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non ducor, duco
Picture of Nickelsig229
posted
So I'm on a health kick, dropping some serious weight and spending a lot of time prepping meals and cooking.

I figured as a little reward for my successful weight loss I would upgrade my tools. I purchased a decent cutting board and now I'm looking for a decent knife.

I currently use a budget Henckles set. I think it was 69 bucks for the 13 piece knife set back in 2004. Better then junk, but not by much.

I'm wondering if anyone has any advice on a quality gyuto, maybe even a piece of a quality set that I could by piece by piece on my weight loss journey as periodic rewards. I'm especially interested in something over 60-61 rockwell hardness.

I think I would like to keep it under 150 per piece if that is even possible.




First In Last Out
 
Posts: 4205 | Location: CT | Registered: October 15, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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When I bought, I went with Shun Classic knives. Specifically, I got 2 8” and 1 6” chef’s knives. I followed up with one of their paring knives. They were crazy sharp when I got them and will stay that way with regular honing using a steel. I’ve had mine for 5-6 years and have not had to have them sharpened.


———-
Do not meddle in the affairs of wizards, for thou art crunchy and taste good with catsup.
 
Posts: 3831 | Location: DFW | Registered: May 21, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
non ducor, duco
Picture of Nickelsig229
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quote:
Originally posted by jbcummings:
When I bought, I went with Shun Classic knives. Specifically, I got 2 8” and 1 6” chef’s knives. I followed up with one of their paring knives. They were crazy sharp when I got them and will stay that way with regular honing using a steel. I’ve had mine for 5-6 years and have not had to have them sharpened.


Is this the model you got?

https://www.cutleryandmore.com...c/chefs-knife-p16316

or this one?

https://www.cutleryandmore.com...-chefs-knife-p125191

Is there a swell in the grip or is it straight from start to finish?

Any corrosion issues or chipping?

It does look like it would fit my price range and desired hardness, not to mention it looks good.




First In Last Out
 
Posts: 4205 | Location: CT | Registered: October 15, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have several Shun Classic knives and have been very happy with them. One of those is the 8" chef's knife in your first link. It's a great chef's knife, but it's very much in the European pattern and I wouldn't call it a gyuto. The knife in your second link looks like a gyuto.

You might also consider going up to a 9" or 10" chef's knife. There are good arguments to be made for the longer knife, even if you're doing little, detailed stuff. You shouldn't ever really be using the point of a chef's knife for anything (even on a 6" or 8" knife, it's too far from the handle for good control), so the point being farther from the handle doesn't matter. The extra blade length lets you comfortably slice larger stuff, and for little stuff, you can just use the part of the blade close to the handle. The extra mass of the blade actually helps make cuts smoother and more consistent.

Some people do find a long knife intimidating. My wife always selects the smallest possible knife (sometimes smaller than is really reasonable) for any given task.

The handle on the Shun Classic line doesn't really have a swell, although it tapers slightly - it is a bit narrower towards the blade.

One note - the handle profile is a bit triangular and is DEFINITELY intended for use in a specific hand. I'm right handed and all my Shun Classics are the right-handed versions. They are extremely comfortable in the right hand. You can, of course, use them in the opposite hand, but it's a bit uncomfortable.

Details on the handle profile here:

https://shun.kaiusaltd.com/blo...and-d-shaped-handles

As far as corrosion or chipping - I have not had any problems.

Most of Shun's knives (including the Classic line) use a laminated construction with a layer of a high quality stainless blade steel (used to be VG-10, now something called VG-MAX that is apparently based on VG-10) sandwiched between pieces of very stainless Damascus steel. Shun hardens these knives so that the VG-10/VG-MAX steel is at 60-61 RC.

More traditional Japanese kitchen cutlery is usually made out of carbon steel and is sometimes hardened as high as 65 RC. This is where the concerns about chipping and corrosion come from. Knives like Shun's Classic line are made out of steel that is both stainless and softer so it's less likely to corrode or chip.

Even with the more traditional Japanese knives, corrosion isn't really a concern if you take decent care of the knives (don't leave them wet in the sink overnight, don't put them in the dishwasher), and chipping mostly occurs when you are using a knife for something it isn't really intended for - when you say "oh, just this once I'll use my chef's knife for hacking through the bones in this chicken" or whatever. If you're using a western knife, particularly an inexpensive one, with a thick blade made out of soft steel, you can get away with this and probably the worst that will happen is the edge gets rolled a little bit and the knife seems dull. With a Japanese knife that has a thinner blade sharpened to a thinner angle made out of much harder steel, you might chip it.
 
Posts: 4201 | Location: TX | Registered: January 24, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
non ducor, duco
Picture of Nickelsig229
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A lot of great info, thanks.




First In Last Out
 
Posts: 4205 | Location: CT | Registered: October 15, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
always with a hat or sunscreen
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I've been very pleased with my Yoshikane 210mm Gyuto I bought in 2008 after reading a lot of info especially on a particular knife forum's kitchen area.




Blade: San Mai blade forged from SKD stainless steel surrounded by soft SUS-405 stainless steel, Hrc 64, dual bevel edge
Handle: Ho wood with buffalo horn ferrule

This message has been edited. Last edited by: bald1,



Certifiable member of the gun toting, septuagenarian, bucket list workin', crazed retiree, bald is beautiful club!
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Posts: 8558 | Location: Black Hills of South Dakota | Registered: June 20, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Optimistic Cynic
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I use this knife in my kitchen every day. I can highly recommend it.
 
Posts: 3347 | Location: NoVA | Registered: July 22, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
non ducor, duco
Picture of Nickelsig229
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I've been doing a lot of reading up.

As with most things, there is a lot of subjectivity involved with what is best or not.

I really like the aesthetic of the miyabi birch line. I just don't know if the cost is justified over their vg10 line as opposed to sg2.

I don't want to get into the custom lines, as I want to get the complete set piece by piece and would like them to be uniform and from one manufacturer.




First In Last Out
 
Posts: 4205 | Location: CT | Registered: October 15, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Little ray
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https://www.knifesharpeningsea...no-ux10-210mm-gyuto/

I have this Misono 210mm gyuto. It is a thing of beauty. The blade is light and nimble.

It doesn't have as much belly as a Western chef, so it isn't quite as good for rocking/chopping, but it is better for slicing and dicing.

A light gyuto, a western chef and a parer are what I really need for knives. Maybe a thin-bladed medium size knife for boning.




The fish is mute, expressionless. The fish doesn't think because the fish knows everything.
 
Posts: 45758 | Location: Texas | Registered: February 10, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by jhe888:
https://www.knifesharpeningsea...no-ux10-210mm-gyuto/

I have this Misono 210mm gyuto. It is a thing of beauty. The blade is light and nimble.

It doesn't have as much belly as a Western chef, so it isn't quite as good for rocking/chopping, but it is better for slicing and dicing.

A light gyuto, a western chef and a parer are what I really need for knives. Maybe a thin-bladed medium size knife for boning.


I'm of a pretty similar opinion regarding knives.

To me, the first knife to get, and the one I use the most, is an 8-10" chef's knife.

I might possibly put a boning knife in the #2 spot. It's further down the list in terms of amount of use, but none of the other knives are really suitable for boning out a bird or a roast, and it can handle general small-knife-duties pretty well if you don't want to use a big knife for something.

The knife I use most after the chef's knife is a nakiri (this one). I use it like it sounds like you use your gyuto - when there's a lot of slicing and dicing to do. A santoku is also a popular knife for this use. I haven't used a santoku much in years, but my inlaws gave me a REALLY nice one for my birthday this year, so my nakiri has some competition now. These knives are faster and more precise for cutting up vegetables than a chef's knife, and a pleasure to use, but they're really a luxury - a chef's knife still does all that just fine.

A paring knife is a distant fourth. I usually use a peeler for peeling, so my biggest use of a paring knife is when I need a lot of control over the point of a knife - meaning the point needs to be close to the handle, meaning the knife has to be small (this also means I like a SMALL paring knife - the one I use most frequently is a Shun 3.5", and I usually choke up and grip the spine of the blade between thumb and index finger). But you can do most of that stuff easily with a large knife using a Japanese technique - using the corner at the heel of the blade, right by the handle. It's not as pointy, so it doesn't work for everything, but it's surprisingly effective.

Everything else is way, way down the list.
 
Posts: 4201 | Location: TX | Registered: January 24, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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How do you plan to maintain the edge? That will go a long way towards a recommendation.



 
Posts: 205 | Location: ATL | Registered: June 28, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Little ray
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I agree, Maladat. You can almost do anything with a medium sized chef's knife. And the chef is still a good slicer and dicer.

I don't know whether I use the parer or the boner more, but both are much less used that either the chef or the gyuto.

A bread knife is handy if you bake a lot or buy whole loaves. I don't so I don't need one.




The fish is mute, expressionless. The fish doesn't think because the fish knows everything.
 
Posts: 45758 | Location: Texas | Registered: February 10, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Trophy Husband
Picture of C L Wilkins
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This is by far my favorite chef's knife. Very comfortable, easy to use and holds an edge for a long, long time.
It is a Shun Fuji 6 inch chef's knife. It is expensive.



Another very, very good chef's knife is Masamoto 7.9" knife. I had it left-hand sharpened. Ordered it on Sunday evening, arrived at my front door on Friday...from Japan.

By far, this is the best knife for the value. Very reasonably priced for the quality.



The sharpest knife I have is not a chef's knife but a MAC vegetable clever. Tomatoes? No problem. Slices can be paper thin with no effort.



This is just three of many but are my favorites.

CW

This message has been edited. Last edited by: C L Wilkins,
 
Posts: 2952 | Location: Texas | Registered: June 29, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
non ducor, duco
Picture of Nickelsig229
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quote:
Originally posted by snipes:
How do you plan to maintain the edge? That will go a long way towards a recommendation.


I'll probably use 3m lapping paper. Not sure, I've got many options available to me but lapping paper on a granite stone seems to be my favorite when doing detailed work.

I definitely want to do it by hand though. Part of the Japanese chef code I keep hearing about is that the knives don't come fully sharpened. That's the chef's "bonding" time with his knife.




First In Last Out
 
Posts: 4205 | Location: CT | Registered: October 15, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Since you are able to maintain your own edges that opens things up quite a bit. Yes, you are correct in that most of the more artisan japanese knives are finished with the expectation that the end user will put a finished edge on them to suit their needs. One thing that I typically suggest if it's offered is to pay a nominal fee to have that edge put on it by the reseller prior to shipment so you can see / feel what it should look like at its peak. That may or may not apply to you, but something I recommend often.
The other area where you should give thought to prior to purchase is the level of fit and finish you expect from the out of box product. If we assume japanese style handles, they will range from basic untreated Ho wood with plastic ferrules all the way to a nice polished ebony handle with buffalo horn ferrule. The spine and choil can range from sharp blister inducing edges to nicely sanded and finished round edges and corners. All of this will be variable and not necessarily related to price, though the more $$ you spend the fewer "unfinished" aspects of the knife in many cases.

Blade composition: The big differences you'll need to decide upon is level of reactivity. Do you want the full japanese experience with a soft iron cladding with carbon steel core steel, stainless cladding with carbon core, fully stainless? My typical recommendation is stainless clad over carbon core. This is also my personal bias poking through as well. I wouldn't get too caught up at this point in the core steel flavors other than stainless vs. carbon from a reactivity perspective. A solid heat treat from a reputable blacksmith can make most quality steels perform well, especially at the relatively low hardness levels you are looking at.
Several people have recommended Shun, they make a solid product with excellent fit and finish catered towards the western market. The biggest gripe enthusiasts tend to have with them is you are paying a premium for their marketing. Nothing wrong with that, but they are the Japanese equivalent to the big German knife houses. I'd also suggest sticking with a 210 or 240mm gyuto to start, but whatever you do, don't get a matched set. Smile

If you buy from a reputable shop and do your homework it's hard to go wrong. Your budget is right in the wheelhouse for a quality blade with average level of fit and finish, yet excellent core steel. If you don't mind putting that same level of effort into rounding some sharp edges as you are willing to do with the finished edge then you have a ton of options.



 
Posts: 205 | Location: ATL | Registered: June 28, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of maladat
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quote:
Originally posted by jhe888:
I don't know whether I use the parer or the boner more, but both are much less used that either the chef or the gyuto.


I use the boning knife the least out of the chef/veggie/paring/boning knife set, but I think it would be the hardest to give up after the chef's knife.

quote:
Originally posted by jhe888:
A bread knife is handy if you bake a lot or buy whole loaves. I don't so I don't need one.


That's very true. For some reason, I don't really think of bread knives as belonging to the category of kitchen knives, but of course they do. The bread knife is one of the most justifiable special-purpose knives and also one of the hardest to substitute something else for.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: maladat,
 
Posts: 4201 | Location: TX | Registered: January 24, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by snipes:
Several people have recommended Shun, they make a solid product with excellent fit and finish catered towards the western market. The biggest gripe enthusiasts tend to have with them is you are paying a premium for their marketing. Nothing wrong with that, but they are the Japanese equivalent to the big German knife houses.


Having enjoyed my Shun knives and made positive comments about them here, I still pretty much agree with what you've written here.

I think the comparison to Wusthof and Henckels is a good one - at least if you are comparing to their better lines of knives, which are expensive, high quality knives. Both Wusthof and Henckels have also produced some very inexpensive knives that are pretty much junk. As best I can tell, the cheapest knives Shun makes are still very good knives (and also still fairly expensive).

The other point I would make is that while you're certainly paying something for the Shun name, the bolstered full-tang construction Shun uses is more expensive to produce than the more traditional Japanese hidden-tang style, and Shun knives come from the factory extremely sharp and, as you note, with excellent fit and finish.

The bolstered full-tang construction doesn't really affect blade performance (although it could affect balance), and honestly, I don't think fit and finish really does, either. Sharpening obviously does, but with practice (or a bunch of money spent on equipment) it isn't hard to sharpen a knife yourself.

When you add the Shun name on top of those extra costs, you can certainly buy a knife with a blade as good or better for less money.



Setting aside the discussion of Shun, I've only had a little experience with Japanese culture, but one aspect of Japanese culture that I really appreciate is a certain focus on the artistic value of everyday objects, and also the artistic value placed on objects made by hand by talented craftsmen.

That is certainly present in spades in the realm of kitchen cutlery. There's a kind of soul present in a knife that was forged by hand by the master craftsman whose name is cut into the steel that just isn't present in a factory knife, as nice as that factory knife may be.

It seems to be a pretty pervasive attitude in Japan. I enjoy woodworking as a hobby, and the same sort of thing could be said about chisels. I don't think that's very surprising, but what I did find surprising was that it even extends to things like hammers. There's a type of Japanese hammer that has a head shaped like a square mallet, with one flat face that is usually used and one slightly domed face that is used for hammering nails flush without marking the surrounding wood. I got interested in trying one and started looking and fell down the rabbit hole. There certainly are plenty of mass-produced factory hammers, but there are also many, many small shops where one or a few blacksmiths forge hammer heads by hand and cut their signature into the metal. As with knives and chisels, they range from simple pieces of solid steel to works of art that have steel faces forge-welded to a woodgrain laminated soft iron core that cost hundreds of dollars.

I have to confess that I got so lost among all the choices that I never ended up actually ordering a hammer (some day!). The similar wealth of choices has, thus far, kept me from deciding on any traditional Japanese kitchen cutlery. I imagine I will decide on something eventually.

Because of that special something the individual craftsman imparts to his creation, the choice is more difficult to me than the choice between this or that mass produced item.

Plus, on a lighter note, they're expensive. Smile
 
Posts: 4201 | Location: TX | Registered: January 24, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Shun, Mac and Global all make excellent knives. You really have to hold/handle them and see what handle feels best. Shuns don't fit my hand well at all for example.
 
Posts: 15895 | Registered: June 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I too have been thinking about a Gyuto.

Coming from a person who has sharpened countless knives for friends from different steels, leaning towards Blue #2 steel Gyuto. My favorite I've sharpened is a 210mm Wananabe Gyuto. Fantastic knife, feels so good in my hand. Yesterday sharpened two Shun's, DM0701 Utlily and a DM0718 Santoku. They both sharpened up nicely as all the VG10 knives I've sharpened do. Shun's steel would certainly be a upgrade over your Henckles. But for me, I can't buy a knife Bed Bath and Beyond sells, ain't got no soul!

This shop is somewhat local to me. Plan on stopping in later this month. Look forward to putting various knives in my hand, come home with a Gyuto.

https://carbonknifeco.com/

http://www.kitchen-knife.jp/

Friends knife

https://carbonknifeco.com/coll...watanabe-gyuto-210mm
 
Posts: 2484 | Location: 9860 ft above sea level Colorado | Registered: December 31, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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offgrid,

Watanabe is well known for making an excellent knife . While I've not dealt with him personally, I've heard on more than one occasion that he is easy to deal with directly if you want to order something specific. His web site shouldn't be too hard to find if desired.

Looking over the selection at carbon knife co. is like a who's who of the current crop of popular artisan knife vendors. If you can put your hands on them individually then I agree that's the best route to go.
A few comments on some of the brands.

I'd give the Mizuno a solid look over along with some of the Masakage offerings. Masakage is brand name and each of the different lines feature different top notch blacksmith. The Kioshi line showing in the page is made by a very well respected old Master blacksmith, Hiroshi Kato. Anryu who is also listed on the site does a line for masakage as well.

The Konosuke knives are a similar type setup to Masakage, but the blacksmith names are a well kept secrete. The line on the page would fall into the laser class of knives and I've personally used the line in the page and would be an excellent representative of that laser style. Same with the Ashi's.

Takeda are in a class to themselves, some say no one does AS steel like Takeda, but the challenge many have is being able to properly maintain the S grind they all come with. Their profiles are also very polarizing, but many say any knife collector at some point should own a Takeda.

The Masakages, Konosuke and Takeda all have above average fit 'n finish in general, especially the first two.

Teruyasu Fujiwara is another line with quite the polarizing following. I fall squarely into the love him category. He focuses on White #1 and gets it to a very high hardness with an edge retention that rivals some of the PM steels out there...yeah an odd combo, but true. What causes all the complaints with his knives is the very wide variance in grind on his knives. People complain that some of them come very fat and need to be thinned to be usable, other complain about how chip prone the edge is (this goes away after the first sharpening), long list of fit and finish issues and on and on. My personal experience with him was 100% positive. I commissioned a knife directly from him to my specifications. The general consensus on getting one of his knives is only do it if you can personally see the individual knife you would be purchasing. Certainly have this conversation with the shop, it shouldn't be news to them and they may clean up the knives before putting them out for sale.

Moritaka, another family run shop dating back 500+ years. They also seem to specialize in AS steel. Known for top notch core steel, at times questionable grinds, though I have no issues with mine, and the KU finish will come of quickly. I'm a fan of these guys, but I can see many being disappointed if this is their initial foree into Japanese cutlery.
Pretty much all the brands represented on the page are solid offerings, it's just a matter of finding what works for you. I'm jealous that you have a shop like this in your area to visit. Best of luck.



 
Posts: 205 | Location: ATL | Registered: June 28, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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