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    daveb's Avatar
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    First Gyuto, Couple (pages) of questions..

    I’ll give this a go. I am hobbyist (is that a word?) home cook. I enjoy knife work and have happily owned some of Solingen’s finest for years. My current “go to” knife is a nine inch Wusthof Ikon Chef w Blackwood handle. Like other Wusthofs the knife feels balanced at the bolster. A ten inch Henckel is a little awkward – lot of knife, very blade heavy. The 8 inch chefs are a close second to the 9 inch. I also have occasion to use a 9” Messermeister that I like.

    All was well until I met my first Shun. I used a 6” utility to trim silverskin from several tenderloins and liked it a lot. Sharp, narrow and little flex. Bought one. But that started me looking for more/other Japanese knives and I found this site. Without further ado the questionnaire:

    What type of knife(s) do you think you want?
    I want to start with a Wa Gyuto. I want it to look Japanese hence the Wa handle. One of many decisions I’m looking for help on is the 240 or 270 for first Japanese knife.

    The easy answer is the 240mm = 9.4” and 270mm = 10.6” so the nod should go to 240. But my German chef knives weigh 288g for the 10”, 273g for the 9”, 218g for the 8” and 202g for 6” H, 179g for 6” W . So a 270 Hattori at 180g weighs the same as a (very light to me) 6” Wusthof and a 270 Konosuke at 175g weighs even less. Length is an obvious consideration but how important is weight for handling?

    I think I want to go stainless for ease of maintenance. In my searching to date VG-10 comes up, it seems more prevalent on less expensive knives. Konosuke HD Semi-Stainless – is it stainless? Swedish stainless seems to be used on heavier, +200g, knives. These are some initial observations, any clarification appreciated.

    Why is it being purchased? What, if anything, are you replacing?
    I enjoy working with a knife and want to try this type of knife.

    What do you like and dislike about these qualities of your knives already?
    Aesthetics- Not much aesthetics in German knives, but I do appreciate the utility. The blackwood handle is easy on the eyes and feels good.
    Edge Quality/Retention- The edges are adequate but …
    Ease of Use- The one’s I use most perform well as used.
    Comfort- Handles are reasonably comfortable (I have 2XLG hands) , I like the slight blade heavy or neutral weight balance of the knives.

    What grip do you use? Pinch, just forward of boslter.

    What kind of cutting motion do you use? Forward rock for most work.

    Where do you store them? Magnetic knife racks, in-drawer for ceramics, block outside.
    Have you ever oiled a handle? Yes.

    What kind of cutting board(s) do you use? Preference for Epicurean polysomething, also have hardwood and bamboo boards.

    For edge maintenance, do you use a strop, honing rod, pull through/other, or nothing? Day to day use a honing steel. Occasionally use a Vulcan pull through.

    Have they ever been sharpened? I’ve sent them for pro sharpening but saw little discernible difference when returned. In preparation for new knife (knives?) have ordered sharpening set and sink bridge from CKTG. Practicing now on least used Henckel and a cheap cleaver.

    What is your budget? Most of what is making my short list is at least $200, would like to stay under $400.

    What do you cook and how often? A bit of everything at home on daily basis.

    Special requests(Country of origin/type of wood/etc)?
    In the Wa handles, Ebony looks most striking to me though I can live with anything I’ve seen to date. I expect to add a petty a cleaver and another gyuto as I get to know more about these knives. I’ve made a short list based on lurking here, browsing retail sites and other internet searching. I’ve never held one of these knives and don’t expect to do so prior to first purchase. Would appreciate any comments/suggestions/etc on list.

    Kagayak10 Wa Gyuto VG10
    Hattori Wa Gyuto VG10 Cobalt
    Konosuke HD Wa Gyuto HD w Ebony Handle
    Konosuke HD ******** Addict HD w Ebony Handle
    Gesshin Ginga Stainless
    Suisin Inox Honyaki Swedish Stainless

    Thanks much for reading this far. Any input you would care to keep private pls pm or email (I’ll try and turn it on).

    Regards,

    Dave

  2. #2
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    Suisin Inox Honyaki Swedish Stainless
    Gesshin Ginga Stainless
    Konosuke HD Wa Gyuto w Ebony Handle

    Personally, I'd get these, in this order. They are head and shoulders above the others on your list (I have not tried out the Addict but frankly, it isn't going to be better.).

  3. #3
    The alleles created by mutation may be beneficial

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    Welcome to KKF!
    On every wa chef knife you use the balance point will be forward of the handle. The tangs used on wa knives are very small compared to western full tang knives so the balance point shifts forward. Having a different balance feels strange at first but I think it makes your tip work much easier. A konosuke HD would be a good first choice, and while the steel isn't entirely stainless you can treat it like a stainless. Some discoloration might show up but it will be very minor. The Gesshin Ginga and the Suisin IH would both perform admirably. For the 240 / 270 issue it really is a matter of taste. I find that 240 is plenty large enough for any home task, and unless you need to cut up 80 lbs of potatoes for a pot luck I don't see 270 offering anything. Many (if not most) members disagree.
    I know you said you wanted a wa handle but I'd also like to add the CarboNext from japanesechefsknife.com in the running. If you don't mind the western handle you can't beat it for the price. http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/KA...extSeries.html

    Oh, to PM people you need 4 posts. It's an anti-spam feature we have.

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    Senior Member Crothcipt's Avatar
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    I have 2 knives that are made of vg10, they are thin. In fact my 12" weighs just as much as a 6" santoku non vg10. But the big problem I am having at the moment is it chips easily. There are more qualified on this forum to explain more but just saying you might want to take that into consideration.
    Last edited by Crothcipt; 03-28-2012 at 01:28 AM. Reason: non vg10 edit on santoku

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    Quote Originally Posted by tk59 View Post
    Suisin Inox Honyaki Swedish Stainless
    Gesshin Ginga Stainless
    Konosuke HD Wa Gyuto w Ebony Handle

    Personally, I'd get these, in this order. They are head and shoulders above the others on your list (I have not tried out the Addict but frankly, it isn't going to be better.).
    +1

  6. #6
    Senior Member DeepCSweede's Avatar
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    Dave - Welcome to the forums - I agree with tk and would recommend you speak to Jon at JKI

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    daveb's Avatar
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    Thanks tk for helping narrow down the list. Andrew the handle explanation makes sense and I expect a more "blade heavy" knife with Wa handle. The ratio of handle size to blade size also suggests the balance point will be forward but I was not sure. Going with the 240 first and maybe a 270 later is making more sense than the other way around.

    I'll also welcome answers to questions I've not thought to ask.

    Regards,

    Dave

  8. #8
    Senior Member Amon-Rukh's Avatar
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    The Suisin Inox, Gessin Ginga and Konosuke HD knives all seem to get a lot of love in general, but (as someone considering a potential future purchase myself) I was wondering what makes people rate them in that particular order?
    - Erik

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    Senior Member Deckhand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daveb View Post
    Thanks tk for helping narrow down the list. Andrew the handle explanation makes sense and I expect a more "blade heavy" knife with Wa handle. The ratio of handle size to blade size also suggests the balance point will be forward but I was not sure. Going with the 240 first and maybe a 270 later is making more sense than the other way around.

    I'll also welcome answers to questions I've not thought to ask.

    Regards,

    Dave
    I felt the same way as you. I was fortunate to test drive two wa-gyutos a 240vs270 before settling on a size for a custom Rodrigue. After the test drive couldn't imagine not using a 270mm. The 240mm felt too small for me, the 270mm just right and very light and agile.That being said I had already ordered a boardsmith maple magnum board I will be receiving Monday so cutting board room won't be an issue. I am 6ft3in tall. Might have made a difference.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by daveb View Post
    For edge maintenance, do you use a strop, honing rod, pull through/other, or nothing? Day to day use a honing steel. Occasionally use a Vulcan pull through.
    Welcome!

    Based on the knives and sharpening system you have described as using, I think the potential for your cutting experience to vastly improve is tremendous.



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