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Gyuto Recommendation (Good looks and performance)

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

Hey all,

 

I've been looking over many of the recommendations on this forum, and am having a hard time landing on one.  First, let me describe the reason for buying, as well as some of the priorities.

 

This is to be a gift for my wife.  It's certainly a luxury item, meant to be sentimental as well as high performing.  Because of this, the knife having a good appearance is of value.  For instance, my front runner for pure performance has been (so far) the Konosuke HD wa-gyuto.  Certainly it is a well reviewed knife and great performer.  However, it's a pretty standard look and not that striking compared to many others out there.  I know it is hard to presume taste when it comes to appearance, but I am looking for some alternatives.  What I would be looking for is something similar, but with a more interesting look.  This usually ends up introducing the damascus style patterns, etc.

 

Aside from the looks, the basics of what I'm looking for:

 

240mm gyuto

wa handle

Semi-stainless or stainless

Approx  $300 or less budget

 

As I'm sure it will come up, I do know how to sharpen moderately well with waterstones.  I'll be working to improve that over the next 4-5 months as well.  That said, if it's not absurdly hard to sharpen, all the better since I'll be the one handling that part of the blade care.

 

I am leaning towards the "laser" style as well because we already have a work horse knife that gets the job done.  The ultra thin style seems like it would be more fun - and since I want the experience (both looks and function) to be great, it seemed like a good choice!  Is "fun" a factor for a knife?  It should be!

 

Any suggestions?

 

Thanks!

 

Mark


Edited by random - 8/16/13 at 1:30pm
post #2 of 24

Before you get thrown in the dog house are you sure your wife would want a chef knife as a gift?

post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 

For sure, I wouldn't be here otherwise.  She's definitely dropped hints about wanting to get a really nice knife such as this for a while.  Thanks for checking though, it at least made me stop and remind myself that I'm not in my own dream world here, hah!

 

The biggest problem is that I'd prefer to have her pick out exactly what she wants - or at least have input.  But then, there's no surprise.  Troubling...


Edited by random - 8/16/13 at 2:20pm
post #4 of 24

From all accounts (that I've read on the interwebs anyway) the Konosuke HD2 gyutos have good F&F and sharpen up "like" carbon knives.

 

Other lasers are

 

Gesshin Ginga stainless (Swedish stainless, I think these are lasers)

Sakai Yusuke (Swedish Stainless again...)

Richmond Laser (AEB-L)

 

There's not much "wow" factor in terms of looks for those knives though. For more bling you can upgrade the handles on the gyuto to something else, but I'm not aware of any lasers that are damascus (not under 300 anyway).

 

Also, a lot of the damascus knives have a non-stainless core would you and your wife be okay with that?

post #5 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by harlock0083 View Post

From all accounts (that I've read on the interwebs anyway) the Konosuke HD2 gyutos have good F&F and sharpen up "like" carbon knives.

 

Other lasers are

 

Gesshin Ginga stainless (Swedish stainless, I think these are lasers)

Sakai Yusuke (Swedish Stainless again...)

Richmond Laser (AEB-L)

 

There's not much "wow" factor in terms of looks for those knives though. For more bling you can upgrade the handles on the gyuto to something else, but I'm not aware of any lasers that are damascus (not under 300 anyway).

 

Also, a lot of the damascus knives have a non-stainless core would you and your wife be okay with that?

 

Thanks for the suggestions. We'd be fine with carbon if it didn't require so much care. The stainless / semi-stainless choice is to mitigate those issues - as I don't want to force her to clean the blade more than now (or be paranoid about it). I think she could easily forget to wipe it off and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. As long as that use case is covered, we're good.
post #6 of 24

Fun is a factor, so is appearance, so is anything else you want to be important.  It's your money. 

 

For good or for ill, lasers all look pretty much alike; although, you can get a custom handle if you want.  

 

Blades with "interesting" designs and finishes are san-mai more than not, and therefore not lasers.  That isn't to say you can't find something both thin and san-mai. 

 

The more specific you are about what you want, the better able I'll be to direct you towards what you want or say with total authority that I'm clueless. 

 

BDL

post #7 of 24
Thread Starter 
BDL,

Thanks for the response. Good points, it does seem like I am looking for a thin san-mai. What additional info can I give to help narrow it down from there?

In terms of blade profile, I'd lean towards a French style.

Thanks for the help, very much appreciated!
post #8 of 24

I have a Haruyuki SR15 Gyuto. That thing is my workhorse in a professional kitchen. That being said, I'm assuming it would make a GREAT home use knife if it can withstand long-term culinary beatings.

 

The handle is a traditional Japanese handle made of Pakkawood. It's a 240mm knife, stainless, and well-balanced. It's about $260 USD. You can check one out from http://www.knifewear.com. That's where I snagged mine.

post #9 of 24

Stainless clad Takeda with blue super core?  Do you like kurouchi finishes?

post #10 of 24

I went through a similar situation recently and settled on the 240 mm Konosuke HD2 for the wife. For someone who never used a wa handle for any significant amount of time, having her own provided lots of excitement. On her specific unit, the OOTB edge was good and I probably won't have to touch it up for a bit. Just remember to get the matching saya! 

post #11 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kartman35 View Post

Stainless clad Takeda with blue super core?  Do you like kurouchi finishes?

 

I personally like the kurouchi finishes.  Finding out if my wife likes them without giving away the plan will be hard, hah.  

post #12 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amused View Post

I went through a similar situation recently and settled on the 240 mm Konosuke HD2 for the wife. For someone who never used a wa handle for any significant amount of time, having her own provided lots of excitement. On her specific unit, the OOTB edge was good and I probably won't have to touch it up for a bit. Just remember to get the matching saya! 

 

I also think the HD2 would be a great option.  If I can't find a great looking san-mai, it will be what I go with.  The only thing I lose out on with the HD2 is the striking visual appeal of some of the san-mai blades.  This might more more important that I even give credit.  She will definitely appreciate a thin, sharp blade.  Whether she'll fully appreciate (at least right away) laser thin, etc?  I'm less certain.  If I were looking to buy based on performance alone, I'd be walking away with an HD2 right now (and still may).

 

Maybe a better question is, what san-mai blades out there do peoplpe just love to look at?

post #13 of 24

The hiromoto tenmi jyuraku damascus series looks pretty sweet. Not sure how thin it is though.

 

http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/TenmiJyurakuDamascusSeries.html#Damascus 

post #14 of 24
I use a sugimoto gyuto with a bamboo handle for fine knife work (250mm - $175-250), a shun premiere gyuto for most and basic cuts ($150) and a takeda classic yanagibe (270mm - $370) is my laser which I use strictly for fish. The sugi is beautiful, but very standard in appearance and might honestly be my best knife, while the shun is much flashier and one of the cheapest Damascus styles (with hammering) around it loses I can't get it it's edge as fine as true Japanese knifes. It's still better than I would say even wustoff, messermeister, forschner, etc. but it's no takeda. Takeda is king as far as I'm concerned. I own masahiro, tojiro, and I've worked with makustas and high end onyxs but nothing compares to takeda for aesthetics or sharpness. As far as wether the yanagibe or fuguhiki or other 'laser' is practical is something else. A knife is a knife, and any knife will cut what you need it to but ideally you'd have the right knife for the job. That being said if you're at all used to western knifes, and won't primarily be breaking down fish, I would highly recommend a gyuto over a more sensitive laser, regardless of flash or style. They're also usually cheaper by a hundred or two
post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by alaminute View Post

 I would highly recommend a gyuto over a more sensitive laser, regardless of flash or style. They're also usually cheaper by a hundred or two

 

Just to be clear, in this case a laser is a type of gyuto, just more thin than most.

post #16 of 24

If you want a great looker and a great performer, you will have to pay for it. For the price of $300 it's really hard to get the best of the both world :( I am kinda in the same boat, so far the performance is winning. But again, I am buying fro myself not as a present.

What can be special is a knife with custom engraving. For example Watanabe offers it on his blades:

http://www.watanabeblade.com/english/special/engraving.htm

Also, I am quite sure that most of the blacksmith can do it for a price. The ones I know you can order customs are:

Heiji, Moritaka, Watamabe, Takeda

 

The downside of it, is possible wait time (couple month) and you have to pay first. Also the choice of steel is limited to what each blacksmiths offers.

post #17 of 24
Brow, I had The same issue some time ago.
Long story short, I bought a 270mm HD2. However, as I needed a sujihiki, I got The HH (which is a sandvik stainless classified steel). It's probably The Best stainless I have ever used.
Some time ago, I was looking for homecook knife, as The kono 27 is too big for my infrastructure (Hahaah) and BDL recommended me The richmond utimatum 52100 (a Carbon havier and toughter than The kono, But much like a sab Profile). Result, I love them all. The hd2 is around 40bucks over The HH, which is around 40 over The ultimatum.
But if you really want stanless HH, for sure.
I would also try to reach Mark, from CKTG, and ask him if you can get your knife mirror polished. He will probably help you and you will GIVE her a Custom visually appealing awesome knife! And u gone get some extra credits!

Daniel!
post #18 of 24
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the suggestions, glad that I'm not the only one that has been stuck in this situation.  The custom engravings are something I'll definitely check out - would really make it personal, and yet also make me pray even harder that she likes it, hah.

 

I definitely at least want semi-stainless, if not full stainless. With that in mind, I've leaned towards the Konosuke HD2 240mm gyuto with rosewood handle and pakka bolster.  However, I do have some concern with the flex described by so many with lasers. Along with that, I wonder if it might get a little to abused since my wife is used to knives built like a tank.  I've heard some mixed impressions with exactly how careful one must treat a "laser" - but if I can go with one and have it be plenty versatile and sturdy, I will.  I just don't want to get one, and have it not be used because it's more delicate.  We don't usually split chickens, etc anyway - but there definitely could be some harder vegetables in there.

 

I have about 4 months before I'd be looking to gift, so I can definitely wait for something more custom.

post #19 of 24
When she first uses The Kono, she will see The difference and will love it, I promisse. Don't be that worried about it's touthness, it world perfect wit hard veggies as well. The first time I sharpened mine I changed The bevel angle and so it's lasting prety well. I do work with pumpkings, hard squashs, melons and etc. However, I just take care not to Hit The board too hard.
post #20 of 24
Thread Starter 
Saw the Konosuke Tsuchime 240mm Gyuto and am interested. Anyone know much about it performance wise? There doesn't seem to be much out there on this one yet...
http://www.chefknivestogo.com/kots24gy.html

Mostly I'd be worried about it being overly chippy considering it's hardened to 64-65.
Edited by random - 8/29/13 at 7:14am
post #21 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by random View Post

Saw the Konosuke Tsuchime 240mm Gyuto and am interested. Anyone know much about it performance wise? There doesn't seem to be much out there on this one yet...
http://www.chefknivestogo.com/kots24gy.html

Mostly I'd be worried about it being overly chippy considering it's hardened to 64-65.

 

 

A microbevel I think can alleviate some of the chippyness (if there is any). I do like the knifes looks though.

post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by harlock0083 View Post

A microbevel I think can alleviate some of the chippyness (if there is any). I do like the knifes looks though.

 

Absolutely. I do that on all my knifes. Here's a pick of a microbevel in my Deba. Less prone to chipping.

 

Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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post #23 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by random View Post

Saw the Konosuke Tsuchime 240mm Gyuto and am interested. Anyone know much about it performance wise? There doesn't seem to be much out there on this one yet...
http://www.chefknivestogo.com/kots24gy.html

Mostly I'd be worried about it being overly chippy considering it's hardened to 64-65.


Mark,

 

It's been a while and I was wondering if you purchased the Konosuke Tsuchime 240mm Gyuto?  If so what are your thoughts on it's performance and durability since I'm also interested in this knife.

 

Jack

post #24 of 24

I don't have experience with either jacko9, but the Akifusa gets great reviews, and its SRS-15 steel is much superior to the SKD/D2 of the kono, you can get the knife for $100 less on top of that.  Ditto for the Kohestu HAP40.  Maybe the downside for you is the Yo handle.

 

 

Rick

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