Yanagiba recommendation

Kitchen Knife Forums

Help Support Kitchen Knife Forums:

pgugger

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2017
Messages
74
Reaction score
127
Location
Connecticut, USA
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
 

daveb

Staff member
Administrator
Global Moderators
Joined
Mar 12, 2012
Messages
10,386
Reaction score
1,454
Suisin makes some nice yani at different price points. Give a look to Korin.
 

pgugger

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2017
Messages
74
Reaction score
127
Location
Connecticut, USA
Suisin makes some nice yani at different price points. Give a look to Korin.
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.
 

daveb

Staff member
Administrator
Global Moderators
Joined
Mar 12, 2012
Messages
10,386
Reaction score
1,454
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.
 

dafox

Supporting Member
Joined
May 27, 2017
Messages
1,136
Reaction score
251
Location
Colorado
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
 

pgugger

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2017
Messages
74
Reaction score
127
Location
Connecticut, USA
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.
Thanks, I like the idea of flexibility choosing specs, but that aside would you say you like your Hide or Suisin more?
 

pgugger

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2017
Messages
74
Reaction score
127
Location
Connecticut, USA
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
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.
 

daveb

Staff member
Administrator
Global Moderators
Joined
Mar 12, 2012
Messages
10,386
Reaction score
1,454
Thanks, I like the idea of flexibility choosing specs, but that aside would you say you like your Hide or Suisin more?
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.
 

Benuser

Supporting Member
Joined
May 3, 2011
Messages
6,199
Reaction score
604
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.
 

pgugger

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2017
Messages
74
Reaction score
127
Location
Connecticut, USA
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.
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.

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

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.
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.
 

CiderBear

Senior Member
Joined
May 23, 2019
Messages
905
Reaction score
918
Location
United States
@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:

daveb

Staff member
Administrator
Global Moderators
Joined
Mar 12, 2012
Messages
10,386
Reaction score
1,454
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.....
 

M1k3

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2018
Messages
2,318
Reaction score
1,881
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.....
To much food?
 

daddy yo yo

Senior Member
Joined
May 1, 2012
Messages
1,828
Reaction score
545
There is a Masamoto KK on BST, I think it is brand new. Have a look, I think it fits the bill.
 

adam92

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2016
Messages
497
Reaction score
99
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.
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
 

rebornhj

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2018
Messages
78
Reaction score
15
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.
 

pgugger

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2017
Messages
74
Reaction score
127
Location
Connecticut, USA
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.

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

There is a Masamoto KK on BST, I think it is brand new. Have a look, I think it fits the bill.
Nice. It does look like a good possibility. Anyone know how this compares to the Gesshin Uraku?

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.
Thanks, I’ll look into these too.
 

BJE1

Hobbyist Craftsman
Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2013
Messages
250
Reaction score
53
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.
 

minibatataman

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2018
Messages
552
Reaction score
321
Location
Maastricht
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.
 
Top