I got a few knives from some of the usual eBay sellers that offer some good deals on Japanese knives. This is the first, a Sakai 240mm Wa-Gyuto in white no.2 steel from bluewayjapan. Just some pictures and measurements for anyone else looking into these. And a few comments thrown in for good measure.
Right clicking on photos and clicking open image will open a larger version.
From left to right; Devin Thomas ITK 270mm, Miyabi Fusion 10”, Sakai 240mm. I don't own any other 240mm gyutos:
The usual measurements. Fairly thin:
A link to an ever bigger version of this photo, helps see the text:
Weight is pretty dainty by my standards. It is also a little blade heavy. The handle feels light and hollow. The fit and finish on the handle is very good, it is smooth, the wood and horn are in good shape, but I find the corners on the octagonal handle too sharp. A few minutes with some medium and fine grit paper on a sanding block should ease them enough to make it nice and comfy:
Some choil shots. The choil is very smooth, nicely rounded. The comparison shot has the 270mm DT ITK on the left, Sakai 240mm on the right:
These next two show where the handle meets the blade and the spine. The spine is like the choil, rounded and smooth. Where the handle meets the blade is also very nice. The transition between horn, wood, and the glue holding it together is perfectly smooth. No voids, no food getting stuck in there:
You might have been able to tell from the measurements that there is a pretty good distal taper, here are some pictures trying to show that:
One of the problems some might have with this knife is the profile. It is not as flat as most of us here prefer. The Miyabi Fusion actually has a slightly flatter profile. If you rock a little, I don't think you would have a problem with it. If you cut straight up and down like you would with a nakiri or cleaver then this wouldn't work for you:
I have not sharpened it yet, but I am not really expecting any surprises, it is white steel after all. It was quite sharp OOTB, one of the best factory edges I have ever seen. You could easily get by just stropping to touch up the edge, and being thin of course helps it feel sharp.