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Thread: comparitive analysis of three top name makers

  1. #1

    comparitive analysis of three top name makers

    I have a rather robust stable of knives including Masamoto, Carter, Hattori, Konosuke, and others. Lately I have been looking into Watanabe, Shigesfusa, and the Kato. I have no experience with these mighty knives, yet I have read at length the types of reviews found on this and other forums. What i am interested in, is a view from a broad spectrum of users (with real experience) of these knives, focusing on strengths and weaknesses and also any intangibles that come with craftsmanship embodied in these knives.

    Thanks in advance.


  2. #2
    For me:
    Kato all in for me, you may not like the weight, I have no problem. This one has the best HT I have seen in a knife. Very long lastong edge froma home cook perspective
    Shige second choice, if I was to get one it would not be the thin version
    Watanabe- can't comment

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    San Diego, CA
    I have not tried something from the Kato line. I've tried several Shigefusas. I wouldn't call any of them incredible cutters although they are nice and the edge they take is great. I've tried a lower end Watanabe that was a very nice cutter although the grind was a bit more uneven than I would have expected. It was also a smallish knife (165-180?) so my perception of the cutting ability might be skewed.

  4. #4
    I've tried 3 Katos, first was a 270 gyuto (currently in a pass around) which was an awesome cutter, but I found the tip a bit fat for my use, second is a 270 suji which I really like, It has a super nice taper, no flex again great cutter! And a 240 gyuto custom ( thinner tip + more height at the heel) and it is the best performing gyuto I have tried! Fit and finish is good but not as good as shigefusa ( custom had the best fit and Finnish by far)
    I have tried 4 shig gyutos 2 240 wa's both were thinner than standard both a good cutters but not like the Katos. Both were purchased 2nd hand but f&f was still very good! And the 2 western shig gyutos I have ( both standard 240/210) are my favorite knives! Although not as good cutters as the Katos, they it me perfectly I love the balance, and although I wouldn't call the wa gyutos whippy the westerns feel super stiff and stable a + for me!
    I've also have a carter high grade, and if I was going to rate pure cutting ability 1. Kato 2. Carter 3. Shigefusa
    But personal preference 1.shigefusa 2. Kato 3. Carter

    I have not tried a watanabe either so can't comment. If you would like any other direct comparisons let me know
    In order to make delicious food, you must eat delicious food. Jiro Ono

  5. #5
    Awesome feedback so far - exactly what i was hoping to get. Please keep them coming.

  6. #6
    Senior Member stevenStefano's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Norn Iron
    Had a Watanabe for a while and found it to be interesting. Might be the best cutting knife I ever owned, took a crazy edge but it was a little heavy for me. I think if I got a 270 I'd love it and I still ponder getting one.

  7. #7
    Senior Member AFKitchenknivesguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    It's been awhile since i've been in the market. What the heck is "the Kato"?

  8. #8
    Yoshiaki fujiwara by kiyoshi kato available from Maksim at Japanese natural stones. there are some in depth reviews on here if you search the forum.
    In order to make delicious food, you must eat delicious food. Jiro Ono

  9. #9
    Senior Member Josh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Wantanabe is my go to J-knife knife - it's tall, beefy, yet thin behind the edge and well ground. The shape, balance point, fit and finish make it in my mind the best go to J-knife for my home cooking.... I have many others, and A-knives (Devin, HHH, Pierre, and many more great names) weren't in your list - you may want to consider them.

    Sigefusa - I like the shape, but it's not as tall as I like it. Don't get me wrong... It's a good knife - however - I prefer the less expensive, and more available Wantanabe.

    can't comment on the Kato
    Approach life and cooking with reckless abandon

  10. #10
    Senior Member Lucretia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Isle of Lucy
    Haven't tried Watanabe and Kato, but I have 3 Shigefusas: a Western gyuto, an ajikiri, and a KU santoku. If I had to sell some knives tomorrow, the santoku and ajikiri would be on the short list to go. The santoku has great balance, but the F&F was a little disappointing compared to my other Shiges and I'm not sure that I like a KU knife--feels a bit like fingernails on a blackboard as it goes through the food. If it had been my first Shigefusa, I might not have gotten a second. The ajikiri is a nice little knife, just not used as much as some others. Great F&F, great balance once I watched one of Jon's videos and figured out how to hold it correctly. Then we get to the Western gyuto. I love this knife. It fits my hand, is wonderfully balanced, and is a cutting fool. Cutting potatoes with this knife feels as good as mixing up cornstarch and water with your bare fingers. The only negative thing about it is that it is as badly reactive as its reputation would suggest--the absolute worst knife I have for reactivity. So based on my VERY limited experience, there's variation within a maker's knives, as well as variation between makers.
    Now is not the time to bother me. And it's always now. Wiley Miller

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