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Ideal Gyuto for a Pastry Chef

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

First post. I am looking for a smaller Chet's knife to help me do my job a little easier. I'm a pastry chef in a big upper scale restaurant. I'm pretty much set on a 210 gyuto, but just not sure of the brand. Many people I work with use Misonos , and I like them, but was looking for something g that may hold its edge longer and take one a bit better. I've heard great things about the Masamoto VG stuff but have also heard that they are a little more flexible than desired. I was wondering if anyone had experience with the Masamoto VG, Misono 440, Kikuichi TKC, and maybe even the Togiharu Pro and would be able to talk about some pros and cons. I hardly ever cut any meats as I'm in pastry so I don't need something that's a laser just to cut fruits, veggies, herbs and nuts, but would like the best possible choice in my price range (which is around $200). Any and all feedback is definitely appreciated.
post #2 of 17

I'll get the ball rolling, how will you be sharpening your knives? What do you currently use? Why 210mm?

post #3 of 17

For a pastry chef would a 240-270 sujihiki be a better choice?

post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies. I will be sharpening the knife myself with the set of stones I have. For the most part,I am using my MAC mini santoku paring knife for the jobs this knife would have. If Inneed a bigger knife, I use my old trusty 10" Mercer that I receive in my culinary school kit 6 or 7 years ago. It needs to be replaced by something preferably lighter and sharper. I don't cut any meats or fish at all and a lot of the time I am cutting fruits, veggies , herbs and nuts and to me a 10" is overkill and a paring is not big enough sometimes. I'm looking for something rich in the middle and would prefer to get a gyuto over a santoku.
post #5 of 17

hehe, in that case wouldn't a 150mm petty be what you want? :p

post #6 of 17
There is a stainless monosteel Hiromoto in Gingami3 210mm petty/sujihiki with JCK, $105.
post #7 of 17

Maybe The Kikuichi Molybdenum line or the Masahiro Molybdenum (MV) series? Price range for those for a 210mm Gyuto is approx $130-$160 depending on where you purchase it from.

post #8 of 17

If you're an adequate sharpener, know how to thin etc I'd say to get a Richmond Artifex. Won't break the bank, and by all accounts its a great knife for the money. I'd surely get one if only I was in the US.

post #9 of 17

me thinks a stuff 210mm petty/sujihiki would work better for him...


maybe something like a hiromoto 210mm petty in ginsanko (great stainless!) would work better.

post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
I use a 5" utility knife quite a bit at my overnight baking gig. I need something that is a more adequate chopper. I'd rather have a smaller chef knife than a larger paring knife. I really like what I'm hearing about the Hattori FM and the Masamoto VG. The Kikuichi that I wanted to look at wont be avalilable here in the States for another few months. Thanks for the advice, people.
post #11 of 17

There's nothing about an 8" chef's knife which makes it less "overkill" than a 10" chef's knife.  A shorter knife is better in a small work area, but that's about it.  Yes, it "points" (i.e., the point goes where you want it to go) more intuitively, but if you have a good grip that advantage disappears.  Otherwise, an 8" knife has more belly, a shorter flat run, will handicap you with large handfuls, and won't stay usably sharp as long.


As far as I know, Hattori doesn't make an FM and never has; but I'm not on expert on Hattori.  They do currently manufacture the FH (aka "Forum Knife") and HD, but (again) as far as I know, no longer make the KD (or at least not in numbers big enough to make a dent in the years long waiting list). 


The FH is an excellent and very attractive knife, but pricey.  It's light, agile and well profiled.  Probably as a result of Hattori's hardening process it has less of a tendency to chip than just about any other VG-10 knife.  Everything taken together, it's probably the best VG-10 knife on the market.  Pricey though. 


The HD is a very well finished, san-mai (three layer laminate) with a VG-10 core.  It's certainly one of the best of the type and is competitively priced for the type.  Good choice, if you like the type.  


The Masamoto VG is a very good chef's knife in just about every respect.  I'm not sure whether it matters to you or not but Masamoto VGs are not and never were made with VG-10.  Current propaganda from Masamoto has it that the alloy is "proprietary."  Whatever it is, it's a lot like VG-2.  In other words, it takes an edge well, holds it well, and can be routinely maintained on a steel between sharpenings.  I particularly like Masamoto's chef's knife profile, which -- except for the dropped tip -- feels just like Sabatier's.  Over the years, Masamoto has had some QC / F&F problems with handles on their western style knives.  If you decide on a VG make sure you have your retailer check to make sure the handle fits perfectly before shipping.  Also, if it matters, Masamoto factory edges can be a bit iffy.  


The Hiromoto G3 is an okay knife for the price.  Hiromoto's claim to fame is giving you a big-name alloy at a reasonable price, but there's a lot more to a knife blade than the identity of the alloy.  Overall, I'd say that it's a lot more knife for the money than Hiromoto's AS but, like the AS, is nothing to write home about. 


The Misono 440 is a little tough to analyze.  It's a well made, comfortable knife but the world -- or at least the part of it which includes US knife enthusiasts -- has moved on from 440 steel alloys.  All things considered, I think a Misono Moly series knife is more bang for the buck -- but the 440s have better F&F.  I like Misonos a lot but not as much as the Masamotos.


The Kikuichi TKC is not stainless, but semi-stainless.  It's a well designed, comfortable knife with exceptionally good edge properties.  When it was sold as the Ichimonji TKC it was something of a connoiseur's choice.   Since Kikuichi has taken over it's lost something of its cachet, but is still the same knife -- only much better supported.  It's another really nice knife and if your sold on all its virtues you might want to think about the Kagayaki CarboNext, which is very, very similar except a lot less expensive. 


In the past, Kagayaki (which is JCK's house brand) had a reputation of shipping knives with incredibly bad factory edges, and JCK's extra cost sharpening service had a similar reputation for being worthless when it came to the CNs.  If you can't profile a knife, don't know someone who can,  or don't -- at minimum -- have access to a Chef's Choice "Asian" angle sharpening machine, be wary.  But if you can sharpen, the CN is beaucoup bang for the buck.


I could help you more if you said a little more about what you want out of a knife.  Your current list seems to be western handled, name brands, sold by CKtG for around $200 but there's got to be more to it than that. 



post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks for sharing all this knowledge of yours, BDL. I certainly appreciate it. I have chosen an 8 inch because that is what feels most comfortable to me with the task that I have by and large on a day to day basis at the restaurant where I work during the day. I am blessed to say that I have a pretty sizable station to myself (so space really isn't an issue at all) making a lot of frozen desserts and pastries. I often find myself borrowing a friend's 8 inch in order to get through certain tasks I have. Maybe its the size if my hands or dingers, I really dont know, but I feel like I have more control with a s aller chef's knife. Could I have done those tasks with my 10? Sure, and its not like its going anywhere. Itll be right there if I need a bigger, more rugged option from time to time. Would it have been more comfortable for me? I don't think so. I have gone the past 6 years in a professional kitchen without buying a single upgrade and I feel it's high time to commit to at least trying something new and adding a bit to the arsenal. I'm still working with my culinary school set and while it gets the job done, I'd like to make that a bit easier if I could.

I work about 16 hours a day on average and heavy knives with cheap handles are starting to take their toll on my hands it seems (not gonna lie, my technique could be a bit more polished as far as my grip). I've used a few co-workers knives from time to time and can tell the difference between using a Mercer to cut up two cases of apples and using, say, a Shun to do the same thing. I'm not too keen on Shun's overall package but I do appreciate the differences in the things I do like about it (better balance, agility,etc.) I figured that there have got to be better options out there besides Shun and Misono and thought I'd see what you guys thought. I already made a purchase yesterday and decided to go with Masamoto VG through Mark at CKtG. I purchased a really great bread knife from him that gets rave reviews at the day job. His customer service skills squash any real worry I might have about QC due to the reputation he seems to have Internet-wide (is that a phrase? Did I just make that up? Can you even say Internet-wide?)

Anyway, it was cheaper than the Hattori (actually cheaper than anywhere else online, including Chubo and Korin), which I really liked aesthetically, but fell out of love with it being the most expensive of the bunch in a sub group of knives that are very close in comparison at the point which concerned me most: performance. I'll sacrafice good looks for a knife that may be a better fit for me and my task, has a good reputation, and will save me over 50 bucks all day long. Pluse I hear nothing but good things when it comes to edge retention. I am really intersted in trying out the other brands somehow someday,though.
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
And apologies...I was referring to the Hattori FH.
post #14 of 17

Posted by AGfromDC View Post

And apologies...I was referring to the Hattori FH.


After running my radio through all the FM possibilities and not coming up with a chef's knife, I'd guessed FH.  Now that you've made your decision, talking about why I think a 10" (ish) length is better than 8" might seem disapproving or preachy.   As I don't disapprove; have no desire to preach; and...


At either length, the Masamoto VG is a great knife and should you serve you well.  So, great choice!  Let us know how it works out for you.



post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 
No way, BDL. Totally value your advice. After looking around a bit for info and opinions, yours seems to be one of the most valued. Thanks to you, and everyone else for even taking the time to drop your two cents on me. Really appreciate it!
post #16 of 17

I recently received a Richmond Artifex in M390 to sharpen for a friend of mine from another forum; it was a gift he was getting for a couple and he wanted it sharpened before presenting it to them.  I was impressed with the knife.  It's not light compared to, say, a Konosuke but it's lighter than a German.  Judging from my M390 Ultimatum I'd say you could months between sharpenings if you're not cutting proteins.

"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
That sounds like a winner. There has been a delay in receiving my Masamoto. I'm starting to co sister exchanging it for a MAC Mighty Pro instead. A stiffer blade would be advantageous to me and my cutting style. I just wonder if its a step down in quality at all. From what I'm hearing, they're kinda neck and neck with a slight edge given to the Masamoto.
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