Wakui Gyuto Question

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MarkC

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I am interested in a 240mm Gyuto from Wakui. I am new to the forum so don't yet know the rules about posting names of vendors so will just say that I am looking at 3 different versions from 3 different vendors. The knives all seem to have the same profile and are all #2 with some form of stainless cladding. One is a smooth cladding and much lighter than the other two. One is a hammered cladding finish and the most heavy.

My question is that is there any advantage to one cladding v. another. Are there other differences in how these knives are made beyond the cladding? Does the hammered cladding help with food release or is it more ornamental?

Thanks in advance for any info experienced owners can provide.
 

rickbern

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I think it's okay to mention specific vendors, especially in this context. I have a 240 and a 180 with plain stainless cladding from EpicEdge (who, btw, provides kkf forum members a 10% discount). I've not used any other variant but I like the ones (especially the 240) that I have very much.

One thing to note: Be wary of handle variation affecting the overall weight of the knife. It may be the blade varies somewhat, but I think sometimes (different vendors=different handles=different weights). And maybe also, different handles weights will yield a different balance. I would NOT have been upset when I first got my 240 if the handle had been slightly heavier, but it doesn't bother me at all now.
 

MarkC

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I think it's okay to mention specific vendors, especially in this context. I have a 240 and a 180 with plain stainless cladding from EpicEdge (who, btw, provides kkf forum members a 10% discount). I've not used any other variant but I like the ones (especially the 240) that I have very much.

One thing to note: Be wary of handle variation affecting the overall weight of the knife. It may be the blade varies somewhat, but I think sometimes (different vendors=different handles=different weights). And maybe also, different handles weights will yield a different balance. I would NOT have been upset when I first got my 240 if the handle had been slightly heavier, but it doesn't bother me at all now.
Thank you for your response. So the Bernal version and the one you purchased from Epic Edge look identical. I have also been looking at the ones from K&S and CleanCut which have completely different cladding. K&S has the hammered. Not sure what other differences beyond the cladding and handles there might be. It would make sense that some of the differences in weight are due to the handles where they may be trying to offset the heavier cladding?
 

Nemo

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You can certainly menetion non forum vendors and knifemakers in the context of your question or topic (although flagrant promotion, advertising or shilling is not OK).

Note that thin knives tradeoff food release for less wedging and vice versa. In order make a knife good at food release, you need grind features such as blade face convexity (or as fancy grinds such as S grinds) which add width to the blade. Thin knives can only have a little convexity, thick knives can have a lot. It is of course a continuum and middleweights can have a medium amount of convexity. It is possible to design a knife that is thick and has poor food release (my old Mundials are like this) by grinding (or stamping) the blade face flat. You will need to decide where your thinness vs food release preferences lie. I like both for different things and I will often use a thinner knife and a thicker one as a team when doing a big prep ("big" is a relative term because I am a home cook).

There seems to be quite a bit of variation in thickness between different versions of Wakui. I have the KnS hammered version. It is a thicker food release workhorse type grind which does mean a bit of wedging in hard foods but food release is excellent. I think that the food release is mainly determined by it's convex wide bevels. It is possible that the hammered pattern contributes but I have never seen any conclusive proof of this and it is not really as important as the overall performance of the knife. I just view it as decoration.

The non hammered KnS versions sound to be a bit thinner. The versions found at some of the US vendors sound to be much thinner. All versions seem to be well regarded.

Bottom line- yes, the thickness varies. Decide where on the thin vs thick continuum your preferences lie and ask the vendor about the thickness before purchasing.
 
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ared715

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I got my white#2 migaki from Bernal a year ago (rosewood handle) so cant speak to the weight distribution of the ho wood varieties... I’ve also previously owned a white #2 hammered with a chestnut handle. In terms of performance regarding the cladding differences, the hammered had a bit better food release but wasn’t quite as thin behind the edge with a slightly thicker spine and a little less distal taper (tip still thin though) I also contribute this more to the grind than the finish though....the migaki in regards to food release doesn’t bother me at all.... the grind is thinner with no pronounced shoulders. I’ve thinned it a few times and recreated the kasumi with naturals and fingerstones and each time it was an enjoyable task... both are great performers so you won’t go wrong either way IMO.... really makes me want to get another KU/hammered but I think I’m gonna go Kochi V2 instead whenever they are in stock next time.... the KU/hammered are wide bevel knives and all the polished ones I’ve seen are not.... this is gonna be the main difference in terms of performance as stated previously in the thread. Just wanted to share my experiences with both.... hope this helps...
 

MarkC

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I got my white#2 migaki from Bernal a year ago (rosewood handle) so cant speak to the weight distribution of the ho wood varieties... I’ve also previously owned a white #2 hammered with a chestnut handle. In terms of performance regarding the cladding differences, the hammered had a bit better food release but wasn’t quite as thin behind the edge with a slightly thicker spine and a little less distal taper (tip still thin though) I also contribute this more to the grind than the finish though....the migaki in regards to food release doesn’t bother me at all.... the grind is thinner with no pronounced shoulders. I’ve thinned it a few times and recreated the kasumi with naturals and fingerstones and each time it was an enjoyable task... both are great performers so you won’t go wrong either way IMO.... really makes me want to get another KU/hammered but I think I’m gonna go Kochi V2 instead whenever they are in stock next time.... the KU/hammered are wide bevel knives and all the polished ones I’ve seen are not.... this is gonna be the main difference in terms of performance as stated previously in the thread. Just wanted to share my experiences with both.... hope this helps...
Thanks. Great info. I was wondering how you found the one at Bernal with a rosewood handle? Was that a special order? What is the reference to "KU/hammered" Also, regarding the Kochi you are considering, is that the one from JKI that Jon sells?

Thanks
 

ared715

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Kochi is exclusively sold by Jon at JKI who is actively on this forum... he’s provided me with invaluable info even in regards to products he doesn’t carry.... very generous with his knowledge and time! If I were to do it all over knowing what I know now, for my personal tastes (wide bevel preference) I would go Kochi based solely on reputation from this forum....
The rosewood handle was a past option from Bernal and they sold it as red ebony I believe, but I think I read read on here that it’s rosewood.... either way the balance it provides being heavier/denser than ho wood is very nice... my personal favorite is burnt chestnut/buffalo horn ferrule but you can’t win them all.....
 

MarkC

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Can you tell me which Kochi you are considering? Seems to have more than one finish and I was wondering which one and perhaps why you would go a particular way. That knife sounds like it is what I am looking for.
 

ared715

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I would also consider japan-messer, cleancut, and of anyone else knows of a different vendor that sells the KU with textured finish please let me know as I’m deciding on either a Kochi, KU wakui, or KU nashiji mazaki from Knifewear...really wish they had a 240 KU nashiji mazaki anywhere as well!!
 

ared715

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The Kochi I’m personally considering is iron clad/V2 core/KU all though he has some stainless clad white number 2’s available and some blue number 2 migaki in stock ATM.... I just really need some V2 in my life...
 

ared715

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Thanks Ashy good call! Do you have any personal experience w the nashiji line? They seem very reasonably priced!
 

MarkC

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The Kochi I’m personally considering is iron clad/V2 core/KU all though he has some stainless clad white number 2’s available and some blue number 2 migaki in stock ATM.... I just really need some V2 in my life...
Can you tell me how to know if it is the V2 core. On the site, Jon says he is not sharing that information.
 

Matus

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Can you tell me how to know if it is the V2 core. On the site, Jon says he is not sharing that information.
Jon shared the steel info here on the forum a while ago.
 

captaincaed

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Can you tell me how to know if it is the V2 core. On the site, Jon says he is not sharing that information.
If you're curious, go ahead and ask Jon. He's responsive, and can often be more forthcoming in person than when he's posting information to the internet at-large.

Edit: Josh, who works for Jon, is also very helpful, and will be in-the-know.
 

dsk

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Is KKF for sure still doing a 10% discount? I got the discount when I ordered my 210 wakui but that was a couple months ago. I really want messer to restock the v2 KU, or for Jon to get a kochi restock as I think they're nearly the same knife, unless my detective abilities are wrong.
 

ashy2classy

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Thanks Ashy good call! Do you have any personal experience w the nashiji line? They seem very reasonably priced!
I have a 270, 240 and 150 petty. I.LOVE.THEM. Absolute best value in knives, IMO. I told someone else that I feel like you get 98% of the knife for 66% of the price (Wakui nashiji vs Kochi KU/V2 - I've had both). Others may disagree, but that's how I feel. YMMV.

WAKUI NASHIJI 240





KOCHI KU V2 240


 
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ared715

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Wow! You may have just changed my mind! With the unpredictable waiting period for a V2 this makes those nashiji very very tempting..... what’s the grind like on your gyutos?? Tip performance? They look to be nice and sturdy, just like I like! If you don’t mind me asking, what’s the weight estimate on your particular 240?
 

MarkC

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I have a 270, 240 and 150 petty. I.LOVE.THEM. Absolute best value in knives, IMO. I told someone else that I feel like you get 98% of the knife for 66% of the price (Wakui nashiji vs Kochi KU/V2 - I've had both). Others may disagree, but that's how I feel. YMMV.

WAKUI NASHIJI 240





KOCHI KU V2 240


Great info can you tell me where the handle is from.
 

ashy2classy

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@ashy2classy between the nashiji & migaki, which do you prefer?
I like them both for different reasons. Both perform really well, but the migaki is lighter and thinner. A bit less food release, but it just flies through everything. I didn't want to choose, that's why I have both. If I had to, it would probably be the nashiji because I prefer thicker and heavier blades. Again, that's a personal preference.

WAKUI MIGAKI 240


 

MarkC

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Jons explanation of Kochi core steels
Thank you. This helps a lot to explain the different steels used in the different versions of the knives. Since he was pretty clear on this video, I wonder why he has decided not to give that information out on his online store.
 

JBroida

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Thank you. This helps a lot to explain the different steels used in the different versions of the knives. Since he was pretty clear on this video, I wonder why he has decided not to give that information out on his online store.
It encourages people to ask me, and then we can have a more in depth conversation about what makes the most sense
 

MarkC

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It encourages people to ask me, and then we can have a more in depth conversation about what makes the most sense
Jon, thanks for weighing in. When do you expect another round of these in the store if you know?
 
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