Miyabi Birchwood 5000 MCD 240mm Gyuto/9.5" Chef's Knife
MSRP at Sur La Table is $299.95. After employee discount: $179.97
I have been using this knife at home and work for a few weeks now, and I really really like it. I have previously used a 10" Miyabi Fusion Morimoto as a line knife and loved that one as well. I know Miyabis don't get as much street cred because they are sold at SLT and owned by Zwilling J.A. Henckels, but they have treated me well. They may not be the tremendous value of some knives you can order, but their value is leaps and bounds ahead of any other SLT or Williams-Sonoma knife line. You get the additional benefit of being able to see and handle them in person if you have a store near you. And SLT has a ridiculous return policy. If for any reason, at any time, you no longer care for something they sold you, they will take it back. Often without a receipt (if it is clearly an SLT exclusive). Okay, enough about Miyabi/SLT on to the pictures.
Comes in a nice box:
Hand wash? Good thing they put that sticker there, I was planning on washing it with my feet.
Steel is SG2. Handle is Birchwood (obviously). The birchwood is NOT stabilized, so you should treat it with oil or wax or KY or whatever you like to use on raw wood.
Top to Bottom: DT ITK 270mm, Sakai Yusuke 240mm, Miyabi Birchwood 240mm:
I am a 270 guy myself, so I didn't have many other 240s to compare to. But it is a true 240mm along the edge. The profile is also flatter than it appears in the pictures. It looks curved all the way from tip to heel, but there is a good 3" or so of flat starting about 1" from the heel. And the heel comes up just under 1mm in that last inch. I push cut and rock, especially at work where boards aren't always dead flat.
Some shots of the blade and edge:
From the measurements, you can see the spine has a gradual taper for the from the handle and up about 3/4 of the blade and then a more dramatic one in the last quarter to tip.
I really like the handle. Like I said before, it is untreated birchwood, in a slightly modified D shape. It has more taper than most D handles, and I would say easily the most comfortable D handle I have used. And it doesn't look too shabby either.
Fit and Finish was quite good. I have heard of people having issues with theirs, but mine had no flaws. And luckily, if you do have issues, SLT will return or exchange it no problem.
Interestingly, the spine and choil were not quite fully rounded, unlike the cheaper Fusion/Morimoto line. I used some emory cloth to round them a bit more in a few minutes (my DT ITK has spoiled me).
Performance wise, I have had no problems. Takes a very nice edge, and seems to hold it pretty well. At work I use this knife and my DT ITK equally, about 90% of the time, and a 300mm Hiro AS Suji the other 10% of the time. I sharpen all 3 on my days off. I rarely feel the need to strop or hone (Mac Black Ceramic Rod) the Miyabi or DT during the week.
Of the three, I think this one experiences the least amount of wedging when it comes to sweet potatoes (and similar items), which I have been cutting frequently. Hiro by far is the most, the DT almost indistinguishably worse than the Miyabi. Overall, I enjoy using it nearly as much as my DT.
At $300, it isn't the most affordable gyuto out there, and it certainly puts it at or above the price of several heavyweights and forum favorites. It is a crowded price point for sure, and may not be the best value, but I think should be considered none-the-less. At least you can check it out in person and/or return it. And for me, at $180, it is pretty hard to beat.