WTB WTB 210-240 Gyuto

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SliceNDice

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Hi All,

My friend who is also a chef is in the market for a Gyuto, figured I'd hit the forums. His budget is $800-ish which is more than what I usually spend on a knife. At that price point I'm a somewhat out of touch, so if you guys can make any recommendations. Not opposed to picking up something used. But please make me look good, LOL. He's a semi-famous chef and I'm trying to convert him over to Japanese steel. 210-240 carbon or carbon/stainless.

Thanks!
 

lumo

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That's a pretty broad range, is he looking for more of wow-unique factor than a work knife?
 

SliceNDice

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That's a pretty broad range, is he looking for more of wow-unique factor than a work knife?
I can narrow it down, a working knife would be great, not looking for wall hangers. I mean the most expensive knife i own is $300, so I don't know what happens from $300 to $800, maybe it's all hype, but that's why I'm asking. Give me a few suggestions guys.

Tell Mr semi famous to fill out the forms like everybody else. 🙂
He's old school, I'd be surprised if he knew how to open a web browser.
 

FishmanDE

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Get him a blue #2, so he doesn’t have to sharpen much (he’ll love it), stainless clad, because if he’s not using Japanese steel his knives are probably already some form of stain less (or go a semi stainless direction) and if he’s so old he wouldn’t know much about the web, he probably rock chops so you’re going to want something with good belly. I’d suggest something from s. Tanaka. They have variety in steel, potential SS clad options and you can snag them new 300-500 then ship them somewhere like custom chop shop to get decked out. That’s assuming he wants a wa handle. If you want Yo, he’ll probably really like T. Saji. Stunning looks with great performance, although they might be less in the way of belly. Another wa option is watanabe/Toyama, but wats seem to be on back order for another month, and the simple aesthetic of the Toyama for the price tag might be underwhelming for someone new to this. Disclaimer, I’ve never used these as I, like you, try to keep it below $300, but I’ve read very good things.
 

SliceNDice

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What is his current favorite chef's knife?
He uses a variety of German knives, but I think his go to is Wusthof. In the chef's kitchen he also uses "commercial knives," which get rotated out every few weeks.

Get him a blue #2, so he doesn’t have to sharpen much (he’ll love it), stainless clad, because if he’s not using Japanese steel his knives are probably already some form of stain less (or go a semi stainless direction) and if he’s so old he wouldn’t know much about the web, he probably rock chops so you’re going to want something with good belly. I’d suggest something from s. Tanaka. They have variety in steel, potential SS clad options and you can snag them new 300-500 then ship them somewhere like custom chop shop to get decked out. That’s assuming he wants a wa handle. If you want Yo, he’ll probably really like T. Saji. Stunning looks with great performance, although they might be less in the way of belly. Another wa option is watanabe/Toyama, but wats seem to be on back order for another month, and the simple aesthetic of the Toyama for the price tag might be underwhelming for someone new to this. Disclaimer, I’ve never used these as I, like you, try to keep it below $300, but I’ve read very good things.
He's a rock chopper. It's funny you mention Tanaka becuase I own a few myself. I absolutely love them, I have a stainless and the R2. I came up with the $800 figure, but maybe it's not necessary to go quite that high. I think a wa handle is a good choice, doesn't need to be a custom shop handle.
 

lumo

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How about a set of lightly used Mazaki with change enough to get some starter stones...if $800 is your budget
JNS 180 petty
JNS 2nd or 3rd gen 240 gyuto
JNS 270 gyuto or a 270 suji
 

Bigbbaillie

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For someone who is a professional cook and not used to J-Knives you should probably lean towards stainless clad. I would go for Toyama/Wat, plenty under his price range, and definitely shouldn't disappoint performance wise.
 

FishmanDE

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He uses a variety of German knives, but I think his go to is Wusthof. In the chef's kitchen he also uses "commercial knives," which get rotated out every few weeks.



He's a rock chopper. It's funny you mention Tanaka becuase I own a few myself. I absolutely love them, I have a stainless and the R2. I came up with the $800 figure, but maybe it's not necessary to go quite that high. I think a wa handle is a good choice, doesn't need to be a custom shop handle.
i only mention the custom because as a rock chopper personally, some larger wa handles might get in the way a bit at first. Getting my handles replace was money well spent for me.
 

ModRQC

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IDK but for me budget + old school western + something with good belly and a solid tip to work rock chops and some western kind of height at heel spells TF Yo. I’ve never handled any other J-knife coming closer to work like a German while being so totally J.

Anyways, good luck with this! :)
 

Up_dog128

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I'm not sure that it would make sense for him to go spending nearly a grand the first time he steps into the J-knife arena, with no experience beyond Wustoff to guide him in getting 'the One'. With the BST here, I think that he could get 3-4 knives by different makers at used prices. Then figure out what is working for him, and what isn't, and you could sell the ones he doesn't wanna keep. More work for you, but then you get to play around with whatever knives you get him.
I'll second the suggestions above. Also, I think a Kono could fit the bill, cuz you know fit & finish is gonna be totch, and the HD2 line is semi-stainless.

Or, f*** it, just get him a Dalman honyaki. :upsidedownspin:
 

ModRQC

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Yeah Shi.Han does it alright. 🥰
 

tostadas

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The Hinouras I've tried had decent belly, nice flat spot, and the most wonderful rustic charm. Feels like it can take a beating as well. Quite a few stainless clad versions out there
 

MrHiggins

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I'd go for a ShiHan, too, in 52100. Tough, non-chippy steel that takes a really stable patina over time. Heavy enough that it won't be a shock if he's used to German knives but still excellent cutters. They're also super sexy, so if your buddy is on TV, the knife will make him look good.
 
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SliceNDice

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You guys do not disappoint! I'll look at these recommendations when I get off work tonight. This should be good enough to get me started.
 
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Gregmega

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I’d say Marko in 52100 is your guy. Under your price point, easy market entrance into handmade knives from his comfort position, and fairly low maintenance. Going from German production knives, this is a pretty indestructible option that would make the most sense imo.
 

@ftermath

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I’d say Marko in 52100 is your guy. Under your price point, easy market entrance into handmade knives from his comfort position, and fairly low maintenance. Going from German production knives, this is a pretty indestructible option that would make the most sense imo.
I’m buying if you’re offering.
 

SliceNDice

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I'm not sure that it would make sense for him to go spending nearly a grand the first time he steps into the J-knife arena, with no experience beyond Wustoff to guide him in getting 'the One'. With the BST here, I think that he could get 3-4 knives by different makers at used prices. Then figure out what is working for him, and what isn't, and you could sell the ones he doesn't wanna keep. More work for you, but then you get to play around with whatever knives you get him.
I'll second the suggestions above. Also, I think a Kono could fit the bill, cuz you know fit & finish is gonna be totch, and the HD2 line is semi-stainless.

Or, f*** it, just get him a Dalman honyaki. :upsidedownspin:
Great point. I went through the list and some of the knives that were recommended are out of stock, but yea, I like the idea. I saw 52100 being thrown around a lot, I don't own any knives with that steel. Can anyone give a quick rundown of how that steel compares to some of the other popular steels like blue, white, etc..
 

Up_dog128

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With good heat treats (like from the makers people are discussing here) I've found it to be tougher than shiro & aogamis (less chippy) It also has around 1.6% chromium, and isn't *quite* as reactive white steel, although still plenty reactive. My custom EDC was in 52100, and I could mallet that thing thru hickory and oak without rolling the edge at all, which i haven't been able to do with white and blue shop knives. But that likely has to do with the maker... I haven't tried Shihan's treatment of it, so someone else will need to chime in, but I imagine its on point.
 

@ftermath

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From what I have read, what seems to set Shehan’s 52100 apart is that he purposely doesn’t push the steel to its maximum HRC. It’s tough and gave me a sense of confidence in all around use. I didn’t sharpen the one I had (won’t make that mistake again) but I loved the knife. It was just a bit heavy and blade forward for my tastes at that time. It would likely be right in line with what I prefer now. I also had a ZKramer 52100 and loved sharpening that knife. I used the Shihan less but it was consistent with my more expansive use of the ZKramer with both being reactive but relatively easily maintained.
 

MrHiggins

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So I'm literally using my ShiHan right now to make turkey soup. It's such a fantastic knife. As for the steel, I love it. Definitely not as chippy as white or blue, gets screaming sharp, and feels great on the stones. Mine is not as reactive as white or blue, and way less reactive than most iron cladding. Great carbon steel for a pro environment.
20210228_153444.jpg
 

Nagakin

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FWIW out of the 30ish knives that went in and out of my home last year, there are 2 by Shihan and 2 by @HSC /// Knives that aren't going anywhere. Send them an email or message and they can make whatever your friend is used to on steroids instead of him needing to learn new cutting styles right away. The wow factor will probably be bigger that way too and get him more into knives on its own.
 

Gregmega

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Also 52100 is great for a pro chef in that it works exceedingly well with a 3k -tops- toothy edge, which is about all pros take the time to get to. That and it’s way less reactive, tough as nails, & isn’t the most expensive material makes for a great choice. The hardest part is gonna be picking the maker.
 
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