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Thread: Knife Commentary

  1. #1
    Canada's Sharpest Lefty Lefty's Avatar
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    Knife Commentary

    I'm opening up a thread that I hope will be often posted in, by all of us, and equally important - free flowing. Basically, I'd like for it to become a spot where we can discuss the nuances that we love/hate, our preferences in size, whether or not a bolster makes a knife feel more impressive...really anything, without having to start a new thread every time. It could be a terrible idea, but what the hell. I'm just going to post what I'm thinking and then we can discuss it. Hopefully this works.

    First matter of business: Gyuto Length

    As a home cook, who also cooks as part of my career, I often have wondered if my preference in gyutos was a strange one. I've always loved 210s, and while I had a spell of pure 240 buying, I'm now back on my "smaller is nicer" train. I blame two knives for this: my Harner "mini-gyuto", as I now call it, and an Itinomonn 210 Nashiji KU gyuto that I've been using quite a bit of late. These knives are agile, thin BTE, and just feel damn good in hand. I still love my 240s, and have one coming, but length seems to be good for two things in my mind; It's important for cutting through huge items, and occasionally for banging out large quantities (though, in my mind, that's debatable...so let's say what we think here).

    Are my preferences a direct result of the number of people I cook for? Quite probably - not possibly, yes. But if the average 240 felt as easy in my hand as a 210, or even 180, then I'd just grab one of them. Right now, I'm leaning towards shorter knives. Next week...well, who knows. I'm always playing around and that's 90% of the fun of this hobby/obsession we share, isn't it? Finding what knife makes you feel good in the current moment. There's really no other way to explain having ten gyutos than to say, "I just like using a knife that makes cooking fun; Today it's my Carter, tomorrow it might be my Rodrigue".
    09/06

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  2. #2
    Senior Member Mucho Bocho's Avatar
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    Lefty, Good idea about this thread. I like you're last statement "knives:Gyutos that are fun to use". Some of you may know from my posts, I'm a very inquisitive home cook and have six gyutos ranging from Yusuke (thick/thin), Konosuke, Kramer (WS Meiji) and my white #2 Special Thin Yusuke has to be one of the most fun knives to use. Light, sharp and thin as a razor and hs great balance. Regarding size, for me the length of the Gyuto is food appropriate. Large items, larger knives, smaller, smaller knife. Just my 2 cents
    One thing you can give and still keep...is your word.

  3. #3
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    I like my Sugimoto gyuto very much, 210mm (195mm edge), very asymmetric, easy to sharpen to a wicked edge and light as a feather. Oh, and $75. When I want a bigger knife I find myself reaching for my Chuka more than the 240mm these days. It feels like an inevitable slide towards the dark side.

  4. #4
    I have to admit that while the bigger knives have their advantages (atm, my 225 Carter is a lot of fun), one of my favorites has got to be Will Catchside's 200mm "Red Shark" gyuto. Very quick and nimble, but not as light as some others. I personally like the more substantial feel of it, although as a home cook, I don't have to deal with several hundred pounds of protein in a day.
    Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries. Now go away you silly man or I shall taunt you a second time!

  5. #5
    for me, the right gyuto length depends on what quantities i want to produce. at home, when cutting food for two people ill take a 210mm. at work, when cutting food for 150 people, a 240mm feels to short.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Matus's Avatar
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    I am new in the field of 'proper' kitchen knives, but have experience with 270 suji and 210 gyuto. The suji felt a bit too long in, my hand (the other problem was that the blade had very little curve for me - what is normal with suji after all, but I did not realize that when buying). The 210 feels to be the right length for all those veggie tasks, but when used to slice meat 240 would probably feel better. Maybe even 180 would suffice for those non-meat tasks, but I find the 210 comfortable and do not want to end up with 2 gyutos. That would only change if I would have to slice meat more often (my Tanaka R2 has beautiful '3D' damascus caldding which however seems to cause more drag with meats) then I would go directly for some think light carbon 270 gyuto.

  7. #7
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    The two gyutos on my board at home at the moment are a yo-210 and a wa-270. This is strange to say, but realistically, I reach for the 210 more, but enjoy using the 270 more. The 210 cuts more elegantly at the moment, the 270 feels more assertive. I've intentionally left out the details of the knives, but both are great.

    At work I have a 240 and a 270 and I interchange freely. If a knife is a waif, I like a bit of extra length, if it has some heft a 240 is great in a pro environment.

    Its also important to consider the difference in potential profile between different lengths of knife. I like a knife with a larger flat sweet spot, that is more common on a longer knife.
    Last edited by Dusty; 08-28-2013 at 10:29 AM. Reason: added second paragraph

  8. #8
    Senior Member ChuckTheButcher's Avatar
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    I tend to go for 240's but feel comfortable using 210 up to 270. Once you get into the 300's I find them unwieldy. One size I really like but is hard to find is 255.
    All normal people love meat. If I went to a barbeque and there was no meat, I would say 'Yo Goober! Where's the meat?'.- Homer Simpson

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    WildBoar's Avatar
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    240 - 255 gyutos mainly for me (all home use). I never use the 210 gyuto, but I like a 210 suji for some tasks (excellent tomato slayer), and always find uses for 150-180 pettys. Have a couple gyutos in the 270 range, but they are not in the regular rotation. Cutting board size dictates maximum gyuto length at times; the wife's board is a little small for anything beyond 240, but mine is big enough for a 270 gyuto or 300 suji.
    __________
    David (WildBoar's Kitchen)

  10. #10
    Senior Member Mrmnms's Avatar
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    When I worked/lived in a commercial kitchen, I preferred big knives 10 to 12 inches for prep. I had almost unlimited work space They were beasts in comparison to the knives we discuss here. At home now , with any number of kids insisting on hanging around me while I prep, or grown ups with wine glasses looking over my shoulder, I go for knives 210 and under for most work on my counter. In an empty kitchen and quiet house (ha) I'll pull out a 240 just for the pleasure.

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