Asking for help picking out a 240

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@ftermath

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LOCATION
What country are you in?
USA

KNIFE TYPE
What type of knife are you interested in (e.g., chefs knife, slicer, boning knife, utility knife, bread knife, paring knife, cleaver)?
Gyuto

Are you right or left handed?
Right

Are you interested in a Western handle (e.g., classic Wusthof handle) or Japanese handle?
Wa

What length of knife (blade) are you interested in (in inches or millimeters)?
220-240

Do you require a stainless knife? (Yes or no)
No (Though the right ginsan or other stainless could possibly sway me)

What is your absolute maximum budget for your knife?
Ideally, $500 or less. Will go higher if I find the right knife. Will also go lower if I need to settle to get a feel for full carbon before investing further.

KNIFE USE
Do you primarily intend to use this knife at home or a professional environment?
Home

What are the main tasks you primarily intend to use the knife for (e.g., slicing vegetables, chopping vegetables, mincing vegetables, slicing meats, cutting down poultry, breaking poultry bones, filleting fish, trimming meats, etc.)? (Please identify as many tasks as you would like.)
Slicing meats and veggies, chopping, dicing, mincing. Nothing with bones.

Do you have a particular grip that you primarily use? (Please click on this LINK for the common types of grips.)
Pinch

What cutting motions do you primarily use? (Please click on this LINK for types of cutting motions and identify the two or three most common cutting motions, in order of most used to least used.)
Push & pull with limited rocking (mostly for mincing herbs)

What improvements do you want from your current knife? If you are not replacing a knife, please identify as many characteristics identified below in parentheses that you would like this knife to have.)
Performance - My daily driver is a Martell 220 CPM-154 and I love it. It does most everything well but I'm looking for a change up from time to time and would like to try a carbon blade. To that end, I would like something that is thin behind the edge and has the ability to handle some tip work from time to time for shallots, garlic, etc. So I'm thinking something with a good distal taper. I'm looking for limited wedging and good food release as well. My first j-knife was a Shibata AS 240. I loved the performance but I have gone through Shibata 210s and 240s in both AS and R2 and just don't feel completely comfortable with either profile. They're either too small or too long. But every time I cut into a potato with one I smile. I'm not necessarily looking for another laser. In fact, I'm mostly looking at mid weights to WH knives. I just hoping (maybe naively) for similar food entry as the Shibata. My only experience with a full carbon blade was a 52100 and I had no issues with it fwiw.

Function comes first but I do appreciate a high-level of fit and finish. A rounded, or at least eased, spine and choil are almost a must. I'm not currently concerned with ornate handles if the blade isn't the right fit.

Balance - I think I prefer a balance point at the pinch grip or slightly blade forward if necessary. I'm still learning what my preferences are.


Edge Retention (i.e., length of time you want the edge to last without sharpening)?
Edge retention is good but I'm willing to sacrifice it to some degree for performance. The goal with this knife is to move to the next level of appreciation and that includes sharpening.

To give you an idea of where I'm currently at, I have been considering:
Y. Ikeda Suminagashi (Because of geometry, not the suminagashi. I'm also looking at the taller blue #1 san mai in the BST)

Shigehiro Gyuto 240mm (prefer the blade profile on this one maybe most of all but wonder about the thicker grind at the tip)

Mizuno Tanrenjo Akitada Hontanren Series Blue Steel No.2 Clad Wa Gyuto (210mm to 300mm, 4 sizes) (and also a Mizuno Tanrenjo honyaki in the BST)

Hitohira Kikuchiyo Kyuzo Blue #2 Kasumi Gyuto 240mm (this one is a bit of a mystery but I like the profile)

And also this outlier (maybe just because of price) - Jikko White No. 2 Gyuto Chef's Knife, Ebony Handle with Saya, 9.4" | Cutlery and More


KNIFE MAINTENANCE
Do you use a bamboo, wood, rubber, or synthetic cutting board? (Yes or no.)
Yes (walnut end grain)

Do you sharpen your own knives? (Yes or no.)
I'm learning.

If not, are you interested in learning how to sharpen your knives? (Yes or no.)
Yes

Are you interested in purchasing sharpening products for your knives? (Yes or no.)
Yes
 
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lemeneid

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Of the knives on your list, I can only recommend the Mizuno as a step up from what you have. But only if you are a rightie, as their knives are all right hand biased, but excellent cutters and have good food release. The rest of the knives you’ve listed are good but very cookie cutter in my opinion.

If you are looking for something game changing, try a TF Maboroshi. The 210 runs a little longer while the 240 is a little out of your budget but definitely worth considering still.
 

lemeneid

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...and there is a free lottery in terms of QC/F&F included, so much fun!!! :rolleyes:
Feel free to continue perpetuating this myth. As far as I have seen, all the TF, I’ve owned are excellent cutters, even the “bad” one which is the ugliest knife I have but cuts finer than most knives in my collection.

Everyone I’ve recommended TF to have come back with great knives. And the ones we’ve seen with complaints, let’s just say there’s more than meets the eye shall we 😉
 

MrHiggins

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You may want to take a look at Y. Tanaka from JNS. I see there's a white 1 240 (actually 225) in stock.

I picked up the 210 on a whim a few months ago. After resolving some chipping issues with the factory edge, I'm now very, very impressed with this knife. It's the best pure cutter in my kit and was obviously made by high end craftsmen.

It is, however, on the "laser" end of the spectrum and is ground wildly thin behind the edge. The taller than normal profile works really well for me.

So definitely not a beater, but, with a little finesse, a super fun knife.
 

@ftermath

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Of the knives on your list, I can only recommend the Mizuno as a step up from what you have. But only if you are a rightie, as their knives are all right hand biased, but excellent cutters and have good food release. The rest of the knives you’ve listed are good but very cookie cutter in my opinion.

If you are looking for something game changing, try a TF Maboroshi. The 210 runs a little longer while the 240 is a little out of your budget but definitely worth considering still.
I am right handed so the Mizuno would not be an issue though I did miss that it was right hand biased. JNS has it listed as a 50/50 grind without any mention of a bias that I can tell. Thanks for the additional info.

I should note that I'm not necessarily looking for a step up from the Martell. I feel like it's about as close to a perfect all-around knife as I've come across. I'm looking for a change up and most likely the opportunity to explore a carbon blade.

Any chance you have any experience with a Shigehiro?

You may want to take a look at Y. Tanaka from JNS. I see there's a white 1 240 (actually 225) in stock.

I picked up the 210 on a whim a few months ago. After resolving some chipping issues with the factory edge, I'm now very, very impressed with this knife. It's the best pure cutter in my kit and was obviously made by high end craftsmen.

It is, however, on the "laser" end of the spectrum and is ground wildly thin behind the edge. The taller than normal profile works really well for me.

So definitely not a beater, but, with a little finesse, a super fun knife.
This is a knife that was not on my radar at all but clearly should have been given what I am looking for. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.
 

lemeneid

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I am right handed so the Mizuno would not be an issue though I did miss that it was right hand biased. JNS has it listed as a 50/50 grind without any mention of a bias that I can tell. Thanks for the additional info.

I should note that I'm not necessarily looking for a step up from the Martell. I feel like it's about as close to a perfect all-around knife as I've come across. I'm looking for a change up and most likely the opportunity to explore a carbon blade.

Any chance you have any experience with a Shigehiro?



This is a knife that was not on my radar at all but clearly should have been given what I am looking for. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.
There is definitely bias on the Mizuno for sure. JCK may claim to have them 50/50 but its always been righty biased. Still amazing knives for what they are, so long as you are a righty.

No experiences with Shigehiro, but thats just me. There are certain makers I avoid, and one of them just happens to be Ikeda.

Also, I don't think the Tanaka is going to be a good choice. Great knife, but it is also another lightweight and will feel similar to what you've been using so far as all I see are lasers in your collection. If you're looking for different, consider a mid weight or workhorse.
 

Nemo

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Almost all good knives are assymtrical. Usually biased for a right hander. This is more pronounced the thicker the knife. The vendor may say that the "edge is 50/50" but the edge is just tuned to the rest of the knife (to prevent steering in food).

See A Basic Explanation of Asymmetry

Forgive me but I'm a little confused about your main aim for this knife. Is it to introduce yourself to a thicker geometry (workhorse or middlewight) to see how a good execution of such a geometry performs? Or is it to introduce yourself to carbon knives to see how they sharpen and how to care for them? If so, do you mind if it's semistainles? Do you want iron cladding or are you happy with stainless cladding?
 

@ftermath

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There is definitely bias on the Mizuno for sure. JCK may claim to have them 50/50 but its always been righty biased. Still amazing knives for what they are, so long as you are a righty.

No experiences with Shigehiro, but thats just me. There are certain makers I avoid, and one of them just happens to be Ikeda.

Also, I don't think the Tanaka is going to be a good choice. Great knife, but it is also another lightweight and will feel similar to what you've been using so far as all I see are lasers in your collection. If you're looking for different, consider a mid weight or workhorse.
Good info. Thanks.

I think I need to clarify that I no longer have a laser in my rotation. I mentioned the Shibata(s), of which I've actually owned four different versions and five total knives, because the AS 240 was my introduction to this world. In many ways, it set my baseline understanding for performance. The only WH or WH-like knife I have owned is a ZKramer Euroline 8" carbon. There were elements about that knife I liked (thick spine and serious distal taper to a fine tip) but could never get used to the profile. Maybe my understanding is off but I would not call the Martell a laser. I would place it solidly in the mid-weight category at 220+ grams. I don't have a caliper handy so can't say what the spine thickness is (definitely not a laser) but it holds its above-the-heal thickness pretty much until it hits the grind near the tip. Again - amazing daily driver. So while I'm interested in something that might perform closer to a laser in regards to food entry, I'm not opposed to finding that performance in a heavier blade.

Almost all good knives are assymtrical. Usually biased for a right hander. This is more pronounced the thicker the knife. The vendor may say that the "edge is 50/50" but the edge is just tuned to the rest of the knife (to prevent steering in food).

See A Basic Explanation of Asymmetry

Forgive me but I'm a little confused about your main aim for this knife. Is it to introduce yourself to a thicker geometry (workhorse or middlewight) to see how a good execution of such a geometry performs? Or is it to introduce yourself to carbon knives to see how they sharpen and how to care for them? If so, do you mind if it's semistainles? Do you want iron cladding or are you happy with stainless cladding?
Thanks for the link!

First of all, I'm new to all this so I apologize if what I'm looking for was not abundantly clear. Truth is, it's likely not completely clear to me either at this point. To clarify, the primary purpose of this knife is try something that has a thinner grind behind the edge and near the tip (more distal taper if the spine is thicker). Whether that comes in the form of a laser, mid-weight, or even a WH, I'm open to exploring. However, I think most of the knives I'm interested in at this point fall on the boundary between laser and mid-weight. The secondary purpose is to try a carbon blade again. This is less important than the primary purpose and I am open to stainless clad/semistainless/ginsan/etc. if the primary is met first.

This conversation is helping me realize that right now I think I lean toward laser performance but ultimately want a different profile than what I have tried. I did mention that the Tanaka linked above was interesting because its profile is much closer to what has peaked my interest (similar the knives linked in my first post) up to this point.

I have also come to the conclusion that I am likely to try several different knives in the near future so this isn't a moment where I'm trying to find the perfect solution.
 

dafox

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For light mid weights with laser like performance you may consider ss clad carbon core Gengetsu and Wakui.
 

jacko9

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There is a Togashi available at StaySharp on sale right now that I have been eyeballing for a few days but the wife says enough. I asked and was told that it is 52mm high and it weighs 239 gms. quite a sturdy knife, take a look.

 
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Blerghle

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I just got a Mutsumi Hinoura santoku from this line: Gyuto, and the same maker has similar knives in AS on the same site including kiritsuke profile if you care for that.

It's pretty thin at the spine but very thin behind the edge with a somewhat concave, large secondary bevel. It came with a great edge OOTB, nicely finished overall to my eye. I don't have as much to compare to as many here and there may very well be better knives with the budget you have available. But seems to fit the bill.
 

@ftermath

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Which profile are you after?
French is what I would guess you would call it. Ikeda seems to be most intriguing right now though most the knives mentioned so far have something similar. I already have a relatively tall blade so upper 40s to low 50s for heal height on this one is becoming my target area If that helps. Larger flat spot or at least less pronounced curve.
 

Nemo

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By "French" do you mean "flat"?

As well as Genegetsu, look at:
Yoshikane. Nashijis are pretty thin. Hammered are thicker with great food release.
Wakui. Hammered are thicker. Hairlines apparently thinner.
Wildcard: Akebono. Almost laser thin behind edge. Thicker spine. Fantastic flatter profile produces a consistent contact patch. Great steel (by Shiraki) for both sharpening and edge retention. No longer in production. I think only 270 Ktip is available in KnS store. May get lucky on BST (but you can't have either of mine). Akatsuki has a similar grind but the profile (while still flatTer) isn't tweaked in quite the same way. Also made by a master smith (Ikeda, IIRC), although I can't comment on how it sharpens or performs.
 

jacko9

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What is there no love for Togashi? This seems to be a great price for a 240mm Gyuto?

 

@ftermath

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What is there no love for Togashi? This seems to be a great price for a 240mm Gyuto?

Actually, that is an intriguing knife that goes on the list. Apologies for not getting to replies fast enough. I’ve actually been working more lately so I’m slower at getting to replies. This thread and several PMs have been very helpful and I really appreciate the solid suggestions.
 

jacko9

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Actually, that is an intriguing knife that goes on the list. Apologies for not getting to replies fast enough. I’ve actually been working more lately so I’m slower at getting to replies. This thread and several PMs have been very helpful and I really appreciate the solid suggestions.
Yeah I keep looking at that knife and I probable would have bought it if I haven't already purchased four knives this month!
 
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