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First Japanese Gyuto: Hattori HD / Misono 440 / Masamoto VG

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

Hello all,

 

Just joined the forums though been lurking for a while now. I'm sorry if you guys have had it with these kinds of threads but I've been obsessing over this for quite some time and despite reading a whole lot about these knives separately I just couldn't find a straight comparison or a reference point.

 

I have used Victorinox knives for a few years now and though I don't dislike them I think it's time to go for something a little nicer. After some study these are the three knives I'm looking at. I realize these are all fairly decent knives and tough to tell apart but maybe you could provide me with the info to tip the scales in some direction or another.

 

Thanks in advance!

post #2 of 21
I wouldn't go for a Damascus as the Hattori, neither for a POM handle as with the Masamoto. The only Hattori I would consider is the FH. The Misono is an excellent knife. If you want stainless, see if the Hiromoto G3 is still available. Slightly better steel than with the Misono, not at the same level of Fit&Finish, though.
post #3 of 21

Our former resident knife guru BDL recommended the Mac pro as slightly better all around compared to the Masamoto VG.  You might also consider the Richmond Addict in AEB-L.  You might also check with Jon at JKI. 

 

 

Rick

post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benuser View Post

I wouldn't go for a Damascus as the Hattori, neither for a POM handle as with the Masamoto. The only Hattori I would consider is the FH. The Misono is an excellent knife. If you want stainless, see if the Hiromoto G3 is still available. Slightly better steel than with the Misono, not at the same level of Fit&Finish, though.

What's a POM handle and what's wrong with it? I'll look into the Hiromoto.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Alan View Post

Our former resident knife guru BDL recommended the Mac pro as slightly better all around compared to the Masamoto VG.  You might also consider the Richmond Addict in AEB-L.  You might also check with Jon at JKI. 


Rick

I think I want to use JCK because I live in Finland and they have the best shipping policies I know of. I'll look into these other options though.

Thanks!
post #5 of 21

Dohh!  Forgot to check your location.

 

 

Rick

post #6 of 21

POM handle is just a plastic handle.  Nothing wrong with it, it's very abuse resistant unlike wood which will crack, split, or otherwise be damaged if you don't oil it.  I think we just expect better than POM handle at the price point though.

post #7 of 21
I find POM not acceptable at this price point. It's a cheap solution. Pakka is far more durable, POM gets brittle over time, say ten, fifteen years.
post #8 of 21

I didn't know pakka was that much better, just that it looked like more like wood.  I learn stuff all the time here. 

 

I'll stick to wood for myself, but that's good to know for gifts.

post #9 of 21
Pakka won't crack or split, feels like wood and can be sanded like wood.
post #10 of 21

It's like synthetic cork on wine bottles.  I know blind taste tests say it's as good, but I just want the real thing.  Which, by the way, is going extinct.

post #11 of 21

Actually Pakka is the real thing, only the finish goes right thru instead of just penetrating a bit of the surface.  A lot of wood handle material is what's called "stabilized."  It's the same as Pakka.

 

 

Rick

post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benuser View Post

I wouldn't go for a Damascus as the Hattori, .... The only Hattori I would consider is the FH.

I have extended hands-on experience with both and I still do not understand where that obstruction comes from towards the Damascus knife on this forum! May I ask why exactly you wouldn't go for it? Please, don't go for that "chippy" argument again,... all knives chip, especially when not used with respect.

 

Hattori's damascus is a fantastic knife; quite heavy compared to other similar knives, which is simply a benefit for a cooking knife, as in stability and less force to be used to cut. It's nicely tapered, very thin behind the edge. Comes with a much better edge than the FH series. You do need a few sharpenings to fully unfold its potential. The handle is (on my 240 mm) is quite big and larger than many other Japanese knives. And yes, I like the looks of the knife too, even when some around here will happily use that "faux" Damascus stereotype argument!

 

The FH series Hattori's are incredibly light and come with a micarta handle which is "sculpted" to fit better in your hand.

 

Last week, I was watching chef Tom Kerridge cooking on the BBC, using a Yaxell Super Gou. What a stunning knife! Why don't we hear nothing at all about them around here? I bet they are fabulous with their specific handle; http://www.yaxell.co.jp/global/products/index.html

http://www.steamer.co.uk/customer/expert_choice/Tom_Kerridge

 

post #13 of 21

If you're through JCK seriously consider Carbonext. Expect to sharpen it your self out of the box, but it is the best all around basic knife I've used. The Toyota Camry or Honda Accord of knives. Nothing fancy, but does everything well. Nimble but robust enough to do most any kitchen task.

post #14 of 21

As Chris intimates, thick heavy knives can cut with the best in many respects.  But I'll second Mano in that the Carbonext being best for the buck at JCK.

 

It will get just as sharp as the Hattori, and though it will require a little more truing/touch up that is really not a big issue.

 

 

Rick

post #15 of 21
Not so sure about those Damascus being so fancy after a half year of use. The ones I get so see look just ugly.
post #16 of 21

Sorry for going a bit off-topic, but the OP didn't mention what type or size of knives he/she is looking for? I mean, lately I find myself using this 210 mm slicer over and over again for slicing of course, but also for prepping food. Love the long micarta handle!

 

Kanetsugu Saiun Damascus from JCK. I wiped off the logo with synthetic thinner. When restoring a bit of the Damascus look, trying to wipe out scratches, I use a worn-out 1200 grit sandpaper that you can find in car-paint shops (wipe very gently and be patient). The damascus will not look like brandnew, but very close.

 

Saiun knife (JCK)

post #17 of 21

Decals fade, and that nice shiny or han kasumi surface scratches up though with considerable effort you can maintain it.  You can understand why the "Cult of Patina" exists amongst carbon aficionados.  Give me the cut but any who care are most welcome to the cute.

 

 

Rick

post #18 of 21

Have you considered never sharpening?  Then it'll stay pretty forever.

post #19 of 21
Not using it at all is another option.
post #20 of 21

@ChrisBelgium  I don't have any problem with Damascus, it just isn't a big selling point for me and I wouldn't pay a premium for it.  There are different types of damascus too.  I wouldn't lump soft iron in with the stainless ones. Here's my Tanaka blue #2 that I thinned and scratched up the cladding.  I brought it back somewhat with 3000 and 5000 grit automotive sandpaper.  If was much more effort than this, I probably wouldn't bother.

 

post #21 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisBelgium View Post
 

Sorry for going a bit off-topic, but the OP didn't mention what type or size of knives he/she is looking for? I mean, lately I find myself using this 210 mm slicer over and over again for slicing of course, but also for prepping food. Love the long micarta handle!

 

Good point.

 

As has been mentioned in the past I tend to elevate the slicer, a 240 is perfect for me and most of the prep work I do in a typical evening.  I do all my fine slivering with it, but the gyotos get to smash garlic, dice and rough section onions, squash and root vegies.

 

A sturdy 6" uitilitie does most boning, an old butcher knife for going thru chicken bones like for spatchcocking.

 

I have thin 4 and 5" blades that I dedicate to peeling and cheese.  I'm considering picking up a Robert Herder parer for general peeling and dedicate the 4" to removing sections of lemon peel, why not?  ;-)~

 

 

Rick

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