Yet Another First Gyuto Recommendation Thread

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LOCATION: USA, East Coast

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)?
-Wa-Gyuto

Are you right or left handed?
-Right Handed

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

What length of knife (blade) are you interested in (in inches or millimeters)?
-210 to 240, maximum heel height 49mm

Do you require a stainless knife? (Yes or no)
-Stainless or Semi-stainless core preferred

What is your absolute maximum budget for your knife?
-Looking up to $300


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.)
- I want to murder vegetables, and I want to do it with breath-taking ease. I want onions to forget that they were ever whole; I want them to think that they sliced and diced themselves of their own free will.

What knife, if any, are you replacing?
-Not replacing any, looking instead to complement my 9.5" Carbon-Steel Wusthof. That knife is very near and dear to me, but it's well past time that it had a tag-team partner.

Do you have a particular grip that you primarily use? (Please click on this LINK for the common types of grips.)
-Pinch

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.)
-My current knife has me trained in a more European fashion heavily prejudiced towards rocking, and walking. I'd like round that out with versatile Japanese blade that is gifted at slicing, and push cutting.

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.)
-Starting from above, my Wusthof has a lot of belly. If that's "day", I'm looking for "night". I want a brutally sharp edge, with a good flat that can push-cut for days.

This is it:


I'm looking for a knife that's less reactive than my current carbon-steel. That's not to say that stainless is required; I'm still going to take care of the knife regardless, but I'd like a knife where the reactivity is greatly reduced such that I feel like I can actually concentrate on cooking, and can comfortably walk away for thirty seconds without needing to exercise a routine.


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)?
-At first glance I'm always skeptical of decorative finishes, Damascus above all. I'm always fearful that the Damascus is there as gimmickry to help sell an average blade. I'm always concerned first and foremost with the quality of the steel and the grind. However, if decoration is used to accent a knife that is already exceptional, the results can be stunning and I wouldn't refuse a beautiful Damascus pattern, tsuchime, or kurouchi finish on principle alone. In fact, the more the better, so long as the decoration is there to accent and not disguise the nature of the blade.

What actually leaves me weak is a beautiful hamon pattern, because to me that's a much truer sign of the maker's attention to the steel. I'm thinking about a semi-stainless core that will develop patina and character, with either a stainless cladding or well-done kurouchi or tsuchime to aid in protection and/or food-release. If decorative finish is included, please let it have a purpose above and beyond sales gimmickry. I want taste.


Comfort (e.g., lighter/heavier knife; better handle material; better handle shape; rounded spine/choil of the knife; improved balance)?
-Light to medium-light weight. Comfortable for pinch-grip. Rounded spine and choils are preferred but not required; I am an enthusiast not a professional chef, so I will not be chopping for 8 hours a day.

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)?
-Outstanding versatility with push-cutting, slicing and chopping of onions in particular. Good balance between lack of wedging and food-release.

Edge Retention (i.e., length of time you want the edge to last without sharpening)?
-I'm flexible.

KNIFE MAINTENANCE
Do you use a bamboo, wood, rubber, or synthetic cutting board? (Yes or no.)
-Yes, wood
Do you sharpen your own knives? (Yes or no.)
-Yes
If not, are you interested in learning how to sharpen your knives? (Yes or no.)
Are you interested in purchasing sharpening products for your knives? (Yes or no.)
-Yes, always
 

dafox

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Have you thought about a semi stainless Gengetsu from JKI? Seems to tick a lot of your boxes.
 

captaincaed

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A Teruyasu Fujiwara nashiji might also fit the bill. Good cutters, decent food release, stainless clad and a decent amount of character story behind the maker. White steel carbon core, but you can walk away for a minute without worrying.
There's a Canadian retailer with a 210 in your price range.

You could also do a search for Yoshikane Tsuchime SKD, which has a semi-stainless core that I think sharpens very nicely, and the hammered finish helps with food release. Good character too. There are a couple US retailers that carry these.
 

Matus

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Yoshikane SKD might wedge in hard vegetables a bit, otherwise it is a great knife.

What about JNS Kaeru Stainless, or JKI: Gesshon Ginga, En Gissnko, or Grsshin Kagero?

You can also try to find an Itinomonn StainLess on BST - that knife would fit your description perfectly. Actually - you can still find it here: http://www.nipponshop.cz/166/itinomonn-inox-wa-gyuto-240mm.html

And I just stumbled over the Nihei SLD Nashiji over on CarbonKnifeCo

Plus there are quite a few monosteel lasers like Komosuke HD, Suisin Inox Honyaki, etc.
 
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AT5760

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I’ve got a Nihei SLD. It checks a lot of your boxes, under 50mm tall, can be left on the board for a few minutes, healthy flat spot. It is also a really pretty knife in person, good F&F, nice polish on it.
 

Ochazuke

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You should also look at the Yoshimi Kato ginsan series.

If you want to murder vegetables, also consider the bunka shape he does. It’s made to slaughter the veggies. You won’t find the length you’re looking for with a bunka, but I find a lot of home cooks like the length and shape.
 

Matus

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Is Itinomonn made by Wakui, or is my memory failing me?
It was never made public who made Itinomonn knives. I was however told by a person who has first hand knowledge about Wakui that the SemiStainless series was NOT made by Wakui. I do not know whether some of the carbon core Itinomonn knives were made by Wakui or not.
 

LucasFur

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Not sure why people here don't suggest BST options. So many bst options always poping up. Best deals around. Don't like the blade? - re-sell with marginal losses. Buy new and take a hit if you want to sell.
 

ian

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Not sure why people here don't suggest BST options. So many bst options always poping up. Best deals around. Don't like the blade? - re-sell with marginal losses. Buy new and take a hit if you want to sell.
Can you think of a knife on BST that fits the above criteria better? I can't.

When there's something on BST that seems to fit a buyer, I often see it suggested. That said, often people post here with very specific criteria, in response to the questionnaire, so there's often not something currently on BST that fits.
 

Ochazuke

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Not sure why people here don't suggest BST options. So many bst options always poping up. Best deals around. Don't like the blade? - re-sell with marginal losses. Buy new and take a hit if you want to sell.
If they’re somebody who’s already in to Japanese knives, then sure. But if it looks like they’re buying one of their first ones then absolutely not. I usually suggest a reputable vendor so that they’re more likely to get a quality product and have more protections in case they don’t.

You never know what you’re going to get, even with “BNIB” knives. I’ve certainly been burned on here and I’d hate to see that happen to somebody else (especially if they don’t have the time or interest in fixing it).
 
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ian

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Also, Kaeru may satisfy all the explicit criteria above, but I hear it spoken more of as a great all rounder than a high performance machine. (I haven’t tried one.) The OP wanted something that will absolutely murder onions and have decent release. Besides, when someone lists $300 as their max, usually that indicates that they’ll feel a little disappointed spending less than $100...
 

Spadazzo88

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I’ll go for a makoto kurosaki. His brother makes wonderful stainless laser gyuto in my opinion. They’re here in Europe around 200 euros
 
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Checking back in after a couple of months. I love my Gengetsu. At first it was a major adjustment from my Carbon-steel Wusthof, as would be expected. I really had a major hurdle regarding the lightness of the gyuto in comparison.

But now I'm very happy with my purchase, and it is absolutely ruthless in the role that I intended for it, massacring onions in a frightful manner. I've now got a very compelling pair that complement each other extraordinarily well in strengths vs. weaknesses.
 

ThatGreenBronco

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I'm about to pull the trigger on a Gengetsu as well! Would you do 210mm again or go for 240mm? The 210 is right at 1/2 the weight of my current 7" santoku... so crazy. I'd love to hear a report on reactivity as well. Thanks!
 
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Congrats on the new knife! Did you get the carbon or semi-stainless?
Semi. My first semi stainless. My first carbon steel blade was a revelation; stainless felt lifeless by comparison, but I wanted to split the difference.
I'm about to pull the trigger on a Gengetsu as well! Would you do 210mm again or go for 240mm? The 210 is right at 1/2 the weight of my current 7" santoku... so crazy. I'd love to hear a report on reactivity as well. Thanks!
I'd go for the 240. I got the 210 because it complemented the rest of my collection better, and my cutting board is pretty cramped most of the time, but I think the small additional premium is nothing compared to an extra inch or more of steel.
 
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