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Thread: Wa or Yo Handles?

  1. #21

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    Thanks guys. Now I need to start learning Japanese... Okay, I can learn a few words and terms, shouldn't be too difficult. And, Rick, I'll be sure to post some pics this Summer. I have some gyutos with wa handles coming up...
    -M

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lefty View Post
    So, which do you prefer mhlee?
    I generally prefer western handles for gyutos, fillet/boning knives, and wa handle knives for slicers (although the only true "slicer" I have is a yanagiba). For a cleaver, I feel that I would prefer a wa handle versus a western handle - I use a Dexter Carbon Steel Chinese Cleaver at home and would like a cleaver with a better, but similar handle.

    But, the type of western matters A LOT. I have a 240 Hiromoto AS from Dave from the second group buy, and I LOVE that handle. I have a 240 Western Gyuto from Devin Thomas, and, while I like that blade more, I like the handle less than Dave's.
    Michael
    "Don't you know who he is?"

  3. #23

    JohnnyChance's Avatar
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    I prefer a good octagonal Wa handle in appearance, comfort and ergonomics. I like how on an octagonal handle has big flat sides everywhere, so whatever angle I am cutting at, I can put my thumb on a nice flat surface. Like if I am slicing something horizontally, parallel with my cutting board, I like putting my thumb on the side of the handle that is now facing upwards.

    The key in that statement is "good". Cheap octagonal handles are terrible. While cheap western handles may be boring in appearance, they are usually still perfectly functional and somewhat comfortable. Cheap octagonal handles especially can be very very bad, misaligned with the blade and uncomfortable to use.

    I have several very nice westerns and they are just fine, just prefer wa.

  4. #24
    Senior Member mpukas's Avatar
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    In general I prefer western handles. But more important to me is how the handle is in the overall knife. I think the handle has to have to right balance of size and weight to match the blade. On laser gyuto's a wa "D" handle is just perfect. On my 12" Wusthof chef's the western handle is a tad on the small side for such a big heavy blade. On the Hattori FH 270 gyuto, the slimness and elegance combined with the tapered full tang perfrectly matches nd balances the blade.

    I thought I would prefer octagonal wa handles to "D" handles, but I actual like "D" handles better.

    One thing I don't like about wa handles on a gyuto vs a yo handle on a gyuto (at the least small number I've used) is that the distance from the end of the handle to the choil is longer, resulting in a shorter blade length. The yo handle gyuto's I have compared to the wa handles gyuto's are the same length overall, but have a longer blade length.

  5. #25

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    This is good. While we're talking about handles, how do you guys like the "pinch-grip" on western style handles with bolsters or integral bolsters? More comfortable than the stick-on wa handles, or not?

    **** shameless pic alert *******



    (My newer ones are a bit more rounded on the corners) It just seems like the rounded transition into the handle here would be more comfortable than the abrupt edge of the wa handle. The one knife I have with a wa handle isn't terribly uncomfortable, but I only use it a few minutes here and there, not for hours.
    -M

  6. #26

    RRLOVER's Avatar
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    I love a Wa handle.I like my knives blade heavy and a Wa will help with that.

  7. #27
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    Michael, that handle looks very uncomfortable! Please, before you hurt somebody, send that knife to me so I can take care of it!

    But to answer your question, when I grip the wa gyuto or suji I have, my index finger drapes over the 'abrupt end' of the handle. It is perfectly comfortable. But as some others have mentioned as well, my grip on a wa handle is probably lighter then the grip I use on a western handle.

    Western vs wa does not really affect the comfort of my index finger, thumb, etc. But too thick or way too thin does affect it (I have an old western that is too thin, and one that is too thick).
    __________
    David (WildBoar's Kitchen)

  8. #28
    Canada's Sharpest Lefty Lefty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RRLOVER View Post
    I love a Wa handle.I like my knives blade heavy and a Wa will help with that.
    The answer is a balsa wood western handle
    09/06

    Take a look around at: www.sharpandshinyshop.com

    Email me at: tmclean@sharpandshinyshop.com

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Rader View Post
    This is good. While we're talking about handles, how do you guys like the "pinch-grip" on western style handles with bolsters or integral bolsters? More comfortable than the stick-on wa handles, or not?

    **** shameless pic alert *******



    (My newer ones are a bit more rounded on the corners) It just seems like the rounded transition into the handle here would be more comfortable than the abrupt edge of the wa handle. The one knife I have with a wa handle isn't terribly uncomfortable, but I only use it a few minutes here and there, not for hours.
    -M
    I agree with you Michael. That's why I prefer western handles. I use a pinch grip for gyutos.
    Michael
    "Don't you know who he is?"

  10. #30
    Das HandleMeister apicius9's Avatar
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    I use a pinch grip on most knives and by now feel pretty comfortable with bot types. But for heavier gyutos or my 240 Western deba, I could not imagine a wa handle. On my 270 Watanabe I stuck what is almost a hybrid handle, and that is one of my favorites.

    Stefan

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