Help Me Solve My 240 Gyuto Conundrum

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SwampDonkey

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With fall cuisine beginning I'd like to dip my toes in to the 240 pool but stocks right now are pretty slim. As my knife collection has grown and comfort levels increased my 210s are starting to feel much smaller than they used to, and I'd like to try a 240 for some heavier tasks like butternut squash and pumpkin prep. I don't have any true workhorses in my collection so I'm not sure if I'd like them, most of my stuff is midweight to laser. I've dug through a good chunk of old posts before asking but most stocks for Wakui etc are out so figured I'd check fresh.

For the quick about me before suggestions: I'm a home cook, pinch grip, mostly push-cut with the occasional rock-slice if the profile is bellied and likes it (my Makoto Ryusei), comfortable with carbon, only cut on end grain boards, wa-handle strongly preferred, competent sharpener on whetstones but haven't done any thinning/polishing.

I've long been curious about a trying a Shigeki Tanaka ginsana but this Blue 2 version is in stock at K&S

Also up for consideration was this Muneishi Damascus and the extra 20% from RSK makes it real sweet. I just got my mom their migaki damascus santoku and was very pleased with how well it cut despite the thick spine skewing my initial perception. No wedging in carrots or sweet potato at all.

There's always the favorite Yoshikane but I'm just not sure I want to drop the $349 quite yet or if it's well suited to my squash bustin. Also a Shiro Kamo 240 would be nice, I noticed his damascus blue #2 gyuto is quite a bit thinner/lighter than the Shinko Seilan 210 I had. Similar blade profile and lovely height but the Shinko wedged more than I expected so I sold it. The damascus is my current squash monster, like a laser with some ass behind it.

For 210 gyutos I have/had in order to make comparisons:
The aforementioned Shiro Kamo blue #2 damascus
Kyohei Shindo blue #2
Makoto Ryusei VG7
Kei Kobayashi SG2 (not pictured)
Tosaichi AS (not pictured)
Yoshimi Kato AS KU (just sold)
Shinko Seilan AS (sold)


Thanks for help.

Update: I see AI&OM had a white #2 wakui 240 so we can throw that in the mix vs the Tanaka and Muneishi
 

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Adding more to the confusion...Munetoshi is pretty great, there's also Kochi at JKI.
 

HumbleHomeCook

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I had a Muneishi so I'd caution that they can be quite haphazard with spotty F&F and mine had some real grind issues.

I won't buy another.

Munetoshi is much better and I think a real sleeper.
 

SwampDonkey

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Adding more to the confusion...Munetoshi is pretty great, there's also Kochi at JKI.
Oh I dig that Kochi, definitely appreciate the height too which was a minor ding against the Wakui. Do you happen to know what the "carbon" core steel actually is? I presume some flavor of white but don't see it listed
 
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Not what you're asking for, but I had to halve a butternut squash the other day and after trying to push a thick workhorse through it with poor results, I reached for my CCK1303 and bam, done. For $60-80 a CCK thin cleaver is a hell of a performer for this kind of tough produce and cheap enough not to be too precious if the edge gets a little dinged up.

Kochi, Tanaka, Munetoshi are all good too. If you want something in ginsan I recently tried a Tsunehisa and it cuts surprisingly well for the price point, although perhaps is a little thinner than you're after.
 
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Not what you're asking for, but I had to halve a butternut squash the other day and after trying to push a thick workhorse through it with poor results, I reached for my CCK1303 and bam, done. For $60-80 a CCK thin cleaver is a hell of a performer for this kind of tough produce and cheap enough not to be too precious if the edge gets a little dinged up.

Kochi, Tanaka, Munetoshi are all good too. If you want something in ginsan I recently tried a Tsunehisa and it cuts surprisingly well for the price point, although perhaps is a little thinner than you're after.
That's what I find as well, for all their faults lasers excel at cutting up squashes. My old Kobayashi Kei and Cck did it smoothly, the only workhorse did it well is Shi.Han.
 

Cliff

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Agreed. It's counter-intuitive, but the heft of workhorses tends to get in the way with hard ingredients like this. I think the ideal choice would be something very thin and a little softer like a Masahiro VC or a standard issue Ashi Ginga. I bet CCK would fit the bill as well but haven't tried one.
 

SwampDonkey

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Not what you're asking for, but I had to halve a butternut squash the other day and after trying to push a thick workhorse through it with poor results, I reached for my CCK1303 and bam, done. For $60-80 a CCK thin cleaver is a hell of a performer for this kind of tough produce and cheap enough not to be too precious if the edge gets a little dinged up.

Kochi, Tanaka, Munetoshi are all good too. If you want something in ginsan I recently tried a Tsunehisa and it cuts surprisingly well for the price point, although perhaps is a little thinner than you're after.
That's what I find as well, for all their faults lasers excel at cutting up squashes. My old Kobayashi Kei and Cck did it smoothly, the only workhorse did it well is Shi.Han.
I'm glad y'all said this. My Kobayashi's and Kamo do it really nicely I figured it was a matter of time till my technique slipped and I chipped something. Might just have to buy a bigger Kobayashi :)
 
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I'm glad y'all said this. My Kobayashi's and Kamo do it really nicely I figured it was a matter of time till my technique slipped and I chipped something. Might just have to buy a bigger Kobayashi :)
For what it's worth I think it is worthy to try different knives, while Kobayashi are good with dense ingredients, I find workhorses and medium grind excel at everything else and much more comfortable to use. Kochi is actually more of a medium weight with laser grind.
 

SwampDonkey

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For what it's worth I think it is worthy to try different knives, while Kobayashi are good with dense ingredients, I find workhorses and medium grind excel at everything else and much more comfortable to use. Kochi is actually more of a medium weight with laser grind.
Yeah I'm just playing, the whole addiction is trying new makers and steels. The Kochi sounds a lot like my Kyohei Shindos, which I'm a big fan of.
 

Benuser

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Agreed. It's counter-intuitive, but the heft of workhorses tends to get in the way with hard ingredients like this. I think the ideal choice would be something very thin and a little softer like a Masahiro VC or a standard issue Ashi Ginga. I bet CCK would fit the bill as well but haven't tried one.
Would you call the Masahiro VC 240 very thin?? It isn't soft either. I do like mine a lot, but it requires some serious work OOTB.
 
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I'm cool with them. Do you have one? Curious just how reactive the cladding is, as not all iron cladding is equal and it's nice to have a heads up if it's the sassy variety
I have a smaller Munetoshi but assume the cladding is identical. I'd say it's on the more reactive side of ironclads. I ended up forcing a coffee/vinegar patina on mine and that helped a lot.
 

SwampDonkey

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I have a smaller Munetoshi but assume the cladding is identical. I'd say it's on the more reactive side of ironclads. I ended up forcing a coffee/vinegar patina on mine and that helped a lot.
Do you have pics? I'd love to see how that turned out.
 

M1k3

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I'm cool with them. Do you have one? Curious just how reactive the cladding is, as not all iron cladding is equal and it's nice to have a heads up if it's the sassy variety
Yes I do. I really like it! It's reactive, but, not so reactive I can't use it at work on the line during service. Especially after a patina builds up.


Yeah, I'm THAT guy with a fully reactive big knife on the line.
 

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Interesting that your Kamo AS is wedgey. My gyutos are both quite thin. I was quite surprised how thin when I first used it.

My suji however is much thicker.
 

SwampDonkey

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Interesting that your Kamo AS is wedgey. My gyutos are both quite thin. I was quite surprised how thin when I first used it.

My suji however is much thicker.
It was just the Shinko Seilan but it wedged on a damn onion before I even got to dense stuff! I was surprised because they're well regarded and K&S is pretty well curated. I think I just got a fatty idk, sold it almost immediately before trying to thin etc. The damascus Kamo is almost a laser though. Mid-laser? Idk what to call it but I really really like it.
 

HumbleHomeCook

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Yes I do. I really like it! It's reactive, but, not so reactive I can't use it at work on the line during service. Especially after a patina builds up.


Yeah, I'm THAT guy with a fully reactive big knife on the line.

My Munetoshi 210 is reactive but nothing I fret over too much or to be honest, much more than any other knife I have. Just rinse (or wipe) it after acids and keep moving.
 

Hanmak17

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Suggest stepping up a bit and buy a Toyama or Wat Pro 240. They are big (lots of edge and very tall), they are not terribly heavy (despite having a thick spine), and they are bullet proof steel, meaning you won't have to sharpen all the time, when you do they are a breeze.

Just bought a stainless 240 pro and I'm very happy camper.
 
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I'd like to try a 240 for some heavier tasks like butternut squash and pumpkin prep.
I actually like a suji for these tasks. :)
I reached for my CCK1303 and bam, done. For $60-80 a CCK thin cleaver is a hell of a performer for this kind of tough produce
Extremely thin behind the edge lasers are the best knives for dealing with really hard vegetables like butternut squash.

In the spirit of KKF, if we can answer "I want an X" with "Why not a Y?" …

I asked my friend – call him the “Chauvinist Chef" – for his opinion.

"The carbon-steel skillet has the same relationship to the wok that the Charmander has to the Charizard: the wok is the evolved version, representing two thousand years of continuous culinary refinement."

"What is the evolved form of the chef's knife?"

"You want more of everything: more length, more edge, more heft, more height, more thinness."

"More heft: add steel. More thinness: move the steel toward the spine. More height: move the spine away from the edge. Better balance: move the steel forward – expand the tip away from the edge."

"What do you get? A nakiri."

"Evolve one step further? A cleaver."

charmander wok.jpg
 
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In the spirit of KKF, if we can answer "I want an X" with "Why not a Y?" …

I asked my friend – call him the “Chauvinist Chef" – for his opinion.

"The carbon-steel skillet has the same relationship to the wok that the Charmander has to the Charizard: the wok is the evolved version, representing two thousand years of continuous culinary refinement."

"What is the evolved form of the chef's knife?"

"You want more of everything: more length, more edge, more heft, more height, more thinness."

"More heft: add steel. More thinness: move the steel toward the spine. More height: move the spine away from the edge. Better balance: move the steel forward – expand the tip away from the edge."

"What do you get? A nakiri."

"Evolve one step further? A cleaver."

View attachment 205920
Tbh I find most laserish cleaver like Sang Dao lacklusters, I like cck1302 but it won't be my first choice for anything. I like more of a Siu Pin knife with some heft, convex most of the way and actually not that tall, less than 90mm. Which is how I end up with the Toyama nakiri.
And honestly the cast iron, carbon skillet and wok doesn't make much sense consider skillet is still a thing in Chinese cuisine, especially in Cantonese cuisine.
 
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SwampDonkey

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In the spirit of KKF, if we can answer "I want an X" with "Why not a Y?" …

I asked my friend – call him the “Chauvinist Chef" – for his opinion.

"The carbon-steel skillet has the same relationship to the wok that the Charmander has to the Charizard: the wok is the evolved version, representing two thousand years of continuous culinary refinement."

"What is the evolved form of the chef's knife?"

"You want more of everything: more length, more edge, more heft, more height, more thinness."

"More heft: add steel. More thinness: move the steel toward the spine. More height: move the spine away from the edge. Better balance: move the steel forward – expand the tip away from the edge."

"What do you get? A nakiri."

"Evolve one step further? A cleaver."

View attachment 205920
While I have more gyutos than anything else in my collection, my lone nakiri is arguably my favorite knife, I just wish it was longer so I suppose I'm primed for conversion...or evolution?
 

M1k3

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Cliff

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Would you call the Masahiro VC 240 very thin?? It isn't soft either. I do like mine a lot, but it requires some serious work OOTB.
Masahiro's US importer lists the HRC at 59-60, which feels about right to me. My 240 is quite thin, not nearly Konosuke HD2-thin or Shibata thin, but quite a bit thinner than my Misono Dragon.

ETA -- I have done quite a bit more work to the Misono Dragon, to ease the shoulders and thin it, than to the Masahiro. For me the Masahiro was pretty dialed in from the start. I just put my own edge on it and have been very happy since, maintaining as I go but not having to do any heavy work to it.
 

SwampDonkey

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Oh man this is absolutely perfect. I'm annoyed I already ordered the 240 Kochi gyuto but I need this in my life, stainless blue #2 is so nice to me. Any idea on taper/edge thickness before I spend an hour hunting for pics online?
 
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