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Thread: Gyuto under $200 for Newbie

  1. #1

    Gyuto under $200 for Newbie

    Background info: I have been researching what knife to get for my first "real" Chef's knife for about 4 months now. At first I was fairly set on a Global G-17, but then doing some more research I learned that I could get better quality for cheaper. I then settled on a Tojiro DP, then read another few recommendations from another forum (not mentioning any names) and settled with a Richmond Artifex.

    I literally was about to purchase the Artifex tonight from CKTG when I stumbled upon this forum and saw how their quality fluctuates drastically. Now I'm stuck between: Tojiro DP, Fujiwara FKM, CarboNext KC-7, Kagayaki KV-7, a Gesshin Stainless, or just wait, save, and get a good ol' Victorinox to hold me over and practice sharpening/knife skills on.

    With that being said:

    What country are you in?


    What type of knife are you interested in (e.g., chef’s knife, slicer, boning knife, utility knife, bread knife, paring knife, cleaver)?


    Are you right or left handed?

    Are you interested in a Western handle (e.g., classic Wusthof handle) or Japanese handle?
    My first knife, so no real preference. Probably Western for simplicity.

    What length of knife (blade) are you interested in (in inches or millimeters)?
    At least 10" or 240mm, I'm only 5'5" with med/large sized hands, but don't want to be stuck wishing I had a longer knife.

    Do you require a stainless knife? (Yes or no)
    Stainless preferred

    What is your absolute maximum budget for your knife?
    $200, but I have NO sharpening materials either.

    Do you primarily intend to use this knife at home or a professional environment?


    What are the main tasks you primarily intend to use the knife for (e.g., slicing vegetables, chopping vegetables, mincing vegetables, slicing meats, cutting down poultry, breaking poultry bones, filleting fish, trimming meats, etc.)? (Please identify as many tasks as you would like.)
    Slicing, chopping, mincing veggies and meats. Probably no boning or filleting with it though.

    What knife, if any, are you replacing?
    6" Pampered Chef Chef's Knife... (recently married, it's my wifes, I swear!)

    Do you have a particular grip that you primarily use? (Please click on this LINK for the common types of grips.)
    Pinch, the occasional Point

    What cutting motions do you primarily use? (Please click on this LINK for types of cutting motions and identify the two or three most common cutting motions, in order of most used to least used.)
    Rock, Slice, Walk

    What improvements do you want from your current knife? If you are not replacing a knife, please identify as many characteristics identified below in parentheses that you would like this knife to have.)
    Comfort, a bit heavier, better handle material, better handle shape
    Easier to sharpen, better edge retention, less wedging

    Do you use a bamboo, wood, rubber, or synthetic cutting board? (Yes or no.)

    Wood (not endgrain) and synthetic

    Do you sharpen your own knives? (Yes or no.)

    If not, are you interested in learning how to sharpen your knives? (Yes or no.)
    Yes, but not if I will ruin a $150 knife.

    Are you interested in purchasing sharpening products for your knives? (Yes or no.)

    TLDR; What are your recommendations for a 240+mm gyuto, for med-lrg hands, first time sharpener with no sharpening equipment, for under $200?


  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    For under $200 total budget I would spend around $100 on the knife and the rest on stones, if you must have stainless get a Fujiwara FKM for $85, but especially if you are new to sharpening I would strongly consider carbon steel FKH series, it will be easier to sharpen to a nice edge than any stainless in that price range. Carbonext seems like a nice compromise between carbon and stainless, but it is a bit pricier, and from what I hear the fit, finish, and out of box sharpness are maybe not as good as the Fujiwara, but with a good sharpening would out perform the Fujiwara. Spend the rest of the money on a medium and a fine grit stone. I have the Bester 1200 and a Rika 5K stone, and they are great. I would also consider the Gesshin 1200 and Gesshin 5K splash and go stone. Also consider getting Dave's sharpening DVD, it helped me a lot.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Matus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    I do not have enough experience with knives to give you a recommendatiomn, but with the stone you could consider some 1k and 6k combination stone - I have used Bester 1000/6000 and it was nice, but also King 1000 & 6000 stones (there is a combination stone available too), or similar are prefectly fine. I would just avoid getting some no-name stones.

    What am I trying to say is (given your budget) that getting 2 decent stones would be good solution. Sure - something Gesshin (or Naniwa Chosera) stones would be a step up, but you will not get 2 stones (or the 1000/6000 combination stone) within $100. Still - you may want to contact Jon from JKI ( as he is very helpful and knowledgeable (first hand experience). He may even help find you a "complete" solution

    Sharpening DVD is something I can really recommend (I got one from - really graet), but it will eat into your budget.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Seb's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Fujiwara FKM really is a fantastic product. You can't go wrong.

  5. #5
    Senior Member berko's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    +1 fkm

  6. #6
    Senior Member chinacats's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    On the (frozen) water Maine
    get the victorinox and a few can save the rest of the cash and get something nice once you figure out the sharpening. Avoid the artifex for sure. Otherwise, recommendations above for fujiwara are solid.
    once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right

  7. #7
    Canada's Sharpest Lefty
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Fujiwara and a King Combo Stone. Then, run away, and never look back. much savings do you have?

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Northern Virginia
    Or decide if you can have a separate budget for a combo stone or stones, and get a better knife.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Chefdog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Outside the Beltway
    I say go for CarboNext and a combo stone.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    stereo.pete's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Fujiwara + 1000, that's what I started with and I love mine. I went the carbon route for the ease of sharpening as well as the increased sharpness.

    Here's a pic of her all gussied up with a beautiful patina made from blood.

    Twitter: @PeterDaEater

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