So in my search to find a stainless gyuto that can give me 90% of the performance of my Shig without the carbon steel hassle, I've tried: Ginga, Kobayashi Seikon Dojo, Itinomonn, Sakai Yusuke, Sakai Takayuki hammered, older Hiromoto AS, and Kochi. Of those I kept the Kochi and it's been a great knife. My only complaint is that the rear 1/3 of the blade steers a bit in thick veges like potatoes. The front 1/3 is excellent, as good as my Shig and great for tip chopping (which is the reason why I kept it over the Itinomonn which was just a squidge thicker near the tip, although the back half was thinner and didn't steer). The shinogi of the Kochi is about 3/4" at the tip less than 5/8" at the heel and I really feel if they could keep that bevel in the back half nearer 3/4" it would just about as perfect a performing gyuto as you could get. Anyway I tried two new knives today: Kohetsu Nashiji (blue #2 core) and Kohetsu SLD. Both are $130 and I figured if the grind was good they would be a fantastic deal. Edge OOTB was very good but I put an edge on them anyway so it would be apples to apples versus the Kochi. The SLD was noticeably more work, so I'm guessing edge retention would be quite good. Fit and finish was good for the price. I didn't think these were from the same shop but the blades are ground very similarly so I'm thinking they may just be from the same hands. Just feeling the blades there is some convexing of the Kohetsu's, while the Kochi is flat. The spine of the Kohetsu's is just slight bit thicker. I took some measurements with a caliper at 1/2" from the edge at three places: 1" from the heel, 1" from the tip, and midpoint. Given the SLD was thinnest here I expected pretty tough competition for the Kochi. Cut up some onions, potatoes and carrots. When tip chopping the Kochi was still king, just slides through the veges. The kohetsu's both found resistance once the blade sunk in a bit - maybe 1/4" or so. In the middle and back half of the blade it was similar, Kochi slides through easier (but steers in the back), while the Kohetsu both found some resistance about half way up the blade. The SLD did a bit better than Nashiji with it's more polished finish. No steering that I could tell. I don't really like the oval handles of the Kohetsu (I prefer D), but that is just preference thing, they otherwise weren't bad and when wet I found them grippy like my Shig, and I like that. I was little surprised by the difference in performance given my measurements so i took a few more to understand. Just behind the blade about 1/4" the Kochi is thinnest by maybe .005" being as it has no convexing. As shown above at 1/2" from the edge the Kohetsu is thinner everywhere but the tip. But by about 1" from the edge they reached the natural thickness of the blade and the Kochi was thinner here too, though by not more than .01". So the Kochi isn't going anywhere in my kitchen, but the real question is how do these Kohetsu compare to other sub $200 knives? For me grind is everything and these are pretty good. Not as good as Tanaka blue's but then that is a carbon blade. I'd like to compare them against a Tanaka ginsan since the grind on those isn't quite the same as the blue blades - everyone wants to show off the rough finish on the upper blade and it seems like this always results in a thicker blade in the middle. The Kohetsu are worlds better than the Sakai Takayuki hammered, older Hiromoto AS, or Kobayashi. For push slicing the lasers (Ginga, SY) are better, but the Kohetsu have the weight for chopping while the laser don't. With the smoother finish, what feels like more durable steel, and a slightly heavier blade (just by feel), I think the SLD version is the Kohetsu to get. Anyway hope this review is helpful. I'd like to compare them to some other comparably priced gyutos if anyone is interested in swapping. Especially a Tanaka Ginsan.