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Recommend stainless alloy Gyuto with Wa handle?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

Hi, I'm looking for a 240mm Gyuto with a stainless alloy blade with a Wa handle.  Is there such a product?  My budget is $200 and can anyone please recommend one (or a few)?

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 21

Here are six.  Ashi Stainless, Konosuke Stainless, Richmond Addict 2, Sakai Takayuki Grand Chef and Yoshihiro Stainless.  The Gesshin Ginga is a better hardened and slightly more expensive ($220) brother to the Ashi.

 

The Ashi, Gesshin and Konosuke are very thin, it helps to have some technique behind you.  The Richmond, Takayuki and Yoshihiro are more robust, but both still fairly thin. 

 

None of these are the most difficult knives in the world to sharpen, but you want to be fairly competent or at least have a plan and budget to become competent in the very near future. 

 

All of these knives may be found at Chef Knives to Go or Japanese Knife Imports.

 

BDL


Edited by boar_d_laze - 11/29/11 at 3:46pm
post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 

Thanks BDL!

 

I mentioned that I budgeted up to $200.  But I'd also be happy to pay less (btw $150-200) if you feel that there are products that may give a better 'bang for the buck' so to speak.  Any recommendations in that price range?

 

thanks.

post #4 of 21

The Gesshin Ginga or Ashi or Konosuke HD are higher priced, thinner knives than the others recommended.  If I were buying a new stainless wa-gyuto (or yo-gyuto, for that matter), I'd probably go for the Gesshin Ginga -- but you might or might not want the thinner knives anyway, and that is getting above the $200 limit from your last post. 

 

Coming in at lower prices, of what BDL listed, you're looking at the Grand Cheff, the Yoshihiro,  or the  Richmond Addict.  That in order of descending prices.  


I've never seen or used a Grand Cheff, which seems like a very good knife indeed.  I have the Yoshihiro, which I like a lot.  Mine is 270mm.  The Richmond Addict 2 is highly praised by Phaedrus on this forum; that is another one I haven't seen in the flesh, but looks from pictures not to be to my taste (such as I have "taste", in all its undeveloped glory).

Think about how tall a knife you want, and profile (how much belly, how much height, how much "flat spot" at the heel).  This is what I see to look at in pictures, anyway.

If you like damascus and/or hammered finishes, you might like something besides all these, too.  Check out the Innazuna from JCK (which comes in 240mm for $140).  This is another knife I've seen recommended as "bang for buck" that I haven't used.  It actually is not at all to my taste, visually, but it might be yours.  More "bling".  Here I'm not recommending the knife, but recommending you be aware of that sort of look.  It is the least expensive knife listed thus far.


Edited by Wagstaff - 11/30/11 at 7:37am
post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thank you both for the knife suggestions. I'll definitely look into the ones you listed.

I may also look into getting a petty knife. Would you recommend I get the matching brand and series once I decide on the chef knife?

Thanks.
post #6 of 21

There are lots in your general range, but I'll second the recommendation for the Addict 2.  It's a very good knife indeed.  It will take a very keen edge and edge retention is very good. They're not outrageously hard to sharpen but the steel is a tad more work to abrade than VG-10.  The CPM-154 steel does seem to be fully stainless, too.

"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
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"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
Reply
post #7 of 21

The Takayuki Grand Cheff is made from AEB-L.  It takes a great edge and doesn't have the tendency to chip associated with a lot of VG-10 knives.  The Gesshin, Ashi (I think), Konosuke SS, and Yoshihiro are made from Hitachi G3 (aka gingami 3), a very good stainless, popular with a lot of Japanese makers.  G3 doesn't take a great edge as easily as VG-10 or AEB-L, but will take one, and is less prone to VG-10s issues.  

 

VG-10 went through a period where it was considered "THE WONDER STEEL."  It's good stuff, but there are issues, and only a few makers -- notably Hattori -- do a good job with it.  You most frequently see VG-10 in san-mai knives.  I don't recommend san-mai gyuto for several reasons; mostly because I prefer a lively knife and don't care for san-mai knives' damped feel in the cut and on the board.

 

The downside on the Grand Cheff -- and many of the available stainless knives -- is that they are only hardened to (an optimistic) 58RCH.  Consequently, they ding out of true pretty easily and need regular steeling.  You can see this as a plus, since steeling is such a simple form of maintenance -- or as a minus, since you won't be using the knives with much of a polish. 

 

FWIW, based on Phaedrus's recommendation and the recommendations of a few other people I trust (there aren't many of those) including Mark Richmond, the Richmond Addict seems like it might be one of the best bangs for the buck -- as long as you're not asking for super thinness.  

 

BDL

post #8 of 21

gesshin ginga, ashi, konosuke ss and yoshihiro are all not ginsanko
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by boar_d_laze View Post

The Takayuki Grand Cheff is made from AEB-L.  It takes a great edge and doesn't have the tendency to chip associated with a lot of VG-10 knives.  The Gesshin, Ashi (I think), Konosuke SS, and Yoshihiro are made from Hitachi G3 (aka gingami 3), a very good stainless, popular with a lot of Japanese makers.  G3 doesn't take a great edge as easily as VG-10 or AEB-L, but will take one, and is less prone to VG-10s issues.  

 

VG-10 went through a period where it was considered "THE WONDER STEEL."  It's good stuff, but there are issues, and only a few makers -- notably Hattori -- do a good job with it.  You most frequently see VG-10 in san-mai knives.  I don't recommend san-mai gyuto for several reasons; mostly because I prefer a lively knife and don't care for san-mai knives' damped feel in the cut and on the board.

 

The downside on the Grand Cheff -- and many of the available stainless knives -- is that they are only hardened to (an optimistic) 58RCH.  Consequently, they ding out of true pretty easily and need regular steeling.  You can see this as a plus, since steeling is such a simple form of maintenance -- or as a minus, since you won't be using the knives with much of a polish. 

 

FWIW, based on Phaedrus's recommendation and the recommendations of a few other people I trust (there aren't many of those) including Mark Richmond, the Richmond Addict seems like it might be one of the best bangs for the buck -- as long as you're not asking for super thinness.  

 

BDL



 

post #9 of 21

Oops.  Dammit.  I knew that.  I meant to say that the Gesshin Ginga was G3, and was mistaken about that as well.  Next time I'll follow the instructions and remove foot before writing.

 

BDL

post #10 of 21

the tadatsuna is G3 ;)

 

i do agree that g3 is a great knife steel though

post #11 of 21
What steels do Ashi and Yoshihiro use? Or is this trade secret stuff? Presumably Gesshin Ginga is the same stainless as Ashi with a different heat treatment (?) Having one of each I'm curious to know. I do find the Yoshihiro slightly more challenging to sharpen. But maybe that's because my other knives are particularly easy.
post #12 of 21

see your PM's

post #13 of 21

I love this stuff.  I love my knives.  Even the less than top-of-the-line, I love.  I'm particularly nuts for the Gesshin Ginga stainless wa-petty (short suji) still. 

And whatever people say about how OOTB edges suck... well, THAT one push cut paper from over an inch out, before I touched it to a stone.  And it's held that edge for ridiculously long (in home kitchen terms, not necessarily pro-kitchen).  Still a favorite knife.  I use it for most everthing because I can... but the bigger Yoshihiro is crazy good. 

 

Crazy good.

post #14 of 21

Great the way Tadatsuna hardens it, with some other makers it seems to be about equal to the good Swedish steels.  I hesitate to say "at 58RCH," because Rockwell hardness is so misleading and manufacturers can be so [ahem] optimistic with their hardness numbers.  But... quien sabe.

 

BDL

post #15 of 21

If you were less hesitant... is what you would be saying "G3 is  a great at 58" or "G3 is about equal to good Swedish steels at 58" ?

post #16 of 21

If I were less hesitant I'd say a lot of the good stainless parked around 58 is good but not great, and doesn't really compare with some semi-stainless at 61, and shiro #2, at its sweetspot (63?); or with Tadatsuna's G3 at 61, which is pretty darn special. 

 

Some steels are merely good with certain hardening techniques and great with others.  I'm not sure if hitting a particular C hardness level is the best goal or not.  Maybe Jon or Phaedrus can add.

 

For what it's worth, Rockwell hardness is "indentation hardness," and doesn't bear much direct relationship to knife function; certainly not as much as "impact" and "scratch" hardness.  The great things about Rockwell hardness are that it's relatively easy and inexpensive to get a (not terribly accurate) measure; and it turns out to be an okay metaphor for some more important things as long as you don't push it too far.  The idea that "harder is better," is not a good one; there are lots of contingencies.

 

BDL

post #17 of 21

That makes a lot of sense.  Jon has said words to the effect that steel is important, but often the particular heat treat of the particular steel is more important. (If I have that right; now that Jon's reading this board I'm more scared of paraphrasing him wrong!)

post #18 of 21

haha... my take on it is this... i'd rather have a so-so steel with a great heat threatment than a great steel with a so-so heat treatment.  I'll take a very simple steel with a medium carbon level and great heat treatment over a super steel with just a good heat treatment any day of the week (assuming th geometry is good too).  If you can get a great steel and great heat treatment, more power to you.

post #19 of 21

OK. I'm pretty sure the OP got his very useful and appreciated answer. I don't feel bad going tangent even farther off the main point. First off, no, I'm not buying any new knives. I'm so poor that I qualify for gov't. cheese. I'm asking my "?" for it's educational value (and I'm just curious too). You guys talk about "steel" and "hardnesses" and "carbon" and such, and that's all cool. I'm interested in some other ideas; "inexpensive", "lazer-like", "cool", "usable in pro-kitchen" (read: not gonna get stolen) and Japanese. For whatever reasons (mostly cool-looking to me), I've fallen in love with these. I don't know why that for the first time I've ever liked something that was sorta "matched". Please let me know your opinions. TIA. I appreciate and look forward to your responses. 

 

chefknivestogo_2183_27214801  chefknivestogo_2184_40232424  chefknivestogo_2188_34128480  chefknivestogo_2184_146882

 

Tojiro Shirogami ITK 120mm or 150mm Petty

Tojiro Shirogami Nakiri 165mm

Tojiro Shirogami Santoku 165mm

Tojiro ITK Shirogami Wa-Gyuto 210mm or 240mm

 

The vids that go with are so damned cool. Yeah, I know that's not any reason. 

 

post #20 of 21

You could wait for Phaedrus and one (or two) other people to chime in.... but meantime, have you seen this short exchange?  http://www.cheftalk.com/t/68298/tojiro-itk-shirogami-wa-gyuto-210mm-public-service-announcement.  The idea "carbon" has to stay on the table for looking at these, of course.

 

And if you have a vegan girlfriend, those are even more impressive/cool than most.  The plastic ferrule is not made from an animal (!).  The even-cooler wooden and metal ferrules I've seen only come on knives in much higher price ranges.

post #21 of 21

Catching the bug, Ice?

 

For the home cook, the step up to good, sharp knives is not a life changer.  It puts some fun in prep.  But to the working pro, a good knife allows you to do things better, faster and more comfortably, and takes a lot of the onus out. 

 

They're the current "next knife that will save the world."  Just out, everyone who's tried one and written about it, loves it.  People are spending money to get more prestigious handles.  Yadda, yadda, yadda.

 

They haven't been around long enough or received enough of a critical examination for anyone to form a balanced, critical opinion.  It takes a lot of onions and a few sharpening sessions to really get the feel for a knife.   If I were in the market for things of their type and price range, I wouldn't hesitate.  

Don't forget though, that when you consider new knives... Sharpening is everything.  Most knives hardened as much as the Tojiro shirogamis not only require decent skills, but a decent kit.  If you don't have a few water stones and a way to flatten add that into the budget.  If you don't already possess the skills add the time it takes it to acquire them too. 

 

If you're thinking of bang for the buck "carbon" knives, you might also want to consider K-Sabatier, Thiers-Issard Sabatier, and T-I "Nogent" Sabatier.  They aren't Japanese, but aren't German or "white-handle" either.  They take a great edge, the chef's knives handle better than anything else, and even though they are far from perfect I love them.

 

Lots to think about,

BDL

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