Best blacksmiths for blue #2 heavy workhorses

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Hz_zzzzzz

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Never used it but how about Mazaki blue 2?
 
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tcmx3

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Besides the obvious like kato, shig, Toyama, and Watanabe, what other smiths produce some really good heavyweight workhorse gyutos made of blue #2?
if you can stand the ugly finish and pointy profile, tbh I actually do think Mazaki is the spiritual successor to Kato's workhorse knives. much more so than the current stainless clad Toyamas, at least IMO. and I think as far as such things go, the blue 2 Mazakis are still reasonably priced.

does it have to be specifically blue 2? if not buy a Shi.Han 52100 IMO. if it does, the Mazaki Ao2 would be choice 1 not on your list.
 

shinyunggyun

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if you can stand the ugly finish and pointy profile, tbh I actually do think Mazaki is the spiritual successor to Kato's workhorse knives. much more so than the current stainless clad Toyamas, at least IMO. and I think as far as such things go, the blue 2 Mazakis are still reasonably priced.

does it have to be specifically blue 2? if not buy a Shi.Han 52100 IMO. if it does, the Mazaki Ao2 would be choice 1 not on your list.
Nah, I'm not a fan of mazaki.
 

tcmx3

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Nah, I'm not a fan of mazaki.
I mean that's certainly your prerogative.

this just reflects what I own and like. if Kato's didnt cost what they did, I mean still my favorite knife. just a shame the prices are completely divorced from the quality of the knife.
 

silylanjie

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I know Itsuo Doi does really nice Blue #2 single bevel knives like yanagiba and kiritsuke. I know he also makes gyuto but not sure how good his double bevels are. Just throwing another name out there for thoughts.
 

daniel_il

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I've got one of the Doi 240 gyutos from ToGo with the KS-ish profile. I like it.

I've also got a Gihei Blue #2 240. I like it too.

These might not be everyone's cup of tea, but I can honestly say that I don't feel the need for any more workhorse knives.
I like my Gihei....very solid, great steal , only wish for higher tip

also got 240 Matsubara which is very tall(58mm) but fairly thin behind the edge...not sure if its a pure "workhorse"
 

captaincaed

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When I talked to Rob at The.9nine, his opinion was 1.2519 was nearly indistinguishable from Blue 2 in practice. Maybe worth checking out western makers using it? If you're set on Blue steel, Murata makes a Blue 1 that I find easy to sharpen and deburr, and has thicker grinds. Only up to 210 for gyuto though.

Edit: Oh, Bazes has has made workhorse Blue 2 gyuto in the past. This one is pretty short, but he's done classic sizes too. Chef (215mm) — Bazes Blades
 
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FishmanDE

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I've got one of the Doi 240 gyutos from ToGo with the KS-ish profile. I like it.

I've also got a Gihei Blue #2 240. I like it too.

These might not be everyone's cup of tea, but I can honestly say that I don't feel the need for any more workhorse knives.
how could I forget Gihei! Yea, this has been my favorite steel I’ve used thus far. If you’re into the profile, I’d definitely pull the trigger
 

GorillaGrunt

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Hitohira Togashi KU, I heartily recommend that one. Also heard good things about Gihei but haven’t used a Blue from them. Anything forged in Tosa will likely take whatever you throw at it and there are some less expensive offerings from there, but the grinds might not be as refined as some others. If you’re willing to look at other steels, Kemadi alongside Shihan and HVB.
 

McMan

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I have a Matsubara in blue#2 that I've been liking lately. Tall knife, heavy, forged hollow high up the blade face, decent value at $240 from cktg.
I like the looks of Gihei, but haven't tried one.
 

Ochazuke

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I've used Ikenami Hamono. They're relatively close to where my fam is in Okinawa. I liked the steel - it's fairly tough, but there was a pretty decent overgrind. It didn't affect performance, so it was no problem for me. But if somebody cares about fit and finish, just know that they are fairly bare bones and may have the occasional overgrind.
 

silylanjie

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I've used Ikenami Hamono. They're relatively close to where my fam is in Okinawa. I liked the steel - it's fairly tough, but there was a pretty decent overgrind. It didn't affect performance, so it was no problem for me. But if somebody cares about fit and finish, just know that they are fairly bare bones and may have the occasional overgrind.
Thanks for sharing your feedback, I have been looking at Ikenami knives from knifejapan but haven't heard much about them.
 

daniel_il

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I have a Matsubara in blue#2 that I've been liking lately. Tall knife, heavy, forged hollow high up the blade face, decent value at $240 from cktg.
I like the looks of Gihei, but haven't tried one.
My gihei is a 210, so unfortunately not the best comparison but it’s much more robust than the matsubara.

My matsu is a mid weight and fairly thin behind the edge. 2.5mm spine through most of the knife.
430DE499-3E31-4A38-B5FA-E76C306D6291.jpeg
 

QCDawg

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It’s shirogami… but 🤷‍♂️. The newest batch of Kaeru WH.. are so thick at the spine? You will wonder if you bought a wa handled yo deba. It’s thickkkk
 
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