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Thread: Looking to purchase first 240mm gyuto...Please advise!

  1. #1

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    Feb 2015
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    Looking to purchase first 240mm gyuto...Please advise!

    Hi everyone,

    I am a home cook, currently using entry level chef and santoku knives, and I am looking to upgrade these soon when they bite the bullet. I started working on my knife skills a few years ago as I started to enjoy cooking more and more, and now I feel that I am ready for a knife that can last me a lifetime. My first (and current) chef knife is a stamped Henckels Fine Edge Synergy 8" that came as part of a block set. Recently, I started doing some research and venturing out with new types of knives and I purchased a Pure Komachi 2 hollow-ground santoku (6.5") as a test run to see if I liked the style. While I really enjoyed the sharpness and weight of the santoku, I was sorely missing the rounded point for the rocking motion as tend to switch between a push cut and rocking motion (and also was almost sure that this knife didn't hold a candle to a high-end knife). At this point, I am looking for just one REALLY NICE all around chef knife/gyuto to start with, for an average home cook who likes nice things. Here are my responses to the questionnaire:

    LOCATION
    USA

    KNIFE TYPE
    chef knife/gyuto

    Are you right or left handed?
    Right handed

    Are you interested in a Western handle (e.g., classic Wusthof handle) or Japanese handle?
    I'm indifferent...I have only used western so far but I can certainly see how a japanese handle could be very comfortable and will be open to it.

    What length of knife (blade) are you interested in (in inches or millimeters)?
    240mm

    Do you require a stainless knife? (Yes or no)
    i would prefer stainless steel, or stainless steel clad. I am also OK with a carbon edge, i can learn to be careful.

    What is your absolute maximum budget for your knife?
    ideally under 200 for just the knife, but will pay up to 230 if the quality and performance is up to par.

    KNIFE USE
    home usage

    What are the main tasks you primarily intend to use the knife for
    slicing vegetables, chopping vegetables, mincing vegetables, slicing meats, cutting down poultry, trimming meats

    What knife, if any, are you replacing?
    henckels synergy 8" and pure komachi 2 stanoku

    Do you have a particular grip that you primarily use?
    pinch grip

    What cutting motions do you primarily use?
    mostly push cut, maybe some rocking (herbs, mincing, etc)

    Better aesthetics: this is a knife i would like to purchase and use for a lifetime, so fit and finish is important to me and yes, i would like for it to look pretty. i have no preference on steel and wood pattern, and will not be upset if the blades patinas or scratches slightly.

    Comfort: i'm pretty open to various weights as long as the knife is well balanced for a pinch grip. as mentioned above, f&f is pretty important in this purchase.

    Ease of Use:
    i would definitely like a knife that will fly through product with push cutting and chopping. i'm ok with average food release. the henckel has no choil clearance so I cannot use it in a pinch grip, and i miss the rounded tip of the chef knife on the santoku - so i figured a gyuto would be the best of both worlds. i would like for the knife to have a nice edge out of the box, but i plan on learning how to sharpen anyway.

    Edge Retention: indifferent, as long as i don't need to sharpen it every month! i cook about 3-4 times a week, usually in quantity

    KNIFE MAINTENANCE
    Do you use a bamboo, wood, rubber, or synthetic cutting board?
    I use a bamboo cutting board with replaceable cutting sheets that go on top of it (which are some kind of plastic)

    Do you sharpen your own knives?
    i do at the moment using a henckels sharpener, but will be purchasing sharpening stones with this knife so i am interested in learning how to sharpen the proper way.

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions everyone!!!


  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    At that price point, you might want to consider the Akifusa SRS15. I think Jon sells them also, probably with some unique JKI specifications, as the Gesshin Kagero. It's a western handled gyuto with powdered steel, clad in softer stainless steel. Can get scary sharp and has a reputation for great edge retention. One thing you can tell about this knife is that the money that went into making it was allocated heavily toward performance (F&F is great too). But you are not paying for cosmetic perks like damascus, etc. Not that it is a bad looking knife at all - just looks like it means business anyway I have the santoku in this series so can vouch for it. Just seems like a good fit based on the criteria you mentioned.

    Good luck! I'm sure you'll get lots of great suggestions.


  3. #3
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    Upon re-reading, one caveat . . . Do not use your gyuto to break down poultry, it could easily chip. To break down birds you should get a honesuki. If you don't want to spend an inordinate amount on a knife that will be used for a limited purpose, then the Tojiro DP (VG10 core) and Fujiwara FKM (AUS8? I think) are commonly recommended.

  4. #4
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    daveb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chiffonodd View Post
    If you don't want to spend an inordinate amount on a knife then you are in the WRONG PLACE!
    Fixed that for you. hehehe Actually your point about knives and bones is well taken. But. A honesuki may not fare well with chicken if not used properly and if used properly most any knife can break down a chicken.
    Older and wider..

  5. #5
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    +1 so true . . .

  6. #6
    Senior Member Castalia's Avatar
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    How about an Itinomon Stainless Kasumi 240mm Wa-gyuto from Japanese Natural Stones? I also agree with the Akifusa as well. If you look around at the site supporting vendors you can find many excellent choices. If you enjoy quality products, it may be tough to stop at simply one knife though it is possible. Good luck on your sharpening quest.

  7. #7

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    thanks for your help guys! i should have been clearer in my questionnaire, but i wasn't planning on using the gyuto to butcher and debone...thanks for the concern though! by meat trimming, i just meant slicing boneless chicken thighs, trimming silverskin...things like that.

    i'm definitely looking to get something beyond the tojiro and fujiwaras. my first bit of research (which led me to this forum) started with wusthof which then took me to shun...and after more research about japanese knives, i've decided that the money applied towards a shun could get me a much nicer knife for the same price. something more performant, and with more character.

    the Itinomon is a bit more than i would like to spend (for now), but the gesshin kagero seems pretty awesome. the look is something i'm very much into, as you said damascus is nice but i'm definitely into something classic but means business...and the price point is great. what about brands like sukenari, kikuichi, hattori, or tanaka...or any of these worth a look for what i am looking for?

  8. #8
    Senior Member Matus's Avatar
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    Welcome aboard! The advice on Gesshin Kagero and itinomonn is indeed sound - remember - Maksim from JNS ships free (DHL Express) worldwide for oderds above 1000DKK, so you would just fit your budget with the 240 wa stainless clad semi-stainlesds core.n And then tehre is the stainless clad V2 Itinomonn for a little less than $200. Those two knives however seem to have different profiles (the one with V2 core is taller at the heel and seems to have more belly)

    Check out also Yoshikane SKD (stainless clad semi-stainless core steel, trully excellent) - it is available with "hammered" finish mostly.

    Giving Jon from JKI a call would be a good idea too.

    For sharpening - make sure to check out the sharpening playlist made by Jon from JKI. It covers practically everything you need to get started.

    Have fun choosing your first "proper" knife

  9. #9

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    You can de-bone chicken fine with a delicate gyuto if you use the right techniques. -You might want poultry sheers, meat cleaver, or a beater for spatchcocking or removing the spine though. I often come across bone chips or strips in 'deboned' chicken; so you might want a knife that can handle the occasional obstacle.

    Much of what you're looking for can be obtained by learning and honing your skills (last a lifetime, push vs rocking). Lateral stress on a softer steel causes the edge to curl. Harder steels may chip. -Both fatigue. I see a lot of chefs and cooks buying expensive knives, abusing the crap out of them, and acting like they're pro and know what they're doing with knives and yet they need to sharpen them daily while I could do more with the house knives.

    If you're creating a bur when sharpening; you're creating fatigue.

    I don't think Yo handles are more comfortable than Wa, and it seems like Japanese are slowly adopting the Wa style. For me; Wa is more durable, while Yo is easier to upgrade or replace. On horizontal cuts near the board; I prefer the Wa handle with the hook at the butt for extra clearance and ease of pulling.

    Tojiro isn't limited to just the DP line. They have some really nice looking knives, and even some HS PM steel knives. They also have some clunkers that could use some heavy after market finishing, but they're priced accordingly. By giving a DP a secondary bevel or micro-bevel, and getting past the factory edge, and other tricks; you can get the edge retention to be pretty damn good. I have the Tojiro F-521 (PM steel). -It holds an edge quite long and was surprisingly quick and easy to sharpen on stones.

    A knife may last you a lifetime; but it's not going to be the same knife it was. A gyuto may end up as a Sujihiki if you use it for everything. Suji's are nice. -Less stiction, less weight.

    Having a variety of knives can preserve edge retention and make specific jobs easier.

    The knife I want to use most when I'm home? - Victorinox 8" Chef's. I'm not worried about cleaning right after use, it can do about anything, it's cheap by comparison, and is the least likely to be stolen. At work; I'm ok with the house knives, but cooks tend to destroy their edges. -The main reason I bring my own knives to work.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_edge View Post
    \
    I don't think Yo handles are more comfortable than Wa, and it seems like Japanese are slowly adopting the Wa style. For me; Wa is more durable, while Yo is easier to upgrade or replace. On horizontal cuts near the board; I prefer the Wa handle with the hook at the butt for extra clearance and ease of pulling.
    This is confusing to me, Wa is Japanese handle and Yo is Western handle right? Never seen a Wa with a "hook at the butt"


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