I have a Yoshikane wa 270 and a friend of mine has a western 270. Same steel but the western is thick and massive while the wa is actually quite thin. I like the steel. Sharpening is not the greatest but edge holding is quite good. I would recommend it at that price point. Maybe you can get Jon to have a Gengetsu suji in semi-stainless made. I'm really liking that steel. Edge holding is very good on that and sharpening is quite easy but it is tougher than Heiji steel, for example.
I remember reading on KF that the sakai was a bit chubby and I don't think the review was great. BTW I love that koa handle,that wood is to beautiful to put a ferrule on the handle.
Thanks Guys. I don't do any real delicate slicing, this will be mainly a BBQ knife so a little thickness and toughness is OK. It will also see some cutting board action too.
If you're going to beat up on your knife a little, go for the softer steel (that would probably be ginsan) But just as important is the geometry of the knife for your purpose.
Go with the Yoshikane Mike, I have one that Marko touched up a bit and I love it!
Sorry guys. Thought for sure Yoshikane was Sakai not Sanjō... and ignorantly didn't look it up. Paul's had a 240 suminagashi ginsanko Takayuki gyuto a while back and it was almost too pretty for words. Fairly porky spine near the handle, but really nice looking. Not too too heavy if I recall.
I would go for the yoshikane, I like my gyuto a lot and SKD 11 would make a great slicer.