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Thread: Notes on a Haburn gyuto

  1. #1
    Senior Member Casaluz's Avatar
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    Notes on a Haburn gyuto

    Instead of posting a picture of a new knife, I wanted to wait a month of so and post some notes instead regarding a custom gyuto that I received from Haburn. I had ordered a sujihiki from Ian, and most of my best knives are encased in sayas made by him. In my interactions with him there has been nothing but wonderful dialog, responsiveness, timeliness, quality, and beautiful craftsmanship in what he does.
    I wrote Ian to see if he had space and interest in doing a gyuto based on a profile I had designed originally for a 255 mm gyuto, although in this case I was interested in having a shorter version (reduction to a scaled down version of 80% of the original size) of the gyuto to be more manageable in a smaller space. Ian accepted and assigned a slot in his work list. We begun the dialog on some of the characteristics of the gyuto.I intended to have this gyuto to be my default go-to in our kitchen, and therefore I wished to have it optimized for versatility and edge holding as I would use it as everyday gyuto in anything from katsuramuki cutting with the chin, to long push-pull cutting (weight balance forward towards the blade) of vegetables and proteins with finger resting on spine (I do almost no rocking) and a tip capable of japanese style garnish work. With an ironwood handle, D shape for right hand, mokume bolster significant enough to appreciate the pattern and a pin that so it would match the sujihiki he had made for me. When we went over the choices of steel, he suggested option that he is calling "Grey Steel." It's a semi-stainless steel, takes a very fine edge, and holds a very fine edge longer than 52100. Being a semi-stainless, it would not patina quickly and doesn't need the care of a high carbon steel. The scaled down of every measurement to ⅘ would not work for the height and we agreed on something around 45 mm tall. And the wait begun.

    After a few months he sent a model and a couple of pictures of the process, including one at the start of the primary bevel.





    And just before shipping it he sent a couple of pictures of the final product, which only heightened the expectations.




  2. #2
    Senior Member Casaluz's Avatar
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    The gyuto arrived beautifully and tastefully wrapped. It was an absolute joy to hold it in my hands. The following is a few more pictures of the blade including the specific dimensions.










  3. #3
    Senior Member Badgertooth's Avatar
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    That's an amazing looking knife

  4. #4
    Senior Member Casaluz's Avatar
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    A few pictures with the matching sujihiki and my cherished Tesshu Yanagiba






  5. #5
    Senior Member valgard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Casaluz View Post
    That's a damned sexy line up.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Casaluz's Avatar
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    General Notes: I have been using it very frequently, almost every day for a couple of weeks, including prep for a dinner for 20 the first weekend, and then on a regular basis afterwards with variety of cuts on a wide range of products. It is absolutely fantastic. The sharpness and grind he did for me is hard to describe in its quality and performance. An example is mincing shallots on a hinoki wood board. I cut then in the traditional French style for dicing onions which requires a very fine edge and tip, and one after the other I cannot hear the crunch of the shallot being cut, the gyuto slices them as a scalpel and I can only hear the thump in the soft board (as opposed to a “clack” from a hard board) after it passes through the flesh of the shallot without it sticking to the blade. I can mince vegetables with the chin or slice big pieces of protein in long pull cuts like a yanagiba leaving perfect slices that fall to the side. The balance is perfect exactly on the point for my pinch grip, but I can use the finger along the back and the rounded spine feels luxurious and the balance makes the knife feel nimble. The length is what I needed and the grey steel feels absolutely wonderful, holds the edge on and on and do not have to rush to clean after a few seconds unused. The handle is warm, polished, beautiful and simple, yet gorgeous.
    A couple of examples of a 3 course meal prepared using the knife
    Enjoy

    Ankimo and Tuna Sunomono with homemade ponzu



    Toro and Snapper uzusukuri



    Hamachi Kama with homemade teriyaki sauce


  7. #7
    Senior Member Omega's Avatar
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    Dear Lord. While the whole knife is certainly amazing, that handle is ridiculously awesome. Wow.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Marek07's Avatar
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    Great write up & great knife. Sounds like the whole process with Ian was a joy - from initial design to final delivery. Looks like you got all the performance and function you were seeking.

    And a very beautiful knife to boot. Looks at home with the matching sujihiki & your yanagiba. Most importantly it's performing its intended task and in your hands, producing great food. Hope you'll be very happy together for a long time to come.

  9. #9

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    That sunomono looks like heaven. Glad you are enjoying your Haburn, Ian makes great knives.

  10. #10
    Senior Member jessf's Avatar
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    Do you prefer a plunge line that is tangential, radial or secant to the choil?

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