Originally Posted by BobH
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?
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!