Exploring the world of gyutos

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pgugger

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So, I do not need any more knives... as my wife often reminds me... but I have caught the bug. I enjoy the knives I currently have, but I have limited experience with different styles, makers, steels, etc. So, I would like to have a short list of knives to acquire in the future to help explore the different styles out there and ultimately wind up with a few favorites or complementary knives. I want to focus on gyutos that are handmade in Japan. Currently have a Masakage Koishi, Kurosaki AS, and Masamoto VG (and CCK 1303 cleaver). Two I am strongly considering (regardless of whether they are in stock) are the Konosuke HD2 as an example of a "laser" and a Takeda NAS Medium Gyuto because it seems unique and iconic. I also wonder about Konosuke Fujiyama (blue or white?), Tanaka, Ginga, and various others. What do you think would be two or three or four good knives to put on my list to try more styles, makers, steels, etc.?

Thanks for your thoughts!

LOCATION
What country are you in?
-USA


KNIFE TYPE
What type of knife are you interested in (e.g., chef’s knife, slicer, boning knife, utility knife, bread knife, paring knife, cleaver)?
-Gyutos

Are you right or left handed?
-Right

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

What length of knife (blade) are you interested in (in inches or millimeters)?
-240 mm, maybe 210 mm

Do you require a stainless knife? (Yes or no)
-No

What is your absolute maximum budget for your knife?
-$400 (absolute max for a single knife... prefer to spend less of course)


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, chopping, mincing vegetables and boneless meats

What knife, if any, are you replacing?
-None, but looking to complement existing knives or try different styles

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, chop, rock, slice, draw

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.)
-No specific improvements, but rather to try a variety of gyutos with different strengths

Better aesthetics (e.g., a certain type of finish; layered/Damascus or other pattern of steel; different handle color/pattern/shape/wood; better scratch resistance; better stain resistance)?
-Any, but nice fit and finish are a plus, and I probably don't need any more kurouchi knives.

Comfort (e.g., lighter/heavier knife; better handle material; better handle shape; rounded spine/choil of the knife; improved balance)?
-NA

Ease of Use (e.g., ability to use the knife right out of the box; smoother rock chopping, push cutting, or slicing motion; less wedging; better food release; less reactivity with food; easier to sharpen)?
-Looking for variety

Edge Retention (i.e., length of time you want the edge to last without sharpening)?
-Not so important


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

Do you sharpen your own knives? (Yes or no.)
-Yes

Are you interested in purchasing sharpening products for your knives? (Yes or no.)
-Already have variety of stones.
 

LucasFur

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Edge retention not important.

you currently have from what i can tell:
Masakage Koishi 240 mm Gyuto
Kurosaki AS 210 mm Gyuto
Masamoto VG 210 mm Gyuto
Kurosaki R2 Hammered 150 mm Petty

and your mainly looking for variety.

Considering:
Kono HD2 - pro - lazer/ stainless/ great all rounder. /// Con - little boring? IMO / finding in stock
Takeda NAS - pro - Different grind/ very tall /// Con - KU finish, AS steel, possible grind issues

From my knowledge both are great choices though, and you'll love them both.
But if you want some variety from what you have, I would say go Masamoto KS, Finally in stock, price is there where its still special, you can sharpen it a lot, as opposed to your current knives that hold and edge for ever, and its a monosteel shorty long slicer. secondly i would say check out something Ginsan (possably sukenari?) Great price, great sharpening abilities, great grind -- I would presume its the same grind as a my ZDP, which is a monster, and feels like a honyaki on the board its so dense. IMO sukenari is underrated, on the forums but still sold out in a lot of places.
 

Barmoley

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I second Sukenari I have YXR7 version and I really like it. The 240 I have is 230x50 which I find to be a great size for me. The grind is good, and it just feels solid and capable. K&S also has great price on the Massamoto KS if you want to try that.

Or you could go with the usual suspects, Gengetsu the 240 SS I have is excellent in every way, Toyoma, Itinomonn, etc.
 

chinacats

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I'd say try a wide bevel like Kochi kurouchi.

For lasers why not buy something more interesting like a Tadatsuna?

And try a Takeda...but don't be surprised if it's not a great performer...or perhaps you'll get lucky and get a good one.

Watanabe or Toyoma for a true workhorse.

And may as well put Kato and Shig on your list so you can say you've tried them...

After these, you'll know enough about what you like to go ahead and order a custom made to your specs.
 

bkultra

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Heiji- wide beveled

???- lasers are not my thing

Watanabe or Toyama- no nonsense all around knife

Kato or Shig- because sooner or later you will want to

Takeda- I would love a "good one", but don't play the lotto

Konosuke Fujiyama- owned a B#2 and currently have a B#1, but all the knives in this series are great.

Masamoto KS- it's a classic and iconic
 

Panamapeet

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I'd say try a wide bevel like Kochi kurouchi.

For lasers why not buy something more interesting like a Tadatsuna?

And try a Takeda...but don't be surprised if it's not a great performer...or perhaps you'll get lucky and get a good one.

Watanabe or Toyoma for a true workhorse.

And may as well put Kato and Shig on your list so you can say you've tried them...

After these, you'll know enough about what you like to go ahead and order a custom made to your specs.
I second the toyama / watanabe suggestion, slightly preferring watanabe myself! Other decent suggestion would be itinomonn :)
 

pgugger

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Thanks, everyone. These are great suggestions. It will take me a while to sort through and actually try many of these, but its great to have a list to aspire to.
 

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