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Thread: Can a gyuto be too flat?

  1. #1

    Can a gyuto be too flat?

    I know that we all have our preferences, some like a gyuto to be almost dead flat (contact patch of 3-4"), others prefer some rock in the belly (contact patch of 1-2"), and then others like something in between.

    I know the drawbacks of having both too much belly as well as a dead clunk flat profile but what I'm wondering is can a gyuto be too flat on the curve to the tip whereas to prevent the knife from cutting some food stuffs like say a thick carrot? Have you ever had a knife make you wish for more belly, or more specifically more curve towards the tip, and if so why?

  2. #2
    AMP01's Avatar
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    I have grown accustomed to a larger flat spot since I got into Gyuto's compared to the rock-chop of a western.

    For me all flat with no belly is not good. Mostly flat with some slight belly is Great !!

    Cheers,

    Andrew

  3. #3
    I think it has something to do with overall cutting length, as well. A 270 gives you more room for a 3-4" flat at the heel, and is one of the reasons I prefer this length and geometry. It's long enough for chopping julienne of most veg you might need to julienne with the flat spot, yet still allows a rocking motion when needed, as well as enough curve such that you can use the tip for slicing on the board. This is one of the reasons why I think the Mizuno 270 is the perfect gyuto. It does everything; I can chop, rock, julienne, slice, the whole 9 yards.

    When you move to a 240 of necessity you have to give up one of those things, in my opinion, and this is the reason 270s are more versatile.

  4. #4
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    All flat plus long knife equals jamming the nose into the board at some point. I ordered my kiritsuke with a little more curve for this reason. Unless all you do is perfectly parallel thrust or push cutting you need some curve. 3-5" of flat blade is good.

  5. #5
    To clarify/specify a little bit - For the average male 5'10" - 6'2", there is a certain radius that feels right from the hand down near the board at full contact to the hand and arm as high as can be "comfortable" with just the tip on the board. It's not that you can't get your hand higher off the board, or closer to the board, but there is a comfort zone that you want to be in. Most of us prefer a gyuto that at least allows for some precision work with the tip (I like to mince garlic with mine, particularly), and you need at least a small flatish space near the tip to do this. Then, within the framework of that average male size, you need approximately 125-145 mm from the tip down the length of the edge in order to allow for the proper rock, so that the knife can be used to rock when needed, but also so that the knife can be used for slicing with the tip on the board and the knife angled up from the board at just the right angle as to be comfortable and still work (this is probably the second or third most used motion that I use when cutting, btw). Once you incorporate that correct curvature to that part of the blade, it only allows for a certain length of flat real estate to work with back to the heel. On a 240 that translates out to about 100-120 mm or just at 4-4.75 inches or so, ideally, and on a 270 that translates to 130-150 or 5.25-6 inches or so. Most pros (and most home cooks like me of average size who like to chop to julienne) will tell you that that extra inch of dead flat makes chopping a much easier process, from onion to leafy herb to potato to squash, etc., etc. It's one of the reasons why I think 270s are really popular on the boards, and maybe not so popular for the general population, as your average internet user who gets into knives, sharpening, and extended discussion with people he doesn't usually know personally is probably most likely to be a male of average height, while your average knife purchaser (at least in the States) who DOESN'T get too much into sharpening and especially not into going on forums to talk about it is probably a female of smaller stature that leads to needing a smaller knife... ergo people on the forums TEND to suggest and prefer 270s while the average population tends to buy 210s-240s.

  6. #6
    Can a gyuto be too flat?
    Not as long as it tapers up to a tip in any shape or form, I don't think so. I like it really flat. The times when you are hacking up lots of things very thinly and you look down and there is that accordion of food stuck together from that tiny part of the blade not making contact...makes me want to use a dedicated vegetable knife every time.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by johndoughy View Post
    that accordion of food stuck together from that tiny part of the blade not making contact...
    I'll second this statement for sure. I've got one knife thats ever so slightly over ground at the heel and gets me every time.

    As of late I've come to really really really use my 240 suji as my general purpose knife. I use the first 3-4" of my knife 80% of the time anyway so a suji makes the most sense.

    I guess what I'm trying to get at is that a slightly curved tip and a flat belly get me by.
    Proper Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance.

    Growing-Chef.com

  8. #8
    I think a gyuto which is almost dead flat is called santoku and not gyuto in Japan.

  9. #9
    Das HandleMeister apicius9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrNaka View Post
    I think a gyuto which is almost dead flat is called santoku and not gyuto in Japan.


  10. #10

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