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Masamoto CT Chef 270 or Misono Sweden Steel Gyuto 270mm????

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 



My first post here. 


I used a 9 inch Henckels for about ten years and learned to hate it.  I could never keep that darn thing sharp.  And it was a bear to sharpen.


About 3.5 years ago I got me a set of carbon K-Sabatiers, including a 10" chef knife.   I love the feel and ergonomics of that chef knife.  I quickly found out, however, that guests have no clue how to use a carbon knife.  So I picked up an IKEA VG-10 Damascus knife for their use.  The price was right, and it's turned out to be a perfectly serviceable knife, albeit a bit on the short side.  It sharpens fairly easily. 


So, I have been using the K-Sabatier and IKEA more or less side-by-side for over three years.  The K-Sabatier edge seems to roll more on the board. (Edge grain board.)  This bugs me a little.  I steel to fix it, and then polish from time to time.  But sometimes my mind wonders.  I have concluded that the IKEA knife has a harder edge, which I am liking.


I have had issues adapting to the Japanese styled handle on the IKEA knife, but I'm slowly getting over that.


I am thinking of getting another carbon knife, but with a little harder steel.  K-Sabatiers are not supper hard.  54 - 56 RC, I think.


I use Arkansas stones and have no desire upgrade to wet stones.  I think this means I want a RC under 60, but more than the 54- 56 I have now.  Plus I don't think I have the patience for a chippy super thin edge.


Ergo the two knives I am considering:  Masamoto CT Chef 270mm and Misono Sweden Steel Gyuto 270mm.


Comment or comparisons between these two knives would be appreciated, including directing my attention to others knives that meet my criteria, and my choices relative to my criteria.





post #2 of 13
Thread Starter 

And followup question:  Can I still steel these two knives?



post #3 of 13

Both knives can be steeled.  Both knives will sharpen much faster and finer on water stones than on oil stones.  


"To whet" is "to sharpen."  All sharpening stones, whether water stones, oil stones, or any other class of stones are "whet stones."  It's natural to associate wet with water, mix up wet with "whet" and conflate water stones stones with "wet stones," but there's no such thing as "wet stones." 


The Masamoto CT is a good knife with a great profile (very similar to the Sab).  It's made from a good, but not great alloy, with very good edge taking and holding properties, and which is not terribly reactive.  The Misono Sweden takes and holds a better edge than the CT; has a better handle; the profile is not as good (or at least not as Sab-like); but the Sweden is highly reactive and requires some extra care.  The Masamoto HC has great edge properties, a perfect profile, and is not very reactive as those things go.  


Neither Masamoto nor the Misono can stand up the kind of pounding which a Sabatier takes in stride as part of its lot in life in exchange for a little (okay, a lot of) steeling.  Overall, I'd rate the Sabatier and CT as different but equal; the Misono Sweden a step better than either of those two; and the HC a half step better than the Misono.  


Although the Masamotos and Misono have different strengths and weaknesses than a Sab, they're still western handled, carbon chef's knifes.  You might want to venture into terra incognita and try something different.


I used Sabatier carbon chef's as my go-to knives for decades, still have a bunch, and still love 'em.  As genuine as that love is, I much prefer my laser semi-stainless, and super-middleweight 52100 (carbon) wa-gyuto.  Between those two, the only reason to reach for a Sab is nostalgia.   



post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 



Thanks, that's a lot for me to chew on.


By wet stones I meant I didn't want stones that I need to soak, ie, water stones.  Sorry I wasn't clear.  I am too lazy for water stones.  That's why one reason why I think I should stay away from super hard steel.  


I am not familiar with laser knives.  From your website, I am guessing your laser is the Konosuke HD gyuto.  I could not find the 52110 carbon knife.  Can you tell which one that is?  I am curious. 


I don't know much about Japanese knives.  Maybe I should.


I've thought about a VG-10 Gyuto, but they all seem to be over RC 60.  I have no problems sharpening my Fallkniven camping knives, which are VG-10, but are a perfect RC 59.  I am reluctant to go above that.


Very conflicted here.  This is gonna take awhile to sort through.



post #5 of 13

52100 Richmond Ultimatum.  FWIW, made in the US of A (OEM by Lamson).  I should review it but am lazy. 


For a long time I shared your reluctance to use water stones, but happily I got over it.  They really are much better for sharpening most modern alloys.  It seems a shame to limit your knife possibilities over stones.



Edited by boar_d_laze - 4/21/13 at 9:52am
post #6 of 13
After seeing this poor grinding of the OOTB blade I would be somewhat hesitating where a Richmond blade is concerned.
post #7 of 13

Sloppy looking grinds are part and parcel of Lamson made OEM knives.  I've seen a few which look pretty bad, but they were well shaped and reasonably well sharpened.  In other words the faults were skin deep, and could (and should) have been fixed with a little buffing.  


Artifex are inexpensive knives; they run about the same price as the Tojiro DP and Fujiwara FKM.  Artifex AEB-L is a much higher performing alloy than the VG-10/403 sandwich of the DP or the FKM's AUS8.  However, there's no free lunch, in exchange for better edge characteristics, resistance to impact burrs, etc., it gives up something n cosmetics to the Fujiwara and Tojiro.   


I've never seen an Artifex with a grind so bad that the blade would need immediate care to be usable.  The failure to blend blend the edge bevel completely into the face isn't a defect, so much as it's evidence that you don't get what you don't pay for. 


The point of the linked thread was not to warn prospective buyers away from an Artifex, and I'm very surprised to see that Benuser interpreted it that way.  Tim (aka "taz," the guy who thinned the Artifex in question) showed that a good but inexpensive knife could be me made better with a little bit of work by a skilled sharpener.  Mostly, he was crowing about his KMG belt sander. 


CKtG has several "in house" sharpeners who will put a very sharp and attractive edge on an Artifex (or any other knife sold by CKtG) for a reasonable extra charge, as part of CKtG's time-of-sale service.  By way of example only, this stands in contrast to the poor quality of the extra-cost sharpening service provided by JCK for the CarboNext.  


In my experience, the caveat against Richmond knives is unwarranted.  I'm surprised Ben would think Tim's thinning and convexing an Artifex somehow relates to an Ultimatum -- a knife intentionally made thick enough to be very robust and which comes with a very complex, convex face geometry.  Sometime in the next couple of days, I'll post a complete (and ultimately very positive) review of my Richmond 52100 Ultimatum which discusses, among many other things, the tool marks Lamson left on its blade in more detail. 


You really have to be careful about over-generalizing.  Are all Masamoto's now suspect because Luis's HC came with a slightly cracked handle? And just to be clear, I have no idea whether the knife Tim thinned and convexed was sloppily ground.  All I could tell from the thread was that it started as a thicker knife with flatter bevels than it ended. 


As someone who owns a Richmond Ultimatum, and has used and sharpened a Laser, an Addict, and three Artifexes, I feel feel very good about recommending the brand.



Edited by boar_d_laze - 4/23/13 at 7:00pm
post #8 of 13
I'm looking forward to seeing your review of the Richmond Ultimatum. In fact, I wasn't so much worried about cosmetics as about poor manufacturing. I found the picture of the grinding rather dramatic: pure symmetry of the faces, and thickness combined, a fatal combination.
I'm not sure some tweaking will do to make a decent blade out of it. It's more about a serious regrinding. Nothing wrong with that, but it's clearly a project, rather than a usable knife. Customers should know.
post #9 of 13

You're either reading too much into the "before" picture, misinterpreting it, or both.  Not that it can't be improved, but factory Artifex geometry is plenty good enough.  At 2mm at the heel for a 210mm yo-gyuto, the Artifex is far, far from thick. 


Overall, the AEB-L version is on a par with its principal high-value, stainless competitors, the Tojiro DP and Fujiwara FKM.   Each knife is an excellent entry into high-performance kitchen knives, each has a slightly different set of strengths of weaknesses, and one will slightly better suit a given customer than either of the other two.  The trick is matching the customer to the knife. 



post #10 of 13
Originally Posted by Benuser View Post

After seeing this poor grinding of the OOTB blade I would be somewhat hesitating where a Richmond blade is concerned.

The before pic reminds me of my Camillus pocket knife. Had to use a coarse to set a new bevel. I've learned to dislike using coarse stones........

post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 



I am mulling this over.  I clearly have a fork in the road here regarding stones and knives.    The issue is whether to replace the Sab chef with a better performing 'all around' chef knife (my initial impulse) or veer towards greater specialization, i.e., supplement the Sab with a more specialized knife.


I am nearly a vegetarian, albeit I cook meat for my son regularly.  The specialization approach has some merit.  But the addition of this single knife will probably require new stones.  Crap.


First and foremost is keeping the Sab-like belly.  Having come from Henkels that's a big deal to me.  That rules out the Misono if I understand you correctly.


In any case, this is not a high priority for me, so I'm not moving fast.


I saw the Bob Kramer chef knife at the Sur La Table's flagship store this weekend.  Didn't bother to handle it.  Too much belly curve.  From what I can glean from the Internet, however, that 52100 steel sounds like great old school carbon steel to me, except I think Kramer's knife is over hardened.



post #12 of 13

The Misono Sweden has a very comfortable and versatile profile.  The transition from a Sabatier shouldn't be large enough to change your action; not at all in the way a super flat knife, or one with a lot of belly like your Henckels would.  It's just not a Sab clone in the same way a Masamoto, a Moritaka KS, or an Ultimatum is. 


FWIW, Richmond hardens 52100 to the same 61RCH as the Henckels' Kramers, which -- IMO -- is not over-hardened. 



post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 



Shoot I thought I read somewhere the Kramer chef was at RC 64, but upon checking I see I was wrong.  Thanks for the correction.

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