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Need some help on choosing a new set!

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone! As you can see I am new in this forum and thanks to Allen Lum I am starting my inquire in the right way now. ;-) I am a brazilian mechanical engineer who loves culinary so much that became a culinary student. Yes, I decided to go deeper into my studies but not to abandon engineering, though. Currently, I am strugling with choosing a good japanese 3 set to replace my Globals, which didn't like much (specially the handling). Today I have a 210mm Gyuto, a 190mm Santoku and a 150mm petty/utility. However, as Allen suggested, I don't really need the Santoku but I have to admit I like its handling. So, I am open to suggestions on shapes diferent from those I have. Some other infos you may consider important: - I am right handed; - acquired an Edge Pro Custom Chosera set, just because good sharpenning is expensive and hard to find in Brazil. - 100% carbon steel may be an issue since I live to cose to beach and metals tend to rust quite faster than usual here. - wa or yo, is not an issue nor a preference, I've used both and had no problem with them. Also, as my budget is restricted to USD400, I was thinking aboult this list: Hiromoto AS Gyuto, Shun Classic Santoku and a 150mm Tojiro DP. Would you have any other suggestions on shape and model? Also, I am buying these on the internet to pick up with a parent in the US next month, so I am looking on japanesechefknifes.com, chefknifestogo.com and korin.com. Would you not recommend any of them or another one? Thank you a lot! Thank you a lot for your help!
post #2 of 24

Hey Dhmcardoso


I am glad you made a thread for your self so the topic is about what you want to know and not between your question and anther's.

It is good that you have a edge pro that will really keep your edge in tip top shape. Hope you know that the Hiromoto is a carbon steel between 2 stainless metals. I have not used it but have read it on many different post. People say it is a good knife and good price for value, I would say. Just because I say you don't need a santoku doesn't mean you should not get one, if you like the shape you should get it,but i would not get a shun version. Shun have good potential but for what you pay for them, you could get a better knife and if you want something similar than you don't have to pay that much for it. A good brand that is very similar to it is the "Tojiro DP Series" they both have a VG10 core and sandwiched between a softer steel. The only thing you are missing is the damascus which just looks good. Trust me I am using a shun primer now and I don't really care for it anymore after finding other knives "french profile." For price value the Tojiro's are great. $70 vs $125 for the shun. If you really wanted the damascus it is just $10 more. With the extra $55 you could get another knife, or just get a better gyuto with the money or just save it. Same with the petty good option being that is a cheap good knife.  For your first item on the list is leave for late. I would get a 240 between the 2 because if you are getting a santoku their is no point in have a 7 inch knife and a 8 inch, so i personally thing a 9.25 will make a bigger difference than the extra 1 inch. IF you want to try carbon and not really sure if you can handle the extra care or if your environment is too wet for it try a Tojiro ITK Shirogami series knives they are cheap and pretty good knives if you want to try out carbon.

With the santoku, petty and even if you want to just pay around with a ITK gyuto 210 ($60) your still have a $200 dollar budget for your main knife, not saying you have to always use your entire budget, you can just get all of the knives you want in tojiro or fujiwara and save the rest for the future if you want to add another knife or upgrade them.


In terms of the websites they are all good CTKG gives free ship over $60 if someone is coming to the US.



Hope I helped a little.


post #3 of 24

I suggest spending about $200 on a 10" chef's, $100 on a petty and directing the remaining $100 elsewhere. 


There's a lot of love out there for the Hiromoto AS, but I have to wonder "compared to what?"  I had four of them, and in my opinion they're way overrated.


You already have a santoku you like.  Don't waste your money on another one; especially not a Shun.  Alternatively, get a really good santoku, and don't waste money on a barely mid-level gyuto.  Although a 10" gyuto is more versatile, they do more or less the same things. 


I'm not a big fan of the Tojiro DP gyuto, and have never used the DP petty.  But have got to say that the DP petty seems like a very good choice. 


It would help if you could talk more about what you want from a new gyuto before I start throwing brand names around. Stainless, yes, okay.  How about semi-stainless?  Yo, wa, or either?  Super thin, thin, medium, rugged?  


Some yo possibilities:

  • Kagayaki CarboNext;
  • Kikuichi TKC;
  • MAC Pro; and
  • Masamoto VG.


Some wa possibilities:

  • Gesshin Uraku;
  • Richmond Addict (CPM-154);
  • Richmond Laser (AEB-L); and if and only if you're comfortable doing A LOT of initial profiling, 
  • Aritsugu A. 


There's a lot of action right now for san-mai knives using one or another of the exotic, Hitachi carbons as the hagane; the Masakage Yuki for instance.  I'm not a good source of information.  If you're interested, you might want to try a few other forums. 


I don't know where in the US you're going to be.  If Los Angeles, two of the best brick and mortal stores in the US are Anzen Hardware (J-Town) and JKI (Venice).  


The best US internet-based stores are aframestokyo.com (Hawaii), CKtG (Wisconsin), Epicurean Edge (Seattle), and JKI (Los Angeles).  All four of them offer knowledgeable, honest advice; excellent service; excellent post-sales service; etc., etc.  Can't go wrong.


I rate Korin slightly below the other four, because they can get fairly whack about information and advice.  Good selection and service, though.  If you know what you want, and they carry it at a good price, I wouldn't hesitate.  


Setting aside it's location, whether JCK belongs in the same category as the top four, or a hearbeat below is an open question in my mind.  However, to the extent that JCK has issues, they won't apply outside of the US.  As a US resident I wouldn't go out of my way to order from JCK, but neither would I avoid them.  Outside of the US -- especially in a country which imposed high import duties -- they'd be at the top of my list or damn close.  JCK is so good at international shipping, if you do purchase there, it probably makes more sense to have them ship your order directly to Brazil.   


If your window in the US is tight, you may run into problems because some particular knife is out of stock.  And if the transaction goes as planned, but you discover a defect at any time when it becomes inconvenient or too expensive to send it back to the dealer, what then?  Global, MAC and Shun provide excellent, international, post-sales factory support.  What these things mean to you... ???



Edited by boar_d_laze - 5/2/13 at 11:53am
post #4 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks for helping Allen Lum and BDL.
Now answering your questions.. I know the hiromoto is a carbon steel core and that I would have to concern more about maintaining the blade. However, this is probably a good solution to work with a carbon steel without letting the ocean moisture, by the way rich in Na+, destroy it. But I am open to a semi stainless though. I believe there is no need for a super thin knife once I am not using it professionally. And both wa or yo are ok to me.

For your happiness, ive been digging a little about the Shuns and their are now officially out of contest hahahaha.
BDL, I will follow your advice and keep my Global Santoku, which is the one I have less problems with. I will jut have to inform the guy who is buying my globals that he is not taking the Satoku. ahhahaha, it is life.
However, For a long time I've been thinking about getting a sujihiki, but as my first one, I am thinking on a cheeper such as tojiro. Would you recommend any?
I am visiting my sister in San Fran, but as it is going to be a quick visit, I rather buy them online and have it delivered by the time I arrive.
So, now I am going for:
- a 240mm/ 10" Gyuto;
- a petty, probably a 140mm
- and a good but cheaper sujihiki 210mm. Under analysis.

I am checking these first suggestions but keep throwing. I'll decide this weekend to have enough time for delivering.
post #5 of 24



I think it is good that you are keeping your global santoku, All of the brands that BDL has mention are great options I personally like the a wa handle just because it makes the knife lighter (no full tang), and I like how they look. If you pitch grip the handles don't really matter as the profile, and weight matters more from knife to knife. I would not really be able to give an accurate preference between any of them as I have only used the Gesshin Uraku for a couple of minutes and the owner said it has pretty good end retention (used for couple of weeks of home cooking) other than that no idea of the other knives. Heard of great thing of all of them. For the Sujihiki, a 210mm is kinda short depending on what you are doing, if you are filleting fish or just using it as a slicer I would get a longer one, like a 270mm or even a 300mm. A good one would be the fujiwara FKM 270mm ($88.00). I just bought my friend a 210mm gyuto and it was really light and had a good profile, pretty sharp OOTB if that matters to you. For the petty wise I am having a hard time deciding for myself which petty to get but a 140mm (idk which brand makes one that size) or 150mm (very common) would be good as a parer/boning/all around utility knife. Any of the beginner knife brands would be good,

-Tojiro dp

-Fujiwara FKM

- Richmond Artifex

-JCK Og Carbonext

- Kanetsugu Pro M


Hope I help a little bit

Allen Lum

post #6 of 24
Thread Starter 
Allen, it was my mistake I was refeering to a 240mm sujihiki, but a 270mm is a good advice too.
From BDL's primary list I was able to find only the Aritsugu A ($179 at Aframes Tokyo), the Masamoto VG ($179 at CKTG) and the MAC Pro ($185 at CKTG), but I have to admit the MAC doesn't look as good as the others (not that it is a problem). Which is the One? Where can I find the others?
BDL and Allen, based on the additional infos BDL requested, Should I check any other options?

By the way, thank you so much for the time you are investing on helping me.
Edited by dhmcardoso - 5/1/13 at 3:05pm
post #7 of 24

I am glad you are starting to look at the knives BDL has taked about, The knives are from different website and I will list the locations on so it is easy for you to fine them.

Some wa possibilities:

  • Kagayaki CarboNext;


  • Kikuichi TKC;


  • MAC Pro; and


  • Masamoto VG.


Some yo possibilities:

  • Gesshin Uraku;


  • Richmond Addict (CPM-154);


  • Richmond Laser (AEB-L); and if and only if you're comfortable doing A LOT of initial profiling,


  • Aritsugu A.



Here are the knives links listed and with those additional websites to look at you now can look through the other websites too.


Hope you can find the knife that is right for your needs

Allen Lum

post #8 of 24
FYI you've got the yo and wa reversed wink.gif
post #9 of 24
Originally Posted by JBroida View Post

FYI you've got the yo and wa reversed wink.gif

Yes I did, dammit. mad.gif


I do that all the darn time.  Same thing with plus/minus values, frequently using the wrong sign.  I have to look up the trig relationships every time I use them, and can't keep jigane and hagane straight.  All of this before getting old.  It's probably faulty wiring, but there have been a lot of blows to the head and recreational substances along the way.  Intermittent shorts happen. 


Oh well.  Not that it matters anymore, but... corrected.


By way of clarifying something else in that post, the Aritsugu A needs a lot of tedious profiling, not the Richmond AEB-L Laser.  The Laser's profile is okay OOTB.     



post #10 of 24



The next step is up to you.  Tell us about the knife things which you think are most important.  Don't hold back about things which really are important but which you think other people might consider silly.  Things like appearance, the use of certain materials, an engraved marque instead of a silk-screened marque, whatever.  Aesthetics, "pride of ownership," and other intangibles are a lot of the pleasure.


FWIW, I used carbon steel knives when I lived in Venice and Marina Del Rey without any special problems -- and the sea air there is just as salty as it is in Rio.  A little less humid, maybe.  But still. 


Carbon does take a little extra care compared to stainless or semi-stainless; but the big difference isn't how much it's when.  Carbon is like a toddler.  Carbon doesn't do delayed gratification.  What carbon wants, carbon wants NOW.  DAMMIT.



post #11 of 24



I do think carbon is great take a great edge, certain knives has a better retention, not saying semi or stainless is bad but it just depends on what you compare and how the use uses it. For me on the line I must have a semi or stainless or that baby carbon is out the door back to scrubbing out the rust (still new to carbon and need to work on habit to wipe when i walk away).


The knives that BDL listed are great stainless knives all in it own respect, but if are willing to try carbon it is another adventure you should try at least one (maybe not now, but I advise you try it some day) or try a semi, they are great to basically a hybrid of the two types of metals (properties wise). Semi has the similar edge taking of a carbon, but has the knife maintenance like a semi will not rust very quickly.


The rest of the appearance details are on you bro.

-type of metal (if it maters)

- type of material used for handle

- Color of handle

- Anything else that you make you say "WOW" I want that knife before when digging deeper about the knife.

- style of cutting (push cut, rock, glide, and etc)

- What kind of board do you have, are currents knives too long for it or what types of material is it. ( best for knife is end grain wood)


Hope it this will bring you closer to finding the right knife


Allen Lum


PS: Rate the knife that was shown from 1-10, 10 being the most likely to buy. 1 meaning I pass.

post #12 of 24
Thread Starter 

So Allen and BDL, I've reached the decision point.

Some awesome knifes are out of stock, such as Masamoto VG and the kikuichi TKC.

So, the Gyuto list came to:

- Kagayaki Carbonext (USD 135.00);

- Richmond Addict (USD 170);

- Aritsugu (USD 180);

- Mac Pro (USD 185);


What do you think on going for the Kagayaki? BDL's last sentence has inspired me, so as I am a Carbon "baby" this will be the preparation for the next step the "Carbon toddler"thumb.gif.


The other are chosen:

- Petty Tojiro DP 150mm;

- Sujihiki Fujiwara FKM 270mm.



post #13 of 24



I am glad you have chosen the ones that you like, I personally like the addict and the aritsugu because of the wa handle.


What BDL meant about the Carbon knives having a personality of a toddler, if he or she doesn't get what they want they will start crying. In carbon, if you don't wipe it down or give it a wash when you are done it will rust on you, and the only way to prevent is to keep it clean and dry, and oil it when you are putting it away.


All the chooses are great for what you are doing, just note if your chooses one of the 4 you will need to buy from different websites and they may not get in on time if they are shipping from different areas.


Sorry I didn't really help you out this time,

Allen Lum

BDL please help don't know enough to answer this question.

post #14 of 24
Thread Starter 
Ok guys, so now I have an "easy" question for you. What if I decided to go with the 240mm carbon steel gyuto with a $250 budget top. What would you recommend me?
And yes, I am seriously considering it. I am not a lazy guy, I believe I can cope with the extra care, for the pleasure.
post #15 of 24
Wa or Yo?
post #16 of 24
Thread Starter 
Either Wa or yo is ok.
post #17 of 24
As far as the Yo is concerned, BDL's overview is still a reference.


My choice would be between the Masamoto HC and the Misono Swedish. Price difference has increased recently due to Misono's adjustment downwards. I believe there still are some serious QC problems with the Masamoto.
post #18 of 24

Masamoto HC and Misono Sweden would be my two top, carbon, yo-gyuto choices now. 


Quality control for Masamoto western handled knives was less than hoped for a few years, with nearly all of the complaints concerning the handles themselves.  Masamoto has supposedly done a lot to take care of the issue, but you still hear about it now and then. 


FWIW, the Misono has an excellent handle, very good QC, but the blade is very reactive.  Almost everyone I know or know of who uses one has forced a patina.  That's not a big thing, but it isn't how I maintain my carbon knives.  I can't say whether or not it would bother you. 


If I were buying one of the two for myself it would be the Masamoto for its sweet profile and purer, less-reactive blade alloy.  Making sure a retailer picks a knife without any problems, and sending knives back and forth repeatedly until I'm happy aren't big issues for me.  If I lived in Brazil, with a one-shot chance of getting it right, I'd be concerned.  If you're buying either from a US retailer, you're buying from CKtG or Korin -- each of whom carry both knives.


I'd trust Mark at CKtG to make a choice for me.  If you're thinking about it, you better get in touch with him right now because he's going to Japan very soon -- if he hasn't already left.  I wouldn't trust Korin, not because I have reason to believe that they're untrustworthy in this respect, but because I don't know them as well as I do Mark. 


JCK also carries both knives and they wouldn't have any problem getting either to you in the US or in Brazil.  If you were to discover a bad handle or some other quality control problem I'm not sure how JCK would handle it.  If you decide on the HC, you may want to email JCK and discuss it.  


Masamoto HC or Misono Sweden?  Either way, can't go wrong. 



post #19 of 24


The Misono and the HC are great yo-handled knives, but if you are looking for a wa-handled some good options would be:


lighter thinner knife.

-Gesshin Ginga (top of price range)

-Sakai Yusuke

-Konosuke White#2

-Richmond Laser

-Konosuke HD2 (not a carbon but acts like a stainless but performs similar to a carbon)


medium weight

-Masakage Yuki, and koishi

-Richmond Addict 52100 in D handle would not cost you too much money with a good steel, but just no fancy handle, but still wa.

-IDK about this pick but JCK FU-RIn-Ka-Zan. any thoughts


Thats what I could think of but if your are only home cooking I don't think you need something so high end if you are not going to use it all the time, but buy what you want your money not mine.


Allen Lum

post #20 of 24

We're starting to talk about some knives which are at least a full step better than where we started -- not to mention significantly more expensive. 


I doubt that any Konosuke not currently in stock will be ready for US delivery for awhile.  Kono is mega-backed up, currently running ~600 knives behind orders. 


Konosuke HD is a great laser, and the HD has some things going for it which are unique in the world of lasers, but... there are a bunch of excellent lasers and I imagine you'd be has happy with any of one them as with another.  In alphabetical order:  Gesshin Ginga (carbon or stainless, from JKI); Ikkanshi Tadatsuna (carbon or stainless, aframestokyo.com) Konosuke (carbon, semi-stainless, stainless, CKtG); Sakai Yusuke (carbon, ebay); and Suisun Inox Honyaki (stainless only, various).  


The Richmond AEB-L Laser is the laser value leader, about a $100 less than the least expensive of the other knives.  It's got a good blade and generally good F&F, but Richmond's Lamson made knives aren't well polished out.  On the other hand, it IS a high performance laser and IS in your price range.  The Richmond Aogami Super is supposedly (never tried it myself) an excellent knife; but it is NOT a laser. 


My impression is that the Sakai Yusuke's F&F is a heart beat less good than the other top contenders, but that's based on a very small sample.  Other people say they're just as good as anything else, but they don't have much experience with the "anything else" knives.  So, quien sabe?  In any case, Yusuke's carbon blades are excellent.  They also make a stainless knife, but didn't harden the alloy enough, at least in the past.  I'm not sure about now.  They could have improved their heat treat just like Konosuke did.  The other stainless lasers are terrific.   


The Suisuin Inox Honyaki's cosmetics, F&F and QC are comme il faut.  It's standard handle is a bit wider than most, which a lot of people find incredibly comfortable.  It is the most expensive knife of the bunch, but doesn't perform any better than the others.  I'm not a big fan of how the alloy (19C27) feels on the stones even compared to the stainless Ginga, Kono and Tad, and especially compared to the semi-stainless HD or any of the carbons. 


Wa-lasers are incredibly light, agile knives.  And if they're sharpened at all well, will seem incredibly sharp.  They aren't for everyone though.  Also, with the exception of the Richmond, they're all above your stated price range.  Some more so than others.  


I bought my 270mm Konosuke HD about two and a half years ago, and love it as much as ever.  If you do decide on a high-end wa-laser the best advice I can give you is not to worry about the brand too much.  Any one of them will make you ecstatic. 


We can discuss other non-laser wa-gyuto if you like. 



post #21 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thank you a lot guys, I've just placed my order on the Masamoto HC 240mm.
So, my new set is:
A) Gyuto Masamoto HC 240mm;
B) petty Tojiro DP 150mm;
C) sujihiki Fugiwara 270mm.

Thank you again guys. But now I'll have to study a little about maintenance of carbon steel knifes. Do you have a hint on what to read and where to look for, what is true, what is not?

post #22 of 24
Originally Posted by dhmcardoso View Post

Thank you a lot guys, I've just placed my order on the Masamoto HC 240mm.
So, my new set is:
A) Gyuto Masamoto HC 240mm;
B) petty Tojiro DP 150mm;
C) sujihiki Fugiwara 270mm.

Thank you again guys. But now I'll have to study a little about maintenance of carbon steel knifes. Do you have a hint on what to read and where to look for, what is true, what is not?


on caring for carbon steel knives:

post #23 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thank you JBroida!
post #24 of 24
Originally Posted by dhmcardoso View Post

Thank you JBroida!

no prob... plus i love how retarded i look in that screenshot ;)

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