Need help picking from Gyuto Shortlist

Discussion in 'The Kitchen Knife' started by 3demon, Jan 3, 2019.

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Which Blade?

Poll closed Jan 10, 2019.
  1. TF Maboroshi Gyuto

    52.9%
  2. Shibata Kotetsu Bunka

    17.6%
  3. Kato Sg2 Gyuto

    5.9%
  4. Takamura Hana Santoku

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. Takeda NAS

    11.8%
  6. Kramer/Zwilling Gyuto

    11.8%
  1. Jan 3, 2019 #1

    3demon

    3demon

    3demon

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    Hi all! Down to a final shortlist and could use some opinions from you more experienced knife wielders! I've been a lurker and had a chance to try a few knives but now I'm a bit stuck before taking the plunge on one.

    LOCATION- Canada


    KNIFE TYPE - chef’s knife/all purpose
    Am right-handed.
    Interested in Western handle or full bolster but open.
    170mm-240mm.
    Would prefer stainless or mostly stainless.
    No max budget at this time.

    KNIFE USE
    Home environment, general prep of as much as possible minus breaking down big items like squash or cutting through bone.
    Replacing an 8" Henckel that is beat up now - will keep it around for harder items.
    Use a pinch grip or handle grip, primarily rock cutting but also some chop and slice.

    Looking for sharper edge, better aesthetics, better balance, more versatility.
    Prefer a knife to be more middle balanced than blade heavy.

    KNIFE MAINTENANCE
    Wood board, do not sharpen my own knives yet but planning to and have someone available to sharpen for me in the meantime who is proficient w/ japanese knives.

    SPECIAL REQUESTS/COMMENTS:

    Have some options below on a shortlist:

    Option A: Fujiwara Maboroshi Gyuto
    210 or 240 gyuto Big fan of the cutting feel and balance in this knife. On first cut of potato felt amazing. Fit and finish pretty good -not perfect but I liked the character of it. Love the finger gap on the heel for grip versatility.

    Option B: shibata kotetsu bunka 170mm
    Remarkable cutting ability but feels quite light and maybe a bit delicate (despite being R2 steel). Afraid of chipping the tip. Don’t feel super confident using it. But amazed by the knife. I like the high heel with my grip. Choking up on the blade with pinch grip. A bit blade heavy?

    Option C: yoshimi Kato 210mm Tsuchime Gyuto
    Hammered finish, sg2 steel, great weight and balance in hand, beautiful fit and finish.

    Option E: takamura Hana santoku (165mm)
    Incredible finish on the blade, comfortable handle and balance w full tang. But could it be too short? Was generally looking for a 210mm but I do still have the other 8" blade.

    Wildcard 1: takeda NAS 210gyuto (or similar bunka). Love the lightness and feels more solid somehow than the Kotetsu. Love the heel height here too. Did notice the bit of wedging people were talking about while testing on some ingredients.

    Wildcard 2: Zwilling Bon Kramer Damascus 8” - Beautiful blade, nice height, great cutter. Huge handle though.


    ——

    Or perhaps something completely different? All feedback is very much appreciated, thank you!
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2019
  2. Jan 3, 2019 #2

    chinacats

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    I'm a bit confused (it's me I'm sure) but are you currently using a J-knife? Also, I always think it best to fill out the which knife questionnaire, helps us help you...as to your list I think it is quite random.

    Cheers
     
  3. Jan 3, 2019 #3

    JoBone

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    Questionnaire helps, but to be honest all of those look awesome.
     
  4. Jan 3, 2019 #4

    3demon

    3demon

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    Not currently using a japanese knife. Thanks for the feedback, I updated the thread to answer the questionnaire a bit more clearly!
     
  5. Jan 3, 2019 #5

    Interapid101

    Interapid101

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    Can't comment on the first five options as I haven't used them, but I have used the 8" ZK (although in stainless) and I absolutely hate the blade profile. The transition from belly to flat is very abrupt, and gives an unnatural feel on the board. Food release is poor, but it's no laser at the same time. Worst of both worlds. F&F wasn't very good either. I do like the handle, though.

    I'd strongly suggest you don't waste your cash on the Kramer.
     
  6. Jan 3, 2019 #6

    McMan

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    Gesshin uraku stainless 240 and a ginga 165 petty and call it a day :) Seriously, 170mm-240mm is a big difference. You could split the difference and call it 210mm--or split the difference and call it two knives, a thin 165mm and a beefier 240mm. More than one way to skin a cat.

    Since most of your cutting is rocking, a mid-weight would work best. From your list, the Kato sg2 would fit the bill--but it's still pretty thin.
    So, for something stainless, not delicate, and suited to rocking, Uraku is a good fit. Also consider a Tanaka in VG10, a yoshikane, or a Kaeru.

    Since you said you want stainless, you can scrap TF and Takeda from the list. They're stainless-clad but not stainless core.
     
  7. Jan 4, 2019 #7

    chinacats

    chinacats

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    Interesting...I hated the look of the Kramer's profile but actually thought it cut fairly well and food release was fine...some like the feel of the handle and others not so much. It's well balanced and a pretty decent overall blade. Coming from a Henckels it may make the most comfortable transition. I've only tried the 10" carbon...not sure about the ss and people tend to not like the 8" profile.


    I'd agree with this post on every level except that Takeda does have a ss clad line if I recall. I'm not a huge fan (only had a 240 AS quite a few years back) but people that like them really like them.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2019
  8. Jan 4, 2019 #8

    3demon

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    @McMan thanks for those recommendations! Although I was preferring stainless I'm ok with a carbon core. Just wasn't looking for a fully reactive blade.
     
  9. Jan 4, 2019 #9

    HRC_64

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    If you've used a TF before, and you're OK with its tradeoffs, that would be my pick the list
     
  10. Jan 4, 2019 #10

    parbaked

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    Mute-on likes this.
  11. Jan 4, 2019 #11

    Barmoley

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    This is an excellent suggestion. Kaeru is a very good knife and great given the price. It is also a bit more forgiving than some other Japanese knives. The only thing rocking with it might not work very well, it is pretty flat.
     
  12. Jan 4, 2019 #12

    Mucho Bocho

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    Kaeru rocks just fine.
     
  13. Jan 4, 2019 #13

    Corradobrit1

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    Carbon core is very easy to maintain on the TF. Just slice and wipe. As for the finger cutout, I think it reduces the cutting real estate noticeably especially on shorter blades. Consider that when deciding between 210 and 240 gyutos if you go for the Mab.
     
  14. Jan 4, 2019 #14

    HRC_64

    HRC_64

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    Just to add a thought here... there's not very much consistency in your short list OP.

    TF is a great knife full stop, but I'd also probably recommend you to make a short-list limited to similar knives to the TF.
    ie, I'd recommend eliminating santoku, bunka, kramer and other non-standard blade-shapes.

    Then you can focus on whatever tradeoffs would be between the remaining knives.
    There's also a huge difference in some knives both in cost, utility, and relative eprformance in 195, 210, 240, 250
    (all actual sizes vs the nominal 210 or 240s they are sold by)

    Just by way of example, the 210 Kaeru was on sale over Christmas for $95 and a 240MM TF maraboshi is $450-ish

    The question is if you are using a henckels right now, do you need/want a ~$500 investment or a ~$100 one?
    when you may still have stones and other basic items to budget for to maintain the knive over 5 years etc.

    The TF is a bit of a ferrari...65hrc white1 (very hard, slightly brittle if not careful) and will need a bit more skillful driver; the Kaeru is a pro-environment by-design-brief-workhorse-- meant to survive rougher handling by material and construction choices.

    Hope this isn't a buzzkill, but it just dawned on me it would maybe help to consider this perspective as well.

    Best of luck either way.

    PS - If cost isn't much of an object, you could also buy both and cover your bases; if money is an object, you could buy the TF in 210 and the Kaeru in 240 at or under the TF 240 maraboshi price, etc...lots of ways to think about this.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2019
  15. Jan 4, 2019 #15

    panda

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    Beginners should def not get TF..
     
  16. Jan 4, 2019 #16

    Maccne0718

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    A mazaki seems like a good option as well, with different finishes and can be stainless clad if in stock.
     
  17. Jan 4, 2019 #17

    Corradobrit1

    Corradobrit1

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    My first Japanese knife was a TF Nashiji 210 gyuto, ordered direct. I still have it and use it for honing my sharpening skills and for testing different JNATS. No reason a careful beginner shouldn't consider TF.
     
  18. Jan 4, 2019 #18

    chinacats

    chinacats

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    I think this backs up panda's point...you're using this knife for sharpening practice:)

    OP should likely start w/ uraku, tanaka or similar...spend the rest on stones and learn to sharpen...then buy a fancy knife.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2019
  19. Jan 4, 2019 #19

    parbaked

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    ...because the performance of every knife they buy after the TF will disappoint!
     
  20. Jan 4, 2019 #20

    dwalker

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    ......Or it will be clunkier than his Henckels with an amateurish grind and turn him off jknives forever. I've experienced both.
     
  21. Jan 4, 2019 #21

    jacko9

    jacko9

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    The T-F 240mm Nashiji Gyuto was my first Japanese knife. Out of the box was screaming sharp but in my unskilled hands I did get some micro-chipping at first. I sharpened it on the 1K and 3K stones and finished it with a JNat stone and the chipping disappeared and that was three years ago - it cuts just great but it is a heavy knife. I tend to safe the 240 for heavier board work and use my 210mm Gyuto's day to day.
     
  22. Jan 4, 2019 #22

    panda

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    How?. Do you not remember when the forum first found out about the nashiji line and there was a pass around and everyone sh1t all over it..
     
  23. Jan 4, 2019 #23

    Corradobrit1

    Corradobrit1

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    Wasn't that a western handled example?
     
  24. Jan 4, 2019 #24

    parbaked

    parbaked

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    The OP mentioned getting a Maboroshi not a Nashiji.
    The one I picked out at TF is great.

    I also have a Nashiji petty that Taz cleaned up and re-handled.
    It cuts and sharpens up great too.
     
  25. Jan 4, 2019 #25

    Mute-on

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    Get the Kaeru from either the classifieds, or JNS if you miss out.

    You have no experience with a Japanese blade and therefore no baseline to assess your preferences. We have all been there. Parbaked gave you very good advice.

    The Kaeru is a traditional shape with a Wa handle, and is in SS so it is easier to maintain. It is also purportedly a very good perfumer, and very robust.

    Enjoy the ride!
     
  26. Jan 5, 2019 #26

    parbaked

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    I do actually have both and the Kareu is probably a better choice than a TF:
    [​IMG]
     
    Mute-on likes this.
  27. Jan 5, 2019 #27

    Corradobrit1

    Corradobrit1

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    After watching this video as a newbie I didn't want anything else

     
  28. Jan 5, 2019 #28

    Chicagohawkie

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    Ha! Shawn Dog! Miss that guy! Still have one of his knives!
     
  29. Jan 5, 2019 #29

    Chef Doom

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    Just flip a coin and call it a day....in fact I will flip one right now....

    Damn, 3 tails in a row.

    Get the Kramer. The coin has spoken.
     
  30. Jan 5, 2019 #30

    captaincaed

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    This is all my personal approach to potentially expensive hobbies - caveat emptor:
    I like to start out with hardware that is high quality, but not premium. I never go cheap, because no cheap tool is ever representative of its class.
    If I don't love the hobby, I'm not out too much money. If I love the hobby, I like to buy some very good hardware next - keeps the momentum going, and provides a distinct contrast from the beginner piece. That way, you also don't spend money on two medium-high-end pieces for the same price as one truly high end piece. My drawer is full of these that hardly get used.

    With regard to your list, I have a TF denka, and will likely get a maboroshi soon. I love it. Haven't used any others, sorry to say. I had to sharpen it a couple times to lose the initial brittleness of the edge. I also have good luck with a very steep sharpening angle, and it really seems to shine when I do this. But again, it's good to play around with sharpening angles on a cheaper knife first. It sucks to scratch up a Ferrari first drive out of the lot.
    If you live in Canada, there's a good chain of knife vendors that will let you inspect several pieces side by side. They also have examples from each maker that you may cut with. I'm happy I chose my TF myself, since one copy had inconsistent grinding that would have upset me as an owner later down the road.
     
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