I have owned many gyutos but none have impressed me as much as my NOS Sabatier in terms of profile and distal taper, which in my experience dictates a knife’s handling and feel. Even my Masamoto HC gyuto felt clunky after purchasing my Sab. The only knife that I have owned that replicated this quality was a Shigefusa. Despite being a gorgeous knife, I prefer western style knives and thus I sold it to fund my Rodrigue custom, and I’m glad I did.
This knife is an absolute dream to cut with. It is patterned after a Sabatier chef’s knife. It handles better than anything I have ever owned and despite being heavier than my nogent it actually feels lighter in the hand.
The steel is CPM-154 at 62 HRC and is very wear resistant and tough. Moreover, it takes and holds an extremely fine edge. It is thin and has a beautiful distal taper. My sharpening progression is 1k/4k waterstones then CrO2. Any difference in cutting ability relative to other high-end knives I have owned/used probably comes down to grind. This knife gets as sharp as anything else, but maintains it for much longer. In the year and a bit that I have owned this knife I have only had to take it to the stones twice. Keep in mind that I am not a professional cutting 8+ hours a day. Nonetheless, this is a heck of a lot less sharpening compared to other knives I own(ed) including my Sab.
Pierre was always very patient with me. After many emails back and forth we eventually finalized the details and I sent him my deposit. Several months later I received my knife. It has perfect fit and finish.
In sum, the knife can get as sharp as the best, maintain it for longer and cut through the nastiest without chipping or rolling. It has a classical French profile, slight convex grind and a beautiful distal taper, which lends to its amazing handling abilities.
Knives for me are an aesthetic experience. Analogy: the Rodrigue is like driving a Ferrari FF whereas the NOS nogent is like driving a 250 GT. That’s the best I can do. Both are a pleasure to own and use. In terms of pure performance, the Rodrigue is on another level.
10” (250mm) cutting length and 50mm high at the heel. The thickness is 2.5mm at the heel and it tapers to 1.5mm at the middle of the spine all the way to .8mm an inch from the tip. Nickel/silver bolster, 3/16” hidden pins and single center mosaic. Cocobolo scales. Spine and heel chamfered (rounded).
P.S. sorry for the poor quality pictures. It’s the best I can do on my phone camera.