I am looking to purchase a gyuto and am currently considering the Hattori FH knife. I like a knife that has a little bit of weight to it and isn't super light. I also prefer laser knives that are easy to sharpen and hold on edge for a long period of time. Any thoughts on whether the Hattori fits this description? Any other knives I should be looking at? Thanks!
Looking for a new gyuto and need advice on Japanese cutlery.
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Usually laser and a knife with a bit of weight to it are mutually exclusive.
Laser = thin which also = light.
You can work the weight issue one way or the other with your handle selection. I western style knife will often out weigh it's wa handled sister by 25%.
I've never used a Hattori FH but I don't think VG10 steel is particularily easy to sharpen.
Hattori FH knives aren't "lasers" in the sense that most knife guys use the term which -- as Racineboxer said -- subsumes ultra thin and ultra light. How would you define the term?
You said you like a bit of weight. What advantage(s) do you think weight confers?
The FH isn't a bad knife at all, but it's quite expensive and its high price includes a lot of aesthetic. Also, at the time the knife was designed VG-10 was considered a much bigger deal and better steel than is thought now. If what you're looking for is a mass-produced or semi-custom, stainless, western-handled, high-performance, non-laser there are other knives which represent the same bang for less bucks, or more bang for the same buck.
Verdict on the FH: It's a very good knife of the type, but not a great bargain.
Knives are all about sharpening. What are your plans for getting and keeping your new knife sharp.
Thanks for the input. I currently have a 240 TKC which I would consider to be a laser, that thing is scary sharp. I am looking to get a 270mm gyuto and have heard good things about the Hattori FH. I don't mind spending around 300 for a quality gyuto as long as I am getting what I am paying for. Can you tell me of other brands I should be considering. I do prefer the western style handle purely for comfort reasons. Thanks
Oh and is there a stainless steel out there that is better than the VG10?
VG-10 is very good quality steel but just as important is the quality of construction and how that steel is treated. Hattori has an excellent reputation for that but they did have some issues with chipping in the past. Something you may want to consider. Hattori is however as BDL noted rather pricey. Marko is doing custom Gyutos with standard handles at $325 and "better" SS to boot (CPM-154). You may want to look up Salty Dogs Videos on YouTube for a review of that knife.
The Kagayaki VG-10 is about 1/2 the price of the Hattori and would be an easy choice for me in VG-10 especially for a working knife. You can spend far more but that doesn't always translate to better performance.
The TKC is not a "laser," at least not in the sense that "laser" is a term of art. But knife and sharpening terms are incredibly vague and idiosyncratic so you don't lose points for giving it your own, intuitive definition.
Kagayaki VG-10 is a giant step below your TKC; and the FH is around the same level, everything considered.
I don't have enough time with the FH to make real judgments, so consider what I said before and will say now more as synthesizing other people's experiences with extra weight given to those which have experience and good skills... Nothing wrong with the FH, but a lot of money for its admittedly high performance level. What I find remarkable is that so many people who have good skills said they liked their FHs but traded them for something "better" and "more interesting" anyway.
You've had time with an excellent knife and my idea is to sort of override your own expressions about heft and point you towards the still-better performance of one of the better laser yo-gyutos. If you don't mind dropping some serious coin, the Gesshin Ginga, Konosuke HD or Tadatsuna Inox would serve you extremely well.
If you're willing to consider carbon, you might want to look at a couple of non-lasers: The Masamoto HC (great alloy, improved handle and handle fitting, practically perfect profile) or the Masamoto Sweden (excellent everything, really great handle, great F&F, but highly-reactive -- half step less good than the Masamoto as far as I'm concerned).
Other than going to "wa," carbon, and/or laser, finding a no-stain, wa-gyuto much better than your TKC is problematic. Might be worth mentioning that a lot of guys consider the Kagayaki CarboNext to be as good as the TKC, but for significantly less money. The caveat -- such as it is -- which goes with the CarboNext is that they typically ship with a really lousy edge and any recommendation assumes good (or better) sharpening skills on your part.
At this stage of the game you might want to call Jon at JKI and Mark at CKtG and see what they have to say about moving up from an already extremely good TKC.
Should we be talking about sharpening? Or is it something you already have well in hand?
Edited by boar_d_laze - 3/9/12 at 9:54am
I don't have a TKC but since it was mentioned that the Kagayaki VG-10 was a step below it while suggesting an Ikkanshi-Tadatsuna (both of which I own) would be a step up I would only add that while the Ikkanshi is thinner, holds a better edge and feels better on a stone the Kagayaki is no slouch. In short you can get very wrapped up in minutia and spend far more with little gain in a working knife. Having said that Ikkanshi is a great suggestion IF you can find one as they are currently closed. No idea if that's the result of the Japanese disaster or the economy but they might be far harder to get your hands on. If you are going to switch to Carbon I'd be more inclined to look at the Masamoto KS WA Gyuto, although that may not be a handle you prefer.
At $300 your right at the point I'd other spend a little more to go custom or wait for a sale at Korin on a Nehoni (uber-spendy) or simply spend less.
Perhaps you might simply go with a 270 TKC? Just a thought.
Edited by DuckFat - 3/9/12 at 1:41pm