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Milan Gravier Gyuto Passaround

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Carl Kotte

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Not really hurt it. Uncomfortable. If the bolster part was a wee bit smaller or tapered a bit more the last few 4-7mm or so, it would improve the comfortably. Granted I used it for about 3 hours of prep, not non-stop cutting though.
A bit of hot dog bun bolster would have made the trick!
 

tgfencer

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Alright, knife is on it's way to @SolidSnake03.

First off, I have yet to have coffee this morning so I hope this sounds coherent.

I liked the knife, but didn't love it. It cut well, geometry was good, although a bit too thin for my tastes. I thought the knife was slightly light for the size and would have preferred a bit more thickness on the spine to offset the thinness of the grind and add a touch extra weight to aid in cutting. I did like the stiffness of the blade though. All in all, it's a fine knife, just not my cup of tea (and fairly different from Yanick Puig's work, in case anybody was wondering about that comparison). In the $450-600 range, there are several other custom makers I would choose ahead of this one (Dalman, Catcheside, Raquin etc) but I wouldn't necessarily be against buying one second-hand if the fit was right or ordering a custom if I felt confident he could change up his style a bit to match what I was looking for.

As for the handle, I have a bias against hexagonal handles. Never liked them. If handles aren't going to be octagonal (or western) then they really just want to be D-shaped or oval. I think hexagonal is just not as ergonomic a shape as the other standards. That said, the handle was well made, and it's thinness kept the shape from being too annoying. I agree the bolster was slightly raised and would have been a nuisance in a pro-environment.
 

soigne_west

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Thanks a lot too all you guys for so far offering your input! I really appreciate the you guys taking the time to give your thoughts and honest opinion on the blade.
 

SolidSnake03

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Knife has been received safe and sound! Wonderful saya that was with it too :)

I'll post some thoughts and impressions later this week once I can put it through some food. Also, whoever is next in line mind pm'ing me to get addresses set up? Thanks!
 

SolidSnake03

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Hey all!

Knife was shipped out to next in line this morning. I'll post a write up most likely tomorrow/Friday. Overall it was a fun time and am thankful for the chance to try it out :)
 

SolidSnake03

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Hey Everyone!

Fit and Finish, Comfort and Esthetics
Okay so wanted to provide my impressions and thoughts on it now that I have sent it off to the next person in the pass around. I'll be really brief on the fit and finish and comfort thing since I think others have covered it plenty. The knife looks well finished and well made and it is, everything was tight, handle is sealed up well at the ferrule etc... The finish on the blade is nice in texture and feel in hand. Like others I found the handle to be fairly meh in comfort bordering on uncomfortable because of the hard edges/angles and the overall shape design. If it were me I would just get a plain old D handle that was smoothly finished and be done with it. The handle provided enough grip but over a long session in the kitchen it definitely didn't feel too good in my hand given the reasons mentioned before. Overall I liked the look and style quite a bit but it seemed to be a case of form coming before function which is a bit of a bummer.

Knife Performance
This was an interesting area for me because like others have posted I have had problems with things like carrot slices and bits of potato straight gluing themselves to the wide bevel of this knife. I haven't quite experienced something like this before/this strongly. I've had stuff stick before, don't get me wrong, but this was proper "wave the knife around and that piece isn't coming off" glued on there. It didn't happen every single time or every single food item but it happened enough to be a distraction and a let down. The knife moved through food both soft and dense fairly well when this didn't happen but the times it did it completely stopped my cutting and forced me to clean the blade and reset. When I was cooking full time this would have been entirely unacceptable, as a home cook now that has more time and is in less of a rush it's an annoyance. It's not my knife so it's hard to say whats a deal breaker and what isn't but for just home use and fun around the kitchen, it's a neat knife that looks the part. For a pro environment where speed and efficiency really matter? Not going to cut it in my book. Now that said, could you attempt to convex the bevel a bit maybe and try to improve that situation? Possibly, but I wanted to talk about the knife and review it as I got it, not what it could be.

That all said, I enjoyed my time with it and am extremely thankful to the community and it's members for making this possible. It's a great opportunity to try a newer makers work and there is definitely a quality knife here that can be improved upon. Thank you especially to soigne_west
 

ian

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I used the knife a couple times this week. It's nice looking, and the profile's pretty good, although usually I go for things with a bit lower tips. I did a very brief edge touchup on a Gesshin 4k. Felt ok to sharpen. Not as nice as some of my other high end simple carbons. (I forget what the steel here is.) I wasn't able to get it as sharp as I usually like in 30 seconds, but stopped there anyway since I didn't want to take off more steel.

Like many others, I really didn't like the handle. Hexagonal is a bad shape imo, since the edges on the sides just end up digging into your hands. And the sharp corners of the metal cap at the top were not welcome. It does look nice, though, and tbh it didn't bother me a ton in use. But I think it's less comfortable than any other handle I've tried in the past year.

It felt fine in use. I don't think it's a real standout in terms of either food separation or food release, at least at the $400 price point. Separation probably woulda been better with a bit better edge, though, so I should give it the benefit of the doubt. I didn't have any superglued potatoes like @M1k3 had, but then again I didn't cut any potatoes. Zucchini seemed like it was sticking to the blade more than it sticks to some of my other knives, though. It did seem like the grind was pretty flat above the bevel.

I'll send the knife off to @ExistentialHero tomorrow. Thanks for the chance to use it, @soigne_west! It was fun to try something by a new maker.
 

ExistentialHero

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This was fun--thanks @soigne_west for putting it together! I'm not sure how much I can add to what's already been said.

I really like the finish on this blade, and the profile feels nice for a shorter knife (I usually go for 270mm+ monsters). I didn't need to sharpen this as @ian had done a fantastic job with it before sending it down, but it definitely took a great edge. The grind felt a little thick behind the edge to me when working with carrots, but it may just need some thinning after so many sharpenings on the passaround :) No particular issues with stiction, but I didn't have any potatoes handy.

I also found the handle really uncomfortable, probably because it's so tall and narrow. I was able to adjust to it easily enough, but I'd definitely push for rounder handles in the future.
 
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ExistentialHero

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Thanks @ExistentialHero. Milan actually reached out to me this morning.

View attachment 90007
+1, some convexity would really shine here! And, to be clear, this is a very good knife, with a well-executed finish and profile and what seems to be a solid HT--we're talking about the elements that take a knife from "very good" to "amazing" here. Mr Gravier is doing fine work and I look forward to seeing what comes next!
 

Alder26

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This thread has been super interesting to read! I got a gyuto from Milan around the same time but it seems I got something of an outlier. Mine is about 237g which makes it around an ounce-ish heavier than many of his other gyutos in the same size. I haven't had nearly the same experience with food sticking, but it seems mine may be somewhat atypical. very cool that he's watching the feedback!
 

M1k3

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This thread has been super interesting to read! I got a gyuto from Milan around the same time but it seems I got something of an outlier. Mine is about 237g which makes it around an ounce-ish heavier than many of his other gyutos in the same size. I haven't had nearly the same experience with food sticking, but it seems mine may be somewhat atypical. very cool that he's watching the feedback!
Does yours have flat bevels? Slightly convex? Concave?
 

Alder26

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Does yours have flat bevels? Slightly convex? Concave?
Mine has pretty much flat bevels, just the convexity added from stone sharpening. I think that there's just enough of shoulder that it prevents things from getting too stuck.
 

ian

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I'll give it a go whenever.
You thinking of just convexing the bevel more? Not sure how you’re gonna be able to fix the superglued-potato-geometry without f’ing up the finish above the bevel royally.
 

M1k3

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You thinking of just convexing the bevel more? Not sure how you’re gonna be able to fix the superglued-potato-geometry without f’ing up the finish above the bevel royally.
Flap disc grinder 🤔

Realistically, either sandpaper on a mouse pad or stones. Just enough to break up/convex the flatness of the wide bevel.
 
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mise_en_place

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F&F: Everyone’s been in agreement that the F&F (aside from the hexagonal bolster) is pretty good. The knife is nicely finished, as is the handle. This is an attractive knife up close. Like others mentioned, the bolster wasn’t the most comfortable for me either. I noticed it digging in a little bit on the inside of my ring finger. If you used the knife a lot, I’d expect a new callus. I did not think the handle was uncomfortable in and of itself.

Steel: I sharpened this on a Gesshin 1200 and Gesshin Synth Natural. I can’t really comment on edge holding—seems to be about on par with white steels I’ve used— but I didn’t really have the knife that long or cut that many acidic ingredients.

As for sharpenability, it wasn’t bad at all. Not as easy as White steel to raise a burr, but it certainly didn’t take long.

Feel: While the knife is not the thinnest I’ve come across, I’m pretty sure it’s the thinnest clad knife I’ve ever used. Despite its thinness, it didn’t feel dainty. I actually think it’s a pretty tough blade. Only time I noticed that I might have to be a bit careful is when using the face of the knife to make a garlic paste on the cutting board. I didn’t try the knife on any hard squash, though. It certainly wouldn’t be my first choice for items like that, but I wouldn’t say it’s undoable or reckless.

I like the length, but would like the tip to be a little lower for detailed work. Maybe that height of the tip is best for guillotine and glide, I’m not sure. Definitely didn’t feel like a pull cutter, but I did enjoy push cutting a lot with this. I could really get going on an onion and reminded me of a Chinese cleaver a bit. I believe the height gave it that nice feeling for the rapid push cuts.

Food release was OK. Not the best, not the worst. Certainly an improvement on any flat-ground knife, but nothing special. I don’t cut waterlogged potatoes, but did put it through a decent variety of foods.

Final Thoughts: This is a nice knife that performs well. If Milan is forging these billets himself, I get the price. As we all know, custom makers run the gamut on price. They’ve got to make a living, and that means he might charge $400 for a knife that doesn’t necessarily tick all the boxes of the KKF enthusiast, or quite stand up to some other makers in that price point, Bottom line is if somebody told me they had a Milan Gravier, I’d know they had a very nice knife that was well-made. If the bolster weren’t an issue, I think most commenters would say they liked the knife despite the fact that food release was “meh.”

Thanks to @soigne_west for letting me try the knife out. I reached out to the next member in line and the knife should be on its way in the next couple of days.
 
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