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swall101

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Hi all

Only second post but been a lurker for a while. Love reading all the chat and the wealth of experience on show. As per my first post in the intro forum I love cooking but never went in that direction professionally. I’ve played around with knives for a few years and have decided to treat myself to a Japanese Gyuto. I have been doing a bit of research and think I’ve narrowed it down to the following below. Love to hear your opinions, good, bad, indifferent or alternatives if you think I’m wide of the mark. UK based, right handed, looking to a budget of £300 - £450.

Kato VG-10 Gyuto Damascus 210mm (8.3")

Saji Gyuto Damascus VG-10 [various models] + FREE Saya

Been offered a Tanaka Gyuto 210mm with a custom handle to match my higher end price.

Also what’s your experience with striking deals vs list price? Is that not the done thing in the knife world or should I barter?

Lastly whats the deal with Yaxell Super Gou Gyutos? Lovely looking and seem to be the business in a couple of YouTube vids I’ve watched but loads of hate towards them on the net?

Many thanks in advance.....
 
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M1k3

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Tanaka is recommended a lot for first knives. I'd probably grab that out of your options.
 

Slim278

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You might try filling out this questionnaire.
 

Midsummer

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View attachment 86032

The custom Tanaka in question. Store will do for £450 and am tempted!
Thats an SG2 or R2 and he said 210. It is a nice knife. Personally I would go with one of the less expensive tanakas ( BRAND Tanaka ). James even has one similar to the one there: Tanaka R2 - SG2 Damascus Gyuto WA 210mm

But I would try the Blue 2 dammy, the Ginsan or the Nashiji that he has done for James. Same smith different steels.

I second the filling out of the which knife should I buy. And consider up to 240 mm as that will seem short if you use a pinch grip.
 

swall101

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LOCATION
What country are you in? UK



KNIFE TYPE
What type of knife are you interested in: Chef / Gyuto

Are you right or left handed? Right

Are you interested in a Western handle (e.g., classic Wusthof handle) or Japanese handle? Not bothered

What length of knife (blade) are you interested in (in inches or millimeters)? 210mm

Do you require a stainless knife? (Yes or no) Again not bothered

What is your absolute maximum budget for your knife? £450



KNIFE USE
Do you primarily intend to use this knife at home or a professional environment? Home

What are the main tasks you primarily intend to use the knife for slicing vegetables, chopping vegetables, mincing vegetables, slicing meats, filleting fish, trimming meats

What knife, if any, are you replacing? Wusthoff Chef

Do you have a particular grip that you primarily use? Am adaptable

What cutting motions do you primarily use? push / slice, rocking

What improvements do you want from your current knife? If you are not replacing a knife, please identify as many characteristics identified below in parentheses that you would like this knife to have.)

Better aesthetics - open to different design for the right knife

Comfort - effortless in cutting

Ease of Use ability to use the knife right out of the box; smoother rock chopping, push cutting, or slicing motion; less wedging

Edge Retention 2-3 months of average home utilisation



KNIFE MAINTENANCE
Do you use wood and synthetic cutting board Yes

Do you sharpen your own knives? no

If not, are you interested in learning how to sharpen your knives? Yes

Are you interested in purchasing sharpening products for your knives? could be.
 

bingo

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With that budget, you can and should absolutely upgrade beyond VG10. The r2 tanaka won't be "one of a kind" but it will be better than the others you listed.
 

Midsummer

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You have a huge number of knives you could get with that budget. You would likely be happiest holding some of that budget for sharpening supplies. Most people who get into knives love the way the knives cut when sharp. The best way to maintain this performance is with some sharpening equipment. Also a lot of folks like to try different knives to see what works best for their style. Some profiles are best for rocking others for push or pull cutting.

Knives are compromises, some rock better and some pull better. Some fall through product (lasers) but have poor food release. Some have great release but need more force to cut. Some are handle heavy and some are blade heavy. Some are convex and some are wide beveled. Most people end up getting more than one knife over time. Best of luck. These guys know what is currently on the market better than I.

Lots of choices. Check out BST sometimes.
 

swall101

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You have a huge number of knives you could get with that budget. You would likely be happiest holding some of that budget for sharpening supplies. Most people who get into knives love the way the knives cut when sharp. The best way to maintain this performance is with some sharpening equipment. Also a lot of folks like to try different knives to see what works best for their style. Some profiles are best for rocking others for push or pull cutting.

Knives are compromises, some rock better and some pull better. Some fall through product (lasers) but have poor food release. Some have great release but need more force to cut. Some are handle heavy and some are blade heavy. Some are convex and some are wide beveled. Most people end up getting more than one knife over time. Best of luck. These guys know what is currently on the market better than I.

Lots of choices. Check out BST sometimes.
Thanks very much for advice. One thing for sure it is very subjective and there are a lot of knives to choose from.
 

NO ChoP!

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I have been a long time Tanaka acquaintance and fan boy. That being said, you seem to like the damascus look. And you can nab sg2 for less. Check out the Kato or Kamo brands. Both under $250 usd in 210mm. In fact Jobone has a Kato listed on his Etsy page for ~$200....
 

Benuser

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I would suggest to start by learning sharpening with a simple carbon steel knife, before spending such a generous budget on a fancy blade you can't maintain.
 

swall101

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I would suggest to start by learning sharpening with a simple carbon steel knife, before spending such a generous budget on a fancy blade you can't maintain.
Maintain as in sharpen? That’s what professional sharpeners are for in the short term for me. Maintain as in day to day care is pretty simple to me.

I have booked up a class to learn sharpening, C-19 unfortunately put paid to that at present.

If I have the money and want to treat myself there is nothing wrong in that, no?
 

Benuser

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Maintain as in sharpen? That’s what professional sharpeners are for in the short term for me. Maintain as in day to day care is pretty simple to me.

I have booked up a class to learn sharpening, C-19 unfortunately put paid to that at present.

If I have the money and want to treat myself there is nothing wrong in that, no?
Your choice, of course. It isn't easy to find a professional sharpener working with waterstones, though. Most use powered equipment and may ruin a blade in very little time.
 

deskjockey

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You can't go to just any professional sharpener. Sharpening a German or French kitchen knife or a production line knife is VERY DIFFERENT from sharpening a Japanese knife.

Avoid blade munchers!
 

deskjockey

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That looks like a reasonable option for you. I would suggest though, that you take part of your budget and get a reasonably good waterstone and a less expensive knife to practice with first. Edge maintenance is part of the fun with owning and using knives like these IMHO. Edge keenness is part of the reason most of us like them so much in addition to blade geometry.

A classic German pattern chef knife benefits from a keen edge too but, suffers less as it wears in normal kitchen use as the edge geometry is so different.
 

JayS20

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Okay Kataba has a good reputation so they should be more than fine for sharpening. Their knives are quite pricey so wouldn't buy from them. Sharpedge Shop is a good shop but some knives are just too expensive from them and would only buy when they have a dicsount. Since your budget is so high you have quite some nice options even with additional taxes from imports.
Shops for you to look around:
Cleancut.eu : Akifusa, Hinoura, Yoshikane, Kashima Sanjo, Kurosaki, Masashi, Mazaki, Munetoshi, Wakui
japanesenaturalstones: Kaeru
kitchenprovisions.co.uk : Akifusa
cuttingedgeknives.co.uk : Konosuke GS, Jikko, Masakage Kumo
meesterslijpers.nl : Hinoura, Katsushige Anryu, Yoshimi Kato, Makoto Kurosaki, Yoshimune, Takamura, Ryusen, Sukenari
knivesandstones.com.au : Wakui, Yoshimune, Shigeki Tanaka
You should think about if you want Stainess, Carbon with stainless Clad or okay with full Carbon
I would consider my options all quite good but they definitely differ quite a bit in steel, profile, thickness, taper
Learning to sharpen is never wrong I would say.
Also with your budget Custom come into question and also GB knives like Blenheim
Cheers
 
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Blerghle

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YMMV on aesthetics. In that price point you certainly have the option of going for some edge retention without sacrificing elsewhere. A few options from Cleancut:
Hinoura AS kurouchi
Kurosaki SG-2
Tsunehisa SLD damascus
Yoshikane SKD semi-stainless

I am not as familiar with Kurosaki or Tsunehisa. I can speak to Hinoura knives being extremely good cutters, and Yoshikane is spoken of very highly and often on these boards.
 

swall101

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Okay Kataba has a good reputation so they should be more than fine for sharpening. Their knives are quite pricey so wouldn't buy from them. Sharpedge Shop is a good shop but some knives are just too expensive from them and would only buy when they have a dicsount. Since your budget is so high you have quite some nice options even with additional taxes from imports.
Shops for you to look around:
Cleancut.eu : Akifusa, Hinoura, Yoshikane, Kashima Sanjo, Kurosaki, Masashi, Mazaki, Munetoshi, Wakui
japanesenaturalstones: Kaeru
kitchenprovisions.co.uk : Akifusa
cuttingedgeknives.co.uk : Konosuke GS, Jikko, Masake Kumo
meesterslijpers.nl : Hinoura, Katsushige Anryu, Yoshimi Kato, Makoto Kurosaki, Yoshimune, Takamura, Ryusen, Sukenari
knivesandstones.com.au : Wakui, Yoshimune, Shigeki Tanaka
You should think about if yyou want Stainess, Carbon with sainless Clad or okay with full Carbon
I would consider my options all quite good but they definitely differ quite a bit in steel, profile, thickness, taper
Learning to sharpen is never wrong I would say.
Also with your budget Custom come into question and also GB knives like Blenheim
Cheers
Hi @JayS20

Thanks so much for all the info. Plenty of reading to be getting on with this afternoon!! Have you a make you favour or would spend a bit more time researching?
 

swall101

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YMMV on aesthetics. In that price point you certainly have the option of going for some edge retention without sacrificing elsewhere. A few options from Cleancut:
Hinoura AS kurouchi
Kurosaki SG-2
Tsunehisa SLD damascus
Yoshikane SKD semi-stainless

I am not as familiar with Kurosaki or Tsunehisa. I can speak to Hinoura knives being extremely good cutters, and Yoshikane is spoken of very highly and often on these boards.
Thanks very much @Blerghle will check these out this afternoon 👍
 

JayS20

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You should check them out, inform yourself a bit more and if you have any sepecific questions come back. I have tried quite some of the knives and liked most of them for different reasons.
 

Brian Weekley

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One really can’t make a mistake with any of the brands and knives listed. I personally avoid knives made in China but that said I have a Dalstrong Shogun filleting knife that I like a lot. Asking which brand is best is a bit like asking what type of woman you should make your wife. There is no correct answer ... you have to find out for yourself and your tastes may change over time. So ... where should you start?... IMO that depends on your interests and budget. I think it’s safe to say that you will ultimately buy many knives. They will all have their place. If you’re not particularly limited by budget there is a veritable Pandora’s Box of choices. Great Britain has some wonderful knife smiths, Europe even more. It’s safe to say that Japan wrote the book on knives and steels but my favourites in the kitchen come from around the world. In my opinion you can’t go wrong buying from BST but your customs regulations may limit what you can import and the duties may drive the costs out of range. At the very least KKF will give you a free education that’s priceless. In my opinion a Catcheside Gyuto may be the only knife you or anybody else may ever need to buy. He is probably less than an hours drive from you. But that’s my opinion and others will see it differently ... and they’re right ... for themselves. Don’t ignore sharpening. Take the course, buy a couple of Wustoff sacrificials and have at it. It’s really not that difficult ... it just takes time.

just my .02!
 

cotedupy

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As others have said- you have a very nice amount of choice out there in that budget :)

If you were open to local- I personally am a huge fan of Blenheim Forge's knives. And if you're within striking distance of London you could go along, select your particular knife, pick up a stone from them, and I'm sure one of the guys will happily give you a quick sharpening demo / lesson. All within your budget.

Obviously there are other great UK knifemakers, Dan Prendergast's knives for instance look fantastic and have a strong reputation here also, it's just that I have experience with the former.
 

swall101

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As others have said- you have a very nice amount of choice out there in that budget :)

If you were open to local- I personally am a huge fan of Blenheim Forge's knives. And if you're within striking distance of London you could go along, select your particular knife, pick up a stone from them, and I'm sure one of the guys will happily give you a quick sharpening demo / lesson. All within your budget.

Obviously there are other great UK knifemakers, Dan Prendergast's knives for instance look fantastic and have a strong reputation here also, it's just that I have experience with the former.
Thanks for the information. I live in Kent so am literally 45 mins away from BFK. Being a Millwall fan it’s an area I frequent quite a bit and never knew they existed. Have you checked out their mega set, now that is a sight to behold!
 

cotedupy

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Thanks for the information. I live in Kent so am literally 45 mins away from BFK. Being a Millwall fan it’s an area I frequent quite a bit and never knew they existed. Have you checked out their mega set, now that is a sight to behold!
Yeah it's mad isn't it! I think they made it one summer for fun/experimentation, and then sold it almost immediately to Lucky Cat for a fair bit. Give a shout if you fancy going there ever and I can put you in touch, tho they're very good at replying to emails anyway.

(I'm a Wimbledon fan but used to live in New Cross. Only been to the New Den once when we played you in the FA Cup a few years back, you guys have some gnarly fans ;)
 

swall101

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Yeah it's mad isn't it! I think they made it one summer for fun/experimentation, and then sold it almost immediately to Lucky Cat for a fair bit. Give a shout if you fancy going there ever and I can put you in touch, tho they're very good at replying to emails anyway.

(I'm a Wimbledon fan but used to live in New Cross. Only been to the New Den once when we played you in the FA Cup a few years back, you guys have some gnarly fans ;)
Thanks very much for that. Will definitely give you a shout when there is a light at the end of the C-19 tunnel. I see they do sharpening classes too. I had one booked in elsewhere but postponed due to C-19 so might get a refund and kill two birds so to speak and get a second knife, as I think I have narrowed down to 3 knives now thanks to the advice above. I’ve written to the stores to see if there is any deals to be done.

Yep, Millwall fans = 12th man:cool:
 
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