Advice Needed: My Next Knife

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Paul6001

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I’m looking for a 240mm gyuto with a nashiji finish. This is mostly a reaction to my first Japanese knife, a 210mm Wakui gyuto with a migaki finish. The knife is so light that I don’t feel like I have anything in my hand. My hands suddenly feel like catcher’s mitts. Back in the Wusthof days, I tried to move from 8” to 10” but it was too heavy and it just didn’t take. With Japanese knives, I don’t foresee a problem and I’d like the extra reach.

I need a profile that will allow for some rocking. I definitely want a carbon edge, but I’m not sure about the cladding. Can they make nashiji out of stainless? Even if they can, do I need stainless? Will age and wear help the nashiji become more personal, more custom-looking. I’m not eager to do too much maintenance—one reason I like the Wakui—but will the nashiji save me?

Price. Well, FT makes a nice one but it’s a little out of my range. I’d very much like to stay under $200. Saying $200 means I’m not going to turn away if the price creeps up to $230, but $280 is too much.

What do we think about Masakage Yuki? I know some people here got thicker knives than they expected but look at the choil shot on the Knifewear site. Beautiful. And hits right at my price point.

My vitals—home cook, pinch grip, push and rocking cuts, do my own sharpening, wa handle, right handed, bamboo cutting board, nashiji just because I like it.

I don’t want to make a radical change from the Wakui. I want to stay on the thin/light side of the street. It’s just that the 210 Wakui feels small in my hands. Is it partly the far forward balance point? I’m guessing that’s part of it. Maybe it’s just that eight inches was my natural fit with Western knives but 240 is my natural size in Japanese.

All input is welcome. Thank you in advance.
 
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Benuser

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Rocking on a bamboo board? Both are to be reconsidered.
 

IsoJ

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Anyone any ideas? Rocking, ku 240 gyuto 200$, carbon, low maintenance? Maybe you should call to Jon at Japanese Knife Import, I am sure he can help you.
 

Ochazuke

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It’s slightly over budget, but the Yoshikane from K&S also looks like it fits his needs
 

Oui Chef

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I just received the yoshikane that Ochazuke speaks of and I seriously can't recommend it more. Bought it on a whim (early bfcm special), two weeks in a pro kitchen, rock n roll all day this knife is wonderful and sexy as ****.
 

Mathias Z.

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I’m looking for a 240mm gyuto with a nashiji finish. This is mostly a reaction to my first Japanese knife, a 210mm Wakui gyuto with a migaki finish. The knife is so light that I don’t feel like I have anything in my hand. My hands suddenly feel like catcher’s mitts. Back in the Wusthof days, I tried to move from 8” to 10” but it was too heavy and it just didn’t take. With Japanese knives, I don’t foresee a problem and I’d like the extra reach.

I need a profile that will allow for some rocking. I definitely want a carbon edge, but I’m not sure about the cladding. Can they make nashiji out of stainless? Even if they can, do I need stainless? Will age and wear help the nashiji become more personal, more custom-looking. I’m not eager to do too much maintenance—one reason I like the Wakui—but will the nashiji save me?

Price. Well, FT makes a nice one but it’s a little out of my range. I’d very much like to stay under $200. Saying $200 means I’m not going to turn away if the price creeps up to $230, but $280 is too much.

What do we think about Masakage Yuki? I know some people here got thicker knives than they expected but look at the choil shot on the Knifewear site. Beautiful. And hits right at my price point.

My vitals—home cook, pinch grip, push and rocking cuts, do my own sharpening, wa handle, right handed, bamboo cutting board, nashiji just because I like it.

I don’t want to make a radical change from the Wakui. I want to stay on the thin/light side of the street. It’s just that the 210 Wakui feels small in my hands. Is it partly the far forward balance point? I’m guessing that’s part of it. Maybe it’s just that eight inches was my natural fit with Western knives but 240 is my natural size in Japanese.

All input is welcome. Thank you in advance.
How about a Hiroshi Kato, K. Anryu or even a Siro Kamo? I think for the money they make superb knives.
 

daveb

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While I agree with Ochazuke and Oui that the Yoshi from K&S is one of the great ones, I would not recommend it for the OP. The knife is seriously flat and so thin behind edge that it would better suit a user more versed in Japanese knives. And it is sexy af.

K&S has a nice Ginsanko Tanaka that would be ideal, some belly for a little rocking, albeit fully stainless. The aforementioned Tanaka stainless clad blue would be another solid choice and satisfy the desire for a carbon knife. Both appear to be in stock on the US site.

https://knivesandstones.us/collecti...ka-blue-2-nashiji-line-knife-gyuto-240mm-lite
 

Oui Chef

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Tbh I disagree Dave, op says he needs it to 'allow for some rocking' and my yoshi definitely does. I can rock chop with it fine, still with care.
And given that he's searching for a knife based off his reaction to aesthetics i think the yoshi is perfect.
But i'm obviously smitten so
 

daveb

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Kewl.

Smitten is a good word for it. But I still think OP would do better with a Vnox and some crayons......:cool:
 

Paul6001

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Kewl.

Smitten is a good word for it. But I still think OP would do better with a Vnox and some crayons......:cool:
Do you have something you’d like to say, Mr. Moderator?

My post has drawn a strange amount of hostility. Are only the especially anointed allowed to post here? Only those who have demonstrated a sufficiently single-minded fetish for a hunk of metal? I know that rocking is verboten in this world. But that’s the way I cut and guess what? The knife is going to have to make way for me, not the other way around. I shouldn’t use a bamboo board? Why, is there something more exotic costing hundreds that I need?

I was just using a stepladder. On pretty much every step after the bottom there was a sign saying “NO STEP.” I stepped on ‘em anyway. Call me a rebel. Can’t you allow enough freedom that we can each enjoy a knife in our own way? There seem to be plenty of them coming out, it’s not like I’m spraying graffiti on one of the 17 Vermeers. That Wakui has got a pretty damn thin edge and, whatever I’m doing, we seem to be getting along just fine.

Escoffier and his followers seem to have done pretty well with Vnox style knives. Maybe it has more to do with the cook than the canon.
 
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Benuser

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Bamboo contains a lot of silica (sand) which makes it hard to the edges. Depending on where you live, you may get unexpensive local alternatives. E.g. European Oak or birch in my own case.
Rocking will involve some lateral forces which is not a good idea with hard, thin, asymmetric Japanese edges.
A Vic is a good suggestion, as it is tough and won't chip, even when somewhat abused.
NB: unlikely Escoffier ever used soft stainless by Krupp. His Sabs were probably very light Nogent with soft carbon steel. Profile closer to Japanese blades than to Vics.
By the way, the traditional French technique is 'guillotine and glide', not rocking. That's more common in Germany.
 
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Paul6001

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My last post. Clearly I am WAY outmatched here in terms of pedantry and historical trivia.

First, you’re right that Escoffier probably didn’t use soft stainless steel. Such steel wasn’t really achieved until early in the last century, long after Escoffier had moved on to the great kitchen in the sky. I was trying to make a point, not teach a history lesson

Second, here is a video of Jacques Pepin demonstrating the rocking cut-

https://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/19/...ooking-techniques.html?smid=nytcore-ios-share

Or would you deny that the personal chef for Charles de Gaulle and author of La Technique didn’t know his classic French cooking?

My question was obviously not the rant of a crazy man as I got several helpful replies.

Enough! I just want to mince a few herbs! Is that so wrong?
 

Benuser

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I tried to explain why pumping is a bad idea with Japanese edges. If you call that pedantry: so be it. Its your money and your blade.
 

applepieforbreakfast

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My last post. Clearly I am WAY outmatched here in terms of pedantry and historical trivia.
Enough! I just want to mince a few herbs! Is that so wrong?
Buy what you want. Use a bamboo board and rock chop, you'll just have to sharpen more often.

I'd also say the Tanaka 240 would be right up your alley.
 

Paul6001

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Applie Pie, when I made this move into J knives, everyone said to get bamboo, preferably end cut. Never thought about anything else. These days, I like sharpening. Maybe I’ll feel differently somewhere down the road.

Benuser: “It’s your money and your blade.” Exactly. And I have faith that the Hitachi Steel Company makes a product that can withstand the torque generated by moving an inch or two across my board. Meet you in here in a year and we’ll see who’s right.
 

dsk

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Applie Pie, when I made this move into J knives, everyone said to get bamboo, preferably end cut. Never thought about anything else. These days, I like sharpening. Maybe I’ll feel differently somewhere down the road.

Benuser: “It’s your money and your blade.” Exactly. And I have faith that the Hitachi Steel Company makes a product that can withstand the torque generated by moving an inch or two across my board. Meet you in here in a year and we’ll see who’s right.
Bamboo is considered quite harsh on edges regardless. Also usually quite thinly made and inevitably warp. To me, a proper hardwood board will cost more upfront but be softer on the knife and ridiculously long lasting. Curious who all these people recommending bamboo are. Asian knife=asian plant?

Pretty sure you can chip carbon on a tiny bit of lazy torqued movement. Faith in Hitachi steel rock chopping would be like expecting a drag racer to perform turns on an indy track. Totally different expected use and performance parameters. If you put a ridiculously conservative edge on it you probably can get away with it, but that also kind of defeats the purpose.

Top tier chefs aren't necessarily top tier knife handlers.
 

ian

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This one probably wouldn't be a radical change from your wakui. :)

https://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/threads/wakui-v2-ku-240-gyuto.44489/

Or buy that Tanaka.

No need to look elsewhere. BST is the way to get the best value. You could also do a WTB for a Mazaki Nashiji. I haven't seen the new profiles, but the Mazaki I had a while back had some belly. Not sure rocking is the best when the knife has a dramatic distal taper, as many Mazaki do, but might be fine.
 

Oui Chef

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Top tier chefs aren't necessarily top tier knife handlers.
This is definitely true.
But to use your analogy, a knife nut telling a top tier chef how to chop is like an engineer telling a world class racer how to corner. He might listen he might not, but he knows those corners better than anyone. Honestly it might be time for this meme to die, last time I checked all the top tier chefs I worked with had very sharp knives. Try lasting more than an hour in one of the best kitchens in the world with a blunt knife, pro tip, you wont. I don't cook in those kitchens any more because I don't care for them but the last one I did we were forced to learn to use water stones, and steels were not part of the culture. This wasn't in Japan or even Japanese food btw, it was a western kitchen in central London shooting for 3 Michelin stars, and we got our first within 3 months of opening. That was about 7 years ago now and I'd expect knife culture has only grown stronger in that level of kitchen since. The edge of your knife is what interacts with the cell walls of vegetables. If you think anyone cares more about the cell walls of those vegetables than top tier chefs you're wrong.
 

dan

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I’m going to skip past all this back and forth about optimal use of Japanese knives... I don’t think it’s helping OP with his decision. The best suggestions I’ve seen in this thread, IMO, are: Wakui, Anryu, Shiro Kamo, and Tanaka. Anryu and Shiro are kurouchi finishes rather than nashiji IIRC. How attached are you to nashiji?

I personally think Tanaka is the best fit for what you’ve described. It has a good amount of belly (blade curvature) so should work better than flatter knives for rocking. Both the Blue 2 and Ginsan get great reviews.
 

NO ChoP!

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I have 6 Tanakas, and there are another 6 in my kitchen. Most are blue steel, a couple ginsanko. I recommend them often to new guys that want to fit in and move up from there Wusty, without sticker shocking them.

I fix a lot of knives. I see a lot of real amateur stuff. The only Tanaka I ever saw a chip in was from someone cutting frozen food.

I say, get a nashiji Tanaka and rock away .
 

Paul6001

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This is definitely true.
But to use your analogy, a knife nut telling a top tier chef how to chop is like an engineer telling a world class racer how to corner. He might listen he might not, but he knows those corners better than anyone. Honestly it might be time for this meme to die, last time I checked all the top tier chefs I worked with had very sharp knives. Try lasting more than an hour in one of the best kitchens in the world with a blunt knife, pro tip, you wont. I don't cook in those kitchens any more because I don't care for them but the last one I did we were forced to learn to use water stones, and steels were not part of the culture. This wasn't in Japan or even Japanese food btw, it was a western kitchen in central London shooting for 3 Michelin stars, and we got our first within 3 months of opening. That was about 7 years ago now and I'd expect knife culture has only grown stronger in that level of kitchen since. The edge of your knife is what interacts with the cell walls of vegetables. If you think anyone cares more about the cell walls of those vegetables than top tier chefs you're wrong.
I have no basis for this idea but I suspect a serious chef would have very little regard for this forum.

Perfect analogy: I’m a photographer. You can’t imagine how many photography forums are out there and the level of technical minutiae the members debate as if the world depended on their answer. The pros have more important things to do, like taking pictures. Sure, most of us are gearheads in comparison the general population but the divide between photographers and camera nuts is stark.
 
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Paul6001

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What do we think about this Shiro Kamo/Shinko Seilan from Knives & Stones?

http://www.knivesandstones.com/shinko-seilan-gyuto-240mm-ku-aogami-super-by-shiro-kamo/

Yes, I know that I’m not worthy to handle it, and I know that my criminal cutting style will destroy it in a week, but do me a favor and pretend that someone other than a Neanderthal is using it.

In response to an earlier question, I’d prefer nashiji but I can live with this. Other kurochis (sp?) as well.

Along the same line is this one-

https://www.cleancut.eu/butik/knife...3-08-22-12-33-182013-08-22-12-33-18-54-detail
 

ian

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I have no basis for this idea but I suspect a serious chef would have very little regard for this forum.

Perfect analogy: I’m a photographer. You can’t imagine how many photography forums are out there and the level of technical minutiae the members debate as if the world depended on their answer. The pros have more important things to do, like taking pictures. Sure, most of us are gearheads in comparison the general population but the divide between photographers and camera nuts is stark.
FWIW, there are a number of serious chefs on this forum. One can engage here in many different ways.
 

Oui Chef

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I was pretty serious about cheffing when I was sweating it out from 7:30 am to midnight 10 days in a row with no break, and funnily enough, thats when I joined this forum. I lived over an hour out as well, so waking at 6am and getting home at sometimes 2 or 3am because of train timing meant I broke my body and mind over cheffing because I was stupidly serious.

Your analogy isn't terrible but it definitely isn't perfect. Because this isn't a chef forum and if it was you're right, I wouldn't be here. This is a knife forum.
 

Paul6001

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BTW, how do you mince herbs without rocking? If I had to pick up the whole knife for every stroke and put it back down in a perfectly straight line, it doesn’t seem like I’d get anywhere very fast. Yes, I’ve seen the speed demons on YouTube. I suppose one of them might get the job done (although it seems like it’d be an awful lot of work), but what does Joe Blow do?
 
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