Stainless Western Workhorse Gyuto Recommendations

Discussion in 'The Kitchen Knife' started by btbyrd, Sep 7, 2018.

  1. Sep 7, 2018 #1

    btbyrd

    btbyrd

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    While I have a good number of wa-handled reactive gyutos, I'm looking for a good "household" knife that will be maintenance friendly for my wife to use. That means I'm looking for something fully stainless (not stainless clad carbon) with a western handle and a blade that's thick and durable enough to withstand some mild abuse without huge chips on the edge or a broken tip. In the 180-210mm range. Budget isn't super important.

    Frankly, the world of stainless yo gyutos is a bit of a mystery to me. They're not the most popular blades on here, for kind of obvious reasons. The majority of the ones on the market seem to be borderline interchangeable -- with many seemingly made by the same factory for different brands. And at the high end, you have things like Nenox where you appear to be paying a lot for the handle materials and the fit/finish rather than the steel and the grind. Then are a few well-regarded classics like the Takamura R2 and the Ashi/Gesshin Ginga (which are probably too thin for my purposes) and some of the lower-budget Macs and the Fujiwara FKM series -- which I'm sure are good knives, but they don't have quite the same appeal as some of the more upmarket offerings. I'm finding it difficult to sort through the mid-level blades. What's good?
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2018
  2. Sep 7, 2018 #2

    Qapla'

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    I'd say that with Nenoxen, you're paying for the glamor on some sort of celebrity endorsement in Japan, not so much the fit-and-finish. (Or to look at the same items at a lower price point, Zanmai Pro's line is essentially the same as Nenox's but using AUS8 or else damascus-clad VG-10. It too is overpriced, though, but not quite as badly as the Nenoxen are if I remember correctly.)

    Do powder-metallurgy steels count in your search, or are you looking only for the "traditional" stainless steels (Takefu's VG's, Hitachi Ginsan, Aichi AUS, etc.)?

    How upmarket is the upmarket that you're looking for?
     
  3. Sep 7, 2018 #3

    Choppin

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    Take a look at Ohishi VG5 line. I have a petty from them and assuming the gyuto has the same characteristics, should fit your bill. Affordable too and a great value. Fit and finish is quite good for the price.
     
  4. Sep 7, 2018 #4

    btbyrd

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    PM steels are just fine, provided that the heat treat is somewhat forgiving and not too chippy. I originally got a damascus clad Sukenari in R2 (not the lasery hairline series) to replace the Global gyuto, and I have no complaints about either the steel or the grind.... but the blingy ebony and horn wa- handle (which I enjoy) means that my wife mostly avoids it. In that respect, it's probably a bit too upmarket for my purposes... as is the damascus cladding, rounded choil/edges, and mirror polish. But in terms of thickness, grind, and heat treat, it's right on the money. If I could get something similar in shape and steel -- and with a western handle -- I'd be delighted. But softer, non-pm steels are obviously also welcome. I really don't want or need anything as upmarket as the Sukenari, but I'd like something that's a step up from the lower-end Macs, Tojiros, Fujiwaras, etc.

    Thanks! I'll take a look.
     
  5. Sep 7, 2018 #5

    HRC_64

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    For daily drivers, I pesonally think sharpening is
    important to consider.
     
  6. Sep 7, 2018 #6

    Keith Sinclair

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    User friendly powder steels are a step up from softer stainless. Advantage is better edge retention, ease of sharpening, and ability to attain very sharp edges.

    Like the SRS15 steel in the Akifusa however those knives have gone way up in price. You can get a Tojiro R2 210mm powder steel for less than 150.00. It has a good grind better than most Tojiro's for sure.
     
  7. Sep 7, 2018 #7

    Benuser

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    Misono moly or 440. Exceptional F&F, forgiving, easy sharpening.
     
  8. Sep 7, 2018 #8

    daddy yo yo

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    First of all I haven’t tried any of the mentioned knives, still I would have a look at these (besides the Misonos):

    Blazen from EE? They come in 180 and 210...

    Gesshin Stainless or Gesshin Ginga Stainless from JKI? I would recommend giving Jon a call. Depending on your wife, her knife skills and/or how much she cares higher end options (usually harder and/or thinner and/or more brittle) may or may not be a good solution... Ginga is both thinner and harder...

    And then you could ask a custom maker for one...
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2018
  9. Sep 7, 2018 #9

    Grunt173

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    I have a Masamoto VG Gyuto 210 that I like very much.
     
  10. Sep 7, 2018 #10

    LucasFur

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    1.Kurosaki R2 Western handle was a gem of a blade that im really sad i missed out on. - some of the grinds are not the best and can use a thinning, but nothing i cant deal with.
    2.Shinko Yugumo R2 ( Looks exactly like the Kurosaki R2 western ... im sure there are some differences though)
    3.Mr. Itou R2 Western (my wife's knife with a purple stone handle)
    4.Takeshi Saji Damascus R2 Western (not used)
    5.Blazen R2 Western /// takamura uchigumori (similar to Takamura R2 but thicker on the spine, just as thin behind the edge - I own both)
    6.Tanaka R2 (handled, and played around with ... not much to comment but the prices are insane now)
    7.Hattori KD -- one 210mm just sold for 5k on ebay
    8.Zkramer R2 -- Great handle, really makes the knife. blade is good also, the profile works great for me sometimes others it somewhat irks me the wrong way. Its also a flat ground knife, so it has pluses and minuses. It can also easily be re-etched with home made ferric Chloride (youtube it). --- Gifted mine to my mother because she couldnt stop talking about it one evening when we were talking knives.
    9. Mugen Hap40 at knifewear ... doesn't appeal to me
    Shun/Vg-10 dont really interest me. ANd R2 is my Favorite steel, not that it accounts for anything.
     
  11. Sep 7, 2018 #11

    Keith Sinclair

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    That is a lot of R2's. I like that steel too saying something for an old carbon junkie.

    Hap40 semi stainless gets a bad rap because some of the knives made with it have poor grinds. Not so with the Gihei Hap40 excellent grind and steel. 210mm runs around 230.00.
     
  12. Sep 7, 2018 #12

    Midsummer

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    My wife and my sisters use these.
     
  13. Sep 7, 2018 #13

    Chicagohawkie

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    The KD didn’t sell. It’s back up for sale.
     
  14. Sep 8, 2018 #14

    panda

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    misono ux10 santoku, or a glestain (with some thinning done after purchase)
    seriously
     
  15. Sep 8, 2018 #15

    Pensacola Tiger

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  16. Sep 8, 2018 #16

    Marek07

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    I'm a fan of R2 steel but my wife easily chipped the Takamura I gave her. It was easy to restore and perhaps a micro-bevel would help but I thought perhaps a laser didn't really suit her cutting style. I ended up getting her a different knife - the Gesshin 210mm stainless from JKI. It uses AUS-8 steel and takes far more rough handling than the Takamura. Admittedly, I got the wa handled version. The yo handled version is $20 cheaper but is currently OOS. As @daddy yo yo said above, give Jon a call. If your wife likes a bit of bling, the Mr Itou knives in R2 (also recommended above) are prettier and a little hardier than the Takamuras. They have my wife's stamp of approval as well.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2018
  17. Sep 8, 2018 #17

    Marcelo Amaral

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    I'm having a great time with Harner's CPM154 (my favorite stainless nowadays after aeb-l). Harner is using XHP nowadays, which seems to have even better retention and a more refined edge, but harder to sharpen.

    If you are looking for a durable and yet high quality western handle gyuto, that could be an option. His blades are usually not lasers, though.
     
  18. Sep 8, 2018 #18

    Eloh

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  19. Sep 8, 2018 #19

    Benuser

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  20. Sep 11, 2018 #20

    fuzion

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    I see ryusen also have several lines of vg10 knives, anyone compared them to the hattori fh?
     
  21. Sep 12, 2018 #21

    Pensacola Tiger

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    The Bontenunryu and Tanganryu are a different construction, VG10 core in soft stainless damacus cladding, much like the now discontinued Hattori HD. I have a Bontenunryu, and I'd put the heat treatment of the VG10 on par with the Hattori FH. The Hattori, at least in my estimation, has a more comfortable handle.
     
  22. Sep 12, 2018 #22

    Benuser

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    About Misono's UX-10 Panda suggested:
    Steel is 19C27. Big carbides, offering a lot of bite and high wear resistance. Not the most loved amongst knife nuts because of the unpleasant sharpening. Loved very much by kitchen pros because it holds an acceptable edge for a long time.
    Very different from moly and 440 series with their finer structure and corresponding carbon-like easy sharpening.
    Misono's small gyutos are on the narrow side, too narrow to my taste for general tasks.
    Their santokus aren't overly flat and have a usable tip and some upswing. No eternally damaged tip to be expected as with most other santokus. No bad idea for a home user.
     
  23. Sep 14, 2018 #23

    Gregmega

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    I knew that was a fake sale.
     
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  24. Sep 14, 2018 #24

    DitmasPork

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    [apologies if I'm repeating anything, I've just entered this thread]
    IMO, much depends on the preferences and skill level of you wife. With my wife, I needed to stop projecting what I thought she should use, and reserve much of my own opinions of knives. As much as I'd love to get my wife to use my Kato—though my wife is a very good cook, her cutting technique is rough, she has no desire to hand sharpen, occasionally leaves the knife in the sink with other cutlery.

    Knives that my wife likes are Global, MacPro, and Wustof Classic—all stainless, all *good knives for her—she loves them. [*good of course being quite subjective.] Wustof being the most low maintenance; Global the coolest design of the three; MacPro my personal fave of her three knives. They're her knives, her choice, which I happily support.

    Luckily, some of the cutlery shops here let her test a variety of knives on carrots and celery.


     
  25. Sep 14, 2018 #25

    rick alen

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    PM steels. SRS-15 (Geshin Kagero definitely if your in the States) and HAP-40 in particular for their crazy wear rate and relative ease of sharpening.

    More conventionally the UX10, Geshin Gonbei AUS10, Geshin stainless already mentioned. AUS-10 and 19C-27 are both very wear resistant on the stones, along with the good edge retention, AUS-8 is easy though.

    Hattori or Tanaka VG-10's if you don't mind that alloy, I'll second those.

    I keep hoping someone would buy one of these, just because they seem a great dollar value. 14C27 steel
    http://www.thebestthings.com/knives/fischer_bargoin_zen_knives.htm
     
  26. Sep 16, 2018 #26

    merlijny2k

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    In the looks department I like the handle with the little red spacer on the kanetsugu saiun. No idea how it stacks up to other japanese knives in terms of performance though. One of the few J-knives that breaks away somewhat from the typically quite identical western handles.
     
  27. Sep 16, 2018 #27

    Consequence

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    I sharpened one of these the other day. For the price i have to recommend them. Good heat treat and one of the easier stainless knives i had to sharpen
     

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