguely] emulates the shape of a traditional Japanese RH single bevel blade. That said, IMHO, RH/LH in gyutos is a moot discussion. Gyutos are so dang thin I don't see how it really matters for 99.5% of us, I don't think anyone actually makes a "LH" gyuto (customs excluded), and if you roll the calendar back 10 years you never heard of RH vs. LH gyuto. Of course, nowadays, you can pay somebody to re-sharpen a blade to a LH bias, but....I don't know.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mark76 View Post
    ...Or is it that onion rings/potatoe slices drop off at the right and not at the left?
    Essentially, yes.

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    Ok, guys, I understand. I just wonder why it's supposed to be LH or RH.

    Should it steer more in one direction than the other? (And then: which one?)

    Or is it that onion rings/potatoe slices should easier drop off at the right than at the left?

  7. #7
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    Steering is never a goal but the more asymmetric the grind is, the more you will experience steering. Asymmetry in the grind is a way of getting more convexity on the food release side while keeping the blade relatively thin.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Benuser's Avatar
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    Food release on the right face asks for convexity, thin slices ask for a flatter left face. Seen with French knives since the development of the chef knife, 150 years ago, and probably before. Never seen a good performing symmetric knife, by the way.

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    Ah well, it's a Suisin Inox Honyaki. It trusted it was a good knife when I ordereed it .

  10. #10
    Canada's Sharpest Lefty Lefty's Avatar
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    They're known as great knives. You'll like it.

    As for asymmetrical double bevel knives: think of the flat side as the part that allows you to get the centre of the bevel closer to the main piece of food you're cutting (which, theoretically allows thinner slices, more easily). The convexing naturally thickens a blade, but is a bit of a necessary evil. By convexing on one side, the food release is increased, but the thinness is not as badly effected as it is on a knife with both faces having convexing. Convexing is great TO AN EXTENT, but the difference between a great convex and a bad one is less than a hair width, and also depends on the location of the "radius".

    With all of the being said, a single bevel knife with a flat grind release food beautifully, because the transition at the shinogi line pushes the food away. However, a yanagiba would wedge like all hell in a potato, or other hard food items, unless you were attacking it from the side, with thin slices and never splitting it down the middle.
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