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Help on choosing a new 240mm Gyuto (CARBON)!

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

Hey guys could you help me on choosing a 240mm Carbon Gyuto? I have a 270mm Konosuke HH (stainless), which I Love, but I only use it at school because of its size. Now I am looking for a smaller one to cook at home and a 240mm seems to be a perfect fit.

The tricky part is that I have only a $150 budget.

I've been checking some options of Blues, whites and 52100, but still undecided. Also, my konosuke is wa, but I have no problem with western handles.

 

Any suggestions?

Another info, I am sharpening pretty well know.

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 27

Richmond Artifex Gyuto. I have one, use maybe 3-4 times a week. It's great!

 

 

 

 

 
 
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Richmond Artifex 240mm Gyuto
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Item # Artifex 240
Regular price: $89.95
Reviews: 4.0 Read Reviews / Add a Review
Availability Usually ships the same business day
Options With Factory EdgeWith Finish Sharpening (+17.00)
post #3 of 27
You may consider a basic Fujiwara FKH at some $85, or a K-Sabatier at the same price level. At $170, both the Misono Swedish Carbon and the Hiromoto Aogami Super are interesting options.
post #4 of 27

If you get an FKH I'd force a pantina on it with phosphoric acid (most soda products have phosphoric acid). The smell and reactivity will come down a lot after a few months of use (with baking soda regime). I don't think you can get the fancier carbon steels at $150 and down though. If you're adventurous you can get this Naozumi Gyuto

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Naozumi-Gyuto-240mm-/360577079400?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item53f4119868

 

Its white steel, but I have no idea which one (probably 2... or 3). Also I'm not sure what hardness its at. Also no choil shot so I don't know how thin or thick it is behind the edge. I just ordered a 150mm petty to test out.

post #5 of 27
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys.

I actually tryed the FKM a couple weeks ago didn´t like it much. It is so unconfortable that its reactiveness wasn´t a big problem. The Hiromoto AS as a san mai, is not an attractive option for me, but the Misono Swedish is a good call though. I don´t know anything about this Naozumi but will look for some info online.

post #6 of 27

The Misono Swedish carbon is a great knife. I've had my 210 mm for quite some time. F+F is great and it produces a nice blue patina if you choose to go that route. I haven't had much issue with it taking and holding an edge, but it's not our primary knife at home. The 240 mm is a shade over your budget @ $170, and of course one can't overlook the dragon etched into the blade (could be a detractor depending on your taste). It's a solid knife if those aren't issues for you.

post #7 of 27

There's a person that bought a Naozumi sujihiki. It was basically a project knife for him (he put a LOT of work into it).

 

http://www.cheftalk.com/t/67118/hey-grasshopper-harder-isnt-always-better

post #8 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amused View Post

The Misono Swedish carbon is a great knife. I've had my 210 mm for quite some time. F+F is great and it produces a nice blue patina if you choose to go that route. I haven't had much issue with it taking and holding an edge, but it's not our primary knife at home. The 240 mm is a shade over your budget @ $170, and of course one can't overlook the dragon etched into the blade (could be a detractor depending on your taste). It's a solid knife if those aren't issues for you.

 

IMO, the dragon is worth the 20 bucks over budget. Just saying...

post #9 of 27
Thread Starter 
So guys, here is the question I am strugling with... Misono Swedish 24 cm vs. Masamoto HC 21cm?
Thats it. Both a little over my original budget, but not a big deal for the LOT of fun I expect. Yes, they are from different sizes but remember, I have a 27cm and this is, at least in plans, to be for home use only.
I ve read a lot of both knives and they are in the same price range... So, which is the one???
post #10 of 27

I'd go with the 24cm Misono.

post #11 of 27

21cm vs 24cm is more important than Misono Sweden vs Masamoto HC.  Everything else being equal I slightly prefer the HC, but without getting into subtle nuances, the difference between 21cm and 24cm is more unequal than you might think.  The 24cm Masa is about $30 more than the Misono, right? 

 

The Misono Sweden is a great knife.  Not so much a caveat, but something you should know is that it's very reactive at least until you get a good patina going.  And the dragon is certainly a plus.    

 

I expect the Artifex 52100 is damn good.  Cheap as can be, but limited to 21cm.   

 

Like you, I dislike san-mai in general, and expressly dislike the Hiromoto AS.  More detail on that if you want it, but you'd better like listening to someone else whine.  Also like you, I dislike the Fujiwara FKH. 

 

You seem to have your head on pretty straight about all of this.  The one piece of advice I can give you is to spend the few extra bucks to get what you really want rather than sticking too closely to whatever reasonable ceiling you're imposing -- at least if that ceiling is more arbitrary than actual.  If you're really stretching to get to $165, then it's a different story. 

 

If you do have some room, another couple of knives you may want to consider are the Richmond Addict in 52100 ($185) and the Richmond Ultimatum in the same alloy ($200). 

 

The Addict is a really nice guyto.  It's a little on the tall side, about 4mm taller than your Kono. 

 

I've had a 52100 Ultimatum for not quite a year, and the more I use it the more I like it.  In it's own (and very different, robust) way, it's as good as my Konosuke HDs.  Last night I wanted to slice one (count them, one) tomato and was practically in tears because all I could find were my three Konos and a drawer full of Sabs.  Well maybe not tears, but my lower lip was trembling.  It's completely pushed the Sabs out of the rotation.  It's actually a lot like a Sab.  Strong, agile, sweet-profile, comfortable, gets sharp, stays sharp, etc.  But wa and a much better alloy.  If you want to discuss it in more depth, of course we can.

 

Richmond's expecting to get a lot in very soon; they don't stay in stock long, but stay out of stock heap much plenty long.  So if you're thinking about jumping... Geronimo already. 

 

BDL

post #12 of 27

Hi BDL,

 

Would you mind elaborating on your experience with the 52100 Ultimatum in comparison with the Kono HD?

 

Thanks.

post #13 of 27

Originally Posted by Amused View Post

Would you mind elaborating on your experience with the 52100 Ultimatum in comparison with the Kono HD?

 

Not at all.

 

There's really not much of a comparison because they're so different.

 

Konosuke:

The Kono HD is a laser.  The first thing to understand about a laser is that it's a laser.  You either want a laser or you don't.  They all have the same weaknesses, and most of them have the same strengths.  While there are differences between the top stainless lasers as compared to one another, they are extremely subtle -- if ever there were a "U Pickem," this is it.  And, the same is true about the the same thing about the top carbon lasers.   There are minor differences in F&F and appearance, but the different identities of the various stainless alloys doesn't mean anything in the way of performance; and I think all of the carbon lasers are made of the same alloy, White #2.  If there's one made of VS2, then same same. 

 

The Kono HD2 (the "2" represents a minor upgrade to the alloy) is slightly apart from other lasers in that its semi-stainless alloys has the same pleasant feeling on the stones as a carbon laser while being nearly as stain resistant as any of the true stainless knives.  

 

It's an extremely light because it's a laser.  Because it's so light, it seems fairly well balanced.  It gets ridiculously sharp, because it's a laser.  The edge seems to stay sharp even as it dulls, because it's a laser.  The knife should not be steeled because it's a laser.  It doesn't wedge because it's a laser. Food doesn't stick to it because it's a laser. 

 

You need to be careful around bones, partly because it's a laser and partly because that's just how it is with alloys which are stronger than they are tough.  It doesn't stain easily because it's HD.  It has an extremely sweet feel on the stones, because it's HD. 

 

The profile is excellent, if not quite Sabatier. 

 

Mine is a 270mm HD from the first production run and has a handle most people don't like, but I like very much.  I've never heard a complaint about the current handle, which is a well-done ho-wood octagon.  You can get all sorts of semi-custom wa handles as extra cost upgrades if you want. 

 

Sharpening note:  A well sharpened edge with lot of asymmetry -- say 90/10 -- will make the knife so sharp that it becomes difficult to handle.  That is, unless you consciously hold it back it will fall through just about anything it touches.   I prefer a more moderate asymmetry for its greater durability, and -- it pains me to admit it -- because I'm not as adaptable as I used to be, my skills are eroding and I don't want a knife I have to think about. 

 

All in all a Kono HD is among the best of the best... if you want a laser.

 

Ultimatum 52100:

If you've ever spent time with a carbon Sabatier chef's knife, you have a very good idea of what to expect.  The differences are that the Richmond has a wa-handle, weighs 3 ounces less, is balanced much further forward than a Sab, and is made of hugely better alloy. 

 

Same sweet profile.  Same lively feel on the board.  Same indestructibility.  Same versatility.  Even more comfortable (although it took me awhile to get there).  And there's that alloy. 

 

Takes a great edge, holds it a long time, can be steeled -- but it won't need it much.  Fantastic feel on the stones.  I've always been a carbon guy, 52100 is the best carbon I've ever used, and because of this knife it has become my favorite alloy.  Which would matter a lot more if the differences between one really good alloy and another were significant, but they aren't -- not really. 

 

I use my Ultimatum for everything; and that means things I wouldn't dream of doing with the Kono, like trimming and portioning spareribs; and stupidly includes things I shouldn't do, like splitting the occasional chicken.  Bottom line:  I've been abusing the knife for a year and haven't hurt it yet. 

 

The right face of the knife is convexed quite a bit.  It should help keep food from sticking, but as a lefty it means nothing to me.  On the other hand,  my chopping action is a glide (which tends to knock stuff off) and I'm pretty conscientious about keeping the knife straight and moving it quickly, so I don't have much of a problem with sticking anyway. 

 

On the down side, the knife is a bit thick (but that's the price you pay for anything that strong), and the blade came with some tool marks which were supposed to have been polished out by Richmond (the knife is made for them OEM by Lamson) but weren't -- although not much of a downside because fit and finish were otherwise very good to excellent.  The cosmetics are mediocre. 

 

The OOTB edge was adequate, 15*, minor convexing (probably incidental), 50/50 asymmetry, not much polish.  I like my geometry much better, 12* flat bevel, 2:1 lefty, 8K finish.  8K is really too much, but I own the stone, so wotthehell.  The ideal finish is probably somewhere in the 3K to 6K range.  The asymmetry made a much larger positive difference than I'm used to mild asymmetry making -- which may have something to do with the right-handed asymmetry of the blade's grind, and/or may have been just enough to stop the knife from wedging.  Whatever.  I don't know why it worked but it did.  My advice to a left handed user is "you absolutely must," and to a right handed user, "you should."     

 

It weighs 2 oz more than the Kono gyuto, 3 oz more than my 300mm Kono suji (which I use as a gyuto fairly frequently), and the Ultimatum not only feels quite a bit heavier than either Konosuke, but less neutrally balanced as well. 

 

At the time I got the Ultimatum, I thought that I was beyond balance issues -- but apparently having nothing but Konos and Sabs spoiled me.  When I first started using it the knife felt awkward and heavy... with its balance point making it feel as heavy as one of my 10oz Sabs.  Between that and the tool marks, I seriously considered sending it bacl.  But after using it for a few hours, my grip adjusted a bit forward and I started to like the knife.  After establishing my first edge, like turned to love; and although I never made a conscious effort, my grip kept evolving until the knife became an extension of my will; and it just keeps getting better and better.      

 

Would I trade it for the Kono or vice versa?  It's not a decision I have to make, and am ecstatic not making it.  If you're asking me which would I recommend to someone buying one gyuto, the recommendation would be made on the basis of which class of knife -- laser, robust, or something in between -- would best suit.  One size does not fit all.  And in many cases, one size doesn't even fit one. 

 

BDL

post #14 of 27
Thread Starter 
So BDL, do you think the Richmond Ultimatum 52100 overperforms the Masamoto HC and the Addict 52100?
I was kinda decided on the Masamoto, however you made me consider the Ultimatum and the Addict. ;-)
Considering that I am visiting the US in two weeks (I live in Brazil) and CKTG is out of the utimatum, and it does not arrive in time, which would be the best option?
post #15 of 27

BDL,

 

Thanks for the thorough insight. Having been using my Nogent for the past couple of weeks, its comparison to the Ultimatum is interesting.

How does the 52100 carbon steel compare to the more typical Japanese variants? 

Factoring in wife usage, the Kono's semi stainless makeup may drive the final decision more than anything else on my next purchase.

 

Thanks.

post #16 of 27

Most home cooks will rarely encounter things that Kono HD won't be suitable to cut. Vegies, Meat, Fruits even bread all goes just fine. Frozen food is probably the only thing I do not cut with it.

post #17 of 27

The Konosuke is a laser.  While there are plenty of things it can do, there are a few things it shouldn't -- and a few more which you my find awkward.  The two things which are most limiting about lasers is how thin they are "behind the edge" which restricts them from certain heavy-duty tasks, and flex. 

 

The Ultimatum is significantly stiffer and more robust.  It can do things the Kono won't -- or at least shouldn't, like go through cartilage, split the occasional chicken, cut through fish rib-cages,  It can also do others without risking binding caused by flexibility combined with hurrying, and/or imperfect skills.  Binding is always annoying and is potentially dangerous to the knife in that people sometimes force the knife through, and end up slamming the blade on the board.  You see that a lot when people cut thick skinned squash, melon, and pineapple. 

 

I have two Kono HDs, a 270mm gyuto and a 300mm suji, which I use for gyuto duties.  They're fantastic.  I don't have any problem with binding when using them, because I take the time and have the skills to keep the knife square in the cut.  However, I would never feel comfortable using them as all purpose knives unless I had something significantly stronger waiting for those times I needed it.  And, frankly, the idea of my wife trying to split a watermelon with the suji makes me want to howl.  

 

No one, least of all me, can tell you with certainty what will work best for you.  I'll tell you what I know about knives in general; the specific knives which interest you; and let you use that along with other information along the way to make your own decisions.  To me, both Konos and the Ultimatum are favorite children.  So, no Sophie's Choice. 

 

As of this writing, both the stainless (19C27) and carbon (52100) Ultimatum are in stock at CKtG, but they probably won't be for long.  If you're serious about purchasing you should decide in the next couple of days and make arrangements with Mark so your knife can meet you when you get to the US.  That way, you'll at least have an opportunity to examine it, contact Mark by phone, and work out some sort of return and exchange if there are problems or you just don't like it. 

 

BDL


Edited by boar_d_laze - 8/12/13 at 4:56pm
post #18 of 27
Thread Starter 

Thank you BDL!!!

Just got it! I was probably the first one, I had checked earlier today and they were not in stock yet.bounce.gif

I am having it shipped to a friends house, so it is not a problem.

 

Do hotels deliver raw onions and a chopping board in their room services? biggrin.gif

 

Now, what about sharpening? do you recommend any profile in particular? 

 

Best regards!

Daniel.

post #19 of 27

nvm...I answered my own question with regard to info on Richmond Knives.


Edited by Amused - 8/13/13 at 6:27am
post #20 of 27

The Richmond part of Richmond Knives is Mark Richmond, the guy who owns CKtG.

 

Richmond knives are designed by Mark, have a lot of input from Mark, or at least have their design approved by Mark.

 

Richmond does not actually manufacture any knives itself, rather the knives are made OEM by several different makers.  If the knife in question is manufactured using a western alloy such as AEB-L, 19C27, or 52100, the maker was most likely Lamson.  Other Richmond makers include Fujiwara and Konosuke. 

 

Another popular knife line which sources and/or rebrands merchandise made OEM is Gesshin -- sold by Jon Broida through JKI. 

 

The model of knives made OEM to be sold under the seller's brand is very common in Japan, and used by a great many hamono, including Konosuke, and Sakai Takayuki.  

 

BDL  

post #21 of 27

Thanks for that tidbit, BDL.

 

I was familiar with Richmond's relationship with Lamson & Goodnow, but wasn't aware of its ties to Fujiwara and Konosuke. I know Gesshin is outsourced, but I don't know if Jon's choice of supplier(s) is public knowledge.

I've got a 240 mm HD2 on the way for the wife and am considering an Ultimatum in 52100 for myself. I haven't purchased a new gyuto in sometime, so it'll be fun trying a new steel and profile.

 

Cheers.


Edited by Amused - 8/13/13 at 8:10am
post #22 of 27

Depends on the line, not all of them are made by Lamson. The lasers are made by some Japanese company. I'm not sure about the Ultimatum line (except the Ultimatum HD, that's Konosuke).

post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amused View Post

Thanks for that tidbit, BDL.

 

I was familiar with Richmond's relationship with Lamson & Goodnow, but wasn't aware of its ties to Fujiwara and Konosuke. I know Gesshin is outsourced, but I don't know if Jon's choice of supplier(s) is public knowledge.

I've got a 240 mm HD2 on the way for the wife and am considering an Ultimatum in 52100 for myself. I haven't purchased a new gyuto in sometime, so it'll be fun trying a new steel and profile.

 

Cheers.

not always public knowledge, and the vast majority of them are custom made to our requirements (from the profile, grind, heat treatment, etc.)

post #24 of 27

And the Ultimatum Carbon is out of stock again.  Wow, that was quick!

post #25 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by pohaku View Post

And the Ultimatum Carbon is out of stock again.  Wow, that was quick!

Dang, they really don't stay in stock very long. 

 

ps I like your avatar (I loved to watch lion head dances when I was young)

post #26 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pohaku View Post

And the Ultimatum Carbon is out of stock again.  Wow, that was quick!
I bought mine yesterday, right after BDL tells it was back in stock. I friend of mine was also interested and we checked today morning, in Brazil, for our suprise, it was already out of stock. So I asked Mark and he told me he had received 3 only. Check with him when he is receiveing a new batch.
post #27 of 27
Lion dance from Chinese New Year in Honolulu Chinatown. I posted some food porn pics from the event on this site. A great time!

http://www.cheftalk.com/t/69266/chinese-new-year-street-food-in-honolulu#post_380070
Edited by pohaku - 8/13/13 at 8:21pm
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