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Looking for a Gyuto - an alternate to a Mac Pro?

post #1 of 68
Thread Starter 

Hello. This is my first post here after lots of lurking and searching for “my” answer here and FF, KF, eGullet, etc.  Like many noobs to J-knives I’m looking for a good 240mm gyuto.  Warning it’s long as I’m trying to provide some insight to my background and wants.  

 

I’m a reasonably good home cook.  My knife skills are OK, but not up to a professional, production standard.  I use a loose pinch grip and am working on my claw.  Cooking is a hobby and minor passion.  I’ve had mostly Henckels 4 starsfor the last 20 years or so.  An 8” chef’s knife (my current go to) a 6” chef’s knife and an assortment of slicers/others.  I was never impressed with the German knives  as they were too thick and stiff.  They were nowhere near sharp out of the box.  It tried lots of “easy” sharpeners (what I now consider gimmick) and some (bad) professional sharpening.  A couple of years ago I got a sharpmaker that helped but took so lonnnnng.  I’ve since augmented with a 325/1200 DMT Duosharp, which has let me try reprofiling to something around 15/20.  I finally have reasonably sharp knives.  But they don’t hold an edge very long and even sharp, unless I just use the tip, they tend to wedge a lot of foods rather than cut them. 

 

I want to go to the next step for both knives and sharpening.  Yes, I know that I need to step up my sharpening for a good J-knife.  After a bit of hinting, I received a Mac Pro 5” petty for Christmas, this has only served to increase my desire to upgrade.  Besides I’ll need to keep it sharp too.  I rather enjoy sharpening, but don’t want to make a religion of it.

 

I’d like to start with describing what I think my requirements are for the knife.  I know the MAC Pro is BDL’s (and some others) go to recommendation.  It would probably be a great first gyuto for me.  But I’m having a hard time getting over the graphics on the blade, it just sort of cheapens it for me.  I guess most of us are vain about something.  I prefer the French profile over something with a lot of belly.  I don’t use a lot of rocking when cutting.  I want something with great F & F (there’s that vanity again).  Probably stainless or semi-stainless, I don’t have to worry about my SO using (abusing) it as she doesn’t like large blades.  I’m pretty meticulous about caring for knives.  I suppose the Mastamoto VG is an option but I keep hearing it referred to as whippy.  But it’s such a relative, inexact term I don’t know if it’s that relevant.  I don’t mind a bit of flex in the blade.  I’ve also seen recommendationsfor,  and been tempted to consider Kikuichi TKC, Gesshin Ginga, Tadatsuna Inox, etc.   I should mention, I think I’ll stick with a yo handle.  The cheapest I will ever see the Mac Pro locally is $200 on sale.  There are lot’s of knives in that range.  I’m fine with going to$250 if that will get me something special.  I’m hoping for something I can grow into rather than a starter (I’d rather spend the money once and can buck up for the privledge).

 

I’m south of Vancouver, near the US border, so expect that I’ll have to import my choice.

 

I’m also looking for advice about freehanding vs an Edge Pro, but maybe that can wait for a bit as I’ve been pretty long winded already.

 

A side note, I’ve never seen such thoughtful responses on a forum as I have here.  I’m really impressed.  Any advice you'd care to share to help me on this journey is appreciated.

 

Bob

post #2 of 68

Hi Bob,

 

At your price range you're going to have to make a few small compromises but should get everything you want most.  If the MAC's graphics deter you from its many other good points -- that's not unreasonable at all.  FYI, the MAC graphics aren't nearly as bad in person as in illustration and they can be removed easily. 

 

The Masamoto VG isn't particularly whippy as single steel, Japanese knives go.  It's whippy compared to the MAC and some san-mai knives, but that's a different thing.  If you don't accidentally put a lot of torque or sidewise flex because you have trouble keeping the knife square to and in the cut -- it won't bother you.  Actually, where the flex becomes a problem, tends to come with relatively inexperienced professionals who are under a lot of time pressure and don't have reliable technique yet.  It used to be something I worried about more, but so much feedback tells me it's not terribly important with home cooks -- especially those working on technique.

 

You really want to get your sharpening situation sorted before getting serious about buying a knife; but it's hardly too far in the future to start thinking about some of the possibilities.

 

The way I'd organize it is by figuring out:

1.  Carbon or Stainless, and/or Are the Advantages of Semi-Stainless Worth the Extra Expense?  A lot of the old reasons behind choosing carbon had edge taking and holding qualities behind them.  But good modern stainless is so good, those things are less of a factor; and you always have to ask yourself whether you're a good enough sharpener to take advantage of them.  Semi-stainless is pretty much carbon without the neediness but more expensive.  I have two semi knives, and they're both my favorite and most used knives.  Worth it?  To me, yes.

 

2.  Yo or Wa handle?  In the greater scheme of things, if you have a good grip (sounds like you do), and the handle isn't radically too big, too small, or wrong-handed, it doesn't make much difference beyond style points.  You sound like a pretty stylish guy, and might want to give it some thought.

 

3.  Laser, Very Very Thin, or Just Regular Japanese thin?  People who know a lot, in fact everything, tell me that lasers and other anorexic knives aren't a good choice for that first good knife unless the user has uber-skills.  As with whippiness -- which is largely a consequence of super thinness -- I don't think home cooks who are working on their skills need to worry.   The necessary skills don't take long to master as long as you consciously work on them.  If you've got your heart set on one of the lasers, like a Gesshin Ginga or Tadatsuna Inox, go for it.

 

4.  Flat Japanese or French Japanese Profile?  Presumably you're so over an old fashioned German profile.  I like a French profile (certain amount of rock) because it suits my style.  My favorite knives are Sabatier, Masamoto and Konosuke -- all of which have a very similar action.  You may want something else, which is great.  Because you're in the process of trying to develop your own cutting style, and will have an equal learning curve with just about any new knife, don't be afraid to let appearance matter.   

 

5.  How Much Money?

 

6.  Retailer?  It ain't easy being a pimp Canadian sometimes.  You say you're resolved to buying from the US.  There are a couple of standout retailers here in terms of helping you find a really good knife for you.  One is Mark at CKtG, and the other is Jon at JKI.  Once you've pored through everything on the net, and if either sells one or more of your short list knives, you'll want to call and talk. 

 

7.  How Much Existential Angst?  By the time we've gone through a few posts and you've had some feedback from some of the other guys, you will indeed have established a short list of knives you'll be bound to love.  That's a good thing. 

 

SHARPENING:

You're beyond the sharpening orientation/pep talk.  Thank you.

 

There's probably nothing you can add to the usual doubts and angst which comes in choosing between bench stones and a good gag like an Edge Pro.

 

There's no reason to be afraid of bench stones.  You can learn to use them very well.  It takes a while.  Yes, there's some frustration.  No, you won't wreck your knives.  If you're going for a quality set, they're not money savers.  By the time all is said and done, figure $300+ for four good stones, and a DMT XXC flattener.  You can considerably lower the up-front costs by starting with two stones (Bester 1200, Suehiro Rika, e.g.) and flattening on dry wall screen; but be aware that once you get going you'll want the rest of the toys.  Oh yes.  You'll want them and you'll buy them.  

 

Will you need a new "sharpening" steel?  It kind of depends on what knife you're going to buy -- but considering that you have other knives and will be adding still more, you might as well.  Unless and until you get into the real exotica, you don't need to spend more than $40 for an excellent rod. 

 

EP is much easier to learn, and less anxiety provoking.  It's not as flexible in terms of some blade geometries and acute angles; unless you get into sharpening tradtional "single bevel" (i.e., chisel or hamaguri edge) knives, the limitations shouldn't bother you.  An EP is a lot more precise when it comes to doing things like multi-bevels.  Everything I've said about the EP so far is applicable to the WEP.

 

An EP/Chosera kit runs around $300 at CKtG*.  Because they use two stones at a time -- and for other reasons as well -- WEPs are more expensive than an EP Apex kit.  However, the EP Professional (better base than the Apex) runs around the same as a WEP.  If you're going to buy a sharpening gag I recommend the Chosera Kit.

 

Hope this helps,

BDL

 

PS.  Disclosure.  It appears I may be entering a commercial relationship with CKtG, probably doing "how to" and equipment review articles for their new newsletter. 

 

PPS.  More Disclosure.  I don't have a commercial relationship with MAC (unfortunately); and don't own or use a MAC chef's knife. It's my most frequently recommended "first good western style" knife for a home cook because it ticks so many boxes for so many people.  If I were buying a western handled, stainless, mass-produced, Japanese made, non-laser chef's it would probably be a Masamoto VG, mostly for its profile.  But very few of those things interest me, I have three go-to, 10" or longer knives as it is, so that ain't happening either.  


Edited by boar_d_laze - 1/24/12 at 10:58am
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What were we talking about?
 
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post #3 of 68

I'm quite happy with my Misono Swedish Steel Gyuto; its carbon steel and very reactive though. However, if you dont mind the "patina look" and are willing to constantly clean the blade, then I think its a pretty good blade for the price (Though I was a sucker for the Dragon engraving).

 

The Masamotos are very nice knives, however I prefer my Mac Pro. Both are good knives and you cant really go wrong with either. The fujiwaras are a good buy considering the price.

 

 

On a side note, I would suggest browsing around http://japanesechefsknife.com

post #4 of 68
Thread Starter 

Hi BDL,  Wow!  That didn’t take long.  Where ever do you find the time and patience for the newbie questions.  Honestly though, I was hoping you’d chime in.smile.gif

 

Great description on “whippy”.  You’re right – it doesn’t sound like as big a concern as I thought it might.  I don’t have any problem keeping the knife square and cook for relaxation, not pressure.   I’ve got a slicer that would be the definition of whippy and I don’t have a problem with it.  I just wouldn’t to want to use it for anything other than carving though.

 

I agree with you about my sharpening situation.  My limited freehand experience on the DMTs leads me to believe I could pick up freehand sharpening with some work & practice.  There’s something Zen about it.  OTOH, I’m attracted to the precision offered by the Edge Pro.  It looks like the total cost for a good setup with either option is close to a push.  The dollars aren’t a big issue.  I just need to get nudged off the fence.  I will become a good sharpener (just maybe not a fanatic, but we’ll see).

 

  1. Carbon or Stainless….  I don’t think I want the inherent neediness of carbon.  Stainless has it’s attractions for easy maintenance.  On the other hand, I always wipe my knife after use (except for occasionally when cutting proteins, it sometimes gets left for a few minutes), so I expect semi stainless would work well for me too.  From what I’ve seen the price premium doesn’t seem that outrageous (yes, I’ve been pursuing CHtG, JKI, JCH, PF, etc.).  
     
  2. Yo or Wa handle.  I think I’d like to stick with a Yo handle.  You right it doesn’t seem like that big a deal, but it’s what I’m used to.  Maybe next time….. (I’m sure there will be a next time).
     
  3. Thinness.  Here I think I’m sticking with the advice of those who know better.  I think Japanese thin (maybe a bit on the thinner side) is what would be best for me.  A laser sounds cool, but as my first gyuto seems like it could be a bit of overkill.  I suspect that Japanese thin will be a huge improvement.  The Henckels were so thick.
     
  4. Profile.  Definitely a French Japanese profile.  I think after my years of Henckels that going to a flat Japanese profile would be frustrating.  There’s only so much of a learning curve that I’m will to take on at once.
     
  5. Money – this one isn’t too hard. I like value & quality.  I’m not looking for cheap. And I’m not looking to set a record for over-spending.   My starting point for a budget was the MAC Pro ($170 from CKtG, in Canada $200 on sale -$250 retail).  I’m thinking in the $200-250 range, I could go to $300 if the value was there.  Oddly enough, it was the fact that the Mac Pro is on sale this week that finally got me off the pot to start driving toward a decision.
     
  6. Retailer, I’ve seen lots of positives about CKtG & JKI and have visited their sites, many times.  I wasn’t making a decision based on retailer, but I’m fine with both.
     
  7. Existential Angst. Great question, even better insight.  I’m not sure how to answer it. Definitely some as I’ve been trying to figure this out for a while now and researching/reading only goes so far.  In some ways I feel I’ve been answering it all along.  BTW, I haven’t completely discounted the Mac Pro, but I’ I’m looking to see if there’s a better fit for me and my preferences.  I suppose satisfying my biases fit in there too.

 

brandonknill – Thanks for the input.  I think I answered the carbon question.  Can you explain why you prefer the Mac Pro to the Masamoto (and which Masamoto)?

 

Thanks!


Edited by BobH - 1/24/12 at 1:02pm
post #5 of 68

Hey Bob,

 

I'm a new poster here as well and I'm from Coquitlam. I wanted to let you know that, while I can't help you make a decision on the knife itself, I can tell you that I just received my order from the aforementioned japenesechefsknife.com today.

 

I ordered two knives (Hattori HD-08 $213 and Kagayaki KV-2 currently on sale for $74) and with the $7 shipping, the total after Paypal's not-quite-accurate conversion rates, was $305. That order was placed on Thursday morning. 

 

The way that JCK shipped their knives was...well, I won't comment in too much detail, but the result was a duty-free delivery and the delivery timeline was phenomenal. So, if anything there catches your eye, it may be worth a look. I know that the JCK Hattori FH series gets pretty good reviews (it was just a bit more than I wanted to spend and I didn't like the look quite as much as the Hattori that I ordered) and I can tell you that my Hattori is gorgeous (as noted, I also had a bit of vanity involved in my choice). The Kagayaki looks pretty sweet with the handle that they've put on that as well. 

 

Just from a Canadian in the same area, I can tell you that my experience with them was phenomenal.

 

I will say as well that I placed an order over the weekend with CKTG (for a bread knife, some parings, an Idahone ceramic 'steel', and a smaller Tojiro santoku for my wife) that should arrive in Blaine for me to go and pick up on Friday (which means I can't get it until Saturday, probably, given Hagen's new 1 day turnaround policies).  That also being said, I did send them a question by email the same day and it has yet to be answered. Now, I know that emails can get lost in the fold, but I'm a bit disappointed by that given their reputation for excellent customer service (which allows me to give them the benefit of the doubt at this stage as to why it hasn't been answered).

 

Hope that gives you some helpful information and might help you decide what you want to get from where. 

 

Cheers,

 

Mike

 

post #6 of 68

Also, I should note, that I agree with you on the MAC. I went to Cookshop to check out the MACs because I was confident that I'd get one given the great reviews but realized once I looked at it in person and held it that I didn't like it at all. I'm sure it's a wonderful knife but it just didn't suit my sensibilities.

post #7 of 68

Bob, not so long ago I was a pretty fair home cook looking to replace my Wusthoff with something better.  But I knew nothing of Japanese knives until BDL and others turned me on to them.  Eventually I settled on a laser Konosuke HD as my main knife and a Hattori HD for back up.  Two stones is all you'll need for now.

 

If you're interested in something used, I have a Misono 440 and a Masamoto HC I don't use.  Both are 240 yo gyuto's in great condition.  PM if you want more info.

post #8 of 68
Thread Starter 

Hey back at you Deputy/Mike,  Nice to hear positive feedback about JCK.  They don't seem to get as much positive mention as some others (not that I've heard anything negative).  I've heard nice things about the Hattori FH - it is in the mix for consideration.  It's kind of tough making a decision without being able to see/touch them in person.  BTW, Blaine is pretty easy for me, I maintain a mailbox there and its an easy trip.  I'm pretty open about what I'm bringing back and have never been charged duty, etc. (a tip, use the Hwy 15 truck crossing) 

 

A question for those that might know, I've read in a number of places that there's no such animal as a yo handled laser.  Is that really true?  Does that bring the yo handled versions into consideration for someone who might not be looking for a true laser, but is OK with something on the thinner side?

 

 

post #9 of 68

I had the same feeling as you about not touching them or holding them but read enough posts here (especially BDL) saying that the feel in the store doesn't translate to much meaning in the long run and decided to accept that (although there were also several posts decrying that belief) as I didn't have much other choice, given our local selection...or lack thereof. I'm glad I didn't put too much weight on that because, at the end of the day, we have nothing but MAC, Mcusta (at Cookshop), whatever Cookworks sells (Shun and Global, I think), WS (Shun), and a handful of others. None of the good stuff, it seems.

 

Blaine's not too bad for me either...maybe 30'ish minutes each way if the bridge is alright and I just use Hagens (it's always worked out but is getting a bit pricey with some of their increases over the last while)...it's just the border that's the usual hiccup. I've also just taken to always being honest and have been called in for duty two or three times (always at the Truck Crossing), but it was never a big deal and, at the end of the day, it's the cost of importing goods. I've gotten away with some ridiculous imports, as well (always honestly - never hiding it), so I can't complain. 

 

If my Hattori is any indication, I'd put the FH near the top of my list for fit and finish and overall good looks. I'm going to have it near the top of my list when I go looking for my sujihiki in the coming months(ish). 

 

Can't answer your last question again - sorry, my knife knowledge isn't good enough, but good luck!

post #10 of 68

BobH - They are both great knives. There is no specific reason why I like my Mac over the Masamoto (VG series) other than maybe loyalty. The MAC was my first decent knife and I developed a lot of my technique while using it. Is there a technical reason why I prefer the MAC over the Masamoto, no, I just find its the knife I'm always reaching for.

 

 

One more thing, Are you left handed or right handed? A lot of the Japanese knives are shaped to a 70/30 for RIGHT hand use.

post #11 of 68
Thread Starter 

brandonkill - Thanks for the answer, I really was curious.   I'm a rightie, so I'm fortunate that if knives come with an asymmetric edge they work for me.

post #12 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by BobH View Post

Hey back at you Deputy/Mike,  Nice to hear positive feedback about JCK.  They don't seem to get as much positive mention as some others (not that I've heard anything negative).  I've heard nice things about the Hattori FH - it is in the mix for consideration.  It's kind of tough making a decision without being able to see/touch them in person.  BTW, Blaine is pretty easy for me, I maintain a mailbox there and its an easy trip.  I'm pretty open about what I'm bringing back and have never been charged duty, etc. (a tip, use the Hwy 15 truck crossing) 

 

A question for those that might know, I've read in a number of places that there's no such animal as a yo handled laser.  Is that really true?  Does that bring the yo handled versions into consideration for someone who might not be looking for a true laser, but is OK with something on the thinner side?

 

 


Hi Bob

 

Seems I somehow goofed up my reply to this (maybe me, maybe something with my droid lol) that I sent on my cell, but sorry for that and will try again :)

 

First on the laser question, I recently had a yo handled Konosuke HD gyuto and actually returned it for the wa handled style (the new flatter profile one as that was in stock at the time) and posted the measurements in a different thread, but the blade thickness was more similar than not. The largest change by memory was the length as it was right around 7/16" and next was the thickness near the handle and around 0.04" and most were only 0.01 to 0.02 change.

 

So not much difference, but wa handle one was deff thinner across the board.

 

I can not advise on the other brands your discussing, but personally decided that this mid to high $200's range made more sense than the much more expensive ones that I could not convince myself there was an equal amount of potential improvement (if any) to the increase in price, and the mid to high $100's range ones did not seem to offer enough advantage over the sub $100 range (which I already own and am or will compare it too etc) to make sense as well.

 

I know many of the popular first purchase suggestions fall in that $100-$200 range, and I have found outside of J knives the mid range products can be the real value or surprise performers, but when I compared the materials, reviews, and cost it just was not able to sell me.

 

I offer the following as someone who was pretty much in your position about 1-1/2 yrs ago and finally found my way to purchase a much more expensive knife than the the initial true entry level purchase I had made last year.

 

When I first read your original post in this thread I was thinking that everything you said except one or two things (wanting to spend more, and the mention of lasers) was leading to either a Tojiro DP or Fujiwara FKM 240mm gyuto suggestion as both of these excellent products are everything Henckels are not (trust me I had an assortment of Pro-S and Four Star and now both DP's and FKM etc) and due to their price points are seriously two of the best choices for a newbie to J knives, and especially someone who is not fully knowing what they want, what to expect, and want an affordable way to learn what these very different knives are all about before laying down serious dollars on a more highly regarded product "blindly" etc. I know it is all pretty much flying blind BTW, and that was a big part of my issue and concern as well.

 

I still believe that you would be happy with either of those choices as they just make sense etc, but since your also being drawn in by all the raves of so many other higher priced products (as I was myself lol) I want to address this idea as well since previous some have made a solid point of the potential savings of making the right choice up front, and not having to buy again in the future and either have duplicates or have to sell the old ones etc. I am still on the fence on this, but it may be your path to happiness ;)

 

One thing that stayed in the back of my mind after my initial purchase was the unknown factor of what would those other more expensive knives be like, and if they were really so much better than what I had decided on etc. It was not a haunting thing, but still one that came to mind many times when completely enjoying the insane difference between my new knives and my previous Henckels.

 

After owning the new ones for a while and getting a chance to put them to the sharpening stones, and work on improving or adjusting my sharpening skills as well as working on the changes to my knife skills to better compliment the knives etc I had decided that I needed to start researching my next knife purchase since though fully happy with what I had at that point I really wanted to experiment with something higher priced and more regarded as being of a superior quality and performance etc.

 

After a whole lot of research I decided on the Konusuke HD, and after even more consideration I decided to duplicate my gyuto rather than add to my "set" since it is my most used knife by far and if the HD was nearly as good as everyone was claiming I wanted one that I would get the most of out, I mean it was not cheap LOL.

 

I have had it only a short few weeks, and only have time to do an initial "short session" sharpening it, but so far it is fantastic. I use a light grip as you describe, and the only times I have seen a need to increase the grip has been a couple odd times to overcome items that stuck to the side of the blade as for most everything this one slides or just drops through.

 

After I have some more time with it I intend to do a comparison or review to try and help other new comers to better understand just what the differences are for those who do not have a real comparison or base level of J knives to make sense of all the info we find on the net. I really am not ready yet, and want to get more time to do some additional sharpening (and maybe thinning or convex the edge a little), more use time to compare the edge retention, and some side by side with the other knives before making any solid conclusions for the sake of accuracy.

 

That being said even tough so far I am loving the HD more every time I use it I will have to make a decision at some point just how much better it is than the others which I paid less for as a set of four (Fujiwara FKM 240 gyuto, Tojiro DP santoku, petty, and Wassabi 270 bread knife) and by less I mean nearly half (prices were lower last year too lol).

 

Just gyuto to gyuto in same length the HD was 3.5x the cost of the FKM and that is a whole lot to overcome.

 

In fairness to all these are completely different knives. Maybe not as different as a Henckels to Tojiro etc, but still very different. I understand the HD is partially hand made, had a steel that is produced in smaller quantity, and is itself produced in smaller quantity which we all know increases costs etc. but it also sees various benefits from this and they are serious ones at that.

 

It is much lighter, and feels even lighter in comparison to what the scales tell us, the steel is obviously superior (it sharpens as or more easily than the moly steel in the FKM, but is supposed to have edge retention beyond that of the harder to sharpen VG10 of the DP) and a pleasure to work with on both the stones and the board. I know there are others, but the point is there are advantages to spending more when you do your homework, but how the advantages stack up to the additional cost is still in the review stage.

 

I mean both the HD and FKM cut, chop, and slice wonderfully, and with so much less effort than my previous old knives it is a joke, but they do feel different, and are different as well. The HD I have is also flatter and will help with little flaws in technique at times, like when not fully cutting or chopping through something and that thin bottom layer that holds all your nice slices together, but I won't go into this more as not to add confusion.

 

In the end I believe you will be happy with just about every knife mentioned in this thread, but if your like me and looking for what will be the best or better decision you are going to have a bit more work to do. I can not suggest that everyone follow my path which was weighted slightly more on value or price to performance as I know that for many price is either not a concern, or just one that comes after they have a short list of higher cost items (I know this because sometimes I am "that guy" as well lol) and they will not find happiness with a true value product.

 

I hope that helps you find your way to a comfortable decision!

 

 

"love my country" but "fear my government"  Something is just wrong with this

 

 

 

Looking for info on entry level J-knives? Need help on finding the most bang for your buck? Hope you enjoy learning from the info here, I know I did!

http://www.cheftalk.com/t/63213/tojiro-dp-f-809-240mm-g...

Reply

 

"love my country" but "fear my government"  Something is just wrong with this

 

 

 

Looking for info on entry level J-knives? Need help on finding the most bang for your buck? Hope you enjoy learning from the info here, I know I did!

http://www.cheftalk.com/t/63213/tojiro-dp-f-809-240mm-g...

Reply
post #13 of 68
Wanted to clarify or add some to the above.

I started to touch on just what to expect for the extra cost of many of the higher rated products etc, but missed my main point that so far everything I am finding shows that these improvements may, or may not be noticeable (well beyond appearance and design anyway) or a real benefit to many home cooks or even pro cooks that may not have ample experience or proper knife skills.

By that I mean simply that is your not using good techniques with your current knives or have already found your skills are advanced beyond your tools etc and maybe if you use some of the newer more popular inexpensive Chinese made models of the popular western brands etc you may not or actually your results may not benefit from the extra $ 100-$200 investment over the Tojiro or Fujiwara.

Again I do understand that looks and appearance are important to varying degrees for everyone so go with what you like, but after re reading an earlier post mentioning value I felt I needed to add this and that the Tojiro and Fujiwara offer the best value far as i am concerned.

On a side note much as I love the HD I have no plans to get rid of the Fujiwara since it just performs so well compared to what I would get for it so no sense not keeping it!

 

"love my country" but "fear my government"  Something is just wrong with this

 

 

 

Looking for info on entry level J-knives? Need help on finding the most bang for your buck? Hope you enjoy learning from the info here, I know I did!

http://www.cheftalk.com/t/63213/tojiro-dp-f-809-240mm-g...

Reply

 

"love my country" but "fear my government"  Something is just wrong with this

 

 

 

Looking for info on entry level J-knives? Need help on finding the most bang for your buck? Hope you enjoy learning from the info here, I know I did!

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post #14 of 68
Thread Starter 

Hi Lenny.  Sorry for the delay in getting back here.  I saw your post yesterday but needed to read through it a couple of time to get my thoughts in order.  It was one of those, "must think, brain hurts" moments.   Thanks sharing your experiences - that was quite a post!.  Actually I'd already been following your other posts/threads too.   It's funny, I think we're both trying to get to the same place, but with slightly different approaches.

 

In many ways you're correct, I could go the Tojiro or Fujiwara route and they'd be likely be perfectly fine, at least for a while.  But I know I'd still keep looking for the next knife. I'm at that stage in life where I'm not really interested in entry level any more.  Where I can afford it, I'd rather invest that bit extra and get something that I'd be really happy with.  And lets face it, the difference we're talking about is $100-150, about what a decent (but not extravagant) meal with my wife would cost. Not a real big deal, and it lasts a lot longer than one nightsmile.gif!  To quote BDL, "the heart wants what the heart wants".  There's no sense fighting it.

 

I'd like to hear about how you've found adapting to the HD.  I've read so many great reviews of it, but didn't really consider it, or the other lasers, as I've also read all of the cautions about lasers for someone without great knife skills (and then a caveat about how some newbies love them).  It's funny, I didn't quite realize that some of the knives I mentioned in the first post were considered lasers until I went back and did some more rereading.  I'm still not completely clear on whether any western handled knife is considered a laser.   It sounds like a fine line.

 

I managed to find a small, local shop called Santoku Office that specializes in Japanese knives. Some very pretty items.  Unfortunately they are mostly brands that I've never seen references to in the forums, so they don't serve as much of a reference point for me.  The one they do have that I've seen mentioned is the Grand Cheff (only an 8" in stock though and their price was way out of line compared to Paul's Finest).  I expect it's considered regular Japanese thinness (can anyone confirm that) and it didn't seem particularly thin to me at all. I think something on the thin side would probably fit me best.  I also had a chance to handle some of their wa handled knives.  I know it wasn't a definitive experience and I could probably adapt, but It reinforced my preference for a yo handle.

 

BTW, I haven't forgotten about sharpening.  I was looking at the Edge Pro Apex Chosera sets at CKtG, but they're sold out at the moment.  So, I think I'll keep thinking over the bench stone vs. gizmo decision while waiting to see when new stock will come in.

post #15 of 68

I've been listening to a lot of people and after spending some time talking about it with Jon at JKI am coming to the conclusion that all of the caveats and "STAY AWAY" warnings about lasers to home cooks who don't have great knife skills, including nearly all of those I've voiced myself, are -- not to put to fine a point on it -- a bunch of crap. 

 

If you're not in the kind of hurry new pros get into prepping for or on the line -- and you're not -- you can make whatever adjustments you need to make on the fly.  Furthermore after awhile, feedback from the knife itself will train you to keep it straight. 

 

Yes, there are things you should know about the limitations of a laser; and no, a laser isn't the right knife for everyone.  But if you've come to the conclusion that a Takayuki Grand Cheff is thick and graceless, you've made a definite statement about what you want.   Although, I'm wondering about the particular knife you tried.  Grand Cheffs usually run pretty darn thin. 

 

There are quite a few other good lasers besides the Konosuke HD.  I love my Konosuke HDs, but they're not the only lasers in the sea, and I suggest you look around at some of the others, like Gesshin Ginga, Suisun Inox Honyaki, Tadatsuna (especially if you want stainless), and Yusuke -- to name a few.   Mark and CKtG and Jon at JKI are wonderful resources.  Both will try and match you with the right knife, both know a lot about it, and neither is so in love with a sale that they'll try to push something that isn't absolutely right on you.   Don't be afraid to call and ask for their advice, because talking about knives is why they're in the business.  If you think they don't have a lot to say about their $200+ knives, you are so very wrong. 

 

Choosing and buying a knife is one thing; using it another; and using happily for a long time is yet another.  So much depends on sharpening. 

 

If you think the EP Chosera kit is the way to go -- and it's one of the best ways, certainly -- you can wait until Mark has them back in stock, or order an Apex Kit 1, or even one of the limited Professional kits and get the Chosera stones later.  The Choseras are more pleasant to use, but otherwise aren't meaningfully better (or at least not by much) than the "official EP" stones and tapes Ben makes for the EP.

 

BDL

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post #16 of 68
Thread Starter 

BDL,  I had to laugh out loud when I saw your response.lol.gif  It really put a smile on my face.  I think the only person who's going to say you're full of crap is you.  At least get away with it.

 

I'm not under time pressures when I cook and already keep the knife straight.  If that's the biggest risk, I think I'm OK with the limitations of a laser.   Let's see if I've got the other limitations right.  Avoid bones (e.g., breaking down chickens) frozen food, really tough vegetables like a hard squash, be reasonably soft on the board. It ain't a cleaver or a can opener.  OK so far? 

 

A bit of clarification on the Takayuki Grand Cheff, it was a 210mm gyuto. I wouldn't go so far as to say it was thick or ungraceful, but I didn't find it close to scary thin either.  Maybe a better way to say it isI didn't find it  uncomfortably thin at all.  It's certainly way thinner than my Henckels.  But the thickness of my Henckels is a big reason I'm doing this in the first place.  It's nice to find a reference point for understanding thinness in a J knife. I'm not fixated on a laser, but thin seems good, and so many of the good knives seem to be thin to very thin. 

 

I'll try giving Mark and/or Jon a call.  It's hard to find adequate time during the week unfortunately and I wasn't sure I'd catch them off hours.

 

If you have considerations I should think over for any specific knives, please don't be shy smile.gif.  I get that you're trying to guide me to "my" decision rather than taking the simple route and just saying buy a xxxxxx.  Correct?

 

post #17 of 68

actually, the tough veggies arent the problem.  Twisting while cutting is.  Anyways, i do believe that home cooks have a tendency to be much nicer to their knives than pros, so lasers work well there.  However, i still dont believe they are good first knives.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobH View Post

BDL,  I had to laugh out loud when I saw your response.lol.gif  It really put a smile on my face.  I think the only person who's going to say you're full of crap is you.  At least get away with it.

 

I'm not under time pressures when I cook and already keep the knife straight.  If that's the biggest risk, I think I'm OK with the limitations of a laser.   Let's see if I've got the other limitations right.  Avoid bones (e.g., breaking down chickens) frozen food, really tough vegetables like a hard squash, be reasonably soft on the board. It ain't a cleaver or a can opener.  OK so far? 

 

A bit of clarification on the Takayuki Grand Cheff, it was a 210mm gyuto. I wouldn't go so far as to say it was thick or ungraceful, but I didn't find it close to scary thin either.  Maybe a better way to say it isI didn't find it  uncomfortably thin at all.  It's certainly way thinner than my Henckels.  But the thickness of my Henckels is a big reason I'm doing this in the first place.  It's nice to find a reference point for understanding thinness in a J knife. I'm not fixated on a laser, but thin seems good, and so many of the good knives seem to be thin to very thin. 

 

I'll try giving Mark and/or Jon a call.  It's hard to find adequate time during the week unfortunately and I wasn't sure I'd catch them off hours.

 

If you have considerations I should think over for any specific knives, please don't be shy smile.gif.  I get that you're trying to guide me to "my" decision rather than taking the simple route and just saying buy a xxxxxx.  Correct?

 



 

post #18 of 68
Bob I totally agree with the idea if the money is not an issue it does make sense to try and buy what you feel is what you really want or would be best etc. But the confusing part as it relates to our discussion is really the use of the word "entry level".

If cost was not a concern in any way I am sure my original purchase could well have been different, but the experience would have been lost, and I would not have known first hand just how superior (to any quality western style knife I had used previously) and totally "non" entry level these two brands really are. It is honestly not fair to call these entry level for the noobs who are completely confused by this though it is truly accurate.

It is just how we have learned what to expect from products that are called such. I guess if consider things like entry level dept store bought golf clubs, consumer power tools or similar items compared to top of the line high end ones we expect the earlier to very frankly be cheaply made junk, and most times this is totally accurate. In this arena though it is not the case, and both the entry level and higher end knives are quality products that will provide a vast improvement in performance and edge holding abilities.

I suspect it has to do with the different work ethic, pride in accomplishment, and value of honor and respect that exists in Japan.

I still advise to get what your comfortable with etc. But if you would like to better understand this you may want to find a way to try one or even buy a inexpensive petty or similar knife (I think the DP petty is still under $40) to be able to compare and see for yourself.

That all said I have to be honest that the Konosuke, hattori, Massamoto and similar higher end knives would be my choice as well if there were not any expense restraints etc. But when you cut through all the fat there are many home and pro cooks who use those entry level knives everyday.

Far as comparing the thinness of the laser to a non laser once again the difference is not as large here as it is between the non laser more STD thickness and that of a Henckels or Wustof etc. Sure there is a good amount of change, and from my measurements much of it is behind the edge (part of why it feels to cut so much more effortlessly? ) and there will be more flex in the blade and everything else that has been mentioned earlier. It is a laser right?

I do agree with the others that how this thinness effects use may possibly not be as much an issue with proper technique or not rushing etc and you should have no problem that you can't correct, but you also have to be sure not to add any unwanted actions in your cutting like a twist of torque as the knife will make sure you know when you do. In fairness I found that the Fujiwara can supply the same, but that one is ground asymmetric and mi.e has been taken tl nearly 90/10 so it is really thin behind the edge which makes it feel sharper but also weaker (actually a good lil cutter with that edge lol).

I honestly would not give as much thought to the snippy issues as I found though it does flex more than non lasers it is not nearly as much am issue than the online discussions had me worried about.

I really can not find any complaints on this HD besides the cost, and so far it does everything I expected it to and feels even better.

If you need anymore comparison info just let me know.

 

"love my country" but "fear my government"  Something is just wrong with this

 

 

 

Looking for info on entry level J-knives? Need help on finding the most bang for your buck? Hope you enjoy learning from the info here, I know I did!

http://www.cheftalk.com/t/63213/tojiro-dp-f-809-240mm-g...

Reply

 

"love my country" but "fear my government"  Something is just wrong with this

 

 

 

Looking for info on entry level J-knives? Need help on finding the most bang for your buck? Hope you enjoy learning from the info here, I know I did!

http://www.cheftalk.com/t/63213/tojiro-dp-f-809-240mm-g...

Reply
post #19 of 68

Lenny, don't forget that Bob got a 5" MAC petty for Christmas, so he probably has a decent idea of what he's getting into already - it's just a matter of picking the "big gun" now.

 

Bob, I've just ordered stones from Paul at Paul's Finest and found him stellar to deal with, so if you like his knives (like the Grand Cheff that you saw at Santoku Office...which I've meant to go and visit but just haven't had a chance, yet) and want to skip on the Blaine thing, he's a good option (but you do pay HST and shipping, so factor that in). But Blaine's probably pretty easy for you, so could save you some bucks.

post #20 of 68
Thread Starter 

Lenny,  I've found that when I make purchases for non-consumables that I like to know I can count on keeping it for 5-10 years before the itch comes back.  For me anyway, I found that less expensive over the long hall. This isn't the sort of thing I want to agonize over every year - as fun as it issmile.gif.  Besides when I do this there's always the fixed cost (or hassle of) shipping, duty, or the trip across the line that makes small purchases more expensive.  In for a penny, in for a pound, right?

 

Thanks for your input.  I'm definitely getting more comfortable with my understanding of thinness.  I've never had a problem with twisting so expect it's something I can adjust to without a lot of problem,  Although it seems there's still a bit of discord about whether a laser is a good first J knife lol.gif - Jon, I will call (I tried today, but didn't realize you were closed - hopefully Saturday).  Lenny, I'm glad you've found happiness with your HD, I'm looking forward to reading your next update in your other thread.  Another opportunity to learn.

 

Deputy, Nice catch on BTW.  I thought about the GC at Paul's, but I see he's out of stock on that one, so I don't feel the need to rush into anything just because it's easy or expedient.

post #21 of 68

Bob,

 

I don't know if these are clarifications or minor niggles...

  • Tough vegetables -- the problem which come with torquing or otherwise not keeping the blade square to the cut are magnified by a tough skin.  So, yes to you and Jon.
  • Beginners -- No laser if you're just learning to cook; but for that first really good knife for someone who's working at making knife work work... I think they're OK.
  • Guidance -- I'm not trying to guide your decision so much as help you develop a short list which only includes knives you're bound to love.  It's your choice. 
  • Crap -- A lot of people think I'm full of it.  References on request.

 

One of the things which bothers me most about equipment recommendations from board members -- just about any board, and CT far less than most -- is that frequently the person doing the recommending seems to be seeking validation for his own choice rather than communicating information which will help you make yours.  I try to impart a common-sense, quality oriented, food-oriented viewpoint, which begins with sharpness; as opposed to "cheapest is good enough," or exotic knife-hobbyism.  My interest in knife technique is about using sharpness efficiently, comfortably and safely.  My interest in the knives themselves is the same. 

 

Maybe it's validation or maybe it's not; but I take a great deal of pleasure from helping people develop their own conceptual framework and use it to make choices which they'll enjoy for a long time. 

 

BDL

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post #22 of 68
Bob seems this whole thing may continue to be a learning experience, and I will be sharing my experience and thoughts on the HD soon as I have enough time with it to be comfortable that my thoughts are accurate.

I also want to do some side by side with the Fujiwara so I can offer some comparison and even some insight in the relationship of the performance v/s price difference. May take a little tome though as I do not want to mislead anyone etc.

Also I can't argue with your buy it once thinking as I share those thoughts, but once again I really can not emphasize enough that it is hard to decode just what you get for the extra cost.

Oh and BDL I have to address two things from above.

One is to validate your validation in your last paragraph as you have been a big help to many and myself included, and your questioning method is a fantastic way to allow a newbie to find his way while it still is well his way.

That said of course your sometimes full of crap, you were an attorney for heavens sakes wink.gif

 

"love my country" but "fear my government"  Something is just wrong with this

 

 

 

Looking for info on entry level J-knives? Need help on finding the most bang for your buck? Hope you enjoy learning from the info here, I know I did!

http://www.cheftalk.com/t/63213/tojiro-dp-f-809-240mm-g...

Reply

 

"love my country" but "fear my government"  Something is just wrong with this

 

 

 

Looking for info on entry level J-knives? Need help on finding the most bang for your buck? Hope you enjoy learning from the info here, I know I did!

http://www.cheftalk.com/t/63213/tojiro-dp-f-809-240mm-g...

Reply
post #23 of 68

yup... thursdays are my only day off.  sorry about that.  Talk to you saturday i guess.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobH View Post

Lenny,  I've found that when I make purchases for non-consumables that I like to know I can count on keeping it for 5-10 years before the itch comes back.  For me anyway, I found that less expensive over the long hall. This isn't the sort of thing I want to agonize over every year - as fun as it issmile.gif.  Besides when I do this there's always the fixed cost (or hassle of) shipping, duty, or the trip across the line that makes small purchases more expensive.  In for a penny, in for a pound, right?

 

Thanks for your input.  I'm definitely getting more comfortable with my understanding of thinness.  I've never had a problem with twisting so expect it's something I can adjust to without a lot of problem,  Although it seems there's still a bit of discord about whether a laser is a good first J knife lol.gif - Jon, I will call (I tried today, but didn't realize you were closed - hopefully Saturday).  Lenny, I'm glad you've found happiness with your HD, I'm looking forward to reading your next update in your other thread.  Another opportunity to learn.

 

Deputy, Nice catch on BTW.  I thought about the GC at Paul's, but I see he's out of stock on that one, so I don't feel the need to rush into anything just because it's easy or expedient.



 

post #24 of 68

double post

post #25 of 68

triple post

post #26 of 68

First-time-poster (previous lurker) checking in with a couple of questions. Etiquette from other forums has taught me to search first, and not create the same thread that has been posted dozens of times before.

First, let's get a disclaimer out of the way: I've been baking since perhaps the age of five, and cooking at the stove since not long after that. Yet with some forty years of knowing my way around the kitchen, I still can't chop onions with any real speed or finesse. However I do know how to handle knives as well as the basics of knife care. Strangely, I grew up using mom's knives and they were all thin, slender-bladed and very long. She never had a heavy-bellied, German-profile knife in the kitchen and she could do wonderful things with the long blades. I remember the springiness of the thin steel.

My knife block is a mish-mash of cheap, bad, beaten, decent, good-value and not as bad. :) My go-to knives have long been a Henckels Four-Star chef's 8-inch and a carbon short Sabatier paring knife. Both are in pretty good shape, if a bit tired, but they get the job done. I also have a couple of ancient European knives that I inherited from a family friend, a very accomplished cook and food writer: a big Lanius moly butcher's knife from the 60s and an undated Wüsthof boning knife. Both have seen better days, but they do get used now and again for the tougher tasks. OTOH, my bread knife was a POS "ever-sharp" non-German Henckels and after recently getting back into yeast baking I realized how brutally bad it was. I investigated spending good money on a good bread knife only to read (here and at Ch*whound) that many knife aficionados recommend getting cheap, sharp bread knives and throwing them out when they dull. I was about to send CKTG some cash for the long Tojiro or a Ken Onion Shun bread knife when I saw quite a few recommendations for the KAI PureKomachi 2 "bread" knife at a tiny fraction of the price. I grabbed it off Amazon and couldn't be more pleased with the value -- for its purpose. But all the research rekindled my interest in knives and led me to Japanese knives. I have been doing my homework and know that I only want a good chef's knife to start, but for me -- and my skill set -- I also know it has to be a lifetime knife.

As luck would have it, I'm headed to Asia in a couple of weeks, and will be in Tokyo for one night and most of one day. I'll be staying in Ginza (Chuo) and I'm heading to Tsukiji for the auction and breakfast. Also on my itinerary for that day is a jaunt up to Asakusa and across the Sumida to the Ryōgoku Kokugikan (sumo hall), which happens to be a couple of blocks away from Masamoto Suhonten ("head office"). My thinking is I will look at the Masamoto Tsukijis as well as the Arigutsu Tokyos before heading there. I don't really know what to expect to pay for a Wa-gyuto KS 240 at Masa, but if it is relative well-priced in Sumida I'll probably pop for it. Any reason I should rethink this? Perhaps I could get an Arigutsu petty at the market. I know the market stores will open the knives for me. Does Masa head office also do this?

Because I travel very light I will investigate sharpening stones when I return home, but after dropping half a paycheck on a single knife it definitely becomes a high priority.

Any extra thoughts on this?


Edited by SameGuy - 1/27/12 at 11:10am
post #27 of 68

SameGuy,

 

Great.... so you're going to live MY dream. 

 

The Aritsugu A is highly regarded, I don't know if it's at the Tokyo Aritsugu or the other one.   Wherever it is, unless you're already a super good sharpener... don't get it.  To really work right, the knife needs extensive re-profiling; and it's a very difficult to profile. 

 

I don't know too much about the other Aritsugus, but gather the top line "carbons" are very good.  My understanding of the Japanese professional knife market (gained entirely second hand) is that Masa is Ichi-ban and Aritsugu is a close Nichi-ban.  Aritsugus are a lot less expensive.

 

The Masamoto KS is one of the best wa-gyutos at any price, and it's expensive.  Given the vagaries of the yen/dollar day-to-day and the necessity for Japanese importers and US based retailers to hold prices steady for a few months at least, you can probably get a Masa for less here than there.  But squeezing the price down to the last ryu isn't the point of buying at Tsukiji is it?  On the other hand, check the online prices before leaving for Japan. 

 

The Masa KS would be my first choice because of it's wonderful profile, F&F, aesthetic, and for a ton of other reasons.  FWIW, it's shiro #2 carbon.  I don't think Masa makes a stainless wa-gyuto.

 

The KS is a beautiful knife.  Super advanced in the sense that you can get an awful lot out of it if you know how; but don't expect magic until you bring your sharpening and knife skills up.  Also don't expect the knife to be really sharp "out of the box." It's SOP in Japan to have a new knife sharpened at the hamono at time of purchase.  Be very specific about what you want in terms of sharpening, because from what I understand, knife shop sharpening can be quick and dirty unless you let them know you want a really clean job.

 

If you do buy something -- anything -- at the KS's quality level, you're going to have to learn to sharpen muy pronto as the Japanese say.  It would be a shame to keep a knife like that in any condition less than extremely sharp. 

 

BDL 

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post #28 of 68

Thanks for the quick response, BDL!

 

I'm not going to lose sleep over sharpening. As you said, as long as I take the time to start learning properly, it's not likely I'll ruin my knives. But at the same time I'm not so AR that I'll turn my nose up at the EP. The Chosera stones that Mark sells in the Apex kit, are they the same as I might find at the Tokyo shops? Or are the bases modified to fit the EP's clamps? If I can drag home a couple of them to get started, and maybe put together a four-stone kit in the near future I should be able to fall into the trap that is this knife obsession. I already know that I'll at least need a decent petty, a good cleaver and eventually a nice yanagiba -- though I rarely prep my own fish at home, and never make nigiri or sashimi, I know that the obsession will change me. :D

post #29 of 68

There are a few gags which will handle full size bench stones, but neither of the EPs is one of them.  An EP will only handle a specific size.  The Choseras Mark sells for the EP are not only cut down but mounted to a back plate.   

 

Petty -- yes. 

 

Cleaver -- whether you mean something heavy for heavy duty work, or a chuka bocho -- hold off for now. 

 

Yanagiba -- ditto.  Since you're planning on not buying in the immediate future, wait til you get back to have the yanagiba, deba, usuba discussion -- and have it with someone who knows traditional Japanese knives and cutting better than I do. 

 

Obession -- yes it is and yes it will.

 

BDL

 

 

 

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post #30 of 68
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by boar_d_laze View Post

Bob,

 

I don't know if these are clarifications or minor niggles...

  • Tough vegetables -- the problem which come with torquing or otherwise not keeping the blade square to the cut are magnified by a tough skin.  So, yes to you and Jon.
  • Beginners -- No laser if you're just learning to cook; but for that first really good knife for someone who's working at making knife work work... I think they're OK.
  • Guidance -- I'm not trying to guide your decision so much as help you develop a short list which only includes knives you're bound to love.  It's your choice. 
  • Crap -- A lot of people think I'm full of it.  References on request.

 

One of the things which bothers me most about equipment recommendations from board members -- just about any board, and CT far less than most -- is that frequently the person doing the recommending seems to be seeking validation for his own choice rather than communicating information which will help you make yours.  I try to impart a common-sense, quality oriented, food-oriented viewpoint, which begins with sharpness; as opposed to "cheapest is good enough," or exotic knife-hobbyism.  My interest in knife technique is about using sharpness efficiently, comfortably and safely.  My interest in the knives themselves is the same. 

 

Maybe it's validation or maybe it's not; but I take a great deal of pleasure from helping people develop their own conceptual framework and use it to make choices which they'll enjoy for a long time. 

 

BDL


BDL.  I'm considering it clarification, although niggles is pretty close too. At my age I better not be a beginner eek.gif.  I hear you about recommendations and self-validation - its an observation I've made multiple times.  But CT is better than most.  FYI, I've traded notes with Mark so far, but we haven't managed to really connect.  I'm going to try to give Jon a call late this afternoon.  After I talk to them I'll try to articulate a better shortlist.  So far I think it consists of:

  • Tadatsuna Inox (stainless)
  • Konosuke HD  
  • Kukuichi TDK
  • Gesshin Ginga
  • Takayuki Grand Cheff
  • Hattori HF
  • Masamoto VG (I'd consider throwing the KS in the mix in spite of being carbon, but it's only available with a wa handle - it gets so much love)

 

The list is still a work in progress, I need to get it down to one eventually (sooner rather than later I hope), but at the moment, it might get longer first as I get more opinions/input/knowledgable.

 

The inclusion of the really thin knives surprised me, it wasn't my original thought - thanks to everyone for their input on "thinness".  We'll see were this leads, I'm curious what Mark & Jon will have to say.  The other factors I've pretty much clarified in my mind are:

  • Western/Yo handle - this is still my comfort zone and while I know there are great wa handled knives, I haven't really heard an argument that says a wa handle is inherently better, just different.
  • French profile - the other thing that always bugged me about the four stars was I found the tip too high.  I din't mention this before.
  • Single steel - not looking for damascus finish or a clad knife.
  • On the thin side- doesn't have to be a laser, but I don't think I need to eliminate thin knives.
  • Stainless or semi-stainless - feel free to talk me out of it - I'm not religious about this.
  • Great fit & finish - yeah, it's a tool but the asthetics still count - call me vainwink.gif.
  • The usual everyone seems to look for: easy to sharpen, good edge retention, ...

 

Bob

 

 

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