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Thread: First time Japanese Gyuto for a friend - need your advice

  1. #1
    Senior Member alterwisser's Avatar
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    First time Japanese Gyuto for a friend - need your advice

    The wife of a very good friend of mine wants to give him his first "real" knife. He has a couple of the usual German suspects ...

    She has no idea (yet) so I offered to give her 3 recommendations at 3 different price points. Please see the questionnaire:

    LOCATION
    What country are you in?



    KNIFE TYPE
    What type of knife are you interested in (e.g., chef’s knife, slicer, boning knife, utility knife, bread knife, paring knife, cleaver)?

    Are you right or left handed?

    Are you interested in a Western handle (e.g., classic Wusthof handle) or Japanese handle?

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

    Do you require a stainless knife? (Yes or no)

    What is your absolute maximum budget for your knife?



    KNIFE USE
    Do you primarily intend to use this knife at home or a professional environment?

    HOME

    What are the main tasks you primarily intend to use the knife for

    Looking for versatile knife. He would use it a lot as a meat slicer, but also for veggie prep

    What knife, if any, are you replacing?

    Couple of Henckels and the likes ... he intends to keep them, but wants one really nice knife (little does he know that this will just be the beginning LOL)

    Do you have a particular grip that you primarily use?

    To be honest, I haven't seen him cut ... I think hammer.

    What cutting motions do you primarily use? (Please click on this LINK for types of cutting motions and identify the two or three most common cutting motions, in order of most used to least used.)

    Slice, rock, dice

    What improvements do you want from your current knife?

    Sharper (haha), good to great edge retention ... a higher quality knife. It needs to be really sharp OOTB for him, he doesn't sharpen himself and I think he'd be disappointed it it won't be by far the sharpest knife he ever touched. He thinks taking care of a knife is not putting it in the dishwasher. So I think this needs to be a stainless. He's not ready yet for Carbon.

    Not the Laser type of guy. Knife can be of medium to higher weight. Little wedging more important than food release ...



    KNIFE MAINTENANCE

    Synthetic board

    Do you sharpen your own knives?

    He does ... but it hurts to look at them. One of those nasty pull through things. Therefore I feel that edge retention is really important and I will try to convince him to get it professionally sharpened from time to time ...

    If not, are you interested in learning how to sharpen your knives? (Yes or no.)

    Negative at this point

    Are you interested in purchasing sharpening products for your knives? (Yes or no.)

    No



    SPECIAL REQUESTS/COMMENTS

    He wants a 240mm Gyuto ... From my point of view this needs to be stainless, with good to great edge retention. Versatile profile with a bit of belly.

    Two special requests: Ideally I can give his wife three recommendations, one each for less than $100, between $120-150 and around $200.

    Birthday is in 6 weeks, so ordering from Japan would be an option as well.

    Last but not least, he is kind of odd in the sense that he LOVES to score bargains. He would happily spend more on something if he feels that he's getting a great deal (A Sale junkie). So if this knife qualifies as "Great bang for your buck" knife ... it'd be his kind of gift ...

  2. #2
    Senior Member ThEoRy's Avatar
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    Tojiro dp or fujiwara fkm.
    Starting this harvest I'm a starving startling artist/
    Lyrical arsonist it's arduous spitting this smartest arsenic/

  3. #3
    Senior Member alterwisser's Avatar
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    Not sure why the first couple are empty ... so here's the rest:

    LOCATION
    What country are you in?

    USA

    KNIFE TYPE
    What type of knife are you interested in

    Gyuto

    Are you right or left handed?

    Right

    Are you interested in a Western handle (e.g., classic Wusthof handle) or Japanese handle?

    Both

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

    240 mm

    Do you require a stainless knife? (Yes or no)

    Yes, or semi

    What is your absolute maximum budget for your knife?

    $200


    Quote Originally Posted by alterwisser View Post
    The wife of a very good friend of mine wants to give him his first "real" knife. He has a couple of the usual German suspects ...

    She has no idea (yet) so I offered to give her 3 recommendations at 3 different price points. Please see the questionnaire:

    LOCATION
    What country are you in?



    KNIFE TYPE
    What type of knife are you interested in (e.g., chef’s knife, slicer, boning knife, utility knife, bread knife, paring knife, cleaver)?

    Are you right or left handed?

    Are you interested in a Western handle (e.g., classic Wusthof handle) or Japanese handle?

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

    Do you require a stainless knife? (Yes or no)

    What is your absolute maximum budget for your knife?



    KNIFE USE
    Do you primarily intend to use this knife at home or a professional environment?

    HOME

    What are the main tasks you primarily intend to use the knife for

    Looking for versatile knife. He would use it a lot as a meat slicer, but also for veggie prep

    What knife, if any, are you replacing?

    Couple of Henckels and the likes ... he intends to keep them, but wants one really nice knife (little does he know that this will just be the beginning LOL)

    Do you have a particular grip that you primarily use?

    To be honest, I haven't seen him cut ... I think hammer.

    What cutting motions do you primarily use? (Please click on this LINK for types of cutting motions and identify the two or three most common cutting motions, in order of most used to least used.)

    Slice, rock, dice

    What improvements do you want from your current knife?

    Sharper (haha), good to great edge retention ... a higher quality knife. It needs to be really sharp OOTB for him, he doesn't sharpen himself and I think he'd be disappointed it it won't be by far the sharpest knife he ever touched. He thinks taking care of a knife is not putting it in the dishwasher. So I think this needs to be a stainless. He's not ready yet for Carbon.

    Not the Laser type of guy. Knife can be of medium to higher weight. Little wedging more important than food release ...



    KNIFE MAINTENANCE

    Synthetic board

    Do you sharpen your own knives?

    He does ... but it hurts to look at them. One of those nasty pull through things. Therefore I feel that edge retention is really important and I will try to convince him to get it professionally sharpened from time to time ...

    If not, are you interested in learning how to sharpen your knives? (Yes or no.)

    Negative at this point

    Are you interested in purchasing sharpening products for your knives? (Yes or no.)

    No



    SPECIAL REQUESTS/COMMENTS

    He wants a 240mm Gyuto ... From my point of view this needs to be stainless, with good to great edge retention. Versatile profile with a bit of belly.

    Two special requests: Ideally I can give his wife three recommendations, one each for less than $100, between $120-150 and around $200.

    Birthday is in 6 weeks, so ordering from Japan would be an option as well.

    Last but not least, he is kind of odd in the sense that he LOVES to score bargains. He would happily spend more on something if he feels that he's getting a great deal (A Sale junkie). So if this knife qualifies as "Great bang for your buck" knife ... it'd be his kind of gift ...

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    ^^^ What he said. For mid range gessin stainless seems popular. For high end if go masakage but that's probably a tad over 200. The mizu and yuki lines are suberb ootb but are carbon. Albeit carbon wrapped in stainless. I have the mizu and its super easy to take care of. If you order from knifewear ( might be cheaper given how ****** the cad dollar is it comes with a pamplet telling you not to be stupid with your knife). Even my 70 year old grandpa can use it.

  5. #5
    Senior Member alterwisser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Godslayer View Post
    ^^^ What he said. For mid range gessin stainless seems popular. For high end if go masakage but that's probably a tad over 200. The mizu and yuki lines are suberb ootb but are carbon. Albeit carbon wrapped in stainless. I have the mizu and its super easy to take care of. If you order from knifewear ( might be cheaper given how ****** the cad dollar is it comes with a pamplet telling you not to be stupid with your knife). Even my 70 year old grandpa can use it.
    I have a Yuki Nakiri and I feel it's as easy to take care of as Carbon knives come. And it's a beauty! Would've been in the price range with their February Masakage sale, I guess ...

  6. #6
    Senior Member chinacats's Avatar
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    I would suggest something like a Gesshin Kagero for the higher end of the series. It's stainless, pm steel (holds edge forever), and will be easy to adapt to as the profile is not too flat coming from German knives (though most everything will be an adjustment). The price is ~230 which is close, but the performance including oob edge (if you get Jon to sharpen it) will be sharper than anything he's used prior. Oh yes, it comes with a case...
    once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right

  7. #7
    Senior Member alterwisser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chinacats View Post
    I would suggest something like a Gesshin Kagero for the higher end of the series. It's stainless, pm steel (holds edge forever), and will be easy to adapt to as the profile is not too flat coming from German knives (though most everything will be an adjustment). The price is ~230 which is close, but the performance including oob edge (if you get Jon to sharpen it) will be sharper than anything he's used prior. Oh yes, it comes with a case...

    I've never used powdered steel ... does it generally hold the edge longer than other stainless steels?

  8. #8
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    Quite a bit longer; I sharpen my pm steel knives once for every 2-3 sharpening sessions on other SS knives.

  9. #9
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    The usual suspects . . .

    - Tojiro DP
    - Fujiwara FKM
    - Masamoto VG
    - MAC Pro

    Also +1 on the Kagero - the PM steel is hardened to about 64 HrC and will retain its edge significantly longer. might be more chip prone but SRS15 is supposed to be more resistant than other PM steels.

  10. #10
    daveb's Avatar
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    I'll suggest a couple at the lower end of your spectrum. Gesshin stainless from JKI or Suisin Western Inox from Korin. Either would likely be the best knive he's ever used. And you're not going to do better at that price point. Would agree with CCats at the upper end of your range but IMO a non-knife geek is going to hit that point of diminishing returns around $100. I think the Suisin looks a little nicer, the Gesshin is a little nicer. Difference in price is noise.

    To cheaply up the wow factor if you buy from Korin they will engrave any art you provide or a simple HBD and date. That would be a nice touch for a birthday gift.

    Good luck in finding the perfect gift.
    Dave
    Older and wider.

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