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Thread: Choosing new 210/240 Gyuto?

  1. #1

    Choosing new 210/240 Gyuto?

    Hi there

    As "the programmer guy" constantly being asked to sort computer troubles, I'm taking a step into here to be the complete non-expert and let you guys tell me what's what because I have no idea with the vast amount of choice out there.

    Basically, I'm looking for my first "proper" chef's knife. A knife I can call mine and take care of. After some research, I think I'm prepared to spend £100 or more (probably something like $130+ given shop prices?), but I just don't know exactly what I'm getting for that vs spending less or more. I'm really looking for something I can focus on getting better technique with and do the best job possible. I just tend to approach cooking with a "play to win" attitude - that's what makes it satisfying for me. I'll answer those questions now!

    What type of knife(s) do you think you want?
    I think some kind of 21cm or 24cm gyuto. I've felt knives of german stock before and they've seemed uncomfortably heavy. I think I prefer something a bit more nimble but I'd really like to try some out. I also have pretty big hands (I'm 6'2") and have heard some japanese knife handles can be a bit small? Wondering as well whether this is a decent reason for a 24cm knife or whether that length is just seen as good in general.

    Why is it being purchased? What, if anything, are you replacing?
    Being purchased because I definitely want to have my "one good knife". I'm replacing a no-name store knife that I can't even remember the origins of.

    What do you like and dislike about these qualities of your knives already?

    Aesthetics-Blacks or dark finishes are nice, but I don't have anything specific in mind
    Edge Quality/Retention-My current best knife doesn't really do edge retention I can get it sharp enough to not be a pain to use, but some of those videos I've seen...
    Ease of Use-It's a bit hard to rock with because the blade isn't that "tall" and the shape isn't the best.
    Comfort-Smooth contours are comfortable(of the knives I have. Can't really compare it to better knives I've never held)

    What grip do you use?
    Apparently the pinch grip. That's what feels most natural to me.

    What kind of cutting motion do you use?
    Generally, push-cutting or rocking, resorting more to the former when rocking is proving too inneffective(due to knife shape/size and/or sharpness I think). Sometimes the draw on tougher chillis or something. I think I'm forced to "overdo" it a bit on cutting force to get certain things to separate completely.

    Where do you store them?
    On a makeshift rack, but I'd want to get a good block or something for a new knife.

    Have you ever oiled a handle?
    I hadn't even heard of oiling a handle before.

    What kind of cutting board(s) do you use?
    Cheap plasticy one with a lot of battle scars, but again, I'd want maybe a nice large wooden one suitable for the blade.

    For edge maintenance, do you use a strop, honing rod, pull through/other, or nothing?

    I have some kind of small stone from I-don't-know-where. I really wouldn't mind keeping the knife sharpened myself but what about the cost of stones? I'd get a honing rod for daily use of a quality knife, certainly.

    Have they ever been sharpened?
    When the main knife gets stuck in a potato I know I've forgotten to sharpen it recently. I know this is bad

    What is your budget?
    £90-130, more if it's worth it($142-206 straight conversation. Shop prices might be more expensive for me)

    What do you cook and how often?
    I tend cook a lot of curries, chillis, etc and go through a lot of fresh veg. I'll be cooking at least every other day, most weeks. I dice lots and lots of onions, use peppers and chillis a lot, use carrots and potatoes regularly and sometimes a squash, to name what comes to mind. And those squash? Wow... none of my knives are a match for a squash I have to take it carefully and it's a real pain to do.

    Special requests(Country of origin/type of wood/etc)?
    Nothing in particular, I don't think.

    So, I've seen an awful lot of different manufacturers and different lines of knives and I don't really know what's best or has the most bang-for-the-buck for my price range (or whether my price range is right). Anyway, thanks.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    sachem allison's Avatar
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    I haven't lived the life I wanted, just the lives I needed too at the time.

  3. #3
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    Apr 2011
    Welcome to addiction. I assume you are in the UK so shipping is going to be an ass, pardon the language. Therefore, I'd go with JCK.
    Here are 3 options from them:

    1. Fujiwara FKH/FKM
    FKH is high carbon, which equals slightly more care if you are used to using stainless knives. Will Rust and Patina. FKM is the stainless version. Slightly above average compared to your average German knives in terms of edge retention.

    2. JCK Original CarboNext
    Heard alot of good things about this knife but have not actually used one myself. Semi-stainless.

    3.Hiromoto AS
    Carbon core (Blue Super steel) with stainless cladding. My current work knife. Definitely not the thinnest nor the lightest of knives. But great edge retention, good sharpness. Have to thin it down though (that's why mine is OTW to Dave). Can take a fair bit of abuse but will chip/nick if you use it to do something silly. The core will patina. Rust will set in if you don't clean the edge properly.

    Other knives you may want to take a look at if shipping is not an issue:

    Gesshin Ginga, Konosuke HD. Both similar in profile. And quite thin if that is what you are looking for. Gesshin is stainless. Konosuke is semi I believe.
    A final suggestion: Maybe a CCK??


  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    San Diego, CA
    Fujiwara is nice to cut with. CarboNEXT is similar but better edge retention and slightly less stain resistant. Hiro is less nice to cut with and I never recommend carbon steel for a first knife even if it is stainless clad. I would also highly recommend Inazuma at JCK. You might stretch for a Hattori HD which are comfortably rounded and have superiour geometry. The downside is they can be a bit on the chippy side. Go with a 240 mm gyuto and I'd forget the rod and get a 1-5k stone and something to flatten it with. When you get a board, just make sure it isn't bamboo, mainly.

  5. #5
    Senior Member

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    Feb 2011
    Pensacola, FL, USA
    Given your geographic location, I second the suggestion that you limit your selection from Shipping is US $7 and Koki (the proprietor) marks the knife as a "gift" to help you with customs duties.

    A gyuto in 210mm or 240mm length is a good starting point. Choose the 210mm if your workspace is cramped.

    Given that you are inexperienced with maintaining knives, I would not recommend anything but a stainless steel knife at this point. Some to look at are:

    Fujiwara FKM

    Hiromoto Gingami #3 (G3)

    Kagayaki Basic

    Kagayaki VG10

    At a slightly higher price point:

    Masamoto VG (currently the 240mm is sold out)

    Misono Molybdenum

    You will also need to budget for a waterstone to maintain your new knife. Your current stone and honing rod is likely not suitable for maintaining a Japanese knife. JCK has these also and a good one is the #1000/#4000 combination here:

    For a good introduction to knife maintenance, see this online article:

    Best of luck and welcome to the forum!


  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Feb 2011
    San Diego, CA
    The Kag VG10 I have is the cheapest looking knife I've ever used. I have been impressed also with the Kanetsugu Pro M series at JCK. Btw, the handles on a lot of these are on the small side, if that matters. The largest one is the Misono, I believe.

  7. #7
    Senior Member

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    Feb 2011
    Pensacola, FL, USA
    Quote Originally Posted by tk59 View Post
    The Kag VG10 I have is the cheapest looking knife I've ever used. I have been impressed also with the Kanetsugu Pro M series at JCK. Btw, the handles on a lot of these are on the small side, if that matters. The largest one is the Misono, I believe.
    I had forgotten the Kanetsugu Pro M. It is certainly worth considering.

  8. #8
    Canada's Sharpest Lefty Lefty's Avatar
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    Mar 2011
    My vote is for Misono, but a close second based on my petty and reputation is for the Fujiwara.
    The Kagayaki VG10 was an interesting beast. I didn't love it, but I wouldn't say it was bad...just not my cup of tea, I suppose.
    The Carbonext is supposed to be great, but I haven't used one and there's something about them that doesn't click with me, visually.

    Take a look around at:

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  9. #9
    Senior Member Lucretia's Avatar
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    Oct 2011
    Isle of Lucy

    Quote Originally Posted by Lieu View Post
    Hi there
    As "the programmer guy" constantly being asked to sort computer troubles...
    Have you tried turning it off and on again?

    I just got my first gyuto this weekend--a 210mm. I'm a 5'4" woman, and my hands would be small for a man. The 210 is a nice size, and if I had more counter space I think I could handle a 240mm. For a taller person the 240 might be more comfortable, but as Pensacola Tiger says, counter space is something you need to consider.

  10. #10
    210 feels pretty small to me. I still want one just because, but I wouldn't want it to be my only knife. It's just tough to cut certain things when you only have a 210 (squash, big stuff, leafy greens). I actually prefer 260-270, but you might want to start with a 240. I think most wa knives run a little short anyways.

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