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i wanted to buy a gyuto, but am stumbled by so many choices i dont know which one to choose

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

hi everyone,

im a culinary student, with a couple of years in the industry and i wanted to buy a gyuto to add to my knife set.

i have decided to buy a MAC mth-80, but wanted another gyuto to perform heavier and regular preps like chopping, as well as cutting meats. So, i am looking at a knife that retains its edge, stain- free,easy to sharp and able to perform most kitchen tasks.... ive done quite a bit of reading and drooling over the net and have made a wishlist of a possible buy, and they are...:


Hattori fh gyuto 240mm


hiromoto as gyuto 240mm


masamoto vg 240mm


please help me with a decision and even add to the list if possible. Also, the things that i may have to look out for while purchasing these knives.


also suggest the wet stones and honing rods i may need with the knife....



post #2 of 20

the hiromoto is only stainless clad, which only the sides are stainelss and the exposed edge is carbon steel. but of the three you chose, it will be the one that can be easily the sharpest knife.


hattori fh is a great knife, they know their VG-10, so it won't perform like other vg10 knives out there. great profile as well.


can't say much about the masamoto. 


beston 500, bester 1000, suehiro rika 5k



post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 

thanks franzB69,

i really like the hattori fh but my only concern is whether it will pair well with the MAC knife. Because i wanted to use the gyuto to perform slightly heavier tasks.

i am  considering the second knife cos i know that the Mac is stamped and dunno how well it will perform heavier tasks.

Or should i cancel the order for the Mac and go for the hattori fh.


At the end of the day , i want a bang for the buck, 'workhorse' knife.

post #4 of 20

heavier tasks such as? if you want something for heavier tasks you might need to consider not a gyuto but a yo-deba aka western deba. usually used for chopping through chicken / turkey bones and fish heads.


if it's just for heavy veg prep, you might even wanna consider a chinese / vegetable cleaver.


what are you really concerned with? edge retention? 

post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 

edge retention and quite frankly just don wanna massacre a brilliant blade....

nd i meant just slightly heavier tasks like maybe de boning a chicken or something....

i will have a cleaver with me, but i wanted an all rounded knife ,if i could carry just a few ....

post #6 of 20

the hiromoto fits your needs but it's got a carbon core. it will be the sharpest and toughest edge out of the three choices. it would retain the edge probably much longer than all of them, with just one weakness with edge retention, acidic food will dull the edge faster. i have a blue #2 santoku and i love it to bits, ease of sharpness, tough as nails and takes a very keen edge. it's an old knife that i rescued from someone else, pretty beat up but after a bit of love, it just shines in performance. too bad it wasn't a gyuto as i got it for quite cheap. it's my sharpest knife.


the FH has less height to it, 44mm as compared to the hiromoto which is probably at around 48mm. hattori's FH line is the best VG-10 knife out there from what i've read. easiest to sharpen out of all VG-10 knives and very easy to retouch the edge. and it has an awesome handle.


in my experience with VG-10, which doesn't really apply to Hattori's quality, but just how most VG-10 acts, it stays sharp okay then plateaus to a "blah" type of sharpness for a long time, you know what i mean, the kind of edge that you can by with.


with my experience with Aogami steel, not necessarily with aogami super since it's a better carbon steel, it stays at around 80% a good decent time then deteriorates to around 60-70% sharpness for about a good long time. Aogami super is a tougher steel and has stronger edge retention, can be hardened higher than other carbon steels.


but if you really want something that's stainless and a good beater, you should check out Hiromoto's Ginsanko line, a lesser known line but pretty darn good, specially for the price. Stainless steel and is going to be cheaper and perform as good or better than Hattori FH imho. would probably be a better fit for you.




carbon steel doesn't really bother me even in a pro environment, so long as the patina has set and i call it good. 

post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 

thanks franzB69 thats a lot of great info....i havent really used a carbon steel knife, so dunno if i can really maintain it that well.

i was leaning towards the hattori fh.

but now, i should probably check out the hiromoto ginsanko line.

but how good is the edge retention and is it easy to keep an edge on this knife??

also,i want this to be my go to knife along with a MAC mth-80 ,so do u think the knives will complement each other in a professional kitchen???

damn, it so difficult to make a choice without that many shops here!!!

post #8 of 20

it should be comparable to a really good stainless knife in terms of edge retention.... i really can't say but a little googling about the knife should shed some light on hiromoto's ginsanko... 


there are a few forums that talk about hiromoto's ginsanko 


you can only imagine my problem as i life halfway across the world and what stops me isn't my being near japan, it's the corrupt customs officers on here!!! =(


oh well.



all i can say an 8inch chef knife isn't long enough to deal with most prep work, so a 240mm is the best compromise. but when you have been bitten by the knife bug, you'll find excuses to buy all sizes and all kinds of knives. lol. i know i have. =D

post #9 of 20

All of the knives on your list are roughly the same weight and type as your MAC.  None are heavy duty in any way or better for heavy duty tasks.  None will actually act as a compliment to the MAC, in the sense that each is really just more of the same.  None of them are "bang for the buck" either. 


On the other hand, there are a lot of interesting possible compliments.  Perhaps something: 

  • Longer;
  • Wa-handled;
  • Lighter;
  • Heavier;
  • Carbon;
  • European; or even
  • Some combination of the above. 


Most of the guys on the knife boards progress to something longer, lighter and wa, from their first, good, 8" yo-gyuto, but there are all sorts of possibilities including some interesting heavyweights.  I recently bought a Carbon Richmond Ultimatum and am enjoying it immensely.   My other go to gyutos are a Konosuke and a couple of carbon Sabatiers; and the Ultimatum really does compliment the Konosuke in terms of its ability to take abuse and keep coming back for more.   In many ways the Ultimatum is the knife you described -- but it has its quirks and may not be right for you.


FWIW, the Masamoto VG and Hattori FH are better knives than the Hiromoto and more likely to please someone who's been using a knife of MAC Pro quality.  I'm very familiar with all three of these knives, used and sharpened FH gyuto, owned two Hiromoto AS gyuto, owned a Masamoto HC (the carbon equivalent of the VG), and would be happy to break them down for you in a some detail if you think you're still interested. 


As I said though, they're all in the same narrow class as the MAC.  If you're looking for something different you won't find it among those three. 



post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 

thanks BDL ,

it would be nice if u could help me decide....i was sorta on the fence choosing between the hattori fh and the hiromoto AS.

and i've decided ti buy a 240mm knife.....

also, the comment on the richmonds' carbon ultimatum has got me wondering!!!licklips.gif

post #11 of 20

The Hattori FH is a thin, fairly light, single steel knife.  However they managed it, Hattori seems to have overcome the problems most manufacturers had with VG-10, whether san-mai or single steel.  The FH takes an excellent edge very easily, holds it well, and is NOT particularly chip prone.  (BTW, easy edge taking is typical of VG-10, it's the usual chippiness which is worrisome.)


The knife is thinner, a bit lighter and somewhat more flexible than your MAC -- or, at least it would be in the same length.  As it happens, MAC Pros are less flexible than most single steel Japanese yo-gyuto. 


F&F is excellent, aesthetics are excellent, the handle is excellent, all other ergonomics are very good to excellent.  The profile is typically French, very versatile, but not quite at the same level of excellence as the Sabatier / Masamoto profile.  The FH is top of the line in every respect and is priced commensurately.  It's expensive but -- all things considered -- good value. 


The Hiromoto AS is san-mai (three layer laminate) with an AS core.  Some people -- me among them -- don't like san-mai knives in general because the knives have a damped feel on the board.  To give that some context, something like half the people who've compared san-mai to single steel even notice the difference, and only about a third are unhappy about it. 


The primary benefit of san-mai construction is not to the consumer in terms of performance but to the maker in that it's somewhat less expensive because of the lower failure rate.  In the case of the AS, it allows Hiromoto to use Aogami Super -- which is fairly expensive -- as the jigane of a mid-priced knife.   That said, don't overrate the importance of AS in this knife.  It's not going to make much of a difference in your life compared to any other quality steel.  You won't be able to get it much -- if any -- sharper; and your edges wont hold much -- if any -- longer.  The AS is a popular and well liked knife, but based on my experience it's nothing special.


The AS is neither particularly thin nor thick, neither light nor heavy for a knife of its type.  San-mai knives tend to be a little less flexible than knives of similarly thinness.  F&F is average, the handle is long enough but quite narrow.   It's "bang for the buck" comes in terms of the identity of the jigane; but I think that's more prestige than performance.  Otherwise, I'd rate it as an ordinary knife of its class, with more minuses than pluses compared to the similarly priced MAC Pro or Masamoto VG.   


Assuming you're already a good sharpener -- which is a lot of assuming -- if I were looking for another yo-gyuto and bang for the buck was high on the list of what I wanted, I'd probably go for a Kagayaki CarboNext. 


The Richmond Ultimatum is an entirely different knife altogether.  At 3mm thick at the spine, and at 7oz, and quite robust.  It's not exactly a "mighty gyuto," but is darn close.  Call it medium-heavy.  Setting aside the 2-1/2oz weight loss which comes from it's wa machi and tang, it specs out very close to a modern Sabatier or Wusthof Ikon (about 9-1/2oz).  It occupies the same, "one knife to rule them all" niche as those two.


The Ultimatum and Sabatier share the same great profile, but the Ultimatum has a highly convexed face which makes it more "non-stick" than a Sab -- at least for a right hander.  As a lefty, I don't find that the convexed right side gets in my way at all but (a) might for people who don't have the same action I do; and (b) doesn't do me any good either.  If I were right-handed, I'd consider it a big plus. 


The convex geometry seems to have been laid in by hand and the knife has some tool marks on the blade.  You may or may not find them a sign of poor F&F, charming evidence of semi-custom hand work, or whatever.  I've seen speculation -- based on the tool marks -- that the knives are "overground," and I can see why someone might reach that conclusion.  However, my knife was correctly shaped and without any under or overgrind.   


Otherwise, fit and finish is exemplary in all respects:  The handle is well fit and sealed, the spine and back are nicely crowned, the factory edge is excellent, and so on. 


Given that the Ultimatum is not the thinnest knife in the world it takes a very good edge.  The 52100 alloy seems to be very well hardened for the task -- sharpening is easy, feel on the stones is excellent, edge holding is excellent, and the knife can be profitably maintained on a steel (very useful for a knife which gets abuse).  


Only time will tell, but I don't think I'm going to be reaching for one of my Sabatiers as often I used to -- at least not for practical reasons.  But in the same terms of sheer practicality, my Konosuke lasers will still see plenty of action. 


Look.  I've got a bunch of great knives, and choose between them more on the basis of whim than anything else.  If you're looking for usability above everything else, before you fall in lust with an Ultimatum, there's the threshold question of whether or not you want a knife of the type.  If I were moving onwards and upwards from a MAC Pro and had to choose between a very light knife as my go-to gyuto plus something else for the heavy-duty stuff, or a do-it-all like the Ultimatum, I'd go thin and light.  But that's me.


If you aren't already a good sharpener and/or don't have a really good sharpening kit, I'd start with that.  Knives are all about sharpness.



post #12 of 20
Thread Starter 

thanks BDL,

but may i ask u about the Richmond addict2 52100 ??is it worth considering??

i just want one knife that can perform most tasks in a professional kitchen,hold an edge,durable and easy to maintain.....

and since i don't really have a retailer or any store of that sort to really try out these knives for myself, i really need some help from ppl like u(since u've handled them)

also, i wanna buy honing rods and even some wet stones to maintain the knife. any suggestions???

post #13 of 20

52100 is a carbon steel, just so you know.



post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 

im aware of that....and was highly considering the hiromoto as after your comment

but now i am torn between hattori fh,richmond ultimatom  & addict2 and the hiromoto as!!!

post #15 of 20

Before getting to your specific questions, let's start with the idea that knives are all about sharpness, and sharpness is all about sharpening.  More about that later. 

... about the Richmond addict2 52100 ??is it worth considering??  I just want one knife that can perform most tasks in a professional kitchen,hold an edge,durable and easy to maintain ...



Yes the Ultimatum -- in any of it's three alloys -- is worth considering within the appropriate context. 


Most prep tasks don't require anything as robust as the Ultimatum.   If you're willing to sacrifice lightness, thinness, and some agility for a knife that's stout enough to do almost every ordinary kitchen task without a heavy duty backup, then -- based on my experience -- it's an excellent choice.  Handle shape aside, it fits more in the tradition of European made knifes than their Japanese made counterparts. 


So yes, it looks like the Ultimatum could be a good choice for you. 


Personally, I'd want something lighter and thinner even though it means keeping something heavy around for the tough stuff.  But, (a) up to you; and (b) you already have the MAC so you have a pretty good idea of what lighter and thinner is about. 


Since i don't really have a retailer or any store of that sort to really try out these knives for myself, i really need some help from ppl like u(since u've handled them)


In my experience most people who choose their knives based on a few minutes of fooling around them in a store end up making their selections for mostly bad  reasons; so, don't be too concerned about it. 


One thing you would learn about the Ultimatum is that as a fairly heavy wa-gyuto it's going to feel very blade heavy and not well balanced compared to something lighter or something with a western handle.  My 10" Sabatier, which specs at about the same dimensions as the Ultimatum, weighs almost 3oz more but feels roughly the same weight in the hand.  At the end of the day, even though it's weight is not as evenly distributed, I find the Ultimatum less fatiguing. 


Of course, the Ultimatum's edge holding is so much better than any European mass-produced knife, it has a better profile than any German, and so on. 


I'm not sure whether the knife would be better for you in 52100 than AEB-L or Bohler 390.  Unless you're a carbon kinda guy, based on what other people are saying the Bohler's probably the best choice for professional use.


i wanna buy honing rods and even some wet stones to maintain the knife. any suggestions???

I prefer ceramic rods to metal for most knives under most circumstances as they come with fine textured surfaces which hold up without gouging, indefinitely.  The Idahone, fine ceramic (aka the "1200") is the best bang for the buck rod on the market.  It's only drawback is that it's fragile.  The DMT CS2 is a good rod with a steel insert to keep it from breaking easily, but comes from the factory with blowback from the kiln on the rod so it needs some light sanding before its functional.  The MAC Black is also an excellent, reinforced ceramic rod, but more expensive than the Idahone or the DMT. 


Only ever buy a fine or polished rod.  Don't buy medium, don't buy coarse, and NEVER buy a "diamond" rod; all of those do more to ruin knives than maintain them.


FWIW, you actually don't mean "wet stones," you mean "whet stones;"  to "whet" is to sharpen.  If you're going to use bench stones, you'll want water stones (as opposed to oil stones).  You're looking at owning enough high quality knives that you're going to want high-quality stones.  But, reading between the lines, I'm sensing that you're not much of a sharpener yet and would like to know more about your skill level, current kit, and budget for new sharpening equipment before making any recommendations. 



post #16 of 20

BLD, is the Ultimatum good for all purpose heavy duty work? Or is it "not quite there"? It sounds like it's close to being heavy duty but not quite, from the inferences I've gleaned from your posts on the subject. 


Assuming one has various "lighter" knives (assuming "one" is me and I have a Hattori and a Moritaka), and one was wanting something for things like pineapple, chicken butchery (maybe the occasional bone break), chopping chocolate, etc, would the Ultimatum be a good choice? Or maybe the Moritaka is good enough? Or something heavier duty (and no, I don't want a cleaver). One might just be worried about ruining or chipping one's knives. One is starting to sound stupid. 

post #17 of 20

It's not the kind of knife you lean on to force it through something so wouldn't be my choice for splitting chickens and lobsters or portioning spare ribs all day long.  But like a "classic" European knife, it's stout enough to do those things occasionally and cheerfully dispose of just about anything else as often as it comes up.  Yea though it walks through the valley of produce, it fears no gourd, nor pineapple, overcoming all watermelon set before it; yet light enough to chop mignonette for a multitude of minions.


What did you have in mind?



Edited by boar_d_laze - 1/29/13 at 9:51am
post #18 of 20
Originally Posted by boar_d_laze View Post

...though it walks through the valley of produce, it fears no gourd, nor pineapple, overcoming all watermelon set before it; yet light enough to chop mignonette for a multitude of minions.


What did you have in mind?





Man, nobody laughs at anything on this site - even the funny stuff. I don't get it. That was good.


What I have in mind is just that - "occasionally". I don't often split chickens, I don't often break down pineapple or portion spare ribs, and even more rarely do I crack open lobster. What I want is a knife that CAN do those things for the occasions that I do them without fear for the integrity of the blade. I was looking at my Moritaka last night and it LOOKS sturdy enough to do it but I don't know if it's "chippy" or if there would be a risk to that. It'd be nice to know that I had a knife that can do it when I need it, so long as I don't abuse the privilege and capability by doing it all the time.


Sure, my dog CAN run with me for 15k, but it doesn't mean he should be doing it every day. That's the idea, right?

post #19 of 20







Hmmm again...


Hard to say for sure, but...


I haven't had the Ultimatum long enough to be certain of where its performance envelope hits the edge, and to tell you the truth I'm not sure that I really want to go there either.  I haven't done enough cooking during the couple of months I've had the Ultimatum to come to serious conclusions, even though it's just about the only gyuto I've used since its purchase.   Also I've been fooling around with some new to me stropping compounds and haven't managed to get the knife on the stones ever, so nothing at all to say about that very important to most people aspect -- not that you care since you use an EP.


Moritaka AND Ultimatum?  I don't know enough about the Moritaka to offer a really informed opinion, just know enough that I don't care for their too-flat-for-me profile, so I don't have much relevant information based on personal observation or experience. 


As to gossip:  Moritatkas haven't been getting much love on the boards.  Well on one particular board, anyway.  Additionally, one my most knowledgeable knife friends -- who would prefer to remain anonymous -- agrees with the low opinion.  On the other hand, an almost equally knowledgeable friend likes them, Phaedrus likes his (Phaedrus knows alot), and Mark Richmond -- the retailer, who also knows a bit about knives in his own right -- says he gets very few returns, so whom are we to believe?  Hmm? 


Looking at the specs:  Even though the Moritaka is thick at the spine above the heel, it thins really quickly.  The Moritaka is a junior middleweight gyuto at a nominal 170g, while my Ultimatum is a super-middle at 200g.  The Moritaka's Aogami Super has a good reputation for taking abuse. 19C27 and 52100 are known to be extremely durable, while a Bohler 390 edge is -- according to the few people who've tried it -- nearly indestructible.  And of course, the difference in profiles must be taken into account. 


If we're asking whether the Ultimatum is sufficiently different from the Moritaka to justify its purchase as a compliment, my guess is -- even though they're both middleweights -- maybe. 



post #20 of 20

Your thoughts are appreciated, as always. Imagine that, people on the internet basing opinions on factual circumstances (such as weight, steel durability, and thickness)...who knew such craziness could occur!


Not too worried about the gossip about the Mori. I'm not in the "have to have the best knife all the time" club. I've got the Mori. I've paid for it. It's in my drawer and it works well, sharpens nicely, seems to maintain its edge well, and (at least for me), is enjoyable to use. "Their" opinion of my knife won't affect me too much. It works well, which is all I can really ask of it. And it looks kinda neat.


Guess I'll just throw a M390 into the drawer, too! Why not, right?? smiles.gif

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