Which is the best laser?

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Cliff

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You need to do what makes sense for you. If you think you might like something then buy it and see. Great thing about bst is that you can arrive at your own conclusions first hand. If you don't like something it doesn't mean it's a bad thing. You can resell it for a (usually) small "usage tax".
This.

I have a 150 Ginga petty. Keep in mind that it's from Sakai and runs small. It's great to supreme fruit, but it's on the small side. What do you want the knife for? Getting a bigger petty or small suji would work as a utility knife, but those aren't as good at getting into small spaces.
 

Cliff

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Would a Takeda be considered a laser?
I don't think there's universal consensus. They are thin, for sure. I think of mine as a do-almost-everything for those who like thin knives. The S-grind makes it feel beefy next to my HD2 and Gingas.
 

jacko9

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I have never seen a definition for a "laser" knife. To my way of thinking it a tall thin knife thats very thin behind the edge (at least thats my definition). I've had a Konosuke HD2 240 Gyuto that was sold as a laser and I have had a 240 FT Konosuke Fujiyama that seemed much thinner as an example of the confusion around labels like laser and workhorse. There seem to be no simple answers, just buy one and try it for yourself.
 

josemartinlopez

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The FM is only on there third as it depends on the knife you get. The White 2 210 was listed as 132g, but my knife came in at 117g which I consider a laser.
Thanks, I thought you meant, the way it was worded, that getting the FM depended on which of the other two knives you get...
 

esoo

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Thanks, I thought you meant, the way it was worded, that getting the FM depended on which of the other two knives you get...
I have a review thread of the FM vs the HD2 - bottom line for the knives I got is the choice between the two really comes down to which steel do you want.
 

deanb

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I have a Suisin 270 mm Inox Honyaki gyuto and a 210 mm petty. Both are lasers. RHC 61 which I think is a very good hardness for kitchen knives. The petty is a great fillet knife and the gyuto can make incredibly thin cuts. Easy to sharpen and they hold an edge for a long time.
 

Hamso k

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So first off in my opinion "best laser" is a difficult one. If by best you mean which laser is the sharpest, has the best geometry and edge retention, then this knife isn't it. But in my experience, I haven't enjoyed using a knife more. The knife I'm talking about is a Takayuki TUS 210mm. It's a softer (probably <60hrc), stainless line designed to be used in pro kitchens. Softer knives are much better suited for this type of environment as they are much more durable.

I'm a full time soup cook and do my own prep. Usually that means at least 20qts of mirepoix a day plus whatever other vegetables are going in (lots of butternut). I had a nightmare time trying to find a knife that worked for me. All I wanted was a knife I didn't have to baby that was still a really good knife. I finally found this one and was super happy with it. I didn't have to worry about being gentle with every cut I made, I didn't have to worry if it accidentally fell on the floor, and I didn't have to worry if, God forbid, one of my coworkers got ahold of it. On top of all that, it was a laser, which in my experience, are unrivaled when it comes to doing long stretches of repetitive vegetable prep. I've used fancier knives as well including a thick Kurosaki and an laser Akifusa nakiri (both Blue Super). In my experience, I didn't notice much of a difference in edge retention and the takayuki was just as, if not sharper when I first bought it (theres a good chance the shop I bought it from put the edge on. I'll have to ask them if they ever open back up). It could fly through butternut for an entire month before needing to hit the stones.

This is just one of a handful of stainless lasers on the market. There are other options. I'm saving up to buy a replacement. The handle is super small and the f&f sucks. Plus its seen its fair share of abuse. I'm still not sure what to get next but I know it will be something very similar.

If you're looking for a laser to do more delicate work then this kind of knife probably isn't the right choice. But in my opinion, there's something to be said about soft stainless lasers. Does that make them "better" than a more delicate, more expensive laser that can take a slightly better edge and stay marginally sharper for slightly longer? Depends on who you ask. I'm not a knife expert. I have a cooks mentality. For me, knives are tools and the best tool is one that can do what it's supposed to do really well for a long time without breaking. What's the point of having a super expensive tool if it's just going to break the first time you drop it?
 

labor of love

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Historically a laser just meant a super light thin knife with thin spine usually mono steel and usually produced In Sakai. In the past few years just about anything thin and light gets called a laser.
My fave would be Suisin Inox Honyaki or Tadatsuna (for sell at aframes).
 

Keith Sinclair

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Used Sakai Yusuke extra thin 240 a lot at work wore one down bought another. You can't get them anymore.

Going through lots of prep with a thin blade that falls through food works for me.

My bang for the buck laser is 240 Ikazuchi.
 

josemartinlopez

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You might also consider a Western handle -- it should help the knife feel more stable and substantial.
But isn't it possible to have a knife that feels unbalanced (even if it isn't) given a very thin blade and a heavier handle like a Western or a heavier wood like ebony?
 

parbaked

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But isn't it possible to have a knife that feels unbalanced (even if it isn't) given a very thin blade and a heavier handle like a Western or a heavier wood like ebony?
Western lasers, e.g. Takamura & Ashi, have thin tangs and light handle material so they are well balanced.
 

josemartinlopez

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Any input on choosing between a laser with a Western versus wa handle? I guess a wa handle laser gyuto could be really light, about 150 grams or less, and one might enjoy having the option for a long, thin and very light knife on the rack?

Is it right that very generally (to the extent one can generalize), people say the Suisin Inox Honyaki might be slightly better quality than the Ashi Ginga but is much more expensive? Any advice on how one might decide to get a R2 laser like a Shibata over the Suisin or Ashi? I know these are all good knives and have their similarities, just asking how one might pick between one's last 3-4 choices before just buying one to try.
 

josemartinlopez

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I have a Suisin 270 mm Inox Honyaki gyuto and a 210 mm petty.
Would this be your choice of lengths if you could choose any lengths again for the Suisin Inox Honyaki, or was this choice to complement existing gyutos? Curious as Suisin has a 210 and 180 mm petty, imagine those would be fun to use as an alternative to the more typical 130-150s.
 

madelinez

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I've got a 190mm REX-121 laser from @Andrei, it actually has better food release than most of my mid-weight gyutos. I don't normally like lasers but Andrei really nails that grind. Even though it's a high carbide steel I always use it for sushi/sashimi, it just works.
 

jlm46

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For my gyutos my preferred size is 240 but I use a 180mm Stainless Ashi Ginga as a petty knife. Very nimble and gets used quite a lot coz of the size. I do wish it has better edge retention though so maybe a takamura r2 is a good upgrade. Good luck with the hunt...
 

josemartinlopez

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I use a 180mm Stainless Ashi Ginga as a petty knife. Very nimble and gets used quite a lot coz of the size. I do wish it has better edge retention
Could I ask about the context of edge retention? I thought the Suisin Inox Honyaki and Ashi Ginga were both fairly good on edge retention.
 

daveb

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I asked the same question several years ago. Recall that answer was Ginga is margially easier to sharpen. SIH has marginally better retention. I went with the GG and then later added a SIH and later still a Tad. I could not discern a difference.
 

josemartinlopez

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Thanks, that's really helpful. Just to close that off, would there be any non-marginal difference if you compare against the R2 lasers like the Shibatas, which are at a higher price point?

Also, any input on choosing between a laser with a Western versus wa handle? For example, does anyone pick the Suisin among very similar lasers because it has a wa handle and you would end up with one of the lightest gyutos liked over here, and something you can get slightly longer than your favored length because it would be so light?
 

M1k3

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Handle is more of preference of style. They're all designed with the balance point right around the pinch grip point.
 

josemartinlopez

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Yes but specifically in the case of a laser gyuto, anyone pick a wa handle with the intention of buying one of the lightest gyutos possible for the size?
 

M1k3

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Me personally, no. Just picked what looked interesting and bought it.
 
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