Masamoto KS Gyuto Question

Discussion in 'The Kitchen Knife' started by FanGT, Jan 9, 2019.

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  1. Jan 9, 2019 #1

    FanGT

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    Hi,

    I'm new to the forum, so please excuse me if I accidentally post into he wrong section.

    Masamoto Sohonten's official website catalogue shows that the KS series represents hongasumi knives made with white paper steel #2. On the other hand, most users on this forum refer to the KS Gyuto as being a monosteel knife. Isn't the very definition of hongasumi/kasumi that the blade is made from both a soft iron (jigane) spine and carbon steel (hagane) edge? How isithe KS Gyuto monosteel then? And if the KS Gyuto is monosteel, is the only aspect that sets the KS Gyuto apart from the honyaki gyuto just the differential hardening?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Jan 9, 2019 #2

    Ivang

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    Hi.

    Masamoto makes both versions of the ks, honkasumi and monosteel. Ive had both, they were great in their own way. Most people refers to the monosteel when they talk about the gyuto, the model 3124, the kasumi model number is 2924, the clad knife that i had was awesome, and one of the best cutters ive ever used, on par with any of my other knives. I guess the ks dessignation is used to differentiate it from the other white 2 offerings

    I dont know about the differences with the honyaki model, ive never even seen one live, let alone use one.
     
  3. Jan 9, 2019 #3

    HRC_64

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    I'd focus on the 'hon' (KS) vs 'standard' (KK) not the kasumi part of the name.
    the two lines are basically 'standard' and 'deluxe' trim lines of WA-handled knives

    If you want a 'standard' masamoto gyuto
    you would buy the HC 5024 with yo handle.

    There is no KK series standard gyuto with
    japanese handle...
     
  4. Jan 9, 2019 #4

    FanGT

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    That's interesting, and you're right. Page 8 of the Masamoto catalog shows both of he KS2924 and the KS3124 listed under the Hongasumi White Paper #2 (Hongasumi Gyokuhakukou) section (hence both have the KS prefix). But the catalog clearly states that the 2924 is a San-Mai construction, whereas there is no explanation for the 3124. I wonder why they would list the 3124 as Hongasumi when it's actually monosteel?

    Given the monosteel construction and price point, it's probably reasonable to assume the 3124 isn't differentially hardened (since it's not a honyaki). My guess is it's a stamped knife then?

    I don't know anything about metallurgy, but my understanding from the forums was that a carbon steel like shirogami #2 is hard and brittle. This is why carbon steel knives are either (1) crafted as kasumi/hongasumi (with a soft iron jigane spine) to provide support to the cutting edge, or (2) as honyaki, which is a monosteel knife with differential hardening to create a softer spine than the cutting edge. My understanding is that these two techniques is what causes these Japanese knives to be so expensive.

    Back to the 3124. If the 3124 is a stamped monosteel knife, why does it cost so much (JPY 34,600 before tax in Dec 2018, approx USD 315)?
     

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  5. Jan 9, 2019 #5

    panda

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    why are you even asking this question?
     
  6. Jan 9, 2019 #6

    Maccne0718

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    I find this useful as this gives some helpful info for potential buyers.
     
  7. Jan 9, 2019 #7

    FanGT

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    @panda I’m in the market for a gyuto and want to know what I’m getting for my money.
     
  8. Jan 9, 2019 #8

    panda

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    but theyre not even available, what made you interested in this one in particular?
     
  9. Jan 9, 2019 #9

    FanGT

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    They are, actually. I called Masamoto Sohonten in Tokyo directly and have a friend in Tokyo that can confirm the KS3124 is in stock.
     
  10. Jan 9, 2019 #10

    Nemo

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    Sure, hard steel is brittle (white steel is overall less brittle than blue and some stainless steels are even more brittle IIRC). But in every day use (i.e.: barring abuse or accidents), this is mainly an issue at the edge, because the edge is thin and exposed (unsupported). The edge on a honyaki or a san mai knife is just as vulnerable an the edge on a monosteel knife.

    My understanding is that one the main benefits of san mai or differentially hardened blades is that they are easier to straighten when being made. Monosteels can be tricky to straighten.

    San mai are also much easier to thin.

    Differntial hardening is tricky to do (the blade often breaks, and on occasion, this may be apparent only after hours of polishing), is often beautiful and demonstrates the smith's skill. Hence the hike in price.

    So far as "what do I get for my money", in general, the things that you may want to/ have to pay for are:

    The steel that the knife is made from (minor cost).
    The skill and time of the smith who forged and heat treated it.
    The skill and time of the sharpener who ground it (lots of extra time if they also polished it).
    The materials that went into the handle (varies from minor to huge cost).
    The skill and time of the person who fashioned the handle.
    The cost of the distribution network.
    The time and knowledge and business costs of the vendor, especially if they provide excellent before- and after- sales service.
    Some knives which are hyped or rare have inflated prices. And it's ok to pay for that as well if you want to. I can't personally say wheter this is relevent to the KS or not.

    There is a lot of labour cost in a knife.
     
  11. Jan 9, 2019 #11

    Eloh

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    They are definitely on the more expensive side compared to for example a ashi hamono mono steel blade. But if you want a masamoto KS I guess you'll have to pay the price they ask. ;)

    Personally I prefer mono steel blades since they don't scratch as easy and aren't as reactive as most iron clad knives.
     
  12. Jan 9, 2019 #12

    FanGT

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    @Nemo thanks for the explanation. I think that makes sense. It just sounds like a clad knife is more complex to craft, whereas a stamped monosteel knife seems easier in comparison. Makes me wonder why they are priced in the same range, that's all.

    @Eloh that's interesting! I've never thought about the reactivity as being an issue before, but good to note!
     
  13. Jan 9, 2019 #13

    HRC_64

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    The honyaki KS is monosteel, has its profile "stamped", its not kasumi, and its not even a KS part number

    .... so it must double-suck :)
     
  14. Jan 9, 2019 #14

    Eloh

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    Lots of San mai knives in that lower price range also use pre clad material wich makes them the "easiest to make".
     
  15. Jan 9, 2019 #15

    Ivang

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    The ks san mai is about 200 dollars more than the monosteel BTW
     
  16. Jan 9, 2019 #16

    labor of love

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    I hear stuff like this from time to time and I don’t understand why people think this is true. It seems to me like gingas and Masamoto KS are roughly in the same price range give or take $10-20.
     
  17. Jan 10, 2019 #17

    Eloh

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    You can get a ashi 240 in white 2 for well under €200 New right now.
     
  18. Jan 10, 2019 #18

    labor of love

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    Maybe it’s the pricing in US markets then.
    The KS is 250mm in length, and retails for $330-340ish maybe w saya?
    Ginga 270mm (really 258ish-260mm) is $340 w saya.
    Sakai 240mm gyutos are like 227-230mm I just don’t consider them a fair comparison to the KS.
     
  19. Jan 10, 2019 #19

    Eloh

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    You got a point there with the length comparison. Also gingas inside the US are a bit pricier due to the geshin/jki markup. (of course you get great customer service in exchange , but still)...
     
  20. Jan 10, 2019 #20

    labor of love

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    Not just ginga even...kono hd and tad cost a little more than the ginga these days. Yusuke selection is quite sparse.
    But KS in wh2 once again doesn’t really exist so I guess the point is moot.
    I’m talking about the US though, your market sounds more favorable.
     
  21. Jan 10, 2019 #21

    HRC_64

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    Labor is correct - the KS 240 is indeed a sakai 270, ie, its exactly 270mm tip to handle
    ( sakai measurement tip to the machi/handle, not the edge length)
     
  22. Jan 11, 2019 #22

    Supraunleaded

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    Just a heads up if people are still looking for Masamoto KS gyutos, ebay currently has 4 KS3124, 1 KS3127, and one probable KS3130 (listed as hongasumi 300mm) for sale right now. The prices are quite inflated, but that's the cost of boarding the hype train I guess.
     
  23. Jan 11, 2019 #23

    labor of love

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    All this means is that a restock of the KS is happening soon. Some guys just got a hold of the batch before others and are profiting off being an early bird.
    This is exactly what happened last time.
     
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  24. Jan 16, 2019 #24

    McMan

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    Ha! You hit the nail on the head with this one...
    A batch dropped at JCK last night.
     
  25. Jan 16, 2019 #25

    QCDawg

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    And...sold out
     
  26. Jan 16, 2019 #26

    Supraunleaded

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    All aboard hype train , darn I don’t have my ticket
     
  27. Jan 16, 2019 #27
    I bought them all to resell here
     
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  28. Jan 17, 2019 #28

    Supraunleaded

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    I’ll pay you exactly what you paid for it, maybe throw some popcorn in to sweeten the deal
     
  29. Jan 17, 2019 #29

    Jville

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    I would buy one from you, but I already bought one from hocho for 4k.
     
  30. Jan 17, 2019 #30

    esoo

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    I'll pay you in popcorn...
     

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