Thanks for your input... it helps (I've noticed the Gesshin Ginga over at JKI.)
Actually, it seems that the Kikuichi TKC 240s (& Konosuke HD western handles) are still out of stock.
But, point taken.
Ryusen's Epic Edge version of the Blazen used to be a better Blazen, but Ryusen upgraded the entire line so it's possible that all Blazens are now the same. I don't know. The Blazen was a very popular knife but lost its constituency among the sort of knife "cognoscenti" who post on boards years ago.
They were designed by Hattori, and are good knives in most respects. They used to have some serious F&F and chipping issues, and EE convinced Ryusen to make special knives which resolved those. My sense is that's now true for the entire line, but as I said, I don't know for sure.
If you're looking for a very stout knife, Yoshikane "hammered finish" are good but very expensive for what they are. They were very popular for awhile -- at about the same time the Aritsugu "A" was popular. I think there are better knives than the Yoshikane at a similar price. Jon at JKI has a pretty good selection. Mark at CKtG may also, but I don't know that part of his stock very well. More generally, unless you're specifically looking for a knife which can not only chop chives but split chickens, I'd go for something lighter, easier to sharpen and with a better profile.
If your budget allows making a mistake and your knife drawer allows for a little bit of repetition, you might want to start with one of the Richmond KS clones. That will tell you just about everything you need to know about a thin light knife (but not quite a laser) wa handles, appropriately hardened, high-end alloys, and a French profile. Do the heavy duty stuff with an old Euro, a big Forschner Cimeter, an Old Hickory, or -- well -- whatever, just so long as it's easy to sharpen and cheap.
It's not up to me though, is it?
The best advice I can give you is to nail down a general category, like "laser," "KS style," or "Japanese made western style." You're still all over the map; which is fine for now but not conducive to making a rational, specific, and final choice.
Ok, we're getting there...
I've decided to get the Mac Pro MTH80 8" for my wife, AND a 270mm stainless laser-ish gyuto for myself.
She really doesn't want anything longer than 8". (That didn't come out right. ;-)
Options that are in stock:
- Konosuke HH Ebony wa: $385 How does the HH compare with the HD? More prone to chipping?
(While, aesthetically, I prefer ebony over ho wood, ebony makes the knife's balance less blade heavy. Good or bad?
How would this nice curly koa feel?...(though a 240mm HD)... http://www.chefknivestogo.com/kohd240cugy2.html ...
but if I'm going to be that picky about aesthetics, I might as well hold out for one of these gorgeous custom handles... http://www.tsourkanknives.com/ )
- Takayuki Grand Cheff wa: $200
- Gesshin Ginga yo: $285
- Suisin Inox Honyaki wa: $440 (expensive, but nice looking)
*Since I already have a cleaver, cimeter, & boing knife for breaking down meats, and since I may be getting a
Mac SB105 bread knife, what long slicer /Sujihiki would you guys recommend, if any?
Lastly, Petty options:
- Mac Pro Utility 6": $70
- Masamoto VG: 6" $93
- JKC CarboNex 150mm: $75 (but I heard these ship rather dull)
- Fujiwara stainless 150mm $44
- Richmond Artifex 150mm: $50
- Gesshin Ginga 150mm: $150
- RysunBlazen 150mm: $170
(but, do I really want to go above $100 for a petty?)
-Edge Pro Custom Full Monty
-Idahone 12" fine ceramic (which, I assume, would be fine for both my Victorinox meat knives and the Mac Pro 8"?
or should I just get the Mac black ceramic 10.5 for both?)Thanks...
* I should add that we currently own a dull, 8" Calphalon Kitchen Essentials chef that the Mac Pro 8" would
However, perhaps I should just sharpen up the Calphalon for my wife, and just get the Suishin ;-) & a petty
At this point, my wife and I will probably end up stabbing each other with whatever new knives we get. ha ha ;-)
Sharpen it first, get your gytuo and give her a chance to live with it. I'm sure that she will come around.
As BDL has said, get the cheapest you can live with for the petty. Sharpening and general wear and tear means they don't last that long. Something stainless too, due to the citrus you'll likely be doing.
You're still giving me personally a few problems, that I'm sure others will have. Don't settle for whats in stock. If you ask, CKtG will order something in just for you. If they won't (I already know they will, but anyway) search for it. 50$ more isn't anything if you have the knife for 5 years. And, lets be honest - it will cost more in the long run if you settle out now.
You'll have to ask Mark if the HH is chip prone. Knowing Kono and also knowing something about the alloy, I doubt it. I don't have any experience in it and have taken a long vacation from knife forums -- not even lurking in knife forums -- so I can't even tell you if there's any buzz. Whether or not it's chip prone, it's still a laser and will still require some babying.
Why not a Konosuke HD?
If all you're used to is an 8" knife, AND you think "balance" is an issue, I've got to wonder if a 270mm is a good idea. Balance is largely a function of length, for obvious reasons. Skilled cutters recognize that, and consequently balance is pretty much a non issue. Generally, the better your skill set the more you prize lightness. If choosing for myself, I'd go for the lightest handle -- "ho" or "magnolia," i.e., the standard handle. However, you're not choosing for me, and if you're in love with the look of exotic wood, you should get the one you like. The little bit of extra weight won't make that much difference.
Getting back to length... If you're not used to a 10" knife, don't buy a 270 unless you've got a large board AND are willing to go through a few weeks of awkwardness while you teach yourself a new grip.
The Takayuki Grand Chef is not a laser, nor is it anything like a laser. It's a good knife, but not anywhere in the same league as the others. It's not particularly thin nor is particularly light. Takayuki (well, actually not Takayuki but the OEM maker who makes the Grand Chef blades), hardens the AEB-L alloy to around 58RCH. While I think people tend to overrate the importance of comparative hardness ratings, that's on the soft side for AEB-L and the edges require a fair bit of maintenance on a steel to keep true.
The Gesshin Ginga is a very well made knife. I can't do a direct comparison between the Kono HH and Gesshin Inox, but my guess is that they've very, very similar. My conclusion briefly comparing my Kono HD to a Gesshin White #2 was that the knives were fungible and that I would have been thrilled with the Gesshin as I am with the Kono. Which is to say, very frikkin' thrilled. You can't go wrong with either brand.
Compared to the Kono and Gesshin, the Suisun -- although beautifully made -- is overpriced. That is, unless you're willing to pay an extra $200 for the last word in fit and finish. A tool's fit and finish. Not to add anymore confusion, but if you're willing to entertain crazy expensive, the Tadatsuna Inox, at $390 kind of rounds out the uber-stainless laser wa-gyuto field. Actually, it was my friend's Tad which turned me to the dark, laser side.
Besides great laser geometry, something the Gesshin, Suisun, Tad, and (presumably) the Kono have in common is hardening perfectly matched to very similar alloys.
You might as well start with the Artifex and see what kind of use you get out of a 150mm couteau office before spending a ton on something more prestigious.
Considering what you're sharpening the EP Full Monty is vast overkill. And that's not only a good thing, but a very good thing.
If you're not going to be steeling anything as long as 10" you can easily live with a 10" hone, but a 12" hone certainly won't hurt. The Idahone "fine" is a less expensive and slightly better hone than the MAC Black; but it is less durable. The Idahone WILL shatter if dropped onto something hard. The MAC is reinforced and can take a lot more abuse. I think the Idahone is the better choice for the home cook, and the MAC better for schlepping around in a knife roll and in a pro-kitchen environment. But again, you're not choosing for me.
we ended up ordering the
-Konosuke 240mm gyuto HD custom koa handle
-Tojiro 270mm ITK bread knife
-Fujiwara stainless 150mm
- Mac Pro 8 1/2" without dimples
We'll see how the 240mm, semi-stainless feels.
If I want to move up to the 270mm, and/or pure stainless or pure carbon,
then I can get a Masamoto KS or a Suisin Inox
Thanks so much for your help - I've learned a lot about Japanese knives over the last 2 weeks.
I can't wait to use them, and sharpen them!
One of my personal favorites is the 9 1/2 inch Glestain Gyuto. http://www.knifemerchant.com/product.asp?productID=3067