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Looking into getting a 240mm gyuto for professional environment

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hey there, I was hoping to get some knife recommendations. I'm interested in picking up a 240mm gyuto, preferably in either stainless or semi-stainless, though I'm not completely against going carbon. Regarding budget, I'd like to keep it under $200 but I'll consider going a little bit over if it offers significantly better performance. I'm right-handed and mostly use either a rocking cut or push cut. I have a ceramic hone at work and Bester 1200/Suehiro Rika 5000 stones at home, though I'm still fairly new to freehand sharpening. I don't have a strong preference on western vs wa handle. Some typical items I might be prepping with the knife would be finely sliced green onions/garlic chives, shiitake, preserved lemon, ginger, rough brunoise shallot, various cuts of onions, carrots, celery, daikon, pickled mustard greens, other sturdy greens, seaweed, and limes.

 

I'm looking for a knife that will let me prep quickly, efficiently, and precisely, hold its edge well, and sharpen easily. It doesn't have to be pretty - performance is what I'm after. Cash is on the tight side right now so I'll definitely favor knives that are a great value.  A few knives I've looked at so far are the Kikuichi TKC, Sakai Takayuki Grand Chef, Richmond Addict 2, Sakai Yusuke, and Suisin Inox Western Style. Thanks!

post #2 of 14

TKC gets my vote. Still my favorite western handled gyuto at around $200 mark. 

post #3 of 14

I have a grand chef in 240mm wa and I love it. 

post #4 of 14

The Takayuki Grand Chef, Suisun Inox Western, are both fairly soft.  They'll both need frequent steeling in a pro environment.  If you have the sharpening skills, the Takayuki is made from AEB-L and will take a better edge than the Suisuin which is made from AUS8 (same stuff as a Fujiwara FKM).  The Grand Chef is nicely finished, but the Suisun's F&F is better.  Great in fact.  Geometry on both is okay, but nothing to write home about.  The handles are also good, but not great.

 

You didn't specify which Yusuke you're thinking about.  One is a laser.  You either want one or you don't.  Quite a few people find them too light and too flexible for use on the line.  If you have good knife skills and keep the knife square to the cut, that's not a problem.  You'll have to go to your heavy-duty back-up a bit more quickly than you would with the other knives on your list -- all middle-weights -- but not by much.

 

The other is tsuchime san-mai.  I really dislike both things and am not a good person to evaluate the knife. 

 

The TKC is a very nice, all-around, western handled knife.  Recommended. 

 

The Kagayaki Carbo-Next is very similar in most respects, slightly less good in most respects (same in edge taking and edge holding), but considerably less expensive.  If money matters a lot, think hard about the Carbo-Next. 

 

The Richmond Addict 2 in CPM 154 is a very comfortable knife, a great performer in all respects, with mostly very good F&F.  However, Richmond knives made (OEM) by Lamson, are finish-ground by hand, and sometimes the grind marks aren't entirely polished out.  

 

If I didn't want a laser, of the knives you listed, the Addict 2 would be my choice, largely because it's considerably lighter than the TKC.  If I did want a laser, on your budget, I'd go with the Richmond Laser in AEB-L.

 

BDL 

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice all and especially to boar for the in depth explanations, very appreciated. I think that narrows it down to either the Addict 2, the Kikuichi, or the CarboNext. One question though: you specify the Addict 2 in CPM 154 but it looks like it's out of stock on CKtG. There is the Addict 2 in AEB-L but the specs on the page put it at 8.4 oz vs 7.2 for the Kikuichi or ~6.1 for the Addict 2 in CPM 154. Does that change your recommendation at all, boar_d_laze?
post #6 of 14

I sharpen my Takayuki Grand Chef once a week. Same as all my other knives. 

 

BDL: I also find it curious that you recommend the Richmond Laser and say the geometry on the Grand Chef is "okay, but nothing to write home about." Because from what I've observed, the Richmond has a ton of belly (which we all know you hate) where as the Grand Chef is more flat with a gradual slight arching belly. The Richmond Laser is also sold at 230mm for their 240 model. I know you tend to say the 240mm is about the minimum you want to use in a gyuto. So, I'm curious, why do you tend to recommend the Richmond Laser and Addict 2 over the Grand Chef? I know it's not because of the Rockwell rating. You've also said not to read too much into that.  

post #7 of 14

anything suisin is awesome you would have to touch it up every now and then on a ceramic rod but so what, and everything you said you need to cut would be a breeze. there  knives are super light yet sturdy, i  prefer there wa handles myself, and are very easy to sharpen

post #8 of 14

I don't hate knives that have a lot of belly or are very flat.  They're not a first choice, though. 

 

I usually chop using a particular action which is neither "rock chopping" nor "push cutting," but a "Fench glide" (for lack of a better term) which is somewhere in between.  The glide benefits from a French profile.  A French has less belly than a German profile, but has more belly than the exaggerated flat profile which some Japanese knives have. 

 

Whatever the user's preferred action, almost any sharp knife will adapt to it.  For instance, I know people who rock-chop using chuka-bocho.  But, most of us find that our knives kind of take over when we're not paying attention, and eventually our action changes to fit the shape of the knife.

 

As far as I'm concerned, the 10" Sabatier/Masamoto profile is perfect for me.  The 270 Konosuke is damn close, but a little flatter.  The Richmond Ultimatum (not a subject of conversation here) is the same as Sabatier.  The 240 Richmond Laser is very close to the 240 Konosuke, also quite good.  

 

Now's as good a time as any to remind you that short chef's knives (including 210mm) have a greater proportion of belly than longer knives from the same maker.  Short chef's knives tend to "accordion" cut unless they're rocked all the way down to the heel with every stroke; which means every chopping cut requires the handle be lifted high enough so the blade can clear the food, and brought all the way down.  Pumping the handle like that is annoying.   Too much is too much.

 

If you know what you're doing and what you like, profile -- like length -- is strictly a matter of taste.  If you're still developing skills and haven't formed your own opinion, the best strategies are to go with a shape and length that will reward you as you develop a variety of techniques.  That's why I recommend gyuto with middle of the road profiles,  mid-lengths, and comfortable handles over knives which go too far in the way of belly or flat, are too short, or have bad handles. 

 

But I try to be more about educating people in how to make their own choices rather than pushing them towards any particular knife. 

 

BDL

post #9 of 14

I should have been more specific, my recommendation was for the Addict 2 in CPM 154.  Nothing against AEB-L but 7oz is going to be very blade heavy for a wa-handled 240; and there are better choices in that weight.  If you want a 7oz, 10", Lamson-made wa-gyuto, get the Richmond Ultimatum in 52100 (carbon) or Bohler 390 (PM stainless).  

 

I have a 52100 Ultimatum; like it immensely; highly recommend it to anyone looking for something as stout as a Wustie, with good edge properties, agility, and a great profile; but would not particularly recommend it as the primary gyuto for someone who wasn't specifically seeking something robust. 

 

Yo-Suisun are NOT made from the same class of alloy as the wa-Suisun.  People frequently make too much out of alloys, but AUS8 is a very different thing from 19C27.  AUS8 is something of a value stainless, and has a lot of the properties which made its generation of stainless alloys so much less desirable than high quality carbon alloys; feel on the stones, edge taking, edge holding, strength/toughness limits, hardness limits, etc.  For comparison, Fujiwara FKMs are made with AUS8; In my opinion -- and it's just a frikkin' opinion -- the biggest differences between a Suisun Western and a Fujiwara are in cosmetic workmanship, not comfort or performance.   

 

Also, people frequently make far too big a deal out of small differences in Rockwell Hardness numbers, and nothing against Takayuki Grand Chefs which are excellent knives, but AEB-L at ~58RCH is not the same thing as AEB-L hardened to ~61.  The difference in edge retention is not so much a matter of wear, but one of impact bending at the edge.  By way of context, you sharpen a worn edge, and true (on a steel for instance) a bent edge.  More context:  At either level of hardness AEB-L (aka 13C26) takes a great edge, easily.   

 

BDL

post #10 of 14

it is true what bdl say's about the wa and the western suisun knives, but take a working chefs word for it, the wa suisun is about the best you can get for a prep knife!

post #11 of 14

Suisun Inox Honyaki is a great knife.  And yes, if you like lasers, it's about as good as a knife gets. But a laser isn't the right knife for everyone, especially in a professional environment.  

 

While the Suisun is excellent, it doesn't exist in a vacuum and is significantly more expensive compared to its peers. 

 

Is there anything about the Inox Honyaki which makes it a hundred bucks better than a Gesshin Ginga or a Konosuke HD2?  Some very knowledgeable people think that it does, mostly for reasons of fit and finish.  Others don't.  I'm with the don'ts.

 

BDL   


Edited by boar_d_laze - 4/19/13 at 10:28am
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toft View Post

Thanks for the advice all and especially to boar for the in depth explanations, very appreciated. I think that narrows it down to either the Addict 2, the Kikuichi, or the CarboNext. One question though: you specify the Addict 2 in CPM 154 but it looks like it's out of stock on CKtG. There is the Addict 2 in AEB-L but the specs on the page put it at 8.4 oz vs 7.2 for the Kikuichi or ~6.1 for the Addict 2 in CPM 154. Does that change your recommendation at all, boar_d_laze?

 

I'd check with Mark on that 8.4oz weight, it doesn't jibe with the weights of other aeb-l Richmond knives as compared to the other alloys (those being about identical to the other alloys).

 

Rick

post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
I emailed Mark and it did turn out to be a mistake. He just weighed the Addict 2 in AEB-L and it weighs 5.4 oz.
post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by spikedog View Post

 take a working chefs word for it, the wa suisun is about the best you can get for a prep knife!

 

The Suisin WA Inox Honyaki is about as good as it gets in a standard production knife. There's not many blades in that category IMO. The Ikkanshi-tads and the Masamoto KS are about the only others I'd place in the same league with out getting into stratospheric price points. There are certainly others nipping on their heels at a better price point but I could pick any of these three and never buy another knife.

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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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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