Yanagiba recommendation

Discussion in 'The Kitchen Knife' started by pgugger, Feb 17, 2020.

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  1. Feb 17, 2020 #1

    pgugger

    pgugger

    pgugger

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    I am looking to buy a nice ~300 mm yanagiba as a wedding gift for someone who is a serious home cook and appreciates classy, quality cutlery. He does not own one now, so there is no point of reference, but I think he would like something that is not only functional but also beautiful and hand-crafted (so maybe not a mass production Masamoto with ho wood). I suspect he might actually be better off with a sujihiki, but he has directly told me on multiple occasions he wants a yanagiba, so I feel like I should just go with it. I'm open to suggestions on either, though. He prepares a lot of seafood that he catches himself, and I think he wants to get more serious about sushi. The budget is ~$500. Does not have to be in stock now, but there should be a reasonable expectation that it will be in the next 3-6 months.

    I am curious to hear a variety of suggestions, but here are some I looked at and thought might be contenders:
    Togashi W#1
    Gesshin Hide
    Doi B#2 (CKTG)
    Aonikou B#2
    Tesshu Damascus
    Various Hitohira lines

    Honyaki or Shigefusa Kitaeji would be awesome, of course, but probably way over budget.

    Thanks for your help! Here is the completed knife questionnaire:

    LOCATION
    What country are you in?
    USA


    KNIFE TYPE
    What type of knife are you interested in (e.g., chef’s knife, slicer, boning knife, utility knife, bread knife, paring knife, cleaver)?
    Yanagiba (or sujihiki, if you convince me to go against his stated interest)

    Are you right or left handed?
    Right

    Are you interested in a Western handle (e.g., classic Wusthof handle) or Japanese handle?
    Japanese

    What length of knife (blade) are you interested in (in inches or millimeters)?
    300 mm - mostly because I hear that is a good all-around size and he has plenty of counter space for it.

    Do you require a stainless knife? (Yes or no)
    No

    What is your absolute maximum budget for your knife?
    Let's say $500, with some flexibility, and of course, I don't need to spend that much if there is a better choice for less.


    KNIFE USE
    Do you primarily intend to use this knife at home or a professional environment?
    Home

    What are the main tasks you primarily intend to use the knife for (e.g., slicing vegetables, chopping vegetables, mincing vegetables, slicing meats, cutting down poultry, breaking poultry bones, filleting fish, trimming meats, etc.)? (Please identify as many tasks as you would like.)
    Sushi, presumably, but I do wonder if he intends to use if for other slicing tasks

    What knife, if any, are you replacing?
    None

    Do you have a particular grip that you primarily use? (Please click on this LINK for the common types of grips.)
    Unknown, but assume good technique

    What cutting motions do you primarily use? (Please click on this LINK for types of cutting motions and identify the two or three most common cutting motions, in order of most used to least used.)
    NA

    What improvements do you want from your current knife? If you are not replacing a knife, please identify as many characteristics identified below in parentheses that you would like this knife to have.)
    See intro above.

    Better aesthetics (e.g., a certain type of finish; layered/Damascus or other pattern of steel; different handle color/pattern/shape/wood; better scratch resistance; better stain resistance)?
    Aesthetics are important but I think the main goal is to avoid something that appears mass production. Classic octagonal handle, but with something a little nicer than ho wood, ideally.

    Comfort (e.g., lighter/heavier knife; better handle material; better handle shape; rounded spine/choil of the knife; improved balance)?

    Ease of Use (e.g., ability to use the knife right out of the box; smoother rock chopping, push cutting, or slicing motion; less wedging; better food release; less reactivity with food; easier to sharpen)?
    NA

    Edge Retention (i.e., length of time you want the edge to last without sharpening)?
    Not of great importance


    KNIFE MAINTENANCE
    Do you use a bamboo, wood, rubber, or synthetic cutting board? (Yes or no.)
    No

    Do you sharpen your own knives? (Yes or no.)
    Yes

    Are you interested in
    purchasing sharpening products for your knives? (Yes or no.)
    No
     
  2. Feb 17, 2020 #2

    dafox

    dafox

    dafox

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  3. Feb 18, 2020 #3
    Suisin makes some nice yani at different price points. Give a look to Korin.
     
  4. Feb 18, 2020 #4

    pgugger

    pgugger

    pgugger

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    Thank you both. Do you suggest these options over the ones I listed, or are they just additional equivalents to consider? It seems that there are a fair number of options in the $400-$500 range, but I am not sure which ones are "better" (better value, better performers, nicer F&F, etc). At this point, I know very little about yanagibas, even though I have experience with a variety of gyutos.

    Also, I'm in NYC area so I could easily stop in at Korin or MTC Kitchen some time to look. That said, I don't necessarily want to restrict myself to these stores.
     
  5. Feb 18, 2020 #5
    I have a Gesshin Hide and like it. Not familiar with your other contenders. Also have a Suisin that I like and one reason I suggest it is they offer knives at different price points so you can manage your level of pain.
     
    CiderBear likes this.
  6. Feb 18, 2020 #6

    dafox

    dafox

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    I'm not familiar with any in your first post. I recommended the one that I did as I've considered it in the past, high quality, and it seems like you can add a bit of something special with an upgraded handle.
    Still, having said that, I chose to get a Masamoto Sohonten Hon Kasumi White Steel No.2 Yanagiba.
    They might look a bit plain Jane, but they are high quality. You can get one with a white ferule that personally I think looks good.
    https://japanesechefsknife.com/coll...-180mm-to-330mm-6-sizes-1?variant=29004559427
     
  7. Feb 18, 2020 #7

    pgugger

    pgugger

    pgugger

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    Thanks, I like the idea of flexibility choosing specs, but that aside would you say you like your Hide or Suisin more?
     
  8. Feb 18, 2020 #8

    pgugger

    pgugger

    pgugger

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    Thanks, I probably should be open to the Masamoto too if it really competes on quality and fit and finish at this price point. I was biased against it in part for the plain look and also in part because some other Masamoto KS series knives I held in the past seemed to have subpar F&F for the price. Maybe that doesn’t apply to the yanagibas as much? I know they are often recommended in other threads online.
     
  9. Feb 18, 2020 #9
    In use it's a tossup. The Suisin is noticeably easier to sharpen (for me). The Hide is Ginsanko, don't remember if Suisin is white or blue (prob white) and was one of the special offerings at their Suisin event. I've also had the Suisin Saika variant in both the yani and kiritsuke. Pretty sweet. https://www.korin.com/HSU-SAIYA-300-R.
     
  10. Feb 20, 2020 #10

    adam92

    adam92

    adam92

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    Email Jon, He is one of best vendor can answer your question & found out what's best for you preference, highly recommend.
    jon@japaneseknifeimports.com
     
  11. Feb 20, 2020 #11

    Benuser

    Benuser

    Benuser

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    Please remember a single bevel has to get 'opened'. Unless your friend is familiar with single bevels, look for a retailer who is prepared to do it.
     
  12. Feb 20, 2020 #12

    pgugger

    pgugger

    pgugger

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    Thanks, in general, it seems like people don't have strong preferences in this price bracket... I guess it mostly comes down to style and other personal preferences.

    Good idea... I was already starting to think that based on comments in other threads. I am leaning towards one of his products anyway. :)

    Good point. I am actually starting to lean towards a lower price point (~$200-$300) because he does not have any other single-bevel knives. The Uraku might be a better option than the Hide, for example. I was thinking I should go all in for the occasion but it may not be the wisest move in this case.
     
    adam92 likes this.
  13. Feb 21, 2020 #13

    CiderBear

    CiderBear

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    @pgugger I recommend watching the numerous videos Jon has made about the Gesshin Hide. Honestly if I ever had the money (not the need, I'll never have the need) for a single bevel knife, it'll have to be from this line.

    @daveb do I want a yanagiba? :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2020
  14. Feb 21, 2020 #14
    Hehehe, "a" yanagiba implies only one. You want at least two - a "good" one for you and a lesser one for when friends visit.

    The honesuki discussion a few days ago and this one with the yani reminds me that I have knives that I go shopping to find suitable product for. There's probably a term for that. It's probably not flattering. It's probably never been used in this forum.....
     
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  15. Feb 21, 2020 #15

    M1k3

    M1k3

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    To much food?
     
  16. Feb 21, 2020 #16

    daddy yo yo

    daddy yo yo

    daddy yo yo

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    There is a Masamoto KK on BST, I think it is brand new. Have a look, I think it fits the bill.
     
  17. Feb 21, 2020 #17

    adam92

    adam92

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    Yes, You can't go wrong if you talk to Jon, I'm 100% sure he will answer everything you need to know. I was based in New Zealand, Every time if i frustrate with my sharpening problem, i talk to him, he's very kind to help me out.

    As you said so, he don't have any single bevel knife, I assume Jon will introduce Uraku as a first knife also.

    @JBroida
     
  18. Feb 22, 2020 #18

    rebornhj

    rebornhj

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    I recommend blue steel yanagiba. I use Tsukiji Masamoto white 1 yanagi, Aritsugu blue 2 yanagi, and Nenohi Kaede (rust resistent steel). Aritsugu blue is better than the other two yanagibas when it comes to performance. It just cuts better, feels better, and the edge stays sharp longer.

    I would go with Doi blue #2 or Toyama blue yanagiba.
     
  19. Feb 23, 2020 #19

    pgugger

    pgugger

    pgugger

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    After hearing from Jon, I am thinking that something like the Gesshin Uraku might be the way to go after all. Probably best not to go all in on the Hide or similar when the recipient is a beginner with single bevels.

    Thanks, these are very convincing... Now I want one for myself too!

    Nice. It does look like a good possibility. Anyone know how this compares to the Gesshin Uraku?

    Thanks, I’ll look into these too.
     
  20. Feb 23, 2020 #20

    BJE1

    BJE1

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    I have a GESSHIN URAKU and it is great for the money and John will do the firsts sharpening for you so it’s ready to go.
     
    jonnachang likes this.
  21. Feb 25, 2020 #21

    minibatataman

    minibatataman

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    The uraku line is fantastic for the price. I've only tried double bevel knives from the line but they were solid. However, I'd imagine the masamoto to be a considerable step up. The one on BST is a great deal, for the same price I'd rather get the masamoto.
     

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