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Thread: Looking for recommendations on two gyutos and a 400-600 grit waterstone

  1. #1
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    Looking for recommendations on two gyutos and a 400-600 grit waterstone

    I'm planning on buying a new knife for my head chef, and I'm looking into getting a new knife for myself. I will be filling out two of the questionnaires, but obviously, the one for myself will be more detailed and concrete than the one for my chef.

    By the way, I do realize that buying a knife is a very personal matter, and normally, I'd recommend that someone do their own research and make their own decision. However, my chef is a bit stubborn when it comes to the things he does. My coworkers and I have just decided to buy a new knife for him instead of hearing him complain about how his knives are dull. The man has been working in the kitchen industry for ten years and has never bother to learn how to sharp a knife properly.

    Note: I am in the US, so I will not be answering the question twice in the two separate questionnaires.

    Questionnaire for my chef:

    Knife type:

    210 mm gyuto/chef's knife

    Right handed

    Western handle

    Stainless knife

    Absolute max for the budget is 160

    Knife Use:

    Professional environment; dude works about 60 hours a week

    Main tasks: Probably every single one of the ones listed, except maybe filleting fish, although he maybe using it to break down fish too so slicing vegetables, chopping vegetables, mincing vegetables, slicing meats, cutting down poultry, breaking poultry bones, and trimming meats. I know I'm asking for a bit of a miracle here, especially with the part about breaking down poultry and bones. He does have a Victorinox boning knife though, and I'll do my best to convince him to use that for breaking down poultry. For bone breaking, I'll try to convince him to use his old beater knife too instead of something with a harder steel.

    Replacing knife: I don't know what knife he's replacing. It's just some typical German steel as far as I know; not one of the named brands though as he's against spending a lot of money on a nice knife.

    Grip: I'm assuming the pinch grip

    Cutting style: I would say rock cut the most, and draw and chop are probably the same

    Improvements: I'm looking for him to get a sharper knife with better edge retention

    Aesthetics: None

    Comfort: He told me he likes heavier handles, but not necessarily heavy knives. However, I think this is just a result of his habit, and this preference may change once he actually gets a nice knife in his hand.

    Ease of use: A sharp OOTB edge would be nice, but not crucial.

    Edge retention: About a month between sharpening

    Knife maintenance:

    Board: He mostly uses wooden, but will often use plastic ones too. I do not believe our wooden boards are end grains.

    Sharpening: I will be sharpening his knives for him. He is not currently interested in sharpening his own knives. My current set up is a King 100 grit, 2000 grit Bester, and 5000 grit Suehiro Rika

    Special requests/comments:

    I will be purchasing a Messermeister ceramic rod for him for basic knife maintenance. I've read in a lot of places that knives that are asymmetrical should not be honed, although I haven't really seen any type of explanation for it, but if this is true, I'd prefer to get a knife that is 50/50.

    I expect that this knife will be getting some abuse. I saw the man earlier today cutting the kernels of corn and carelessly letting his knife hit the metal bowl that he was cutting into. I was initially thinking about getting him a Fujiwara FKM, but discovered that it's a 70/30 knife. I felt that the Tojiro DP would be too hard for how he treats his knives. Keep in mind that this will be the man's first Japanese knife, and just in case he doesn't like it, I would like the knife to be as cheap as possible in the event that he dislikes it, we won't be blowing too much cash on it. I was primarily thinking about getting him a MAC Pro, but it's at the top of our budget so I was hoping for something cheaper. I was also thinking about the Richmond Artifex AEB-L, but I've seen some negative feedback from users on this forum so I'm not quite sure about it. I also personally purchased one of these knives myself, and I can't say I'm particularly happy about it. I'm still somewhat new to nice knives, but I just felt that the edge retention and cutting abilities isn't where I feel like it should be. However, for the price point, I'm thinking that it may not be a bad choice.

    Questionnaire for myself:

    Knife type:

    240 mm gyuto

    Right handed

    I'm interested in a wa handle as I've never tried one, although I do not have a solid preference for either of them

    I would prefer a stainless knife, but I'm been somewhat interested in carbon knives recently, especially the semi-stainless carbon knives like the Carbonext

    My absolute max for the knife would be around 300 dollars, but I might be persuaded to go up to 500 bucks.

    Knife use:

    I will be using it in both environments, but probably more in a professional environment since I work more hours.

    Tasks: I will be slicing and chopping down vegetables with this, slicing meats, and some other general tasks. I will not be doing any type of heavy butchery or doing anything that encounters bones though. I have a Victorinox boning knife that I use for rough tasks, although I hope to get a honesuki one day for boning tasks. I have a 5.5 inch paring knife that I use for filleting small fishes, but I'd also like to get a deba or sujihiki one day for these tasks instead.

    I'm replacing a 240 mm Richmond Artifex gyuto

    Grip: I use the pinch grip

    Cutting motion: I use the chop and draw motion about equally, then I use rock for certain tasks. I'm willing to adapt though.

    Improvements: I'm looking for better edge retention, easier sharpening, and a thinner knife. I'm not a huge fan of the handle either, but it's not particularly troublesome to me.

    Aesthetics: None; I like clean, simple looks

    Comfort: I'd like rounded spines and choils.

    Ease of use: I'm looking for a knife that won't steer very much, release food easier, and has less wedging too. Once again, a sharp OOTB would be nice, but not crucial.

    Edge retention: I'd like the knife to last at least two weeks between sharpenings, although a month would be great.

    Knife maintenance:

    I use an endgrain wooden board at home, but at work, I use plastic or plain wood; probably more plastic than wood, although this maybe changing.

    I do sharpen my own knives, and as I mentioned earlier, I have a King 1000, Bester 2000, and Suehiro Rika 5000. I'm looking into purchasing a balsa wood strop that I plan to load with .5 micron chromium oxide or 1 micron diamond paste, and a horse leather strop that I use as my final step. I'm also interested in purchasing a waterstone in the 400-600 grit range which I will discuss further after this questionnaire.

    Special requests/comments:

    I'm trying to sell this Richmond Artifex to someone I know, and I'd like to purchase a Carbonext 240 mm gyuto to try out semi-stainless carbon knives. Whichever one that happens, I will be sticking with one of the two knives for the moment, and eventually upgrading to something else. I've been looking at the Gesshin Ginga 240 mm wa stainless or white #2 gyuto (is the extra hassle of carbon knives really worth it?) or the Misono UX10 240 mm gyuto which seems to be the ones that are most within my reach, but I'm also really interested in the Masamoto KS 240 gyuto or the Gesshin Heiji semi-stainless 240 mm wa gyuto. I was wondering it's worth it to just save up for the nicer names instead of trying to get one of the midrange ones that I'm looking at. I'm also completely open to suggestions to knives around the 200-300 range and around the 400-500 range.

    About a coarse stone

    It seems like the consensus is that the Gesshin 400 or 600 grit is the most effective one, even though it's more expensive than the Beston 500, I believe in purchasing high quality tools and having them last oppose to replacing things later. However, I've been seeing a 400 grit Latte stone from CKTG that seems really interesting to me, and I was wondering if anything has had any experience with it (I know a lot of people on this forum don't like CKTG, but I was hoping for some honest feedback, even if it's biased). I've been doing a lot of reading about sharpening knives, and I've had some practice with them. However, I would not consider myself an expert yet. I am however, incredibly picky and somewhat obessive about details, and I would love to hear some great discussions about a coarse stone. Should I even consider skipping the Beston 500 and simply getting something nicer?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Seb's Avatar
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    Chef: MAC Pro series MBK-85

  3. #3
    I don't have a ton of gyuto experience (I'm more of a cleaver guy), but I will say that you might consider putting some more work into thinning and sharpening the Artifex. I know that one another knife forum, there is a frequent poster who recommends the Artifex a lot for those new to knives. And then, on this forum, you get tons and tons of dislike for the vendor of the Artifex and his knives. I think the truth is somewhere in between. IMHO, it is a bad recommendation for someone new to knives and sharpening, because it takes a lot of work to get it cutting right. OOTB, it has that wedge-shape and doesn't cut right, no matter how good a sharpening job you do. Definitely a project knife. Also, in my experience, it is hard to remove the burr. This could be chalked up to my lack of sharpening experience, but on the other hand, I have not had this problem with the various carbon knives I've had. After quite a while, I think I'm finally getting my Artifex whipped into shape.

    It is interesting, too, that you are thinking of first buying a Carbonext, and then getting a "mid-range" knife like a Ginga or a Masamoto KS or a Gesshin Heiji. Did I read that right? I guess I'm not sure why you'd feel the need to take a half-jump with the Carbonext. Might as well get some sharpening and thinning experience in with the Artifex, since you have it, and figure buying the knife that will be the one you'll have for a while. Also, interesting that the KS is on your list. I love white #2- it is very easy to sharpen and gets quite sharp. However, I'm a home cook. The edge lasts and lasts for me- but I'm not cutting for hours and hours at a stretch. From what I hear, the KS has lots of great features, but extreme edge retention is not one of them, compared to other knives.

    FWIW, my list of potential gyutos to upgrade to from the Artifex to is very similar to yours: Gesshin Ginga (stainless or white #2), Masamoto KS, Misono Swedish, Sakai Yusuke (none of which I've tried, hence the "FWIW"). But I think if I worked in a kitchen, I might lean more toward stainless, and more toward the cheaper end of the price spectrum.

  4. #4
    Also I think older members of this forum are very negatively opinionated towards anything to do with the site that sell Richmond knifes, and Richmond knifes being made specifically for that website...
    I do not know why though, I do not think it's important either. Also the knife might be crap, I never used one. I just wanted to point it out.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Mucho Bocho's Avatar
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    Ruso, Getting beyoned the history with CKTG, I have to agree with others about the Artifect. I bought one for my mom about two years ago. I was really happy get her a SS knife.

    I return home to Plymouth, MA a few time a year and always do lots of cooking. The first thing I do it sharpen the 210 Artifect. Others have posted my sentiments exactly, its really hard to sharpen, wire edge is tenacious. The grind is quite thick behind the edge and something isn't right about the geometry either.

    Let it be said that I don't have anything against Mark Richmond. We're on a first name basis and I've found his service to be top notch and he definately stands behind his stuff. I've only found his integrity to be AAA. The artifect, not so much.
    One thing you can give and still keep...is your word.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Colorado_cutter View Post
    I don't have a ton of gyuto experience (I'm more of a cleaver guy), but I will say that you might consider putting some more work into thinning and sharpening the Artifex. I know that one another knife forum, there is a frequent poster who recommends the Artifex a lot for those new to knives. And then, on this forum, you get tons and tons of dislike for the vendor of the Artifex and his knives. I think the truth is somewhere in between. IMHO, it is a bad recommendation for someone new to knives and sharpening, because it takes a lot of work to get it cutting right. OOTB, it has that wedge-shape and doesn't cut right, no matter how good a sharpening job you do. Definitely a project knife. Also, in my experience, it is hard to remove the burr. This could be chalked up to my lack of sharpening experience, but on the other hand, I have not had this problem with the various carbon knives I've had. After quite a while, I think I'm finally getting my Artifex whipped into shape.
    I have negative opinions toward that website because of previous customer service issues. But, apart from that, there is NO WAY I would ever recommend an Artifex.

    Project knives, in my opinion, are NOT for beginners or professional cooks that need a knife that can perform right out of the box. Take a look at this: http://postimg.org/image/cma6nezdv/

    It takes good skill to properly and correctly thin a knife like the Artifex. You don't just put it on a stone and grind the shoulder. If you mess with the geometry of a knife, you're messing with performance. Based on my personal experience, although I've never used a bad knife and made it worse, I've made a decent cutting knife worse. Even the slightest change in geometry can significantly worsen the cutting performance of a knife.

    You wrote this: "[B]ecause it takes a lot of work to get it cutting right. OOTB, it has that wedge-shape and doesn't cut right, no matter how good a sharpening job you do. Definitely a project knife. Also, in my experience, it is hard to remove the burr."

    The OP is not an expert sharpener by his own admission. And, yet you're recommending that it's worthwhile for the OP to put time into thinning it and sharpening it?

    I've absolutely never understood how members can recommend a "project" knife to a relative newbie or someone who needs performance out of the box. Time IS money. I'm not about to spend a few hours just to get a knife to perform decently. You also say that "after a while", that you've gotten your Artifex into shape. How long is "after a while"?

    The reason why Artifex knives get bad reviews here is because there are much better options for a little more money. A number of members have commented about how difficult they are to sharpen: http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/sh...n-vs-Forschner

    Around the same price, you could get Kanemasa, Fujiwara knives (which I've never used but would certainly try first over an Artifex), or for a little more, you could get Suisin INOX Western knives, CarboNext, Gesshin Stainless, Gesshin Uraku.

    For just $40 more than the Artifex, you could get this: http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/sh...ern-handled%29 And, for $150, you can get a great knife, with saya, ready to go, such as the Gesshin Uraku.

    Truth is somewhere in the middle? Compare the geometries of the Artifex to the Gesshin stainless. The truth is right there in those pictures.

    On top of that, if you happen to have a problem with it, Jon can take care of it. Many other vendors do not have the skill or staff to fix a problem with a knife on site, including the aforementioned site.

    I'm curious - to the OP - who recommended the Artifex to you?

    For chef, I'd recommend the CarboNext. I have one. It works for rock chopping, is a more substantial knife than others, supposed to have good edge retention (I haven't used it enough to sharpen or test it), but it seems substantial enough to me. And, it's well within your budget.

    I also don't have any experience honing it, but when I used to use a steel, it was how you used a steel that could be a problem, not the fact that you used it. I'm just speculating, but if you used a hone correctly at angles following the bevels of the knife (instead of smashing the knife into the honing rod at 45 degree angles) it wouldn't be a bad thing. I think a member - Steven Stefano - regularly uses a ceramic hone for his knives in a professional setting.

    To the OP - can you tell us what kind of performance characteristics you want in your next knife? Lack of wedging, smoothness of cutting, food release, etc.? You've identified a number of well regarded knives.

    I recently bought a KS to compare to my Ginga (White #2). They're comparably priced, same steel (not necessarily same treatment). I think the two most obvious differences are balance (the KS is long and the handle feels short), and profile (the KS is more flat, the Gesshin has a more of a common curve from tip to heel in my opinion). The Ginga feels thinner (I have not measured it), and the cutting performance, IMHO, is better with the Ginga. Some people love the KS; I prefer the Ginga.

    I've realized that what kind of cutting stroke you use (whether it's push/pull, or whatever grip), profile is very important. I recommend that you consider what kind of knife is your favorite and look for a knife with a similar profile that has good geometry and any other features you look for.
    Michael
    "Don't you know who he is?"

  7. #7
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    W.R.T. stones, I would not be surprised if the CKTG Latte 400 is the same exact stone as the Gesshin 400, especially given the business practices of the owner of CKTG. I've nothing against anyone buying from CKTG where they did their own research, like the ******** line if you think that you can trust the reviews. But I would NEVER recommend an Atoma 140, Suehiro Rika 5K or Imanishi 10K from that place, and the same goes for the Latte 400 if it is indeed the same as the Gesshin 400. I'd rather spend a few extra dollars at the place where they put in the time and effort in the research to find the best products (JKI) vs. saving a few dollars at the place that steals competitors' research and then undercuts them on price (CKTG).

    To pile on the options for coarse grit stones, consider the Chosera 400 as well.

    Of the low grit stones mentioned, I only have the Beston 500. It works well enough for me that I don't feel the need to upgrade it, but it took me a long time to learn to get the most out of it. I would recommend that you use it with a really good diamond plate like the Atoma 140 to flatten and build up a slurry and I personally wouldn't recommend it if you don't think that you could let it perma-soak. It also needs a bit of pressure to work well, which is not something that a beginner would feel comfortable doing.

  8. #8

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    The man has been working in the kitchen industry for ten years and has never bother to learn how to sharp a knife properly.


    A new knife won't help this a bit. lol

  9. #9
    Just curious... Maybe Jon could answer are they the same stones? The gesshin 400 is amazing and honestly I agree with above, if that's the case people buy from JKI that wouldn't be right of cktg.

    Sorry to jack the thread.

    But for coarse stones go with gesshin or Beston 500.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikehunter View Post
    The man has been working in the kitchen industry for ten years and has never bother to learn how to sharp a knife properly.


    A new knife won't help this a bit. lol
    It won't, but that's what I'm here for. I'll be sharpening his knives for the period that I'm working there.

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