Gyuto / Honesuki recommendations - Home cook

Discussion in 'The Kitchen Knife' started by gstriftos, Apr 12, 2019.

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  1. Apr 12, 2019 #1

    gstriftos

    gstriftos

    gstriftos

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    After reading all this time (and drooling over some amazing knives I see posted ..) it is time to start looking advise and recommendations.

    LOCATION
    • Greece.

    KNIFE TYPE
    I'm interested in (by order):
    • Gyuto - 210mm
    • Honesuki

    Are you right or left handed?
    • I'm right handed.

    Are you interested in a Western handle (e.g., classic Wüsthof handle) or Japanese handle?
    • Does not matter, though I find a little more comfortable J/handles (see lower comment 1)

    What length of knife (blade) are you interested in (in inches or millimeters)?
    • 210mm

    Do you require a stainless knife? (Yes or No)
    • At the least stainless clad. Will not have the time to baby or cater a carbon steel.

    What is your absolute maximum budget for your knife?
    • 150€-200€ for Gyuto.
    • Honesuki under 100€

    KNIFE USE
    Do you primarily intend to use this knife at home or a professional environment?
    • Home cook (not everyday but at least 3 times a week)

    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.)
    • Mainly slicing vegetables and filleting meat and fish and chicken. Will use acidic's (lemons etc).

    What knife, if any, are you replacing?
    • Current arsenal: Kai Wasabi 210mm, Ikea Santoku and 180mm chefs to be replace by Gyuto. Wusthof petties to be replaced by Honesuki

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

    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 cut, slice and Chop mainly. I don't feel comfortable with rock chopping.

    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.)
    • Hold an edge for a decent amount of time.
    • Prefer to keep under 170gr

    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)?
    • Decent scratch and stain resistance.


    Comfort (e.g., lighter/heavier knife; better handle material; better handle shape; rounded spine/choil of the knife; improved balance)?
    • I like knives that are somewhat blade heavy (from the limited I have tried) and would like rounded spine/choil
    • I think I might like blades that the tip is towards the bottom (Fujiwara Style) and if possible with a large flat spot for chop.

    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)?
    • Use the knife right out of the box, less reactivity with food, easier to sharpen, smoother cutting.

    Edge Retention (i.e., length of time you want the edge to last without sharpening)?
    • Ability to keep edge for a decent time.

    KNIFE MAINTENANCE
    Do you use a bamboo, wood, rubber, or synthetic cutting board? (Yes or no.)
    • Bamboo (but will upgrade to softer type of wood. Cannot afford though end grain).

    Do you sharpen your own knives? (Yes or no.)
    • Yes. Currently with one 400/2000 combo stone (Wusthof) but want to upgrade

    If not, are you interested in learning how to sharpen your knives? (Yes or no.)
    • Yes, I am practicing as much as I can to get better.

    Are you interested in purchasing sharpening products for your knives? (Yes or no.)
    • Yes. I am on the look for a decent set of synth stones (probably Glass Shaptons) but I don't know if I need to elaborate this on this thread and prior to knife purchase.

    SPECIAL REQUESTS/COMMENTS

    Comment 1: Regarding the handles my experience is from my own set and some knives I have hold in some shops in Greece.

    Here the mostly sold and considered to be well made knives, are Kai (Shun), Tojiro, Miyabi, Global and the European Trio (Wust/Zwilling/Vics). I have not found anywhere, so never tried, a proper J-knife (and from what I understand most chefs that carry decent J-knives buy online from foreign countries).

    From reading and searching I have found the following for Gyuto:
    1) Takamura R2 210mm. Well praised by a lot I would like to try a ghost blade but is it an all around gyuto?
    Prices around 160-180€ (including shipping)
    2) This Tadafusa (Hocho HK4). SLD seems to fit the bill, price is around 150€ (including shipping) but have not read about it here.
    3) Wa Tadafusa (Cleancut). I don't know if it has any differences from KH4 version. Apart of course from the obvious ones (handle and hammer finish). Price around 170€ with shipping
    4)Kashima RS60. Tottaly unknow to me, I undestand it is Cleancut OEM brand. Around 150€ with shipping
    5)Akifusa Oriental AS I really like the shape, aesthetics and geometry but I only see 240mm avaiable and it exceeds 200€ (with shipping). My concern is that 240mm will be too big. If you can show me 210mm version available in EU it would be welcoem.
    6) The much well known Kaeru. One thing keeps me back and it is the curve of the edge. I think I might not like it as I see the tip is relatively high. Price is around 170€, including shipping.

    7) 210 Tesshu Nashiji. Ditch all the above and just make childermass happy? It seems a very nice all around knife.

    Honesuki:
    1) Tojiro DP. Generally Tojiro's in Europe have more or less the same price (around 100€ for it). Can a honesuki replace a petty ? (I understand it is way heavier)
    2) Kashima. Looks nice and sturdy for its price.

    Why a honesuki? Well I like deboning chickens because most butchers here just ..butcher them and well, lets face it it is fun ( to me at least). I intend also to use it on fish and red meat (I hope it is suggested).

    Thank you all for taking the time to answer to an amateur home cook.

    P.S. I admit this place is an addiction and reading to clear mind from daily troubles. My congrats to all the community!
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2019
  2. Apr 12, 2019 #2

    JustinP

    JustinP

    JustinP

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    Regarding the honesuki, I'd check out "Japanese MASAHIRO Bessak Honesuki Boning Butcher/Chef Knife" from seller bluewayjapan on Ebay, if available to your country. Really happy with the bang for the buck of the garasuki I purchased from them.
     
  3. Apr 12, 2019 #3

    Benuser

    Benuser

    Benuser

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    Change your bamboo board ASAP. The silica kills your edges.
     
  4. Apr 12, 2019 #4

    gstriftos

    gstriftos

    gstriftos

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    Thanks for the input, seems nice and also has an 180mm option (too big maybe). My concern is that imports from outside EU are heavily taxed (basicaly adding all expenses adds around 40-50% to buying price if CIF is over 24$)

    Yes I have figured that out. I am on the look fot a wooden cutting board, probably a beech wood from Zwilling which I can afford now.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2019
  5. May 28, 2019 #5

    gstriftos

    gstriftos

    gstriftos

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    The search continues.

    I can stretch my budget to WAKUI (from cleancut) and instead of a Honesuki get a Tadafusa Hiraki.

    The questions:
    a) Is it wise to get a WAKUI as an introductory to J-knives, keeping in mind that it will be a long term relationship and my only for at least 6 months time? Is there anything else in this price range (220 euro) that can be considered better for introduction to to J-Knives?
    Or maybe start with something more affordable like this Tadafusa and learn from mistakes ? I read that white steel is more reactive compared to blue and honestly I will not baby the knife (just cut, clean and store on magnet rack), so I would like to avoid something that will need constant oiling (there are times that I cook only once a week).
    b) Is it wise to get a Hiraki instead of a Honesuki? I read that Hirakis are considered fish oriented but their profile and geometry has intrigued me to have it as a secondary general use knife, something like a petty and honesuki combo.

    Regarding stones the starter set I intend to buy is Shapton Glass 500 double thick and Glass 2000. Later on I may add a Glass 4000 stone (please refer only splash stones, i am not interested to permasoak) or something similar. Are these 2 stones a worthy all around set?
     
  6. May 28, 2019 #6

    ojisan

    ojisan

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    A honeski most likely won't replace your petties. Honesukis are much thicker than utility knives and they usually have single bevel. For example, UX10 150mm is 1.7mm while Tojiro honesuki 150 is 3.15mm. They are not a general purpose knife. They are specialized for deboning. You might use a honesuki for filleting as well (I do sometimes), but maybe you want something else for this purpose. Their profile is not ideal for filleting IMO.

    I'm not familiar with Hiraki (it looks like Mioroshi deba or Sabaki), but it has 3mm thickness so it looks a way heavier for a utility knife.

    I would suggest you have a special tough knife for deboning (like Honesuki) and a normal general purpose small knife. Most likely you'll have different criteria on their edges.

    Another option is western-style boning knives made by Japanese makers, if you want a general purpose Japanese knife that can be used for deboning.

    For a gyuto, Takamura is one of my favorite knives. Tadafusa is also well made and I like it. I personally prefer R2 over SLD though.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2019
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  7. May 28, 2019 #7

    gstriftos

    gstriftos

    gstriftos

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    I see.. Ok as I said earlier I eat chicken on a regular basis and I would like a honesuki. So maybe I will opt for something affordable for practice (like a Narihira, retails around 50 euro here).
    Filleting I think one can get very decent results with a good gyuto.

    If I get it correct you mean the standard slim blade?
    Like these ?
    I have tried a, cheap, one but was not so satisfied with results. Maybe due to my technique but I can debone a chicken thigh better with my 20cm Kai chef knife even if size does not help.
    If you mean something else can you show me an example?

    Thanks for the input regarding the gyuto, I too am more fascinated by the Takamura but worried about chipping (yes I know the knife will chip, God bless Murphy's Law :D ) and how easy is it to fix..
     
  8. May 28, 2019 #8

    krx927

    krx927

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    Some feedback on your questions.

    Takamura R2 is a true laser knife. Be aware that it is not suitable for heavier tasks, cutting something harder. If you are planning to buy initially one gyuto I would not chose this one, chose something sturdier.

    Wakui is a great knife and not laser. I had the one from blue steel:
    https://www.japan-messer-shop.de/Wa...rikomi-Migaki-Gyuto-21-cm-nicht-rostfrei.html

    A bit over your budget but this is excellent knife. I would recommend it to anybody serious about their knives. I doubt that you will want to get rid of it after 6 months.
    Please note that this Wakui in the link is different from the ones currently available on CC. This one is kasumi that I find much better than Nashiji or Kurouchi. For me the kasumi looks are so much better and they glide through food better.

    People were mentioning good things also about Mazaki knives. They are a bit cheaper compared to Wakui. You can find a big thread on KKF about them. Just search.

    Comment on Akifusa: first is the size; you are wondering if 240 is too big. For me it is (for a first/main knife) but majority of the people on KKF prefer this size. I prefer 210.
    But this knife has a big draw back -> they tried to round the heel of the knife, but instead of rounding it they made it sharp.
    I recommended this Akifusa 210 to a friend and bought it for him. The knife's heel was really cutting in my finger too much. I ended up easing/rounding the whole heel which was quite some job to do. I doubt that you will want to do this with your first knife.

    About the honesuki. You can try CarboNext from:
    https://japanesechefsknife.com/prod...eries-kc-4-boning-knife-honesuki-150mm5-9inch

    They are known Japanese shop that deliver worldwide for $7. They also have other honesukis on the site.
     
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  9. May 28, 2019 #9

    gstriftos

    gstriftos

    gstriftos

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    Thank you @krx927 !

    Oh, this really is a bummer and no I don't have the means or the time to do that. So this goes off the list.
    Mazaki's I am not so interested since they don't have stainless clad (not at least the ones I can afford).


    I have seen the Blue one Wakui on Japan Messer but I don't see option to send to Greece (emailed them about shipping, never received an answer). Also goes beyond my actual budget (220 euro is stretched).

    The hardest ingredient I will be cutting is carrots but I see your point about the Takamura. I too do feel that it is not an all around knife (as all lasers I assume).
    So the conclusion is that I should be looking for a ''mid-weight'', champion?


    JCK was something I was looking at but if I add all in expenses (customs, etc) the price climbs around 50% so they turn out expensive, this is why I prefer to buy inside EU.
     
  10. May 28, 2019 #10

    CoteRotie

    CoteRotie

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    I have the Kohetsu HAP40 (powder metallurgy) steel Honesuki. It's somewhat above your price range, and I don't know if you can get it in Greece, but it has the following characteristics:

    • Double-beveled which means it makes a decent utility knife, unlike some honesukis.
    • Semi-stainless, though it seems to not stain or react at all.
    • Crazy edge retention, stays sharp a long time.
    • A little harder to sharpen than white steels, but easy to touch up and that's all it generally needs.

    At first I didn't think HAP40 would be a good choice for a honesuki, because of the high hardness and possibility of chipping. So I used it pretty hard as a test- Scraping the edge instead of the spine on bones, not taking too much care to avoid hitting bone while cutting. Amazingly there has been NO micro or other chipping, and the edge just stays sharp. So I was pretty much wrong about the steel choice.

    Not exactly a traditional honesuki, but very useful and I would recommend it.
     
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  11. May 28, 2019 #11

    ian

    ian

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    I should just say here that I don't find lasers any less durable than "thin behind the edge" midweights like Mazaki, etc... I mean, as long as you aren't twisting your wrist while you are cutting hard stuff, the only damage that the knife is going to endure is right near the edge, where there's basically no difference between the two classes of knives. Maybe with a really flexible laser it's harder to cut straight, but I wouldn't know. Anyway, I use lasers to cut hard squash all the time. Seems to me like the reason to not use a laser as a main knife is not durability, but preference for extra weight. Please correct me if your experience differs, though.
     
  12. May 28, 2019 #12

    gstriftos

    gstriftos

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    Ehnnn, it is wayyyyyyyy beyond my price range but thanks anyway!

    Thankfully I have managed not to twist my hand as also to avoid rock chopping (I feel uncomfortable with both). My current knife (Kai - 20cm) is around 160gr and i feel very nice using, it in terms of weight, so I think I would also like something similar in terms of weight if possible (and balance towards blade) but it is not mandatory.
    Thank you for the input!
     
  13. May 28, 2019 #13

    ojisan

    ojisan

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    Yes that I meant. I myself have not much experience with this type of knives, so I don't have any recommendations. Other guys would have information.

    I always use Honesuki whenever the stuff on the cutting board can be hard (bone in stakes, defrosted things, etc.) to avoid accidental chipping on other knives. I've never experienced chipping on my Takamura indeed, but I'm not sure what would happen if you use it for filleting. It cause a lot of contacts with fish bones, so can be harmful to a thin blade.
     
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  14. May 28, 2019 #14

    rickbern

    rickbern

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    I think a really light laser like a takumara is more appropriate in a 240 size than a 210. I had one of those red handled takumaras in 210, couldn’t stand it, it felt like a large petty to me.

    Gave it away to a friend (he loved it) and eventually got a ginga in 240. Way better knife for my purposes.

    It’s all personal preference, that was mine. I have a wakui in 240, took me a minute to get used to the balance, now I find it a great blade.

    I agree with the notion to scrimp or pass on the chicken butchering knife at first. I’d get a decent Gyuto, a decent board and some starter stones first (actually, I’d get stones first and foremost). I have a Honesuki and use it a fair bit, but I’d still get dinner on the table without it.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2019
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  15. May 28, 2019 #15

    ojisan

    ojisan

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    Takamura is strong enough for dense (stiff?) vegetables and you can always fallback to your current knife whenever you worry about chipping.

    By the way, given you’ll get new knives, I assume you don’t need a 500 for a while. It’s most likely used to remove chips.
    I’d get 1000/2000 and 4000 first for daily sharpening/polishing, then add a rough one when get a chipping. 1000 is very basic and would be useful to remove minor chips, so if you are not going to add more stones in the near future, the basic 1000+4000 would be the best choice.
    I’d recommend normal Shapton (Pro) stones unless you have specific reasons for their glass stones (glass stones look cool though). They are much cheaper and just work fine for any knives. IMO, Get a 2000 (some people might recommend 1000) then decide if you want 1000 or 5000/8000 later is the best wallet-friendly tactic. I usually use 2000 and 5000 (and other finer stones) for daily sharpening (Shapton 1000 is a bit too aggressive for touch up). Don’t forget to buy a flattening stone or a rough diamond stone.

    As for cutting board, I really prefer a (traditional) Japanese cutting board made of softer wood like Hinoki, Icho and Yanagi, but they need baby sitting.
     
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  16. May 29, 2019 #16

    gstriftos

    gstriftos

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    Finger is itching for Takamura, there is a 20% discount going ..

    I was eyeing Glass stones due to being truly splash n go plus and they have a variety in grits. I am considering Pro too but I am baffled among 1000/1500/2000 (which will be fine for the current knives) and there is no 4000 option ( reviews I read for Pro 5000 are not so good). Also I would like to buy from one place to avoid multiple shipping fees (minimum is around 10 euro)
    Fine-tools carries only Pro Stones, Dictum carries only Glass stones, Knives and Tools carries both but I can never seem to find the ones I want in stock (plus they are more expensive).
    All other sources inside EU I have looked have very high shipping fees or I have to spend over 200 to get free shipping (which I am not able to do now).
    Honestly if Pro 1500or 2000 and Pro 5000 is a good stone combo it will be my starting kit.
    If someone can suggest something else in splash n go feel free (except Naniwa, prices are out of my league).

    I am not so much into baby sitting and they are kind or pricey in Europe. I have my eyes on some edge grain boards (beech or walnut as I see).
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2019
  17. May 30, 2019 #17

    ojisan

    ojisan

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    I think that feeling like “I’m using good stuff!!!” is very important to enjoy hobby sharpening, so if Glass looks better, that’s the way to go? Sharpening with thinking “this stone might not be the best” is not fun. I’m pretty sure 1000/4000 Glass stones work great, so you cannot fail with them anyway (don’t forget to buy a base and a flattening stone as well).

    Just in case you want to save money, consider Pro (220+)1000+5000. This combination would be an optimal budget-friendly combination. I love Pro 2000, but don’t want to jump from 220 to 2000, so to save money with minimal number of stones, going to 1000 is the best. Indeed, 1000 is also awesome and 5000 is not that bad at all IMO. 1000+5000 surely works fine. Pro stones come with a base (you can use the case as a base), you need only a flattening stone. Forget about 1500. It’s a “if you buy a single stone for the life” choice.

    I prefer Pro stones just because they are cost effective and most likely will not go to Glass, but this is just my taste.
     
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  18. May 30, 2019 #18

    fimbulvetr

    fimbulvetr

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    After a few years with it, I’ve come to love the Shapton Pro 2000. It’s absolutely splash and go. I use it as a finishing stone for butcher knives without hesitation, and will even finish gyuto and deba on it happily.

    Edit: to add that it might be worth noting that I originally felt the Shapton 2000 was kind of dead and soulless-feeling, but it sharpens *everything*. If I only had to sharpen MY knives, and could only have one stone, well, I’d probably get the Gesshin 2000. BUT, if I only could have one stone and no clue what I’d be sharpening down the line, I’d pick the Shapton Pro 2000 hands down. I use mine a lot, for my knives, for shop knives, for customers’ knives, and it’s just solid.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2019
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  19. May 30, 2019 #19

    gstriftos

    gstriftos

    gstriftos

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    Thank you both for the input.

    Pro 2000 looks more and more appealing as a first stone so most probably this will be the chosen one to start with. I believe that at least now the knives will only need touch ups an according to applied pressure I can get from sharpening to finishing (at least I can somehow manage it now with the crappy stone, I suppose I can get better results with the Shapton Pro)
    I wish I could get Gesshin but costs and taxes from USA to Greece puts all stuff from JKI way out of my pocket :(


    Does anyone have experience with Takamura Chromax Line?
     
  20. Jun 11, 2019 #20

    gstriftos

    gstriftos

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