Milan Gravier Gyuto Passaround

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ian

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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.

Good review, good writing. This review is written by an adult, mine by a tweenager.
 
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Gave it a whirl at work this weekend. It’s an excellent knife, although in the $400-500 price range being discussed there is some serious competition. There does appear to be, whether by design or not, a very slight forged s geometry — take this with a grain of salt as I’m not 100% confident in the objects I use as reference straights and flats. The feel and look of it remind me quite a bit of a thin Heiji; it won‘t perform as well at the tasks in which a Heiji excels but conversely the Gravier is more suited to general purpose use. I cut onions, chives, beef for tartare, tomatoes, etc. and echo the “pretty damn good but not stellar” sentiment above. I do really like the shape of it, both in terms of its height and thinnness and of its edge profile: having a curve near the tip and a nice flat handleward section (very Heiji like again) gives it a good balance of performance in Western and Japanese cutting techniques. Edge retention through a day of prep and service was in the top tier especially for carbon as far as I can tell from a single day. I’ll mess around with it at home tomorrow if I have the wherewithal to cook for myself...
 
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Well I didn't get a chance to do much else with it - a little, but not a full test suite such as it is. But my impression remains the same, that it‘s quite a good knife, though not perfect, and one I’d like to have. Sending it on its way tomorrow.
 
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looking forward to trying it out as i nearly bought it for myself. If all goes well, ill probably get on his list for a custom. Handles can be changed, good steel, grinds and profiles are what knives are about for me. looks like this one checks those boxes, but ill still be curious how it works for me as a busy home chef.
 
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I haven't tried this particular knife, so I hope the following is relevant. I have another from Milan and he is definitely easy to work with and is open to feedback and requests. The handle on mine works well, it is tapered octagonal type. The grind on mine is also slightly different and food release is about average. Not on the level of the best food release knives, but not bad, about same as knives of this thickness and design are. The only negative for me on the one I have is that it is a bit too tall at the heel for me. It actually feels shorter than the heel height would indicate and works better for me than I thought it would given the height, but it would be better for me if it was a few mm shorter at the heel.

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Malcolm Johnson

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I haven't tried this particular knife, so I hope the following is relevant. I have another from Milan and he is definitely easy to work with and is open to feedback and requests. The handle on mine works well, it is tapered octagonal type. The grind on mine is also slightly different and food release is about average. Not on the level of the best food release knives, but not bad, about same as knives of this thickness and design are. The only negative for me on the one I have is that it is a bit too tall at the heel for me. It actually feels shorter than the heel height would indicate and works better for me than I thought it would given the height, but it would be better for me if it was a few mm shorter at the heel.

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Now that’s a classy blade. Love it.
 
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Man that took a while, I didn't even know about this postal service crap until I ordered something from you-know-where (less than an hour away from me in the same state) and it took a week instead of a day. Should have used UPS (or my personal favorite DHL).
 
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Usps has been bad fedex ground works fine. Took 2 days less for knives to go from Los Angeles to Florida using FedEx than from LA to Stanford using usps. 1 day from LA to San Diego using FedEx ground vs a week and a half from LA to San Diego using usps, but that knife did stop by Florida on the way to San Diego 🤷🏼‍♂️
 
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Hey folks, I was fortunate enough to have a chance to use this knife and wanted to post some feedback. Lots has already been said about the knife, but I'll post my thoughts pretending like this is a first review. Just easier that way for me!

Specs as I measured them:
  • 200 grams spot on
  • 220mm spot on blade length
  • 56.5mm at the heel
  • 376mm OAL

BLUF:
This is a great all around knife, with the steel being excellent and the shape being a nice middle ground of all things; it did nothing poorly, but wasn't exquisite anywhere; it is a knife I'd have in my rotation but would not be my go-to favorite knife with the existing handle, though to be fair it would be competing for that space along with some top-notch makers and brands; with a new handle, I'd consider it a great piece to have on hand

Pros:
  • This knife was a blast to sharpen and took a great edge, which leads me to believe the HT is good; I used a progression starting at 1k JNS, 2k Chosera, Aizu from Carbon Knife Co for final edge, leather strop; it was smooth on the stones, seemed to burr and de-burr easily, and got sharp quickly even on the 1k. I had no issues with chipping or damage to the edge after a week of use
  • The knife took a great kasumi finish, courtesy of @Matt Zilliox; I can't take credit for his work, but was beautifully done and looked the part; pleasing to the eye
  • Great all around length/height a the heel for me; these are dimensions I liked a lot and I find useful for a large variety of tasks
  • As I would expect given the weight at 200 grams, this is a light mid-weight to me; it cut accordingly; limited cracking on harder items until they got larger, light in the hand and fast when needed, with good balance
  • I liked the profile! Great middle of the road for me; not too flat, not too much belly and can thus do a bit of everything
Cons:
  • The handle shape isn't my jam; it's not terrible, but it could be better. I actually like oval/rectangular shaped angular handles (think Konosuke) over square handles, but the location of the angles on this just felt off, almost distracting
  • I would want a bit more distal taper for a forged knife like this; for my preferences, I would want at least 1-2 mm or more thickness out of the handle and a fraction more taper towards the tip; call me spoiled by knives from other French and German makers in that regard, but I like the addition weight and stiffness it gives the knife
  • I think the taper (or lack of taper) at the tip makes it a little slower through things like onions compared to other knives I've used similar in design
Unknown:
  • Edge retention: I used this knife for a week for home chef duties and thus couldn't really test how the edge held up from prolonged use
Photos:
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Hello all !
I am very happy that one of my knives could do this passaround and be tested by so much people.
This post is very useful to me to upgrade my work and improve some of the specs of the knife your talking about : handle, taper, releasing geometry. Since the first reviews I have already improved those details. About the handle, I still want to improve the hexagonal shape for a while instead of throw it away. The new ones are a bit less flat, more square ; and I am now rounding all angles in particular all angles at the front. I have worked too on doing a better job on the forge part to get big taper and better geometry. Geometry was a bit flat and thin too quickly, ending with the bevel. Now, the geometry is worked all along the blade to get a convex geometry with large bevel to finish. As I am ending with the stones, this bevel is mostly flat ; but I am also working on that part to make it a bit more convex. I did try S grind geometry, and liked it. I will study on that too to see where it brings me.
Making good knives is a full life journey. Thoses last months I get more feeback (here and through my clients) than I did get the years before. So now I need to maturate all these so I can show you some badass blades in the future !
Thanks all for the reviews and would be happy to discuss here if you have any question about my work. Thanks to soigne_west for organizing this passaround.
 

HSC /// Knives

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If could I intrude on this thread a little.
I had a chance to meet Milan at his shop last week in Milhars France.

I was traveling in the south with my girlfriend and visiting the city of Albi. we happened upon a knife shop and inside the very knowledgeable lady was explaining some knives to us and showing me magazine articles of loca makers and one of them was of Milan.

Milan happened to be about 40 mins away and so we made a quick visit. Quick because I don’t like to torture my girlfriend too much visiting a maker plus it was a weekend and I think Milan was not working.

he showed me around the shop and we talked various things including equipment and styles of working and his experience

Milan has quite a bit of equipment investment and makes his own billets in charcoal. He has quite an inventory of steel. And his collection of natural stones is extensive I can tell you. I didn’t see any finished work and handles but I can tell you that his work is well crafted as he’s been doing this for some nine years. Our styles of blade geometry are quite different and his is more consistent with the French makers of which is not my style But he explained to me his rationale.

it was a very pleasant visit and we both agreed that we would try to get together again in the future. I’m jealous of his equipment and the rustic style of his shop
 

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The link will lead you to my ‘’New Knives” post. From my perspective as a home cook, I found this Milan a delight to use. It may not be so for commercial chefs and others. Knives are subjective items at best.
 
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JayS20

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I have also read the passaround with interest.
I was in talks with Milan about his knives and he took the criticism to heart and improved upon it. You could also see his knives evolving, if you follow him on IG, in regards to geometry as well as comfort with his handles.
Really nice guy who cares about his customers and feedback. He also attempts to test as many of his knives as possible.
Really good customer experience and the knife I received from him was better than expected. Also one of the cleanest edges I received.
Would definitely recommend him. Also used it in a commercial setting, at least when I had time. Should have done bell peppers after a more thorough patina was achieved but no problems. Cladding is quite reactive but manageable. Happy with it.
 
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