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Discussion in 'The Kitchen Knife' started by Kevin cooper, Mar 12, 2019.

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  1. Mar 12, 2019 #1

    Kevin cooper

    Kevin cooper

    Kevin cooper

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    Hi Guys,

    I am looking to buy a new 240mm wa-gyuto, and im having serious decision fatigue, so i was hoping to reach out to the community here and get some input to help me make my final decision.

    I have narrowed the selection down to several choices:

    Konosuke HD2 240mm
    Gengetsu SS 240mm
    Gesshin Ginga Stainless 240MM
    Takeda sasanoha SS clad 240mm

    SO, That is quite the range of knives. I want something i can take to work. I like a sub 7 ounce knife and handle large amounts of product on a regular basis. I have an entry level understanding of taking care of Carbon steel as i have an Asai Stainless clad bunka and two HAP40 Giheis in rotation right now. I have shapton pros 320-14k and a strop, love to use rock/pull/chop during long prep sessions, and am perfectly willing to spend enough to get an ebony handle if need be;). im totally open to suggestions, however it might take some doing to convince me. I have stared at JKI, CKTG, Chubo, Epicureanedge, aiandom, toshoknifearts, hitohira and others...a lot. thats why im stuck. Help me spend the monies!!!

    Knife Obsessed,
    Coop
     
  2. Mar 12, 2019 #2

    Nemo

    Nemo

    Nemo

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    Last edited: Mar 12, 2019
  3. Mar 12, 2019 #3

    MrHiggins

    MrHiggins

    MrHiggins

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    Of your list, the gengetsu gen-gets my vote. Personally, I prefer taller gyutos, but all those on your list are on the squat end.

    Also, the burnt chestnut handle can't be beat. I'd take it over an ebony handle every day of the week.
     
  4. Mar 12, 2019 #4
    Gengetsu is my all time favorite and I think there's one on bst right now for cheaps! I like the Kono HD2 as well and who doesn't like the Gesshin Ginga. The Takeda is a completely different knife from the others you cited, heavy, carbon, would rather rust than cut (though it cut pretty well). I've tried the standard and the Sasanoha and did not care for either.
     
  5. Mar 12, 2019 #5

    Kevin cooper

    Kevin cooper

    Kevin cooper

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    1. LOCATION
      What country are you in?

      US-NY based

      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)?

      Gyuto
    2. Are you right or left handed?
      Right
    3. Are you interested in a Western handle (e.g., classic Wusthof handle) or Japanese handle?
      Wa handle
    4. What length of knife (blade) are you interested in (in inches or millimeters)?
      240mm
    5. Do you require a stainless knife? (Yes or no)
      im stubborn, but work in a western high volume catering organization
      What is your absolute maximum budget for your knife?
      whatever it takes


      KNIFE USE
      Do you primarily intend to use this knife at home or a professional environment?
      Professional
      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.)
      Everything except cutting through bone, there are beaters for that
      What knife, if any, are you replacing?
      my last 240mm stainless Goko(really limited run on CKTG a number of years ago, F&F were less than stellar and it had a plastic ferule but also a really nice D-shape burnt chestnut handle which i really liked).
      Do you have a particular grip that you primarily use? (Please click on this LINK for the common types of grips.)
      Rather prefer a 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.)
      im a rock/pull/chopper
      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.)
      nimble, sub 7 oz, somewhat resistant to damage in less than perfect conditions, 49-51mm as i like being close to the board.
      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)?
      Wow me(ha ha)
      Comfort (e.g., lighter/heavier knife; better handle material; better handle shape; rounded spine/choil of the knife; improved balance)?
      lighter, not a huge handle, rounded choil and spine are a must if im gonna spend this much.
      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)?
      I sharpen my own, so OOTB is not high on the list, want to be able to get through both winter squash and shallot detail work with the same knife.
      Edge Retention (i.e., length of time you want the edge to last without sharpening)?
      i dont really thrash my knives that much, last knife was sub AEB-L quality(unknown stainless) and still maintained an edge for 2-3 weeks without touching up.


      KNIFE MAINTENANCE
      Do you use a bamboo, wood, rubber, or synthetic cutting board? (Yes or no.)
      synthetic(work)
      Do you sharpen your own knives? (Yes or no.)
      yes
      If not, are you interested in learning how to sharpen your knives? (Yes or no.)
      always looking to learn more
      Are you interested in purchasing sharpening products for your knives? (Yes or no.)
      Already there.


      SPECIAL REQUESTS/COMMENTS
    Im a huge nerd so any experience or ridiculous descriptions of items handled in person would be greatly appreciated :)

    Thanks to you all in advance!!
     
  6. Mar 12, 2019 #6

    McMan

    McMan

    McMan

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    From the four knives you've listed, you've essentially got three different types.
    The Kono and Ginga are lasers.
    The Gengetsu is a midweight.
    The Takeda is, uh, resistant to categorization (thin, hollow grind, low bevel).
    If it's me... I'm going Gengetsu. Carbon or stainless.

    I'd scratch the Takeda off because lately there's a risk that they'll take some thinning/adjustment to get right.
    A lot to like with the Ginga. But you mentioned that you rock/pull/chop. I think a midweight performs better here. (Or at least you might not get the most out of a laser. This said, a lot of people do like lasers for rock/chop... matter of preference, I think.)

    I think Gesshin Uraku could be a good fit too. Masahi Kobo 240 is well-suited to rock (high tip) and chop (big flat spot)--but it's a few mm taller than you wanted. Beast of a knife though.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2019
  7. Mar 12, 2019 #7

    refcast

    refcast

    refcast

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    I vote Gengetsu because I LOVE burnt chesnut handles. They are super duper comfy and grippy, and you can polish them and they'll still be grippy and they look cool and they feel solid and they're warm to the touch and . . . (i like them a lot).

    Choose carbon if you want it to be sharper, and want a knife where sharpness helps with cutting. Or choose semistainless for more of the same as gihei except sharper because hap40 is powdered steel, and good stainless can get sharper, and good semi-stainless feels more like carbon, and carbon, in general feels pretty nice.

    If you're doing high volume prep with no time to spare, don't get carbon. The rust will worry you.

    Hope you'll be okay with the gengetsu profile angle. Gihei tend to be very parallel to the board for the edge with respect to their their spine. The higher angle of the gengetsu lets you push down harder, but your wrist has to accommodate that angle. Just so you know.


    Other than that, I would also suggest a 270 ginga stainless. Its SUPER light. I could use it ALL DAY: I don't think you've felt a knife that light before. I suggest extra length because you can get away with it without adding much fatigue at all. And you can do more slicing and complex stuff. Quite nice. This would be my vote over the gengetsu because it's what I actually use, having handled both and buying the ginga (but in white 2 because i like carbon).

    https://www.japaneseknifeimports.co...oducts/gesshin-ginga-270mm-stainless-wa-gyuto

    Spend the moniesssss!!!

    You'll get the spine and choil nice and rounded. Now, they aren't very thick, so you can't rest your fingers on it and will have to rely on gripping the handle. But the knife is so light anyway that there is less force on the choil and spine when you need to support your fingers against them. Sharpness will be quite nice. And you'll have your first laser!!!!! They cut a lot different and nicer for certain things. Really nice for precision dicing. Indispensible for slicing harder meats or steaks realllllly thin. Note this is a sakai 270, so it will only be like 15-20 mm longer than your gihei 240 due to how they sakai craftsman measure their gyuto.
     
  8. Mar 12, 2019 #8

    Nemo

    Nemo

    Nemo

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    First of all, be aware that there is a tradeoff between thinness (and wedging resistance in tall hard food) and food release (performance in wet food). This is because grind features wihich promote food release (such a convex grinds and S grinds) take up space and won't fit on a thin knife.

    The Ginga and Konosuke HD are said to be (I haven't personally handled either) lasers. That is, the ultimate expression of the thin knife. Expect limited food release and next to zero wedging.

    The Gengetsu is a thinnish middleweight with a great tradeoff between thinness and food release. The profile is fairly flat although it rises to a medium tip so rock chopping is possible. There is a reasonable amount of spine taper. The handle is octagonal burned chestnut and horn and gives the knife an almost rustic aesthetic (in a good way which suits the knife). The spine has been eased but not rounded. The choil is a little more rounded. The stainless clad semistainless steel is nice to sharpen and has decent edge retention. TLDR: Great middleweight with usable thinness and food release. Brilliant value. You may want to round the choil a little more (extremely easy with 10 minutes worth of wet and dry time).

    You may want to look at the Tanaka Ginsan Nashiji. Stainless clad ginsanko (a quite fine grained stsinless). Profile is much more curved to better suit rocking. It's a little thinner behind the edge than Gengetsu but the food release is not as good. It's wide bevels are pretty flat ground and there is an attractive pearskin pattern on the flat of the blade above the blade path. It doesn't taper much. The KnS version comes with an ebony handle and a beautifully rounded spine and choil. The ginsanko is nicer to sharpen than most stzinless but definitely not as easy as most carbon or even semistainless knives. OTOH, there is always the stainless clad blue2 version of this knife... just sayin'
    TLDR: Great value knife. Thinner than Gengetsu with overall less perfect tradeoff between thinness and food release. The KnS versions have slightly better fit and finish, especially on the spine and choil.

    If you really wanna spend up, look at Tanaka R2. Similar profile. Stainless danascus cladding over R2 (PM stainless) core. There seem to be a few versions of this knife. Some sound laserish. Mine (from KnS) is noticibly beefier than the Nashiji.

    It's also worth looking at Kurosaki Shizuku. Stainless clad R2 wide bevel. A "Diamond Damascus" (actually a type of hammered pattern) above the wide bevel. From memory (the knife is out on loan at the moment), the wide bevels are fairly concave. The spine is fairly thin but not as thin as the almost laser-thin edge. Comes with a rosewood handle but my KnS one has an upgraded ebony handle (obviously costs a bit extra). I think that the spine and choil were pretty well rounded (certainly they are on my other Kurosaki) but now that I think about it, I'm not 100% sure.

    I'd also have a look at Yoshikane SKD. Stainless clad semistainless wide bevel (convex bevels) with attractive hammered finish above the blade path. Very flat profile. Great distal taper. The steel is almost carbon like to sharpen and edge retention is pretty good. There appear to be two types: A thinner version (sometimes said to be available at Bernal) and a thicker version (said to be available from Epicurean Edge). Mine is thicker (bought from the since closed japanesechefknife.com). Food release on mine is great. Expect the thinner version to hve less good food release. Spine and choil are nicely rounded. Taper is significant. Handle is D shaped ho wood (magnolia) with horn ferrule. TLDR: Excellent value thicker knife with great food release and godd fit and finish. Can't comment on the thinner versions but I would be astounded if they were not also very good.

    Hope this helps. Ask any Qns you need to.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2019
    refcast and Kippington like this.
  9. Mar 12, 2019 #9

    krx927

    krx927

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    I can comment only about Konosuke HD2. Like everybody is saying it's a laser. I do not think it is the right knife for you. I cannot imagine using this knife whole day. It is just not really good at some tasks, like cutting harder and sturdier things.

    I do not so much mind reduced food release typical for lasers, for me it is not sturdy enough.

    I would suggest that you get sturdier knife.
     
  10. Mar 12, 2019 #10

    Nemo

    Nemo

    Nemo

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    On reflection, I'd also have a squiz at Gesshin Kagero.

    If you really don't mind spending as much as it takes, you could have a look at a custom.

    Let us know if this interests you.
     
  11. Mar 12, 2019 #11

    ian

    ian

    ian

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    Another vote for Gengetsu. I've owned the 210 mm versions of the Ginga and Gengetsu, and personally the Gengetsu works better for me. You get more usable length with the flat profile (then again, I never rock), and I feel like there's considerably less stiction when cutting with the Gengetsu. Food release is pretty good for a thin knife, too.

    By the way, I think the recent version of the Gengetsu (which I have and love) is thinner/lighter than previous versions. In particular, I think the measurements on JKI's website are not currently accurate. My 210 is 125g, not 158g as advertised, and recently listed knives on BST have been similar. I sent Jon an email about this, and he thought it was possible that the measurements were old, but they haven't updated it yet. Really, I'd class the current Gengetsu (at least, mine, although Jon says there's very little variation in the batches) as a very light middleweight---it's compared to the Kochi on the JKI website, but my Gengetsu and Kochi are in different weight classes. Just thought this might be useful since you were explicitly looking for a light knife.
     
  12. Mar 12, 2019 #12

    DitmasPork

    DitmasPork

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    Since you're in NY—I'd do the rounds and go to the brick and mortar J-knife stores to have a dialogue with them, and handle a range of gyutos before settling on a purchase. Some good shops are Korin and MTC Kitchen in Manhattan, as well as Yanagi Knife in Brooklyn. Much comes down to personal preferences—no such thing as a perfect knife, they all have pros/cons—for instance Gengetsu (circa 2013) and Konosuke Fujiyama (circa 2013) are great knives for a lot of people, superbly crafted, but didn't do it for me, so I got rid of both.

    Regarding "perfectly willing to spend enough to get an ebony handle," personally I dislike ebony handles. Too slick, slippery for my tastes.

    As far as usage, "Everything except cutting through bone, there are beaters for that," since budget isn't an issue, perhaps consider getting two gyutos—a lighter gyuto for finesse; and a middleweight, work horse an an all arounder. A mountain of kale, dense root veggies, kabocha squash can be taxing with a lightweight.

    If you wanted to go the custom rout, there're some NY-based knife makers—https://www.tsourkanknives.com/ and https://www.rubyknives.com/ come to mind.
    With online vendors, I learned a sh**tonne by calling Jon at JKI.

    Good luck in your search!
     
  13. Mar 15, 2019 #13

    GorillaGrunt

    GorillaGrunt

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    Out of the four I’d go Gengetsu all the way. Yoshikane SKD would also be a good pick. And Shibata Kashima I use for fine shallot work and winter squash (and kale, and carrots and chiffonade) and it’s a pleasure for all of the above; have you also considered Ryusen? I don’t have one of those but I do have a Takamura Pro which is pretty awesome.
     
  14. Mar 17, 2019 #14

    Elliot

    Elliot

    Elliot

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    Out of what you have mentioned, I would probably go Gengetsu. I like the Ginga a lot, but not sure if a laser is the best choice for your needs.

    Assuming you wanna spend the cash, this is the best stainless knife I have ever used -- by quite a bit: http://bernal-cutlery.shoplightspeed.com/yoshikane-sld-210mm-wa-gyuto-suminagashi.html

    It's got a crap load of Carbon for a stainless, is made by a very reputable shop and may be among the best cutters I have ever used.
     

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