Best blend of beauty and performance in a Gyuto ?

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drsmp

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I know that when you get down to it a Gyuto is a kitchen tool, but I am sucker for good looking knives. Please don’t call out poor performers , just list your great looking blades that are also great cutters. So far for me three of my favorites are my Kurosaki Fujin AS, Yoshikane Black Damascus, and Halcyon Forge wrought iron clad gyutos. What are yours (pics appreciated) ?
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daveb

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They are some sweet lookers.

My favorite to look at is my Wat Kintaro Ame with it's understated dammy. and killer Chop Shop handle. But I say that knowing only those that know knives will recognize the beauty. Otherwise I like the clean looks of Devin, Tillman, Marko, et al.
 

ian

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Currently, my favorite one to look at is a Heiji 180 petty (the top one).

I really like the wide bevel aesthetic, and the way the handle looks just gets me off every time, because when I look at it I know it'll be so nice and grippy, and that contrast right below the ferrule is so sexy.

There are also these artful scratches just above the shinogi line left over from the grinding, that they didn't bother to clean up. That's character I appreciate. It's like the signature of the sharpener, to complement the kanji. ;)

I think this may be the knife that gives me the most pleasure in use at the moment, too. I mean, it's specialized, and doesn't cut hard stuff, but if you use it for the right things, the weight and everything about it is awesome. The heiji semistainless steel is totally amazing...

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Elliot

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Yoshi Black Dammy is kind of hard to beat if you're looking for the apex of performance and looks in one package. In my humble opinion (also factoring in the prohibitive cost and availability of certain other ones like a Kato Kikuryu), that's the best package out of Japan.

Western makers (my focus mostly at this point) are a whole different ballgame!
 

Corradobrit1

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Honyaki, especially Ashi Honyaki covers most bases. But I find imperfect perfection more endearing, a little like a lazy-eyed supermodel. Think Kato Ku, Denka etc.
 

ian

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I just can't get behind any damascus. Or anything with burl in the handle. Something about those swirly patterns creeps me out.

Ok, that's not quite true. The damascus on the Catcheside in BST is really pretty to me, for instance. As long as it's subtle and natural, then yes. But the Yoshi that everyone likes turns me off, for some reason.

If I imagine the Halcyon Forge in the OP with a simpler handle, e.g. burnt chestnut or ho, that would look real nice to me.
 
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Corradobrit1

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I just can't get behind any damascus. Or anything with burl in the handle. Something about those swirly patterns creeps me out.

Ok, that's not quite true. The damascus on the Catcheside in BST is really pretty to me, for instance. As long as it's subtle and natural, then yes. But the Yoshi that everyone likes turns me off, for some reason.

If I imagine the Halcyon Forge in the OP with a simpler handle, e.g. burnt chestnut or ho, that would look real nice to me.
I'm def not a Yoshi fan boi either. I like subtle dammy eg Rader 10,000 layer steel.
 

ma_sha1

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For shear looks, got to give it to my Fujin, it performs well too but a bit on the lighter side, lacks the weighty feel & the precision of middle weights.

Balancing looks, performance, as well as the tall blade utility of scooping up food after cutting, i’d have to give it to my Toyamas with Karelian birchwood handles.
 

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XooMG

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I don't keep many pretty or ostentatious knives; I feel like they are for people in a different social stratum. I can't even bother to replace the widely-maligned plastic ferrule handles most of the time.

Among my current gyuto, my favorite juggler between looks and performance is a cheap old Wakui 21cm.
 

milkbaby

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But seriously, one of my faves for both looks and performance is a Tsukasa Hinoura kitaeji gyuto. A bit of heft with a beefy spine, but the thing just cuts like crazy. The bevel is polished by Hinoura-san by hand on stones resulting in a really beautiful look. I love the contrast between the kurochi and the polished blade road.






Pictured with another favorite looker and performer that has really great classy lines/profile, a Devin Thomas gyuto.

 

ian

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But seriously, one of my faves for both looks and performance is a Tsukasa Hinoura kitaeji gyuto. A bit of heft with a beefy spine, but the thing just cuts like crazy. The bevel is polished by Hinoura-san by hand on stones resulting in a really beautiful look. I love the contrast between the kurochi and the polished blade road.






Pictured with another favorite looker and performer that has really great classy lines/profile, a Devin Thomas gyuto.

ok, that’s a classy pair.
 

ma_sha1

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Not fair, the dude is retired so it’s nothing but a big tease.
 

ExistentialHero

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But seriously, one of my faves for both looks and performance is a Tsukasa Hinoura kitaeji gyuto. A bit of heft with a beefy spine, but the thing just cuts like crazy. The bevel is polished by Hinoura-san by hand on stones resulting in a really beautiful look. I love the contrast between the kurochi and the polished blade road.






Pictured with another favorite looker and performer that has really great classy lines/profile, a Devin Thomas gyuto.

Love love love those Hinoura KU+dammy knives. It's a really incredible look. Glad to hear the performance is there too :)
 

LostHighway

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I suspect my aesthetic sensibilities re: Japanese kitchen knives aren't far removed from those of @ian. I like at least a touch of wabi sabi, that slight imperfection that humanizes the work. Flashy/gaudy handles, overly busy Damascus, mirror polishes (in most cases),... all these things are an anathema to me. I haven't used enough knives to know if the performance always equals the aesthetic virtues but I tend to like the Kono Fujiyama knives and other work by Y. Tanaka. I think the T. Fujiwara Maboroshi and Denka blades look great save for the meh yo-handles and the tendency toward too much wabi in the grinds. I also am a fan of the T. Hinoura River Jump knives, tasteful Damascus IMO. The Kono SKD recently sold on BST was handsome knife and some of the Mazakis have been lookers as well with just enough rustic without going overboard. Many of the Westerner makers are turning out great looking and great performing knives: Alexander Bazes would be one example and at a much more approachable price point Jonas Johnsson/Isasmedjan would be another.
 
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