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Japanese knife purchase for avid home cook

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I've read through the many threads about Japanese knives, and while they've been very helpful in many respects, I think the question I have hasn't really been answered yet, perhaps because my question is more basic than many of the posts. I am married to a very avid home cook, who is not formally trained as a chef but is pretty adept for an at home cook, he's been cooking pretty seriously for most of his adult life. I would like to purchase a Japanese knife for him for a gift. I know that he would want steel and not ceramic, and either a santoku or a chef's knife -- he's looking for something that will be his "go to" knife for everyday use. I'd like to stay in the $150-200 price range. He's right handed. While he's not a professional himself, he is very meticulous and he'll definitely maintain the knife properly...he already has our current knives professionally sharpened, etc. That being said, however, I know he would prefer knives that are somewhat "low maintenance" -- he won't want knives that are easily prone to rusting or oxidation.

Given all of the above, I think I'm after a 7" or 8" chef's or santoku steel knife. I've been looking into many of the usual makes...Misono, Masahiro, Shun, Global, Mac. But there are so many choices. I discovered this forum and was hoping that with all of the expertise here, I might be able to get some recommendations for a well built Japanese knife, which will be both very sharp and hold its edge well, but which won't readily show rust/oxidation and is otherwise easy to maintain. Any input would be very much appreciated!
post #2 of 20
More well informed minds will chime in, I'm sure. Until they do, I'll throw this out there.

Why Japanese only? I ask because high quality Japanese steel is often far more expensive than high quality, German/French/Spanish/Swiss steel.

Also, to recommend an upgrade, an idea of what he currently has in his block would be helpful.

Of the makers listed above, however, I like Global in that price range.
Dammi un coltello affilato e vi mostrerò l'arte più belle del mondo.
Dammi un coltello affilato e vi mostrerò l'arte più belle del mondo.
post #3 of 20

That being said, I would recommend a long, hard look at MAC knives, MAC Knife Inc. USA,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
post #4 of 20
There are lots of recommendations we could make, and a cursory search will display many of them. In fact there are currently two nearly identical active topics asking the same thing. This question has been asked and answered dozens, if not hundreds, of times here at CT. Perhaps you should use the search function- I believe you'll find a ton of fascinating and informative posts.

BTW, Welcome to CT!:thumb:
"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
post #5 of 20
It's been asnwered often, but don't worry about it.

Ceramic is pretty much of a dead letter in quality knives.

It the santoku idea his or yours? It's a decent knife profile for a cook who reaches up to the board, has small hands, and/or lacks basic skills and the ambition to acquire them. It's something of a "girl's knife" or a "beginner's knife," and very seldom the go to choice of a man with skills. Not just because of the pejorative connotations, but because it just doesn't function as well a good chef knife given size and/or adequate skills.

That's the sweet spot on the cost/benefit curve. Spend more and it's diminishing returns. Spend less, and you're not getting all the knife you can get for your money.

Makes things a tiny bit easier.

Hmmmm. Sending knives out is less than ideal unless you two are in a position where you can send them out at least four times a year. Maintaining knives includes keeping them sharp. You can do a barely adequate sharp, if nothing goes wrong, with a set of "V" sticks like the Spyderco Sharpmaker or the big Idahone set -- but it's a poor stopgap. Enough nagging about sharpening.

There are plenty of good stainless knives on the market in your price range. You get more for your money with non-stainless -- what we call carbon steels -- and you've indicated that he's sufficiently detail oriented to maintain them, but... let's stick with stainless unless you want to know more.

I'd stay away from santokus for the reasons already given. If you like, I can offer more.

A 7" chef's knife is ridiculously small. An 8" chef's knife is on the very small size of adequate. A 9-1/2" (240mm) is probably more like it. If he's used to an 8", the extra length will take a little getting used to but once he learns to hold the knife properly it will be very controllable. If he's got good knife skills, board management skills, and an adequately sized board -- he'd probably be happiest with a 10-1/2" (270mm) knife.

I'll make it a little easier. Don't buy Masahiro, Shun or Global. In your price range, you should be looking at the Masamoto VG, the Togiharu G-1, the Misono UX-10, the Sakai Takayuki Grand Cheff, and the MAC Professional.

Let me cover a few highlights:

Masamoto VG was just named "best" in its class by Cook's Illustrated. Outstanding geometry and feel in the hand. Excellent blade steel. Cosmetics, especially around the handle, can be variable. Masamoto is replacing the wooden handle with a high quality plastic they call "Duracon," which is (I think) POM -- the same stuff almost all top-end Euro knives use. Some western users, especially those moving from stiff western knives, find the Masamoto a bit too flexible aka "whippy." Masamoto's tend to be the most Japanese of Japanese knives, but more so. It's worth repeating: Incredibly good geometry. They leap into your hand eager to go to work in the same way a K-Sabatier does.

Togiharu G-1 is a clone, more or less, of the Masamoto made expressly for Korin (an international chain of knife stores with its main branch in NYC). It's very slightly less expensive than the Masamoto, and very slightly less good in several respects including the geometry, where it's only very good. Also, the handle seems a little small for many western cooks. It's flexible as well.

Misono UX-10 is on the extreme high end of your price range, especially at the 240mm length I'm recommending. It's very streamlined, agile and nimble; beautiful appearance. Incredibly good handle. It's in the small group of "best mass produced knives at any price." Also flexible. Great choice.

Sakai Takayuki Grand Cheff (yes, two effs) is a very nice knife with a good handle. Very easy to sharpen and keep sharp. Nice knife. It can be a little hard to track down and purchase here in the USA, but that's doable. Unfortunately the weak supply chain translates into lack of support in the event you need it down the line. Still, it's an excellent knife at the price.

MAC Professional is the most robust, and has the stiffest blade by far. It performs like a Japanese knife, but feels like a western. Excellent handle, excellent fit and finish -- which unfortunately can be variable in Japanese knives. Very good supply line with a prominent USA division located in Sacramento and headed by a very service oriented and very friendly guy. Easy to sharpen, maintains well on an appropriate "steel." A truly skilled sharpener using excellent stones might be able to bring out a little more sharpness with the other knives -- but not much and it wouldn't last long anyway. The closest thing to a weakness is that the label is silkscreened and wears off quickly, but it's not a very attractive label.

The MAC Pro is my usual first recommendation for someone looking to buy their first quality knife, or who wants to move from a good Euro to a good Japanese blade.

Shuns have terrible geometry starting at their too high tip, and carrying along their too deep and overly curved belly. They start losing their faux "Damascus" pattern at the first washing. Otherwise, they're OK. Knife people tend to harbor a lot of hostility towards Shun. While most of it is silly, there's some merit to it as well. In their favor: They definitely can get sharp, pretty easily, too; and they hold their edge well. Excellent distirbution, excellent fit and finish, a pretty knife at least until it starts scratching (a matter of a couple of months at most), and a handle some people just love. Bottom line: Don't buy Shun unless you need to buy from the likes of SLT or WS.

Masahiros are pretty much Shuns with slightly but not greatly better geometry.

Most American find the Global grip to be very problematic -- to the point of causing chronic hand pain. Also, a lot of people don't like the way Globals balance. It's ironic because Globals were designed to be "ergonomic," and have a neutral balance. Personally, I like the Global grip and balance, but it's impossible to recommend them given how many other people complain.

Most of these knives come sharp out of the box (ootb), and all have excellent edge holding characteristics. That doesn't mean they won't need regular steeling and/or sharpening.

How to put this?

All of the recommended knives take a better edge and hold it far better than an equivalently priced knife from a western mass-producer. But in order to maintain their superiority they need regular and appropriate sharpening -- something on the order of every couple of months.

Hope this helps,
post #6 of 20
Tojiro's DP line isn't getting the love it used to but I still think it's a good option. So is Kanetsune. As usual, BDL's advice is spot on and an excellent place to start.
"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for all of the great input, everyone. BDL, your detailed post was especially appreciated. (Especially because I know you've dispensed similar and prolific advice in other Japanese knife threads. On that point, sorry to the board but I really had read the other threads on Japanese knives and while they might have covered some of the same ground, I thought they were slightly "over my head" when it came to the technical details. Hence I appreciated your detailed but more basic input in response to my question.)

One follow up question. We're located in Los Angeles. If I were interested in purchasing a Masamoto, Misono or MAC Pro, can anyone recommend a good brick and mortar store here, or am I pretty much relegated to ordering on-line? I've done a reasonable amount of googlling and haven't really located a store here in LA that sounds like it carries a robust selection of Japanese knives. With regard to on-line merchants, I've noticed that Misono and Mac PRO are a little easier to find on-line. Any recommendations for finding Masamotos on-line?

Thanks again for all of the input...you're all very much assisting me in my shopping process!!!!
post #8 of 20
L. A., eh? Hiya neighbor!

Try Anzen Hardware, 309 E. 1st St., (213) 628-7800. Anzen's in (surprise) J-Town (aka "Little Tokyo"). Had I known you were down here, I would have suggested Anzen right off the bat.

Don't forget to pick up a couple of imagawayaki from Mitsura while you're there, and say hello to Mr. Ramen for me too.

Considering it's size -- or rather lack of it -- Anzen usually has an excellent selection of Japanese knives, incluidng a number of Masamotos. What they'll have at any given moment is hard to say. If you do go there, you'll want to look at another brand which is hard to find most places; and that's "Aritsugu." Just tell the owner what you're looking for in a knife and he'll show you what he's got. Great store. But if worst comes to worst and you can't find what you're looking for -- at least you're in J-Town with all the shopping, eating, and fooling around possibilities that part of downtown offers. Philippe's anyone?

Anzen might or might not carry MAC, I can't remember. There's a gift store on 2d (also in J-Town) which used to do so -- can't say if they still do.

I think Anzen does carry Misono, at least the UX-10.

You can buy Masamoto and Misono online from Japanese Chef's Knives and Korin. Both provide good service. If you do choose to buy a Masamoto VG online, you want to make very sure to specify you want good fit and finish -- especially around the handle. By all means start an email dialogue and save the posts.

Misono UX-10 is pretty much "not to worry" on that score. When it comes to F&F, they're "comme il faut."

I like Cutlery and More quite a bit for their service. They did me a definite solid a few years ago. Their MAC prices are usually as low as you can find. But if they're not, tell them and give them a chance to "meet or beat."

Traditional Japanese knives require "opening," which means an extensive profiling of the edge and blade road, before they're at their best. It's called opening, because it's usually the first sharpening. Western handled, western type knives don't need as much work, but I recommend having your sharpening guy at least take a look.

If I were buying one of the three Ms, I'd expect:

The Misono UX-10 to not need much of anything. Misono sells UX-10 as a finished product for the international market.

The MAC Pro, or any western styled MAC to come out of the box as finished as a Misono UX-10, and for the same reasons. MAC is aiming at a western market, and delivers a product keyed to it. On top of that, MAC USA is just plain excellent. I feel that the MAC performs best with a "double bevel," and would profile my own knife that way as soon as I got it. Depending on how your husband decides to maintain your knife, this might or might not be a good idea. Don't worry, MAC's factory geometry (15* flat bevel, both sides) is perfectly appropriate for the knife and can be maintained in all sorts of easy-to-learn ways.

The Masamoto to be fairly well sharpened ootb. On the other hand I wouldn't be completely surprised if the factory grind job was sloppy enough to need rebeveling.

post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks, BDL! I had in fact heard stumbled across Anzen in my googling, but hadn't read a detailed review of it so I wasn't sure how good their selection is. Given your referral, however, I'll now make a trek to J-town to check them out (after first having a double dipped beef from Phillipe's of course). While I might go with one of the online merchants if their prices end up being significantly better than Anzen's, I always prefer to "handle the merchandise" before I buy.

Given all of your valuable input, I'd have to say I'm leaning towards either the Misono or the MAC Pro. They sound a little more accessible and user-friendly, slightly, than the Masamoto. But we'll see, after I've handled them in person.

Since we're on the subject, perhaps I can prevail upon the Board for further input on a different but related topic. I hadn't intended to ask about this, but since you've all been so helpful, here goes. I probably won't much use whichever knife I purchase for my husband, for at least two reasons. First, while I'm a decent home cook (hence the name), I'm not at his level and certainly not when it comes to my knife skills. Second, I'm left handed. Even prior to starting this discussion, I was considering also purchasing a Japanese knife for myself (in answer to ChefRay's earlier question, we're focused on Japanese knives because we both happen to be of Japanese descent, so I guess we're partial to them). Given my better-than-an-amateur-but-not-as-good-as-a-pro's cooking skills, and my left-handedness, do all of you have any input? Sounds like a MAC might be a good thought. And do I really need to purchase a "left-handed" knife? Or would I be better off going with a knife that has a 50-50 bias?

Thanks again, everyone!
post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 
Oh, one other question...when it comes to MAC, I noticed that most of the comments tend to focus on the MAC Pro line, rather than the Damascus or the Japanese line. What are the main differences, if anyone knows? Thanks!!
post #11 of 20
I'm new to this board, and I, too, am left-handed. Like Decenthomecook, I am also considering the purchase of a Japanese left-handed knife. I would be very interested in seeing a response to Decenthomecook's question on the relative merits of a left-handed better-than-amateur going through the extra cost and hassle of obtaining a left-handed knife vs sticking with Japanese knives that have a 50/50 bias. I'm thinking that many American left-handers avoid Japanese knives because they appear to be designed for right-handers.
post #12 of 20
I'm not a South paw but I think you will find several reliable vendors for traditional Japanese knives can make the alteration for a left hand user at a minimal fee with most knife purchases. Korin among them. IIR they charge about $25 depending on the knife.
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
post #13 of 20
Myself, I'd say that for those new to Japanese knives, looking in this mid-high range ($150 to just over $200), MAC Pro is probably the way to go. The reason is what BDL points out about the MACs being the most "western" in feel. There's just less of a dramatic shift in terms of how you handle the thing. The Masamoto would be the opposite extreme: a HUGE change of everything.

Personally, I went Masamoto, significantly for this reason, and do not regret it. Having made the change, I love the delicacy, flexibility, and "Japaneseness" of the knife -- the way, in fact, it behaves remarkably like my single-bevels. But for most of those talking on this thread about looking for knives, I think MAC will make you happier.

My impression is also that MAC tends to be symmetrical and Masamoto tends to be asymmetrical -- another "Japanese-y" tendency. If the knife is symmetrical and the handle is Western, handedness makes no difference. If the knife is asymmetrical and/or the handle is Japanese, handedness matters. So again, a plug for MAC.

My search engine isn't working right just now, but in answer to the question about other MAC lines, I think I can do it from memory. Others will I am sure correct me if I get this wrong.

Damascus means that there is a patterned metal jacket on the blade that makes it look like it was made from a piece of steel being folded a zillion times and hammered out. It's just decorative, and as you (or whoever) sharpen the blade and so forth, it will get scratched and fade and so on. If you like the appearance, go for it, but don't think it does anything.

The Japanese line I think refers to the Japanese-style ("wa") handle. These are generally (but not quite always) handed, so unless you are quite sure about this I would avoid such a handle if you're a lefty or the users of the knife are not same-handed. It's possible that the knife is also ground slightly asymmetrically, in which case it's again handed.
post #14 of 20
Just watch out on this, though. Some knives can be altered by being re-ground, most especially gyutos (i.e. chef's knives, J-style). Some knives are made handed in the first place, and there's no shifting them. Be very sure what you're buying if you're a southpaw.
post #15 of 20
Nearly all Japanese gyuto (aka chef's knives) are bevelled on both sides of the blade. Of these some are asymmetric, and some 50/50 like a "regular" European or American style sharpening profile.

Asymmetry, as you've already figured out, favors one handedness or the other, depending on which side of the knife has the longer bevel. A right handed knife held by a right handed user will have the longest bevel on the right side (aka the outside); while one held by a left handed user will have the long bevel on the right side (also the outside). "Indside/outside" is the neutral terminology.

Asymmetry is desirable because, everything else being equal, the edge itself is thinner, acts sharper (the true nature of "sharp" is for another post), and has less tendency to wedge. On the other hand, symmetry is desirable, because the each side of the edge supports the other -- resulting in a knife which is both tougher and stronger (using "tougher" and "stronger" in their technical, "materials" meanings).

One problem with asymmetry is the tendency of the knife to steer. However, if the knife isn't too severely asymmetric -- say 70/30 or less -- that's easy to mitigate with good grip technique. In this context, a good grip is very soft, and has a straight wrist, so the tip is lined up with the elbow and the edge is held and used square to the board. If, as you say, you're in between pro and Joe in terms of knife skills, it shouldn't be a problem.

Another potential problem with asymmetry is that it can make guaging the edge with the knuckles of your "claw" a little uncertain; i.e., the asymmetry pushes the actual edge a little farther from the "claw" so many of use as a guide and gauge for our thinnest and fastest cuts. BUT, that's seldom much of a problem with gyuto because their blades are so thin, and their actual grind geometry (full or nearly-full saber) makes placing the edge much easier than it would with something like a usuba.

I'm a lefty as well, but sharpen my chef's knife (K-Sabatier au carbone, which has very similar blade, grind and edge geometry to a Japanese knife) around 65/35 righty to gain the advantage of asymmetry, and at the same time make it easier for Linda. Also FWIW, I routinely cut very fine.

If you buy from Korin, they charge $25 to reprofile a knife from right to left (or vice versa) -- as DuckFat pointed out. I'm not sure if that's a standard cost for a standard service, though. Of those knife stores which provide sharpening, many if not most will do it for free. However, if you're already a good enough sharper to "raise a burr," and "deburr," then you're good enough to do it yourself.

Hope this helps,
post #16 of 20
Thanks to all for the informative replies. As usual, however, more information gives rise to yet more questions....

1. Chris writes that he made a complete shift from Western to Japanese when he went with Masamoto. Are there folk who own and use knives of both types, switching back and forth between the two styles of cutting, or do you have to pick a technique and stick to it? (I'm not sure I'm ready to totally abandon my use of Western knives, but I'm very intrigued by the Masamoto option.)

2. Chris also writes that, while some right handed knives can be reground to left handed, other knives are "made right handed in the first place, and there's no shifting them." What does that mean... that the handle is right handed (i.e., D-shaped), or that the blade itself has right handed characteristics other than the bevel? If the latter, what would those characteristics be?

3. DF, Chris, and BDL all mention that Korin regrinds right handed knives to left handed knives. Have any forum members had experience with that service? I would positively not attempt such a conversion myself.

4. BDL talks about degrees of asymmetry (70/30 and 65/35). Until reading his post, I had assumed that Japanese-style knives were single bevel. Are the sushi knives single bevel, and the gyuto knives double bevel? Or is it more complicated than that? Does it vary by manufacturer?

5. Do asymmetrical double bevels complicate the sharpening process? I would think that a 50/50 or a true single bevel would both be easier to sharpen than an asymmetrical (70/30, etc) double bevel.

You folks are a fountain of useful information. Thanks for all your help!
post #17 of 20
Charlie, I'll outline my response in the same format just for brevity sake.

1) Yes. I use both and switch back and forth. I'm sure many others do as well. Once you get used to a single bevel or a knife that is ground 70/30 etc you don't really think much about it. The 70/30 Masahiro bread knife took a bit of getting used to for me but I would not part with my Masamoto KS.

2) I'm not a South paw so take it FWIW. Japanese knives come in two flavors. Those with a traditional single bevel edge and those that have a western edge. A knife with a western edge can be changed to favor a lefty by adjusting the bevel. A traditional J-knife is made either left or right handed. In the case of a yanagiba I would assume the shinogi line is on the opposite side of the blade. There's no way to change that.

3) No but Korin is a top notch dealer. They are to be trusted. You may want to download their knife catalog PDF and drool for a while. They also have tutorials on their web site that are very useful to some one just getting started.

4) It may vary by manufacturer but in general a gyuto is a western style J-knife so they typically have a western edge. Sushi knives can be found in either flavor but a traditional sushi knife is most often a single bevel.

5) IMO it depends on your experience.

Here are a couple of quick snaps shots that may help you visualize a tradional J-knife with a beveled edge. If this were a lefty the face would be on the opposite side.
Hope this helps.

I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
post #18 of 20
Of course you can have both types of knives, and can even use the same or almost exactly the same pinch and claw technique -- or you can modify your grip if you like.

Furthermore, no matter what the handle style a "gyuto" is essentially a western knife in that it's sharpened on both sides. Chris's Masamoto KS gyuto is a pretty much "western" in its blade and edge geomtries, and in its intended use as well.

Some single edged knives, usually called "kasumi" or honkasumi" are made by forge welding two pieces of metal of very different properties together -- a hagane and a jigane. The hagane is the steel that makes up the edge, and the jigane supports it. The jigane side is usually ground with a "half saber" grind, or something very much like it; while the hagane is flat or slightly convex.

In other words, a traditional chisel-edged, "handed" knife, derives it's particular handedness when it's manufactured and ground; and not merely when it's sharpened. However, very, very few gyuto are made that way. It's almost always a province of traditional knives like yanigaba, (traditoinal style) deba, moroshi deba, usuba and so on.

It's usually easy and relatively inexpensive to replace a right-handed "D" with an ambidexterous handle at the time of purchase. A left handed "D" is fairly rare, except for Shun -- which are to be avoided for other reaons. Some lefties can live with a right-handed "D," and I'm told some even like them. I find them annoying, but not as much as right-handed scissors.

Korin's "resident knife master," is a very good sharpener. You might find the $25 charge worthwhile if only to have the knife's first sharpening ("opening the knife") done properly. Japanese Chef's Knives (JCK) used to provide the same service for free with a big enough purchase. Koki's guy also did a very good job. A couple of caveats with that though, I'd ask instead of demanding when asking about what services are available with purchase.

Good call. Some of both. Because the question is about Japan, it's a little more complicated than "sushi" vs other -- but not much.

Western style knivees like gyuto, santoku, sujihiki, petty naifu (petty knives), and "western debas," are almost bevelled on both sides. Japanese "housewives' knives) like nakiri (does the same thing as a usuba, requiring less skill) are also double-beveled. I already mentioned some of the Japanese styles which are made to be sharpened to a "chisel edge." The pictured knife in Duck Fat's post is a yanigaba.

Note: Sharpening the knive on both sides does not create a "double bevel." A double bevel is a bevel face with two angles.

Sharpening asymmetrically is pretty much the same as sharpening symmetrically. The same mechanics, and the same degree of attention are required.

We tend to get over-impressed by the degree of precision implied by numbers like 70/30 -- but when it comes to asymmetry they express the actual ratio of how wide each bevel is compared to the bevel on the opposite face. So a 60/40 bevel is 3:2, a 66/33 is 2:1, and an 80/20 is 4:1, etc. No matter how the knife came from the manufacturer the owner, can, will and should determine the ultimate angles. It may relieve some anxiety if you know that high-end Japanese knife manufacturers expect you to tweak the edge to your own preferences.

Sharpening a chisel or a "hamaguri" (aka clamshell edge - a chisel variant) brings in some different techniques; but at the end of the day sharpening is merely rubbing a knife on a rock and it's never very complicated.

In my earlier post, I forgot to mention that one negative consequence of a lot of asymmetry is that the knife won't maintain well on a rod hone (aka steel). In my opinion, if you use rods as part of your routine, you won't want to take a knife much beyond 60/40.

It's not that hard to sharpen an asymmetric bevel if you're a good sharpener. Each time you sharpen, concentrate on one side with your coarse and medium stones when you pull the wire; use them only to chase the wire and deburr. Then, go ahead and polish normally. Eventually, the knife will have whatever degree of asymmetry or symmetry you desire.

Also, remember that with adequate technique a lefty can use a knife sharpened to right-handed asymmetry (and vice versa). If you find that the knife steers -- 1) Relax your grip; 2) Square your body and the food to be cut to the board and counter; and 3) Keep the knife edge square to the board (unless you're intentionally cutting on the bias).

post #19 of 20
There is some truth to that. A Wa gyuto is typically thinner than a standard Gyuto and often has a better fit and finish. Standard Gyutos can have a spine as thick as a German knife depending on the brand.
IIR the Masamoto KS WA gyuto is made of white steel and has a very thin tip. A typical gyuto is most often made from CMV60 or a similar stain resistant steel.
It is worth noting that ordering traditional knives left handed can add a hefty premium.
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
post #20 of 20
All I meant was that the Masamoto KS is relatively "Japanese" in feel. It is of course a chef's knife, and in that sense western to the core. But using it side by side with single-edge knives it does feel sort of similar in style. As you put it,
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