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MAC Pro vs Masamoto VG and Kakayagi VG-10

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hello all,

I have been reading lots of posts to get my first Japanese knife, some of which come from 2010, I realize.

 

BDL has been recommending the following:

 

MAC Pro  $195.00 for the MBK-85

Masamoto VG $162 for the 8.2 inch

Kakayagi VG-10 $180 for the KV-8

So it seems BDL's favorite, is actually the cheapest here at $162.  So price is not really an issue unless I am looking at the wrong chef's knife.

It is a little more with the 9 inches, obviously.

 

So the only other thing is that I like sharper knives, but I think they all can slice tomatoes horizontally without you holding it.  The other criteria is that I don't really cook that much so ideally I dont want to do too much maintenance.

So if Masamoto VG is the cheapest out of those, shouldn't the choice be obvious?  Or am I missing something?

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 12

I don't have hands-on experience with most of these knives (except for a Mac Professional, which I have had for about 36 hours), but I'm presuming you've read the following threads (I'm posting them here, to bring everyone else up to speed)

 

http://www.cheftalk.com/t/62052/hattori-fh-vs-masamoto-vg-vs-mac-pro-gyuto

 

http://www.cheftalk.com/t/61403/newbie-to-knives-interested-in-japanese-knives

 

In the first post, BDL discusses and compares the Masamoto and the Mac.  BDL see the two as extremely similar, with the basic difference between the two as whether you want a stiffer blade (the Mac) or a more flexible blade (the Masamoto).

 

In the second post, BDL discusses the Kagayaki VG-10 and the Masamoto VG, their relative strengths and weaknesses.  Not much I can add to that.  From BDL's post, it seems the Masamoto VG would be the hands-down better knife.  By inference, I suspect that BDL would be making the same judgement on Mac vs. Kagayaki - i.e., the Mac would be the "better" knife. 

 

I will defer to BDL's experience here, rather than duplicate his earlier efforts.

 

However, I would point out that the knives are only part of the picture.  You still need to realize that each and all of these knives will get dull through use.  It will be up to you to slow down the dulling process and to have a way to bring the chosen knife back to sharpness.

 

To slow down the process, a good cutting board is essential.  The best boards around, in terms of being edge-friendly, would be end-grain hardwood boards.  Next best would be edge grain hardwood boards.  Plastic would be much further down the list, as would be bamboo, composite boards, and the absolute nadir, stone (marble or granite) and glass.

 

You are also going to need some sort of sharpening system.  Least expensive would be stones, though you will need to practice.

 

Check out the following post:

 

http://forums.egullet.org/topic/26036-knife-maintenance-and-sharpening/

 

Chad Ward, the author, later expanded that post into book form, An Edge In The Kitchen.  If you have a good public library system or access through the Interlibrary loan system, you can read the book  for free, though you should keep in mind that the prices are considerably dated.

 

You might also look at the Edge Pro Apex.  Chef Knives To Go sells custom kits, including the "Essentials" kit, which has 3 Shapton Glass mounted stones for $230.  I use it and very much appreciate that kit.

 

Hope that helps.

 

 

Galley Swiller

post #3 of 12

My second reaction to all of this (going back and looking at your status as a culinary student), is to sort of wonder whether getting any of the listed knives might be your best "bet" for an initial japanese knife.  (Of course, I sort of also wonder about a "Culinary Student" who "doesn't really cook that much" ????)

 

Looking for the "best bang for the buck", my reaction would be for you to concentrate on (1) get a good cutting board; (2) get a 12" Idahone for $30 and (3) get and start practicing sharpening with some sharpening system, like stones or the Edge Pro.  Doing that will have much more impact in the long run than getting a top knife now.

 

You might also look at less expensive knives as well - the Tojiro DP, the Fujiwara FKS, the Richmond Artifex and the Mac "Chef Series" chef's knives.  Your financial outlay will be less, and you can use the difference for help in paying for cutting board, Idahone and sharpening system.  Again, it's "best bang for the buck", but concentrating on long-term skill development - and yes, knife sharpening skills ARE critical.

 

You are also listing knives in the 8 inch (200 mm to 210 mm) range.  Those are generally appropriate for household meal preparation volumes, but it might be much more appropriate for you to acquire a longer blade in the 240 mm to 270 mm range - especially if you are to be a culinary student.  That longer length will have more of an impact on food prep in a professional setting than choosing between Mac Pro, Masamoto VG or Kagayaki VG-10.

 

 

Galley Swiller

post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 

hello, well i'm gonna get a birthday gift bc im a spoiled brat. :bounce:

i will research into the stones later as i dont want to bother them with these other stuff.

so...i'll consider this other knife but..

can you answer my question directly...

 

MAC Pro  $195.00 for the MBK-85

Masamoto VG $162 for the 8.2 inch

Kakayagi VG-10 $180 for the KV-8

i think the prices will still be comparable if you choose the 10 inch one.  kakayagi is the least recommended out of three and masamoto is the most recommended and its the least expensive??

post #5 of 12
Kagayaki is an outstanding blade, one of the best VG-10 I've seen. Excellent F&F, no traditional design, though. Masamoto comes with a POM handle which I wouldn't accept at this price point. Mac is simply overpriced.
Between these I would go for the Kagayaki. Other competitors would be the Misono 440 and the Hiromoto G3.
post #6 of 12
I think the Mac usually comes in closer to $160 based on a quick search. I'm not familiar with the kakayagi so I can't comment. Vg10 gets a bad rap sometimes but when done properly it is a good stainless steel. I own and use a Mac Pro and still like it after several years. I'm sure the masa is a good blade too. I pinch grip so I don't pay attention to the handle much but my wife loves the handle on the Mac. If you can't sharpen I can tell you the Mac comes very sharp oob. For what it's worth I think these steels will all perform fairly similarly and they all are around the same price. I'd pick based on profile, weight etc
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 

second thought, i might just ask for something else bc i just found from my friend in japan that its only about 120 dollars in japan...

anyone able to confirm that?

post #8 of 12
The MAC or the Masamoto?
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 

masamoto... mac seems to be expensive everywhere.

post #10 of 12

I guess I'd go with the Kagayaki of the ones listed.  However, I probably wouldn't buy any kitchen knife in VG-10 nowadays unless there was something else about the knife I found extraordinary (eg the superb handle and ergos of the Hattori KF/FH).  VG-10 isn't a bad steel; indeed, it was one of the original Stainless "Super Steels".  But I feel it has been eclipsed today, and it's almost old fashioned.  Plus, there are lots of steels that are nicer to sharpen that hold an edge at least as well.

"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
Reply
"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
Reply
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 

any input.. bump.

post #12 of 12

Masamoto's are great knives.  Mac are great knives.....I own both mac's and masamoto's and think they're both good value to performance.  Mac's have a great handle, masamoto's have a great grind and good handle.......8" Masamoto's are different beasts than 10" masamoto's.  8" are known to be flexible while 10" is more tank like.....odd, I know but it seems to be the across the board case.  If you can score a masamoto cheap, go for it......

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