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Home cook here, looking for advice on the Hiromoto Gyuto 240mm

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

So I've done a bit of research and the Hiromoto Gyuto 240mm seems to be the knife I am leaning towards. I have searched this forum for more info on this knife, however, and I don't seem to find much posted about it, so I have a couple noobish questions.

 

But first, about me: I'm a home cook. I cook dinner most nights because, while my wife is a good cook, she hates cooking. I'm a crummy cook (I like to call myself a "learning" cook) but I love cooking. I've found that loving cooking is usually enough to make something delicious at home with a little planning and preparation. I currently use a no-name chef's knife at home and I'm looking to upgrade to a decent Japanese style blade. I really hate how fat and unruly my knife is. A lot of it is skill, I'm sure, but I'm looking for something more thin and nimble.

 

I am halfway decent at sharpening. I've been doing it since I was a kid. I'm nothing special but I can get the blade of my crummy no-name knives at home decently sharp on my crummy hand held diamond kit my dad gave to me years ago (I will also be buying a new sharpening kit, most likely the one I see recommended here all the time from CNTG).

 

I cut what most home cooks at home cut: moderate amounts of veggies, fruits, and meats. Sometimes nuts and seeds.

 

My first question is: I have never owned a clad knife. Does a clad blade require any specialized knowledge to sharpen? What happens when you eventually get to the clad part after years of sharpening?

 

Second: Are there any knives in this price range that are going to blow the socks off the Hiromoto? I was originally looking at the Fujiwara FKM and Tojiro DP knives, but they seemed kind of hit or miss on F&F and QC. I figured I'd be okay spending a bit extra to get something I can be confident will last me quite a long while.

 

Thank you guys for your info. As a total noob I'm sure there's some things that I am overlooking, so please feel free to ask me anything else or educate me on anything. Thank you in advance for your help.

 

 

joe

post #2 of 14
The clad will be removed with thinning behind the edge. You don't want to incorporate the soft stainless into your edge.
See it as sharpening a pencil: you remove some wood to free a new part of the core.
The Hiromoto is a great knife, but should IMHO be thinned somewhat with every sharpening session. The thickening behind the edge is quite abrupt, and without thinning, some of its original performance wil get lost.
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benuser View Post

The clad will be removed with thinning behind the edge. You don't want to incorporate the soft stainless into your edge.
See it as sharpening a pencil: you remove some wood to free a new part of the core.
The Hiromoto is a great knife, but should IMHO be thinned somewhat with every sharpening session. The thickening behind the edge is quite abrupt, and without thinning, some of its original performance wil get lost.

 

Thank you for your reply. I was a bit worried about thinning the blade as I sharpened (if it may be a different process with a clad blade), it's good to know it's just going to take me an extra couple minutes whenever I need to sit down and sharpen it to keep it up. I tend to only do it once every couple of sharpenings for my other knives.

 

Edit to add: I was in your neck of the woods a couple of weeks ago for my honeymoon. You've got a beautiful place to call home, and everyone I met there was wonderful. I hope to return someday!

 

 

joe

post #4 of 14
Thanks for your nice reply. For those who like the old polder landscape, the area has a lot to offer.
About your knife: In fact with an asymmetric blade like the Hiromoto, the easiest way to do is respecting the existing geometry. Sharpening is not so much about the very edge only, it is more about moving a former geometry a very little towards the spine. I would start with a coarse stone above the shoulder, and working from their towards the edge til you've raised a burr. Then switch to the other side, and start again above the shoulder and go on. The scratch pattern of the coarse stone shows you where you're actually abrading steel. Repeat with finer stones and, again, look at the scratch pattern to verify.
Some reports suggest to start with a relatively coarse stone (J400-500) to deal with the tungsten carbides in the AS-steel. I think they are right.
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benuser View Post

Thanks for your nice reply. For those who like the old polder landscape, the area has a lot to offer.
About your knife: In fact with an asymmetric blade like the Hiromoto, the easiest way to do is respecting the existing geometry. Sharpening is not so much about the very edge only, it is more about moving a former geometry a very little towards the spine. I would start with a coarse stone above the shoulder, and working from their towards the edge til you've raised a burr. Then switch to the other side, and start again above the shoulder and go on. The scratch pattern of the coarse stone shows you where you're actually abrading steel. Repeat with finer stones and, again, look at the scratch pattern to verify.
Some reports suggest to start with a relatively coarse stone (J400-500) to deal with the tungsten carbides in the AS-steel. I think they are right.

 

Thanks for your advice. The idea of bringing the angle to the edge helped sum it up nicely for me. The Chef Knives to Go site sells a set with a 500, 1200 and 5k stone, so i think I'll be pretty well taken care of. I'm thinking of adding a strop set as well, but that probably won't be for a while. I'm sure the 1200 will get me plenty far for my current needs. Thank you!

 

 

joe

post #6 of 14
You're most welcome. Start with using your finest stone for deburring and stropping - edge trailing strokes - only. I must humbly admit that while a charged leather strop works very well with other carbons, my own experience with the Hiromoto AS and a strop are not exactly positive. Almost no effect, or even edge weakening.
post #7 of 14

Is there a visible difference between the clad and the AS steel itself, or it more of a guessing/feeling game when you thinning the knife?

post #8 of 14

Yes there is a visible difference.  However, thinning a clad knife is not really much different than thinning a single steel knife.  What issues are you expecting?

 

BDL

post #9 of 14

I guess exposing more of the inner layer (core alloy) then necessary/designed is my concern.

post #10 of 14

Rest easy.  Not a problem unless you're "thinning" at an impossibly acute angle. 

 

BDL

post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benuser View Post

You're most welcome. Start with using your finest stone for deburring and stropping - edge trailing strokes - only. I must humbly admit that while a charged leather strop works very well with other carbons, my own experience with the Hiromoto AS and a strop are not exactly positive. Almost no effect, or even edge weakening.

 

That's good to know. I makes me feel like I don't need to be in a hurry to get a strop.

 

 

joe

post #12 of 14
Reason to revive this thread is I just handled a brand new Hiromoto AS with a much thinner geometry than I was used to. Left side no longer deadly flat, but slightly convexed at its extremity, with a lot of clad having been removed. All a good sharpener would do at first with the old, beefy geometry, seems to come now OOTB, if my most recent experience is to be confirmed.
I've to apologize for my remarks about an abrupt thickening behind the edge, as this remark was based on my probably outdated former experience, and may not longer apply to more recent Hiromotos.
post #13 of 14
Here a photo of a 270 gyuto after one day of home use -- so you may see how much more cladding has been removed at the left face in comparison to older batches.

Hiro270.jpg
post #14 of 14

There are plenty of video lessons on line (youtube) that can help you with the process.  Don't go for the whole enchilada first time out - I'm thinning some of my blades every time I take them to the stones.  It's fun once you get the hang of it - make it a zen thing instead of tedious one.  I like how the AS blues on my Hiro and Carter High Grade Gyutos.  It's a great contrast to the stainless cladding.

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