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[RECOMMEND POST] Decent wa-gyuto for the moderate knife lover

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Good day, knife gurus.

Spent a couple of days familiarizing with the subject, but did not came to a final conclusion. Please, recommend me a decent 240mm wa-gyoto. I know you can.

Here are my needs:

1) Budget. About 200-300$. Not a critical factor, but less is better of course.

2) Usage. Every day cooking for a family. A "workhorse".

3) Sharpness. I'm a "moderate knife lover" and I know what is a high carbon knife gliding through the food. I'm not going to do tricks with it like shaving, or cut tomatoes with its own weight, but it must be definitely SHARP. And I'm ready to spend 10-20 minutes in a month to resharpen it. So the edge must decently retain its sharpness.

4) Treatment. I'm able to save it from falling or dishwashing machine, but have no time to "pet" it before or after each use.

There is a question on edge fragility. I'm not going to cut frozen chikens in half, but I also do not want to be afrad that my 300 bucks blade will be ruined after I cut a fish backbone or cartilage in meat. Would it be reasonable to choose "true" japan white/blue steel knife? Or my choise is only stainless (semistainless?) knifes?

These are the blades that I bookmarked:

Masamoto KS Wa-Gyuto

Richmond Addict 2

Konosuke HD Wa-Gyuto

RYUSEN Tsuchime Damascus Series

JCK Aogami Super Custom Damascus Wa Series

JCK Original KAGAYAKI VG-10

Thanks in advance.

post #2 of 14

For $299.95 you can get the 240mm Misono UX10, its a gyuto but not wa-gyuto, depends if you really want the handle. From what I've read, its one of the best knives you can get, but there are much (much much much) more educated people on here.

Off your list the JCK Kagayaki is probably the best value, the Masamoto is good too I think.

If you haven't already, email the guy from CKtG, he is REALLY helpful, and will give you a solid recommendation in your budget, not just the most expensive one to sell you it.

post #3 of 14

...

 

You have all nice knives on your list, but they aren't all too similar so it sounds like you may want to gather a bit more knowledge/info--in other words you can probably have a list with a similar number of choices, but more homogenous as to blade type that will best suit you.

 

As to petting the knife, most carbons may fall into this category:>)

 

What type of stones are you currently using?  Do you plan on replacing or using the same ones with the new knife? 

 

Cheers,

Chinacats


Edited by chinacats - 5/3/12 at 6:52am
post #4 of 14

Welcome to CT!

I guess I'm the odd Duck because unless you are looking for something that's a special order I never saw the value in speaking to a dealer unless you are completely conflicted about what to buy. If you want to go that route, talk to Mark, Koki and Jon or at least send emails.

I think every knife on your list could be considered a work horse. That seems more like a bit of kitchy marketing than any thing really quantifiable, although you could make an argument that this would exclude "lasers". In regards to your sharpening plan I probably spend 20 minutes per knife every other week.

The Masamoto is about $50 over your budget but an excellent choice no matter how you slice it. Having said that if you really believe less $$ is "better" then it probably doesn't belong on your list. It's still my first pick.

I'm not a fan of the Addict 2. The first edition had some QC complaints that from what I gather were corrected in the "2". The profile is taller than the others which I find a bit odd. The best thing about this knife (IMO) is that it's supposed to be made in the USA. I say that because we heard the same about the Ultimatum in M390 while the steel is made in Austria. That may impact how you feel about "made in the USA" or not. Some are quite fanatical about wanting products completely made in the USA so it's just a matter of personal preference.

The Konosuki HD looks like a nice choice and it's right on your budget. Above the below and below the upper as the song goes. This is the only one on your list that might not fall in the work horse category but that depends on the user more than the knife.

The Ryusen is on budget but I've never even seen one. Suffice it to say that is not my style and beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder.

The JCK Aogami series is completely sold out AFAIK but you may want to contact Koki. Since he's left them on his site I assume at some point he will do another batch that will no doubt sell out as fast as the others. This was right in the sweet spot of your budget.

The Kagayaki is an excellent value and perhaps the least expensive blade on your list which may make it the best choice if less $$ is truly better. I've been using one a few years. A great value knife that doesn't require a lot of attention.

I'd reduce this list to three knives in short order.

The Masamoto if you want the best and don't mind going over budget.

The Konosuki and the Kagayaki depending on if you want "semi-stainless" or VG-10.

 

Dave


Edited by DuckFat - 4/26/12 at 12:34pm
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I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
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post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:

The Masamoto is about $50 over your budget but an excellent choice no matter how you slice it. Having said that if you really believe less $$ is "better" then it probably doesn't belong on your list. It's still my first pick.

 

I understand that it is the best. But I'm afraid that it is "too good" for me. I'm doubt that I can distinguish it from cheaper, but also good blades.

 

Quote:
The Konosuki and the Kagayaki depending on if you want "semi-stainless" or VG-10.

 

That's the question. I really don't "want" VG10 or "true japan carbon". I only want to take the knife for my money that would be comfortable to work with.

 

Is it really a huge difference between VG-10, HD and White№1 for a man who used 50-100$ europe knives before? Is there something that I could do with Masamoto and could not do with Kagayaki? Does the feeling at work significantly differ?

post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
What type of stones are you currently using?  Do you plan on replacing or using the same ones with the new knife? 

 

I don't use any stones at the moment (don't kick me). I use old fashioned 56-57 HRC german knives and use sharpening tools.

 

That's one of the reasons why I don't want to buy "super carbon".

post #7 of 14

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Haanz View Post

 I really don't "want" VG10 or "true japan carbon".

 

Then remove them from your list and now what's left.....

I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckFat View Post

 

 

Then remove them from your list and now what's left.....

 

I meant that I don't buy a steel, but I buy a knife. And if I don't understant why the "true carbon" would be better than may be its a buying for another time.

 

I reconsidered all information and lean toward Addict 2. It's probably the best knife semistainless steel (all-around slightly better than VG10 for starters). It's still stainless, no family abuse and dances with water drops. It's still a thin knife but not anorexic. Its light but not weightless. It is good looking. It's comparatively cheap. It's not mawkishly "true japan".

post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 

One moment please. Could you recomment me a decent stones at CKtG? What would be reasonable and enought for a Addict 2 and a begginer enthusiast? A pair or three stones? What grit? What brand?

 

Thanks a lot.
 

post #10 of 14

Bester 1200 as your basic sharpening stone and either the Suehiro Rika or Takenoko for fine sharpening and polishing.  After you develop consistency with the higher grit stone, you can order a Beston 500 for annual profiling/thinning and the occasional repair. 

 

Instead of bench stones you may be better off buying an Edge Pro.  It's a bit more initial outlay, but MUCH easier to learn and it sharpens just as well as all but the very best freehanders.  Kit 2 would be the minimum, very-good choice, while the CKtG "Chosera" kit would be darn near optimum.

 

For quite a while CKtG has run a special on the Beston 500, Bester 1200 and Suehiro Rika combination.  It's a good way to save a few bucks, assuming CKtG still offers the discount.  But, don't mess with the 500 until you've achieved fair competence with the finer stones.  Coarse stones have consequences. 

 

BDL

 

 


Edited by boar_d_laze - 4/27/12 at 8:56am
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What were we talking about?
 
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post #11 of 14

I went through about a half dozen gyuto's in the $120-210 range and my favorite is the Yoshihiro stainless.

 

210mm:  $145 http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/kitchen-knives/yoshihiro/yoshihiro-210mm-stainless-wa-gyuto.html

240mm:  $155 http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/kitchen-knives/yoshihiro/yoshihiro-240mm-stainless-wa-gyuto.html

 

 

The carbonext was a nice knife but I didn't really like the semi-stainless, mainly for aesthetics.  The kanji on it was really lame too.  The MAC pro was a nice knife but it was too thick for my liking.  Also the profile bugged me a little especially around the heel.  The Messermeister was way too thick, ridiculously thick compared to japanese knives.  I'm keeping a Shun santoku, mainly because it's my better half's favorite knife despite my efforts to get her to use a longer chef's knife, but I certainly don't hate Shun like many around here and have no problem recommending them if that's what you like.  Sakai Yusuke was probably my second favorite but it's really thin and IMO it's a little too thin for my personal liking as a "workhorse" every day knife.  I'm going to keep it because it's so thin and light that it gives me a different feel when I'm looking for that laser feel.  The Yoshihiro ended up being just right.  Thin yet not super thin.  Nice and easy profile, super smooth to use on the board whether push cutting, doing a push with slight slide, rocking herbs or something small, tip is perfect for my liking - thin but not too thin, pointy but not too pointy.  I just like everything about the knife.  Which is why I sold off half my other knives and settled on this one.  It took me 2 years and a fair bit of money but I've had this knife for a few months now and don't see myself shopping around anymore.

post #12 of 14

I scored a Yoshihiro gyuto from JKI, my second gyuto purchase, first wa-.  I made a comment on a forum about how it may not be my "dream knife" but I was learning to sharpen, and so far pretty thrilled with it.

 

Someone posted "sounds like a dream knife to me".  And were I in lesser straits financially, I'd probably be spending too much trying to figure out what I like better.  Meanwhile, since the second sharpening, I am pretty much thrilled with the Yoshihiro.  I may well want a more pricey knife at some point, but I certainly don't think I'll ever need one.

post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks to all. Waiting for my Addict 2.

post #14 of 14

I agree with Wagstaff

 

I love my Yoshihiro 240mm Gyuto. VG-10 Hammered Damascus, 50/50 at 15*, Yo handle though wa available as well. Holds a fantastic edge but will need proper stones to split hairs. NSF approved and i do use it in a professional kitchen. full tang, forged, with the balance point being right below where the edge starts, where the bolster would be. Little thicker and a little heavier than your traditional gyuto's, but its not feather light. Its a workhorse and is my go to onion knife. Under $170 shipped on amazon but i got it on amazon, it was on sale for $129.

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