Are two sujihikis better than one?

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capt4inslow

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i wholly understand the need for two sujis. i had a 240mm suji which was my first japanese slicing knife, and i found the length a little short, so i got a 270mm and left the 240mm at my parents' place to use whenever i chip in with the grilling duties.

in using the 270mm i felt that sometimes there wasn't enough length, so i got a big mazaki which is about 305mm and "retired" the 270mm to my travel roll.

now i love the big mazaki but at 305mm it's a little much for a weeknight pork chop no matter how big the chop gets, so now i'm thinking about a "long" 240mm like a Misono or a French 10" again.

and for those of you arguing that a gyuto of similar length can do the same job.....why y'all even here 😂

and i do have way too many gyutos in the 240 length, but it's not really the same, something about the taller height makes the cutting action feel much different compared to a suji.
 
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i wholly understand the need for two sujis. i had a 240mm suji which was my first japanese slicing knife, and i found the length a little short, so i got a 270mm and left the 240mm at my parents' place to use whenever i chip in with the grilling duties.

in using the 270mm i felt that sometimes there wasn't enough length, so i got a big mazaki which is about 305mm and "retired" the 270mm to my travel roll.

now i love the big mazaki but at 305mm it's a little much for a weeknight pork chop no matter how big the chop gets, so now i'm thinking about a "long" 240mm like a Misono or a French 10" again.

and for those of you arguing that a gyuto of similar length can do the same job.....why y'all even here 😂

and i do have way too many gyutos in the 240 length, but it's not really the same, something about the taller height makes the cutting action feel much different compared to a suji.
This is why a single 285 is the right answer:upsidedownspin:
 

Cliff

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Nothing wrong with two sujis. As others have mentioned, I'd consider weight/thickness in addition to length. You could always get a nice Sakai 270 that runs a little short as a one-and-done. But I could also see getting a nice 240 and then more affordable long suji for the handful of times you want the length.

I have a 300, a few 270s, and a few 210s. Maybe I need a 240?
 

nickw_

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Thanks for sharing. That’s fun to watch. I think a sujihiki like that warrants the title cow sword if ever a knife did. Even more than a gyuto.

I’m curious though, is there any practical application for a knife that size? Or is it just for fun?

i wholly understand the need for two sujis. i had a 240mm suji which was my first japanese slicing knife, and i found the length a little short, so i got a 270mm and left the 240mm at my parents' place to use whenever i chip in with the grilling duties.

in using the 270mm i felt that sometimes there wasn't enough length, so i got a big mazaki which is about 305mm and "retired" the 270mm to my travel roll.

now i love the big mazaki but at 305mm it's a little much for a weeknight pork chop no matter how big the chop gets, so now i'm thinking about a "long" 240mm like a Misono or a French 10" again.

and for those of you arguing that a gyuto of similar length can do the same job.....why y'all even here 😂

and i do have way too many gyutos in the 240 length, but it's not really the same, something about the taller height makes the cutting action feel much different compared to a suji.
I don’t need two, but I certainly want two. Pun intended. :)

I totally understand the incremental changes and going full circle. I tend to do that in my head a lot, with basically everything.

This is why a single 285 is the right answer:upsidedownspin:

No doubt, for someone it is!

Nothing wrong with two sujis. As others have mentioned, I'd consider weight/thickness in addition to length. You could always get a nice Sakai 270 that runs a little short as a one-and-done. But I could also see getting a nice 240 and then more affordable long suji for the handful of times you want the length.

I have a 300, a few 270s, and a few 210s. Maybe I need a 240?

Probably. Now that the idea is in your mind, will you be able to get it out? Scratch the itch. ;)
 
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labor of love

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For those that are unsure what size/shape they really want this seems like a good low cost tester.
 
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Actually two 285's is the right answer, though one more........
No doubt, 2 is always better than one when knives are concerned. Just trying to point out the 240+300 nonsense, when clearly 285 is the way to go. If for some unknown to me reason I were forced to get a 240 though, I'd just get this one or similar WTS - 240mm Apex Ultra San-Mai Sujihiki
 

daveb

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I wish I needed another 240 suji, would like to try his work and it sure looks good. I use my Tadasuna 240 suji to portion chix breasts, ribeyes, strips, and small flanks at home and use it more than I do the 270's. It's a laser but it works. And yes a gyuto could do the job but why?
 

Jovidah

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A KS is 48mm blade height at the heel. That's not suji-esque in my book. Just because it isn't following the trend of ever taller gyutos doesn't mean it isn't one...
 

Cliff

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I was only partly joking. My 250 feels like a suji to me. Yes, the Sabs are a more affordable way to get the same profile.
 
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That's not suji-esque in my book. Just because it isn't following the trend of ever taller gyutos doesn't mean it isn't one...

Ok... just for fun.... Why isnt it suji-esque?

Very clearly the KS series are still gyutos... but they run long for their advertised length. That reduces their height-to-length ratio. I dont think anybody here is claiming they are sujis... but the stretched out profile moves them in that direction. Hence the 'esque' suffix?

This isn't advocacy or defence of one profile or another. Just noting that profiles occur in degrees and that some knives approach blurred boundaries. Seems particularly appropriate since @nickw_ raised the idea of a transitionary knife in his second post!!
 
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Jovidah

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Ok... just for fun.... Why isnt it suji-esque?

Very clearly the KS series are still gyutos... but they run long for their advertised length. That reduces their height-to-length ratio. I dont think anybody here is claiming they are sujis... but the stretched out profile moves them in that direction. Hence the 'esque' suffix?

This isn't advocacy or defence of one profile or another. Just noting that profiles occur in degrees and that some knives approach blurred boundaries. Seems particularly appropriate since @nickw_ raised the idea of a transitionary knife in his second post!!
Because it's too tall. At 48mm - taller than most 210 gyutos - it simply feels and works like a gyuto, not a sujihiki. Virtually all sujihikis are <40mm. It's only when you get in that 40-45mm range that I think you can really start talking about 'in between' nomenclature.
 

Pisau

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Hi Nick. Two or three are better than one for sure. I'd rather have my extreme combo (a 210mm takohiki and 360mm granton slicer) than just one proper 270mm suji. But I'm just glad that I got all three, plus a tanaka 300mm yanagi for well, y'know... The takohiki has a kaku tip while the f.dick is rounded, so the kaeru filled that gap as well. They are ranging from 25mm to 35mm tall. Tony.
 

Jovidah

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On the original question... if all you're doing with it is slicing and portioning I'm not sure there's all that much added value in necessarily getting a sujihiki; a gyuto in the same length might do an equal job while being somewhat more versatile. So you could consider getting a 240 gyuto instead.
If you just want something long and affordable for rare occasions, getting something like a cheap Victorinox slicer in that kind of length might be an option. If you want something slightly nicer an entry level 270 or 300 suji like Fujiwara, Tojiro or any of the other entry level yo handle J-knives could do the trick.
 

DitmasPork

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I am wanting to buy a sujihiki. I have done a self assessment of my needs, and read literally dozens of threads on length. So I'm not looking to turn this into a 240 vs 270 vs 300 debate. Nor a "please recommend a knife" post.

I am considering buying both a 240mm and a 300mm. My hope is to bounce this off everyone, and see if most people think it's a good idea.

___
Here's what I am thinking:
Based on how we eat (more small, European portion sizes) a 240mm sujihiki will likely suffice for 90-95%+ of our needs. I can really only see a need for a 270-300mm perhaps 15-20 times a year.

As a home cook, for day to day, my 210mm gyuto is usually long enough for slicing single portions of protien. However, there are enough times where I have thought a little extra length would be nice; typically for things like beef tenderloin, smaller roasts, turkey breasts, etc... But by and large, I think a 240mm would cover the vast majority of things. As a side, it's worth noting two things:
- 1) I tend to favour small, more precise and nimble knives.
- 2) We do eat lots of sushi and I will add a yanagiba at some point, to alleviate the need for the sujihiki to assume this role.

However, I do occasional make large roasts (prime rib, brisket, leg of ham, etc), or breakdown larger cuts into steaks, so I think a 300mm would be nice. Perhaps even 330mm, so I can still have 310-320mm of actual cutting edge. Again, I wouldn't use this often, but sometimes a long knife is the right tool for the job.

Thus my thinking is:
To get a very high quality 240mm sujihiki for my daily needs, and more affordable 300mm for times when something longer is needed. Rather than getting a single 270mm; which I see as a compromise on both ends: too long for most things, too short for some, but the goldilocks length if you need to pick just one. A single 300mm would do everything, but far larger than I am wanting daily knife.

So are two sujihiki's (240mm and 300mm) better than one? What do you think about this approach?

Thanks,
Nick
Best way to asses your needs are by cooking. Just get one—you'll soon know if it's too long, too short, too light, too much height, too reactive, etc. Really depends on what you end up liking more than anything else. I have sujis ranging from 225 to 280-ish—they all get used.
 
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nickw_

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Hi Nick. Two or three are better than one for sure. I'd rather have my extreme combo (a 210mm takohiki and 360mm granton slicer) than just one proper 270mm suji. But I'm just glad that I got all three, plus a tanaka 300mm yanagi for well, y'know... The takohiki has a kaku tip while the f.dick is rounded, so the kaeru filled that gap as well. They are ranging from 25mm to 35mm tall. Tony.

I do like the combo idea. With having the main tool that’s optimized for a job I do 90-95% of the time.

I have also considered a 210mm. But most end up being in the 200-205mm edge length range, and I didn’t want to go backwards length wise. The 240’s I’m looking at are in the 230 range, which is near my ideal.

On the original question... if all you're doing with it is slicing and portioning I'm not sure there's all that much added value in necessarily getting a sujihiki; a gyuto in the same length might do an equal job while being somewhat more versatile. So you could consider getting a 240 gyuto instead.
If you just want something long and affordable for rare occasions, getting something like a cheap Victorinox slicer in that kind of length might be an option. If you want something slightly nicer an entry level 270 or 300 suji like Fujiwara, Tojiro or any of the other entry level yo handle J-knives could do the trick.
I’ve used a 240 gyuto before and I don’t like them. While they do have their place, I prefer light and nimble. I’m also cooking at home, so I’m not needing to process volume every day. Different strokes for different folks.

Best way to asses your needs are by cooking. Just get one—you'll soon know if it's too long, too short, too light, too much height, too reactive, etc. Really depends on what you end up liking more than anything else. I have sujis ranging from 225 to 280-ish—they all get used.

I have assed my needs, my question was more one of “Is having two reasonable?”. To which I’ve decided, Yes, and I want to go with a 240mm & 300mm.

Unless a 270mm honyaki drops in my lap for an unbelievable price. Then I would use that for awhile, just for fun. But I still suspect I would prefer the two knife combo.
 
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To which I’ve decided I want to go with a 240mm & 300mm.

Unless a 270mm honyaki drops in my lap for an unbelievable price. Then I would use that for awhile, just for fun. But I still suspect I would prefer the two knife combo.

👍

Keep a reasonable gap between lengths. For a home cook, *I think* it is more fun to play with profiles/grinds/steels than incremental length changes. Something short and something long will take you far. The suggestion of a nice 240mm and a basic 300mm will serve you well (better than a single 270). Save that honyaki for a knife that you really know is your preferred length/profile/grind...
 

Qapla'

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What do you think of the Sakai Takayuki Western Blue gyuto? They're said to be lowish-height (allegedly 210mm x 41mm, 240mm x 46mm), so they might border on the range of the proportion you seek.

They also have a 240mm bunka-sujihiki, but it's of a more conventional sujihiki height:
 

nickw_

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👍

Keep a reasonable gap between lengths. For a home cook, *I think* it is more fun to play with profiles/grinds/steels than incremental length changes. Something short and something long will take you far. The suggestion of a nice 240mm and a basic 300mm will serve you well (better than a single 270). Save that honyaki for a knife that you really know is your preferred length/profile/grind...
That’s no fun. I need to irrationally blow my budget on the first expensive knife that comes up.

But in all seriousness, I am looking forward to the combo. I have a few ideas, but I’m waiting for items to come back into stock.

What do you think of the Sakai Takayuki Western Blue gyuto? They're said to be lowish-height (allegedly 210mm x 41mm, 240mm x 46mm), so they might border on the range of the proportion you seek.

They also have a 240mm bunka-sujihiki, but it's of a more conventional sujihiki height:
I am wanting something with a wa handle, and on the middle to upper end.

I was thinking something along the lines of a Hitohira Togashi, but there a few other knives I’m looking at others too.
 
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HumbleHomeCook

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That’s no fun. I need to irrationally blow my budget on the first expensive knife that comes up.

But in all seriousness, I am looking forward to the combo. I have a few ideas, but I’m waiting for items to come back into stock.


I am wanting something with a wa handle, and on the middle to upper end.

I was thinking something along the lines of a Hitohira Togashi double bevel, with a handle swap. But there a few other knives I’m looking at too. Some with a defined bevel, others are convex. Pros and Cons to both.


Or, you could work with @MSicardCutlery on doing you one up special and to your specs. He has good suji experience.
 
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btbyrd

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I have a 300mm suji that's quite stiff and hefty -- nice for slicing big roasts or other thick proteins with a single stroke. And I have a 270 with some flex that's mostly used on fish but also sometimes on smaller proteins. And I have a 210 Ginga that's lasery and useful for trimming and light butchery tasks (sometimes I wish it was a 180... and other times I totally don't). But that's more of a long petty than a suji.

Anyway, I think it's good to have a stiff 300 and a flexier, shorter suji. Those two together should handle almost all of your slicing needs. I don't see the need for shorter sujis unless you're using them as a line knife. And that's perfectly fair... there was a trend there for a while for some chefs to use a 240 suji as a general prep knife. It often seemed to be a UX10 for whatever reason. Anyway, I see the appeal of that, but if you're buying a slicer to slice... longer is better (until you get to novelty knife freakshow territory).

You absolutely do not need a suji to slice a cooked steak or pork chop or chicken breast... and not only that, there is zero benefit in using one versus using a gyuto or whatever. Zero. I don't even use a suji to cut stuff like that just for fun, because it makes me feel stupid. Giant knife, tiny protein. What's the point?
 

DitmasPork

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I have assed my needs, my question was more one of “Is having two reasonable?”. To which I’ve decided, Yes, and I want to go with a 240mm & 300mm.

Unless a 270mm honyaki drops in my lap for an unbelievable price. Then I would use that for awhile, just for fun. But I still suspect I would prefer the two knife combo.

IMHO, basing suji parameters on length is over simplifying a tad—things that might be worth considering are profile, weight, height, aesthetics, maker, heft vs finesse; etc.

For example, my 240 Heiji feels and behaves longer than the 270 Takada.

Also, why limit yourself to the number of only 2 sujis? Honest question. Think I asked myself "do I need a second 240 gyuto" about a decade ago—quickly realizing there were more pertinent questions related to what I wanted over needed. Sure, I could've just stuck with my first suji—but where's the fun in that?

Regarding length—if I had to have only two sujis, it would be two that are the same length in the 270–280 range, by different makers, different steels, etc.

My two most used sujis are 270s, one by Yanick (not shown), the other Takada.

BTW, I've never wanted a honyaki suji.

223A0EBD-C61B-44FB-B7AC-4573DFEBA790.jpg
 
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